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TJR Q&A #72: Chris Jericho’s Longevity in Wrestling, Favorite Heels, WCW Memories, More

Here’s a brand new edition of the TJR Q&A covering a lot of wrestling past and present. This was actually done on Wednesday morning before WWE fired a lot of people, so there aren’t questions abut the fired superstars. I can do another Q&A soon that can lead to questions about that. The questions come from the Facebook page right here. Let’s roll.

1. Daniel Mount
What would you do if you got put in charge of ROH to gain back the momentum they lost when The Elite left?

I don’t see them ever really growing again. It’s hard. They are either third or fourth in the US now. When they were second, they were able to get bigger names like Young Bucks, Hardy Boyz, Cody and so on. Now it’s a lot harder. Keeping Marty is good and I like him a lot, but they had a bad year business wise last year and how are they really going to evolve more? The presence of AEW has hurt them significantly as an alternative to WWE. AEW went from launching in January 2019 to getting a TV deal in October 2019 and jumped over the competition like ROH and Impact to become the clear #2 in the US. You need stars or people that are perceived as stars to the fans. Guys like Darby Allin and MJF are two young guys under 25 who, a few years ago, would have been in ROH, but now they get much better deals in AEW. It’s hard to get the best wrestlers when AEW and WWE are scooping them up.

I wish ROH the best, but it’s hard to see them getting bigger from where they are right now.

2. Brigid Martinez
Do you think it’s right that WWE continuing tapings even though literally NO ONE else is?

There’s no right or wrong way here. Whatever they do, people will complain. There are going to be people that say “oh Vince is evil” because he’s making his talent work while there’s a health crisis in the world, but they aren’t his shoes. It’s easy to criticize, but we’re not the ones running a billion-dollar company with thousands of people that work for you. Now that they are running shows, other fans will say “Vince is so evil” because he’s making wrestlers work because he feels like it is the best situation for his company.

From my perspective, writing about current shows is a positive thing for me because at least we still get a solid amount of page views. If I write about Monday’s Raw it’s going to get 2 or 3 times more views than if I write a review of a WWE PPV from 15 years ago. Views on our content are a bit less than normal and definitely the show review views are down because I think the average fan has less interest in these shows without fans.

With all of that said, I would have been fine if WWE shut down for a month or six weeks and aired tape content because I think that’s better for the wrestlers and employees even though WWE is taking all the precautions possible. I’m also not going to get in a rage if WWE continues taping.

I know a lot of people that are happy WWE is continuing because if you turn on the news for ten minutes you might cry because of how f’n depressing it is. WWE has always been escapism for a lot of us and that’s a good thing that people need in their lives just like when we watch movies or Netflix or my mom that’s a senior citizen that still gets to watch her soap operas.

3. Michael Long
Who do you think Chris Jericho’s last ever match will be for and would you like it to be for?

It’s hard to know. Ric Flair’s last match in WWE was at age 58 and then he kept going into his 60s. Jericho is 50 in November (10 years older than me) and he can probably keep going for a few more years. He just won Wrestling Observer’s Wrestler of the Year at 49, which is amazing. Got my vote. Jericho’s had incredible durability and he’s so smart that he can go another ten years if he wants to try to wrestle at 60. I’ll say he keeps going into his 50s and likely keeps working at AEW during that time.

This Jericho entrance at AEW Revolution was amazing. His ability to reinvent is why he can keep going as long as he wants.

4. Nicholas Pruner
What are your 3 worst wrestling Pay-Per-Views that you’ve ever seen?

Heroes of Wrestling, December to Dismember 2006 and there are so many from WCW that it’s hard to remember. I think it was Souled Out 1997 that was really bad. Another bad WWE show was King of the Ring 1999. I have reviewed the December to Dismember 2006 show right here.

5. Zenny Jack
Would you have given Cody Rhodes a run with the WWE title or World Heavyweight championship back in the early 2010’s?

I feel like he was close to that level. I believe I picked him to win Money in the Bank in 2011 or 2012 whenever it was. That feud he did with Damien Sandow in 2013 could have been so much better and elevated both guys, but instead they were both hurt by it. I think once that happened, it seemed obvious that WWE wasn’t going to push him a lot, then it led to Stardust and it went nowhere.

