TJR Q&A #42: Ending Asuka’s WWE NXT Undefeated Streak, Braun Strowman’s Push & More (40 Questions!)

It’s time for the latest Q&A here on TJRWrestling. I try to do these every two weeks, so it’s perfect timing since there’s no WWE PPV this weekend. There was one last Sunday and there is another one next Sunday. It just never stops, does it? Anyway, the questions come from my Facebook page and there’s enough of them that it will be split into two parts with the second part coming in a day or two.

1. Brady Hirschhorn
Do you think it would benefit the cruiserweights to have them on both Raw and Smackdown instead of having 205 Live?

Nope. There’s no time on Smackdown for a lot of great talents already. I don’t want to see the CW’s on Smackdown too.

2. Roger Nicklaus
If WWE brings in Dixie Carter as Kurt’s secret on Monday…how do they rectify that with the way they have portrayed Angle now as the reformed family man? He did tell whomever was on the phone that he loved them…

I really hope it’s not her and think it would be a terrible idea if she was involved in WWE in any way. You can tell any story you want if it’s good and makes sense, so hopefully there is at least a plan whether it’s Dixie or something else.

3. Paul Barker
If YOU were Daniel Bryan and had the love for wrestling he does, but we’re advised by doctors to never do it again for your health, do you think you’d still aim to go against the advice or would you listen to it?

I wouldn’t do it especially since he has a daughter that’s a few months old. Why risk your health knowing you had to stop wrestling because of it? It seems crazy to me that he would even consider it. With that said, it’s all he’s known in his adult life and there must be something in him that really misses it because he did it for like 15 years.

It’s his call, but I think ultimately his wife Brie and others will probably help to convince him it’s not worth the risk.

4. Marky Fc
How could I grow veins like Jinder Mahal???

Go on the same “diet” as him, Triple H and Vince McMahon. I’m not saying any of them use any illegal substances. I can confirm all are healthier than me, so good for them!

5. Kurt Zamora
Who’s turning heel in The Hype Bros? Ryder or Mojo? Or do you see a scenario based on Tuesdays episode where they both turn heel?

I guess both of them could turn heel and you could say that they were the ones that attacked Breezango. That’s a good idea actually.

I feel like your boy Ryder should turn just because he’s been this same face character for like 7 years and it’s really not getting him anywhere. He’s put on some bulk, he’s a veteran and I feel like he could thrive if they got behind him a bit as a heel.

With Mojo, he’s more of a natural face that has only been on the main roster for about a year. Plus, they need him to stay face so they can keep bringing in Rob Gronkowski to use him to get on ESPN highlights lol.

So I would turn Ryder heel, but if it’s Mojo or both that’s fine too.

6. Tommy Mondschein
Who was the better person overall for his time in wrestling: Jim Cornette, Paul Heyman, or Vince Russo?

I think Heyman for sure although Corny did a lot too. Russo was very influential and his contributions from 1997 to 1999 really helped WWE in a big way, but Heyman has a longer legacy. Heyman isn’t just an on screen performer or ECW guy, but booking Smackdown and helping talent so much. Heyman is pretty damn amazing.

7. Joey Snapp
Seeing the reactions and crowd interactions Tye Dillinger gets. How long do you think it is before he gets at least a descent push to US title?

I don’t think Vince cares about the reactions as much as people think. It’s easy to chant “ten” just like yes or what. I like the guy, but if you gave that gimmick to anybody it would be the same. At some point they should utilize him better and give him more of a push. But who knows when that might be? It’s such a loaded roster that it’s hard to say “this guy will get a push instead of that guy” know what I mean? I hope it happens for Tye in the next six months, but if it doesn’t happen then that’s fine too.

8. Guy Handscombe
How long before the cruiserweight division gets dumped?

Maybe 2019. I think they will give it a few years. It’s going about the same as the ECW brand in 2006, which ended after a few years.

I would change the format, tape 4 episodes per month at Full Sail in Orlando like NXT and do it that way. So what if it’s not live. The format would be better and the crowd would care more.

9. Jeroukoc Vasilis
We’re halfway through 2017 and I wanted to ask you who do you think has had the best year in wrestling so far, male, female and tag team?

If I picked non-WWE I would say Okada or Omega.

WWE male – AJ Styles. Nobody really stands out. I still love that Rumble match with Cena. He had the best WM match too.

