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TJR Q&A #73: WWE Money in the Bank Winners, Favorite Gimmick Match, Rock vs. Michaels, More

Hey yo. It’s time for another brand new edition of the TJR Q&A covering a lot of wrestling topics from the past and present. The questions come from the Facebook page right here. Let’s roll.

1. Emiliano Z Quevedo Jr.
Who would you like to see win Money in the Bank for men and women?

I want Aleister Black to win for the guys. Apollo Crews would have been cool, but now he’s out. I’ll probably go with Black as my official pick.

For the women, I think Shayna Baszler is probably going to win even though I don’t love that idea. Maybe Mandy Rose (if she qualifies on Smackdown this week) would be a good choice even as a face wrestler. I can see her getting pushed over the next year. Lacey Evans is somebody that I think WWE wants to push (she even main evented a PPV last year), so she might win. I think Nia Jax and Asuka have a decent chance of winning too, but as former champions, maybe WWE wants to build up somebody new. I don’t see Dana Brooke having a shot. I want it to be Mandy Rose, but I think it will be Baszler.

2. Kris Doss
What does the future hold for Brock Lesnar? What’s the best spot for him at this point?

I think Lesnar is a valuable piece for WWE that can be used to put over other wrestlers in a big way the way he did for McIntyre at the Rumble, in that Raw segment and at WM. With that said, I think WWE has to stop putting the WWE or Universal Title on Lesnar every year because it becomes repetitive while also frustrating fans by having a part time champion. I don’t know if there’s a perfect way to use him, but I would like to see him involved in the big shows where he’s not in a title feud and where beating him is a big deal for the other wrestler.

With that said, if Lesnar walks into next year’s WM with WWE or Universal Title then it wouldn’t surprise me at all. It’s definitely not what I want to see.

3. David Dyer
Do you think it’s wrong that WWE was considered “essential”? It’s odd considering the position Linda McMahon has. And somehow wrestling is essential yet not any other sport.

It’s sketchy, but that’s politics and frankly based on the business I am in as a writer about pro wrestling, I’m glad that it has continued because it has been a rough month.

You can tape pro wrestling in an environment with only 10-15 people in a room and spread out others backstage. They are spraying everything a lot. It’s not like a lot of them are getting sick, but there is obviously a concern.

I know people make a big deal of it, but there are think there are worse things in the world going on than WWE continuing, so as long as they are smart about it and it appears that they are then I’m okay with it.

4. Nicholas Pruner
If you could see any celebrity try their hand in WWE, who would you like it to be and why?

I always thought Shaquille O’Neal would absolutely crush it in a singles or tag team setting in terms of promos and a match. I know he did that battle royal in WWE, but if he had a proper feud with Big Show as was rumored, he would have done so well. I wish he would have done it and now it’s probably not going to happen.

Conor McGregor would be amazing at it, but I guess that’s a celebrity in a sport that is similar.

An actor like Terry Crews could have done it. Big guy, plus he was on that old Battledome show from 20 years ago.

5. Cory Andrew Bacon
Because of recently watching One Night Stand, what’s the hottest PPV crowd you can remember? Between ONS 2005 and the Chicago MITB 2011, I can’t think of anything else close.

Those are two of the best WWE crowds. Those two come to mind and also Canadian Stampede 1997 especially for the main event. It was so loud in Calgary that night. Backlash 2000 which I reviewed last year was absolutely crazy most of the show too. Another one that comes to mind is the Toronto crowd at WrestleMania 18 for Rock and Hogan. That was a special reaction.

6. Yatin Jain
Would you ever do a youtube channel?

I don’t think so. I think when I was in my early to mid-20s I would have been fine at it, but now I’m in my late 30s and I just feel old doing that stuff. I think I’m a much better writer than I would be as a talker on Youtube. With that said, I understand why people would want me to do it because I know a lot of wrestling fans that consume content based on Youtube videos. I’m glad there are people that are successful in that genre.

7. Van Wilhoite
If you could do your own Superstar shakeup….what would be your #1 switch for each brand?

Cesaro to Raw with a huge push as a heel so that he’s headlining SummerSlam with Drew. With that said, I don’t expect Vince to do that. I can’t think of Raw to Smackdown. A lot of things on Smackdown bore me, so they need a lot of fixes.

8. Eryk Cannito
What is your favorite type of gimmick match?

I think TLC tag team matches are my favorite, but it’s not like you can do them all the time. I think they are easier to do with 6 or more people. Money in the Bank matches are great too.

