Hello! Today, I bring you a special wrestling Q&A which took place on the eWrestlingNews Facebook page on November 24th 2021. Please join us via the above link if you would like to take part in future Q&A’s. Alternatively, I will consider questions for future editions if you were to leave them in the comments section below. Some of the topics we discussed include: Ring of Honor’s hiatus. The future of NXT. Selling WWE. Triple H starting a new promotion. Who is next on Vince McMahon’s chopping block. Will The Rock ever return.*
*An additional question from a family member. It did not happen on our social media Q&A.
1) Who is next on Vince McMahon’s chopping block?
Two people asked this. It’s a tough question, because I don’t wish for anyone to lose their job. I would say guys like Akira Tozawa or Drew Gulak, they don’t seem like anyone Vince would take seriously any time soon. I’d also add Elias, just because WWE may already have given up on trying to repackage him. Preferably, I wouldn’t want anyone to lose their jobs.
2) If not Disney, who else has a shot at buying WWE?
I’m not convinced that WWE would go up for sale in case there’s a dire need for it. If I’m Vince McMahon, I would want my legacy to continue under Shane, Stephanie, Triple H, or a mix of the three. After all, it is a family business from day one. However, if WWE really wanted to sell, you would imagine there would be many takers, many of whom we may never have heard of. Disney is just one of those big names people like to throw around because they recently bought franchises. The Rock bought the XFL, so he would be an interesting potential buyer if McMahon wanted to look outside the family.
I do not believe the rumors based on the latest talent releases. Thinking of it from a business point of view, citing the reason as “budget cuts” is questionable next to their reports of record profits. If you sell up a company, you want to make it sound as profitable as possible. Citing budget cuts as a reason is not attractive to potential buyers. You’d find another way of wording it.
3) Do you think Triple H will start his own wrestling company?
No. I really doubt this, because not only is he loyal to WWE for life, I think his wife and kids would be absolutely furious! Can you imagine how that conversation would go?
4) Do you think the Brooklyn Brawler deserves to be in the Hall of Fame?
I honestly think he will. He was a company man for a long time. The Brooklyn Brawler may not get a proper induction, but will get put in along with the “legacy” inductees. They should have already inducted him. There’s definitely less deserving people in the Hall of Fame.
5) Who do you think deserves the brunt of the blame for ROH’s failures?
Ring of Honor management. The product never developed, and they did not change with the times. ROH only catered to the purest of wrestling fans for too long. AEW came along and they lost their platform of promoting the best wrestlers from around the world. Why would anyone want to see ROH when they can get a ticket for AEW? Also, there are other options for talent out there.
Impact Wrestling sorted itself out by bringing in creative minds who know how to develop talent, like Scott D’Amore and Don Callis. It was a more attractive option to get noticed. Also, management appointed Marty Scurll in a position of power, just before the SpeakingOut movement. This put a stain on its reputation. Even before that, it was only relevant because AEW wasn’t around. ROH was piggybacking off the success of New Japan for years. When that relationship ended, it should have done more to anticipate the inevitable difficulties. It desperately needed a better TV deal.
6) Who do you think will be the next call ups from NXT 2.0?
Bron Breakker, Tony D’Angelo, Toxic Attraction & Raquel Gonzalez, they seem the most likely at this point. It won’t be in a few months, but maybe in a year. There’s no set timeline on this. WWE just released more talent, so by moving people up so soon, they would have to think about releasing again.
As for Dakota Kai, I feel like she’s lost in the mix, much like Kay Lee Ray, and Io Shirai to a lesser extent. I’m worried for them, because it doesn’t feel like Vince would get behind them on Raw or SmackDown. We know what happens when someone doesn’t work out on the main roster.
7) What will Johnny Gargano & Tommaso Ciampa do?
Gargano & Ciampa will continue in NXT for as long as they can. They know, and everyone else knows, they probably won’t get much time on the main roster, or they will get released. They will keep working for NXT until they decide they have had enough.
[On Johnny Gargano’s contract expiring on December 3rd] Unless he already has a bunch of plans in place, he will sign another contract, but only he can answer this. If I were him I’d be struggling to decide, because it’s not like he could jump to AEW and be a main star right away. Does he keep making good money in NXT? Or does he go for something fresh by going back to the indies? It’s whatever motivates him more. Only he knows the answer.
8) After what’s happened with ROH, what is the state of independent wrestling?
