It’s time for another edition of the Q&A session here on TJRWrestling. There are over 50 questions in here after a very busy week in WWE.
I asked for reader questions on Sunday on my Facebook page and then I picked out the best ones that cover a lot of different topics about past WWE, current WWE and of course predictions for the future as well. Once I get through over 50 of those, I’ll reply to some questions from the comment section of last week’s Q&A as well.
Thanks to Finn Balor’s Twitter for the image above. With the Balor Club in mind, let’s start there.
1. Nathan Hubbard
How do you see this Bullet/Balor Club playing out?
They’ll probably debut Finn on the main roster maybe as soon as the Royal Rumble and soon after that, say that he’s come here with some buddies. There are a lot of ways that it can go. I think they should do it on the main roster rather than starting it in NXT. Make an impact quickly by doing it on the main roster right away. I think it’s a lock to put Anderson/Gallows with them and that AJ Styles may be with them too.
2. Jarred Hufford
Who is the best option to win the Rumble?
I think Reigns, Triple H or Lesnar will win. If it’s Triple H then it will be very cheap in order to build to a singles match at WM when Reigns gets it back. If somebody other than one of those guys wins then I’ll be surprised. I wrote more about it here.
3. Adam Matthew
How do you see the WWE actually bouncing back from this down period, both from a creative standpoint and from an injury epidemic?
I don’t think the product is that bad. I reviewed both Raw & Smackdown and there were like five above average matches. The in-ring product is fine. The problem is that it’s harder than ever to put together good storylines because online fans are so into it that they want scoops on everything, which ruins surprises and it’s hard to do anything truly unique anymore. They’re using the Stone Cold Playbook to get Reigns over with Vince as a top heel and the arrest angles. It’s fine because it works, but it’s not that creative. In terms of talent, once they are all healthy they may have the best roster ever and can produce some amazing PPVs.
4. Chris Bush
With all these injuries, what do you think McMahon will do booking wise?
He’ll hope and pray that Roman doesn’t get hurt because they really need that guy. Good thing is Lesnar is back too, so they can rely on him to do some angles. Problem is he doesn’t wrestle on TV. I’m not sure if there’s anything they can do booking wise to really change things up – they just have to be set on their WM lineup and use the next two months to really build those matches up. Maybe Triple H wins the title to have a heel champion and Roman wins his third title at WM. I dunno if it’s smart to have him lose the title again, though.
5. Jay A Jackson-Ferrans
Who wins a singles title first: Kalisto or Neville?
I think Neville will win one of the secondary titles within the first six months of year. Doubt Kalisto wins the US Title from Del Rio, but I wouldn’t mind if he did.
6. Roderick Walker
Who are some the best wwe stars to never win the rumble? What are some of your favorite rumble ppvs?
Best to not win the Rumble that probably should have: Ted Dibiase, Mr. Perfect, Randy Savage, Mick Foley and probably some more. I think best Rumble PPV was 2000 – one of the best shows ever. I think 2001 was pretty good too.
7. Eric Jacinto
What would be better Balor or Styles winning the Rumble?
I don’t think either has a realistic shot, but Styles would be better because then he’s a superstar right away.
8. Daniel Mount
Is there a concern that a guy like Cesaro that’s a mid-carder will rush back before being completely healed because of the chance to move up the card?
Their doctors wouldn’t allow that. WWE is questionable about a lot of things, but they take medical shit seriously because they can’t risk something bad happening or getting sued. I highly recommend watching Breaking Ground and the guys coming back from injuries. Like with Sami Zayn, he had to do a lot of routine things in the ring before they would clear him.
9. Stephen Rancourt
Which of the 4 Horsewomen will be the most successful over their career – Charlotte, Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch or Bayley?
I think Banks will be the most successful because she is the youngest in the group and is already so talented. Bayley’s going to be the most popular in terms of being a babyface star. Banks is more of a natural heel. All will have awesome careers as long as WWE stays the course.
