Russo is joined on today’s show by his co-host Jeff Lane.
On one of his shows this past week, Dave Meltzer discussed the merchandise sales of Finn Balor. He said that Balor has to be one of the top merchandise sellers in WWE because there are plenty of ‘Balor Club’ shirts at each WWE event. However, he doesn’t see many Balor shirts outside of WWE events.
Russo says that’s because there aren’t any wrestling shirts outside WWE events anymore. Back during the attitude era there were several wrestlers whose merchandise could be seen anywhere in public including Austin, The Rock and the NWO. Nowadays, you don’t see anyone wearing wrestling merchandise unless you’re at a WWE show.
Meltzer also adressed the Brock Lesnar/A.J. Styles Survivor Series match, calling it a success while pointing out that nobody would have cared about a Lesnar/Jinder Mahal match. Russo says, “Screw you, Meltzer”, adding that Meltzer’s problem is that he talks out of place, putting words in everybody else’s mouths. Russo says he would have much rather watched a Lesnar/Mahal match.
At another point last week Meltzer discussed RAW’s 3-hour run-time, saying that it doesn’t matter what WWE writes, fans are always going to tune out towards the end of a 3-hour program. Russo disagrees entirely, saying that he and Ed Ferrera wrote several 3-hour episodes of Monday Nitro and those shows held their audience right until the end.
Russo also points out that if we used Meltzer’s logic in the world of film, nobody would watch long films like The Lord of the Rings until the end. If the scripts are good and the shows/films are entertaining, people will watch until the end. Unfortunately, WWE’s product is far from entertaining right now.
Lane points out that at one point this past week Cody Rhodes sent out a tweet, explaining the role that his father, Dusty played in the development of the War Games match. Meltzer then quoted that tweet, mentioning that others, including Dory Funk Jr., deserved credit in the development of the match as well. Russo points out that Cody Rhodes is very proud of his father and loves to memorialize Dusty, and he has no idea why Meltzer felt it was necessary to tweet those things back at Cody.
Russo says that maybe it’s Meltzer’s ego, trying to prove that he knows everything about the history of the business, but this was a stupid thing to do. He goes on to say that Dusty Rhodes is no longer with it, and when someone passes it’s commonplace to praise the things they accomplished in life. When Dory Funk Jr. passes, Russo’s sure that people will praise his accomplishments as well.
Lane presents a clip of Wade Keller from this past week, when he said that he thought Elias was stuck on ‘second gear’ during his RAW match against Roman Reigns this past Monday. Russo sarcastically assumes that Keller’s plethora of in-ring experience allows him to make those kind of comments. He wonders how Keller would ever know what gear performers are working in at any given moment.
Keller also said this past week that he doesn’t think Vince McMahon knows what to do with Finn Balor, who has a different type of charisma than most Superstars. Russo wonders what charisma Keller is talking about, because he doesn’t see any charisma in Finn Balor at all.
Russo comments on this past week’s Twitter dispute between Ryan Satin and Dave Meltzer. He couldn’t believe the things these two ‘marks’ were saying back and forth to each other, and he thought it was hilarious that the entire thing stemmed from an argument over whether Ric Flair was a pop culture icon or not.
He goes on to say that Flair is obviously a pop culture star, as was proven by the tremendous viewership of his 30 for 30 ESPN documentary. Sure, The Rock and Hulk Hogan are huge stars as well but that doesn’t discredit what Flair has done in the wrestling business. On the other hand, wrestling is not a pop culture phenomenon anymore, so he’s unsure if any wrestlers can be considered pop culture icons at this point.
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!