The John Report: Questions & Answers - November Edition
It's time for the monthly Q&A. I try to do these on a monthly basis, but I never got around to it in October. The last one was from September.
How this works is pretty simple. On Saturday I made a post on the Facebook page of TJRWrestling.com asking for your questions. Throughout the day I answered them. Almost all of them have made it into this 6,500 word Q&A session. I even counted them for you. There are 50 questions with my detailed answers. I will put the questions in bold italics while my answers will follow in regular font. Simple enough? Let's begin.
1. How would you plan out the future for CM Punk's WWE title reign?
It depends how long it goes for. At TLC he's got a Tables match with Ryback, which can end with Punk winning by cheating again and Ryback is protected without taking a pin because all he would be doing is falling through a table to lose. Then from there does Punk lose the WWE Title to Rock at Royal Rumble? I think that will happen, but if they choose to keep it on Punk due to Rock not being on house shows then they need another creative finish because I doubt they would want Rock to lose clean. The last three PPVs have ended with tainted finishes for Punk. How many more can you do? I think it will end with Rock at the Rumble, so really they just need to have him get by Ryback at TLC to get there.
2. Will Vince McMahon ever release an autobiography? Probably not, but if so, just how good could it be?
I think it's unlikely that he will ever write one. That's just because I think he's old school in that he wants to "protect the business" and writing about stories of his 40+ years in the business is not something he wants to share with the public. Maybe a private memoir type thing, but for everybody? No I don't think so.
To answer that second part, it would be amazing. There are so many things I'd love to ask him and know about from his perspective. Things from the early WrestleMania years, the steroid trial, how scared he really was of WCW, how satisfying it was to buy WCW, if he thinks the Attitude Era was the best time in company history, why Randy Savage wasn't remembered more fondly by WWE and things like that. There's no question in my mind that if Vinny Mac wrote a TRUTHFUL autobiography it would be the best piece of wrestling literature ever. Then again it's Vince, so how much truth would there really be?
3. Will there ever be a time again where a wrestler can plausibly hold the WWE Championship long enough to actually break Bruno Sammartino's record?
I don't think so. I think that's an easy one to say. The business has changed so much since then. It's a surprise to see a guy hold the WWE Title for one full year, so to see somebody do it for seven years again is very unlikely. It's kind of like Wilt Chamberlain averaging 50 points in a NBA season or Wayne Gretzky scoring 215 points in a NHL season. That stuff happened, but the games have changed so much that those numbers are untouchable now. Same with the Sammartino title reign. Too many things have changed in wrestling for that to happen again.
4. If/when the WWE builds an actual Hall of Fame, where do you think it will be, and where do you think it should be?
I keep hearing Florida is the likely state to have it, possibly in Orlando. It makes sense to be in a place with a lot of tourists. Obviously the New York area is where WWE is considered home (and they have a lot of tourists too), but I think the cost of doing it there would be high. I also don't know if WWE even wants to do an actual Hall of Fame. They're probably hesitant because they're not sure if it would make money and I think they're right in that regard. Can it make money? I don't know if it would.
5. How can John Cena be "freshened" up, without turning heel?
Losing more would be the best way, but I don't know if that's how WWE wants to book him. As a nearly ten year main eventer there's going to come a time when they have to book him as a veteran that has lost a step. He's 35, though, so he's not that old in the wrestling sense yet. A lot of guys perform at high level into their early 40s (Flair, Michaels, Undertaker) while others don't even have a career in their 40s like Steve Austin or Edge. It's going to be hard to freshen up Cena without turning him heel. He's so established and he still generates a reaction from the fans (good or bad), so if you're WWE you have to ask why you would do such a thing? I would do it if I were them, but when you look at the merchandise he does and all his amazing charitable work it makes it hard for them to want to change him.
6. In your opinion...Has WWE already fumbled with the "NXT Invasion"? It seems to me that while Rollins and Ambrose were long overdue for main roster spots, this 3-man assault on Ryback seems like a cheap way to satisfy us IWC members. The only way I could see it working is with a big scale NXT invasion. Not everyone, but the guys who are over in developmental, the Bray Wyatt's and Kassius Ohno's of the NXT brand. I would love to hear your thoughts on the matter.
