Guest: X-Pac Recaps WrestleMania Weekend!
Release Date: April 11th, 2018
Recap by: Sean McGraw
X-Pac is joined in studio by Jimbo and Denise. This week’s episode will be a recap of WrestleMania weekend.
Recap of WrestleMania Weekend
X-Pac appeared as WrestleCon
X-Pac says he is really thankful for all of the fans that came up to him, thanked him, made artwork and had him sign things. He says it makes him feel good and that those are the types of things that you really enjoy when you get 30 years into the industry. X-Pac believes in giving the fans that pay for his autograph an experience. “You can go online and buy signed 8×10’s or whatever you want from just about anybody…there’s tons of that stuff out there. That’s not why they’re there…it’s really the experience, it’s how you make somebody feel.”
X-Pac was asked to spend a few minutes with some Make-A-Wish kids. He says it was an honor. It’s been a long time since he’s been asked specifically to do anything for Make-A-Wish. He says that it’s really heavy stuff and he doesn’t want to get too much into it because he’ll start crying. X-Pac is an advocate for accommodating the Make-A-Wish requests. He says that the representative told him that some of the people that were asked were a little stand-offish. X-Pac says that’s b.s. He says he doesn’t care what you have going on, you can take five minutes to meet the kids.
The highlight for X-Pac aside from Jeff Jarrett being inducted was The Great Malenko being inducted into the Legacy Wing of the HOF. That was Pac’s teacher and the father of Dean Malenko. He also had a hand in teaching Norman Smiley, Kane, as well as Ricky Steamboat, The Masked Superstar and a ton of other guys.
X-Pac says that Vince McMahon used to tell everyone up until last year to go out there and take all the time you want; this might be your last opportunity. Guys would definitely take him up on it and it would make for some pretty long speeches. Pac says that it was his understanding that guys were given time limits this year which obviously didn’t matter.
X-Pac said he was happy for Hillbilly Jim but Jim killed the whole thing and took all of the air out of the building. Since Jim went on second he felt like it was someone saying “I don’t care about anybody after me I’m getting all of my s**t in.” X-Pac says he thinks that’s selfish as “f”. X-Pac says that he felt really bad for guys later like Goldberg, because a lot of the talent and people had to leave during his induction speech. X-Pac says that he thinks guys need to really stick to their times. It’s and entertainment event. Keyword: ENTERTAIN.
X-Pac says that he is fortunate enough to ever be inducted into the HOF he can promise each and every one of us that we will not be bored and tired of listening to his speech because it will be nice and concise in the spirit of brevity. X-Pac told a funny story of him in Gorilla asking Triple H “Who told Hillbilly to go Broadway the other night.” He said Triple H smiled and motioned that Jim was sitting right near there, although X-Pac doesn’t think he heard. X-Pac again re-iterates that Jim is a really nice guy but he didn’t agree with Jim taking so much time during his speech.
X-Pac says that TakeOver was the best show of the week pure wrestling-wise. He says that Gargano vs. Ciampa was the best match. He says he could watch it back and point out some things that could have gone different, but that would be serious nitpicking. He calls the match a beautiful work of art. X-Pac says the ladder match was a great match. His personal favorite match was Shayna Baszler beating Ember Moon for the NXT Women’s Championship. It was a wonderfully told story and an excellent wrestling match. Pac says that he’s a huge fan of Baszler. She’s very talented and she knows how to be a villain. There’s an authenticity and you know that she could seriously hurt somebody.
X-Pac also liked the NXT Title match. He says it seems like they are going to bring Almas up to the main roster, but he would like to see Almas stay in NXT with the title a little longer. X-Pac says that he thought that both guys were getting a little ahead of themselves in the match. They could have slowed down a little bit and stayed in the moment out there. X-Pac is asked what he means by that statement. X-Pac says that it means that to stay in the moment, not worry about what spot is next. When you get there, that spot will be there. You’ll remember it. He says that match was an excellent match but these were things that he noticed.
X-Pac says that overall everyone can improve on missed opportunities of when to fire up and keep the people into the match. As great as the matches were you could hear the audience die-out in between some of the moments. He says that if you do it right, it doesn’t have to be like that. You have to be in the moment and you have to listen to the people when you are in the ring.
A lot of talent can’t hear the people when they’re in the ring and are just doing their thing. Because of nerves and concentration it’s also hard for people to take time and be mindful of crowd reaction. X-Pac says that’s something that comes with time and listening when you’re told. It’s hugely important especially for being able to draw money and not just have matches where people ooh and ahh at spots. “When you have a match, it’s like starting a car. You don’t want the car to stall. When the bottom falls out of the crowd, that’s the same as the car stalling. It always at least needs to be idling which means there should always be a buzz and some noise.”
X-Pac continues, saying it’s all about letting the people in. There are times where even a glance will get the people to come up. It’s not something that people usually figure out for themselves. They usually have to be smartened up to the idea.
X-Pac recounts sitting in the crowd with Maria Menounous for the show. He thought very highly of the Charlotte vs. Asuka match. He says that he thinks Charlotte’s entrance might be his favorite entrance ever. X-Pac wasn’t surprised that Asuka lost her streak, because both competitors were worthy of the win. He says he was surprised that both Japanese wrestlers lost.
