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Thread: November BTBOTM - WWE: Where It All Begins... Again

  1. #461
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    Re: October BTBOTM - WWE: Where It All Begins... Again

    Iíll keep it pretty low key on the preview show, the only thing that really mattered was the Battle Royal. LOVED JBL paying off the rest of the crew to eliminate The Big Show from the get go, and the stuff with Mattitude was fun. Moore winning the whole thing is a massive moment, even on the pre-show, itís a shame we wonít get to see the follow up (I feel like I might be saying that a lot tonight).

    I hate to echo Wolfy here, but itís Mania, you should have written your own video package. This will be even more hypocritical of me if I ever post November To Remember, but Iím not good at them to begin with. It would have been nice to see you put something together, just because when watching that video, the bits that donít fit in are annoying. Still, considering the effort youíve put in writing the actual PPV, maybe I shouldnít be harping too much on a VP? I donít knowÖ

    Opening up with the tag title match is a fine choice. A fast paced start (and entire match apparently) which is a nice way to get the fans up and excited early. The attack from Christian as well as the mentions of Batista learning from Christian were very smart, showing the impact he has had on Evolution. Batista eventually doesnít listen and the match is basically over. The match told a good story, and now Christian has basically lost his spot in Evolution, despite arguably doing nothing wrong. Itís crazy this match only went 5 minutes though, although I get it with the truly STACKED card we are dealing with here. Either way, canít complain with how this went, kicking off the night in a feel good manner.

    Jerichoís intense mood is a nice change of pace as opposed to talking everybodyís ears off. It shows what an occasion tonight really is, good stuff.

    Much like the opener, Cruiserweight affair is another fast paced match but itís the Cruiserweights so that was always going to happen. Enjoyed the beginning here with Noble getting tunnel vision on Chavo, only to get attacked. Guerrero laughing at Noble only to then cop it himself would have been a nice spot also. The two on two leading to working together, which eventually flowed into Tajiri and Juvi eventually blowing up was terrific. Might as well mention that EPIC spot with the German off the second rope too, bloody hell. The ending here with Chavo getting a sneaky victory is something I didnít expect, but I donít mind it. Wolfy mentioned it at the end of his feedback but its obvious here, two matches in and your matches are perfectly in line with the psychology matching the build-up. My only real negative so far, and I donít want to sound like an unreasonable bastard, but two matches lasting less than 6 minutes to open up the biggest show of the year is a little lacklustre for me. I donít really like two rushed matches back to back to kick off such an important show.

    Video package reminded me of how awesome this womenís build has been. Hug Life gets all the recognition for his womenís division work (and so he should), but shit, this is right up there with it as far as Iím concerned.

    Again, the early stages of this match were spot on with Lita and Trish initially going for April, but sheís too smart for it. Lita then going for the quick win on Trish shows where sheís at as well. I thought the match progressed well, and enjoyed the trading of finisherís all done by the wrong people. Duly noted that Trish refused to focus on the neck of Lita, but it felt like it had been building for months, but FINALLY Trish lost it and beat the shit out of April. Great way to land the first elimination and blow off a crucial part of this story.

    The Trish/Lita confrontation was always going to be fun, and I like the kick off with Lita going for a cheap shot, but Trish expected it this time. The Twist of Fate was a nice false finish, but the swerve at the end is what we came to see. Lita joins April to win the goldÖ Holy shit. Itís a big moment and a fitting conclusion to the Mania part of their story, but I am left with a slightly bad taste in my mouth. I think not being able to follow up actually hurts you a bit here. Why would April be happy that somebody other than herself is leaving with the gold, when her motivation all along has been to be the best? It was even put over that way during her entrance. Right now, itís left me a little undecided, but I think after a follow up explanation on Raw regarding probably some issues with Trish, it leaves things a littleÖwellÖoff.

    Nice Guerrero segment putting over Eddieís inner turmoil for tonight. Great stuff.

    Champions out first? Thatís different. Not sure why? Either way, been looking forward to this tag title match due to the Kidman arch. And you played off that perfectly again throughout the match. The challengers made the fast paced start but then the Ďweak linkí got caught and injured his ribs. One thing Iíve commended you on is how well youíve put WGTT across as the best tag team. Their quick tags, teamwork, itís simple stuff but it has been a feature since day one in hereÖ So to see them get an extended period to shine like this at Mania was nice. The false tags were great and that Gutbuster off of the top rope was brutal.

    Obviously the hot tag was eventually going to happen and Rey goes to work. I must admit I loved Haas copping his own Dropkick off the Crossbody, a nice taste of his own medicine spot. Kidman being the deciding factor by coming to Reyís aid and then finishing off Haas was brilliant and such a feel good moment. A fitting end to another enjoyable angle from you, fantastic work and my favourite thing on the show so far.

    Another awesome video package for Orton/Foley, once again highlighting what a fantastic story youíve told us all here.

