TJR Q&A #49: Almas/Gargano Best Match In WWE NXT History?, Dolph Ziggler’s Future and More!

Here is the second Q&A post in the last two days. You can read the Super Bowl Sunday (what a game!) edition right here and the Q&A archive is here too. The questions come from my Facebook page. Let’s get right to it.

1. Ed Luis Valentin
Do you believe that Almas vs Gargano is the best NXT match ever?

I think it is the best NXT match ever yes. The others that come to mind are Nakamura/Zayn and Revival vs. DIY both from 2016. I was at that tag match and it was incredible. I enjoyed Almas/Gargano the first time and liked it even more the second time.

2. Damie Sinanan
Asuka vs. Charlotte in the main event of Mania this year (match going on last). Can they pull it off, should they do it and if they so will it fly?

I think Reigns vs. Lesnar or Cena vs. Taker is last. Maybe Rock/Rousey vs. Triple H and Stephanie goes on last because of the names involved. I don’t see anything else having a chance to go on last. Maybe in future years a women’s match can go on last, but I doubt it happens this year.

3. Abraham Delgado Román
What are your favorite themes songs right now in all of wrestling? In case you like themes from NJPW or TNA.

Off the top of my head probably Nakamura, Roode, Aleister Black, Styles and even the Bludgeon Brothers song is catchy right now.

4. Deryl Parnell Jr.
Do you see Undertaker getting his own special on WWE 24?

Probably not because he is a private guy that isn’t filmed behind the scenes that often. However, he was on for about 1/5th of the new WWE 24 that came out last week. I just don’t think he would be open to being filmed for a whole show.

5. Joey Snapp
Chances we get Johnny Wrestling vs Cedric Alexander at WrestleMania for the Cruiserweight Title? And could that be as good as him and Almas if given time?

I would rather keep Johnny G in NXT. Stay away from 205 Live it’s not that interesting. If Gargano faced Alexander it would be outstanding, but maybe lacking a bit without one of them in the heel role like Almas is.

6. Lonnie Nawrot
How should WWE introduce War Machine? Do you think they should be heel or face?

Either role works. I’m really looking forward to them against the Bludgeon Brothers on the main roster, but heel or face in NXT is fine. I think face role in NXT makes sense for now since Undisputed Era are a heel team.

7. Eric Hay
Will the Cena vs Undertaker match be considered a retirement match for Taker?

Sure just like his dozen other retirements! Just kidding. Taker hasn’t had that many retirements. Last year’s WrestleMania might count as one, but generally speaking people expect him back most years. I doubt WWE will outright say it’s his last match, though. That would surprise me.

8. Adam Symes
Do you think Reigns should beat Lesnar clean or not at Wrestlemania?

Clean for sure. I expect them to kick out of like 4 or 5 finishers while Michael Cole screams about how Lesnar can’t seem to the put “The Big Dog” away. Meanwhile, fans online will bitch about it. Just like every year.

9. Leonard Maglasang
Had Balor not gotten injured, how different do you think Raw would look now and how long do you think he’d have reigned til he inevitably dropped it to Roman or Brock? Balor was the 1st HHH guy that got a rocket push immediately out of NXT – beating Roman clean and winning the title over Seth.

I think Owens would have won the Universal Title later in 2016, so basically I think they put the title on Owens earlier than they planned. I really hope Balor can get to that level again.

10. Yatin Jain
Will Triple H focus more on WWE Raw/Smackdown since Vince McMahon will focus on XFL?

I hope so, but Vince said that he’s going to hire people to run the XFL and he won’t be in charge of the day to day operations of it, so he won’t be that involved. Vince lies, though, so who knows. I guess we won’t know for sure until 2020 when they officially relaunch the XFL about two years from now.

11. Geoff Landtbom
Do you see a Best Of NXT Takeover DVD/Blu Ray in the near future?

I don’t see the need for it. People can just look up matches on WWE Network if they want. The DVD market isn’t as important as it used to be. While WWE still produces DVD/Blu-Ray products, it’s not as much of a priority as it was a decade ago.

12. Andre Jones
Does Dolph Ziggler finally get his singles match at Wrestlemania?

Probably not. I don’t see him being part of some big angle leading to a singles WM match. He did nothing in the Rumble.

13. Eric Stuve
What is the plan for Ziggler if any? What was the purpose of having him surrender the belt then come back at the Rumble just to be eliminated quickly?

