Features

TJR Q&A #51: Daniel Bryan’s Wrestling Future in WWE, Triple H’s Best Rivalries, Favorite Face of Foley & More (30 Questions!)

Hey yo. WrestleMania week is finally here and there’s a lot of excitement in the air, so with that in mind it’s time for another edition of the Q&A here on TJRWrestling. A lot of the questions are about Daniel Bryan, who is back as an active competitor in WWE after being cleared to compete two weeks ago. Also, there are some WrestleMania related questions in here as well.

The questions come from my Facebook page. I’ve chosen 30 of the best ones with my answers right underneath them. Thanks to those of you that asked the questions. Let’s get to it.

1. Patrick McMullen
Odds of Gargano losing and then being Braun Strowman’s tag partner?

Less than 1%. He’s not losing at Takeover. I would bet money on Gargano winning the NXT Title later this year because they need to tell that story this year.

2. Jeremy P Cottreau
Who would you consider to be the 5 most underutilized talent of the past 20 years?

There are plenty of names I could pick. I think MVP is one of the first guys that comes to mind. He should have been a main eventer for years. Dolph Ziggler should have been used a lot better for most of his career. Zack Ryder is another guy that works hard, gained popularity and they just never got behind him as much as they should have. I always thought A-Train could have been a big deal if they gave him a manager and booked him stronger. The Tensai gimmick was bad for him. John Morrison should have been more of a main eventer too. He only sniffed that level. Wade Barrett and Damien Sandow are two others. So I gave you 7 there.

Bonus I’ll give you a women’s wrestler: Jillian Hall. They stuck her with the stupid mole and then the comedy singer gimmick. She could work, is good looking and could talk. She had all the tools, but they didn’t use her well. I’m sure she had fun during her five years, but was also likely frustrated that she wasn’t pushed in a more serious way.

I’m sure we can all think of others too.

3. Erin Somers
Do you see Daniel Bryan winning the title next year at Mania after a year build-up??

Maybe. It’s hard to know what his schedule is like or if WWE would want to do that with him. Is he going to wrestle at live events or just be a guy that appears on TV? Nobody really knows right now, so it’s one of those things where we’d all be guessing.

I would put a major title on him again, but it doesn’t have to be a year away. Do it later in the year.

4. Joe Sondag
Who do you think will be Daniel Bryan’s first feud after WrestleMania? Still Owens & Zayn or someone else?

I think Owens and Zayn makes sense. It’s hard to know because they are going to change the rosters around post-WM like they did last year. I assume Bryan stays on Smackdown since Roman is already on Raw and then Braun’s another face on Raw, so they need to keep Bryan on the other show to not take attention away from them.

Other heels would be guys like Baron Corbin and Dolph Ziggler. I assume Rusev will be face soon.

5. Jason Butts
If WCW would have not closed, would the industry be better or worse today?

The business is pretty healthy right now and a lot of wrestlers get a lot of opportunities, so I don’t know how it would be much better. A company the size of WCW could make a lot of noise for sure, but it’s probably not going to happen again.

I think 2017 was one of the best years ever in terms of the growth of New Japan running bigger shows all the time and growing in North America. ROH is going strong. Europe indies are killing it. Lots of wrestling content out there.

Long answer, but I don’t think the business would necessarily be better because it’s pretty good now.

6. Ryan Emmrich
Why have the stipulation of Sami/Owens being fired if they lose? It’s obvious they won’t lose.

I hate the stipulation especially because Gargano was fired in NXT and he has to win to keep his job back too. Nobody watching believes they are really fired anyway, but that’s WWE always trying to bring “reality” to angles, I guess. The reason for the stipulation is because Sami and Kevin attacked their boss Shane, so Daniel had to do it, but I wouldn’t have gone that route.

I’m interested to see how they book the finish of that match.

7. James Bright
What would you make this year’s big summer storyline?

I have always wanted to see heel Roman Reigns leading a heel stable with his cousins The Usos and Samoa Joe as part of it. That would be incredible to see them dominating on Raw. I don’t know if Paul Heyman would fit as the manager, but his promos would help a lot.

I’m not sure what else, but I like dominant heel stables. It would be nice if there was something like that one Raw or Smackdown.

8. Joe Harris
Now that Daniel Bryan has been cleared to wrestle again, do you see him winning the title in the next year? Or is he at the stage of his career where he no longer needs it.

I think it would be a great story even if it’s a short reign. Why not? He’s as popular as anybody on the WWE roster right now and people would pay a lot of money to see it.

9. Dangelino Ochoa
Who would you call up from NXT after Mania?

Drew McIntyre should be on the main roster. Authors of Pain come to mind because they have nothing left to do there even though both guys are under 25. They’re ready. I love Peyton Royce and Billie Kay as the Iconic Duo that haven’t really done much in NXT of late (they got recent boob jobs), but I think their act would work on the main roster. You could bring up the Sanity stable and put them with Bray Wyatt as a new Wyatt Family too.