10. Ste Rowlands
Top 5 guys in 5 years time (providing the roster stays the same)?
Okay I’ll say Rollins, Zayn, Owens, Reigns and Ambrose. They are all young enough that they will be top guys in five years. Wyatt’s another too. I think it’s also realistic to say “somebody we don’t know right now” because that always happens. Maybe it’s an ROH guy like Adam Cole, but maybe it’s something that is just starting in the business.
11. Scott Jay Mengedoht
Do you see AJ Styles with the gold within at least 6 months?
I don’t think so. As much as I like the guy, if they really wanted to push him that hard they would have done it years ago. It’s nice that he’s coming in. I just have a hard time thinking they will push him above all the other talent they have.
12. Russ Raymond
Do you think that HHH will screw Reigns out of the title and set up their match as well as Brock who wins the Rumble vs whomever…The Rock??
I think Triple H either screwing Roman by having somebody else win or Hunter wins it himself is very possible. I’m not sure what they’ll do with Brock. Maybe he’s against Bray Wyatt at WM, so they have the Wyatt Family attack him during the match. I doubt The Rock is even at the Rumble PPV.
13. Josh Lyon
Outside of the idea of Finn Balór joining the Bullet Club on the main roster, which NXT talent do you think will get called up next?
If Sami Zayn counts then I pick him. He shouldn’t be in NXT anymore. Bayley will probably be on the main roster around WM time either before or right after. Teams like The Vaudevillains and Enzo/Cass could get called up very soon too.
14. J.b. McMurtry
What the hell is WrestleMania going to look like with all these performers out with injuries?
I don’t know, but I have faith in the talent on the roster to deliver great matches as long as they get time.
15. Rob Platanitis
Who else would you see going into this years HoF?
I think Sting, Vader, JBL, The Fabulous Freebirds and for a diva I’ll say Victoria. Don’t know if any of those are right, but Freebirds probably are.
16. Dustin Rose
Who does better: Today’s roster with attitude era booking or attitude era roster with today’s booking?
Today’s roster with Attitude Era booking because if you think about it, guys on today’s roster barely get to talk and when they do, it’s not like they can be creative. What guy today gets the kind of promo time that guys like Austin, Rock and Jericho in those days? A guy like Ambrose should be the best talker in the business, but he rarely gets to do promos. It’s stupid and hurts the talent.
17. Rusty Rowe
Do you think they clear Daniel Bryan now that all the injuries have happened?
I hope so. I think they would only do it if they are sure that he’s healthy and not necessarily because other people are injured.
18. Cody Gupton
With the potential Balor call up soon, who do you see taking the NXT title off of him?
It might be Baron Corbin. He’s been there for a while and they might want to see how he does with a title before calling him up to the main roster later in the year. Other options would be Samoa Joe or Apollo Crews. I guess Sami Zayn is a choice, but I want him on main roster.
19. Michael Reichmuth
What would happen if the winner of the Royal Rumble accidentally gets thrown out?
Haha. Would be funny right? I bet they are careful about that. What would happen is they would have to improvise something. The refs have earpieces in, so they would be given the instructions and would have to relay it to the talent. Then they can probably do a title change on Raw to get the title on the guy they want.
20. Erin Somers
Where will next years Wrestlemania be?? I read that it won’t be in Minneapolis as originally thought.
It’s not known. People thought Minnesota, but it’s not happening. I think Orlando is very likely. Maybe Philly or Boston if they want to try the northeast again.
21. Nicholas Pruner
Do you think we see somebody hold the WWE World Heavyweight championship in 2016 that has never held said title before?
That’s a good one because there are a lot of candidates that are close: Wyatt, Ambrose, Owens come to mind. Or if you really want to push the likes of Balor or Zayn then they could be thought of as future champs. I feel like they will want to give Reigns a really long (or he loses it for two months at the Rumble to HHH) and if he drops it then a guy like Cena or Lesnar gets it. I’ll answer no, but I’d LOVE to be wrong on it haha.
