Wednesday, May 29, 2024
EditorialWho Should Win King & Queen of the Ring? Backlash Thoughts &...

Who Should Win King & Queen of the Ring? Backlash Thoughts & More



Welcome back to another Monday Morning Q&A where you can voice your thoughts about some of the current events going on this week in pro wrestling.

Here are the 5 questions I’d like to toss out to you 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) Who do you think should win King of the Ring?

We don’t know the SmackDown layout yet, but I don’t think it really matters. While I could see a few names being in the running to win over on the blue brand—namely AJ Styles, Andrade, Carmelo Hayes, and LA Knight—I think WWE already told us who is going to win this.

Gunther is the obvious pick. And it’s so much more his than anyone else’s that I don’t think it’s even in question.

The Ring General becoming The Ring King offsets his Intercontinental Championship loss, but gives him a “title” that doesn’t need to be defended, which allows for more freedom. He can also use that to effectively deem himself the No. 1 contender at any point in the future and it would be hard to argue that point.

I would have thought the finals would go down to Gunther against Ilja Dragunov, but since they’re seemingly doing Raw and SmackDown on opposite sides of the bracket, maybe it’ll be Gunther against Knight.

2) Who do you think should win Queen of the Ring?

Again, we only currently know 8 of the contenders. Of those 8, I could see an argument for any of them, but none of them particularly strike my fancy.

“Queen of Harts” Natalya and “Queen of Spades” Shayna Baszler would satisfy the pun-loving side of me. Zoey Stark could use this as a boost. Iyo Sky is Genius of the Sky, but she could be Queen of the Sky and I’d be cool with that. Empress of Tomorrow Asuka doesn’t sound like a bad option, either, as she’s done everything else.

I’d likely take Ivy Nile and Lyra Valkyria out of the mix for just not having the momentum on their side, and Zelina Vega’s already won it before, so there’s no need to go back to that character.

But assuming she’s involved on the SmackDown side, I just can’t get the idea of Queen Tiffany Stratton out of my head as the go-to pick.

Even with Chelsea Green being my more preferred option for a comedic character who really sells the queen gimmick and has fun with it, I still would lean more toward this being what levels up Stratton to her eventual title reign.

3) What are your initial impressions about the 2024 WWE Draft? Are there any major positives you’re looking forward to? What are the drawbacks or negatives?

So much stayed exactly what it was before. That’s very interesting. A lot of people are upset about that, but I feel like it actually shows more positives than negatives. It means WWE already had ideas in mind for feuds that they don’t want to abandon and their long-term storytelling is something they want to stick to, so we fans can trust that they won’t abandon it midway through like what Vince McMahon used to do.

For example, all of The Judgment Day stays together, Dominik Mysterio is on the same brand as Liv Morgan, who is still with Becky Lynch, who is still with Seth Rollins, who would have a score to settle with Drew McIntyre as well as CM Punk, while Drew maintains issues with Damian Priest of The Judgment Day and we’re back full circle. That’s proof of planning and not just winging it.

Granted, some of the trades are clearly just winging it. I doubt much thought was given to sending Apollo Crews over to SmackDown, for example.

Another interesting element was Odyssey Jones being drafted after a year of inactivity, rather than being let go like Xyon Quinn and Von Wagner. Even though they spelled his name wrong (as Oddysey Jones), maybe they do see something there.

For the most part, I think the draft was uneventful, but that it’ll be a solid set of rosters in the long run, and that matters more than the initial shock value of drastic trades. And I’m still looking forward to seeing people like Blair Davenport on the main roster now, too.

I plan on revisiting this topic in a few weeks to do a one-month-review of “Who Won the 2024 WWE Draft?” in the future after the dust has settled. Stay tuned.

4) What were your overall takeaways from Backlash? Was it a dud of an event, or noteworthy enough to satisfy you?

None of it was memorable enough to stand out for the rest of the year outside of Tanga Loa’s debut and the women’s tag titles changing hands. Even those aren’t exactly the most monumental specific moments in and of themselves. We’re not talking Hulk Hogan slamming Andre the Giant here.

But it was fine. For a B-level pay-per-view coming out of such a huge WrestleMania, it was going to have a dip down in comparison and it was never going to be everything in the world crammed into it.

I still wish these events were a little shorter with them trimming down on all the commercials. It’d make for a better viewing experience. But considering the cheap price we get them, if I compare it to the cost of a movie ticket, it’s still a better overall deal. I’m fine with Backlash, but I hope King & Queen of the Ring is more bombastic.

And I hope I don’t have to hear that repetitive 2-count chant for a long, long time.

5) What are your thoughts on the most recent NXT releases? Where do you think we’ll see those names next?

It’s unfortunate to see anyone lose their jobs, unless they were the ones requesting to be released (in which case, good for them). I naturally hope that they all bounce back in one way or another and find success and happiness soon.

With that being said, most of them are names that none of us got to see much or anything at all of. Someone like Trey Bearhill was in what, 2 televised matches outside of Level Up? It’s hard to judge anything based off that.

Releasing someone like Boa wasn’t surprising after how long he’s been there and how little he’s been used. The writing was on the wall for a Guru Raaj along time ago. But I’m surprised they stopped there and didn’t release a few others who were in a similar position.

I’m surprised as well that they finally released Gable Steveson. He’s been under contract for so long and just didn’t fully commit. Was his heart ever truly in it? Doubtful from an outsider’s perspective. C’est la vie.

Drew Gulak seems to have more bad stuff coming out about him that raises a question why he wasn’t let go sooner. If that stuff is true, then my opinion shifted from “I’m annoyed that this guy doesn’t have a job for life in the Performance Center as a trainer” to “I don’t know why anyone would want to work with him.”

As far as where they’ll go next, most will probably either move on to a different career and/or do some indies. Gulak I could see doing GCW and such. Maybe MLW. Valentina Feroz, maybe in TNA.

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

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