Russo is joined on today’s show by Big Vito and his co-host, Jeff Lane.
Russo opens today’s show by saying that Renee Young looked like she “…just came in from out of the freakin’ rain” on this past Tuesday’s episode of Smackdown. He doesn’t understand why WWE is trying to take these beautiful women and make them ugly for television, especially when they have world class hair and makeup people at their disposal.
Speaking about the current state of the United States Championship on Smackdown, Vito suggests that Dolph Ziggler return in a few weeks with a new gimmick, wearing a mask. He’d book Ziggler to win the Title and then he could take the mask off, proving that he’s indeed the greatest in-ring worker in WWE. Russo doesn’t like that idea at all.
Russo isn’t sure what WWE is doing with the ‘Rusev Day’ gimmick right now. WWE probably thinks it’s over because one town started to chant it, but they still haven’t told their audience what ‘Rusev Day’ is. They haven’t explained anything about this to us at all, and all we know is that Rusev wears a shirt with the words on it.
Lane mentions that Smackdown was filmed in Chicago this past week, and those audiences are always louder than the average audience. If we start hearing ‘Rusev Day’ chants all around the United States, then WWE might be on to something. Lane also thinks that this entire thing revolves around Rusev’s ability to entertain people.
Russo doesn’t think we’re ever going to get back to a point in time where WWE puts significant time into character development. The initial segment/tag match on Smackdown ran over 30 minutes, and the main event was over 20. Between those two matches, WWE burned half of their show’s run-time and this doesn’t leave enough time to build characters or explain certain subtleties.
Russo thinks WWE has dwindled their audience down to a core group of ‘marks’ who will like everything they do anyways, so they don’t need to worry about putting out a quality product anymore. They’ve already made every mistake imaginable which has resulted in millions of fans leaving the product over the last few years, and now they’re left with their 2 million fans that will stick with it through thick and thin.
Russo mentions that WWE used the exact same segment on Smackdown as they did on RAW, with all the women’s roster rushing the ring and attacking the Riott Squad, resulting in the heels running away. Just like when Absolution ran away on RAW, Russo hated this because WWE was building these heel factions as a threat and now on back to back nights we saw both factions run away scared.
Vito thinks WWE is heading towards Jinder Mahal versus Bobby Roode in the United States Title finals. He doesn’t like this approach because he’d rather see both of these competitors in the WWE Title picture. Russo says he simply doesn’t care about the US Title picture at this point.
Russo says that WWE is current writing RAW and Smackdown for 3 groups of fans. One group is the marks – the guys who are chanting Rusev Day, for example. The other two groups are kids, and the kids’ parents who are forced to bring them to these shows. If you don’t fall in one of these three groups, the show is simply unbearable.
Lane thinks it’s stupid that we’re seeing individual performers declaring their entrance into the Royal Rumble. It’s obvious that these guys are going to be in the Rumble match, so he just thinks it’s a waste of time having them declare this on RAW or Smackdown.
Russo points out that these performers shouldn’t be able to declare themselves as entrants into the Rumble match. This is an executive decision that should be coming from Daniel Bryan or Shane McMahon, but WWE is lacking creativity so the performers are booking the shows for the majority of the time.
Russo continues by saying that back in the day RAW and Smackdown were thinking men’s shows, but nowadays it’s an idiot’s show. Lane agrees and says he hates how WWE continues to defeat and devalue their Champions in non-Title matches. We saw this again this week when Kevin Owens defeated A.J. Styles in a non-Title match, and it just proves that it doesn’t mean anything to be WWE Champion.
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!