TJR Q&A #36: Nakamura’s Push on WWE Smackdown, WWE TV Ratings & More! (33 Questions!)

It’s time once again for a Question & Answer session here on TJRWrestling. The questions come from the good people on my Facebook page and the answers come from me. I’ll put the questions in quotes with my replies right underneath. There were a lot of Nakamura questions this week, which is why he’s pictured at the top this time.

1. Sumitpal Singh
What does “great balls of fire” mean?

It’s a famous song from 1957 when Grandpa Vinny Mac was a kid, so I guess he’s fond of it. Is it a good PPV name? Absolutely not.

2. Nick Johnson
John C, what is your viewpoint of the whole JBL vs. Mauro Ranallo situation? Given the circumstances and the results, who, if anyone, is at fault?

I talked about it a lot on podcasts already. I think WWE wanted Mauro to come in, be a different kind of announcer that actually called the moves and then they got sick of that style, so they put Tom Phillips beside him to hype things still to come in the show. With JBL, a lot of it is the higher ups telling him to do things like attacking him to that Bring it to the Table show.

As for Mauro, he just called a heavyweight boxing title match at Wembley with 90,000 fans so he’s obviously doing very well and has moved on.

My take is that some people high up in WWE offices are assholes and they should learn to grow up.

3. Chris Goad
Will there ever be a working relationship between ROH and WWE?

It’s possible, but I don’t think so because ROH has existed for 15 years on a business model that is working for them. If they were to do a working relationship with WWE then that would mean things aren’t going well for them. I wish ROH had a better PPV deal and had more money for production, but they seem to be locked into their current situation.

4. Ryan Petrynka
How would you book a Roman/Braun double turn?

Do I have to? Braun shouldn’t be a face. If he goes face he’ll be boring like Big Show during all of his face runs.

Roman turning heel is easy. Should have done it at WM as I wrote a bunch of times. Beat up some people a lot, tell the fans they suck for booing him and stuff like that.

5. Erin Somers
Will Nakamura be WWE Champion at some point this year???

I think they’ll use this year to build him up, maybe he goes undefeated for the year and save the WWE Title picture for him for next year.

6. Tad Johnson
What do you think the ceiling is on the main roster for the following wrestlers: Tye Dillinger, Shinsuke Nakamura, Braun Strowman?

I think Nakamura and Strowman will be multiple time WWE (or Universal) Champions. I don’t think Dillinger will get to that level, but hopefully a midcard or tag title at some point.

7. Robin Fletcher
Who do you think Brock Lesnar wrestles next?

I think they’ll do Braun Strowman vs. Brock Lesnar at Great Balls of Fire in July and Lesnar will also face somebody at SummerSlam. Perhaps Finn Balor or Seth Rollins.

8. Daniel Mount
How disappointed are you about Shibata’s career likely being in doubt? Loved his work.

It’s shitty. I saw the highlight of the headbutt and it’s awful news. Very talented performer from what I’ve seen as well.

9. Jeremy Barcelo
Has Dana Warrior wore out her welcome?

Yes, but she has some contract with WWE now for public appearances. They feel bad for her and want to help take care of her family. I’ve said many times Ultimate Warrior said some of the worst thing about homosexuals that I’ve ever seen. Disgusting. Also, he mocked Droz after he paralyzed from being in the ring. Also disgusting. That’s not on her, though.

10. Dale William
Will Cesaro ever win a World Title in WWE?

I think it may be hard for Cesaro to break through to win a World Title. They have him locked into his spot and I’m not sure if Vince McMahon is going to suddenly feel like pushing him to the top. I hope it happens for him, but I have my doubts that it will happen.

11. Anthony James
How long do you think it will take before Shinsuke Nakamura is in the WWE Smackdown Title picture and do you think he will hold the belt for a long title reign if he wins it?

I think it will be next year rather than this year. Use this year to build him up and push him early next year to go for a title. No rush. I’d like to see Styles win it back towards the end of the year and faces Nakamura for it at WM next year.

12. Ed Eastin Jr
Before Great Balls of Fire was announced, what, in your opinion, was the worst PPV name of all time?

I really don’t think any WWE PPV name has ever been that bad. December to Dismember was a terrible show, but the name wasn’t that bad. I thought some WCW PPVs had bad names like Hog Wild and Road Wild as well as Sin, which relaly doesn’t come across as a good show name to me.