    Smart stuff to kick off the cage match with Foley attacking Orton before he even gets to the cage. Iíd be pissed off if somebody hit my girl to, so makes sense for Foley to be fuming. The fact that Randy was busted open before the match even started was epic. I canít compliment you enough on the beginning, with Foley locking the door and stashing the key. Obviously Orton was going to get in some offence at some point, but I liked the reliance on the low blow.

    I also thought that the shift in Orton, from trying to avoid the Hardcore stuff, to eventually embracing it and trying to destroy Foley was a nice touch. It also fits in with how Orton destroyed Foleyís buddies in the build-up. Again, hate to parrot Wolfy, but if one thing didnít fit the story it was Foley constantly trying to get his Snuka/Mania moment. He should have ONLY been focused on destroying Orton after everything that happened.

    Barbie and the thumb tacks coming out are all part and parcel in this type of match and were used to great effect. I must admit, whilst I didnít like Foley constantly looking for the high risk, that ending spot with the RKO off the cage through the table was god damn crazy. Awesome finish to a brutal match, and from a booking stand point, the obviously right man went over. Good job here.

    Vinnie Mac appearanceÖ Cool.

    Why do the champions keep coming out first, damn it? Whereís your sense of tradition lol? Glad you kept this one short, but still enjoyable. It felt very much like Goldberg/Lesnar in real life a few years back, and I mean that in a good way. High impact, both guys did what they do best. The missed Spear in the beginning was clearly the undoing, and a clean victory for Kane has him looking unstoppable. I like Kane bringing out the Tombstone for Mania as well. Considering The Berg was leaving, this one just had to go this way, imo.

    Another good VP for Angle/Cena. I havenít been as big on this feud as others for the show, however Angleís individual character journey has been one of my favourites.

    Right from the get go, the contrast of styles was made evident as it should. Angle out wrestling Cena whilst Cena needed to rely on his strength. I enjoyed the early stages where Angle spat on Cena to get him back in, to continue to out wrestle him. Kurt focusing on the Ankle Lock throughout made complete sense as well, the most pain and the most likely road to victory.

    Cena gets put over hard by fighting out of the Ankle Lock so many times, showing true grit. Has Cena ever actually done a Hurricanrana before? If not, that sounds way off, even for a big occasion. If he has, whoops lol. I like the way the ending panned out, whilst itís not definitive it will drive Angle even crazier. Knowing heís was so zoned in on the one game plan and he became too predictable.

    The aftermath is perfect with Angle snapping further after losing again to somebody who he thinks is a bad person. Another match that was booked very well.

    LOL @ The Frenchmen failing at Mania.

    I wasnít sure whether youíd play on Brockís crowd reaction here, but itís a very you/realism guy thing to do. I donít necessarily mind just wasnít sure about it. Whatís interesting is the whole way through this feud my criticism has been the fans wonít be able to get behind a heel, but I guess thatís kind of out the window now. LMAO at Triple H calling an audible and then winning a test of strength against Lesnar, what a guy!

    I like the idea of implementing all of the bells and whistles fast and often to not allow the crowd reaction to take over. The four men involved, Heyman and Flair included, all trying to out cheat each other throughout the match was pretty awesome. The spots with both managers eventually being taken out were good as well, leaving it to the two wrestlers.

    Ref bumps, finisher kick outs, all sorts of stuff here and I donít really have an issue with any of it. The match went along okay here, it was a pretty standard big match affair, with plenty of finisher teasing and what not. Stephanie getting involved leading to the Triple H win was a really poetic finish, which is perfect with the way this beef started back in September. Another really good job here.

    A nice, fun segment here to have Conway finally get his comeuppance with an epic Mania moment from Hogan. Not much else to say here, pretty standard stuff but thoroughly enjoyed this.

    I would have judged you harshly if there wasnít a pre match Rock promo here lol. Glad this was here and characterisation as usual with you, was perfect.

    At this point I just feel like a broken record, so Iím just going to spin this one last time. Your video packages throughout the night have hit the mark. Well done.

    Probably the match Iíve been a fan boy about the most. Sure, there are matches to come with better build up but The Rock has always been my absolute favourite, so seeing him involved in an angle is always good fun. I thought the beginning with both men feeling each other out and kipping up at the same time was awesome. A nice, little, almost look into the mirror moment.

    HBK getting into the match after sending Rocky into the ring post was fine, and I appreciated the work on Rockyís arm because it makes sense. Prevent the man from hitting his two biggest moves. I just as much dug the Suplex on the ramp to hurt Shawnís back and almost even things back out.

    The trading of the Sharpshooter was a nice touch, especially with Hebner hanging around. Outside of that, the trading of finisherís was done well, and I thought the ending with the counters and the Kip Ups leading to the event SCM was pretty damn great. Whilst I love The Rock it makes sense for Shawn to win considering heís the guy who will be sticking around, so I guess props on that decision.

    The match was fun, my one criticism, no Peopleís Elbow. I get that Shawn countered it and ended the match, but this is Rockís first match in 11 months, thereís no way at Mania that the fans should be robbed of seeing that move. I thought that was the wrong call but outside of that, enjoyed this match immensely. Certainly worthy of a dream match.

