TJR Q&A #54: Samoa Joe as WWE Champion, New WWE TV Deals, MITB and More (30 Questions!)

The TJR Q&A is back after about a month off. I don’t like having a one month gap between them, but sometimes life gets busy. I try to do them every two weeks. Anyway, the way this works is the questions come from my Facebook page. Thanks to those of you that asked the questions. Let’s get to it.

1. Kris Doss
Which current NXT superstar has the best chance at main eventing a Wrestlemania?

I wrote a column last week that might help answer this one. I will pick EC3 and long term I think it can be Velveteen Dream too since he’s only 22 years old. I think Velveteen Dream can be one of the biggest stars in WWE in the 2020s decade.

That article is here: http://thecomeback.com/wwe/ranking-10-wwe-nxt-stars-that-will-be-the-most-successful-on-the-main-roster.html

2. Daniel Lerma
Who are your picks for both MITB matches?

It might be Strowman, but I think Samoa Joe would be the best choice if he beats Bryan on Tuesday to get in. Rusev is another choice that I like a lot.

The women’s match is up in the air. I might go Natalya because I think if she wins it and turns heel by cashing on Ronda Rousey that would set up a huge feud there. I’m not sure if that’s the plan, but it would work. Other possible winners are Lynch and Banks. I can’t decide yet lol.

My MITB winner picks are going to change many times between now and June 17. Last year Baron Corbin was the obvious pick while Carmella was an upset. I don’t think there’s an obvious pick this year.

3. Aj Giacobbe
Which of these have the most promising future: Mandy Rose, Liv Morgan, Sonya Deville, Ruby Riott or my pick Sarah Logan (just because I love hearing her talk)?

I think Mandy Rose has the best potential in part because of her look and she’s pretty good in the ring too. Plus, she has become a favorite of mine. Ruby Riott is a very good all around talent with a unique look. I still need to see more from all of them.

4. Deryl Parnell Jr.
Other than The Miz who fans hated at the beginning then people got behind him eventually, who’s another star that fans hate that they may eventually get behind?

Elias could get over well as a face although I think he should be heel for most of his career. Since the fans are chanting along for his promos, you could tell that one day WWE is going to turn him face even though I think it would be a mistake.

5. James Bright
What do you think was the worst year for WWE during the attitude era?

If we say Attitude Era was 1997 to 2001 then I think the worst year in some ways was 1999 because the matches were usually short or rushed. There were memorable moments and storylines that were fun. Plus, it was a very profitable year, so it’s not like it was that bad. Those were great years.

6. David Sheldon
When do you see Lesnar dropping the Universal Title and who to? The sooner the better for me it needs to be won by a full timer so it can be defended at every PPV.

I think Lesnar’s probably done at SummerSlam and he’ll likely drop the title to Strowman or Rollins in a triple threat that may also involve Roman Reigns to make it a 4-Way. I might go with Strowman.

7. Joe Sondag
Do you think Finn Bálor will get a legitimate opportunity to wrestle for the Universal Championship? And if so, who do you think would be his opponent?

He might, but he’s behind Braun Strowman and Seth Rollins in the pecking order in terms of faces on Raw. I guess Roman would count if we consider him a face. It may be tough for Balor to get there within the next year due to the others ahead of him. That’s why I thought he might move to Smackdown.

8. Roger Nicklaus
Aside from Owen Hart, who do you feel is the biggest snub from the Hall of Fame?

Vader before anybody really in terms of how great he was as one of the best big guys ever. Owen Hart and British Bulldog too.

9. Nicholas Pruner
Where do you think Daniel Bryan would currently be had he not gotten injured in 2014 after winning the WWE championship? How would his career from then to now play out?

In the upper midcard most of the time and main eventing sometimes. There’s no reason to think he would be lower down the card, but you can’t push everybody either.

10. Jared Robertson
What stars would you move to 205 live in an effort to help it more? And what do you think it would take for Neville to agree to wrestle in WWE again?

I think Gargano and Ciampa would be great fits if they took their rivalry there. Both of them.

Neville moved back to England so he’s moved on and not coming back. So that’s not even a hypothetical we can answer. I guess it’s fair to say he was not a fan of 205 Live.

11. Daniel Mount
Who does Aleister Black feud with when he gets to the main roster?

Any of the good heels like Miz, Samoa Joe, Andrade Almas come to mind. Not Big Cass.

