Russo is joined on today’s show by his co-host, Jeff Lane, Bin Hamin, and former WWE Superstar, Stevie Richards.
Russo wonders just how much heat he must have with everyone at WWE for him not to receive an invitation to RAW’s 25h anniversary show at the end of the month. Russo points out that even Bruce Prichard has been invited back for that show and he hasn’t, so he must really be hated at WWE.
Hamin points out that Russo’s name is forever etched in history for the work he did during the attitude era, and he doesn’t need to go back to WWE at this point to prove anything. Russo mentions that WWE loves “yes men”, and he’ll never be one of those. He assumes that the people in power there realize this, and that’s why he hasn’t been invited back.
Getting into their thoughts on this week’s episode of Smackdown Live, Richards says he has no idea what WWE is trying to do with the main event angle featuring Owens, Zayn, Orton, Nakamura, Bryan and McMahon. It all feels very confusing and convoluted to Richards and Russo agrees, pointing out that WWE is trying to force these 6 guys into a 6-man tag team match at WrestleMania in order to satisfy Bryan’s urge to wrestle.
Similar to Absolution on RAW, Russo believes that the Riott Squad have basically be squandered on Smackdown. Richards points out that there are still a lot of spots in these multi-women matches that look scary, and he’s concerned that the Women’s Royal Rumble match is going to be a ‘mess’, possibly resulting in multiple injuries. Russo agrees and thinks that WWE is going to be sorry they ever booked that match.
Richards couldn’t understand the booking of multiple tag teams on Smackdown this week. The Ascension were booked to lose a squash match to The Bludgeon Brothers and with two monster teams like that, Richards doesn’t understand why one team has to be squashed. Later in the show, two babyface teams, Rusev Day and Breezango faced off for no apparent reason. He says there’s no explanation for this terrible booking, other than WWE is rushing to write it 3 PM on the day of the show.
Richards is also sick of the bickering between Corey Graves and Byron Saxton. Graves is constantly putting himself over instead of the talent according to Richards, and although he’s aware that Saxton is supposed to be the nerd that gets picked on, he’s sure Saxton would destroy Graves in a shoot fight.
Russo thought the in-ring promo segment between Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin was terrible. At one point Benjamin repeatedly asked Gable, “What are you thinking?”, and Russo wishes that they both would have thought about “…shutting the F*** up!”
Russo points out that WWE was so close to making Rusev into a main-eventer. Just a couple of years ago he was riding into WrestleMania on a tank, and now he’s part of a mid-card comedy act. If WWE would have booked Rusev to beat a returning Kurt Angle a couple of years ago, Russo thinks he would have been a main-eventer for the rest of his career. Unfortunately, WWE ruined that.
Moving over to RAW, Hamin feels that WWE totally missed the boat with the “Broken Hardy” character a year ago, and now they’re blowing it again with the Hardy/Wyatt angle. He thinks WWE has struck gold with these two guys, but they’re doing everything in their power to blow it. They’re missing out on Millions of dollars by not being creative with Hardy’s segments, and one day they will regret this according to Hamin.
Richards thinks WWE’s burying this character right away because it wasn’t their creation. He wishes WWE would just let Hardy have creative control in this case where he could film the vignettes on his own throughout the week, and turn it into WWE on Monday for RAW. He feels Hardy would do a much better job with this character on his own than WWE is doing right now.
Russo just thinks these shows are simply terrible, and the most over thing on WWE programming this week was Paige’s cleavage and Mickie James’ thighs.
Russo can’t comprehend how WWE fails to come up with something creative for Elias each week. Richards says Elias is best thing on RAW, and he must be getting over too much for someone’s liking backstage. That’s the only explanation he has for Elias not having better creative than he does every week.
Russo says he gives credit where credit is due, and this week he has to give credit to WWE for the booking of the Braun Strowman segment on RAW. He thought this segment was creative and entertaining. It was a spectacle, and he thought WWE did a good job with this.
Russo says that he doesn’t like the sight of Paul Heyman, and he doesn’t like how Heyman acts like a woman when Lesnar gets hurt. He jokes that it wouldn’t surprise him if Heyman has “intimate feelings” for Lesnar, because he cries like a baby every time Lesnar gets touched.
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!