31 Manias in 31 Days: Rewriting Wrestlemania XXVI
Today's installment of my "Rewriting WrestleMania" series takes us back just 5 years ago to WrestleMania XXVI from Glendale, Arizona and one of the better Mania events and venues of all-time in my opinion. Over 72,000 fans packed the University of Phoenix Stadium, home of the Arizona Cardinals, to witness the rematch of possibly the best match of all-time, The Undertaker vs. Shawn Michaels. I'm usually not interested in WrestleMania rematches, but I couldn't argue with this one given how great the first match at WM25 was. Not to mention the way they had Shawn portray on television that it ate him alive that he wasn't able to beat Taker made it interesting. Michaels cost Taker the Royal Rumble and his match at Elimination Chamber, stopping at nothing to get Undertaker to agree to give him another chance to end the streak. In another headlining match, Bret "Hitman" Hart faced Vince McMahon after making his return to a WWE ring for the first time since Survivor Series 1997, the site of the "Montreal Screwjob." Here are the results.
March 28, 2010
University of Phoenix Stadium (Glendale, AZ)
1. (Dark) 26-Man Battle Royal:
Yoshi Tatsu won by last eliminating Zack Ryder.
2. Unified Tag Team Championship:
The Miz and Big Show (c) def. John Morrison and R-Truth to retain.
3. Triple Threat Match:
Randy Orton def. Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase
4. Money in the Bank Ladder Match:
Jack Swagger defeated Christian, Matt Hardy, Kane, Drew McIntyre, Kofi Kingston, Dolph Ziggler, Shelton Benjamin, MVP, and Evan Bourne
5. Triple H def. Sheamus
6. Rey Mysterio def. CM Punk w/ Luke Gallows and Serena
7. No Holds Barred Lumberjack Match:
Bret Hart def. Vince McMahon by submission (with Bruce Hart as special guest referee)
8. World Heavyweight Championship:
Chris Jericho (c) def. Edge
9. 10-Diva Tag Team Match:
Michelle McCool, Vickie Guerrero, Alicia Fox, Layla and Maryse def. Beth Phoenix, Kelly Kelly, Mickie James, Gail Kim, and Eve
10. WWE Championship:
John Cena def. Batista (c) by submission to become new champion
11. Streak vs. Career:
The Undertaker def. Shawn Michaels, forcing him to retire
*Rewriting WrestleMania XXVI*
1. Money in the Bank Ladder Match: Kofi Kingston def. Jack Swagger, MVP, Matt Hardy, Kane, Dolph Ziggler, Evan Bourne, and R-Truth
I was never a fan of Jack Swagger, so I would have given the win to Kofi Kingston here. He seemed to be finally getting a nice push at the end of 2009, feuding with Randy Orton. He was even in the WWE Championship match at Elimination Chamber (the previous ppv before WM26). Why not give him an opportunity? He could have cashed in on Jericho and had at least a short run with the title. As far as the competitors, I think 10 is a bit too many. I wouldn't put more than 8 in the ladder match so it doesn't get too out of control. I also took Benjamin out and put R-Truth in since I don't have him in the tag title match.
2. United States Championship: John Morrison def. The Miz (c)
I'd have much rather seen these former tag team partners turned foes go 1-on-1 than be on opposite sides of the tag team championship match. Morrison always put on really good matches, so I thought he should have been in one of the opening matches as a singles competitor.
3. CM Punk w/ the Straight Edge Society def. Rey Mysterio
I almost made this match for the IC Title, but this feud was good enough to not need a championship. The only change I'd make is the winner. Punk deserved to go over an aging Mysterio after being an established former World Champion. I could also do without the stipulation of Rey having to join the S.E.S. if he lost.
4. Intercontinental Championship: Drew McIntyre (c) def. Christian
Once again, they decided to put the IC Champ in the MITB match instead of having the title defended. I could be wrong, but I believe WM25 is the only year that the IC Champion was not involved in the ladder match for the briefcase when JBL lost to Mysterio in 21 seconds. I'll never understand why they treated this once great championship as if it didn't even exist at the biggest event of the year. Drew McIntyre was barely even involved in the MITB anyway (with 10 participants it would be tough for anyone to get that much time to stand out), so I'd give he and Christian the stage to themselves for 10 minutes and let The Chosen One's reign continue.
5. Unified Tag Team Championship: Cody Rhodes and Ted DiBiase (c) def. Randy Orton and Triple H
I personally wasn't a fan of the 3 members of Legacy competing in a "triple threat" because it was obviously more like a handicap match. And I despise handicap matches. With Orton turning face (or tweener, whatever you want to call him), I think it would have been interesting to see him team up with long time foe, but former Evolution partner Triple H and go after the tag team titles. The match between Hunter and Sheamus didn't really impress me and I also thought it was completely illogical to not put Sheamus in the WHC match after just losing it at Elimination Chamber. Rhodes and DiBiase retain since Orton and Triple H would make more sense going in their own directions again after Mania.
6. No Holds Barred Lumberjack Match: Bret Hart def. Vince McMahon by submission
I wouldn't really change anything about this. It didn't do anything for me personally, but a lot of people wanted to see Bret Hart and Vince McMahon settle unfinished business in the ring, even if Bret was way out of his prime.
7. World Heavyweight Championship Triple Threat: John Cena def. Batista (c) and Sheamus
As I said above, logic would have had Sheamus using his rematch clause and making it a triple threat here. Possibly even a fatal 4-way with Triple H. This would be one of Batista's final matches before leaving WWE the night after Over the Limit. This was Cena's 6th straight WrestleMania competing in either the WWE or World Championship, but I had him facing Jericho for no title in my WM25 rewrite to avoid going to the well once too often like I felt they definitely did with him. After a year out of the title picture, the fans wouldn't have been as tired of him and seeing Cena as World Champ again wouldn't have been so overdone. Cena and Batista would still feud for the next couple months, followed by Sheamus regaining the title at the Fatal 4-Way ppv in June.
8. Women's Championship Triple Threat: Beth Phoenix def. Michelle McCool (c) and Layla
Rather than a 10-diva tag match, why not have the title on the line? I'd have Beth Phoenix go over in what would basically be a handicap match against LayCool.
9. World Heavyweight Championship: Edge def. Chris Jericho (c)
I thought giving Edge the Royal Rumble win was a great call, since nobody saw his return coming after being out of action since July 2009 with a torn achilles. I liked the match, but would have given Edge the win. Having him come back as a face to feud with his former tag team partner was smart, I just didn't like having Jericho retain only to lose it to Jack Swagger shortly after and then become tag champs with The Miz. Call me crazy, but wouldn't the crowd have rather seen the title change hands to Edge at Mania?
10. Streak vs. Career: The Undertaker def. Shawn Michaels
As I said, I'm not a big fan of back to back Mania rematches, but this is obviously the one exception. I wouldn't change anything here. Shawn Michaels' final career match going on last was 100% the right call.
Feel free to comment and/or post your rewritten WrestleMania XXVI.
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