Hey yo. It’s time for some more questions and answers, also known as the TJR Q&A for the 79th time on TJRWrestling. We are deep into the month of September with AEW having some huge shows next week while WWE Extreme Rules is also coming up next week on September 26. The questions come from the Facebook page right here where I selected some of the best questions. Let’s roll.
1. Nudge Adam Medley
Do you see Big E as someone WWE will run with as WWE Champion or is this just a transitional period?
I hope it’s long a title run. He has certainly put in the time as a guy that’s been part of the WWE system for over a decade now. He’s 35 years old, that’s the prime of a lot of wrestlers and most poeple may not know this, but him and Roman Reigns started around the same time. Reigns is further ahead with five WrestleMania main events, but I really think Big E can make a huge impact as a likable babyface WWE Champion that is easy to rally around. Let’s hope it’s last until the new year at least and maybe even WrestleMania. I can’t really guess who he feuds with right now because it depends on who is hot at the time. I just hope he stays a babyface because I think it’s a natural role for him.
2. Liam Loftus
How would you road map Bryan Danielson after he beats Kenny Omega?
I’d love to see Omega win the match. I know it’s non-title, so people might assume Omega loses and Danielson gets a title shot at Full Gear even though he’s not near the top of the “precious” AEW rankings. I would still go with Omega vs. Adam Page at Full Gear. They need to get Page into that title picture and put the title on him. He deserves it. They can go with Bryan against Adam Cole or something at Full Gear and then you can go back to Danielson against Omega down the road.
I think it’s smart to do Omega vs. Danielson at AEW Dynamite NYC too. Some people say it’s too early, but I think it’s smart for the biggest Dynamite ever.
3. Daniel Mount
Why are so many online wrestling journalists shilling so hard for AEW?
I think WWE makes it hard for some media to have access to talent whereas with AEW they’re more friendly. They can also reach Tony Khan a lot easier than Vince McMahon (obviously), so then when you’re able to talk to Tony then you’re going to be likely to say “I like this guy so I like this company” and that leads to people being friendlier.
For myself, I can say Tony Khan follows me on Twitter. Does he look at his Twitter feed a lot or read my reviews? I have no idea. We haven’t really interacted much at all. Some other people in the AEW office as well as people on screen follow me too. I don’t really know them.
I can’t speak for others and their motives. I try to be unbiased. If I was biased then I would have said NWA Empowerrr was the greatest PPV ever because my close friend was the main booker for it, but I don’t say that.
4. Cory Andrew Bacon
What drew you into becoming a wrestling fan, and through all the really bad periods that you’ve seen, what made you push through and continue watching? We always ask about your thoughts on wrestlers, but not about yourself as a fan.
I think growing up in the mid to late 1980s was a big reason why and all the star power there. The early WrestleManias. Macho Man was my guy, but it was hard not to like Hogan, Warrior, Junkyard Dog, Hacksaw and so many others with big personalities. My oldest cousin just turned 60 (I’m 40) and he’s the one that got me into it as well as my love of sports. It was such a popular thing when we were growing up that I think a lot of my friends were into it too, so we talked about it at school, had the action figures and so on. Most of them don’t give a shit about it now and I understand that, but I guess I held on all this time lol.
5. David Dyer
Is AEW passing the WWE by for the older fans? No matter what Vince says Disney is not his competition other wrestling company’s are and I myself would rather spend my money on actual wrestling not these ridiculous skits and so on WWE does.
I think AEW is beating WWE in the 20 to 40-year-old fans that have known WWE all their lives, but are wanting to branch out to see what this new company is doing. A lot of faithful WWE fans are older than that. I don’t know if kids are watching either company that much. And you’re right that AEW is the competition in terms of acquiring talent becuase they have a lot of people. If AEW didn’t exist, WWE may have signed Kenny Omega and The Young Bucks in 2019, so who knows where any of this would be right now.
6. Ed Eastin Jr
Who do you see winning the AEW Title first: CM Punk, Bryan Danielson, or Adam Cole…..baybay?
I agree with anybody that says Hangman Page, but you didn’t mention him. Of the three you mention, I would go with CM Punk. I think it’s a cool story to go away for 7 years and become a World Champion again. I wouldn’t give him a long title reign, though. I think at some point they need to book shorter title reigns. My guess is Danielson wrestles less often than the other two guys too.
