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Money Matches

Lately, there has been a lot of talk, both here on Tha O Show and around the wrestling world in general about several "money matches" that fans would love to see.

These talks seemed to especially pick up following Undertaker's victory at the Royal Rumble. Of course, the two big money matches that have been getting the most mention are Michaels vs. Undertaker (Inside of Hell In A Cell) and Angle vs. Sting. Now, as it stands, neither of these are probably going to happen. I'll explain why for each scenario, storyline-wise, and also give a legitimate, believable way that both could come to fruition in a smark-friendly manner.

Shawn Michaels vs. Undertaker-Hell In A Cell 2

First off, it should be noted that most times, when WWE tries to take something really good and make it happen twice, they make the sequel a complete clusterfuck.

WrestleMania 2 was nothing special. Hogan vs.Rock 2 was treated as a blowoff match that was used to propel another storyline. ECW version 2 has been a complete disaster, and so on and so forth.

With that in mind, I would have great trepidation about this match in the unlikely event that it should occur, and suspect highly that either John Cena or Batista would be written in to make a "special" appearance.

On a side note, I watched some of Batista's stuff from early 2005 the other day. It really showed just how much he's fallen off as far as making his moves believable. I digress.

The biggest reason this match would not take place is for the reason I stated above. It would be smark-friendly. Right now, after years of having no competition to take serious, McMahon's ego has skyrocketed, and I think he honestly believes he can put whatever garbage he sees fit onto our screens, and everybody will keep tuning in anyway.

I can probably count on one hand the number of people here who can honestly say that they have turned off RAW for good. Consequently, if everybody keeps coming back, what's his motivation to stop what he's doing? Why give the fans a big money match, along with an enormous payday to Michaels and Undertaker, if he won't lose anything by not doing it?

McMahon honestly believes that John Cena and Batista are huge draws right now. They're not. As Big Daddy pointed out the night after Royal Rumble, even marks were booing these two.

As he put it, San Antonio is not a heel town. Never has been. Never will be. But as long as people keep showing up, he's got no reason to change anything. In the business world, the almighty dollar has the final say, and unfortunately, even the smarks' money, which is being poured into live events and pay-per-views, tells McMahon not to change a thing.

Now, with that being said, if they're gonna make this happen, the most logical way would to be to having the wheels start turning at No Way Out. Michaels pins Undertaker under shady circumstances (after all, he's supposed to be the heel since it's a "SmackDown!" show and he's from "Raw"),then switches over to Friday nights.

He beats a midcarder or low-level main eventer at WrestleMania (someone like Finlay or Benoit), then goes on a tear, trying to convince everyone that he deserves that title.

Finally, he manages to get the attention of Undertaker by costing him a match against whomever Michaels beat at WrestleMania.

The following month, SummerSlam is headlined by Shawn Michaels vs. Undertaker in a Hell In A Cell match. It's that simple.

Kurt Angle vs. Sting

This one is more possible than Michaels vs. Undertaker, but still unlikely. Russo, like McMahon, usually doesn't listen to what the fans want, and will pretty much do what he wants.

With Scott Steiner due back anytime soon, you can bet your ass that he's in line for a title push. You can also bet the farm that Angle getting in the ring with
Steiner would be the biggest mistake of his career. Big Poppa Pump right now is a jaded, angry has-been who would probably try to legitimately hurt Angle simply because Angle went over before him and probably got the kind of contract/star treatment that the Big Bad Booty Daddy wanted.

Getting back to my original point, Russo is calling the shots, so this match is not likely. He's going to pad his own ego by making the matches that he wants. In hindsight, he was probably the oneresponsible for rushing the Joe/Angle feud. Russo never seemed to like technical wrestling, so he probably just gave the fans a few matches between the two to try and shut us all up.

And don't kid yourself,Angle/Cage is only happening because Angle's contract mandates it.

Now as far as fantasy booking for this event, this one is fairly simple. At Against All Odds, both Sting and Angle win. While Angle keeps busy defending his title, Sting becomes TNA's resident "preacher", going around and trying to bully everyone into becoming a "model person" like himself, criticiing his opponents and the things they've done wrong before assaulting them. In case you haven't picked up on it, this means he goes heel. Russo won't even consider booking this match otherwise.

