TJR Q&A #45: Finn Balor Winning Another Major Title, Hogan/Flair Rivalry in WCW/WWE & More!

It’s been about one month since the last Q&A here on TJRWrestling, so I asked the fine folks from my Facebook page to come up with some great questions to use in a mostly WWE related question and answer session. Here we go with 30 questions.

1. Tim Mirabitur Jr
What match ups/booking do you forsee for Nakamura Finn and AJ for Mania season?

I really hope they do AJ vs. Nakamura at WrestleMania. If it’s for the WWE TItle or not, I’m fine with it either way. That’s a match that would make a lot of the hardcore internet fans happy and I think the guys in the match would want to do it too. Aside from Money in the Bank they’ve been kept apart. I think WWE is going to do it.

As for Finn, he’s probably facing and losing to Lesnar at Royal Rumble. After that, I hope he’s involved in a featured match at WrestleMania, but it’s tough and there are only so many spots. Maybe Samoa Joe even though they did the feud in NXT already.

2. JD Robert
Would Shane McMahon work in ECW?

It almost happened in the mid-2000s with Shane legitimately running it with Heyman (I think) on WWE’s website. Then when TV networks found out about it, that led to the deal with Syfy because then WWE got more money that way. I think Shane could have done a good job if he had Heyman there along with Dreamer and others that would have made it seem authentic.

Today it can’t work. Too much time has passed. In mid-2000s it could have been better than what WWE did.

3. Cody Nathaniel Linder
Will Finn Balor win the Universal Championship again?

Hope so. Considering there’s only about 6-8 guys that could legit hold it on Raw and he’s one of them that helps. It won’t be until after the next WM when Roman wins it and then who knows where it goes from there. I wish Strowman won it in September. If I had to guess, I’d say yes to Balor winning the Uni Title again or the WWE Title one day.

4. Carol Wands
How hard is it to write the recaps of Raw and Smackown and how long does it take you to do each one?

It’s tough sometimes when I just want to go to sleep, but I try to keep myself up to write. When I do them live it’s a lot easier because then it’s just 3 hours 10 minutes of Raw, then maybe 10 minutes of final thoughts and it’s done. Then I do a more thorough edit, which can still lead to mistakes because the Raw reviews are over 6,000 words. Once I’m done the reviews on TJRWrestling, I write about Raw, Smackdown and PPVs for TheComeback.com as well in a different format. It can be a lot, but I still enjoy doing it.

5. Eric Hay
Do you think that Ric Flair would have had a better first run with the company had Hulk Hogan not pulled his typical Hogan stuff?

The story goes that they had a bunch of matches at live events that the crowds didn’t treat as a big deal as much as we might think and management wasn’t too thrilled with it, so they pivoted to Sid/Hogan and Randy/Ric. If the matches were better then yeah WWE would have gone with it, but for whatever they lacked chemistry in WWE’s eyes.

I’m hard on Hogan, but I really don’t think he is to blame here and that he didn’t politic to not make it happen. It was simply WWE not being as interested in it after they had those house show matches.

With all of that said, when Hogan went to WCW and feuded with Flair right away it was a huge deal and started to help WCW turn a corner financially. I remember lots of sellouts for them.

6. Cedric Cantin
Will Zayn and Owens story lead to something good for them?

I sure hope so. I would get the WWE TItle on KO soon and then you can build a jealousy angle out of it. The key thing is that they can’t make it a repeat of Owens/Jericho friendship story, so I’m intrigued by how they go with it. I think Sami will be a face again within a year, but he’s also doing great as a heel, so maybe KO ends up turning face.

7. Dan Boersma
Will Undertaker appear at another PPV this year?

He already appeared at Royal Rumble and WrestleMania, so two is more than some years haha. I don’t think he’ll be on any more and I don’t think he’ll wrestle again.

8. Daniel Mount
When do you see Aleister Black feuding for the NXT Title?

I thought he would by now. Adam Cole will probably beat Drew for it early next year and then Black can be up next. I dunno when exactly that may be. Perhaps next year’s SummerSlam.

9. Chris McDonald
The term “dream match” is thrown around too much today. When I was a kid the dream match was Hogan vs. Flair. WWE of course botched that. What are some legit dream matches that you’d like to see?

Styles vs. anybody he hasn’t worked that is good. I think Styles vs. Lesnar would be amazing if we got the Lesnar that sold for smaller guys like he used to for CM Punk at SummerSlam 2013 for example.

