Wednesday PWTorch Livecast with Pat McNeill
Special Guest: Wrestling agent Bill Behrens
Aired Live: March 2, 2016
Recap by Dominic DeAngelo
– Bill’s Thoughts On His Clients’s Current Situations
– WrestleMania 32: Plans & Coping With Injuries
TIME STAMPS OF COVERAGE
(2:28) Pat McNeill intro
(3:35) Bill Behrens intro
(5:45) Christopher Daniels moving up the ROH hierarchy
(8:20) Jay Lethal
(13:00) Who would Bill pick for A.J. Styles to wrestle in WWE?
(14:32) Does WWE look down on Bill for representing their wrestlers?
(16:09) Was it a mistake to turn Ethan Carter babyface?
(17:40) Kevin Owens vs. Big Show at WrestleMania
(23:10) Samoa Joe’s potential of a main roster debut
(25:05) “Y2AJ” = long term or short term story?
### COMMERCIAL BREAK ###
(26:05) Is it a good move that TNA is trying to sell?
(38:00) Shane McMahon vs. The Undertaker
(40:30) Global Force Wrestling
(44:00) Concussion discussion
(48:40) Older wrestlers taking risks
(51:30) Strong heels and weaker babyfaces
(57:25) The WrestleMania injury bug
– Bill doesn’t represent Samoa Joe anymore, but he represents The Addiction, Matt Sydal, Ethan Carter III, and Drew Galloway just to name a few.
– Bill mentions that not only does Christopher Daniels has character creativity in ROH, but is also helping Delirious (who Bill also represents) with booking and backstage operations.
(8:20) Bill also represents Jay Lethal, who says he has one of the best deals in ROH. While TNA treated him greatly, he never got the opportunity to be “the guy.” In ROH, he’s proven that he can do that.
– Sinclair is growing their product across various platforms by buying up channels while TNA has admitted to be searching for investors.
(13:00) Who would Bill pick for A.J. Styles to wrestle in WWE? He’s enjoying his current run with Jericho, but Styles can work with anyone because he is good, whether it’s as Undertaker’s last match or someone else. He’s currently riding buddies with Mark Henry and Bill says they listen to Christian rap together.
(14:32) Does WWE look down on Bill for representing their wrestlers? Bill says no, a lot of talent has agents representing them. Even through the years in WWE, he’s represented R-Truth and Evan Bourne. He actually has a good relationship with WWE.
(16:09) Was it a mistake to turn Ethan Carter babyface? ECIII is very talented and anything that TNA needs to do to move their product forward is the good thing to do.
(17:40) Kevin Owens vs. Big Show at WrestleMania? Pat says it’s a possibility, but things could always change. Bill says their building Owens up as a different guy – the realistic antagonist against the babyface. The rumor is that Owens requested the match against The Undertaker, but Pat says WWE looks at Big Show as a big deal. Bill agrees – Show is impressive as a big man. Pat says people take exception to Big Show’s booking travels and Bill says it’s tough to follow up on Andre, who was the standard-bearer for the big man position. Pat also says it’s tougher to keep Big Show as fresh when you don’t have territories to ship him to anymore either. Bill is impressed with Mark Henry and Show’s longevity.
(23:10) Mike from Brooklyn asks could Samoa Joe debut on Raw the night after WrestleMania as the next monster heel? Bill answers it in two ways: he could do that, but would it be the best route for WWE and NXT in their current position? NXT is building their own identity and Joe is a big contributor to that brand identity. The next step is how does NXT intergrate into that – and the answer to that is “when they’re ready”
(25:05) Is Y2AJ a long term or short term story? It all depends how people respond. One of the biggest things Jerry Jarrett taught Bill is that if you don’t listen to your audience, then you’re going to fail. If Y2AJ catches fire, then they’ll stick with it.
(26:05) Is it a good move that TNA is trying to sell? Mike would hate to see another company go under. Bill agrees – he was talking to A.J. about that how they don’t want to see TNA go away. They need to be funded or they’re stuck with the business they have right now.
