For our second edition of the Daily DDT Mailbag, we cover the idea of intergender wrestling in WWE, and a world where Bray Wyatt beat Undertaker’s Streak.
A segment so nice, we just had to do it twice! Well, truth be told, y’all were going to get a second edition of Mailbag regardless if our debut episode flopped or not. But thankfully, the first edition was extremely well received, so we’re going to try to make it a regular, weekly thing to answer your questions about WWE, AEW, Impact Wrestling, Ring of Honor, New Japan Pro Wrestling, and just wrestling in general.
Let’s not waste any more time and get started!
JAM: 1.) Well, I decided to start writing professionally back in 2016 and by that point, I had just gotten back into wrestling for the past couple years or so. Since I watched every now and again, it made sense at the time to write about wrestling, and so I did for a few sites. One site led to another and eventually, I found my way to Daily DDT.
As for finding my writing voice, I learned a long time ago that consistency is key when it comes to honing your voice. You learn what best suits your voice best, what’s the best way to articulate your thoughts in a way people understand, and most of all, you just get better at writing. Just don’t burn yourself out trying to write 9 hours a day, and you’ll find your voice in no time.
2.) Yes and no. In rare instances like KofiMania and The Yes Movement, it can make for special moments. Plus, fans are a paying public who, naturally, should get their money’s worth. However, WWE shouldn’t completely let their fans book their product 24/7. That’s when it becomes a disaster.
It’s like letting the inmates run the asylum. You can keep their input in mind and consider making some changes to accommodate them, but you don’t let those inmates walk around with batons and walkie talkies. No one man (or woman) should have all that power. Word to Kanye West, even though I still think you’re buggin’ for what you said for TMZ last year.
BG: I started on wrestling coverage by virtue of always being on wrestling coverage so to speak. The first work I ever published was on a blog I made for myself about pro wrestling. I would say I didn’t necessarily find it difficult to find my writing voice even back then, but it’s something I always feel is evolving. As such, it’s always something I feel like I’m working on basically.
While I do think I’ve wrote up some very good ideas over the years for WWE, I can’t wholeheartedly advocate for the company to solely let fan opinion dictate their product. They have very successful writers, along with wrestling legends, on their payroll. Who am I to say if my ideas, or anyone else’s for that matter, would ultimately be able to survive massive amounts of fan scrutiny any better?
On the other hand, I think it’s still important that WWE takes fans’ opinions into consideration. Fans pay the bills, and sometimes push WWE in amazing directions. Look no further than Kofi Kingston’s run if you need proof.
PC: I love these questions! Before I get into answers, on the off chance that you are a writer and that’s what prompted the first ask, I hope you keep writing and wish you all the best!
In many ways, my writing story is a “things fell into place” situation. I started my sports journalism covering the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for What The Buc. I met someone there who later worked with RealSport, and as a result I went there to do wrestling coverage. I already knew I could write, and cover sports, so I just took the leap.
After a few months there, I got moved into an editorial role where I stayed until the site restructured. Once I started with Daily DDT, a similar situation happened. I worked as a contributor at first before moving into an editorial role as Co-Expert where I am now.
Finding your voice can feel like a tricky thing, but the only thing that helps you find it is to keep writing. The more you write, the more you get to see what your style is like and find your own voice.
In a way, yes. WWE’s success hinges largely on the way fans receive their content, and fan involvement has become such a part of the product that it’s impossible to ignore. That being said, WWE needs to worry more about consistent writing than anything. Whether their ideas are coming from fans or elsewhere, the lack of consistency between stories is going to make even the most beloved ideas struggle.
JAM: 3.) So many great options out there for intergender matches. Boss ‘n’ Hug vs The Revival is the first to come to mind. Killian Dain vs Nia Jax randomly comes to mind. Asuka vs EVERYONE is ideal. There’s a weird part of me stuck in 2015 that still wants to see The New Day vs Team BAD. I randomly feel like Candice LeRae vs Daniel Bryan could be real fun. Now I’m sad that these matches might never happen. Thanks a lot.
