Re-writing the Book, SmackDown Live: Road to WrestleMania

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Re-writing the Book, SmackDown Live: Road to WrestleMania

Post by Kay Fabe on Tue 18 Apr 2017, 6:41 pm

I've been disappointed in how SmackDown Live has been booked this year, they do a lot of things right on the show but I feel they do a lot of things wrong that seem rather obvious at the time and not with the benefit of hindsight.

I'm going to attempt to re-book SDL from The Royal Rumble to WrestleMania and beyond...

First up, Bray Wyatt: After years and years of being the victim of the bookers I felt moving to SmackDown Live was a great opportunity gor Wyatt to re-establish his character in an environment where he'd be allowed to shine and given soace to breath, first 6 months went well, they built him back up, he looked as over as he's ever been and after an interesting feud with Randy Orton, he seemed to gain control of Orton's mind, Orton was now "a Wyatt"...

I've not really got any problems with that other than Orton never fully embraced the Wyatt look, he'd wear a mask on occassion but he always looked out of place given he has a shaven head and designer stuble, expecting him to grow hair at an alarming rate wasn't the issue though, I'd have liked to see him in the same overalls Luke Harper & Eric Rowan wore, it'd have made him more identifiable to the Wyatt's, that apart though I enjoyed this change in direction for Orton even if everyone who's anyone knew how it would end.

At the Royal Rumble I'd have had Orton, The Undertaker, Roman Reigns & Bray Wyatt as the final 4, after Reigns eliminates Undertaker I'd have Wyatt & Reigns attack Roman, Roman ends up knocking Orton out the ring (through the ropes) when Undertaker gets back into the ring and goes after Reigns who's tangled on the ropes with Wyatt, as Undertaker makes contact with Reigns Orton on the outside would hold the top rope to drag himself back up and in doing so would inadvertently help Taker eliminate Reigns who's momentum would also see Wyatt fly over the top rope, Randy Orton wins the Rumble and it looks like the luckiest win in history.

Randy Orton would help Bray Wyatt qualify for the Elimination Chamber by interfering in a match between him and new WWE Champion John Cena, SmackDown Live ends with Randy kneeling in front of Bray and telling him that when he wins the WWE Title at Elimination Chamber, he will forfeit his right to challenge for it at WrestleMania.

Elimination Chamber: Bray Wyatt would be due to come out second but for some reason doesn't make it out on time, so 3rd, 4th & 5th place come out and take up the empty pods, AJ Styles is out next as the last entrant and while he's on his way out the cameras cut to backstage, Wyatt looks groggy but is heading to the ring whilst the rest of the Wyatt family are on look out, we get word that Wyatt was smashed over the back of the head with one of his lanterns, the camera cuts to a broken lantern smashed on the floor, Wyatt is out and after a quick check up by the ringside doctor is allowed to enter the Chamber.

1st: Bray pins Corbin
2nd: Ambrose pins The Miz
3rd: AJ pins Ambrose
4th: AJ hits Cena with the flying forearm falling into Bray who then hits him with Sister Abigail

Down to AJ and Wyatt, AJ looks like he is getting the better of Bray before the rest of the Wyatt family make their way ringside, all three of them wearing the same boiler suits and masks, all three trying to divert AJ's attention, it slowly works and Bray gets on top, he sets Styles up for Sister Abigail and the lights go out, flames appear on the isle, beginning at ringside and moving further back all the way to the Titan Tron...The Compound appears on screen in the middle of the woods, a camera cuts to inside the Compound & we see a rocking chair rock back and forth...we hear a female voice in a high pitches whisper "he's hear, he's hear"...the lights jolt back on as the tron goes off and Bray looks distressed, he looks mentally broken as he turns round into a flying AJ forearm and AJ Styles is a 2 time WWE Champion.

On SDL Bray has regained his composure, he has been back at the Compound and whatever spooked him at Elimination Chamber he seems to be at ease with now, he congratulates AJ for being 'smart' but tells Styles that he will pay the ultimate price for tricking him at E.C, and everyone else who was in on it, the four Wyatt's mean business and they claim their numbers are their strength and no-one on SDL could beat them as a cohesive unit.