12. Zach Buck
Who on the roster besides Braun Strowman could you see being a 1st time World Champ?

He should have won it by now. A year ago I would have said him and Baron Corbin for sure. Now Corbin has fallen down the ladder, so to speak. Maybe Drew McIntyre, who is a guy that has all the tools and really should get to that level.

I think Samoa Joe is a good choice too. Either him or Nakamura will win WWE Title from Styles.

13. Denny Hart
Do you think the big tv deals WWE are getting a good or bad thing for the fans?

It’s hard for us to know. The deals kick in October 2019 and we have no idea if it will lead to any changes or if it’s similar to what we have now. I’m going to be positive and think it’s going to be a good thing because if WWE’s creative gets lazy and ratings go down they could lose those deals they have.

I’m trying to be positive and hope for the best. I don’t know if there is any reason to worry, but we have no idea until October 2019 gets here.

14. Mark Tallentire
When did Edge and Matt Hardy make up after the whole Lita thing? Just wondering after I saw them on Table For 3?

They did feud in 2005, so the feud was professional and I think a few years later they mended fences so to speak. The Edge/Lita thing didn’t even last that long. She cheated on Matt, he was obviously hurt by it, he was mad at Edge about it, but they were back on good terms a few years later. Edge ended up marrying Beth Phoenix and Matt married Reby Sky (Reby Hardy now), so they moved on. Fans probably hold onto the grudges of wrestlers longer than the wrestlers do.

15. Geoff Landtbom
Are we ever going to see a situation where a WWE Champion wrestles a 20-25 minute match, gets attacked, gets cashed in on, wrestles 15-20 minutes, and survives? I thought that’s what was going to happen to Daniel Bryan a few years ago but they opted to do the usual thing with a subsequent storyline that I didn’t like. And they almost didn’t go through with the expected payoff. I thought it made Bryan look weak. I mean the guy wins a gauntlet match and yet he lost to a Pedigree that he should have easily kicked out of it to continue fighting Randy Orton. Looking back I thought it was all wrong.

I don’t know. The creative team isn’t that creative about Money in the Bank concepts. I’m sure we could all sit here for hours with multiple scenarios that would be interesting for MITB, yet WWE just wants to do the same shit where somebody cashes in as a surprise when another wrestler is beat up.

What you suggested is interesting to me, but who knows if they have ever thought about it or if Vince McMahon feels like it’s better to do the surprise thing. Considering how much they have done the surprise thing, they seem to love doing it that way.

16. Shay Smithers
Would you say Johnny Gargano vs Tomasso Ciampa is the early contender for feud of the year?

Oh yeah, for sure it is. I don’t think anything else is close to it in WWE. Bryan vs. Miz should be outstanding when it gets going.

17. Christopher Brown
Given the rumors Rey Mysterio approached WWE about the idea of bringing another former of the LWO to the WWE, do you think it’s true? He is rumored to be suggesting it consists of himself, Almas, Kalisto, and Sin Cara. Would such a faction even be considered provided Creative doesn’t turn it into a joke like they have most other things in recent weeks/months?

Considering how poorly WWE has booked most of those guys, I wouldn’t have high hopes for that kind of a group. They barely use Gran Metalik and he’s an outstanding performer.

18. Daniel Hill
Will Samoa Joe ever win a world title in WWE? Or will he be used to elevate champions I.e Reigns. I’m a massive fan of Joe and would love to see a title run.

Yes he will. He might be the one that beats Styles for it for the WWE Title later in the year. I think Joe will be WWE Champ before the end of this year. At least I hope so.

19. Timothy Mercer
Out of these three podcasters who seems to have the most revisionist history? Bischoff, Russo or Cornette?

I can’t really stand Russo, so no idea what he says. I enjoy Cornette’s stuff. Bischoff just blames others for everything saying he wasn’t really running creative or somebody at Turner would change things. It’s annoying. Out of the three, I like Corny the most.

19. Dwight Newton
Will we ever see sister Abigail?

Hopefully not. It was going to happen with Bray Wyatt dressed in drag and I’m glad it didn’t happen because Wyatt was out with an illness.

20. Jesse Ornelas
Instead of Rey having it should R-Truth have been the one to get the 2 hour WWE Championship reign since that would have helped his conspiracy angle and made Awesome Truth tougher?

Nope. I don’t think people saw R-Truth at that level. He’s one of the worst WWE Title contenders there’s ever been. No offense to him, but it’s true.

