TJR Q&A #71: WWE Schedule Moving Forward, WrestleMania with No Fans, Brock/Drew Winner, More

It’s been a long time since the Q&A has been here on TJRWrestling, but it’s back now. The last time was in October, which was when AEW Dynamite started and Smackdown moved to Fridays. Since we are at a time in our world where we’re told to stay at home, I figured it would be a good idea to bring back the Q&A. The questions come from my Facebook page as usual. Let’s get to it.

1. John Mezzio
Since British Bulldog is heading to the Hall of Fame, what is your favorite British Bulldog match?

The best is SummerSlam 1992 with Bret of course. I gave that five stars. I would also recommend a May 1997 Raw tag team match with Bulldog and Owen vs. Shawn and Austin. Also, the December 1995 PPV match with Bret. There’s the Euro Title match with Owen in early 1997 too. Probably some older matches as well.

2. Yatin Jain
Would you suggest WWE giving their folks time off until COVID over.

Yeah but that’s not the plan right now. The plan right now is to tape until Thursday and then at that point, talent will be off for a few weeks at least. Post WrestleMania I don’t know what’s going to happen.

3. Tim Kelly
What’s your best plan for WWE post-Wrestlemania?

I think if the situation persists as I expect then it’s probably best to just air best of shows on Raw, NXT and Smackdown through April and see where we are at in May.

4. Francis Tasse
Aside waiting for the Covid-19 lockdown to be over, what can WWE do to make it interesting again? (I have not watched wrestling in a year.)

It’s always the same answer. You have to try to build up fresh, new stars just like in 2002 when it was Lesnar, Cena, Orton, Batista and that group. In 2012 it was Rollins, Reigns, Ambrose and Wyatt to name a few. I think they should probably move some NXT people to Raw or SD (like Velveteen Dream and Matt Riddle to name two) and book them strong.

5. JD Robert
Would have Hulk Hogan have been better received if he had an IC title run as future World Champions after him?

I don’t think it was really necessary. I mean I wasn’t watching in the first few years of the 1980s because I was in diapers, but Hogan winning the World Title in 1984 was the right time. I don’t think he needed to be IC Champion before that. The fans were very strong in their support for the Hulkster.

6. Dave Foster
What do you think WWE has to do to Wrestlemania to make it an “extravaganza” to Vince’s standards?

They’re really limited in what they can do, so I don’t have the answer. You can’t expect fireworks or anything crazy. What they need to do is have faith in the wrestlers to perform at a high level and give them a chance to have a great match. Just let the wrestlers do their thing.

7. Jarred Parrott
Should Raw and Smackdown bring back GMs to their shows? Former wrestlers would be the way to go if so. I’d love to see Double J maybe guys like that.

I think Raw and Smackdown should do what NXT does with William Regal. If you watch NXT then you know Regal is not on the show every week. Sometimes we may not see him for a month and that’s okay. Just give somebody authority and use them once in a while, but not too often. I think it would help Raw and SD.

8. Connor James McClain
How much has your review style changed since the current situation for both AEW and WWE? Is it likely that Mania will be less critical due to the situation similar to how the Observer crew are viewing this year?

I don’t really change my review style. In my WWE reviews I haven’t put in a rating because they are different from the normal. The AEW show last week was a lot better. I will be less optimistic about WM because of the circumstances. At the same time, I’m glad I can watch it and review it. Some fans are going to bitch about it no matter what and that’s their choice, I guess.

9. Alexander Podgorski
Given how Raw and Smackdown were these past weeks, and given the rumours that Vince wants to get Wrestlemania over with, what do you predict will happen worth the matches at this year’s Wrestlemania? Will they be the normal, competitive contests we’ve come to expect for the show of shows, or will they all be quick and simple affairs?

I think they will be a lot simpler and probably shorter. If they do 14 matches total and 7 on each night then they can probably get away with some 10 minute matches. I don’t think there’s a need for going 20-30 minutes like we have seen for the bigger matches at WrestleMania in years past.

The wrestlers should be fine and I’m sure you know they can handle it. When they grab a headlock or chinlock it is usually done to get a crowd fired up for the babyface comeback. If there’s no crowd, you can cut back on that stuff.

10. Mark Newsome
Do you think the current two night plan for Mania will be the norm from here on out?

It would be fine with me, that’s for sure. I think seven hour shows are too long. I think two nights of 3 to 3.5 hour shows is better especially when you have a split roster anyway. One night is okay with me, but I like two nights.

