TJR Q&A #28: Finn Balor’s WWE Return, Styles Options at WM, Wyatt/Orton & More (40 Questions!)

The Q&A is back here at TJRWrestling. It’s an every other week thing that I like to do to cover different WWE related topics. The questions come from the good people on my Facebook page, who always come at me with some interesting questions. This time when I asked for questions there were well over 100 of them, so I decided to break it up in two parts. This one features 40 questions and the next one, which should be posted on Tuesday, will have at least that many as well. Let’s get to it.

1. Shoaib Hussain
Now that Cena is a 16x World Champion do you see a heel turn coming?

Nope. I doubt he’s ever going to turn heel. He’s a part time performer now and will be used as a legendary performer that can hopefully work with younger talent while putting them over. He put over Wyatt pretty huge on two shows in a row. Plus, his Make a Wish work is something he takes serious. Doubt he will ever turn heel.

2. Ian Pinkett
Will Ospreay or Richochet get to WWE first?

I think Ricochet will go in 2018 at some point. He’s having fun in NJPW and indies. He can leave LU later this year. They want him and he’ll end up there. He’s very close friends with a lot of guys there especially Crews, who he lives with or may have lived with.

Ospreay might be a year or two more. Still young at 24 years of age this year, so lots of time.

3. Eric Munley
I always thought a three person tag team title was a good idea. It would differentiate brands, involve more wrestlers in the title picture, and give stables something to own besides the tag titles. Thoughts?

I don’t think it’s a great idea because they have too many titles already in WWE (I lost how count how many there are lol), so adding to that would be a bad move. They need to focus on the ones they currently have. I remember NWA/WCW had 6 man titles and it was fine, but they were hardly coveted.

4. Shay Smithers
How far do you feel Luke Harper could go as a singles face?

I don’t see him ever becoming a main eventer on a regular basis, but in terms of talent he’s outstanding. He’s already been a IC Champ, so he can probably get to that level again if you want to give him another run with that title or the US Title. I’m glad he’s being used more now.

Side note, he’s a huge Washington Redskins fan. Saw him out in public and he was decked out in their gear.

5. Rik Shaw
Which of the currently known or planned matches do you think will steal the show at Mania this year?

I think Owens vs. Jericho will be awesome and Styles vs. Shane (if they do it) will end up getting a lot of attention as a great match.

6. Aj Giacobbe
Who has the best ring gear in WWE?

Nikki Bella. Easy one!

7. Roderick Walker
Who do you think needs a face or heel turn the most?

I think Ambrose needs to turn heel because he’ll be outstanding in the role and I think he’s become boring as a face.

8. Brigid Martinez
How should they book Balor’s return?

There’s a lot of ways to do it. I think a rivalry with Samoa Joe makes a lot of sense because they have history in NXT, so why not push that on the main roster as well? A feud with Owens would be fine too, but I think he’ll be busy with Jericho.

There’s also a chance Balor has some story with Gallows & Anderson, but I don’t want Balor as a heel. They need him as a face.

9. Octavio Fierros
Favorite Raw after a WrestleMania?

I really just remember the moments and don’t really recall show quality because I review too many f’n shows lol. My two favorite moments would be Lesnar’s return in 2012 and Ziggler winning the World Title in 2013.

Also, I was at the one in 2014 with Ultimate Warrior in the ring. It was cool to see that especially knowing he died the next day.

10. Aidan Crowe
Do you think people like Meltzer should release information which effectively spoils the WWE product. The Rumble being a prime example.

It doesn’t bother me because I’ve been reading and writing about wrestling online for my entire adult life. I can understand why it would bug others. Knowing results of things never really affect my viewing. It’s the show quality that matters.

11. Aj Giacobbe
Has the women’s revolution lived up to promise…..failed…or kinda in the middle?

Best way to answer it is to say that in the last 18 months, WWE women have been booked a lot better than they were for several years. A solid B as a letter grade.

12. Erin Somers
Is Wrestlemania going to suck?? I have a feeling that it will.

It reminds me of WM31 two years ago. I wasn’t that thrilled with the card, but the show was better than I expected. I think it will better than people expect.

13. Roman Hojsak
Where do you think this HHH/Joe/Owens thing is headed? While the whole evil authority thing is played out, do you think the talent of the guys involved could make this interesting? Or is wwe simply rehashing another bad idea?

I think Triple H having a stable of NXT heels would be awesome. It promotes NXT while also creating a killer stable that can dominate the shows. I hope they add The Revival to the great and that Hunter is not a regular on television. Let Owens and Joe be the leaders.

Move Ambrose over to Raw, have him reunite with The Shield and there’s a massive storyline they can do.

14. Swastik Rath
Do you think the IWC sometimes underappreciate a WWE talent who is either a developmental product or comes from the smaller indie promotions (but very talented) in favor of those who already have proved their ability and become stars in the bigger promotions?

I think it happens, but not always. Some fans like the WWE trained guys. Bray Wyatt is not an indie darling. He was signed by WWE after he played football and came up through their system. Going back a decade earlier, a guy like Ziggler was always well liked and he was signed by WWE after college – he was not an indie darling. When fans know a guy like Owens, Zayn, Joe, etc. from another company it leads to excitement because we know what they can do and we want to see if they get a shot in WWE.

