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Q: Last week on the Sound Off [podcast], you talked about the Booker vs. Triple H match at WrestleMania 19 and said that he squashed him, with no rematch. I found on YouTube though that they had a rematch on Raw with HBK as the special referee. It ended in some kind of no contest after Jericho and Nash interfered. As someone who didn’t watch WWE during Triple H’s “reign of terror”, I’m curious to what extent you think it really took away from the product and frustrated you that he kept putting himself over? – Draven
A: Was that the match where the bell never rang to signal the end of the contest? How can I forget that? Technically, that match is still in progress, making it the longest match in history. It was incredibly frustrating (and boring, quite frankly) to see Triple H put himself over at the expense of others on a weekly basis. The things he would do, and say on promos, did his opponents no favors. This differs greatly from the way his idol, Ric Flair, did business in the midst of his NWA title runs. You could argue that his being champion for so long made the title mean more, and that may be so, but during his 434 days reign as champion, I never felt that CM Punk did anything to make his opponents look inferior the way that Triple H did.
Q: I’m not against Rock being around, but I am against him being the WWE Champion. For me, the title still means something and it should only be held by guys who will be around the whole year. I find it ridiculous that The Rock can’t even take 10 seconds on his media rounds to say that he’s wrestling, he’s the WWE Champion or even mention his upcoming title defense vs Cena at WrestleMania. I was hesitant at first, but thought it might end up good for WWE if Rocky gave them some publicity heading into Mania. Do you think Rock hasn’t done his job as WWE Champion? – Justin from Puerto Rico
A: WWE wanted him to be champion. He could have told them to go piss off, but he agreed to it. He’s doing just fine. I would have preferred they at least tape something with him to air during one of those two weeks of Raw that he missed, but that’s WWE’s fault for not thinking of it. I was quite suspect of Rock going on The Tonight Show and not saying a word about WrestleMania or being the champion, but since then, he’s talked wrestling on “Live with Kelly and Michael” and devoted an entire segment to it on Jimmy Kimmel’s show. Rock is doing his job just fine. Believe me, WWE will be more than happy once they tally up this year’s box office for Mania.
Q: I’m pretty sure [Daniel Bryan] and Kane are breaking up soon after WrestleMania. Do you think [Bryan] will be in the main event scene, or will he be placed in a mid-card comedy program with Santino or Hornswoggle? Also, do think he’ll turn heel and transition back to the entertaining “YES” man, or could he try to change it up and turn into a wrestling machine like Kurt Angle later in his late WWE run? – Gareth
A: Everyone has to adapt. You mention Kurt Angle, who went from goofy comedy figure to serious submission machine in the span of a few years. I have no doubt that Bryan could pull off the same if they wanted him to. But right now, the comedy stuff is working, so I say run with it until they actually have a plan for him. The worst thing they could do is break up Hell No and turn Bryan serious without having a direction in mind for him. But I think I can safely say he won’t be feuding with Santino or Hornswoggle, so you can rest easy.
Q: Why do fans give into near falls that aren’t [preceded] by someone’s finish? I just find it strange that we as fans [fall for] the idea that a pinfall can come out of nowhere that doesn’t involve a rollup, GTS, RKO, etc. You would think after the way our brains have been trained we’d know otherwise. – Kenneth
A: That’s a sign you’re watching a great wrestling match with two guys who know what they’re doing. Matt Hardy used the Side Effect as a setup move for years and the fans ALWAYS reacted to it like they thought it was the finish. It always amazed me, but he had the people invested. That’s the magic of pro wrestling.
Q: I just watched Raw from this past Monday. Wow. Just wow. This show sucked and is indicative of where WWE is at right now. I haven’t seen WWE this bad since 1995 when Diesel was champion and we were treated to the likes of T.L. Hopper, Duke “The Dumpster” Droese, and the Dentist Soon To Be Known as Kane. Was WWE 1995 worse than WWE today? – Cliff
A: WWE right now is nowhere near as bad as it was in 1995. I don’t want to say there was nothing redeeming about the product that year because, to be fair, they had some great wrestlers in Bret and Owen Hart, Shawn Michaels, 1-2-3 Kid and Hakushi. Even the pirate guy had a great match with the Hitman, and the Waylon Mercy character is highly underrated, even if Danny Spivey was past his expiration date at that stage of his career. But whatever good there may have been is negated 100 times over by those atrocious gimmicks we were subjected to that year. Could you picture Chris Jericho as The Goon? It almost happened! And let’s not forget Mantaur. I bet Jim Cornette sure wishes he could.
Q: With [the groundhog] lying to us here in the northeast yet again, my question is simple. Does WWE have a backup plan for WrestleMania if the winter weather has not released its grip in the northeast? With the long, elaborate entrances for Mania, what do you think they would do? – Tim from Mechanicsburg, PA
A: Supposedly, they have invested in giant heaters for the stage and ringside area if it’s really cold that night. The rest of us in attendance may freeze our asses off, but otherwise, the show goes on!
Q: Was Ahmed Johnson released from the WWF in 1998 or did he leave on his own? And what’s he up to these days? – Ravonn from NY
A: Ahmed walked out on a Raw taping one night and never came back. He claimed in later interviews the reason he left was because his sister was dying of cancer and he never told Vince McMahon about it. I guess it was a macho thing. As for what he’s up to these days, judging by recent photos, I’d say about 450.
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