Russo is joined on today’s show by his co-host, Jeff Lane, Stevie Richards and Bin Hamin.
Russo opens today’s show by pointing out that a lot of people compare him to Bruce Prichard and Eric Bischoff but he doesn’t think he’s the same as those men at all. He points out that they’re still involved with WWE in one way or another and he’s not. He adds that he wouldn’t be able to work with WWE in any capacity without going straight to Vince McMahon and telling him how crap the product is.
Getting into their thoughts on RAW, Hamin mentions that Braun Strowman and Kevin Owens had a good opening match. Russo gives Hamin and Richards credit for actually watching for the details in these matches because he’s so far passed that. What he noticed here was a match between Strowman and Owens where we knew who was going to win before the match even started, and then it took 27 minutes for it to end. He wonders why WWE wasted people’s time with this.
Russo mentions that the Bobby Lashley video package/sit down interview was one of the things he liked the most during RAW. He says that he’ll take that any day of the week over some meaningless match, and he doesn’t understand why WWE didn’t do this for Lashley sooner. Lane, on the other hand, didn’t really understand the interview which focused on Lashley’s sisters.
Russo agrees with that, noting that the video package was great and informative, while the sit-down interview portion of the segment was strange. He didn’t really understand what WWE were going for there, unless Strowman’s going to attack Lashley’s sisters at some point in the future.
Hamin points out that WWE didn’t include anything about Lashley’s WrestleMania connection to Donald Trump, the current President of the United States, which would have been a huge story. He thought it was “despicable” how WWE creative ruined Lashley with a segment like this.
Lane doesn’t understand the point of having Chad Gable pin Jinder Mahal a couple of weeks ago, only for Mahal to pin Gable this week. Richards points out that WWE probably thought a win over Mahal would give Gable instant credibility, so when he puts someone over down the line it will mean more. Russo thinks that’s exactly what WWE was thinking, but that’s just silly in his opinion. Hamin points out that this would have been a great spot to bring back Jason Jordan.
Russo thinks Drew McIntyre looks like a million bucks, and he doesn’t understand why WWE brought him in to be Dolph Ziggler’s partner. In Russo’s opinion, McIntyre’s storyline should revolve around his vendetta towards WWE after his first run in the company didn’t work out. McIntyre could claim that since the ratings are down now the company came crawling back to him to save them.
Russo also thinks Bobby Roode is completely miscast as a babyface, adding that even a 10-year old child can tell that Roode needs to be a heel. Hamin agrees, adding that the last couple week’s it has become even more evident that this babyface run isn’t working. Russo thinks Roode should be an “A” player, but instead he’s treading water in the mid-card. Russo adds that even a great talent such as Randy Savage would be suffering from the same creative issues as Roode if he was working for the company today.
Russo says that Seth Rollins comes across as such a pansy on television. Russo is 57 years old and he thinks he could probably take Rollins in a fight. He adds that when Mojo Rawley’s music hit to interrupt Rollins he turned off RAW because he had seen enough and they’d lost him. Hamin points out that this should have been Zach Ryder’s match since the show was airing from Long Island.
Hamin thought WWE missed an opportunity during the Bray Wyatt/Matt Hardy and Miztourage match. He thought it would have been cool for the two real-life brothers, Wyatt and Dallas to have a showdown during the match. Russo wishes Curtis Axel would just get fed up with everything, drag a cameraman into Vince McMahon’s office some week and ask McMahon if he knows who his father was. He points out that television like this writes itself, but WWE obviously doesn’t care.
Lane points out that as bad as RAW was, he thought Smackdown was even worse. Russo points out that Paige’s cleavage on Smackdown this week was great, and he’s a happily married man who has no issues saying that.
Richards liked the Jeff Hardy/Miz match, even though it was fairly long. He did have an issue with the finish of the match however, as Hardy hit his finishing move (which legitimately hurts like hell) only to get rolled up for the pin. Hamin says that these two guys basically painted a Mona Lisa and then spray-painted “asshole” over the top of it with a finish like that.
Russo did not like seeing The IIconics, a couple of kids fresh out of NXT, schooling Charlotte on Smackdown Live. He points out that Charlotte is a Flair, and she should have just ran up the ramp and laid them out. He adds that Royce and Kay leave a lot to be desired in terms of their in-ring work.
Russo has seen enough of The New Day’s antics. He assumes that New Day and The Bar are just going to wrestle each other forever at this point. Lane agrees, noting that Smackdown’s tag division is basically nonexistent right now. Hamin points out tag team wrestling is great when it’s done right, but WWE doesn’t seem to put any effort into their tag divisions.
Russo thought Mandy Rose’s new entrance was good, but Richards points out that Rose did her rehearsed entrance in spite of the pre-tape segment that aired right before her entrance in which she was told that her partner was banned from ringside. Hamin says that’s the problem with the NXT cookie-cutter factory.
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!