X-Pac 1,2,360 – Episode 42
Guest: Chael Sonnen
Release Date: June 21, 2017
Recap By: Christopher Gaspere
Top Newsworthy Items
-X-Pac didn’t like the finish to the Women’s Money in the Bank match and puts the blame on Vince
-Sonnen thinks anything short of a strong Mayweather victory dooms the future of boxing
00:00: Show introduction
3:25: The group discusses the Women’s Money in the Bank match and finish
16:04: The group discusses the rest of Money in the Bank, Raw, and Smackdown
31:53: Sponsor Ad
32:24: Chael Sonnen talks Wanderlei Silva fight, Mayweather/McGregor, and the sport of boxing
43:17: Sonnen discusses the aftermath of his loss to Tito Ortiz and MMA in Japan
49:24: Sonnen reminisces on his time at the WCW Power Plant
54:58: Sponsor Ad
55:13: Show end and plugs
This week’s guest was Chael Sonnen who has a fight with Wanderlei Silva this Saturday, June 24 for Bellator. X-Pac is joined by Bill Hanstock from Uproxx, Denise, Jimbo, and TK Trinidad. X-Pac mentioned he’s leaving for England to wrestle for Preston City Wrestling, and he expressed his gratitude for the promotions that didn’t cancel his appearances after his arrest even though he understands why they did.
The group discusses the Women’s Money in the Bank match and finish
The first topic of discussion coming out of the Money in the Bank pay-per-view was the finish to the Women’s Money in the Bank match with Ellsworth climbing to grab the briefcase and dropping it to Carmella. Both Hanstock and X-Pac thought it was “a good match.” Hanstock thought the women might have held back because of the finish. Jimbo liked the finish and thought it was “clever.” He also thought it succeeded because “everyone is talking about it,” and it has made Carmella a great heel. Denise thought the finish was “cool,” but she said it wasn’t in the context of the first ever women’s MITB match. She said it would have been a more appropriate finish later. TK Trinidad “didn’t feel” it, but she said it made her interesting in tuning into Smackdown to see how they dealt with it. Hanstock said that they were in “damage control” on Smackdown. Hanstock said this was a reaction to Carmella not getting any heat, which disappointed him because he thinks she’s talented, but it’s a larger problem in the way that NXT talent are brought onto the main roster. He also brought up Daniel Bryan’s comments from this past week where he had said WWE needs to learn to present the product differently.
TK suggested having a little vignette before a match like they do in other sports. Hanstock said that nobody in the Attitude Era would debut without weeks of vignettes before they showed up. Returning to the topic of the Ellsworth finish, Hanstock said, “Every woman who I know…was upset about it” and that it drew “the wrong kind of heat.” At this point, X-Pac said that he thought that “they took a big giant crap on it to be honest with you.” It said that the “buck stops” with Vince McMahon. He continued by suggesting that Vince will do things like this to get a rise and get publicity out of it. “That’s the way Vince looks at things.” Hanstock asked if Vince takes political correctness and social responsibility into account in his decision-making to which X-Pac replied, “It’s pretty funny to mention Vince McMahon and political correctness in the same sentence.” Ultimately, X-Pac would have liked to have seen another cheating finish but not the one they used.
The group discusses the rest of Money in the Bank, Raw, and Smackdown
Much of the panel praised the A.J. Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura showdown in the Money in the Bank match. X-Pac is “high” on Corbin, but he doesn’t think Corbin needed to win the briefcase. Hanstock agreed. X-Pac thought Lana’s in-ring performance was “fine,” and TK thought it was “underwhelming.” X-Pac continued that “neither have enough experience to be working with each other on pay-per-view.” He and Hanstock would have liked to have seen Lana in the MITB match instead, and X-Pac thinks it would have helped the mic work in the build to the match since the women had to rely on Charlotte and Becky Lynch as the only strong promos in the division.
In terms of Raw, X-Pac thought Enzo and Cass did a good job in their segment where Cass turned, but that it was “drawn out.” Hanstock would have liked to have seen the turn happen when they were doing their entrance. Enzo’s tears were commended, and X-Pac said that the tears were “probably real.” He explained that when you are part of a package deal like they are and you are broken up, it feels like “the end of the world.” Enzo, he said, is probably worried about his money and place on the card since Cass is obviously the one that will get pushed. Hanstock wished the WWE wasn’t so opposed to managers because Enzo would be perfect.
On Smackdown, X-Pac thought it was a bad idea to put Jinder Mahal in the match on television with Luke Harper because it “exposed” him and his weaknesses. He said they are still using a lot of “smoke and mirrors” with Jinder right now to cover for him. X-Pac said that he didn’t agree with Konnan who, during the Orton and Mahal match at MITB, sarcastically tweeted out wondering if the Singh Brothers would interfere. X-Pac said that workers might know that’s what is going to happen but fans don’t necessarily. X-Pac was happy to see all the legends at ringside though.
Chael Sonnen talks Wanderlei Silva fight, Mayweather/McGregor, and the sport of boxing
Chael Sonnen is introduced and asked about the upcoming fight with Wanderlei Silva. He explained, “I couldn’t stand the guy from the day I met him.” He said before the fight was scheduled, he and Wanderlei sparred and hung out, which made him think everything was cool between them after Sonnen had made some controversial statements about Brazilians during the build to his bout with Anderson Silva. Wanderlei had his own personally-hired cameraman following him around that day. After the sparring session, Silva started calling him out in front of the cameraman which had obviously been his plan all along. Sonnen thinks it is “cheap heat” and “low brow” to hire your own cameraman. X-Pac noted that it certainly made people interested in the fight. Sonnen agreed that fights are more enjoyable when you know the two guys don’t like each other.
