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) What is your immediate gut reaction for how Nikki A.S.H.’s run as Ms. Money in the Bank will play out?
My gut tells me A.S.H. drops the briefcase to someone else in a few months. I hope that’s not the case, but I just can’t look at this superhero gimmick and not think that she’s going to fall victim to what Otis suffered from.
Essentially, this is interesting to WWE at this particular moment. In a few weeks, it’ll lessen in intensity. She’ll be pushed aside in favor of Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch and others, who will seem like such massive stars in comparison that it will hurt her by proxy.
Then, in a couple months, they’ll have soured so much on the idea that she’ll either cash in unsuccessfully just to get it over with and not have to worry about what to do with her anymore, or she’ll drop it to someone else like Alexa Bliss who they’ll be more comfortable sitting on and figuring out plans for later down the line.
That’s cynical and depressing and pessimistic, but that’s what happens when you watch WWE long enough. You tend not to think things will work out for everyone because they just don’t always work out. Ask Otis.
2) Same question, but in regards to Big E. Is he winning the title? Who is he cashing in on? When does that go down?
I do think there will be a stronger push in mind for Big E, but I’m not quite sure what that might entail.
If Goldberg shows up on Raw, he’s challenging Bobby Lashley and that pushes Big E away. However, if Goldberg doesn’t, then since Lashley has just been feuding with Kofi Kingston, it makes sense Big E could call his shot and challenge Lashley for SummerSlam.
I don’t know how much stock I’d put into that. It feels like it could simultaneously be the most obvious guarantee and something that is impossible and never quite put on the table.
My gut tells me that won’t happen and WWE will have Big E carry the briefcase until sometime after the draft. Then, they’ll try to pull that “call your shot in advance” thing with Lashley at something like the October pay-per-view, which I’m assuming will be Clash of Champions.
3) How can Rhea Ripley bounce back after losing yet again to Charlotte Flair?
To be honest, I don’t know if she can or will. WWE has made it abundantly clear with two submissions, a loss to Io Shirai where Ripley took the pin to avoid making Flair look weak, and Ripley only retaining over Flair through shenanigans that The Nightmare is definitely a lesser Superstar than The Queen.
I don’t think they care, either. The lackluster way they’ve treated Ripley for the past year and a half without doing almost anything to reestablish her credibility speaks volumes.
I imagine all WWE is concerned about is having the belt on Flair so Becky Lynch will return and take it from her, since that program has to be rinsed and repeated rather than ever creating new stars and doing something fresh.
Ripley will probably barely wrestle for the next couple months and only in inconsequential ways, like tag team matches and the like. She might even lose those matches in order to put over people WWE cares more about at the moment, like Eva Marie and Doudrop.
4) If you had to guess, how much do you think John Cena’s appearance on Raw will help ratings going forward? One week or more? A big jump up, or not much at all?
This week’s Raw will definitely have a boost. It absolutely has to. If it doesn’t, WWE should be petrified of this nosedive becoming an even steeper decline.
I can’t say I think that’s going to be super significant, though. A few points, maybe.
Last week, they drew a 0.43 rating in the 18-49 demographic, which was up from the previous week’s 0.41. The average this year is apparently 0.53. I don’t expect this to just jump up to 1.5, would you? Thousands more will tune in during the first hour, since Cena is starting it, but they’ll drop off.
Worse, they won’t likely come back the next week. At least, they won’t in the same numbers, unless WWE announces something else big enough for a draw. But I don’t think it will sustain over the full five weeks leading up to SummerSlam. Things are especially going to fall after SummerSlam, too.
5) Are there any surprises you think WWE has in store for Raw?
Becky Lynch and Goldberg would technically be surprises, even though a lot of people are likely expecting that.
I think Randy Orton will return, if that counts, and address what’s been going on with Riddle and start building a bit more toward an RK-Bro match for the Raw Tag Team Championship.
No title changes or NXT debuts unless it’s Aliyah. I’d expect a good half of the show’s time will be dedicated to commercials and recap material, with the other half revolving around Cena’s promo, two or three matches, McIntyre talking about wanting to get revenge on Mahal, Flair celebrating her victory and other material like that.
Cena’s the draw for this episode and a few other surprises will be enough. They’ll need to save some stuff for SmackDown and onward.
Let us know your thoughts about these questions by answering them in the comments!