Latta’s Lariat #53 – The Wrestling Mailbag Returns! + Wrestlemania/NXT Ratings

Enjoy The Latest Episode of One Nation Radio.

What’s going on everyone? Hope you are all enjoying the new look Lords Of Pain site. To celebrate the launch of the revamped site, I figured I’d bring back one of the tried and true columns that are a blast to write and fun for you to read… The Mailbag. All questions come from real people, readers, and members of The Wrestling Squared Circle Facebook Group 

Before we get to that, the last three hours of Wrestlemania 34 made me want to walk into oncoming traffic. The Undertaker showed why he should have stayed in retirement again, as for 5th consecutive year he offered up nothing match wise, and even less creatively. AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura had just a match instead of aiming for a Wrestlemania classic, as the post-match antics of Nakamura saved what would have been a lot worse fan reception than their muted babyface match received. A 10-year-old walked away with a championship, and Roman Reigns got opened up by a 290 LB shoot fighter the hard way, via elbow shots as the company looked hypocrisy in the face and laughed. WWE’s dedication to preserving the health of their athletes and concern for concussions suddenly went out the window when there was a Brock Lesnar match to be had, AGAIN. Meanwhile, the entire Superdome came to kill this match, and they dumped it on it in all types of ways including the wave, CM Punk chants, and the ultra rare, THIS IS AWFUL. 

I enjoyed the IC 3-Way, Charlotte vs Asuka, The Mixed Tag Team match, and most of Daniel Bryan’s return. Besides those few things, throw the whole show away or turn it off after Rousey. Start over. Thank god for NXT.

Wrestlemania 34 Ratings.

  • Miz/Rollins/Balor ****
  • Charlotte/Asuka ****1/4
  • Mahal/Rusev/Orton/Roode ***
  • Rousey/Angle vs Triple H/Stephanie ***3/4
  • Usos/Bludgeon’s/New Day **1/2
  • Cena/Undertaker DUD
  • Bryan/Shane vs Owens/Zayn ***
  • Jax/Bliss **1/2
  • Styles/Nakamura ***1/4
  • Strowman/Nicholas vs The Bar *
  • Lesnar/Reigns **3/4

NXT Takeover New Orleans Ratings

  • North American Ladder Match ****3/4 
  • Shayna/Moon ****
  • Triangle Tag ***3/4
  • Almas/Black ****3/4
  • Gargano/Ciampa *****1/2 (Yes!)

Let’s get to the questions. Questions In Plum

Is the WWE roster getting to be too bloated? Everybody doesn’t get utilized as it is, yet they seem to keep picking up big name Indy talent. – Kyle Moores

Rich: The WWE roster has an embarrassment of riches everywhere you turn. I have no problem with them bringing in the top free agents in the world, even at the pace they are doing it at. The issue is, they rarely ever fire anyone anymore. Once in a while, a few roster members may get dropped, but what ends up happening is glass ceilings start appearing everywhere as different portions of the roster end up segregated to their own classes, multi-person matches end up populating the big shows, and important wrestlers find themselves put on pre-shows regularly. If they keep going though, I think they will be bloated. I’d like to see them run with who they have at the moment.

How would you book Daniel Bryan the next 12 months? – Ricky

Rich: Easy, put the belt on him and let him beat everybody! Word to Bob Holly. Oh, you wanted detail, I gotcha. For starters, I’m assuming he works a full schedule. I would start with The Miz and Daniel Bryan at Backlash, with Daniel Bryan coming out victorious in a standard match. The Miz would bring back Maryse in the fallout and regain his focus, becoming a main eventer in the process. The Miz would win Money In The Bank, last knocking Bryan off the ladder after a Maryse low blow to beat Bryan, but not pin him. This would begin Bryan’s journey through the rest of Smackdown, having great matches away from The Miz until The Royal Rumble comes. Miz would cash in MITB at Summerslam on AJ Styles, and enact an “Anyone but Daniel Bryan Rule” for his title defenses that he got added to his MITB contract if he cashed in successfully.

They would constantly be working the feud in every way but a match until the calendar flipped to 2019. The Miz would retain through ridiculous means for months until losing the WWE Championship at the Royal Rumble back to AJ Styles thanks to Special Referee Daniel Bryan. Bryan and The Miz would end up as the final two in the Royal Rumble that same night, with Bryan eliminating Miz to get his long overdue Royal Rumble win. At this point, he would be looking to jump brands to challenge the Universal Champion Roman Reigns who ran through the Raw Roster the whole year. Miz would take it as Daniel Bryan running away from him and would challenge him for his shot at Wrestlemania at Fastlane in an I Quit match, forgoing his automatic rematch with AJ Styles out of blind rage. After the huge blow off with Miz at Fastlane ending it once and for all, Roman Reigns would attack Daniel Bryan after the match turning heel in the process, with his reasoning being that Bryan was in the shadows of his entire rise. Daniel Bryan vs Roman Reigns Wrestlemania 35. You pick the winner.  

