X-Pac 1,2,360 – Episode 54 “Remembering Bobby Heenan”
Release Date: September 20, 2017
Recap By: Chris Gaspare, PWPodcasts.com Specialist
Top Newsworthy Items
– X-Pac thinks the “it’s just wrestling” excuse in response to Jinder’s promo is nonsense
– X-Pac has heard that Enzo is still having problems backstage and has been trying to help 205 Live performers on how they can get over
The group talks Rousey/Cyborg, Ric Flair, and the Roman and Jinder promos this week
X-Pac is joined by TK, Jimbo, Denise, and Bill. They plan to get through the week’s news and then talk about “probably the greatest wrestling personality,” Bobby Heenan, later in the show.
The first news item was Cris Cyborg tweeting that she wants a fight with Ronda Rousey at WrestleMania. Jimbo saw it as a way for Cyborg to try to get on television, along with her taunting Becky Lynch over Twitter. Bill said that there’s no way WWE will allow it to happen at WrestleMania. He said that if they use Rousey, it’ll be against a woman on the WWE roster as they don’t want to highlight two non-WWE stars. X-Pac summed it up pretty well, saying, “I don’t think anyone gives a s**t.”
The next news item was about Ric Flair making an appearance and tweeting that he plans on giving up drinking. X-Pac said that many people don’t think of alcohol as a drug still, and even if they do, they don’t understand the harm it really does to the body when compared to other drugs. He is glad to see Flair up and around and is “rooting for him.”
Next up, the crew discussed Roman Reigns’s promo this past week where he brought up Alex Riley, who has always claimed that Cena buried him backstage during his stint in WWE. Riley tweeted out that now people are starting to see who Cena really is. X-Pac didn’t understand why Roman would reference Riley unless it was planned for him to come back. Bill thinks they have simply “peppered” these promos with inside references that add nothing productive and for buzz value only. X-Pac theorized that possibly that they could be trying to turn Cena heel finally.
Finally, they discussed Jinder’s promo this week, which many are criticizing as racially-insensitive. Denise said that it is “probably…not appropriate in this day and age.” X-Pac reminded everyone that Jinder just delivered the promo and didn’t write it. Bill thinks the idea of the foreign champion telling the foreign challenger, here’s what you are gonna hear because it’s what I hear is interesting, but he’s unclear if that’s the real motivation behind the promo. Jimbo brought up the idea that many wrestling fans are excusing these racially-charged promos with the response, “It’s just wrestling.” X-Pac said that the “it’s just wrestling excuse” is “bulls**t,” particularly in 2017. He said that wrestling needs to obey the same laws as everything else. TK wondered, citing complaints from comedians, if we keep pressuring people not to say things, especially racial stereotypes, and there is no safe zone to say them, if people will not know what stereotypes are true.
The crew talks No Mercy, Enzo, and Starrcade
X-Pac plans to attend No Mercy this weekend “as long as he doesn’t get heat” for anything he’s said on this week’s podcast. He’s most interested in Lesnar/Strowman, as he’s sure most people are, as it could easily be a WrestleMania or SummerSlam match. He also likes the undercard on paper, although he thinks the build has been underwhelming.
Enzo’s match with Neville was brought up, and X-Pac said he’s been hearing the same secondhand “stuff” from people that others are hearing Enzo still has a lot of heat backstage and no one really likes him. He also said that he has heard people complaining about Enzo on 205 Live already because Enzo is apparently approaching a lot of cruiserweights and trying to tell them what they could do to improve and get over. Jimbo acknowledged that this wasn’t necessarily a bad thing because even if they took a small piece of advice and applied it, it could be useful. X-Pac and Bill thought that there’s things Enzo does better than some of the 205 Live wrestlers that he could actually help.
Finally, they discussed Starrcade, which will be held as a live event in Greensboro, North Carolina on November 25th. Bill said that one reason they are calling it Starrcade is to capitalize on Wrestlecade, “an old-timers’ convention” that is being held on the same day. Jimbo wondered if it was a way to draw those fans or to show them up. X-Pac said he thought it was a “predatory” move to draw fans, although Bill acknowledged that the company can be “mean-spirited” sometimes. Denise wanted to see Halloween Havoc come back, but WWE actually doesn’t own the rights to the name.
Bill reported that Cody Rhodes has said HHH pushes for War Games to come back pretty consistently. X-Pac talked about how the two rings being put together sucks for the fans at ringside because all the other matches take place in one ring or the other, so many fans get a bad view. They discussed how terrible World War III battle royals were because action was going on in three different places. X-Pac said ideas like those battle royals were obviously thought up by people with no in-ring experience since any in-ring performer knows that you want fans to see the action taking place.
The group recalls their favorite Bobby Heenan memories
The show ended with remembrances of Bobby “The Brain” Heenan who passed away this week after a long battle with throat cancer. X-Pac said that he was grateful that Heenan always praised his work during his early years in WWF even though he didn’t know him that well.
A number of different classic Heenan moments were brought up such as Heenan trying to sneak into the first episode of Raw, the “It’s a kilt, not a skirt” bit with Piper, and his fake-out handshake bit with Gorilla Monsoon. X-Pac said that Heenan wasn’t around long in WWF in the early ‘90s for the two to get to know each other well, and Heenan didn’t have much input in WCW as it was a different culture there. He said it was “awful to think that someone known for the gift of gab had the gift of gab taken from him in the last decade of his life.”
Denise was impressed with Heenan’s professionalism in that he never publicly criticized Verne Gagne or Vince McMahon after leaving the companies although X-Pac noted Heenan had plenty to say about Gagne backstage. Heenan’s ability to “get egg on his face,” his bumps and in-ring performance, and his interactions with the wrestlers he managed, particularly Nick Bockwinkel, were all praised as well.
The show ended with a short discussion of the praise X-Pac received this past week from Ricochet, Brian Cage, and fans about his recent match with Bar Wrestling, all of which he was grateful for.
Score and Review (6/10)
These “break” shows – ones without a guest – are good to have occasionally as they allow everyone time to talk and give pieces of their personality and stances for the listener, which helps form a deeper connection with the show as a whole. This week seemed a particularly apt time to do this given the death of a wrestling legend. Hearing everyone’s different memories of Heenan and how he influenced their viewing and childhood, as many different podcasts are doing this week, was a fitting tribute. The downside of these shows sometimes is the strength of them relies on the news items of the week, some of which simply don’t have a lot of meat. The discussion of Jinder’s promo and seeing the varying perspectives on it was a good conversation
00:00: The group talks Rousey/Cyborg, Ric Flair, and the Roman and Jinder promos this week
26:09: The crew talks No Mercy, Enzo, and Starcade
40:57: The group recalls their favorite Bobby Heenan memories
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 our archives of X-Pac 1,2,360.