This run would be very similar to Bob Backlund's WWE return back in 1994. Becuase of this, Sting's actions catch Backlund's attention right around August. Bob calls Sting on it, only to be assaulted. The two have a match at Hard Justice, in which Sting brutally squahes Backlund.

Meanwhile, the same night, Angle, who lost his title at Slammiversary, wins it back. The next "iMPACT!", new NWA World Heavyweight Champion Angle comes out and does a shoot in which he admits that he made some mistakes, and that those mistakes cost him his previous job, but because he was able to realize them, he landed a better job in TNA (okay, so that last part was kayfabe, but you get my drift). He then calls out
Sting, telling him that he has become nothing but a bully, and that Angle won't put up with someone bullying the locker room. The challenge is laid down, and after a few weeks where Sting frequently ambushes Angle, he finally gives his answer at No Surrender, accepting Angle's challenge. The two then face off at Bound For Glory.

Are these the best storylines? Probably not, but it's certainly better than what WWE and TNA most likely are going to do, which is nothing. Anyone else have any creative ideas for how to book these matches?

10 comments: on "Money Matches"

Claytron "Ice Cold" 2020 said...

At wrestlemania:

The Miz vs The Great Khali in a "YOUR FIRED" match. 5 seconds into the match, Steve Austin makes his way out and gives a stunner to khali. Miz, thanking his lucky stars, rushes over to Austin and hugs him. Austin then plants a stunner on the miz, to where both are double counted out. Austin stands over both, drinking a beer, flips the bird, and leaves drunkenly from the ring.

Now thats MONEY.

In all honesty... I think a REAL money match would have to be Hart vs Michaels II. They could book it at 'Mania. Hart could come out completely disgruntled, complaining that his legacy is tarnished, that WWE destroyed his life, career, and family.... and that it was all Michaels fault. Shawn then comes out, looks him square in the eyes, and apologizes. This just infuriates Hart, and he attacks Michaels. All this action leads to a 'Mania rematch... where Michaels goes over Hart CLEAN. A few weeks later on raw, michaels is attacked and left bloody and broken. Everyones panicking. Then, the camera moves back, to reveal Harry Smith, TJ Wilson,Nattie Neidhart (and possibly Teddy Hart)standing over him. Bret gets his revenge and puts over the New Hart Foundation.

Tim Haught said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tim Haught said...

HBK vs. Taker HIAC2 isn't the smartest idea. Where can they go this time that they didn't go last time? Is Michaels expected to take a Foley-esque bump to top their previous encounter? Not advised for a 42 year old man with a history of back problems. There is nothing this match would prove. Don't get me wrong, I'd love to see Taker and Michaels go at it one more time, but Hell in a Cell is definetely unnecessary. Find two young guys in a bitter rivalry and give them the Cell and let it make them stars.

Also, ability to draw has nothing to do with the amount of boos a wrestler receives. While it's hard to determine the real drawing power of any one superstar now that the ball is carried by many, I don't think you can say that Batista and Cena as champions are drawing any less than any other post-attitude champion has, and they both sell a hell of a lot of merch (especially Cena). Everytime a little kid wants to go see one of these guys, he brings his parents along for the ride, and WWE makes a lot of money, and in turn Batista and Cena make a lot of money. If business were really that bad with them in the drivers seat, they wouldn't have been there for what is going on 2 years now. You said yourself, "But as long as people keep showing up, he's got no reason to change anything." I understand all the reasons that smart fans dislike these two, but an overwhelming number of people that attend WWE live shows do not obsess with it over the internet the way we do. WWE grew these guys themselves in their developmental territories, and they have both been made into characters fans care about (I didn't say cheer, I said care about). Whether you are paying to see Cena beat the bad guy or paying to see him finally drop that belt, you are paying... And for those who are mad that Umaga didn't go over, you have to remember that their have only 30 some champions in the 40 plus year history of the WWE title. Guys are groomed to win it, and if they don't achieve the desired fan reaction the plug is pulled. Umaga is a flash in the pan monster character who in no way is deserving of that belt. The World Title on Smackdown maybe, but not the WWE title.

I think blaming Scott Steiner for the absence of a Sting/Angle match is ridiculous. Also, implying that Steiner wouldn't "do business" and he would take liberties with Angle is absurd. Steiner has nothing to gain from it, as the business has changed a great deal. Steiner is smarter than people give him credit for. He'd rather make money than have a rep for hurting Angle and looking all crazy like Savage, Warrior, and who's that other guy? Oh yeah, Kanyon. If Steiner did try to take liberties with Angle, it's likely that Angle would just tear him up anyways. The guy is a legit olympic champion. I don't see Big Poppa Pump's amatuer days at Michigan and his built-for-show body taking liberties with Angle.

