Well, Im back in the game and Im now going to be turning my attention away from my famous TNA booking and looking at WWE for a while, focusing on 2008, right after The 24th Annual WrestleMania. I saw the PPV as a success. I know it was only four years ago, but I remember watching the event and thinking what a success it was. It was the resulting aftermath I wasnt a huge fan of. I wont tell you what exactly I was disappointed in. Id rather show you through my booking. So with that said, here are the results for WrestleMania XXIV, and the backstory that follows.
As WrestleMania XXIV disappeared, with The Undertaker advancing to 16-0, Vince McMahon was pleased. The past couple of months had drawn in the attention of dozens of sports sites, channels, and new peddlers who turned their sights to WWE for once, to cover Floyd Mayweathers excursion to WWE. The media attention was great, but McMahon also knew the gate revenue was great, and was expecting a comparably great PPV buy-rate.
WWE WrestleMania XXIV
Live from The Citrus Bowl in Miami, Florida
March 30th, 2008
D A R K - M A T C H
25-Man Inter-promotional Battle Royal
Winner Receives ECW Title Shot Later Tonight
Kane defeated Elijah Burke, Trevor Murdoch, Val Venis, Deuce, Domino, Mark Henry, Jim Duggan, Hardcore Holly, Tommy Dreamer, Jesse, Festus, Brian Kendrick, The Great Khali, Jimmy Wang Yang, Cody Rhodes, Lance Murdoch, The Miz, Kofi Kingston, Shannon Moore, Jamie Noble and Chuck Palumbo
M A I N - C A R D
JBL d Finlay via pin-fall @ 8:35
Money In The Bank Ladder Match
CM Punk d Shelton Benjamin, Ken Kennedy, John Morrison, Chris Jericho, MVP, and Carlito via retrieval @ 13:55
Brand Warfare Match
Batista (Smackdown) d Umaga (Raw) via pin-fall @ 7:06
ECW Championship Match
Kane d Chavo Guerrero © via pin-fall @ 0:08
Career Threatening Match
Shawn Michaels d Ric Flair via pin-fall @ 20:23
Bunnymania Lumberjill Match
Melina and Beth Phoenix d Ashley and Maria via pin-fall @ 5:56
WWE Championship Match
Randy Orton © d Triple H and John Cena via pin-fall @ 14:09
No DQ Match
Floyd Mayweather d Big Show via knock out @ 11:36
WWE World Title Match / Streak Match
Undertaker d Edge © via submission @ 23:50
McMahon knew he succeeded, 24 years later, and McMahon was still succeeding. What he envisioned all those years ago was unfolding in front of him and now he knew the only way was up. He had some ideas. Some ideas on how to get WWE up to even higher grounds. Vinnie Mac never liked to compare himself to real sports organizations but the vision Vince McMahon had for his promotion went beyond being the number one sports entertainment company, he wanted WWEs success to be synonymous with that of the NBA, MLB, NFL, and NHL.
The fact of the matter was, Vince was beginning to lose some of the more passionate fans who found truly competitive sports more appealing. These fans were now ignoring WWE PPV opportunities to watch some football in the evening, and passing over Raw, Smackdown, and ECW in favor of some unpredictable basketball action or Americas favorite pass time, baseball. The product was becoming more and more predictable as months passed, but it was out of Vinces hands. He was so focused on marketing his company, he left power in the writers hands, and it seemed like the only match they knew how to write featured a win for Cena, Orton, or Batista. Thats not to say Vince had it out for any of these three, but McMahon recognized the lack of diversity in the results, and at the least, wanted to make sure others were getting their fair shot.
Vince McMahon, days before WrestleMania, made the decision to cancel ECWs contract with Sci-Fi, in order to get the talent from that secondary show, and let them be made into something on the big two shows. At the same time, it allowed for less of a force-feeding of the product to the masses. You had more of a desire to catch either Raw or Smackdown because there wasnt a third show to fall back on now. This would also allow writers to pay plenty of attention to the major shows and add diversity to their booking. Superstars from ECW would therefore be absorbed into the Smackdown or Raw rosters, but this also meant some firings were in order.
Jimmy Wang Yang, Shannon Moore, The Great Khali, Chuck Palumbo, Jim Duggan, Jillian Hall, Eve Torres, Snitsky, Super Crazy, prospect Atlas DaBone, The Highlanders, Paul Lodnon, Stevie Richards, Katie-Lea Burchill, and Val Venis were all released from their contracts, with Jesse and Festus also being demoted back down to development for further training.
WWE posted this press release late in the night following WrestleMania and then announced a realignment of the roster, and the entire WWE charter, which is to follow: