TJR Q&A #5: Brock Lesnar’s First WWE Run Affecting New Stars, WWE Royal Rumble Winner? Over 50 Questions!

TJR Wrestling

It’s Halloween day and it’s also time for another Q&A here at TJRWrestling. The concept is pretty simple with me asking the readers on Facebook for wrestling related question from the past, present or involving the future and offering my take on it. Some questions will require longer answers while others will be more simple. I’m including most of the questions as long as they aren’t things I’ve answered last week or too similar to something else. To start off, I’ll use questions that were asked in last week’s Q&A because they got them in first. Here we go.

1. Jake Dickinson
Do you think that they should bring Money in the Bank back to WrestleMania starting next year? They could replace the Money In The Bank PPV with another gimmick. How about King Of The Ring but do it like old times?

I wouldn’t do it. I think Money in the Bank as a PPV is one of the best PPVs of the year every year, so they would be losing a quality show just for the sake of doing MITB at WM. I think having a multi-person match for one of the secondary titles is likely going to happen again and that’s fine. I just think MITB should stay where it is.

2. chezzy1985
With WWE now seemingly happy to have a working relationship with other companies, would a network special in say the UK or Japan or Mexico etc be done and maybe have a Ryder Cup style competition?

There have been variations of things like that in WCW and TNA, but I don’t think either of them were that exciting for the viewers at home. I see what your point is and wanting to incorporate countries into the mix as a special show. I just don’t think Vince McMahon thinks about things like that or would be compelled to run that kind of show. It’s not his style or his way.

3. Mike Julius
Do you think they don’t give new superstars a main event push because of Brock Lesnar’s first run? Since he left two years after a huge push and they want guys to “pay their dues” before trusting them.

Absolutely you’re right and I can remember writing an article about it in 2004 or 2005. They gave Lesnar that huge contract extension for several years and then lost money when he left. They invested all that time in him. Within a year they were elevate the likes of Cena, Batista and Orton, but it was Lesnar that they thought of as the biggest star in that group. It was a case of giving a guy too much too soon. Others have bene pushed hard in their rookie years since then (like Sheamus or Alberto Del Rio), but neither one was positioned like THE MAN the way Lesnar was.

4. dane86
Why aren’t there any more number one contender matches at PPVs?

I think WWE has gotten into the habit of only doing them on television as a way to make the matches more important on Raw. They probably figure that PPVs are built around major title matches or hot feuds like at Hell in a Cell while Raw is the place where you can have top contender matches. I wish Raw had more title matches and that goes for any title. Just make us care more.

Now we move onto the questions from readers on Facebook. Just search for “John Canton” to add me on there.

5. Robert Platanitis
Will Demolition ever get in the WWE HOF?

That question gets asked from time to time. There’s some sort of story with Axe saying some bad things about WWE in the past and being relentless about it, so I don’t think it’s going to happen any time soon. I’ve sat down with those guys and talked to them. Smash (Barry Darsow) was a lot more forthcoming. Axe is very old school. So for right now I would say no even though they had the longest tag team title reign in WWE history. Should be in.

6. Mike Anderson
Do you think if they handled Batista’s return the right way (fighting The Authority and not being their buddy) would things have gone different at WrestleMaania 30 or would Daniel Bryan-mania still have over ridden everything?

I think the problem is that WWE viewed him as a bigger star than the fans view him. He’s still a big star, but he’s probably not as big as WWE thinks he is or wants him to be. That’s why there was a bit of a disconnect there. I think once he turned heel with Evolution he was more in his comfort zone. In the end, he still got to main event WrestleMania and I don’t know if he’ll ever be back considering his successful movie career. Why risk taking bumps in your mid-40s? I wouldn’t go back if I were him.

Regarding WM30, it was really CM Punk’s quitting that changed everything because he was going to be against Triple H and that’s what led to most of the changes along with Batista getting booed by the crowd.

7. Niki Blair
Which members of the current roster do you think will be WWE Champion one day (that haven’t already been champ)?