22. Deryl Parnell Jr.
Do you think John Morrison or Evan Bourne will ever come back to the WWE?
I don’t think either guy will. Both are doing pretty well elsewhere. If one were to come back I’d pick Bourne because he’s younger.
23. Rick Kavin
What was the deal with the Patriot in 1997? He came out of nowhere and challenged Bret Hart for the title at a PPV, then sort of bounced his way down the card. I get that Bret Hart was anti-American at the time, but any other American wrestler on the roster (Vader?) could have filled that role.
It was just a short term feud due to the Canada vs. USA angle at the time. I can remember laughing when they tried to book him as title contender against Bret. They definitely should have picked somebody else, but the roster was pretty thin at that point and they wanted to save Austin. It wasn’t that great.
24. Nathan Kinney
Do you think this current contract is the last one Lesnar signs? I’d really love some fresh match ups with the likes of KO, Wyatt and Ambrose. Do you see any of those happening in the near future?
He signed a three year deal so he’ll be done at around age 40. It’s possible he signs for another year or two after that. I don’t see him going into his 40s for that long, though, so yeah this could be it. Hopefully those matches happen. I’m not sure his direction.
25. John C Hoddy
Do you think we’ll see Ronda Rousey wrestle for WWE in the next 12 months?
I doubt it. Good thing about her is she’s only 28 and WWE knows she wants to be there at some point. There’s plenty of time. Another couple of years in UFC and she’ll be in WWE.
26. Nathanael N-jay Julien
With the Bullet Club and Nakumura coming to WWE, what matches would you put them in at Wrestlemania, and what would be the top 4 matches you want to see at this year’s mania?
Zayn vs. Owens, Styles vs. Lesnar, Nakamura/Itami vs. New Day and Reigns vs. Joe. You said what I want. Not what I think is happening lol. I would change my mind a lot.
27. Kevin C Staed
Raw roster question. From 2010 to 2015 which wrestler got the most hype but fell short of expectations?
I think Ryback fits because he was pushed so hard against CM Punk and did not live up to expectations. Also think of Wade Barrett because I thought he’d be World Champ. Another name is Drew McIntyre. Wish he was there and pushed.
28. Eddie Colon
Are just one group of writers that write everything for the whole show or separate teams for different aspects (main eventers, midcard, tag teams, etc)?
They have guys that always go on the road to the TVs and then guys that stay in Connecticut. A lot of the guys that write NXT are on the road, but they also are helped by the trainers that work full time in Orlando as well. Some focus on the midcard more than the main eventers most likely.
Vinny Mac doesn’t book NXT. He books the main roster. That’s the biggest difference. In NXT it’s Triple H with final say.
29. Ed Luis Valentin
So now that Cena’s out, who do you think will/should face Undertaker in his retirement match at WrestleMania? Maybe Bray Wyatt so he can actually get a win over Taker this time?
I honestly have no idea. I think it should be Kevin Owens, but I doubt it. I don’t know what they are going to do. It might be a shitty choice like Sheamus as a way to put Taker over and then he retires on a winning note. Doubt they do Undertaker/Wyatt again.
30. Danyo Ochoa
Could you ever see all four members of the Wyatt Family holding gold at once?
The idea of the Wyatt Family all winning the gold at the same time is possible and we’ve seen it before, but I don’t think it’s going to happen. They haven’t won any gold yet. I’m not sure if the characters will be pushed in a way where they get the titles.
31. Darrius Gaddy
Why was it that women’s wrestling never really clicked in WCW? And do you think Alundra Blaze regretted her decision leaving in the long run?
There weren’t enough women there. Even when they said they would try for it they just never invested in them enough. I always found it funny when she would complain about how they hired all these models with implants, yet I seem to remember her with big boobs in 1999/2000. Oh well. I’m not complaining. I was trying to remember the PPV where Russo booked Madusa in a bikini and she yelled bullshit on air. Halloween Havoc 1999. She had a nice look that night.