Could Asukas loss be a storyline to have her join Ronda? Asuka goes undefeated for 2 years, loses her streak on the grandest stage of them all, starts going into a downward spiral and then Ronda jumps in to save her – Michael Grimes

Rich: That’s an idea, however, I don’t see how WWE would see the correlation between Asuka’s streak, the fallout of her loss and Rousey, otherwise, they would have just had Rousey defeat Asuka. I’m of the opinion that Asuka’s streak ending should have been a bigger deal; I hope this doesn’t make WWE feel like they have a license to start treating her like everyone else.

So after what happened to Roman at Mania, I’ve seen a lot more support for him, do you think WWE was doing what they did to him at Wrestlemania to try and get support from the IWC and build from there to get him over? – Nicholas Guerrero 

Rich: I think if drawing sympathy arises from the fallout of what they did, they’ll take it, but it looks just like a business decision for Saudi Arabia rather than trying to play to a group of folks that largely reject Roman Reigns anyway. If Vince wants to gamble with a dude that gets his Wrestlemania Main Events dumped on almost annually now, that’s totally up to Vince and isn’t a logical plan at all. I think a lot of fans will start shifting their Roman stance to Vince in time but nowhere close to present day. This will be a revelation years after they give up on Reigns. Like “you’ve criminally mishandled this guy’s main event career from day 1 all because you tried too hard, and now he’s ruined.” It’s a weird roundabout way to garner sympathy but this isn’t the past anymore, we’ll see. 

On a scale of 1 to Edge crouched in the corner begging to spear a downed opponent like a dope fiend begging for a hit, how desperately do you want WWE to move to Fox, cancel the brand split and be forced to turn Raw into a 2-hour show without an overrun? – James Boyd

Rich: USA network feels like an institution for WWE, and they’ll always be the big dog on the block there. They would essentially be another number on FOX, but at this rate maybe it would be for the better. USA has acted as sort of an enabler by giving them money and timeslots they would be foolish to turn down. TV rights fees have become the cornerstone of how WWE makes money in modern times. But nearly 6 years of 3 Hour Raws has eroded the audience steadily and stretched the show’s creative potential to its breaking point. WWE has regularly mailed in the third hour in the past year. When Smackdown is firing on all cylinders there are few more enjoyable wrestling viewing experiences than a tight 2-hour show that ends right on time. Adding in a split roster hasn’t been the best thing for Raw, and combining the rosters again and forcing them back into that 2-hour box could create possibly the best thing on cable, with the star power aligning with a refreshed 2-hour presentation. I’ll go an 8.5 out of Edge.

What comes first, a women’s tag team division or a cruiserweight tag team division? – Joe Saba 

Since the groundwork is already laid with Tozawa and Itami, I’ll go with the cruiserweight tag team belts although I’d probably like the women’s tag titles more. 205 Live at least has its own ecosystem. If a women’s only show pops up one day I’d love for that to be a central location to contest those titles. 

Is it time to break up The New Day? – Dan Coffin

I’m glad you asked. Yes. It is time for these guys to split up or at least do other things. I want to know if Big E can make it as a main eventer, I want to see Kofi Kingston get a world title opportunity, I want to see Xavier Woods cutting money promos that involve just him! They’ve done it all on both brands as a tag team. They’ve been great characters as well as incredible tag team performers, there is only so high tag teams will go in WWE. 2017 was the best time for tag team wrestling in WWE, and at Wrestlemania it led to a 5 minute Smackdown Match, and a 10-year old winning the Raw titles. Let these guys grow now. This is the time. I don’t care who you turn.  

You said that Gargano vs Ciampa at TakeOver NOLA was a 5.5* rating & that means it was the greatest match in WWE history. Prior to that, what 2 matches were the best & second best matches in WWE history? – Jordan Fox

Yes, everyone you heard it right. Gargano vs Ciampa was the greatest match in WWE history. Big moves, wonderful call-backs, dangerous moments, hate that came through the screen, A+ storytelling not only ahead of time, but during the match, and the entire crowd hanging on every sequence. To Jordan’s question, I always ranked Bret Hart vs Stone Cold Steve Austin at #1 previously and behind that would be The Undertaker and Shawn Michaels at Wrestlemania 25. Hart-Austin launched Stone Cold into superstardom and was Bret Hart’s last real gift to WWE, as he and Austin sealed the best double switch ever which had been happening weeks prior. Its violent beauty in it’s purest form. Undertaker-Michaels is just a blow away match in every sense of the word. At the time it changed big match wrestling, and while I think it’s been topped outside of WWE, few things in WWE compare to it. I think Gargano and Ciampa topped them both. From the moment the video package kicked on until Gargano wrapped Ciampa’s knee brace around his face, that match was pro wrestling perfection on almost every level. 

What questions would you like me to answer next?

Rich Latta is a writer for & host of the One Nation Radio Podcast on  Check his Latta’s Lariato New Japan work out there. He appears monthly on Chad Matthews’ podcast The Doc Says after PPVs. GFX by @SirMikeFergus Give him a follow on Twitter, @RichLatta32 or drop him a comment below. If you like hip-hop, check out his music here. Look Him Up On Youtube As Well.



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