Picking up where we left off Jinder & The Singh's would begin their feud with The New Day following the Royal Rumble event. This would be a short feud heading to Fast Lane 2018 which was the last Smackdown exclusive event. Now even though some might think it's backward to have Jinder lose it's all a part of the plan and the bigger picture to let New Day partially because Jinder will not take the fall during the match. Heading into Wrestlemania 34 we will have Jinder enter the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal and we will let him get the win and get some momentum going in his favor.
Jinder will brag for the next few weeks about winning the battle royal heading into "The Greatest Royal Rumble." At this event he will have an even better performance then he did at the Royal Rumble by actually winning the match, because letting Jinder get the win would give the match a lot more of a purpose. Following the event once again Jinder will brag about winning his second battle royal in about a month building more and more momentum. Fast forward to the build-up to Money in the Bank we will see Jinder compete in a six-pack challenge to fight AJ Styles for the WWE Championship.
Jinder will get the win in the six-pack challenge that also included Shinsuke Nakamura, Randy Orton, Jeff Hardy, and Samoa Joe. The reason for his win would be based on not only the mounting momentum that has been building but also the fact that it would give AJ Styles a new challenger which was something he desperately needed at this point after his lackluster feud with Nakamura. In the build to Money in the Bank, this is when the "Modern Day Maharaja" moniker will be added to his entrance video really pushing the nickname in promos while he wouldn't appear until the Singh Brothers would introduce him as the "Modern Day Maharaja."
At Money in the Bank, we will see Jinder get the fluke victory over AJ Styles ending his long reign as champion in my opinion. This would get a lot of heat on Jinder for defeating Styles with the help of the Singh's. The following Smackdown we will see a coronation for Jinder becoming champion and it is interrupted by AJ Styles who wants his rematch at Extreme Rules. Now the original main event from the show will stick that being Dolph against Seth in an Iron-man match due to the finish that will come for the WWE Title match. In the build, to the event the Good Brothers will get involved on AJ's side to even the odds, but AJ begs them to only show up if they are needed at the PPV. The match at Extreme Rules will end in a draw when both the Singh's & Good Brothers get involved setting up a six-man tag for Summerslam.
Overall Jinder's reign with the title will come to a close at Hell in a Cell when AJ regains the gold in a Hell in a Cell match. Even though the two-month reign may seem like Jinder would come out of it weak in my opinion the length isn't what matters rather the story that went with the reign is what counts. Not moving Jinder to Raw during the shake-up like they did would also help keep the pressure off him and make it more likely he could break through. The most important thing in my opinion though his win seemed believable because of how he did it and the Singh's become more needed as they were the reason Jinder gained the title. This does allow us to keep the same timeline with Daniel Bryan winning the title from AJ in the build-up to Survivor Series in November.
Last time I opened the annals of the WWE's past we looked at the end of the Wyatt Family from 2017 when Randy Orton broke apart the family. However, one thing that was changed in the booking of the Wyatt's split we didn't see a title victory for Jinder and his ascension up the card. Now we shift gears to how the Modern Day Maharaja would fit into my WWE. Right now I think that at the time when Jinder actually won the title we will be keeping the belt on Randy Orton instead allowing his feud with Bray Wyatt to keep the championship.
At this point I still think that Jinder should be moved to Smackdown as a way to take the pressure off of him and give him the opportunity to refocus. To start he won't appear right away as I want to take sometime to repackage his gimmick and build up some anticipation. The vignette's would start slow adding more and more each week introducing his new gimmick and nickname of the "Modern Day Maharaja." The first week we will see Jinder acting different and it will end with "This the first you've seen from the new "Modern Day Maharaja." If we move forward about a month the Singh Brothers will appear in the second to last vignette and it will then set up Jinder's re-debut at Money in the Bank against Sin Cara.
Clearly, the biggest test for Jinder would be his first feud as his new persona still grows on the audience and I think Sami would be the best pick for his first feud. The reason I'd pick Sami for this is because he is really good at invoking sympathy from the crowd and is an even better underdog. They will mostly have a television feud to allow the feud to build off PPV as oppose to forcing it on big events before it's ready. The feud will blow-off at Hell in a Cell this way Jinder can win and it won't effect Sami too much considering he will still be turning heel in the main event.
