Guest: Remembering Bruno and Special Guests Ryan Nemeth & Judas Draven
Release Date: April 18th, 2018
Recap by: Sean McGraw
X-Pac is joined in studio by Christy Olson, Jimbo, Denise, and Jonny Loquasto. This week’s episode will feature a segment remembering Bruno Sammartino and Special Guests Ryan Nemeth and Judas Draven.
ESPN and Fox Sports have teamed up for the UFC Television rights
The two companies have proposed to split the UFC package which would bring up to as many as 15 fight events to new subscription service ESPN+. Fox is possibly making a play for Raw and Smackdown in a couple of years, but they need content for FS1.
X-Pac wonders how UFC’s FIGHT PASS service will play into this proposed deal. He thinks that part of the reason that UFC is interested in the deal is because FIGHT PASS is “no WWE Network.” ESPN has also lost a big part of their audience and they are trying to launch their new ESPN+ service. Pac says that Fox and ESPN working together is going to be the way of the future. He says the days of trying to take out the competition are over. “There’s[sic] enough pieces of the pie out there for everyone to have a slice”
House of Hardcore, Lucha Underground, and Impact Wrestling are working together
This all came together at WrestleCon. Members of each organization sat down and decided it was best for business to work together. They’ve put together an impressive card for the upcoming Redemption PPV. Tommy Dreamer was one of the key guys helping out at the Impact vs LU event even though he didn’t have to be. X-Pac says that’s just the type of guy he is. X-Pac says he is giving 100% support for ROH, Impact any company that will give wrestlers work. ROH set an attendance record for their show in New Orleans and X-Pac jokes it was because Cody was on the podcast recently.
Even though PPV is kind of a thing of the past these days, it’s interesting that Impact is going back to PPV as a source of income because TNA started off as a weekly PPV show. X-Pac says that the weekly PPV didn’t work and cost too much money, but it was the only way for them to do it back then. That’s why they had to have Panda Energy come in and buy the company. He says that he and Scott Hall had to talk The Carters into buying TNA.
X-Pac says that he’s really happy for Scott D’Amore and Don Callis. He has always like Callis even back when everybody hated him back in the day in WWE. He didn’t understand why, but he says everybody really hated Callis.
There was a WWE Superstar Shakeup this week
Drew McIntyre made his re-debut on Raw. X-Pac says even though there isn’t anything really linking McIntyre and Ziggler he still dug it. The panel says that they’ve never seen someone care about what they’re doing as much as Drew does. He cares about all of the little aspects, caring about representing the brand and cares about holding the title, etc. X-Pac says that when Drew was in studio that’s the impression that Drew gave.
Samoa Joe is on Smackdown. Pac says that Joe cut a vicious promo on Roman and he wonders how that is any good for Roman. It’s great for Joe. X-Pac has zero clue what the psychology behind that is. He says he has a lot of sympathy for Roman right now.
There were a lot of call-ups for NXT talent on both Raw and Smackdown. It has been a lifelong dream in particular for Ember Moon. It was a long road to WWE. She struggled a little bit when she first got to the performance center because it was still the “era of the model.” X-Pac says he could see her getting over-looked REAL easy around there. He says there’s no doubt that they are going to run with because she beat Alexa Bliss in the middle of the ring on her first night.
Remembering Bruno Sammartino
George Napolitano joins X-Pac for the segment. X-Pac says that he grew up in Tampa and didn’t get to see Bruno. He didn’t have a true appreciation for Bruno up until a few years ago. George says that’s the way it was because you wouldn’t know unless you read about him in magazines or if you were lucky enough to get TV from New York were you lived.
X-Pac always had the idea that his regional guys – Harley Race, The Briscoes, and Dusty Rhodes – were better than the WWE guys. Going back and watching he says that Bruno was great in every way. He was really good in his brawling style and the fire that he had. Pac says to go back and watch the way that Bruno fires up in the ring, because that is how it’s supposed to be done.
