MLW Radio (flagship) #278: Braun injured, JR on WWE TV, Dave Bautista’s big 2017 and more
-Bautista’s big 2017
-JR calling WWE UK
-London Raw, tryouts
-UK tapings, Progress
10:40 – Transaction Report
23:00 – Rapid Fire Raw Report
33:00 – Global talent in WWE
37:00 – UK tapings, Progress/WWE
39:20 – Impact tapings in India
43:40 – Lucha Underground isn’t lucha
50:15 – Sinclair Broadcasting buys Tribune Media
The guys start off talking about Guardians of the Galaxy, which MSL plans to see this weekend, while Court will only tell us that Bautista stole the show. Big Dave has been a part of some major franchises already (Bond, Guardians), and will be in Avengers: Infinity Wars. Never say never, but they wonder if WWE could even get Bautista back at this point since he’s become a big star. They would have to give him what he wants storyline-wise. MSL says Triple H has barely wrestled lately other than putting younger stars over at WrestleMania, and is not sure if it makes sense for Triple H to go over Batista, but can you knock Triple H wanting to put over a younger guy instead. Court thinks HHH is past the point of being that effective of a heel. He’s loved his work in NXT and receives nothing but compliments from his followers on social media platforms, and should be shifted into a legendary babyface role. On the other hand, Batista could come back as one hell of a heel in Court’s opinion. Triple H could then still put over younger heel stars while working babyface.
10:40 – Transaction Report:
Braun Strowman expected out to be 4-6 weeks with an elbow injury, Court feels that Braun’s chase for the title should be heading into WrestleMania so slowing things down isn’t the worst thing that could have happened for the big man long-term.
Jim Ross returning to TV as play-by-play for WWE’s UK television show, which is a win-win for JR, yet puzzling for New Japan/AXS to be ok with that.
Kairi Hojo is leaving Stardom and is likely headed to WWE. Court says her elbow drop is amazing, and to check out Stardom (which also produced Asuka).
Kevin Von Erich will wrestle his final match in Israel at “Make Von Erich Great Again.”
Isabel Lahela is heading to WWE, Court says she has a great look and sees a lot of potential with her.
22:30 – Rapid Fire Raw Report:
MSL did not like Strowman coming out in a sling and feuding with an enhancement guy. Court says you have to be very careful programming Braun, and that it’s ok to take a few detours, but agrees with his point. WWE missed an opportunity with Kalisto, where they could have had him reincarnated/reborn with a slight variation in his look and character.
The Co-Manager storyline brought back fond memories for MSL, who enjoyed it despite it not being the best booking tool. Court would have had more of a focus on Dean Ambrose, and doesn’t understand the reasoning behind why he would be chosen as GM from a storyline perspective.
Court has had enough with the music interrupts, and that it needs to stop. WWE needs to figure out another way to further their plots without using the same tools over and over again. He also believes that some of the referees are more jacked than the Cruiserweights, which doesn’t make sense.
MSL praised Goldust and R-Truth’s backstage segment and appreciated his conviction and believability. Court likes the renewed emphasis on the tag team titles and Cesaro’s heel turn.
Aleister Black wrestled on Main Event this week, which was a confusing decision. Both guys scratch their heads as to why they would use such an up-and-coming talent in that fashion.
33:00 – International talent is more important than ever in giving WWE a global appeal. Court speculates as to whether or not WWE is looking towards the UK’s ITV network for their UK TV project.
37:00 – UK tapings included such stars as Progress’ Pete Dunne competing. This takes MSL back to WWE’s relationship with ECW back in the day. Had he known the full extent of their relationship at the time, MSL would have thought ECW was lame for selling out and asks if Progress should try to hide the relationship to maintain its punk rock image. Court admits that it’s hard for a lot of these promoters to say no to WWE.
39:20 – Impact Wrestling in India is a lock. Court thinks they’ve done a great job to make the company seem larger in scope, and that these tapings are definitely a positive thing long-term for Impact.
43:40 – Blue Demon Jr. says that Lucha Underground isn’t Mexican lucha libre, which Court agrees with. It’s more of a hybrid product, and that there’s something to be said about the authentic lucha libre experience. Court thinks LU hasn’t reached its potential, while both guys agree there’s a market for authentic lucha in the U.S. Impact could have a great selling hook by cross-marketing their product with AAA’s luchadors.
50:15 – Sinclair Broadcasting, owner of Ring of Honor acquired Tribune Media for $3.9 billion. One company has never owned this many television stations. Court thinks it’s going to be interesting to see how Sinclair navigates monopoly claims. They’ve gone from smaller markets to Chicago (WGN), New York (WPIX), and LA (KTLA). MSL wonders why none of this money ever trickles down to Ring of Honor. Court thinks the wrong man is running the company and there’s a lack of faith to contribute money to ROH. Sinclair probably feels like it pays for itself but doesn’t want to do anything of consequence and could lose market share to NJPW. You have to have confidence in leadership, and ROH lacks that. PWG and Evolve have so much more awareness. MSL says talent has been held hostage by ROH, which probably prevents new talent from going there. The fundamental problem is that talent doesn’t want to go to Ring of Honor to be in Ring of Honor.
Rating – 8 out of 10
The best part of this podcast is the compelling conversations that come about between MSL, who has many years of experience in the business as a booker, and Court, who draws on his creative experience and in-depth knowledge of TV deals and the inner-workings of wrestling companies from small to large scale. The tandem plays off each other so well as they draw the curtain back and give their takes on current events.
About the Author:
Desman (@Desman6) has been an avid wrestling fan going back to the very first WrestleMania and has attended four WrestleManias during his tenure as a WWE Shop card-carrying member of the WWE Universe. A financial professional by day, he spends his nights and weekends with his wife, rescue dog, and 2 rescue cats, watching WWE programming and listening to a number of wrestling-related podcasts. His true passions are food, film, and fights and he is forever fascinated by the business of professional wrestling.
If you missed last week’s recap, check out MLW #277.