    Also, handshake stuff is pretty part and parcel for these kinds of matches so all good.

    I know Taker won the main event and whatever, but for me, Guerrero/Benoit is the Main event. Title match, the better build of the two, and the result doesnít feel pre-determined, really looking forward to this one. The chain wrestling in the early stages were good and Benoitís relentlessness to keep going for the Crossface was crazy. It reminded me a lot like Angle earlier but Iíll touch on that a little more later.

    The early chain wrestling only for Benoit to eventually hit a Lariat and change the mood of the match was nice. I thought the multiple high impact moves and quick pinfall attempts showed just how desperate Benoit is.

    As the match progressed and Eddie got more into it, things got more exciting. I thought with the ref down, the tease of Eddie cheating but not being able to do it was niceÖ But it led straight into him almost losing.

    The wrestling and constant counters, without me recapping all of them, were great here. My match of the night as far as Iím concerned, however my issue is the ending. The reversal of the Crossface into the pinfall is fine, and itís smart because it leaves things kind of unresolved for a follow on. However, finish was too similar to Angle/Cena with the Ankle Lock which I donít like. Especially considering this is one of your main events, you donít want to be almost recycling an earlier finish. I thought the finish for this match worked though so maybe Angle/Cena should have been done differently, I donít knowÖ But this left a slight sour taste in my mouth.

    The aftermath was great though with Benoit storming off on Eddie, clearly distraught. I really do wish we could see what was happening next here. Maybe an epilogue or something would be cool?

    Before we get onto the actual match itself, the countdown and the showmanship stuff from Jericho was so god damn terrific.

    Starting off with The Undertaker on fire and Jericho getting in literally no offense was definitely the way to go about this one. If there was one thing this feud seemed to be lacking, it was ĎTakerís temper. After the attack and whatever, heís always just seemed kind of tame so it was great to see that altered here, as he was finally able to release his pent up frustration.

    Throughout I loved the resourcefulness of Jericho as well, especially with the first move where he turns the tide with the Dropkick to interrupt the Old School. Jericho really struggled to get offense for a long portion of the contest, but I enjoyed that when he finally did, throughout he tried to use sequences that got the job done with previous opponents, but it wonít beat Taker.

    That Leg Drop spot through the table was bloody epic as well. I also enjoyed the ending with Jerichoís cockiness basically costing him in the end, as itís his trash talking that allowed Taker to come back and win. A really well written main event, only thing lacking (sorry to go back to this) was that it was just far too obvious regarding who was going to win. Still, a fitting finish to an enthralling story.

    Honestly, this was a fantastic effort. Not just this show, which was, but this BTB in general has been a picture of consistency. Everything from your booking, to the speed you churn out shows, your different story archís, itís all sensational stuff. Feel privileged to be here from start to finish, sensational work. Well done, Keef.








  2. #462
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    Re: October BTBOTM - WWE: Where It All Begins... Again

    - Preview show...you mean Kick Off Show LOL? However, seeing JBL pay everyone off to eliminate Big Show makes sense...Show is the largest man out there so he is the biggest threat in that Battle Royal so obviously every man is gonna be gunning for him to get him out. However, seeing Shannon Moore of all people win this Battle Royal is at the very least shocking to me given just how much of a lower mid-carder Shannon is. Seeing him last the whole way and even turn on Matt Hardy, his Mattitude sensei was more or less expected.

    - Love the video packages of WrestleMania 20...big night feel big fight atmosphere...it literally all begins again

    - Booker T & RVD retaining their World Tag Team Championships against Batista & Christian of Evolution was to be expected but then again this just means that Christian is out of Evolution now. I would have expected Batista post match to turn on Christian and basically beat the holy hell out of him for losing the match but that didn't happen either which is a missed opportunity in my opinion because then you could have instantly turned Christian babyface and it would have actually made sense.

    - Jericho seems ready for tonight...hell he is in perhaps the biggest match of his career having to defend his World Heavyweight Championship against a man who has never lost at WrestleMania, the Phenom, the Dead Man, The Undertaker the 2004 Royal Rumble Match Winner and not to mention Jericho is taking on The Streak

    - Chavo Guerrero walking out as the new WWE Cruiserweight Champion winning the Fatal 4 Way Match beating Noble, Tajiri and Juventud was to be expected. Why? Not only because of the fact that Chavo is a Guerrero but also his uncle Eddie being WWE Champion being in the main event, it would only make sense for Chavo to walk out of Mania with gold but also at the same time Chavo in the build up more or less has had the upper hand on all 3 of his fellow competitors too. Even though Chavo sneaked his way to a victory, it is the Guerrero way. So really can we be surprised here?

