TJR Q&A #9: Best WWE Gimmick Match, WWE HOF Choices, Royal Rumble & More! (40 Questions!)

It was a very busy week for fans of World Wrestling Entertainment and as I try to do every weekend, it’s time for another Q&A session.

Before I get to it, just a quick note to say I plan on doing a live WWE Raw Deal review column this Monday night for the Slammy Awards, so be here for that. Also, I wrote a preview of the Slammys with predictions on who will win and who should win 10 of the awards over at TheComeback.com, which is a great new sports site that I’m contributing at. Now it’s time for the Q&A.

Here are some questions from the comment section of last week’s Q&A.

1. Daniel Stockwell
Do you think Rey Mysterio would’ve become champion had Eddie Guerrero not died?

That’s tough to say because Rey was pushed to be World Champ after Eddie died in part because of all the support he had. I think based on how popular he was that Rey was probably going to win it at least once just because of the great “ultimate underdog” story. He was arguably the top face on Smackdown for a while and the latino market was so strong for WWE that I think he would have been World Champion if Eddie was alive.

2. Mike Julius
Is the New Day the best example of booking was the biggest problem? Considering those 3 guys were irrelevant before that.

It’s a problem in the sense that they don’t give talent enough power to do their own thing, so in that case yes. However, I think WWE management deserves some credit for putting these guys together and giving them some freedom to do what they’re doing because it has allowed them to become huge stars as a trio. I hope it leads to more wrestlers pairing up together.

3. Jonas Heitmann
Do you think William Regal would have been World Champion the year he was pushed as the King Of The Ring winner and RAW GM? In my opinion he is the one that deserves to be World Champion the most of WWE’s employees.

I always liked him, but I don’t think he was ever going to be pushed as a World Champion. Quality worker for a lot of years. I just think his alcohol problem during his prime played a big factor in terms of the company not trusting him in that spot. When he got clean he probably could have been trusted in that spot. I just don’t think WWE viewed him in that role and I’m willing to guess he would admit it too.

Let’s move on to the questions from my Facebook page.

4. Eric Hay
What match main events Wrestlemania? Do you put the title match or Cena/Taker if it’s his last match?

I think the Roman Reigns match goes on last whether it’s against Lesnar or Cena. I think he’ll walk in as WWE Champion and walk out as WWE Champion. The only exception would be if they said it’s The Undertaker’s last match ever because if they did that I’d put the Taker match last.

5. Guy Man
Where is the long island iced Zack Ryder and why did they screw him?

He’s been on NXT for most of the year in a team with Mojo Rawley. You should watch NXT if you don’t. Also he’s dating Emma, so WOO WOO WOO for him because she’s a fine looking woman. His push was ended five years ago far too soon because I don’t think Vince McMahon ever believed in him that much. It’s a shame because he was popular enough.

6. Andy Staed
Is voting for The Slammy awards legit? If so, odds that Damien Sandow wins Superstar Of The Year? #SandowSyndicate

I don’t think WWE voting things are legit and I know they say that they are legit, but I’m not going to argue about it or complain about it either. It’s like when they announce attendance figures. They add about 10k or WM numbers and about 3,000 on standard arenas. It’s been reported for years, but people don’t care. At the end of the day, it’s all a work anyway. I hope Sandow wins something – I just don’t think he has a shot at Superstar of the Year.

7. Michael Franks
Who would you book as Roman Reigns next feud? I say Kevin Owens.

I think they should do Triple H vs. Reigns for the WWE Title at Royal Rumble and maybe even at Fastlane too. I don’t think that’s a match for WrestleMania, so do it there. Then you can load up the Rumble with the rest of the roster. I think Owens as top heel challenger would be great, but might be post WM.

8. Kelsey Graham
What’s the strangest match that you’d like to see? For some reason I really want to see Moose vs Okada.

I’d love Okada vs. anybody, especially Zayn! I think for strangest I’d like to see Daniel Bryan against Braun Strowman just to see if Bryan could carry that guy to a decent match. If anybody could it’s him. I don’t want it to seem like I’m clamoring for Strowman matches. Just want to see how he can do.

9. Josh Lerud
When do you expect Rollins back? If so do we get shield triple threat at WM 33?

The 6-9 month timeline suggests around May or June at the earliest, but I think SummerSlam in August is the most likely. Make it a big deal when he comes back. That’s a huge event. As for WM33, yeah I guess. It’s a long time away though lol.

10. Rob Brown
I’m watching the 2012 Rumble on the WWE network. This might be one of the worst ever. Cole, King, Duggan, Booker, Foley, Road Dogg…I know it’s not easy to rate, but any worse rosters in a rumble match?

The Rumbles in the last few years have been bad. They just don’t book them well anymore. I have reviewed them all. Best rosters are like 1992 and 2001. Worst rosters were from 1993 to 1996 or so. They just didn’t have a lot of talent and had to call in people that weren’t even on the roster.

