PWTorch Livecast Wednesday w/Pat McNeill & Jim Valley (Nov. 18, 2015)



Recap by Dominic DeAngelo


– Survivor Series Discussion
– Undertaker Week
– WWE’s Reid Flair Angle On Raw


(2:00) Pat McNeil introduction
(3:00) Jim Valley introduction
(5:15) ROH TV deal discussion
(9:20) Will PWTorch ever have a HOF?
(11:05) Some of the UFC fights predetermined?
(12:25) Who would be the best fit for “corporate heel” in WWE?
(16:10) Will WWE realize that they’re doing things wrong with Cesaro and Del Rio?
(19:00) Was the Gobbledy Gooker scheduled to wrestle the Red Rooster?
(19:45) Who came up with the Kane & Undertaker gimmicks besides Vince?


(28:10) Livecast Poll: Which Survivor Series match are you most looking forward to?
(29:15) Was some of wrestling’s badder parts more tolerable when there was more competition?
(33:00) Monday’s Reid Flair angle
(36:40) How do we back Reigns as a face when Cesaro outclassed him?
(42:00) 1998 Survivor Series talk
(46:20) Undertaker Week
(51:40) What can Cesaro do to earn Vince McMahon’s respect?
(53:45) Will Sunny be punished by WWE?
(55:30) Would any higher-end networks take on TNA programming?
(59:35) Rolling Stone’s article on the 30th Anniversary of WWF’s The Wrestling Album.


– Jim and Pat both are not fans of the new show, The Muppets.

– Both discuss the availability of the new channel ROH is on, Comet TV. Jim hopes listeners realize that TV isn’t the great ticket seller for wrestling that used to be. People seem to hang on to some of the old ideals. He doesn’t think the ROH deal is indeed a “deal-breaker.” Pat says it’s not like there’s only three or four channels anymore. There’s so many options.

– Ryan from Cumberland asks will PWTorch ever have a HOF? Pat tried to put one together on the old message board, but it never got traction. There’s enough legit HOFs that he doesn’t think the Torch needs to do one, but they would do a columnist HOF in a heartbeat. Also, Wade Keller should set up a physical columnist HOF in the shed in his backyard (side note: I too am all for this). Pat lists all the possibilities: famous issues of the Torch posted, Wade’s wall of VHS tapes, a wax doll of Mark Madden (I literally laughed out loud at that one). Jim also adds Bruce’s random posters to the mix.

– Ryan’s second question: do they think UFC has gone the way of predetermined fights? Ryan thinks the Rousey-Holm fight looked suspect due to their fighting styles. Both do not think the fight was fixed. Pat mentions the time he and the Torch Staff were in Las Vegas and Wade got into a spirited debate with the sports book runner, who thought it was fixed.

– Ryan’s final question: who’s the best fit to replace Rollins as corporate heel in WWE? Pat doesn’t see Ambrose or Owens fitting that bill, maybe Reigns? He says Del Rio would work, but the way they poorly set up his return doesn’t warrant that move. Jim thinks Del Rio would be an excellent choice, but he’s going out on a limb and says it could be Ryback, using Triple H as his mouthpiece. You could put enough around him to cover up his limitations. He doesn’t think it’ll actually happen, but it’s something that work work. Pat’s sick of that whole angle anyway. He does think Reigns could easily be the lead heel. Jim can’t believe WWE can do anything with Del Rio. He’s got such a wrestling pedigree and WWE muddies him up with all these goofy storylines. Pat likes Zeb, but they might as well have Norm’s Col. Sanders because it would make as much sense.

– Will WWE realize that they’re doing things wrong with Cesaro and Del Rio? Pat doesn’t – he thinks the tipping point is gone for that. Jim says Vince has a lot of scapegoats. He says even though Raw’s ratings are at their lowest point, it’s still relatively competitive. Pat says Monday’s show suffered from being three hours – it would have been considered a great show by two-hour standards, but it’s just way too long for today’s product. Pat says they could change the way it’s presented, but he doesn’t think it’s on their to-do list currently.

– Was the Gobbledy Gooker ever scheduled to wrestle the Red Rooster? To Pat’s knowledge, no. Jim wonders why they never did anything with Hector Guerrero after that.

– Who came up with the Kane & Undertaker gimmicks besides Vince? Was Pat Patterson or Bruce Prichard involved? Pat assumes that maybe they were, but we won’t know unless a shoot interview is done. Jim has inside information: a friend who’s friends with Bruce Prichard’s family says that he did create the gimmick, and Prichard has downplayed that in past interviews, but it could be why Brother Love was his first manager. He probably had a hand in it. One Prichard shoot interview says they got Taker’s costume idea from Suburban Commando. Jim then goes on to mock WWE’s range of creativity.

– Livecast Poll: Which Survivor Series match are you most looking forward to? The leader was Owens vs. Ambrose (45%), Tournament Finals (30%), and New Day’s Match (20%). Plenty of time to vote for the rest of the week.

– Boris from Chicago calls in: he asks if some of wrestling’s badder parts were more tolerable when there was more competition? Pat thinks so, and it’s still sort of like that, but it can be a little more inconvenient finding other stuff than WWE, Jim says he was always a NWA/WCW guy, Nitro was a much better product than Raw for quite a while, everyone just remembers WCW’s downfall more than the peak periods. Nitro had more diversity and culture in it’s wrestling. Same goes for the Crockett Promotions days, more tag teams and more action. Jim totally misses that and thinks it’s sad TNA does a pitiful job at trying to re-create it. Boris claims he predicted this dystopian wrestling future when WCW crumbled.

