I'm sorry guys, but its fantasy booking time.
Like, oh I don't know, every other WWE fan, the show that I look forward to the most every single year is WrestleMania. It's the Granddaddy of them all, the Showcase of the Immortals. Sure, more often than not it fails live up to the unnecessary expectations we put on it, but I guarantee that as it comes around next year, my anticipation will be through the roof.
There are often discussions amongst fans of other wrestling promotions about what the indie equivalent of WrestleMania is. Many people would plump for Ring of Honor's 'Final Battle'. For me, and maybe this is because of their demise (or so it would seem) this year, but I'd always go for Chikara's 'King of Trios'. No other show is anticipated as much, no other show has it's grandeur feel, even if it takes place in a gym.
For those who don't know, King of Trios is exactly what it sounds like. It's a 16 team six man tag tournament, featuring established Chikara wrestlers, other stars from around the world and a fair amount of nostalgia. Last year, the ten team tag gauntlet match descended into late 80's flashbacks as Demolition faced the Powers of Pain (Marty Jannetty and the 1-2-3 Kid would go on to win the gauntlet). It's a three night show, leaving plenty of time for stories to develop within the tournament and also put on a few showcase matches. It's always been a stellar show, and I can't encourage you enough to go and find any of them.
Over the last 18 months, WWE has begun developing its own posse of trios. 3MB have hardly set the world alight, but the complete opposite can be said for The Shield and the Wyatt Family. We've also had the three person troupe of Dolph Ziggler, Big E Langston and AJ Lee over the last year. Three is the new four when it comes to stables, and the WWE is doing very well with the various dynamics.
Which brings us to my tearful fantasy booking here. It's looking less and less likely that there will be a King of Trios from Chikara this year. It was moved to September last year, and September is almost behind us. I must resign myself to no Dasher Hatfield singing the Demolition theme, no great Tim Donst promos and no Chuckie T.
But what if WWE were to book its own King of Trios? Complete fantasy world of course, but I've written about my love of tournaments on here before, so why not. Who would the Trios be in the current WWE climate, and how would the show pan out? One of the great things about last years Trios were the 'joker cards' if you will, the heels put in face teams and vice versa. The history of WWE and its characters makes putting these teams together much more interesting. Let's get into it.
(For pure fantasy booking, I've chosen the trios based on a WWE roster that is completely free of injuries).
Obviously, you have The Wyatts, The Shield and 3MB. I don't need to explain them.
TEAM WWE: John Cena, Randy Orton, Sheamus
A lot has been said by Triple H recently about what he considers right for the face of the company. Who better to represent the company than its three poster boys? Everyone is clamouring for a Sheamus turn, and Cena can be the face in turmoil. With Triple H in their corner, they should be unstoppable.
ZIG-E-LEE: Dolph Ziggler, Big E Langston, AJ Lee
Again, a trio with history and rumours of an impending face turn for Big E are growing. WWE is nowhere near progressive enough to have acceptable inter-gender wrestling, but AJ Lee is a step above every other Diva in the division right now, both as a character and an in ring performer.
TEAM HEYMAN: Ryback, Curtis Axel, Rob Van Dam
I resisted putting Lesnar in here. If you take Lesnar out of the equation and pick three Heyman guys, with the exception of CM Punk these will be the ones you choose.
THE BEST (TRIO) IN THE WORLD: CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, Big Show
This would take a bit of putting together, with a predictable turn at the end of it. Punk and Bryan are the anti-heroes of the moment, and Big Show is being used and abused by the regime. Punk and Bryan form a trio on Raw with a returning Chris Jericho, but by the end of the show he is laid out backstage. Big Show offers to take his place, looking for revenge against the regime. Connect the dots people.
TEAM RHODES: Cody Rhodes, Goldust, Sami Zayn
Triple H offers the Rhodes boys a spot in the tournament, but their third guy is Dusty. Dusty can't go, so in a throwaway manner Trips says they can choose a developmental talent to replace the Dream. Dusty puts over this guy who is setting NXT on fire. Enter Zayn. The best underdog babyface in the world today arrives on the big stage.
TEAM NXT: Kassis Ohno, Adrian Neville, Corey Graves
A team of three upstarts from the aforementioned developmental show. I would put these as the three most ready for the main roster right now. Well, the first two anyway, I'm not sold on Graves but he has history with both Ohno and Neville, so that makes sense.