I think Cody’s WWE run could have been a lot better. With that said, Cody is a lot like his father Dusty, who was a great mind that was also a booker and promoter, so Cody likely wanted to get out of there to do his own thing whether he realized it or not.

Things have worked out well for Cody with the launch of AEW, so I’m genuinely happy for the guy.

6. Joseph J. Dawson
What’s your favorite Heel run of all time?

Favorite heel runs is tough because there are a lot that I liked. This is going to be a long answer.

– Bret Hart and the Hart Foundation in 1997 was incredible. As a Canadian, it resonated well with me because we always want to try to prove we can better than big, bad US since we are 10x smaller.

– I think Ric Flair was the best heel ever. I didn’t grow up on NWA like some people, but I knew all about him. That WWF heel run from late 1991 into 1993 was tremendous. I think that late 1980s period for him was the best of his career.

– Vince McMahon as the Mr. McMahon character from 1998 through most of the next decade. Tremendous performer. Even his matches were fun.

– Triple H in 2000 until his leg injury in 2001 was amazing. I reviewed half of WWE in 2000 last year and I’m picking it up again in July this year. It was fun to watch his run there because the match quality was amazing.

– I’m not a big Hulk Hogan fan, but there’s no denying how great and important the heel turn at Bash at the Beach 1996 was leading to the NWO forming. That was awesome.

– Kurt Angle in 2005 with that Shawn Michaels feud and with others. Any Kurt heel days, really. He’s one of my favorites.

– Shawn Michaels in that 1993-1994 period until after WM in 1995 when he went face. Heartbreak Kid persona Michaels was a tremendous cocky heel wrestler.

– Edge was a fantastic heel from the time he joined up with Lita in 2005 and through most of the rest of his run after that. Proud of him as a local guy to me.

– Chris Jericho in 2008 had one of the best years in WWE history. He was very good as a top heel for two more years after that too. I think his promos were top notch, plus the rivalry with Shawn Michaels and really elevating his all around game.

– CM Punk in 2009 during that feud with Jeff Hardy and then in the next year or two after. So great.

– Roddy Piper in the late 1980s was tremendous. One of the best talkers ever.

– Some more recent ones would be AJ Styles in 2016, Daniel Bryan last year, Kevin Owens and Seth Rollins in that 2014-15 period.

If I have to pick one as my favorite then it’s Bret Hart and Hart Foundation group in 1997. I’m Canadian, so that story was amazing to me.

7. Alan Spindlow
Besides anything NWO related, what would be your favourite WCW moment between 1997 and 1999?

I loved Rey Mysterio, so a lot of his matches come to mind and that whole group of great cruisers like Juvi, Psychosis, Jericho, Eddie, Malenko and so on. Rey was a different maker because he was doing shit that nobody else could do and he was only like 23 or 24 at the time.

The tag team division was pretty deep, so it was fun to watch those teams. They didn’t have great matches all the time, but they seemed invested in them.

Booker T’s run as a singles guy was fun. I really wanted him to break out as a singles guy in like 1998 or 1999 and he did fine in the midcard, but that main event run came in summer 2000 which was probably too late.

Scott Steiner becoming a great promo guy because he was a crazy guy that would say anything was a lot of fun. I laughed so much at his promos.

I was really impressed by DDP’s rise at a time when he was in his late 30s or early 40s and he had a strong connection with the crowd. That feud with Macho Man was so great.

The initial rise of Goldberg was so cool. My dad loved him because he looked like a badass and when Goldberg beat Hogan for the WCW Title it was hilarious to see how excited my dad was because he was so sick of Hogan.

I remember that period well and that’s not even listing the NWO stuff.

8. Rob Coffey
Do you think Vince and company care at all who their champions are right now? With covid-19 it seems like they just want faces to prevail and to keep producing new episodes and will figure the rest out later. I know Strowman over Goldberg was more about Bills contract and decisions but it just seems like whatever belts change hands are irrelevant at the moment.

I don’t think it matters that much right now and it’s smart to have more babyface champions. You can’t base your decisions on who the fans are responding to, so it’s just a case of doing what WWE wants more than anything right now.

I think they will push Drew for sure. Vince and Paul Heyman love him. He has worked hard, developed as a wrestler, talker and overall performer, so for sure he has to be in the spotlight. They need him too.

