TJR Q&A #68: Cody Receiving a Big Push in AEW, Next WWE NXT Title Challenger, Baron Corbin, More

There’s a lot going on the wrestling world with WWE about to launch NXT on USA Network to go along with Raw and Smackdown is moving to Fox in four weeks from today. There’s also plenty of AEW content coming our way when their Wednesday night TV show debuts in less than four weeks. I thought it would be a good time to do another Q&A. The questions come from my Facebook page as usual. Let’s get to it.

1. Rusty Rowe
So do you see the Fiend winning the championship at Hell in a Cell?

Most likely yes. It’s not like the Universal Title is ever defended on TV anyway. I don’t think there’s anything that would change about that if Wyatt won it. The only way it doesn’t happen is if they do some cheap finish where somebody breaks into Hell in a Cell and causes a non-finish. They did that before, though, so I’d rather not do that.

Wyatt beating Rollins to win the Universal Title makes sense to me.

2. Ian Pinkett
If you could pick anyone in the world to face WALTER who would it be and why?

I’m a big fan of his. I know he wants to stay in NXT UK and live in Europe, but I am shocked that Vince McMahon hasn’t thrown a lot of money at him to come to the main roster because Walter’s a big guy capable of amazing matches.

Anyway, I’d love to see him against Gargano, who could have a similar type of match that Bate and Dunne had with him. I’d like to see Daniel Bryan in a face role against him. Seth Rollins would be cool. Plenty of guys outside of WWE like Omega and Ospreay that could have awesome matches.

Lesnar vs. Walter would be great too. I know some people hate Lesnar, but as a worker when he gives a sh*t he’s damn good.

3. Alex Jackson
There are always rumours that 205 Live is going to be cancelled? Do you see this happening? If so do they scrap the title or add it to nxt. Personally I love 205 live, it and NXT are the only things I go out of my way to watch.

I think if they got rid of it then not a lot of people would notice that much. When I reviewed it for a month it was an experiment and the amount of views it got was very low, so it was not worth my time to do it. It sucks, but there’s so much WWE content that it’s tough for the average fan to consume it all.

I would tape four weeks of shows at Full Sail University because the crowd is going to care more. I would also utilize the talent in NXT or Raw/SD once in a while. Make tag teams. Just find a way to use those talented guys.

4. James Erickson
Do you think more former wrestlers should be “head creative writers” instead of TV or film writers? I know there are a few in WWE such as Road Dogg, but more seem to be agents. I was just thinking how great Bray Wyatt and Chris Jericho could be at creative and it got me thinking.

Yes they should, but if they have money they aren’t going to take a job like that. I have always said guys like Steve Austin, Mick Foley, Edge, Christian and guys like that could be great creative minds for WWE, but would anybody want the stress of that job? I doubt it. Most of them are millionaires too, so they don’t want to deal with that. Matt Hardy is another guy that would be great at it.

Most of the NXT decisions are made by a team of Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Road Dogg, William Regal and Albert/Tensai who runs the PC. That’s a great group of minds.

5. Emory Cantstopmyswagg White III
If CM Punk did return to WWE do you think WWE should recreate the Stone Cold vs Authority feud all over again?

Yeah I think that would make a lot of sense to have him against Triple H and Stephanie considering the things Punk has said that were critical of them. I don’t think Punk will return, but if WWE threw enough money his way then it might happen.

6. Jake Pumfleet
How do you think AEW will be in a years time?

I hope they are successful and doing well. Fans are excited about them. When I review the AEW shows they do well on the website in terms of page views. It’s hard to know what their TV show is going to be like, but they have a lot of smart people. If I was them I would lean on Jim Ross a lot and try to pick his brain about booking because he has so much experience in it.

With all of that said, it’s all a guessing game right now. We’ll see how AEW does in the weeks and months ahead.

7. Michael Rosario
Do you think WWE will ever do a four horsewomen vs four horsewomen match?

I think they should do it. It depends on Rousey. She left to get pregnant and five months later, no baby news, so maybe she’ll want to come back. I think putting Ronda with her 3 buddies against WWE’s four women would be a cool match. Jessamyn Duke and Marina Shafir are not as experienced, but they can do enough to get by while Baszler and Rousey can work the match. I just don’t know if it’ll work in terms of who the faces/heels are. Then again, maybe fans will be so into it that they’ll just cheer them all or the fact that it’s happening.

With the right build, it could be a lot of fun to watch.

8. Nathan Davies
What changes do you want to see happen to Smackdown once it moves to FOX? Additionally, will Smackdown beat RAW in the ratings???

I like the idea of it being more of the “sports” WWE show where they focus on the matches, less comedy bits. Promos are fine, but Smackdown is very good at doing quicker promos and then moving on.

