Russo wasn’t available for this show, so his co-host, Jeff Lane shares his thoughts on the Royal Rumble.
Lane thought the entire structure of the Royal Rumble was odd. The WWE Title used to be so prestigious but WWE has consistently devalued their Titles over the last few years. Now the WWE Title match is opening PPVs, and he thinks that’s a complete shame.
Lane is very thankful that A.J. Styles defeated Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn to retain his WWE Title. The thought of having co-WWE Champions was very goofy to him, so he’s glad WWE Creative didn’t pull the trigger on that. He’s actually surprised they’d even use that as a stipulation because it’s very silly.
He couldn’t believe the Men’s Royal Rumble was the third match on the card. This is one of the biggest matches of the year and it determines who gets to main event WrestleMania, so the only time this shouldn’t be the main event is if the WWE Title match closes the show.
Lane says he has no problem with Nakamura winning, but this win would have meant much more if Nakamura was presented strong going into this PPV. There have been episodes of Smackdown over the last few weeks where Nakamura hasn’t even been on the show, and he had no momentum entering this PPV. Lane feels that Nakamura needs to be booked like a star in order for him to be viewed as one.
He also points out that Nakamura’s promos lack passion because he’s speaking in English, and no one can understand what he’s saying. Lane thinks it’d be better if WWE let Nakamura cut his promos in Japanese and they use English subtitles.
Lane goes on to say that WWE had a chance to get Roman Reigns an insane amount of heat on Sunday – perhaps more heat than anyone in the history of the business. The Philadelphia crowd would have went insane if Reigns won the Rumble there for the second time, and Lane would have booked Reigns to win just to get that reaction. He points out that this moment would have went down in WWE history and would have been shown in video packages for years to come.
He thought that nobody in the arena cared about the RAW Tag Team Title match because they were just coming down from the finish of the Rumble match. The same can be said for Universal Title bout. He thought this match took a turn when Lesnar shoot punched Strowman in the side of the head.
He wonders what would have happened if someone like Titus O’ Neil legitimately punched someone in the face during a match. He’s sure that Lesnar will probably get away with that punch, but that’s not something you want to see in WWE every day. He points out that this also shines a negative light on WWE’s current concussion lawsuit. Overall, he thought the Universal Title match was disappointing and underwhelming.
Lane admits that the Women’s Rumble exceeded his expectations, and it was probably the most enjoyable match on the show. He thought WWE did a nice job of bringing several former talents back as surprise entrants, and this made for some very entertaining moments. He thought this match was booked well by WWE.
He was very dissapointed by some of the crowd chants during this match. He thought the audience should have respected the Women instead of chanting for their husbands or boyfriends. These “marks” were arguing for gender equality, and then when Women get these opportunities they chant disrespectful things at them. He thinks these people need to get a life.
Lane thinks Ronda Rousey is a good addition for WWE, but her debut on Sunday was underwhelming. He didn’t think there was any point in her just walking to the ring and pointing at the WrestleMania sign. He realized at the end of the show that the entire point of this Women’s Rumble was to have Rousey shake Stephanie McMahon’s hand, solidifying McMahon as the star of this entire show.
He says he has no problem with Asuka “not getting her moment” because it’s a scripted show and he doesn’t care about that. What he has a problem with is Rousey debuting in a spot that made such little sense.
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!