It’s a busy time for the WWE Universe, which means it’s also a great time to do another edition of the Question & Answer session here at TJRWrestling. I’ve been doing them every other week and now that we’re two weeks deep into the WWE brand split, there’s a lot more to discuss.
As usual, the questions come from my Facebook page – you can search “John Canton” to find me on there if you want. There are over 60 questions. I didn’t include every question I was asked, so don’t get mad at me if I didn’t include yours. Some are too similar to others or just didn’t interest me as much.
Before I start, this was done on Wednesday before the Bobby Roode theme song aired on NXT. I just want to say that I absolutely love that song and think it’s very catchy. Here it is in case you haven’t heard it.
Yes it’s pretty glorious. Let’s get to the questions.
1. Emory Cantstopmyswagg White III
How long before we get Triple H vs Seth Rollins match?
I thought they would have done it by now. I guess if they want Rollins to turn face in the future they could always bring back Hunter to side with Steph and set it up that way pretty easily. It would make sense as a feud, but the longer they wait the less appeal it has.
2. Daniel Mount
How would you bring Drew Galloway back to WWE? He was made a joke before he got released, so how would you get his heat back?
Pretty easy to make a guy look like a star if you book them to win matches. I like his current look in TNA with the beard and stuff like that. If he came back to WWE looking different than what he was before then it could work easily. It’s all about presentation. Mark Henry was booked like a loser for most of his career. In 2011 suddenly he starts winning matches and people buy into him as a World Champion. If they can do it for Henry, who is not nearly as good as McIntyre, then they can do it for anybody. Good thing for Drew is he’s got the size and a look that has credibility. I hope it happens for him, but I’ve also heard him say he’s content with what he’s doing too.
3. Howie Mandella
Do you think AJ Styles is missing anything as a heel?
He’s doing better than I thought he would in this role, so I’ve been happy with him. I think taking away The Club from him could prove to be a smart move because I think WWE wants to legitimize him as a guy on his own rather than the heel that gets help to win matches. I don’t think he’s missing anything. I just feel like he’s perfect as a face and due to his size is more natural in that role, but being the top heel on Smackdown is a good spot to be too.
4. Toby Tobias
I still think if Nakamura et al. get called up, others will be shunted from their “spot” on the main card. Who do you see getting less attention/tv time when these folks are called?
The guys in the midcard that are barely on the show right now and are the ones that make you groan when you see them. Guys like Nakamura and Joe need to be in featured roles. They are going to make time for guys like that, so the stupid gimmicks like Golden Truth are probably gonna disappear at that point.
5. Damie Sinanan
Your main event for WrestleMania?
Rollins vs. Styles works for me. I’d love to see Zayn vs. Styles too. I’m not sure how likely it is.
6. Leonard Maglasang
After this week of WWE TV, which match do you think goes last – WWE, Universal or Orton/Brock? Also which way are you leaning towards – Seth or Balor? I think Seth and Balor go on last and Demon Balor wins.
I would have Rollins vs. Balor last as a way to give credibility to the new championship and make people think of it as a big deal. Balor winning would be a good idea as I’ve written in the past week, but even if Rollins wins that’s what I would put on last. Any of those three matches would be fine as the last match.
7. Anmol Sekhri
Can this truly be a “new era” with the “old era” still in charge producing the show in the same way. Is a clean break needed from past producers/ writers etc?
Yeah man that’s a good point. I hate some of the stuff they do that is similar like how they set up matches the same way all the time. It would be nice if they actually did some different things and presented it in alternative ways. It’s just lazy to do things the same way all the time.
8. Connor James McClain
Should we expect a Raw v Smackdown Survivor Series Tag Match this November with a stipulation that could affect the roster or simply bargaining rights?
I think they should do Raw vs. Smackdown SS tag with the winning team getting the last 4 or 5 spots in the Royal Rumble. I can remember writing a column about this in like 2008 about something they should do. It’s not hard to come up with stipulations that are believable.