32. Eric Hay
How do you handle everyone returning? You don’t want people overshadowing others if they all come back at once.
I think a brand extension would be awesome, but I don’t think they will ever do it again. It’s going to be difficult to incorporate all the injured guys as well as the new signees and the people that should be called up from NXT. That’s why I think we as fans should be a bit more understanding because it’s not easy for creative right now.
33. David Dierking
Do guys like Finn Balor get any heat for doing things like posting a picture of themselves online wearing a Bullet Club shirt while WWE is still negotiating with some of these guys? Does anybody say, “hey, we’d prefer you didn’t do that”?
I doubt he gets any heat and I also think he probably shoots a text to Triple H asking if it’s cool. If Hunter says no then I doubt he’d do it. Remember that Triple H when he was young said a lot of insider things because he loves the internet stuff a lot. It’s pretty easy to send a text and reply, so I think most people ask before they would do something like that.
34. Andre Jones
What cast of characters would you revolve season 2 of WWE Breaking Ground around?
I’d like a continuation of things they’ve covered to show how far people have progressed. It would be cool if they featured Finn Balor more. I want to see Hideo Itami because he’s close to coming back from shoulder surgery. The Vaudevillains are a favorite team of mine and they’ve been there for a while, so what’s their take on getting to the next level. What’s Asuka like? Let’s see some of her and how she’s adjusting to American culture. I enjoyed the show a lot. Highly recommend it.
35. Tyler Mills
So in the Royal Rumble do you believe that each individual superstar is told how many people to eliminate, who to eliminate, and when to eliminate people. Do they tell each individual how long to last? Or do they let them somewhat happen naturally other than the obvious things like the final 4 and the winner. Reason I ask is because I feel that is a lot for one person to try and remember.
Yeah the plans are pretty thorough and broken down in a way that wrestlers can remember it. They’ve done almost 30 of them, so they know how to do it. Wrestler A is thrown out by Wrestler B and so on. If they forget things, they have referees at ringside to help them if they need it. It’s not easy to organize and make it work, but as I said they are damn good about it after all these years.
36. Larry Yadao
If someone that wasnt a WWE fan wanted you to show them 3 matches that would convince them to watch wrestling, what matches would they be?
Undertaker/Shawn WM25, Bret/Austin WM13 and Warrior/Savage WM7 because the story told in that match is incredible and the tears on people’s faces shows how well it worked. I wouldn’t show a match with too much violence although Bret/Austin is bloody. People that don’t know wrestling would get turned off by it or ask too many stupid questions.
37. Aj Giacobbe
Would you bring up Eva Marie to the main roster soon and how would you book her?
Pair her as a heel with Nia Jax. She barely wrestles and hides behind Nia as her bodyguard. Easy way to use her without overdoing it. Get her in-ring experience working house shows with the good workers like Natalya. I think Eva has some talent that she can use. She just has to keep working at it.
38. Pedro F. Lopez
With the acquisition of the hottest Indy star today, let’s look into the future. It’s ten years from now, do you think the prominent Indy companies (ROH, PWG, EVOLVE) will still be around or will WWE consume everything and file it under the WWE branch? I.e WWE presents ROH.
I think those companies will still be around. I’m sure those indies are always going to be worried because WWE is throwing their money around a lot the last few years, but there always seems to be companies propping up. Whether ROH or the others exist in ten years I don’t know.
For all we know, some wrestling fan could win Powerball and start a promotion! That would be fun or a total disaster.
39. Rick Bulow
With AJ Styles going to WWE, do you think Kazarian and Daniels will make their way there soon as well?
Not likely. Daniels is 45. Too old. Kazarian is about ten years younger, but I doubt WWE cares too much about getting him back.
