Russo is joined on today’s show by his co-host, Jeff Lane.

Russo informs that he has watched the last two episodes of NXT and he has noticed that the production quality of NXT is great, adding that it’s 10 times better than RAW’s. He has no idea how that happens since RAW is WWE’s flagship program, but certain things such as the “shaky cam” aren’t present on NXT programming and this is an improvement over RAW and Smackdown. He also loves the fact that it’s only an hour in length.

Russo thinks Mauro Ranallo is the best commentator WWE has because he’s passionate. Russo has no idea how Ranallo’s not on RAW, noting that WWE officials must know he’s the best guy they have. He notes that Ranallo is probably the nicest guy in the world and the combination of being good and nice is a big problem if you’re in the wrestling business. He suspects WWE officials have kept Ranallo down politically because they know how good he is.


Russo also noticed that a lot of the performers on NXT look like wrestlers and they’re believable which he considers to be a positive. However, one of the top guys on the show, Johnny Gargano, is shorter than his wife. Russo points out that there are lots of guys on that show that tower over Gargano and look like they can kill him, and that’s not a good thing.

Russo has heard that NXT’s storylines are better than WWE’s, but after two weeks of watching he still hasn’t really seen any storylines. He adds that Triple H continues to cater to Dave Meltzer so he’ll put the product over. Russo feels that if the marks like something, generally speaking the casual fanbase won’t like it, so Triple H and NXT officials need to be cautious of this moving forward.

Lane points out that Wrestling Observer’ Dave Meltzer sent out a tweet this past week, mentioning that he was 8th in names searched online throughout WrestleMania weekend, just behind names such as Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar. Russo and Lane believe this statement to be true and that’s what makes it so sad. Russo also points out that after all these years Meltzer still has to pat himself on the back publicly, which is too bad.

At another point last week Meltzer was discussing the mixed tag match from WrestleMania. He said that while he was watching that match he was coming up with spot ideas for each performer, and the performers actually ended up doing basically every spot he thought of. Russo wonders why Meltzer can’t just sit back and enjoy the show like regular people, instead of trying to book everything he watches.

Wrestling Observer’s Bryan Alvarez mentioned on an audio show last week that he actually walked past Okada one day during his time in New Orleans. Nobody seemed to recognize Okada as he was walking alone without any public interference. Russo says of course nobody recognized Okada, adding that he could run into Okada in the men’s room and he wouldn’t know who he was. Russo assumes Alvarez definitely ran up to Okada and asked for autograph like a mark.

At another point last week Alvarez tweeted out that Samoa Joe is the best promo guy in WWE right now. Russo points out that a good promo needs to tell a story and the wrestler shouldn’t talk like a wrestler; he/she should talk like a human being. Joe often cuts a straight forward heel promo featuring wrestler jargon, and that doesn’t make it a good promo, even though his promos are often passionate. Russo urges Alvarez to listen to Roddy Piper or Jake Roberts if he wants to hear a good heel promo.

Pro Wrestling Torch’s Wade Keller was critical of Sting this past week. Keller said that Sting connected more with fans throughout his career than Reigns does, but Sting struggled on promos and that still kept him from being a consistent bonafide star in the 1990s. Russo thinks this is a ridiculous statement. He points out that Sting looked and dressed like a star and his promos always had passion.

Russo wonders what Keller’s problem is with Sting because he’s been saying this kind of stuff about Sting for years. Russo points out that he doesn’t believe Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn are deserving of being in main event positions in WWE, but if they cut a good promo he’d be the first one to commend them on it.

PW Insider’s Mike Johnson also recently praised Samoa Joe’s promo work of late. Russo points out he was right next to Joe when he was cutting promos in TNA, and he was cutting all the same promos then as he is now. Lane wonders why the dirt sheet writers seem to love Joe so much, and Russo points out that Joe talks to them all the time and makes them feel like they’re important. He adds that those writers don’t understand when they’re getting worked.

In addition to his criticism of Sting, Wade Keller appears to have something against Bobby Roode. Keller tweeted out recently that Roode would fail WWE’s wellness test “if it was worth anything”. Russo is blown away by that statement, pointing out that he worked with Roode and he considers Roode to be the ultimate professional and gentleman. He adds that Roode has had the same body since the first day he met him because he takes care of himself.

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!

Steve Carrier

Steve is the Founder of RingsideNews. He has been writing about professional wrestling since 1996. He first got into website development at the time and has been focusing on bringing his readers the best professional wrestling news at it's highest quality.

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