There’s a lot going on in the wrestling business this month and that’s why I’m back here with another edition of reader Questions with my Answers also known as the TJR Q&A. The questions come from my Facebook page and there were so many of them that I decided to break it up into two posts. Part two will get posted here on Monday. Let’s roll.
1. Tobias Ksepka
Which run of Chris Jericho did you enjoy the most and why? Is he one of the greatest of all time? He’s my favorite wrestler of all time ever since I started watching WWE.
That’s a great question because there’s a lot to pick from. I think 2008/09 Jericho was my favorite as the suit wearing heel that used the big words and was a conceited asshole. The feud with Michaels in 2008 is one of my favorite of all time. Great rivalry with Mysterio too. He was absolutely on fire that year. One of the best years of anybody in WWE history, really.
If I had to pick others that come to mind probably 2000 is high up once he really got going, the WCW stuff in 97/98 and 2016 Jericho is high up there too.
He is in my top 10 fave wrestler list. Maybe top five.
I might have a big Jericho column out before WM.
2. Stephen Rancourt
Which match on the WM card are you most looking forward to and why?
It’s probably Jericho vs. Owens just as a fan of both guys and the story they’ve done. I’m excited for them. Other than that, Wyatt vs. Orton should be cool.
I would pick the AJ Styles match, but Shane doesn’t excite me as much as other opponents would. I don’t mind Shane. I would just prefer somebody else.
If Nakamura had a singles match it might have been his, but as far as I know he’s probably not on the show unless he’s added to the battle royal.
3. Erik Martinez
Do you think we see Eva Marie back at Wrestlemania?
I don’t think she’ll be back in WWE. I don’t know that as fact, but feels like she has moved on. What a shame.
4. Kevin Curtiss
Pair up a current Superstar with the following Legends in their prime to make for a great match/storyline. Macho Man. Bret Hart. Ric Flair. Sting. The British Bulldogs. Shawn Michaels. Steve Austin. Mr. Perfect. Christian and Edge.
Okay cool. I won’t pick anybody more than once.
Macho Man heel – Shinsuke Nakamura. Lots of charisma there.
Bret Hart as Canadian heel – Kurt Angle as American hero. Kurt counts!
Ric Flair heel – Sami Zayn. Perfect heel to get Zayn over.
Sting – Undertaker. Should have happened.
British Bulldogs – American Alpha
Shawn Michaels – AJ Styles. I could pick AJ vs anybody, but HBK would be best choice.
Steve Austin – Kevin Owens. Love their podcasts and Owens would be perfect heel for him.
Mr. Perfect – Randy Orton
Edge & Christian – Revival
5. Bryan Adam McGuire
Where do you see the Hardys ending up next?
I think they’ll be in WWE by the summer. It’s possible it will be at WrestleMania, but don’t know for sure. ROH deal is short.
6. Deryl Parnell Jr.
Do you see Hulk Hogan showing up at Wrestlemania?
Yeah. I think it’s very possible. Not sure how they are going to have time to fit everything with so many matches. I can’t say I would care if he’s there or not there.
7. Mallick Anwaar Ahmed Mustafvi
What was your instant reaction when Lesnar returned back in 2012?
Awesome. I loved it. I’ve always been a huge Lesnar and hated how his UFC run ended. Heading into that weekend it was known online that he was in Miami and returning to WWE, but we didn’t know when. Saving it for Raw was perfect. I flew back home the morning of Raw and hated that I missed being at Raw for Lesnar.
8. David Harnick
Since the U.S Title and I.C Title are going to be defended in singles matches at WrestleMania do you think the SmackDown Live Women’s championship will be defended in a ladder match?
I doubt it. I don’t think it’s a smart idea to put 100 pound Alexa Bliss in a ladder match and bump off a ladder. They would have to put the belt pretty low for her and some others to reach lol.
9. Todd Johnson
Any chance a Money in the Bank match at Mania and that winner would come out as Universal Champ instead of the two part timers??
Not likely. They have it as a PPV in June for Smackdown and because of that I doubt they are going to do it at WM.