That’s a good one. Roman Reigns is the first name that comes to mind – I think that’s pretty obvious. Others would be Dean Ambrose and I hope guys like Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn as well. Finn Balor is very possible because I think he’s got that “it” factor they love. Six months ago I would have said Rusev for sure. Now? Not as sure. Big E has a lot of potential and I think they love him right now, as they should. That sounds like a good idea for an article too haha.

As much as I would love to see a guy like Cesaro get there, I doubt WWE think of him that way. That’s a shame.

8. Kev Fee
Looks like WM 33 will be in Minneapolis. New stadium plus we have the Super Bowl. Do you think Brock Lesnar will go into that as champ?

It’s probably going to be there. I think it would more ideal to have Lesnar win the WWE Title there rather than go in as champion. That’s well over a year away and I doubt anybody is going to remember any prediction about it!

9. Joe Sondag
Since Cesaro & Ambrose having nothing to do right now do you think joining The Undertaker’s team at Survivor Series or is there two others you think would be a better fit for the story?

I think Ambrose is purposely on the sidelines so he can justify turning on Reigns at Survivor Series. Doubt WWE puts Cesaro in that match although I would do it. Maybe the Dudleys are on the team. I’m not sure.

10. Toby Tobias
What the blue hell will it take for them to get it with Cesaro?? That guy in against anybody will hold attention and sell tickets. Harrumph.

Agree. Not really up to us. He’s got that “boring” label on him by Vince McMahon and people close to him, but if you watch his matches he’s not boring at all. He has some of the most innovative and exciting offensive moves on the roster while also putting on great matches with everybody. It’s ridiculous that he’s not in a more featured role.

11. Ed Luis Valentin
I heard a rumor a few weeks ago that WWE approached NJPW about letting them show some of their footage on the Network. How would you feel about a potential WWE/NJPW working relationship?

I don’t think NJPW needs to work with WWE and it’s smart for them to avoid doing it. They probably think that if they went into business with them then WWE might try to take some talent away, which would hurt NJPW big time. I’m a casual NJPW viewer and I know they are doing well on their own. I know they exchange talent with ROH because there’s not a threat of talent leaving. With WWE, there would be. So I doubt there’s ever going to be a working relationship.

12. Cory Andrew Bacon
Do you think Breaking Ground will stay with it’s current format, or eventually become another badly scripted ‘reality show’?

I think it will stay close to what it is already and they probably don’t want to turn it into a joke like Total Divas. As I wrote in my review, my concern with this show is there isn’t really star power on it, so it’s not going to attract the casual viewer. It’s aimed at the really hardcore WWE fan and that’s not a big market really. So I hope it doesn’t change, but maybe in time it will.

13. Rusty Rowe
Do you think Finn Balor will be called up before Wrestlemania?

I do. I’m predicting a Royal Rumble debut whether it’s advertised or done as a surprise. Having him in the Demon gear at the Rumble with that entrance would be amazing. Put him as the #1 or #2 guy, put him in there for like 40 minutes and have him last near the end.

14. Kelsey Graham
I’m really looking forward to AJ Styles vs Jay Lethal at Final Battle, do you see Styles winning his first ROH World Title. Also what do you think ROH has to do to get to the next level? In my opinion the production of their show leaves a lot to be desired.

I think Lethal should keep it and probably will. Styles is great, though, so no problem if they do a switch. I’ll be watching that show live for sure because I love those guys. As for next level, they need to be on a better TV network (average person has no idea what Destination America is or the syndicated channels they are on) and probably get some multi-million dollar investor to pump in a lot of money for them. Other than that, they’ll probably stay where they are, which is a profitable wrestling company.

15. Jake Nicodemus
Who do you see being the guy to beat Jay Lethal for the ROH World Championship?

I can see them wanting to build up Moose to get there. Could be Styles though.

16. Michael Franks
How would you book Samoa Joe’s debut to the main roster?

Night after WrestleMania. Balor would be at the Rumble, so save Joe for then. Have Joe win the NXT Title in December. The night after WM is pretty big, so save it for that show because people will remember it more. He can work as a heel or face, so just do it against some midcarder who is a hot performer at the time.

