By John Moore
WWE Talking Smack
Aired February 7, 2017 on WWE Network
-Renee Young and Daniel Bryan check in on the Talking Smack set. Renee pointed out again that Bryan was in his home state of Washington. Bryan said after Smackdown last week he headed straight to Washington and arrived on Wednesday of last week. Renee was disappointed we didn’t see Brie on Smackdown. Bryan talked about having a “Baby-moon” which Bryan said was like a honeymoon, just for pregnant wives. Bryan talked about going to the rainforest.
-Renee called Elimination Chamber Smackdown’s last stop before WrestleMania. Bryan said the chamber wasn’t fun for the wrestlers but fun to watch as a fan. They both talked about Baron Corbin, Bryan’s favorite to win the Chamber match, looking good on Smackdown.
-Nikki Bella was the first guest on Talking Smack. Renee wanted to know what Nikki thought about Natalya’s comments about John Cena. Nikki said it shocked her, which caused Bryan to crack up for some reason. Nikki said Natalya has legit gone crazy by hitting under the belt for no reason. Nikki said she’s frustrated in this feud that has going on since Survivor Series and now she’s bringing up Cena’s name.
-Bryan wanted to know why Natalya was making it personal. Nikki said she wasn’t sure and thought it might be involved with Total Divas.
-Natalya invaded the set and bickered with Nikki. Nikki blocked a slap and came back with a smack to Natalya’s face. Natalya hit Nikki with a microphone. After putting Nikki behind the glass table, Natalya dragged Nikki’s arm to send her head into the glass pane. Bryan checked in on his sister in law as the security took Natalya off set. Then we got something we don’t usually get on Talking Smack, a commercial. Which ironically was about Cena… [C]
-Renee said that there has to be some sort of punishment coming to Natalya because she shouldn’t have done this in a professional environment. Bryan said the medics were checking on Nikki after getting her head slammed on thick glass. Bryan said this could aggravate her neck injury and brought up how Nikki was feeling tingling in her arm. Bryan compared this to when his neck/nerve issues forced him into retirement. Renee told the fans to check on WWE.com for updates on Nikki’s health.
-Renee changed the subject and said it was a bit interesting to see the Ascension finally win a match. Bryan brought up how he goes back with Rick Victor of the ascension. Bryan said he was Viktor’s tag team partner on the independents back in 2005. Bryan said their tag team name was “Double Meat” which caused him and Renee to crack up. Bryan said they were “American Force 2000 – Double Meat”.
-Bryan brought up how the Ascension beat him and Roman Reigns in a tag team gauntlet which made it look like they had a great future, but then it went downhill from there for the Ascension. Renee said all of the attention has been on American Alpha, but she’s seen how good the Ascension can be from her time commentating in NXT. Bryan talked about Smackdown having a deep Tag Division so it’s not a lock that Alpha wins.
-Renee wondered where James Ellsworth was tonight. Bryan wanted to talk about Ellsworth’s current attire. Bryan said he knows why Carmella likes Ellsworth. He said Ellsworth’s nickname in the locker room is James “Hogsworth”. Bryan said they call him the Big Hog. Bryan then claimed that the locker room does a Big Hog Dance when Ellsworth enters the room. Bryan then said that Rick Victor leads the chant. Renee said they should start a tag team called “Double Meat”.
-Baron Corbin was the next guest as he brought up how he thinks he sees a faceprint left by Nikki Bella on the glass table. Bryan said he enjoyed every second being in the ring with so many former World Champs and beat them all. Renee wanted to hear Bryan’s thoughts on Corbin’s success and what Corbin thought. Bryan said Corbin has been given more opportunities because he’s been impressed with Corbin ever since his match with Kalisto.
-Corbin said the result is not “could be” for him but more so “will be” in terms of becoming WWE Champion. Corbin said he made a statement tonight with many world champions. Corbin said the End of Days is a devastating move that no one gets up from. Corbin said AJ Styles felt that first hand tonight and he plans to use it on Sunday. Corbin said once no one was left in the Chamber he will rub his championship win in everyone’s face.