    - Lita becoming the new WWE Women's Champion in this 3 Way Dance Elimination Match...I definitely did not expect Lita to win this match much less turn heel here on the biggest stage of them all, WrestleMania. That has got to be the most shocking moment of Mania so far seeing not only Lita turn on Trish the way she did but then aligning herself with April, too what the hell is that all about? I mean we need an explanation as to why? Why Lita Why? Not to mention why would April align herself with Lita too? I thought these 2 hated each other with a passion but also didn't April take Lita out of action as well? April just handing the belt over to Lita...this I am having a hard time even understanding much less wrapping my head around it

    - I mean the fact that this diary is even ending, it just feels like the follow up to all of this just feels so empty and leaves a whole lot of things off

    - Eddie of course has inner turmoil but come on Eddie, this is WrestleMania and not to mention you are in the main event defending your WWE Championship...the time to fight your demons was days ago

    - Rey Rey and Kidman...Mysterio and Kidman becoming the new WWE Tag Team Champions beating WGTT...this obviously was always going to be the result. However, seeing Kidman get the win for his team basically just proves one thing that Kidman is no longer the weak link in that tag team.

    - This is probably as vicious and as brutal and barbaric a Steel Cage Match that I have ever seen...Foley/Orton possibly for me has to be Match of the Night thus far. So many spots that I could get into but still probably as bloody a contest as I think I have ever seen. Foley definitely pushed Orton to his limits but then again this match more or less puts Orton on the map. Hell, Foley putting Orton over was definitely the right call. However, that RKO off the cage and through the table definitely has to be up there with one of the great WrestleMania moments in history.

    - Vince showing up only makes sense given the fact that he started WrestleMania as a tradition

    - Kane retaining his WWE Intercontinental Championship beating Goldberg sending Goldberg out of the WWE...it was bound to happen given the fact that Goldberg more or less was already on his way out of the company anyway...so to see him go out at the hands of Kane was more or less a fitting end. Kane using a Tombstone Piledriver to end Goldberg was a perfect move considering his brother The Undertaker uses it.

    - Cena retaining his WWE United States Championship beating Kurt Angle more or less puts Cena on the map as far as Mania goes...this match more or less was always designed to put Cena over and who better to put him over than Angle? However, Angle losing doesn't really hurt Kurt but then again at the same time seeing Angle snap post match was bound to happen given his character as of late.

    - Hogan returning less than a year later at the 20th anniversary of Mania...it is no Mania without Hogan so to see him confront Conway, Grenier and Dupree was bound to happen sooner or later

    - Triple H ultimately going over Brock was also bound to happen as well given the fact that Brock was on his way out of the company but if he weren't then I honestly believe Brock would have gone over...but at the same time seeing both Heyman and Flair getting involved in this match made all the sense in the world. But then seeing so many spots here in this match...this match was probably as physical as it could get. However, seeing Lesnar destroy Flair yet again was not surprising. However seeing Stephanie McMahon of all people show up during her ex husband's match and then actually help Triple H to beat Brock...I definitely did not see that coming however it makes sense too.

    - Michaels going over Rock was always going to happen...I mean Rock is a movie star now so needless to say Rock was only back temporarily so he didn't really need the win. However, if Rock did win, I wouldn't have been opposed to it. Michaels going over makes sense since he is sticking around here and honestly given the direction his character has been going he more or less needed this win more than The Rock did. However, this Dream Match for me definitely was Match of the Night material as well.

    - Eddie retaining his WWE Championship against Benoit was as they say the true main event if anything. This match was so back and forth but also so emotional too...but post match seeing Benoit storm off on Eddie...yeah needless to say if a Benoit heel turn happened there, I would have loved every second of it

    - The countdown and the showmanship stuff from Jericho was so god damn terrific. I never would have expected Jericho to bring back the old Chris Jericho especially on such a grand stage like this, at Mania but then again it makes sense because he wants to show up The Undertaker.

    - Jericho getting in hardly any offense on Taker made sense given everything Jericho has done to Taker. However, Jericho then manages to get the upper hand in the match but in the end his cockiness and arrogance getting the better of him...just like I knew it would. Taker takes advantage and then gets the victory to become the new World Heavyweight Champion...THE STREAK LIVES ON TO GO TO 12-0!!! Jericho has nothing to be ashamed of

  3. #463
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    Re: October BTBOTM - WWE: Where It All Begins... Again

    A pretty flat opener, to be honest. Only went five minutes, not much action to heat the crowd up, and truthfully, the finish was pretty weak in the writing with the very clunky Batista Bomb to Crescent Kick without any actual transition to get to that. I like that Christian actually carried his weight, but well, it doesn't actually matter :P

    The CWs were fun, and a short little blitz is a totally okay decision. Is this only 3 hours still that we're seeing such short matches?? Chavo winning is totally good for the probable Guerrero feel good moment later tonight. I loved how you took what could've been a lame Tower of Doom spot and did something much better, that was a great spot!