Oh, and as far as intergender teams, I’d say revive a lot of those intergender teams from the Mixed Match Challenge (i.e. Braun Strowman and Alexa Bliss) because a lot of those teams had some excellent chemistry.
4.) A little bit of edge here and there might help – when appropriate, to intensify feuds and special stip matches when necessary – but I don’t think they need to steer completely away from PG. There were just as many bad storylines in the Attitude and Ruthless Aggression Eras as there have been in the PG Era. Arguably more since a lot of stories from back then haven’t aged well. That’s all it boils down to. I just want good matches mixed with good storylines. It can be TV-Y7 for all I care as long as the matches and stories are good.
5.) After just googling what an echidna was, yes. It looks like the love child of a porcupine and an anteater. Oh wait, it is an anteater. So, it’s a Pokemon evolved anteater. Makes sense.
BG: A lot of intergender matches and rivalries come to mind. I almost have decision paralysis just thinking about naming the top ones I would want to see. Shinsuke Nakamura versus Asuka, Nia Jax versus Randy Orton, and a bunch others with people like Nikki Cross and Charlotte Flair all come to mind initially.
As far as whether or not WWE should drop the PG era, that’s a fairly loaded question. I think they need to get some edge back, but not dip too far into the attitude era. Add some more extreme rules matches, allow occasional swearing when appropriate, and branch out a slight bit on storylines.
I think those elements would fall somewhere along the Ruthless Aggression time period, which is then where I would say I prefer WWE to settle at for tone if I had to pick a named “era” of wrestling. Of course, the uglier sides of that period should be avoided at all costs, but the elements I listed above were mostly kept in check at various points during that time if I remember correctly.
Finally, I think I saw an echidna in a video game once…
PC: 3. I could go on for a really long time about the world of possibilities here, but a few things stick out in my mind at first. Established factions including women could create an interesting dynamic, especially thinking back to the ways Nikki Cross would get involved in SAnitY’s matches. A few matches I’d want to see: The Boss ‘n’ Hug Connection vs. The Revival, The Kabuki Warriors vs. The New Day, Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Asuka, Charlotte Flair vs. Chad Gable, and a bunch of others, but I’m gonna stop for now.
4. Like I mentioned about WWE listening to fan ideas, I think the “PG Era” is far from their biggest issue right now. A lack of consistent writing, consistency with characters, and just general logic are turning fans off from the product. A few curse words aren’t going to fix that.
5. OF COURSE I HAVE BECAUSE THEY ARE SO DANG CUTE.
JAM: I think a Robbie Eagles vs Jay White feud is imminent, but not for the leadership of Bullet Club. An IWGP Heavyweight Title feud could be compelling if White were to regain the belt, but I don’t want to see guys flip back and forth between stables. Last year, White teased joining BC just to join Chaos, then turned turncoat for BC anyway. Eagles is on a similar boat and I think both parties need to stay where they are for now.
BG: Unfortunately, I’m not really following New Japan right now. That being said, I’ll still answer to the best of my ability, just take that answer with a giant grain of salt, maybe a boulder of salt even.
I think NJPW has invested too much in Jay White to deemphasize him like that so soon. They don’t seem like a company that just throws their top belt on someone only to forget about them a year later. Yes, that was a veiled shot at WWE for not using Jinder Mahal. Yes, that means I am in the rare class of people who actually liked Jinder Mahal’s title reign.
PC: That’s an interesting possibility. I think it’s certainly something that could happen if things lined up, but not something I see happening soon. Almost all of Bullet Club’s leadership changes have come as a result of someone leaving NJPW, and Jay White isn’t someone I see leaving NJPW or giving up his power in Bullet Club any time soon.
JAM: Well, first off, Tamina did team with The Usos once upon a time ago. I wasn’t watching at the time so I can’t comment on that run, but they had a great debut segment together as a trio. If The Usos were to ever turn heel again, I’d love to see her re-join them as their muscle, ala what Chyna was to HHH/HBK back in the day.
Tamina as a singles competitor, I think there’s still a future for her. Never say never. I remember people saying her future was done for when she was on SmackDown in 2017-18, but she was pretty over for a minute. Just look at the pop her staredown with Nia Jax got at Survivor Series. People were invested.
