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TJR Q&A #27: Heel Reigns, Injured Rollins, Styles at WM, WrestleMania Lineups & Plenty More!

It’s time for another Q&A here on TJRWrestling. The questions come from the good people on my Facebook page, who always come at me with some interesting questions. I forgot to number them this time, so I’m not sure how many there are. If you want to count, feel free to do so! Let’s get to it.

Adam Brown
If you could trade 3 wrestlers between Raw and Smackdown who would you pick and for what reason?

All three New Day guys to Smackdown.

Ziggler and Usos to Raw,

I want Usos on Raw for the heel Samoan stable with Roman, Joe and them.

Mark Goehring
If you could plan WWE ppvs for a year, how many would you have (and would you still call it a PPV since we all have the WWE network now?)

Keep the big four. Seven for Raw and seven for Smackdown. That’s 18 in a year. I don’t think it’s too many. Wrestling quality is always high.

Also would have Money in the Bank for both shows and have a women’s MITB for both shows too.

I still call them PPVs. That’s the name for 30+ years. We are used to it, not special events.

Oscar Omar Fernandez
If Rollins can’t go for Mania, would holding that match against HHH til SummerSlam be too late or is that a good main event?

I would do it at SummerSlam. Would be a huge match for that show and the setting is fine. Don’t need to hold it off for another WM lol.

Everette A. Benton Jr.
How long do you see WWE using part timers such as Goldberg, Lesnar and Triple H instead of pushing younger guys? It just sucks when you have Goldberg and Lesnar looking stronger than your whole roster full of guys like AJ, Ambrose, Rollins, KO, etc.

They will always do it. In the height of the Attitude Era they didn’t do it because Austin, Rock and others were huge draws. Now they need to do it because they don’t really have big draws and when the likes of Goldberg or Lesnar are on the interest is higher. It makes sense business wise even though the hardcore fans might bitch about it. Triple H will be a part time wrestler for another decade probably. Who is going to tell him no? Nobody.

Brigid Martinez
When will they stop with the Ellsworth stuff?

I’m surprised Ellsworth got a contract because I didn’t think the character would have much longevity. Basically he’s just a comedy heel to help Carmella cheat. I don’t know how long his WWE run will last. Might not be a year.

Bob Stephen
What would be your ideal Wrestlemania line up be with any past or present wrestlers?

I’d have Styles and Nakamura in a match. I don’t think WWE will do it, but that’s a no brainer to me. I’m not sure if it’s even worth it to say what I would put because I write about what WWE does more and fantasy booking would make me sad to think how good the card would be.

Alan Spindlow
Do you like NJPW?

Yes I do although sometimes all the head and neck bumps they do scares me because it’s not necessary. The physical style of matches is appealing, though. That’s for sure. Wish I had more time to watch or easier ways to watch it. I know that NJPW World is an option, but if I have little free time then it’s a waste of my money.

Ian Pinkett
What are your top matches under 10 mins?

Angle vs. Rey at SummerSlam 2002 is probably near the top. I remember some 123 Kid vs. Owen Hart match that was amazing – it was King of the Ring 1994. It’s hard to think of others because shorter matches don’t stand out as much.

Octavio Fierros
What’s your favorite WrestleMania main event between WM 1-10?

So many bad ones lol. I’ll rank all 10 just because I find it interesting.

1. Warrior vs. Hogan WM6
2. Savage vs. Dibiase WM4
3. Hogan vs. Savage WM5
4. Hogan vs. Andre WM3 just because of the end.
5. Bret vs. Yoko WM10
6. Hogan vs. Slaughter WM7
7. Hogan/T vs. Piper/Orndorff WM1
8. Hogan vs. Bundy WM2
9. Hogan vs. Sid WM8 ugh
10. Hogan vs. Yoko WM9 double ugh

Kris Doss
Who is someone from the main roster you think would benefit from a short run in NXT? I feel like it helped Tyson Kidd quite a bit until his unfortunate injury and I would say the same for Emma.

You can pick about 20 people that are barely used and I would say any of them. I don’t think we need to name names. If I have to pick people I’d say Jack Swagger and Curtis Axel as a way to try to re-invent them.

Alan Burke
Do you feel WWE could benefit by having a super-stable a la Chaos or Suzuki-gun (that being a group of 8-10 including tag teams and singles wrestlers)? If yes who would you put together?

I don’t think WWE would benefit from a stable that big. They don’t know how to book it in an effective way. Three or four people is all WWE can handle and they often times get it wrong. Heel Samoans with Roman, Joe and Usos. Would be great as a stable.

Paul Fox
Angle or Michaels, pick one for a one off match at Wresetlemania this year.