In the weeks that follow we will see Jinder take credit for opening Zayn's eyes and accepting that Kevin Owens was right all along. In the course of boos Jinder will say "Now I will select another of your favorite stars to open their eyes and turn them against you." Enter Dolph Ziggler who was in a lackluster feud with Bobby Roode at this time, but now we will try and help multiple people. Jinder will form his connection with Dolph when the Singh Brothers portray Bobby Roode during an impression segment to run down the "Glorious One."
The following week Jinder will secure a victory over Bobby thanks to the numbers advantage & the following week was suppose to be a handicap match but instead Roode gets beaten down by the Singh's, Jinder, and Dolph on Smackdown. Leading into TLC we see Kalisto join the fight and even the odds a little bit and the match is set Jinder & Dolph vs Bobby Roode & Kalisto but with the Singh's still at ringside the heels win. This leads into the final Smackdown of 2017 and a Steel Cage match between the teams again this time though Roode & Kalisto finally get the win with the Singh's at bay.
Starting on the build to the Royal Rumble, Jinder gets serious and begins to get more aggressive and focus on himself. His partnership with Dolph Ziggler is still present, but not upfront as both men are focused on the Royal Rumble. Jinder is going into the match an underdog and one of the favorites to not really last that long in the match. We reach the Rumble and I will switch his number to 4 this way we can build a little story with the "Modern Day Maharaja." During his stay in the match Jinder will eliminate 5 people over the course of 20:12 minutes in the match with his biggest elimination being New Day except for Kofi who finds his way back in and eliminates Jinder.
Though twenty minutes doesn't seem like a lot it is a vast improvement for Jinder who normally would be in and out of the match relatively fast, but we are trying to change how fans see Jinder and this helps. The changing of his perception is also the reason for the slow build to a title victory as oppose to jumping right in like the WWE did at the time. This was the main problem with his title reign that he was still percieved to be a jobber or no name by most fans which made him being WWE Champion seem like a joke.
However, if you slowly move to that it could actually be something that makes Jinder an actual star for the company instead of flash in the pan. Find out next time though, because if I keep going this will be crazy long and don't worry it will be soon and not in a month.
So for the first time in quite a while or ever I will be showing how I would handle Randy Orton's booking in 2017. For those who don't remember in 2017 Orton was booked as a member of the Wyatt Family with Bray & Luke Harper welcoming him into the family. Wyatt would win the WWE Championship and defend the title against Randy at Wrestlemania. The match was extremely underwhelming and really killed any momentum that the feud had from the start. So let's get going and see how I can change things up and make things better for the start of 2017.
To start I will not be changing the Royal Rumble winner as I do think Orton was a good choice to win the match. In my opinion giving Randy one more win and moment in the spotlight after being out of the spotlight for a few years would be a nice change. Really I would keep most everything from the Royal Rumble, but I will fast forward to the Elimination Chamber PPV the following month and change things around a little bit. Instead of seeing Bray Wyatt get the victory I would give the belt back to AJ Styles setting up a match between AJ Styles & Orton at Wrestlemania for WWE Championship. In my opinion overall this is a better match and something we haven't seen to this point as Styles & Orton haven't feuded just yet.
Now where this leaves Bray is well I would slot Bray in as a member of the Andre Battle Royal and let him win instead of Mojo Rawley, because we could do more with Bray winning then Mojo. Speaking of Mania the match between AJ & Orton would end off a distraction from Luke Harper who accidentally costs Orton the match. This opens the door for tension to begin building the right way between the Wyatt Family with Bray attempting to play the peace keeper. As we move to Backlash a rematch is set up between AJ Styles & Orton inside a cage with Randy getting the victory in this one.
The reality is that now an aura of jealousy will be introduced into an already tense situation between the Wyatt Family members. At first Bray is still playing the peace keeper but then jealousy finally gets to Bray interrupting a match finally snapping heading into Money in the Bank adding himself into the WWE Title match between Orton & Styles. Setting up the ease of a finish protecting the main feud at least for right now not letting Orton & Wyatt meet one on one. Orton will sneak the victory on Styles with the PPV ending on a confrontation between he, Wyatt, and Harper.
