TJR Q&A: Triple H Running WWE Creative, Roman Reigns-Drew McIntyre Winner, Reuniting Owens/Zayn, More
It’s been a while, but the TJR Q&A is back as we sit here in this new era of Triple H running WWE creative and there’s a lot of excitment among WWE fans.
What I’ll do here is post questions that come from TJRWrestling supporters on Facebook and you’ll see my answers right underneath them. A lot of the questions were about Triple H running WWE Creative now, who may or may not return to the company and things like that. Some of them were a bit repetitive, which is understandable. I tried to pick out some unique ones and ended up with 35 of them that you will see below. Thanks for the questions!
By the way, this is the 83rd edition of the Q&A on TJRWrestling. I’ll try to do them monthly or twice a month moving forward, but life gets busy sometimes. Anyway, let’s jump into it.
1. Marko Hallam
What PPV that you never attended, did you wish you did?
Royal Rumble. I think it would be so much fun. I’ve been to WrestleManias, Survivor Series and some random others, but I want to see a Rumble at some point.
2. Nathan Pickering
What released wrestlers do you see returning to WWEE?
I don’t know about released ones other than Karrion Kross and Scarlett coming back. I really hope Bray Wyatt comes back. I don’t care that much if Braun Strowman returns – I like him okay, but not somebody I would say I’m a huge fan of. I think Wyatt, if he was that character only instead of The Fiend, could do well. He’s only like 35 years old. Lots of years left.
I think Sasha Banks and Naomi will be back in the coming week. I think Johnny Gargano will sign with WWE. He wasn’t released. His contract expired.
3. Brandon Willis
Anything you hope to see, or people you hope come back, with Triple Haitch running things?
I definitely want to see Sasha Banks and Naomi back to help some of the less experienced women. I think they are both great, especially Banks, who might be the best of them all by the time she retires. She’s that good.
Bray Wyatt would be cool. I want to see him as Wyatt instead of The Fiend because there’s so much depth to that character and he’s a good actor for a wrestler.
Johnny Gargano could do well with Triple H booking. I don’t know if he’d get pushed as a singles wrestler right away, but you could use him as a team or anything else.
Eva Marie! I’m kidding. But seriously, I wouldn’t mind it lol.
4. Daniel Mount
Do guys like Andrade, Black and others in AEW that aren’t Cole, Lee ask for a release or is TK going to do what Vince did and hold people to their contracts?
I don’t know, but I think some of them are going to be hesitant to re-sign with AEW. They barely use Malakai Black in AEW. Since his wife (Zelina Vega) is in WWE, maybe he would go back there if his deal came up. Same with Andrade and his wife (Charlotte Flair). It makes sense for them to go when their deals come up, but I don’t know if they would ask for their release.
5. Jeremy P. Cottreau
In your opinion, who are the 5 most underrated wrestlers on the current roster? WWE & AEW.
I don’t know how to answer underrated. If we said poorly booked then in WWE I’d like to see more from Xavier Woods as a singles performer (dude can really go when he gets a chance), Rhea Ripley is a woman they should do more with and there’s probably more if I think about it.
For AEW, I like John Silver a lot and I think he should be on TV regularly. The team of Ortiz & Santana were tremendously underused, but now Santana is out with a knee injury. Ethan Page is a big one. At least they are starting a story with him now. I guess that’s five total.
6. Van Wilhoite
If Drew McIntyre takes the belt from Reigns at Clash in the Castle what Raw person and what Smackdown person do you think is most likely to be his 1st serious challenger?
They certainly have to develop some people. Seth Rollins could use some wins to get back into the mix, Bobby Lashley as a babyface feud, Smackdown is lacking in top heels after Reigns so maybe Sheamus and then they could always push Gunther more.
7. Darren Barkman
So we’ve got Dakota, Io, Ciampa, Shayna and Kross and Scarlett. There’s rumors of Johnny Wrestling on Raw and an article you shared about Beer Money. Who else should we be expecting? What other “HHH’s guys/ladies” can we look to get the pushed they should have all along?
I think Gargano is very possible in Cleveland for Raw (tonight), but I don’t know if there’s been any talks. It’s hard to know who is going to be pushed becuase you can only utilize so many people per week. Just because Hunter didn’t book AJ Styles in NXT doesn’t mean AJ should lose all of his matches either. So I think it’s gonna be a slow thing and long term booking will be better overall.
8. Ed Eastin Jr
What is the most realistic “Vince-ism” do you see Trips keeping, no matter what? (Like something that Vince would do.)
