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TJR Q&A #70: The Return of CM Punk Questions, Steve Austin, WWE on Fox and More!

This is one of the busiest weeks in wrestling history and it’s also a damn good time for some Q&A here on TJRWrestling. The questions come from my Facebook page as usual. Let’s get to it.

1. Troy Wells
Do you think WWE will try to sign CM Punk?

I think it will happen now. Since he’s probably getting the Fox gig for WWE Backstage, it will likely lead to discussions taking place to have some more matches. Why not? He can make millions and wrestle a few times per year. WWE has more money than ever and they know his return would help attendance/ratings since he has been gone five years and is a polarizing figure.

The key thing that Punk said at the Starrcast interview in August was that he “wouldn’t not listen” to Vince or Triple H if they gave him a call. That means he would be willing to talk to them, so that tells me he’s more open to the idea today than at any point in the last five years.

If he doesn’t want to do it, that’s his call and he can continue doing other stuff. I think he should do it, but it’s up to him obviously.

2. Joe Harris
How much control do you think Fox will have over Smackdown?

There’s no way of really knowing. I’m not backstage and neither is the average fan. Even if there are reports saying Fox wants more sports, less comedy or whatever, there’s still going to be some elements because WWE is what it is – a mix of sports and entertainment. I think WWE is going to be more motivated than ever to put on a good show because of how much money Fox is paying them and the better viewership numbers are, the more money they can make in ads in the future.

3. Nathan Davies
Do you think that Raw and Smackdown will have General Managers after the Draft? Do you think they need them?

I think they should. I think Paige should be one of them since she’s well liked and good in the role. They may opt to go with Heyman on Raw and Bischoff on Smackdown to make it more realistic since they have those jobs as Executive Directors behind the scenes.

I think for the draft they need GMs, but they don’t need to use the GMs on every show every week. Do it like NXT does with William Regal where he’s on once in a while, but he doesn’t dominate the show.

4. Erin Somers
Any chance AEW gets higher ratings this week than both Raw & NXT from people watching the debut to see what they are all about??

I think AEW could beat NXT because of the curiosity factor and NXT is WWE’s third brand. I don’t see AEW beating Raw or Smackdown.

5. Anthony Fees
Do you think the Daniel Bryan angle is a swerve and he will turn heel on reigns and be revealed as the mastermind behind that terrible angle?

I thought so even though I love Bryan as a heel. I’m not 100% for sure. There aren’t enough strong babyfaces in WWE right now, so maybe they want Bryan as a face, the crowd can support him with the “yes” chants and he can work with different people.

I would say he’s a face now and there’s no swerve, but IF there was a swerve I would love it lol. Hope that answers it.

6. Cory Andrew Bacon
With Mercedes Martinez appearing at All Out, do you think she will end up joining AEW full time? If so, what role do you see her playing in their women’s division?

I think AEW has something like 70 people signed or close to that, so I don’t know how they can use everybody. They are gonna have a lot of pissed off and bored wrestlers within a few weeks since they don’t have house shows either.

Martinez is good and has a lot of experience, but I don’t know if she will sign because they have a lot of women already.

7. Daniel Mount
What would the biggest obstacle to a Punk comeback be? Vince? HHH? Fans? Other wrestlers?

I think he could iron out the issues with Triple H. I don’t think he had an issue with Vince and Punk spoke highly of him and how they would text at 3am because they barely slept. It’s been five years. Time heals all wounds. It also helps that WWE has more money than ever, so if Punk was willing to wrestle part-time and they want to offer him a few million to do it (plus sell a lot of merch) then it’s something to consider on both sides.

Fans would probably like it. The ones that were mad were likely mad because he left, so if he comes back, what’s there to be mad about? Fans will be fine.

I think Punk might wrestle next year. A week ago, I don’t think I would have said that.

8. James Bright
What do you think of WWE pulling their UK guys from that Indy show?

It’s shitty for the fans there because guys were advertised, but I saw AEW is sending talent there, so that’s cool. The wrestling business is cutthroat a lot of time and WWE has the right to pull people to prevent them from getting hurt on other shows.

9. Kent Dwyer
Who do you think will benefit most from the brand split this time?

Jinder Mahal! Kidding. He’s out with a knee injury for now. I would love to see guys like Ricochet, Aleister Black and Chad Gable get pushes with the draft. There are so many people. It’s hard to guess. We have to see where the talent ends up and then try to figure it out from there.

10. Aaron Nowak
With NXT becoming a more prominent third brand do you think “call ups” will be more strategic? Aka smaller anti-Vince type guys like Gargano be lifers in Nxt?

I think guys like Gargano and Ciampa can be lifers in NXT and there’s nothing wrong with that. I think a guy like Velveteen Dream would do even better on Raw or SD, so some people should be moved for sure.

11. Rahul Nath
You’ve mentioned Randy Savage was your favourite. Why was that specifically? I ask this because Bret is my favourite wrestler ever and it wasn’t just his in ring craft but the fact that each time Bret won against the odds it gave me hope in my life. So what’s your story Sir Canton?

Randy Savage was my first favorite it was around 1986 or 1987 when he was the IC Champion. I thought he had a great look, the robes looked cool, his voice was funny (for me as a kid) and he had a top rope elbow finisher that was so much fun especially because I do it when I jumped on a family member at home.

I wasn’t anti-Hogan at all as a kid. I just liked Savage more. Jimmy Snuka was my second favorite because of the top rope Superfly Splash.

That’s cool that Bret inspired you like that. He was that kind of face that fans loved.

12. John Adams
If and when Brock Lesnar wins the WWE Championship from Kofi Kingston does he become a regular wrestler on Smackdown or only wrestling on the major ppvs?