Angle because he is still relatively active and it would make for a good story. Michaels stopped 7 years ago and isn’t going to wrestle again. How about Angle vs. Styles? Works for me!

James Woolford
What’s your favourite Wrestlemania match that you weren’t excited about beforehand. In other words which match most exceeded your expectations?

Probably Rock vs. Hogan WM18. Not a technical classic by any means, but the reaction from the crowd made it stand out and a special match.

Jeff Goodridge
How far can Kassius Ohno go?

I think Kassius Ohno will probably be in the NXT Title picture most of the year. Not sure if they will put him on the main roster this year, but certainly a valuable veteran if they want to do that.

Roderick Walker
How many matches do you think will be on the Wrestlemania card?

I’ll guess 10 on the main show and 4 on the pre-show. Going to be a long night.

Daniel Mount
When do you think The Revival will get called up and who will they feud with first?

Call them up on the SD Live after WM. Feud with American Alpha is what I would prefer.

Ed Luis Valentin
Why do you think WWE stopped putting the number on their WrestleMania logos? I get it’s no big deal, but it just seems silly to me. It’s like If the NFL stopped numbering the Super Bowl and just called it “the Super Bowl.”

I remember asking a bunch of times to WWE PR people and other people in the know. The answer was: “Vince think it makes WrestleMania seem old.”

No joke. It does make it old, but also something to be proud of.

Ruffin Harris
HHH is the greatest heel of all time in my opinion. Am I wrong for thinking that?

There’s nothing wrong with thinking that. I think Ric Flair is best heel ever and is well ahead of the next guy. With that said, I think Hunter may be the best WWE heel ever. He did it for a long time. Enjoy Hunter as a heel way more than as a face.

Aaron David
If you were a wrestler what would you value more: total creative control ala Hardy’s or money ala Lesnar?

Hardys have control on a show that is small, so I don’t want that. I’d rather have what Lesnar is doing between those two choices. Both of them are good too!

Chris Young
Do you think Roman Reigns goes heel?

I think there’s a better chance now than there was last year and the year before. They should have done it in 2015 after the crowd booed the shit out of him. If I have to guess yes or no then I would say yes.

Paul Yorke
In your honest opinion do you think the Goldberg/Lesnar programme need the Universal Title?

No, but that’s what I think will happen. I think they will be the last match too.

Alexander K Puryear
Do you think the Cena reign benefits anyone especially if he only has the belt for two weeks?

It benefits the guy that wins it (Wyatt) because Cena has a lot of credibility. Doesn’t bother me if JC only has a two week reign.

I don’t think it’s a big deal if Cena is a transitional champion. He’s probably taking off after WrestleMania to film a feature film.

Chris Rowlands
If Rollins is as badly injured as people fear, who do you think it will reflect worse on in relation to WWE higher ups? Rollins for being ‘injury prone’ (Triple H seems to forget about his 2 quad tears), or Joe for injuring both Rollins and Kidd before he’s even had a main roster match?

I don’t think there is any blame on anybody. Injuries are a part of wrestling and they all know that when they get in the ring. It sucks that guys get hurt. I’m surprised there aren’t more injuries.

It’s pro wrestling. Look at Vince McMahon and Triple H running the show. Both of them have multiple torn quads. Nobody is going to make fun of them or put a label on them as injury prone.

Cody Nathaniel Linder
If this match happens between Reigns vs Undertaker and Reigns beats him do you see the E turning Reigns heel? Because he’ll have astronomical heat if he does beat Taker.

Yes I think that’s what they should do, but it wouldn’t shock me if they tried to have Undertaker shake his hand because Vince wants to keep Roman face. I think it’s perfect time to make Roman a heel.

Nate Kuhl
Do you think The Revival will get a decent push on the main roster or will they end up like most tag teams that got the call up from NXT?

I hope they do, but it’s hard to be that optimistic considering teams like The Ascension and Vaudevillains aren’t doing much even though they had good runs in NXT. What might help The Revival is their match quality has been so good that even Vince McMahon has probably taken notice, so may have more faith in them having great matches.

Jeff Kimble
Out of the 4, who deserved to have held the WWF title more? DiBiase, Razor, Perfect, Owen Hart. How would you rank them?

Huge fan of them all and wish they all got to be the main champion. I’ll rank them like this:

1. Perfect
2. Dibiase
3. Razor
4. Owen

I’d probably put Piper #1 ahead of all of them too. At his peak was the best heel. Apparently refused to have a title until they put IC Title on him in 1992.

Derrick Carter
Beside Bobby Roode and Shinsuke Nakamura, who will be the next NXT-to-main roster call-up that will be one of the next major main eventing stars?

I don’t think there is anybody. Nakamura is the first choice and like you said, Bobby Roode also. Maybe Eric Young, but I doubt it. Don’t see Dillinger in that spot either.

