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.
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) WWE probably thinks Cody Rhodes beating Brock Lesnar here makes up for his loss at WrestleMania and he’s back on track. Do you agree or disagree?
Fundamentally disagree. Yes, a loss would have set him back MORE, and this does help make up some of the momentum he’s lost, but nowhere near in comparison.
The way I see it, if Cody was at a fever pitch 10/10 when the bell rang at WrestleMania, and he dropped down to let’s say a 6 after that, he’s at a 7 now. Not an 8 or a 9, and certainly not “just as good of a position as he was before.”
He beat Brock, yes. Few can say that they did that. But he not only didn’t dominate the match (nor should he have, mind you), but he won with a quick pin and then high-tailed it out of there. He ran away from a pissed off Beast Incarnate. That makes him look like he got a fluke win—that he was able to outlast Lesnar mostly because he got the jump at the start of the match, and he got LUCKY, and then bolted out of there.
On a technicality, you can say he beat Brock, but that’s a babyface version of how a heel like Austin Theory will say he beat John Cena and that he beat Bobby Lashley and Bronson Reed, when it involved cheating and being a weasel. It doesn’t hold the same weight.
Better than nothing? Sure. An equal replacement? Not even close. A step in the right direction? Yeah…but they still have a LONG way to go to convince me this story they’re telling isn’t going to have a lackluster ending. And this sure as hell wasn’t a good enough ending if they think THIS was the finale.
2) So…what’s next for Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, and The Bloodline’s in-fighting?
Owens and Zayn have to move on. They can’t just keep doing the story of Zayn wanting to pull Jey away from The Bloodline and then pouting. It’s lost its steam.
Frankly, I don’t think doing the Roman Reigns vs. The Usos thing is a good decision to revert back to, either, but WWE clearly wants to hit the reset button. Since I’m sure if I were on the writing team saying “Can’t we do something different? Why are we just reverting back to a previous stage of The Bloodline and retreading familiar ground?” they wouldn’t be open to alternative ideas.
But if I’m forced to stick with this and I need to pitch what happens next, I don’t feel like there’s any solid No. 1 contender for Roman Reigns at Night of Champions, and they need to solve that problem immediately. It can’t be anyone who functionally should be in the world title tournament (which still baffles me why SmackDown is a part of that…), so since turning Jey babyface to fight Roman again is pretty much off the table despite this whole storyline constantly hinting at that, I think the most logical (but still flawed) option is to just have more stupid in-fighting teases of “you gotta get the job done, or else” for another month (ugh) while Rey Mysterio and the LWO get thrust into the title hunt. They’re moving away from The Judgment Day by being on opposite brands. Have Rey challenge Roman in Saudi, The Usos and Solo Sikoa will be having matches for the next few weeks against Rey, Santos Escobar, Cruz Del Toro and Joaquin Wilde, and it’s the easy way out.
Owens and Zayn should be given new belts (I’m going to harp on that forever) and start a feud with some other team. My mind goes straight to wanting them against Imperium, but I’d be down for those two dethroning them, so maybe we wait on that. Zayn and Owens against Indus Sher could work, but I think they need time on the main roster for people to get to know them first. The Judgment Day fits the bill the best.
3) Who should be the next NXT women’s champion now that Indi Hartwell has vacated the title?
It has to be either Cora Jade or Tiffany Stratton. Nobody else is worthy. While those two still definitely need more work to improve overall, they’ve been making strides and are at a level ready for that responsibility. They’re over enough with the crowd and they command a certain presence to themselves that someone like a Kiana James just hasn’t reached yet.
Roxanne Perez could win it back, but that’s just hitting the reset button. I’d rather see Roxanne be the one to beat Jade or Stratton, instead. And while Gigi Dolin or Jacy Jayne could win this, I don’t think they’re as interesting of potential champion choices compared to Jade and Stratton.
Since Stratton is already close to the Mandy Rose character, I’d rather it be Jade, personally.