(28:20) Is cagematch.com accurate at billing Bill at 5’8″ and 160 lbs.? More like 5’9″ and 170 lbs. would be more accurate.
(28:50) Emailer thinks Y2AJ has been booked backwards, they should have gave the duo tag title shots last month and Jericho’s heel turn should have happened then. Have Pat and Bill lost interest? Pat hasn’t – whatever happens with the Tag Title match on Monday is where we’ll get more of a concrete answer for the two’s WrestleMania plans.
(38:00) Does Bill have any particular thoughts on the Shane McMahon- Undertaker angle so far? Bill thinks bringing Shane back was wonderful because it attracted an audience that weren’t interested in the product currently. He thinks the feud is a great idea – the endgame is it’s going to be athletic. Both guys will make sure that when the match is over that their performance won’t be half-assed.
(40:30) Global Force Wrestling is in a partnership with a reality TV production company. Hard to do without a television deal, Pat says. Bill says even though they have an international deal, GFW has to establish what they are to progress further. Bill thinks it’s good that Jeff Jarrett is doing that. If WWE is all there is, there will be no wrestling business as it stands. It can’t be done by one company effectively. You have to provide conflict.
(44:00) Boris from Chicago asks Bill and Pat if they think concussion tests on other wrestlers in WWE would be revealed if they occur? Bill says that is one of the hardest sports-related injuries today. If we embrace concussion theory at a major level, then we have to get rid of all the contact sports. Boris would like to know how many concussions guys like Triple H and Undertaker have had in their career, and Pat says that isn’t going to happen. Bill says WWE won’t take such risks anymore.
(48:40) Boris isn’t excited for older legacy stars anymore, especially with dangerous spots today a la Sting vs. Seth Rollins. Here’s the deal, Bill says: he loves The Expendables movies – old guys who look terrible but still do all their action spots. People that matter (e.g. legacy stars) will come back, and most fans will want to see them. Pat says he’s sure older stars have taken note of what happened to Sting and will take that into consideration when wrestling for WWE.
(51:30) How come The Authority gets to come out as powerful characters when babyfaces aren’t portrayed as strongly? The characters we’re supposed to love seem a level down from their heel counterparts. Bill understands but he would point out that you need to give it time. This isn’t MMA where every fight is done – wrestling continues, which makes it an art form. McNeill makes note of legacy stars only showing up for WrestleMania. The only full-timers you have in the main events are Ambrose and Reigns. Bill says it’s a double-edged sword. If you establish the young people too quickly, then you give them a spot that they could sink or swim at. Would Bill like A.J. to be the guy that faces Triple H and loses? No, he’d much rather have been be established on the undercard. You have to be patient, but the majority of society today isn’t. The thing with wrestling, though, is if you get what you want immediately, you’ll be disappointed with it the next day.
(57:25) Addressing the injuries in WWE: Bill says it doesn’t matter – WrestleMania is almost about starting over. Dealing with these injuries shows how wrestling can be real. If change doesn’t happen, things become stagnant and it becomes obsoleted. Everything today transitions on the moment. In television you can build slow, but now have to build slow and figure out how to do it fast. There is so many divergent opinions on how it should go. There is so many ways to get through a story, Pat says. Bill says that’s a great way to become engaged – “what could have happened” is a fun way to look at it.
SCORE & REVIEW
8.5: This was the second Torch interview with Bill I’ve gotten to listen to, and I’ve got to say, I really enjoy the way he paints perspective. He possess such a unique way of wording things which can come off as confusing at times, but it sure makes you think about the point he was trying to convey – this is especially prevalent in the last ten minutes of the episode when he and Pat are discussing WWE’s injury bug during WrestleMania. They cover all kinds of topics in all major promotions with a strong focus on the Y2AJ storyline. Whether it’s true or not, I came away feeling a little more intelligent after this interview and I say that’s a “W” for Livecast Wednesday.