It’s time for another Q&A session exclusively here on TJRWrestling. For this Q&A, it’s a mix of questions that were replies to the last Q&A and also from readers on my Facebook page. This is probably the longest one I’ve done so far. Let’s get to it.
1 From rumballinthejungle: Do you think we will have an enjoyable episode of Raw before the end of the year?
I sure hope so. They know how put together some great shows that feature in-ring action more than the promos and silly angles. It’s just been a while. Then again, I’m usually pretty optimistic, so I could be way wrong on that one!
2 From DonKeidick: Other than The Rock, who do you think is the best opponent for Brock Lesnar is at Wrestlemania?
Even though I want to see the Shield triple threat, I think Lesnar putting over Roman Reigns would be smart for WWE to do. Their match this year was great. Why not do it again except without Rollins appearing? Lesnar shouldn’t lose much, but putting over Reigns would be beneficial to the company. I’d also like to see Lesnar vs. Owens, but doubt WWE would do it.
3 From Mike Julius: Do you see HHH winning the Rumble & challenging Rollins at Mania or the feud to happen before that?
I really hope not. It’s unlikely that Triple H will be in the Rumble match. Maybe that can be a big feud after WrestleMania. Assuming Rollins holds the WWE Title until WM, he can drop the title there and then turn face soon after. Maybe you do Rollins vs. Triple H as a big SummerSlam match.
4 From Jake Dickinson: Hello John, Kevin Owens is a fantastic performer and has been for years. I wouldn’t mind this IC Title reign lasting until Summerslam 2016. The WWE Title already has lots of people going for it and will probably be based around Rollins “and the others” for quite some time so why not. Which challengers (including Samoa Joe) would you have face Owens as IC Champ until his reign ends?
I’m all for really long title reigns and especially for Owens. I think Sami Zayn returning in December or January to go after him would be amazing. Then there are guys like Daniel Bryan, Samoa Joe, Dolph Ziggler, Dean Ambrose and even Randy Orton that I’d be interested to see against Owens. He’ll always have good matches if he’s given time to do so.
5 From Joe Sondag: With the New Day being heels yet being cheered and positive chants directed at them do you think at some point do you see them turning face or continue to be the “cool heels” that are simply too entertaining not to boo at all?
I hope they always stay heel. They’re so good in the role and I would love to see it continue for years (not months, but years). The problem is that eventually WWE is going to think about how they want to push Big E as a singles wrestler or maybe give Kofi Kingston another run on his own. It would be a mistake, but it’s possible. Smart fans at shows will cheer them, but they should keep being heels for a long time. No need to end it.
6 From Ed: Do you think WWE will ever start doing inter-gender matches again? I wish they’d bring in someone like Jessica Havok and have her be a modern day Chyna.
I’m not a fan of it and I doubt WWE will do it especially with the PG rating they have. I know Lucha Underground does it and Sexy Star is a fantastic wrestler, but it’s not something I enjoy watching that much.
Now we move on to the Facebook questions. I’m not putting names in because last time I did somebody got mad saying I didn’t get their permission, so I’m keeping the names out. Sorry. If you’re friends with me on Facebook you can see it here and if not, add me.
7 Do you see the Midnight Express in the WWE HOF?
Sure. They were one of the best teams in their era and eventually WWE will put in more teams because they’re going to run out of midcard wrestlers.
8 Although a big name, if Alberto El Patron doesn’t come back for Lucha Underground season 2, do you see it being a big hit for them or just business as usual?
He’s a big name for the Latino market, so I think it would be a loss for them although they have a lot of other latin stars. If they get Rey Mysterio like I assume then that would certainly help. I think they’ll figure things out and keep Del Rio there, but if not then I can see WWE welcoming him back.
9 Who receives the most long term benefit ( in a perfect world) from beating Cena and holding the US title for a few months?
A heel that could win the title, maybe do some injury angle and then feud with Cena in January when he’s back on TV. I picked Daniel Bryan, who is not a heel, but a heel like a Sheamus or somebody else on the rise would benefit the most.
10 What was your favorite Undertaker near fall at Wrestlemania? Mine personally was when Arn Anderson slipped in and hit him with the spinebuster against Flair. You knew it wasnt going to be a 3 count. Just a cool spot.
