*Taken from my former blog site*
Wrestlemania 15 hosts a special place in my heart as it was the very first WWE PPV I watched live. I thought it was my actual PPV but that honour goes to WCW Halloween Havoc 1998. Yes…that one. A Wrestlemania party was hosted by lifetime family friends The Seymour Family. The oldest son played minor hockey with my brother and his sister was my age and we went through grades 1-12 together. Oh and their mother cut my hair! Small towns man. Looking back, Mania 15 was a hot mess and plans changed for some matches because Russo. Here is how I’d book it:
Hardcore Championship: “Dr. Death” Steve Williams over Hardcore Holly (c) and Al Snow. Remember JR’s short lived heel turn? Me neither, I’ll break out my Neuralizer from Men in Black and erase that from our minds. After recovering from the Brawl For All (ZAP) Williams is thrust into the Hardcore division. The match itself is hard hitting, weapons and comedy; a classic WWE Hardcore match. After Holly hits a Falcon Arrow which he called the Hollycaust at the ti-(WHAT THE HELL..ZAP!)….ahem. Sorry. After the Falcon Arrow on a chair to Snow, Williams grabs Holly and goes on a Stampede. An Oklahoma Stampede, Death bounces Holly’s back off an exposed turnbuckle and powerslams him through a table. 1-2-3 Dr. Death wins the Hardcore title!
Tag Team Championship: Owen Hart and Jeff Jarrett (c) vs The New Age Outlaws. There has been tension in the ranks of DX and before (SPOILER ALERT!) their eventual split later on. The Outlaws have an early advantage and the titles seemingly won, however a miscommunication leads to a victory roll by Owen and the win. The Outlaws argue and push each other. The rest of DX come out to cool things down. Dissension.
Intercontinental Championship Lions Den Match : Ken Shamrock (c) over Dan Severn. The Beast makes his return at the Rumble to target Charisma Ken but is often jumped by the Corporation. After tapping out every member, Severn challenges Shamrock to a Lion’s Den match. Their history in UFC is written in to the match. Shamrock sneakily uses a pair of brass knux to knock out The Beast and locks in the ankle lock. Severn is out cold and cannot tap, Charisma Ken wins by KO. Structurally I am not sure how the match would work given the size of the First Union Center but this is purely my fantasy booking mind.
Butterbean vs Bart Gunn in a JUST KIDDING! I’m not booking that train wreck. Bart got released and Butterbean doesn’t touch the WWF. Gorilla Monsoon makes an appearance somehow though. Mania 15 was his last one before his death that fall. Maybe the Lions Den match there has a judge or two. Or they roll out some Hall of Famers to get a nostalgia pop. I’ll go with nostalgia. The Brawl for All was so stupid man…If I was re-booking 1998, it would be DELETED!
Undertaker over Gangrel Hell in a Cell- The Lord of Darkness vs The Lord of Vampires. After the Brood refuse an offer from the Ministry, random members are being blood bathed. Taker is always teased but uses “dead man magic” to disappear and we only see a pool of blood. Mideon and Viscera tease leaving the Ministry for the Brood but Taker flogs them. Constantly and Viciously. Eventually, Paul Bearer is kidnapped and Gangrel appears on the tron to give an ultimatum: a match at mania for control of the Ministry or Paul Bearer loses blood. (I mean….he is a vampire) Mind games occur: GONG. Lights out. BOOM. Blood Bath. Gangrel vows to turn the Ministry into a/the Brood, a brotherhood where the members can be themselves, not having to suffer under the brain-washed rule of a dark emperor (good, good let the hate flow through you). Undertaker appears first in the ring and the lights go out again. Blood begins to drip from the cell as The Brood make their awesome through the flames entrance. The match goes all over the cell, from the outside to the top. Gangrel hits the Implant DDT on the top but since pinfalls only count in the ring, it does him no good. This isn’t Judgment Day 2002, sorry HHH and Chris Jericho. The Brood try to interfere but are put through the announce tables by Taker. Christian takes a bump from halfway up the cage, not attempting to outdo KOTR 98. Chokeslam, Tombstone, Curtains. Druids take The Brood away seemingly to sacrifice them.
HHH over Kane-Same match, same result. Chyna turns on Kane and re-joins HHH. This makes DX look strong and unified until…..
European Championship: Shane McMahon over X-Pac (c). Same result except X-Pac walks into Philly as champ. The referee goes down and X-Pac nails the X-Factor, but Chyna and HHH storm the ring. Low blow, pedigree and they drape Shane on top of X-Pac. Shane wins the title celebrating with his new friends. The Outlaws hit the ring to confront HHH and Chyna. Road Dogg shoves HHH but turns around into a Fameouser by Billy Gunn! All three leave with Shane and join the Corporation.
Mankind over Big Show via DQ- Winner is referee in the main event. Like IRL, Big Show is DQ’d when he chokeslams Mankind on the chair, seemingly taking him out of the match. Stretcher job, ambulance etc.
Women’s Championship: Luna Vachon over Sable (c)- Luna destroys Sable in a couple minutes and sends her packing to Turd Smuggling City. Then she hitchhikes to Suplex City, bitch. No Nicole Bass sightings here.
WWF Championship Steve Austin over The Rock. Same as before, Austin goes over. Vince tries to insert himself as referee but is thwarted by Commissioner HBK. Out comes Hebner, ref bump. Out comes Foley who lays out Vince and Austin hits a couple stunners on Rocky and NEW WWF Champion!
With Wrestlemania less than a week away, this will be my last piece of Mania related content. There’s possibly a review on the horizon but that’ll be on the podcast. Click here to listen and keep up. April will be Backlash month so once again, good brother Nate and I will be reviewing two Backlash PPV’s on the Gamechanger Podcast. Yes they will come full circle because they are connected to the Wrestlemanias we covered. Take a shot! Have fun at Mania RWA Crew!