I think Smackdown will get more viewers than Raw in the US. Smackdown on FOX means it will be in about 20-30% more homes (something like that) as a network TV channel (part of the big four in the US with NBC, CBS, ABC) while Raw is on USA Network, which is cable TV. Smackdown is hurt by Friday being a bad TV night, but I still think they will beat Raw.

9. Andy Mullen
With NXT going to two hours they will need more wrestlers to step up. Who do you see being those guys and gals? Personally I have high hopes for Keith Lee.

It’s really not that much more content. The average NXT episode is about 55 minutes with limited commercials. Going 2 hours means about 25-30 more minutes. They have a lot of people on the roster already, plus I would be in favor of utilizing some of the main roster talent that isn’t used. Get EC3 back there, for example.

I think guys like Matt Riddle, Keith Lee, Donovan Dijakovic are guys to get excited about for sure.

10. Robert Lee Thomas
Who is your new picks to make the Finals and win it all in the KOTR Tournament, and do you think it will help them? I’m leaning towards Corbin, because I think KOTR is better when a heel wins it. But I’m hoping I’m wrong lol.

I think Ricochet will win and beat Elias. I thought Andrade was going to win when the brackets came out. When the tournament was first announced I thought Drew McIntyre would be a good pick, so I’ve been off!

There was a Samoa Joe backstage segment with Chad Gable on SD last week, so maybe that’s the finals and if so, perhaps Joe will win. I don’t know and that’s okay. It’s been fun to watch.

11. Josh Ramey
What are any thoughts or opinions you have on NJPW?

I wish I had more time to watch it and more energy to write about it because I enjoy it. I usually don’t watch anything they do live and will catch up by watching the great matches when I get some free time.

12. Cory Andrew Bacon
Do you see any major stars from WWE allowing their contracts to expire in order to make the jump to AEW? If so, who would be three you could see as the most likely to do that?

It’s hard to know because I have no access to contracts and in some cases, even if I did know of that, I’m not going to share that info. Luke Harper is sitting home doing nothing and his deal won’t be up until April, so maybe he goes to AEW, but he’ll be 40 this year I think.

I’m sure some guys will go, but I know they gave huge raises to lower card guys like Jinder Mahal and Mojo Rawley. If WWE is willing to pay huge to keep anybody, a lot of people are going to stay because AEW is a bit of an unknown still.

Trying to guess what WWE might go to AEW one day seems pointless. Sorry I don’t have a better answer. Just being honest.

13. Nathanael Julien
With rumors of a new draft taking place, and guys like Killian Dain and Breezango going back to NXT, what guys from the main roster would you send to NXT?

I would move EC3 back there for sure. Maybe the AOP tag team that is healthy and doing nothing. I haven’t thought about it that much, but maybe I’ll write something before October whenever WWE announces the specific date.

14. Daison Thomas
Who do you think is the next face of WWE after Cena and Roman? I am not convinced with Rollins. I like him, but doesn’t seem to be the face.

No idea. I don’t think they know who it is yet either. I’m not even sure it’s Roman, but they sure push him like that. Reigns is not the draw that Cena was. The person could be on their roster right now, but maybe they are elsewhere too. Don’t know.

15. Rob Brown
Not sure if you’ve been asked this before, but what was your favourite MITB cash in?

Probably Edge in 2006, Seth Rollins in 2015 and Ziggler in 2013. Those three stand out the most. Order them however you want. I did write about this on another site years ago, but I forget now and don’t like promoting sites that I have moved on from.

16. Mark Thomas
What format do you hope Friday Night Smackdown will have?? Do you see any major changes to that brand or WWE in general because of the exposure of being on Fox??

They will probably have changes like the set, the announcers may change, they might change the way it is filmed and some other cosmetic things. WWE is getting paid so much money, so they might as well spend it to upgrade as best they can. I don’t want to know what the changes are. I want to tune in on October 4 and see it when everybody else does.

17. Kimsan Song
Overall thoughts on Arn Anderson?

Consistently good in-ring wrestler, a very good talker and comes off as a legit badass. He never got that main event push, but I doubt he complained about it because he made such a good living for a long time. Arn is loved by a lot of people in the business.

18. Jason Weber
What was your favorite house show match that you in person?

I saw Ambrose vs. Rollins vs. Styles three years ago right before the draft and it was amazing. Going back further, I remember Angle vs. Guerero at a house show that was a lot of fun. There are so many.

Also, I saw JTG vs. Khali! Yes it happened.

19. Daniel Mount
Is Baron Corbin really that bad or has be become the internet fans whipping boy? I think he’s got great power moves and his stuff looks like it hurts.

I don’t think he’s as bad as some people think. He has good matches with the right people and his promos are fine. Fans that watch the main roster shows have a tough time reacting to heels the right way. People would probably complain about 1999 Vince McMahon today too. Not saying Corbin is close to being that good, but fans just want things to complain about it. Sadly, it’s the world we live in and it has changed a lot in the 20 years I’ve been doing this.

