Reacting to the B/R Wrestling Community's WWE, AEW Questions and Hot TakesApril 29, 2021
Reacting to the B/R Wrestling Community's WWE, AEW Questions and Hot Takes
Welcome to the brand new Bleacher Report WWE and All Elite Wrestling mailbag.
The B/R community has always been outspoken, especially when it comes to opinions on pro wrestling and its biggest stars.
We will answer your questions and react to your hot takes about WWE, AEW and the world of pro wrestling.
A wide variety of questions about everything from specific Superstars to broad topics were submitted. Check out what was on the minds of the B/R community this week.
If you'd like to have your question or hot take included in a future article, be on the lookout each Tuesday afternoon for the crowdsourcing thread on the WWE and AEW streams in the B/R app.
AEW to WWE Trades
If you could make any cross-promotional trades between WWE and AEW, what would those trades be? (@kNick_Knows)
There are a lot of people I think might be better suited for the competition, but to keep this simple, we will focus on one Superstar for each company.
Brian Cage would absolutely be booked as a major threat right out of the gate if he were to sign with WWE. He has the size Vince McMahon likes for his powerhouses with agility and speed a lot of guys of similar builds do not possess.
Cage would have a monstrous run in NXT before going to the main roster. He would be the perfect client for Paul Heyman to coach to his first world title.
As far as WWE to AEW goes, Ricochet is one of the most underutilized guys on the WWE roster. If he went to AEW, there is little doubt he would be pushed as a major player immediately.
His track record in other promotions speaks for itself. He is somebody who is great in the ring and just as good backstage. He might not have a ton of mainstream star power yet but with the right booking, he could get there within a year.
Here is a short list of other trades I think would work out for everyone:
- Nikki Cross to AEW
- Angel Garza to AEW
- Aleister Black to AEW
- Ruby Riott to AEW
- Eddie Kingston to WWE (Only if he teams with Kevin Owens)
- Powerhouse Hobbs to WWE
- Jade Cargill to WWE (She would benefit from the coaches at the Performance Center)
AEW's Influx of Young Talent
Why doesn't AEW focus on what they have over WWE? This being their influx of young talent. (@n8r84)
I would argue that AEW has done a decent job building up young stars while also using big names like Sting and Chris Jericho to draw in the casual audience.
One thing we need to remember is AEW only has two hours of TV every week, but the company also uploads tons of matches to YouTube from its episodes of Dark and Dark: Elevation. These are almost exclusively used to highlight the up-and-coming talents.
But anyone can see why some people might think AEW relies too heavily on former WWE stars. The first two world champions were both former WWE Superstars and so was the first TNT champion. FTR held the tag team titles, too.
However, WWE was always going to be a factor here. As the largest company in pro wrestling, many people have passed through its doors over the years. Some people may even forget that Trent and Lance Archer worked there several years ago. Even Kenny Omega spent time in WWE's developmental system.
In the end, AEW is still a business. It may have been built with the intention of providing an alternative product to WWE, but it also has to worry about ratings and the bottom line just like any company that is out for a profit. Using the well-known names gets people in the door in hopes that some of the newer faces keep them coming back.
We will see more and more of AEW's homegrown stars begin to make names for themselves over time. Dynamite has only been around for 18 months, so there is still plenty of time for these younger wrestlers to forge long and fruitful careers.
Cesaro as a Top Champion
Cesaro should be WWE [universal] champion by Survivor Series. (@KG73112)
The Swiss Cyborg is arguably one of the best Superstars on the WWE roster who has never held a top title, but his mic skills have held him back.
Yes, Cesaro has dropped some great promos on Talking Smack and a few other places, but he doesn't have the level of consistency with his promos as somebody like Samoa Joe.
WWE paired him up with Paul Heyman and it barely moved the needle. That said, Cesaro has improved in this area quite a bit and has recently come across on television as a bigger star thanks to his efforts.
Seeing him hoist the Universal Championship would be an awesome moment for his fans, this writer included. If WWE commits to pushing him, he could be successful in that position, especially because he can give interviews in five different languages.