Sonnen was asked about his thoughts on the Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor boxing match in August, and his answer was blunt and immediate. He said that Mayweather better win and “do it quickly and do it dominantly. He said that if a guy who has never lost a boxing match loses to a guy who has never boxed that “the integrity of the sport of boxing takes a huge blow.” He said he’s heard boxing commentators talk about a 12-round draw or even a McGregor win, but Sonnen is leaning toward Mayweather. He said the analysis that many are giving is wrong because McGregor cannot hit as strong as Mayweather can. He said boxers train to hit and learn to roll with punches from a young age while MMA fighters train in a number of different styles and techniques. He explained that the “misconception” of McGregor’s power comes from him knocking people out while Mayweather has not recently. He said that Oscar De La Hoya has recently been saying that McGregor boxing is a disgrace to the boxing community, but Sonnen feels there is no boxing community. He said, “Not one of your listeners could” name the local boxing gym, the place to buy equipment or even one professional boxer outside of Mayweather. He called it a “fringe sport at best.”
X-Pac noted that it’s still popular in Mexico, and Sonnen said it’s also popular in Ireland, but by popular, he means that a big match might draw 4,500 people. He said that this match might be a “spectacle” but it’s good for “the business” of boxing.
Sonnen discusses the aftermath of his loss to Tito Ortiz and MMA in Japan
Sonnen said that he “went crazy” after losing to Tito Ortiz. He said that for the past decade that he’s been a disciplined fighter but not a motivated fighter. He said that the Ortiz loss and this incident with Silva has motivated him which makes “training a little easier.” It was brought up that he was ready to step into fight Fedor Emelianenko earlier this year after Matt Mitrione followed out, but Sonnen doesn’t know why that didn’t happen. Sonnen was asked if he plans to drop back down to 185 pounds from 205 pounds, but he said that’s not in the plans as Bellator has a lot of catchweight fights. However, he’ll go where the fight is. The subject turns to Japan and how the drug testing there is different than in the United States. Sonnen said that when Wanderlei Silva came to America from Japan, he was “the incredible shrinking man” and “you don’t have to put on your Columbo rain jacket to figure out how that happened.” He said that it’s incredible there are so few rules in Japan. X-Pac had heard a story that when Ken Shamrock fought Don Frye in Japan that Frye received oxygen between rounds. Sonnen said that if it’s allowed, it’s allowed, and Frye gets “a little credit for creativity as well.”
Sonnen reminisces on his time at the WCW Power Plant
Sonnen talked briefly at his time training under Sgt. Buddy Lee Parker at the WCW Power Plant. He was an All-American right out of college, and he said the Power Plant’s training was “so hard” only two other people besides him made it through. He said that Parker would make them do squats and put a five-gallon white bucket behind them. When they did a squat, they would have to put their hands in the air, come up on their toes, and their butt would have to hit the bucket. He said it was nearly impossible to hit the bucket since you couldn’t see it, so you’d have to do it intentionally. He said the worst pain was that the lip of the bucket would cut into his behind constantly. He said that after that experience he “really respects” anybody that came through there. He also saw them take the ring down enough to see that it’s a thin pad over iron and wood, which also made him respect the bumps that professional wrestlers take. He said it was a good experience overall and WCW was “upfront” about how hard it was going to be so it didn’t feel like a rip-off. X-Pac asked about his cup of coffee in Jeff Jarrett’s GFW and the angle they were going to run with Phil Boroni, but Sonnen quickly had to get off the phone, which ended the interview.
Show end and plugs
X-Pac plugged wrestling for Preston City Wrestling again this weekend. He also plugged Get High Watch Wrestling 3, which will have writers and comedians The Lucas Brothers present. Finally, he will be at The Wrestling Guy’s Store soon and might consider doing a live podcast if time permits. Bill Hanstock announced he will soon release a a short documentary on Ray Lloyd, better known in the ‘90s as Glacier.
Score and Review (8/10)
This was a shorter podcast than usual for X-Pac 1-2-360, but that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, this was closer to a perfect blend for the show. Everyone discussed the week in WWE, including the controversial Money in the Bank finish, for about half the show, and the Sonnen interview took up the other half. Having everyone involved in giving their takes and opinions on the PPV, Raw, and Smackdown was effective and entertaining, and it was particularly nice to hear female opinions on the Women’s Money in the Bank ordeal as most wrestling podcasts do not have female guests or co-hosts. The Sonnen interview was cut short even though there were certainly more topics to discuss with him. Sonnen is always an entertaining guest though as he moves between the real person and being in promo mode. His breakdown of Mayweather/McGregor and brief discussion of boxing is the best part of the interview for those interested. Overall, this split between discussing the WWE shows and the interview worked out well as 60-80 minutes feels just right for the podcast.
Chris Gaspare is a teacher from Maryland who has been watching wrestling since 1989 when he saw his first WCW Saturday Night episode and quickly rented as many NWA and WWF VHS tapes he could find in local stores. He also attended Tri-State Wrestling Alliance and early ECW shows in Philadelphia, which really kicked his fandom into high gear. He lapsed in the mid-2000s, but returned to the wrestling fold a few years ago.
For more, check out last week’s recap of X-Pac 1,2,360 with EC III.