That’s a fun question. There are many that come to mind, but I’ll go with the one from WM28 HIAC when he took a Superkick and Pedigree back to back, then kicked out and those of us in the stadium exploded in cheers. One of the loudest pops I’ve ever felt in my life. Never forget that.
11 What was your opinion on the 1998 (I believe) Brawl for all tournament?
Yeah it was 1998/99. Terrible idea. Too many guys got hurt and it was a low point of the show when it was on. I think they did it to make Dr. Death Steve Williams a star, then turn him into a top heel opponent for Stone Cold and he ended up losing. So they probably should have scripted it. Butterbean knocking out Bart Gunn was memorable at least lol.
12 Do you think we’ll ever see Shane McMahon back in a WWE ring?
I hope so! Ever is a long time and we have seen so many people in wrestling “come back home” to WWE, so it’s kinda hard to say no. May be a while though.
13 What would you say is the number one factor in Raw’s current ratings free fall?
I think being three hours long is really hurting them. They had other periods where shows weren’t that good (years like 2009 and 2010 were both bad), but at least you didn’t have to sit through three hours. Going that long is hurting the writing and the viewers aren’t sticking around like they did before. With that said, their stock is up and money is coming in, so I doubt WWE is too mad.
14 Everyone knows about John Cena leaving after tomorrow for a few months. How would you book his return, and who would you feud him with when he returns?
I don’t think Cena needs a specific feud when he returns because he’ll be back for TV in January, so just push him as a featured guy in the Royal Rumble. Putting him against a heel like Sheamus is probably most likely because I don’t give WWE creative much credit in creating something fresh.
15 With the downfall of ratings on Raw and the rumors of WWE wanting to do something big for Smackdown’s channel move, could we see another roster split and draft?
I would be open to it and I’d like it, but from what I’ve been told from asking is that WWE is probably never going to do it again. They like having everybody together and they can still do the split rosters on the weekends. I think creatively it makes for better shows because then people are on only once per week instead of twice, but it’s probably not happening again.
16 Why are you a wrestling fan? What got you hooked on it?
I’m the youngest of four kids and I have 14 older cousins as well, mostly male. Big Greek family. So my older cousins used to watch it in the 1980s. Randy Savage was my guy and I remember marking out huge when he won the WWE Title at WrestleMania 4. I watched before that too, but that was one of those early memories.
17 It sounds a little new to say but is Tyler Breeze better off staying in NXT? I understand he’s paid his dues and deserves it but he just seems like a guy who’s quickly going to get lost in the shuffle. Is it better being the man in NXT or a low carder on the main roster?
He will probably make 3 or 4 times as much money on the main roster, so I don’t think he’s better off in NXT. Plus, he was in developmental for like five years so what more can he do there? Better to go on the main roster, work with different people and see how far he can go. It’s not like he had major feuds in NXT anyway. I’m excited about his future.
18 Do you see the product changing significantly (good or bad) once Vince passes away?
It’s hard to say because most of us don’t know what a WWE is like without Vince. Yes NXT exists and I love it, but Triple H has said he markets it for the hardcore wrestling fans (people like us) because he knows that’s who is watching. The TV audience is different. More kids, more older fans, more women fans – so you can’t run Raw like NXT. There’s a part of me that thinks it’ll be better post Vince, but then there are the intangibles that he brings that nobody else can do so I’m not sure if it will be great without him.
Hope that makes sense. Tough to answer. Vince will outlive us all lol.
19 Can you see C.M. Punk doing the same thing Brock did leave and cum back a few years down the line for a rating booster? And by any chance of Punk leaving was part of a work shoot angle that we don’t know about?
For Brock it was 8 years away, but he was in his late 20s when he left. Punk is already in his late 30s. I think Punk may go back to wresting in a few years although I think he’d be happy working for some indy shows with his friends and not deal with WWE anymore. It’s tough to say “never” in wrestling, but in Punk’s case it might be never for him. It’s not a wrestling angle.
20 With the success of the Dusty Rhodes Tag Team Classic, and with as many up and coming tag teams as there are in NXT, do you see WWE putting a bigger focus on tag team wrestling in the future, similar to how NXT “revolutionized” the Divas division?
I’d like to see that. It’s just all about committing more time to them, putting them in more featured matches and developing teams. They have had periods in the last two years where they got really deep with teams, but injuries hurt them this year with Tyson Kidd, Erick Rowan and Jey Uso getting hurt. I hope they get back to a more focused tag division.