Rollins vs. Nakamura.

Styles vs. heel Zayn for 20 minutes would be amazing.

Owens vs. Angle would be so much fun.

There are lots. That’s just using WWE people right now and not including guys like Omega, Okada, Ricochet and others.

10. Ronald Taylor
Do you see a clean sweep for Raw at Survivor Series?? God I hope not.

I doubt it. There’s no reason for it to be done where one shows win every match. It’s not like it matters that much anyway. Smackdown men won last year and nothing happened. Raw women won and nothing happened after. It’s just something to do for one show with no follow up most of the time.

11. David Repp Jr
Out of everyone in NXT who do you think will be the biggest star down the road and who will be the biggest bust? What’s your choices for males and for the females?

I’m telling you guys, Velveteen Dream is going to be a massive star and he’s only like 22 years old. Patrick Clark may get over more using his own name than the Dream gimmick, but he’s going to be a huge star.

Not good at predicting busts. I’m not a negative person! I don’t see No Way Jose ever really getting over that much, though. One trick pony gimmick like Adam Rose was or Fandango as a singles guy.

I think Ember Moon will be a huge star for the girls. Also think Mandy Rose is incredibly talented and is ridiculously attractive, which obviously helps.

12. Daison Thomas
Who are your top 3 wrestlers in WWE right now? My top 3: AJ styles, Miz and Braun.

In terms of favorites it’s probably Styles, Zayn and Owens. All Smackdown. Love a lot of Raw people, though.

As far as best overall performers it’s probably Styles, Rollins and Owens.

13. Nick Grinik
What are your thoughts on Billy Corgan and the ‘relaunch’ of the NWA? Because it sounds a bit like how TNA started.

I think it’s going to be tough without a television deal, so unless they get that it’s just another indy promotion trying to be successful. The National Wrestling Alliance name may help with dudes in their 40s that remember it when they were kids, but that’s not exactly the market that will make it cool or popular.

14. James Bright
Does Jinder Mahal have what it takes to turn his title run around and make it enjoyable?

I don’t think Jinder has what it takes to really turn a corner and be a great champion. The matches he has are so average and he’s worked with top guys, so it’s hard to be encouraged. It’s not like the promos are that interesting either.

15. Chris Rowlands
A while back I was working on my laptop with the WWE network on in the background. My dad popped around and I ended up explaining what the network was so he asked me to put a Taker match on, I put on his debut in 1990 to show how much he has changed. He then asked me to put another one on so I put KOTR 98 on as I knew he’d be amazed by the fall off of the cell. If you had to pick two Undertaker matches to show a non-wrestling fan, which ones would you choose and why?

Probably Shawn vs. Taker WM25. It’s so much fun and the best match in WWE history. Long match at 30 minutes, but I think people would like it.

Another one is Armageddon 2000 main event six way with him in it. Fun match and a lot going on. Also Jeff Hardy vs. Taker on Raw in 2002 was great.

Not saying those are Taker’s best matches, but they are fun.

16. James Ferriman
When the New Day eventually disbands, do you see Big E being pushed to the main event level?

I do. At least they might try to do it and I hope it works out for him. One thing we can all agree on with New Day is that it has definitely elevated Woods and Big E as all around performers while Kingston got a let fresher while in this group because he was stale for a bit.

I will add also that I’m pleasantly surprised New Day has been kept together for over three years because I figured WWE would end it way sooner.

17. John Adams
Who should be the 5 Raw superstars be? And who would be Smackdown’s 5 superstars at Survivor Series?

Looks like Raw will be Reigns, Rollins, Ambrose, Balor and I’ll add Samoa Joe too.

I think they’ll do Strowman vs. Kane so that’s why I don’t pick Strowman.

Smackdown would be Orton, Nakamura (he’ll beat Owens to be on), Roode (he’ll beat Ziggler to be on) and then possible Owens/Zayn even with their losses. But they need to get Styles on too, so I dunno yet. Perhaps it’s Styles and Shane on the team.

I wouldn’t mind seeing Owens/Zayn vs. Styles/Shane as a tag match at the show.

18. Robert Litchford
Do you feel like NXT should have more anchor stars that stay there instead of being called up with more star power being added also? I love the thought of NXT as a brand more then just a development area and the young stars being able to rub with bigger stars could help with making them more ready for the main roster.

I don’t think so. If you’re there for more than two years that’s probably too long. Hideo Itami has been there too long, but injuries set him back so he’s there a lot longer than most. Perhaps Kassius Ohno will be there longer as a vet that can work with younger guys. But I think you need to have characters evolve and move up to the main roster.