11. Nudge Adam Medley
Do you feel WWE should go on pause during all this? Have they gone too far staying business as normal?

I think if they went on pause after WrestleMania that’s certainly fine. I wouldn’t mind it even though it would cost me money. A lot of businesses are hurt right now, so that’s something we are all going to have to deal with.

12. Cory M. Frizzell
Do you like the idea of Mania matches being pretaped this year? I love it. With no audience, there is no point in executing it Live. Might as well use the best take to enhance the quality of the show.

I think it’s the right thing to do and the smart thing to do. By the time we get to next weekend, the US government may say no flying at all unless it’s an absolute emergency. So I think WWE is smart to get it all taped by Thursday. It’s weird and some people may hate it, but it’s a tough situation for all.

13. Austin Muller
Will John Cena get one more championship just so he can have one more than Ric Flair?

I thought so and I still think he should because Cena’s titles are all WWE obviously while Flair’s were elsewhere except for two. I know WWE is already calling Cena the “greatest of all time” sometimes, but if they want to really cement that legacy then giving him one more title reign than anybody else makes a lot of sense to me.

14. Daniel Hill
Boring CM Punk related Q but the impression I get is that it’s actually him reaching out and WWE don’t seem to interested? I’d love to see him return, was my favourite but I don’t think WWE seem bothered.

Until it happens, anyone can guess for the time and place and we don’t know what’s right or wrong. If he’s open to it then maybe one day WWE will have interest. Is he really willing to do it for the right price? Probably, but I don’t know if WWE wants to do it considering Punk quit the company in a big way six years ago. It’s hard to know anything right now. I think a lot of fans believe he’ll be back for one match at least one day because it feels like everybody comes back at some point.

15. Rahul Nath
Undertaker or Jericho – the king of reinvention?

I would say Chris Jericho by a lot and that’s over any wrestler, really. He’s had so many different kinds of characters. I’ve followed Jericho’s career over the past 25 years and it’s amazing to see how many different kinds of characters he has been in his career.

16. John Bass
If you could use a midcard person, past or present for a major push, who would it be and why?

I think MVP probably should have got a legit main event push in the mid to late 2000s. He had all the tools. Ken Kennedy was another guy from that period although when he got the big push in TNA I wasn’t that thrilled about it. If I went back to the 1990s, Val Venis is somebody that could have been a bigger star.

In recent times, Cesaro definitely comes to mind. Also, guys like Wade Barrett and Cody Rhodes in WWE should have been pushed more. Damien Sandow too.

17. Joe Sondag
Do you think it’s something or nothing (Hi PTI) that ESPN will air last year’s WrestleMania around the same time as this year’s WM? To me it’s interesting but, won’t be a huge deal.

I agree it’s nothing or not a huge deal, but maybe the exposure that WWE gets on ESPN will help this year’s WrestleMania. I think airing it at 3pm on Sunday and then wanting fans to watch the PPV at 7pm is a bit odd because that’s a lot of wrestling at once. Anyway, if you have WWE Network just watch it there instead of seeing a clipped version on ESPN with commercials.

18. Van Wilhoite
Where would you rank PAC among the other current heels in AEW?

I say it all the time that he’s one of my favorites in AEW, probably the second best heel after Jericho. He’s amazing.

19. Kent Dwyer
After Orton who would you like to see edge feud with? I’d love to see a Bryan/Edge rivalry. I know he’s said in the past he would want to work with Rollins so I think that’ll happen too.

I think Edge vs. Rollins or Styles would be great assuming they are all on Raw still. Edge vs. Bryan would be cool too. Any of the best guys against Edge is fine with me and we know who the best ones are.

20. Sudarshan Udyavar
Shouldn’t Bischoff go in WWE Hall of Fame in place of Xpac as part of NWO? I can’t even recollect his contribution to the group. Also I felt he was the weakest member of DX as well.

Yeah. I think the Waltman inclusion in NWO is silly, but it’s good to be friends with Triple H lol. It should just be Hogan, Hall and Nash and if there’s a fourth then it should be Bischoff too.

21. Chris Young
Do you think The Revival is going to sign with AEW once their contracts are up?

Absolutely yes. They both have young families at home (I know Dawson does, I believe Wilder does too), so working that lighter AEW schedule will be good for them.

