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 411mania » Wrestling » Columns

Creative Has Something For You: Lesnar's Future Opponents, Sheamus, More
Posted by Nick Sellers on 08.27.2014

Quick one before we kick off: Massive kudos to Stephen Randle for his many years of sterling service to site and the culmination of over a decade of hard work with the Wrestling News Experience column. His column was one of the first things I ever read on the site and as such it went on to give me the writing bug too, for which I'm very grateful.

"There is a bit of bad stigma associated with fantasy booking, and I think a lot of it is the presumed and projected arrogance that comes with mere fans on the internet saying "I could have done better." There are a lot of balls to juggle when it comes to the creative handling of talents and angles. There is the business aspect, the backstage aspect, the political aspect and the "good product" aspect. I like to keep all these things in mind when I'm fantasising about storylines or angles that I'd like to see in professional wrestling - as a creative challenge, if nothing else - but ultimately I fantasy book because I am a fan, and I like thinking about what could be just around the corner, and I like the idea of maximizing out the potential of all the men and women who train their lives to pour themselves into a product we consume." Harry Russell.

That was the opening paragraph of Harry's email to me last week, and it sums up my thoughts on the fantasy booker process perfectly.

Thanks to those of you who commented, tweeted and emailed me last week with your thoughts on the column, potential storyline ideas and so on. I think we're off to a solid start, as I hope you'll see evidenced in the following wordage.

Before we kick things off proper, here's a reminder of what I'm looking for from you, dear reader.

The aim of this column is to serve as a facility to be creative. A hub, if you will, of ideas. I want to hear YOUR ideas. YOUR angles, characters, plots, storylines, you name it. It could be anything from a t-shirt idea to a pitch for a Wrestlemania main event program.

With that said, let's press on in the second edition of 'Creative Has Something For You.'

Your submissions

Every week, this column will look at reader submissions for booking ideas, character ideas, storyline ideas, etc etc. People power and all that. Scroll down for more info on how YOU, dear reader, can get involved. And if you already have, keep doing it. Got more than one idea? Well shoot, brother, the more the merrier.

Last week were coming off the back of what I thought was a terrific Summerslam PPV, and naturally Brock Lesnar's humbling of John Cena was the hot topic of conversation. We now know there's a rematch at Night of Champions, but after that, what next for the Heyman's beast incarnate and his title reign? After Cena, who else could possibly mount a serious challenge for his newly won gold?

AG Awesome brought about an interesting idea involving current U.S Champion Sheamus.

AG Awesome: Sheamus would be built up from a backstage "bump into them" after Heyman or Brock cut a promo about nobody being tough enough to face him. Sheamus basically says he wants to prove how tough this Irish guy can be. We'd get a lot of back and forth staredowns and dueling tough guy promos. Basic hoss vs hoss build really. Sheamus wouldn't win but he would put up a hell of a fight. I'd also consider Brock having his first TV match being this feud. I think he needs at least one tv defense and this could be a good mini build and match for a two week span, maybe a month

Another commenter, Ice Dagger, added: One of my personal dream matches has been Sheamus vs. Lesnar ever since the latter made his return.
With that said, dueling promos & staredowns are not the way to build up that match. Just have Sheamus interrupt their segment and harken back to his face turn:
"If you're lookin' for a fella to foite 'im...I'll foite 'im!"
Cue Sheamus slapping Lesnar across his face and a pull-apart brawl that is decidedly even.

I think the above would be great for Sheamus. It's a main event program he could really sink his teeth into, and it plays up perfectly to his Irish fighting spirit. It's similar to how he turned face against Mark Henry a couple of years or so ago. It does give Lesnar something more to do while he's WWE Champion before we build up to bigger PPV's like the Rumble and Wrestlemania too.