40. John Czech
As far as the future goes, who would you see as these two things? 1. The one wrestler (if you had to choose) that you want to see, or could see being the face of the WWE? 2. An HBK type. Not a draw like Austin or Rock, but a wrestler that wins fans over with pure talent, an known for always showing up. Someone that can basically be put in a program with anybody.
I think two guys stand out: 1. Rollins. Best all around performer at an age where he can be a key guy for the next decade. Zayn too.
2. Rollins or Zayn. I’m sorry to be limited in my choices, but I think they’re the best all around guys for the future.
41. Matthew Toy
So, what’s the deal with Paige? Creative has nothing for her?
Has a minor nagging injury or something. I also think creative sucks in that they don’t seem to be able to book more than one divas feud at a time.
42. Cory Andrew Bacon
Which WWE TV show has had your favorite theme song? I’m partial to Across The Nation for Raw from several years back.
The Raw song from the Attitude Era. I don’t know the words to it, but that song was full of energy and always got me fired up for the show. That’s what an intro song should do.
43. Shay Smithers
Could still be too early to say; but do you think this year may be the year John Cena becomes a part-timer? With his injury and his age I was wondering if that might be possible since Reigns is becoming his successor.
I think he still loves working the live events, so it won’t be a complete change like HBK in his 40s. I think it may be something where instead of working three live events every weekend he may get one weekend off per month or something like that. Slowly ease into it. He doesn’t have a wife or kids at home, so I think he’d be more willing to work live events.
44. Is it likely Austin will guest host WM this year? I’d guess that over him wrestling.
He’s not wrestling, so hosting WrestleMania is very possible. I think that announcing him as guest host is something they will do and should do on the Raw after the Rumble.
45. Ryan MacAdder
The WWE tend to recruit women who has no basic or passion for wrestling nowaday, i.e. Bella Twins, Eva Marie, Cameron. (Not include Sasha, Paige or others) What could possibly the deal here? I mean was that hard for WWE now to find supermodel type who is also got passion for wrestle?
I think things have changed for the better. The Bellas were like ten years ago and they actually were pretty good soccer players, so they aren’t just models without a sports background. They have changed their recruiting a bit because they really aren’t hiring that many models anymore. Some of them off Tough Enough have a model background, but most of the girls they sign now are from the indies.
46. Would a run in NXT be a good idea for a returning Daniel Bryan? Reduced workload, dream matches given some time, main event to sell tix when they bring a big crop of guys up to main roster and do some tour, probably a great coach, and his popularity wouldnt interfere with the main roster stories they want to tell. Is he worth too many butts-in-seats on main roster shows?
I don’t see it happening. Maybe as a one off thing as a surprise you can have him out there doing some promo saying he just wanted to check NXT out, then Joe attacks him and it builds to a match. I think you nailed it with the second question. They would put him on the main roster and they should.
47. Kenny Brophy
Do you think we see The New Day go after The WWE Title this year & if they were to win would you have it to where any 3 of them could defend it?
I don’t see it. They’re a team and will continue to be a team. When they break up (hopefully it’s not for two or three years) then I think Big E could get a main event push down the road.
48. Patrick McMullen
Do you see a Reigns vs. Cena passing of the torch match happening next WM?
Yes that’s very possible. Hard to predict matches 15 months away, though lol. They could do it at SummerSlam 2016 if they don’t want to save it for WM33.
49. Matt Wayne Breeding
I’m sure you have probably already been asked this before. But what would be a dream match for you?
I’ll give you six:
Shawn Michaels vs. Eddie Guerrero
The Rock vs. Shawn Michaels
Brock Lesnar vs. Daniel Bryan
Bret Hart vs. Kurt Angle
Daniel Bryan vs. Kurt Angle
John Canton vs. whoever decided that Lawler vs. Cole match at WM27 would receive over 20 minutes.
Believe me when I say I could pick so many more too.