X-Pac says that on paper the Brock vs Roman match should have gone on last. WWE wasn’t expecting the beach balls and the crowd hijacking the match. He says in hindsight the Ronda Rousey match would have been the best match to go on last.
X-Pac says he doesn’t understand the decision to have Carmella win the belt from Charlotte on Smackdown. He says it’s a waste of the Money in the Bank cash in. He says they need to get the belt back on Charlotte and that he would build towards Charlotte vs Ronda at next year’s WrestleMania. He would maybe even put it in the main event.
X-Pac says that as far as he is concerned the best match is the one that gets the biggest crowd reaction and makes the people the happiest. At WrestleMania that match was Ronda and Kurt vs. Triple H and Stephanie. Everyone in that match was in the moment for the match. X-Pac said that when Ronda picked up Triple H for the Death Valley Driver that was all her. Triple H told Pac that she just hoisted him up there. X-Pac joked with him saying, “Hey do you think Steph left Ronda hanging with you on her shoulders for long enough?” Triple H asked if it was too long because they did that on purpose and Ronda had him up on her shoulders for five minutes when they were practicing the spot.
X-Pac says that in watching the Roman Reigns vs. Brock Lesnar match it was actually a really good match. It just wasn’t given a chance. Pac says he really likes Roman Reigns. Besides the in-ring stuff he’s just a really good guy. Pac says he feels sorry for him because a lot of this isn’t Roman’s fault. X-Pac says that the match was really good for the people watching at home even with all of the distractions going on. It was hard for people in the crowd that wanted to watch to remain focused. He compares it to if a fight breaks out in the crowd while a match is going on. He says anything done in the ring at that point is wasted, so wrestlers who know what they’re doing save it until the distractions are gone.
X-Pac knew that the Undertaker vs John Cena match was going to be short. Pac says that he talked to Undertaker afterwards. He told Taker that he knew Taker wasn’t done after last year. Pac says that Taker told him that he should have sucked up his pride and got the work done on his hip last year. Pac says that Taker moved pretty well in the ring there. Pac says he told Taker that this might not be a bad one to hang his hat on if he’s done, but he thinks that Taker is going to be good to go for a little while yet.
X-Pac enjoyed the segment with Braun and the reveal of his tag team partner as a kid from the crowd. Pac says that it was as a good of a partner as anyone that people may have speculated about. If they used someone that was already on the roster it wouldn’t have been as big a deal. X-Pac says that it wasn’t an ideal situation for The Bar to be in and he takes his hat off to them for going out there and being professionals about it. X-Pac says he feels bad for telling Sheamus that it was “great stuff tonight” because he could tell Sheamus didn’t quite feel the same way. It wasn’t great for The Bar. X-Pac says that somebody needs to throw The Bar a big fat bone over that match.
Raw and Smackdown after WrestleMania
Pac liked the segment with Ronda and Steph. He says that Ronda is in there with the best as far as being in big money situations. It might not go as well if Ronda was in there with less experience but Ronda held her own every step of the way. X-Pac says that WWE sent a message saying that they were running with Ember Moon based on how Ember ran through everyone in the tag match.
Paige gave a great retirement speech on Raw and debuted as the Smackdown GM the next night. X-Pac says that she’s good at talking and she has a great personality. He points out that WWE is making a movie about her life and want to keep her around for that as well.
X-Pac says that he’s impressed with the Miztourage. They are really good in the ring and showed him a lot in the main event of Raw.
I really enjoyed listening to this episode. It was a good overview of X-Pac and his crew’s experience in New Orleans during the festivities. A few of the highlights were X-Pac’s candid views on the wrestler’s interactions with Make-A-Wish, his thoughts on Hillbilly Jim’s Hall of Fame Speech, his analysis of how wrestlers can improve in their matches, and his peak behind the curtain of the Ronda Rousey WrestleMania match. I was pretty disappointed that he didn’t talk about the reaction to the Roman vs. Brock match though. I think there is some real meat to sink your teeth into. I would have loved to hear what his thoughts would have been from a wrestler’s perspective on what he would have done if that was him in the match or what Roman might be feeling being put in the tough spot. I personally don’t agree with X-Pac saying that Roman is totally free from blame. I would say it’s a combination of Roman and the booking. This is a concept that I would have loved for X-Pac to explore more. The best part of this episode was Pac talking about his interpretation of the matches. I was captivated when he was talking about wrestlers and how they need to be in the moment. Being a fan of the craft, I feel like I learned something and I’m excited to see how knowing this affects my views on matches. Great episode.
0:00 – 1:10:52 Intros and WrestleMania Weekend Discussion
1:10:53 – 1:25:51 Show Wrap up
Sean is a media professional from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Sean’s earliest memory of wrestling is seeing Kane on WWF television in 1998. Sean watched primarily WWF in the Attitude Era and dropped off just before the initial brand split. Seeing recap promos of the Undertaker building up to WrestleMania 20, he became hooked and has been an avid fan ever since. Sean’s wrestling preferences currently lean more towards NJPW/ROH/NXT but he remains a fan of it all. In his spare time Sean enjoys cooking, baking, and going to the gym. You can follow Sean via Twitter @stmcgraw and Instagram @stmcgraw09.