Wednesday PWTorch Livecast with Pat McNeill
Special Guests: Former WCW wrestler Scotty Riggs & PWTorch contributor Jim Valley
Aired Live: January 27, 2016
Recap by Dominic DeAngelo
– New Talent In WWE
– WWE’s Missteps With Minorities
– Daniel Bryan & WWE: To Wrestle or Not To Wrestle?
TIME STAMPS OF MATCH COVERAGE
(2:36) Pat McNeill intro
(3:50) Jim Valley intro
(5:15) Is Daniel Bryan the first wrestler to go through his situation?
(7:55) Any Rumble appearances you wish had occurred on Sunday?
(9:35) Triple H not defending the WWE title a good move?
(11:35) Biggest development of the past 72 hours?
(13:30) Scotty Riggs intro
(16:45) Did WWE undervalue James Storm or did TNA undervalue Austin Aries?
(20:15) Any talent TNA could use to turn the tide a little more?
(24:25) Do you see a Roman Reigns / Rocky Maivia parallel?
(37:00) Thoughts on WWE’s treatment of minorities?
(50:35) Scotty’s question for Boris
(55:00) Scotty’s thoughts on the Daniel Bryan situation
(59:00) Could anyone else have pulled off the American Males?
(59:50) Wyatt a good opponent for Lesnar?
– Ryan from Cumberland is the first caller: Is Daniel Bryan the first wrestler to go through his situation of being cleared to wrestle by several doctors and still not being allowed to wrestle? Jim Valley says to keep in mind that WWE doctors are a relatively new phenomenon and something like this could have occurred before. In the past if you didn’t work, you didn’t get paid so many would come back to wrestle. He brings up the former wrestler of Tim Woods who survived the plane crash along with Flair. Pat says he knows Bryan comes back, but from WWE’s perspective, what happens if something tragic occurs?
– Second question from Ryan: were there any Rumble appearances you wish had occurred on Sunday? Pat brings up RVD and how he has become a regular. Jim says while it’s a fun spot, they did one year where there was too many. He doesn’t mind that they kind of took a break from legends. And to be honest, it may have watered down A.J. Styles’s appearance.
– Is Triple H not defending the title before WrestleMania a smart move? Pat thinks it plays up the heelness of The Authority. Jim says if they think things such as “30 day defense” and other regulations would apply to a storyline then they’ll use it.
– What was the biggest development of the past 72 hours? Jim starts off by saying he thought the Rumbles was one of the greatest WWE has had, but they’ve lost some momentum with Raw. Everything seems so formulaic from this point on – Reigns vs. the McMachon clan at WrestleMania (and perhaps beyond)
– Scotty Riggs hops on and is asked what did he think of the Rumble? He thinks that they gave the audience something new coming out of the PPV. As a fan he was excited to see A.J. Styles and Jericho work. At least they gave you a match with a legit heel and face, too, which is something they haven’t done.
– Joe from Voorhees, N.J. calls in regarding recent NXT/TNA jumps: Did WWE undervalue James Storm or did TNA undervalue Austin Aries? Pat says it could be both – he thinks Storm was a good fit for the main roster and Aries had a good TNA run. Scotty thinks that’s a tough question when it comes down to finances since it’s a personal thing. It all depends on what the two wanted to do. So many hypotheticals. Not everyone wants to work for the WWE. Hard to quantify the question – although it’s a great one. Jim agrees with Scotty.
– Joe asks if there is any talent TNA could use to turn the tide a little more? Pat says WWE has a stronghold with Evolve and ROH has talent tied up so it may be tough. Jim says no – they’ve had so many stars already on a larger network. TNA is what it is. Until WWE gets hotter, TNA is going to tread water or drop further down the rabbit hole. Scotty says when you look at TNA, they’ve got talent, but they’re really not doing anything hot with different guys. They’re always showcasing the same people in different roles. They will flounder until they start using the talent the right way. The one thing with WCW is they’d give you an idea, and then the talent would make it work. They had that creative time to develop their matches and character.
– Emailer asks the trio if they see a Roman Reigns / Rocky Maivia parallel a la being hated as a face to potentially breaking out as a heel? Pat refers back to Scotty’s previous statement on character development. Scotty says if they let him go free then things could change. The Rock’s performance on Monday is proof for that. It took Rock to turn heel to get over, but you don’t know with Roman because they’ve force fed him down our throats so much. People know he’s not himself yet.
– Jim asks Scotty if he was still there when Goldberg took off? Yeah, he was actually his third or fourth match, he says. Was he there for Goldberg’s first promo? He was there but he doesn’t remember it (that’s how much of an impact it had on him). He remembers when he wrestled him with his “Who’s Next” catchphrase. When Goldberg was covering Scotty, Scotty told him to just say “Who’s Next” after he covered him. That’s all he needed to say to get over. Once WCW had him talk, you lost him. Pat agrees Goldberg couldn’t do what Rock and Jim isn’t sure if Roman can either. Scotty says they’re trying to make wrestlers be who they aren’t yet. WWE wants to push The Roman Empire when it hasn’t happened organically, kind of like how the Cesaro Section developed. It’s just not him yet. They’re trying too much to be a TV show and it’s effecting the roster’s ability to get over.