If there's a downside though, it's that I don't think it's something that necessarily needs to happen. Once Lesnar's done at NOC, I can't see him defending the belt again until Survivor Series at the very least. That might not be such a bad thing: with Lesnar making rare, special appearances the WWE World Heavyweight title becomes more lucrative and more coveted as a result. We've seen in the past that a WWE title bout doesn't necessarily have to headline a PPV every time, so depending on what else is being booked around that time I don't think it's the worst thing to only have a few title defences between now and the turn of next year. Also, it maintains Lesnar's aura as a true prize-fighter, a real special attraction that you don't see as often as other talents. That's his USP, and over-booking him with too many dates might diminish that.

If Lesnar fights Sheamus, no matter how much you build up the latter, I fear there wouldn't be much heat for it because people would essentially see it for what it is: a placeholder feud. For Lesnar, there just isn't that much he could gain from it. That sucks a bit for Sheamus, but for him to go up against Lesnar he'd have to be built up again over a longer period of time before he's seen as any kind of legitimate threat, no matter how much 'Foite' he has in his system. Maybe you could do it as a one off segment, but I can't see it gaining enough traction for anything more than that.

Speaking of a good ol' fight, AG Awesome also put forward an idea for Jack Swagger. That I'd like to share with y'all.

AG Awesome: Turn him into a Kurt Angle 2006 shooter/legit wrestler type. Make him rugged and build up an undefeated streak at a few ppvs due to him "finding himself" after the Rusev loss. Because of the weeks of rebuilding this will require I would push this match to rumble or Elimination Chamber. The match will be very reminiscent of Angle vs Lesnar only the added size and strength of Swagger giving Lesnar a real run for his money.

I'm feelin' that. 2006 Angle was great and it's a pity it didn't work out with him at the time. From what I recall it was a combination of health issues and WWE not being happy with him.

Back to the idea, I think it could work if you stick with the long-term plan. You still run the risk of it being seen as a placeholder feud but at least with several months left to build up an aura around Swagger then you have a good chance of getting him back to that sort of level. I'd get him a new manager too and perhaps move away from the Pro-USA stuff he's been doing with Zeb.

In terms of the mechanics, I think it'd be easier to build him up as a heel but that's not to say it can't be done if he remains a babyface. After all, the 2006-Angle character you're basing it on was a babyface too. Maybe this is something readers could pick up on and expand for next week?

Moving on, DK2Virus threw out an interesting one-

DK2Virus: Category: Storyline

Featuring: Seth Rollins, featuring Cody Rhodes, Goldust, Rey Mysterio, The Usos, Justin Gabriel.

The idea: Based on various members of the WWE roster having a name ready-made for them by their forefathers, Seth Rollins seeks to use them to make his own name.

The rationale: Having taken out Dean Ambrose (for the time being) Seth Rollins is in a bind, with the spectre of Lesnar making the idea of cashing in his MITB briefcase a whole lot less appealing, yet he needs to make a name for himself now that Ambrose isn't around. Upon seeing that several members of the WWE roster had what he sees as an easier route, with their names being made for them without them stepping into the ring because of who their father or grandfather is or was, Rollins starts calling them out to prove that the first name in the Rollins line is bigger and better than the second or third in the Rhodes line, the Mysterio line, the Lloyd line or the Anoa'i line (although as there has been no reference to it, Roman Reigns' affiliation to the Anoa'i family will not be used)
Previous examples: Randy Orton in his Legend Killer phase is the closest comparison.

DK2, thanks for using the template. Not that it matters if people don't, but it gave me a warm, fuzzy glow inside.

There's definitely some potential here. As you pointed out, there's a few names on the roster who are second/third generation and in order to help further give Rollins purpose outside of just holding the MITB case I think there's some mileage here. To give it some more juice, I'd get some of the legends involved too. Ok, so a young wrestler beating up old-timers is nothing new, but as a tool to motivate a babyface to seek out revenge leading to some potentially good PPV matches is definitely something worth pursuing. There may be some problems with the respective heel/face alignments of the second-generation'ers but it's a good little story to keep his wheels turning until it might be time to cash in his MITB contract.