22. Daniel Mount
Why does AEW get a pass on things while WWE gets raked over the coals for doing the same thing?

I think fans that hate on WWE are pretty ridiculous at times. Since AEW is the new, fresh toy so to speak, maybe those same critical fans are less angry about bad things. I dunno. If you think of all the hours of programming WWE has, it’s unrealistic to expect everything to be great, but then if you cut it down to just the good stuff there is a lot to enjoy.

Society is overly negative in general, which is sad. I try not to be.

23. Robert Porter II
What current “divas” would you like to see pose for Playboy?

Probably Mandy Rose and Lana although I know Lana had some nudes pre WWE (Google is your friend). I think backstage interviews Charly Caruso and Kayla Braxton are gorgeous too. There are a lot of them. I don’t think I’ve bought a Playboy since the last time Torrie Wilson was in it.

24. Kenny Brophy
Who will/should be the first non WWE guy to hold the AEW Championship and how long until it happens?

I think it should be Adam Page or even Darby Allin, who has been really impressive. Kenny Omega is a fine choice too. I think with Page it should happen by the summer.

25. John C Hoddy
What are the three best hardcore matches you’ve ever seen?

There are so many. I’ll probably miss a lot, but I’m going off the top of my head here. That Edge/Foley match at WM22 was great, Orton/Foley at Backlash 2004 and Flair/Funk I Quit – not exactly Hardcore, but it kind of is.

26. Douglas Wayne Casto Jr.
What do you think they’re gonna do with Drew Gulak. Almost seems like they’re going to use him as a Daniel Bryan proxy when he inevitably goes part time or retires. Thoughts?

Yeah I think they are using Bryan to elevate Gulak, which is certainly fine with me. That’s what you are supposed to do where you use the established main eventers to make others better around them. Tag team for now and maybe Gulak can grow as a character.

27. Cory Andrew Bacon
What letter grade would you give Tony Khan so far on his ability and results with running a wrestling company?

I would say probably a B+ or A-. They need to improve the women’s division, pay attention to tag team rules and stuff like that. I think AEW is an enjoyable product.

Tony is a good guy. A similar type of fan as a lot of us. We also follow eachother on Twitter, so clearly he’s an intelligent guy. At least I think so!

28. Amanda Noel
Back in the late 90s/early 00s when you were writing for Rajah, (I remember reading your columns back then) were the fans as bitchy and winey as they are today?

I don’t think so. It’s hard to really remember that stuff now and I was a lot younger then. I think social media does lead to more negativity, though. It’s easier to be a jerk and angry, which sucks, but that’s how the world is right now.

29. Charlie Pérez
WWE and AEW are doing a great job by keeping us entertained during this pandemic do you see this lasting until it’s all over? Even if they do tapings.

I think it might be smart to give the talent and the workers a break after WrestleMania in WWE’s case. They should be done taping by Thursday. As for AEW, I don’t know. Keep going a few more weeks, but maybe stop for a few weeks.

Hopefully May or June we can be close to normal. I think April won’t be great.

30. Ed Eastin Jr
Do you see the WWE (and AEW) suspending operations after Mania until #ThisShit gets figured out or passes?

I think it’s very possible. It’s probably the right thing to do. I think April will still be bad.

31. Brigid Martinez
Who lifted the briefcase at King of the Ring 1999?

Big Boss Man is the answer I give, but it’s not official either. This is one of those things where WWE dropped an angle without explaining it because they think fans forget stuff. We don’t forget!

32. Ryan Mullins
Do you think Brock should retain over Drew at WrestleMania (not in a clean fashion) and save the title change for possibly SummerSlam or whenever a crowd can be present??

I think Drew should win for sure. I don’t agree with saving it because if Drew loses then that hurts his credibility with the fans and they won’t see him as a big star that he needs to be.

33. John L Henegar
Did you read (or hear) Matt Hardy’s comments on the Chris Jericho podcast about how he couldn’t get anyone (Vince) to listen to his ideas for his character? How long can Vince keep going like this? He talks about his track record and all but how many people is he willing to lose? Matt said he had a Google talk with Triple H and if he was running the company he might have stayed.

I heard the podcast. Vince could have done more with him, but Matt is also 45 years old. When WWE uses older guys, fans will complain about that and now people will complain about WWE not doing something with an older guy like Matt. It’s a no win situation. Like Matt said in the interview, Vince didn’t seem to understand the “Broken” Matt character and that’s okay. I thin it’s fine that Matt moved on. A company like AEW is probably the best thing for him at this point in his career with a lighter schedule that will allow Matt to be home more often to be with his wife and three young sons.

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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.