– Boris from Chicago calls in: what is the gang’s thoughts on WWE’s treatment of minorities? Pat says WWE has been notorious for not making blacks champions. He thinks New Day has had to go through a lot to prove themselves. Scotty says it comes down to that perception of WWE having that mentality, and WWE gave New Day that gimmick, but the talent of Kofi, Big E and Xavier made chicken scratch into chicken salad. The only problem is that they’re heels. They also haven’t pushed the tag titles as a big deal. Jay Lethal was booked to make the ROH belts mean something. Boris sees R-Truth as a bumbling idiot – he wants Truth to be portrayed a little better than that. He knows it’s his job to be like that, but he doesn’t think it’s good. Scotty understands, but it’s something to keep him working. Pat says he thinks Truth understands his role and looks at it as a way to get a paycheck.
– Jim thinks there is a couple ways to look at: he speculates management does kind of see him as fool – noting the moment when Truth accidentally name dropped Milwaukee when they were in Green Bay – and that perception may have followed him around since then. This also hearkens back to Bad News Allen as a Stepin Fetchit-like babyface (Stepin Fetchit was an old black comedian who played an endearing bumbling fool back in the 1930s) and seeing R-Truth pull that Money in the Bank stunt in the Royal Rumble made Jim feel very uncomfortable Does he thinks it’s racist? Yes, but WWE is ignorant to the racism? Does that make it forgivable? No – they should be more sensitive. They make a lot of wrestlers look like idiots, but they should be more careful when it comes to R-Truth.
– Boris follows this up how will this effect Nakamura and A.J. Styles with their “limitations” of accent/language barrier etc.? The Truth portrayal has just struck a chord with Boris. He enjoys A.J. and says it’s awesome to see the tease of the Styles Clash. Scotty thinks the Clash will be effective if he can do it on most of the roster. It’s like the Curp Stomp – will they have to alter his finish? As far as his accent being an anchor, Pat brings up Austin. Boris hopes he gets the same treatment. Scotty agrees – you hope they treat the new talent right. With Nakamura, will they use some cliched gimmick like they have had with other Japanese talent? Boris brings up what they did with Tensai even by putting him in a nightgown and Pat agrees. They didn’t know how to sell his gimmick, Scotty says. Guys over here didn’t know how to make him look good so then he became a dancing machine. Pat doesn’t see Nakamura as the next Disco Inferno and Scotty hopes not.
– Scotty has a question for Boris as a fan: On Raw, when A.J. fought Jericho, as a fan did he see that pre-lock up “This Is Awesome” as a misplaced chant? Boris says no, because when those two guys locked up, the fans know who both of these guys are and then they actually wrestled. Scotty thinks the fans actually put the chant in the right place – here are two big stars about to lock up finally. Props to Boris for that insight. Scotty is impressed. Pat kind of agrees, but he also thinks fans didn’t expect that to happen.
– Jim wants to ask Scotty about Daniel Bryan: what are his thoughts on the situation of him wanting to wrestle but WWE doctors not clearing him. Wrestling has evolved and the way of handling injuries have, too. He remembers almost getting fired because of getting a concussion in a match with Perry Saturn. That was on a Monday and then he continued to work shows. This takes him to Bryan: WWE has lawsuits from wrestlers regarding concussions. He thinks because of this they won’t let Bryan work. It might not be fair, but it could be because of the legalities of everything.
– Chatroom question: could anyone else besides Riggs & Bagwell pulled off the American Males gimmick? He doesn’t think anyone had their “cheese factor” they had together, although Tommy Dreamer was offered his role initially.
– Is Wyatt ready to face Lesnar at WrestleMania? Jim thinks he’s a tremendous talent, but from a creative standpoint is he heated up enough? He thinks the same thing will always happens that happens to him. Scotty agrees that it’s the failure of the bosses. If he could have came out on top of one of his major feuds, he’d be a main-eventer. Same with Rusev, Cesaro, and Sandow. They’re not letting Wyatt be the villain he should be. They are giving everyone a mixed message with these babyface hooks attached to him (such as the cell phone entrance interaction). If they built him up right this would no doubt be one of the top three matches at Mania. Scotty says. It could have been a world title match even.
SCORE & REVIEW
– A Perfect 10: If my lengthy paragraphs in the show highlights section are any indication, I really enjoyed this episode. The flow and chemistry of the guests and callers (even Boris!) was top notch. Wow, was I impressed with Scotty Riggs’s wrestling IQ and philosophy which parallels a lot of the Torch staff. The moment where he asks Boris his thoughts on the “This Is Awesome” chants is one of many examples of this. Don’t let him being out of the wrestling limelight fool you for a second – Riggs is a guest that knows the current events and knows how the business should work. As always, Jim and Pat are great together and them being able to bounce their insight off an experienced in-ring talent was the perfect formula for a must-listen episode and a perfect plug for Jim’s upcoming Saturday Livecast premiere. Bookmark this episode at the forefront of your wrestling podcast itinerary.