9. Ron Ditzler
What moment that you saw live made you say “holy $hit!”?

I was at Raw in August 2004 right here in London, Ontario the night after SummerSlam 2004. First and only time we had Raw here. I’ve been to shows here, plus driven to Detroit, Toronto and other places many times, but it was cool to be at a Raw that was 10 minutes from home.

Anyway, that’s the night that Evolution attacked Orton and kicked him out of the group. Did not see that coming. It drew a huge reaction from the fans and I’ll never forget it. Last year Triple H and Batista at WM and they showed a clip of that moment too. It’s just funny thinking back and being a part of something cool like that.

Another one would be Undertaker losing to Brock Lesnar at WM30, which I was at in 2014. I did not expect that to happen. I just wanted to pick something that was not at a WrestleMania type show.

10. Alpi Bhalla
Greatest Canadian wrestler ever – Chris Jericho?

I think you could say that for sure. He has more years than Bret Hart or Edge or anybody else that can be considered and Jericho’s been at a high level for a long time. Bret is probably more important in terms of history and growing the fanbase here, but Jericho is probably the best now. I have a hard time giving a decisive answer because it’s so hard to say.

11. John Entwistle
If Undertaker retires this SS and goes into HOF next year, who should his last match be against?

Some heel like AJ Styles or Seth Rollins that can bump and sell for him and make him look great.

I think Undertaker will retire at WrestleMania. I know he started at Survivor Series, but let’s not pretend like Survivor Series is a big deal anymore. The last match should be at WM whether it’s 2021 or 2022 or whenever.

12. Nate Kuhl
Do you think The New Day act still has legs or are we getting close to the right time to break up the group? Possibly with Big E getting a big singles push.

All three guys have done interviews for years saying they never want to break up and considering they have a successful podcast and Xavier’s Youtube channel, it would be weird if they broke up while doing those ventures. Vince loves the act as far as I know, they can be used as a veteran team in the tag team division and if you want to push one of them then you can.

I would love to see them never split up, but it’s wrestling, so who knows.

13. Ron Venturino
Do you think without obvious actions, the heel/face is confusing without live fan reactions?

Absolutely it is. I think tag team matches are easier to work because you still do the formula we have seen for decades with the heels working over one face and set up the hot tag leading to the finish. I think for a traditional match it’s harder which is why WWE has done some heel vs. heel of late because it doesn’t matter.

14. Teddy Rannila

Wouldn’t a the Revival vs. the Briscoes feud be more compelling to watch than the Revival vs. any team on the AEW roster?

I think the former Revival will get paid significantly more in AEW than ROH right now and the audience for AEW is much greater too. Plus, AEW is using tag teams well. My guess is Wilder/Dawson under their new names of Wheeler/Harwood are going to be in AEW with a deal that allows them to wrestle for NJPW the way Jericho and Moxley are able to do that too.

15. Josh Warner
Who do you see as the next breakout star in WWE? I say Aleister Black.

I think some guys that are not on Raw/Smackdown that I would pick are definitely Keith Lee, Velveteen Dream (he’s 24 I think), Matt Riddle is money, Pete Dunne is fantastic although he doesn’t have a big personality and Angel Garza continues to impress on Raw. Aleister Black could break out. I used to think Ricochet, but it’s probably not going to happen. Perhaps Big E will be a big deal if he ever gets a singles push.

With the women, Bianca Belair is going to be huge and I’m glad she’s on Raw now. I like her a lot. Rhea Ripley as well since she’s still under 25 years old.

16. Geoff Landtbom
In your opinion do you feel that Randy Orton is one of the best of all time? If you look back over almost 20 years he really hasn’t had a signature, standout match, the match where people go yep, that was great and it made him (well you could argue the match with Foley 16 years ago). But I don’t know, despite great consistency and many world titles it would seem that he’s not on the level of a Ric Flair or even a Triple H.

I think he’s been very good and when his peers say he’s one of the best ever then that’s a valid opinion from people that know. I just think if I had to bring in match quality then he’s a guy with so many matches that I have rated at that 3 out of 5 star level where he might hit 4 stars once in a while, but not that often. Not at the level of the best of the best like a Michaels or Angle. The problem is when he was a face you could tell he was miserable and during some heel feuds he hated it as well. There has been a lot of inconsistency with him.