– How do Pat & Jim feel about the Reid Flair angle? Pat thinks they’ve done worse things on WWE, but it’s still such a turn-off. He doesn’t think this added any interest to Paige & Charlotte’s match. Neither Ric Flair or his ex-wife liked it (and it doesn’t sound like Charlotte did, either), so how far do you have to look to see WWE doesn’t care how their talent feels about what they’re asked to say? Jim says wrestling people are still living in the Russo shock TV era, which is so passe at this point. There was nothing about Reid Flair before this in any kind of story line so it further adds to the angle’s pointlessness. Not only was it confusing, but it seemed last minute. On top of that, everyone knows it’s scripted so you’re only getting heat on the company, not Charlotte or Paige. Pat says you may be getting sympathy for Charlotte, but not for the reasons WWE would want to (good quote).

– Boris asks how can he get behind Reigns when Cesaro clearly out-wrestled him? He saw Reigns blowing up during the match! Pat says Boris knows the answer: just think about John Cena when he wrestles better competition. He would think WWE would care about that, but he may be the wrong person to ask about that. Both him and Boris say it was a hell of a match, though. Pat remembers 12 years ago when Jericho had to put over Scott Steiner.

– Boris wants the Gobbledy Gooker back. It dawns on Jim that it’s the 25th Anniversary of him as well – he suggests a #GobbledyGooker25 campaign. Pat says Pete Rose would have a hard time fitting in the costume, but Boris suggests Curtis Axel for the role.

– Scott from N.J. has never missed a “Wayback Playback” episode and both Pat and Jim are gracious for it. He really believes the only way to go this week at Survivor Series is to turn Roman Reigns heel. This leads to his question: Did the wrestling sites have an idea of the Rock’s heel turn at the 1998 Survivor Series? Pat remembers being surprised. Jim says since the Internet was still a novelty back then, he thinks more fans were invested in the backstage on-goings rather than upcoming wrestling storylines. Jim remembers being somewhat surprised, but also thinks the 1998 Survivor Series was really a one-time watch event because of that surprise element. Scott remembers The Rock’s short face run before that, and thinks it parallels the current Roman Reigns story arc, which also further fuels his prediction.

– Scott brings up Undertaker Week on the Network and mentions 1990 Survivor Series with Hogan being defeated. Have Pat and Jim watched it? What are their thoughts? Pat didn’t see the Hogan segment, but thinks WWE is okay with showing Hogan getting beat.

– Scott closes his call out with a #GobbledyGooker25 plug and asks Pat if he plans on doing another “Wayback Playback” Thanksgiving special? Pat has to talk to Jim about that after the show, but that’s being discussed! Jim would be up for it. They take this opportunity to plug the “Wayback Playback”. They brainstorm ideas on monetizing the show.

– Kylin calls in: what sensibly can Cesaro do to earn Vince McMahon’s respect, both as a performer and as a person? Pat suggests extra muscles surgically inserted all over his body and Jim says a hair transplant. Jim doesn’t know what Vince’s problem is. They don’t have an answer.

– Is Sunny going to get punished from WWE because of her recent social media comments about Muslims? Pat says they already removed her from a lot of their online presence. Pat says if you’re still taking Sunny seriously anymore than that’s on you. Jim says she’s just reaching for attention, which is sad and disappointing. She’s a wrestling tragedy and Kylin agrees.

– Kylin’s final question is if there would be any mid to high-quality network willing to take on TNA programming? (This was before TNA announced their new deal with Pop TV the next day.) Pat asks how low can you be to still be considered “mid-quality?” Kylin says VH1 – Pat says as long as Dixie Carter is around he doesn’t think so. Anything is possible, but he thinks it’ll be lower end. Jim jokes Twitch or all of the TNA talent could Periscope the show. Jim says it really doesn’t matter where they end up, the TV era is gone. He said they’d had to have perfect shows for years to earn any credibility back. Jim says he wishes he had rich parents to live out his TV fantasy.

– Pat and Jim go over Rolling Stone’s article regarding the 30th anniversary of WWF’s The Wrestling Album, which has quotes from Jimmy Hart, Hillbilly Jim and Rick Derringer. Jim hated the Wrestling Album, by the way. He thinks it ruined wrestling because it originally broke kayfabe, and says it led to what we have today.


7 out of 10: Just good old-fashioned current events discussion in this episode.. Like Scott from New Jersey said, Pat and Jim have good rapport with each other so the show had it’s smooth, fun flow back, covering funny topics like the potential of a Torch Columnist HOF (picturing a Mark Madden wax doll beside gardening tools in Wade’s shed is both a harrowing, yet extremely entertaining image) and more serious ones like Raw’s distasteful Reid Flair angle. Survivor Series (both past and present) and The Undertaker was a big theme for this week, but really this show covers a broad range of topics, and all are newsworthy in their own right. Everything was good from an audio end, too, so if you’re craving for a current events episode, this one should whet your early Turkey Day appetite. (Fun fact: I don’t think the letters N-X-T were said once in this entire episode.)

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