PWTORCH LIVECAST TUESDAY
HOSTS: WADE KELLER & JASON POWELL
AIRED LIVE: NOVEMBER 17, 2015
By Nick Gould, PWPodcasts Reporter
TOP SUBJECTS COVERED
– Tasteless, Unnecessary, Distracting – did WWE really need Paige to reference Charlotte’s brother?
– If NXT became the first hour of Raw, does that benefit Raw or hurt NXT?
– TNA’s new home?
– Does Survivor Series need a 5-on-5 match to make it mean anything?
– If WWE continue to act like anything that happened more than six months ago doesn’t matter, then what’s the point in any of this?
– Sami Zayn, Batista, Andre, Kalisto.
SUMMARY OF SHOW
(0:32) Wade welcomes listeners to the show, introduces himself, PWTorch.com, and the format of the show, as well as updating listeners on upcoming Livecasts this week. Wade also pays tribute to Nick Bockwinkel, who died late last week.
(14:19) Wade introduces Jason Powell from prowrestling.net. After a discussion about the first-place Minnesota Vikings, the hosts discuss Nick Bockwinkel’s career. Jason notes the authenticity of Nick Bockwinkel as a character, particularly across his promos.
(19:39) Wade asks Jason for some quick-fire thoughts on Raw this week. Jason feels disgusted with the exploitation of Reid Flair’s death, and contrasts this with the tributes to Nick Bockwinkel and to the victims of the Paris terror attacks that WWE also included in Raw. Jason feels the progression of the World Title Tournament was predictable, but notes that he enjoyed three of the four tournament matches on Raw. Jason feels the only unpredictable match left is the Owens-Ambrose semi-final, but does feel that WWE were able to add a little intrigue into the remaining matches through Triple H’s appearances on Raw. Overall, Jason feels that WWE failed to generate any real enthusiasm for Survivor Series.
Wade feels that the use of the Divas contract signing in the final segment was interesting, and the lack of heat back on The Wyatts after their early segment with Taker and Kane was somewhat strange. Wade notes the absence of any promos from the tournament semi-finalists on Raw as a negative. Both hosts agree that the show was formatted in a way that would’ve allowed this to happen, and feel that the lack of hype was disappointing. Wade feels it was good for WWE to present the Divas’ Championship storyline in the main-event segment, although Jason feels that the segment itself seemed to be WWE cramming the Paige-Charlotte program into Raw at the last minute, and that the placement of this segment at the end of the show is dramatically different to the presentation of the same issue in previous weeks.
(24:41) Vinnie from Albuquerque is first on the switchboard this week. He asks who the hosts would have in the final of the title tournament, and who they’d have win. He also asks whether WWE were trying to be too edgy in the final segment of Raw this week. Vinnie also asks Jason about a report on prowrestling.net regarding TNA and WGN. Jason doesn’t have any information on a TV deal for TNA, although he does believe that WGN are interested. Wade notes that TNA needs to move quickly to secure a new network home in the U.S. Overall, Wade questions whether there is a reason to be excited about a new TNA TV deal if the product remains as it is. Jason points out that TNA have options internationally, and that WGN would be an ‘upgrade’ from Destination America.
In reference to Vinnie’s middle question, Wade notes that he’s not shocked that WWE used Reid Flair’s death in the Paige-Charlotte segment, although feels that this was somewhat jarring, given that this is the first real mention of Reid on WWE programming. Jason felt the segment was “gross” and unnecessary, and feels that the reference to Reid Flair won’t get any more heat on Paige, as most viewers will see that this was a line given to her by WWE. Jason does not believe that Charlotte being ‘okay’ with the segment does not make it acceptable
(42:35) Matt from North Carolina is up next. Matt feels three-hour Raws are dreadful, and asks whether WWE could put NXT’s weekly show on for the first hour. Jason thinks it’s theoretically a possibility, providing USA signs off on it, but thinks that fans of NXT should hope for the product to be kept as far away from Vince McMahon and Kevin Dunn as possible. Jason feels that there are many reasons why NXT should be left where it is on the Network. Wade notes it would still require people to sit for three hours watching, which is a stretch even for a good product. Wade points out that if Vince felt there was value in NXT’s approach then he’d be replicating this on Raw already. Wade also argues that WWE could theoretically afford to drop an hour of Raw and still remain financially healthy. Given the DVR numbers for Raw are a mirror of live viewership numbers (DVR numbers go up by hour, live viewership goes down), Wade argues that it’s the three-hour stretch that people find difficult to consume, at least all in one go
(48:27) D’rell from Georgia hits us with two questions. Is it okay for fans to accept that we won’t see a good product from WWE in the near future? Are Dean Ambrose’s zany promo and his interactions with Roman Reign on Raw a sign that Ambrose won’t make it to the tournament final? Wade feels that we’ll continue to see the same type of product from WWE unless ratings or Network subscribers drop significantly. Jason isn’t sure what we’ll see regarding Ambrose and the title tournament.
(50:54) Jimmy from Atlanta asks whether we’ll actually see a traditional 5-on-5 match at Survivor Series. Wade notes that there is not, as yet, a 5-on-5 match announced. (WWE announced right in the middle of the Livecast that there would be a traditional match, but did not say who will be in the match.) Jason notes that there seem to be several matches not yet booked, so hopes that we’ll hear more on Smackdown. Wade notes that he’s not a huge fan of the 5-on-5 match given that we see so many multi-person tag matches on weekly shows and runs through the history of the Survivor Series match.