I don’t love Hell in a Cell as much in the PG era, but I used to enjoy it a lot when there was more blood to tell a story.

9. JD Robert
Do you see Ember Moon holding one of the women’s titles?

It would be nice to see, but sadly she’s had injuries and has been missing in action with the foot injury to put her out for a year. She’s got such a good arsenal of moves with one of the best finishers in the business. What impressed me a lot when she was in NXT is how great she was at selling and telling stories in the longer matches, but she hasn’t had those same chances on Raw or SD. I hope she can come back strong.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vio7ihzbF4M

10. Ed Eastin Jr
Is there a certain spot within Titan Tower that you would like to see done in either MITB match?

I can’t think of anything specific. However, one spot I can see them doing is having somebody take a bump from one floor to the next and you don’t have to show the bump, but edit it in the sound. The person taking the bump can fall onto a crash pad or something. What I mean is you do something like a Chokeslam onto a floor, then you make it look like the floor broke and the person crashes on a mat, but what you hear is a loud BANG. That would be great.

11. Daniel Lerma
Do you think sometimes we blame WWE too much for some of their superstars “failures”? I mean, shouldn’t we also consider some just don’t live up to the hype or aren’t meant to be big time superstars?

For sure. I think a lot of the time I am more critical of the creative team because I have so much respect for the talent getting in there to take bumps, but it is on the talent too. Sometimes people aren’t ready for something or they aren’t good enough and that’s up to WWE decide when the right time. Some of the talent should be better than they are too, but it’s not an easy business. For every Kurt Angle that picked up the business fast and became one of the best in the world within a year, there are dozens that were absolutely shitty lol.

I don’t think the job of the creative team is easy especially if they might have a writer like you or I that have watched for 30 years or 20 years or whatever. Just because you’re in the room with Vince doesn’t mean your ideas will ever go through if you have 15 other writers there.

What happens on screen is a result of what they come up with behind the scenes, so it’s all together. It’s a team effort for sure.

12. Eric Hay
Whenever there can be fans again, who would you bring out first of the current roster that would garner the biggest fan reaction?

I think I would have Becky Lynch in the ring and then Ronda Rousey’s music hits. I don’t care the city or whatever, but if you have a confrontation with those two it would be absolutely awesome. I know some people hate Ronda and that’s okay. She’s a heel, so play that up in her promo or whatever she does.

Another idea is to do a dream feud scenario so bring Edge back against Rollins or Styles or somebody like that. The crowd will love that.

13. Jason Butts
Other than injury, why is Shelton Benjamin not getting the push he deserves?

Right now he’s in his mid-40s so it’s going to be hard to push him when they have so much younger talent. I think he got a decent midcard push through the mid to late 40s, but yeah due to the lack of big personality he didn’t stand out enough.

14. Kimsan Song
Overall thoughts about Lex Luger?

I thought he was good at times, but I was bored by him a lot and he was never really a favorite of mine. He teamed with and turned on Sting so many times over the years. I liked his babyface WCW Title win as a great moment in 1997, but then it ended quickly. I didn’t like his WWF run at all.

15. Aj Giacobbe
Do you ever see Walter coming to the main roster and how do you think he will do?

My understanding is Walter has asked that he stays in NXT UK for the most part because he likes living in Germany and has a wrestling school there. He doesn’t want to move to the US and WWE knows that, so I doubt they will use him on Raw or Smackdown. Of course, things could change and I think Walter has a lot of value as heel that can have great matches.

16. Kent Dwyer
Who do you see being the next top guy? I know WWE is behind Roman but I feel like that’s cooled off a bit.

I’m glad that Drew is there. He deserves it and he is doing well.

I would love to see Big E getting that monster push over the next year without breaking up New Day. Do it like Kofi’s push where his buddies support him and the crowd will rally behind him too.

Cesaro in a perfect world would be the guy, but it’s probably not happening.

Long term, somebody like Velveteen Dream should be huge on Raw or SD as long as he’s not in trouble (google it).

17. Daniel Hill
Do you think it’s fair to say that it’s harder to be a face than heel and if so why? Everyone was so for Rollins and Becky until they became champ as recent examples and then the crowds tend to start changing towards them. Do you think Drew is in danger of the same? Take care.

It’s definitely harder to be a face especially in today’s wrestling world where fans are too negative about things. Rollins was booked really well as a face for years, but fans just got sick of him and I don’t think being “The Man’s Man” made him look good either. Heels are able to be more creative in terms of promos, being able to cheat in a match is a fun and the behavior of a heel is more fun to watch.