Using celebrities perhaps even more than Vince do. Steph was a long time Brand Officer for WWE meaning she was like a high-end Public Relations person so I think they are going to keep finding the people like Logan Paul or Bad Bunny that might be part of WWE more going forward.
I think booking wise, there will probably be less non-title matches where champions lose, so that’s the opposite of a Vince thing.
9. Mark Newsome
Do you see Kevin Owens finally getting a long term push anytime soon under Trips?
I hope so. I was talking with my good friend and TJR writer Joel McIntyre about this recently and we were kind of fantasy booking this idea of Kevin Owens helping Sami Zayn whenever Roman Reigns & The Usos kick Sami’s ass because it seems to be building to that. They could turn Sami face, Owens could save his best friend and they can be a babyface team that takes the titles from The Usos. There’s a Smackdown in Montreal in two weeks where they could do a big angle for it.
Anyway, I think KO being used a bit better would be nice. He hasn’t had much to do post-WrestleMania other than the Ezekiel feud and he’s missed some PPVs. Hopefully he’s featured more.
10. Cory Andrew Bacon
In a year full of huge wrestling stories, would there be any news piece that could happen that would be even bigger? I think it’ll be hard to beat Vince retiring, but it seems like every month something new happens this year.
Only Vince’s death or some other big name’s death. I don’t want to name names or anything, but we know the big names. I think Vince stepping down is the biggest story of the year and the biggest of the decade at this point. Who expected it during some random Friday in mid-July. Crazy. I also think Steve Austin wrestling his first match in 19 years was huge, but the Vince retirement tops everything.
11. Frank Shattuck
If you were Trips, what one major change would you make to the company?
More hot chicks! I like where it’s headed already with more in-ring action. The numbers are up in terms of match lengths, so keep that going. More action, less chatting and silliness, but you do need promos to be part of shows to further stories. Another thing is to try to find roles for the entire roster. Create some groups and tag teams to get people more screen time. And more hot chicks. Okay, I’ll stop.
12. Maurice Shortall
What would you do character wise with Bray if he comes back?
Go back to his roots. Have him slowly recruit a new Wyatt Family. They might not have to be bearded tall guys, but they can be people who follow him and you get a tag team out of that while building up another wrestler. Say he is reborn, The Fiend is dead and he has found himself again. It’s not that hard to bring that kind of character back.
13. Timothy Mercer
Do you think with Triple H now Head of Creative in WWE, he’s going to book Raw and Smackdown like he booked NXT. Will they bring back wrestlers from the black and gold brand just to prove to Vince he was wrong about the black and gold NXT?
I think it will be similar to NXT in some ways with more in-ring action and less goofy characters, but you need to market Raw/Smackdown to the younger audience sometimes too. The NXT crowd was/is mostly the adult male crowd and that’s fine, but Raw/Smackdown has more families watching.
14. Will Edwards
Do you see with HHH being behind creative, that the secondary titles, especially the Intercontinental title getting more time and care going forward?
I watch it casually. I love the World Cup and the Euro Cup like when my Greeks won in 2004. I don’t have a team in Premier League, but I don’t mind watching it on a Saturday morning since we are 5 hours, so it’s an early start time with breakfast or lunch for us. Sometimes it’s fun just to put a game on. Good luck to your team. I know the NFL loves Tottenham’s stadium and holds games there.
I think Hunter will care more about the IC & US Titles for sure. We have seen that already on the shows in the last week.
15. Deryl Parnell Jr.
Do you see Drew McIntyre winning at Clash at the Castle and Kross beating down McIntyre and Theory cashing in and winning imagine the fans anger at the outcome?
I think Drew should win the two titles against Roman Reigns at Clash at the Castle. I think they should send the fans home happy and not have Theory cashing in or anything heelish at the end. Drew wins and celebrates to end it.
16. Jay Hinchey
Do you think Sami Zayn will recruit Kevin Owens from Raw to go after The Usos whenever he gets booted as the honorary Uce?
Yeah I would love that. There’s a Smackdown in Montreal in two weeks, which we know is Sami & KO’s hometown, so the fans would go crazy to see them reunited there.
17. Matthew Wayne Breeding
What has been your favorite change that Triple H has made?
I like seeing certain talent being pushed like Ciampa, who deserves it and I like seeing more in-ring action. Like that first Smackdown there was Drew/Sheamus going 25 minutes to start the show. No 20 minute promo to start. Just straight to the action and a hell of a match. Using the women better is good too. I’m generally optimistic.
18. Darrius Gaddy
Whos’ the most underutilized person on the AEW roster? Feels like they have so much talent that’s kind of just stagnant or on AEW dark.