Heading into Battleground we have a tag team match set between Orton/Rowan vs Harper/Wyatt. Now I know that some might wonder why Rowan wouldn't be with Harper & Wyatt well that's where this match comes in. Rowan will turn on Randy during the match joining forces with Harper & Wyatt fully brining the original Wyatt family back together. In the build to Summerslam we will see Harper & Rowan win the Tag Team titles and get them distracted during the show with Wyatt facing Orton for the WWE Title. Wyatt will get the win and capture his first WWE Title and gives the Wyatt Family there chance to be a dominate faction for the first time in WWE.
Moving to Hell in a Cell, I will not be holding the match that fans might think we would hold because it would be interesting to see a six man tag match with Orton, & New Day (Kofi Kingston & Big E) vs Wyatt Family. This would add another wrinkle to the never ending feud and allows Harper & Rowan to branch off with their own feud to have the Tag Titles and WWE Championship spotlighted. We have reached Survivor Series were Orton & Wyatt will finally meet once again for the WWE Title. Orton will get the win regaining the title, but in the end will turn heel and hit the RKO on the floor writing Bray off television for a few months. This would set up a Wrestlemania match between these two in 2018 where Bray would get the win and finally hold the WWE Title for a solid reign.
I know in this time line there is no Jinder Mahal title reign, but I really hate it when the company hot potatoes the World Title and that's why I changed the booking the way I did, and in my opinion giving Randy an extra reign and Bray two reigns is better outlook then one for Jinder. However, I didn't forget about him as his chance could be coming soon just wait and see.
At Starrcade 1996 we saw the culmination of the first mini feud in the NWO age with the newly christened Hollywood Hogan against his former rival Roddy Piper, but in different roles. This match is pointed out by fans because something seems to missing as the WCW Title wasn't on the line. Piper would win the match using the sleeper hold, but this time around we will be looking at what it would've been like if Piper took the title in this match. Now I know that based on the image of WCW at this time Piper would've never won the title, but then again with Hogan being champion would it be that hard to believe.
Starting at Starrcade Piper would capture the World Title leaving the biggest event of the year on an interesting note, because we would have a new World Champion. On Nitro the next day the feud continues between Piper & Hogan, but with a twist this time around as The Giant brings up his guaranteed title shot from World War III. This brings some tension within the ranks of the NWO and Giant getting Hogan's face, but Piper would arrive to play up the tension within the ranks. It is announced that on first edition of Nitro in 1997 Hogan will get rematch for the World Title. This rematch would end with The Giant costing Hogan his title shot to get him out of the way and get his fair title shot.
The actions of The Giant though would get him removed from the New World Order. Giant is bringing up his place in the company and how the previous generation have held him back; now he begins to refer to himself as a "lone wolf." Now in keeping with reality DDP would start his feud with the NWO on the same night he did in real life to begin grooming him to take Piper's spot.
At Sold Out in January a masked man would cost Giant for the WCW World Title raising the question who was under the mask. This draws the focus away from Piper and places it on The Giant and the mask man as well as Dallas Page's ascension up the card. In the build to Superbrawl we see Piper issue an open challenge to anyone who has never won a World Title before and the challenge is accepted by Arn Anderson. The build for this match would be more of a classic approach to allow this match to be different then the other matches set for the show.
Following Superbrawl and another successful title defense for Piper we find out that he has a new #1 contender and it is Hulk Hogan. At the event Hogan would defeat The Giant to become Piper's next challenger setting up their match at Uncensored. This brings things full circle and allows us to keep the plan set for Starrcade with the face-off between Hogan and Sting still in the works. After a short title reign Hogan would defeat Piper for the World Title and the feud with Sting would officially be set in motion tonight with Starrcade in the in spotlight. Though this doesn't change much it does breath a little bit of fresh air into the WCW product heading into 1997.