15. Chris Lewis
Do you think Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens will ever get together as a team this year or next?

It will happen at some point, but who knows when. Owens is locked in as a heel and I hope he’s not face for another two or three years. Zayn should be a face for his entire career. No turns! If I had to guess, maybe they team at some point in 2018.

16. Ryan Mullins
Are we headed for Wyatt vs. Orton vs. Harper at WrestleMania??

I think it will just be Wyatt vs. Orton, but I don’t know for sure. Adding Harper is fine although I think it’s a harder sell and that fans prefer one on one matches more.

17. Cory Andrew Bacon
Where do you see Erick Rowan fitting into this Wyatt Family storyline when he returns soon? Does he side with Wyatt, Orton, or does Harper recruit him?

I doubt Rowan will be used that much in a positive way. His role was always as the guy that got pinned in tag matches. I think it will be Orton alone against the three of them. Might take 3 or 4 weeks to get there.

18. Kris Doss
What would you do to make more fans care about Apollo Crews? Very talented, but doesn’t seem to have any sort of character or direction except for smiling babyface.

Turn him heel and put him with Ziggler. Let’s see a change in his demeanor to see if it works.

19. Francis Tasse
Whatever happened to Mandy Rose?

Gorgeous woman. One of my favorites to look at. I don’t think anything happened. She’s there, she works live events. Will get more TV time soon.

20. Douglas Gundlach
If you do think Goldberg is gonna beat Owens, will it be a squash match? I can’t see Goldberg going 15-20 minutes with Owens and 5-10 minutes will just be a waste of time. Just so we are on the same page, I really hope they have lesnar or Joe stop Goldberg from winning the title, or they let Owens beat him clean, which more than likely won’t happen.

I think Goldberg will win in about 5-7 minutes. Maybe just five. It won’t be a long match because he’s a poor in-ring performer and the longer it goes, the worse he’ll look. If they want to extend it then they’ll probably have no rules so they can brawl around the ring a bit.

21. Brady Hirschhorn
If Roman Reigns goes to Smackdown do you think the change of scenery would come with a change of character or do you think it would be business as usual?

I think he might turn heel after beating Undertaker at WrestleMania. I don’t think it matters what show he would be on. Being on SD is equivalent to Raw now that they are both live. It was different when SD was taped.

Smackdown’s audience is about 85% of what Raw gets most weeks, so it’s not much of a difference.

22. Lee Johnson
The passing of George “The Animal” Steele got me to thinking about great gimmicks. What’s your favorite gimmicks of all time? Least favorite? Which do you think was the hardest for the wrestler to perform consistently without dropping out of character? Sorry for the three-parter…

I think The Undertaker is the most impressive gimmick in the history of wrestling and the hardest for a wrestler to perform without dropping character. That’s a gimmick that never should have worked as well as it did because it’s pretty silly when you think about it, but he did a great job as a performer.

Favorite gimmicks are probably Stone Cold and The Rock. I know they are Attitude Era things and easy to pick, but when you think of what those guys were before, it’s amazing to see what they became and what kind of draws they were during the best period ever.

As for least favorite there are dozens we can all pick I’m sure lol.

23. Jeremy Cottreau
How would you rate Vickie Guerrero against other heel authority figures/managers?

She started out really annoying and wasn’t good, but ended up outstanding. Great heat magnet.

24. John St. Pierre
I’ve watched some Malenko matches recently. Do you believe he could’ve been something special like Eddie if used right?

Malenko was a really good technical wrestler, but lacking in personality. I doubt Uncle Vince would have ever pushed him that far. I didn’t like how they booked him in that Lita storyline in 2000. Malenko has been there ever since as a key guy backstage. Smart guy.

25. Ben Johnson
Is there still any chance WWE is going to purchase the library from TNA or do a sort of deal with some of the other promotions to air their content on the network? Was that just brought up when TNA was in desperate need of a cash stream?

It’s not going to happen now. TNA has new owners in Anthem and they have money, so there’s no reason to sell the tape library.

There have been surveys by WWE asking fans if they want to see other promotions on the Network. For now they haven’t done it. It could change. I dunno if it’s ever going to happen.

26. Matt Tome
Do you think WWE should bring back King of the Ring as a PPV? If so, which brand would it work best for? Or would you have KOTR dual branded? Or maybe an NXT Takeover King of the Ring, with winner getting a spot on the main roster?

Yeah I would do King of the Ring in October and the winner gets a title shot at Survivor Series. I wrote this a lot of years from like 2008 to 2012. Got tired of writing it lol.

I don’t think WWE likes the KOTR concept and that’s why it is gone. Just because they liked it in 1993 doesn’t mean they have to like it 24 years later. Best way I can explain their point of view.

27. Eric Jacinto
Do you think Bray is a placeholder champion for Orton? Or will Orton put him over at Mania?

I hope Bray beats him at WM. Would do a lot for Wyatt to have beaten Cena, Styles and Orton. Not sure who wins. I would have Bray win.