21. Lonnie Nawrot
Hey John. What are your thoughts or ideas to make the Tag Team division more relevant? Authors of Pain have nothing to do, War Machine is still waiting, and others like Sanity as well. So much potential, but nothing being done. It’s sad.

It’s not rocket science. Creative just has to give a shit more. Let them have longer matches and promos. The Usos were amazing last year because they got to talk more than ever while having consistently great matches. This year it seems like WWE has given up on that.

If they don’t care the division suffers. If they do care then it can succeed. It’s just a matter of creative not giving a shit right now, which sucks.

22. Bobby Maltby
If CM Punk loses his fight in UFC (he most likely will), do you think we could see him return to WWE by the Royal Rumble? You think WWE would offer him a Brock Lesnar type contract?

Probably not. I think if he wrestles again it would be in Ring of Honor. Maybe he does if that UFC goes bad. I don’t think his issues with WWE have gone away. That’s not to say he would never go back to WWE. I just think it might be a few more years.

23. Tim Behnken
With the new television deals relegating PPV’s to just gimmick shows (excluding the big five), do you see WWE possibly reducing the number of them as the new deals go into effect? If not, how do you think this will affect said cards?

I don’t even like saying big four or big five anymore. Survivor Series is not a big deal and is one of the most pointless PPVs every year. A waste of time that is poorly booked.

Anyway, I don’t see them reducing PPVs. I think one per month is good and they’ll keep doing them. I think the TV deals will mean we get some of the bigger matches on Raw and Smackdown, but they will still need PPVs for WWE Network and just the way wrestling stories have always been told.

24. Dangelino Ochoa
Let’s say hypothetically they had RAW and SmackDown about 30 years ago. If they had a brand extension/draft back in the late 80’s/early 90’s, who would be your first pick for each show? I went with Hogan to RAW and Macho to SmackDown.

Yeah, that sounds about right. One gets Dibiase, the other gets Mr. Perfect. That kind of thing.

25. Charlie Pérez
These are some questions regarding ‘The John Report’ in general.
1 All the banners that Melo Man makes for you, do you tell him what you want or he just sends you random ones?
2 Why don’t you rate promos, backstage segments?
3 Why don’t you do a good, bad, and ugly section at the end of the article?

Sometimes I suggest something and other times he suggests it to me. We are very good friends, so easy to bounce ideas off eachother.

Because I think rating promos and backstage segments is silly. Matches are different.

My Raw review is like 7,000 words. I don’t think I need more words to explain what was bad or good.

26. Van Wilhoite
What’s your first reaction to all the PPVs becoming 4 hours long?

Fine with me. Better for the talent. I think getting rid of brand exclusive PPVs was a huge mistake because it’s going to limit the amount of talent that gets on PPVs. The main reason WWE did it is because ticket sales were slow, but I think from a creative standpoint it’s worse for the company.

I think they should have 16 PPVs per year and not 12. The more they do is better for me in terms of page views.

27. John L Henegar
Do you think the Poffo family should be inducted into the HOF ala the Von Erichs?

Probably not. I know that’s what Randy Savage wanted, but the Von Erichs were much more important in wrestling history.

WWE has a lot of flaws with their HOF, so I don’t really think about it that much.

28. Leon Ashley Oliver
Do you think Roman Reigns will equal or break Hulk Hogan WrestleMania main event record?

Hogan has 8 WM main events and Reigns has 4. I think Reigns is going to pass him, yes.

29. Joey Snapp
When will Johnny Gargano get called up and will they push him like the next Bryan?

Next year. Let him win the NXT Title later in the year and call him up after WM next year. Don’t rush it.

30. Joel J-money Wood
In 2001, Stone Cold was still a huge box office draw. Do you think his failed heel turn in 2001 is one of the main reasons Vince has been so hesitant to turn guys like John Cena and Roman Reigns heel? (Even though neither were as big of a draw as Austin but you get the parallels I’m trying to make here.)

Yes, that’s probably part of it. Same reason why Vince is reluctant to push a really young guy to the top because of Lesnar leaving in 2004. I don’t think Austin had a bad 2001 because it may have been the best year of his career in terms of matches and promos, but if they could go back I doubt they would have done the heel turn.

I know Austin has said many times that if he could go back he would have hit Vince with a stunner at the end of WM17 and stayed face, but that didn’t happen.


Thanks to those of you that took part and I hope you enjoyed reading this. Check out our TJR Q&A section here if you want to read past editions of the Q&A. Have a great week.