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TJR Q&A #58: The Shield’s Reunion (Again), Undisputed Era’s WWE Future, Harper, and More!

It’s the end of a busy week with SummerSlam all wrapped, so let’s bring back the Question & Answer period here on TJRWrestling. The questions come from my Facebook page and they cover a variety of wrestling related topics. As you would expect this week, there were several Shield related questions. I didn’t want to be repetitive and include all of them, but I am leading off with that topic.

Also, happy 73rd birthday to Vince McMahon today. Let’s all watch his performance of the song “Stand Back.”

Let’s get to the Q&A.

1. Michael Uong
How would you explain the Shield reunion? Who do they feud with?

It is smart to do it because last year’s reunion was interrupted by injuries and stuff out of their control. It keeps people more interested in Raw since they are well liked and the fans are clearly into it, so why not do it? I like it a lot.

Feud with maybe Ziggler, McIntyre and a heel like Corbin or Elias joins them. Maybe The Wyatt Family gets back together for a big match with Wyatt, Strowman and Harper. Whoever it is will likely do the job against The Shield, who wins nearly all of the matches they are in.

The chemistry of Reigns, Rollins and Ambrose is great, plus there’s always the threat of one of them turning on the others. That might be Ambrose and my prediction is for early next year around the Royal Rumble, but for the end of 2018 as long as they are healthy I see them teaming up a lot except when Roman and Seth are defending their titles.

2. Nick Grinik
Do you think Harper will get a solo push while Rowan is out with an injury?

I don’t think he’ll get a huge push in terms of main event or anything like that, but maybe a solid midcard push like he had the last time. He can have good matches with anybody. It’s also possible they move him over to Raw to reform the Wyatt Family.

3. Juan Paolo David
What’s your favorite finish to a match ever?

There are so many to pick from. I will always point to WM13 Bret vs. Austin and Austin passing out from the Sharpshooter, but not actually giving up leading to the fans chanting for Austin because they respected him for not giving up. I mean, story wise, that’s the best finish because it’s exactly what WWE wanted and the fans gave it to them.

I also liked WM25 Taker vs. Michaels where it was so tough to win the match, then Shawn hits the moonsault, Taker catches him, Shawn is wiggling his legs to try to break free and boom Tombstone ends it. I thought it was pretty smart.

I’m sure we can all sit here for hours and think of other memorable ones too.

4. Nick Salvato
What current storyline (if any lol) intrigues you the most on either Raw or SDLive and why?

The Smackdown feuds with Charlotte Flair vs. Becky Lynch leading the way just to see how WWE reacts to the fans that still want to cheer Lynch and if WWE will change the course at all. Styles vs. Joe has my interest because I hope they can top their last match with a crowd that really wants to see them have a big match again. Miz vs. Bryan too. Smackdown is clicking on all cylinders right now.

On the Raw side, I think there’s intrigue about Strowman might cash in Money in the Bank. I’m also intrigued by what The Shield does, who they feud with and when Ambrose might turn (I say early next year).

5. Carol Wands
Do you think Vince McMahon should turn over full control of RAW to Triple H based on his success with NXT?

I think it is unrealistic to expect that because Vince, even at 73 years old, is the kind of guy that seems like he’ll work forever and still be in charge for another ten years at least. But who knows? I don’t see him just giving it up. Maybe if he had a health issue that would change things, but Vince is probably the healthiest 73 year old man there is.

Should he do it? I guess it would help, but I don’t think it’s going to happen.

6. Jason Richey
What did you think of Glow Season 2?

I’ve only seen about four episodes. I watched the first season. I’ll try to finish this weekend, but I dunno if I will. It’s pretty good, but I don’t think it’s great just because it’s about wrestling. Some dialogue is clever and it makes me chuckle sometimes.

7. Simon Daniel
Would you rather watch and review at length every Great Khali match or to have Brie Mode set as your message alert for 3 months?

Oh God that’s a painful one. I guess the Brie mode thing. I can’t take Khali matches anymore.