I think it's WAY too early to be complaining about an angle that is just getting started. We haven't heard them talk yet (apparently we will on Monday). We haven't seen them wrestle on WWE TV yet. We don't know if they will be paired with CM Punk or what direction they will have. Why are people so quick to judge things and jump to conclusions? Rollins and Ambrose are extremely talented performers that will be main event players in the years to come. They are that good. Let's see what happens. My advice is don't rush to judgment so quickly. Be patient. There's plenty of time.
7. What would you have changed/how would you have booked the Invasion storyline?
I would have had WCW win a lot more early on. I would have had a lot less WWE people on the WCW side. I would have kept Stephanie McMahon out of the storyline because the daughter of a billionaire is not representative of what people liked about ECW. I also think they should have brought in Hogan, Flair, Goldberg, Bischoff, Sting and all of the big WCW names for that angle because then it would have meant more. All of them except Sting were in WWE soon after anyway. The reason they didn't do it was because WWE would have had to bought out their contracts, but I think in the long run they would have made the money back and then some.
The problem with the booking was WWE was made too strong early on. Vince didn't realize that as the owner of WCW it didn't hurt him if he booked them to beat WWE because he OWNED them. Make WWE the babyfaces that lost early on and then came back to win. This should have been a two or three year angle. Instead it ended in about four months.
8. With WWE reaching a settlement with the World Wildlife Fund to use WWF in the old footage again, do you think that WWE would or should re-release some of their older DVD's with WWF restored? It's so annoying watching anything with the Attitude Era, and either it's blurred out, or censored.
I don't think they will do that. To make DVDs, market them, release them and hope people would then buy them for a second time (or a first time) with the idea that there's no blurring would be a reach on WWE's part. I see what you're saying, though. It is annoying. But I doubt you're going to see them re-release things. It's just a shame it took 10 years for this to be settled. A little bit of money would have helped and it would have been sorted a long time ago.
9. If the brand extension were actually enforced, which/how many championships should there be, and should they be brand-exclusive?
They shouldn't add or take away any championships. The number they have now is fine. Just do a better job of booking them. At least the tag titles matter again. I'm fine with the brand extension not being enforced. Raw is a three hour show. Smackdown is like 90 minutes when you factor in all of the damn Raw replays.
10. Do you think that we will see a shift toward an actual Diva's division next year as people like Paige and Audrey Marie get called up? I would love a Mania or Summer feud with Nattie and Paige (polar opposites imo). I hope all of the fan support is getting the attention of management enough to take a chance in that direction.
I'd love it, but I don't think it's likely. I don't think Vince McMahon, Triple H and whoever else is calling the shots cares about the divas division these days. They barely get TV time. Like I've written, I think we'll get an Eve vs. AJ Lee story in the year heading into WrestleMania, but anything other than that I have no idea. I wish WWE cared more about the women in the company. But I don't see there being any significant changes going forward.
Wait another 20 years when Hunter and Stephanie's three daughters are on the show. Then they'll care about the female performers again. That was sarcasm although it's probably realistic too!
11. This question has more likely been asked before, but i'll ask it anyway. If WWE, TNA or ROH offered you a full time job as a booker or writer, would you take it and if so why?
It depends on the pay, the travel, the job responsibilities and things like that. I have never booked a wrestling show in my life and I don't think it's easy to do it. There would be a lot to learn. I really like my life right now as it is, but I will always wonder "what if" so maybe one day I might send in an application to WWE. If I was offered a position I'd probably take it. Why not? You don't know what something is like unless you try it and that's something I'd definitely consider.
"How do you like your coffee, Paul? Or can I call you Hunter? Trips? The Game?" See. I'm practicing already!
12. I keep reading rumors of CM Punk and Paul E. reforming the N.w.O. Is this a real possibility and can it go over as well for a 3rd time?
I don't think it's real. Just a joke. I don't think it would work anyway. Some things need to stay in the past. Better to come up with new ideas and hope they catch on.
13. How should Lesnar be used in the Heyman-Punk partnership/potential stable heading towards the "road to WrestleMania"?
The muscle behind the group, of course. If he sticks around for the WrestleMania season then they can have him build up a friendship with Punk. Then later in 2013 they could have Lesnar turn babyface (assuming Punk stays heel long term) and get a Punk/Lesnar feud out of it too. That's what alliances are good for. The success as a group and then the feuds that follow when things go bad.