WWE female – Probably Charlotte, but again nobody standing out.

WWE tag team – The Usos have been great as heels. Would be The Revival if not for the injury.

10. Matt Wayne Breeding
Considering the lack of success with 205 live do what do you think they will do with the women from the Mae Young Classic after it’s over? Do a show with, add them to Raw, NXT and Smackdown, or nothing?

It’s too much content to do ANOTHER show with the women. I write about WWE for a living and I barely watch NXT most weeks after writing so much about Raw & SD. Most weeks I don’t watch 205 Live, but sometimes I do. Then there’s Impact and ROH sometimes plus Lucha Underground. There’s so much to consume. With that said, WWE will want to get these women a chance to showcase what they want to do, so it might be like the WWE UK guys where they tape some shows and let them work indies with WWE approval along the way. It’s complicated lol.

11. Andre Jones
If you would have any one person in NXT appear in the Royal Rumble and book him to win it, who would it be and who would he eliminate?

They’ll never do it, but I would pick Roode or McIntyre. Both have all the tools and it would be a hell of a way to have somebody “new” make a big mark on the big stage. Eliminate a big name like Reigns or Rollins to win.

12. Francis Tasse
Who can beat Asuka?

I think Ember Moon beats her at NXT Takeover Brooklyn next month. Story makes sense with Moon failing before, so she realizes she has to get better and gets better.

If not her than Kairi Sane makes sense after she wins MYC.

13. Justin Irok
Where does Kurt Angle vs Shawn Michaels at WM land amongst your favorite matches of all time?

The WM21 match is in the top five ever for me. One of those matches that had incredible hype going in, then they had a near flawless match the first time they ever wrestled. It’s pretty amazing when you think about it.

14. Andrew ‘Mothfox’ Amos
What should the winner of the Mae Young Classic receive as well as a trophy?

A lot of them are getting contracts, so it doesn’t matter. They can lie and say $500,000 or something lol. I don’t think the reward matters on a television show that is a work.

15. Matt Quinn
Do you think that The Elite will end up in WWE at some point? Who else from New Japan do you think could actually get a fair shake in WWE, as Nakamura has?

Omega is free next Feb or March. I think he’ll stay NJPW another two years and then try WWE. He should be pushed huge when he does.

Young Bucks are signed through mid 2018 I think. Maybe they go to WWE, but I dunno if they want to because they have young kids and their current sched provides more days off than WWE would.

Cody Rhodes will probably get back to WWE in a year or two although he’s having fun now. Similar to Drew McIntyre I think.

16. Shay Smithers
Whenever Ricochet comes to WWE, do you think he’d be used as a cruiserweight at first or would he be like Finn Balor; considered a heavyweight contender despite his size?

They would probably use him in NXT first and possibly as a face cruiserweight because that’s where they are lacking. If it was me I wouldn’t do that because he’s an amazing talent that should just be on the main roster, but it’s how WWE labels people. He’s not that big and that will hurt him early on.

17. Jimmy-Lee Ifrene
In Bret Hart’s singles career in WWE from 1991-1997, what was your favorite period, 1991-June 1994 or July 1994-1997? What single year from the period you choose is your favorite? And what was his best overall year?

I think Bret’s best run was from November 1996 to November 1997. The matches and feud with Austin plus the heel turn. He was at his best at that point when he was 40 years old. That’s what sucks about him leaving at that point because he was incredible.

I think 1994 was pretty great too thanks to the Owen feud.

18. John Adams
If there is going to be a fatal four way for the WWE Title at Summerslam who would win Brock, Joe, Braun or Reigns?

I think that match is very possible. I would use it as a way to have Joe get the title by pinning Roman or something like that. If they insist on Reigns vs. Brock at WM then have Roman win it from Joe later in the year (or Royal Rumble), Brock wins Rumble and it’s done that way.

19. Cody Nathaniel Linder
What happens to Jason Jordan if it turns out Chad Gable is involved in the Angle storyline?

Kurt adopted both of them lol. I dunno. It’s way too early to split up American Alpha and I sure hope that doesn’t happen.

20. Mike Niedzalkoski
Do you think there will be more frequent title changes at house shows to try to increase attendance and ticket sales at those shows?