9. Nick Venholm
Is John Morrison overrated or is WWE missing out not bringing him back?
They really can’t do it because he has a Lucha Underground deal and despite what people think, it’s impossible for WWE to just get a guy that’s under a deal. I don’t think he’s overrated at all. He’s still really good in his mid-30s. Maybe in a year or two he comes back. I don’t know, though. He seems content working a lighter schedule and doing other things.
10. Eric Corbridge
Could WWE actually try to treat the “smart” fans as if they are heels? Kind of like how Bret Hart was a babyface in Canada, yet a heel in the US. I’m not exactly sure how they could pull it off, but we already have the dueling chants among fans anyway. If it worked somehow, I think it could be really cool.
The creative team sucks and probably is incapable of doing stuff as good as that angle. They do such a poor job of doing big angles. It’s just basic shit without much substance.
11. Erin Somers
Why did Lex Luger win the WCW Title on Nitro from Hulk Hogan only to lose it back to him 6 days later at the Road Wild PPV?? Was it to pop a rating over Raw??
Yeah ratings. WCW was stupid and didn’t understand that doing title changes at PPVs is actually better because people are paying money for those shows. Having Luger and Goldberg win the title over Hogan on Nitro instead of PPV is a good example of why they died a few years later. They cared more about ratings than actually making money, which is a stupid way to book a wrestling company. People mention this to Bischoff and he’ll just blame Turner for wanting him to get better ratings.
12. Darrius Gaddy
What are some of your personal favorite pieces that you’ve written? And is there anything you enjoy writing about more than the other?
The Shawn Michaels article I wrote the day after he retired is probably my favorite. I’ll link to it in the column if I can find it. Also the one about Edge was really enjoyable too. In 2005 I did something about the Top 50 WWE matches from 2000 to 2004 (five year period) that I loved doing as well.
Show reviews are what I do mainly, but they feel repetitive. I’m sick of doing lists after doing them on sites for years. I’m not sure what I enjoy doing more than anything although coming up with 1000 word articles where I’m trying to make a point without rambling on too much is fun. I like doing that stuff. Sorry for not being a great answer lol. Thanks for that question. I liked it a lot.
13. Frank Anthony Casabianca
How do you feel about two completely independent set of titles on Raw and Smackdown? Would you rather see current titles gain more prominence or have them bring back and older title?
I don’t mind it at all. They want to make the brands separate so they need separate titles for both brands. The idea of having champions on both shows doesn’t make sense for what they want to do. It’s smart business strategy to make separate titles for each show.
14. Brian Coats
It’s only been two weeks, but which brand do you think will be the stronger one in the long run? And what’s the infatuation with bringing old names back into the mix?
Raw has a better roster, so they will probably be stronger in the long run. I don’t think it’s an infatuation, but it’s something where they know they need 30-40 male wrestlers on each brand in order to fill out house shows and television shows.
15. Douglas Paul Gundlach Jr.
Any chance we get a triple threat with Bray added to Summerslam for the WWE Championship?
I hope not. Triple threats bore me at this point because they are done so often. They just did one at Battleground. Singles matches are better.
16. Phil Jenkins
Excited about the Owens vs Jericho feud that will probably come when their ‘alliance’ breaks down?
I don’t want either to be face, so I’d prefer they go a different route. If Owens turned face he could probably make it work, though. I just think he’s better as a heel, so is Jericho.
17. James Ferriman
Is Ric Flair wrong? Will Finn Balor ever main event a WM? If so who do you think it’ll be against? I’d go with Balor vs Styles personally.
He might. If he doesn’t so what? Ric Flair never main evented a WrestleMania and he did well! I think it was stupid comment by Flair, but people that have podcasts are encouraged to say “controversial” things and it worked for him. Balor can be that guy. Doesn’t mean that he will for sure.
18. Ben DarthYoda Dombek
Would Bret Hart have been fine in the Attitude Era if he’d never went to WCW? Heck would Michaels have stayed relevant?
