By John Moore
WWE Talking Smack
Aired December 27, 2016 on WWE Network
-Renee Young checked in on Talking Smack and was joined by co-host John Bradshaw Layfield who was filling in for Daniel Bryan. JBL said Renee was a much better Canadian than Mauro Ranallo. JBL said blocked Mauro on Twitter. Renee said it’s probably because he retweets too much.
-Renee talked about the “Wild Card Finals” show and used that to talk about American Alpha winning the tag team championships. JBL said since they were drafted, it was only a matter of time before they won the tag belts. That said, JBL said it was still shocking to see them beat the Wyatt Family because they were so dominant and looked like they were going to start a long form title reign.
-John Cena was the first guest and he was still dressed like a can of PBR. Cena said he has a special place for the Allstate Arena in his heart due to it being the scene of his first match. Cena said Chicago was one of the most vocal crowds. Renee wanted Cena’s thoughts on today’s WWE landscape. Cena compared the “New Era” to his class of wrestlers including himself, Randy Orton, Dave Batista, and Brock Lesnar. Cena said this was the first time in fifteen years that WWE has had so many able bodies on the roster.
-JBL brought up Michael Cole saying that John Cena was the greatest WWE wrestler of all time (JBL also made a joke about getting “Cole” in his stockings for Christmas). JBL said he agrees with Cole because of the longevity of Cena’s run. JBL then moved on to talking about how Cena talked down to Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson for being a part-time wrestler. JBL wanted to know if Cena considers himself a part timer. Cena said he considers what he said about Rock back then “the stupidest stuff ever.” Cena said he was looking at it through blinded eyes and wanted Rock to come back to WWE so he tried to hit Rock where it hurts and it worked.
-Cena said he’s apologized to Rock personally. Cena said Rock was right because he’s the highest paid actor in Hollywood. Cena said that Rock transcends WWE which is good for everyone.
-Renee brought up Cena’s challenge for the Royal Rumble. Cena said in the main event you saw three superstars. He said there was one young and hungry star, one star who feels like he has to put his life and career on the line every time he goes out there, and one star who thinks they are the most phenomenal star in the world. JBL brought up the 16 title milestone and made his Hank Aaron/Babe Ruth comparisons.
-Cena said he was tired of all of the crap, the looks, the gossip. Cena said he loves where he works, he loves what he does, and he’s not going anywhere. He said he goes out to extend the reach of WWE and will try his best. Cena said SNL was a good example of that. Cena said people already have him out the door.
-Suddenly, Cena was interrupted by AJ Styles. Styles said what Cena did out there was crap, trying to big league Styles. Cena said he’s only going to punk Styles out at the Rumble. Styles said Cena couldn’t punk him at SummerSlam and he took Cena’s best shot. Cena said he had a messed up shoulder which AJ retorted by saying that Cena was making excuses. Styles said if Cena wasn’t ready he shouldn’t have embarrassed himself. Cena said he’s ready now. Cena said he showed Styles respect tonight for winning as a champion.
-Styles said it wasn’t respectful. Styles said he knows that Cena knows that he only wins. Cena said if he wanted to punk Styles out he would have and it would be easy. Cena said he respects what Styles did with the championship and at the Rumble he’s taking it from Styles. Styles said he will do what he does best, beat up John Cena. Styles said it’s a good thing that Cena can’t beat up AJ Styles. AJ walked off.
-JBL said that was an awkward situation. Cena said he’s used to that. JBL wanted to go deeper into the “looks” comment that Cena brought up. Cena said AJ has owned 2016. Cena brought up how he told Styles early on in 2016 to establish himself or else he will fade away and Styles proved the contrary. Cena talked about people backstage saying that “Cena has gone Hollywood”. Cena said that thought is fire that fuels him now. Cena said the industry is his life. He said his life is an open book where you can watch him in and out the ring in various outlets. Cena said he’s yet to beat AJ Styles but he’s good at not giving up and getting the job done.
-Cena said he’s not focused on the 16-time milestone but he’s focused on earning back the respect of people. Cena said he doesn’t want people to talk about him in the past tense because he is still here in the present. Cena said he doesn’t blame the mentality of the locker room since he had the same thoughts about Rock. Cena said he’s not going anywhere. Cena brought up how people like Orton, Miz, Ambrose, and others also take months off to go film movies and do outside projects for the same reasons as he does. Cena said he’s in the best shape ever and has a completely healed shoulder. Cena said AJ beat him fair and square but it’s a new year and Cena’s fed up with “The New Era”.
-Cena said he shouldn’t be forgotten or a footnote since he’s not done doing this. Cena said he can keep up with anybody. Cena said the Royal Rumble title match is a chance to show that he’s just getting warmed up.
