X-Pac 1,2,360 – Episode 42
Release Date: June 28, 2017
Recap By: Christopher Gaspere
Top Newsworthy Items
-X-Pac confirmed the James Ellsworth finish at Money in the Bank was Vince’s idea.
-X-Pac said that some in WWE criticize Cody Rhodes’s decision to leave as him being “a mark for himself.”
-X-Pac tried out for a role on Glow.
-Only LaVar Ball from the Ball family seemed to enjoy being at Raw.
00:00: Introduction and congratulations to Chael Sonnen and Cody Rhodes
16:56: The group discusses the LaVar Ball segment on Raw
32:06: The rest of Monday Night Raw is dissected including Joe/Lesnar
46:53: Women’s gauntlet on Raw and ratings
50:54: Everyone gives their thoughts on Netflix’s GLOW series
58:49: Women’s Money in the Bank redo is broken down and X-Pac’s dislike of battle royals
Show introduction and congratulations to Chael Sonnen and Cody Rhodes
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 started the show by congratulating Chael Sonnen, who won his fight against Silva. Hanstock jumped in and praised Bellator for the job they’ve been doing and how they’ve been raising their stock. He hopes to see many UFC free agents sign with Bellator since UFC is going downhill. X-Pac likes that Bellator is doing something different, unlike other wrestling promotions that seem focused on emulating the WWE.
They discussed how Fedor Emelianenko still has fights left in him after his defeat. X-Pac praised the Legends division in Bellator, because the fighters might be past their prime but aren’t finished. He also said it doesn’t matter if they win or lose, as they already have a name and are over. UFC’s bonus pay system of Fight of the Night, Submission of the Night, etc. was brought up. X-Pac would like to see those type of incentives in professional wrestling. Tips in wrestling are discussed briefly. X-Pac likes them and said that in Japan they would throw money, bread, snacks, and all other types of useful things in the ring.
X-Pac congratulated Cody Rhodes on winning the Ring of Honor World Title. Some podcast members expressed how great and impressive it is for him to get to this place after leaving the WWE. X-Pac said he has “friends that criticize the decision” that he doesn’t necessarily agree or disagree with them. Those people who criticize Rhodes think he is “a mark for himself.”
The group discusses the LaVar Ball segment on Raw
X-Pac briefly talked about his trip to England this weekend where he tagged with Moose in a match. He said he’s being told that business has softened over in Britain due to overexposure and also because of the moves the WWE has made. He also said that he “got his bell rung” in the match but didn’t provide any further detail.
X-Pac was backstage at Raw this week. He hung out with his friends and joked that they spent their time criticizing the younger talent and talking up how good they were in their day. X-Pac didn’t know the Ball family before the segment. He said he felt the sons didn’t want to be there, and LaVar seemed like he was the only one who did. X-Pac thought WWE should have known that the segment would “go haywire” considering LaVar kept going off script. Still, many on the show thought the segment was “entertaining” in “a train wreck” sort of way.
X-Pac said the company wasn’t as upset as people were reporting, even though they weren’t pleased with the youngest Ball son dropping two “n-bomb”s on live television. He said Vince even had the camera crews continue to follow them after that happened. X-Pac was asked how a botched segment like that affects a relationship with Vince. He said of the Balls that there “wasn’t [a relationship] before and there won’t be one now.” Ultimately, everyone seemed to think people are making “too much” of it, although they acknowledge it has gotten WWE a lot of press.
The rest of Monday Night Raw is dissected including Joe/Lesnar
X-Pac said he saw Jim Ross in the Gorilla Position at Raw as Ross was in Los Angeles to do the upcoming New Japan show. He was asked how that is viewed by Vince. X-Pac said Vince always wants people to fulfill the commitments they’ve made because if they don’t, it makes him wonder what they would do to him.
Hanstock said announcers crossing brands are not as big of a deal as wrestlers because they don’t cause enough “brand confusion” to be important. X-Pac said there were “several good things” about Raw. Everyone liked the Enzo and Cass segment, especially the Gorilla Press down the ramp. X-Pac is excited for Samoa Joe and Brock Lesnar because it will be a match without “just conventional wrestling spots”, which he has grown tired of. Hanstock said it is good to see fans excited about a Lesnar match again as the lackluster matches in and around the time of the Dean Ambrose WrestleMania match last year hurt him some. It was wondered if there could be longer term plans for Joe and Lesnar that extend past this pay-per-view. X-Pac doesn’t think it’s in the cards but the plans could change. Hanstock also noted Raw is getting that “anything can happen” feeling to it that Smackdown has had.