14. What is your opinion of Pre-Hogan WCW?
It was cool. My favorite performer was Vader as an awesome bully heel type of character that could have very good matches for a big guy. I also liked Sting, Ric Flair, Steve Austin, Brian Pillman, Arn Anderson, The Steiner Brothers and so many others. There were a lot of talented performers there and not as many silly gimmicks as in WWE. I enjoyed WCW Saturday night on TBS pre-Nitro too. I have a lot of fond memories of WCW in the early 90s. I enjoyed the product mostly because it was new to me because I really didn't see any NWA/WCW until about 1991 or so.
15. Do you think Punk facing Taker at WM (to lose) is positive so far? Guy's been champ for a year, yet have him lose to an almost retired wrestler would be the same as having him lose to a part timer, since Taker and Rocky won't be on TV and live shows (not even close to) often. If so: how would you book it?
It's a rumor. So many rumors out there so who's to say what is legit and what's not? I think CM Punk vs. Undertaker would be interesting although I think the angle they'd go with is that Punk has beat "everybody" except for the Undertaker at WrestleMania. The build would be amazing. I don't know if it's the best match for Punk, but it may be the highest profile match he could have and I like it in that respect. I would assume Punk would lose if the match happens at WM29. What do you gain from Undertaker as WWE Champion, though? That's the negative of that. I'm not sure what's going to happen. I like not knowing.
16. Can the WWE finally land Sting? I'm a huge Sting fan but in my opinion if he wants to be a true Icon, he needs to make a run at the WWE and be the WWE champ. What are your thoughts on that?
I don't know if WWE needs him or he needs them, so if it never happens both sides can be content with that. I would love for it happen, though. It would have meant more when Sting was younger of course, but just to see it even for one match would happen. I don't think they'd put the WWE Title on a guy in his 50s, personally. I know saying "never" in wrestling is bad, so I'll just say that I think it's unlikely we'll see Sting in WWE.
17. If the two big promotions were to trade any two performers for two of the other promotions roster to make the biggest impact, who would you trade and why?
I don't consider TNA to be big. If they were big they wouldn't tape their television show in front of an audience that gets into the building free in Orlando. And they would do more than 8,000 buys on PPV. The only names in TNA that would make a huge name in WWE are Jeff Hardy, who was the #2 babyface in WWE when he left, and Kurt Angle, who is a legend that can still work. I love guys like AJ Styles and Samoa Joe, but a lot of the WWE audience doesn't know them. There are probably 20 WWE people (or more) that would be a big name in TNA. Pick one.
18. With the release of the Attitude Era DVD, what is your favorite Attitude Era moment?
Picking just one is hard, but I would say the in-ring confrontation between Steve Austin and Mike Tyson in early 1998. Vince McMahon was so proud to have Tyson on his show, then Austin's music hits and Vince has this "oh crap not him" look on his face. Then the shoving match. That was one of those moments where were all talking about it at school the next day (I was in 12th grade). Huge. Loved it.
19. Can stables ever be a force again? I really miss the 4 Horsemen, DX (the whole group not just HHH and HBK), and the NwO.
Absolutely. I'd add Evolution to that group too. I think stables have a place in wrestling and always will. They are a formulaic thing that works. It's just a matter of having the right amount of people, the perfect person as the leader and then book them strong. If the group can last two years in today's fast paced wrestling scene then that's great. From there you have months of feuds between the members when they break up. They will always be a force in wrestling if they are booked right.
20. It looks like WWE is using my boy, Justin Gabriel more. Do you see him winning a singles title by the end of next year?
It might happen with Gabriel winning the IC or US Title. However, I'd rather see him and Tyson Kidd team up for the next year as an exciting babyface team. Build the tag division about them. They'll have entertaining matches while growing as performers.
21. If you had to cut 10 people from the RAW and Smackdown rosters who would it be? Would the average fan even notice?
I don't know who I would cut. Anybody that's not used regularly would be a threat to be cut, but I think anybody that works for WWE has talent or else they wouldn't be there. The main roster has over 80 people on it. There are another 40 or so people in NXT/developmental. If you cut ten people off of it I doubt many fans would notice.