28. Denny Hart
Who do you see coming up from NXT to the main roster in 2017, and what brand do they go to?

There will probably be less this year than last year because last year had the brand split that was necessary. As for names, I think Nakamura really has to be the first name that goes. I hope The Revival as well. Asuka seems possible in the second half of the year unless they don’t see her as a main roster star.

29. Matt Wayne Breeding
What are your thoughts on TNA? I personally think they should have closed there doors already. However do you think it’s good for the wrestling business as a whole that there still around or is it bad they are still around?

It’s good for the business that they exist, but their situation is bad. They are getting about 350,000 viewers in the US and it was about 4 times that about five years ago. They aren’t even on TV in the UK. Here in Canada it’s on a specialty channel. There’s no touring. At least they have better owners now, but it’s not a great situation.

I don’t think it would have been a bad thing if they stopped taping shows for 2 or 3 months, said there’s a reboot with a new name (just go with Impact Wrestling only) and hype it up big time.

As for the talent, most are paid on time now and paid pretty well, so it’s good that 20-30 wrestlers are able to have jobs in wrestling.

30. Matt Wyatt
Corbin WWE Champion by Summerslam. Yay or Nay?

I would say by end of the year. SummerSlam may be too soon. Very possible, though.

31. Matt Mellows
Which wrestler that is unlikely to be in a ‘big’ match at Mania do you think really should be?

Sami Zayn. I think he’ll get battle royal duty and not win it. He should be featured more. Also hate that Dolph Ziggler has yet to have a singles match at a WrestleMania.

Also, Shinsuke Nakamura. If you would have told me he would have signed with WWE in January 2016 and not wrestle at a WrestleMania I would have said no fucking way, but it might happen.

32. Daison Thomas
When Kane debuted, did people backstage know he was Glenn Jacobs? Or was it kept a secret? And also when did the fans know that the man under the mask was the former dentist? I never knew he was Isaac yanken before he was Kane.

It was not a secret. He was under a WWE deal for a couple of years before that as Isaac Yankem and Fake Diesel. I’m sure people were happy for him that he finally had a good gimmick in a main event role.

I’m not sure when the average fan knew. We knew online because we are smarter lol. It’s not like WWE mentions Isaac Yankem anyway and it was a gimmick that didn’t last that long.

33. Jeff Goodridge
How soon till the Vaudvillains are released?

There’s no reason to release them. It’s good to have more tag teams on the roster. English is such a talented guy that has been reading my work longer than 95% of the people on here. Still young too. WWE is making so much money. Why do people want wrestlers released? It’s not your money, so let them stay employed.

34. Cordero Norman
When do you think Ambrose gets the belt again? I think later this year probably off of a heel but it won’t be a long reign. Once they turn him heel? He’s gonna have a long reign.

I don’t think he’ll win the title again (or the Universal Title if he’s moved) until he turns heels. Maybe next year. I dunno. It’s nice that he was champ, but I doubt he’s going to be major long term champ or a guy with many title reigns.

35. Jake Pumfleet
Ratings aside. How do they make Raw the better show again?

There have been some bright spots here and there. I think match quality could be a lot better. Changing the format would help because those opening segments just make me groan since they are so repetitive. I dunno. Lots of things I could think of, but want to get through these other questions.

36. Tyler Mills
Do you see Kurt Angle making a run in against Rusev at WrestleMania? Kind of like when Hogan came in and helped Eugene against Muhammad Hassan at WM21. My situation is maybe Rusev has Enzo in the Accolade perhaps.

I think it would be a great idea to have Angle do something more than just stand on the stage to wave to the fans. He’s probably going to wrestle a few matches, so not a bad thing to start something at WM. Can have Rusev beat him up on Raw, then Angle is out for a few months and have a SummerSlam match. Wish Rusev was used better.

37. Michael Reichmuth
How long until we see someone climb out the top of the new Elimination Chamber?

That would be incredibly hard to do since it’s curved towards the center. How can we know if somebody is going to hold on while they climb upside down? Too risky to try that kind of spot. I don’t see the point of it.

38. Darrius Gaddy
Do you watch shoot interviews and if so whose did you enjoy watching the most. For me as crazy as it sounds is New Jack. I enjoy Kevin Nash’s too.

I watch them once in a while. Youtube posts a lot of short clips of them. I watched some recent ones of guys like Kevin Nash and Ken Anderson/Kennedy. I don’t know if I have a favorite – it’s just something to do when I don’t want to write and want to learn more. Cornette is a favorite for sure lol.

39. Daniel Mount
Who should AJ face at Mania if the Shane thing falls through?

I would do AJ vs. Balor. Could be a special match. Raw vs. Smackdown why not? Works for me.

40. Andre Jones
Looking at all of the WWE Roster, which performers do you believe flourished the most transforming from enhancement talent to an outstanding gimmick/niche? (Example- No Way Jose’ was used to put over wrestlers before he was given the go-ahead for his current gimmick.)

JBL was nothing as Justin Hawk Bradshaw then Bradshaw and then a main eventer. He’s a good example.


That’s all for now. I will cut it at 40 questions and come back tomorrow (Monday) with another 40+ questions because there were a lot of them this time around.

Thanks for reading.