17. Gabriel Jones
For a good part of the year, I’ve only watched PPVs. And yet I feel like I don’t miss much of anything. Could this be the reason why the ratings are suffering?

It’s possible. I just think it’s hard for the average person to commit to a three hour weekly show and that’s why there are probably more part time fans. With that said, going three hours makes them too much money and I doubt it’s going away until at least three years when the next TV deal is up.

18. Brian Coats
What would be your ideal Wrestlemania 32 card, top to bottom?

I don’t have the time to get into that because there are so many questions, but I’ll keep it simple for now. I’d like to see Lesnar/Rock, Cena/Undertaker and Shield triple threat as top three matches. Also Zayn winning the IC Title from Owens. So that’s four matches.

19. John Czech
What is the one dream match you’d like to see involving a retired wrestler and a current one? Mine would be Shawn Michaels and Seth Rollins.

That’s a great one. Nice tease on Raw a few weeks ago. I think Bryan vs. Michaels is my first choice just because I like them both so much. The other one is Steve Austin vs. heel Brock Lesnar. Would have been amazing.

20. Joe Neal
What would you like to see added on the WWE Network heading in to 2016?

More Raw episodes from my favorite WWE year ever: 2000. I think it’s ridiculous that they don’t have any of those up. Other than that, nothing really comes to mind. There’s so much on there and I barely have time to get through things due to all the other things happening in my life. I doubt people would watch shows like Thunder and things of that nature.

21. Christopher Barnacle
Do you think when John Cena retires he will get the respect he deserves from fans for the career he has had? By that I mean, do you think generally people will look back and appreciate his title reigns, matches, promos, milestone moments once he’s gone or will they never view him in the same light as other retired guys such as Austin, Bret, Flair, HBK who are viewed as legends? Where do you think he will rank in terms of the impact he’s had (based on his current achievements)?

I think he will get the respect when he retires and he’ll be one of the five biggest stars in the history of the company. The only guy that consistently main evented in WWE for longer was Bruno and that was a different era. Hulk Hogan main evented for nearly 15 years if you count his WCW run, but he was booking himself in that spot too. I think Cena’s had a fantastic career and he’s improved in his late 30s as well. He still has a few years left as a full timer too.

22. Marcus Bruner
I haven’t watched WWE since a month before Summer Slam. Give me a reason to start watching again.

I think the quality of the in-ring work is very high and there are so many talents in their late 20s and early 30s that are ready to break through. This could be the start of something big. Stories could be better, of course.

23. Ralph Racine
Should James Storm make the main roster?

Sure if they have the right story for him. Don’t force it. He’ll be good on NXT for six months to a year if that’s what it takes to get him there.

24. Jason Ward
How would you book the coming Royal Rumble and WrestleMania?

I would have Reigns and Ambrose tie to force the Shield triple threat at WM. I know people hate ties, but in this instance I would do it.

25. Daniel Mount
Thoughts on Tyler Breeze getting a program with Dolph Ziggler?

I like it and think they will have great matches. There are definitely some similarities with them since Breeze has a look that reminds people of a younger Ziggler. I’m just happy for Breeze getting to the main roster since he was in developmental for like five years.

26. Eric Deidesheimer
I don’t know if this question has already been asked but— given the rise of talented female wrestlers, do you think (if done correctly) the women’s division could benefit from a secondary title? I feel like there are women like Lynch, and Fox that could benefit from a simple storyline. Creative likes to give the girls 3 minute matches so even if that’s all they get they could still stay somewhat relevant.

They had it before and it didn’t work because of time. I don’t see that changing. If they did add more women’s titles then it would be tag titles, but again I don’t think there’s enough time to accommodate them in terms of giving them proper storylines as well as time for the matches. I think WWE has the right amount of titles right now.

27. Michael Heinz
Could Summerslam work as a second annual outdoor event? When it was announced it was coming to New York, there were rumors of Red Bull Arena being used before Barclays was decided on. It got me thinking about colder-area venues that wouldn’t normally be used in March. I also just wanna see Cena do a leg drop off the Green Monster at Fenway.

