Reacting to B/R Wrestling Community's Takes on Brock Lesnar, Jinder Mahal, More

The Doctor Chris Mueller@@BR_DoctorFeatured ColumnistMay 13, 2021

Reacting to B/R Wrestling Community's Takes on Brock Lesnar, Jinder Mahal, More

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    Welcome to the 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 broader topics have been 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. 

What's Next for Daniel Bryan?

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    "If Daniel Bryan stays with WWE, should he go to Raw or NXT?" (@NYCSports321)

    Raw would be the more logical choice, but NXT would give him the most options for new feuds and fresh opponents.

    Imagine him taking on Adam Cole, Kyle O'Reilly, Tommaso Ciampa, Johnny Gargano, Kushida or Santos Escobar. The list of potential show-stealing matches is huge.

    However, NXT should not be a permanent home for The Yes! Man. After a few high-profile feuds, he would be best used on Raw.

    The red brand has some great talent on the roster, but the storytelling has been lackluster, to say the least. 

    A lot of people would prefer Bryan went to New Japan Pro-Wrestling, AEW or tour the indies for a while, but WWE has been his home for the past decade. He might not be in a hurry to leave the comfortable setup he has created for himself. 

Ranking the 5 Major Weekly Shows

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    "The best weekly wrestling shows (in order) are SmackDown, NXT, AEW, Impact, Raw." (@devinc24)

    This is just the opinion of one writer, but Raw is definitely ranked correctly here. Everything since WrestleMania 37 has been repetitive matches and placeholder storylines.

    Impact is one of those shows you either love or hate, so where that ranks will differ from fan to fan.

    As far as the rest are concerned, SmackDown, NXT and AEW can alternate on a weekly basis in the top three spots, but the blue brand has definitely been the most consistent of the three.

    AEW does a great job of giving us more variety with its weekly matchups, and NXT has some of the best talents in the world right now.

    Most weeks, I would agree with how you have these ranked, but the rankings will always be flexible because one week can be terrible and the next can produce a Match of the Year candidate. Quality varies wildly when it comes to pro wrestling. 

The Return of Jinder Mahal

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    "Is Jinder Mahal going to do anything special?" (@victorpahuskin)

    "How would you define success for Mahal with his new group?" (@euphoniumryan)

    The return of Mahal will add some variety, but WWE has a lot of work to do when it comes to making him a convincing heel. 

    His WWE title reign was as middle-of-the-road as it gets, but his new muscle—Veer and Shanky—could be the difference-makers this time. They will certainly do more to help than The Bollywood Boyz.

    Success would include a title reign of some kind for sure. The United States belt and the Raw Tag Team Championships would be more realistic goals than the WWE title right now, especially with the red brand's tag team division in need of more competition.

    If Mahal won the United States Championship while his associates won the tag titles, they would instantly become one of the most powerful groups in WWE. Whether the fans would be into it is a different story, though. 

Should Jeff Hardy Leave WWE?

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    "Jeff Hardy needs to run hard and fast away from WWE. Management is wasting what's left of his career." (@jon_pollard)

    As much as I love Hardy in WWE, I kind of agree with Jon here. He hasn't had a good feud in months, so nobody could blame him if he started seeing what else was out there.

    Going to AEW would be a natural assumption due to his brother, Matt, being there, but he might want to spend some time working somewhere else like AAA in Mexico or NJPW.

    Jeff and Matt don't need to be in the same promotion unless they are going to get back together as a tag team or feud with each other, both of which they have been done multiple times.

    Seeing The Charismatic Enigma carve his own path would be a lot more satisfying at this point in his career, but whatever he does, he needs to do it while he can still perform at a high level. His body won't last forever, especially with the kind of style he has worked for his entire career.

Seth Rollins vs. Roman Reigns at SummerSlam

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    "Hot take: Seth Rollins eventually turns babyface and faces Roman Reigns for the universal title at SummerSlam." (@HunchoCarlito)

    "Do you think the seeds were planted last week for a Rollins vs. Reigns program at SummerSlam?" (@kNick_Knows)

    Nick and Huncho both seem to think last week's show pointed toward a future Rollins vs. Reigns program, and while I am sure they will do battle again in the future, I don't foresee it being that soon.

    The Messiah has become one of SmackDown's best villains since he returned. As it turns out, when he isn't feuding with the Mysterios, he is quite entertaining. 

    Showing that Reigns and Rollins don't necessarily get along just because both are heels was done more to establish that The Tribal Chief sees himself as being above his former Shield partner than it was to set up another feud.

