wrestling / Columns

Watry Q&A: WWE Royal Rumble 2019, AEW, CM Punk, More

February 2, 2019 | Posted by Justin Watry
Becky Lynch Royal Rumble


Once a month, for better or worse, I reply to the 411mania comment section. No cuss words or insults allowed. This is from January 2019.

Previous Q&A

JD: “Drew McIntyre is a stud, a future main eventer, just as Vince McMahon predicted nearly a decade ago.”

Now, let’s not give Vince too much credit here. The Drew now isn’t the same as the one then, that one was booked pretty badly, with a slow, methodical style that fans just didn’t care for(seriously, when the only things people really remember from his first tenure are his original theme & 3MB…maybe it wasn’t that memorable of a tenure). The thing that saved his career was leaving the E & joining TNA & some indies, as he upped his game & showed WWE how they should’ve booked him in the first place.

Two points to counter, even though I agree with the basic premise.

1. Vince McMahon does get credit. Same with knowing John Cena had talent. Of course it wasn’t as a Vanilla Ice goof or bland bum with generic music, but the personality was there. The talent was there. The work ethic was there. The charisma was there. The drive was there. The key was finding it. Same with Rocky. Obviously not like his Survivor Series 1996 debut gimmick or as a member of The Nation…but everyone knew he had ‘it.’ That was Drew McIntyre in 2009, just as it is in 2019.

2. Drew was indeed handled well in his first run. Well, before the 3MB thing. He was instantly labeled by the boss himself as a star. He was given excellent theme music, got plenty of television time and was fast tracked to the IC Title while having a great win-loss record. WWE had big plans for the man, as he was rumored twice for a Money In The Bank victory and World Title run. Whether it was his slow methodical pace or just simply being too young and too new, it didn’t work. This time around, I think it will.

Knacker That Kracken: I’ll have to go read his article about his trip to “Wrestlemnaia”.

Typo aside, the email is dead on. I loved writing “My Journey To Orlando” and consider it (maybe) my best column ever. Considering I’ve been doing this for over a decade and been featured on numerous websites, that says a lot. If you haven’t read it yet, enjoy:


On another note, I was also very proud of my Charlotte Flair column posted a few weeks ago. Big response on Twitter and had the most activity on 411Wrestling’s page in a long, long time (if not ever).

SuckaFreeSince83: I popped for your not proof reading and only clicking for the comments. Are you on Reddit? The crazies on there would go bananas in both directions for you.

I do not proof read. That is 100% true.

As for the other part, up until a few years ago, I didn’t even know what Reddit was. My girlfriend still doesn’t. No joke. I saw a story about the website in 2015 or so, checked it out and haven’t visited it since. Same reason I do not care is the same reason I do not use comment sections. If I have an opinion or a story to write, I will just write a column for the public to read. I’m fortunate enough to have an actual platform, so I’m going to use it.

Fact Or Fiction

BillyBlaze: As the locker room leader CM Punk will return, because he is the leader.

I never said CM Punk would return to WWE. However, I did say he would to do something with the business in 2018, and he did. Same with 2019.You have to remember. I had a guy training at the same facility as him the past few years leading up to his UFC “run.” I wrote about my exclusive at the time and was well aware of just how much he would be clobbered inside the octagon. That same enthusiasm and passion is still there for Punk…but not for his peers. Reality is setting in. He STILL wants to fight, no doubt, but with everything and everyone against it, who knows if he continues? Wrestling will always be there for him. The clock keeps ticking though…

unami218: There should be a “Jill Stein” option at the end of each of these columns.

I don’t know who that is.

MoMoney1985: They said there was no more “automatic” rematches I think. Which doesn’t mean that the former champ can’t straight away be booked to win a number one contenders match and qualify for a rematch

Fair point. Braun Strowman and AJ Styles earned their title rematches. I would still argue that the result is the same – rematches with the same outcomes. The journey may be a tad different but come bell time at the pay-per-view, it is more of the same we just saw. Daniel Bryan and Brock Lesnar will win at the Royal Rumble.

Zig Zag Zach: I love this site, so it’s disappointing seeing articles this terrible.

This Fact or Fiction column had nearly triple the amount of votes from the previous edition and more than triple the amount of comments. Take a guess who brings in those numbers every single time.