I think it could work and doing SummerSlam outdoor in front of more fans would probably lead to a bigger gate too. I guess it’s just a case of WWE wanting to have WrestleMania stand out by making it the only major outdoor show. SummerSlam going to four hours this year was a nice improvement for the show, but I don’t know that they have plans to do more. As for the Cena thing, at least that sounds better than a Springboard Stunner!

28. John D. Finn
What are your thoughts on Grantland being “suspended” by ESPN? As it is home to articulate and intelligent journalism, especially as it pertains to wrestling–cheap heat is the best podcast on the planet–this is a devastating loss for sports journalism.

I think it sucks, but I’m sure those writers will be fine. Most people don’t understand what I went through in terms of losing TJRWrestling.com and three years worth of work as well as thousands of dollars. We had no warning and people stopped returning calls or emails. It sucks, but if I sat there bitching about it then it wouldn’t do me any good. ESPN is big, but it has its problems just like any company.

Have you listened to brand new TJRWrestling Podcast yet? We are on our way to something great. Of course I am a little biased.

29. Ryan Petrynka
How would you book Bray Wyatt as a scary heel again? It’s hard to give him a believable chance of winning feuds after losing to Cena and Reigns. I also think a new finisher is needed. Sister Abigail is similar to Cody’s Cross Rhodes and it doesn’t look very painful. What about a powerbomb into a pin with Wyatt kissing his opponent’s forehead as the ref counts the 3?

I think his current booking direction is getting him on the right path. He can be that cheap heel that hides behind the three bigger guys and people can hate him for that. As for the finisher, too many guys already have Powerbomb variations. I don’t mind his current finisher.

30. Tommy Dinardi
If Daniel Bryan makes it back to in-ring action, where do you see the WWE positioning him for the rest of his career?

I think he would be an upper midcarder that teases getting the WWE Title again, but comes up short. Maybe holds a secondary title again. Not sure how much confidence WWE would have in him if he comes back though.

31. Andrew Jarman
Why does WWE never come to Toronto for PPVs anymore?

It’s been nine years. Almost never get a Raw or Smackdown anymore. They hate the Canadian market likely due to the loud crowds, but there are some American cities like that too. I don’t really understand it. Pisses me off, to be honest.

32. Greg Holman
What’s the best match you saw live and loved but lost something when watched again on TV due to camera angles, sound etc.

Cole vs. Lawler at WM27. Just kidding! That was shit live and on television. I’m not sure about this one. I think back to a Raw in 2004 that was the night after SummerSlam. The main event was Randy Orton vs. Chris Benoit. I thought it was amazing live because we were right by the ring. Then I watched it again and it was pretty average. I think just the thrill of being that close to it was pretty awesome, but it wasn’t as good when I watched it again. That night was famous for the “thumbs down” angle that led to Evolution dumping Randy Orton literally.

33. Лоня Глин Крист
In my opinion, Daniel Bryan’s character has grown stale. I doubt it will happen, but do you think a heel turn and a haircut might be the right way to bring him back?

I doubt it. He’s too good of a babyface with his comebacks and the relationship with the crowd is something you want to keep strong. Plus, he’s got the sympathy factor due to the injuries and being a smaller guy. Should be face rest of his career.

34. Emory Cantstopmyswagg White III
If you were to book John Cena Heel Turn How would you book it. And would it be as big as Hollywood Hogan?

I would book it at a major show like a WrestleMania, Royal Rumble or SummerSlam. Maybe the Raw after WM. Build up a friendship with a top face, have that guy win the WWE Title and then Cena turns out of jealousy. I doubt it would be as good as Hogan’s turn because the timing of that was perfect and a difference maker for WCW.

35. Johnny Davis
Why do you think Tough Enough has been such a failure in creating stars? There really hasn’t been anyone who succeeded due to that show outside of the miz but he has already known before. And Ryback was more known due to Nexus.

I think John Morrison did pretty well too. Part of the reason that the show is hurt is because of the lack of stars that will draw in the casual viewer. They may not have a reason to tune in. Plus, the format sucked. I think the reality competition genre isn’t as strong as it was 10-15 years ago too. Nothing is ever that fresh anymore.

