Wednesday PWTorch Livecast
Host: Pat McNeill
Special Guests: Miami Herald’s Scott Fishman & Masked Republic’s Kevin Kleinrock
Aired Live: December 10, 2015
Recap by Dominic DeAngelo
– Today’s Lucha Libre
– What’s Hurting WWE
– WrestleMania 32 Discussion
TIME STAMPS OF MATCH COVERAGE
(2:10) Pat McNeil intro
(3:25) Kevin Kleinrock intro
(4:10) Lucha Loot
(6:45) What’s happening in the Lucha world currently?
(8:10) Scott Fishman intro
(10:25) Sami Zayn’s return
(11:00) Who would the panel sign for the TNA relaunch?
(17:00) Who’s responsible for Wrestling Observer HOF fame votes?
(18:10) Greatest wrestling photograph taken by Scott?
(25:40) Livecast Poll: What match are you most looking forward to this weekend?
(26:40) Low Raw Ratings & the main event walkout: what’s hurting WWE?
(43:15) Lucha Underground and…aliens?
(46:30) Who does Scott think is the greatest wrestling reporter?
(51:00) Who’s idea was it for Ryback to do high-flying?
(53:25) Any plans for TNA to return to Orlando?
(54:40) What else may we see from Lucha Underground?
(56:20) How can WWE build a WrestleMania around the world title?
(1:02:00) Follow Scott & Kevin on social media
– Pat asks Kevin about Lucha Loot. Kevin wants to help luchadores exploit their own intellectual properties so he built luchashop.com, which is the only way you can get their offical merchandise. They started to do Lucha Loot Crate, which is $20 a month at LuchaLoot.com.
– What’s new in the lucha world asks Pat? Kevin says there’s a new group called Lucha Toronto and they started running some really great shows that mix local Toronto talent with top indy guys from the U.S. along with Mexican headliners. They’re also doing a charity event for special needs kids. Pat brings up Sami Zayn as a former Canadian luchadore.
– Scott just hosted an interview with Murphy from NXT. He talked to him about being the first Australian wrestler in the U.S., teaming with Blake, and Dusty Rhodes’s influence.
– Breaking News: Sami Zayn is scheduled to return on Thursday, wrestling Finn Balor in Newcastle, England.
– Who would Pat sign for a TNA relaunch? He’d start off by being concerned with keeping costs down – how about Kevin? He’d look at what the Pop TV audience would be looking for. Instead of old faces or top indy talent, how about people manage to stay afloat. Scott agrees – in order to build an audience, they need to have good matches and compelling television. Focus on that and it will happen out. The real buzz would be that. Pat says look for guys that were on ROH or Evolve, but there’s not one hot talent that’s really out on the market. Names like Brad Maddox, Ricochet, and A.R. Fox get mentioned.
– Ryan from Cumberland asks who is responsible for the Observer HOF votes? Scott says there’s a huge poll for that and they make it particular to a voter’s expertise. Pat suggests asking this to Bruce Mitchell.
– Ryan asks about his best wrestling photograph he’s taken, but Scott says he’s really known for his photographs – he’s more likes to look back and reflect on his time with some wrestlers at MLW and at local autograph signings. How about for Kevin? He remembers doing a XPW at the Grand Olympic Auditorium and how nice it was to shoot stuff there, also his time in Tijuana and Mexico City. Pat remembers some from the indy scene and the time he got to manage the Honky Tonk Man. He also remembers some photos he’s taken with Allison Danger, too, but he also really isn’t much of a photographer.
– Livecast Poll: What match are you most looking forward to this weekend? Currently leading the way is Kevin Owens vs. Dean Ambrose for the IC Title.
– What is hurting WWE right now? Kevin says the format has to change and the first Monday in January would be perfect for that. There’s so much that can be done: look at the great NXT video packages, those should be on the main roster. Sit-down interviews would also help, but the main focus should be a change in formula. Also they should go away from the script. He mentions the Reid Flair incident: while that was done in poor taste, there was mention that the title doesn’t matter. He also brings up the Braun Strowman vs. Tommy Dreamer match from Raw and the empty comments that the commentators make. A reset button combined with a hot angle is really what they need.