7. Leo Carter
Your top 5 wrestlers this year?
I’m only picking WWE and AEW. I know some NJPW guys have had great years, but I don’t watch enough. I would go Roman Reigns, Kenny Omega, Seth Rollins, Bobby Lashley and picking a tag team in the Young Bucks. I like them a lot more as heels.
For women wrestlers probably Bianca Belair, Britt Baker, Charlotte Flair, Sasha Banks (even though she missed several months she’s still awesome) and I guess Rhea Ripley. I hate leaving off Io Shirai or Asuka, but they aren’t featured enough.
8. Lonnie Nawrot
I’ve read that Bray Wyatt may return to the ring soon. Not sure which company as we know, but how would you like to see him reintroduced?
I’d love to see a character like the original Bray Wyatt persona that is a leader of a group of wrestlers. I think AEW is certainly teasing him debuting there as the leader of the Dark Order, which was the role of one of his best friends Brodie Lee. It would be a good fit.
9. Rob Coffey
What do you think about the reports of Andrade and Brian Cage being unhappy about their current roles and what do you think can be done to fix the issues?
Book them better. That’s how you can fix anything like that. I think it’s a product of having too many people under contract. The fact is when you have 150 people under contract or whatever it is and you have five or six matches on Dynamite and three on Rampage then a lot of people are going to be sitting on the sidelines. It’s the same thing that happens in WWE, which has four brands if you count NXT and NXT UK along with Raw/Smackdown. Does AEW really need as many people under contract as they have? No, but they have the money to spend and are spending it. Good for the talent.
If I was a wrestler, I would vent my frustrations privately rather than publicly. It’s not a good look to bitch about it on social media.
10. Kevin Curtiss
Did WWE forget that they signed Harry Smith to Smackdown? His promos are average at best, but physically and with his fighting background, he can stand in the ring with the top three (Drew, Bobby, Roman) for a credible match.
I think they did lol. I know people close to him and I haven’t asked about him, but now that you mention it I wonder what’s going on. I think he is a very skilled worker that’s a tall guy with a lot of experience, so hopefully he is on TV again soon.
I’d love to see Harry against WALTER in a match in the UK with fans. Davey Boy’s son in UK against WALTER would be fun. I know he wants that match.
11. Tim Mirabitur Jr
How would you book Adam Cole and the Bucks leaving The Super Elite and reforming Mount Rushmore if Steen (Kevin Owens) comes to AEW?
I don’t know if breaking up The Elite is a good move. Not right now, but maybe next year. I like them a lot together. I guess you could do it where they kick Omega out of the group and the other guys would just fade away. Omega has been a babyface in AEW, but mostly in a tag team. They have a lot they can do with Omega as a face, so then if Steen shows up, you turn on Omega and Omega can feud with Cole and Steen in singles rivalries.
12. Daniel Hill
Do you think Drew needs a heel turn? I thought he was brilliant as champ and helped carry Raw through the pandemic but it looks like he’s dropped back a bit recently? (Some fans booed him recently) If not a heel turn what would get him top of card again?
I think getting him to Smackdown in the October draft is likely, so then he will likely be the main opponent of Roman Reigns towards the end of this year and the Royal Rumble PPV. Drew had a great match with Reigns at Survivor Series last year. I’d keep Drew in a face role until at least that rivalry is done. After that, maybe he can be a heel again. I think Drew has been pretty damn good as a face and was clearly the WWE Wrestler of the Year last year in his first full year as a face. The key is finding good rivalries. A Drew/Roman feud will do him good.
I know Drew is on the WWE UK tour next week and he’s really excited to be home.
13. Nate Kuhl
Once Bayley returns from injury do you think it’s as a face or heel?
Hopefully heel. I love her as a heel. I think she was so good as a natural face and if she goes face again maybe she can be a more aggressive face, but I think there’s still a lot more she can do as a heel. I miss her.
14. Damie Sinanan
CM Punk’s return has been great so far, but it seems like he has mellowed out. What made fans love him was his edginess (whether it be as a face or heel). Do you think he can sustain this “happy to be back” personality?
I think he’s in the “happy to be back” legends role that Shawn Michaels was back in 2002 and Edge over the last few years. I don’t know if he wants to turn heel or that they will turn him heel in the next year. I think they have a lot of heels he can work with starting with Team Taz as he goes through Hobbs and Hook and then there are the bigger name heels like Omega, Cole lined up for him after that. Obviously you can do Punk/Danielson vs. Young Bucks at some point too.
