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 are your predictions for Wrestle Kingdom 18?
I’m not a follower of New Japan, so I’m flying a bit blind here. But I’ll say…
- I don’t have the slightest clue for the New Japan Ranbo.
- Bullet Club War Dogs beat Catch 2/2
- Zack Sabre Jr retains the NJPW World Television Championship over Hiroshi Tanahashi
- Yota Tsuji beats Yuya Uemura??
- Shota Umino and Kaito Kiyomiya beat House of Torture
- Shingo Takagi retains the NEVER Openweight Championship over Tama Tonga
- Bishamon beats Guerillas of Destiny to effectively get rid of the Strong Openweight Tag Team Championship
- El Desperado wins the IWGP Junior Heavyweight Championship from Hiromu Takahashi
- If Will Ospreay intends to wrestle for more than just AEW, then he comes out of the three-way with the IWGP Global Heavyweight Championship. If not, David Finlay wins to keep the title in-house. However, Jon Moxley winning could VERY well happen. I’m stuck on this one.
- Kazuchika Okada beats Bryan Danielson
- Tetsuya Naito beats Sanada to win the IWGP World Heavyweight Championship
Again, don’t place a single dollar betting on my predictions. I know less about this roster and the current standings in New Japan than I know about NXT Level Up, which is saying a lot.
2) What were your predictions from the WWE New Year’s Knockout Week? That includes Raw Day 1, NXT New Year’s Evil, and the SmackDown New Year’s Revolution episodes.
Raw Day 1:
- Becky Lynch beats Nia Jax, or it ends in a disqualification / no-contest type deal.
- Shayna Baszler and Zoey Stark beat Natalya and Tegan Nox to earn the women’s tag title shot. I’m anticipating Katana Chance and Kayden Carter are transitional champions who will drop those belts to Damage CTRL, though, so maybe Nattie and Tegan win just for the sake of giving KC and KC a victory soon.
- Rhea Ripley obviously retains the Women’s World Championship over Ivy Nile
- Seth Rollins retains the World Heavyweight Championship over Drew McIntyre, likely due to interference from Sami Zayn.
NXT New Year’s Evil:
- Fallon Henley beats Tiffany Stratton. It’s more up WWE’s alley to film segments of Stratton being grossed out at doing chores on Henley’s ranch than for Henley to be Stratton’s servant.
- Riley Osborne beats Oba Femi unless the story being told here is that Thea Hail ruins it for Osborne and Chase University continues to crumble. Or that the debt will come into play with Osborne taking a dive or something.
- Lyra Valkyria retains the NXT Women’s Championship over Blair Davenport
- Ilja Dragunov retains the NXT Championship over Trick Williams due to something Carmelo Hayes does, either on purpose or “unintentionally, but really, we know it’s on purpose”
- Roxanne Perez beats Arianna Grace
- I could see No Quarter Catch Crew beating Latino World Order to set up a future opponent for Dragon Lee’s North American Championship, but I could easily just see Myles Borne or Damon Kemp taking a pin. Since this is Cruz Del Toro and Joaquin Wilde, though, either of them could lose, too. I’ll go with No Quarter Catch Crew for this six-man tag, I think.
SmackDown New Year’s Revolution:
- Kevin Owens beats Santos Escobar to earn the United States Championship match at Royal Rumble
- Butch teams with Tyler Bate to beat Pretty Deadly
- Iyo Sky retains the Women’s Championship over Michin
- Randy Orton wins the Triple Threat over AJ Styles and LA Knight (who probably feud going forward). Orton against Roman Reigns makes the most sense for Royal Rumble, since Styles was held off for so long and that steam went away, and he seems like he’s turning heel. Knight already had his match, too, so he can be ruled out.
3) Would you like to see AEW Worlds End continue on as a post-Christmas event each year?
Ideally, I’d rather all the pay-per-views be out of the way for the last week or so of the year. It’s too busy as it is. Christmas and New Year’s are stressful times with so much to do, on top of it being the end of the year. When I’m doing year recap material and I still have to set aside some time on the day after Christmas to work on pay-per-view predictions and such, it gets frustrating.
Keep Worlds End in December, but move it up to before Christmas, like what NXT Deadline has going on. Put it at the 20th or so, if need be. Just don’t cram it in there on the 30th.
Just as I didn’t like WWE Day 1 being a pay-per-view on January 1st, the 30th just leaves no room for relaxation if this is a job. If you’re a fan, it doesn’t make much of a difference, I guess, so I’m probably in the minority here with this opinion. Some people probably love that this is on the 30th, either because it distracts them from being lonely or it gives them something to watch with family and friends who aren’t working as much. I’m envious, as I couldn’t even get by Christmas day without having to do work!
4) “New year, new me.” If you had to pick one wrestler from WWE or AEW to be completely repackaged a la Papa Shango becoming Kama, or Kane not being acknowledged as Isaac Yankem or Fake Diesel in canon, which character would you give this change to and what new character would you give them?
There are a good number of people I think need some sort of character reboot, but most of them would be difficult to repackage in full fashion. For instance, Apollo Crews is probably just going to remain Apollo Crews with some tweaks, I’d assume.
But there are a couple names that stand out to me that I think could be worth talking about.
- Dante Chen – He has no personality. Give him one. Even if it’s bad. He’s a jobber. There’s no where to go but up, or to just put him out of his misery and release him.
- Guru Raaj – Same deal as Dante Chen.
- Nathan Frazer – Hard Hitting Home Truths is lame. Put a mask on him and rebrand him, like what happened with Axiom.
- QTV People – Guys like Aaron Solo just keep hanging around QT Marshall from one bad gimmick to the next. With Marshall gone, if they’re not going to be released, they need to find another void to fill.
- Odyssey Jones – If he’s not going to succeed as just himself, maybe he needs a reset. I think he’d likely keep the name no matter what, as we’re in a different era, and he’s not well known enough that it justifies giving him another generic name similar to this with a new character. A new character in general with the same name would work.
- Wendy Choo – I don’t mind the sleepy gimmick as much as other people, but it already hit its ceiling a long time ago. When she comes back, either go back to Mei Ying, try to just have her be a normal wrestler under the Wendy Choo name, try something entirely different, or just give up.
- Xyon Quinn – Same with Odyssey Jones, he’d probably keep the name, but he’s going to need SOMETHING in order to save his career. As it stands, he was drafted as a free agent to the main roster and promptly never used in any capacity other than I think one battle royal on SmackDown. What’s the point? If he’s liked enough for that role, where is he? The guy’s got size, but I couldn’t tell you what his character is.
5) Do you have any new year resolutions regarding pro wrestling? Are you looking to watch certain things, go to a particular event, or anything of that nature?
Every year, I say similar things. I’ll repeat those again: I want to somehow find the time to watch more content outside of WWE and AEW. It’d be interesting to see more TNA, New Japan, indies, and so on. I never get time to digest that, so I don’t know what I’m missing out on.
As far as with eWrestlingNews and my own site, Smark Out Moment, I’ve enjoyed doing fantasy booking things more in 2023 than anything else. With podcasts like my Mock Draft and such, those have been a nice escape when the modern product is exhausting to talk about. I’ll be looking for a way to expand on those ideas going forward, for sure.
Also, I’m still upset that I didn’t get tickets to WrestleMania. I don’t know if/how/when I would rectify that, but if there’s a way to pull it off, I will. And since I’m still living in New York City, I’m hoping some kind of major show happens there that I can get tickets to, rather than just a Madison Square Garden house show like in 2023.
Let us know your thoughts about these questions by answering them in the comments!