Russo is joined on today’s show by his co-host Jeff Lane and Glenn Gilbertti (Disco Inferno).
Gilbertti opens today’s show by wondering if there’s ever been a performer in WWE’s history that’s been booked stronger than Stephanie McMahon. Stephanie continuously gets heat on babyfaces and hasn’t given a nibble back to those performers yet. He finds it fascinating that even after Stephanie slapped Rousey in the face at the Rumble, Rousey still wasn’t able to get any offence in on RAW the next night.
Gilbertti points out that there are reports circulating saying that WWE is trying to replicate the Vince McMahon/Steve Austin dynamic from the attitude era, but Vince McMahon would always sell for Austin. Vince would get heat on Austin for one week, and then he’d sell for him for several weeks in a row. At some point, Stephanie is going to have to give something back in order to get Rousey over.
Lane points out that some reports have emerged, saying that the rumoured match between Undertaker and John Cena at WrestleMania may be off the table now. Cena is now rumoured to be working against Rey Mysterio instead. Gilbertti points out that it’s very difficult to enjoy WWE’s shows when you already know how their stories are going to end.
He points out that the Elimination Chamber match would have been much more enjoyable if we all didn’t already know that Roman Reigns was going to win in the end. The Angle/Rousey versus Stephanie/Triple H storyline would also be much more enjoyable if we didn’t know that this angle was coming months in advance. He wishes WWE could swerve us more often because it’s becoming harder and harder to watch wrestling when we already know WWE’s plans for big matches well in advance.
Russo points out that Wrestling Observer’s Dave Meltzer called both him and Eric Bischoff failures recently. He doesn’t understand how someone could seriously call him and Bischoff failures in the wrestling business. Russo mightn’t be a big fan of Bischoff, but he’d never call Bischoff a failure. Gilbertti agrees, wondering what measuring stick Meltzer is using in order to call those two men failures.
Gilbertti adds that no matter what you say about Meltzer, he works very hard and that’s what made him a success in his industry. Gilbertti also points out that Meltzer’s passion is writing, and for that reason he doesn’t think Meltzer will ever step away from writing for Wrestling Observer.
Lane mentions that Braun Strowman was rumoured to be working The Miz at WrestleMania this year, but now there are some people speculating that WWE is keeping their options open so that they can slot in Strowman to replace Reigns in the main event if Reigns gets into any trouble with the recent steroids allegations he’s facing.
Gilbertti thinks WWE is less concerned about the Reigns situation, and are keeping Strowman available for that main event because they might have to realize they put the wrong guy over at the Elimination Chamber. They don’t want to admit that they might be thinking that, but he feels there has to be at least a couple people backstage at WWE who think Strowman should be in the main event of WrestleMania this year.
Russo mentions that Strowman appeared to blow up (get tired and out of breath) again in last Sunday’s Elimination Chamber match. Gilbertti points out that Strowman blows up because he’s working a style that requires a lot of physical exertion. Brock Lesnar works a similar style, and that’s why Lesnar’s matches are often very short.
There’s speculation that WWE had Roman Reigns cut a scathing promo on Lesnar last Monday in an attempt to set him up as the babyface leading into their WrestleMania match. Gilbertti doesn’t think this is going to work, and he thinks the smart WrestleMania crowd will still cheer Lesnar and boo Reigns. Russo says WWE simply doesn’t understand their audience, and Gilbertti agrees.
Impact talent Chelsea Green was the target of some negative comments from a fan at a live show recently. Green actually approached the fan at the concession stands after the show, and there was somewhat of an argument. Gilbertti says there’s no crowd heat anymore. All these younger talents are afraid of being insulted by fans, when that was the goal of many performers from years gone by.
Speaking about the recently announced Lucha Underground vs. Impact event, Gilbertti thinks it’s a fantastic idea because it opens so many doors creatively. He also mentions that a lot of wrestling fans are like comic book fans in the sense that they’d love to see a DC versus Marvel showdown.
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!