Looking at the current standing of wrestling one name that has kicked himself to a new level and in many cases he has hit the potential many fans expected for him. At one point Nick Aldis was looked at as a future star for TNA wrestling and even won a World Title for the company, but his run was extremely lackluster and really reflected the status of the company at the time. At the time of his title reign TNA was in a period of transition as a number of long time employees were heading for the door. In reality Nick was the chosen "golden boy" for the future of TNA, but never really brought stability to the promotion. This is exactly why I have chosen to rebook his title reign for Magnus:
So around this time AJ Styles had to vacate the TNA World Title due to a contract dispute and "walked out" on TNA wrestling. Dixie is out to announce "With the unforeseen circumstances of AJ Styles current contract we have decided to vacate the TNA World Title and announce a tournament to crown a new champion. This tournament will culminate in our special this coming December on Spike so we will crown a champion before the year is out." Magnus will be in the tournament and his first round match would be against Eric Young & Magnus would get the win. Jeff Hardy, Samoa Joe, and Kurt Angle would also be a part of the tournament to add credibility to the goings on. Joe would defeat Mr. Anderson, Hardy would defeat Gunner.
Angle would arrive half-way through the show and pushes the tournament as a way to prove himself that he was still at the top of his game. Angle defeated Abyss in his first round match the show ends with Magnus staring down Kurt Angle. Next week Magnus explains his actions last week saying "I was trying to scout my competition and see if I can find an advantage before meet you in the ring." Angle respects the reason and says he will be ready to fight Magnus when that time comes. Bobby Roode, James Storm, Bully Ray, & Austin Aries would round out the tournament setting up Roode vs Joe, Aries vs Angle, Ray vs Hardy, Storm vs Magnus in round two.
On the Halloween edition Impact we saw Magnus against Storm, but Magnus would get "injured" in the match and he could be seen getting emotional after the match. At this point Magnus would be removed from television for the remainder of the year. The tournament would end with Samoa Joe defeating Austin Aries in the finals to win the World Title. This show would also be the first hype video talking about Magnus's recovery, but this is where he changes his name to Nick Aldis. In the recovery video Nick says "I would like to congratulate Samoa Joe on his victory, but to enjoy the championship for now, because I will be back."
This does mean that AJ Styles last match in the company would be against Samoa Joe instead of Magnus which I think would mean more due to their history. Nick would return in early February at the end of the February 6 edition of Impact Wrestling. Following week Nick arrives "Samoa Joe please join me in the ring." Joe is out and Nick says "First thing is first I want to personally congratulate you on the title victory (shakes hands) I want my shot though." The match would be set up for Lockdown in March and the build for the match would be tied into their past as a team.
"Two years ago Samoa Joe and I were a team and earned the TNA World Tag Team titles. Joe and I became friends, but we never really got a fair chance to meet in this ring. I enjoyed being Joe's partner, but the goal for everyone is to become the top champion I couldn't have asked for a better opponent for my first World Title shot." Both Nick & Joe are booked strong going into the event and this match would have a big fight feel. Even going to sit down interviews on both sides with Mike Tenay explaining what the match means to both Samoa Joe & Nick Aldis. Also Nick would explain why he chose to change his name.
The week before Lockdown it is announced that Samoa Joe & Nick Aldis will compete in a NO-DQ contest to make them stick out as a different match then every other on the show. I know that the feud should sell the match, but when every match is in a Cage I don't think that this match belongs in that type of gimmick match. At Lockdown Nick Aldis defeats Samoa Joe to win the TNA World Title after grabbing his tights. Following the match Joe wanted an explanation and this when Nick's big push would happen. However, I would officially turn him heel until the rematch was signed for Slammiversary and this is when I would put them in a Cage.
Overall I think that Nick Aldis needed to change his name from Magnus as I think that name was a terrible name for a main event talent. I do believe that Nick needed to leave the company to really find his potential, but I also think that not having a major PPV win for his title opportunity it hurt him. The old saying goes that "The title doesn't make man and the man doesn't make the title," but at the time Magnus won his title he wasn't ready for the win. The best comparison I can make is that Ethan Carter won the title from Angle and that really helped with his credibility, but the build did too; which is something that the Magnus win didn't have.
In July 1998 one of the biggest moments in WCW history happened at the Georgia Dome when Goldberg challenged Hulk Hogan for the WCW World Title. This moment would in some cases be one of the final major moments in the history of the company, but could it have changed things if Goldberg had been booked better after winning the title. The one thing that sticks out about Goldberg's title reign was the fact that he never was really treated like the World Champion. Following his victory Goldberg never really felt like he was on the same level of Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan, Sting, The Outsiders, Lex Luger, and others which is a shame. The company really missed out on having Goldberg go head to head with the established stars. But in hindsight that's what this series is for as I show how I would've changed the booking of his reign on top.
