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) Bobby Lashley and MVP were set to fight for the Raw Tag Team Championship. Now, Randy Orton is fighting Lashley for the WWE title, even though that was originally scheduled for Extreme Rules. What’s going on?
My guess is WWE had yet another situation where they booked an entire episode of Raw heading in one direction, woke up a few days later thinking something else and figured “screw it, let’s just change it.” I guess they think a WWE title match will offset ratings opposite Monday Night Football, but I can’t imagine there will be that much of a difference.
In fact, I’ll go so far as to say it’s going to be negligible, but they’ll never know, because they can’t run the opposite show to compare. Then, that’ll just hinder the Extreme Rules situation and they’ll wonder why people aren’t hyped about a rematch a week later.
I was 99% sure the titles weren’t changing hands with the tag team situation, but I had thought there was a chance that anything could happen. WWE does like to do things that make no sense, especially if it can swerve an audience that thinks it already knows the predictable outcome. Factor in that this is a week where they’ll be reacting to the recent All Out stuff (even if it’s subconsciously) to try to get people buzzing about WWE, it’s not out of the realm of possibility the plan was to have the tag titles change hands, if not just to change them back again.
Now that the WWE Championship is on the line, there’s absolutely no way Orton wins the belt. He may win the match by disqualification or something, but he’s not walking away with that title.
2) Do you think Franky Monet will beat Raquel Gonzalez to win the NXT Women’s Championship?
With this title, I’m not so sure. In fact, I’m starting to lean a little bit more toward Franky Monet becoming champion, to be honest.
My gut tells me Raquel Gonzalez will retain, as she’s an investment they have put quite a bit into for the past year. Plus, this is a television show and not a TakeOver event.
However, my brain is telling me otherwise. With the draft coming up, they may want to move Gonzalez over to Raw or SmackDown. She’d have to drop the title in order to do that.
Also, this will be the start of a rebranding for NXT. If you have a title change on that show, that’s a good indicator of differences to come. WWE tends to have titles switch hands on shows like Raw 25 and SmackDown 1000, so maybe the same will apply here.
Monet was my pick to be the next champion as it was, but I just assumed it would happen later in the year at a TakeOver show like WarGames, rather than here. For now, I’m ever-so-slightly leaning 51% in favor of Monet winning the belt.
3) What did you think of the 2021 PWI 500?
I’m never too invested in the overall list since I don’t follow any companies other than WWE and AEW, so I know I’m at a disadvantage. When you start naming guys from New Japan, Impact, ROH, MLW, AAA, CMLL and the indies and so on, I’m lost and don’t consider myself able to justify a ranking.
However, many of the top names make sense to me, which is what most people are paying attention to.
Kenny Omega at #1 seems to have riled up some people who think it should be Roman Reigns. I can see the justification both ways. Bobby Lashley at #3 would make for a potential #1, too. Nobody else should come close to that, so those definitely make sense for the top three.
Finn Balor at #8 and Rich Swann at #10 surprised me. Those are a little high.
Orange Cassidy, for my money, should have cracked the top 20. Keith Lee, too.
I’m surprised Nick Aldis is at #30. Although NWA isn’t something I check out regularly, his overall presence extends beyond that enough that I know how long he’s been champion.
Kyle O’Reilly at #50 is a bit low, but I can’t see putting him in the top 25 by any means.
I’m very shocked Zack Sabre Jr. didn’t get higher in the top 100, knowing how well beloved he is. I can’t speak to his matches, as I haven’t seen many, but what I’ve seen tend to be pretty great, so for him to rank lower than Warhorse or Da Pope seems odd.
4) Does Gable Steveson’s signing to WWE do anything for you? Do you think it will it move the needle in terms of momentum for WWE?
This does nothing at all for me and I don’t think it’s going to be a game-changer for WWE, either.
I hope I’m wrong. Everyone keeps acting like he’s the next Kurt Angle and we could sure use another of those. But haven’t we said the same things about a number of other people, too? I love me some Chad Gable, but he’s not exactly had the same career trajectory.
This mentality of signing athletes you can train as a wrestler is something I think WWE is going to have to go back on soon enough. How often does it work out that they can translate their athleticism into this particular sport, balance out all the other parts of the job with it (media, travel, etc) and they also have the gift of gab and some charismatic character to get over with the crowd?
Granted, I haven’t seen Steveson do any kind of tryouts or anything, so I guess I should just wait and see. If I’m as wrong as I hope I am, he could be the next big thing. My bet, though, is that this is WWE trying to look for a quick and easy option to solve all the problems and when it fails, they’ll be left wondering why all the eggs in that basket are cracked and there’s nothing to fall back on.
5) Theoretically, had Adam Cole stayed in WWE and accepted the role of Keith Lee’s manager, do you think that could have worked?
No. Not only did he make the right call for his overall career, I think he dodged a bullet in general even if he had stayed in WWE.