WWE Backstage Recap (10/15)

WWE Backstage Recap (10/15)

A preview edition of WWE Backstage on FOX Sports 1 aired tonight with Renee Young hosting alongside Booker T, Paige and Christian.

After some quick opening quips from the personalities involved, they ran down the major moments of Raw and Smackdown before breaking down the top five Draft picks for Raw and Smackdown. Paige was especially excited about The Kabuki Warriors being drafted and joked towards Vince McMahon that she was ready to return and manage them. Christian said Samoa Joe to Raw and Bray Wyatt to Smackdown were especially important. He put over Wyatt for his ability to re-make himself. Booker said Ricochet reminds Booker of himself and said he could see him putting the entire company on his back within five years.

Paige said that when you shift brands, it’s like being the new kid in school because you’ve lost your travel partners and who you are comfortable with. Christian said you are in the dark when you move but it opens things up for you as a performer. Booker said it gives you a chance to reset yourself and to test yourself against other opponents.

They then discussed Bayley‘s “new attitude and new look.” They showed online footage of a child crying over Bayley destroying her Bayley Buddies. Paige said it was a “great heel turn” for Bayley. Christian said there’s a switch that flips when you stop caring and Bayley will end up a bigger star than she ever was. Booker said it’s going to take her all the way to the top.

They then discussed Bruce Prichard taking over as the Executive Director of Smackdown. Booker said Bruce is someone who does something and apologizes later. Christian said Prichard is a guy who pushes buttons and has an eye for talent, noting Prichard hired him.

Thus far, there was no time to really go in-depth into any of the topics. It was more of an overview of what has happened within WWE without any real, true deep dive into the topics. It’s just quick soundbites.

After a commercial, Renee and Booker were joined via satellite by Triple H, who was at the Performance Center. They asked him how excited they were that WWE Backstage was taking place. He said he’s happy for everyone involved and it’s very excited. Booker brought up Bruce Prichard’s new appointment. Triple H said he didn’t know all the details on why this happened but he’s excited by it. He said Prichard has been part of WWE for 40 years and he’s going to be the guy to bring Smackdown up to being worthy of being on FOX. He said he thinks it’s a great move and Prichard is going to do amazing things. He said that he’s already working on major things.

Triple H then announced Prichard has already made some big moves. He has brought Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross will be moving to Smackdown in exchange for future Draft Picks down the line.

Booker asked about Cain Velasquez and Tyson Fury types coming more into WWE or if this is just a novelty. HHH said they’ve had Mike Tyson and Floyd Mayweather involved in the past but when you see someone at the level of Ronda Rousey coming to WWE and surpassing what she did in MMA and UFC, it’s a call for other combat athletes to come across. He said we’ve seen that crossing over with Matt Riddle and Shayna Baszler and it’s why you are seeing Fury taking that gamble to make everything else in his career even more meaningful.

Triple H said he’s preparing for NXT and is available to them anytime they need him on Backstage.

They went to a video feature on Randy Savage vs. Ricky Steamboat at Wrestlemania III with c omments from Sting and Shawn Michaels discussing its importance. Sting commenting on it is especially unique as he’s never really talked about that era of wrestling and said it was ahead of its time. Michaels said they use it as a teaching tool. Based on how they were dressed, the interviews took place during the 2K20 video game commercial shoot.

Christian and Paige returned to the panel. Christian said it was a match ahead of its time. Booker said it was the match that made him want to be a professional wrestler. He said that he and his brother Stevie Ray studied it and recreated it in 1991 on an independent wrestling bout and it was so intense that their sister hopped in the ring trying to help Booker.

They noted that Steve Austin recently said he feels like he has one last match left in him. Booker was asked who it should be and told the story of how six months ago, he came back for a match against one of his own students and was trying to decide who it should be. His student Rex came to him and said it should be him, because he could “take care of Booker.” Booker agreed and wrestled him. He said Austin’s last opponent should be someone who can “take care of him” and suggested Dolph Ziggler. He said Ziggler can make Austin look better than anyone else. They noted Ziggler may be one of the most underrated of all time.

Paige pitched she should be Austin’s final opponent but then said it should be Kevin Owens. Austin gave him the Stunner and with their mic skills and wrestling ability, they would blow the place up. Christian said we haven’t seen Austin in the ring for a long time, but he’d like to see Austin vs, AJ Styles. He asked if anyone has ever seen Styles have a bad match and asked everyone to imagine how Styles would make the Stone Cold Stunner look (meaning how Styles would sell it). Booker questioned whether Austin could keep up with Styles and Christian joked those were fighting words.

