The WWE Podcast
Major Stars Returning to Raw and Remembering “Mean” Gene Okerlund
Release Date: January 5, 2019
Recap by: Samantha L. Sayre
-First show of 2019 with first joke…”next year we can say we are back in the 20’s.”
-Matt talks about Patreon and what it gets you (it goes on a bit long), different benefits are of choosing a topic and coming on the show.
“Mean” Gene Okerlund Passing at 76 Years Old
-No cause of death that has been announced, but no foul play suspected. He had had several transplants according to J.R. He didn’t see much of “Mean” Gene growing up because he had already switched to WCW and he was a WWF guy. It seemed like he was always interviewing Hulk Hogan though.
-“Mean” Gene had great voice, tone, and delivery that no one should ever try to duplicate. Everything about him screamed wrestling announcer. He was greatest interviewer to set up the talent of all time. J.R. always said, “Tomorrows are never guaranteed.”
Looking “Forward” to Raw (01/07)
-The Returns: John Cena, Brock Lesnar, Braun Strowman and Hulk Hogan. Yes, Hulk returned at Crown Jewel, it never really happened to WWE Corp. Just one black cloud lingering over. Alexa Bliss interview with Ronda Rousey. WWE always tries to put its best foot forward coming into the New Year. He didn’t think taped shows were as bad as he expected them to be.
-Where is John Cena headed for WrestleMania? Surely WWE knows where they are going with his character by now. He is one of their biggest stars ever. He can’t get past Cena’s hair.
Taped Raw (12/31)-Fresh Start. Giving It Until WrestleMania
-Seth Rollins comes out, then Triple H. Rollins wants a fresh start. Who is he trying to convince? The audience or WWE headquarters that this is a fresh start?
-He knows they are showing NXT stars are coming because they now have showed the same promo 4,000 times. How is this a fresh start since they always bring up new talent after first of the year to WrestleMania season?
-Fresh starts are about presentation, production, scripted promos and believability. Fans are tuning out because of terrible storytelling and predictability. Matt isn’t not into Raw about 75% of the time, maybe higher. McMahons in charge. GMs were puppets. Announcers say same things. Talent not given free rein. Terrible comedy. Same false finishes. No selling anymore. Same match layout. They can tell us it is a fresh start forever. Show us it is different. It is broken.
-New Mission Statement? Problems with Rusev chanting “Rusev Day…USA.” Is he Uncle Sam now? What happened to the Bulgarian Brute?
-Shinsuke can’t flip Lana off his back? He can’t shove her off? There was heat on Shinsuke but he struggled with Lana.
–Deville vs. Naomi: Announcers talk about it being Mandy Rose vs. Naomi at first then all of a sudden it is Sonja Deville. How do announcers not know whose match it is? Shouldn’t ever happen. Is Naomi ok with this? Is the McMahons ok with this? Makes for tired, bad, ineffective production that takes fans out of the moment.
–Shane and Miz: What is the end game? Is this going anywhere? Anyone turning heel? It is bizarre and weird.
–A.J. Styles: Is this the same storyline as Seth? Randy Orton got beat down. Clearly WWE is doing something big with A.J. especially after last week with Vince. A.J. v Daniel Bryan is smart and safe move. WWE might even take the belt off Bryan. He just feels secondary now especially for a champ. No predictions yet.
–John Cena and Becky Lynch: This was well done. Gave it a B to B+. Becky came out on top and threw Cena out of the ring. Does this seem right or believable? What happened to Stone Cold stunning Mae Young or even Stephanie? WWE shying away from men in control.
–Drew Sent A Brutal Message: He is one of the top 3 to win the Rumble. Wouldn’t be surprised if he did. He is in Vince’s pocket. I don’t like them being able to escape the cage. Don’t run away from opponent. Should be pinfall or submission.
–Apollo With 15 Minutes of Fame: Very serviceable against Dean Ambrose. He doesn’t have the “it” factor. Should they turn him heel?
–Alexa Bliss Gets a Weekly Show: Very cool with this. Loves her backhanded compliments. Will be great.
–Mini Rant: WWE men/women winner of Rumble can choose which champion to go against in ONE of the main events. Don’t like it. There isn’t two main events of anything. It is a singular term. It is the last match, period. This is WWE brainwashing and it is not working. Case closed.
What If Segment
-What If Stone Cold Never Turned Heel? WrestleMania 17 with Vince happened in Houston. At 16 years old, he didn’t want this to happen. He didn’t want to hate him. No one knew what to do. Austin became almost a chicken heel. Of course, we wouldn’t have gotten the “WHAT?!?!” chant. It is still big time this day. But is it annoying today?
-Very Successful If Stayed Babyface?: Matt doesn’t know. Maybe Austin needed a few weeks off to recharge and add to his repertoire if he had stayed babyface. He was getting stale, but was turning heel the answer 18 years later? Can’t turn John Wayne into a bad guy according to J.R. There was too deep of love for him to hate him.
-What If Answer: Would have been just as successful, added to repertoire, new feuds and became more special.
Enjoyed the breakdown of the matches and how it flowed. Loved how this podcast didn’t pull any punches about the ratings or state of WWE product. Really enjoyed the What If segment. Never thought about how wrestling and chanting would have changed. Great research and background into “Mean” Gene Okerlund’s career also.
Samantha is a long time wrestling fan from WV. She quit watching during college and the first part of her career, but now is back full force. One of her goals is to be a host on one of PWTorch’s WWE or All Elite Wrestling post-show podcasts. Check her out on Twitter @Sam4413