TJR WWE Q&A #59: Chris Jericho’s Best Decade in Wrestling, SummerSlam in Stadiums and More!

It’s the second straight day with a Q&A here on TJRWrestling because there’s a lot going on in WWE world after a busy SummerSlam week. The questions come from my Facebook page and they cover a variety of wrestling related topics. Let’s get right into it.

1. Erin Somers
Should WWE run baseball/football stadiums for Summerslam?? Or should they save those for Wrestlemania only??

They should. I think they can sell a lot of tickets, so might as well. They did to a stadium for Royal Rumble in the Alamo Dome a few years ago and had to drive the big guys to the ring. If SummerSlam is in Rogers Centre/Skydome in Toronto next year then they’ll do pretty well.

2. Giles Hart
Do you think that face vs face matches need the right people to work? I ask as during a conversation yesterday, you said they don’t usually work well because of that dynamic. The few I remember from recent years though have been pretty great like Cena vs Bryan/Punk, Michaels vs Undertaker, Styles vs Balor and Charlotte vs Asuka. I’m genuinely interested in your view though as you know more than most.

I prefer heel vs. face because it’s more natural and fun to watch. Cena and Michaels had plenty of great face vs. face matches with others as well as eachother. Some guys can do it well. Others have problems with it. Styles vs. Balor last year was a lot of fun because it was an even match between two guys we never saw in the ring before, so that felt special. Then I think about things like Ciampa vs. Gargano, Miz vs. Bryan and Joe vs. Styles right now and all of them have a strong heel character involved. That is more interesting to me.

3. Josh Lerud
When do you see Strowman cashing in? How long do you see Shield reunion lasting?

I thought Strowman was cashing in on Sunday. Damn lol. I don’t know the answer. Maybe around WrestleMania time. Maybe before. It’s a guess from me as it would be for anybody. I get the feeling that Reigns is going to have one of those long title reigns that lasts six months at least, but you never really know.

Shield reunion should last until the new year hopefully when Ambrose turns heel around the Rumble time.

4. Kevin C Staed
Is there any reason William Regal isn’t in the WWE Hall of Fame yet? I think his talents were always underrated and under used.

He’s not that old, so there’s plenty of time. I’m sure he’ll get in at some point and have a job in WWE for life since he is one of Triple H’s best friends and a talent scout.

WWE Hall of Fame questions are hard to answer. It’s all bullshit anyway and up to Vince deciding on people during a certain year.

5. Ralph Hartman

Were you surprised that there wasn’t any big call ups from NXT this week? I was expecting at least one for each Raw and Smackdown since they usually happen after Summerslam.

I’m a bit surprised, but the main roster is already very full, so if they had no plans for anybody then might as well keep them in NXT where the talent can thrive. Perhaps they won’t do any more call ups this year and maybe save them for after the Rumble or after WrestleMania, which is fine with me. The roster is massive anyway.

6. Rob Brown
When you look at successful eras of wrestling, there always seems to be factions or groups: 4 Horsemen, NWO, DX, Hart Foundation (all 5 of them) and Evolution to name a few. It’s something I miss a lot. With Sanity and Undisputed getting their feet wet in NXT, do you think it’s time the main roster embraces a new faction? With Sanity on SD, would you bring Undisputed up to Raw to see what they can do there?

You forgot The Shield who are now back. I don’t think there’s a rush to call up Undisputed Era and they’ll probably have a big role in the NXT Wargames match in November. Let them continue to grow in NXT.

The New Day is another one that has been very successful for four years and have shown no signs of slowing down. There’s no rush to call up Undisputed Era.

7. Mark Thomas
Who was better overall? Hulk Hogan or Macho Man? Why?

Hulk Hogan was a better draw and a bigger star because he was a bigger guy that had a lot of charisma that fans loved. His shtick worked during that period and his heel turn in 1996 was huge for WCW.

I think Savage was a better all around performer by far because he could have great matches, awesome promos, successful as a heel or face, very charismatic and could do it all. He was just a normal size guy (before he really bulked up in WCW), so that hurt him as a draw and he was not on Hogan’s level in that regard.