11. Jeff Goodridge
Thoughts on early WWE HOF picks?

I think for HOF they’ll have Sting, JBL and Freebirds. I’d love to see Vader get in there too – he was so good. Probably Victoria for a woman inductee. I think Sable as a woman inductee would be good too since she was the most popular diva ever at the height of her popularity.

12. Cory Andrew Bacon
If you could pick any three main roster performers to head down to NXT and repackage themselves (like Kidd did), who would you pick?

Sandow, Fandango and Slater. I don’t know what their gimmicks would be, but I see talent in all of them.

13. Aj Giacobbe
What is your favorite gimmick match?

I think the Ladder Match is my all time favorite. The Ladder Match at TLC was awesome and reminded me of so may great ones in the last 20+ years. I think of breakthrough ladder matches like Shawn/Razor WM10 and Edge/Christian vs. Hardys at No Mercy 1999 and that gimmick always stands out to me. I don’t mind TLC matches. I just think ladder matches are better.

14. Justin Anderson
Vince McMahon calls you tomorrow and names you new man in charge. What are three changes you would make on day one?

I’d ask him to give Paul Heyman a raise and have him book the majority of things because I’ve never done it. I’d learn by his side, though. Also would change the way talents do promos. Less scripted dialogue. More freedom. More time for the best talkers (like Ambrose) too. I’d book it more like NXT is booked. You can still find ways to cater to the younger fans too.

15. John C Hoddy
What wrestling angle did you find most uncomfortable (i.e. Katie Vick)?

The Katie Vick feud because I felt it was so ridiculous and unnecessary. Also this one isn’t as popular, but there was a story on Smackdown about ten years ago with Kurt Angle saying he wanted to have sex with Sharmell and then even hinted at suggested rape. It was a way to make him more of an edgy heel while turning Booker into a bigger face. There were some really awful segments in that feud.

16. Arnold-Claudia Velasquez
Now with Roman Reigns being crowned champion. Do you feel now is the start of a new era? Even if we’re not there yet it feels to me the transition is moving along further now. Where do you in your opinion feel this new era may take us? Will it be more technical and less cartoony?

I don’t know if it’s a new era or if we have to give it a name. To me, it was start of a new era when The Shield broke up because that led to all three guys being main eventers soon after. The combination of that, plus CM Punk quitting and Daniel Bryan getting hurt has led to a lot of changes. I think the Shield trio will be main event players for the next 5-10 ten years since they are in their late 20s/early 30s and all love the business. They’ll “lead” the next era I guess you could say. I think the business is “less cartoony” already and here’s hoping the booking is smarter along with it.

17. David Harnick
What is your hope with Reigns as the champion?

I hope they can find a way to create some legitimate heel threats because that’s the biggest issue right now. What they did on Sunday and Monday was great, but that was also because non-full time wrestler Triple H took some massive bumps and 70 year old Vince McMahon did too. It’s not like beating Sheamus was a big deal. It was knocking out those two guys. So they have to elevate some heels quickly because otherwise it will be a shitty reign. I think WWE realizes that, so maybe we’ll see Owens elevated or another Wyatt/Reigns feud.

18. Dale Cleary
Out of the New Day, whom do you feel has the most talent all around?

It’s a bit of a mix and tough to answer. Kofi’s probably the best overall talent and being on the main roster for nearly a decade certainly helps. His matches are always good and he’s also shown a lot of personality. Woods is probably the best talker of the group. He’s very charismatic and sharp on promos. Out of the three, I think Big E can be a main eventer and perhaps will be WWE Champ one day. The growth of his personality is awesome. He looks so much more comfortable doing promos compared to a few years ago.

To make a long answer short, Kofi is the most talented right now. I think long term the answer is Big E.

19. Roderick Walker
What are your favorite McMahon matches from Shane, Vince and Stephanie?

I think Shane vs. Kurt Angle at King of the Ring 2001 is awesome. Love that match. I loved Shane vs. Vince at WM17 – so entertaining. Vince against Austin at the Feb 1999 PPV was very good too in terms of entertainment. No Stephanie matches really stand out to me because they are overbooked and repetitive, but the one against Trish at No Way Out 2001 was better than I was expecting.

20. Kelsey Graham
Do you ever see there being a working relationship between WWE and another wrestling organisation like they did with ECW back in the 90’s? There’s a relationship there between NXT and Evolve but could it ever work with the main roster again?

I think they probably have some “wink wink nudge nudge” kind of working relationship with Evolve now. It’s just easier if they say there isn’t anything.

I doubt that sort of talent exchange like WWE had with ECW would work on main roster today. They have well over 100 contracted talents. In 1996/97 they had about 40 guys and no developmental, so they needed it.