36. Tyler Mills
You are in charge of booking Hulk Hogan vs Stone Cold at WM 18 we will say. Who would you have chosen to win? I’d say Hogan misses the leg drop and gets a stunner. You?

Austin. He was still in his 30s and at that time figured he had years left while Hogan was pretty old. Plus, the idea to turn Hogan face after the loss (like he did with Rock) was smart, so that’s why I’d have Austin win. That sounds like a good finish to me. Even two Stunners to put him away would be good.

37. Christopher Saheed Houston
I would love to see Kurt Angle coming back to WWE ……from a business perspective. ….do you see this as something WWE might consider?

They could have had him this year, but didn’t due to contract reasons. They wanted him full time and he’s in his mid-40s so he said no. I think he was smart to say no and they were dumb to ask him to work full time. Should have agreed to PPVs and Raw. That’s enough. I think they are smarter about it now and might do it. Hope so.

38. Brett Beatty
Do you have a Current frontrunner to win the Royal Rumble, and if so, who?

I think the three most likely winners are Roman Reigns, Brock Lesnar and John Cena. Outside shot Dean Ambrose. I don’t see it being a surprise winner especially with only one WWE World Title. Rarely is a surprise.

39. Alex Jackson
Would you bring taker back full time for 6 months and put him and kane as a tag team feuding with a few of the younger stars having kane do most of the work so he can teach the younger newer stars a few things.

No. He’s too old to work full time. I think having him work SummerSlam, HIAC and Survivor Series is pretty good because that’s three out of four PPVs. Nobody really expected that from him, so that’s cool with me.

40. Josh Richey
Do you think Dean Ambrose has fizzled out? He seems to have lost some momentum. Do you think he starts to emerge more near the end of the year as a possible front runner for a push?

He’s probably turning heel at Survivor Series and I think he’ll be better in that role than he was as a face. He has a very bright future.

41. Larry Yadao
In YOUR opinion, do you think Roman will end up being the next Cena? Or just a drawn out “Lex Express?”

I think he’ll be successful and that most of the critics overlook the fact that he has had several great singles PPV matches this year. He could have benefitted from a singles heel run before the face push, but I don’t see him turning heel soon.

42. Andre Jones
Three questions: Do you think there should be a secondary title in NXT? Do you think Divas Tag Team belts would work? How would you feel about a one-shot women’s Royal Rumble as part of the “Divas Revolution” angle?

Yes for secondary title in NXT. No for tag belts for divas because I don’t think there’s enough time to really put over those titles properly. I think a women’s Royal Rumble style match would be awesome. They can probably get 15-20 women counting NXT.

43. Oscar Deejay O Valencia
Do you think the NXT talent that has made it to the WWE main roster have been getting a fair shot so far, or are they just being misused and better off back on NXT?

It’s tough to have them at the same level on the main roster right away. Kevin Owens has done really well. A lot of others have not. It takes time to develop performers and I think fans should be patient. The problem with wrestling fans is they think if somebody loses a match they are “buried” even though WWE may have a plan for three months down the line for that performer.

44. Ralph Racine
With Sasha Banks the most over diva why they dropping the ball with team bad, even though I like what they did on Smackdown this week?

I’m with ya regarding Sasha. Love her. I just think it’s like what I’ve been saying for a while in that they just don’t have time to devote to all the girls and some are going to be on the sidelines. So with Banks, she’s not being used as much, which sucks. Agree about the Smackdown angle because it looks like Banks will feud with Natalya, which is a rivalry that I will love.

45. Aneil Komal
Which match in history do you think should have had its outcome changed? (Ex. Undertaker streak broken, Booker T at WM 19, The Montreal screw job.)

I think the WrestleMania 17 main event with Austin turning heel. While I thought he was great as a heel, in hindsight it was the wrong time for it and he admitted he kinda wished they changed things on the fly. They could have had him turn later that year if they really planned it out well, which they kinda did at the Invasion show.

46. Robyn Goding
Less of a question and more of an observation, but do you think that the divas need a male counterpart to be really successful? look at a lot of the breakout divas and they were all attached to a male or in a storyline with one before they grew in popularity. AJ with bryan and punk, lita with the hardy’s and then edge, stratus with christian.