Jason S (Brooklyn): “the mysterious Florida promotion that never existed”

Thanks for reminding me why your columns are always a colossal waste of time.

I was NOT referring to Impact Wrestling, for the record. Nice try though. Years back, there was talk of a promotion starting up in Florida that had a bunch of legends already signed and was going to be backed by a major money player. Bunch of rumors, bunch of excitement…nothing happened. Now that I think about it, maybe that was the Khan family too!

2019 Bold Predictions

IAmLars: There are as bold as italics.

Or as bold as your multiple claims over the years to never read my columns again.

Dedicated Underachiever: Probably the most thought out, reasoned, Watry you will even read.

Thanks. Plenty of other great columns are just a quick Google search away.

Cactus: That final prediction is a fairly bold prediction, though by it’s nature its a 50/50 chance.

The womens tag belts thing is kind of silly though… it’s not even a prediction, they spent TV time telling us it would be happening already.

Every prediction by it’s nature has a 50/50 chance. Either it will happen or it won’t. I’d say licking an undefeated mega star known the world over to lost a marquee match is fairly bold.

As for the Women’s Tag Team Titles, time will tell. WWE also hyped up it’s network debuting in 2012 during the end of 2011 thanks to multiple commercials each show. Or the million feuds that were dropped out of thin air. Long story short, I believe we do FINALLY get women tag belts in 2019…whether it was announced already on TV or not by Santa Claus.

Anshul Saklani: I don’t think heavy machinery is going to be used well. They might get a good run in the beginning but they’ll be comedy jobbers soon.

Not a fan of the term “jobbers” personally. I will say this though: Heavy Machinery ARE comedy guys. That has been well established in NXT and is no issue to me. We need a variety.

Varoom: Enough with CM Punk already. He’s gone and never coming back.

Like Shawn Michaels would never wrestle again, Sting would never go to WWE, AJ Styles would never be a top tier champion, The Undertaker would never lose at WM, Bruno Sammartino would never being inducted into the WWE Hall of Fame, Ultimate Warrior would never reconcile with Vince McMahon or Hulk Hogan, etc. Never say never.

Bubbles: Does this mean you’ll claim a victory if CM Punk is added as a DLC in some wrestling videogame? What if his name appears in an article?

If he signs off on the video game deal and gets paid, yes. That’s him profiting and banking off wrestling.

RickGrimes90: Prediction Ronda is gone from from WWE by the end of 2019.

If not after this year’s Mania, definitely next April. Solid one or two year run, sprinkled in with some heel work and then starting a family with her husband seems plausible.

Good, Bad, & Ugly Of AEW

Crackhead Bob: Huh..I had no idea Paramount Network was Spike TV rebranded. They must be trying to set a world record for the most times a cable network has been rebranded.

I spoke to a Spike TV executive a few years back and got an on the record comment from him concerning any future wrestling returning to the network after TNA was booted. Basically, any and all deals would be looked at. Never ever said Spike was out of the wrestling game for good as has been reported over and over. They were just done with the TNA game. ROH? WWE? AEW? Case by case basis. You can Google that column for more insight.

Telthorst: The metaphor he used was talking about main stars vs. background players. As in being paid based on talent and drawing power – not whether their character is “good” or “bad.”

Exactly. Ryback made similar ridiculous statements, that second bit players in movies work just as hard and are just as important as the stars. Um, right because Harrison Ford will get same pay as a random bad guy in the Indian Jones series or Tom Cruise should be on the pay scale as his goofy sidekick for Mission Impossible. As noble as it sounds on paper, it’s ludicrous.

I don’t know what the pay will be like in AEW, but if it is Tony Khan just freely handing out millions to every roster member, it is a giant waste of money and deserves to be criticized.

Jonah: The name isn’t great but the acronym is worse, AEW doesn’t roll off the tongue at all.

No, it doesn’t. Like I said, if you love The Elite crap, this will be amazing. If you want a little more than four guys playing with a billionaire’s wallet, eh…

Jonathan W. Acheson: Why does there need to be a TV deal? Being on TV has not set the world on fire for ROH, particularly when the deal is for a third-or-fourth-string cable network.

