Russo is joined on today’s show by his co-host, Jeff Lane, Stevie Richards and Bin Hamin.
Russo says that right from the minute Kurt Angle fired Braun Strowman on RAW this week, he knew Stephanie McMahon would rehire Strowman later in the show. It was very predictable to him, and this was just another example of Stephanie showing off her power while making Angle look like a weak, helpless General Manager.
Russo couldn’t believe how RAW’s commentary team “no sold” the firing of the biggest star on the show. After Strowman was fired the commentary team almost immediately moved into telling the audience what was coming up on the rest of the show, and he felt they needed to be much more animated about what had just happened in the ring.
Richards thought this was an interesting story, and there was potential there for WWE to carry this story right into the Royal Rumble PPV. Instead, they rushed through it in one hour and the climax of the angle fell flat, with Stephanie McMahon simply rehiring Strowman after he destroyed most of the arena.
Hamin didn’t like how Strowman was rampaging everywhere, but when he went into production truck all he did was yell at people and throw papers. He believes WWE should have done something more impressive with the production truck, perhaps having Strowman pull some wires which would have forced them to go to commercial, or something along those lines.
Russo didn’t like this angle at all and calls it “..a bad Godzilla movie”. He specifically didn’t like the humour of Strowman eating a piece of cake in the catering arena, pointing out that someone as angry as Strowman who had just been fired wouldn’t be interested in eating a piece of cake.
Russo agrees with Hamin that WWE should have done more with the Production truck. He would have booked it to cut to static when Strowman was running rampant in the prodcution truck, and then he would have had them cut to USA Network programming joined live in progress. This would have felt real and would have been much better than what they did in his opinion.
Richards points out that WWE constantly promotes their anti-bullying campaign, but then they book this angle with Strowman rampaging around beating everyone up, bullying people into giving him his job back. Russo agrees, and points out that if a McDonald’s worker got fired and proceeded to destroy the entire store he probably wouldn’t get his job back.
Richards says that Matt Hardy is dead in the water right now, and he thinks WWE has ruined this character in record time. He doesn’t believe Hardy should be exposed in regular wrestling matches on RAW; Hardy should have his own Universe within WWE, separate from all the fake fighting that we see every Monday night.
Russo feels that other than Cena, Orton, and maybe The Miz, Vince McMahon has a hard time trusting his talent right now. Richards agree and points out that with all the legends appearing on RAW 25, this might present a dangerous proposition to WWE because it could expose the current product for being even worse than they perceive it to be.
Moving on to Smackdown Live, Russo wonders why WWE would even book two semi-final matches in the United States Title tournament when it was obvious that Bobby Roode and Jinder Mahal were going to win and meet in the finals all along. Richards agrees and points out that this was a great opportunity for WWE to book an upset and make a new star.
Russo couldn’t believe how bad all the ‘selfie promos’ were on Smackdown this week. He says he would never aired those promos because they looked cheap and they did nothing to get any of those people over.
Lane agrees with Russo, and points out that anyone could have wrote that show in 2 minutes. It looked as if the live attendance was poor last night with the arena being more than half empty, but he feels like the people that went did not get their monies worth.
Hamin mentions that Finn Balor can’t sink much lower than he is right now, wearing Sasha Banks’ belly shirts when he’s supposed to be leading the Balor Club. Hamin suggests that Balor should just go back to Japan because he has no idea what he’s doing right now. He feels like Balor has zero credibility left and the Demon is nothing but a distant memory.
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!