4) Which Raw and SmackDown Superstar do you think would make for the best finals of this World Heavyweight Championship tournament at Night of Champions?
At the time I’m writing my response, no info on the six competitors has been announced. Keep that in mind.
It baffles me they’re doing this brand split post-draft title and they’ve immediately crapped on the idea of it being a Raw-specific thing by having half the tournament involving SmackDown guys. That’s nuts. But since they want to do that, for whatever stupid reason, they clearly have an idea in mind they think is great—or they just flat out do not care and people like me who analyze things are laughed at because they’re not putting that much thought into it.
Nevertheless, despite how I would never bother to have SmackDown as part of this if I were on WWE Creative, I’m stuck with booking around that. Who on SmackDown is even worth putting in this tournament to begin with? We need 6 people for the Triple Threat matches, and then, a finalist out of those 6.
The 6 that stand out to me on SmackDown have to be AJ Styles, Austin Theory, Bobby Lashley, Karrion Kross, LA Knight and Sheamus, since I mentioned I’d have Rey Mysterio challenging Roman Reigns. If that doesn’t happen, put Rey in here instead of Theory.
On the Raw side, I think we’re looking at Cody Rhodes, Drew McIntyre, Finn Balor, Matt Riddle, The Miz, Seth Rollins and Shinsuke Nakamura as 7 options, with the potential of tossing in an Apollo Crews, Bronson Reed, Johnny Gargano, etc if you want to. There’s more to to work with. And I expect Brock Lesnar to screw Cody out of his spot in the tournament to set up a rematch for those two in Saudi Arabia.
Seth Rollins is winning this. It’s happening. So let’s go with Cody vs. Balor vs. Nakamura, and Rollins vs. Miz vs. Riddle. Lesnar interferes, Balor pins Nakamura. Rollins pins Miz. Balor versus Rollins in the semifinals. On SmackDown, I’d personally book Styles vs. Theory vs. Knight and have Styles win that, then Kross vs. Lashley vs. Sheamus with Kross winning. Kross beats Styles to set up Rollins vs. Kross in Saudi Arabia so people aren’t splitting their cheers between two babyfaces and we start Rollins off with a win over a fresh opponent and you aren’t mad that this isn’t going to Styles/Lashley/Cody/etc.
5) Hikaru Shida joining the AEW Originals (for a lack of a better team name) puts that team at 5 with Shida, Britt Baker, Jamie Hayter, Willow Nightingale and Skye Blue. The Outcasts currently only have Saraya, Toni Storm and Ruby Soho. Who would you pick for the other 2 to add to the heels to make a 5-on-5?
Athena is the most obvious pick. She’s a former WWE/NXT talent, a heel, and currently has beef with Skye Blue. Her presenting herself as ROH women’s champion helps offset how the babyfaces have Hayter, too.
The fifth pick is harder to settle on. There are a few options, but none that I love 100%.
Serena Deeb, if she’s healthy for it, could be okay. I don’t get the strong WWE vibes from her, though, despite her two stints employed there. The same goes for Taya Valkyrie barely being in NXT for a hot minute (and she’s a babyface, so that rules that out). Assuming they can’t bring anyone into the company like Mercedes Mone to fill that void, and since Maria Kanellis isn’t at all in a good spot for this, that sort of limits them to just Tay Melo and Marina Shafir, right? Given the two, Tay is the better performer, the bigger deal and the one with the Jericho Appreciation Society connection to help justify that part of the story since that’s an anti-Cole/Baker faction at the moment.
If they wanted to use someone who doesn’t have the WWE connection and wouldn’t really fit all that well logically, but they just needed a fifth body no matter what the rationality, I’d suggest The Outcasts enlisting the help of Jade Cargill as their ace.
Let us know your thoughts about these questions by answering them in the comments!
You can keep up with all your wrestling news right here on eWrestlingNews.com. Or, you can follow us over on our Twitter and Facebook pages.