Lastly for this week, following on from Harry Russell's opening paragraph, he actually took the time to map out a whole Royal Rumble PPV's worth of booking, with angles that had been culminating to that point and with a clear long-term strategy and vision. I can't publish the whole thing here, but I'll take one of his ideas in particular and maybe pick up some more going forward.

Harry: If you had started this column a few months ago, I would have written in with my dream storyline of Paige earning the jealous wrath of Stephanie McMahon, with her "Anti-Diva" antics being the scapegoat for Stephanie's now-dubbed "heavy hand" coming down on her. This would have led to Stephanie McMahon unleashing a wave of challenges on the young woman from Norwich, including signing Paige's own mother to beat her down on a week-to-week basis. Given that Paige is now a heel, this storyline must be pushed to the backburner, as many things must be on the creative side of professional wrestling.

Good shout. Like you said, it's a pity something like that is on the backburner now. I always thought the anti-diva moniker fit Paige to a tee, and if they fully exploited it I think it could've worked really well. It's actually a good heel character to portray too, and there's a number of different scenarios you could play out depending on the face/heel alignment. What you do have in Paige is a gifted female performer who has the talent to pull something like that off. Also, great shout to hire Sweet Saraya to be one of her foes. I can't ever see it happening but it would sure be fun. Saraya is one of the Queens of inde wrestling from Europe and I'd love to see her get a crack on the big stage, even if it's just temporary. And hey, we need more wrestlers from Norwich making it on the main stage. Norwich is wonderful.

Want to submit your ideas? Then do! Here's how you can get involved:

Here's what I'm looking for as a rough guideline Using the template below as a reference (don't feel like you have to stick to it or use it all), have a crack at the following:

Category: Angle/character/gimmick/promo/storyline, etc. Basically what the idea is for.
Featuring: Any specific worker/workers you may have in mind.
The idea: What's it about?
The rationale: What's the goal for the idea? Does it have specific aim, I.e to get somebody over, to expand a gimmick, or simply just to have a little fun?
Previous examples: Similar ideas you may have borrowed from to form your own idea.

Send your suggestions to me via-

My email address (nicksellers88@aol.co.uk)

Twitter: @nick_sellers

Or the comments section at the bottom.

EWR on 411 mkII

(note: This is unrelated to the initial part of the column, where an all manner of suggestions can be provided depending on what transpired on TV that week).

A few years ago, Leonard Hayhurst introduced EWR on 411 in his 10th Day News Report column. Using EWR as a facility to book shows using storylines and characters which had a great degree of reader input, it became a hugely popular part of his 10th Day News Reports on the wrestling section and actually ran for a few YEARS before ultimately he had to abstain because of work commitments.

The response last week was mainly good, so I think there might just be enough in this to give it a go. What's the worst that could happen? If it doesn't take off as well as we'd expect, we can just go with something else. No big deal. I'm very much a trial and error kind of guy.

We'll kick this off in next week's column. I need to ask you a few things before we properly get started:

-What do you want to do with NXT? I only watch it sparingly so I'd probably need some help if someone wanted to do that part of the write-up. I've already started updating the roster to include the NXT superstars though, so if we don't book a show around them it still wouldn't be long before they'd be introduced on the main roster.

-Shall we keep Main Event as a mid-week show too, or just scrap that and just use Raw and Smackdown instead?

-If you want to hire and fire people, give me a few suggestions and I'll see what I can do. Also, if you want to raid TNA, RoH or something, that's cool too. The roster should be up to date once I've done some more editing in the next couple of days.

-My original intention was to try and keep things reasonably similar to real-life in terms of performer's deals, i.e not booking people like Lesnar and Jericho every week. But it's your game.

-Assuming all goes well, we'll kickstart next week, then open up the polls for the week after.

-Any questions/suggestions, comment or email nicksellers88@aol.co.uk. Alternatively, tweet @nick_sellers.

One to go on

Next week, EWR on 411 starts, we look at more of your submissions, and begin to map out what we'd like to see go down at Night of Champions as that card takes shape.

Thanks for reading, and get sending.


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