15. Anthony Fees
With all the backlash coming out of the dark side of the ring episode do you think there will be consequences for Ric Flair and do you think it will damage his legacy?
Probably not. I haven’t seen it yet. I think most of the stories were known pretty well over the last 19 years. I have seen shoot interviews with X-Pac, Justin Credible, Terri, Tommy Dreamer and others talking about it telling the same stories that they probably told on Dark Side of the Ring. I did see the clip of the stewardess saying that Ric Flair made her touch his genitals, which is disgusting, but I don’t know if it’s going to hurt Ric after all these years. I know Tommy Dreamer said some dumb comments about it and now he’s suspended by Impact Wrestling. Don’t force yourself on a woman. Saying you’re drunk and stupid isn’t an excuse. It’s wrong.
16. Aaron Nowak
Do you think when Vince and WWE in general mention they aren’t paying notice to AEW that it’s BS? Or just don’t want to admit that are.
I think it’s bullshit. They don’t want to mention AEW or that they pay attention to their shows or who AEW signs, but I’m sure WWE is well aware of it. Maybe not Vince himself, but I’m sure he has people reporting to him about their shows and stuff.
17. JT Adams
What do you expect from the upcoming wwe draft? Better much know Drew McIntyre will be going to smackdown what big name from smackdown goes to raw?
Yeah Drew to Smackdown. I think I’d keep Big E on Raw with New Day there too so then you can have heels beat up Kofi/Woods to get to Big E. Maybe Lashley to Smackdown too, but keeping him on Raw is fine. They will need some heels for Big E to deal with, so maybe push AJ Styles as a singles wrestler again and then even can push Omos too. Maybe turn Kevin Owens heel (if he signs a new deal) as an opponent for Big E on Raw. Sami Zayn against Big E would be fun if they want to push Sami (if he has a new deal lol).
Maybe I’ll do a column about the WWE Draft with ideas for each brand, but one of our other writers might do it too.
18. Kris Pridgen
Based on current WWE Roster, do you have any dream matches for this upcoming WrestleMania?
I’d love to see Brock Lesnar vs. Bobby Lashley for the first time ever. Bobby has been talking about it for a long time. It’s never happened. Two guys in their mid-40s now, so why not? Rock vs. Reigns would be cool, but I don’t know if Rock wants to do it. I’d love to see AJ Styles against Edge in a feud. That would be cool too.
19. Benji Lee
Do you ever see Chris Jericho coming back to wwe? (Even in a nonwrestling role like the HOF.)
Maybe at some point, but he seems committed to AEW and even if he stops wrestling would probably be an announcer that could help in creative too. I think he’s really happy there. It could be a long time for his WWE HOF induction.
20. Joshua Millwood
Aside from the not-so-great name…will Bron Breakker be the new “guy” of NXT 2.0? Also, do you think WWE had these big plans for him all along, or just since the decision to revamp NXT?
I think Bron Breakker is a great prospect that has a bright future. I think Parker Boudreaux using the name Harland is going to be big too. I think WWE had big plans for him, but that changing it to NXT 2.0 featuring younger talent is a big reason why we will see Breakker getting a bigger push. If I had to make a Bron Breakker prediction, I think he will win the NXT Championship within the next six months or maybe within three months. I think he’ll do well too. Guys like Breakker, Harland/Boudreaux and Olympic gold medalist Gable Steveson are the future of WWE.
Regarding Breakker not using the Steiner name of his dad Rick or uncle Scott, I do have a theory. Maybe if Scott didn’t complain about Triple H so much for the last 17 years they would have used the Steiner name! I don’t know if that played a part.
21. Kelsey Graham
Hi John, not sure if I’ve asked you this on another Q&A but what do you think of the idea of a half hour long special on the referees in AEW, could be on their YouTube channel where they go round the table and explain more about their individual approaches to refereeing. AEW could play short clips on Dynamite to help explain away the inconsistencies from one match to another. I feel like something like this could’ve been a good benefit for them when they were first growing as a company but it seems now that they have no intentions of explaining the lack of consistency any time soon.
What you wrote here makes sense and would be a nice addition to what AEW presents, but I doubt they want to focus on the bad refereeing that much. I don’t think they need to bring that much attention to the referees, but I see your point. I just wish they did a better job of it.