21 Do you think Renee Young will ever get bumped up to the announce team on Raw?
Yes and I would do it now. While I think Byron Saxton has worked hard and I don’t have a problem with him, he doesn’t add much. Putting Renee there with Cole & JBL would be fun because she’s worked with them before and she’s a trained broadcaster that has also done improv comedy. She’s funnier than people think or know. Just give her a shot.
22 How long until The Shield reforms on a semi permanent basis?
I think post WrestleMania 2016. Rollins should be a face by then. I guess Ambrose is staying face even though I want him to be heel.
23 What way would you have Finn Balor introduced to the main roster?
I think #1 entrant in the Royal Rumble with that amazing demon entrance and have him last 45 minutes into the final ten. Not win, but it’s a memorable debut.
24 What would you do to change the direction of Wade Barrett to make him a future champion?
I would have done it in 2011. Maybe use Money in the Bank for it since he’s a heel. The other way is just book him stronger and have him feuds. I always mention Mark Henry in 2011 because the guy was mostly a loser for 15 years. All of a sudden he gets a new deal and wins more often. People believe it. It’s not that hard to give somebody wins and momentum. It could be Barrett just like any wrestler. He certainly deserves an opportunity.
25 Most missed dream match that never happened and the one wrestler you miss most that’s not with us anymore?
I think a face Shawn Michaels vs. heel Eddie Guerrero feud would have been amazing. I know that they had plans to do it in early 2006, but Eddie died in late 2005. Also picking something more current I’d say Kurt Angle vs. Daniel Bryan. Hopefully it happens.
The wrestlers I miss the most are Owen and Eddie because they were still in their 30s. That’s no disrespect to others that I loved watching perform, but those two deaths hit me hard. Macho Man too because it would have been amazing to see him at his own HOF ceremony.
26 Thoughts on if Jacqueline should go into the HOF in Dallas?
I think it should be Sable or Victoria. Not my pal Mickie yet because she’s not done. Jackie was pretty good, but I don’t know if she’s on the radar.
27 Do you think Raw should have more world title matches like they did from around 2001-2003? And also, why is it that nearly every Raw and Smackdown main event finishes in a DQ?
They should definitely have more WWE Title matches on TV. I’ve written that many times before and will always feel that way. I get wanting them to make title matches feel special, but they could still happen on TV like they did before.
28 Don’t you think Charlie Haas would’ve been a better fit as JBL’s chief of staff than Orlando Jordan? He had a financial background. His trunks could’ve said HAA$. I just think he could’ve been US Champ like Shelton was as IC Champ.
I guess the idea was to have a younger wrestler and hope that the guy takes off, so that he can feud with JBL later. Jordan was just okay, though. It didn’t get to be as big of an angle as they hoped. Haas was always a good performer.
29 Why don’t fans get behind Eva Marie????? I mean she does have a great ass (Al Pacino voice).
Haha. I think being signed for three years and barely wrestling or doing anything is the big reason. We applaud people that put in the work, so fans will also criticize those that maybe don’t do that same work. With that said, she has worked hard this last year and I hope she’s successful.
30 Do you believe the Wyatt Family could be at their strongest ever right now? With Bray only 29 or so and 3 monsters like Harper, Rowan, and Strowman I think their at the strongest and best right now.
Yep I agree. I hope it leads Bray to the WWE Title, but always worry that they will break it up too soon like they did the last time.
31 Do you see them adding any new Wyatt “family” members? And if so, who??
I’m not sure if they need more. A smaller guy? Maybe James Storm could be involved. I don’t think they need more, though.
32 Do you see Eric Bischoff back in the WWE?
I do. Tremendous on screen performer that is respected and can put over others by working with them. I hope he’s back next year.
33 Who in the WWE top 25 would you pick to be WWE World Heavyweight Champion within the next calendar year?
Who I want? Kevin Owens. Who I think will be? Roman Reigns.
34 What’s your favorite heel turn?
The Rock at Survivor Series 1998 to win the WWE Title. Didn’t see it coming. Love it. Also Bret Hart’s turn in 1997 was amazing although it was a slow burn instead of one moment. Other ones I loved more recently would be Chris Jericho in 2008 and CM Punk’s turn on Smackdown in 2009 with Jeff Hardy was pretty great.