8. Alex Jackson
Do you see Finn Balor back in the main event in the next 12 months?

If he grew six inches then sure. I think his height is an issue and his promo skills are a factor too, but they shouldn’t be because the fans love this guy. His work in the ring is good. I think being a shorter guy hurts him. They did push him hard two years ago at SummerSlam 2016 and I hope it happens again.

If it was me then Balor would be at or near the top all the time. With Vince booking, I don’t know if they will consistently get behind him.

9. Logan Carson
The Elite just stated all their contracts are about up and no matter where they sign they’re all going together. How true do you believe that is?

It’s probably true and I don’t think they should go to WWE next year. They should keep doing what they are doing, run their own shows a few times next year as well like All In and keep trying to grow.

10. Van Wilhoite
Who will be the top singles heels on RAW to seriously challenge Reigns for the Universal title in the near future?

They are sorely lacking in that area. Kevin Owens has been decimated a lot by Braun Strowman, but maybe they’ll build him back up. Drew McIntyre could be it. Maybe Dolph Ziggler. Perhaps Bray Wyatt gets another heel push. I dunno. Smackdown’s roster is more balanced and better right now. It feels like this could be a long title reign for Reigns that lasts all the way until WrestleMania next year and even longer, so I don’t know if the opponents really matter.

11. Toby Tobias
Do you believe that the big blue bar steel cage is the best version and should be brought back in perpetuity?

I don’t think so even though the Bret/Owen SummerSlam 1994 match is one of my favorites. I’m sure the wrestlers prefer it because it’s easier to climb and I think WWE likes it visually because it looks better on television. It just doesn’t sound as good when a guy gets thrown into a cage or just general stuff like that. Steel Cage sounds better than Blue Bar Cage.

12. Cory Andrew Bacon
Since Trish is now wrestling Alexa, how would you book Mickie going into Evolution, and what marquee match would result?

I think they can go a number of different ways with her like maybe they put her against her old rival Beth Phoenix one more time, but Beth may be doing commentary. You can do Mickie vs. Lita. You can also have Mickie team up with Lita against the Riott Squad or something. I haven’t really thought about it that much, to be honest. There’s still the Hell in a Cell and Australia show before the women’s show, so I don’t want to jump too far ahead.

13. Aj Giacobbe
Do you ever see Corey Graves stepping back into the ring?

No. He had bad concussions and he’s got a really good job now on both shows. He wasn’t that great in the ring and by that I mean he wasn’t seen at the level of a Reigns or Ambrose in developmental. Losing his current spot would be stupid, so he’s not going to do it.

14. Josh Warner
WM 35…who would you put the WWE Title on going into it and who would have them face? Choices are Styles, Samoa Joe or Miz…

The Miz or Samoa Joe as WWE Champion and Daniel Bryan as the Royal Rumble or just the guy that challenges the champion with Bryan winning the title that night. I’d be fine with AJ vs. Bryan too, but it’s better when it’s face vs. heel. I can see Styles feuding with Orton at some point although it may not be for the title.

15. Alex Spinks
Miz has always been known as a great talker but his wrestling matches would always struggle to hit a 4 star mark. What’s changed for him over the last couple of years that’s seen him wrestle at a higher and more consistent level? Can’t just be taking the Yes kicks, can it?

It’s experience, really. A lot of wrestlers get better in their mid to late 30s and he’s 38 this year, so he’s right at the point where you should be at the peak of your powers. Some of the stuff he does is repetitive and you know it’s only going to get a two count, but that’s what every wrestler does. I think sometimes his matches are too repetitive, so he has to change it up a bit and try to get to that next level where it’s over four stars. The feud with Ziggler in 2016 was a turning point where he was really having elite matches.

16. David Harnick
What’s your favorite feud so far this year in WWE not NXT?

Favorite feud WWE main roster there’s not really one that stands out. I think the Lynch/Charlotte one might be my favorite in the next few months and I like Bryan/Miz a lot, so we’ll see how the next few months go. The Styles/Joe feud could be the best too. In the first eight months, maybe Rollins vs. Ziggler, but I think it’s been a weak year for great feuds. That’s a big reason why 2018 has been just average on Raw and Smackdown.