Hart would have been perfect as the veteran guy that is there for guys like Rock and Triple H to try to beat to prove they are top guys. I could book a Bret vs. Angle feud that would have been amazing too. Of course Michaels would have been relevant too. They are two of the best wrestlers ever that would thrive in any era. I wish both of them were there for it.
19. Joe Leonard
How long do you think it will be before Smackdown guys start appearing on RAW and vice versa? We all know it’s gonna happen eventually.
It happened this week with Orton and Lesnar. This Monday they’re saying Smackdown GM Daniel Bryan will be on Raw too. After SummerSlam I hope it takes much longer for it to happen.
20. Chris Wells
If they turn Roman like you want then who do you think would be the top face on Raw? Finn is too new for people to be invested in yet and Seth has too much heat as a heel right now in my opinion.
I think Finn and Zayn are two good choices. It wouldn’t shock me if Seth is a face before the end of the year. I’d turn Reigns for sure.
21. Roderick Walker
What are some of your favorite Smackdown ppvs ever?
No Mercy 2002 for the tag title match, No Way Out 2004 and Vengeance 2003 comes to mind.
22. Nathanael N-jay Julien
Which show between smackdown and raw do you feel has the most potential going forward?
It’s hard to pick one. I like the potential of both, but Raw has the better roster and the idea of Sami Zayn being a top guy there excites me more than anything that Smackdown can do. I still enjoy Smackdown and being two hours instead of three is a plus too.
23. Josh Warner
If you have to pick who will be the biggest breakout star from the draft (who it will help the most)…who will it be?
I think Finn Balor is the clear answer for now, but I hope it’s Sami Zayn too. For Smackdown I think it’s AJ Styles. Long term maybe Bray Wyatt too.
24. Deryl Parnell Jr.
Who do you see getting the title first Dolph Ziggler or Finn Balor?
Balor is more likely. I like Ziggler a lot, but he’s just a guy for Ambrose to beat and I think Ambrose will drop the title to Styles or maybe Wyatt later in the year.
25. Joe Sondag
With some of the short title reigns some guys/women get is that to pad their stats with titles or just a case of creative being bad at their jobs and not knowing who they want as champion? Also what’s better for whatever Championship long or short reigns?
Seems like there’s a mix of both in the last couple of years, so I don’t know what’s better or what people prefer. The tag titles has been a year run, Charlotte held hers for almost a year, Nikki almost held hers for a year and then there’s the WWE Title with something like six changes since November.
I don’t really care about length of reigns or stuff like that. I just want title matches to feel important and I think WWE has improved in that regard.
26. Russ Raymond
Will Eva Marie ever get over?
She already is. I would pair her up with a good worker like Natalya as a way to help her long term.
27. Greg Holman
What do you think of the current commentary teams? Do they gel enough or would you have gone in a slightly different direction?
They’re both okay. Graves stands out a bit because he makes a lot of good points and doesn’t yell. Saxton and Otunga rarely say anything interesting or funny. I’m not saying that to pick on the black guys. I just don’t think either guy is that significant in those spots.
28. Kenny Brophy
Would you agree people focus too much on if a wrestler should turn heel or face instead of just enjoying the product? Dean Ambrose is a good example probably the hottest babyface but it seems like people are always talking about when he’ll turn heel.
Yes I agree. The matches we get are really good for the most part. With that said, WWE isn’t doing a good job of doing major angles or turns that are significant. I liked AJ’s turn, but they don’t do them often enough. Too many fans are focused on “what’s going to happen” all the time. Enjoy the shows.
29. Yatin Jain
Will we see Kurt Angle at WrestleMania?
If it was up to me then absolutely yes. Since it’s not I have no idea. I hope so.
30. Francis Tasse
Who will be the first SD women and tag champion?
American Alpha for tag champs. I think Natalya for Women’s Champion. Becky Lynch would be a good choice too.