To say that Cage/Angle is only happening cause it's in Angle's contract is assinine as well. Who the hell do you want Angle to face? He obviously has to wrestle TNA's top guys. You act like Russo would have him wrestling a pile of dog terds, if not for Angle's contract. Don't kid YOURself, if TNA has a match that can make money, they will present it. They are trying to gain a larger audience and solid footing as the number two company.

Why wouldn't Russo consider booking the match with Sting as a babyface. Sting, like Ricky Steamboat, is one of those wrestlers that has never really been a heel. I know Russo has a boner for doing things that have never been done before (like making poor Miss Elizabeth wrestle), but with TNA's tweener extravaganza every Thursday night, and no real defined lines for anyone, I don't see the purpose in making Sting a bad guy, and I highly doubt Sting would go for it at this stage in his career.

Sting and Angle probably want to work one another, and I'm sure they have the influence at TNA to make that happen and on their terms. I'm sure Angle wouldn't have a problem with playing the bad guy, and Sting wouldn't have a problem with putting over a multiple time World Champion.

I think that Sting/Angle will happen eventually, but there is no reason for it to happen next month. There is a lot of life in a decent length Cage/Angle program, and they should get the most they can out of it.

It is less likely that Taker and Michaels will work each other again, because they are on seperate brands, and this is likely the Undertaker's last hurrah. If they do work one another, I think Summerslam is a good possibility. However, I don't see a need for the Cell, as it will likely only be a dissapointment for the reasons stated above.

The Hitman said...

Even though crowd reaction and draw are two separate things, I had read on a dirt sheet somewhere that John Cena's merchandise is not nearly as hot a seller as WWE ShopZone says it is; they just put it at the top of the list to make it seem that way. At a house show I attended last July, the main event featured Edge vs. Cena. Over a quarter of the crowd left before this match even started.

I can see where you're coming from with Steiner, but the point that I was making is that Steiner does have an inflated ego, and therefore falls into the category of angry has-beens, such as Hardcore Holly (the obvious difference between the two being that Steiner has more to hang his hat on than old Sparkplug). He was out of the WWE for two and a half years, and then finally comes out and says that he never got his due in WWE because of Triple H. Who the hell holds a grudge for that long? Also, the biggest reason that he was off of TV was that he wasn't getting the money he wanted for being a glorified jobber. I would be willing to hedge my bets that him seeing a guy like Angle, whose body really fell apart on him in mid 2006, getting better treatment than him is probably tripping his trigger just a little bit.

Getting back to the original point, Angle/Cage is probably not the brainchild of Vince Russo. At least, let's hope it's not if we want a solid match. Russo has a long and storied past of making absolute clusterf*ck matches despite having more than enough resources to make a brilliant product. He had wrestlers that made more than enough draws to compete with RAW, and he made David Arquette and himself as the champion? And this is the guy who's supposedly going to bring great matches to TNA. Even if Sting vs. Angle does happen, if Russo is within a 20 mile radius of this match, he's going to find a way to screw it up. He doesn't tend to care much for actual wrestling (as evidenced back in 2000, when he somehow thought that a suitable wrestler to replace Bret Hart and Jeff Jarrett would be Tank Abbott; thank God has was removed prior to Souled Out so that Benoit was put in the main event), which is why I believe that Angle had to use some sort of political power to get Russo to do this.

Michaels vs. Undertaker wouldn't be able to give us anything different for the first time, but I'd still probably mark out anyway.

The Hitman said...

Miz getting squashed by The Great Khali and then getting a stunner from Stone Cold?

A Miz squash would make even Khali bearable to watch.

Tim Haught said...

I read that Cena's merch is not as hot a seller as WWE Shop (no longer Shopzone) says it is right here on Tha O Show. However, looking at the crowd greatly disputes that. I will back down only this far. When Cena was a rapper (even as a babyface champion), he sold a lot more merch, quite frankly because the merch was cooler. People already got their black t-shirts and camoflauge hats when Austin was champ. People were buying Cena Jersey's, wristbands, chains, and pendants back when he was doing the rapper gimmick. Heck, the spinner belt has almost no reflection on Cena's character anymore. I would like to see him ditch the army stuff and go back to the rap gear. I think the chain gang stuff was more popular before it became a batallion. Still, we'll see how many Cena signs and how much gear people are sporting on RAW tonight.

