By John Moore
WWE Talking Smack
Aired December 13, 2016 on WWE Network
-Renee Young and Daniel Bryan checked in from the Talking Smack set. Bryan said one of his favorite parts about the Talking Smack intro was the giant fist flying in. Bryan brought up how the old Smackdown set used to have a giant fist. Bryan said that made him think “Man! Smackdown is really into fisting!” Renee gave Bryan a look of disappointment. Bryan said it was about punching. Renee mentioned how there’s a warehouse somewhere in “Norfolk or Norwalk” where all of the old WWE props are stored. Renee mentioned how that’s where the giant Smackdown fist is stored.
-Renee started off talking about Dolph Ziggler becoming number one contender for the WWE Championship. Bryan said four good guys were put in that contenders match. Bryan said even though he doesn’t like Miz you can’t say that Bryan doesn’t give him opportunities. Renee said she was confused about Miz looking like he was helping Dolph Ziggler. Bryan wasn’t sure why as well and said that Ziggler also gave Dean Ambrose a “Bam!” superkick.
-Renee said Dolph receiving this opportunity seems like deja vu. Bryan said he was interested in seeing how this develops. Bryan went over Dolph’s journey so far on Smackdown where he had a World Title shot as well as dealing with Miz and Maryse in the IC Title scene. Renee then wondered how Dolph matches up with AJ Styles. Bryan said it would be interesting.
-AJ Styles walked on sent the moment Renee tried to talk about James Ellsworth. AJ said Bryan saved Ellsworth’s life and that he has “Chinfluenza”. Bryan wondered why everyone makes fun of Ellsworth’s chin. AJ said it’s funny. Bryan said that was bullying and WWE’s an anti-bullying company. AJ said Bryan called him fat today. Bryan said AJ has a fat crease on his arm but his arms look great.
-AJ Styles complained about Daniel Bryan’s condom reference from Smackdown. Bryan claimed it was not birth control he was talking about and rather he was talking about Ellsworth needing Emergen-C to protect him from sickness.
John’s Thoughts: I can’t believe no one has made the joke that Bryan prefers to pull out rather utilize protective measures based on what we found out early on in Total Divas.
-AJ Styles said he’s a fan of the WWE and what he saw on Smackdown was a great match. AJ said Luke Harper was intimidating but not smart enough. Bryan wondered if AJ thought he needed protection against Luke Harper. AJ said he needed protection against all four guys who wanted to gang up on him.
-Renee wanted to know the status of James Ellsworth’s title shot. Daniel Bryan said Ellsworth still has his title opportunity but he has to step aside for now. They talk about Ellsworth beating AJ and AJ tried to bring up how Dean Ambrose was the reason behind Ellsworth’s wins. Daniel Bryan said he didn’t punish him because he’s so cute. AJ wondered if “he” was Dean Ambrose. Bryan said “he” is Ellsworth while Renee calls Ambrose cute. AJ said he was a bit tired of beating Ambrose and it was someone else’s turn. AJ Said he’s also beaten Dolph Ziggler before.
-Bryan wanted to talk about Luke Harper. AJ said he doesn’t know much about him. AJ gave Harper for being a big man that can move. Renee said Luke Harper could be the X Factor in the Wyatt family. Bryan said Luke Harper looked great tonight and it took both Dean Ambrose and Dolph Ziggler to take out Luke Harper making Harper look like the favorite. Bryan said an AJ vs. Harper match could be interesting. AJ said that could be interesting but Harper was not intelligent enough tonight.
-Styles said his prediction was that he was going to beat Dolph Ziggler and you can bet on him like almost any AJ match. AJ said Dolph was good but not phenomenal. Bryan wanted to know how long it will take AJ to dispatch Dolph. AJ said he doesn’t know for real on the timeframe. AJ said Dolph lives and dies on the Superkick. AJ said he knows it’s coming and he has to wait on it. AJ said if he could hit the Styles Clash, Forearm, or Calf Crusher he’ll take it.
-AJ said he was ready to have a match against Ellsworth tonight. Renee wanted to know if AJ was really feeling better. Bryan wanted to see AJ do jumping jacks. AJ changed the subject and said he wasn’t worried. Daniel Bryan then sent AJ away by calling AJ a phenomenal guest.
-Renee transitioned to talking about the Nikki Bella attacker situation. Bryan said he honestly doesn’t know. Bryan said he thinks Carmella is being more truthful for some reason. Bryan said Carmella hasn’t lied yet and has been upfront with her attacks on Nikki which doesn’t make logical sense. Bryan said Otunga or JBL mentioned how the attacker could be from Raw. Bryan said Natalya could be lying since she’s afraid from getting a forearm from Nikki.