The following week Eric Rowan is tasked with beating the truth of AJ, Styles wins the match while maintaining he has no idea what happened at E.C or what the compound even is, he was only interested in winning his title back, the next week Luke Harper faces AJ and again AJ wins, Bray's frsutrstion is starting to grow as he keeps finding dead ends to his theories, Orton in the last segment suggests the culprit is closer to home and SDL goes off air with Wyatt looking suspiciously over his shoulder at Harper & Rowan.

The Wyatt's open the next show with Orton once again on his knees, offering to give his Title opportunity to Bray Wyattnat WrestleMania, Bray accepts this from his loyal subject before Daniel Bryan interrupts, Bryan informs Randy Orton that he's within his right to forfeit the Title Match at Mania but he can't pass it on (and makes an off the cuff comment about Randy should know this), he then goes on to say there would be an 8 man tournament for it and none of the Wyatt's would be allowed to enter, this in turn causes Bray to call a halt to proceedings and tells Bryan there'll be no need, Randy will face AJ at WrestleMania and will win the Title and after he wins the Title he can then hand it over.

Bray over the next two weeks is highly suspicious of Luke Harper & Eric Rowan, both do their best to convince him they're loyal while highlighting that he hasn't questioned Orton, he tells them Orton has been an exemplary member of the family and has put his body on the line for him (vs Cena) and offered to forfeit his World Tirle opportunity at WrestleMania for him twice...he does begin to wonder though. later on that night Orton sacrifices himself again in a Tag Team match by pushing Bray out the way and taking a devastating hit, Bray comes to his sense and orders Harper & Rowan to help him, this seems to unite the Wyatt family.

Over the last two weeks before WrestleMania, we see further strange videos of the compound and we begin to see shadowy figure, these videos appear when the Wyatt's are at ringside, we see a doll on the chait with it's head ripped off and the chair rocking and the following week the same doll is on fire on the chair at the start of the show, by the end of the show Bray has returned to the compound, the chair is still, the doll has gone and there's no sign of anything burnt on the wooded chair, Wyatt seems confused but relieved, Orton, Harper & Rowan celebrate in the ring as Bray tells them via the tron it's alright, then AJ Styles appears out of nowhere and lays Harper & Rowan out with a steel chair before beating the holy hell out of Orton with the Chair, the go home SDL to WrestleMania ends with AJ Styles standing triumphantly with the belt over his head as it looks like he's not only outsmarted & out manoeuvred the entire Wyatt clan.

WrestleMania: Randy Orton and AJ Styles would have a match worthy of stealing the show and due to constant outside interference Orton ends up prevailing as the winner, the new WWE Champion...Bray Wyatt smugly tells AJ that he may have won some of the battles but he has won the war.

SmackDown Live after WrestleMania: Shane McMahon and Daniel Bryan open the show by asking for all their talent to come out to the stage, they thank all the talent & and the fans for making their show the A show and to kick off the new Wrestling year they want everyone to show their appreciation for the New WWE Champion Randy Orton...Orton's music hits, goes on and on, without him appearing, the arena suddenly goes dark as the Wyatt's music hits, Randy Orton comes out with Bray Wyatt with Harper and Rowan behind them, Bray takes the mic and talks about how this all started 6 months ago when Randy decided to join the most powerful family in Pro Wrestling, how he helped develop Randy and refocus his mind, he's now making the ultimate sacrifice, Randy kneels in front of Bray and offers him the Title, Bray cuts the Title party short and tells everyone they will be back out at the end of the night where he'll hold his own party when Randy officially hands over the Title.

The Wyatt's are back out for the last segment of the show, Bray tells everyone how great he is, how great the Wyatt's are and how dedicated Randy Orton is, Eric Rowan and Luke Harper both give him nods of respect, Randy takes the belt in both hands, looks at it and holds it out, offering it to Bray, Wyatt is just about to accept when the lights go out again, once again fire lights at ringside and slowly makes its way all the way up the isle to the titan tron, the tron comes on and the compound is on screen again, the camera cuts to Bray who begins go laugh...the camera cuts inside the compound, the rocking chair is once again rocking, the doll is back and it's on fire...Bray is still laughing...then we see the shadowy figure, we hear the female voice again..."he's hear, he's hear"...the shadowy figure produces a petrol can and soaks the place with petrol, Bray's face has changed, now he's worried, very agitated and pleading with the shadowy figure to not do it, the shadowy figure takes the petrol outside the house and leaves a trail before lighting it, the Wyatt's watch in horror as the the compound goes up in flames, Bray is distraught, he can't handle the thought of losing what he holds dearest...the shadowy figure turns to the camera with the compound in full view behind him finally reveals himself as Randy Orton...lights come on, Bray looks stunned and turns around to face Orton who hits him with an RKO, he grabs his belt, swaggers up the isle with a mic and tells Bray when he tried to play mind games with him he decided there and then to find out what made him tick and promised himself to strip him of every single thing he held close to his twisted black heart.

