JC’s Top Rope Report: The 5 Worst Booking Decisions In Wrestlemania History

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And I’m back again with another Top 5 List. This time, I look at the five worst booking decisions in Wrestlemania history. Again, these are my opinions on these and some of you may agree while some of you may disagree with them. Go ahead and read along and enjoy!

5. Wrestlemania XVIII: Y2J vs HHH Going On Last-This Wrestlemania was built around one match: Hulk Hogan vs The Rock. While the Undisputed Title was important as well, it just didn’t live up to the magnitude that or have the same importance as the Rock/Hogan Dream Match. I am usually an advocate for the WWE Title Match going on last on the show. It is the top prize in the WWE, and it should be treated as such. But under certain circumstances, there are just matches that are so big that they should go on last.

It was the case at WM26 with Shawn Michaels career on the line. It was the case at WM28 with the Rock/Cena match. And it should have been the case with Rock/Hogan at WM18. Two of the biggest stars in wrestling history were going one-on-one for the first time in their career. It should have gone on last. By having it go on where it did, it took away a ton of heat from the HHH/Y2J match. Both HHH and Jericho have said in interviews that Hogan/Rock should have gone on last, and by not doing so it affected their match.

4. Wrestlemania XXVIII: 18 Seconds Of Daniel Bryan & Sheamus-And I bet these two thought they had it bad at Wrestlemania 27. Just one year earlier, Daniel Bryan and Sheamus were scheduled to fight for the United States Championship at Wrestlemania. But instead, the WWE bumped their match onto the pre-show. The WWE turned the match into a Lumberjack Match, it broke down after a few minutes then turned into a Battle Royal. Instead of getting the chance to showcase their talents on the grand stage, they were forced into a Battle Royal so everyone could get their Wrestlemania pay day.

The next year at Wrestlemania 28, Bryan and Sheamus were going to fight for the World Title. While the match was expected to be the opener, everyone still thought both men would put on a solid 15 minute match. Bryan is one of the best technical workers in the business, and Sheamus is possibly the best “big man” wrestler the WWE has. It was a match people were looking forward too.

Instead, the WWE had the match go 18 seconds. Sheamus ended it with one Brogue Kick. It effectively ended the push of Daniel Bryan. It was a huge slap in the face to him, and Sheamus for that matter. Instead of giving both men a chance to showcase their talents, it ended in the blink of an eye. It pissed off the crowd, as they chanted “YES” and “Daniel Bryan” during the next hour of the show. With a four hour show, the WWE should have found a way to give these guys more time instead of screwing them over for a second year in a row.

3. Wrestlemania XVII: Stone Cold Goes Heel-Let me start by saying this: I always thought the build up to this heel turn was well done. That is why this isn’t number one on the list. Austin said in the build up to the match that he would do anything to beat The Rock. He needed to beat The Rock and win the WWE Title. Everything about the build up to this heel turn was well done. It was the execution of it that didn’t work out in the WWE’s favor.

First off, the event was held in Texas, Austin’s home state. He was going to get cheered no matter what happened during the show. Then the match was made No DQ for some reason, without any notice whatsoever. And then the execution of the turn with Vince McMahon was very poor. Austin didn’t do anything outside of the ordinary. He just beat Rock continuously with a chair, nothing out of the ordinary for the Attitude Era. The only thing different was that he was handed the chair by Vince McMahon. And when Austin won, he was still cheered by the crowd in Houston.

The follow up was even worse by the WWE, but that is another story. Making the match No DQ caused the heel turn to lose effect. If it was me, I would have had a ref bump happen, then have Vince standing in the ring with a chair in hand. After looking at both men, then he hands the chair to Austin who uses it. And then there is an immediate pinfall after with Austin winning. The chair beating went on too long for my liking. Sure it isn’t too much different, but this way is shorter and more effective. In a way, this isn’t a bad booking decision. It was just badly executed.

2. Wrestlemania XIX: Triple H Defeats Booker T-To me, there are very few flaws with Wrestlemania 19. It is one of the best Wrestlemania’s of all time. But it does have some flaws, and this is one of them. In the final promo leading up to Wrestlemania, HHH cut what many would consider a “controversial” promo. He basically pissed all over Booker T’s career, saying the WCW Title was worthless. He also said “people like Booker T” would never win Championships in the WWE. Although HHH denied it, the promo came off kind of racist and offended some people.

With that said, many people expected Booker T to walk out of Wrestlemania 19 with the World Title. But instead, HHH retained. The way the match was being built up, the move just didn’t make any sense. It was probably the most Booker T was ever over as a face in the WWE. The crowd was behind him and they would have accepted Booker as World Champ.

Instead, Booker T lost and was fighting for the Intercontinental Championship a few months later. And we were treated to a great HHH/Kevin Nash feud in the spring months. Booker could have won the World Title and held onto it for a few months before losing it back to HHH, who would then move on to a feud with Goldberg. But instead HHH retained. People were already sick of HHH at this point, and having him retain here didn’t help.

1. Wrestlemania IX: Hulk Hogan Wins The WWE Title-Wrestlemania 9 is often considered to be one of the worst Wrestlemania’s of all time. There weren’t many good matches on the card. And the ending was one of the biggest head scratchers ever. Hulk Hogan had just come back to the WWE after an extended leave after Wrestlemania 8. Hogan returned to help long time friend Brutus Beefcake in his feud against Money Inc. They fought for the Tag Team Titles at Wrestlemania 9, where Brutus and Hogan lost via disqualification. But Hogan wasn’t done for the night.

As the story goes, Hogan thought he was too big of a star to fight in a Tag Title match at Wrestlemania. So at the end of the night, Hogan came out to check on his “friend” Bret Hart after he had just lost the WWE Title to Yokozuna. Yoko and his manager Mr. Fuji challenged Hogan to come into the ring. He did, and an impromptu match started with Hogan defeated Yokozuna and winning the WWE Title. The long term plan was for Hogan to drop the Title back to Hart at SummerSlam, but Hogan didn’t want to lose to a smaller wrestler and didn’t think Bret would be a big enough draw to fight, so he lost it back to Yokozuna at the King of the Ring.

Okay, where do I start? First off, this might be the best example of the “Hulk Hogan Is A Giant Piece of S***” argument that people like to make. Hogan didn’t need to end the night on top as Champion. Yokozuna was being built as an unstoppable heel, and he could have left Mania as Champ. Instead, Yokozuna lost the Title mere minutes after winning it, making him look like a complete idiot in the process. Bret Hart became an afterthought for the next year, being thrown in feuds with Jerry Lawler and Doink. And for Hogan to not want to lose the Title back to Hart was just plain stupid.

If I was the WWE, I would have had Yokozuna win the Title, then have a stare down with Hogan as he was checking on Hart. Then at King of the Ring, have Yokozuna defeat Hogan before moving on to Lex Luger. But Vince let Hogan’s ego get the better of him. Did he really think Hogan would put over his next rising star, Bret Hart, clean? Just a terrible decision by the WWE and Vince McMahon. Especially when Hulk Hogan wasn’t going to be around much longer after that.

Feel free to share your thoughts and opinions!

Until Next Time,
Justin C
Follow Me On Twitter @JCWonka