Russo is joined on today’s show by his co-host, Jeff Lane.
Before getting into his thoughts on Sunday night’s Elimination Chamber PPV, Russo informs that he’s only been flown first class by a wrestling company once in his life. He notes that while someone like Eric Bischoff always demanded to be flown first class, he never demanded such a thing. The one time that he was flown first class he actually gave up his seat, giving it to the first wrestler who got on the plane who would have been forced to sit in economy seating otherwise.
Lane opens up the Elimination Chamber discussion by pointing out that this show was 3 and a half hours. Apart from the deteriorating product, Lane feels that the lengthy run-times of WWE’s shows nowadays are hurting the company’s ability to attract new viewers. Russo agrees entirely, pointing out that even the marks admit that three hours is too long for RAW each Monday.
Lane also points out that there are rumours circulating that WWE will be switching to 4-hour PPVs when they revert back to dual-branded PPVs after WrestleMania. Russo says he can barely watch anything for 4 hours, especially wrestling. He also feels that if someone with a lot of money like Mark Cuban took a serious run at competing with WWE, they’d be able to compete.
It’s clear to Russo now that WWE “doesn’t give a sh*t”. They don’t care about the fans, all they care about is money. He truly believes that we could see a WWE vs. WCW scenario again if someone with money took them on, because WWE “can be had” right now. He also notes that Cuban owns AXSTV which broadcasts NJPW in the United States, so he wonders why Cuban doesn’t start a United States-based wrestling promotion.
Lane points out that he’s not a fan of seeing two Elimination Chamber matches on the same show, because he feels like the first match takes something away from the second match.
Russo thought there was really poor psychology at certain points of the Women’s Chamber match. He also thought this was a major step backwards from the Women’s Royal Rumble match. He doesn’t think it was a bad match, but it simply didn’t stand out because we’ve so many multi-women matches over the years on WWE’s weekly programming.
He was also ready to go crazy at the end of the match when Alexa Bliss started sobbing and thanking the fans. Luckily WWE swerved us all and quickly turned Bliss heel again at the end of the promo to which Russo said, “Thank God”.
Lane thought the Asuka/Nia Jax match was “okay”, and he was particularly happy that WWE gave Jax her heat back as soon as the match ended. Russo agrees, pointing out that Asuka was able to go over, and WWE still found a way to give Jax her comeback when the match ended which kept her strong. He gives WWE credit for this.
Russo was confused by the Bray Wyatt/Matt Hardy match. He points out that Wyatt and Hardy are at least equal on the card right now, and Wyatt needed to get over somewhat here as well. He wonders why WWE couldn’t introduce some supernatural elements here – perhaps by debuting a Sister Abigail character which Hardy could have countered with a debuting Reby Hardy. This would have been just one way that WWE could have made this more interesting. He adds that Wyatt’s character is just “useless” right now, and that’s a shame.
Russo thought the Ronda Rousey promo segment was awkward. He’s not necessarily saying that a scripted promo would have been better, but he wanted to see more of the badass Rousey. He also wonders why Rousey was so emotional given that she lost her last 2 UFC fights and then transitioned into fake fighting.
Russo says he would have booked this segment differently. He would have booked Triple H and Angle to get into a physical dispute which would have led to a pull apart. This would have distracted Rousey, allowing Stephanie to attack her from behind with a chair. Nonetheless, he thought Rousey should have chased McMahon out of the ring after being slapped.
Russo also wonders why Rousey signed the contract if Angle just told her that Triple H and Stephanie McMahon were out to screw here. Lane is just happy that WWE finally gave Angle some balls and had him stand up to the authority figures here.
Russo feels that there’s no intrigue to this story because it’s obvious already that Rousey will pin Stephanie or make her tap out at WrestleMania. He thinks WWE needs to do some damage control with Rousey right now because she suffered a few losses prior to leaving UFC, and he believes WWE accomplished exactly what they were going for when the fans started chanting “Ronda Rousey” and Rousey became emotional.
Lane and Russo both thought there was no way that Strowman wouldn’t win the Elimination Chamber match. Russo doesn’t understand why WWE would book Strowman this way because as of right now it looks like he can’t win the big match, having fallen to both Lesnar and Reigns recently. Russo thinks we might see the Universal Title match at WrestleMania turn into a triple threat, because he has no other explanation for WWE’s recent booking of Strowman.
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!