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TJR Q&A #57: Favorite WWE SummerSlam Memories, Bloody Matches and More

There was a Q&A that went up yesterday with 30 questions about the wrestling business and we’ve got more to cover today. As always, the questions come from my Facebook page, so thanks to those fine folks for asking them. Let’s just right back into it.

1. Nate Kuhl
Does AJ Styles keep the WWE Title until Wrestlemania?

I don’t think so. I like him, but that would be too long. I think Joe will win the title at SummerSlam or perhaps the next PPV. Maybe Daniel Bryan or Miz gets it after that (Miz would get it a in multi man match). I’d have Daniel Bryan get it at WrestleMania as a nice story for his big return to action.

2. Daniel Lerma
Do you think Brock Lesnar’s last 2 championship runs have hurt him more than benefit him? I enjoyed him as an special attraction for big PPV’s but I think he sort of loses that aura if he’s holding a championship and not defending it.

I think they hurt and are unnecessary from a creative standpoint because it’s hurting the quality of Raw. However, it’s not like the company was hurt by it since the stock price has quadrupled in the last year.

I like Brock, but I think this title reign going past this year’s WrestleMania was a poor decision. If they didn’t want to have Roman win the title, get it on somebody else. The last four months have not helped WWE programming.

3. Zach Buck
Do you believe that having pay per views on the network hurt the quality of the shows since ordering from your cable or satellite have almost become non existent?

I don’t think so. If you think about years like 2009, 2010 and 2011 until Money in the Bank they weren’t very good for shows. The roster improved after that and shows were better in the other years pre-network, but I don’t think the network hurts the quality of shows.

This year has been bad for PPV because of bad shows like Backlash and Extreme Rules. I thought Royal Rumble and Money in the Bank were great.

4. Brandan Kelly
What is your all time favorite match? It doesn’t matter for what promotion?

It’s tough to pick just one since there are so many matches, but I’ll try to narrow it down. I think Bret vs. Austin WM13 is my favorite for the work, the story of the match, the reaction to Austin after the match and just everything that it led to after that. I don’t think it’s the best match ever, but it’s near the top in that regard too. It’s a five star match. It’s my favorite too.

Shawn vs. Taker WM25 is probably next due to how excellent it was.

5. Larry Yadao
A lot of indy wrestlers wrestle in front of a few hundred to almost a few thousand. Yet when they go to WWE if they aren’t on TV it’s a failure even though they normally are performing in an arena with thousands to even ten thousand plus. Why is it considered failing? I know they shouldn’t settle but it’s still wrestling in front of huge crowds right?

It depends on who you ask. Some people consider being in a main event in front of 1,000 people and having a great match at ROH or PWG as a big deal. Others might not. It can be argued both ways. Zack Ryder has been in WWE ten years, but I’d rather be in the upper echelon of New Japan right now.

Some of the guys with kids are going to be happy with making more money in WWE than they would be if they were wrestling in front of smaller crowds.

6. Charlie Pérez
Whenever I watch Raw and the opening is good makes you believe everything will be great, but through the middle of it, we have constant replays and reminders which makes me lose focus on the rest of the show. Even though the main event is great I tend not to see it until I read your reviews, has that ever happened to you? Follow up question, sometimes Smackdown’s main event is so good it leaves you wanting more, don’t you wish sometimes it go a bit overboard?

It happens all the time. The start can be good and then by mid of second hour I’m bored out of my mind trying to get through it lol. Getting through a three hour show is tough to do.

7. Jason Richey
If they actually went with a Women’s Tag Division, who do you think would be paired together? Bayley and Sasha seems obvious, as does a Freebird Style Riott Squad. I’d love to see Kairi Sane and Asuka form an homage to the Jumping Bomb Angels.

All of those ideas sound fine to me. There’s Mandy and Sonya too. You can also do Alexa with Mickie, Natalya with Nia and so on. I think Sane and Asuka would be an awesome team. There are a lot of teams that could do great in a tournament. I like that idea.

8. Roger Nicklaus
Thoughts on a Alexa/Mickie v Trish/Lita match at “Evolution”?

Sure that’s fine with me. They may have Lita on commentary all night so she may not wrestle, but I don’t know. I know Mickie wants to face Trish in singles and I’m going to keep mentioning it because that’s what I do!

9. Vance McGill
Any wrestlers who you are shocked about their age? For example, I thought Finn Balor was in his twenties! He’s older than me!

I can see why some fans would feel that way. I don’t know if it’s the same with me because I’m in my late 30s and a lot of the WWE roster is older than 35 years old right now. Balor was one for me when he first signed with WWE because I didn’t know enough about him before his WWE days. Another one people are surprised about is that Nakamura is almost 40. I think Daniel Bryan at 37 is going to surprise some people just based on how he looks, but he’s been doing this for nearly 20 years. Samoa Joe and AJ Styles as well. A lot of guys on this roster are in their late 30s and into their early 40s.

