Russo is joined on today’s show by his co-host, Jeff Lane, and Glenn Gilbertti (Disco Inferno).
Russo opens today’s show by asking Gilbertti for his opinion on the Chris Jericho/Kenny Omega match from Wrestle Kingdom 12. Gilbertti thought it was a really good match, and he points out that all Jericho fans need to see this match. Overall, he thought both men told a good story, and he gives the match a thumbs up.
Gilbertti points out that WWE has really hurt Braun Strowman’s character as of late. First they dressed him up as an elf for a social media video, and then he appeared in a backstage vignette with Alexa Bliss, announcing their partnership for the Mixed Match Challenge.
Russo was dissapointed by this as well, and he says that he just wishes WWE would protect some of their stars. He has no good explanation for why A.J. Styles, the WWE Champion, was booked to lose clean two weeks in a row on Smackdown Live, especially being pinned most recently by Sami Zayn.
Gilbertti mentions that it’s pointless to talk about WWE’s booking because they’re not good at building stars anymore – they’re good at burying people. Gilbertti thinks that a 12 year-old can watch this show for a couple of months and then write a show that’s just as effective or more effective at making stars.
Lane asks Gilbertti and Russo for their opinion on Impact’s 6-sided ring. Gilbertti mentions that the 6-sided ring is not adding anything anymore, and suggests that Impact switch back to a traditional 4-sided ring. Russo informs that it was initially his idea to switch to a 6-sided ring in order to be different, but he now agrees with Gilbertti in the sense that the 6-sided ring adds nothing to Impact’s product.
Russo thinks that WWE is heading towards a 6-man tag team match at WrestleMania which will feature Daniel Bryan. This will be a way for WWE to satisfy Daniel Bryan and protect him in a match with five other guys because Bryan would hardly need to be touched in this match. Unfortunately for WWE, Bryan’s not going to be satisfied with just working this match in Russo’s opinion, and he’s going to want to return to the ring full time.
Gilbertti doesn’t understand why WWE can’t book Bryan to work a match. It’s sad that WWE can’t trust him enough to work a safe match without getting concussed, and this shows a lack of faith in him and any opponent he’d work with.
Russo thinks there was an ultimatum from Bryan, and this was WWE’s way to appease him. However, he’s never going to stop hampering them to let him return to the ring full time, and eventually WWE is going to have to make a decision.
Gilbertti points out that there’s a different mentality in the business today compared to years ago. This generation of wrestlers would rather make less money in order to work matches that will impress Dave Meltzer. A guy like Randy Orton – who’s a holdover from a past generation – couldn’t care less about impressing Dave Meltzer, and just wants to make millions of dollars and stay healthy. What’s really stupid is that some fans actually resent Orton for that.
Speaking about the potential return of the XFL, Russo just gets the feeling that McMahon is bored. He points out that money is nothing to McMahon, and he thrives on competition. He hasn’t had any of that since the Monday Night Wars, so perhaps he’s looking for another challenge at this point in his life. Gilbertti points out that football is becoming less and less popular now due to concussion issues, so it’s a strange time to start a new football league in his opinion.
Russo thinks the Women’s Royal Rumble match is going to be terrible. Gilbertti agrees and thinks that this match will expose the women’s division. The women will try to replicate the spots that the men do, but they’re not as fast or strong as the men, so they’re going to be exposed according to Gilbertti.
Russo mentions that the women were exposed during the recent Lumberjack match, and this Rumble is going to be even worse. Gilbertti points out that Charlotte is probably going to have to be in this match from start to finish in order to try to keep the match on the rails.
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!