What are your thoughts on WWE Superstars walking out for other companies?
I have mixed thoughts about WWE Superstars walking out and potentially heading to other companies. I really think it boils down to each individual and their spot in the company. When Cody Rhodes left the company, I was nervous for him, but I understood completely why he would want to leave. Cody has, obviously, done very well for himself outside of WWE. My hopes are, he will return to WWE one day and be given a main event spot that he both earned and deserves. Remember that AJ Styles did something similar at first, when he left TNA he didn’t go right to WWE. AJ worked around the world to prove that he was a top wrestler, and someone WWE shouldn’t just shove into the midcard. When he did debut in WWE, it was at the top and AJ has stayed their ever since.
Now, it seems all but assured that Neville is doing the same thing. Looking at Neville’s career in WWE, I can’t say I blame him. Neville is incredibly talented and his work in NXT showed that he can be a main event talent. For whatever reason, when Neville was called up to the main roster he was lost in the shuffle. Rumors even had it Vince wanted to give Neville an “elf” gimmick. People might be saying, “well Neville was Cruiserweight Champion!” However, that might not be as sweet as it seems. Being in the Cruiserweight Division, especially as the champion, means that you need to do twice the travel so that you can be on Raw AND Smackdown (for 205 Live taping). That’s going to cost more money, but it’s fairly well known that the Cruiserweights don’t make as much as the rest of the roster. I don’t know exactly what the pay is, or if Neville was making more because he started on the main roster. However, I do know that Neville was unhappy about things like his championship match with Austin Aries being bumped off the WrestleMania card for the pre-show, because that means they didn’t receive royalty checks for the DVD sales. Neville is extremely talented and was being wasted where he was. For some reason, he just couldn’t break through the glass ceiling. While I think wrestlers should finish out their contract before “walking,” I do support his decision to leave.
The rumors were buzzing that Nia Jax may have done the same thing. There are certainly conflicting reports about Nia’s absence. Some saying she “pulled a Neville” and walked out, others saying she requested time off. I will say that if Nia did walk out because of her spot in the company, I’d consider it a mistake. Nia has a good spot in the company right now. She’s considered one of the top women in the Women’s Division (between both Raw and Smackdown.) While she hasn’t won the Women’s Championship yet, she is definitely a “when not if” in terms of a title run down the line. Not to mention Nia has only been on the main roster for a year. It’s too early for her in her career to look for other outlets, unless she’s decided she wants to leave the company all together
How would you book Jinder Mahal vs Brock Lenser at Survivor Series?
I hope you guys know how difficult it is to write some of these answers because I have to fight my natural instincts as a fan and try to see the bigger picture. This is one of those times, but just for fun I’ll give my fan reaction and my professional reaction.
My fan mentality: Brock should absolutely destroy Mahal. If wrestlers like Braun Strowman, Samoa Joe, Randy Orton, and Roman Reigns couldn’t beat Lesnar one on one then Jinder Mahal certainly shouldn’t. I know Jinder has been champion for quite some time and on paper he’s a legitimate champion, but people haven’t forgotten that he was a jobber for his whole career leading up to literally two matches that put the WWE Championship on him. He’s proved he can work, and I don’t mind him around the mid-card titles, but as WWE Champion I can’t get behind him yet. Lesnar is a guy who has bulldozed through the top talent in the WWE with little to any difficulty. Someone like Mahal shouldn’t stand a chance, even with the Singh brothers interfering. If Lesnar can win a Fatal Five Way against Raw’s top 4 challengers, no way should Mahal pose any logical threat.
Professional Mentality: Mahal should at least hold his own against Lesnar. I still think Brock should come out victorious in this match, but this is a chance to make Mahal look even more like a top talent, if he can hold his own against Brock freaking Lesnar. If WWE is smart they’ll have a dusty finish in this match, having Mahal losing due to interference from whoever is going to challenge for the WWE championship next. It’s a shame that Baron Corbin already cashed in the Money in the Bank briefcase because this would be an absolutely perfect cash in moment.
Why were so many important names missing from Raw and SmackDown last night?
As you may already know, Roman Reigns and Bray Wyatt are out due to illness right now. That explains those two. Kevin Owens was removed from the Smackdown tour of South America for personal reasons, we don’t have anything more on that yet. Jinder Mahal was probably left off the show because, with Brock Lesnar responding to Mahal’s challenge, they didn’t want them both on the show. I didn’t see Sami Zayn, Randy Orton, or Charlotte (though I might have missed them in the crowd.) My guess for Zayn would be it would go against his current heel turn aligning him with Kevin Owens who Shane isn’t on good terms with right now. As for the others, I haven’t heard why they weren’t there. They may have requested they skip Raw and just go to Smackdown and WWE let them.
Why have Finn Balor beat AJ at TLC only to lose to Kane the next night on Raw?
This was a headscratcher for me as well. I’m hearing people say that Kane had to hit Balor with three back to back Chokeslams in order to win and that kept Finn looking strong, but I disagree. A loss is a loss and Finn lost and he lost CLEAN. I understand that WWE is building up Kane as a monster so that Braun Strowman can beat him and seem like an even bigger monster. However, WWE could have chosen another wrestler to sacrifice to Kane. Why use Balor who was finally picking up momentum? There is also the argument that at TLC Finn was wearing the paint and Monday he wasn’t, but Balor shouldn’t only win matches when he’s “The Demon.” The point is for Finn to bust out the paint in huge match situations and special circumstances. They should’ve done their best to have Kane win but protect Balor in the process. The other criticism I have is that Kane isn’t what he used to be. He’s 50 years old, he’s hardly around anymore and in the last several years WWE has put him under in feuds constantly. Kane hasn’t felt like a dominant force in the company for a while now. It’s always obvious when WWE scrambles to build a superstar back up who hasn’t been dominant in a while because the announcers will talk non-stop about how dominant said wrestler is. That’s exactly what they’re doing with Kane. I’m hearing people backstage are also wondering why the decision was made to put Kane over Balor clean on Raw, so it’s not just you.