Wednesday, May 29, 2024
EditorialShould WrestleMania Come to Saudi Arabia? & More

Should WrestleMania Come to Saudi Arabia? & More



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) How do you feel about The Mogul Embassy falling apart with Brian Cage, Bishop Kaun and Toa Liona turning on Swerve Strickland?

This is great. I couldn’t be more for it. This group never made any sense to me whatsoever. They never felt like they were all in sync, had no unifying theme, nothing.

With Swerve as a babyface, you don’t want him to have backup in 3 of the biggest, baddest dudes on the roster. That puts him in considerably less jeopardy than others.

He should keep Nana as his manager, since they work well together. Plus, I never thought Nana worked well with Cage, Kaun and Liona. But I’d go so far as to even split those 3 up, too.

I’d have a match next week with Cage against Strickland, just to give Swerve someone to feud with in the short-term to eat up some time prior to Double or Nothing. But then, I’d separate them, keeping Kaun and Liona together, but transitioning Cage to either be a new member of The Patriarchy (maybe replacing Killswitch? They’ve still never pulled the trigger on that feud) or to be the next member of The Learning Tree under Chris Jericho. I think either of those roles would suit him better.

2) Reporter Lucas Charpiot was apparently chastised over asking about Drew Gulak’s release during the Backlash press conference. Was that a fair question? Should these press conferences just be setups of easy questions to promote the event, or should journalistic integrity be the priority?

I think it’s ridiculous WWE was upset about this question. It’s entirely valid to ask. In fact, it’s his duty as a reporter to try to get to the bottom of news stories!

This was a press conference—not a pre-written promo vignette. If WWE doesn’t want the press to ask them anything but softball “Wasn’t that event great? Can you expand more on all the amazing things you want to promote?” questions, then they shouldn’t bother calling it a press conference. It should just be a post-show of some other sort where WWE themselves write out what they want people to say and they just say it, the same as any other backstage interview or whatever.

The question wasn’t out of pocket in my mind. Drew Gulak’s release was out there, PWI and Fightful are indeed reliable sources, and anyone with a brain would assume the Ronda Rousey element was why he was fired. I don’t know why WWE was upset about acknowledging this when they had a perfect opportunity to spin it in a positive direction, saying something like “With all the stuff that’s been going on lately with Vince McMahon’s lawsuit, we are even more determined than ever to prove that this is not how the company works and how there is a zero tolerance policy for any inappropriate behavior. After an internal investigation, we decided it was better to part ways with Gulak in part due to the incident with Rousey.” Done. Then, WWE gets praised, instead of looking like the jerks who don’t want anyone to pry about news other than patting them on the back.

3) Now that we know the 12 women in the running for it, who do you think should win the NXT Women’s North American Championship?

For those curious, the 12 women are as follows:

  • Sol Ruca
  • Thea Hail
  • Jaida Parker
  • Brinley Reece
  • Michin
  • Fallon Henley
  • Lash Legend
  • Ivy Nile
  • Izzi Dame
  • Kelani Jordan
  • Tatum Paxley
  • Wren Sinclair

Right off the bat, I would rule out any of the heels. NXT already has a heel women’s champion in Roxanne Perez. It’s just easier to build up 1 babyface and 1 heel to challenge for these titles, rather than 2 faces at the same time. So that takes out Parker, Henley (unfortunately), Dame and Paxley; possibly also Legend, but I wouldn’t put it past WWE turning her babyface to be partnered up with Trick Williams.

Out of the remainders, the least proven would be Sinclair and Reece. Since there are bigger fish to fry, I’ll eliminate them.

Nile is on Raw. She should be turning heel, joining up with Chad Gable and doing a Diamond Mine / Alpha Academy merger of sorts to team with The Creed Brothers while pushing Otis, Akira Tozawa and Maxxine Dupri out of the group.

That leaves Sol Ruca, Thea Hail, Michin, and Kelani Jordan. All 4 have potential to be great champions.

I could see the value in giving it to Michin. She’s not doing anything else. But if she’s going to be on SmackDown (and she needs to be; that roster can’t afford to lose her), then it’s better to just go with one of the true NXT talents.