If it was all of WWE counting NXT then the answer is easily Ciampa vs. Gargano.

17. Andy Savieo
Who would you say is the most overrated legend in the business?

Kevin Nash, but I also think he is one of the smartest guys and I give him a lot of credit for making a lot of money for doing very little. I respect what he did, though.

18. Daniel Mount
Who do you think they’ll reveal as Aleister Black’s attacker? Who would you want it to be?

I think it might be Lars Sullivan because they can say he was mad that he lost to him at Takeover Chicago, but then they did something at the tapings this week that show it may not be him. I don’t really know otherwise. I haven’t thought about it much. I think there will be a pay off unlike when it happened for Itami.

A guy I thought of now is Kassius Ohno, who has been in NXT a while, but he’s not really featured a lot in part because he’s an older guy. If they make it him and he’s a heel, maybe it can be the start of something new for him. It could work well.

19. Ross McDonnell
Do you think Finn Balor would be better in a heel role? He has been a babyface since arriving and seems to be floundering.

No. I think smaller guys are better as faces and I think the style he has with the athleticism, the impressive arsenal of kicks and just the way he fires up the crowd makes him a more natural face. If he did the heel thing then I’d love to see him have Gallows and Anderson as backup to make him look tougher.

20. Leo Carter
I think they’re leading to a Brock Lesnar vs Kurt Angle match maybe at WM. Brock gave him F5 on RAW…Kurt keeps saying he’s the worst Universal Champion and now he’s giving them a hard time for him to get his rematch. Do you think they’re leading us to a match and would you be interested in seeing it at this stage of their careers?

They might do that and I know Kurt is training hard to wrestle a few more matches again, so perhaps that is a direction they are going. I’d love to see Angle against a guy like Daniel Bryan at a WrestleMania, but that would be a face vs. face match rather than having one of them as a heel. There is history with Lesnar and Angle, so that would be fun as long as Brock is safe with him lol.

21. Mark Virutiao
When will Raw go back to 2 hour show?

It’s not like it is happening any time soon. They just signed a new TV deal with USA Network that starts in October 2019 for another five years and they are being paid for three hours at over $200 million per year in the new deal. That means it’s at least six more years of it and I doubt it changes after that.

I find it weird when I get asked about Raw going two hours. It’s not like I want it to be three hours, but facts are facts and WWE is getting paid a ridiculous amount of money to be three hours, so it will be this way for a long time.

22. Jake Pumfleet
Who deserves/who do you think will get a ‘Wrestlemania moment’ at WM35?

Samoa Joe. He has not done anything at a WM yet even though he could have been a part of this year’s show if they had a story for him. Other than that, a lot of people deserve it and I hope they can find a way to make it feel special next year.

23. Anthony James
What are your thoughts and expectations for ALL IN? Who do you think might make a surprise appearance?

I hope it’s a success and they have great matches. It looks like a pretty good card, but I won’t be home and I doubt I have time to watch all of it because I have other stuff going on next weekend. I’m not sure about surprise appearances. I doubt they have a lot of those.

It wouldn’t shock me if they announced another show put on by Cody and the Young Bucks perhaps in December or January. This one sold out so quickly, so they will likely do more as long as they don’t go to WWE.

24. Luke T.J. Seaford
If you could change the finish for just one Wrestlemania match, which match would it be and what would be your finish?

WrestleMania 17 after the match, Austin shakes Vince’s hand and then stuns him. That is something Austin wishes he did because the fans didn’t want to boo him. I liked heel Austin, but he has a good point. I guess that’s not changing the finish, but it’s changing actions after a finish.

I guess I didn’t pick a change the finish, so I’ll say Booker T beating Triple H at WrestleMania 19. That should have happened. I know Hunter wanted to have a title run to put over Goldberg later that year, but they could have switched the title back for that.

