It’s time for the WWE Mailbag, where it’s a good time to cover a lot of different topics related to WWE. This is a period where WWE programming is stagnant a bit because of the six-week gap between Backlash and Money in the Bank, which has 11 matches already announced. I already covered the men’s and women’s Money in the Bank ladder matches last week and next week I’ll have some predictions for the show. For this week, I went on Twitter and asked for some questions from you, the loyal readers.
My Twitter handle is @johnreport, so please give me a follow on there if you’re on Twitter and let’s begin.
1. Tag Team wrestling in WWE
From @PlanetKayfabe: Any idea why most of the tag teams in WWE are lower lever comedy acts? Just coincidence or do they really think that little of tag teams now.
It’s one of those things where WWE goes hot and cold on tag team division at times. There’s a lot of talent there. I think Smackdown has better depth, but it’s hard to feature everybody. I’d like it to be more serious. Last year on Smackdown it was booked well with The New Day, and The Usos have a lot of great matches. It’s up to Vince McMahon just like everything else in WWE. Sometimes he’s really into tag team wrestling and other times they phase it out.
2. Changing the outcome of one match finish
From @MattButler0323: If you could go back and change the outcome of any WWE match, what would it be and why?
I would change Steve Austin’s heel turn at WrestleMania 17 in 2001, which was the best WWE show ever. The result would remain the same with Austin beating The Rock for the WWE Title, but the fans didn’t want to boo Austin that night. Austin has talked about it often and has said that he wished they didn’t do the turn. He would have preferred to hit Vince McMahon with a Stunner and celebrate with the WWE Title because that’s what the fans wanted. Austin’s heel turn also hurt his merchandise sales. Austin did great as a heel and had an awesome year, but I think if they could go back they never would have done it. By the end of 2001, Austin turned back into a face.
The other one that comes to mind is WrestleMania 20 with Brock Lesnar beating The Undertaker to end the undefeated streak at WrestleMania for Taker when he went into the match at 21-0. I don’t think Undertaker should have lost at WrestleMania ever. I know why WWE did it because they wanted to give Lesnar some momentum and they put the WWE Title on him at SummerSlam a few months later. I think that could have happened without Lesnar ending The Streak. If it was up to me, Undertaker would have retired undefeated at WrestleMania. It’s not a title or something you can pass onto somebody else. Let The Streak live forever.
3. Seth Rollins as the next Universal Champion
From @Esome1980: Do you think it will be Seth Rollins who ends Brock’s reign as Universal Champion at Summerslam??
I hope so. That’s what I would do. They could set up a 3 way with Roman Reigns in it or do a 4 way with Braun Strowman too. I think Rollins is ready to be that guy with that title and have a lot more title defenses than Brock. It would help Raw too. I think Raw is being hurt by Lesnar’s absence as Universal Champion. If you put the title on Rollins then it’s on a likable guy that the fans are going to watch and you know Rollins will put on great matches too.
If it’s Braun Strowman that beats Lesnar for the Universal Title that would be cool with me as well. I think Strowman should have won it last year, but WWE wanted to keep it on Lesnar for a year and have him drop it to Reigns, which was a plan that was changed at WrestleMania. Could it be Reigns that beats Lesnar the next time they wrestle? Yeah, but that ship may have sailed. I think WWE wants to go in another direction.
4. An opponent for “one more match” for Shawn Michaels
From @Philly_Doug: If HBK has one more match who would you like to see him go against?
The reason this came up is that Michaels did an interview with Sky Sports earlier in the week saying that he would be willing to have one more match if it was the right story. In the past, Michaels said no and since he’s been retired for eight years, it’s easy to see why he said no. At 52 years of old, Shawn is still in great shape and I think he could have a good match if they planned it well.
I’d go with AJ Styles, because he’s the best, or Daniel Bryan, because Shawn helped train him like 19 years ago. It would probably be more natural to see him against a heel like a Kevin Owens too. I would be happy with anybody and I have confidence in Shawn that he would be good too. Names like Rollins or Gargano would work too. I think a tag team match situation teaming with Bryan would be cool too. There’s a lot of stuff that could work if the story made sense like Shawn said in a recent interview.