22. Dale Schofield
Do you think that the AEW roster is more stacked with big names than you expected so early on?
Yes. I mean I’m not that surprised that CM Punk chose to go there instead of back to WWE because he didn’t like a lot of key people in WWE whereas in AEW he’s going to get the power to do what he wants. Plus, let’s be honest I doubt he was making that much money in acting or MMA commentary, so it’s a nice paycheck for him.
When you build a company that’s fun for wrestlers, they tell the other wrestlers and it becomes a desirable place.
23. Alejandro Rodríguez
Do you think that social media ruined wrestling a bit? I mean there was a time when you had to wait till the PPV or wrestling show ended to learn the results, but now the wrestling companies post the results on social media as soon as every match (or segment) happens.
Ruined in some ways. Helped in some ways. I mean for me it helped grow TJRWrestling, so I’m going to look at it as a positive because without Twitter/Facebook I have no idea if we would have a site or if I would have a career.
From what you’re saying though, I see your point. It’s the same thing about the internet wrestling community (IWC) in general. Some people see it as a negative. Learning spoilers and contracts and things of that nature does hurt a bit.
24. Joe Sondag
Do you think it was a bad idea 1) how they booked the Jericho/MJF & 2) Jericho winning? Also real quick you think Drew has been under appreciated by fans for these last two years for his consistent quality matches?
Yeah, I would have had Jericho pick up a win, maybe they go 1-1 and then MJF wins the blow off. Jericho winning the feud when he was 1-3 in singles is a weird way to end the feud.
I think Drew has been under-appreciated a bit. He has had a great run in 2020 and 2021 also. I am so happy for him doing so well considering how long it took him to figure it out.
25. John C Hoddy
Who has the best rich/entitled guy gimmick of all time?
I’d say “The Million Dollar Man” Ted Dibiase tops that list. JBL did a really good of it although match quality wasn’t always great. As a character, he got great heat.
26. Van Wilhoite
Do you think by Royal Rumble time they’ll be ready to push Omos as the Royal Rumble winner?
Maybe. I think he’s gonna get a big push. Seems very likely, but I don’t know if he’s winning the Rumble.
27. Geoff Landtbom
What do you make of former US presidential candidate Andrew Yang’s threat to sue WWE over the independent contractor issue? As a pro labor guy politically I agree with him but it seems like this will be a tall order.
Nothing will happen. All he did was say you can contact a labor lawyer. Wrestlers could have done that at any point in the last 40 years. A lot of WWE people live in big houses, drive expensive cars and do very well.
28. Jesse Ornelas
What weight limit do you think is best for the Cruiserweights? The current 205lbs? The seldom-used 215lbs? Or the, if I can be serious for a minute, classic 100 kilos and under weight limit?
I think it used to be 225. Now 205 for WWE I guess. Maybe 190 is better. Wrestlers are smaller now without using enhancements that used to be around much more.
29. Eric Hay
Do you think fans are overreacting by wanting too many wrestlers to leave wwe and go to aew? That roster would then become bloated and then you would have the same people complaining that this person or that person isn’t used properly.
I think they are overreacting, but it’s also because AEW is an exciting product to a lot of people. They have a mix of well-known wrestlers, but also people that aren’t as famous and they are giving them a chance to succeed. Some fans are just tired of WWE’s ways, so they want to support AEW. If somebody likes AEW more than WWE, more power to them.
I just think one of the issues that AEW is going to have an id already having is they have so many people on the roster that it’s tough to use them all. With that said, congrats to the talent getting paid. Money is good.
30. Giles Hart
Who would you consider as the third biggest or most popular company at the moment during this current boom? Not on equal level with WWE and AEW per say, but with a large enough passionate fan base. IMPACT, NWA or GCW are the first 3 that come to my mind. Possibly New Japan America too.
Probably Impact Wrestling is in third place right now in terms of their audience, what they can afford to pay talent and so on. Ring of Honor is probably after them while NWA is close to that. MLW is doing okay and I guess GCW is one of the better indies.
31. JD Robert
Will Pete Dunne be NXT champion or win a Midcard main roster title?
Pete apparently signed a new contract recently, so I think he’s gonna win the NXT Title within the next year.
That’s all for now. Thanks to everybody that participated and to you for reading. Check out our Q&A archives here as well.