22. Has the Diva (Women's) division even been a draw for ratings or attendance?
For attendance it's hard to know. I don't think you can credit any of the divas for that. For ratings, I know for a fact that during the 1998/1999 years Sable was somebody that generated ratings. I think after Austin and Rock she was next in terms of people tuning into the show when she was on. So yes I'd say Sable was the best woman at drawing an audience considering the time period she was in her prime. Plus her Playboy magazine sales are still amongst the best ever as far as I know.
23. Miz v. Otunga was painful to watch. Who can they feud Miz with to put him over as a face?
The roster is full of heels. Guys like Rhodes or Sandow would be perfect. Another is Cesaro. Maybe Wade Barrett too. All of those guys are old school heels in that they don't try to get anybody to ever cheer them and they are people that Miz can play off of very well. I thought Miz vs. Ziggler was an excellent match on Main Event as well.
24. What current superstar could best benefit from a manager? And what current manager would you put them with?
I think Jack Swagger would benefit greatly from being managed by Paul Heyman, who is fantastic at that job. He puts over his talent so well and would do an amazing job of helping Swagger. It would be a great fit, I think.
25. Do you think the Miz will win a major World Title as a babyface?
Absolutely. They might use 2013 to build him as a babyface, but I think he'll hold either the WWE Title again or the World Title for the first time. He's 32 years old. Has a lot of time left in his career.
26. Will the WWE ever give Ted DiBiase Jr. a huge push?
If this was three years ago I would have absolutely said yes. Two years ago I would have said probably. Right now? I don't see it happening. I think he's fallen pretty far in part because of a bad gimmick. Million Dollar Man Jr. didn't work because he lacks the personality that his dad had. They need to find a role for him that works. The other problem is there are so many other talented people on the roster that it's going to be tough to find a spot for him.
27. Do you think the drug situation in professional wrestling is still a problem? If so, what do you think can be implemented (other than rehab) to improve the problem?
Yes it's a problem although not nearly as bad as it was before. The good thing is that the current generation of wrestlers are likely not doing the hard drugs that they were doing in the 80s, namely cocaine and a lot more steroids. There are better ways to train your body these days, plus a lot of the guys today are into video games, comic books and various things on the internet to keep them busy. The pain killer problem is what gets to a lot of wrestlers after they retire. Your body stops taking bumps as often, but you still take those drugs because you hurt and then we are reading about some guy dying in his late 40s or early 50s because they didn't know how to have a life after wrestling. What can be done? Individuals have to be smarter about what they do after they stop being full time wrestlers. Save your money, invest your time into something worthwhile and don't be reliant on popping pills because your body at 45 years old isn't the same as it was at 25 years old.
28. After reading "The New NXTus is Doomed", I began to wonder if this new faction doesn't work out, will we ever see a faction again that has the lasting power of the NWO or DX again?
I don't agree with what Mike wrote, but understand his opinion. Yes we'll see factions again and yes there will be successful ones because they have always worked in wrestling. The 80s had the Horsemen, the 90s had the NWO & DX, the 2000s had Evolution and those are just the most successful ones. There were a lot of other stables along the way although not as big as them.
29. If and or when John Cena were to ever turn heel (which I highly doubt) what type of heel persona would u like to see him portray? Either the Dr. Of Thuganomics, The Prototype, or just an entirely new persona. Also how much of an impact (no reference to TNA) would it make on the WWE superstars and fans who are dying for this to happen?
A new persona. But I don't know if he'll ever turn heel even though that's probably the one thing that could probably spark WWE business more than anything. If he did the "Doctor of Thuganomics" again he'd be cheered. He was a heel doing that persona and then people loved him for it. Heel Cena would be a money angle just like heel Hogan was for WCW. Will it ever happen? Maybe, but I don't think it's that likely.
30. I know that a lot of people would scrap the AJ/Cena storyline if it were plausible at this point, but going forward, where would you take it?
I honestly don't give a damn about the angle. Only thing I like is that it's leading to a Ziggler push since he's feuding with Cena now. Just don't turn this into Cena proposing to AJ or some stupid crap like that. I don't care about the angle.
31. If it were to happen, how would you book the SCSA-Punk Feud? Do you keep with the social media canon, or do you develop a Storyline with one of them interrupting an interview (Stone Cold Appreciation night goes bad)?