To start I wouldn't change much about his first defense against Curt Hennig as they had been feuding prior to his title win. The one thing about the match I would change is the length the match goes due to the belief I would have that Curt could carry Goldberg for at least 10-12 minutes in a competitive match. In my opinion this shows that Goldberg would now be facing a higher level of talent then he had before his title victory. I would also start holding Goldberg off some episodes of Nitro similar to how the company had been booking Hulk Hogan as a way to make Goldberg's appearances on free television more special.
The focus of my attention would be on Road Wild & Fall Brawl 1998 which highlights how poor Goldberg's title reign was booked. At Road Wild he was booked in a battle royal which included every NWO member & then he wasn't even booked on the Fall Brawl PPV. Looking at the Fall Brawl event I ponder the reason the World Champion wasn't featured on the show even though the main event was a number one contender match. In my opinion Hulk Hogan should've gotten a rematch against Goldberg at Road Wild with Kevin Nash getting involved causing a DQ. Which would've elevated Goldberg having him included with Hogan & Nash as well as elevating the NWO vs NWO storyline due to Hogan actually being included unlike he was in real life.
Then moving forward to Fall Brawl instead of having the match they did I would put a triple threat match between Kevin Nash, Hulk Hogan, and Goldberg for the WCW World Title. As far as the number one contender I would've taken Stevie Ray out of the match and instead had a Six Pack Challenge for the #1 contender honors. Moving forward I'd either go with Lex Luger or Diamond Dallas Page to fight Goldberg as both men could help Bill to a good match in my opinion. As a way to help Goldberg's credibility as a main eventer I would have him against Luger in sort of a passing of the torch match which would have Goldberg take Luger's spot in the main event. I would save Goldberg vs Page, because I think that could have a longer story arch then rushing a match between the two for Halloween Havoc like they did.
Overall though booking things the way I did would put more emphasis on the NWO vs NWO storyline which Hogan should've been a part of from the start. His involvement in that story could've been the way to send him down the card a little out of the main event allowing Goldberg to hold the spot for a few months to see if he could sell as the face of the company. Leading the company Goldberg could start with Kevin & Hogan, then move to Luger, Hart, Sting, Flair, the possibilities were there, but WCW didn't explore them. The other door that was opened by how I would've booked was the seeds were planted for Kevin & Goldberg to revisit a feud at a later date which could've been Starrcade.
I think I would've went with Kevin Nash vs Hulk Hogan at the event in sort of a blow-off to their Wolfpac vs Black n White feud, but Nash vs Goldberg could've worked too. However, if Nash vs Hogan was the match then there is no doubt that Ric Flair would've been my selection to challenge Goldberg at Starrcade. The reason being this was the biggest event of WCW's year and should've been the culmination of Goldberg's main event ascension as his match vs Flair would've been his longest match yet going 20-22 minutes and other than Bret Hart I don't think anyone could've helped Goldberg to that long of a match and made it look good. Unfortunately thinking about these possibilities tells the entire story of what could've happened had the WCW not just had tunnel vision to mediocrity of the time.
One term that I really started hearing listening to the "What Happened When" podcast featuring long time WCW/Jim Crockett Promotions Announcer Tony Schivone & Conrad Thompson. The term that Tony so often uses is playing the "Monday Morning Quarterback" which is basically looking back in hindsight to what you would've done differently. Fact is that this concept of thinking really goes hand and hand with the wrestling business, because not only do those within the business talk about what could've been done differently when talking about a specific situation, but fans do as well.
The reason that this series has come together is because it is sort of different then most series as it will take short term approach to a specific event. Comparing this series to the old How I Would Book it series that took a more long term outlook to a specific situation as oppose to a more short term approach like that this series will handle.
Overall I don't think that this series could actually be anything more than a monthly series which is why it will be in this section along with the "Too Little Too Late series. For a while now I've been trying to figure out a new monthly series to put together and I am hoping that this is that series to fill the void left behind by the Superstar Recall and Moment in Time Series. I will be putting together the first edition of the series this month before it is over as sort of a test run for this new series.