10. Adrian Libatique
Do you think Goldberg is secretly injured thus the short matches?
No. I think they want to do the short matches to protect him and not expose him as being an older guy that was never that good in the ring anyway. Doubt he goes more than 5-10 minutes at WM. Lesnar wins there.
11. Darrius Gaddy
How do you think Vince and other officials feels or felt about Dave Meltzer and other writers who “leak” information about upcoming storylines and things going on backstage? Do you think he’s more accepting of it now rather than in the 90’s?
I think WWE leaks a lot of stuff on purpose. Meltzer shared the WrestleMania card like two months ago and almost all of it has come true. Once the news gets out there, WWE people read sites like mine (and others that are bigger). A lot of the wrestlers or writers or others backstage grew up reading Meltzer like all of us and Meltzer has talked about how he knows Vince, although hasn’t talked to him in a while. It’s the world we live in with people always wanting more info about whatever they are interested in.
12. Paul Carreau
In your career as a wrestling fan, who are your top 3 (or more if you choose) most under-utilized performers?
Owen Hart – The fact that he was so nice and didn’t politic with people backstage probably hurt his push at times.
MVP – Should have been a main eventer.
Sami Zayn – Already on the list because he should be doing so much more.
I could probably list 50 names. Those ones came to mind at first.
13. Leo Carter
Who do you think is best @ putting others over? Rock or HHH?
In their prime years, definitely Rock. Triple H has put a lot of people over (WM20, WM21, WM22 three years in a row in the main event), but also held down people. Much longer career for Hunter.
14. Alan Burke
I saw this idea on r/SC earlier and would like your thoughts. With WM likely to be 7 hours this year and in future, what would you think of having WM spread out over 2 nights?
I would love it to be two nights. I have talked about it on the podcast a bunch of times. It might be a crazy thought for some people, but I think it’s better than doing a six hour show. Will it happen? Doubt it. They probably want to keep it as a one day event.
15. Chris Hind
When Kurt Angle returns, and the fans chant “You Suck” to his entrance how will it be received by Angle, long term fans and new fans who have never seen Angle before?
I think he’ll love it and be the happiest guy in the building knowing that he is “home” in WWE. I think WWE will have to explain to the fans why the “you suck” chant is there because some fans won’t have any idea.
16. Brigid Martinez
Do you think Shane vs AJ will be good? Are they even doing MITB this year?
AJ Styles can have a good match with anybody and Shane is willing to bump his ass off, so it should be fine. I’m sure they’ll plan it out meticulously.
MITB PPV is June 18 in St. Louis and it’s a Smackdown show. I wish it was for both shows.
17. Swastik Rath
Did you think losing clean at Fastlane and walking out like a coward in the recent raw put a big question mark on Braun Strowman being a monstrous dominant heel?
I was not a huge fan of the way Strowman was booked, but I understand wanting to give Reigns the win. I don’t think Strowman is going to be hurt too much by one loss.
18. Orion Roger Lowther
Considering how SDlive is usually better booked than Raw, would you prefer if SD had the extra hour instead.
Nope. I wish both had two hours because three hours is too much, but it makes WWE money so they aren’t going to change it.
19. Daniel Mount
Do you think more people are understanding why Punk left after seeing part time guys grab main event spots in recent years?
I think more of them care, but Punk also had a rep of a whiner especially because he was pushed very strongly in the last three years of his WWE run. Most wrestlers would love matches against “part timers” like Undertaker, Lesnar and Rock like he had, yet he seemed to bitch about it a lot. It’s the wrestling business. You can’t push everybody all the time and put them all in the main event.
Lots of wrestlers that have been main eventers didn’t get top spots at WrestleMania. In 2002, Austin had to wrestle in a midcard match at WM after he carried the company in 2001 and had one of the best years ever. When he bitched about creative I understood it a lot more than Punk’s situation.
20. Daniel Hill
Is it fair to say this could be one of the worst wrestlemania’s in modern time? With the quality on the roster is it extra disappointing? Is it bad booking or Vince’s Ego or purely what’s best to make money?
