WWE Rumors: Original ‘WrestleMania’ Bookings For Chris Jericho & Dean Ambrose
With each passing day, it’s become more clear that the WrestleMania card that played out last Sunday was not how WWE officials originally drew it up. The biggest factor, obviously, was the amount of injuries that hampered many top superstars. Sting, John Cena, Seth Rollins, Randy Orton, and Cesaro all missed out on actual matches at WWE’s marquee event. Two of the company’s stars who were able to avoid the injury bug, Dean Ambrose and Chris Jericho, were still shuffled around the card and ended up in different matches than what was originally planned for them.
According to the latest issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, Jericho and Ambrose had been penciled in to face each other in a singles match at WrestleMania. Obviously, somewhere along the line, those plans changed. Jericho ended up extending his program with AJ Styles, while Ambrose met Brock Lesnar in a No Holds Barred Street Fight. Y2J pinned AJ, though it’ll be Styles who will go on to challenge Roman Reigns for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at Payback thanks to his victory during Monday’s fatal four-way match to determine a new number one contender.Ambrose, meanwhile, lost his battle with the Beast and was noticeably absent not only from the aforementioned main event of RAW, but from the show entirely. However, the Lunatic Fringe will appear on this week’s episode of Smackdown! when he faces Tyler Breeze. Despite some gritty mic work over the last month, Ambrose was the clear loser in the feud with Lesnar. The Beast Incarnate got the better of his counterpart physically, every step of the way, and capped it off in underwhelming fashion with a single F-5 at WrestleMania.
The changes that WWE’s creative team made had a domino effect on much of the card. Lesnar was originally scheduled to face Bray Wyatt, as evidenced by their interactions before and during the Royal Rumble. At some point, The Rock requested to work with the Wyatt Family. Either he asked to because Bray and company did not have a scheduled match, or the Eater of Worlds was kept off the advertised card because The Rock wanted a segment with him. It may have been as early as Fastlane when many expected the Wyatts to interfere in the main event triple threat match to determine Triple H’s opponent for WrestleMania. The Wyatts did not appear, and Roman Reigns went over clean.
Dean Ambrose excelled during the build to that match at Fastlane, and if Wyatt were spoken for a month later, Lesnar would need the next available big name to formulate one of the show’s top matches. Ambrose was on the rise, but the creative team failed to build on his momentum. Reportedly, officials even turned down his request to make his street fight with Lesnar significantly more brutal. Dean has to continue on as Lesnar takes his annual hiatus, with a major feud likely awaiting his return, though that might not be for a while.The Chris Jericho-AJ Styles program started as a face v. face feud, with the two even forming the tag team briefly known as Y2AJ. Jericho then turned heel to add a new dimension to the angle with the expected culmination coming this past Sunday. Had Jericho wound up feuding with Ambrose, it’s likely Y2J would have turned heel, as well. He had planted those seeds back at Night of Champions in September after Jericho, Ambrose, and Reigns lost a match to the Wyatt Family. At the conclusion of the match, Jericho walked out on his teammates with a subtle bump to Ambrose as a parting shot.
If the Ambrose-Jericho feud would have ignited, it’s easy to speculate that AJ Styles would have been inserted into the Intercontinental Title ladder match. The WON reports that with Styles being elevated to the main event, and Lesnar taking time off, the Dean Ambrose-Chris Jericho match we were supposed to get at ‘Mania might get slotted as early as Payback on May 1.
[Image via WWE]