-The Usos were the next guest and Renee wondered why we haven’t seen them in a while. Jey (I’m almost sure, it’s the non-John Fatu one I believe) had his ankle wrapped up as he showed his injury. Jey said things happen in the ring in the heat of the moment. Jimmy said Jey was like the (Marty) Jannetty to his Shawn (Michaels), the Matt (Hardy) to his Jeff (Hardy), the Anvil (Jim Neidhart) to his Bret (Hart), the Michael (Jackson) to his Tito (Jackson). Bryan gave Jimmy a high five. Jey asked if he could be Janet rather than Tito. Jimmy said he’d take Janet too.
-Jimmy said word on the street is that the Hype Bros aren’t so hype since Zack Ryder suffered an injury. Bryan said it looked like an injury but they haven’t found out the full extent of the injury. Jimmy said once Bryan finds out the full extent, you’re looking at the new contenders. Bryan wondered if they were asking for a title shot. Jimmy said they were the best tag team here. Jimmy mentioned how he teamed with Bryan against the Wyatt family before. Jey said they were talking smack and you can’t believe that the Hype Bros could beat the Wyatts. Jimmy said the only person that can get wit the Wyatts are the Usos. Jey went through the names of the Smackdown tag teams as Jimmy called them jokes.
-Jey said the ankle should be okay next week. Jimmy said he was going to put some tape on it, put the wood on it, tape the wood on it, and put some steel on it, and wrap some wire on it so they can go. Jimmy said Jey can come out on one leg. Jimmy said they were going to be at full health against the Wyatt. Jimmy said Jey was the Luigi to his Mario. Renee asked Jimmy if they had a Wario. Jimmy said they had a princess though (Trinity). They showed the clip of Zack Ryder being carried out. Jimmy said Bryan should make it happen with their title shot. Bryan and Jimmy started to drum on the desk right before the Usos left.
John’s Thoughts: Vince McMahon really needs to take notice as to how when you allow the talent to do things on their own without strict scripting, you can get a better product. Imagine how awesome Seth Rollins could be if he were allowed to be on Talking Smack. The Usos came off as very natural and relatable here. That and they made sure be at least a bit heelish. That said, aside from Apollo Crews for some reason everyone is getting a chance to shine on Smackdown.
-Bryan said when he watches the Usos he hates them but when they are on the Talking Smack show he likes them. Bryan and Renee then went over Bryan’s experience with the Tribute to the Troops. Bryan said he got to drive a boat. They also talked about Jason Jordan getting tasered.
-Alexa Bliss was the next guest who was poorly selling an injury (and she was intentionally doing a poor job). Alexa Bliss said she hasn’t seen a trainer yet. She said the count-out happen since she was focusing on her leg. Bryan thought not seeing the trainer was fishy. Bryan pointed out how it seemed like Alexa Bliss was acting. Bliss said Bryan was questioning her injury and she prides herself on integrity. Alexa said she was looking okay at moments due to adrenaline. Bryan pointed out how in the replay she was kicking Becky Lynch with her “bad” leg. Bliss mentioned how it was the adrenaline. Alexa said she was relating with Bryan’s experience. Bryan said at least he sees the doctor after injuries.
-Alexa said she was willing to face anybody for her title. She said she respects Shane McMahon’s decision to give Becky Lynch a title shot. Alexa said she now needs to focus on herself and become the best Smackdown Women’s champion she could be since she’s a locker room leader. Renee wanted to know what the other women thought about her. Alexa said they thought great about her. Renee wanted Bryan’s thoughts and Bryan simply said “no.” Alexa said she had to leave to get some ice.
-Renee wanted to know how Bryan deals with Alexa not being genuine. Bryan said there’s a lot of drama on Smackdown Live. Bryan said people get sick, hurt, not hurt, not wanting to defend titles. Renee wanted to know if people were just making excuses. Bryan agreed. This ended Talking Smack.
John’s Thoughts: A good show, as usual. Some may think that Alexa came off as a bad actress, but I thought it was good old school heel work from her. This show continues to bring out the best out of people with Bryan both having fun while also trying to get the best out of everyone. The Usos were probably the best part of the show as we’re continuing to see how much they were wasted as the generic scripted babyfaces. It’s also interesting how on Total Divas, UpUpDownDown, Talking Smack, and Smackdown Jonathan Fatu comes off as a person with a ton of personality while on Raw he was just a generic Samoan dude. Honestly, I’m pretty sure Triple H gets it. I wonder what Kevin Dunn thinks about some wrestlers having more character/creative freedom when it’s beneficial to the product?
The new edition of the Pro Wrestling Boom Podcast with Jason Powell and guest Mister Saint Laurent, who offers passionate words about what MLW delivers that pro wrestling has been missing, addresses criticism of MLW's contracts, straying from the path that his family paved for him, discusses the MLW Saturday Night SuperFight pay-per-view event that will be held on November 2 in Chicago, and more (62:44)...