I think he might have some matches on Fox. WWE will probably have to pay him more, but they also have more money than ever thanks to the Fox money (over $200 mi per year) so they can afford it.

I think the Fox show is more important than PPVs in some ways. The business model has changed a bit.

13. Roderick Walker
If you could pick 3 non 4HW (or Alexa or Ronda) women to become a first time or second champion who would you choose?

Ember Moon for sure. Huge fan of hers. I’d love to see Kairi Sane get a decent singles push with a title, but it’s probably not happening any time soon. Candice LeRae would be another choice.

14. Jeremy P Cottreau
Yokozuna… underrated or overrated? Why?

He was okay overall and he was fine as a mid-1990s heel. Did I love his matches? Not really, but I loved the way he was booked. He started in late 1992, they had him win the Royal Rumble in 1993 and instantly they had a main event level star. They don’t book “new” wrestlers that strongly anymore. He fit a role at the time and he did as good a job as he could. For a guy that weighed 500 pounds or whatever it was, he was a good athlete.

I would say he’s rated fairly and deserving to be in the WWE Hall of Fame based on what he accomplished in his career.

15. Kenny Brophy
When would you have someone get an upper hand on The Fiend when he attacks them & who would you have be the first to defeat him?

Braun Strowman. I wouldn’t do it any time soon, but they are legit best friends (Braun is Godfather to his son) that traveled together for a few years, so I’m sure they would love having a long term feud together. It would be a cool story too since there’s the Wyatt Family link too.

16. Trenton Gad
Do you think with the falling attendance levels and since they are getting so much from the TV deals, WWE should look into cutting their ticket prices? While not exorbitant, my belief has always been I’d rather have a full building paying less per ticket than a building where you tarp off half or more paying more. Might just be me, though.

I think they should cut ticket prices a bit for sure. I don’t know why they need to charge so much and with the TV money, they are going to make so much anyway. I hope they do cut prices a bit.

17. Daniel Lerma
How would you book the finish of HIAC between Fiend and Rollins? Do you have Wyatt winning easily, or someone interferes and causes a no contest (like Lesnar last year)?

I think Wyatt should win the title, but I don’t know what they are going to do. It’s a match where I’m more intrigued by the match result and the booking as opposed to thinking it’s going to be a great match. The intrigue is “what are they gonna do?” because I have no idea what’s going to happen and that’s a good thing!

Sorry if that answer sucked. Just being honest that I have no idea what they are going to do and I love that I don’t know.

18. Tyler Mills
With WWE doing the champion vs champion concept at Survivor Series the past few years, do you think we will see The Fiend vs Brock Lesnar, Universal Champion vs WWE Champion this year?

It might happen. I would completely abandon that format for Survivor Series. It’s not that interesting. They need to try some other shit to make the PPV more interesting.

19. Brian Coats
Who are three people you would move to NXT to freshen them up a bit?

EC3 because he’s doing nothing, Ember Moon just for a few months since they aren’t using her that much and Cesaro to have him feud with Velveteen Dream to get Dream ready for the main roster. I wouldn’t send Aleister Black. Just use him better. There are so many choices.

20. Van Wilhoite
If Steve Austin does have one more match in him who would be your top three opponents for him?

It’s a big “if” that’s for sure. There are so many options, but I’ll settle on CM Punk, John Cena or AJ Styles as my annswers.

21. John Jent
Do you ever listen to Jim Cornette’s Podcast? And if you do, what are you’re thoughts on it? I just started listening and it’s some of the funniest stuff I’ve heard and some great old school wrestling stories.

I listen to clips of Cornette on Youtube once in a while. He’s very animated and nthusiastic. I agree that it’s funny as well. I think he needs to be more open-minded about wrestling evolving, but I still enjoy his stuff. The way we learn as fans is to listen to those that have been in the business, so that’s why it’s worthwhile to listen to him as well.

22. Dimitri Dimopoulos
With Austin saying he’d be open to one more match and now with the talk of Punk talking with WWE (through Fox), do you think they would return to face one another… That would definitely be a match worth of Austin’s return.

Yes, I think Austin and Punk would do that. The promos would be amazing and they would make a lot of money. I think Austin would trust him to be safe too. That would be so much fun.

23. Justin Irok
Your guess on JoMo’s role once he returns?

John Morrison will likely be a a babyface veteran that can have good matches with heels. Similar to what Miz is doing, I guess. A midcard or upper midcard guy that may win the IC/US Titles, but probably not the major titles.

24. Geoff Landtbom
Reading Vince Russo ‘s memoir Forgiven. Do you think that the criticism and contempt towards him is justified? To me he comes across as a buffoon at times but I’m not going to deny him his positive contributions either. I don’t think that would be fair to him.

I think WWE and Vinny Mac needed Russo to push the envelope in 1997 when he joined creative and without Vinny Ru, I don’t know if the Attitude Era is as successful as it was. After that, I think Russo’s ego got big, then he wasn’t as good in WCW and he was booking some good stuff in TNA, but also silliness too.

With all of that said, I’ve listened to Steve Austin podcasts where he praised Russo a lot and he had Russo as a guest before. There’s clearly respect there. If somebody of Austin’s stature feels that way then I have some respect for Russo too.

25. Daniel Lerma
Do you see Dominik Dijakovic becoming a big heel in future years?

I think he’s very talented in the ring, but they need to work on his promos and try to figure out a character for him. The fact that he’s as athletic he is as 6’6″ and 270 pounds is a big plus. I remember his ROH days and he improved a lot in WWE.

I hope he becomes a big heel in WWE in the future. They need guys like him.

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That’s all for now. Thanks to everybody that participated and to you for reading. Check out our Q&A archives here as well.