MR. TITO: Booking Chaos for Wrestlemania 40 Creating WWE Opportunities for Drew McIntyre?

Happy Valentine’s Day from myself and NoDQ, as I hope that all fans are mending their broken hearts after the multiple kneejerk reactions of WWE Creative for the past few weeks. We were all conditioned and were enjoying Triple H’s long-term planning which, following the Brock Lesnar win at SummerSlam 2023, was going to have Cody Rhodes challenge Roman Reigns again at Wrestlemania 40.

Then, however, the Vince McMahon lawsuit was dropped right after the Rock joined the TKO board. Everyone in Endeavor and TKO panicked, and thus put their new $30 Million Board member into action and caused the creative to be forcibly changed to Rock vs. Roman Reigns. Well, all of the loyal fans enjoying Triple H’s storytelling and Cody’s build went nuclear and let the WWE vocally have it. Another kneejerk reaction happened and plans were changed back to Roman vs. Cody, but with the HEEL Rock now looming and overshadowing everything. There is an assumption that Rock’s heat is a good thing, not negative heat.

My issue with this whole process has been the chaos. Wrestlemania should be a long-term plan with no kneejerk reactionary changes, unless there are injuries (CM Punk for example) or cancellations due to Vince McMahon’s sexual stench sticking to you (sorry Brock).

While many love Wrestlemania 30, I actually hate that show… Just reminds me of poor planning by Triple H’s new Creative administration during late 2013 and into 2014 on how he wanted his 2 Evolution buddies, Randy Orton and Batista, to headline Wrestlemania. Nobody wanted that but him… WWE executes plans to build that match-up, and the same thing that happened in 2024 happened during 2014, fans went nuclear. Batista became “Bootista” anytime he came out and fans were extremely vocal. This forced the WWE to have a kneejerk reaction and completely rig Daniel Bryan into the Main Event of Wrestlemania by having him defeat Triple H first to join Orton vs. Batista. Then, of course, the match looked bad because Bryan pinned Batista, not the champion Randy Orton, to win the title.

However, I totally get pivoting away from a BAD idea, such as Orton and Batista headlining Wrestlemania 30 especially with Batista not being around for the past 3 years… But pushing Cody Rhodes again for 2024 was a GREAT idea. He had just overcome Brock Lesnar in a great feud and was still incredibly over since his 2022 return. Fans were fully invested in his 2-year arc, while nobody wanted Orton vs. Batista during 2014.

However, what I want to talk about today is OPPORTUNITY resulting from sudden booking changes or sudden kneejerk reactions from fan over-reactions.

For example, by thrusting Daniel Bryan into the Main Event of Wrestlemania 30 and becoming WWE champion, that freed up Batista and Randy Orton afterward as Daniel Bryan shifted focus into feuding with Kane (LMAO). With Batista and Orton free, they could rejoin Triple H to reform Evolution (without Ric Flair). And who did this 3 man stable feud with immediately after Wrestlemania? The Shield. For 2 straight Pay Per Views, we were treated to 6 man excellence with HHH/Batista/Orton taking on 3 highly motivated members of the Shield with Seth Rollins, Dean Ambrose (Jon Moxley in AEW now), and Roman Reigns.

These 6 man matches were absolute battles, and they protected the rust that Batista had, the age of Triple H, and the inexperience of using the WWE style with the 3 members of the Shield. It was great to see Evolution return, again, as fans quickly forgot about what was tried at Wrestlemania 30. WWE went from having declining equity in Batista to suddenly having a valuable name again along with added chapters to the Evolution stable. On top of that, Evolution put over the Shield in BOTH PPV/PLE matches and really helped further along the careers of Seth, Dean, and Roman. Roman got the pins in both matches and his mega push into the singles realm began immediately after these 3 six-man battles were complete.

The CHAOS of changing Wrestlemania 40 has created two very interesting scenarios for the WWE to really consider and create opportunity for:

(1) Rock is more disliked than people think. The reaction to Rock shoehorning himself into the match against Roman Reigns, taking it away from Cody, was probably unexpected for WWE and TKO. Yet, if you look back, the Rock probably over-exposed himself through the many films that he did along with the massive ego-stroke of a TV show known as “Young Rock”. The premise of Young Rock is that Rock is running for President in the future and looking back. I also think him talking up the XFL annoys people, as everyone knows these Spring football leagues SUCK. Now, he’s part of the UFL. There’s a lot of jealous hatred built up on people, and it was there when the Rock was feuding with John Cena for 2012-2013, too, as many fans were upset at Rock defeating Cena at Wrestlemania 28.