(54:29) Brian from Minneapolis. He notes NXT’s popularity with a younger audience as a ‘cool’ alternative to WWE’s main product and wonders what WWE does with the ‘equity’ that brings. Wade feels WWE is handcuffed to its three-hour Raw, and the approach it has used for years to its product. Jason notes the younger talent group on NXT is largely a factor in attracting a younger audience. Jason thinks WWE can learn from NXT the benefit of bringing in youth to the roster. Wade points out that NXT takes opportunities presented, whereas WWE tends to miss more opportunities than it takes. Wade points to Charlotte and Page as being strong personalities to take WWE forward, and feels that them being in the main event segment last night can be taken as a small victory for progress.
(1:01:36) Matt from Atlanta asks where Sami Zayn goes when he comes back, and asks the hosts who they regret never having seen live. Jason names Bruiser Brody and Stan Hansen as wrestlers he missed out on seeing live. Wade notes that there are plenty of Japanese wrestlers that he’s never seen in-person that he’d have like to have seen. He notes that he hasn’t seen Finn Balor yet, but expects that he will. Jason guesses that Zayn goes back to NXT for a brief period before joining the main roster. Wade agrees, though is closer to 50/50 on it.
(1:07:36) Josh from Orlando reports that he liked the Paige-Charlotte segment, although he denies trying to defend the Reid Flair reference. He reports that he’s just come back from the NXT ticket line at Full Sail, and reports many of the people in the queue did find the reference tasteless, but didn’t mind the segment as a whole. Jason asks Josh what the NXT fans in line were negative about, if anything. Josh doesn’t feel that the fans were negative on anything, and that the focus of the discussion was on the brawl to end the segment, which most fans in line liked. Wade reflects on the Reid Flair reference being a distraction from the intensity of the overall segment. Jason feels that a reference to Ric Flair would have been better, if a reference were necessary.
(1:13:25) Charles from South Carolina, who completely disagrees with the previous caller on the “tasteless” Reid Flair reference, and feels the reference would largely be lost on the casual audience. Charles feels that Charlotte now has to win at Survivor Series, and so the segment was not only tasteless but gave away the result of the match. Jason thinks that WWE are building to a Charlotte-Sasha Banks program, and so agrees that Charlotte will beat Paige.
(1:15:14) Eric from Grand Rapids asks why Andre the Giant rarely got a WWF Title Shot. Wade argues that Andre was as big an attraction as the Title, and so didn’t need the Title to fulfill his role. Wade notes that Andre drew on the basis of people wanting to see him defeat the heel, rather than win a title in a match against another babyface. Jason agrees.
(1:18:41) Shaun from Stamford describes Raw as being the show where nothing happens every week. He asks what WWE are trying to accomplish by having Kalisto in the WWE Title Tournament. Jason doesn’t feel that WWE did anywhere near enough to explain why Kalisto is in the tournament, particularly not when the absence of Cena and Lesnar hasn’t been explained. The hosts discuss the pros and cons of Kalisto as a performer.
(1:24:16) Aaron in Sydney, Australia. He reports that he cancelled his Network subscription after Sting’s match at WrestleMania, and that tonight’s Raw was the last straw for him. He notes that WWE’s lack of character development and/or consistency in its storytelling means that he doesn’t care about any of the characters presented on WWE programming. Wade accepts that WWE don’t build important characters as being in any way important. Wade agrees with Aaron’s other point, arguing that fans shouldn’t be expected to care about what happens at Survivor Series if they know that WWE will ignore everything that happened six months from now.
(1:29:56) Ryan from Huddersfield, U.K. Ryan mentions Jim Ross’s recent podcast where he suggested the idea of Batista returning to face Brock Lesnar. Wade thinks Batista-Lesnar is not the worst idea in the world, and is much better than some of the other options for WrestleMania opponents for Brock. Jason would prefer to see Lesnar face someone younger, though agrees that the idea is not bad.
(1:33:37) Anthony from Boston who wonders whether there’s a babyface that WWE could insert into the Taker & Kane vs. Wyatts program to elevate them, perhaps Finn Balor. Jason doesn’t think this will happen. Wade wants Finn Balor to debut as a single, rather than as a second to Taker & Kane.
(1:36:32) Wade wraps up the show with details of PWTorch.com, future Livecasts, and PWTorch’s social media presence.
SCORE & REVIEW
8 out of 10: This week’s Tuesday Livecast pops back up to what has become its ‘usual’ scoring zone (at least for me) of a solid 8. The last couple of weeks of listening to the Livecast felt unusually…bland. I’m not sure if that’s the best word I could use, but it’s the one that comes to mind right now. Essentially, there was nothing bad particularly about the last few weeks’s Livecasts; it’s just that something felt like it was missing. I struggled to think what it was, but after this week’s show it seems a bit clearer.
This week, we had a great range of topics discussed, and something of a debate between several callers and the hosts on the most controversial aspect of this week’s Raw. Overall, the nature of the topics discussed kept me interested throughout one of the longer Livecasts in recent weeks. I’d recommend this show in its entirety, to anyone reading. Don’t get me wrong, this week’s Livecast isn’t a ’10 out of 10, must listen on pain of death,’ but it’s certainly a great listen that does a good job of holding one’s interest throughout.