INTERNATIONAL AIRSTRIKE: Tyson Kidd, Justin Gabriel, Kofi Kingston
Three guys of international heritage, three guys with exciting high octane offence, three babyfaces waiting to catch fire. Kidd and Gabriel formed an exciting tag team before Tyson got injured, and Kofi has always been more enjoyable in a team environment. They would be the breakout team of the show.
TEAM MEXICO: Alberto Del Rio, Rey Mysterio, Sin Cara.
I'm beginning to sound like a broken record, but this team picks itself. Mysterio and Cara have a history of tagging together, so Del Rio acts here as the joker in the pack.
FUNKDANGO: Fandango, Sweet T, Brodus Clay
Three guys who love to dance. Obvious first round losers, but everyone loved Chikara's dance offs, so why not put the WWE's three most fanatical movers into a team, and see what they can do. All this with added Summer Rae and Funkadactyl interaction on the outside, would make for interesting viewing.
THE PEEPS AND THE AWESOME TRUTH: Christian, The Miz, R-Truth
I was struggling to find places for these guys that made sense. Along with Damien Sandow, I couldn't think of anything that really felt like it fit. Then I remembered this segment. Enough said.
RIKISHI AND THE USOS: Erm, Rikishi and The Usos.
I really began to struggle with these team names. King of Trios has always featured returns and big names from the past returning for one more night in the spotlight, and what more apt trio than the WWE's most popular tag team and their fun loving dancing father.
THE GREAT SANTINOSWOGGLE: The Great Khali, Santino Marella, Hornswoggle.
Sure, make all the wanking motions you want, but there needs to be a few loser teams in there, and if you can add terrible comedy as well then go for it. They would fit the story, and could provide a couple of chuckles along the way.
THE REAL AMERICANS: Antonio Cesaro, Jack Swagger, Mark Henry.
Finally, you have The Real Americans. As Zeb Colter searches for a third man, they approach the man who represented the United States in the 1996 Olympics. He rejects their approach, but Triple H steps in and puts him the team, forcing him to wear his original star spangled wrestling gear in the process. The seeds are sown for a revolt.
The tournament itself? Well, as much as I enjoy a surprise here and there, every story should have a logical end and often it is folly to deviate from it. Being a WWE show, Triple H would want to guarantee that his team would make the final. Therefore, Team WWE would have an easy run to the final on paper. The comedy team of The Great Santinoswoggle would be dispatched in the first round. The second round would see them defeat an exhausted Team Peeps and the Awesome Truth (fresh off a tough win over the Real Americans), before meeting the surprise of the tournament, International Airstrike in the semi finals. Tournaments are made to make new stars. With big wins over say, Team Mexico and Team Heyman, as well as a good showing against Team WWE, three new stars you do make.
Triple H is the head honcho of the company on screen, and there are two teams in there that he would obviously stack the deck against. These are The Best (Trio) in the World and Team Rhodes. As the man who puts together the brackets, he would pit them against each other in the first round. During the match itself, Big Show would complete his turn, knocking out Punk or Bryan and allowing Team Rhodes to pick up the victory.
Eager to stop whoever got through that making the finals, they would go on to face the Wyatts in the second round. Somehow, only god will know how, Team Rhodes gets past Bray and his boys, only to come up against The Shield in the semis. The Shield will have gone past Zig-E-Lee in a cracking second round match, after Zig-E-Lee dispatch 3MB in the first round thanks to Heath Slater tapping to the Black Widow. What better way to dispel any gender patronisation than having the tournaments only female pick up the first round duke? Heck, have her put Rollins in the Black Widow in their second round. Make people appreciate the performer, not the gender.
It would all boil down to a final of Team WWE versus Team Rhodes. The finish would be a clusterchump, but as a climax to the totalitarian storyline, it would work. Triple H, The Shield and Big Show are at ringside, essentially making this an eight on three match. Enter CM Punk, Daniel Bryan and Mark Henry to even it up a bit, before Mr Hero himself John Cena sees the light and turns on his own team, completely evening up the numbers. The brawl erupts outside, leaving Cody and Randy in the ring. A Cross Rhodes later, you have your first WWE Trios champions.
Fantasy Booking is often lazy, but that was a lot of fun. The lack of Chikara makes me genuinely sad, and any vicarious Trios I can get in will just have to do. I hope you enjoyed visualising the brackets and the dissension throughout.
You know what, I think that'll do for now. What do you think? Would you like see a WWE King of Trios? Who would make up your teams? How would you book it? Why haven't I got any bacon? Answers in the lonely comment box below, or twitter me with the handle @pingvinorkestra, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'm off to locate that bacon.