31. Bobby Monroe
What the hell is the point of turning ZIGGLER heel if he’s going to be booked to job out to Ambrose at SummerSlam anyway? Especially when he’s just fine as a edgy face? God, I can practically hear the shovels digging his hole in the lower mid-card…
He may not turn heel. I think turning a guy heel after a loss is very easy to do because the character has a lot of reason to be mad. I think his heel work is better than his face work too. Either way, just be glad he’s being used right because he’s an awesome performer as you know.
32. Ed Luis Valentin
Do you think Reigns will beat Rusev and be US Champ for a while, or or this just temporary and he’ll be back in the main event soon?
I think Rusev should hold the title longer, but it wouldn’t shock me if Reigns wins it to try to give something for Reigns to do. I dunno what the plan is. I’m intrigued by it.
33. Jake Pumfleet
Who will be the first member of a (current) tag team to go on to become World or Universal Champion?
Big Cass because he’s seven feet tall and you can’t teach that. Maybe Big E as a second choice.
34. Michael Reichmuth
Do you think Pillman could have been WWE Champion in Attitude Era if he lived and book him vs Austin maybe instead of Dude Love or Kane?
The WWE Champion? No. However, if he was healthy maybe he would have done well as a midcarder. Problem was he had that major foot injury and a painkiller addiction that led to his death in 1997.
35. Quincy Waycoolq Rich
What’s your opinion on Paige? It’s seems like WWE has given up on her.
She’s currently injured for a few weeks, but seems like she’ll be back towards the end of August. I think she’s very talented. I’m just not sure if WWE thinks of her as a priority compared to the girls that were in NXT longer. She should be given more of a chance, but must have heat for social media crap about Del Rio or whatever other bullshit the company wants to make up. It’s such a weird company.
36. Rick Bulow
Given the fact that Rhyno won the primary for Michigan State Representative, do you think WWE would weave it into a storyline or make mention of it (a la Bob Backlund running for Congress from Connecticut in 2000) on the air?
Probably not because I doubt fans care that much. He’s not going to be a major performer on Smackdown anyway, but he will beat guys like Heath Slater and likely put over younger heels.
37. Jon Miller
What will the winner of the CWC get as a prize? First Champion? Contract? Who do you think will win?
They haven’t said. It’s probably going to be a contract as well as the Cruiserweight Champion. I think Kota Ibushi will win.
38. Nicholas Pruner
Do you think TNA, or any other wrestling company for that matter, will ever get to the same level as WWE? I know Lucha Underground and ROH are good, but neither are really, or ever have been, on WWE’s level in terms of marketing, ratings, and sales. Do you think it’ll ever happen?
Ever? Maybe, but I’m going to say no. They need a billionaire like Ted Turner was and a really good TV slot on cable television in primetime for a live show. What WCW did worked, but that was 20 years ago and the industry was different. Would be harder to do now because WWE is bigger than what they were in 1995 when WCW started Nitro.
39. Adam Gronvold
At what point will we finally see the triumphant return of the greatest wrestler of all time…BILLY KIDMAN!?
He works backstage as a producer and I think is the guy that tries to keep the timing of the matches close to what they should be. He’s in his 40s now. Good guy.
40. Brandon Willis
How much longer do you think Nakamura and Joe will be in NXT?
It’s already been too long in my opinion. I’ll guess Royal Rumble to be safe. The sooner the better for each of them.
41. Joseph D Graves
Do you still think that they will turn Roman Reigns heel? Every writer I have seen predicted a heel turn during his suspension because of the suspension and the crowd reaction to him.
They should. I don’t know if they will. It would be the easy thing to do and the smart thing as well.
42. Brigid Martinez
I know the current product is pretty damn good. But what would you change if you could?
Better storylines with slightly edgier content. I’m not saying it has to be raunchy like the Attitude Era or have people giving the middle finger all the time. I just want promos that feel more real and more personal. There’s too many feuds where it’s just Balor and Rollins wanting to prove who is better. That’s nice, but make me hate Rollins more. He won clean on Raw. They just aren’t doing enough to create characters on both shows. Too often it’s about being the best and that’s just not as interesting.