21. Nathanael N-jay Julien
Which NXT superstars should be moved to the main roster next year?

I think Bayley will be on the main roster maybe on the Raw after WM. Finn Balor is obviously ready even though he’s happy where he is. Sami Zayn should be main roster by Royal Rumble. I would call up Samoa Joe for main roster on the first Raw of the year, have him attack Roman Reigns, lay him out and make him threat right away. Plenty of tag teams ready for main roster: Enzo/Cass, Vaudevillains, Jordan/Gable (I can see them getting NXT tag gold WM weekend) and Blake/Murphy.

22. Shay Smithers
Would you say Enzo and Cass vs The New Day is the most anticipated tag-team feud for next year in WWE especially based on the potential promos?

Yes that would be fun although for me the most anticipated is if Kidd can get back in the ring to team with Cesaro next summer against New Day. They had matches before, but it would be better now.

23. Dylan Rafuse
What’s your take on the gimmick ppv’s? I recently attended TLC but I feel it takes away the element of surprise. Example we know there will not be a HITC match unless it’s at the gimmick PPV, etc.

They’re fine if the matches warrant the gimmicks. For example I thought HIAC was good because Lesnar/Taker “last time ever” should have been HIAC. Then there are PPVs like Extreme Rules and TLC where they overdo the gimmicks, so it bothers me a bit. I think some situations call for a HIAC at non HIAC PPVs and they should realize that.

24. Daniel Mount
Which wrestler has the best Twitter account?

Kevin Owens by far. He seems to enjoy ripping people that criticizing him and I think it’s hilarious. Nobody is even close although Big E has some gems once in a while. Ziggler’s pretty good too. Cena’s probably the worst because he just posts random stuff you might read on a Hallmark card.

25. Darrius Gaddy
Would WCW have lasted any longer had Eric Bischoff successfully acquired it?

If they had a good TV deal then yeah he would have bought it and they would have lasted I think. Without a TV deal they couldn’t have lasted. That’s the biggest reason why his deal fell through at the last minute and WWE was able to swoop in to buy it.

26. Dale Cleary
Do you think we will ever see gimmicky wrestlers that get over? I mean like Big Boss Man, Undertaker, Isaac Yankem….you know the good old days.

It will be a lot harder. Fans are too fickle and too negative. They don’t want to accept things the way that we did as kids. That makes it tough on the creative team. With that said, I find the over the top silly gimmicks to be boring anyway. When Bray Wyatt was doing promos leading up to Survivor Series about stealing the powers of Kane and Undertaker people were laughing about it instead of being scared of the guy.

27. Christopher Saheed Houston
Let’s just say that by placing the title on Roman Reigns the ratings continues to drop. Do you see anyone right now that WWE can place the title on that could help the ratings?

Ratings won’t drop because there’s only a few more weeks of NFL regular season and history shows that ratings go up when Monday Night Football is over. They really don’t have anybody that would be considered a significant draw anyway. Cena’s not that big in terms of TV viewers. He helps, but it’s not much of a difference. Even Lesnar didn’t change much.

28. Josh Warner
When will they call Finn Balor and Samoa Joe be called up to the main roster?

My idea for Finn was Royal Rumble. Have him go first, do his demon entrance and it would be so cool. Last about 45 minutes and earn respect of people. For Joe I remember saying save it for the Raw after WM, but I think it should be much sooner like the first Raw of 2016. No idea when they will do it. Those are just my thoughts of what could work.

29. Ed Eastin Jr
If Vader didn’t go to the WWF when he did, how do you think he would have been used during WCW’s nWo Era?

I think he was smart to leave WCW when he did because after the Hogan feud, which wasn’t that great, there wasn’t much for him to do. I doubt Hogan liked working with him since Vader was stiff. Since Hulk had so much power, it was smart to get out of there. Hogan had so much power that he main evented a Starrcade with his good buddy Brutus Beefcake, which was ridiculous. I wish Vader had a better run in WWE because they really needed him. Then HBK didn’t like him because he worked stiff, so that was it for him.

To answer the question, I think Vader would have been used poorly in the NWO angle. I doubt he would have been a featured performer even though he was the best heel in the company from like 1992 to 1994.

30. Jake Pumfleet
Do you believe Dean Ambrose will win the WWE title if so, how long do you think it will take him to get there?

I think he will. He’s a popular guy that could be even better as a heel. Maybe in 2016. It all depends on how long Roman keeps it. I feel like Roman’s gonna have a really long run with it (like 8 months), but I don’t know for sure. Ambrose will likely get it at some point.

31. Andre Jones
Which of the Tough Enough winners (winners only) do you think had the most success in WWE?

John Morrison by far. Great worker that wasn’t as bad of a promo guy as people thought. I don’t blame him for getting out of WWE when he did because he’s done a lot of other things since then. I just wish he stayed longer because he’s such a talented performer.