I would rank him under Flair and Hunter for sure.

I think his best feuds were with guys like Mick Foley, Christian in 2011, John Cena the first time they feuded and this recent Edge feud that was hurt by no fans at WM.

As a natural athlete and wrestler, there’s a lot to like about Randy, but I think there were periods of his life and career in the last 18 years where he was complacent. That’s what separates the Michaels and Angle types as the best of all time types and then guys that are a level below.

17. Lonnie Nawrot
What would you do to bring the Intercontinental Title back to one of the big two? Right now, the 24/7 title gets more exposure.

It’s always the same answer to build up titles. Make us care. Put on better matches, make them longer, have multiple wrestlers go after the title. We need more promos from wrestling saying “I want the Intercontinental Title because I know how important it is in WWE history” and make us believe that the wrestlers care about winning those titles. That’s pro wrestling, right? No matter what it is, make us care whether it’s a title or a feud or whatever.

Give us a rivalry that is great, build up a match that the fans want to see and try to deliver a classic. The problem is that guys contending for the IC Title or other titles don’t get to do promos saying how they have dreamed about holding that title because their idols held it. It’s just a title that exists, but it hardly feels like a big deal and that’s a mistake by creative.

18. Jacob Cordell
Who would be your choice in the men’s Money in the Bank match?

There are a lot of good choices, but I would go with Aleister Black. That doesn’t mean he has to cash in cheap style on Drew or Braun. It can be later. It can be the babyface thing of challenging a champion to a match and then beating them. I think Black is money and they need to push him.

19. Michael Uong
How do you see Edge being used going forward? I’d want him to be a special attraction, elevating young stars into main event status. I don’t want him to wrestle too often.

I think he’ll wrestle 3-4 times per year, probably the next time at SummerSlam. Maybe they do Edge vs. Randy again if there are fans because I think it would be smart to do that again in front of a crowd. There are so many guys he can work with and help raise their status. The Seth Rollins history is there from an angle many years ago, so there’s a lot he can do. I’m sure Edge will love to wrestle Roman Reigns and other top guys. Plus, a lot of young guys can benefit from wrestling him.

I don’t expect Edge to wrestle more than 3-5 times per year. That’s his contract anyway.

20. Mark Virutiao
Is this the year Sami Zayn will win heavyweight title like WWE Title or Universal Title?

Probably not. I think Vince sees him as a midcard guy and he’s likely not going to be more than that. I have been really impressed by Sami as a talker as a heel. He was such a great natural babyface, but he is thriving now.

21. Brian Rodriguez
Who was wrong during Montreal screwjob: Bret or Vince?

Both. They’re both very stubborn and should have handled it better. Vince should have trusted that Bret wasn’t going to go with WCW with the title and just had him drop it to somebody other than Shawn the next night on Raw. Bret should have been better at making it clear to Vince why he was against working with Shawn and doing that match. It could have been handled better. I wish Bret never had to leave.

I wrote a lot about it here in my Survivor Series 1997 review. Just go to the bottom for my thoughts on that part.

22. James Bright
Does Braun Strowman drop the strap to Bray Wyatt?

I hope not. People waited for Braun to get the title and now he’s finally got it. I see no reason to change it quickly. With that said, once in a while I don’t mind short title reigns, so maybe it will be a short run for Braun. It’s hard to predict.

23. Joe Harris
If public gatherings are allowed by summer, do you think they will do the Hall of Fame at SummerSlam?

I think so. That’s the rumor and likely the plan. If not there then maybe Survivor Series. Think of it like these wrestlers are Hall of Fam 2020…at some point. It can’t be at WrestleMania, but maybe another show.

24. Daniel Hill
Hi John. Do you think that’s Lesnar gone for the foreseeable future now or do you see a repeat of last year when he won MITB. I thought he was quite entertaining when he had it but can see why fans hate him. Lesnar is an attraction best kept for when the fans are back perhaps?

They will probably bring Lesnar back around SummerSlam. I think he’s a valuable asset and he put over McIntyre huge. It’s not his fault that Vince wants to pay him to work 20 days a year I would love that kind of work.

I thought Lesnar was very good in the last year when he put over Seth Rollins clean twice and the McIntyre feud where Drew had the upperhand all the way from Royal Rumble until Drew won at WrestleMania.