I will always like Savage more and he’s the reason I was a fan, but I did respect what Hogan did too even though I think he’s a bullshitter that held down talent.

8. Roderick Walker
Do you think Chris Jericho had better matches in the 90s 00s or 10s?

I think 2000s was Jericho’s best era. He was born in 1970, so it was when he was in his 30s. The 1990s were fun because he was working all over the world, then he developed a great character in WCW and got to WWE in 1999. The year 2008 was the best year of his career. Jericho has also been impressive in the 2010 decade also considering he is in his 40s and just had a five star match earlier this year against Kenny Omega. That’s so impressive.

9. Michael Thompson
What do you think of the ROH tv show? Personally I didn’t care for it at first but it’s starting to grow on me especially since it’s only an hour long.

I record it every Saturday night on a Buffalo channel we get and I usually watch it Sundays. The show is pretty good, but I wish their production qualities were better and they had better lighting sometimes.

10. Daniel Ferguson
Since Rowan is injured and Matt Hardy might be done in the ring do you think they might reform The Wyatt Family with Wyatt and Harper? Maybe have Matt as their manager. Woken Wyatts or something?

Yes they might, but I don’t think Matt would be a manager. I think Matt will work backstage as a producer, maybe he can become an announcer one day if he wants, but I don’t think he’s the kind of guy that would want to be a manager.

11. Carl Hammond
Why do you think wrestling fans prefer to find the bad in everything? When did we as a whole stop enjoying this crazy ride?

I don’t know. I certainly don’t like to think that way because if I did I would have a hard time doing this for a living. I probably nitpick too much. It’s funny because I had a guy on Twitter say I was too negative, which I think is pretty silly, but whatever. Some people say I’m too positive too.

It’s tough for every show to be great and every storyline to be this amazing thing. Be realistic about what wrestling is and you can always find ways to enjoy it.

12. John Adams
Can we pencil in Maryse vs Brie at Evolution or is the Hell in a Cell PPV mix tag it?

I think just doing the mixed tag is fine. I don’t need to see that as a singles match too. Other women should be on Evolution.

13. Anthony Fees
With the recent passing of the Anvil, it makes me wonder what would you say in your opinion is the Hart Foundation’s best match? And also where would you rank them as being one of the best teams of all time, I’d say they have to be pretty close to the top.

It’s hard to remember older stuff off the top of my head. Probably something with the Bulldogs. I know I loved them against Demolition at SummerSlam 1990, but it was like ***1/4 as a match so not really outstanding because Demos rarely had good matches.

14. Tom Warren
With NXT continuing to grow…allowing more main roster call ups…I think the main roster will continue to become over saturated. I know we are talking about people’s jobs and lives here, but do you think that there will eventually be an endless cycles of releases?

It already is oversaturated. They have like 200 people under contract on the main roster and NXT as well as developmental. I think it is way too much, but if they want to do it then more power to them. They have too much right now as it is, but it’s not like they are going to admit it.

Sometimes people ask me who should be released. I say nobody. What do I care? It’s not my money lol.

15. Daniel Lerma
Your favorite match with a Dq/count-out finish?

The two with DQs would be Austin/Angle at SummerSlam 2001 and Michaels/Mankind at Mind Games 1996. Both are amazing.

16. Chris Lippa
How many wrestlers do you think ever made “Household name” status?

A handful in different eras. Bruno Sammartino, Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair most likely because when he was sick last year it got a lot of attention, Randy Savage is close but I would say yes, The Rock for sure, John Cena is at that level now due to movie success. Vince McMahon would be, but not a wrestler. I think people know who he is. Andre the Giant is probably another one. When Roddy Piper and Dusty Rhodes died they did get a lot of attention, but I don’t think non-wrestling fans knew them that well.

As big as Steve Austin was in wrestling, I don’t think people like my sisters or female cousins would know who he was, but they would know the others I mentioned. Same with Undertaker, Triple H and Shawn Michaels. That’s a good question. It got me thinking.

17. Jonathan McCauley
Will we ever see a secondary women’s title?! Or maybe a 205-like spin off strictly for women?!

I think there will be women’s tag team titles introduced at Evolution. I don’t think they will do a women’s US or IC type title any time soon. Not enough people.

