By John Moore
WWE Talking Smack
Aired July 17, 2017 on WWE Network
-Shane McMahon joined Renee Young on Talking Smack as the co-host for the second week in a row. Renee Young started the show off by wishing Shane McMahon a Happy Birthday. Shane said he went snowboarding on his birthday in Vermont. Renee presented Shane with a Birthday Cupcake.
-Jerry “The King” Lawler was the first guest of the show. Lawler said birthdays are nice but too many birthdays can kill ya. Renee Young brought up Dolph Ziggler bringing up Lawler’s heart attack during the King’s Court. Lawler said this was the first time he faced Ziggler since the heart attack. Lawler clarified that he suffered a cardiac arrest as opposed to a traditional heart attack. Lawler recapped the entire scary situation where his heart stopped on television. Lawler (storyline) said that he thinks that his heart was put out of rhythm due to taking elbow drops earlier in the show.
-Lawler said ever since they got his heart back in rhythm he hasn’t had a problem. He brought up Ziggler bringing up and taking credit for the heart attack. Lawler said he doesn’t blame Ziggler but he can’t help but argue that Ziggler’s ten elbows contributed to the September 2012 heart attack. Lawler then started to talk about Ziggler being on a losing path for a while. Lawler said what he was doing wasn’t working out, but what he’s doing now isn’t changing his fortune as well.
-Shane apologized to Jerry Lawler on behalf of Smackdown. Lawler said he appreciated the apology but it would have felt better if the apology came from Dolph. Lawler said he doesn’t blame Dolph for what happened tonight since Lawler was the one that pushed Dolph’s buttons.
-Renee announced that Lawler was calling the Royal Rumble Match with Michael Cole and Corey Graves (Lawler will also be on the Kickoff Show). Lawler said he was teasing an in ring return in the Rumble just to play with the fans but he thought people must like the way he says “What?” on commentary. Renee then helped Lawler in a plug for King Jerry Lawler’s Bar and Grill. Lawler said his grill has something that other grills don’t, deep fried ribs, which Lawler joked about sounding like a heart attack on a plate.
-After Lawler left, Renee said it was the road to WrestleMania and Kurt Angle was going to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Shane said that Kurt Angle made a huge difference in WWE. Renee wanted more names. Shane said he knew who else was inducted but couldn’t give out the information.
-Baron Corbin was the next guest. Renee talked about Corbin talking a big game about wanting to beat John Cena and headline WrestleMania. Renee said Corbin fell short and wanted to know what his plans were now. Corbin said there was no setback. Corbin said just like in the NFL, you don’t win every game but you can still end up champion in the end. Corbin said a 15-time world champion got lucky. Corbin said he was just testing the waters. Corbin said Cena was bringing everything he has while Corbin only brought a little.
-Baron said he has a plan going into the Rumble. Corbin said there are four people in the main event picture of the Rumble: Brock Lesnar, Goldberg, Undertaker, and himself (Baron Corbin). Corbin called Undertaker a ditch digger for saying that he has dug 29 holes and Corbin said he was going to help Taker fill them himself. Shane said it was exciting to see what Baron Corbin might do.
-Renee wanted to know if the compliments from his peers and mainstream news might end up being a distraction. Corbin said nothing makes a difference since he’s always called himself the best. Corbin said if you don’t try to become champion, you don’t belong here. He said if he didn’t do that he could just whine and argue on the internet and social media. Corbin said people call him no-good in the crowd, but he doesn’t care since they are in the crowd putting money in his pocket. Corbin said the complimentary people are jumping on the bandwagon which he doesn’t need.
-Corbin said he has a plan to win the Royal Rumble. Corbin said the next step would be to win the WWE Championship at the Elimination Chamber. Then he said he will walk into WrestleMania as the Champion and number one contender. Corbin said he will walk out at Mania as both and hold up his title to tell everybody “I told you so!” Corbin said he would then leave since he doesn’t have a contender to face.
-Shane said he was going to take a moment to try and defend the fanbase since without them, the talent wouldn’t be able to sit here to perform. Shane said Corbin shouldn’t knock the fans. Corbin said he doesn’t need their opinions, but he does like their money. Corbin said that was great. The money fills his pockets. Corbin said compliments don’t fill his pockets it’s the money that does.
-Renee wanted to know if there was ignorance in Corbin’s thinking. Shane said he did see arrogance. Shane did give Corbin credit for at least believing in himself.
-Mickie James’s return was the next subject. Shane said Mickie already has had a huge effect. Renee was intrigued at her alliance with Alexa Bliss. Renee then said that Mickie looked ready to get back in the ring when she saw her face Asuka at takeover.
-Bray Wyatt was the next guest on Talking Smack. Renee said she thought Luke Harper and Randy Orton were joining him. Bray said things haven’t been going as expected for him so he dismissed Harper and Orton tonight. Wyatt said Orton and Harper were having a huge battle next week to help settle things before the Rumble. Renee questioned Wyatt’s decision to put Orton against Harper. Bray said Renee must not have a brother or sister. Wyatt said he has a lot of brothers and when brothers have conflict they have to settle it in a brutal way. Wyatt said it can’t be fixed unless it explodes. Wyatt said when it explodes their minds will be clear to help them achieve what they want to achieve.
-Renee wanted to know if Wyatt fears that things won’t get sorted out before the Rumble. Wyatt said it doesn’t concern him. He said he’s been in many Rumbles as a team and by himself. Wyatt said he knows that after next week everything will be clear. Wyatt said he went to war with Shane at Survivor Series and he pulled it out. Wyatt said people like Corbin can make claims but Wyatt has experience. Shane said there is also a luck of the draw aspect that might split up the Wyatt Family. Wyatt laughed it off. He said it’s not about numbers. Wyatt said “we” are going to win the Royal Rumble where “we” means “me” and not John Cena, Baron Corbin, Braun Strowman, or whoever else. Wyatt walked off set.
-Renee Young focused on Wyatt turning “we” into “me” and how that relates to Randy Orton and Luke Harper. Shane said Wyatt is the leader but who knows what he has worked out with them. Renee hyped next week’s Harper vs. Orton match. Shane ate some more of his cupcake as Renee Young closed the show.
John’s Thoughts: While I’m more of a fan of Daniel Bryan’s more prodding and upbeat approach, Shane McMahon does take it mellow while also allowing the wrestlers to still develop their characters. Shane is also really good at just easing people through the segments without much effort. As a person who has had family members and friends go through heart issues and surgery, I wasn’t a huge fan of Lawler constantly bringing up the heart issues in storyline and in jest. That’s just personal taste and he did linger on it for a bit. Still, it was really good to see that Lawler still has a big part in WWE. I actually hope they do a swap and give JBL the isolated interview segment while putting him back on commentary because he might have been the hidden gem commentator of 2016 with his work on Smackdown.