I doubt it. Reality is there are 9 titles on the main roster right now, so booking them to change hands once in a while on a live event is fine. Plus, this was first one on main roster in five years. I don’t see it being a regular thing.

21. Mike Cirilo
Do the Hardys turn broken together or will they go with Matt vs Jeff?

I don’t think they are going to feud again. When they did it in the past it was fine, but not great. I think they do the broken thing together and as a team. Jeff may get a big singles push of the two.

22. Logan Carson
Maywether and Mcgregor chances for promoting their fight on WWE television?

I doubt it’s going to happen, but I don’t blame HHH for trying to get them. It would be smart for WWE. Problem is the censors because both guys swear A LOT. The fighters don’t really need it though, so that’s why I doubt it.

23. Swastik Rath
How much more bad and inconsistent booking would it take for Dean Ambrose to finally get no reaction at all? He still gets good reaction upon his entrance, but now the crowd gives much less reaction during his matches.

If he continues to be this same character then it’s going to hurt him really bad in another two or three years. Change is totally necessary and you make a good point about his reactions dying down. I like Dean, but they need to change some things with him, which is why I want a heel turn.

24. Nathanael Julien
What are your honest thoughts on Jinder Mahal? Does he deserve the position he’s in? What do you think he should do to improve? Do you think he’d be more suitable in a upper mid card role?

I think Jinder is fine as a performer, but he hasn’t impressed me that much. The promos are very robotic and basic. His matches with Orton have been fine mostly because of the interference building up excitement. The problem was that his rise to the top was so random with him not winning any PPV matches, not winning much on TV and all of a sudden he’s the champ. I think his reign ends by SummerSlam to Cena.

25. Daniel Hill
Hi John, hope you’re well? Should signatures moves result in more wins? Even just now and then? For example has Ziggler ever won with the fameasser or Zayn the blue thunder bomb or Corbin Deep 6 just off top off my head. Cool moves always 2 and half counts, crowd buy into them but never wins. A win here and there might make believable near falls in PPV’ seven better??

Ziggler won a few times with those non-finisher moves, but not that often. I think Zayn and Corbin have great non-finishers that should win for sure. If you do it once in a while then the fans can buy into it more and that’s a good thing in terms of crowd reactions. So yeah, I would definitely have them win once in a while.

26. Octavio Fierros
Hi John. What was your favorite heel turn in the 80s and 90s in the WWF?

Favorite 1980s heel turn is Macho Man on Hogan. Sorry Hulk, but I’m a Macho Man guy.

Favorite 1990s heel turns Shawn Michaels on Marty Jannetty and Bret Hart turning in early 1997. The Rock’s heel turn at Survivor Series 1998 was awesome too.

27. Eryk Cannito
If you could change the outcome of a match or angle to go a different way what what it be? Such as having Nexus go over at Summerslam or the invasion angle last longer or someone winning/losing a belt at a specific time.

Yeah Nexus is the big one. If they won at SummerSlam 2010 it would have been huge. Even better if Daniel Bryan turned heel on the face team on he was on and rejoined the Nexus to help them win.

Lots of things in the Invasion should have been better. Could have lasted 2 or 3 years not seven months.

Triple H beating Sting was stupid and never should have happened. What an egomaniac. I know he only did it because Hunter thought maybe he’d wrestle Rock the next year, but it was dumb.

28. Alexander Podgorski
When – or if – Paige returns to WWE, what kind of storyline do you see her participating in?

I hope she does. Dump Alberto’s ass, go to the Performance Center, rehab your body, maybe rehab any addictions she may have and focus on that career that she still loves. I think she’d fit in well on either show because she’s been gone long enough that she’s fresh. I like her more as a heel, but she’s very likable, so using her as a face is fine too.

29. Andy Rif Sheriff
What’s your overall opinion on the Undertaker/ Mankind Hell in a Cell match, and what was your initial reactions to Foley getting thrown off/chokeslamed through the cell?

I think as a match I’d rate it at like **1/2 or 3 stars out of five, but as a moment it’s probably one of the five biggest moments any wrestling fan is ever going to remember. Maybe top 3. In last 30 years it’s probably Hogan slamming Andre, Foley off the cell and Montreal screwjob as the biggest of them all, so yeah it’s up there in terms of how big it was.