(2) The match against Seth Rollins. Had Rock vs. Roman happen, it would have been Cody vs. Seth… But that has switched, and now the Elimination Chamber will determine the #1 contendership for Seth’s title. To Seth’s benefit, he has instantly made this new World Heavyweight Championship title credible and wrestling him at Wrestlemania is still a great spot.

For point #1 (giving credit to the 2/13/24 NoDQ Review for putting these thoughts in my head), WWE may have created its new HEEL boss and we could see shades of Corporate Rock (1998-1999) and Hollywood Rock (2003) blended together. He’ll play up doing “what’s best for the TKO Board” to piss off fans, and I think Rock seems to be liking the new heel role already. From there, things could get out of hand and maybe that is how Roman Reigns spins off into becoming a babyface while the Rock remains the evil heel boss. Maybe the match up that people want is babyface Roman versus heel Rock?

Secondly for point #2, what about this match-up with Seth Rollins? Let’s not fully suggest that this is a downgrade. Again, Seth made something of this title and he’s a great worker that will give the maximum effort to you at Wrestlemania, even with a bad leg.

For the Elimination Chamber participants, it appears to be Randy Orton, Drew McIntyre, Bobby Lashley, LA Knight, and 2 wrestlers to be named later (winners of Miz vs. Logan Paul, Kevin Owens vs. Dominick Mysterio). Opportunity knocks for any of these 6 wrestlers.

But let’s think about 1 participant… Drew McIntyre.

Yes, I’ve been very critical of Drew and in my opinion, it was justified. While he has the in-ring ability, look, and great entrance, he has lacked promo cutting skills or personality before 2024.

However, something has snapped within Drew and he’s a big fearless with his WWE contract coming up on expiration. The real life anger he may have had with CM Punk has opened up a whole new personality for the guy. At first, I was annoyed by his online trolling of CM Punk after he got injured, but since then, Drew has doubled down and has become a completely retched heel. Suddenly, he has comfort in being himself and communicating with the audience. THAT part of pro wrestling has finally clicked ON and he’s become a complete performer. If I were WWE, I’d put together a nice fat contract to sign him up NOW.

Thanks to this new HEEL and trolling character of Drew McIntyre, he’s THE GUY who should not only wrestle Seth Rollins, but be considered to defeat Seth Rollins as well. And the easy heat for this Wrestlemania 40 match-up would be Drew repeatedly attacking Seth’s knee to easily knock Seth out-of-action to allow him to heal longer. Maybe Drew could taunt Becky Lynch after Wrestlemania 40, bragging that he injured her man? Lots of trolling and meme possibilities with that one.

For the other wrestlers… Been there and repeatedly done that with Orton, Lashley, Miz, and Owens.

As much as I love me some Dominick Mysterio, he’s not ready for a World Title yet. While he’s a great worker, we just need some more seasoning for him.

I like Logan Paul, but I think keeping him as a midcard special act keeps things reasonable. I also think he needs a tad more in-ring experience before challenging for a World Title.

Drew McIntyre is now “the guy”… And what luck for him:

(1) CM Punk gets injured
(2) Cody Rhodes gets his Roman match back
(3) No Brock Lesnar in sight (cancelled)

AT THE SAME TIME that he FINALLY figured out his character. What amazing luck!

Isn’t it amazing how the Pro Wrestling business works.

But here’s a question for the possible Seth Rollins opponent… Where is Gunther?

While he’s unable to attend the Elimination Chamber event due to his ongoing process of obtaining a green card, this circumstance eliminates him from wrestling in Australia. Should that eliminate his opportunity for getting the big Wrestlemania match?

That said, as good as Gunther really is inside the ring, I’d argue that Drew is closer to Gunther’s in-ring style than Gunther being equal to Drew’s current personality.

I have to hand it to Drew McIntyre… He’s entering his prime as a performer thanks to the newfound personality and confidence in his mic skills. Funny how it took becoming a troll to other wrestlers to figure it out, but whatever works. The weirdest circumstances often great unique opportunities to shine.

Timing is everything, as are opportunities that are created from pure chaos.

This column endorses Drew McIntyre to win the WHC spot against Seth Rollins at Wrestlemania 40, and then win the title.

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