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PWTorch Livecast Wednesday – Pat McNeill with Mike McMahon & Al Castle (Sept. 2)

PWTORCH LIVECAST WEDNESDAY with Pat McNeill
GUEST: MIKE MCMAHON & AL CASTLE
AIRED SEPTEMBER 2, 2015
DIRECT LINK TO STREAM OR DOWNLOAD EPISODE

Report by Dominic DeAngelo, PWPodcasts reporter

HOT TOPICS IN THE SHOW

The Jimmy Snuka Murder Case: How Will WWE Handle It?

Lots of NXT Talk

Night of Champions Discussion

SUBJECTS COVERED (with time stamps)

– Al Castle Gives PWI 500 Release Information (4:45)

– Funny stories when covering pro wrestling (6:45)

– Jimmy Snuka Discussion and other pro wrestler unsolved crimes (10:15)

– Potential of NXT Specials moving to USA Network (14:15)

– Who will be the equalizer in the Sheild/Wyatt feud? (16:57)

– Furthest the gang has traveled to see a pro wrestling show (19:15)

– Will NXT change WWE for the better or will it go the way of Smackdown? (22:50)

– Thoughts on NXT talent on main roster. (25:50)

– Are ROH/WWE double title reigns intentional or coincidental? (28:50)

– PWTorch Livecast poll results. (31:00)

– State of wrestling journalism. (33:44)

– If Samoa Joe has one match in WWE, who should it be against? (36:20)

– How will WWE be affected by the Jimmy Snuka murder case? (37:20)

– TNA’s odds of survival. (41:00)

– Would Hogan being removed from HOF equal overkill? (43:11)

– Will NXT Title be defended at Night of Champions? (46:50)

– Should ROH look to expand? (47:20)

– Will PWI expand it’s Top 50 Female Wrestler List to Top 100? (48:20)

– Rollins’ Double Duty at NOC: Good or Bad? (49:45)

– Will Charlotte win the Divas Title or should Sasha Banks? (52:15)

SHOW HIGHLIGHTS:

– Ryan from Cumberland first question is about funny incidents when covering pro wrestling. Mike was recently called out by Donovan Dijack on Twitter for misspelling his name three times in an article. Al says that in the 2011 issue of the PWI 500 Hiroshi Tanahashi was mixed up with veteran Hiroyoshi Tenzan, leading to Tanahashi not being ranked at all, which was pretty embarrassing.

– Ryan asks if 1980s PWI writer Dave Rosenbaum was playing a character when he was writing. Al couldn’t speak for Dave but says the majority of the writers are very real.

– Ryan’s third question was regarding more unsolved crime incidents involving wrestlers in the past. Pat hasn’t heard of any follow up regarding the Bruiser Brody murder and Al says he believes that the Scott Hall incident was ruled as self defense in court. Al says the Snuka case is a unique one with many circumstances to being opened back up. Pat doesn’t think the Bruiser Brody case will be revisited again.

– Email from Brian asks if NXT would benefit from moving the quarterly specials to the USA Network. Mike thinks they could attract a larger audience and would be interested to see the numbers of how many WWE Network subscribers tune into the specials. He thinks it’s a main draw for the Network and they won’t do it because of that. Al is concerned that creative would lose control of the NXT product if that happened. Pat suggests that USA gives NXT the first hour of Raw and that will leverage their success.

– Second question from Brian asks who could be the third wrestler to even the playing field for Ambrose and Reigns in their feud with the Wyatts. Pat says original idea was Sting. Al thinks if they stretch it long enough it could be Sting, but he does like Samoa Joe. He says Erick Rowan would be a terrible idea but we could also expect someone predictable like Randy Orton. Pat jokes that we wouldn’t want to break up that Sheamus feud. Mike would like to see someone from NXT benefit from the open spot. Pat also suggests Jimmy Uso and says Rowan could be used later on if the storyline continues further.

– Next question was from the chat room: what’s the furthest you’ve traveled to see a pro wrestling show? Pat went down to Florida a couple times for some FIP shows. Mike traveled from Boston to Atlanta for WrestleMania. Al has been to several WrestleManias and he says Houston was probably the farthest.

– Al is asked what is his least favorite issue of Pro Wrestling Illustrated. He says he loves them all, but the 500 issues are a nightmare to put together with all the stats involved.

– Boris from Chicago is curious if NXT could suffer from the same fate Smackdown has. Mike doesn’t think so because it’s Triple H’s baby. He says Smackdown seems just like a reenactment of Raw. He thinks NXT would be a better B show even though it would change. Al agrees, but thinks for NXT to thrive it needs to stay insulated.