25. John Czech
What would be your next most anticipated guest on Broken Skull Sessions? I’d loved to see Shawn Michaels on there.

The Rock for sure. After him, Shawn Michaels or CM Punk would be an amazing choice. Austin has had a podcast for many years and has had a lot of great guests, so if you need some listening search the Austin podcast archives.

26. Giles Hart
Overall, how would you rate Ronda Rousey’s year from Wrestlemania 34-35? I’m on the side that likes her and enjoyed seeing her improve every match. I rewatched her matches a couple of weeks ago and still consider them as good as I did originally. Though she was a natural heel, I do believe the initial face run was required considering previous guest appearances and did it’s job well. What’s your thought on that also?

I liked her and thought she did a good job. I think some matches should have been shorter and some promos should have been shorter. They should have turned her heel sooner too. I thought she was much more natural as a heel. It’s an easy story to tell where she’s the outsider that comes in to dominate and then you build up a face like Becky to beat her.

A Lynch vs. Rousey singles match would be money. Just saying.

27. Luke Baxley
Hey John, what do you think about the possibility of Jeff Hardy having one more run with the championship before he hangs up the boots?

Sure. I’m all for it, but he has to get hot in terms of an angle or storyline. You can’t just do it. You need to book it smart. The teenage fan that loved Jeff in the early Attitude Era or the late 2000s is older now. It’s a different fanbase, so you have to figure out he still has that connection with the fans.

28. Tim Mathis
How much do you hate the “recorded matches” like Taker vs Styles or Cena vs Bray? I know you said you found them entertaining, but didn’t really see them as a “wrestling match”. Do you think these should be saved as vignettes and angles or should they have something like this at a PPV?

I’m fine with them although I’m a traditional fan that prefers the one on one story in the ring. If they do them 3-4 times a year that’s fine, but any more than that and I would get sick of it. I don’t like calling them matches, but I see them continuing in the future. The reason I don’t like to call them matches is it’s not really fair to compare a live performance in the ring to a heavily edited and produced “match” like Undertaker/Styles that apparently took eight hours to put together.

29. Richard Rue
Chances of a UK big WWE PPV in the next few years like one of the big 4?

It hasn’t happened in 28 years and SummerSlam 1992 was even a taped show (a lot of fans don’t know that, but it’s true), so it’s foolish to think WWE will do it. I don’t think WWE wants to go live from England due to the time difference because it would have to start 2pmET or 11amPT. The counter to that is they do major shows from Saudi Arabia even earlier in the day, so why not? A big reason is because the Saudi shows are big money makers. I would have done it (a UK big WWE PPV) many years ago, but it’s not up to me.

30. Jon Martin
Edge or Christian?

Two of my favorites ever and saw them on the indies here in Ontario in the mid-90s. Edge was better, but there were years where I liked Christian more because he wasn’t pushed as much. Edge had the better career for sure. I just liked Christian more during most of their careers. I think Edge is one of the best overall WWE superstars of the last 20 years while Christian is underrated at times, but I doubt his peers underrate him because the other wrestlers knew how great he was.

31. Andy Savieo
Who do you think is the most overrated “Legend?” As much as I can’t stand Hogan, his status is pretty much cemented. To me, it would have to be Warrior. I never got the appeal.

I agree with Warrior because he said a lot of despicable things about people in his life too. Warrior’s run at the top was pretty short, but he was popular at a time when a lot of us in our 30s were growing up, so that sticks with people. Warrior was the first favorite wrestler for a lot of fans. For me it was Macho Man while a lot of people would say Hulk Hogan, but some people loved Warrior. Warrior wasn’t a great in-ring performer or promo guy, but the gimmick absolutely worked.

32. Van Wilhoite
Who do you think will be the next to win either the RAW or SmackDown Women’s Title for the first time in their career IF for whatever reason it’s not Shayna?

I would say Shayna, but other than her it’s hard. I think Bianca Belair is going to be awesome on Raw and she might win the title this year.

Lacey Evans maybe. I thought she would get it earlier in this year. Most of the Smackdown women have held the title before. I doubt they push Dana Brooke or Tamina to win a title for the first time.

If I had to pick one then Shayna and after that I’d go with Evans.

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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.