I think the talent wants to change things up and the fans will want to see new things for the talent too.

19. Joe Harris
Do you think Paige will come back as good as she was? And who do you think she will fued with?

She should do very well. Hopefully being off for over a year has made her love the business more. I think she’ll be on Smackdown and probably as a heel because I like the babyface girls they have, so they need her more as a heel.

20. Jake Pumfleet
Who do you want to see main event Wrestlemania and why?

Styles and Nakamura because it would be the best match that would be tough to follow.

It will be Roman beating Brock in the main event. I’d be very surprised if it isn’t that.

21. Deryl Parnell Jr.
Do you see Paige showing up at Survivor Series or after?

I think that would be a great place for it, but maybe the Smackdown after.

22. Geoff Landtbom
If Steve Austin was Michael Jordan did that make the Rock Scottie Pippen? I always felt like as great as the Rock was he was overshadowed by Austin, just like Pippen was overshadowed by Jordan despite eventually being elected to the Basketball Hall Of Fame himself.

For about two years yes, but Rock proved to be just as good on his own as the main face in 2000. Rock’s wrestling career could have been way better, but he left in his early 30s and it’s easy to see why. That movie career has worked out for him!

23. Stewart Erridge
Will Bob Backlund be back as an on screen performer?

Probably not. He’s old and that gimmick with Darren Young didn’t work.

24. Roderick Walker
Which feud was better: Trish vs Lita or Sasha vs Charlotte?

I would go with Sasha vs. Charlotte in terms of matches, but the build to Trish vs. Lita was better. Overall, that puts Sasha vs. Charlotte ahead.

25. John C Hoddy
Do you think top rope headbutts should be banned?

It feels like they are banned in WWE already because nobody is doing them on the current roster. I can’t even remember the last time somebody did a top rope headbutt in WWE, which is good.

26. Shoaib Hussain
Do you see The Rock returning for one final run?

Rock final run was 2012-13. Doubt there’s more because he’s got movie commitments and the last time he wrestled he got hurt, which hurt the films he was on. Now that he’s in his mid-40s, I doubt he’ll wrestle again.

27. Darrius Gaddy
What are your favorite pieces to personally write? Raw deals because maybe they’re easier, PPVs or character pieces? Or is it the trusty Johnny Awards?

The awards for sure. I wish I did more columns on TJRWrestling, but other commitments elsewhere make it tough. In terms of the reviews, I enjoy writing about the PPVs rather than Raw or SD because it’s three hours of 7 or 8 matches and ultimately the in-ring action is what a wrestling show is about.

If I stopped writing about Raw I may enjoy it more lol.

28. Jimmy-Lee Ifrene

Half wrestling, half pop culture.

What were some of your favorite wrestler guest appearances on TV shows?

(i.e. King Kong Bundy on Married with Children, The Bushwackers on Family Matters, Bret Hart on The Simpsons, Vader and Jake “The Snake” Roberts on Boy Meets World, Hulk Hogan and Shawn Michaels on Baywatch, Shawn Michaels on Pacific Blue, Triple H on The Drew Carey Show and The Bernie Mac Show, Sting on Walker: Texas Ranger, Steve Austin on Nash Bridges, The Miz on Psych, “Rowdy” Roddy Piper on It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, The Hardy Boyz/Ken Shamrock/Ernie Ladd/The Rock on That 70’s Show, etc.)

Probably Bret on The Simpsons even though he wasn’t on for long and didn’t do much, it was such a cool thing to see that. I remember the King Kong Bundy one on Married with Children very well.

You did a good job of listing a lot of them!

29. Mike Liberto
If you could reunite one tag team that split too soon, who would you pick?

In terms of recent teams in the last few years, I’d go with Prime Time Players. Breaking them up didn’t help Young or O’Neil.

All time I would have picked Edge & Christian. Should have lasted than longer.

30. Kurt Zamora
What do you expect from War Games? Do you think HHH is gonna let there be blood just based on history/perception of match?

I think it’s going to be fucking great and that WWE is going to regret not doing it on the main roster. They will get a lot of time, will have a great story and probably a win for the Undisputed Era since they are new on the scene. I think blood is very possible, but they have banned blading, so have to do it hardway or something similar.


That’s it for this batch. I’ll be back for more Q&A soon as well as all the usual reviews and other regular content. Thanks for reading.