There are so many others that are ready, but it’s hard to find a role for them. I’m fine with people staying in NXT too.

10. Ed Eastin Jr
What do you believe Daniel Bryan’s odds of winning the 2019 Men’s Royal Rumble match? Asking for a friend….that might be going lol.

It’s something he hasn’t done, so it would be a cool story to see it happen. It’s hard to know what things will look like in 9 months, though. Maybe Braun Strowman would be the best pick at that point if he doesn’t hold a major title this year. I’d like to see it, but this far out it’s tough to know if that is the best decision.

11. Michael Uong
How would you refresh or repackage Randy Orton?

I think he is what he is at this point, which is a veteran with two decades of experience that you can put in there against younger talent or newer talent in Bobby Roode’s case. Orton had a rough 2017 in terms of feuds, but I don’t think he’s bad as a performer. I loved his matches with Nakamura last year when they wrestled a few times. A heel turn might work, but fans like popping for his signature moves still.

I realize I didn’t give a great answer there. That’s because it’s hard to repackage or refresh him. I think he has a role in the company, but not as much of a priority as he was during his prime years.

12. Roderick Walker
How do you think the women’s division would have been in the 00s if Chyna didn’t leave?

You mean if she wasn’t forced out because Triple H cheated on her with their boss’ daughter and ruined her life? I doubt Chyna would have had good matches with some of the women. She was okay against the men, but I don’t think she was willing or interested in working with the other women. I doubt she would have been thrilled about selling for Trish, Lita or others when she towered over them.

13. Jeremy Barnes
What is your Favorite Mick Foley persona – Cactus Jack, Dude Love or Mankind?

Cactus Jack because he was a favorite when I watched WCW in the early 1990s feuding with guys like Sting and Vader. Mankind was so creative and got him over huge in WWE first as a newcomer that could hang with The Undertaker and later as a comedy figure that somehow made it work while wearing an ugly mask. Dude Love was fun although he was only there for a brief time. My favorite run of Foley was in 2000 when he was Cactus Jack against Triple H – those matches at Royal Rumble and No Way Out were amazing. I’ll pick Cactus Jack as my favorite Face of Foley.

14. Roger Nicklaus
Who do you see winning Money in the Bank (men & women) this year?

Rusev and Sasha Banks. If you ask me tomorrow I may have a different answer. The WWE roster is so loaded right now and with one briefcase for a man and woman on each brand it’s going to make it tough to pick a winner.

15. Deryl Parnell Jr.
Do you think that The Undertaker will announce his retirement officially at Wrestlemania?

I doubt it. He’s not the type to “announce” stuff. I guess it’s possible, but I don’t expect it.

16. Mike Cirilo
How would you rate Shane McMahon’s return stint with the company thus far? He came with a fever pitch early but in my opinion, has kind of flamed out as of late…

It’s been okay. Nothing special. He’s put over people in his matches and setting up Sami’s heel turn was one of my favorite moments of 2017, so that was good. I think Shane should turn heel at WM. It might provide a spark for him because I liked him as a heel rather than a face during his 1998 to 2010 run in the company.

17. Adam Gronvold
Of all the feuds HHH had over his career, what are some of your favorites? And why is HHH vs Scott Steiner easily the best feud in WWE history?

Fave Triple H feuds would be Cactus Jack in 2000, Shawn Michaels in 2002-03, The Rock from 1998 to 2000, the Austin feud from late 2000 to 2001 (I loved their No Way Out 2001 match so much) and the Batista feud in 2005 was excellent in terms of elevating Batista to the next level. I never really liked his many feuds with Randy Orton.

I know the second question was a joke, but I’ll answer anyway. Triple H vs. Steiner was one of the worst feuds ever. I think WWE screwed up Steiner from the beginning by making him a face. Yes, people cheered him initially, but he was way better as a heel at that point in his career.

18. Adam Garcia
Who has a good chance of not being on the roster post-Wrestlemania?

Anybody that’s not being used regularly has a chance to be let go. It’s not like WWE is in a position where they need to cut people, but they also have like 200 wrestlers under contract. They can afford it, though. Money is good right now. I feel bad not naming names. I just don’t like to do that and somebody that reads this will be like “John Canton said this person should get fired.” I don’t want anybody fired. It’s not our money. I hope they hire more people lol.

19. Darrius Gaddy
Whose speech are you looking forward to the most at the Hall of Fame and who has given your favorite speech thus far?