I think Ethan Page is one of the most underused guys they have, but they seem to be doing a storyline based on him not doing much. It’s like they admit that they booked him like shit.
Malakai Black should be close to the main event scene and they do nothing with the guy. Andrade El Idolo could be doing more too.
John Silver is another. Lance Archer could be doing a lot more.
19. Cody Gupton
With the buzz from Mickie James at last year’s Rumble, do you see Triple H looking for some outside talent for the Royal Rumble this year?
I think WWE will probably have 30 women on their own roster to use. I don’t think they are going to need to bring in outside people. As much as I loved Mickie there and I know she enjoyed it, I think it was a case of WWE not having many people, so they decided to try some people they were familiar with.
20. Brian Wallace
Who from outside the WWE bubble would you like to see Triple H bring in, and who would be the expendable roster member(s) that trips could drop in order to not bloat the roster?
I don’t know about dropping people. I don’t want people fired when WWE is doing record profits. Like if Dana Brooke wasn’t around I doubt most people would notice, but I’m fine with her keeping her job too.
I’m not sure who is available outside the WWE bubble. Maybe a James Storm to team him up with Robert Roode as Beer Money. That would be fun as a veteran team. It depends who comes up in AEW as a free agent that could fit in as well.
I think WWE is possible for some AEW guys when they are free now that Triple H is in charge instead of Vince. Hunter is more willing to use different people of different sizes and ages compared to Vince.
21. John Adams
Do you see any NXT call-ups soon? Maybe Toxic Attraction especially for the women’s tag titles tournament?
They’ll probably save Bron Breakker for the Royal Rumble if I had to guess. He should drop the title before the end of the year. Carmelo Hayes would be nice to see on Raw or SD. I think Cameron Grimes could get called up. For the women, they just moved Io Shirai so it’s okay to wait for a bit.
I think Toxic Attraction could do pretty well as a team and pushing Mandy in singles, but there are only so many spots. Maybe they should stay in NXT for a few months more.
22. Robert Lee Thomas
Do you think WWE is more likely or less likely to sell now that Vince has stepped down and Steph and HHH has taken over? I originally thought more likely, but after some of the moves they are making, now I’m not so sure.
A sale is always going to be a possibility and I think with Vince out, people will think that’s more possible. The question is, does an entity like NBC Universal, Disney or Fox or whoever wants to pay $4 or $5 billion for it and have the same people running it? I don’t know if there’s a buyer out there. My guess is they do sell by the end of this decade, but that’s just a guess at this point.
I think if they do sell it would be like when UFC sold and Dana White remained President. If WWE sells then I think Stephanie, Triple H and Nick Khan would remain in their spots.
23. Kevin Clark
If Brock Lesnar didn’t leave wwe after Wrestlemania XX. Do you still think they would have put the World Title on Randy Orton at the following Summerslam?
Maybe not. I mean when Orton won it meant that he was the youngest World Champion ever, not Brock (Orton was 24, Brock was 25 at SummerSlam 2002) so maybe they did it due to being mad at Brock leaving. My answer is if Brock stayed then I doubt Orton would have won at SummerSlam 2004.
24. Chris Hudson
Who on the current WWE roster would you like to see turn heel or face?
Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn as faces that become a tag team. That would make me happy. Since Becky Lynch turned face last week that’s a good thing and Ronda Rousey is now a heel I assume, so that’s also good. I can’t think of many others that I would really want to see turning right now.
25. Joe Harris
How long does Liv Morgan retain the title for? And who do you think she loses it too and why is it Charlotte?
Good job answering your own question lol. I hope Liv holds it for a few months at least like 4 or 5 months, but then I see Ronda Rousey winning it back as a heel. Just my hunch. There is always the Charlotte factor, of course. If we assume a draft is coming in October or September then the rosters will change around too.
26. Matt Tome
Of the guys who left WWE for AEW, who do you think are the 3 or 4 most likely to return to WWE now that Triple H is in charge? I think Cole, FTR, Danielson, and O’Reilly are very likely.
I’m pretty sure Danielson signed a three year deal, so he won’t be able to come back for another two years. Cole is probably there long-term, even longer than Bryan is. I think FTR is a possibility if the money is right and they get paid a lot more, but they are probably happy in AEW in terms of getting to wrestle some different teams. Names like Malakai Black (married to Zelina Vega) and Andrade El Idolo (married to Charlotte Flair) make sense due to probably wanting to work with their wives. Miro is another one that’s a maybe. Some of them could be in AEW long term, though, so if that’s the case then there’s no comeback.