13. Rick Bulow
Do you think it is wise to hold Nakamura’s in-ring televised (or PPV) debut until Backlash? I had seen a couple of dark matches he was in (on youtube) and kind of wish he were in the ring right now.

I think it’s smart. After Backlash he can have TV matches, but saving that first match for a PPV makes the PPV more special.

Some fans are bitching about Jinder Mahal as #1 contender to WWE Title, so I think WWE wants to do something else on that show that comes off as special and that’s where Nakamura fits in. The fans that never saw him in NXT missed out and they can see him at Backlash now.

14. David Harnick
Do you think The Miz will get the World Title push he deserves this year?

It might be tough because I think Brock Lesnar could have a one year reign. If he was on Smackdown I would have said yes, but on Raw I doubt he’s going to be a PPV opponent of Lesnar. So I’ll say no and hope that he does get to that level next year perhaps.

15. Roger Nicklaus
If you could book a 5 on 5 Raw vs SmackDown WAR GAMES match…what would your teams be?

Lesnar, Rollins, Balor, Strowman & Reigns vs. Styles, Nakamura, Orton, Owens & Cena. Sounds good to me.

16. Swastik Rath
Name one for each
(1) Who really needs to turn face?
(2) Turn heel
(3) Who is a heel, but would be much better as a face?
(4) Is a face, but would be much better as a heel?

1. I can’t think of anybody at the moment. I like heels!

2. Dean Ambrose turning heel before a Shield reunion tease would be amazing. Also, heel Apollo Crews could help him.

Also, Roman Reigns booked like a face should go heel.

3. Nobody comes to mind.

4. Dean Ambrose.

17. Kevin Alexander
Do yoy think Samoa Joe will ever main event a Raw PPV (1 on 1 match) or hold the Universal Title? Unfortunetly I do not because he has so many WWE guys ahead of him in Vince’s mind (Reigns, Braun, Rollins, Wyatt, Ambrose).

Yes I think he will, but probably not this year. Your point is valid because there are others that may be ahead of him (I would add Finn Balor to the names too) and Joe is almost 40. May be tough for Joe to hold the Universal Title.

18. S Patrick Toman
The Raw and Smackdown ratings are the lowest they’ve been in 20 years. What do you think is the blame for that, and how do you fix it?

This month is always a struggle as are Sept to Dec when NFL games are on. There’s no fix because people watch TV less in terms of cutting back on cable TV subscriptions and things like that. Most people would rather watch a clip of wrestling than a three hour match.

Also, Smackdown is doing better numbers this year than the last few years and means more as a live show, so that helps.

There’s no immediate fix, but maybe a bigger angle needs to take place because they don’t seem to be able to do those anymore.

19. Larry Yadao
It looks like Ziggler will be putting over Nakamura at Backlash. Why do you think Ziggler no matter face or heel just hasn’t had a chance to lead a program and be a full on main event player with booking? Is it his character? Or size? I feel he has all the tools and gets good reactions but for some reason, WWE likes feeding him to young stars where he has potential to possibly at this time especially, a main event heel.

His feud with Miz last year was one of the best of the year. Problem is once it was over they did nothing with him. I don’t think he’s going to be a main event player or ever really break through at this point in his career because they have younger guys. They view him as a veteran that can work with newer talent and put them over. I wish he had a bigger role, but I doubt it.

20. Mark Virutiao
Will Sami Zayn have a WWE Title run? Do you think he will win a different title?

I hope so. He’s young enough (early 30s) and good enough that he certainly deserves it at some point if they build him up. Unfortunately, his role at the moment is to put people over more than actually win his feuds, so he’s being pigeon holed as a loser. I hope that one day he can break out of it. Be patient. It would be cool if he wins the US Title this year so that he can show people what can do as a champion that has great matches all the time.

21. Brady Hirschhorn
Do you believe WWE’s version of Broken Matt Hardy will live up to the expectations based on what he was able to do with it on his own?

Hope so. Keep in mind that a lot of WWE fans didn’t see much of him in TNA aside from clips once in a while, so it’s going to be new to a lot of the WWE crowd. I can understand people being concerned about it too because WWE tends to overbook things like that. Matt’s a smart guy, knows what works and will probably improve on what he did in Impact because they have a much bigger budget in WWE.

On the other hand, look at Bray Wyatt. He could be in a much better place right now, but the booking has been awful. I try to be optimistic, though.

22. John Czech
The one WCW PPV you’d like to see the WWE use that they haven’t yet. Mine would be War Games.

Yes Wargames I’ve said it for 16 years! Be nice if they did it, but I doubt they are going to do it.

