Russo is joined on today’s show by his co-host, Jeff Lane, and Glenn Gilbertti (Disco Inferno).

Gilbertti opens today’s show by pointing out that all the dirt sheet writers are going crazy about the Superstar Shakeup, writing multiple columns about the new potential match-ups and other developments. He can’t believe that any fans would be interested in that, and adds that it’s disappointing how professional wrestling has degenerated to this new nerdy subculture.

He points out that the only interesting thing that came out of the Superstar Shakeup is the fact that Daniel Bryan can now square off with The Miz, because that’s the only personal angle WWE has right now and that makes the eventual match worth watching.


Russo points out that if you go back and watch Bruno Sammartino matches from Madison Square Garden the audience are all professional members of society wearing suit and ties, and they play their role as the audience. Nowadays if you look as the NXT audience they all look like PWInsider’s Mike Johnson. Gilbertti finds it interesting how today’s audience can be recognized by certain identifiable characteristics. Most fans are unkept looking, and they look like they smell bad.

Russo brings up the fact that one of NXT’s top stars, Johnny Gargano, cut a promo next to his wife on NXT television this past week and she was almost as tall as he was. Gilbertti mentions that if that was main roster programming in a backstage segment, Vince McMahon would have had Gargano standing on a crate or something to make him appear taller.

Gilbertti adds that when McMahon interviewed Andre the Giant back in the day he’d have Andre stand on something to make Andre tower over him even more than he legitimately did. He points out that WWE officials aren’t even trying to protect their performers in this sense anymore.

Lane points out that WWE legend and Hall of Famer, Bruno Sammartino passed away this past week. Gilbertti notes that he doesn’t really know much about Sammartino’s history so he’s refraining from commenting. Russo mentions that he’s a huge fan of Sammartino and although he never met him, he had one phone conversation with him back in 2000.

Russo called Sammartino because he wanted him to come to WCW to do a spot on WCW programming. Sammartino listened to Russo’s pitch and then responded by saying he’d need $5 Million to appear and do the spot. Russo laughs and says he’ll never forget that phone call.

Lane mentions that Rusev has been placed back into the Casket match against The Undertaker at next week’s Greatest Royal Rumble event. Gilbertti points out that Rusev was taken out of the match and replaced by Chris Jericho initially because Undertaker’s wife read a mis-quote from Rusev online and was offended by it. After they did some research WWE realized that Rusev didn’t say anything disparaging about Undertaker and was placed back in the match.

Gilbertti adds that he’s going to watch the show because it’s airing on Friday afternoon in North America and there’s not much else to do. He does admit that the card for this event is quite strong, maybe even stronger than this year’s WrestleMania card. Russo notes that this event is going to be long and Gilbertti agrees, comparing it to a WrestleMania-type event.

Lane mentions that reports surfaced this past week, saying that the Undertaker/John Cena match at WrestleMania was short because Undertaker couldn’t do a long match. That’s also the reason they didn’t promote Undertaker/Cena on the build to WrestleMania, because they didn’t want fans to get their hopes up for a long, competitive match when they knew they couldn’t deliver that.

Russo says that WWE shouldn’t care about fans wanting long matches when they plan on giving them a 5-minute squash. Gilbertti agrees, noting that WWE should have promoted this match in advance, regardless if Undertaker could wrestle a long match or not. Russo notes that WWE officials are starting to think like marks, and that’s scary.

Lane mentions that Gail Kim spoke out critically of Stephanie McMahon this past week, and the effect she’s had on the recent Women’s Revolution. Kim mentioned that Stephanie was there when Kim wrestled in WWE many years ago, and Stephanie didn’t have any interest in fighting for the women back then. She pointed out that everything WWE does is business-oriented. Russo agrees with that, noting that “they don’t give a s***” and adding that Stephanie does everything that way.

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!

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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