Nate Kuhl
Assuming Kurt Angle wrestles at least part time in the future in WWE when do you think we see his first match back?

I think a match at SummerSlam makes the most sense. HOF at WM. Do some angle at TV at some point and build up to SummerSlam. Maybe he’s a Raw or SD GM, so they can set it up that way. If Pittsburgh has a PPV this year then maybe that’s a good idea too since he’s a God there.

Swastik Rath
What do you think about the part-timers/legends overshadowing the current crop of great performers at the big events? When do you think this situation will change where the WWE will trust its own talents?

They will have less part timers when the full timers can draw more money and bring in more fans. Ratings go up when the part timers are on, so they will be brought back. I think that answers both.

Jeroukoc Vasilis
1) Who do you think SHOULD headline Wrestlemania this year? 2) Who do you think WILL headline it?

I would have Styles in the main event as the WWE Champion against Royal Rumble winner Sami Zayn, who chooses that title because it’s more prestigious.

I think Lesnar vs. Goldberg will be last with Lesnar winning the Universal Title.

Uncle Vince McMahon didn’t consult me!

Douglas Gundlach
Who’s your leader(s) in the clubhouse for the money in the bank this year? With two brands again, were gonna see two briefcases right?

Sami Zayn for Raw and Baron Corbin for SD. Can obviously pick other names. Those are my picks. Can make a case for a lot of people.

Another idea is to have a GM say they just signed somebody from NXT (let’s say Nakamura), then that person’s first match is MITB and they win it.

I hope there are briefcases for both shows, but right now it may just be a Smackdown show.

Scottie Stiles
I think it’s cool (and yes, i’m super jealous) that you are friends with several members of the WWE roster. If you are cool with naming someone, who was the first one you met and really got to know and how did that go about? (if you don’t want to name names, that’s totally cool…I’m more interested in the how it happened. I’d struggle to not go complete fanboy myself.)

They read the internet like all of us. That’s how the world is, right? Think of all the time they are spending sitting in airports waiting for a plane or sitting in a car while somebody drives. You gotta kill time somehow, so they are going to read about the show they are on or to see some news they may not know about. I’m sure a lot of them do searches for themselves. Now that they have Twitter and Instagram they don’t have to look as far because people will contact them.

There have been people that just emailed me because they read my reviews or columns on a site – usually Rajah.com because it’s been out there for so long and is a huge site. Also, I’m 36 years old now. If I was 21 I’d probably lose my shit and not be able to handle it lol. Now I’m older than a lot of them or of a similar age.

I’m sure there are more people in WWE that read my stuff that I have no idea about. Some of them I know on screen and behind the scenes because they email me. Some contact me on Twitter. Some follow me on Twitter. Some I’ve interacted with for years and only see once or twice per year because of their schedule.

It’s cool to be able to interact with people in the business. I think they know I’m not a hater and I respect them. If I’m critical it tends to be on creative, but if it’s a bad match I’ll say that too. Long answer. Hope that helps.

Andrew Cunningham
Hi John I have noticed over the last few weeks on Smackdown that Daniel Bryant seems to have relegated to a minor role, just wondering if you know if he has done something wrong?

I think that maybe on Talking Smack he’s a little bit too honest, so they put Shane there for a couple of weeks to try to push the stories more. It wouldn’t shock me if Bryan is removed as GM after WM. His wife is having their baby soon and he probably wants to be home. Then again, he’s only traveling once per week, so it’s not that hard.

Daison Thomas
When Kane made his debut, did people backstage think he would have made the impact he made? Or they just bought him in for a match against the Undertaker and losing the feud and disappearing?

I don’t think there was an expectation that the character was going to have a 20 year run, but did they expect him to be a main event level talent? Yes, I think so. He was brought in October 1997 for that feud with Undertaker. The good thing is they knew that Glen Jacobs was talented since he was Isaac Yankem and fake Diesel. He was 29 or 30 at that point, so they knew he was young enough that he could have a really good run. There was enough backstory to the character that I think they believed it would work out.

A lot of it came from Jim Cornette, who knew Jacobs from his pre-WWE days too.

Tim Mathis
Johnny Boy!!! Love you and all that you do, thanks for embodying all of us diehard Wrestling marks! My question, do you think that Orton was supposed to win the Rumble, or did Goldberg screw up when he was eliminated and not hold on? It seemed to me as I watched it that Goldy messed up and maybe he was supposed to keep his feet up, but couldn’t and that maybe they had to make a decision on the fly. either way, love what you do….#cantonforrawheadbooker

The plan was Orton. It was out about a week earlier, so they stuck with the plan. Goldberg did not screw up. He was dumped when he was supposed to be.