If he was that bad he wouldn’t have multiple three star matches in the last few months and his matches on Smackdown were better in 2016-17 too.

20. John Entwistle
Who do you think will go after the NXT Title next?

Maybe Velveteen Dream loses his title and goes after it. Matt Riddle is another option. I’m intrigued to see what they go with and since the next Takeover is November they have plenty of time to build it.

21. Eryk Cannito
What do you feel is one of the best columns that you have wrote so far?

My career tribute articles to Shawn Michaels and Edge. I should do more articles, but it gets tiring after reviews and it’s tough to really think of things to write sometimes. I always tell myself to do more columns. It’s tough to motivate yourself sometimes lol.

22. Leo Carter
If John Cena didn’t get hurt in his match with Finn Balor in January, do you think that he would have had a WrestleMania Match? If so, against who?

His ankle injury was a work. He was busy doing other shit and they wrote him out of the storyline. They wanted him to put over Lars Sullivan in the Royal Rumble, but Lars wasn’t ready.

23. Joel J-money Wood
I was listening to JR on busted open and he mentioned something interesting. He implied that the younger talent in AEW was more focused on “getting their shit in” as opposed to selling or getting their match done in time even though that’s what the veterans in the back were telling them. Do you think that is going to hurt them long term because a key to a great story is the selling and on tv, they’re not always gonna be able to get their shit in when it’s a 7-10 minute match.

Also, I know wins and losses matter but do you think it sets a bad precedent when the EVP gets the first ppv title match?

Last question lol. Kenny Omega is the best in the world in my opinion but so far he just doesn’t seem that important in AEW. He’s lost 2 of 3 singles matches and seems like a regular guy in AEW. Are you happy with how they’ve booked Kenny so far? I realize it’s 3 but I’m never here for q and a so I figured I had to get all my questions out now lol sorry.

It will hurt them unless they learn. I said it in my AEW review that they had too many matches go long because they want to hit all their cool moves as JR implied. Give me a great 12 minute match over 24 minute matches that run too long.

Cody is one of the most well known guys they have so there’s nothing wrong with him getting a title shot. I also think Cody is performing at a very high level and is probably the best pure babyface AEW has right now. Also, Dusty Rhodes and Ric Flair booked themselves to win so many titles and main evented all the time. It’s the wrestling business. It happens.

I was surprised Kenny lost to Pac. I don’t really get bothered by that stuff, though. Maybe it’s a way to give Kenny more of a different character. Maybe he’s frustrated by two losses, so he cheats to beat Moxley and Kenny becomes a vicious heel. They need heels. I want to see where it goes.

24. Daniel Hill
Hi John, how important to you is music in wrestling? I think it makes a wrestler stand out. Have you any favourites off the top of your head. I love both Punk’s and Edge. Take care.

It’s very important. I think in some cases WWE does a fantastic job of it with certain people and songs. At other times, they could do a better job with it. Some songs are generic in WWE today. The problem is they have over 200 talents, so how do you get everybody to have a noticeable song? It’s tough.

All time favorites would be stuff like Edge, Macho Man (the graduation song haha), Harlem Heat/Booker T, Mark Henry, Steve Austin, Evolution, there are so many. Hell, Cena’s song is great but I have heard it like 5000 times lol.

Current favorites include AJ Styles, Shinsuke Nakamura and Undisputed Era.

Worst: Brie Mode!

25. Dale Schofield
What do you think is more likely in the next couple of years, an AEW or WWE ppv in the UK?

If I was WWE I’d do a UK PPV every year. It’s stupid that they don’t do it. Fans are so passionate over there and it would sell out. They can’t bullshit people and say it’s a time zone issues when they do two from Saudi, the Australia show and so on. I’m 5 hours behind you guys and I love the idea of a 3pm PPV. Great! I can do stuff with my evening after it’s over. I’m all for it.

Anyway, the NXT UK Takeover show was better than any main roster PPV this year. People should watch NXT shows more.

26. Ed Eastin Jr What is your favorite “A Bit of the Bubbly” video/meme you have seen so far? I like the Limp Bizkit and CM Punk ones myself. What are your overall feelings that this has become his AEW version of “You Just Made The List!”?

Also, what are your honest feelings of the accusations that the missing AEW Totlecsituation was a work?

I think the Lou Bega one is my favorite. I have laughed at most of them, but after a few days it is getting tiresome. It is also a testament to Jericho’s greatness and how he’s able to get anything over.

It wasn’t a work since they filed a legit police report. They could get in legal trouble for involving cops in a work. Wrestling fans think everything is a work, though, so people will believe what they want.


That’s all for now. Thanks to everybody that participated. Check out our Q&A archives here as well.