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WrestleMania 37: Fantasy booking WWE's showpiece event with footballing feuds

Robbie Copeland
Apr 10, 2021, 7:50 PM GMT+1
The logo of WrestleMania XXVII
The logo of WrestleMania XXVII | Moses Robinson/Getty Images
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There isn't enough crossover between football and professional wrestling.

Sure, Drew McIntyre supports Rangers, Sheamus supports Liverpool and Triple H, probably due to the hammer on their badge, has a strange fixation with West Ham.

But it's not enough, and that's why 90min occasionally try and bring the two worlds together in a glorious union of silliness.

With WrestleMania 37 set to kick off on Saturday, then, where better to let the best feuds and narratives from the football world play out than the Grandest Stage of Them All?

Match 1: Six-man ladder match for the England No.1 Jersey

Jordan Pickford vs Dean Henderson vs Nick Pope vs Sam Johnstone vs Tom Heaton vs Joe Hart

The ladders are surrounding the ring, God Save The Queen is blaring around the mostly-empty socially-distanced arena, and the England goalkeepers are on their way out for the first match of the night.

Suspended high above the ring is a briefcase. In that briefcase is a No.1 England shirt and a pair of gloves. The winner goes to the Euros as Gareth Southgate's first-choice stopper.

All hell breaks loose right from the start; right as the bell rings, Jordan Pickford goes after Tom Heaton and Joe Hart with a trash can, writing both out of the match within minutes.

After Sam Johnstone is forgotten about and fades out of existence, a three-man stand-off emerges in the middle of the ring: Pope, Henderson, Pickford. One ladder, one briefcase, one date with destiny.

Eventually, after some incredible acrobatics from Henderson and Pickford to scale the ladder, the Everton keeper lets the briefcase slip through his hands. Pope - sensibly waiting for the inevitable mistake - catches it as it hits the mat.

We have our winner, ladies and gentlemen!

Winner: Nick Pope

Match 2: Mikel Arteta vs Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang - Loser Leaves Arsenal match

Mikel Arteta, Alexandre Lacazette, Pierre Emerick Aubameyang
One of them has to go | Pool/Getty Images

This wasn't a match Mikel Arteta wanted to have. He looks forlorn as he watches Aubameyang's ostentatious entrance from the ring, but he's been left with no choice: one of them has to go.

Immediately, we're reminded the gaffer can still go. He's kept himself in good shape since hanging up the boots, and uses his impressive technical wrestling skills to his advantage against his quicker, stronger opponent. At one point, it looks like Arteta has it in the bag with a brutal DDT, but Aubameyang grabs hold of the rope and pulls himself out of the ring.

Aubameyang's superior endurance eventually pays off, though, and it's all over when a sly roll-up pins the Spanish Superman's shoulders to the mat.

He leaves the ring in tears. Arteta's Arsenal career is over and he only has himself to blame.

Winner: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang

Match 3: Jurgen Klopp & Ole Gunnar Solskjaer vs Sean Dyche & Chris Wilder (w/Des Kelly) - Tag Team Championships

The build-up to this one centres around an interview Jurgen Klopp did with Des Kelly all the way back in November. The Liverpool boss was fuming at an injury to vice-captain James Milner, and took it out on the interviewer, while also taking aim at Chris Wilder and Sean Dyche. Those two just so happen to be the new reining tag team champions.

Klopp teamed up with Pep Guardiola to win the belts in our last WrestleMania, but this time he has another unlikely ally: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. While Kelly isn't an active competitor, he comes to the ring before Wilder and Dyche, and snatches the microphone to announce them himself.

But despite the Bovril Bashers possessing better chemistry, they stand no chance against the superpowers across the ring from them. Klopp hits a theatrical elbow drop on Wilder outside the ring, while Solskjaer simultaneously lands a professional foul like the one against Newcastle in 1998 on Dyche and gets the pin.

Winners: Klopp and Solskjaer

Match 4: 30-man Battle Royal for Erling Haaland's contract

Initially, this one seems like a pretty straightforward affair. The two favourites for Haaland's signature, Pep Guardiola and Ronald Koeman send all comers packing; Marco Rose Zinedine Zidane, Andrea Pirlo, Mauricio Pochettino and Jose Mourinho are among those eliminated with ease...though Hansi Flick is conspicuous by his absence.

But just as the Barca and City bosses square off, Haaland takes matters into his own hands. He enters the ring, eliminates both men easily, and announces he will be staying in Germany, to rapturous applause from the few thousand in attendance. Rose stumbles back into the ring, and the two embrace.