I think Bubba Ray Dudley will do an amazing job. He’s a great talker and will probably talk more than D-Von. Mark Henry might do well. He is well spoken and can laugh at himself. The Jeff Jarrett/Road Dogg song should be good for laughs. I don’t anticipate it being a great night for speeches, but you never know.

20. Kevin C Staed
When is Big Cass being brought back and will he resume his push? Do you think the Enzo issues will or have hurt his spot?

Cass is healthy as far as I know after the ACL knee surgery last summer and may be a surprise winner of the battle royal at WrestleMania. He’s ready or very close to it. I don’t think the Enzo thing will affect him or his future.

21. Jeroukoc Vasilis
Who would you book to face Daniel Bryan next year at Wrestlemania?

It’s too early. That’s my answer. AJ Styles. That’s my other answer.

22. Van Wilhoite
Who do you think has the single most defining moment that elevated their career in WM history?

Randy Savage in losing at WM3 elevated him and showed he can be a top guy, which he was a year later. Ricky Steamboat at WM3 although WWE was too stupid to push him, then he left and became huge in NWA with the Ric Flair in 1989, so that moment helped the competition!

Owen Hart beating Bret Hart at WM10 really elevated him because Owen was mainly just a prelim guy before that.

Steve Austin passing out to Bret Hart’s Sharpshooter at WrestleMania 13 and the bloody face screaming in pain was pretty awesome.

I think a case can be made for Seth Rollins at WM31 when he cashed in MITB to become WWE Champion and a top guy after that.

I’d probably pick the Rollins one if I had to pick a single moment. It was great.

23. Ed Luis Valentin
Do you think that Samoa Joe’s ever gonna get a World Title (WWE or Universal) run in WWE? He seems to have bad luck with injuries and when he is there, he doesn’t really get booked like a main eventer consistently, only from June to August last year.

I think he might. He is one of the best heels in the company. The injuries are not that serious and I think he’d make a good champion. He could be a heel champ that has a run for a few months and then drop it to a face. I hope it happens for Joe.

24. Joe Craven
Do you think it’s best to have The Undertaker to return as The Deadman gimmick, after last years Mania where he seemingly retired with leaving his hat and the cloak in the ring? Personally I think American Badass should return, given that logic. But you never know with WWE.

He did the Deadman gimmick for 25 years while doing the Badass gimmick for about three years. He should be Deadman Taker until he wants to stop.

It’s not like he retired the Deadman look. He did it two months ago on Raw 25. It’s like people want to forget that for some reason.

25. Marlon Nedd
Who do you think will win the new NXT North American Championship?

I think EC3 will win the North American Title. Plenty of good choices, though. I can definitely see Velveteen Dream, Adam Cole and Ricochet as possible winners too.

26. Rob Coffey
Do you see WWE splitting Wrestlemania into 2 shows – one Saturday and one Sunday with NXT Takeover Friday?

I doubt it ever happens, but I have talked about it and written about it in the past. It would allow for more talent to be on the shows. I just think WWE wants it to be a one-day event like the Super Bowl, Oscars, etc. and they don’t want to change it.

27. Brandan Kelly
Do you think there will be any 5 star matches at Wrestlemania?

I think it’s possible with Styles vs. Nakamura. I don’t know if any other match can get to that level, but I can see the Bryan/Shane vs. Zayn/Owens, Balor vs. Miz vs. Rollins and Asuka vs. Charlotte matches hitting four star level for sure. That would make it a great show.

28. John Mezzio
Do you think WWE will ever get a Hall of Fame building? Kind of like the football and baseball hall of fame where it’s a museum for the sport and its legends.

Ever? Maybe, but I have my doubts. The cost of finding a place to hold it is expensive, then you have to build the damn thing and figure out how to make money off it. They lost a lot of money off their restaurant in NYC. It’s not something they are good at doing.

I know there were rumors of it possibly being at Universal Studios, but how is it going to make them money when they would have to pay ridiculous prices to be there? I don’t see why they would do it.

29. Josh Warner
Would you turn Daniel Bryan heel and create a ROH stable on SmackDown Live ran by him? Add people like Adam Cole and RedDragon!

Absolutely not. Do not turn Bryan heel. It would be stupid. He’s going to be a bigger draw as a face today than he ever was, so do not turn him. I would add Cole, O’Reilly and Fish with Zayn and Owens. That would be so fun.

30. Cory Andrew Plaza
Let’s say Shane wouldn’t have been able to compete at WM. If you were given the book, who would you have as his replacement to team with Bryan?

Rusev, but putting him in the US Title match is fine. I just think Rusev would have been cheered a lot in that spot if they did an angle with him. Another option is turning Ziggler face. I think fans like him more as a face anyway.

That’s all for now. There were plenty of more great questions, so I may get a part two up during the week, but I’m not sure if I’ll have the time either. I hope I can do it. Thanks for reading!