When Bruno lost the title after seven years on top, it was because he was tired and he needed a break. X-Pac says the rings that Bruno would work in were as hard as a rock. George says that immediately reminded him of the time when Stan Hansen dropped Bruno on a back suplex and ended up breaking his neck.
X-Pac wants to know about the falling out Bruno had with Vince McMahon. What George heard was that Bruno didn’t like the direction that the business was going. It was getting too sexist; the wrestling wasn’t the same thing that Bruno knew as wrestling. There was also a disagreement over money. Bruno had an agreement that he would get a certain percentage of the house that he ended up not getting. When he found that out he went ballistic. He also didn’t like the steroid use. Vince Jr. eventually did end up squaring things away money-wise.
Bruno didn’t have a good relationship with his son David either. David couldn’t live up to being the son of Bruno. X-Pac says David was smaller than Bruno and ended up using steroids to try and get bigger to wrestle the style that Bruno did.
X-Pac says a lot of people don’t know this, but had Bruno not agreed to go into the Hall of Fame the year that he did the back-up plan was for D-X to go in. There was serious talk about that. X-Pac says that he was so happy to see that Bruno ended up reconciling with WWE. It was special because it was in New York.
X-Pac says that he was lucky to get to know Bruno and have some conversations with him. He says that Bruno was such a wonderful guy and super nice to Pac. Bruno didn’t have a reason to be, other than being a great guy.
X-Pac says that for people that don’t know Bruno’s story he was very sickly as a child. He would get bullied and beat up. He was able to build his body up to be one of the strongest men in the world drug-free.
Interview with Ryan Nemeth and Judas Draven
Ryan and Judas are doing a show called Nuclear Heat Wrestling in effort to raise funds for Dogs without Borders to help stray dogs get boarded and adopted. This is right up X-Pac’s alley because he has a rescue dog named Lula.
Brody King will be on the show as well. X-Pac says that they need to make sure that he wears black trunks. He has a lot of cool art on his body and when X-Pac first saw him he had trunks on that had a really elaborate design. X-Pac didn’t know what he was doing and said that his body already had all everything that he needed for his look. The fancy trunks were just a distraction.
Ryan and his brother Dolph Ziggler have a comedy bit that they do that mocks the flat earth theory. X-Pac says that it’s really funny. The character that they developed to embody the bit on Twitter is Piper Jackson.
X-Pac asks Judas about tearing his bicep. Pac says that he’s done it before and it sucks. Judas says that he got his arm hooked in the ropes while getting clotheslined out of the ring. It was a freak accident doing something that he’s done a million times before. He didn’t feel it at first, it just felt like a cloth tear. It was real subtle. It took a minute to set in and it was tough to deal with it at first but the rehab is going well now. He’s been able to do a lot more that he thought he was going to be able to. Judas will appear in the upcoming season of Lucha Underground.
This podcast really flew by. They had a lot of material that they were covering so they didn’t get into too much of a deep dive on any one subject. I thought that it was very classy for X-Pac to devote such a large portion of the show to remembering Bruno Sammartino. There were a couple of interesting things that X-Pac said – one being that D-X was the backup plan for the Hall of Fame if Bruno hadn’t reconciled. I also appreciated that X-Pac was able to give a little insight into a wrestler’s look when he was talking about Brody King. It’s just a simple thing, but it makes sense from a ‘standing out’ mentality. I also found it pretty crazy that he and Scott Hall had to talk The Carter Family into buying TNA back in the day. This episode was a good listen with some decent insights, but because it was jam-packed with different topics it didn’t have quite the deep dive in conversation that I look forward to.
0:00 – 22:54 Intros and News Discussion
22:55 – 41:39 Remembering Bruno Sammartino
42:38 – 1:02:55 Interview with Ryan Nemeth and Judas Draven
1:02:56 – 1:04:13 Show Wrap-up and Plugs
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.