By John Moore
WWE Talking Smack
Aired January 31, 2017 on The WWE Network
-Renee Young checked in on the Talking Smack set and was joined by Daniel Bryan who was returning as the co-host. This week’s episode was sponsored by WWE’s Champions Mobile Game.
-Bryan joked about being gone due to “The Man” suppressing his opinions and how there was an uproar from the people which brought him back to the show. Renee said Shane McMahon did a good job while Bryan was gone.
-The first subject of the show was the Royal Rumble and Renee talked about how Smackdown had a good showing at the Rumble with Randy Orton winning as well as John Cena picking up his 16th World Championship. Bryan said what makes Cena’s 16 unique was Cena doing something no one else has done and that was being “The guy” in WWE for the longest time ever. Even longer than Hogan, Austin, or The Rock.
-Bryan said a difference between Flair and Cena was that Flair’s title reigns consisted of short term title reigns where he would drop the title after weeks while Cena’s have been more long term. Young was impressed that John Cena had the time to pick up Mandarin Chinese during this time.
-Bryan said he was proud at the Smackdown guys delivering at the Rumble. Bryan said Cena vs. Styles was the only Smackdown match on the Royal Rumble card and they stole the show. Young said the Rumble had a WrestleMania like feel. Bryan said he was disappointed in “himself” for not putting any other Smackdown matches on the show and how only 11 of the 30 wrestlers were from Smackdown. Bryan said he was disappointed at the Intercontinental, Women’s, and Tag Team championships not being defended that night.
-American Alpha, Chad Gable and Jason Jordan, were the first guests. Jordan agreed with Bryan’s disappointment of not being on the Rumble card. Gable said Smackdown always steals the show in their limited time and they want to steal the show too. They then cut to the Smackdown Tag Team brawl from earlier on on Smackdown.
-Bryan said because of that crazy brawl, he and Shane were booking American Alpha in a Tag Team Turmoil match for Elimination Chamber.
-Young asked Alpha about who they thought was their biggest challenge. Jason Jordan said the Usos think they have Alpha’s number so they were the challenge. Gable said this long form match was their style and he wants them to be the first team in the match.
-After the Alpha interview ended, Young transitioned to the AJ Styles vs. Dean Ambrose segment which transformed into a preview for the Elimination Chamber with so many other wrestlers involved.
-Renee asked Bryan about his thoughts being a veteran of Elimination Chamber matches. Bryan said not only did he participate in an Elimination Chamber, he won an Elimination Chamber match. Bryan said the random factor adds to the fear. He said getting thrown into the cage was like a brick wall and he would rather fall on concrete than slammed on the grating.
-Bryan said Baron Corbin impressed him the most tonight due to his aggression with everybody. Bryan brought up that Corbin was the one person who eliminated Braun Strowman in the Royal Rumble who looked like a favorite before he ran into Baron Corbin.
-Bryan said what he didn’t approve of in the Ambrose vs. Styles match was all of the other people involved because it takes away from AJ’s win. Bryan said his new favorite to win the Elimination Chamber was Baron Corbin
-Naomi was the next guest. Young said she liked Naomi’s new style and energy. Naomi said it was “all the glow”. Naomi said she found more confidence in herself and having a chance to enjoy what she’s doing. Young brought up Naomi getting two pins over the Smackdown Women’s champion, coming off an injury. Naomi said she was here to validate herself in a deep Smackdown women’s division. Naomi said she wants people to feel the glow.
-Bryan said since Naomi has been so impressive, he and Shane McMahon were giving Naomi a championship match against Alexa Bliss at Elimination Chamber. Naomi said it is her goal and dream to walk into WrestleMania as Women’s champion in her hometown of Orlando, FL. Naomi said her husband has seen that she has dreams at night about this. Naomi said in her eight years of wrestling, her side of the family hasn’t seen her wrestle.
-Bryan said he had a major question. He said if Naomi was champion at Mania, will she do her entrance for the entire length of the ramp which should tire her out. Naomi said she would tire herself out but she’s willing to do it. Naomi said she was going right now to tell her mom and husband of the good news for her upcoming match.
-Bryan said Naomi was just like Brie after Naomi left the interview in that she’s always ready to call her family when receiving good news. Young then plugged the WWE mobile game.
-Randy Orton was the next guest. Randy said he’s done this before but the feeling of winning the rumble never gets old. Orton said the Rumble is the biggest night for the locker room and it was great having his family in the front row to see his victory.
-Renee asked Orton who he wants to face at WrestleMania. Orton said “John Cena and I think whether the fans know it or not they want to see that again”.
John’s Thoughts: Do the fans want to see that again? I mean, we’re getting it “again” next week too!
-Young said John Cena is showing a new side in trying to prove something to people. Orton said he’s not nervous because he beat John tonight.
-They talked about Luke Harper next. Orton said Harper has no place in the Wyatt Family even though Bray keeps giving him chances. Orton said Harper is dangerous for the group. Orton said they don’t need Luke to take down anyone on the roster. Bryan said this was not Orton’s first Orlando WrestleMania main event because he faced Triple H and John Cena at WrestleMania 24 where he walked out the winner. Orton said he’s been there and done that with John Cena before and has been at WrestleMania in big matches for years. Orton said the more times you do it the more confident you get.
-Renee said tonight was just a little taste of what we might see between Orton and Cena next week. Orton said he was taking Cena’s pride next week and will take the title at WrestleMania. Orton said the only thing Cena can do is run. Orton left the interview set.
-Bryan said Randy Orton right now “is badass”. Young hyped the main event of next week which was Cena vs. Orton. Young also plugged the Mobile App again. Bryan caught on to this and said he was “presented by Tout” as the show closed…
John’s Thoughts: While Bryan didn’t pry as much as he usually does it was still a treat to see him back. Bryan’s strength is he usually has a “message of the week”. Most of the time he likes to make it known that he is healthy to wrestle but he was mostly critiquing the Royal Rumble card and how Smackdown was pushed in the background in favor of Raw. Bryan has a point, because aside from Cena vs. Styles, which did steal the show, it was mostly a Raw PPV. Orton didn’t get a chance to shine on this show tonight, but I have to say I can’t blame him because it’s tough working with such a confusing story. It’s not confusing as in intriguing, it’s confusing as in most people really care why the Wyatt Family have been meandering for the past few months