One name that was older than I thought when I was a kid was Randy Savage. I had no idea that he was 40 years old at WrestleMania 8 (1992), which made me sad at the time because I figured he wasn’t going to wrestle much more. He did another decade or so in WCW, but he wasn’t always great when he was there.

10. Shay Smithers
Have you ever had a favorite wrestler who wasn’t that particularly good of an in-ring performer, but you still really liked them for one reason or another? If so who?

Not really. I guess I would say some women that I liked, but not really among the guys. I’ve always liked in-ring work from when I was little and liked Macho Man over Hogan.

If I had to pick it might be Andre the Giant because he wasn’t known for his great work. However, growing up in the 1980s made it tough not to be in awe of that man.

11. Seth Francus
When will Cesaro finally main event like he deserves? And if you think I’ll stop asking that question you’re nuts.

I think he should main event, but I don’t think Vince does, so I doubt it happens. I hope it does happen at some point in Cesaro’s career, though.

12. Jorge Palacios Jr.
What’s the likelihood of Dean Ambrose returning at SS whether it be to even the odds in Seth Rollins match or even to interfere and cost him the Intercontinental Championship?

I think it would be pretty random to see him cost Seth Rollins, so I wouldn’t do that yet. Build it up. Dean could be ready by SummerSlam, but I think it will be right after that. As I have said previously, they should do something where Dean is with Seth again and then Dean turns heel around Royal Rumble time to set up a WrestleMania match, which would be the Shield triple threat.

13. Jeremy Bennett
If Cody Rhodes wins the NWA World Heavyweight Championship at All In, what does that mean for the NWA overall with Billy Corgan running things?

The NWA only has one wrestler under contract, which is Nick Aldis, so it’s not like it is a touring company like WWE, ROH or even Impact. It’s just a company with a title. The NWA benefits from having a long history and some big names holding that title before Aldis, so that gives it some credibility. If they put on shows then that’s different, but right now it’s not much to talk about. If Cody wins then it’s a case of the NWA wanting to work more with him and setting up some rematches with Aldis, who would likely get the title back.

I’m sure that it would mean a lot to Cody to win the NWA Title considering how many times his dad Dusty held that title.

14. Eric Hay
What would be the biggest shock to happen in wwe right now? Something that no one saw coming? With the internet it’s almost impossible to have a shocking moment.

Some kind of random heel stable that has like six guys beat the shit out of everybody. But who? I don’t know, but Roman Reigns being involved as a heel would get that attention. That’s what they need to do. It would be even better if it was John Cena that turned heel, but I don’t think he wants to do it.

15. Aldous Davidson
Thoughts on Matt Riddle? Are you excited that he might end up in NXT?

I have seen a decent amount of him and he is awesome. I think they’ll work on his character and hope he grows in that area. In ring he’s already very good. Excited for him.

16. John C Hoddy
Can Lars Sullivan have success on the main roster or does he become Gene Snitsky?

I don’t think he will have huge success. He’s pretty dull and not that big in terms of height. He could be more effective in a tag team or as a power guy in a stable.

17. Adam Symes
What would be your ideal announce team right now?

Mauro Ranallo and Corey Graves with Graves in full heel mode. Two people are all you need.

18. Van Wilhoite
If Joe beats AJ for the title at SS who do you project as Joe’s next opponent if AJ fails to win it back?

I think long term it would be Daniel Bryan around WrestleMania time. I think short term there’s a bit of an issue because Smackdown is lacking on the face side a bit. Maybe they can heat up Rusev as a face. Aleister Black would be a good choice when he gets called up.

19. Ron Venturino
What is the bloodiest match you’ve ever seen, and is blood necessary to tell a good story?

For WWE matches, John Cena’s blood at Judgment Day 2005 is really high up there. Shawn Michaels at Badd Blood 1997 – the first Hell in a Cell match – is up there. Eddie Guerrero against JBL at Judgment Day 2004 might be the worst. Steve Austin at WrestleMania 13. Triple H bled often as well. I’m sure some Flair and Dusty ones are in the discussion too.

I think blood is good to have in a match to tell a story, but not necessary either. I’m fine with WWE banning blade jobs although they like Lesnar to make people bleed in his matches to put over his physicality.

20. Cory Andrew Bacon
Favorite non “Big 4” PPV of all time?

Money in the Bank 2011 and Canadian Stampede 1997 are the top two for sure. Backlash 2000 is another one I really liked. I could name lots of them.

21. Kevin Clark
What are a few of your Favorite moments at Wrestling events you have attended? I was in attendance when Ric Flair won the World Title for the last time in Biloxi, Ms May 2000. Goldberg defeating Hollywood Hogan for the World Championship in the Georgia Dome in July 1998. The Rock and Lita vs Triple H and Trish Stratus on Raw in July 1999. Rock defeating Mankind for the WWE title in a ladder match on Raw Feb 1999 and CM Punk vs Daniel Bryan WWE championship match at a live event in July 2012 are my favorites.

There are so many of them. I’ll just list a few:

– The end of WM30 Daniel Bryan celebration.

