Russo is joined on today’s show by his co-host Jeff Lane and Glenn Gilbertti (Disco Inferno).
Russo and Gilbertti open today’s show by discussing WWE’s decision to run RAW live on Christmas Day. Russo is still angry over the fact that WWE made their employees leave their families at Christmas in order to work a wrestling show, but Gilbertti doesn’t have a problem with it at all. Russo points out that if Gilbertti had a wife and kids he might think differently.
Lane points out that the live attendance for the show was great and ratings for the show were roughly the same as the week prior, with around 2.7 Million people tuning in. This doesn’t surprise Russo because he mentions that those 2.7 million people are the marks who watch every single week, whether it’s Christmas, Hanukkah, Thanksgiving, or Halloween.
Gilbertti speaks about Hideo Itami kneeing Brin Kendrick in the face this past week, resulting in severe injuries. He doesn’t think it’s necessary to utilize moves like this in the business anymore, and he thinks the wrestling world is turning a bling eye to how reckless the in-ring action has become. He adds that a move like Itami’s ‘GTS’ has to be executed perfectly every single time or it can have disastrous results.
Paige was also injured at a live event this past week, and Gilbertti mentions that Sasha Banks is quickly becoming known as a dangerous worker in the ring. He points out that the women simply aren’t as good workers and aren’t as athletic as the men, and this results in them making more mistakes during their matches which could lead to injuries.
Gilbertti can only remember in-ring injuries like this happening once or twice in WCW. Back in those days the only injuries that occurred were from a personal mistake, either jumping off the top rope or something like that.
On a similar note, Goya Kong, a heavy woman who works for AAA, broke her ankle this past week while attempting a summersault to the outside of the ring. Gilbertti says that she should never be attempting moves like that. Russo agrees and points out that Awesome Kong would never attempt a move like that and she was able to get over anyways.
Kenny Omega went on the record this past week, suggesting that Nakamura’s Japanese strong style of in-ring work has been lost in translation in WWE because that style relies heavily on passion and emotion. It’s impossible to work on emotion in WWE because Nakamura’s working with guys who need markings on the ring in order to choreograph their footing for each move according to Omega.
Gilbertti thinks that if what Omega is saying is true, that’s a huge problem, especially in an age where the in-ring wrestling is supposed to be at an all-time high. Gilbertti thinks Nakamura’s issues are more related to him not being able to speak English effectively. He thinks Nakamura lost his appeal the minute he opened his mouth.
He goes on to say that a lot of Mexican wrestlers have come and gone in WWE without appealing to the mainstream audience, but Alberto Del Rio was able to come in and get over because he can speak English well. Gilbertti doesn’t understand why WWE refused to pair Nakamura with Paul Heyman because that was a natural pairing in his mind.
Russo was embarrassed for The Young Bucks who sent out a video of themselves wrestling Santa in their living room on Christmas Day. He says that display represented such a high level of ‘markism’ and he can’t even begin to imagine Steve Austin doing something like that at the height of his success. He doesn’t understand why The Bucks couldn’t just enjoy Christmas with their family and friends without thinking about wrestling 24/7.
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!