Friday, February 23, 2024
EditorialRoyal Rumble Fallout and Road to WrestleMania 40 Plans (Monday Morning Q&A)

Royal Rumble Fallout and Road to WrestleMania 40 Plans (Monday Morning Q&A)



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) Now that Bayley and Cody Rhodes have won the Royal Rumble, what do you think is the road to set up the 4 title matches against (seemingly) Iyo Sky, Roman Reigns, Rhea Ripley and Seth Rollins?

  • Bayley pulls an Evolution with Damage CTRL. She teases picking Rhea for a little bit, but ultimately decides to go after Iyo Sky.
  • Meanwhile, Ripley defends the title at Elimination Chamber either inside the EC itself, or against Nia Jax or Liv Morgan. If she’s not in the chamber, then that match determines who fights her, with Becky Lynch winning. Otherwise, Becky wins a No. 1 contender’s match after EC on Raw.
  • Cody challenges Roman Reigns. He’s put in a tag team match of some kind at Elimination Chamber, maybe teaming with Randy Orton against Solo Sikoa and Jimmy Uso or something?
  • Men’s Elimination Chamber match is to determine who fights Rollins. Competitors are CM Punk, Drew McIntyre, Sami Zayn, Jey Uso, and the final 2 would likely be in the lineup of Bronson Reed, Damian Priest, Jinder Mahal, The Miz, Ricochet and Shinsuke Nakamura. I’d lean more toward Reed and Nakamura so it’s 3 heels (with Drew) and 3 babyfaces (Punk, Jey, Sami)

2) Did you prefer the men’s or women’s Royal Rumble?

I think I’ll have to revisit these over the next few years to really determine which one I think is the overall better match. However, my initial reaction was to enjoy the women’s match more, as it had more surprises.

Don’t get me wrong. I enjoyed the men’s, too. But almost for different reasons. Cody winning was a major positive for me, whereas for the women, it was more about the shocking elements of it. That’s why there’s a chance it doesn’t hold up as well once I already know who pops up.

Women’s edges out the men in that regard, by far. Pat McAfee’s spot was pretty lame, for example, compared to seeing Jade Cargill, Jordynne Grace, Naomi, etc. I still wish we could have gotten AJ Lee, though.

3) Who do you think were the standout stars from this year’s Royal Rumble event?

Outside of Bayley and Cody Rhodes, obviously, for winning…

  • Naomi – nice spot to return, broke the record for length temporarily
  • Jordynne Grace – nice showing; great talking point; I hope she gets signed by WWE when her contract is up with TNA
  • Kairi Sane – awesome spot saving herself
  • Nia Jax – most eliminations
  • Jade Cargill – great debut; featured spot eliminating Nia Jax
  • Liv Morgan – solid return from injury
  • R-Truth – women’s and men’s spots; he’s hilarious
  • Andrade – neat to see him return
  • Bron Breakker – nice run; arguably the MVP of the men’s match

On the downside of standing out, some people fell really flat for me. Becky Lynch didn’t do much, Kofi Kingston didn’t even try to do a saving himself spot, the stuff with Karrion Kross and Bobby Lashley was rushed so fast that it barely mattered, and I didn’t like the McAfee stuff as I already explained.

4) Are you for, against, or indifferent to the news about Raw coming to Netflix in 2025?

I’m pretty split on it.

On the one hand, I already have a Netflix subscription, so that doesn’t change for me. But I get why people would be pissed, as it would mean they have to pay for traditional cable (CW and USA for NXT and SmackDown), Netflix (Raw) and Peacock (PPVs). That’s pretty annoying, instead of just having it all under cable, or cable/Peacock like we’ve had, or even just moving all the Peacock stuff to Netflix and cancelling that or something.

On the other hand, if this means I get less commercials, I’m down for that. But also, I don’t want to see commercials put in there on the ad-free tier like Peacock does, where even though I’m paying NOT to see them, they still do it and just say “well, deal with it.”

I hope it means Netflix will pick up the pay-per-views, eventually, too, as I hate the Peacock layout of having “seasons” instead of the event dates. Man, I miss the WWE Network.

5) Do you think Vince McMahon will ever return to WWE, whether exonerated or not?

When this all first started happening, I figured he was done. Then, he found a way back in.

History has shown that you can’t count him out. It’s entirely possible that something happens wherein he’s either “found not guilty” and welcomed back like some kind of victim in this case, or that they just try to pretend like he is and that enough time has passed that it will be okay. They’ve been tone deaf like that before.

I’ll say this, though. The more these details come out, the more damning they are. Whether or not they’re true, they’re painting him in that light, and given his past discretion and his odd nature, along with how so many rich people have all these skeletons in their closets…it’s hard not to just believe this is all true.

They’d have to really have some kind of massive Uno reverse card proving his innocence for me to ever want to entertain the idea of welcoming him back, and I think most people feel the same, if they aren’t already in the mindset that even if it isn’t true, that they don’t want to give him the benefit of the doubt. I don’t blame them.

WWE cannot risk playing loose with this. They’re fools if they think it’s nothing. This is awful, horrendous stuff, that I really hope isn’t true for all parties involved (especially Janel Grant, obviously). The last thing I want to see is Vince strutting around like “he’ll beat this” as if it is a challenge, rather than an assassination of his moral character and legacy.

So right now, I don’t think we’ll be seeing him come back in any traditional sense. But I’ve learned my lesson to never count out the reach that money and corruption and power can have, and it wouldn’t surprise me if he were to return in the future, sadly.

Bonus Question) How would you go about replacing Kevin Patrick on SmackDown’s commentary team?

It’s easier to replace a color commentator than a play-by-play guy. You could even have a revolving door of guests on color commentary and it would work for a while. But you need a play-by-play representative who knows their stuff AND has good chemistry with the other person AND can handle the travel demands/schedule AND has a good voice AND doesn’t stumble over their words AND so many other elements.

It’s hard to find someone who is great. Few are. But Vic Joseph is. He’s leaps and bounds better than Kevin Patrick, in my opinion.

Assuming he’s down for the travel, I’d just put Vic in that spot alongside Corey Graves. I’m sure they could develop the same type of rapport Graves had with Tom Phillips, which I enjoyed.

Now, if they could get Mauro Ranallo, that would be amazing. Either on SmackDown or as Vic’s replacement on NXT to allow Vic to go to Friday nights. I doubt that will happen, though.

But that brings up a good point. Who would replace Vic if he moved to SmackDown? Someone has to wrangle in Booker T! Booker has already endorsed the idea of Vic moving up, by the way.

I don’t watch NXT Level Up, so I can’t speak to that guy. But maybe he’d work well with Booker and just get a promotion to work on NXT?

I just hope we don’t get another run of the mill anchor type who doesn’t know anything about wrestling and has to get a crash course and can’t name the maneuvers or speak to any history. Follow the Michael Cole and Excalibur and Jim Ross type of template, rather than the Adnan Virk career trajectory.

Let us know your thoughts about these questions by answering them in the comments!

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