That’s all Tamina needs. Just strong booking and an interesting program to work with. No Superstar is ever damaged beyond repair. Everyone thought Triple H was done for when Ultimate Warrior beat him in two minutes at WrestleMania, and look how he turned out.
BG: I think there’s still a future for Tamina. She plays the bruiser role well, and I think there’s always a home for that in WWE. That being said, I wouldn’t get your hopes up for any singles title opportunities anytime soon for Tamina if you’re a fan. If that were in the cards, we would have seen a lot more of her lately.
The way I see it, she could still find a role challenging for the Women’s Tag Team Championships at some point though. The Nia Jax and Tamina tag team had some real potential in my opinion. Once Jax is back from injury, I wouldn’t mind seeing WWE revisit that tandem.
PC: I know she gets a lot of flak, but Tamina really is a fantastic competitor. Unfortunately, she’s been a victim of bad timing and worse booking. Despite having been with WWE for nearly a decade, it’s been far too long since she’s been taken seriously as a singles competitor. Tamina actually got a few opportunities at the Divas Championship in her earlier years, but those three matches (Elimination Chamber 2012, Elimination Chamber 2013, Extreme Rules 2014) combined equaled less than 17 minutes in length.
Even in her longest chance, a Divas Championship match against Beth Phoenix at Elimination Chamber 2012, Tamina was impressive despite only being three years into the business at a point long before the days of the WWE Performance Center as a resource.
WWE also built much of Tamina’s earlier career on her similarities to her father Jimmy Snuka, who they now have distanced themselves from because of the whole “was probably a murderer” thing. Add in her often being relegated to being someone else’s backup, and it’s not surprising so many people have a less than perfect opinion of her.
Tamina is world’s apart from the competitor she was back then, and she deserves a chance to shine on her own again. That said, I wouldn’t mind seeing her aligned with The Usos as long as she’s getting her own opportunities and isn’t being overshadowed in the process.
JAM: I can’t speak on the article without reading it, but taking the question at face value, I 1000% disagree. The division is the best it’s ever been in WWE right now. They just had their first Mania main event and some months prior, their first all women’s PPV. Not to mention, their top star and merchandise seller is the Raw Women’s Champion. Plenty of other women are over as well. Even if it’s not perfect, the Women’s Evolution is alive and well.
BG: There’s a few different ways to take this question. Since I didn’t see the article, I kind of feel like I need to take a shot in the dark on a potential argument.
With that being said, in my opinion, the Women’s Evolution is most certainly not a lie. If you look at where the roster is today versus where it was at just 5 years ago, you can tell there’s been some major changes.
Does that mean everything’s perfect? No, of course there’s still a lot of room for improvement. Evolution, after all, isn’t an immediate process. From where WWE was at however, we have undeniably witnessed a drastic improvement.
At the beginning of the decade, it’s hard for me to think WWE would have ever considered a female superstar one of the de facto top faces of the company, regardless of their popularity. Now, Becky Lynch is not just one of, if not the, face of the company in fans’ minds, but WWE legitimately treats her like that as well.
That’s just a small example of what you can credit to the Women’s Evolution in my opinion.
PC: Without seeing the article, I can’t really speak to the argument they were making or reasons they were saying this. However, I do think WWE’s Women’s Evolution has to be seen from two very important angles. While progress has absolutely been made and there’s no denying the opportunities and spotlight women get now compared to the past, that progress never would’ve been possible if WWE hadn’t consistently kept women down and not given them the opportunities they deserved.
It’s like Syndrome in The Incredibles. He’s gonna unleash a deadly robot on the city, destroy it, and then wants the city to love him for saving the day. WWE didn’t take female superstars seriously for too long, and often had very degrading and misogynistic content, but now they want everyone to love them for saving the day and being better. Their progress is real, and good, and I’m glad it happened, but they’ve fixed a problem they created themselves.
