MLW Radio (Flagship) # 281
- Raw lows (and a few highs)
- This is Your Life bombs
- Jinder Mahal speculation
- Top independent guys
- Extreme Rules Finn win?
12:20 – Raw discussion
22:05 – Bright spots from Raw
29:25 – This is Your Life
34:50 – Jinder Mahal’s physique
40:20 – Del Rio/Paige wedding
46:00 – Success outside of WWE
48:00 – Extreme Rules PPV
MSL (@MSL) is joined this week by former WWE creative team member Robert Karpeles (@WWECreative_ish), who he actually went to high school with and watched wrestling with as a kid. After a few minutes of reminiscing, the guys get to the past week in wrestling. The discussion starts with some of the impressive high flying moves MSL saw at a couple of independent events that he worked at last week and the criticisms from old school wrestlers about that wrestling style. MSL feels that it’s harder for the larger guys to get over given the incredible athletic ability of smaller wrestlers, who are now the majority.
12:20 – Raw discussion. Analytically, Robert looked at this Raw as indicative of everything wrong with the current WWE product. He claims that WWE gave us everything that we’re paying for this coming Sunday at Extreme Rules, rather than leaving us salivating for the pay-per-view. MSL agrees, and adds that the current formula for WWE is to produce different variations of the same match for four weeks leading into the PPV. Robert refers to this as the “path of least resistance”, making it easy for WWE to book matches a month out. They discuss the idea of talent building “momentum”, which according to Robert doesn’t draw any money. Robert suggests that we needed a reason to care about this show, but losing Braun Strowman hurt a lot. They fantasy book ways that the last few weeks could have been booked to give those matches meaning.
22:05 – Bright spots from Raw. MSL is enjoying Kurt Angle’s role and hopes that he doesn’t end up wrestling for his own health based on how red he gets on TV. Robert likes how we get the best of both worlds with Angle, both with the comedy routine and when he needs to be serious to be a believable GM. Both guys compliment the angle with Corey Graves as something different and attention grabbing. MSL would like to see him involved in more storylines and Robert concurs with praise for Graves, but unfortunately can’t stay positive on his thoughts about Elias Samson. Robert likes the wandering segments, but not the drawn out in-ring singing, and notes a few instances where viewers have “accidentally” seen other talent in camera shots.
29:25 – This is Your Life. MSL asks Robert if the well has run dry on this segment. Robert’s take is that the original segment with Rock and Mick Foley wasn’t even that great, albeit for a few minutes out of over 25. This segment was death, and despite Alexa working as hard as she could to make it work, it just failed badly. Bayley hasn’t connected with the audience in Robert’s opinion, and MSL is curious why WWE forgets that the vast majority of their fans are seeing NXT talents for the first time when they’re called up to the main roster. Robert thinks that WWE expected that the fans’ response for Bayley would be the same as Charlotte and Sasha when they were called up, but for some reason not known by either of the guys it hasn’t panned out.
34:50 – Jinder Mahal responded to recent criticism of his physique by saying that he works hard and has been drug tested a number of times and passed the test, but MSL points out that he never stated that he hasn’t used PEDs. MSL says that every cheat says they haven’t tested positive until they’re caught, and suggests that he admits it if he is indeed using drugs. Robert, as a lawyer, disagrees and says Jinder’s only obligation to the public is to answer the question that’s asked of him, rather than volunteering additional information. Robert hopes that he’s right about his assumption that WWE wouldn’t push Mahal if he was taking anything.
40:20 – Del Rio/Page wedding is postponed. Robert feels that this event should be streamed somewhere just for the spectacle. MSL mentions how Spike TV in the UK has been airing the wrong episodes of Impact lately.
46:00 – MSL is around a lot of WWE talent in his personal life, and finds it interesting that a lot of wrestlers are jealous of guys like the Young Bucks, who do whatever they want and are still able to make a good living.
48:00 – Extreme Rules preview. MSL doesn’t know who’s going to win the Fatal Five-Way and asks Robert to sell him on it. Robert says that, despite WWE giving away two very good matches on Monday night, he thinks it’s going to be an interesting main event and a nice opportunity for Finn Balor to establish himself as a babyface. Joe and Bray are interesting as brute heels, Roman Reigns is an anomaly, and Seth Rollins hasn’t taken the spot of top babyface, leaving the door open for Finn to take the spot if the fans can get behind him.
Rating – 7 out of 10. An enjoyable discussion this week between two guys that have a lot of experience in the business, specifically with booking talent and producing wrestling content. They try as hard as they can to not be too negative about the past week in WWE, but it’s hard for them not to find issues with the shows. Uneventful week in wrestling, and this show definitely suffers from Court being away, no offense to MSL or Robert, who are both great.
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.