35 Do you see WWE being smart and moving James Storm to the main roster anytime soon?
I think so. Maybe he’s in the Royal Rumble and go from there. Weird that he wasn’t at the NXT tapings this past week so he’s not going to be on NXT for a month now.
36 Who would benefit more with a WWE return: Shelton Benjamin or MVP?
I like both, but I think when you’re over 40 years old like they are then it’s tough to get a big push. I’d say MVP though because he’s a better talker. I thought he made a mistake going back to TNA and he ended up quitting because he was unhappy, so maybe WWE could have interest in him again.
37 Do you think Cena looks to bury those who threaten his merchandise sales? e.g. Zack Ryder
I don’t think Cena is bad in terms of that stuff, but I could be wrong. I think it’s more of a Vince McMahon thing and Vince loves Cena probably too much. He protects him too much that it hurts others.
38 Do you think that there are tag teams in the WWE that should never ever split up? If so: who and why?
The Usos should never split up because they are twins and I don’t see them succeeding that much as singles. Other than that, most teams should be split up at some point just because it makes for good stories.
39 With the recent additions of TNA stalwarts Samoa Joe and James Storm to WWE NXT, do you think this might be the death knell for Impact Wrestling?
They can survive as they have for 13 years, but I think it’s going to be very difficult for them to grow and that’s the reason for concern. If you’re not a growing company in terms of the fanbase then why would a TV station pay you to show your TV show on their network? They can exist, but they are already dying.
40 Who better than Kanyon?
I liked him a lot and that catchphrase was great. Shame that he committed suicide. Depression sucks and I’ve certainly dealt with people that had it. Wish people were more willing to talk about it rather than think of it as something that makes somebody weak.
41 What are your current favorite theme songs? I’m a big fan of Sami Zayn’s and Bray Wyatt.
I like both of those songs a lot. My fave might still be Mark Henry. Also like Sasha Banks, Apollo Crews and Rusev! Banks really has an amazing song that fits her perfectly.
42 Do you think we will see a woman’s match on the main roster that equals the greatness of NXT Takeover matches? If so, who are the competitors?
I don’t think it will happen soon, but probably Charlotte vs. Sasha Banks.
43 What are the chances of D-Bryan vs Lesnar at WM 32 according to you?
I doubt it assuming both are faces. Just a safety thing with Bryan, but that’s a match I’d love to see.
44 Who have you heard/read of that didn’t want to push DBry?
He’s not tall, so of course they didn’t want to push him right away and he talks about it in his book. Guys that are smaller have to work extra hard and take longer to get there. I’d say it was probably Vince McMahon that had a reluctance early on, but then over time they realized he’s great.
45 Rank all the Stone Cold Podcast specials from most exciting to most boring.
I think the Vince and Triple H ones were the best. Then the Heyman one. I enjoyed the E&C one because they’re my guys, but I can understand if people didn’t like it. Lesnar one was pretty average. I like her, but Paige one was probably most boring.
I’m hoping for The Rock, Sting and Undertaker soon.
46 Do you think there will be a Beer Money reunion in the WWE?
It would be cool. I was surprised James Storm was signed by WWE and I hope Bobby Roode is too. Hard to know for sure, but I would love it. It shows that WWE is willing to sign anybody no matter their age and where they worked before, so that’s encouraging.
47 Do you think we will ever see AJ Styles and/or Bullet Club on WWE TV? I am such a huge fan of his, I would love to see a feud between him and Balor. There is so much history to not write a storyline for the two of them.
I don’t see AJ in WWE because he’s making a lot of money with NJPW and ROH. He’d have to take a significant pay cut to go to WWE and as a married father I doubt he’d want to sacrifice the money he makes. He’s almost 40 too. As for Bullet Club as well as his history with Balor, it’s not something that happened in WWE, so I doubt they would push it.
48 Do you think WWE would benefit from any competition? They are only competing against the ratings.
Yes they would. For that to happen, a billionaire needs to buy a company, get a significant TV deal with a good roster, a smart booker and give them some competition. Until then, it’s probably not going to happen any time soon.
49 Who are your favorite WWE valets of all time?
Sherri was amazing because she really helped wrestlers get more heat due to her actions outside the ring. I had a lot of respect for Miss Elizabeth although in WWE she didn’t do much. Another one that stands out is Debra because I had a huge crush on her at the time. Easy to see why.