It could be better than some people think. A recent example is I didn’t think WrestleMania 31 would be that good and it really didn’t have one outstanding match (although I love Reigns vs. Lesnar, which I posted about yesterday), but it was a fun show from top to bottom. I think a problem is wanting to put so many people on the show and having 14-15 minutes is too much.
21. Darrell Anthony
What are your thoughts on this year’s Wrestlemania lineup?
It’s okay but not great. I’m not trying to be negative about it like some people. Let’s enjoy it as much as we can. A big problem is the length of the show and too many matches. Still, it’s once per year so let’s remember why we love the biz and try to have fun when we watch.
22. Anthony Giuffra
In typical WWE revisionist history, the WWE have conveniently forgotten that Vince McMahon gave up his Wrestlemania title shot after the 1999 Royal Rumble (in which case, Roman Reigns would have gotten the title shot). Since then, AJ Styles won the #1 contender slot after Randy Orton gave up his WM shot he earned by winning the Royal Rumble.
What are your thoughts on them letting Randy Orton change his mind and ask for his title shot back? Also, the way AJ Styles has been treated IMO is more of the babyface being held back yet it is Shane and Daniel Bryan performing the more heel actions of going back on their word. What are your thoughts on AJ being the heel getting screwed over which is normally a spot for a babyface?
I think the story is fine. The five minute video package that started Smackdown was great. Having Shane and Daniel explain the situation for 7 minutes to start the show also was a good idea. It’s a tricky situation, but it made sense because Orton only gave it up in order to gain the trust of Wyatt leading to access to his house and the fire. It also sets up Styles bitching at Shane about screwing him over, which leads to their match.
Yes, Vince gave up his Rumble win in 1999. That’s the worst Rumble ever or one of the worst anyway.
23. Michael Fitzgerald
What did you make the of The Miz/Maryse on Talking Smack? Damn they speak such truth, how does he not get in trouble for shooting about Mr and Mrs Cena so brutally?
I think Miz/Maryse did a fantastic job. I should probably add Talking Smack thoughts in my SD reviews from time to time. They made a lot of great points, it felt personal and real. That’s a reason why Smackdown is a lot better.
I doubt Cena or Nikki care. It’s part of the show. It’s The Miz character ripping on them, not Mike doing it. Just acting using reality of their lives. That’s how wrestling should be.
24. Andre Jones
What two guys that started out as singles wrestlers that had no storyline direction and eventually got paired to tag made you say, “That’s a really odd pairing,” but they eventually made it work?
Billy Gunn and Road Dogg were complete opposites when they started. They became the New Age Outlaws and it was the best run of each man’s career. That’s a great example of it.
I loved Tyson Kidd and Cesaro as a team. I know this story as fact from TJ/Tyson, but they got paired after being a part of an amazing 3 way match on SD in England with Ziggler. The bosses loved their chemistry, so they became a team.
Also, another example was Owen Hart and Yokozuna. Loved them as a team. It was so random, but worked perfectly because Owen could work the match and Yoko would finish the guys off.
25. Geoff Landtbom
Since 1998 I’ve had this theory that Mike Tyson was the backup plan if Shawn Michaels couldn’t go. It certainly seemed that way given how hard they teased it. What do you think? He could have easily lost the title as a proxy.
I really don’t think the stories about Michaels possibly not doing the match were as true as some want to tell. I know the story of Undertaker taping up his fists to intimidate him in case Michaels didn’t want to do the job. It’s one of those things that people exaggerate about too much.
As for Tyson in a match, I don’t think he or his team would ever put him in a match. He was a whackjob in those years and probably wasn’t smart enough to learn how to wrestle.
26. Jonathan Carmona
How would you book the SD women’s match at Wrestlemania if Naomi was to be healed by then?
No idea to be honest. I’ve asked people involved and nobody really knows what kind of match it’s going to be. If they have like 6 or 8 women then maybe it’s single elimination or something like that. I have no idea what the match is going to be, so hard to book it.
I hope Mickie James leaves with the title, but I don’t know if she will.