– Being at WM28 for Triple H/Taker HIAC with HBK as ref. That was a cool moment.

– Breakdown 1998 the Rock vs. Mankind vs. Shamrock cage match was great.

– Evolution turning on Orton at a Raw I was at in the 4th row in 2004 was cool.

I’ve probably been to over 50 WWE shows, so there’s a lot.

22. Matty Steffan
Who would you say isn’t safe in the annual roster sweep out?

I don’t think there’s going to be that because the company has so much money now (they are worth $6 billion based on the stock) that they can afford to keep people and would rather not have wrestlers go elsewhere.

The other answer is anybody that’s not on TV regularly is a threat to be cut.

23. Brian Coats
What are your top 5 Summerslam moments?

It’s hard to narrow it down, but since you asked here are five moments that stick out:

– The pop for Davey beating Bret in 1992. The whole match is outstanding.

– HBK beating Triple H in 2002. Review up in a day or two.

– Daniel Bryan winning WWE Title in 2013 and then losing via Orton MITB and heel turn with Triple H.

– Shawn and Razor in Ladder Match II in 1995.

– End of Bret/Owen in 1994 and then Bret getting attacked by Owen/Neidhart was great. Too bad it wasn’t main event due to Undertaker vs. Underfaker shitty match.

I am probably missing some great ones too.

24. Chris Goad
The single greatest Chris Jericho moment?

I think becoming Undisputed Champion in December 2001 by beating The Rock and Steve Austin in the same night is the best from a kayfabe point of view because it was a tremendous accomplishment. I don’t think it was the greatest in terms of best storyline or antyhing. My favorite moment is probably turning heel on HBK in 2008 leading to their amazing feud, which took place in the best year of Jericho’s career. I loved that. I could list dozens more.

25. Geoff Landtbom
I’ve been reading the excellent biography on Brian Pilman and I can’t help but feel like bad booking, the car accident, and of course his death, kept him from being a Randy Savage level performer. Do you think that his career is ultimately viewed as a disappointment because of these factors?

He had a good run, but it didn’t last long enough and that’s a big shame about it. I think he’s respected for being an incredible character in the last few years while his matches in the early 90s are regarded as helping to define the Cruiser style in the US, so that’s pretty cool. Pillman vs. Liger at SuperBrawl II in 1992 is one of my favorite cruiserweight matches ever. That was about four years before WCW’s cruiserweight division really got going, so I think Pillman was pretty innovative in that regard.

I don’t think Pillman was a disappointment in wrestling, but his health changed his career. Dying of a heart attack at age 35 is such a tragic story. Brian was a talented guy that was gone too soon.

26. Omar G. Miller
This past week on NXT they sorta teased a potential set up for War Games in L.A. with Undisputed Era, Mustache Mountain and Ricochet & War Raiders. Would you be interested in that being the war games match?

Yeah that’s what it might be. It would make sense to me. NXT has been great this year. I would love that match at War Games, but they have a lot of options they can do before we get to November.

27. Roderick Walker
Who do you think should be the next cruiserweight champion and should the cruiserweights have their own PPV special?

I think Buddy Murphy deserves it. He’s done an outstanding job as a heel on the show, he’s had some awesome matches and I think he has earned it. Mustafa Ali is another guy that sticks out because he’s a lot of fun to watch as well.

28. Rob Brown
The fans are really down on Brock (and probably for good reason). Other than Brock wrestling more, what do you do to save his relationship with the fans?

If they are down on Brock then that’s exactly what Vince wants. Be mad at Vince for choosing to book him that way. Brock is working a limited schedule to make millions. I don’t blame him. Be mad at Vince if you want to be mad.

As for saving the relationship of Brock with the fans, there’s nothing that they can really do. He’s better as a heel anyway and I doubt he’s ever going to be the guy to talk about wrestling much.

29. Joe Sondag
Who do you think will turn will turn first or should turn first Sasha from face to heel or Mickie from heel to face? Because personally while a doing well in their current roles I think both are more natural in the opposite roles.

I think Banks or Bayley will turn heel around the Evolution PPV in October. I thought it was going to be Banks for a while, but now I think they might have Bayley do the heel turn. I’m pretty sure Mickie likes being heel. She’s having fun. Faces are boring.

30. Parker Solseng
In retrospect, how important is Chris Nowinski in the history of WWE?

I think he’s important for wrestling and also sports like football, hockey and concussion research in general. I’m sure some people would have come along to reasearch concussions, but he’s the one that did it in part because of his concussion history in WWE, so kudos to him.

31. Ryan Atagi
There are a lot of trios across WWE/NXT these days. Can you see WWE introducing six-man tag titles, possibly to be defended across all brands?

I hope not. They have too many titles already and they don’t book them all well. They don’t need more. I would be okay with Women’s Tag Team Titles or Cruiserweight Tag Team Titles, but other than that there’s enough as it is.

That’s all for this Q&A. Thanks for those of you that asked the questions. Check out our TJR Q&A section here if you want to read past editions of the Q&A. Have a great week.