As the Dortmund boss goes to pull away, though, Haaland keeps hold of his wrist. As the camera pans up, the Norwegian's expression changes, and he hits him with a brutal clothesline.

He then removes his shirt and tie to reveal the bright red of a Bayern Munich strip, and strolls back down the ramp. Raiola and Flick, who entered from the crowd, gaze up at him from either side. The best heel turn since Seth Rollins is complete.

Winner: Erling Haaland - Bayern Munich

Match 5: Triple Threat for the Celtic job

John Kennedy vs Eddie Howe vs Roy Keane

The biggest pop of the night so far goes to John Kennedy, as he takes a microphone suspended from the ceiling and announces himself as MIIISTEEEERRR, KENNEDY!!!! But that's soon cut short by Roy Keane, spoiling for a scrap, who goes to town with a steel chair.

Keane dominates most of the match - he take advantage of Eddie Howe's good nature to write off Kennedy, before turning on the ex-Bournemouth boss with a low blow from behind. Just as it looks over, though, the lights suddenly drop. When they re-emerge, there stands a frenzied Neil Lennon in the middle of the ring, crowbar in hand.

He goes swinging, incensed at having lost the job in the first place, and even his old friend Kennedy can't placate him. The crafty Howe, takes advantage of the confusion and pushes Kennedy in the back, sending Lennon out of the ring. He then rolls up the Kennedy as he rebounds off the ropes.

Howe's won it...but at what cost? Steven Gerrard emerges from the crowd, and the two have a tense stare-down before we fade to black.

Winner: Eddie Howe

Match 6: Sergio Ramos vs Mohamed Salah - No Holds Barred rematch

It's the rematch we've all been waiting for...or so we think.

Mohamed Salah flies down the ramp, ready to exact his revenge on Sergio Ramos, but there is no sign of the Real Madrid captain. His entrance music plays once, twice, three times...nothing.

We're left waiting until Zinedine Zidane emerges, explaining that Salah won't be having his match against Ramos, but there is a replacement lined up. Just as we're all wondering who that is, a hooded figure enters the ring behind Salah and unleashes a brutal attack on the Liverpool man.

Bah gawd...it's Vinicius Jr!

The youngster unleashes hell on the helpless Egyptian, and even the interventions of Sadio Mane can't stop the onslaught. The Brazilian is too quick. He takes out the Liverpool duo by himself and announces himself to the world as a force to be reckoned with.

Match 7: Zlatan Ibrahimovic vs LeBron James

Zlatan's been talking sh*t on Twitter, but when confronted with all 6'7 of LeBron James in person, the grown man - who unironically refers to himself as a lion - stands no chance. He attempts an ambitious Kung-Fu kick, but he's caught mid-flight, and floored with a big right hand.

One...two...three!

Winner: LeBron James

Main Event: Paul Pogba (w/Mino Raiola) vs Kevin DeBruyne (w/Pep Guardiola) - World Heavyweight Championship

Pogba and De Bruyne lock horns
Pogba and De Bruyne lock horns | Allsport Co./Getty Images

Now it's time for the big one. Pogba isn't quite the star he was when he wrestled the world title from Scott McTominay in 2019, but with the help of agent Raiola, he's held onto the belt.

Here, though, he faces his biggest test yet. Kevin De Bruyne, the Crown Jewel of the Etihad, finally gets his shot at gold.

Guardiola accompanies his client to ringside, and has to be restrained when Raiola's smug grin emerges from the back. Having already been out-witted by the wily agent once tonight, he's adamant that's not happening again, and gives De Bruyne a comprehensive pre-match briefing.

The first sign of any Raiola involvement incenses Guardiola. When the opposing manager tries to distract the referee from ringside, the Spaniard is in the ring like a flash, and flies over the top rope with a ferocious diving clothesline to take him out.

In the ensuing mayhem, Pogba reaches for a chair slid into the ring by Raiola and crashes it over De Bruyne's back, avoiding disqualification only because the referee was preoccupied dismissing the two managers from ringside. An inferior superstar would be finished there, but the arena erupts when De Bruyne kicks out.

There's a standing ovation as the two get to their feet. The two trade blows; Pogba swings with a wild clothesline, but the Belgian ducks under it, hits the ropes, and rebounds with a vicious super-kick that nearly takes the head off the Frenchman.

He immediately goes for the cover, and this time, there is no response. Pogba's two years as WWE champion have come to an end. There's a new king in town.

WINNER: KEVIN DE BRUYNE!

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