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PWTorch Livecast Monday: Raw Reax w/James Caldwell (Sept. 21, 2015)

PWTorch Livecast – Raw Post-Show
Host: James Caldwell w/guest Pat McNeill
Aired Live: Monday, September 21, 2015

DIRECT LINK TO DOWNLOAD OR LISTEN TO EPISODE

Report by Mark Golden (@RealMarkGolden), PWPodcast Reviewer

NEWSWORTHY ITEMS
– Lucha Underground announced a Season 2, which will start filming this year to air in early 2016 on El Rey Network.
– Sting suffered a legit neck injury during his match against Seth Rollins at Night of Champions.
MAIN TOPICS COVERED
-John Cena defeated WWE World champion Seth Rollins two nights in a row.
-Paige’s heel turn on Charlotte.
-Kane’s dual personalities.
-WWE’s low IQ booking.

“It’s all about the ‘E’ in WWE.’ ”  ~James Caldwell

SUMMARY (W/TIME STAMPS)

0:00 – 2:59:  James opened the show, briefly addressing a few newsworthy items, such as the announcement of Season 2 of Lucha Underground, and Sting suffering an injury at NOC. He said that Raw had some developments that they will get to momentarily. He welcomed Pat.

3:00:  They talked about a potpourri of Raw topics. Pat talked about the low IQ Raw booking. They talked about Kane’s split personality character that’s probably a better idea on paper than it will be executed, and alluded to the similarities between this and Abyss/Joseph Parks. Pat mentioned Cena pinning Rollins two nights in a row, and Raw opening with Randy Orton helping Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns against The Wyatts. James talked about the flimsy Paige heel turn, which both agreed seemed rushed, and unnecessary. They talked about how Sting was not only conspicuous by his absence, the announce team didn’t even mention him. They discussed the hype for Big Show vs Brock Lesnar on the October 3 MSG special, and the lack of hype for Brock vs. Taker at HIAC. Pat plugged the PWTorch.com mid-week audio shows and signed off for the night.

19:00:  First caller expressed dissatisfaction over the poor use of Cesaro, the poor use of finishing moves, and WWE’s over-exposure in general. James said the over-exposure is a big deal. He said the three-plus-hour Raw hurts them a lot, and the company would benefit from a brand split. He said that it would force the creative teams of both Raw and Smackdown to have tighter shows with a better ebb and flow, instead of the current formula of endless feuds and the same matches repeated time and again. James said WWE looks at Cesaro as a guy they can move up whenever they want, and use as a credible utility mechanic to feed to heels, which is another example of the company’s bad habits. They basically push him just enough to gain enough credibility to get others over. James then went on to say that WWE is more about theatrics, with little regard towards in-ring storytelling, which is why finishers aren’t viewed as important in the context of matches anymore, and everybody almost always kicks out of everybody’s signature moves. It all boils down to “WWE being about the ‘E’ ” without consideration towards the fundamentals of the wrestling business.

28:26:  Next caller also had three things to discuss. He asked if Kurt Angle’s brother’s arrest for murder could sully Kurt’s chances of a return to WWE. James said most likely not, as this has nothing to do with Kurt, directly. His brother’s arrest wouldn’t be a factor. Kurt won’t be returning to WWE, as WWE has not expressed interest. Next topic is about Seth Rollins, Kane, Taker, and Brock going into HIAC, all of which James addressed in detail during the NOC Post-Show last night. He added that Kane will be built up leading to HIAC, only to return to the back burner subsequently. James again pointed out that it was interesting they didn’t make a big deal out of Taker vs. Brock at HIAC, as it is quite a marquee match. The caller asked if James thinks Rollins was scolded for causing a few in-ring injuries. James said it’s quite possible there was a discussion or two, as Seth is a perfectionist who takes his craft seriously, and would want to be a bit more careful.

34:44:  Next caller recommended the “Legends with JBL” premiere on the WWE Network, as JBL’s conversation with Eric Bischoff was compelling, and played out well on TV. The caller addressed the Paige heel turn, and said that while it was his favorite Raw moment of the night, it felt more forced than C.M. Punk’s “pipebomb” which was more of an organic worked shoot. James said it was more storyline driven, based on her bullet points falling within current storylines. The caller said he was surprised that they didn’t play up the Sting injury like they did with Cena’s broken nose. James agreed that they should have used the Sting injury, both for the benefit of the fans investing in the match, and Rollins himself. The caller’s next comment was about how Corporate Kane/Demonic Kane reminded him of Joseph Parks/Abyss. James said this is being done with Kane in an effort to make him interesting going into his match with Rollins.

44:49:  Next caller talked about Twitter blowing up about the Abyss and Kane comparisons. The caller also asked why there are so many smart people with podcasts who aren’t working in WWE today (Jim Ross, Kevin Sullivan) and James again said that McMahon, Dunn, and Company are about the “E in WWE” while people like Ross and Sullivan are about the “Second W in WWE” – James mentioned Bruce Mitchell being on The Ross Report this week on PodcastOne.com and iTunes. The caller asked how long will it take for WWE feel the effects of constant bad decisions and slide into financial peril and be forced to make changes. James said they have pros and cons, and there aren’t enough cons to make an impact, and unless they have a problem with a TV partner, they are doing enough good (such as selling out a venue for a PPV) to remain on the same course.

59:19:  Next caller said WWE needs to get back to old-school philosophy and mentality. James talked about the number of things that McMahon has omitted throughout the years in an effort to distance his company from what he deems as “too ‘rasslin” such as managers, belts, etc, and next on the chopping block seems to be the heel vs. face dynamic.

1:08:05:  Next caller said he’d “rather watch three hours of Raw than any other wrestling that’s out there today” and he wished more people were positive about it. James asked him what specifically about the current WWE product that he likes. The caller said Rollins is incredible and he likes the Reigns and Ambrose program with The Wyatts, and the new focus on the IC and U.S. titles. He loves the Charlotte and Paige developments. James said people still tune in to Raw for the potential of hope moments, and this caller has obviously found his.

1:13:03:  Next caller asked what the point was of having Jericho come in for one night as the third man, only to have him lose and bring Orton back the next night to help Dean and Roman. He also said something to the effect of Charlotte should be a big enough deal by now to not have to have Ric out there with her for the name recognition factor. James said they had already committed to the “mystery partner” concept, and it would have been a let down if it were someone who’s already part of the mix from week to week. James said they didn’t build Charlotte’s title journey enough, and consequently, they put Flair with her to make up for that.

1:17:45   Next caller talked about Cena always winning his feuds. James said that’s the WWE formula, he’s their guy, and that’s just the way it is.

1:22:25:  Next caller talked about how the pool of legends that Vince dips in for WM season is really shallow right now, not to mention there are no current stars on the roster worth building around. James said the company needs to rebuild and start creating more Superstars for tomorrow once wrestlers like Taker, Rock, Brock, and Cena are finished for good and the most viable option would be the NXT wrestlers. James said at some point WWE needs to make way for the future.

James went to the e-mails, with such topics addressed as The WWE Divas division, Rollins vs. Kane, NXT roster moving up to the big stage.

James plugged some upcoming Torch shows, and signed off.

FINAL THOUGHTS & SCORE

Another good episode. one or two of the calls had me laughing. Caldwell (and McNeill) left no WWE stone unturned here. You could have missed Raw and still had a pretty good idea of almost everything that happened during the episode. Caldwell really breaks down everything that’s wrong with WWE today. 6.5/10

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