Ruca, Hail and Jordan all fit the same mold. They’re all talented in the ring, young, have bright futures and could easily be great picks for holding this title. I’m down for any of them winning. But if I had to pick my personal preference, I’d lean more toward Hail. She’s the best of the 3 in terms of promo and character work and I would rather see Ruca and Jordan built up to challenge Perez at some point, while Hail can feud with some others and incorporate Chase U into the secondary title scene.

4) WWE is strangely being vague about the Cody Rhodes and Logan Paul match. Do you think it will/should be both belts on the line, or something else? What’s the best strategy?

It’s weird. At first, it just seemed like it was Logan Paul challenging Cody Rhodes and the United States title wasn’t up for grabs. Then, Rhodes started talking about how he’d become a Grand Slam Champion if he wins the US title. That implies both titles are on the line.

But ever since then, WWE has been non-committal to clarifying this. The wording has been vague. Cody’s tweeted out that it is indeed title-for-title, but the website isn’t being very transparent about it. Instead, it gives off more of a generic non-title “champion versus champion” setup like what we used to get at Survivor Series.

To be honest, I don’t understand this booking. Paul is definitely not going to take Cody’s belt. They still haven’t even bothered to sort out the whole WWE/Universal Championship aspect of that, by the way, so if Rhodes wins the US title, he’s now technically not a double-champion, but a triple-champion (who just happens to hold 2 titles, and is “undisputed” despite there being a world champion on the other brand). And I HIGHLY doubt the United States Championship would be unified and go away, unless WWE plans on doing something where they rechristen that championship something else, which would be wild.

If Cody wins, how is he going to defend both titles? Wouldn’t it be a better idea to leave that US title open for others to win and defend to give them a storyline? There are guys like Carmelo Hayes, LA Knight, Bobby Lashley, Solo Sikoa, Kevin Owens and more who could be fighting over that belt.

The other option, which won’t leave anyone happy, is to throw out the ending by having a double disqualification or a no-contest after The Bloodline interferes and attacks Cody or whatever. That’s a lame way to end this and fans will be annoyed.

But it’s either that, or Cody wins the US title and for some reason, has to hold both of those instead of spreading the wealth. Either scenario is a mistake in my mind, and I obviously think Paul winning is just not even worth talking about. It would have been better, in my mind, had Paul lost the United States title and was just challenging Cody for his belt.

5) Saudi Arabia wants to enhance its partnership with WWE and is supposedly fighting hard to get Royal Rumble and/or WrestleMania. Would you be okay with that? What would you offer them if you were in WWE’s shoes?

I absolutely do not want WrestleMania OR Royal Rumble to go to Saudi Arabia, under any circumstances.

While I get the monetary incentives to this relationship, I still can’t support it on a political perspective. That aside, I think WWE has the right approach to the international shows, in that they should be the ones outside of the Big 4.

Clash at the Castle, Bash in Berlin, throwing an Elimination Chamber out there…sure. I’ll even go so far as to say Survivor Series could be elsewhere.

If I had it my way, I’d pitch to them WarGames instead. They like their gimmicks. Look at Greatest Royal Rumble and King & Queen of the Ring now and such. I’d suggest that in the fall, Crown Jewel is given the WarGames match, and Survivor Series goes back to the Raw vs. SmackDown format. Maybe that’s enough of an incentive to be considered an “enhancement” to their deal.

But I’d even more so rather pitch having a third event per year over there than to give them Royal Rumble or WrestleMania. Those are just too special and the amount of malaise that surrounds the Saudi shows, where everyone either turns a blind eye to the politics or they outright just don’t watch because they don’t want to support them, shouldn’t bog down the 2 most important, special shows of the year.

That’s especially true when you consider how other places have consistently wanted WrestleMania and been told no. Why should Saudi Arabia get that honor over London, for instance? Just because they bid the most money? Unless WWE would get paid something like $1 billion for that one show, then I don’t think they should even entertain the idea.

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

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