25. Nick Venholm

Which is a worse WrestleMania moment: Bray Wyatt/Randy Orton in the Ring Projections From Hell Match
or
Santina wins the Women’s battle royal? Is there a moment worse than either of them?

The first one because it was a FUCKING WWE Title match with the Royal Rumble winner. There are plenty of worse ones like Giant Gonzalez at WrestleMania 9 and Michael Cole having a match that went way too long.

26. Chris Young
Do you think there will ever be a Money in the Bank match for the Intercontinental Title?

I don’t think so. There’s no need for it. They have done multiple man ladder matches for the IC Title at WrestleManias and those are cool. I don’t think they need to do MITB for a IC Title shot. It should only be for a major title.

26. Liam Loftus
Do you feel NXT works better for the viewer as feuds aren’t hot-shotted over the course of a month, like the main roster does (case in point Gargano/Ciampa)? Would you be adverse to NXT going two hours a week in the network if they kept the format (maybe two lots of tapings to accommodate the extra hour per show)?

Yeah, it works better because of the pacing and things aren’t rushed. It’s a fun brand and show. The key performers on NXT are not overexposed the way they are on Raw. You watch NXT and it leaves you wanting more whereas with Raw it feels like they give you too much.

Regarding the two hour thing, they are almost there already. A 2 hour TV show is about 1 hour 25 minutes or so without commercials. If you notice NXT on WWE Network it’s usually around 59 minutes, so they really only need to add about 20-25 minutes of content to make it two hours as a regular TV show. I think they could do it easily if Fox gave them the money for it, but I think there’s value in NXT staying on WWE Network as an exclusive show for the Network.

27. John Mezzio
Out of the big 4 PPVs which do you think is the most outdated that WWE could do without?

Survivor Series by far. I don’t really like the concept anymore and they almost killed it a decade ago when buyrates were so low, but they kept it. I think Money in the Bank is really in the big four and the big four are all great if you include MITB with WrestleMania, Royal Rumble and SummerSlam.

28. Andy Papaleo
John – few thoughts on Undisputed Era. Think they will go up together? Think Strong will turn back once Bobby Fish is cleared? Educated guess when they go up? I thought sooner rather than later with the Cole loss at Takeover.

They should go up together because they have awesome chemistry. If they don’t that it is stupid on WWE’s part. They need more stables. Plus, all of them are stronger in a group than they would be on their own especially because they aren’t big guys.

I doubt it. Strong should stay heel with them. His personality is not big enough on his own, but in a group he is fine.

I would save the call up for after WrestleMania next year. Right after the Royal Rumble is possible too. There’s no rush. I think Strong/O’Reilly might drop the titles before the end of the year. The main roster has too much talent already.

29. Darrius Gaddy
What do you think is next for Kevin Owens and how would you book him? He’s one of the best on the main roster, he’s able to get heat. He’s good at being a chicken shit heel. He’s a good promo. But he almost seemed to get buried in the Strowman feud. The win made sense for Braun and the way it happened. But how do they book KO next?

They probably think he can bounce back quickly because Strowman kicks everybody’s ass all the time anyway, so if he can go over guys like Balor, Rollins, Ambrose and so on then he’ll be fine. Anybody can bounce back. Just give them some wins and they can look competent.

30. Rick Bulow
After seeing the Tomasso Ciampa v. Johnny Gargano match from TakeOver: Brooklyn 4 this past Saturday, it almost kind of reminded me of how sadistically cruel and crazy Mankind or (even, considering Ciampa’s prior matches against Gargano) Bruiser Brody were during their times. What is your thought on that?

They were pretty wild. I didn’t see enough of Brody, but he kind of set the standard and guys like Terry Funk and Mick Foley followed that. It’s partly why Mick Foley retired as a full time wrestler at like 35 years old. Yes, he wrestled after, but his body was beat up and he stopped full time. Guys like Ciampa and Gargano have shown an ability to work different styles, which is great, but you can’t do that style all the time either.

That’s all for this Q&A. There will be a part two of this batch of questions up in the next day or two because I got a lot of them. Thanks to 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 weekend.