Russo is joined on today’s show by his co-host Jeff Lane, Kenny Bolin and Big Vito.
After watching RAW and Smackdown Live this week, it’s evident to Russo that WWE doesn’t care about their shows anymore. He says WWE’s programming is all ‘shit’ and they show zero signs of pride in their work.
Bolin points out how dead the two crowds were in Manchester, England this past week, and he says that’s a terrible sign because WWE only goes to England twice per year. The England crowds were always loud and rambunctious but they were the complete opposite of that this week.
Russo says that people often claim that he invented the ‘on a pole’ match, but those matches have been around for decades. Speaking about the ‘guitar on a pole match’ between Jason Jordan and Elias, Russo wonders what kind of a pole match ends without a 3-count. Bolin says whoever booked that clearly didn’t give a damn.
Vito says that Jason Jordan and Elias simply couldn’t work together because there was no chemistry there. He also says that WWE has buried Elias by destroying his entire gimmick since his guitar was broken over his own back.
Russo feels that Asuka’s kicks to her opponent during her match on RAW were very stiff. He wonders if wrestlers should be using those types of stiff strikes in the business in 2017. Vito says those strikes were definitely stiff, and WWE officials are definitely telling her to really lay in her offence now because she didn’t do a good enough job of looking vicious in her debut matches against Emma.
Bolin admits that he thought Asuka and Nakamura were going to be WWE’s two new stars, but he hasn’t been happy with how either of those talents have been booked on the main roster thus far. Russo also points out that Asuka has a ‘flabby belly’, and she simply does look to be in the shape of someone like Charlotte.
Russo thought WWE did a good job creatively of getting Samoa Joe and Finn Balor on RAW in a meaningful match against each other. He thought this match helped both performers. Vito and Bolin completely disagree with Russo saying WWE has ‘punked out’ Joe recently, transitioning him from a wrecking ball who competed against Lesnar, to someone who can’t even handle Finn Balor physically.
Russo is sick and tired of WWE making Angle look like a ‘pussy’. Other than Brock Lesnar, Angle is probably the most legitimate bad ass on WWE’s entire roster, so he can’t believe that WWE is treating him in this fashion.
Russo is sure that Jason Jordan is going to turn heel soon and reveal the truth that he’s not actually Angle’s son, but that reveal won’t be half as meaningful as it should have been because the writing has been terrible throughout this entire angle. After the first couple of weeks, Jordan and Angle have hardly been seen together and they haven’t been able to form a real bond.
Vito says that Jordan simply isn’t ready, and that’s why he’s having such a hard time getting over with the WWE Universe as a babyface. Bolin mentions that Jordan has a tremendous body, but teaming up with Shelton Benjamin would be a better spot for him right now instead of continuing this singles run.
Russo says that Bayley is having a very difficult time with promos right now and he believes WWE needs to put a lot of focus on improving her promos, or they simply shouldn’t let her talk.
Russo says he’s sick and tired of the commentators burying Enzo Amore, and he doesn’t understand what that accomplishes. He says he can’t wait until the story comes out that Enzo jumped Corey Graves backstage and ‘jacked him up’ for the way Graves has been burying him on commentary.
Speaking about the end of RAW, Russo doesn’t understand the logic of Smackdown Live sending three men (The New Day) into the RAW show, where there was an entire locker room of wrestlers to fight them. To this point, he doesn’t understand why all the wrestlers in the ring, specifically Seth Rollins, were selling The New Day’s promo like it was the scariest thing in the world. Just the four RAW wrestlers in the ring would have been enough to outnumber The New Day.
Russo says he hasn’t laughed at a New Day skit in his life and Bolin agrees, saying New Day simply aren’t funny and they need to separate now so Big E can pursue a singles career. Vito thinks after they’re done with The Shield, The New Day will break up and all three talents will go their own way. Vito also thinks WWE has really buried Rusev lately, and Russo says he’d pay to see a serious angle between Rusev and Big E if both those guys were booked sensibly.
Speaking about A.J. Styles’ WWE Title victory, Russo can’t believe WWE invested 170 days into Mahal only to take the Title from him on a random episode of Smackdown Live. He’s going to give WWE the benefit of the doubt in this case because there’s no way they invested that much time in Mahal only to let him fall back into a mid-card role. If that’s what happens, then shame on WWE.
Vito wonders if WWE took the Title off of Mahal on such short notice because he failed a drug test. Bolin says that’s a great point because Mahal is definitely on ‘something’. He adds that he’s been around long enough to know when someone isn’t natural, and Mahal and John Cena both definitely fit that mould. He finds it hard to believe that Cena hasn’t failed a drug test in his 15 years on the main roster, and Vito says that’s because WWE does ‘selective testing’.
That sums up today’s episode of Vince Russo’s The Brand. You can listen to the show yourself anytime here, and I’ll catch ya tomorrow for another recap!