27. Shoaib Hussain
Do you think there will ever be a Roman Reigns v John Cena match where we could see a passing of the torch, however who do you think the heel would be and who the face would be?
Yeah for sure. That’s probably a WrestleMania match in the next few years. Cena’s 40 this year and is already a part timer. I hope it would be Reigns as a heel, but Vince is stubborn and wants to keep him as a face lol.
28. Dangelino Ochoa
This is a silly question for me to ask, but I’m going to ask anyway. Does Sister Abigail appear at WrestleMania because her spirit was actually awoken by Orton? Or is this a way of putting that storyline to bed entirely…. I’ve just confused myself.
It could happen. I would hope that Wyatt retains at WM to give him a longer run with the title, so having Sister Abigail appear would be perfect. They can have some woman dressed in black with a mask at ringside and Wyatt can call her Abigail or something like that. Remember, Wyatt is a heel, so the whole thing about Abigail being dead could be a lie too.
29. Dale Schofield
Do you agree with Shane being in a match at Wrestlemania with arguably the best performer on the main roster over the past 12 months?
I think Vince wants his son on the show, so his son is going to be on the show. Same with his son-in-law. That’s the reason for it. I’d prefer Styles vs. Balor or Styles vs. Nakamura, but the McMahon name is why it is Shane in that spot.
30. Nathan Hubbard
What is the best thing to do, during Mania weekend?
I enjoy Wrestlecon a lot, but I got in free the last few years and I got to meet a lot of people. Axxess is fun too although it can be full with a lot of people. I recommend going to a lot of different wrestling events in the city as well. Every year there are more indy shows there, so check some of those out. Plus, it’s Orlando, so plenty of tourist places to visit.
31. Matt Wyatt
Is it Shane vs AJ or does Shane bring Nakamura in to face AJ? I know what I’d prefer but I’m 40 and out of touch…………gotta get those McMahon’s over kid. Zzzzzzzzzzz
As far as I know the plan was AJ vs. Shane for several months and nothing has happened to change that. If it was me I’d prefer Balor vs. Styles or Nakamura vs. Styles.
32. Cory Andrew Bacon
If it weren’t for Balor getting injured, do you think WWE would’ve ever given Owens the run he’s had? Would his talent have put him there anyways, or did he benefit from Balor’s situation?
I doubt it, but I don’t know. The rumors were that Balor would have faced Owens at one PPV and Owens/Jericho at another PPV. Whether he would have retained the title at both PPVs I don’t know. Maybe they wanted to get the title on Owens by Survivor Series and drop it before WM. Goldberg working past Survivor Series probably changed a lot of things too.
33. Tim Mirabitur Jr
When do you see Revival getting called up, and should they be part of Haitch’s stable?
I think after WM makes sense since they are on the NXT Takeover card. The Raw or Smackdown after WM in Orlando would be great. Being a part of a Triple H heel stable with Owens and Joe would be a natural fit for them.
34. Sahil Aggarwal
Who out of these do you think had the best chemistry with Cena? AJ Styles, CM Punk or Kevin Owens?
Tough one because I enjoyed all of them. I think Styles is Cena’s best opponent of the three. Punk is next and then Owens. All of them had multiple great matches with him, though, so it’s hard to pick. Others like Michaels and Edge were awesome opponent for Cena too.
35. Roderick Walker
How would you book Shelton Benjamin whenever he returns?
I think Shelton would be a midcard face that is there to mostly lose matches and put over young guys. He’s in his mid 40s so it’s unrealistic to think he would be pushed hard.
36. Charlie Pérez
How would you book three hours of Raw and two hours of Smackdown?
Raw would have more in-ring action and less promos. They are doing a good job of having title matches, but I think they need to give some matches more time and win people back that way.
Smackdown is usually very good, so wouldn’t change much. I’d like to see tag division featured more.
37. Erin Somers
Do you think Nakamura will debut on Raw/Smackdown after Mania?? Or later in the year??
I think the Smackdown after WM is the perfect time. Could be in the WM battle royal too.
