Russo is joined on today’s show by his co-host, Jeff Lane, and Glenn Gilbertti.
Russo opens today’s show speaking about the ongoing controversy surrounding the severity of Paige’s neck/back injury. He points out that PWInsider’s Mike Johnson reported that Paige’s in-ring career was definitely over, and then all the other dirt sheets ran with that news.
WWE failed to announce Paige’s in-ring retirement last week and Russo thinks Johnson should have been 100% certain before running with this news. Johnson needed to have sources and evidence proving that Paige’s career was over before he published that story in Russo’s opinion.
Speaking about Dave Meltzer’s 5-star rating system, Gilbertti says the one ingredient that can be found in every 5-star match is that the two competitors look like they’re actually fighting. Gilbertti thinks there’s a misconception out there that being a good worker means you can do all kinds of crazy offensive moves. In reality, being a good worker means you can make your opponent’s offence look good.
He urges all young wrestlers today to watch Bret Hart versus Steve Austin from WrestleMania 12 because that was the best match of all time in his opinion, and both guys looked like they were actually fighting each other.
Given the way wrestlers work today, Gilbertti isn’t even sure how writers are supposed to write good promos for them. Promos can only work if the in-ring action looks like a fight, and when wrestlers go in the ring and work choreographed flip-flop matches, it’s impossible to take any of their promos seriously.
Lane mentions that Eric Bischoff was asked about the current state of WWE’s product this past week. Bischoff said that he’s very impressed by the current product, even if it doesn’t necessarily appeal to him at some points. Gilbertti says that Bischoff is simply trying to be politically correct with those comments, because there’s no reason for him to be controversial when it comes to WWE right now.
Speaking about the current state of women’s wrestling in WWE, Gilbertti says he doesn’t want to see 6-women tag team matches every week. He’s doesn’t want to see “work rate” from the women; he wants to see some sexiness in the wrestling business again.
Russo says that there’s nothing wrong with being a good wrestler and being sexy at the same time. He adds that WWE Hall of Famer, Madusa was a prime example of this. Gilbertti agrees and says that Madusa probably wouldn’t be a WWE Hall of Famer if she wasn’t sexy because she wouldn’t have been as popular during her career.
Gilbertti predicts that EC3 will debut at the Royal Rumble next Sunday, and he’ll end up eliminating a competitor which will lead to his first program in WWE. Russo laughs and agrees, pointing out that this is exactly how WWE booked the main event of WrestleMania last year. Reigns eliminated Undertaker at the Rumble, beginning their program which led into ‘Mania.
Russo thinks it’s hilarious that Bobby Roode and A.J. Styles, two former TNA talents are the two main Champions on Smackdown Live right now, and WWE now appears to be interested in EC3 and Bobby Lashley as well. Russo adds that the creative that was written for these guys during his time writing for TNA was way better than what WWE is writing for them now during their Title runs.
Gilbertti says it’s shameful that WWE booked Jinder Mahal and Bobby Roode to work a nearly 30-minute match on Smackdown this past week. He points out that Smackdown is a 2-hour show, and devoting 25% of that to two guys working a match doesn’t make any sense at all.
Lane mentions that Matt Hardy did an interview this past week where he addressed some of the criticisms of how his “Woken” character has been presented in WWE thus far. Hardy pointed out that the hardcore fans need to understand that a lot of WWE’s audience don’t know what this character is all about so WWE needs to be patient and introduce the character over time.
Hardy added that the hardcore fans need to be patient, because this character will eventually get to where it needs to be creatively. Russo disagrees with this statement because he points out that WWE has done nothing to explain this character to their fans over the last month.
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!