Women’s gauntlet on Raw is talked about along with some ratings talk
When the topic of the women’s gauntlet match on Raw came up, Hanstock wished Emma would have had more time in the match, but thought it was good in the sense that it made Nia Jax look like a monster and kept her away from Alexa Bliss at the same time. He said, “You got to see in real time what everyone’s stock value was” in the match.
X-Pac loved Nia in the match and liked the David and Goliath feel at the end with Sasha Banks. X-Pac didn’t watch Smackdown. Everyone told him it was “good.” The ratings for Raw were brought up. The first hour was down overall, but they retained well throughout the show. Jimbo said that the Ball segment didn’t help the ratings, but it was pointed out the segment did have over a million on YouTube. X-Pac said those types of segments do “move the needle.” Hanstock said the Lesnar/Joe pull-apart had the lowest ratings ever but five million watches on YouTube. He said that despite Dave Meltzer’s analysis, television ratings aren’t the most important factors anymore. Social media, streaming, DVRs, etc. all have to be taken into account. X-Pac agreed but thought it could still matter because “TV execs” still think they matter.
Netflix’s GLOW series
X-Pac watched “pretty much every episode” of GLOW this past weekend. He actually had read for the “big dumb drill sergeant” role that Johnny Mundo got in the show. Brodus Clay and Carlito were praised for their roles in it. X-Pac liked that the characters were composites because they aren’t as tied to the real history at that point. He was also impressed how the show dealt head-on with the character stereotypes the women were playing. It was generally agreed it was a good show for both wrestling and non-wrestling fans.
Women’s Money in the Bank redo is broken down and X-Pac’s dislike of battle royals
Smackdown’s Money in the Bank do-over match was talked about. TK was surprised Carmella won even though she was okay with it. Jimbo said the match was better than the pay-per-view counterpart, although he stressed his desire for more use of the ladders. X-Pac liked the James Ellsworth tease of almost recreating the same finish only to get tossed off the ladder.
X-Pac stated that they used the exact finish Steve Austin suggested last week on Unleashed. X-Pac said Ellsworth took the shot to the testicles on the rope “like a champ” and how hard it was for him to try to get the timing right. X-Pac said he confirmed that the original Money in the Bank ending with Ellsworth retrieving the briefcase was “one hundred percent Vince,” and others fought against it. Vince was more certain in the finish considering how others on his creative team reacted to his apparently. TK thought it was perhaps more “memorable” given the finish and two matches. X-Pac agreed but said it was still “sullied.”
Mike and Maria Kanellis and a potential feud with Sami Zayn was brought up after what happened on Smackdown this past week; X-Pac likes the idea that Bennett took Maria’s last name because he thinks it still draws heat from “certain people.” The battle royal for a shot at Kevin Owens’ United States Title was mentioned. X-Pac was dismissive that it was a traditional battle royal because he “hates” them. He said they are a mess in the ring,and they lead to injuries. He was asked if traditional battle royals were booked as meticulously as Royal Rumble matches. They aren’t, he said. The general order of eliminations is known, and when it’s your turn to go, you find a guy to throw you out.
He reminisced briefly on Mr. Perfect bringing a padlock to the ring and padlocking another wrestler’s singlet to the ropes, or there were times he would trap someone in a headlock to allow others to whack the guy in the back hard. X-Pac told a couple more stories about Hennig’s use of padlocks as ribs. They announced that Get High Watch Wrestling was “postponed” with no current day before TK plugged the show at the end.
Score and Review (6/10)
This episode focused more reactions to the week’s shows and other news such as Sonnen’s victory this weekend and the GLOW series. The discussion was good for the most part, especially X-Pac’s talks about being backstage. Too much time, ultimately, was spent on talking about the Lavar Ball segment, especially given their premise is that it wasn’t a big deal. Bill Hanstock is becoming a fixture on the show, and for the better. He provides a reasonable, balanced, and articulate take from a reporter’s perspective that meshes well with X-Pac’s experience. Overall, this was a solid discussion show with a great running time.
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.