Russo is joined on today’s show by his co-host, Jeff Lane. They will discuss last night’s Backlash PPV.
Russo opens the show by pointing out that there was absolutely no reason to watch Backlash because it was over 3 hours in length, and didn’t have any characters, storylines or stakes. Lane agrees, pointing out that even the marks in attendance didn’t want to be there by the time the show ended. Lane wonders why people continue to watch WWE if they don’t like it, and he realizes that it’s primarily out of habit.
The Intercontinental Title match between Seth Rollins and The Miz opened the show, and Russo wonders who/what Seth Rollins is. Rollins might have catchphrases like “Burn it Down” or nicknames like “The Architect, but what’s his character? Russo also adds that there was no storyline leading up to this match, and Lane points out that WWE screwed themselves by moving The Miz to Smackdown, effectively preventing themselves from building towards this match.
Elias is one exception to the “no character” rule since he actually has a character, but Russo points out that his character is being wasted because WWE doesn’t do anything creative with him. He adds that The New Day are so played out right now that he can’t see how anyone on the planet can care about them anymore. This is not the talents’ fault, it’s more of a creative issue.
Russo also points out that Rusev should have been a monster heel by now, but instead he’s paired in an unlikely partnership with Aiden English, probably just because WWE creative had nothing else to do with English after his tag partner was let go. Russo continues by saying that No Way Jose is just a blatant ripoff of Adam Rose, and Bobby Roode might be the most miscast character on the entire show. Roode dancing, signing and trying to be a babyface just doesn’t make sense to Russo.
Russo points out that after tapping to Daniel Bryan, WWE had to let Big Cass get his heat back after the match ended. If they wouldn’t have booked him to get his heat back there he “would have been done” in Russo’s opinion. Lane questions why Cass had to tap in that match in the first place.
Russo thought the Smackdown Women’s Title match between Carmella and Charlotte had a weak finish. He also questions who the ‘Carmella’ character is supposed to be. Lane points out that she’s the “Princess of Staten Island”, so Russo wonders why WWE hasn’t shot some vignettes with her on Staten Island where she’s supposedly running the town. In addition, Lane points out that WWE took away Charlotte’s “Flair”, adding that she was such a good heel on RAW months ago.
Speaking about the WWE Title match between Nakamura and A.J. Styles, Russo wonders why Styles doesn’t just start wearing a cup. He points out that both guys were counted out after kicking each other in the balls, and he points out that he’d probably be raked over the coals if he would have booked that finish.
Lane wonders what the point of the tag match between Strowman/Lashley & Owens/Zayn was, pointing out that it was just brutal. Russo has no idea what this match was, adding that he can see WWE heading towards Lashley versus Strowman at some point in the future, but we have to suffer through all this stuff in the meantime.
In Russo’s opinion, the biggest question surrounding the main event was which colour trunks Joe was going to wear. We all knew Reigns was going to win right from the start, especially with Joe having the majority of the offence throughout. It was only a matter of time before Reigns hit a spear out of nowhere for the win, and a 10-minute match would have done the job. Instead, WWE booked such a long match that people were leaving the building.
Russo wonders where WWE goes from here creatively. Lane points out that back in the day you’d be excited to watch RAW after a PPV, but that simply doesn’t happen nowadays. Russo can’t come up with any potential match-ups for Reigns that’ll excite him at this point.
He adds that the product is terrible right now, possibly the worse it’s ever been. He thought the mid-90s were pretty bad, but at least there were still characters (admittedly outdated ones) during that era, and the performers still looked like wrestlers.
Lane points out that thankfully WWE has switched back to dual-branded PPVs, because two of these shows a month were tough to watch. Russo thinks WWE switched back to dual-branded PPVs because they weren’t making money and production costs were too much for them to handle.
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!