Geoff Landtbom
How does the WWE balance the needs of both NXT and the main roster? While I believe that NXT is still a solid, entertaining product it’s obviously not as good as it was in the recent past. The few core stars left like Nakamura for example, are having to stay well past their sell by date in terms of main roster call ups to prop up the brand. Is this a concern of yours as well? And what would you do to keep NXT strong without compromising the future main roster prospects of the core stars still there?

I think NXT peaked in 2015 and into early 2016 with the Dallas show. The Toronto show was great thanks to the tag feud. It’s just going to be harder now because of the brand split requiring more people on the main roster. The reality is WWE has to be happy with things because NXT was doing shows in small 100 seat arenas about five years ago. Now there are some weekends where they are still putting half of them in small buildings, but also another tour with 3,000 seat buildings.

There’s no defined role for NXT. It’s part developmental brand, but also a third brand that has a show full time on the Network and does 5-6 Takeover specials in a year. It’s an ongoing changing process.

To sum all of that up, I think NXT will be fine.

Eli Whitlock
It’s pretty amazing to me that as hot as the nexus angle started, only two of the original 8 are active wrestlers today. Do you believe if they had went with the original booking, them going over team Cena at summerslam that year, the futures for any of the now inactive members of nexus would have been different?

They weren’t booked strong enough and some of the guys in the group were below average talents. The developmental system wasn’t that good in the late 2000s and into early 2010s. That’s why Triple H took over and look at the improvement. Laurinaitis sucked at the job by the end of it.

Ritesh Sidana
Hi John!!!! With Seth injured, what match should replace Seth vs Triple H at Mania but also keeping storyline alive? Joe vs. HHH or Finn vs. HHH or something else? Thank you.

I want Triple H vs. a younger guy that needs a win. Triple H vs. Zayn or Triple H vs. Balor would be best. I don’t really care about HHH vs. Shane. Hunter vs. Joe works fine I guess if you have Joe attack, but I don’t think it’s great. Use Hunter’s status as a long time top guy to put over a younger guy.

Brandon Gulledge
Hey John what do you think the best way is to utilize Joe on the main roster? Heel or face?

Heel. I’ve always enjoyed him more as a heel. That’s not to say he’s a bad face. I just think he’s got the right look and the style in the ring to carry himself as a badass heel that can beat people up. He looks the part too.

Chris Spears
For the love of God I don’t want to see AJ vs. Shane McMahon at Wrestlemania. If you had the book….who SHOULD AJ face?

Nakamura. Most of the hardcore fans that are whining about the other matches would probably shut up if we got that match. They wrestled in Japan before, but that’s not as big as being in WWE.

Samoa Joe would be cool just to see them in a WWE ring.

Triple H would work because we’ve never seen it before.

Finn Balor again is another fresh match that is a dream for a lot of people.

It’s AJ Styles. He has great matches with everybody, so anybody is good because of him.

Leo Carter
Though I feel the SD Women’s match at WM will be a multi match to get a lot of them on the card…if Bliss had a one on one match at that show, who should be her opponent?

I think Bliss vs. Nikki Boobs Bella makes the most sense if that were the case. Not sure if Nikki is going to retire soon or what might happen with her, though. Rumor that she might tag with Cena vs. Miz/Maryse. Like you said, it’s probably a multi-woman match since the card is pretty full.

Josh Bagiackas
Do you think they will get the belt back on balor pretty quick when he gets back?

No. I think Lesnar wins it from Goldberg at WM and then drops it to Reigns probably at SummerSlam or something like that.

Iain Simpson
When will Sable go into the HOF in your opinion?

Whenever she wants. I don’t know how to answer WWE HOF questions because it’s pretty silly, without rules and pretty random about who they pick lol. I don’t know if she goes to WWE events with husband Brock Lesnar or if she’s on bad terms with WWE. She has lived a private life since leaving in 2004 and they have two kids together.

Eric Hay
How long do you think it will take to have that next top draw come along? The company has so many talented wrestlers now but still only has a handful of marquee names. Just curious if you think someone on the current roster can have the drawing power of Cena or if that guy isn’t in the company yet.

Who knows? It’s hard to say. Could be somebody there we aren’t even thinking about it. Could be somebody that hasn’t even had a match anywhere in the world. I don’t know that WWE has a guy in developmental or main roster that they think can be the next Hogan, Austin or Rock. It’s not Roman, but he is pushed strong.

I hope there’s a boom period soon. More people watching on TV means more reading online and more people on a website like this!

—–

That’s all for now. I like to do these every two weeks, so that’s when the next one will be. Enjoy Raw and Smackdown this week. I won’t have a live Raw review (it should be up Tuesday AM), but I will write about Smackdown live on Tuesday night.

Take care.