Welcome back to another Monday Morning Q&A where I toss out some questions to get a feel of how you guys and gals are feeling about certain topics.
This time around, so much has happened the past few days that I’m giving you a triple dose. Part 1 will be about NXT In Your House, part 2 about the AEW World Championship scene and part 3 will focus on Hell in a Cell.
So here are 5 questions I’d like to toss out for this week. I’ll give my answers, too, but the key here is that I want to know what YOU think! So make sure you chime in!
1) Does CM Punk going down with an injury immediately after winning the title hurt your perception of him as champion?
Yes and no. It isn’t his fault, as these things happen. But I do think this reflects poorly on him, just like it would anyone else. The timing is awful. It might be jumping to conclusions, but it gives people pause to speculate that he’s unable to handle a tougher schedule and possibly shouldn’t be a long term champion. If his body isn’t able to hold up wrestling as often as he has without succumbing to an injury, would you trust that he should hold the belt super long like most of the other champions?
However, for the most part, I don’t think this is on him. It’s more of a fluke than anything else. Finn Balor won the Universal Championship and was injured in that match. The old phrase is true that wrestling isn’t ballet (though those dancers can suffer injuries in their own right and shouldn’t be discredited as not having their own struggles).
In the grand scheme of things, I think Punk shouldn’t hold the title too long. I’d be more than fine with him dropping it at All Out or at least Full Gear. But I had that opinion before he got injured, to be honest.
2) What are your thoughts on the interim champion idea? Is that okay, or a cop-out where Punk should just vacate the title?
It depends on how long he’s going to be out. If the hope is that he’ll be back in time for All Out, the interim title makes sense. He can skip Forbidden Door, but he’ll have a built-in feud for the title when he comes back. No need to drop the title, win it back and just make someone else have a lackluster temporary reign.
However, if he’s going to be out longer than that, the belt should officially change hands. I don’t want some interim champion from now until November or into 2023. That gets terribly confusing when talking about who was a former champion and how many times they won the belt. There are still people who act like The Brian Kendrick was WWE champion just because he was in temporary possession of it during a scramble match, for God’s sake.
Short-term to stretch between two events, thumbs up. Once you reach the three month mark, it shouldn’t be interim anymore.
3) Who do you WANT to win the battle royal?
Since the winner fights Jon Moxley and potentially goes on to Forbidden Door, I want to see someone credible, rather than just someone interesting. To further clarify, I don’t want Buddy Matthews to score an upset when I know he’ll lose to Moxley, even if that match could be great.
The options who make the most sense to me at face value are Adam Page, Bryan Danielson, Chris Jericho, Miro, and possibly Wardlow.
If I’m picking, I’d go with Danielson. That might not happen if he’s injured and unable to perform, though. Hence, the next question…
4) Who do you THINK will win the battle royal?
I’m banking on Chris Jericho. Not only does it make sense for him to face Moxley and to keep that feud going, but you can tell the story that they’re the first two champions and that either of them against Tanahashi revisits old wounds at Forbidden Door.
If Tony Khan has a trick up his sleeve, maybe they’ll go with someone like Keith Lee just to keep people on their toes. There’s also a solid chance Page wins this and they try to write it like he’s earning his way back into the title hunt like he did with his previous battle royal win that earned him the shot against Kenny Omega, but my official prediction is Jericho.
5) Do you think the title match at Forbidden Door will end up being Hiroshi Tanahashi vs. Jon Moxley, Tanahashi vs. the battle royal winner, or something else?
I do think Tanahashi will keep his spot in the title match, instead of being replaced. I’m hoping for Tanahashi against Danielson, but I think it will be Tanahashi against Jericho. Either one of them winning the interim title makes sense. Tanahashi would be the interesting choice to hold it until the Punk match that was previously scheduled. But if that’s not doable as far as scheduling, Jericho beating Tanahashi and doubling down on the sports entertainer bit so savior Punk can come back and restore professional wrestling to the world title is a storyline that writes itself.
Let us know your thoughts about these questions by answering them in the comments!