JAM: It’s a nifty thought for sure, especially assuming that Bray Wyatt would have had a stronger career path with better booking after beating The Streak than he’s had without it. However, I’m gonna have to say it was for the best that he didn’t beat it. If he beat The Streak at WrestleMania XXX, at his first Mania where he was unproven as a main eventer and then got that golden push, it might’ve hurt Bray more than it helped him.
A lot of people hated – and still hate – the idea of a tenured vet like Brock Lesnar ending The Streak, so getting an unproven rookie like Wyatt in that role may have received even more hate. Even as a heel, the hate could have stalled Bray’s momentum and translated into go-away heat similar to what Reigns got post-Rumble 2015.
And seeing how WWE handled that situation, they might have made some dumb booking decisions to help Bray’s case, but in panic mode, wind up making things worse.
But hey, I say it all worked out for the best. Bray Wyatt has his puppets now, he ate one of those puppets, and Brock has a briefcase. All is good in the universe.
BG: This is an interesting “Marvel What If?” kind of scenario right here. I think there’s 2 different answers you can give depending on how you interpret the situation.
If Bray Wyatt ending The Undertaker’s streak would have led to him being booked more strongly and consistently, by virtue of having such a high profile victory as momentum, then he would most definitely have been the right choice.
Now, if Bray Wyatt beat The Undertaker at WrestleMania and then proceed to have roughly the same career path he’s had in reality, then that’s a different story entirely. In that case, Brock Lesnar would have been the superior option.
Whoever beat Taker’s streak was going to face massive amounts of scrutiny, and Lesnar is perhaps the best superstar at handling that level of scrutiny we’ve seen in recent years. In that sense, he was the perfect choice to end the streak.
I would argue fans would have been much harsher on someone like Bray Wyatt if he beat the streak, and then went on to have some objectively terrible moments like the match with Randy Orton at WrestleMania. It would have just added to the damage that moments like that already inflicted on Wyatt’s WWE career because of the mere fact that expectations would be even higher for Wyatt as a result of his win over Undertaker.
PC: Bray Wyatt absolutely should’ve ended The Undertaker’s WrestleMania streak. Brock Lesnar never needed it, and the only benefit to that choice was instant shock value. Bray Wyatt is having to reinvent himself now because he’s been so horrendously booked over the years, and spent so long being all talk and no actual threat when the bell sounded because he lost so much.
A victory over The Undertaker would’ve gone a long way to legitimizing Wyatt as both a threat and a supernatural being, and WWE whiffed hard when they decided who should go over.
JAM: That’d be one hell of a twist and I’ll be into it if it happens, but I really love the idea of Nikki Cross genuinely offering her love and affection just to be played like a fiddle. It’s something fans have connected strongly with and it’s led to Cross getting pretty over throughout the course of this storyline. I feel like if WWE deter from that storyline just to pull a twist out of a hat, they potentially miss out on a great babyface character in what Nikki Cross has been doing so far.
BG: This is the storyline I want to happen. Unfortunately, in the immortal words of Mick Jagger, “you can’t always get what you want.”
I don’t see WWE pulling a twist out of their sleeve like that. It’s much easier, albeit more obvious, for the reverse to happen. Bliss betraying Cross sets her up as a clear fan favorite, potentially propelling her into title contention as well.
In that respect, maybe that makes it the right call too. I don’t know. If WWE taking the safe way out leads to another top face in the Women’s Division, that might be better than taking a riskier spin even if that angle could lead to one of the best moments of the year if done correctly.
In other words, maybe fans hoping for a twist won’t get what they want, but they’ll get what they need.
PC: I think it’s a definite possibility, but my view of this storyline has always been that it’s building to Bliss turning Nikki Cross back into the unhinged character we knew in NXT. Nikki Cross is so authentically nice and genuine that fans are drawn to her right now as a babyface. This story is one of the few things WWE is executing well right now, and it could make Nikki Cross even more over than she already is.
Fans will connect and relate to her, which makes Alexa’s sudden but inevitable betrayal all the more tragic, endearing fans to Nikki and garnering Bliss some monster heat.
Got your own set of questions you want to ask the Daily DDT crew? Let us know in the comment section below or hit us up on Twitter, and maybe we’ll answer them on our next Mailbag.