I’m not super knowledgeable on the state of independent wrestling. However, with WWE releasing so many talents, AEW providing a (Dark) platform, along with ROH’s temporary closure, promotions like GCW are killing it right now. This is a better time than any for an Indy promotion to get their foot in the door. Perhaps even getting ahead of ROH before it returns? There’s so much potential if someone has the motivation, but more importantly, the financial backing to pull it off.
MLW has already done so much and is probably a reason ROH is where it is. They have a chance to take over their spot for good, but who knows? Maybe it doesn’t have the finances to firmly cement itself? The landscape could drastically change in the coming months.
9) Will The Rock ever return to WWE? And who would he wrestle?
There has been much said about WWE promoting his 25th year anniversary at Survivor Series, only for The Rock to give nothing back. At the least, you would expect to get a pre-recording with the amount of plugging that WWE did. At Impact Wrestling Bound For Glory, The Rock found the time to record a video to honor his former rival Ken Shamrock, and induct him in to the Hall of Fame. Days before Survivor Series, he mentioned the 25th anniversary on Twitter.
He was apparently too busy on the weekend, but his activity suggested otherwise. It would not have taken long for him to record a 1-2 minute video thanking the WWE Universe, on top of plugging his latest movie. Instead, Vince McMahon showed up with a golden egg which serves as a major prop in the movie. He incorporated it in to a short-lived story which ended with Austin Theory getting a meaningless WWE title shot on the next episode of Raw. It felt empty on WWE’s part, as it did everything to plug The Rock’s new movie, while he wouldn’t go as far to appear via recording.
Now, there’s a very good chance The Rock did not know how much WWE would plug this anniversary. I’m sure if he knew, he would have done something. So I believe, when he finds time in his schedule, he will address this and WWE will get what I’m sure it was after. However, would The Rock ever go as far to return to wrestling? That’s a topic for debate. We’ve heard about it for a long time now. Roman Reigns vs. The Rock, it’s happening for sure. Most definitely happening at WrestleMania in 2023… provided The Rock isn’t too busy. The thing is, he’s always busy, and he isn’t letting up!
In terms of business, The Rock would only come back to put Roman Reigns over, which is arguably the only worthwhile thing he could do. But does The Rock want his last match to be a losing effort? Would he not rather face somebody fresh and give them the rub? Sure, The Rock wins, but he puts over a new kid. We know he doesn’t need money, he would only come back to have fun, and I can’t imagine him having that while losing to the Tribal Chief. There’s also a risk he would embarrass Reigns, because The Rock is mountains above him in the charisma department.
However, if they didn’t have the match, there would always be that question from the WWE Universe. “Who is the real Head of the Table”? And this is where it gets complicated, because The Rock might not want to answer that question. Sure, it helps Reigns, but does it help him? Would he make anything out of deciding that? Or would it serve as confirmation that he is passing the torch in every sense? Maybe The Rock feels he has been gone from wrestling too long to do this effectively? Who knows what he thinks. The only thing that matters… is does it make good business sense?
A side of me says yes, this is a big money match people would pay to see. The other side of me says no, because Reigns doesn’t need The Rock to put him over, and the future of WWE would be better off if they left The People’s Champ in the past where he belongs. Build up a future star who Reigns can eventually pass the torch too, instead of always relying on nostalgia. Yes, Dwayne Johnson is a megastar. You’d be an idiot not to book him if he’s available, but you also have to think… who is the next Rock? The next Reigns? Who is taking over from the Tribal Chief?
Would The Rock think that by returning, he becomes like those other legends? You know the type. Those big names who take the spotlight away from those who are in their primes. Does he really want that, just so he can put over a family member who is firmly on top of WWE? The bottom line is… this has been a long answer to a question which can only be answered by The Rock.
Would I like to see Reigns vs. The Rock? Sure, why not. If it doesn’t happen? Then I won’t lose any sleep over it. I would be happier if WWE actually developed someone who would appreciate that spot way more. I’m leaning towards The Rock never returning in a wrestling capacity, but I would not be surprised if he mixes it up with Roman Reigns in some fashion. Just don’t hope too hard that it will happen at next years WrestleMania.
With that said, thank you to everyone who provided questions for this wrestling Q&A! It was more fun than expected. Please let me know your thoughts in the comments, and if you would like more of these. Thanks for reading.