● Orton would explain how he meant to pull the rope down at the Royal Rumble
● he'd tell us how he attacked Wyatt at the Elimination Chamber making him 1.weak for the match & 2.Have to start the match instead of inside the pod
● How he realised the spirit of Sister Abigail was in the Compound
● Daniel Bryan had already told him privately he couldn't hand over his WM title shot to a member of the Wyatt family

Kay Fabe

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Re: Re-writing the Book, SmackDown Live: Road to WrestleMania

Post by Beer on Wed 19 Apr 2017, 10:11 am

Brilliant read, Kay Fabe.

That would've made the storyline worth watching.

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Re: Re-writing the Book, SmackDown Live: Road to WrestleMania

Post by Crimey on Wed 19 Apr 2017, 10:33 am

For me this still has the problem that Orton was an underwhelming Royal Rumble winner and Bray Wyatt should be going over. 

To be honest, I think the Orton/Wyatt storyline was doomed from the beginning. Like you said, there was no commitment with Orton being in the Wyatts. When Daniel Bryan joined them for 2-3 weeks, he got a new attire, he tried his best to fit the look. Randy Orton didn't change at all. Not to mention he joined for no reason, he had the better of the Wyatts then randomly decided to join them. It made no sense and what made less sense was how trusting Wyatt was of Orton. It made him seem so stupid and not threatening at all, so when the inevitable betrayal happened, it wasn't shocking or even interesting. It's the same mistake that was made just a couple years earlier when Orton returned and re-joined the Authority and Seth Rollins trusted him, it just made Rollins seem stupid.

This is definitely better than what they went with, but even with fantasy booking the story is just stupid and does very little for Bray Wyatt which is surely what a feud with Orton should be doing.

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Re: Re-writing the Book, SmackDown Live: Road to WrestleMania

Post by Kay Fabe on Wed 19 Apr 2017, 11:10 am

I was a bit sceptical of how trusting Wyatt was of Orton, that's why I inserted seeds of doubt and paranoia into Bray but Orton always being one step ahead (before the eventual pay-off) would always find ways to win him round (i.e helping him qualify for E.C, offering him his Title shot, sacrificing himself to save Wyatt) but I also think Wyatt's so sure of his abilities to influence others that he doesn't automatically assume people won't follow him.

Orton winning the Rumble was always going to be underwhelming, that was something I couldn't get away with, that's why I wanted to stick with it, I wanted to stay as true to the original story as possible, I just felt that in this way there would've been some pay-off for the audience to see why Orton won the Rumble, I've often found fans are more receptive to an underwhelming moment (in hindsight) if it's proven to be a major twist in an elaborate angle

I agree the overall goal should be to get Wyatt over but given the timescale and the slow build up of the story Pre-Rumble I wanted to continue the slow build, the main problem about the story for me was it went from a slow steady build up to a 100mph turnaround for no real reason - the idea would still be to make Bray the World Champion but not until maybe SummerSlam and I also liked the fact Orton burnt down the Compound so wanted to use that but I also wanted it to have maximum impact, something I feel was quickly lost.

The only way to go after burning down the compound IMO was to actually introduce Sister Abigail to proceeding, after Orton has stripped Bray of everything he had I'd need to see something different but also something that enabled his character to progress, the introduction of Abigail would be the catalyst for change in Bray's fortunes, from taking him from the guy who always loses big angles to a guy who wins them

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Re: Re-writing the Book, SmackDown Live: Road to WrestleMania

Post by Beer on Wed 19 Apr 2017, 11:16 am

You could carry that storyline through and just change the ending of the Rumble. Orton playing protector to Bray at the Rumble, but they are separated and Bray gets taken out. You could have Orton really sell the shock that he's let Bray down, then have him snap, RKOing anyone in sight and going on to win it. The Rumble win only needs a small tweak for it to feel less underwhelming. With Kay Fabe's pay off, it would work.

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Re: Re-writing the Book, SmackDown Live: Road to WrestleMania

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