Comparing Steiner to Holly is odd. Steiner revolutionized wrestling in America as a member of the Steiners with brother Rick, then reinvented himself and was able to capture the WCW World title and have a big money feud with Triple H in the WWE. Holly on the other hand has languished under numerous gimmicks and when they have tried to put him in programs with Lesnar and RVD, the fans largely are uninterested. Holly is more of a never-was than a has-been as tag team and hardcore title runs were relatively meaningless at the time he accomplished them. All he can hang his hat on is a semi-decent dropkick and many years of employment.

I am not a huge Steiner fan, but his work when he returned to TNA turned a lot of heads. Steiner can put on a great match when motivated, and the mishandling of him by the WWE was that motivation (although I think had they pushed him or Goldberg hard they still wouldn't have given much more effort at the time). WWE buried a lot of WCW names in various feuds. The name value those guys had in the south alone would make it reasonable to handle them better than they did, but Vince was more concerned with killing the brand and concept of WCW at the time than anything else.

As far as who holds a grudge that long? Let's see. The Ultimate Warrior, Bret Hart, Bruno Sammartino, Kip James... I could run down a great list of wrestlers and non-wrestlers who hold grudges against McMahon and McMahon's goldenboys like Hogan and Triple H. It would be a pretty star-studded list as well. If you ask me, the greatest angle the WWE will never do is a feud between McMahon supporters and bitter McMahon haters (although the time when the McMahon haters would have been able to go in the ring may have passed by now anyways).

Angle/Cage is probably not the brainchild of anyone. It's elementary booking that fell into the laps of TNA management. They have a history. One is one of the hottest stars in your company. The other is your World Champion. How do you not book the winner of Joe/Angle to a feud with the champion?

Regardless of who's brainchild it is, the booker doesn't choreograph what you actually see during the match. Regardless of any icing Russo puts on the cake in terms of run-ins and stupid finishes, you best believe Angle and Cage both have something to prove to the offices in Stamford, and they will put on a "solid" match.

Russo does indeed have a long and storied past of making absolute clusterf*ck matches, but I don't know who he can really throw into the mix for that "crash TV" shock value he wants at this point.

I am not sure why TNA brought him in to begin with, as he has already damaged the product, but if anything survives, it's the in-ring performance of the TNA roster.

Not to defend Russo, but his idea to make Tank Abbott the champion was based on him noting the gaining popularity MMA had at the time. Perhaps he was on to something, as MMA is pretty huge now. This is no excuse to make Tank Abbott a wrestling champion, but perhaps a more legit guy with more charisma than Abbott would have worked. A lot of people liked Goldberg because he reminded them of that MMA style (I loathe Goldberg and his no-selling, cocky, I don't give shit to a business that gave me everything attitude).

I would totally mark out for Taker vs. Michaels, especially if I could see it live with some good seats. It's weird. The Undertaker is just a wrestler, but when you are live and up against the rail and he walks past you, it just doesn't seem like it. You really feel that you are in the presence of something special.

Ben Boudreau said...

TLC 2 was a good sequel.

The Hitman said...

Even from the 300 section, Undertaker's entrance was the coolest thing I have ever seen at a live wrestling event. It even tops being only 5 feet away when Sabu hit the Arabian Facebuster off a ladder inside the ring onto a prone Sandman, lying on a table outside of the ring.

TLC 2 is one of the few sequels that WWE can be proud of. The problem is, like Tim mentioned in an earlier comment as far as concern about a second Hell In A Cell, they weren't able to bring much of anything new to the table. Most of the spots were repeats of either TLC 1 or the Ladder Match match at WrestleMania 2000.

And yes, it is a very odd comparison, as Steiner has accomplished far more that Holly, but they both are more or less bitter veterans who hate seeing other guys get preferential treatment. Plus, with the exception of Sammartino (who seems to pretty much fly under the radar), all of the guys you mentioned have been publicly touted as being either head cases or crybabies. Hell, we even have bashed them here on Tha O Show.

Ben Boudreau said...

Sammartino put over the ROH locker room.

The Hitman said...


Ric Flair is my new hero. That was the best shoot I have ever heard.