    The match as a whole here was pretty good, with the story told well in the parts of Trish coming out of her shell finally and the desperation of Lita throughout it as well. However, that desperation telegraphed the heel turn, for one. And two, it just was not a very good heel turn. I think the telegraphing actually works okay if it's just a Lita heel turn without these April shenanigans. But her hugging it out with April, the bitch who pretty much tried to end her career by going after that neck, over and over again, including JUST in this match?? I can't buy it. I can totally buy desperate, how much time do I have left so I'll do whatever it takes to get this belt back Austin-01 heel turn from Lita. But this? Not at all. It's a shame, in a way, that this is the last show, because I know you would find a way to make me eat my words here in the future if you carried this on, but, alas, arguably your best built feud going into this show for me ends on a really bad note. Also, just to nitpick, the way you had Trish hit the Blockbuster on April was pretty clunky :P April would need to be standing up facing Trish for that to work right, not head down :P

    You hit your first home run of the show here! The SD Tag match was just killer, in terms of work rate, false finishes, awesome spots from the apron handspring DDT at the beginning to the outside 619 at the end, the excellent team work and psychology of WGTT... I was all for this one. Really top job, and this match is only not going to end up my favorite of the night because I'll end up loving the story telling in another match later.

    You're a dick for not letting Foley have his moment. He can lose the match, but let him do the Snuka Splash or his Elbow from the top. I mean, the whole Cage match was set up for that moment, so to tease it and not do it, even though you did the big awesome spot still, was genuinely anti climatic for me. I thought you wrote an otherwise awesome, brutal brawl, with the pre match stuff a really good touch. I loved how you showed Foley can be intense and sadistic, but still so smart with his strategies throughout the match. The key business was hit and miss for me. I thought it was a really, really cool touch on your part, especially stuffing it down his pants and then throwing it out. However, it was sold like the be all end all no escape for Orton, which was really silly to me. Randy Orton is an early 20 something in great shape, and Foley is a fat out of shape retired wrestler. Climbing the cage ain't hard to do :P

    A short sprint with Goldberg Kane is a fine follow up to the Steel Cage match for me as it's not a match you know I had any interest in. Since Goldberg is leaving, I'm fine with him losing to just one Chokeslam and Tombstone. No need to spam finishers for a guy who is leaving.

    I thought you booked the Angle/Cena match perfectly. Angle and Cena both looked great, and you really did great capturing the intensity of Angle and how it led to his ultimate down fall. That aftermath was just wonderful though, and a fitting end to Angle's full blown heel turn as just a garbage human being.

    I loved the Conway comedy, from the bus breaking down to Grenier thinking Conway was talking about him. That bickering by the commentators though?? Oof, not so much :P

    I was wondering if you would stay true to the Lesnar stuff, and an totally okay that you did, although it went away by the end of the match it felt like. While Heyman and Flair are definitely two guys who I can see trying to out cheat each other, but Lesnar I can't see really taking part in that. Stephanie coming out to have the reunion and bring it full circle is a fitting end. I honestly can't tell if you were purposely trying to make this match just a Trainwreck of stories because HHH Big Match Mania or if you just didn't quite know what you wanted to do here, but I honestly think you were trying to make this match the CF that it was because of what you think about Hunter and his ego at this time period. It definitely was all over the place :P

    Hulk Hogan coming out to shut up Conway, Green, and that Irish or Scottish fellow (Ronnie Dunlop ain't American. Roger something would've been better :P) is a perfectly good WrestleMania segment. Job done.

    I LOVE that you started the HBK/Rock off the way that you did instead of a lot of lock ups and stalling/crowd play. This worked so much better for both reading and the two men involved because you still got a lot of the good theatrics in as well. The psychology with the arm was very well done, and I thought gave the match that next level it needed besides "dream match". The finisher work and Sharpshooter spots were all really well done, and I think that out of the 5 big matches for the card, this is the first (of 3 so far) to full on deliver.

    This one delivered too. Great action, perfectly captured intensity with Benoit. I normally would've been down on the ref bump after doing it with HHH/Lesnar, but this match needed the bump to set up the title belt spot so you could really shine on Eddie's character doing the right thing. The finish was a very good one because if Benoit wanted to, he could still try to sell it that he beat himself, Eddie didn't definitively beat him, just a quick pin. With this being the last show though, I am surprised you ended this really great arc with no reconciliation or a happy moment with Eddie and Chavo. Way to be a dick :P

    I really was a fan of the pre match stuff for Jericho and Undertaker. Taker's entrance the way you wrote it totally tops his actual XX entrance, and I love the combination attire plus going for the remix music over the old school Deadman Taker theme because The Ministry theme is in it a lot, and that's the best Taker theme. I do love Jericho's there here as well, but if you REALLY wanted to take it to that next level, he should've been singing the theme too :P

    For being a very one sided build, you completely over delivered on this match. It was pretty close to perfect. The Taker dominance, the crafty strategies and tricks of Jericho, the big WM spot with the Leg Drop, the false finishers and spot, all with a very organic build to it. When I say almost perfect, I literally mean ask I wanted to see was a line about the referee being lenient because it's the WM main event, and instead of just alluding to it but out right saying it, saying that the big Leg Drop did more harm than good for Taker and took so much out of him to pull it off. It was that good of a main event.