Good point. Women like AJ Lee and Lita reached their greatest level of success when they were in main event level stories with guys. It certainly helps a lot because they get more TV time. I don’t think AJ was that good of a performer based on her in-ring performance. I think she benefited from being around the likes of Bryan and Punk.

47. Richard Bowling
I can’t remember a single time a wrestler has been injured and been so outspoken about how he’s medically cleared as the case with Daniel Bryan…I know the wwe hasn’t cleared him so they say…but again…..I can’t remember a time when even after a wrestler still says he’s clear to so many outlets and interviewers…so my question is….do you think the wwe really hasn’t cleared him?…or…do you think what I do…which is ATP its a work…and they are just waiting for the right time to bring him back…like the rumble?thats what I believe and I would like to hear your thoughts on it.

I think it’s not a work and that they are legitimately worried about the guy’s health, which is why they have been reluctant to clear him. I also believe him when he says a doctor has cleared him. It’s just that WWE is really worried about concussions due to numerous lawsuits by former wrestlers.

48. Lee Congerton
Likliehood of Owens vs Joe at mania for the IC title? Finish what they started.

I would rather have Sami Zayn return at the Royal Rumble, eliminate Owens in that match and set up a WM match between them with Zayn winning the IC Title. Would love that. As I have said elsewhere, save Joe until after WrestleMania.

49. Dimitri Kay
Who will be WWE’s newest Hollywood star?

Probably John Cena. He’s likable, well spoken, funny at times and not that bad of an actor if the role is decent. Once he gets into his early 40s he’ll act more and wrestle less. I think Ambrose and Wyatt could be great actors, but they probably want to focus on wrestling.

50. Eric Jacinto
Who should Bryan face if he comes back by Mania at #ManiaDallas?

He would probably be in some multi-person match. I would like to see him against heel Ambrose if they don’t have Ambrose against Reigns/Rollins.

51. Octavio Fierros
What was your favorite babyface turn?

Randy Savage at WrestleMania 7. I was ten years old and ecstatic that my favorite wrestler was a face again even though I was sad that his career was over. At least that was a work lol.

52. King Leanin
Ya think there will be a WrestleMania in Brooklyn within the next few years (maybe WM35)?

I’m not sure. I think Minnesota will get WM33 and Philly or Boston for WM34, so I doubt for Brooklyn WM35. If LA gets a new NFL team and a new stadium they’ll probably get one as soon as it’s ready too.

53. James Tascar Mayhew
Is there a reason WWE doesn’t create PPV sets anymore?

They are being cheap! I don’t think it’s anything more significant than that. They could probably do it, but they likely think it won’t make a significant difference anyway. I like when they have elaborate sets.

54. Ryan Mullins
Do you think Bubba Ray Dudley will ever get a singles run in WWE?? Bully Ray was arguably the best heel in the business during his TNA title run.

I agree about his heel run in TNA because it was outstanding. However, I don’t think being a big fish in a small pond really matters to WWE and I doubt they will push him as a singles wrestler. He also seems content working with Devon. I doubt anything changes for the next 2-3 years or however long they compete for before they retire.

55. Erin Somers
Why is Rick Rude not given the respect he rightfully deserves?? In the early 90’s he was one of the greatest wrestlers on the planet..his wcw run was great..he should be in the hof.

I think he was damn good, but his career in WCW/WWE really didn’t last for that long since he was done in the mid-1990s. With that said, he deserves the WWE HOF spot more than a lot of guys already in.

56. Chris Spears
Would you think the Hart Foundation as whole would be inducted in the HOF? The ’97 crew.

I’d love to see it because I love the group and as a Canadian they were so amazing to us especially. What hurts the group is they weren’t together for that long (it was really about eight months) so their impact wasn’t as big as it could have been.

That’s all for this week. Over 5,000 words this time. I’ll try to do one per week. If you have a question for the next one, put in the comments below or follow me on Twitter @johnreport or add me on Facebook (search “John Canton”) and I’ll be happy to answer to the best of my ability.

I’ll be back on Tuesday for the Raw Deal.