After a commercial, they ran a sit-down interview with Young interviewing Cain Velasquez and Rey Mysterio. Cain said he’s been a wrestling fan his entire life and reconnected with it recently. Rey said they had a connection of mutual fandom without even knowing it. Cain said the transition from a fight sense, you have blinders on when you come out to fight but here, it’s a little different, in that you play to the crowd. Rey said he’s already a natural in that regard.

Young brought up the shocked look on Brock Lensnar‘s face when Cain debuted. Cain said he looked like a kid who got caught and was in trouble He said he’s going to get Brock for what he did for Rey and Dominick. They showed Cain working out to prepare for Crown Jewel. Cain said he has a lot to learn, but its like MMA where you learn from different styles and make it your own. He said he has a very dangerous man in front of him. He’s not looking past him, just like he didn’t look past him in 2010.

Rene plugged Velasquez would return to Smackdown “this Saturday night” – whoops!

They closed down looking at Seth Rollins as the top Draft pick on Raw, leading to a vignette where Seth Rollins went in for a psychological evaluation with FS1’s Rachel Bonnetta as part of FOX doing their “due dilligence.” The gimmick was that she was secretly crushing on Rollins. It was played to be silly.

They then went into a segment called “Hot Tag” where they were each given 30 seconds to talk about a topic. The first was Bray Wyatt vs. Seth Rollins. Paige said the storyline is phenomenal. She thought the “Burn it Down” line on Raw from Seth was cheesey but she likes the darker side of Seth and said she wanted him to keep it up.

Booker was asked about the O.C. attacking Street Profits on Raw. He said they are talented and that they got a call up “real quick” on Raw. He said “tag me in” and said he was ready to go if they need a new partner. He joked they could face New Day. Christian said he doesn’t think they need an anchor and they are good.

Paul Heyman’s “classic storylines” are being seen playing out right now with Lashley-Lana-Rusev and the Spa Day on Raw. Christian joked that we’ve seen this storyline before with he, Trish Stratus and Edge. He said he wants to see where this goes. They were off with injuries and maybe they had a moment at physical therapy. Booker joked about their “undercover massage.” Booker said Lana is a “Class A Actress.”

They aired a clip of the 49’s George Kittle talking about how his all time favorite is Seth Rollins. He said the first Wrestlemania he ever watched was Brock Lesnar vs. Roman Reigns at Levi Stadium where Seth Rollins cashed in Money in the Bank. He was a newbie fan but he was on his feet and the pop from the crowd really impressed him.

They then had a segment called “Promo School” with Young, Christian and Paige welcoming Arizona Diamondback Adam Jones. The idea is Jones was doing his own test promo. They showed footage of him and his friends dressed at a show years ago, including Jones dressing as Virgil. Christian said Jones was a five-time All Star and really was the Million Dollar Man, not Virgil. He gave him some advice about cutting a promo. it turned out Jones had to cut a promo on his “opponent”, who was revealed to be Booker T. Jones cut a “promo” on Booker and he facing off in a Hell In A Cell. The panel liked his promo. Young gave him a “6” saying she believed him, but wanted his energy level to be higher. Christian gave him a 17 out of 10, with the Canadian exchange rate. The 10 is for showing up. The 7 is because he had conviction and made his point and showed confidence. He thought it was great for a first-timer. Paige said she’s giving him an 8. He brought some confidence and wasn’t afraid to get in Booker’s face.

Booker said when you are cutting a promo, it has to be intense. You are talking to a 6 foot-plus former World Champion. He began cutting a promo about the different potential Adam Jones he could fight. He was entertaining.

They thanked Jones for being a good sport.

After a commercial, they ran a quick video on talents’ favorite finishing maneuvers. Christian joked he’s only hit his finisher twice in his career.

They then aired some Tweets knocking people on the show, giving them a chance to respond. Paige cut a promo on someone complaining she blocks people on Twitter for no reason. They then showed a Tweet burying Renee for being a bad announcer for how she called a Stone Cold Stunner. Young said she’s never called a Stone Cold or even a Kevin Owens match and said, “I already got let go from that job, but I’ve got FOX money now, Baby!”

That closed out the preview show. They will be weekly on Tuesdays on 11/5.

FS1 then aired a replay of this past Friday’s Smackdown.

Oberall, this is a REALLY GOOD show.


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