32. Stuart Pretswell
Will we possibly see Reigns v Cena at Wrestlemania?

I think it’s very possible. Reigns vs. Lesnar is what I think, but if they were to do something like Wyatt vs. Lesnar then maybe Reigns vs. Cena happens. I think Undertaker vs. Cena is possible too. Usually by this point in the year we know this stuff, so it’s a bit of a surprise that nothing is really certain.

33. Blair Fraser
Do you feel the Royal Rumble is way too predictable? The winner has been obvious the past two years and looks like it will be again this year.

Yes it’s too predictable and poorly booked more often than not. I have reviewed them all. Every year people talk about how they are excited for it, yet at the end of the show they are bored. Most winners are obvious. Whatever magic the Rumble had is gone now. It’s a shame. As for the winner, it’s obvious about 90% of the time.

34. Eddie Colon
Is it possible, even if it’s just a little, that they are holding Daniel Bryan away to ensure Reigns popularity. I ask because from what I have read DB’s doctor cleared him, WWE’s didnt. If not, do you think it would affect Reigns if DB where to start competing?

I think Bryan is off because they are legitimately concerned about his concussion history and I don’t believe in those conspiracy theories. They are currently facing a number of lawsuits from former wrestlers who say that their lives are screwed up because of the concussions and since there’s no union those guys aren’t taken care of by WWE. What WWE can say is you signed your contract, so deal with it and they are right to say that. I just think WWE is worried about the public image of the company and if Bryan were to come back, get another injury and be forced to retire then that’s only going to help other people suing WWE.

I miss Daniel Bryan a lot. I hope he’s back soon.

35. Robert Litchford
How great would it be if DBry came back to win the RR, challenge Roman for the title at WM and Roman turns heel and beats him to keep it?

Great if you forget about Bryan’s injury, but I think it’s unrealistic to expect WWE to really push him to a main event level again. Also, I doubt Reigns will turn heel anytime soon. He’s locked in as the face of the future in WWE.

36. Sven Vogt
Despite the fact you are an online writer, do you think viewing WWE would be more entertaining for the viewers without the dozens of dirtsheets and massive spoilers you can find online?

Yep. Think about our favorite TV shows or movies. If we knew certain plot developments it would hurt our enjoyment of them. For me I can still enjoy things if I have an idea of where things are headed because I’ve done this for so long. Fans would probably enjoy wrestling more if they read about it less online. With that said, this is how I make my living, so don’t stop reading! LOL.

37. Jay A Jackson-Ferrans
With the history of depression among former WWE stars including Hogan, Rock and HBK, as well as the large amount of suicides of wrestlers, should WWE do more for mental illness awareness? It’s one of the few charity ventures they seem to ignore.

They should, but companies like that don’t try to do things about subjects like mental health because then it might tell fans “hey our guys have mental problems” and that’s considered a weakness. So I doubt they do anything about it. It’s easy to see how wrestlers can get depressed because they spend the prime of their lives getting cheered or booed by thousands of people. Once that stops, there’s nothing else in their life that can replace it, so it’s going to affect them in a major way.

38. Rick Bulow
Do you think Undertaker will be inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame when WM is in Texas in 2016?

Nope. I think Sting will be the headline name because I don’t think Sting will wrestle again. Don’t think it matters what city Undertaker goes in. He’ll probably have a match, so they can save HOF for another year for him.

39. James Bright
Do you think WWE would be willing to dedicate an entire episode of NXT to a 60 minute Iron Man Match? I think it would be something different and maybe while a 60 minute match might turn some people off it could be great for a one-off special or something like that.

I’m with ya on that. I’d love it and would make a match seem like a big deal. If they were to build up a rivalry to warrant that kind of match then doing it in NXT would be smart. The crowd would love it for sure. Zayn vs. Balor? Doubt they do it, but that would be fun for sure.

40. Danyo Ochoa
I know you picked Brock to win the Rumble, but do you see any scenario where Ambrose wins it and they do champion vs champion at WrestleMania?

I think Ambrose has a shot to win the Rumble, so there’s a small possibility of it. After Lesnar as the obvious favorite, I think John Cena and maybe Bray Wyatt could be seen as other choices. Ambrose is in that mix just because of his popularity. However, I don’t see WWE pulling the trigger on it because I think they would want to put Reigns in the ring with a perceived bigger star that he could beat to prove himself (like Lesnar or Cena) or a true heel like Wyatt although that’s been done a lot. Putting Reigns vs. Ambrose in the WWE Title match at WrestleMania just doesn’t seem likely to me.

That’s all for now. I’ll probably do another Q&A on Saturday or Sunday next week. Live Raw Deal on Monday here on TJRWrestling and maybe a live Smackdown review on Tuesday as well. I’m feeling festive after all.

If you have questions for the next Q&A, put them in the comments below and I might use them for the next edition.

Thanks for reading.