– Boris’s second question regards the gang’s thoughts on the NXT talent suffering from being brought up to the main roster: Pat says they run into the problem of them coming in hot and then leveling out. Al says it’s different on a case by case basis. He says guys like Bo Dallas fits in his “jobber to the stars role”, but the Divas are being misused and Kevin Owens is somewhere in between. Many wrestlers would feel fortunate being in Owens’ spot. Mike agrees and would like to see WWE find a better way to recharge the talent after a hot feud.

– Boris loves the way ROH is handling Jay Lethal’s double title reign, but is WWE just doing theirs for the sake of doing it? Pat agrees to a point, but think WWE’s story will be short term and Mike agrees. Al believes it’s all just a coincidence.

– Livecast Poll results: Which should be advertised for the Sept. 14 Raw to boost ratings? 42% say Sting wrestling on Raw, 19% say Bayley v. Sasha Banks, 19% say Snuka v. Hogan, 8% Lana v. Summer Rae in a pudding fight.

– Chat room question: What is the state of wrestling journalism now that WWE Magazine is gone? Pat says nothing really changes because of WWE Magazine ending. Al says he loves PWTorch coverage, but enjoys the kayfabe aspect that PWI provides. Says WWE publications used to actually be really good journalism, but then they changed their format.

– If Samoa Joe wrestled one match in WWE? Mike says John Cena due to their history.

– Chris from New York asks how WWE will be affected by the ruling of the Jimmy Snuka case? Pat just thinks they’ll disassociate from him and Al says unlike Hogan, while a terrible situation, Snuka’s case is much more extreme due to the death involved. He thinks Snuka would be easier to erase than Hogan would be. Mike agrees. Pat says WWE didn’t get media scrutiny like the NFL does. Makes mention that O.J. Simpson is still in Canton so we might not see a HOF removal. Al could see Snuka being handled like Chris Benoit.

– Chris asks if TNA will continue? Pat heard that they will, Mike thinks that they will considering their international TV distribution and their remaining contracts. Al says he was at the latest round of Impact tapings and made a count of 150 audience members, getting as low as 50 – 75 fans which doesn’t bode well.

– Will Hogan just be regulated to the Hall of Fame? Pat says don’t make any guarantees when it comes to WWE’s decision making. Al thinks he will still be in the Hall of Fame unless there’s a big uprising from it. Mike agrees.

– Will NXT Title be defended at Night of Champions? Pat doesn’t think so, Al thinks it will be, but doesn’t think it should.

– ROH Question for Mike: Why can’t they stop being presenters and start being promoters? Pat makes a point that they have a bigger reach than TNA. Mike thinks they locked down their spot pretty well, probably more eyeballs on them than TNA has when you combine Destination America and syndication views.

– PWI Question for Al: When will PWI expand the Top 50 Female Wrestlers list to Top 100? Al thinks that’s a possibility due to the changing landscape in women’s wrestling. Says Top 50 list will be in the issue after the PWI 500.

– Thoughts on Rollins fighting Sting and Cena at NOC? Mike likes the idea because it adds some unpredictably to match outcomes. He’s also interested in the order in which the matches will go. Al really likes it too, thinks the NOC formula is stale so this adds intrigue. He also thinks this double defense will be a big platform for Rollins to excel on.

– Will Charlotte win the WWE Divas Title or should they have Sasha win it? Al isn’t convinced that Sasha is more over than the other women. She had the benefit of showcasing herself on NXT Takeover, and if she didn’t she could be getting booed like the other women are. He likes her a lot, but doesn’t think she’s world’s better than the other women.

SCORE & REVIEW

The show suffered a bit from technical difficulties (and hearing Heyman’s rendition of “The Battle Hymn of The Republic” wasn’t the most pleasing thing over audio), but even with the lack of familiar sound effects,  Pat and the crew put together a fun episode that hit a wide range of talking points.  Both Mike and Al seemed engaged and enthused to be there. As someone who hasn’t picked up an issue of Pro Wrestling Illustrated in years, I found it extremely interesting to hear the PWI slant of things, especially since it’s mainly kayfabe based. Some of the questions that listeners asked didn’t seem to have a whole lot of legs, but Mike, Al and Pat were all able to squeeze juice out of them or quickly move onto a topic with more weight.

Score: 8 (out of 10)

DIRECT LINK TO STREAM OR DOWNLOAD EPISODE

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