43. Oscar Omar Fernandez
With the Universal Championship not debuting until probably SummerSlam, if you could design the belt, what would it look like?
I don’t mean to be a jerk, but is it okay to say I don’t really have a preference lol? I’m not one of those people that complains about the names of titles or the looks of them aside from that horrendous Divas Title. I’m not gonna buy one. When I was 10 years old maybe I would have cared. I just reached a point in my life where those things didn’t matter as much. Sorry for not having a better answer. I just don’t have a particular idea in mind as to what a new title should look like.
44. Shadi Amin Q
Who had the greatest WWE rookie year ever? Lesnar, Angle, Del Rio, etc.?
In terms of best overall performer and matches then it’s Angle by far. Lesnar probably had the best push because he’s the only one of those three that headlined a WrestleMania (WM19). Del Rio matches weren’t at the level of Angle.
45. Drew Jefferson
What do you think is greatest ending & worst ending on a PPV in wrestling history?
I think Money in the Bank 2011 has the best ending. Loved it so much with CM Punk leaving with the WWE Title while Vince McMahon was so angry about it. They probably can’t do it again either. That’s what made it so good.
Worst ending to a PPV that one where Undertaker buried Paul Bearer in cement and WWE had to do a press release after saying that Bearer didn’t die. What a terrible ending. It was Great American Bash 2004.
There are probably others I can think of, but those two came to mind first.
46. Dangelino Ochoa
Who do you see as Orton’s first feud back after Brock? I have Bray Wyatt interfering and setting that little nugget up.
I think it would be Orton vs. Styles or Orton vs. Wyatt and since I think they’ll do Ambrose vs. Styles soon I’ll go with Orton vs. Wyatt as well. Outside shot for Orton vs. Corbin too.
47. Carew Smith Sr.
Much as I don’t want to see this happen, who if anybody on Smackdown will beat Dean Ambrose?
I’ve touched on this earlier, but I think AJ Styles wins it in September or October. I dunno the when and how, but that’s my pick.
48. Brandon Mcgill
If you had to pick a 2017 Royal Rumble winner, today, who would it be?
Nakamura. Or Seth Rollins. I think it’s tough to pick and it doesn’t matter that much when there’s two titles anyway lol.
49. Giles Hart
Since I look at most of late 2003 – 2007 with rose tinited glasses, and consider most of it being amazing as it was my childhood years of watching WWE(especially smackdown), what particular feuds and matches would you realistically rate fairly high from that period? For instance, some of my favourite matches ever from then include Kane vs Shane McMahon at Unforgiven 03, JBL vs Eddie Guerrero at GAB 04, Michaels/Hogan vs Hassan/Davari at Backlash 05, Orton vs Taker in Hell In a Cell, Last Ride match in 06 and all of GAB 2005. I can’t imagine many of those you’d consider classics lol.
There’s a lot. Angle/Lesnar was awesome. Benoit’s title chase. Eddie’s title chase. Michaels being better than ever. Lesnar’s incredible talent as a young guys in his 20s. The rise of Orton, Cena and even Batista as the next group to carry the company. Triple H had some good moments too.
50. Ron Venturino
What was your reaction seeing Eva Marie getting drafted to SmackDown over Bayley, and do you think Carmella is going to get lost? Both times she came out, she got next to no reaction.
I complained about how they didn’t explain the NXT stuff in a few columns and a podcast. Basically I think WWE did a poor job of explaining their own rules and fans have a right to complain about it because of how sloppy the company was in terms of executing it. It’s going to be hard for some NXT people. Takes time.
51. Eric Hay
As a big Randy Savage fan, do you wish his title reigns would’ve been treated better? He never got to truly main event a ppv during either reign. He had to share or be behind Hogan for both, and didn’t get to main event Summerslam in 92, although the main was fantastic.
He main evented WM4 and WM5, so I think that’s pretty good. There were so few PPVs and Hogan was around, so it’s tough to main event more. I thought he was treated well.