-JBL said Cena physically looks great but he wondered how Cena was mentally. Cena said he wasn’t the same man that beat JBL for the championship because that man was wild and made stupid mistakes. Cena said that guy had “ruthless aggression”. Cena said the current Cena has aggression but also focus of the man who has the most big match experience than anybody in WWE. Cena said they call Triple H the game for a reason because he’s the best mentally between the ropes. Cena said Styles hasn’t had as much big match experience.
John’s Thoughts What about Kurt Angle? Sting? Samoa Joe? Hiroshi Tanahashi? Kazuchika Okada? Just kidding, I know in the WWE universe the WWE is the only pro wrestling that matters (but it is a bit funny that Cena has brought up the non-TNA matches in promos in the past this year).
-Cena talked a while reiterating the points of his promo from Smackdown. He also said it was the “My time is now” era again. Renee sent him away after that.
-JBL brought up how he’s held the title for 280 days by beating the Undertaker, Eddie Guerrero, Booker T. He said he ran into John Cena and couldn’t beat him in 2004/2005. JBL said that Cena was the exact same Cena we’re seeing now because he has something to prove now rather than being on top.
-Chad Gable and Jason Jordan were the next guests. Jordan talked about how they’ve had their title shots taken away from them in the past and now they’ve finally got the belts. Gable said they knew how good they were and people just stumble sometimes.
-JBL made a tangent about Gable and Jordan giving out a bunch of complementary tickets. Jason Jordan said his mom, dad, and niece were in the front row. Gable said he was happy to have his whole family there especially his daughter who saw him win both the Smackdown and NXT championships.
-JBL said Alpha just beat what seemed like an unbeatable team in the Wyatts. Jordan said it was an honor to wrestle people like the Wyatts and to hold themselves to that standard. Jordan said it’s one of those things where they expected to be at that level from the start. Gable said that he and Jordan were tag team specialists while Randy Orton and Lukek Harper were not.
-JBL went on a tangent again and ultimately compared Alpha to the Steiners and called Alpha the modern day iteration of the great old school tag teams. JBL said they should just go out there and be badass as opposed to having stupid catchphrases like Ready, Willing, and Gable.
-Renee wanted Alpha’s comments about dissention in the Wyatt Family. JBL tangented again by talking about Bob Orton being the person who made the Superplex famous. JBL said Alpha might be as tough as the APA. This ended their interview.
-JBL said he’s heard from his sources that La Luchadora was secretly Mil Mascaras. JBL said we’ve had multiple Sin Caras in the past and maybe Mil Mascaras was more than just one person.
John’s Thoughts As lame as JBL has been for years, I still get a kick out of his weekly shots against Mil Mascaras for some reason. JBL is great at having an unconditional hatred for Mike Mizanin, James Ellsworth, and Mil Mascaras.
-JBL and Renee talked about Alexa Bliss’s arm looking out of place. JBL pointed out how Alexa made the leg hook with the supposed broken arm. Renee said Alexa could just be double jointed.
-Dean Ambrose was the next guest still wearing his “security” polo. Ambrose threatened to slap the piss out of JBL for making lame comments. Ambrose brought up how the Miz pissed him off last week. He said he has a chance to win the Intercontinental Championship again next week.
-JBL transitioned to talking about Renee slapping Miz last week. Ambrose said Renee could do whatever she wants and Miz deserves it. Ambrose said that is not someone you want to piss off since she’s Canadian and a former hockey enforcer. JBL asked if Renee was having a conflict of interest for dating and reporting about Ambrose. Ambrose said you just shouldn’t piss off angry women. Ambrose said his grandma sic’d the dog at him for stealing a popsicle.
-Ambrose said Renee shouldn’t have apologized to Bryan since Bryan probably liked watching Miz get slapped. Renee elaborated about why she apologized. JBL continued to probe Renee about the conflict of interest issue. Ambrose talked about not getting women mad again. Renee sent Ambrose away after that statement. The three talked casually to each other a bit before the show ended.
John’s Thoughts This… was not a great episode of Talking Smack. It was okay. We got to hear a statement from John Cena at least, but JBL was not a good co-host. Either that or JBL didn’t have a good set of people to interview. If JBL got to interview the Miz tonight, it might have been better since JBL and Miz have legit history between each other. JBL also went off topic a lot, so much that Renee just gave up on a bunch of topics. JBL works fine as a solo interviewer but he has lost his mojo as a co-commentator. Hopefully next time we get Mike Mizanin back. Miz would have gotten a better interview out of Ambrose, who usually has to be carried through shoot-style interviews, which Bryan and Miz are great at carrying.