I hope Drew remains well liked and popular, but we can’t hear the fans right now, so it’s tough to say. I hope it works out for him because he’s awesome.

18. Amber Stultz
Do you think any of the released WWE wrestlers would do well in AEW or Impact or even ROH or NJPW?

Yes. A lot of them will do well. The Revival were not released with the group, but they will do great in AEW and I think Zack Ryder will be in AEW too. As for others like Gallows/Anderson they’ll probably be NJPW at first. There are a lot of places for them to go and a lot of these former WWE guys are talented, but there were no spots for them, so they’ll be motivated to show what they can do. Rusev is going to be amazing wherever he is.

Look at Drew McIntyre for example. Left WWE, thrived elsewhere for a few years and came back strong. It can be done if they want to come back to WWE or thrive elsewhere.

19. Geoff Landtbom
Is NXT (not the product but the system) eventually going to make the wrestling school obsolete? The Performance Center to me is the only wrestling school the industry needs in this era.

I don’t think so because there are hundreds of wrestlers you or I have never heard of and they need places to learn to wrestle. The wrestlers at the WWE PC get there by getting signed. They need places to train before they are at that level. Wrestling schools will always be around forever.

20. Jason Weber
Do you see Rusev being in New Japan or AEW?

Probably both like Jericho and Moxley can be in NJPW, but I think Rusev will mainly be in AEW and he’ll do very well there. I’m so excited for him.

21. Alan Burke
What good things do you think have happened in wrestling because of the lockdown?

I liked the promos in the lead up to WrestleMania where they had guys looking into the camera and it made it feel more personal. I would like to see more of those although WWE has cut back on that post-WrestleMania. I just think it’s a bit of a different thing that has been successful.

The other thing that sticks out is the Boneyard Match and Firefly Fun House Match. Those were successful, so doing that kind of thing once in a while is fine.

22. Shaun Priestley
Why is WWE obsessed with squashed title matches? How many minutes in total have been the last WWE Title matches and Universal Title matches?

They were both under ten minutes at WrestleMania. I don’t know why other than Vince likes the part timers. I miss the days when those title matches were treated like a big deal and you knew it would be a longer, better match. They need to get back to that.

23. Drew Jefferson
Who do you think is the biggest star between the two overall Stone Cold or The Rock?

The Rock is a bigger overall superstar and name, but Steve Austin was the bigger star in pro wrestling. I think that’s the right way of saying it.

The other thing about both of them is Rock left wrestling in 2003 (aside from the match in 2004 at WM20) when he was just 31. If he was there for a few more years into his 30s then he would have been the biggest for sure. And in Austin’s case, he had to retire because of injury at 38 – a lot of guys wrestle well into their 40s, so if he was able to do another 4 or 5 years it would have helped his legacy even more.

Rock is bigger with non-wrestling fans. Rock is so successful right now. Awesome guy.

24. John L Henegar
How much damage do you think they did to Bray Wyatts character, after all the build for the Fiend, to have him drop the belt to a 53 year old Goldberg?

It was damaging, but Bray is also a guy in his early 30s with a passion for pro wrestling and he’s going to be there for a lot of years. I think Bray will be fine because it’s a character that doesn’t need the title to be successful as long as he has good feuds.

Goldberg winning the title made me groan and I hate it even more now.

25. Giles Hart
Though we all know he’s a guaranteed Hall Of Famer, would you say Kane has mostly earned that through his amazing and evolving character work more than his overall match rate?

Yeah. There aren’t a lot of four star (out of five) Kane matches especially in singles, but as a character and a gimmick he was outstanding – one of the most interesting characters in WWE history. I have a lot of respect for Kane even though there were plenty of bad moments too. I respect him for always trying hard and doing his best to make it work. Plus, he became a great talker when he was given the chance.

26. John Czech
How amazing do you think a Rock and Shawn Michaels program would have been?

It would have been great and is one of those dream feuds that never happened even though it could have at some point. I think it would have worked with either guys as a face or heel too because were both very successful in either role. I think I would have liked it with Rock as the heel with Shawn as the babyface making the big comeback and it would have been a lot of fun to watch.

27. Tim Scoleri
Before Kurt Angle came back to WWE, people dreamt of a lot of different fantasy matchups for him, and we really didn’t get any. Do you think they waited too long to let him wrestle or do you think he was already at the point of working a slower pace like we saw him at the end of his run?

