MAILBAG: Something Special For Raw’s 20th Anniversary?

SEScoops Mailbag for September 14th

(please submit YOUR questions to [email protected])

Q: With all the wrestlers traveling, especially the A-list talents, how and when do the talents have time to practice and rehearse moves/bumps/spots? Does the crew set-up a ring (or multiple rings) early in the week and the talents come into an empty arena and practice what might work [versus] what might not and rehearse the order? Or do they only talk it out? – Jay H.

A: Some wrestlers go over spots and such in the ring the day of the event while others simply discuss things beforehand. For a TV taping or PPV, they’re typically required to be at the arena many hours in advance. In other cases, you have someone like The Rock who has his own ring set up either at home or somewhere else and can train there. Before his tag match with John Cena against Miz and R-Truth at last year’s Survivor Series, he invited his opponents to New Orleans, where was filming his GI Joe movie, to rehearse the match.

Q: Has The Undertaker ever submitted [in a match] in his career? – Ravonn A.

A: Technically, yes he has, but it either didn’t result in an actual loss or was controversial in nature. He lost via Mandible Claw to Mankind at the 1996 King of the Ring, but that was after being clobbered with the urn and knocked out. He also tapped to a triangle choke by Kurt Angle in a match on Smackdown but had Angle’s shoulders pinned to the mat and tapped only after the referee counted three (the match ended in a draw). CM Punk beat him using the Anaconda Vice at Breaking Point in 2009, which qualifies as a submission loss, but it was a screwjob (in Montreal, naturally) and he never actually gave up.

Q: A few weeks ago, WWE did the big Raw 1,000. Since January 2013 is coming up, do you think they are going to do something big for Monday Night Raw’s 20th Anniversary? – David

A: Of course they will, and what they should do is, for one night only, bring Raw back to the Manhattan Center where it all began! If it’s too much of a bitch to haul everyone up 8 flights to the Grand Ballroom, then the Hammerstein downstairs will suffice. It made for a fun atmosphere for those ECW shows several years ago and would bring things full circle.

Q: Since the Royal Rumble is pretty much pointless now, how do you feel about starting a new Rumble concept [similar to] what happened when Jesse Ventura was running Raw? He had a battle royal that was just for guys that have never been champion, which Sheamus ended up winning and went on to TLC to beat John Cena. What if they did the same thing with the Royal Rumble? Have 30 guys that have never been champion battle it out and the winner goes on to Elimination Chamber to wrestle for the [title] of their choosing. Then at the PPV, they have a title match to open the show and if they win, they have to defend it in the Chamber match itself. Thoughts? – Barry P.

A: That was the “Breakthrough Battle Royal” and was a nice concept for a match on Raw. To apply that to the Royal Rumble on PPV? Not so much. Part of the allure of the Rumble is having big stars compete in the match, all of whom have already been champion at least once. In fact, even some mid-card guys have been champion already, like Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger. What you’re left with is a pretty unappealing Royal Rumble roster that you’re now asking people to pay $50 to see. Plus, the Rumble is often used as a springboard for certain feuds heading into WrestleMania. It’s just not realistic.

Q: What are your thoughts on Wade Barrett and [where do you see him going] in 2012 and 2013? – Shane from Fort Lauderdale, FL

A: I see Barrett as a future World champion. Whether it happens next year or in 2014, if he can stay healthy, he’ll be a big-time player.

Q: I recently watched the “Breaking The Code” documentary where Bill Goldberg talks about how no one would want to see a Chris Jericho vs. Bill Goldberg match because no one could believe that Jericho would ever beat Goldberg. [Of course] several years later, Jericho in a legit backstage fight proceeded to choke Goldberg out and embarrass him. This kind of renders the argument if a small wrestler could ever defeat a big guy pointless, doesn’t it?

A: Not really, you’re comparing two totally different things. A small guy can always defeat a bigger guy in a fake pro wrestling match, no different than a woman or a midget can. Whoever is booked to win will win. In real life, how does a small man “defeat” a bigger man? If by defeat you mean knock him the **** out, then yes, it’s certainly not impossible.

Q: Do you think the fact that Brock Lesnar lost his first match back to John Cena made his match with Triple H not [reach] the heights it could have? – Alexandre O.

A: Absolutely, it had an effect. That and the fact the crowd was dead for most of it and it just wasn’t a great match. Both men have had better.

Q: If for some reason, John Cena was no longer in WWE, what would Vince McMahon do? It seems to me he’s put all of his eggs in one basket now for so long that if something were to happen to Cena, they would have a major problem. – David from London, England

A: He would cry. A lot. So would the fans, though likely for different reasons. But really, he likely would double-down on Orton and Sheamus as his top guys. It would also force them to push other guys, which would be a positive, and I could see guys like Barrett, Bryan and Ziggler being beneficiaries of that.

Keep those questions coming to [email protected] and remember to include your name!