Maybe they plan to stick with what has worked for them: guerrilla production of YouTube videos, and live events.

Chris Jericho is not wasting three years of his life to be on YouTube. Same with Tony Khan. He isn’t emptying out his checkbook for a bunch of ‘views’ online. Come on dude.

As for Ring Of Honor, you’re right. Being on Sinclair TV has done jack for them, but that’s not what AEW is planning. I expect a big television deal is in the works, not a low rated third or fourth string network. It’ll be major, which will justify all the spending and hype.

If an independent wrestling company is getting the patented Watry Approval, you know it’s legitimate.

Royal Rumble 2019 Hype

Aneesh Raikundalia: It’s funny before I continued reading the bulk of the “Which Rumble youd show” I thought to myself which it’d be and I thought the same…2008 or 2018 with 2005 a distant after

For the record, I chose 2008 and then went with 2001 on a different night. This time, my girlfriend barely knew anybody and lost interest in a hurry. Although when The Rock, Stone Cold, The Undertaker, and Kane were wrestling towards the end, she paid attention. Big fan of the 2019 Rumbles though!

ReadySaltedCrisps: Still think you should try attending a Beyond Wrestling show, would love to see your thoughts on that!

Are they coming to Wisconsin anytime soon? I’d go.

Mike Tremayne: 1992 is good only for those with huge wrestling history. It has not aged well, at all.

Same with the 1992 IC Title match and the Bret Hart/Shawn Michaels IronMan match from 1996. Heck, throw in Macho Man/Ricky Steamboat from 1987 for the IC Title too! I’ll throw in the HBK/Razor ladder matches too. Does not age well at all.

Mike Tremayne: I’d say Batista NOT being there would be the surprise. Love this week. WM is the highlight of the year for the spectacle, the Rumble is the highlight of the year for the actual action.

If Batista or The Rock returned at the Rumble, they would have had to win. That wasn’t going to happen, thus no surprise returns from them. The Royal Rumble is just so great. Even when it disappoints, the match creates many moments and memories.

SpankyHamm: Goldust, Mark Henry, Christian, Sarah Stock, Sara Del Rey, Victoria

Oops! That is called a goose egg. I wanted Victoria. Still time I suppose. WWE Hall of Fame maybe?

Jonah: Men’s: Batista, Angle, Matt Hardy, Bray Wyatt, Pete Dunne

Women’s: Bellas, Io Shirai, Maryse, Rhea Ripley, Maria Menounos, Eve Torres

Some of these may not count as surprises but they’re close enough.

Congrats man. Nice picks. To bank off a comment from Super Mateo last week, I knew the Rumble was right by Bella Country in Phoenix, Arizona. Still, I think everyone knew not to go to the legends well again. Torrie Wilson, Vickie Guerrero, Kelly Kelly, Maryse, Michelle McCool, Lita, Trish Stratus, Jacqueline, etc…

Royal Rumble 2019 Review

William Shad: They should have had Samoa Joe turn face during the rumble and win, then face Brock. Rollins will never be a true main eventer. He is good as a midcard/upper mid card heel. As a main event level face..no. He is dangerously close to being Reigns 2.0.

Heck, I would have been more interested in Hardy/Brock if they actually booked Hardy as a threat any more. Heyman could bring up that insane chair shot Jeff gave Brock way back in 2002.

Doing a feud just to mention one chair shot from 19 years ago? No thanks. The stuff about Samoa Joe and Seth Rollins gets an even bigger NO THANKS. Yikes!

Uwe Hentschel: I love how he always posts his predictions AFTER the event and act all smart. But hey, for comedy purposes there’s nothing better around here.

I said it multiple times in multiple columns and even tweeted out my picks before the WWE Royal Rumble event started on Twitter. You know, that PUBLIC place where everybody can read everything. My guess is you do not follow me on social media and would much rather make uninformed comments at the bottom of my columns.

JayDubs95: I’m with you on Jeff Hardy – I think a motivated Hardy vs Bryan at WM would be awesome.

I believe Jeff Hardy would be motivated. The question is if WWE would be. With an expiring contract, it’d work either way. He leaves, like he did in 2009, with a big farewell OR he is convinced to stick around with a bigger role and bigger paycheck.

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