In addition to certain pay per view events, I also decided to think about what I would do if I was in charge of booking Taker’s career year by year. So I decided to start all the way from 1990.
1990 – Taker’s debut was just about perfect. I’m under the impression that he was paired with Brother Love until Paul Bearer was able to join WWE otherwise the Taker/Love pairing would’ve never happened. So the only things I’d change is he’d come out alone. Paul or no Paul, I did not enjoy Taker’s pairing with Brother Love. He didn’t fit with Taker. Being alone would also mean Taker would last in the match longer. Possibly even win it. He got eliminated because he had to save Brother Love from Dusty Rhodes.
Another thing is I wouldn’t have him speak, manager or no manager. I figured if a guy like Sting who isn’t as dark, mysterious and supernatural as The Undertaker can maintain people’s attention for a little over a year without saying a word, then Taker definitely can remain silent for a good amount of time. It’d also had to his mysterious nature.
1991 – Taker did pretty good this year. His relationship with Paul Bearer began, The Streak was born, and he won his first World Title. He had a pretty dominant run in the Royal Rumble match too. But, things weren’t perfect. For one thing, he missed Summerslam. If I was in charge, I’d see to it that he wouldn’t. I’d move the Savage/Elizabeth wedding reception and the post-wedding celebration to an earlier date. Perhaps on an episode of Saturday Night’s Main Event a few weeks or so before Summerslam so the build to Taker’s match with Randy Savage could be started. I’d have him face Savage at Summerslam and he’d draw so much attention from so many viewers en route to winning that Jack Tunney would declare a match some weeks later for Survivor Series where Hogan would defend the WWF Title against Taker. I’d keep Survivor Series as it was. Except I’d have Taker/Hogan close the show because as a wrestling purist, I feel Championship matches should always close the show (aside from Taker/HBK 1 and 2 and maybe Taker/HHH in HIAC.) I’d also have Taker’s Title reign last longer than a mere six days, which to this day, I still find pretty ridiculous. Especially since he never got a one on one rematch.
1992 – The WWE wasn’t so kind to Taker this year. Sure, he had a pretty good run in the Rumble and extended The Streak at Wrestlemania 8 by laying the evil side of Jake Roberts’ heart and soul to rest via a wicked looking, yet obviously fake Tombstone on the floor. But aside from that, nothing really memorable besides his entrances. I was ok with Taker losing the Rumble and Flair winning it. But seeing as how Summerslam was held in the UK at Wembley Stadium, they should have had two main event matches to end the show. Since Warrior and Kamala was a mediocre workers at best (and I’m probably being nice by saying that), I’d have them not even be at the PPV. British Bulldog vs Bret Hart should’ve gone right before the closing match. I understand why they had that match close the show. But as a wrestling purist, I favor WWE Title matches closing shows and Randy Savage should’ve defended the WWE Title against Taker, who never got his one on one rematch after losing the Title thanks in part to Flair at the end of 1991. And they could’ve inserted that into the storyline. The match would end by Flair & Perfect attacking Savage on the outside. But they would leave when they saw Taker coming.Meanwhile, Savage would get a chair and chase them off to the back with Taker slowly stalking behind. This would be done to set up a rematch at Survivor Series where Taker would win the WWE Title for the second time in his career by defeating Savage in the first ever Coffin match. Taker would enjoy the rest of 1992 with a Title reign.
1993 – Taker would lose the WWE Title this year. But it’d be a long reign for him. Taker would successfully defend the gold at the Rumble against Yokozuna and at WM against Bret Hart (who would get the shot by winning the Rumble match), and at KOTR against Hogan (which would end Hogan’s WWE run till his return in 2002). He would lose it at Summerslam to Bret Hart thanks to a newly turned heel Crush. After the match, Yokozuna, who won a #1 Contender’s match earlier in the night would come out and get into a face to face stare down with Bret Hart. This would set up two matches for Survivor Series. Those being Taker vs Crush and Bret Hart defending the WWE Title against Yokozuna. Taker would defeat Crush in a hard fought match via Tombstone. Bret would have a double load of work. In addition to defending the Title, he’d also have to join his family in a Survivor Series elimination match against Jerry Lawler and his knights. WWE was brilliant here as Own was the only one eliminated and the Bret/Owen feud was started so I wouldn’t change that. However, Owen would cost Bret the Championship later in the night to heat things up between the two brothers. As far as Taker goes, the rest of 1993 would be used to build towards the infamous Taker/Yokozuna match for the Royal Rumble.
1994 – Only things I’d change here:
Royal Rumble – I wouldn’t have it be a Casket match. Since it was Taker’s creation, it never seemed right to me that he’d lose. However, it’d be out there for intimidation purposes and because Taker said once he took the Championship, he’d seal Yoko’s fate in the double deep, double wide casket. However, the entire roster of heels would still help Yokozuna defeat him. I wouldn’t change anything else here.
Summerslam – The build was really over the top with ridiculous Taker sightings. I’d make sure these segments never happened. I would keep the cemetery segments with Paul & Ted as well as The Kings’ Court and Heartbreak Hotel segments. Ted’s Taker would also not be controlled by money. The Corporation would steal The Urn and Ted would use that to control his Taker. At Summerslam, Paul would have a new, bigger Urn to control the real Taker. Everything else here and throughout the rest of the year would remain the same.
More years to come soon.
In closing, I just want to thank etienne here because he was the one who suggested I post my bookings for complete years as he wanted to know how things would be if I were in charge. So I’m looking forward to seeing his comments as well as comments from others.