Russo is joined on today’s show by his co-host Jeff Lane and Glenn Gilbertti (Disco Inferno).
Lane mentions that Triple H defeated Jinder Mahal in India last weekend and became the first opponent to kick out of Mahal’s finisher. Gilbertti points out that a bunch of wrestling fans were livid about this online, when a few weeks ago those same people were complaining about Mahal being the WWE Champion. He adds that Mahal was only elevated to the main event picture within the last year, so perhaps WWE thought he wasn’t ready to pin Triple H yet.
Russo argues that from a business perspective, WWE should have wanted Mahal to look strong which would have captivated his hometown audience and helped their business in India. Instead, they beat Mahal clean. Gilbertti mentions that Triple H is still a bigger star than Mahal, even when they’re in India, and Mahal can’t be having that big of a positive influence on WWE’s business in India because they actually had to cancel one of the live events there.
Lane mentions that a former soap opera writer who worked for WWE for 5 years recently parted ways with the company. The writer went on the record saying that Vince McMahon would get lost when he tried to pitch year-long story arcs to him. McMahon wanted 3-month arcs and nothing longer. Russo says that his experience writing for McMahon was very similar.
Gilbertti says the one thing that WWE has become very good at over the year 5 years is building talents to a certain point and then burying them. A recent example of this is Elias, who’s very talented and has a natural ability to entertain. Elias actually had an online segment last Monday, and Gilbertti couldn’t believe that out of 3 hours of programming WWE couldn’t find space to get him on the show.
Gilbertti thinks that Elias has a stronger gimmick than most other talents on WWE’s roster, and that’s why he should be pushed. Russo agrees entirely, saying that Elias can carry television time and simply “gets it”. Triple H said in an interview recently that Elias wasn’t a fit for NXT, and his run there was primarily to get him ready for the main roster. Russo says that was basically Triple H’s way of saying, “Elias is better than NXT”.
Lane mentions that in a recent podcast appearance Paige contemplated suicide after her sex tape was leaked to the public last year. Russo doesn’t doubt that for a second and points out that those videos were very bad for Paige and WWE. He has no idea how Xavier Woods escaped suspension when those videos leaked because when you work for a publicly traded company like WWE you need to be smarter than that.
Gilbertti doesn’t think WWE can suspend someone for the completely legal things they do in private. They didn’t post those videos or pictures to the public on purpose, and in actuality a crime was committed against them when these videos were stolen and shared to the public.
Speaking about the recently announced Mixed Match Challenge, Russo points out that WWE needs to be careful about how much product they’re putting out. Fans will eventually stop watching if there’s several hours of wrestling on each day of the week. He wonders, “How much of this shi* can you watch?”
Cody Rhodes informed this week that he made over $1,000,000 this past year for the first time in his wrestling career. Russo is happy to hear that and points out that Rhodes’ work in Japan definitely played a big part in him making that kind of money. Gilbertti agrees saying that the business is actually hot in Japan and they’re selling out buildings there. Wrestling isn’t hot in North America at all right now.
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 next week for another recap!