    I was genuinely getting worried as I progressed in this show over the last week. And it really did take me that long because I actually read the whole damn thing, not just skim over it. That's a testament to how good your build for this has been, and your in match story telling, that I wanted to read it all. The early matches were really not delivering at all for me. I thought the opener was not the right choice at all for the match you wrote, and the Women's Title match ended up as the biggest flop of the night after the near perfect build (and that's coming from the guy who was SO critical of this way back when you first started it, but again, your story telling was so fucking great in the long path), and I even thought significant parts of the Steel Cage match didn't sit right with me despite writing a very good war. That one still probably ends up in the hit over miss though just for the gore and brutality because I love that shit. Once you got past HHH/Lesnar though for the final 3 key matches, you wrote pretty much perfect matches.

    This has been a damn fun read, the PPV and the BTB, and going out with a Mania is just perfect. I really hope you don't keep this going, honestly, because saying you're going to end it and then not doing that, never works out. I've found out from experience with TTO :P give yourself a nice little break to recharge your fingers and that clearly creative brain of yours, and come back with something that's not late 90s WCW so it's not awkward for me to get showed up in the same time period.

    Job well fucking done mate. Even with the things I didn't like, it's overall just a tremendous effort, great writing, excellent story telling, so many great call backs. Just, congratulations and shit, man :P

    But also, fuck you for getting me to read a whole WrestleMania. This was brutal at the same time :P <3

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    Re: November BTBOTM - WWE: Where It All Begins... Again


    March 15 2004
    East Rutherford, New Jersey



    We open with the usual nah Iím just kidding this BTB is dead.



    Thanks to everyone for the comments from Mania, so relieved that the show went down well, and completely understand some of the constructive feedback that you guys offered. I seriously doubt Iíd have made it to this point without all the awesome feedback Ė both positive and negative Ė so for that, thank you.

    As there have been a few mentions to what came next/an epilogue of sorts, I will share that in a moment. I will also give a bit of a run down on what changed throughout the course of the booking, as a couple of people asked for that by PM as well. But before thenÖ predictions!

    1. Terry Gyimah: 36
    2. C3K: 33
    = BattleTank: 33
    = Zoom E: 33
    5. Jman: 31
    = Rasky: 31
    7. roy mustang: 30
    = Chaddes: 30
    = Stojy: 30
    10. Kingpin: 29
    11. InevitableDan: 28
    12. Wolf Beast: 25
    13. ranthellacious: 22

    To all those who predicted Foley jumping off the cage, I gave you 1 point instead of 2. Technically he jumped off, it was just with Orton dragging him down by the neck at the same time...

    So with that in mind, congrats to Terry! Nailed the predictions pretty close, including Hogan to take out La Resistance, and not for the first time wins my prediction contest! Give that man a can of Coke.

    Shout out to BattleTank, who not only came joint second, but did so while thinking there were 12 matches, hence picking up 0 points for match order, but successfully predicted every single winner! I know Iím predictable, but I didnít think I was that predictable.

    Also a shout out for Jman who predicted Flair going through the announce table, and I gave him an extra point for Shannon turning on Matt, which didnít exactly happen but Shannon got a fairly big moment nonetheless. And one to Chaddes, who predicted Steph and Triple H to reunite right before I was about to post the show and had me panicked I accidentally already posted it somehow



    Epilogue

    So I get the sense that a few people are interested in where this would have gone had I continued with it, particularly with the case of something like Lita/April, which ended on a bit of a cliffhanger and wasnít explained. It was important to me to not wrap everything up in a bow just because it was my last show, as that wouldnít be realistic to how things should work. There has to be a reason to tune in ďnext weekĒ, even if Iím not the one who is going to be booking it, you know?

    That said, I do see the value in sharing the ending to some of the stories that werenít finished, so this is what this will be. I wonít bother sharing what my plans would have been for someone like The Undertaker, as this particular arc had a decent enough closing point, and what happens next isnít all that interesting compared to where we got to (plus I havenít thought that far ahead!).

    So on the Lita/April thing, the hints for what were about to come were on Raw. In their talking head segments, Lita alluded to the fact that she no longer felt a grudge towards April for what she did, and instead had become focused on getting back to the top of the mountain at all costs. In the case of April, she talked about how, when she and Trish were in fitness modelling, they were best friends because they were both willing to do whatever it took to win, and April respected the honesty of that situation.

    Had I continued, the heel turn would have been explained on Raw. It would be explained that Lita and April made a deal where, should one of them be eliminated first, theyíd help the other to win. The reason for doing so was both of their desperation to be number one, and agreeing on a backup plan to ensure one of them would win should they need it. Litaís desperation of course is based around her failing body, and the trigger was Trish targeting the neck during their match, realising that April actually wasnít the bad guy for what she did at the Rumble, and Lita had to embrace doing whatever was needed if she was ever going to get back to the top again.

    Of course, this would have led to a continued feud between them, and probably Trish finally getting the big win around Summerslam or something. One idea I did have was sheíd end up with unlikely help from Molly, who continues going insane until she ends up a pretty badass killer, so when April and Lita push her too far (maybe shaving her head a la real life), Molly then becomes a crazy babyface, almost Steve Austin in Ď97 in style. But thatíd have been a way down the line.