Don’t know. I think it was shit and one of the worst parts of the Rumble. They should have planned it better. I figured when he did the quitting thing that it would be something that leads to him moving up a level to challenge for the WWE Title. Have him do well in the Rumble, then on SD he could have done a promo about wanting the WWE Title because he’s never had it (won the World Title twice, but not WWE Title). Instead, he did nothing in the Rumble and wasn’t even on Smackdown. Lame booking.

14. Clay Cummings
Who do you think, in your opinion, is the greatest WWE champion of all time?

Bruno Sammartino, but it was also before a lot of us were alive, so can’t really offer a fair opinion on it. Hulk Hogan comes to mind as a champion because of his impact on the business too. John Cena is also high up there due to about 13 years as a top guy.

15. Shay Smithers
If Triple H didn’t get hurt back in 2001 do you think the plan may have been to turn him face to mainly feud with Stone Cold in the WWE vs Alliance feud? If so do you think the fans maybe still would have been on Stone Cold’s side mostly even though he’d be the heel?

I think Hunter would have turned face by the summer because he was starting to get more cheers since fans were realizing he was such a good performer. With that said, Austin going back face would have worked since he was cheered so much even as a heel.

16. Jason Tomlinson
Do you think the payoff for the Angle/Jordan story may be HHH somehow rigged the paternity results?

Probably not. They aren’t that creative anymore lol. But I guess you could say something where Jordan lied about the results and that he really isn’t Angle’s son. It would kill the angle and get more heat on Jordan.

17. Simminyun Sharp
Do you think anyone in New Day could be World Champion?

Yes. Big E most likely and I hope it happens.

18. Athanasios Bentoulis
With the new influx of indie talent signing with WWE do you think that Bray Wyatt gets lost in the shuffle or do you think they can make him relevant again?

You can say that Wyatt is already lost in the shuffle, which is a shame. I hope they can make him relevant again. His job is safe especially since his dad has worked there for over 20 years. I don’t think the creative team is creative enough for him and Wyatt is suffering from that more than anybody.

19. Mark Choi
What happened to Mike Kanellis? Still under contract? Any sign of a repackaging?

He’s worked live events and stuff, but not like he’s getting TV time. I think they were interested in him as a package with wife Maria since she’s a really good manager that happens to be really good looking (most Greek women are!). So I think since she’s pregnant the creative team has less interest in using him on his own because he’s pretty average. He also had a drug addiction and he’s gotten better, but I don’t see him getting pushed.

I think putting him in NXT for a year would help him. After Maria comes back after the baby is born (she said she would return) then he can go back to the main roster.

20. JD Robert
Funniest Royal Rumble elimination?

Macho Man trying to pin Yokozuna after the elbow drop in 1993 and then Yokozuna pressing him over the top to the floor. What was Savage thinking? LOL.

For intentional funny, Kane eliminating Santino in one second was pretty funny and also the Drew Carey moment where he tried to bribe Kane.

21. JD Robert
If you were Triple H would you sign which of the following

Ospreay or Sabre Jr or Scurill?

Toni Storm or Tessa Blanchard?

Okada or Omega?

Motorcity Machine Guns or The Young Bucks?

Dalton Castle or Jay Lethal?

Scurll because he’s the best all around and I’ve got drunk with him before. Fun guy.

Tessa will probably get signed soon, but they want her to get more experience. I’ll say her.

Omega. I don’t think Okada would ever leave and Omega would fit in great in WWE.

The Young Bucks bigger stars, but I like MCMG.

Jay Lethal is better.

22. Paul Yorke
Is there a high turnover of creative staff at WWE because of the amount of time we hear of wrestlers being released due to ‘creative have nothing for you’?

Yep. As far as I know anyway. A lot of people quit because it’s not an easy job with a lot of hours, the pay isn’t great and it’s probably tough to advance in the job too.

23. Dangelino Ochoa
Would you have Balor go heel on Nakamura? His heel work in Japan is awesome.

Heel Balor is fine with me. Might be the best thing for him because he should show off his personality more.

24. Jason Richey
How would you book Ziggler? What would you have done differently this past year?

I would book him way better than WWE does. I think he had a great 2016 if you think about it because that feud with Miz was a lot of fun. I would have had Ziggler nearly win the Rumble this year and after getting tossed out, have him go back in to eliminate somebody. Make him stand out, give him some sort of angle leading to a WrestleMania match against Randy Orton or somebody of that stature.