5. Daniel Bryan feuding with The Miz?
From @brightsideram: What is the long-term plan with Daniel Bryan? He feels wasted in this feud with Big Cass.
I think Bryan’s going to have a long-term feud with Miz that is being saved for SummerSlam or maybe even going to WM next year if they can wait that long. That’s the obvious thing to do with Bryan. Maybe WWE is making a mistake by not doing it right now, but I can see wanting to save it for a bigger show.
Bryan’s current feud with Big Cass is likely just something to try to elevate Cass with an attempt to make him a top heel. Is it going to work? I don’t know. Cass has some good things about him because he’s a taller guy and his promos are fine, but in the ring he seems to be lacking. It’s a way for WWE to see what they have in Cass because if you can’t do well against somebody as good as Daniel Bryan then it’s going to be tough to wrestle others.
Another feud I want to see for Bryan is a rivalry with Samoa Joe. That would be outstanding considering they worked in the indies together in the early 2000s and are capable of some great matches together.
6. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn’s roles on Raw
From @ShaneAvery: How do you feel about the booking of Kevin Owens/Sami Zayn lately? I feel like Owens is lost in the shuffle, and this Lashley feud with Zayn is boring. They deserve better.
A lot of people deserve better. Owens is booked pretty well as a top heel. I think the Zayn feud with Lashley is a major flop and one of the worst of 2018 so far. The match at Money in the Bank may be okay, but the crowd may reject it too. It’s funny because a year ago Sami would never have got this much promo time, but now he does and this is the story they give him! Owens should be fine working with Braun, Finn, Seth or Roman soon. Sami may get lost in the shuffle a bit, which is sad.
Simply put, I think Smackdown is a better show than Raw and I wish Owens and Zayn were still on that show because I enjoy it more.
7. Shinsuke Nakamura as a heel
From @RockMKaka: How long do you see Shinsuke Nakamura doing the heel thing for?
A year or maybe two years. It’s hard to say for sure. I think Nakamura is doing well in the role. I’ll be the first to say that I didn’t expect a Nakamura heel turn at WrestleMania, but I’m glad that they did it because it has made Nakamura feel fresh again. I think originally booking him as a face was smart, but having him turn to the dark side because he can’t beat Styles is a good story.
8. Seth Rollins theme song adjustment
From @kjbrophy: Has there ever been a adjustment to a theme song to help as much as BURN IT DOWN! as with Seth Rollins? It seems like he gets the biggest pop every week now when that part plays.
That’s a good question. I think the “BURN IT DOWN” addition to the song has helped a lot. The song was pretty generic rock before, but that has added a bit of spice to it. The fans chant it too, so it’s working. Seth’s great performances help too.
Another thing I think Rollins needs to add is a catchphrase. I don’t know if “Burn it Down” works that well as a catchphrase, but most of the great wrestlers of any era have them. If Rollins had something he could say and the fans could repeat it would really help him. That’s the next step in trying to get Rollins to that next level as a huge star.
9. Women’s wrestling on Smackdown
From @MikeSanchez1878: Thoughts on Smackdown’s Women’s roster? I think it’s stacked but not too fond of the current champion.
I like it a lot. They are trying to book Carmella as a cocky champ that can lose at any time because she’s an underdog. The vets like Charlotte Flair, Becky Lynch, Asuka and Naomi are great. Love the way they are mixing in the newer women like Peyton Royce, Billie Kay, Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville as well. It’s good.
Raw has a solid women’s division too, but the booking isn’t as interesting as what Smackdown is doing right now. I know WWE thinks that having Ronda Rousey on there is great and she might be Raw Women’s Champion by beating Nia Jax. It’s just not that exciting to me.
10. Bobby Lashley’s booking on Raw
From @J20Lopez: Thoughts on Bobby Lashley? Is creative hurting him?
I think creative has been bad. He’s such a talented guy and good as a wrecking machine, but they are giving him lame storylines right now. The sit-down interview he did talking about his sister was weird, then they had Sami Zayn make fun of him for it and it didn’t help either guy. It’s sad that this is the best they can come up with right now.
That’s all for now. Next week is Money in the Bank, so I’ll be back a few days before the show with some predictions for that event.