38. Billy Joe Sansegraw
If you could book any Main Event that you wanted for Wrestlmania, what would it be? Any WWE Superstar or someone outside WWE main roster.
Heel Lesnar vs. face AJ Styles would be my main event. Would have been amazing this year.
39. Ed Luis Valentin
Do you believe that part timers are booked to be too strong? I understand making Goldberg and Lesnar the toughest guys on Raw, but those two are basically made out to be gods who are ten levels above everyone else on the roster. Would it be better If they booked Brock and Bill like they did in 2003, where they were the top guys but were still capable of losing?
Lesnar is not really booked strong since he lost easily at Survivor Series and didn’t do much in the Rumble. Other than that he has been, but he was weak there. Goldberg is booked too strong. The crowd support helps him a lot, so that’s why they are doing it.
40. Arnold Grijalva Velasquez
How do you see the new Jarret regime in TN.. err.. Impact Wrestling working out in the future in terms of how talent is used, what talents they aquire, and what kind of creative decisions they make? Do you think it’ll see the success it had in 2005?
I had heard the owner of Anthem wasn’t too passionate about wrestling and TNA is just a mere business venture. How do you think that will affect the direction and success of the company and do you see any parralels to Ted Turner/WCW?
I think they will continue to exist, but I don’t see them growing that much or reaching 1.3 million US viewers every week like they did 6-7 years ago. Will they ever really grow again? I have my doubts about that.
The good thing is that they finally got rid of the TNA name. They should have done that about 10 years ago.
41. Alan Spindlow
If Kenny Omega was to sign to WWE, how would you book him?
Omega could do well as a cocky heel or an excitable face. All around one of the best performers in the world right now. Book him as a big star right away, probably as a heel to start.
42. Matt Wayne Breeding
What do you think about this idea of leaving everything up in the air about Rollins for Wrestlemania? I think if he’s hurt they should just leave him off the card and give his spot to balor or someone like that. I don’t like this wait and see game there doing with Rollins.
They probably have a target date, like say Raw on March 20, where they will know if he’s ready or not and if he’s not they can slip Finn Balor into that slot against Triple H. It would be harder to do the Finn thing since Rollins is the one that injured him, but he’s a face like Rollins is. Have Triple H attack Balor to set it up. That kind of thing.
Being smart about it is fine. It’s wait and see, sure, but it’s important to care about the guy’s health.
43. Michael Prunka
If you’re on the WWE creative staff and Broken Matt Hardy signs, what are the first three feuds you’d line up for him?
They would probably tag him with Jeff. Not enough heel tag teams that are strong now, but Gallows & Anderson and Usos make sense. As a singles wrestler I think they would want to push Jeff more.
44. Jeremy Turner
Which tag division would benefit from having the Hardys more, Raw or Smackdown? Or which show would benefit more from having them in general, considering they could also work as singles competitors?
Both shows would benefit. I think Raw would benefit more, so I would put them there. Move New Day to Smackdown or keep them on Raw to set up a “dream tag team feud” between them.
45. Ruffin Harris
Got two questions for you bro.
Question 1) What do you believe is the ceiling (which is the roof) for The A Lister, The Most MustSee WWE Superstar, The AWWWEEEsome, The Main Event, The True Heel, The MVP of Smackdown Live and Husband of the Sexiest Woman in the WWE…The Miz?
Question 2) You already know deep in your heart The Miz is the best heel in the company but to prove it to everyone else what do you believe he has to do?
Actually sorry I have 3 questions. Bonus Question Time: Should Miz start a stable with him obviously as the leader?
I think Miz can and will another World Title (or Universal Title) in the next year. Maybe it’s 2018, but he’s on the right path to be at that level again. He’s doing awesome work.
Most people would say he’s one of the best heels. Just keep the consistency up. I loved the matches with Ziggler, but he needs more feuds with different people as well. If you can perform at a high level consistently then you really win people over.
I don’t want him in a stable. Keep him just with Maryse. Better for them.
That’s it for this Q&A. I’ll be back with another one tomorrow.