50 There have been more than a few torn quad injuries in pro wrestling. Are those common with steroid/hgh users like torn biceps?
Yep you’re onto something there. I think those muscle tear injuries are caused by performance enhancers. Batista had like four or five muscle tear injuries and I don’t think he’s natural. Same with Triple H. You don’t see those kinds of injuries in NFL, NBA or MLB that often. Once in a while, but not much. I should add too that I don’t care if wrestlers use performance enhancing drugs. I just don’t want them to have problems due to what they are taking. It’s a performance rather than a competitive sport, so it’s no different than Sylvester Stallone juicing up for a Rocky film.
51 Do you think we’ll ever see an NXT Championship match at Wrestlemania and NOT have it on the pre-show?
I would love that, but I don’t know if it will happen just because of how many things they want to put on WM cards. Plus, they are having a NXT Takeover show on the Friday during WM weekend that will likely have a major match there. I highly recommend going to that if you are in the area.
52 Who would you rank as your top 5 current Ring of Honor talents, and how do you feel Matt Sydal fka Evan Bourne has done since his return?
He’s been pretty awesome from what I’ve seen and I’m happy for him. Worked hard to get back.
Jay Lethal is my fave there. So good. Amazing all around performer that has improved over the years. After that I’d say Adam Cole, The Young Bucks, AJ Styles and Roderick Strong. I guess I cheated and picked six. If I could pick the New Japan guys I’d put Okada and Nakamura up there too.
53 In your opinion which midcard wrestlers in WWE/WCW were over looked and deserved a better push? I always liked Scott Norton.
I would have made MVP a main eventer in WWE. Missed opportunity. In WCW probably Lance Storm. Came close to the top, but wasn’t really there. Out of current guys in WWE, I’d make it a point to make Cody Rhodes a main eventer within the next year.
54 Who do you think should be the guy to get the ‘rub’ putting Cena out of action for a few months?
Daniel Bryan. Comes back, puts him in Yes Lock, Cena lets out this freak yell and they say that Bryan broke his arm. Imagine that? Puts over Bryan as better than ever. But hey it’s not up to me lol.
55 Which two guys do you see being the top face/heel of the company in 5 Years from now?
Seth Rollins the heel and Sami Zayn the face. Maybe that’s just what I want. Could be somebody not even in WWE right now too. A guy like Roman Reigns wasn’t even wrestling five years ago and look where he is now, so you never know.
56 At some point down the road do you see A.J. Lee returning to WWE for in ring competition?
She retired young, so it’s possible. I just think she lost a passion for the business when Punk left and it must have been hard to be around the business. My guess is they have kids in the near future and she doesn’t get back to WWE.
57 Can Fandango ever be taken as “serious” with a US or IC title win?
I don’t think so. I’d make him a heel tag team with Adam Rose with a female manager. They have talent. Just need to be used better.
58 Why did Vince McMahon end the streak? In my opinion it should’ve never been ended or duplicated.
It’s not a title, so it’s one of those things that could end and somebody could brag about it. Over a year later, Paul Heyman still brags about it, so it works. If Undertaker retired with the streak in tact, then what? It doesn’t really do anything to have him stay undefeated at one show when he’s retired. At least with Lesnar being the guy to beat him, it meant something and that’s why they did it. I never thought it would happen, but I can see why they did it.
59 With the deal between NXT and WWN known, with Sapolsky and Triple H exchanging talent and acknowledging each other, what are the chances we see an Evolve title match on a Takeover special?
I don’t see the need to do that. Exchanging talent is fine, but no need to put their title on NXT and I doubt it would happen. That’s just confusing for the fans.
60 I’ve heard there is more heat on Lana than Rusev for their engagement. Why?!
She posted pics of herself with the ring on. Since WWE wanted the angle to continue with them apart, they were probably upset that she would do that when it could have been avoided if she didn’t post pics with a ring on. It’s dumb that there is any heat. The wrestling business is fucking weird. Congrats to them!
That’s a wrap. Nearly 5,000 words, which means it is almost the length of a Raw Deal review column! I’ll try to do one per week. If you have a question for the next one, put in the comments below or follow me on Twitter @johnreport or add me on Facebook (search “John Canton”) and I’ll be happy to answer to the best of my ability.
I’ll be back tomorrow night for the live WWE Hell in a Cell review.