Reacting to B/R Community Takes on Goldberg, CM Punk, Bryan Danielson and More
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.
Goldberg Is Back
"Go home, Goldberg." (@alexb312181)
"Enough with Goldberg already." (@SteveB82)
"I love how Goldberg returned with a decisive win over Lesnar, but that nostalgic feeling has waved to 'Oh no, not again.'" (@DantheMan82)
We had a lot of takes on Goldberg this week, but these three sum up the majority of the comments by readers. It seems the B/R community is not happy to see him back in WWE again.
Personally, I am fine with Goldberg having a match every once in a blue moon, but I am past the point of wanting to see him win titles. He needs to put Bobby Lashley over, not defeat him for the belt.
While I would prefer to see WWE focus on current talent, this is also a business. Goldberg will move merchandise and bring a few eyes back to the product. A lot of people will watch just in the hope of seeing him lose. There is value in that.
"Goldberg ruined The Fiend, and Bray Wyatt will never recover." (@TheCleanOne)
He may have had a short-term effect on Wyatt's career, but WWE booking was what really took him from being a must-see act and turned him into a punchline.
The Fiend can be salvaged, but WWE doesn't have forever. It needs to figure out how to bring him back into the fold and then use him in unique ways. He should not be worried about titles. His feuds should all be cerebral storylines that screw with his opponents' heads.
When Should Big E Cash in His MITB Briefcase?
"Big E should cash in during the Goldberg vs. Lashley match." (@daothermike)
"Goldberg beats Lashley. Then, Big E gets his dream match against Goldberg by cashing in." (@Christian10633)
Big E has stated that Goldberg is his dream match because it would be the ultimate contest of "big meaty men slapping meat," as he put it.
While a lot of people are not excited for Goldberg's return, the idea of Big E beating him does intrigue me. It would do wonders for his career and give him a career-making moment as a singles competitor.
This could happen as early as SummerSlam, but with Nikki A.S.H. cashing in her briefcase so soon, I could see WWE wanting Big E to hold onto his contract for a little longer.
Ideally, Big E cashes in at WrestleMania 38 and ascends to true main event status in WWE. Who he takes the title from is irrelevant at that point.
Those CM Punk Rumors
"I legit don't care what promotion, if 'Cult of Personality' hits, I will pop." (@Maxtastic55)
"We should do a Kickstarter for CM Punk's salary." (@SCRUBALINI)
The rumors of CM Punk signing with AEW dominated the news cycle for a couple of days, and people seem excited at the prospect of him returning for the most part.
I doubt he will work a full-time schedule, so Tony Khan will be able to work out a deal that benefits both sides. He might not make $5 million dollars per year, but he will earn more for one match than most in the business on his name value alone.
"If Punk returns, who should be his first real rival?" (@Trevor10)
I have seen a lot of names thrown around. Kenny Omega, Jon Moxley, Cody Rhodes and Miro were just a few possibilities mentioned on social media.
In my opinion, Omega and Moxley are the two most likely options, but there would be undeniable chemistry between him and Darby Allin. That is a money feud just waiting to happen.
"Punk's return should be in Chicago." (@Supreme_BK)
All Out is in the Chicago area on September 5. Just saying.
And the Bryan Danielson Rumors
"AEW signing Punk and Bryan Danielson will put it one step closer to being a legitimate threat to WWE." (@tj_dylan)
"If Bryan and Punk sign with AEW, Dynamite will beat Raw in the ratings consistently." (@TheCleanOne)
With the rumors of Punk possibly being AEW-bound, a lot of people were shocked to hear the same thing about Bryan Danielson this week.
The former Daniel Bryan is a hot commodity in pro wrestling. He could go anywhere he wanted and be welcomed with open arms, so the prospect of him signing with another national promotion is intriguing.
As far as ratings go, AEW getting Punk and Bryan would give it a big boost initially, but how the company uses them would dictate how often it gets the win.
If both guys work part-time schedules, it's hard to imagine it would have a huge impact that would carry over every week, at least in the beginning. If one or both of them were a constant presence, that would be a different story.
Either way, this is an exciting time in pro wrestling. AEW and WWE don't have to be at war. They are on different nights and cater to different audiences. Let's just be happy there are two thriving companies, along with several indie promotions, getting back on their feet in a post-pandemic world.
"Nikki A.S.H. shouldn't have a long title reign. Nobody wants a champ who just wins by roll-ups." (@colincooksey33)
"Liv Morgan should have won and cashed in on Charlotte, not Nikki." (@fcourtney27)
I was firmly in favor of Liv Morgan winning the women's Money in the Bank match, but seeing Nikki get that moment after being mishandled for so long was just as satisfying for me and a lot of other fans.
Yes, her superhero gimmick is designed to be comedic, but there is nothing wrong with that. We've had other superheroes and a literal clown in WWE, so she is not doing anything offensive.
With her winning the title one night after claiming the MITB briefcase, it seems WWE either wants to fast-track her to the top or get her reign out of the way.
If WWE was only going to book her for a short reign, the briefcase should have gone to Morgan, but I see the company trying to make Nikki's character work. She has a gimmick that will draw in younger fans and entertain older fans who enjoy absurd storylines.
Besides, it's good to see some fresh blood in the title scene.
"After the twin debacles of Keith Lee and Karrion Kross, my excitement over having fans back in WWE officially lasted three days." (BobbyHeenanFC)
Having Keith Lee and Karrion Kross lose on Raw was one of the strangest decisions we have seen in months. It was just bad booking all around. There's no other way to put it.
"Who should become the next IC champ? It seems like Apollo Crews is doing nothing these days." (@euphoniumryan)
If WWE was going to take the title from Crews, it should go to Finn Balor. He needs a quick way to build momentum after his return to the main roster, and a reign with the IC belt would do the trick.
"Jeff Hardy should go to NXT. He will thrive and help out the young ones." (@Booyaka)
After thinking about it for a few minutes, I like this idea a lot. Hardy isn't being used well on Raw and would be treated like a legend in NXT. It could work well.
"Bring The Fiend back ASAP. We need a character like him to build other characters and keep wrestling storylines interesting." (@bleachedoutman)
I hope he returns soon, too. The Fiend is great when he is in the right storyline, but my faith in WWE finding the right way to use him is almost nonexistent these days.
"Is Braun Strowman returning?" (@abdulrahim1)
WWE released some new merchandise for him in its store the other day, so it wouldn't be surprising to see him return in the next few weeks. It also wouldn't be a shock if this ended up being an error or just WWE's way of unloading unsold merchandise. We'll see.
"Do you think Cesaro will ever win a major championship in WWE?" (@LakeShowpt2)
As much as I want to say yes, it feels like certain people in management don't see him as a top star. I hope I am wrong, but I doubt he will be a WWE champion.
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.