WrestleMania. The showcase of the immortals. The grandest stage of them all. The greatest spectacle in sports entertainment. The biggest event of the year.
The time to fantasy book professional footballers, managers and owners fighting each other.
Yes that’s right. It’s back. After the rousing success that was 90min’s Royal Rumble Fantasy Booking: WWE’s Showpiece Event Played Out With Footballing Feuds, we’ve decided to drop another monster edition of football fantasy booking in line with the WWE calendar.
It’s a continuation of the storyline from the Rumble, so be sure to have a good look at that before you delve into this delicious article of sheer ridiculousness. Because it will be that. And most importantly, it will all make sense. It’s based on real life beefs within the football sphere, guys, and we’re gonna resolve all of this stuff in the ring.
Excited? Course you are.
WrestleMania, nowadays, starts with a pre-show. And our first match of the night – mainly because it’s a feud originating in Scotland, y’know, where it’s not real football – is one to whet the appetite.
Scott Brown vs Steven Gerrard
Short build for this one, but Steven Gerrard got majorly ticked off with Celtic’s Scott Brown last week. He even kept a diary in the week’s run up to the match (make sure you read that one too), and it’s safe to say he was feeling quietly confident about his chances of landing a knockout blow to the Celtic skipper. He even told us about his attire, as reported by Jack Gallagher.
“I need to wear an iconic kit to the ring. A kit that I was made immortal in on one famous night in Istanbul,” he wrote. “So on Friday night, while I was nursing a Cinzano catching up on some Mrs. Brown’s Boys I turned to Alex and said: ‘Alex, go get the kit.'”
Brown waits in the ring as Gerrard enters, and this one’s a brawl. They slug it out, go punch for punch, and the half empty stadium – knowing the actual event doesn’t start for another 45 minutes or so – are actually interested.
It doesn’t take long for a run in. Gerrard’s called on cronies Alfredo Morelos and Ryan Kent, and they jump on Brown just as he starts to get on top. Morelos’ elbows are flying mate. But Brown, being the enigma he is, manages to turn the tide and hits both with a double Rock Bottom through the announce tables on the outside.
Distracted, Gerrard sees his chance. He jumps to the top rope to pull off some kind of Scouse moonsault, but…he slips…obviously. The deep-fried Sergio Ramos hits a Glasgow Kiss and rolls Gerrard into the ring for the three count, before taking the mic to send Stevie a message.
“If ya come to Glasgow, we’ll set about ye,” he Glasgowed.
Winner: Scott Brown
Match 1 – 20-Man Over the Top Giants’ Battle Royal
Everyone loves a battle royal right? What better way to kick off ‘Mania than with 20 lads in tights just smash each other in the face. But we’ve made it even better – you need to be over 6ft 4in to enter.
Former Czech Republic international Jan Koller and Germany legend Carsten Jancker are in there for the old school fans, Peter Crouch is there for comedy value and then there’s the overwhelming favourite – Liverpool’s towering centre half Virgil van Dijk.
Van Dijk makes it look easy. Always in control. He doesn’t even tolerate Crouch’s robot dance in the middle of the ring, because Big Virg is all about Big Business and winning matches. He throws out everyone near enough, but just as it looks as though the win is sewn up…Rob Gronkowski enters.
Gronk immediately goes to the top rope and aims a big spear in Virg’s direction, but Van Dijk counters it with a towering header. It’s so powerful that Gronk is sent flying over the top, and Van Dijk finally wins something.
Winner: Big Virg
Match 2: Harry Kane vs Son Heung-min – Winner Earns First Goal at Spurs’ New Stadium
Son Heung-min scored the first goal at Tottenham’s new ground in the win over Crystal Palace, and everybody knows our Harry was absolutely fewmin’. What did he do? Challenge Son to a match on the grandaddy of them all with the winner taking the goal.
Kane gets into the ring and demands Son forfeits the prize. Son, knowing that Kane is “one of our own” and Spurs’ main man, duly hands it over. Kane has a history of claiming goals that aren’t his, and this is just the latest.
Winner: Harry Kane
Match 3: “The Unlikely Alliance” Pep Guardiola & Jurgen Klopp vs “The Unholy Alliance” Neil Warnock & Tony Pulis – Tag Team Championship Match
Pep and Klopp have one thing in common – their love of football. They do it the right way. They play with style, they press high, they score goals. They attack. And while both have their eyes on the big prize in their actual day jobs, their love of “doing football properly” has seen them unite in pursuit of the tag team titles…and ridding the game of The Unholy Alliance.
Neil Warnock and Tony Pulis are absolute red-hot, monster heels. They are Brexit. Nobody wants them victorious. But never fear, the dream team make light work of their opponents.
It’s a proper squash, over within a minute after five incredibly synchronised double-team moves – they just pulled off the most perfect double suplex you’ll ever see. It’s an easy three.
Pep celebrates. He loves it. The pair raise their newly-won belts only for Big Jurg to clock old baldy around the head. Klopp, desperate for success, will do anything to get there – even compromising his morals. He lifts up both belts and runs back to the locker room celebrating like a maniac.
Winners: “The Unlikely Alliance” Pep Guardiola & Jurgen Klopp
Match 4: Zinedine Zidane vs Gareth Bale – Loser Leaves Town Match (No Disqualification)
One of those excellent promo packages plays on the big screen. The WWE are good at those. It stories Gareth Bale’s initial freeze-out at Real Madrid under Zinedine Zidane, his Champions League final bicycle goal against Liverpool, Zidane’s resignation, Bale’s initial victory. And then, the return.
