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) Brock Lesnar’s WWE champion. What do you think the original plan for Day 1 was? How do you think this leads into WrestleMania now?
I’m flabbergasted trying to think of what the original plans might have been. I just flat out can’t imagine what nonsense they cooked up that we avoided. For the record, I don’t think it would have been more interesting, even if there’s a chance it would have been better in the long run. I guess we’ll never know.
But now, I think this is a two-fold thing for WrestleMania, depending on how Drew McIntyre’s injury factors into Royal Rumble.
Option a) McIntyre wins Royal Rumble. We get him against Lesnar against Roman Reigns in a Winner Takes All Triple Threat match at Mania, just the same as 35 with Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair and Ronda Rousey.
Option b) Lesnar enters the Royal Rumble despite being WWE champion (again) and wins it to fight Reigns at Mania anyway, title for title.
Both scenarios have Reigns winning and holding both titles, I think.
Maybe, there’s a C option where Reigns interferes and costs Lesnar the title at a show like Super ShowDown or Elimination Chamber against Bobby Lashley. I don’t put a lot of stock in that, though.
2) Big E’s title reign is over. What are your biggest takeaways of his run, pro or con?
Sadly, I think his run boils down to the original moment and nothing more. Big E winning the title is something people wanted and it happened, but on paper, that’s it. Essentially, “it happened and you got your wish, so shut up about anything else.” I don’t subscribe to the idea that if you got what you wanted, you’re exempt to criticize the elements around it. Just because I want pizza for dinner and you got me one doesn’t mean I can’t still say it’s a shitty slice of pizza, it’s overcooked, the toppings were wrong, so on and so forth.
Big E didn’t do anything memorable. He had no feuds that meant anything. Basically, he won the belt for the sake of winning it and then dropped it. None of that’s his fault, though. It’s entirely on WWE making him a weak champion and not having any plans for him from the start.
3) Three belts are on the line with NXT New Year’s Evil. Which titles do you think are changing hands and why?
Bron Breakker definitely beats Tommaso Ciampa. It’s been a long time coming and I’m surprised he didn’t just outright win it the first time they fought. NXT 2.0 can’t have a black and gold era champion as it just comes off like WWE isn’t fully committing. Granted, I’m not liking this 2.0 era, so I’d be more than fine going back to the black and gold era and bringing back those other stars, but that’s not happening. So let’s just crown Breakker, because he’s good.
Mandy Rose is keeping her title. Cora Jade’s in the match to take the loss so Raquel Gonzalez doesn’t look weak.
Carmelo Hayes is beating Roderick Strong. I hate this idea of it being called the NXT North American Cruiserweight Championship. Hopefully, that’s not the reality.
4) With Riddle, WALTER and AJ Styles appearing at New Year’s Evil, does WWE’s strategy of bringing bigger stars onto this show work for you? Are you more interested, or is this superfluous?
I’m interested in the sense that I’m into the six-man tag team match, for sure. The AJ Styles thing feels stupid. That’s not a knock on Grayson Waller or Styles, as I like them both to varying degrees, but calling it a confrontation instead of a match means we’re in for a promo with a momentary fight. I’ve been a fan too long and I’m in that bitter cynicism camp of “Seen it. Skip.”
Overall, I think it’ll help the rating, but sustainability is the real key here, not just a temporary bump. The week after, when nothing is on the advertisements that creates hype, everything will go back to normal and WWE will realize it has to actually consistently put in the effort and do more work, rather than look for quick fix suggestions once in a while.
5) At the moment, only Riho vs. Britt Baker is announced for AEW Battle of the Belts. What other matches are you hoping will take place on that show?
I’m surprised the TBS Championship tournament finals aren’t happening here, and/or the Adam Page vs. Bryan Danielson match, and/or the tag team titles. I would have thought a name like Battle of the Belts would mean all the titles on the line or something along that idea.
That leaves me wondering why all these belts are being defended right beforehand. Having another title match right after that, just a few days later, feels strange. If you rule that out, you’re left with just the TNT Championship and FTW Championship. Another Sammy Guevara vs. Cody Rhodes match would be a possibility, but if that’s your big selling point with Riho/Baker and Ricky Starks against “someone for the sake of it”, it doesn’t feel like a particularly special show, no matter how talented those names are.
I think this is a misstep. I would have rearranged some of those title matches. But working with what I’m working with here, I’d say the one-hour show should be the women’s title match, the TNT title match and a quick match for the FTW Championship where Starks beats Dante Martin.
Let us know your thoughts about these questions by answering them in the comments!