Friday, December 16, 2016

Podcast Deep Dive: Vince Russo's The Brand, Episode 182

Elliot for some reason subjected himself to Russo talking for nearly an hour
Photo via Vince Russo Facebook
Show: Vince Russo's The Brand
Episode: 182
Run Time: 49:10

Are you in desperate need of someone constantly calling you "Bro" and repeating the word "very" several times in order to make a strong point? Then take a look at Vince Russo's The Brand!

I could stop writing and leave it there, but editorial mandates say that I have to do a full article here (actually, Tom would probably tell me to not even give Russo the time of day, so I might get put on administrative leave from the Blog for this one) (Ed. Note - Had I known Elliot was going to review anything related to Vince Russo beforehand, I might have had him committed - TH). I also would like to fill you in on what is rattling around inside Vince Russo's brain these days.

Russo is on his own for this one. He does this show Monday through Friday, and the exhaustive nature of the schedule is apparent. When Russo is passionately and in great detail explaining to us the plot of Seth Rogen's Sausage Party, we can figure out pretty quickly that he's trying to pad the time of his podcast. Although bro, I don't think you had fully realized that the whole thing behind this movie is that, like, the FOOD gets bought at the store and thinks it's going to paradise, but it's really gonna get EATEN. It's very, very, VERY creative.

Russo's format seems to be a rundown of currently notable wrestling-related stories. He spends the most time on John Cena hosting Saturday Night Live, and Russo would like you to know that Cena was pretty good, but the show is not that funny, bro. It's just not that funny! And he knows they only have a week to write the show, but so did he back in 1998 for RAW, and they put on a pretty good show! Because, you know, Val Venis getting his dick chopped off by Asian guys was funnier than John Belushi, probably.

About halfway through, the show takes a quick left turn and becomes an inspirational Christian life-coaching session. I know, I was just as surprised as you. I guess I had forgotten that Russo is a born-again, but he makes sure that we know his faith is super important in his life, bro.

The main thrust of Russo's philosophizing in this episode has to do with God's plan for each of us. Basically, God assigns each of us a specific purpose at some point, either before we're born or sometime before we enter preschool (I might have made that part up, but who cares). If we try to do something with our life that goes against this purpose, we will not find success, and only when our goals and dreams line up with God's plan will we be happy, successful people. This idea, says Russo, should apply to people trying to get into the wrestling business. He mentions his friend Jeff Lane who works with him in Rocky Mountain Pro Wrestling and wants to be a wrestling writer. There are only so many wrestling writer jobs, and Russo hopes that his friend can find one of those jobs, but if he can't, then he's probably not doing what God intended for him.

I suppose I'm all for Vince Russo telling unqualified pro wrestlers that they're never going to make money in the business, because for the most part he's probably right. It's a similar realization that I came to early on in my life when I was playing in my high school punk band. I saw that in order to make money playing music, I would have to nearly die on the road, never make money and get extremely lucky. The same applies to pro wrestling.

I guess it's just weird to hear a wrestling writer on the Podcast One network telling me that I better get right with what God wants me to do. Such Christian messages don't go so well with people who, you know, aren't Christian. But just like Russo assumes everyone wants to hear his religious philosophizing, he also assumes people want to hear him talk about anything at all. And while those poor souls must be somewhere out there, plenty of others will hear this show and never come back to it - probably because Vince Russo's The Brand just wasn't in God's plan for their podcast listening schedule.