There are so many ways. Punk can brag about beating everybody and being the greatest superstar ever when suddenly Austin's music hits. From there the feud writes itself. Also the straight edge heel vs. the beer drinking legendary babyface works too. It would be a very easy story to write, but if it was me I would just let them come up with the ideas because both of them are brilliant wrestling minds.
32. Will we ever see Bobby Roode in WWE? He's arguably the best thing in TNA as far as getting over as a heel or face.
I'd love to see it, but when you consider that he's going to be 36 years old on January 1st I think it's unlikely that WWE would want to bring in a guy at that age even if he was available. As far as I know he signed a TNA extension at the end of last year or early this year, so I doubt we will ever see him in WWE.
33. If Rock wasn't scheduled for RR, do you think Ryback would have won the championship or do you think it was in the plans for Punk to have a year long reign?
That's a big if because it was announced in July. But I think Punk would have been more likely to drop the WWE Title if that match with Rock wasn't booked so far in advance.
34. Who had a better debut and why: Kane or Jericho?
Both were pretty awesome. Kane happened at the end of that amazing Undertaker/Shawn Michaels match that was the first to take place inside Hell in a Cell. Jericho's happened with a promo on Raw when Rock was in the ring. I'll go with Jericho just because I anticipated a lot more and I thought it delivered in every way. Plus I'll always like Jericho more than Kane. Both were pretty awesome. Two of the best debuts ever, really.
35. Hey John, what's your opinion towards The Kliq? I've been watching something called kayfabe commentaries recently and the kliq is brought up quite a lot which got me thinking of something. If the kliq had so much power or leeway back then do you think they should have used this to have a more positive influence on the industry rather than using it for their own personal gain?
In theory, yes. However, the guys in the group (Shawn Michaels, Kevin Nash, Scott Hall, Triple H & X-Pac) were not the nicest guys in the company. They looked out for themselves and they were jerks to a lot of others in the locker room. Part of it was because of the influence of drugs and booze (definitely for Shawn, Scott & X-Pac), but also because wrestling is a business where you have to look out for yourself. It's not a "team" business. Those guys were a tight knit group, though, so they did everything they could to help the others in their group. I don't know if something like that would ever exist today or if it would be allowed in WWE. For that time they had a lot of power whether people liked it or not.
I'm sure if they could go back they would have changed some things, but that's part of the struggle of being in the wrestling business. It messes with your emotions. It's not easy. I think Michaels fixed his reputation when he came back in 2002 and Triple H obviously is in a powerful spot, I'm sure there are some people in the business who don't like them because of their behavior 16 years ago.
36. Let's say this is a perfect world. Punk retains the title at the rumble over The Rock (shady finish maybe from Cena?). Then The Undertaker as a surprise entrant wins the Rumble and sets up Taker vs Punk. Could you see Taker going down for Punk as a symbolic passing of the torch? I really feel like the build to that match could be entertaining.
I don't think Undertaker will ever lose a match at WrestleMania. I've felt that since he was about 12-0 or so. I figured they would just push it for as long as they could. I think if they had CM Punk defending the WWE Title against a part timer like Undertaker it would be very interesting to fans. Having Undertaker lose would surprise me, but it's not like I'd hate it. I say wait and see. Let's see if it actually happens. Then we can try to guess scenarios. It wouldn't be a new feud since they did feud in 2009, but there would be some freshness to it if they did it at WrestleMania 29.
37. Saw the CM Punk dvd (which was great), and I was pleased to hear the mentioning of his 2003 feud with Raven in ROH, which was really awesome. Any thoughts on that feud?
It was a lot of fun from what I remember. I saw bits and pieces of it over the years, but I wasn't the type to order ROH DVDs. I had a few though. Punk learned a lot from Raven, who was obviously in the latter stages of his career at that point. It was good for Raven too because he got to work with a top younger star. It's one of those feuds that benefitted both guys, which is what you want in any rivalry.
38. I have a question about the past. What was or is the reason for the hatred between Shane Douglas and Ric Flair?
In the late 80s/early 90s when Douglas was starting out, Flair had a hand in booking WCW. Douglas didn't get much of a push, so he blamed for it. I think Douglas is a whiner and should get over it. He's complained about it for twenty years. He's also bitched about Shawn Michaels hurting his WWE career in the 1990s as well. I don't think the "Dean Douglas" character was ever going to get much of a push. Douglas has accomplished a lot, but his personal grudges against two of the top wrestlers ever have tainted his career as well.
