Russo is joined on today’s show by his co-host, Jeff Lane, Bin Hamin, & Stevie Richards.
Russo opens today’s show by being very critical of RAW and Smackdown this week, calling them “house shows”. Richards points out that it’s actually hard work to not get anyone over, yet WWE managed to do that this week. Lane specifically felt the 9PM hour of Smackdown was particularly poor, calling it a waste of an hour of television.
Russo says WWE needs to bring this show into 2018. He’d be okay if this show was airing on Saturday morning for children who were changing the channel back and forth between wrestling and cartoons, but as a late-night show that is apparently meant for adults to enjoy as well, this is unacceptable. He notes that it was embarrassing when the announcers kept acting shocked every time a new performer changed brands.
Russo was annoyed by the fact that WWE took a Title off of Jinder Mahal for no apparent reason for the second time now. At this point he assumes it’s all just a joke on Mahal because this didn’t make any sense creatively. He also points out that Jeff Hardy is the last person on WWE’s roster who needs a Title belt because they’re never going to get him over any more than the last 20 years of his career has.
Russo says the recent Kevin Owens/Sami Zayn storyline has to be the worst thing he’s ever seen. He thinks this was WWE literally saying, “We don’t give a f*** about you” to their fans. Lane thinks WWE probably thought this was a great, creative angle, but it was far from that.
Lane notes that Paul Ellering tweeted out this past week that it wasn’t his idea to part ways with the Authors of Pain when they made their move to the main roster. Hamin thinks Authors of Pain could still use Ellering because although they’re big and impressive looking, they’re not a draw at this point and they can’t cut a promo.
Hamin points out that Drew McIntyre is a thoroughbred workhorse and it was great to see him return on RAW. He adds that McIntyre left the company and made a name for himself before returning to NXT. Unfortunately an injury hampered his NXT run, but hopefully his return to the main roster is the start of great things for him. Russo agrees, pointing out that he’s a big fan of McIntyre and he thought he looked great Monday night.
Lane points out that there was a story to be told between Ronda Rousey and former MMA competitor, Sonya Deville. Unfortunately, Deville moved to Smackdown on Tuesday night, effectively putting an end to that. Hamin also notes that Stephanie McMahon had better MMA defence to Rousey’s offence than Deville did even though Deville is a former MMA fighter, and that’s just ridiculous.
Hamin says WWE is “dumb as shi*” when it comes to getting Elias over. He couldn’t believe that Elias was punked out by a backstage announcer on RAW this week, and WWE didn’t even move him to Smackdown the next night which would have allowed him to make Smackdown his show.
Russo says there wasn’t one thing on 5 hours of WWE programming this past week that he would have kept. He wouldn’t have kept one angle or storyline.
Moving onto Smackdown, Russo points out that the typical tag team main event match was announced early in the show and he doesn’t understand why any casual viewers would care about that. Lane is discouraged by the fact that WWE has apparently given up on Daniel Bryan’s return angle already, and now he’s just another guy who wrestles on Smackdown.
Russo points out that there wasn’t a shred of structure to this show, and every segment on the show would have fit in any other place on the show. There was nothing on this show from a writing standpoint that made sense at all. Lane points to the interaction between Randy Orton and Jeff Hardy as a prime example of something that didn’t make any sense on this show.
Lane says he can’t take Samoa Joe seriously because he looks like a fat kid going to the beach in his current ring gear. Russo points out that Joe’s been wearing the same trunks for years and he doesn’t understand why performers are hesitant to invest money in their wardrobes, because those who do always stand out. Charlotte is the prime example of this in his opinion.
Russo points out that the match between Charlotte and Billie Kay left a lot to be desired. Richards agrees, pointing out that Peyton Royce actually trained with Lance Storm and is probably the better in-ring worker, yet WWE ribbed everyone by putting the lesser worker in this match against Charlotte.
Russo doesn’t have any idea why WWE put Daniel Bryan’s head anywhere near Big Cass’ boot. Hamin notes that these performers are all just pieces for McMahon and Russo agrees, implying that McMahon will throw you to the curb when he’s finished with you. He points to the story that was told in the recent Andre the Giant documentary, where McMahon was seen crying over the thought of Andre and him not speaking at the end of Andre’s life. Russo points out that McMahon threw Andre to the curb when he was crippled at the end of his run, and he hasn’t changed since then.
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 next week for another recap!