I think a women’s only show is possible. In fact, I think 205 Live might die in a year or two and replaced with a women’s show, but that’s just a guess.

18. Alex Jackson
Do you see Hideo Itami leaving when his contract expires? His WWE run has been less that stellar. Do you think he can still be saved with a Smackdown run?

He might leave. There’s been a lot of bad luck for him and maybe when his deal is up he’ll want to go home to end his career since he’s in his late 30s. I’m sure Daniel Bryan would love to wrestle him since he used some of his moves and his style, but I don’t think that will happen.

19. Sudarshan Udyavar
1995 was a bad year for WWE and I feel Bret suffered the most. Even when he came back in Survivor Series 96 felt Vince had already moved on. Don’t you think Bret should have moved to WCW in 95-96?

No. I don’t think Bret should have ever left for WCW. He should have stayed in WWE and retired there in the early 2000s. If he didn’t have issues with Shawn I doubt he ever would have left. They all regret what happened.

20. NatureBoy Flair
Do wrestlers pay for expenses (hotels, rental cars, etc) or does WWE include things like that in their contracts?

WWE pays for flights, the talent has to pay for hotels and cars. During PPV weekends I think WWE pays for the hotels and sometimes they will pay for hotels for certain Raw or Smackdown events, but for the most part it’s up to talent to get their own hotels and travel, which is usually a rental car. Some talent have four people in a rental car to same money. Some people drive alone. It’s up to the individual. The bigger name guys like Randy Orton and I believe Roman Reigns has a bus now. CM Punk had a bus, John Cena had a bus when he did shows regularly, Big Show had a bus and some others.

When they do international tours, the talent goes on buses and are driven around or flown to wherever the next show is.

21. Shay Smithers
I know of WWE and NJPW matches that you’ve given five stars to. From what you’ve seen John and what you can remember, are there any WCW and ROH matches that you’d rate five stars?

There’s definitely some WCW ones like Rey vs. Eddie Havoc 1997 (I don’t even remember if I reviewed it), Flair vs. Steamboat 1989 matches, Vader had some matches near at that level with Sting and Mick Foley, some of the Wargames and I’m sure others. Regarding ROH, I have seen my fair share and I know of Joe, Bryan, Punk matches that would be close, but I never wrote about it.

22. Johnny Davis
Why do you think they never did a Hollywood Hogan vs DDP for a main event on ppv in WCW? DDP was always the face with the celeb against Hogan and Rodman but I can’t remember them ever going one on one on PPV.

It’s weird that it didn’t happen for PPV. Hogan kept working with the same guys like Piper, Flair and Savage. Even Luger got the title from Hogan on a Nitro, not a PPV. I dunno. WCW sucked at building to PPVs and Bischoff has always explained it like they were a TV show, not a traditional wrestling company.

23. Kevin Nagle
Do you Aleister Black will win a title on the main roster?

It would be cool if he did. I like him and he’s got a unique look for sure. Who knows how Vince McMahon is going to book him on the main roster? Some NXT talent doesn’t do well on the main roster.

24. Vance McGill
Will we see Rey Mysterio’s son in WWE? If so, when do you think it will happen?

I think Dominick has some training already and now he’s training with Lance Storm in Calgary, so that’s pretty cool. He’s only 21, so he has plenty of time to figure it out. Maybe he’ll wrestle a couple of years and then WWE will bring him in a few years if he’s good. It’s important to travel and get experience first. Think he’ll do the 619? I think he should.

25. John C Hoddy
Which two (1 male, 1 female) wrestlers would send from NXT to the main roster?

Nikki Cross or Shayna Baszler are both ready. I like them both because they know what they are and how to have good matches.

For male, so many of them. Probably Aleister Black if I had to pick just one. Considering his age and history, I think EC3 should be on the main roster very soon too.

26. Jimmy-Lee Ifrene
Royal Rumble, King of the Ring, WrestleMania (had 2), SummerSlam (had 2), and Survivor Series. Which Big 5 original pay-per-view theme was your favorite?

The classic “whoa whoa WrestleMania” was my favorite. It was cheesy but I love that shit lol.