50. Brian Coats
With so many heel factions popping up, who would you group together to make as face ones?
It seems like they think faces are assholes and unable to actually work together like heels lol. I dunno. There are so many guys doing nothing especially somebody like Sandow that I wish he was doing more. I’m not sure if more groups are the answer. Just book faces smarter.
51. Will Cothren
I know Michael Cole is the lead broadcaster on WWE and has been for sometime. With the debut of Mauro Ranallo I feel like they finally have a play by play guy who could emerge as the next voice of WWE. Do you feel the same and do you see a change happening sometime down the road?
I’m not sure if it will happen because Cole’s around the same age as Ranallo (mid-40s) and he’s been there for about 20 years. Cole is basically in charge of the announcers and he’s the one that emailed Ranallo about the change. If Cole is sick of commentating then sure he’ll step aside soon. I just don’t think he’s sick of that job and he’ll probably be in that spot for as long as he wants. Do I like Ranallo more? Yes, but it’s not up to you or more.
52. Dale Cleary
Do you think between NXT and the main roster there is enough talent to do a 40 man RR?
I think there’s talent there, but if you put 40 guys in it really waters down the match with so much filler. I think we’ve seen enough Rumbles that we know that 30 people is the right amount. Anything more would be bad like it was when Del Rio won.
Here are some more questions from last week’s Q&A in the comment section.
53. Winnipeg Chiver
Quick question: does Jack Tunney deserve to be in the WWE Hall of Fame? Besides being a decent promoter in his own right, he was the pioneer of the WWF Authority Figure, and held that fictional post longer than anybody else in WWE history.
I’d be fine with it, but I think when you pick somebody that is deceased it’s probably better to pick an actual wrestler. I’m not sure that the majority of fans watching even care that much about the fictional WWE president from the 1980s and early 1990s. I just can’t see how Tunney in the HOF is a big priority to WWE.
54. Tom McMillan
As I was reading, for some reason a Rock vs Undertaker match appealed to me more than any of the other potential matches for him. I think it could work with face vs face for them because you can build it without 5 weeks of promos. Have Rock come out and go through his history of all the greats he has faced and defeated at Wrestlemania and as he finishes listing all his legendary opponents, the gong hits and Taker makes his way to the ring, Rock looking very serious. They come face to face, Taker does the trademark look at the WM sign and Rock says, ‘Just Bring It’. Just a way to get it started but eventually have it become their last match of their career, the true end of the Attitude Era. If this were the case, would you like this as a match for them both and who would you pick to win?
I think in terms of the setup what you laid out works really well and I have no doubt that these two legends would get people excited about that much. The problem is I don’t know if 51 year old Undertaker vs. bulky Rock in his mid-40s would be that good. Those Rock/Cena matches were just average at best. Rock needs to be in there with a supreme athlete like a Lesnar or a smaller guy to bump for him. I just don’t know if they could pull it off. Their matches 15 years ago were okay, but they didn’t have a memorable feud. There’s no question that such a match would work as a legit main event. My concern is the match quality more than anything.
55. Mike Julius
How does WWE keep pushing NXT as its own brand (travelling) if they keep calling up the top guys? Especially since somebody like Neville was the top guy in NXT & now he’s lost in the shuffle.
There’s really nothing to be concerned about because they have announced a bunch of NXT shows in February and all of them sold out fairly quickly. They’re not running the 12,000 seat arenas, but what they are doing is working. Maybe in six months to a year they will be hurting a bit if the likes of Finn Balor and Bayley are on the main roster. I just don’t think it’s something to worry about right now. The name “NXT” is the draw right now. Not just one person. They’ll be fine as long as NXT is an entertaining TV show and there’s no sign of that changing any time soon.
That’s it for this round. I won’t be writing a live WWE Raw Deal review column this week, but I’ll have it up on Tuesday morning. We’ll do a Q&A next weekend again, so if you have a question post it below and if it’s relevant I’ll include it.