    In the case of Triple H reuniting with Steph, that wasnít intended as a babyface turn, or even that Steph will necessarily be a regular part of the product going forward. Itís possible she would be (I like the idea of Steph being a part of Evolution as the evolution of the McMahons), but it was as much as anything to finish the Brock feud on a poetic note, given it started with Brock taking her out and ended with her getting revenge. As a welcome addition, it also always bugged me that in kayfabe Trips and Steph broke up and never got back together, but when the story called for it we had to accept they were back together Ďcos everyone knew they were in real life. So at least this way, should Triple H and Steph ever need to be a couple for a storyline, theyíve been reunited in kayfabe, which just feels neater to someone who is as boring when it comes to consistency as I am.

    So Triple H would absolutely have stayed a heel, and that would have led to Christian being turfed from a re-focused Evolution. Luckily for him, he has a certain family member about to return from injury who can back him up. And this whole Christian angle was intended as a way to get him intermingling with other big names, showing a bit more personality and demonstrating the value he can add to someone like Evolution (even if they were reluctant to see it).

    With Regal having taken a step back from Cena as he thought Angle had it all in hand, he now gets more involved again seeing as his joker didnít pay off. Regalís inability to find someone to get the belt off Cena would lead him to get in to bed with forces he doesnít really understandÖ but I donít wanna say anymore as Iíll probably steal that story for another BTB lol.

    Benoit losing and walking out would likely lead to a heel turn and a feud with Eddie, but likely with Eddie being cost the title in the process, meaning I donít have to try and balance Benoit as a title contender anymore (which I found really challenging, givenÖ you know...)

    The only other loose end left was the whole Mattitude deal. I know a few people thought Sean OíHaire was gonna be the one to break out from Matt, but while that was definitely possible, the goal for that was to provide an angel on Shannonís shoulder to go against Mattís devil. This is the Shannon Moore story. Even though he has the US Title shot, I donít have any plans on giving him that match, as my plan was for JBL to bribe Matt to convince Shannon to give the shot up and give it to JBL, which he does. Thatís the catalyst for Sean being sick of Mattís shit, and is the start of Shannon showing that heís perhaps outgrowing Matt. However, rather than immediately have Matt and Shannon break up, I actually kinda liked the idea of Matt coming around and treating Shannon pretty well for a while, and maybe giving them a run with the tag beltsÖ for a bit. But ultimately, itís Shannon vs Matt that weíre building towards, whenever that would have happened.



    Changing plans

    I donít know how many people will be interested in this, but as a couple of people have asked me by PM how my plans changed from when it started in July last year, I thought Iíd share some of the big changes. Appreciate this may not be for everyone, but for those who are interested, this is how my initial vision changed:

    The biggest change was the main event of Mania. Jericho was always going to be the one to take out ĎTaker (that was an idea I had when I first considered doing this BTB about a decade ago on a different board, but never got around to). The thing that changed, however, was Jericho was never supposed to be champion. Originally Triple H was gonna get the belt back (yawn), firstly to build to Eddie beating him at Mania, although that would have been a bit too similar to real life. It was then going to be that Brock would turn face, win the Rumble and win the belt at Mania after jumping to Raw, but making Brock a face in this situation, especially right after heíd just turned heel, wasnít ever really gonna work. I was then set on Goldberg keeping the belt until Mania and having Kane dethrone him there, but I never loved that idea as it didnít feel like a particularly big way to change the belt at Mania. Plus Iíd have been left with Kane as World Champion. And no-one wants that.

    So after Survivor Series I realised that Jericho was probably my best character, so I decided to go with him as champion. The problem with that was that I was then left with Taker as number one contender, which I wasnít sure on. I flirted with the idea of Shawn winning the belt at Mania, but then that ruined The Rock match, and would have meant the story I was building with Jericho and Taker was going to have to change. So I stuck with what I had and tried to do something a little different to make Taker feel like a worthy challenger, and realised eventually that there was a nice poetry to Jericho screwing Taker out of the belt and Taker winning Jerichoís at Mania, so I think it worked out for the best.

    Brock versus Triple H was never supposed to happen. That was a total snap decision that I had to live with the consequences for straight afterwards. I decided that Triple H wasnít the type of guy to want to appear like someone who wouldnít stand up for his ex-wife (and thatís something I donít think I conveyed well enough Ė this was always supposed to be about Triple H wanting to seem like the hero rather than him actually being one, which is why he left Ric Flair in the announce table once he got to rid off in to the sunset with Steph), so had him get revenge. But then I had to continue to build to that as a match, even though I didnít want either man to turn face. Like I said above, I considered turning Brock, but ultimately liked the idea that both men would try and out-heel each other.

    With that in mind, Brock wasnít always going to get the New York send off, just as Goldberg wasnít always going to leave. At one point I considered keeping them, but changed after a while to stay realistic. The HHH/Brock match was supposed to be a bit of a clusterfuck, because a) Triple H would want his match to be as memorable as possible, and b) I wanted to explore what a Brock match at WM20 would have been like if there had been someone competent who could have used that heat to tell a story in the match, rather than Brock and Goldberg sticking rigidly to their plan even though it was clearly failing, and having the match where only one person was leaving, not both.