27. Jason Weber
What was the best wrestling match you saw in person?

Probably WM28 Taker vs. Triple H HIAC I loved that match. Also Daniel Bryan winning WWE Title at WM30 was pretty awesome.

28. Tim Gaughan

In fantasy booking would a 2008 heel Jericho been a good opponent for a 1988 face world champion Savage?

Yeah for sure. Jericho in 2008 is one of the best heels ever and he could have had an awesome feud with anybody especially a face as good as Savage was. It doesn’t get any better than Michaels anyway.

29. Anmol Sekhri
Do you think Daniel Bryan would feel any bitterness towards WWE for the 2 years he missed, when he thought he was cleared?

I don’t think so. He met his wife in the company, they make a lot of money on their two reality shows, he really wasn’t cleared to wrestle and he went to dozens of therapy sessions to help his concussion issue. I don’t think he would be mad when WWE was thinking of his best interests.

30. Larry Yadao
Is WWE eventually going to get overcrowded if it hasn’t already? And if it does, does that give the initiative that maybe they should make NXT more of a separate brand rather JUST development? I mean with the amount of talent nxt has now, how are they going to fit in programming?

They are overcrowded in some ways already. They have like 200 people under contract. How many can you really push? I think it’s a testament to how big the company is right now and if they can sustain it then they’ll keep doing it. I think NXT is already a separate brand and established, but doesn’t have the audience that the main two shows have.

31. Nicholas Pruner
Where does Randy Orton rank amongst the greatest of all time? Would you say he’s a better “second guy” (Like Savage in the 80s/90s or Rock in the Attitude Era) than Savage or Rock?

I don’t think he’s a better second guy than either of them, but he has been in that position longer just like Cena was in the main guy position longer. At their absolute best I’d put Savage and Rock ahead, but the longevity factor is there too. For as much as people used to mock Orton for injuries and suspensions, he has had a pretty long run and at 38 he’s got several years left.

With all of that said, Orton has the certain type of matches where he hasn’t really had those classics you remember forever. The best match may be with Mick Foley at Backlash 2004 (14 years!) or Christian at SummerSlam 2011. I guess WM30 is up there too. It’s just weird when you think of his career he really hasn’t had match of the year contender type matches.

I don’t think Orton ranks in the top five of WWE superstars or anything like that, but he’s in that next batch of guys for sure.

32. Geoff Landtbom
How would you grade Daniel Bryans comeback? To me it’s been nothing special but it’s not his fault. Do you see him winning the WWE Championship again?

I think working with Big Cass hurt a lot because fans never really saw Cass as a big deal. I wish Bryan got to work with Owens or Zayn in singles feuds, but they got moved to Raw while Zayn also got hurt.

I think he’ll win the WWE Title again next year. It would be cool if he won the Royal Rumble for the first time (not sure if they would have a SD guy do it three years in a row since Orton and Nakamura did the last two) to get there.

If I had to grade it maybe like a C+ and I wish it was better, but that’s what you get working with Cass. The Miz feud has helped.

33. Leon Bradley Watson
Was it the right move to turn Becky Lynch heel considering the crowd reaction was wrong at SummerSlam & was also wrong on Smackdown?

I covered it a lot in the SD review. It’s not what I would do, but I think it’s wrong for fans to shit all over it and think it’s going to suck. Becky is a good performer and she can pull it off. Let it play out before immediately hating something.

34. Stuart Pretswell
For me Gargano v Ciampa has been wrestling perfection and I’ve said that a few times this year. To me it’s the best rivalry I’ve seen for a long, long time. What would you say is the last rivalry you can remember watching that felt so real and that you were really invested in? I know Cena and Punk had there classic matches which were always/almost 5 stars but Gargano and Ciampa have that deep rooted personal touch that has made it, for me, the best rivalry of the past 10 years.

Probably Jericho vs. Michaels from 2008. That one was a complete story that was so well built and a long rivalry. Cena and Punk wasn’t even much of a feud because it was mostly face vs. face stuff. I liked Punk vs. Hardy in 2009 a lot too. There’s really nothing in this decade that is that close to the level of Gargano vs. Ciampa.

That’s all for this Q&A. 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.