Kenny the Belt Collector
Do you see AEW working with any other promotions to continue this run of Kenny Omega collecting world championships? (@LBoogie32)
Other than NWA, the only promotions that are likely going to want to do something like this are smaller companies that would benefit just from having their name mentioned on national television.
We already saw quite a bit of crossover with NWA with the women's division, but owner Billy Corgan might not want his company's top title being used as a storytelling device for another promotion's top star.
Although, the odds of Omega winning more gold would go up if some kind of big multi-promotion pay-per-view took place with several companies featured on the card.
The Cleaner is now the AEW, Impact and AAA champion. If he wants to recreate that iconic image of Ultimo Dragon with eight belts, he has a long way to go.
Is Working with AEW Good for Impact?
Where do you see Impact going from here? Was this a good move for the company? (@Netsfansince96)
We will start with the second part first. Yes, this was a good move for the company. Impact has improved a lot in recent years, but many fans who had stuck with it through the low points and eventually gave up were unwilling to give it another chance.
Seeing Omega on Impact did increase viewership a little. It might not have been a massive bump, but it was enough to justify working with AEW.
As far as where Impact goes from here, that is the big question, isn't it? I doubt the company will end up on a bigger network considering Anthem Sports & Entertainment owns both AXS TV and Impact, so the best thing it can hope for is a small migration of new viewers as the relationship grows between promotions.
Can Aleister Black Bounce Back?
Will Aleister Black get that mystique back he had in NXT? (@DantheMan82)
The Dutch Destroyer has the potential to be a huge star for WWE if he is booked right, but management has failed to do that since bringing him up from NXT.
It's doubtful he will ever get back to being treated the same way he was as NXT champion, but there is hope for him to be something different.
The video WWE produced for his return wasn't just a simple promo. The company put time and effort into producing that cartoon and creating an aura with the setting. It's clear somebody in a position of power is still advocating for him.
Black has unlimited potential. Let's hope WWE follows through with this new push.
R-K-Bro or RKNO?
How do you feel about the R-K-Bro storyline? (@BabyYoda4)
Anyone who reads my work or follows me on Twitter (shameless plug to follow me @BR_Doctor) knows I am no fan of Riddle. I find his character grating in most segments in addition to other problematic things about him we don't need to go into here.
That said, his chemistry with Randy Orton on Raw was undeniable. The Viper is an incredible character when he is invested in the storyline, and he played a great straight man to Riddle's buffoon.
Comedic gimmicks need that balance to work. Walter Matthau had Jack Lemmon, Lucille Ball had Vivian Vance, and Santino Marella had Beth Phoenix and Vladimir Kozlov. Every goofball needs someone to ground them, and Orton can be that guy for The Original Bro.
We all know the Raw tag team division can use the help, so WWE keeping them together long enough to have a reign with the titles would be the best way to move forward.
Why Is WWE Still in the ThunderDome?
All major sports have fans back in attendance to some degree. I always thought WWE would be among the first to open the doors, but instead, they are hanging on to the controlled environment of the ThunderDome. Why is that? (@RobertRobert)
Part of the issue is logistics. WWE has to set up tour dates, announce venues and work out which states still have regulations in place to limit the size of gatherings. All of that is going to take a lot of time once the company wants to start touring again.
Another issue is WWE seems to have the occasional problem with COVID outbreaks. That would only worsen if it starts touring because Superstars would be traveling through public spaces regularly again.
WWE is also likely waiting to see how things go for these other sports over time. If any is tied to a huge outbreak of the virus, it would be a PR nightmare. WWE won't want its name in that headline when a story like that breaks.
Another factor would be how the Superstars would react. A lot of people might not be comfortable touring again, even if it's just for TV nights and PPVs.
Doing the big PPVs with a limited crowd is the safest and smartest thing WWE can do right now. When it's time to get back on the road, management will want to make sure it doesn't end up putting anyone at risk.