    One change which came quite late was with Kurt Angle and the US Title. I originally wanted him to win at Mania, but given he was so injured he ended up inactive for the next 6 months, I decided to be realistic and not give him the belt. Had I continued, Angle would have been written out of the thread until around Summerslam to match reality.

    Angle, though, was probably the biggest change overall in the whole thread. My original plan for him was that he would retain the WWE Title at No Mercy against Brock, and hold it all the way to Mania. He was always going to become this self-absorbed ďIím doing things the right way for my daughterĒ douchebag heel, but it was going to come about from his success, not his failures. Thatís honestly the one story I wish I could have told and didnít, as I think Angle being so successful he gets smug about how good a person he is would have been a lot of fun. The problem was that, after the Iron Man was booked at No Mercy, I realised Brock couldnít survive another job to Angle, and his heel turn would have been dead in the water. I actually wrote two endings to the Iron Man, one with Angle winning and one we actually got, and it was only right before posting that I went with the one where Brock went over. Had Angle have been the WWE Champion at Mania, Cena would have faced Regal (before I decided the realistic thing to do was accept he wasnít ready for in-ring action in March) or the No Way Out match with Big Show would have been moved back a month, which would have been a boring retread of reality.

    The other big change was with the women. April was only ever really intended as a wedge between Trish and Lita. The plan was sheíd job to Lita at the Rumble and kinda fall in to the background, but her presence would be enough to ruin Trish and Litaís relationship going in to their Mania match, which also would have had a Lita heel turn. It was only when getting close to the Rumble that I realised April was too hot and too interesting to pass up, and the better story was Lita losing the belt almost as soon as she won it.

    There were a couple of minor changes too, like Nobleís title win moving from Mania to the Rumble, and Book/RVDís moving from Mania to Raw, but that was purely because I didnít want every match at Mania to have huge consequences with a big title change and 6 months build. Some matches need to be fluffy openers, and hopefully by moving those matches those matches got more of a spotlight than they would have done on an already over-packed card.

    And finally, I never had any plans on doing anything with Benoit, and honestly, booking him was harder than I thought itíd be. Iíd have been fine with him being some no-name midcarder, but you canít book Benoit in 2003-04 and not make him a top name, so I was booked in to a corner. Also, making him an interesting, featured character was hard as I didnít want to put a belt on him, and didnít want to do anything to make him seem too heroic or too vicious, so finding something interesting for him to do was a lot harder than anticipated.



    Okay, this post is already far longer than intended, but given itís my last post before moving on to something else, it would be remiss of me not to again say a massive, massive thanks to everyone for the support and feedback. In particular, Wolf, Stojy, Zoom, Terry, Sebsy and BattleTank have always been very giving with their time, but anyone who has fed back is on my Christmas card list this year (not really). The positive feedback kept me going when I was not really feeling it (both the thread and life in general, pathetic as that is), and the constructive feedback meant I improved substantially from where I started off. Given there was a decade between my first attempt at BTB writing and coming to this site, to have had the support I have has been incredible and meant it wonít be another decade before I do it again. So, genuinely, thank you.

    And again, a special thanks to Rant for his always awesome match graphics, and BT for stepping in for Mania. It blows my mind that people are so generous to put something together for anotherís thread, and Iím massively grateful to them both for their time.

    Okay, thatís it now. Sorry to sign off on such a huge note, but brevity was never my strong suit (which I believe Zoom may have noticed in reading ĎMania).

    Cheers all,

    Keef

  5. #465
    Flob Sweat

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    Re: November BTBOTM - WWE: Where It All Begins... Again

    Well, I demand a recount on those predictions for starters.

    I'm glad you posted this. Definitely answers some open ended questions I had, and I must say, I'm a bit gutted we'll not get that Regal program, signing up with "forces he doesn't understand" that sounds incredible, but I'm relieved you're potentially going to use that storyline in another project some time.

    I'm also one of those people that's fascinated in the plans that didn't come to pass, or simply changed. Goldberg vs. Kane for the World Title would've been the absolute drizzling shits as a WrestleMania program, especially if it was going to be the same story you ended up telling. It sure is a shame you didn't get to tell that Angle story from the opposite perspective, and him turning into the dick he became from his success, as opposed to his failure. While you didn't make mention of who it would've been challenging him at WrestleMania, I'd like to think it would've been Eddie Guerrero, with Eddie the perfect foil to that Angle character by wearing his "Lie Cheat Steal" motto on his chest.

    Also, if you hadn't mentioned the difficulty you had in booking Benoit, I'd never have noticed. You done a great job in using him, but I get that it can be difficult to write for him (for obvious reasons) and tough for people to get into his stuff (for the same reasons) though, over the years, I've found it easier in both respects.

    Overall though, no matter what, you've wrote and completed a BTB that will be fondly remembered on this forum forever. Helluva job.









    BEING THE BOOKER
    ~Now with 100% less Brent Albright!

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