    SummerSlam might be a bit too soon to revisit Rollins vs. Reigns unless WWE has a third person involved to fill the babyface role like Cesaro. A Triple Threat match is far more likely than a singles bout. 

Raw's Commentary Team

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    "What are your thoughts on the new Raw commentary team?" (@fcourtney27)

    Corey Graves, Byron Saxton and Adnan Virk are the current trio calling Raw. Saxton and Graves have already established antagonistic chemistry, but Virk is somewhere in the middle.

    As a professional sportscaster, Virk seems comfortable and enthusiastic, but it's going to take some time to get used to his style. 

    The one thing I will say is none of them take too much attention away from the action in the ring. All three have their strengths and weaknesses at the announce table.

    On a personal level, I'm indifferent to them so far. Seeing how they perform together during a big main event at a pay-per-view will be the true test. 

Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam

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    "What does it take to have Brock Lesnar back at SummerSlam?" (@DantheMan82)

    "If Lesnar returned at SummerSlam, which champion would make the most sense as an opponent?" (@lochlancolbert)

    The return of The Beast Incarnate is something people have been talking about since the Royal Rumble. With WWE hoping to hold SummerSlam with fans in attendance, it would certainly make sense for him to make his return then.

    As for who he would face, Bobby Lashley would be the ideal opponent. We have seen Reigns vs. Lesnar enough at this point. It's time to give us the feud we have wanted for years.

    The All Mighty vs. The Beast is a match made in heaven. If WWE doesn't book this feud at some point, it is leaving money on the table. 

Raw vs. SmackDown

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    "The biggest mystery in pro wrestling is how it's possible the same people who give us SmackDown are the same people responsible for Raw. It's clear Bruce Prichard and company are stretched way too thin." (@BobbyHeenanFC)

    I think most of the WWE Universe would agree with Bobby here. SmackDown has been better than Raw for quite some time, and it's hard to come up with a good reason why one is superior when it all comes from the same company.

    Raw and SmackDown each have their own head writers, but the creative team tends to work across brands. There should be consistency across all programming.

    One thing I think works in SmackDown's favor is its two-hour runtime. WWE has to service the same number of champions and storylines on both shows, so there is a lot less filler on the blue brand because it has to make every segment count.

    Part of me also feels like Vince McMahon doesn't want to waste any of the best ideas for feuds before live crowds are back on a weekly basis, but that might be wishful thinking. 

Has AEW Doomed Pro Wrestling?

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    "Hot take: Rather than elevate pro wrestling, AEW has accidentally doomed it by giving too much voice and say to the worst part of the wrestling community." (@kkilo21)

    Regardless of what happens to AEW in the long term, one promotion can't doom the entire industry, especially when its not the biggest promotion in the world.

    AEW appears to listen to fans more than WWE. Whether that is good or not depends on your personal preferences. Some people like AEW, some like WWE, and some like both for what they offer.

    I tend to fall in the middle. Some weeks, Dynamite blows WWE out of the water; other weeks, SmackDown or NXT outperform AEW in every way. 

    One thing I have noticed is a serious divide between AEW and WWE fans. We all like the same ridiculous thing. We should be able to get along even if we don't have the same wants and needs. 

    Yes, there is a toxic part of the fanbase, but that exists in every fandom. The best thing to do is ignore the trolls and focus on the product. If you like what AEW or WWE is doing, praise the good stuff and provide constructive criticism for the bad. That's the best we can do as fans. 

Quick Takes

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    "AEW needs more title belts." (@BC835)

    The relationships with Impact and NJPW give AEW the ability to use other titles on Dynamite occasionally, but with only two hours of mainstream programming each week, adding more belts might dilute the titles they are trying to build up. In six months to a year, it might be a different story.


    "AEW finish was great. A better camera angle would have sold it better." (@coolcal23)

    If we are talking about Blood and Guts, I agree about the camera angle. Had they shot it from a low angle or from the opposite side of the cage in a wide shot, the crashpad wouldn't have been so obvious. I have no problem with AEW protecting the bump, though. We all just wanted it to look better.


    "More Death Triangle please." (@jahloveprotectus)

    Are you listening, Tony Khan? PAC, Rey Fenix and Penta el Zero Miedo are a great trio. AEW should do something more substantial with them.


    "Anyone not watching NXT because they hate Raw and SmackDown is missing out." (@nyc_dave)

    I wholeheartedly agree, Dave. NXT always has at least one or two matches that should be required viewing for every fan. The only thing NXT could use is a few more big guys. 


    "AEW should move to Monday nights." (@Huz647)

    We have seen how well AEW does without competition on Wednesday. I doubt TNT or Khan want to risk losing that battle the way TNA did when it tried to move to Monday. 


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