-Renee said Corbin’s weakness could be his lack of experience in the structure. Corbin said he’s trained to be the best and impose his will on everyone. Corbin said it doesn’t matter if it’s in the ring, chamber, or even a bar, people stay down. Corbin said he’s never been in an Andre the Giant Battle Royal and he walked out champion. Corbin said he was making it a habit of being successful.
-Bryan wondered if Corbin was concerned at being first. Corbin said if he becomes the first person who wins after being the first entrant he will have another accolade. Corbin talked about Undertaker remembering his punch in the Rumble but he had to eat his words when Taker eliminated him. Corbin said he now has anger and he will take it out on the other guys in the Chamber. Corbin said he doesn’t care what the crowd says or what the people are tweeting about him.
-After Corbin left the set, Renee transitioned to talking about Randy Orton vs. Luke Harper at the Elimination Chamber. Bryan said he doesn’t think we’ve seen the full potential of Harper and is intrigued to see how he does now that he’s separated from Bray Wyatt. Bryan said he remembers a ladder match two years ago between Harper and Dolph Ziggler where he saw Harper as the most sadistic person in WWE.
-John Cena was the final guest on this week’s episode. Cena set his championship on the table and said Corbin was making the same claims as everyone. Cena then made a shoutout to the birthplace of American Grit, which was in Washington. Cena and the panel then watched Nikki’s brawl with Natalya. Cena said he wants Nikki to fight her own battles but that scene was a bit much, especially with the neck surgery.
-Cena said Nikki deals with a lot of stuff every day and is the toughest person he knows. Cena said she can stand toe to toe with the best of people who try to make comments about her personally. Renee said there were no updates on Nikki’s health.
-Renee wanted to transition to talking about the chamber. Cena joked about that being a bit cold going from Nikki’s health to the chamber. Bryan brought things back to Nikki and pulled it all together by asking John Cena if Nikki wrestling Natalya with her neck issues on Sunday would be a distraction to Cena in the main event. Cena said that the resolve in his relationship with Nikki was that they each handle their own business. Cena said Nikki is tough, as Bryan has seen firsthand. Cena said he knows she doesn’t want Cena to be her excuse for anything.
-Renee said its one thing to say that receiving help can be a crutch, but it doesn’t seem possible to separate personal and professional life in such a black and white fashion even though Cena claims that they can keep their battles separate. Cena said he respects Nikki’s tough resolve and knows that she will be at peace with what she does on Sunday.
-Cena said it’s the small things like having Charles Robinson referring the championship match and seeing Ric Flair backstage that made the moment special. Cena said his answer is still the same as to what his favorite match is and it will always be his next match. Cena said his goal right now is to keep the belt and defend it at WrestleMania.
-Bryan wanted to know who Cena saw as his biggest opponent. Cena said the biggest opponent was the actual structure and the luck of the draw. Cena said the one person he sees as this level who is firing on all cylinders is AJ Styles while everyone else in the match just isn’t at that level with them. Cena said he and Styles are just like Michael Jordan at his best.
-Cena left to check on Nikki. Bryan joked about the show being presented by Tout after last week’s mobile game sponsorship.
John’s Thoughts: More of the same from Talking Smack in terms of the same good stuff we usually get. Cena was a bit tame tonight but he still got to forward things. He also got to get a comment out there that he thinks that the other wrestlers aren’t at a level that he and Styles are at, which might get some internet bloggers out there pissed as Cena joked about. I wondered if the focu on Cena and Nikki is a piece of the set up for the rumored mix tag match between them and Miz and Maryse at WrestleMania. I also wondered if Renee was fed the foreshadowing comment where he said Nikki’s match might affect the Elimination Chamber main event. Might we see Maryse involved in the Natalya vs. Nikki Bella match while also seeing Miz eliminate Cena? Who knows?