39. Hi John, if you were to list 5 ways how WWE this year was better than last year, what would be they be? And also 5 reasons why last year was better than this year.
Five better things about this year:
1) CM Punk's WWE Title run.
2) The push of Daniel Bryan as a top star.
3) The entire buildup as well as the match between Brock Lesnar and John Cena at Extreme Rules.
4) The Undertaker vs. Triple H HIAC match at WrestleMania 28 with HBK as referee. Best match I've ever seen in person.
5) The tag team division being good again.
Five better things about last year:
1) CM Punk's speech in Las Vegas in June 2011.
2) The awesome CM Punk vs. John Cena match at Money in the Bank.
3) Daniel Bryan winning the World Title. Didn't think it would happen that fast into his WWE career.
4) The Rock returning to WWE after such a long time away. I know it's not full time, but that speech he did in February 2011 was legendary.
5) Christian wins the World Title. Didn't think that would ever happen.
40. What's your take on WWE dropping three PPV's a year, and putting them on NBC. Not sure what revenue of a Low-Buyrate PPV vs. a network special (Main Event, Tribute to Troops, etc), but from a viewer-growth potential, it might make sense.
I don't see it happening. The PPVs are a money maker for them. They really have had a good year in terms of PPV buys. I think those big shows on NBC have done poorly in part because WWE doesn't make them a major happening, but even when they tried to do so in the late 2000s the audience was poor. At least with a PPV fans know something big might happen. On a NBC special fans just aren't as into it. Plus, like I said the PPVs are a money maker for them and I think doing twelve in a year is the right call from a business sense. Do I wish some of the booking and long term planning was better? Yes of course. But from a money standpoint you can't deny that their PPV business model is successful.
41. My question is about NXT, do you think them having their own show helps young stars or hurts them? I remember watching FCW in a bar in Florida every Tuesday night. Sheamus was a true badass but they toned down his character for TV so I'm mixed myself. Thoughts?
It definitely helps. Being a part of storylines on television gives those wrestlers experience that they can't gain elsewhere. They get booked by WWE, the WWE agents give them tips on improving and it's something that is beneficial to them long term. It's also good for WWE because it allows them to know who is ready for the big leagues, so to speak. Developmental is very important. I watch NXT regularly and I'm glad I do because it allows me to know more about these talents that are going to be on the main roster in the near future.
42. With WWE Studios in effect, do you ever see the WWE using that company in cross-promotion with one or some of its storylines, like building up a couple of huge storylines on TV for a few months, and doing the matches out of the ring (but of course shooting them months ahead of time so it can be produced cinematically and with a bigger imagination and on a bigger budget), and they did this idea perhaps once a year or so, and releasing it as they do their movies, perhaps in limited release, or straight to DVD. Do you see this being an idea you see them doing, and even more importantly, do you see this being idea that could work?
It could work if done right, but the WWE Studios has proven to be a money loser for WWE. At least it's not a major money loser (like the XFL). Still, it's not a profitable business venture for them. They've changed directions with it so many times to try to help it gain some momentum. Nothing seems to work. I would guess that within five years the WWE Films division is no more. They should probably stop it now, but they're stubborn.
A few people commented on the May 19th angle with Kane regarding the movie See No Evil several years ago. In a way that's some cross promotion, but it's not as detailed as you're suggesting. I see what you mean, though. Like I said it could work. I just think WWE fans view the film division as a failure because that's what it is.
43. Since Vince McMahon made no sense, who would you have picked to be Undertaker's Greater Power? And do you think that some of Russo's ridiculous ideas around that time were just his way of trying to get fired and the chance to jump ship?
That angle was stupid. Russo was definitely burned out from all the writing he was doing. Five months later he was out of the company and onto WCW, which was a good thing for WWE because 2000 was their best year ever. Vince being revealed as the higher power was okay. Not great. But who else could they have picked? It worked and it served Vince's enormous ego too.
44. With Ryback losing to CM Punk on 2 straight PPV's and the seeds already been planted for a Rock/Punk match, how would you book Ryback in the months leading up to WrestleMania to solidify his dominance as a legit top babyface?