I wish Kurt came back in like 2010 or something because he was very productive for another 4 or 5 years there and he could have been a legend that worked with the newer WWE guys. I don’t think Kurt was that good in 2016 due to the injuries he had, so no matter the style of wrestling, it was going to be harder for him.

If Angle never left WWE in 2006 he would probably be their best wrestler ever, but since he spent all those years in TNA, he’s just one of the best.

28. Leo Naudin
What’s the best storyline in wrestling today in your opinion???? And I’m including all promotions in my question. In your opinion, from what you’ve seen, what’s good???? What makes you say…that’s some good shit pal!!!???

It’s tough to answer because it makes me want to ask a question: Are there any good storylines at all? Everything is suffering from the Coronavirus.

I would say Drew vs. Brock and Edge vs. Orton before WM and Jericho vs. Moxley in AEW. Other than that, not that much this year has been interesting in terms of feuds.

29. Charlie Pérez
Do you see any of the released wrestlers agents and whatnot return to WWE, if yes who?

Sure. I think most of the producers/agents will be back, but if you don’t have traveling TV and you have no house shows then it makes sense to let them stay home.

It’s harder for the wrestlers because the roster is so big and I have my doubts that anybody that was released is going to be pushed soon. If any of them impress on the indies and don’t sign long term with another company then maybe they come back like Drew McIntyre did. If I had to guess I would say maybe Zack Ryder since he’s engaged to Chelsea Green, who is in NXT and maybe Rowan since Vince always likes big guys. I think Zack will be in AEW, but maybe that’s just a year or two. Rusev may be back in WWE too since wife Lana is there.

30. Terrence Chung
Do you see Finn Balor returning to the main roster at all?

Sure. I have thought that he will be NXT for maybe a year or maybe two years before he’s back on Raw or Smackdown. I think he is needed on Raw right now, but it’s not like they are just going to take him off NXT at the moment.

31. Josh Richey
Serious question: Heath Slater….. what could WWE have done with him? I am a huge fan of his, felt he put in some really hard work and really are a lot of shit while the rest of 3MB moved on to the world title picture (even if Jinder was boring af). Do you think Slater ever could have been there? Or even a high mid carder, with an IC or US run here or there?

I don’t think he would have ever got a big push in singles, but I think he could have had a solid career as a tag team wrestler as well as being in the midcard title picture. However, the “One Man Band” gimmick was never going to be that interesting, so they would have had to come up with something better. There’s nothing wrong with being midcard or tag team, but I don’t know if he ever did enough to really stand out in WWE.

32. John St. Pierre
Do you think god will ever get his rematch against Vinny Mac?

Vince will fire his ass before it happens! (I know it was a joke question. I like my answer, so it stays!)

33. Damie Sinanan
What’s your thoughts in hindsight about moving ahead with Wrestlemania 36 at the PC? At the time it seemed like a bad idea but it’s clear now that things won’t be back to normal for a long time. It’s not outside the realm of possibility that Mania 37 will be affected.

I think it was fine to do it. A lot of people liked that it happened and WWE Network subscriptions topped 2 million thanks to about 400k free subscribers that were interested in it. There was no harm in doing it and they got some attention for it. I wish it was in front of the fans, but they made the most of a bad situation.

34. Uzoma Iwuagwu
Was Eddie Guerrero supposed to face Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania 22 and was he supposed to win the World Heavyweight Title off of Batista all before his untimely death?

Yes for both things. Batista was hurt again and Eddie was going to win WWE Title. Shawn vs Eddie was the WM22 plan.

A feud with Shawn and Eddie was a dream rivalry for a lot of us. I think Eddie should have been the heel because Shawn was usually a face during that period, so I think it would have worked really well. I would have loved to see that match.

35. Stephen Rankine
Do you think WWE should have stopped their shows in light of COVID-19 and instead just ran either famous events or great matches instead?

I don’t mind that they are continuing, but if they stopped the events then I would understand that too. My understanding is they are taking all the necessary precautions, there are not reports of people getting sick there (aside from one person that may have got it from hanging out with others) so as long as you can keep it safe then that’s cool with me.

If they ran taped shows showing old highlights then people would complain about that more than shows with no fans. Whatever they did, fans would complain about something lol.

36. Roman Hojsak
With Marty Scurll having the book in ROH and being so close to The Elite guys, do you think a working relationship between the two companies is on the horizon? If so, could it be enough to help revive ROH?

