wrestling / Columns

Balor Club Debut & Other Needed WrestleMania Surprises

March 20, 2016 | Posted by Mitch Nickelson

WrestleMania, the show that’s bigger than all others involving action inside a squared circle, will be free this year for new WWE Network subscribers. That’s great news for those that aren’t already signed up and still hope to see the show but it might add a little bit of reservation for the rest of us. What if new subscribers get what they pay for?

I’m being pessimistic, I know. In all honesty, I really am excited for the event. There are several good matches on paper and I do think they’ll deliver. Even if WWE sticks 100% to plan of having a babyface Roman Reigns standing victorious by the close of the show I’ll meekly clap in my living room for his achievements as 100,000 in Texas boo viciously. A change in that outcome probably won’t happen but a nice twist in the formula could still give Vince and company a much more satisfying ending to their event.

A Roman heel turn would be a nice surprise as well as several other elements to potentially spice up the show. Finn Balor is more than ready to move up to the main roster and Dallas might be the time to pull that trigger. Both The Dudleyz and The Usos have family members that could show up in their corners unexpectedly to add some pizzazz to their tag bout. Also, the band of foreigners that are challenging for the WWE Tag Team Championship might be positioned correctly for an upset.

These are several surprises that I wouldn’t mind seeing at the Show of Shows, starting with the NXT Champion and his buddies…

Debut Of The Balor/Bullet Club

For all of the possibilities of how WWE might book the Shane McMahon vs. The Undertaker Hell In A Cell match, a debuting Balor Club is what I want to see the most. The Undertaker will of course destroy Shane and throw him off the Cell or a skyscraper or something, making his win all but certain. After hitting what should be the match ending Tombstone, Finn Balor’s music should hit as he, Karl Anderson, and Doc Gallows run to the ring to spoil The Deadman’s victory.

Short term, this provides the much needed explanation for how Shane defeats Taker at WrestleMania and shakes up WWE by taking control of Raw. Finn can become an immediate contender in the singles division while his two buddies will make an impact on the tag team side of things. I’m still hoping that a not-weekly Shane appoints a crowd favorite GM to counter the last few years of The Authority. Someone like a Daniel Bryan or a Mick Foley would be great – hopefully they become more of a William Regal-in-NXT type of leader for Raw.

Long term, this will plant the seeds for an Undertaker vs. Finn Balor match at the following year’s WrestleMania. Taker will want revenge for what he and his buddies did to him on his show and that will be the time to do that match. It gives Finn a year to establish himself in front of the mainstream WWE audience, so that should rightfully be a true main event for 2017.

Bring Back Spike Dudley

The match that excites me the least at this point for the Dallas card is the tag bout between The Usos and The Dudley Boyz. I really do like that Bubba Ray & D-Von have went heel recently but I’m not buying into the rivalry at this point. I don’t even know why it’s Jimmy & Jey that they’re feuding with – if that’s been established then I’ve completely missed that part of the story. This match needs a spicing up and I think a couple of “family members” can accomplish that task.

The Dudleyz’ have been hypocrites as of late, avowing the use of tables yet using them anyways when advantageous. They should inform an interviewer on the pre-show that it’s the Usos that they worry about cheating, so they’re bringing in an “enforcer.” That enforcer would be none other than Little Spike Dudley, who will be more than willing to rough someone up if needed. When it’s match time, all three Dudleyz will enter the ring, marking their territory. The Usos will then come out and look back up the entry ramp to reveal that they have a family member of their own who will be in their corner…The Rock.

Sure, there are far better places to plug The People’s Champ into the card than this tag match but it would be a pleasant and needed surprise to this one. He doesn’t even have to do much, just inserting himself at the end of the match after a ref bump to deliver a Rock Bottom and a People’s Elbow would be enough of a memorable moment. Also, Spike Dudley can perform a Dudley Dog to an Uso through a table which would be cool as well.

Tag Team Title Change

This might be heresy to suggest, but New Day should drop the WWE Tag Team Championships at WrestleMania to The League of Nations. I feel like this suggestion is enough to garner the throwing of spoiled fruits and vegetables in my direction so I’ll pause until everyone’s arms get tired… Okay, now hear me out…

Big E, Kofi Kingston, & Xavier Woods have made branded their titles to one of the hottest and most marketable groups WWE has offered in a while. They’re selling out merchandise with every new t-shirt, socks, cereal boxes, and whatever else they can think of to put their images on. Impressively, they’re accomplishing all of this without a team anywhere close to their equals. No disrespect is meant to the likes of The Usos and The Dudleyz but nobody has been anywhere near as popular as New Day has.

There’s nothing wrong with allowing New Day to continue holding it down solo in the tag division, but WrestleMania would be a prime opportunity to give another group a push. Maybe I’m basing way too much off of one night of work but their beatdown of the tag champs last Monday night on Raw got one heck of a vicious reaction. These lads could up the ante in their ruthlessness towards a more babyface New Day to finally establish a real connection and identity with the crowd. A dominant performance utilizing their unfair numbers at WrestleMania could be the proper vehicle to make them a legit threat on the roster.

Also, has any Tag Team Championship group ever used the Freebird Rule for more than a trio? Is there anything against stretching the numbers so this foreign foursome can all claim to be the champs together? I guess if the rule gets stretched too much it could stray into the realm of ridiculous – imagining a double digit collection of wrestlers claiming to be the Tag Team Champions would be on the silly side.

Final Thoughts And Plugs

I’m sure I’m reaching quite a lot to think that Spike Dudley will return but I do think pairing the Rock with The Usos is a good idea. There’s probably someone else on the active roster that can be a Dudley ally in Spike’s place. I’d still get a kick out of the little guy returning, though.

A Finn Balor main roster call-up seems imminent so I realize that’s not a bold prediction or anything. Many have predicted the Shane/Taker interference, so add me to a list of people that want to see that happen. Also, I’d imagine that New Day are still the favorites so calling a League of Nations win is probably not too popular. I might not ultimately pick them when it’s time to make an official prediction but I think Sheamus and his pals are coming into their own as a stable.

Don’t forget to check out the podcast that my wife and I do, Wrestling Date Night. This week, we spoiled and reviewed the movie 10 Cloverfield Lane, recapped Roadblock, and broke down Raw. You can look us up and listen on iTunes, Stitcher, Spreaker, and a few other platforms. Or, simply click Play on the embedded player below…