I was like “holy shit can you believe it?” just like everybody else. Was watching with friends like usual in those days. We were like 17/18 so perfect for that era. Then you wonder if he’s going to be fine after taking a fall like that. I don’t think anybody knew how serious it really was until his book the next year.

30. Adam Gronvold
Chael Sonnen has the gift of trash talk that most ifc fighters don’t. Why is he not in the WWE yet?

He’s old and probably didn’t want to try to wrestle. Did pretty well for himself in UFC in terms of money.

31. Douglas Gundlach
Do you see Enzo becoming more of a mouth piece/ manager for Bigger wrestlers, and every once in a while wrestling? I think that would be how he survives in the WWE for a while or until his ring skills get better.

Long term yes he has value as manager. I would try him with the cruisers soon to see how he does in that kind of setting.

32. Ed Luis Valentin
What’s your personal opinion of Braun Strowman? He’s my current favorite on Raw and only behind AJ, Asuka, and Nakamura in my top five.

Love Strowman. Probably the best booked individual performer in the one year since the WWE brand split. Went from regular guy in Wyatt Family to a top star. I have loved it.

33. Rick Kavin
Who would you have induct each of the McMahons into the WWE Hall of Fame? My thoughts:
Vince: Austin
Stephanie: Jericho
Shane: Angle
Triple H: Michaels

I think having Austin inducting Vince would be great. Maybe Cena or Rock or Hogan. Or all four!

Stephanie – Maybe her mom. Steph would probably make the women’s wrestlers do it, though.

Shane – Angle is a good choice I like that.

Triple H – Michaels doing the honors makes sense, but could be so many people.

34. Van Wilhoite
Who’s up next for Jinder if he retains vs Orton at Battleground?

I think Orton might win, but if not then Cena beats Jinder for WWE Title at SummerSlam. Feels like they will end the experiment.

35. Robert Mccormick III
Now that ENZO AND CASS are broke up, what team will be next to break up and what team is coming from NXT next?

Ryder and Rawley next to break up I think that seems obvious. Probably call up Sanity soon.

36. Nick Grinik
I saw a report that said the WWE is doing a lot of multi-man matches because it’s ‘easier on the writers’. Are the higher-ups expecting too little from creative?

The higher ups (Vince) are creative, so it’s not like there is one to blame over the other. It’s lazy booking and it hurts the product. They *should* book backwards and they don’t do it well enough. That’s the problem more than anything.

37. Brian Coats
What would you do with Goldust now?

I would have kept him and Truth as a face team, booked them to be a bit more serious and maybe tell the story of them trying to get the titles as guys in their 40s. Why make the 48 year old lovable guy a heel? Didn’t make sense to me and it still doesn’t make sense.

38. James Ferriman
Do you think Harper and Rowan should’ve been kept as a tag team? Neither of them seems to be going anywhere as singles competitors. I thought Harper especially would be getting a big push after breaking up from the Wyatt Family but nothing seems to have happened other than him vs Rowan on repeat.

Yeah I do. I think at least put some titles on them and have them get a decent run as champs. In hindsight for sure they should have been kept together. I really wish Harper was doing more. I don’t mention “underrated” much, but in terms of how he is used I think Harper is very underrated.

39. Giles Hart
Was somebody like Austin Aries leaving inevitable with all the other constant indy signings over the past year or two? Not all can be top main or mid card players. Plus to me, Aries just reminded me of many other heel/cocky characters we’ve had before over the years whereas guys like AJ, Eric Young, Nakamura, Samoa Joe and even Roode have a mix of various character traits, looks,entrances or wrestling styles that make them more memorable and standout from everybody else.

Yeah I don’t know if inevitable is the best word, but the reality is it’s tough for WWE to keep everybody happy when you have 150+ wrestlers signed. There’s just no way to use them all. Aries has had a rep for being a bit of a pain in the ass and left other companies when unhappy, so at least he’s consistent in that regard.

40. Chris Samocki
Do you think Vince and everyone are still high on Kevin Owens, even though he lost the title at a house show? Or do you think he’s taking a break soon since he’s been going non stop for about three straight years now.

Yeah I think they love KO now and that there’s not much to worry about there. He held the Universal Title for a long time, a bit of a run with US Title and now let’s see him without it to help build up the anger in KO while he’s not holding gold.


That’s all for now. I’ll be back in a day or two with another Q&A covering more wrestling topics.