27. Ron Venturino
Who would you like to see return to WWE that is still a free agent?
Johnny Gargano. That’s really the main one. I think Sasha Banks and Naomi are back, so that’s why I didn’t say them.
28. Lonnie Nawrot
Hey John, I have a couple at small questions. Do you think it was fair of the fans to boo Liv Morgan? My opinion is, she comes off as a weak champion. Her promos don’t come off strong. She deserves the push, absolutely. But we can’t overlook that she had lost most of her matches prior to winning the title. Question two… Logan Paul. I dislike the YouTuber but I have to give him credit in the ring. Do you see him being a big factor on the roster?
I was surprised by it. Whether it’s right or wrong, who is to say? Fans can do what they want. My guess is that it was probably just a group of guys that like Rousey a lot and don’t think Liv “looks like a fighter” so then others may have joined it to make it louder.
I think Logan Paul could do very well in WWE, but it depends how much he wrestles. Having two months to prepare for one month is easy. It’s not as easy to do it on a consistent basis when you wrestle a few times per month. I doubt he wrestles that much. I think he’ll do well, but I doubt he approaches the full timers in terms of how many matches he does.
29. Eric Hay
If Cody isn’t healthy enough by Royal rumble time, who would you like to see win the men’s?
Shanky! No. I think if Cody isn’t ready then it’s a tough call. Depends on if Roman Reigns is still holding a title or both of them. Depends on if The Rock is wrestling Roman at WM. I’m not saying Rock should win the Rumble, but it could be a possibility. I don’t know. We have nearly six months. I’m still barely over the fact that there’s no more Vince around lol. My pick is Cody. I think he’ll be ready.
30. Joe Sondag
Would WWE doing Bayley vs. Becky at next year’s WrestleMania be better instead of Becky/Ronda considering how Ronda’s second run has gone?
I think they already have Becky/Ronda penciled in and they will do it. Ronda as a heel. Becky as a face. Based on their history, it is smart to do a singles match. I’d love to see Becky/Bayley at some point too.
31. Parker Griffith
Do you think Sasha and Naomi will be in the tag tournament? I think it would be a waste. Crown new champions at Clashtle (© Me Inc. 2022), have them celebrate. Lights go out, it’s GLOW time and they come out with their belts and then you build the feud and have them fight at Crown Jewel or SS for the undisputed titles.
I think Sasha and Naomi will be in it. They don’t necessarily have to win. I’d put over Dakota Kai/Io Sky as the winners.
32. Shay Smithers
How do you see the ongoing situation with MJF? Do you think he’ll be able to get back on the same page with Tony Khan and management and remain in AEW or might we be seeing him in WWE by the end of the year? Some even seem to think that he may be so unhappy that he may even be considering leaving the wrestling biz altogether?
I think there’s probably some legit heat in terms of MJF being frustrated with AEW’s past contract offers. I think he wants to go to WWE, but January 1, 2024 is nearly a year and a half away, so maybe he’ll wait it out instead of go back on AEW TV any time soon. I think the situation is a real thing for the most part, but if they turn it into a work that wouldn’t surprise me either.
33. James Erickson
Do yoy think with HHH in charge, there will be possible chances of the real “Forbidden Door” opening and maybe having some Impact vs WWE matches or NJPW crossover or even AEW/ROH vs WWE? I definitely don’t think that would have happened with VKM in charge, but Triplen HAITCH seems to have more of an open mind on that subject.
I don’t think so. WWE is the biggest company out there. If they work with AEW then you are helping AEW or NJPW or ROH. Why help them? I wouldn’t do it if I was WWE. Be ruthless. Don’t help them!
As a fan sure it’s cool to think about, but if I was WWE I wouldn’t do it.
34. Geoff Landtbom
Is Karrion Kross a guy you see as a legitimate world champion? There’s been a lot of buzz since Friday of making him one.
They could do it, why not? I think he looks credible. I don’t think he’s as good as Roman or Drew in the ring, but he might get better working with some top guys in big matches and more coaching from Triple H.
35. Larry Yadao
What petty change would you like to be changed now Triple H is in charge? Mine would be giving people back their full names lol. (Austin Theory, Matt Riddle, and even WALTER)
I’m fine with Gunther now. I think Austin Theory sounds better than just Theory. I also think Matt Riddle is better than just Riddle, but I’m used to it now. I think I saw that Angel Garza got his last name back, so that’s cool.
I’d like to see wrestlers be allowed to have Twitch and stuff like that. It’s good to interact with fans.
That’s all for now. Thanks to everybody that participated and to you for reading.