I think ROH would need the boost more than AEW and if I was AEW I wouldn’t do it because you’re lifting them up rather than really helping yourself. With all due respect to the ROH roster, they don’t have anybody there that the average wrestling fan at home is going to consider a big draw or a difference maker for AEW unless they could use NJPW guys. So if I’m AEW then I wouldn’t want to do it because you need to focus on building your own stars as a newer company. If I was ROH then I would want the rub from AEW because AEW is clearly #2 in wrestling right now not counting Japan. I mean US/Canada/UK wrestling mainly.

37. Alex Podgorski

Have you noticed that a lot of the newer, regular wrestlers in WWE get scripted to hell while older guys and part timers don’t? Goldberg and Edge are two examples of people that got to speak in their own voices while guys like Rollins, Styles, Strowman and every other regular prospect seems to be forced to read what’s said to them. Why do you think there’s this double standard in WWE?

I think there’s a double standard and also a trust factor there. It’s Vince and Heyman knowing Edge for over 20 years, plus Edge is a trained actor that has done a lot of TV in his life, so I would trust him too. There are definitely people that don’t sound good because of how much they are scripted and I wish that changed, but it’s hard for you or I to know exactly who is being told word for word and who is not. It could certainly be better.

The sad thing about Vince now is he is set in the ways of the scripted promo over most of the last 20 years and in the 20 years before that it was more of a case of trusting the talent. I wish they trusted the talent more.

38. Jesse Ornelas
What’s the max number of titles a company should have and what kind?

I like it when it’s a World Title, secondary title (IC or US), Tag Team and a Women’s Title. If you want to throw in Women’s Tag Team Titles then that’s fine, but actually try to make some teams and a division. Either that or a secondary women’s title. I would say four or five titles is good for a brand.

39. Adam Domenico
I think we all know Chris Benoit will never be in the WWE Hall of Fame. But do you think Nancy, as “Woman” will ever be inducted?

I think based on what she did in her career then Woman should be in, but I doubt WWE will ever do it because they don’t want the Chris Benoit murders to be in the spotlight again. Miss Elizabeth should be in too, yet she’s not because I doubt WWE wants people investigating how she died because Lex Luger had so many drugs in the house they lived at.

40. Chris Young
Last month I saw a few articles about the Rock praising AEW. These columns have said this is sure to piss Vince and Triple H off. Do you, in your opinion, even think Uncle Vince and Triple Haitch even give a shit?

I don’t think they give a shit. There’s not much they can do about Rock watching pro wrestling, which he has done his whole life.

41. Joe Sondag
Who do you think Becky’s next title feud should be? Myself I’m thinking Lynch vs a returning Mickie James would be a wise option. #MondayNightMickie vs #BigCheckBecks

I think it will probably be Nia Jax and then MITB holder Baszler will cash in to win the title, then Becky will feud with her. I don’t know if Mickie will get pushed like that although she should.

42. Brigid Martinez
Should WWE stop house shows?

No. I hope not. I love them and the wrestlers enjoy them, plus they get more money for working house shows. I think until there’s a vaccine for Coronavirus then you need to stop doing them, but maybe they can return next year.

43. Joshua Morgret
There has not been a legit 60-minute Iron Man match in the WWE since October, 2009. Why do you think that is AND which two current WWE superstars would you most like to see in a 60-minutr Iron Man Match (say, as the main event of Wrestlemania)?

I like those kinds of matches, but it’s not up to me. It’s tough on the crowd. I remember a few years ago when Dolph Ziggler and Seth Rollins had a 30-minute Ironman match where the fans were so bored that they were chanting down from ten seconds to one during every minute. Then WWE took the clock off the screen, so the fans booed and then the clock was back. The fans just didn’t care about the match because in an Ironman Match they know that only the last few minutes really matter. I just think WWE is going to be reluctant to do it for reasons like that.

44. Larry Yadao
WWE lately has experienced record low ratings. Is this because of just the lack of crowd, or is it because Wrestlemania, though a temporary way fix to make money, but in the long run, may have turned people away and not get excited since most big wins like Braun and Drew were so anti climatic?

I think wrestling isn’t a priority to people because there are more people watching the news and doing other things to stay busy. Fans know the wrestling shows aren’t that interesting right now with a limited roster on all shows and no fans in the crowd.

If WWE was showing taped content the ratings would be even lower, most likely. Just my guess on that, but I doubt it would be any better.

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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.