I thought Halloween Havoc was a great PPV name that WWE should have used.

23. Shay Smithers
Is Kyle O Reilly still coming to NXT? I don’t think I’ve heard any word about that since he first left ROH in January.

I think Kyle O’Reilly will be in WWE within a few months, but there were some legal issues and stuff they had to deal with. It will probably happen, though. Hopefully this summer or at least before the end of the year.

24. Ruffin Harris
John I have a very simple question. Who is the best heel in WWE again? I keep mis-remembering who you said for some reason.

The Miz. Been incredible since the draft last year and his promos have been missed on Smackdown.

25. Cory Andrew Bacon
If and when Sanity comes to the main roster, do you think WWE will learn from their mistakes with the Wyatts, or will we see a repeat of the stop/start and ultimately disappointing booking? More specifically, do you think Eric Young will be presented as a strong leader in charge of a powerful faction?

I think they will learn from mistakes of the Wyatt Family and book Sanity stronger. Same way they learned from Nexus mistake with them losing too much and then The Shield was book to win all the time. They have shown they can learn from booking mistakes.

EY should do well on the main roster. I know he’s almost 40, but he’s a great all around talent and I’m happy for him because he’s from my area.

26. Robert Lee Thomas
At the end of this WWE year, (the day after Wrestlemania 2018) will every woman on the WWE roster be a former Women’s Champion?

Haha it seems like that, huh? They have loved booking short title reigns for the last couple of years and I can’t explain it. I hope the answer to this question is a no because they need longer, sustained title reigns.

27. Nate Kuhl
With people like Dana Brooke and Apollo Crews being called up too early, who do you think is the next person who gets promoted to the main roster before they are really ready? My pick would be No Way Jose.

The Drifter is my pick because he hasn’t had a match on the main roster yet, so I think he would count. I don’t think he was that good in NXT and putting him on the main roster is a mistake to me. If the gimmick didn’t get over in NXT why would they think it will on the main roster? I don’t like that move at all.

28. Mike Robinson
Which two single WWE stars do you think would make a good tag team who are not being used well at the moment?

Apollo Crews and Titus O’Neil as a heel team. A turn would be really good for Crews, I think.

29. Brett Beatty
Do you see Neville or Austin Aries and the other crusierweights wrestling outside of the division or strictly crusierweight only?

They will at some point. Why not? Great performers that can do it all. Neville has been one of my favorite wrestlers since his heel turn in the last six months. Both guys are great against opponents of any size.

30. Deryl Parnell Jr.
Do you see a Shield reunion this year or save it until Wrestlemania?

I think it’s very likely to happen this year, but I’d rather see Dean turn heel against them to prevent it.

31. Andrew Harlall
How do you see the New Day fitting in on Smackdown and how do you think they will/should be used?

They’ll probably be a top tag team there to feud with Usos and stuff like that. Do the split early next year and see how they do. I’m actually surprised they have been together for as long as they have because usually WWE ends a good thing like that too soon.

32. Curtis Arellanez
Why does a win loss ratio matter? When it’s all a work, and predetermined? I suppose it would matter for legitimacy, but, if the performer has no choice? It’s not like, baseball, hokey, football, etc. where both sides have a fighting chance. If the “company” wants to push someone, does anyone really think they would say no? We wanted new people to be pushed, it’s not always who we want, but at lest they are pushing new guys, right?

I assume you’re talking about Reigns winning a lot and people hating him? Fans are booing because they hate the super push even though it’s always a part of wrestling. The top wrestlers have been booked like that for decades now.

Win/loss doesn’t always matter, but for a guy like Jinder Mahal it would have been nice if they built him up some more with wins.

The wrestlers that win and lose matches are part of the story. We want to follow them along the journey whether they win a lot or lose a lot and try to see them have a story that makes sense.

33. Oscar Deejay O Valencia
Which wrestler has ruined more careers than anyone in the WWE, WCW, ECW or TNA? Cena, Michaels, Hogan, Nash, HHH?

Hogan by far, but he also made the most money for people, so it goes both ways. I know I can elaborate on that more, but there’s just a lot more of Hogan stories than the others because he was a wrestler that had creative control in his career (in WCW and TNA) and used it a lot.


That’s all for now. There were a lot of questions on my Facebook page, so I’ll post more questions with answers on Monday most likely. On Sunday I plan on posting a retro PPV review.

Here’s a link to the Q&A Archives in case you want to look back on things. Have a great weekend!