Russo is joined on today’s show by his co-host Jeff Lane, Bin Hamin, and Stevie Richards.
Russo opens today’s show by talking about the opening segment on RAW this week. He was confused by the fact that there was no other mention of this segment as the show progressed, and even when we saw Kurt Angle in the backstage area later in the show, he was acting as if the first segment of the evening didn’t happen.
Of everything that was done in the segment, Russo gives credit to WWE in the end because he was happy to see Stephanie finally put somebody over. This is the first time he can remember Stephanie allowing a talent to get over on her in the last several years, so he liked the segment because of that. Richards spoils Russo’s happiness by pointing out that this just means Stephanie and Triple H will win at WrestleMania.
Speaking about Nia Jax’s presentation on RAW lately, Hamin is confused that WWE has decided to position her as a character we’re supposed to feel bad for. He points out that although WWE continues to tell us that Jax was bullied as a child, she used to be presented like a monster and we never saw King Kong or Godzilla crying. Lane disagrees here, saying that WWE wasn’t getting Jax over as a monster anyways, so he doesn’t have an issue with this adjustment to her presentation.
Goldust shocked WWE fans by interrupting a John Cena promo this week and challenging him to a match. Russo says that every time he sees Goldust, he wishes he was wearing the old robe and wig. He thought Goldust always looked great in that gear. Hamin agrees, pointing out that Goldust will go down as one of his favourite Superstars of all time.
Russo had a big issue with how Elias was presented on RAW again this week. He wonders why Elias is the guy getting his ass kicked by Braun Strowman each week when he has so much promise. He also points out that there are plenty of other performers who WWE could have put in this spot.
Russo goes on to say that he believes WWE is going to set up Elias versus Jeff Jarrett for WrestleMania this year. He thinks that’d be a great spot for Elias because Jarrett still looks good and can still go in the ring, and Elias would be able to pick up a big win. Hamin thinks that’d be the perfect idea, and anything less than that would be a disappointment.
The guys all liked the promo segment between The Miz, Seth Rollins and Finn Balor. However, Hamin finds fault in Rollins’ and Balor’s in-ring work. He points out that the “double down” spot has been brutally butchered lately, with Balor no-selling a hard shot in order to hit his Pele Kick before falling to the mat. Another bad spot like this is Rollins or Owens buckle bombing Reigns into the corner, only for Reigns to no-sell it and jump back out into a Superman Punch. Hamin says that great workers don’t do this type of thing, and it’s 100% rotten.
Russo had an issue with the way RAW ended. He points out that Heyman cut a scathing promo when he knew Reigns was in the building, and then Reigns came out and did nothing. Reigns should have dropped Heyman on his head but WWE wants him to be a babyface, and dropping Heyman on his head would get Reigns some significant heat from “smark” fans.
Richards thought Reigns was going to take the Universal Title and walk away with it, making Lesnar furious and causing some significant interest in next week’s RAW. He points out that WWE could have copied a segment from the attitude era by having Reigns show up on the video screen standing on a bridge, where he’d throw Lesnar’s Title into the river like Austin did with The Rock’s Title many years ago.
Russo thought it was such a mismatch having Charlotte and Ruby Riot in the ring together. He points out that Charlotte looks like a star and he thinks WWE need to alter Riot’s look in order to get her and Charlotte on the same planet. He adds that he loves Bobby Roode, but Roode’s inclusion in this segment seemed strange and he’s still not sure what’s “glorious” about Roode’s gimmick. .
Hamin and Richards also point out that it was obvious that Roode was produced on commentary because Roode does not normally speak how he did as a guest on commentary Tuesday night. Russo recalls meeting with Mick Foley at Jeff Jarrett’s house when he transitioned to TNA from WWE back in the day.
Foley had been working commentary at WWE prior to leaving, and he told Russo and Jarrett that he simply couldn’t take another second of McMahon in his headset. McMahon overproducing him on commentary was a big part of why Foley left WWE at that time.
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!