I would go with Ryback over Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania. Set it up at the Royal Rumble with Ryback eliminating him, then Brock going back in and costing Ryback the win. It's similar to Goldberg/Lesnar and Michaels/Angle as far as a setup, but so what? It works. The problem with Lesnar/Ryback is that WrestleMania is likely where HHH will get his win back against Lesnar, which quite frankly is unnecessary. But who is going to tell HHH no? Ryback vs. Lesnar would be a huge match as one of the top three WrestleMania matches. It would elevate Ryback. They should do it. That doesn't mean they will.
45. How much of a shock and impact do u feel is was that the 123 kid pinned razor Ramon for the first time when he was considered a no name jobber so to speak? Was this a great way to push someone? Or just a big waste of a opportunity?
I thought it was amazing. Great angle. It was a good way to make an underdog into a star. Plus 123 Kid was an awesome worker for somebody so young at the time (he was 21). It's one of the greatest Raw moments ever and it was nearly 20 years ago now. I watched it recently. Still awesome.
46. Obviously with the lawsuit it won't happen for another year at minimum, but by around 2014 as Punk's time is coming near in wrestling, do you see Samoa Joe making the jump and finally having one feud with Punk on the big stage?
I wish Joe would have been in WWE by now, but I don't know how much interest there would be in him as somebody in his mid to late 30s. I don't know his contract situation right now. Realistically I think it's unlikely that he would ever be in WWE. The TNA schedule is probably better for him considering he's married with young children. In WWE you're on the road four to five days per week. It's harder on a family when you're that busy.
47. WWE had a lot of celebrities in the ring over the years, who do think was the best in-ring performer who wasn't formally trained as a wrestler?
I would definitely go with Lawrence Taylor. He looked like he belonged in that WrestleMania 11 main event with Bam Bam Bigelow. I also thought Floyd Mayweather performed well in terms of the match at WrestleMania 24 although we weren't sure if he was a face or heel. I don't even think he was sure!
48. Do you think WWE needs to build their midcard faces better? It seems like the draw one out of a hat to go for the US/IC title, and the rest job to ADR. They need to let guys like Gabriel, Ryder, Kidd, etc get wins over the big names once in a while or they'll lose any credibility.
Of course they do. I've written about this for a few years. That's why I suggested Miz turn face all of this year. It's why Daniel Bryan is a face now although he's not embracing the fans cheering him yet. It's why I would want Jack Swagger to be a face because it would be different, but also fill a role. A lot of guys debut as heels and on the face side it tends to be more of the veteran guys. Or poor performers like Brodus Clay. More midcard babyfaces would be a great thing to help the company in the long term.
49. He's been coming up a lot in TJR headlines lately so what are your thoughts on Marty Jannetty?
He's a guy that had a lot of talent, but he was also a heavy drug user. Clearly they affected him in a negative way to the point that he could never catch on in WWE or WCW despite repeated attempts to use him. When he and Shawn broke up as the Rockers over 20 years ago a lot of people thought they were pretty even. Shawn took off. Marty faded away. Aside from a few great matches here and there, Marty's another wrestler from the 80s and 90s that is having his difficulties now that he's older. It's a shame to see.
50. I remember reading that before Bret Hart left the WWE he actually pitched an idea where he won at Survivor Series and would drop the belt the next night on Raw to Ken Shamrock, do you think that would've been a better outcome than the screwjob and do you think Shamrock could've been a credible champion?
It was an option. The babyface roster was pretty thin at that point. Austin was hurt from the neck injury, Undertaker was in the Kane feud that didn't need the title and Shamrock was really the next babyface there was. I think if that happened then Shamrock would have just lost it to Michaels within a few weeks. Also if that happened I doubt people would still be talking about it 15 years later as one of the most shocking things in the history of wrestling.
I wish Survivor Series 1997 ended differently for all invloved. But I think from a business standpoint you can't deny that it was a huge money maker for WWE long term because of what happened with the McMahon character as a heel after that.
That's it. Nearly 7,000 words and 50 questions later we're all done. I'll try to do this again in December, but now that December is almost here I need to begin work on the fourth annual (I need to look that up) Johnny Awards. Should be fun.
Thanks again for all the questions. Be sure to "Like" the Facebook page of TJRWrestling.com to be a part of a future edition of the Q&A.
The Raw Deal will be live on Monday because the NFL game is a stinker, so join me for that right here on TJRWrestling.com this Monday night. Have a great weekend!
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