Russo is joined on today’s show by his co-host Jeff Lane, Bin Hamin and Stevie Richards.
Russo thought there was three very good in-ring promos on RAW this week. Alexa Bliss, John Cena and Roman Reigns all cut great promos in his opinion, and all three performers showed good emotion. He liked that the promos didn’t feel as scripted as normal, but there was still the occasional sappy, generic babyface line from Reigns. He wishes WWE would let Reigns go out and say what he wants; let him shoot on Lesnar for real instead of doing this half-shoot stuff.
Russo points out that three years ago he said that Reigns was going to be WWE’s babyface Champion if it’s the last thing Vince McMahon does, and sure enough here we are. He has to give McMahon credit because he’s stuck to his guns on this matter.
He goes on to say that WWE tells stories so infrequently now that they’d forgotten how to do so well. The convoluted story featuring Bayley/Banks/Bliss on RAW is a prime example of WWE’s inability to tell good stories nowadays.
Russo says it’s clear that WWE’s heading towards Cena versus The Undertaker at WrestleMania now, because Cena would have never brought up The Undertaker’s name on RAW this week if that match wasn’t the plan. Speaking of that match, Russo doesn’t understand why would Cena say, “It’s never going to happen” at the end of his promo, effectively burying Undertaker in the short term. He thinks WWE should have just waited until a couple of weeks before ‘Mania and then had the gong interrupt Cena one evening.
Hamin agrees with Russo about Undertaker’s legacy, pointing out that after the elaborate retirement ceremony at the end of WrestleMania last year it’d be a bit strange to see him return for another match. Lane points out that it just feels like we’re just missing some information right now. He thinks Cena should have specified why that Undertaker match can’t happen, instead of just saying it won’t take place.
Russo hates how WWE booked Elias to run away from Strowman on RAW this week. He points out that if you’re a professional wrestler, you shouldn’t be running away from another wrestler. Russo really likes Elias and thinks he has all the tools to be successful, but WWE’s booking of him has been quite bad. Regardless, he thinks Elias might still be able to overcome the bad booking because he’s that good.
Russo was shocked by this week’s RAW rating being lower than last week’s, especially since Rousey was advertised for the show. This doesn’t really surprise Richards because he points out that Rousey’s mainstream appeal dropped significantly following her last two UFC fights, partly due to the way she handled the media at that time.
Hamin thought Rousey’s promos on Sunday and Monday were the “drizzling shi*s”. He points out that it takes years to master the in-ring aspect of the business, but the easiest thing to improve on quickly is your promo because you can practice that every single day on your own.
Russo thinks that if WWE wants Rousey to resemble Roddy Piper they need to book her like Piper. He believes they need to hire a professional writer to write this angle leading into ‘Mania because WWE sucks at it right now. He thinks WWE’s killing Rousey before they even give her a chance through inadequate booking.
Lane just thinks that WWE’s lazy. He points out that the ratings dropped throughout the show this week because there was no anticipation. Instead of showcasing Triple H, Stephanie McMahon and Rousey backstage throughout the night to hype the in-ring segment later in the show, they just showed replays from night before.
Russo can’t believe how big Shane McMahon is right now, pointing out that he even looked big compared to John Cena on Smackdown last night. Hamin doesn’t understand why Shane would jeopardize his health by getting bigger at this point in his life, especially with young children.
Lane points out that Smackdown’s ratings have dropped 8 weeks in a row and for that reason he understands why WWE brought Cena to Smackdown this week in an attempt to stop the bleeding. However, he doesn’t understand why WWE wouldn’t promote Cena vs. Styles on RAW the night before, in an attempt to bring viewers to RAW over to Smackdown.
All of the guys were completely shocked that WWE booked the spot where Ziggler jumped over the rail and kicked Kevin Owens in the back of the head. Richards points out that a talent can literally die from a spot like that if it goes wrong.
Russo hated that WWE made The New Day and The Usos leave the ring when The Bludgeon Brothers appeared, effectively making those five guys look like “pussies”. He wonders why one of those guys wouldn’t stand up for themselves during production meetings. Hamin agrees, pointing out that the promo segment was a high point of the show, and then they did something stupid like that.
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 later this week for another recap!