Wednesday PWTorch Livecast with Pat McNeill – All-Star Panel 2016 Kick-off
Special Guests: ROH’s “Brutal” Bob Evans & Former WCW wrestler The Stro
Aired Live: January 6, 2016
Recap by Dominic DeAngelo
– Today’s Independent Scene
– The Benefits Of Wrestling On The Independent Scene
– Current Events
TIME STAMPS OF MATCH COVERAGE
(2:30) Pat McNeill intro
(3:43) The Stro intro
(5:10) Highlight of the past 72 hours?
(7:00) “Brutal” Bob Evans intro
(7:25) Bob’s thoughts on Mike Bennett
(8:40) Stro’s work with Scott Dawson
(9:35) More Bennett discussion
(13:00) Who deserves to be the first ROH women’s champion?
(16:20) Any scary stories that the Stro has taking the dog to the ring?
(17:40) How did Judge Jeff Jones gain so much power in the ROH office?
(18:50) What do indy wrestlers’s end goals nowadays?
(23:25) What about coaching young talent on retirement plans?
(25:55) Who deserves to wrestle for a top spot in the ROH prospect tournament?
(35:25) What are the biggest benefits from wrestling on the independent scene?
(43:00) Had either been signed by WWE what would be their storyline suggestions?
(46:35) What was it like seeing Cheeseburger in Japan?
(52:00) What are the guys’s future goals? / Royal Rumble thoughts?
– The Stro still wrestles around the country and is doing movies. Just recently did Checkpoint with Goldberg and a film called Son of Clowns.
– Stro can’t choose the highlight of the last 72 hours. He’s happy for the Bullet Club and is proud to see Scott Dawson flourishing in NXT. Exciting time to be a wrestling fan.
– Bob Evans is excited for Mike Bennett. He’s known him since he was 16 years old
– Stro gives a rundown on his history with Scott Dawson: Scott spent time in Japan and is excited for the Arn Anderson style that him and Dash Wilder bring to the ring. He hopes he sees it on WWE’s main roster someday.
– Evans gives props to The Stro for working with Dawson and Stro returns the accreditation.
– What was it like for Bob working with a 16-year-old Mike Bennett? He says Bennett was always mature about wrestling and Maria is a nice compliment to him with her smart business acumen. He’s sure going to TNA was the right move for his family.
– Who deserves to be the first ROH women’s champion? Evans mentions Kelly Klein, Taelor Hendrix (who has a lot of personality), Veda Scott, and Mandy Leon. What woman stand out for Stro? Tessa Blanchard – her heritage is second to none. She’s still making waves and he couldn’t agree with Bob’s choices more. Bob saw Tessa once in Boston and was very impressed with her potential.
– Any scary stories that the Stro has taking his dog Dorothy to the ring? He said it scared Shane Douglas during a match he had with him.
– Ryan from Cumberland, Md. asks Evans how did Judge Jeff Jones gain so much power in the ROH office? Because of his wrestling background, Sinclair thought he was a good conduit between the office and the wrestling staff. Pat says the only thing left after a nuclear holocaust will be cockroaches and Jeff Jones.
– What do the young guys say their goals are nowadays? Stro says many aspire for WWE, but a lot of guys and guys want international experience and flavor. It’s very important today, especially with the route WWE is going with different styles. When Pat’s talked to young wrestlers he says it’s like vying for a spot in the NBA, but with less spots open. Evans notices that today guys and girls expectations are more realistic. International wrestling is more on the hotlist, places like England, New Japan and ROH have reached people’s lists. He always says to young people to do this so you get real good at it and the money will follow. He also said some people just like wrestling in the indys too.
– Any guidance with indy wrestler retirement plans? Stro always tells them to save that money. Save as much as you can. Bob agrees – and don’t be afraid to open up an IRA. The things you can do to plan your financial success is important. It’s always going to be a balance and most guys have to live a realistic lifestyle.
– What guys that haven’t been in ROH deserve a look? Evans says anyone that can benefit the company. He said guys like A.J. Styles and The Young Bucks have helped establish ROH’s credibility today. Anybody’s that’s good at what they do, really. No one comes to mind specifically, but anyone who can contribute. Pat suggests Johnny Skylar. Stro says he is very talented and then says people in his area: like Victor Andrews and Mike Orlando. He agrees with Bob’s assessment about accessing new talent – variety is life, variety is pro wrestling. Evans brings up when he first saw Stro wrestle. He remembers showing someone with a conductor gimmick footage of Stro’s work and how it helped him.
– What are the biggest benefits from wrestling on the independent scene? It’s a proving ground that paves the way for bigger companies. Being on the road, working with people all over and getting experience in the ring. If you’re just stepping into a big company right off the bat (like Batista did) – he learned on the job with the help from Triple H and Ric Flair which was baptism by fire. Guys like Daniel Bryan & C.M. Punk learned and honed their craft on the indy scene which made them more well rounded, Evans agrees. The indy scene is where you will get wrestling work. That experience of being on the road and wrestling in front of 20 or 30 people gives you the experience in front of 20 or 30,000. You don’t get that in NXT. Jimmy Jacobs once said it’s easy to love wrestling when everything’s going well, but your passion is really tested when everything is going badly.
– Had either been signed by WWE what would be their storyline suggestions? Bob said he would have scratched around for awhile because he didn’t know what he was until 18 years in the business. Now he found his swing as a salty old guy. How about Stro? Back in WCW when he was doing the Maestro, he altered it into a darker persona. He brings up the Wyatt Family and would like to help propel something like that even further for Bray, whether as a heel or face.
– Bob’s tag team with Cheeseburger, Brutal Burgers, started as a rib. They became the most unlikely tag team in all of wrestling, then they were in the most unlikely feud in all of wrestling. He’d put their nine month feud up against anything WWE did at TLC. He says Cheeseburger is the hardest working guy in ROH. His biggest goal in life was to wrestle in Japan and he did it. Who is Stro the most proud of? He’s so happy for many guys. Everybody has the opportunity to make their spot in the business, He thought it was great that James Storm and Bobby Roode got back together. Also mentions Petey Williams, Mike & Tracey Taylor and Eric Shea. He wishes more success for many people in the business because it keeps the craft going.
– Next week on the program is Gunner, former TNA wrestler.
– What are Bob’s future goals. He’d like to do another Iron Week, where he wrestles seven one hour matches in seven days against seven different opponents. He says he’d like to wrestle more ROH dates. Stro lives by Jake Roberts’ motto: never say never. As many more matches as he can, whether it’s TNA or WWE. He’s still in pretty good shape and he’s ready for anything. He’s happy to be apart of wrestling.
– Any Rumble booking advice? Lots of possibilities with Reigns defending the title, Stro says. He’s all about the shock value – maybe Triple H, maybe one of the New Japan signings. Something that will captivate the fans. Bob’s excited about the Rumble, he thinks Reigns should go all the way or have Cena win and eliminate Reigns. He says involving the signings by having them help Roman Reigns in defending the title could provide interesting storylines and would promote Reigns as a face, because if they have them beat down Reigns, fans will cheer them instead of Roman.
SCORE & REVIEW
8.0: This show took such a neat direction. A very heavy focus was on the indy scene and the mindset of today’s indy talent. It was pretty fascinating to hear both Evans and Stro’s input on what’s important for an indy wrestler to keep in mind while wrestling for little or no money and to always have goals in mind, both professionally and financially. Big current events were talked about, but the real meat of this episode is from the indy discussion. I recommend this episode to anyone as it’s a fresh change from all of WWE’s big on-goings, but still whets that newsworthy palate.