Zizou means business. He wants to send Real Madrid’s expensive, perma-injured winger back to the golf course, and back there for good. He’s backed up by all of those who watched on as Bale tried to speak Spanish in that video a couple of weeks ago. Even Luka Modric is there, disapproving, mouthing “why didn’t you learn Spanish, mate?” in English as he walks to the ring.
Bale is surrounded. He’s got no chance. And there’s no disqualifications either, so Zidane orders Marcelo, Raphael Varane and Modric to destroy the boy. Even Thibaut Courtois is there, desperately trying to get in Zidane’s good books. They beat Bale down and leave his broken frame for Zidane to throw through a table and then cover. There is no fightback.
They throw Bale in a dumpster, and you can visibly notice that it’s addressed to “Either China, Manchester or Inter Milan”. Poor Gareth never deserved this.
Winner: Zinedine Zidane
Match 5: Mohamed Salah (w/ Dejan Lovren) vs Sergio Ramos
It’s had a year long build. Sergio Ramos started all this in Kiev, injuring Mohamed Salah’s shoulder in the Champions League final – and it caused him to miss the decisive section of the game and, really, Liverpool to lose. They’ve had off-field encounters since, thrown some shade at each other in the press, clashed at the Royal Rumble, and now we’re here. WrestleMania.
Salah, who threw Ramos out of the Rumble before eliminating himself, will now, finally, get his chance for revenge. It’s the blow off in a feud for the ages.
The Egyptian King flies out of the blocks. Ramos can’t contend with the speed and fury. It’s fists and fire, as JR would say, and Mo is opening a whole can of whoop-ass on one of football’s biggest bad guys. Dejan Lovren is there watching on from the outside, screaming obscenities.
Salah distracts the referee with Ramos on the apron, and he gets a whole load of Lovren-elbow for his troubles. Lovren shouts “I’m happy, I killed him with my elbow, I killed him…” and the match continues.
Liverpool FC have momentum. Probably because It Means More. But Lovren, who appears more and more keen to interfere in matters, causes the match to turn. Salah’s frustrated because he wants to win the match on his own, and he eventually convinces Lovren to leave it all to himself. He watches Lovren leave ringside, and here’s his chance.
But there’s Ramos’ opportunity. He wrestles him into the most brutally executed armbar, Salah tries his best to resist, but can. Mohamed Salah taps out.
Just because he’s a massive arsehole, Ramos locks the hold in for another 20 seconds anyway.
Winner: Sergio Ramos
Match 6: Antonio Conte vs Roman Abramovich – £9m Compensation Ladder Match
Ever seen a legal battle settled in a wrestling ring, with ladders? No of course you haven’t.
Until now. Antonio Conte wants his bloody severance package, and he wants it from former boss at Chelsea, Roman Abramovich. He felt he lost his job unfairly, and Roman, clearly sick of Conte’s constant demands, has finally put himself out there. He steps into the ring with the Italian, and there it is – nine million pounds suspended in a briefcase above the ring.
Despite the potential, this match is not a great spectacle. Roman Abramovich and Antonio Conte are very hard men, and they just literally butt heads – over and over again – until one of them falls. Abramovich falls first. Conte makes Roman run the ropes, body drops him through a ladder, and gets climbing.
But before he can get to the top, Abramovich – who we have never heard speak a word before (!) – grabs the microphone. “Don’t do it, Tony, or I will do it,” he blasts. Only Antonio knows what it means. He pauses for a second, teases climbing further, but changes his mind. He goes again, and the lights go out.
As the lights come up, Abramovich sits at the top of the ladder, and Conte has literally disappeared. Nowhere to be found. Roman in one hand clutches the money, and in the other? A toupee.
Winner: Roman Abramovich
The Main Event: Paul Pogba vs Scott McTominay – World Championship Match
Paul Pogba, winner of the 2019 Royal Rumble, has his world championship title shot in the main event of WrestleMania, since that is the thing that happens in wrestling.
You’d bet, though, that he didn’t expect to be facing Scott McTominay, right? Scott McTominay is world champion? WCW had David Arquette once, and as mentioned in the introduction, it will all make sense, so here we are.
Pogba enters the arena in a Rolls Royce, because that is how he rolls. He’s got a fresh trim and dances in the middle of the ring, but is interrupted by the stunned silence of the crowd that accompanies McTominay’s ring walk. There he is, clutching the belt, with nobody ever quite sure of how he won it in the first place.
McTominay’s even got a sword tattoo, just like Brock Lesnar, because he thinks he is Brock Lesnar. And it turns out that he is actually Brock Lesnar – but the Brock Lesnar that fell to Goldberg in about a minute at Survivor Series 2016.
When PogBoom is on his game, there’s nobody that can live with him. This is Pogba’s World Cup final mate, and there’s only one man who rules the dressing room at Manchester United. Pogba delivers a jackhammer from way down deep and takes the three. The McSauce has dried out.
Winner: Paul Pogba
The happy, yet somewhat confused, Pogba knows there’s more to this. And he’s right, there is.
Bah gawd, Jose Mourinho is back! He smashes Pogba from behind with the passenger door of the Rolls Royce Pogba entered in, and hits him repeatedly. Mourinho’s been missing since the Royal Rumble, when he was thrown out by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, but he’s back for good now – and Paul, he is coming for that world championship.
“I’m back,” he smirks, telling the entire football world that he’s still relevant. “Nobody but me destroys the confidence of my special one! And I will end you Paul if it is the last thing I ever do. And I’m taking your title!”