25. Chris Rowlands
With the women’s Rumble now over and done with, what do you see happening with Absolution and The Riott Squad? Especially with Paige looking likely to be done as an in ring competitor.

Mandy and Sonya will be in Elimination Chamber match probably, so that’s what they are up to. For Riott Squad it’s probably Charlotte vs. Ruby at Fastlane for SD Women’s Title.

I think long term, Mandy and Riott have very bright futures in WWE.

26. Rick Bulow
Now that Undertaker is “retired” from in-ring wrestling, do you see him as a mentor to some of the younger superstars, whether as a road agent or a Performance Center instructor?

Probably not. He has a lot of injuries and traveling a lot isn’t smart for his body. Performance Center not likely since he lives in Texas with his family. He’s also wrestling John Cena at WrestleMania, so not fully retired. But if he wants to do some coaching I doubt WWE would say no to that.

27. Ryan Mullins
More likely to get a main event run: Bobby Roode or EC3?

I hope EC3. Nothing against Roode. I just want to see EC3 succeed in WWE because of all the work he’s put in. For Roode, he needs to be in the heel role. Both guys are better as heels.

28. Jeremy Barnes
Who was your favorite Raw and Smackdown GM that you watched?

I think Eric Bischoff was probably the best at being a GM in WWE. His three-year run was a lot of fun because he’s a heel that knew how to get heat and had no problem doing anything to get heat. Vickie Guerrero was surprisingly good. In the beginning I don’t think people cared about it, but as it went on she really got genuine heat.

I always like Stone Cold, so it was fine with him and Bischoff as co-GMs (followed by Austin as the “sheriff” of Raw), but one person in charge is enough.

Angle’s first run on SD only lasted a few months. Most memorable thing was Big Show tossing him off a staging area lol. That was comedic with how cheesy it was. Angle is doing okay as GM now.

29. Van Wilhoite
What former WWE superstar do you think has the best chance of eventually returning and winning the WWE or Universal Title?

Bobby Lashley because of his look. I don’t know if that’s a fair answer since we know he is coming back soon.

Maybe John Morrison, but he’s getting older in his late 30s now with interests elsewhere and he may not come back.

I’m not saying CM Punk is coming back, but if he ever did that’s another name.

30. Joe Sondag
With the way WWE have booked the face Women such as Becky, Bayley, Sasha, & Mickie being booked bad over the last year what remedies to think they can do to help them look stronger?

Banks will probably get moved to Smackdown and turn heel post WM. Lynch probably moved to Raw post WM. Bayley doesn’t have much hope of getting back what she had. Mickie can do fine in either role on either show, but they view as support as a veteran wrestler and unfortunately not realizing how good she is. To look stronger, they need to get wins. That’s the easiest answer because it’s the truth.

31. Bart Rowe
When the hell did the whole “point at the Wrestlemania sign” stuff start?

I don’t know. I remember Triple H and Undertaker staring at the sign to sent up the WM27 match without saying a word. I’m sure people were doing it before too going back to the mid-2000s. It’s annoying when it happens so often. Once in a while would be okay, but they overdo it.

32. Joel J-money Wood
Do you see EC3 being on the main roster by the end of his first year like Roode or do you see him doing multiple years like Balor? I think he’s main roster ready now but there’s a few guys in NXT who are main roster ready.

EC3 should be on the main roster yes. No need to keep him in NXT for a long time when somebody is as experienced as him, but WWE clearly wants to coach him up to get him ready for the main roster. I hope Drew McIntyre is on main roster this year too.

33. Sudarshan Udyavar
Which amongst the following had the most potential to be world champion but couldn’t ( they died too young)
1. Lance Cade
2. Test
3. Chris Candido
4. Sean O’Haire
5. Umaga

Umaga – I just thought he got over to huge degree and could have been a consistent main eventer.

Sean O’Haire – So much potential. I don’t think he loved wrestling enough.

Test – Had the look they liked, but promos just average and never seemed to get to that next level in terms of good matches.

Lance Cade – Tall guy that was athletic. Not a strong personality, though.

Chris Candido – Good performer all around, but on the smaller said and just an average talker. So I don’t think of him as a main eventer.



That’s all for now. Thanks for reading the Q&A. I’ll be back to do it again soon.