52. James Tascar Mayhew
Besides Scott Steiner, Booker T, and Goldberg, are there any other wrestlers that Triple H should’ve put over, as World Heavyweight Champion, between 2002 and 2005?
I don’t mind the Booker thing as much as most. They wanted to establish Triple H as the new World Champion and they brought Goldberg in the next day to build up to that, so if they had him lose to Booker it would have just been a short reign anyway.
RVD was so hot in those days that they probably should have given him a bit of a run. I just think he was so high all the time that he didn’t care whether he was champion and probably didn’t participate in wrestling politics that much.
53. Jay Lopez
If you were in charge of WWE what are 3 drastic changes you would make? (Employee Firings, Hirings, New Championships, etc)
– Better booking is key
– Less scripted promos with more bullet points
– Allow heels to be more aggressive. Push the envelope more. Great heels carry the show.
I don’t want to fire people. It’s not my money lol.
54. Deion Larocque
Next five NJPW or ROH stars you’d want to see in WWE?
Okada isn’t realistic sadly. I just don’t see WWE paying him more than NJPW does. So I’ll go with Lethal, Adam Cole, Young Bucks and Kenny Omega.
55. Chris Rowlands
Do you see Davey Boy Smith getting into the WWE Hall of Fame? They seem to have relaxed the rules a bit with Curt Hennig and Warrior going in and Chyna being a ‘shoe in’.
He should. I don’t really know how to answer the HOF questions. It’s reached a point where they include average or below average people like The Godfather there just because they worked for WWE for a long time, so does it really matter who is in and who isn’t? I don’t care too much.
56. David Vu
I know you talked about the women’s division in your review, but how do you make the Smackdown women thrive, feuds, championship, face and heel turns?
Matches that mean something, but it’s tough because they need to introduce and establish the new characters. It’s going to take some time. People should be patient.
57. Tony Lamoureux
If Undertaker decides to wrestle next year at Wrestlemania, any ideas who his opponent would be?
I think John Cena would be a wise choice. They probably would have done it this year if Cena was healthy.
58. Jimmi O’Shea
Will we see Kurt Angle back wrestling in a WWE ring again? (And who should his opponent be, should it be a one time match?)
Yes. At least I hope so. Angle vs Rusev. That’s not a dream match, but makes sense in the story.
59. Ryan Mullins
How far do you think WWE will go with this Braun Strowman push? I just don’t see him being a main eventer.
In the next 2-3 years he either becomes a main eventer or just a regular big guy. It’s up to him to prove it. They’re going to try to push him, but it’s up to the individual to get to that next level too.
60. Geoff Landtbom
What is John Cena’s legacy? Do you think he changed the game in any way besides the 50/50 crowd split? Do you see a next John Cena and if so who?
He’s one of the greatest WWE superstars ever whether people like him or not. That’s what he is. He didn’t really change the game at all. Not like Austin, Rock or Hogan.
I’m not sure who the next Cena is in terms of a pure babyface that they can truly build around. Guys like Sami Zayn and Seth Rollins could be good enough to be in the spot, but whether they are booked that way I have my doubts.
61. Jesse Ornelas
Should WWE have just brought back the old World Heavyweight Championship instead of making the “Universal” Championship?
I’m cool with it. They retired the other title, so creating something new is fine with me. I don’t really mind the new title or the name. Just give us good matches that’s all that matters. No matter what they did, people would complain lol.
62. David Harnick
Who had the best debut in the last 25 years?
Chris Jericho, The Shield and Brock Lesnar.
63. Rob Trotter
Thoughts on Rock vs Lesnar II at WM33?
I’m not sure if The Rock is ever going to wrestle again. The insurance companies in Hollywood seemed to have blocked him in the last two years, so why would they do it now? Plus he’s in his mid 40s. Why risk your health getting hurt to have one more match when you can make $100 million per year or whatever he’s making as an actor and producer. It’s not worth the risk. I doubt he has a real match again.
Thanks for all the questions. We’ll do it again soon.