– What bothers Pat is that WWE isn’t addressing the real issues with the low ratings, but rather minuscule stuff like their survey presented. Steve Austin would not have gotten over if they plugged him into the Roman Reigns situation. The heels have been on top for many years, many people believe that it’s about the chase. Kevin says it’s not about the chase, but where they ruin it at is the chase to fail. He notices that there is no fire in Roman Reigns, the type that sells stories and promos. The only person he sees that fire in is Dean Ambrose. When he watches him he sees flashes of Terry Funk and Roddy Piper – those are the guys that sold stories and promos. If they don’t treat the title like a big deal than how do they expect the audience to?
– Scott agrees with Pat & Kevin. Subtle changes can have an effect, too, get rid of the opening promo segments and maybe a change in look of scenery. As for Reigns give him a chance to be himself. He’s only been around for a couple years and ever since the Royal Rumble they have messed up his character. Same with the Divas division: there’s not clear-cut character development. Little changes we see, but for some reason WWE doesn’t. Kevin thinks that the WWE thinks that the voices like themselves aren’t their true target audience – they don’t have a pulse on their audience. Scott says they have a survey every night with a live audience. Test other segments, Kevin says, not like the Adam Rose segments. Kevin brings up New Day and the success they’ve had when they let them be themselves, and they should that with Roman Reigns.
– Is the Lucha Underground having a rumored alien invasion a good idea? Kevin doesn’t think that it will actually be that, but they may be adding some more sci-fi elements. He doesn’t totally rule out the invasion, but Kevin just thinks that Lucha Underground is just embracing their identity. Scott enjoys what they’re doing, in addition to that, the production looks great. Pat says people always clamor for something different, and Lucha Underground is that (in a good way).
– Who does Scott think is the greatest wrestling reporter? A subjective question, but he says Bill Apter because of the opportunity that he gave Scott. He always finds the good in things, he doesn’t want to burn bridges at the same time, but he thinks that Bill finds a good balance. Who does Kevin think? He says it’s about what he’s looking for. He does enjoy Bill Apter and his positvity. He also credits Dave Meltzer for super detailed business analysis and Wade Keller for reporting and giving the news in a no-nonsense manner.
– Kevin mentions that he just launched the first Lucha Libre english language magazine called Rudo Can’t Fail. The first issue includes parts of a 1994 Keller interview with Konnan along with a new interview with Konnan reflecting on if his thoughts or ideals have changed since then.
– Chat room asks who’s idea was it for Ryback to do high-flying? He shouldn’t be doing it, Pat says, and Scott agrees. Leave it to the smaller guys, because some of that stuff looks scary. Pat says having different styles is what makes wrestling interesting.
– Pat asks Scott if he’s heard of any plans for TNA to return to Orlando? He hasn’t heard anything, but he hopes that they do. He enjoyed attending those shows.
– Kevin says expect to see new talent in Lucha Underground, including at least one indy name he’s been singing the praises of for the past few years. He can’t disclose too much, but there are some really good names coming in.
– How can WWE build WrestleMania around the WWE World Title? Pat doesn’t think that it will be, but the returning stars will be the main focus. Caller says Jim Ross suggested putting the belt on John Cena and putting it up against The Undertaker. Scott doesn’t see Sheamus being a long-term champion. He believes Brock will be in the World Title mix and is curious about Triple H. He could see him going against Reigns. It’s the worst time for the injury bug. Kevin says he keeps hearing Vince wants Roman to have his WrestleMania moment. However, he doesn’t see a money-drawing match with him. He thinks it’s going to be an ensemble card this year.
– Best place to follow Kevin’s news is @maskedrepublic on Twitter and Instagram. LuchaLoot.com or @luchaloot. RudoCantFail.com or @RudoCantFail.
– Look forward to a London NXT post-game show next Wednesday.
SCORE & REVIEW
Another solid show that mixes current on-goings with some lucha flair. Not a crazy amount of questions asked this week, but Pat’s All Star Panel focused on quality over quantity in regards to answers. A big chunk was dedicated to today’s current WWE product so if that or today’s lucha libre landscape interests you, give this one a spin on your smartphone, but you can put it low on your priority list if either doesn’t.