By John Moore
WWE Talking Smack
Aired March 7, 2017 on the WWE Network
-Renee Young and Daniel Bryan checked in from the Talking Smack set where the two were happy that the “Main Event” of WrestleMania was now set between Randy Orton and Bray Wyatt after Orton won his encounter against AJ Styles. Bryan said he’s been arguing with Shane about what the actual main event should be since Shane wanted AJ to have the title shot at WrestleMania while Bryan wanted to honor the Royal Rumble stipulation so the match on Smackdown was a compromise. Bryan then mocked Renee for hosting “Raw Talk”. Bryan told Renee to “not be on shows that are bad”.
-Alexa Bliss was the first guest on Talking Smack. Alexa said she had mixed feelings about her WrestleMania match and for Bryan interrupting her Blissertation. Bryan said it was a sweet Blissertation. This confused Renee because Bryan gave it an “F” on television. Bryan blamed Shane and asked Alexa who she wanted to wrestle for the title at WrestleMania. Alexa brushed it off. Bryan said Alexa doesn’t have power to make matches. Alexa said it wouldn’t kill Bryan to shave her beard.
-Alexa said she was upset at Mickie for betraying her. Alexa took the credit for bringing Mickie back from the point of being forgotten. Alexa mentioned how she called Mickie and said “Hey Mickie, I’ve got an idea for you”. Bryan couldn’t resist, and he asked Alexa Bliss if she called Mickie and told her “Hey Mickie, You’re so fine!”. Bliss played along a bit by saying “you’re so fine you blow my mind?” until she gave Bryan a simple “no” while going back to the topic at hand about the betrayal. Alexa said this development doesn’t stress her for the upcoming match because Mickie’s her first target.
-Renee asked Alexa if she was worried about the other people in her title defense, whoever they may be. Alexa told Renee to direct the question to Bryan because she’s not even sure who’s competing. Bryan reiterated his point from Smackdown by saying that “All available Smackdown women on the roster” are eligible. Alexa said she was going to welcome this match much to Bryan’s surprise to prove that she’s the best woman on Smackdown Live. Renee said this should be a career milestone for Alexa. This was the time where her segment ended.
-Renee gave Bryan that “are you kidding me?” look again in reference to Bryan bringing up the “Hey Mickey” cheerleader song. Bryan talked about how he couldn’t hear anything else after Bliss said the words “Hey Mickey” so he had to just “drop it like it’s hot”.
John’s Thoughts: While Toni Basil was the original artist of the song (which I found out through the power of the Googles), I grew up with the B’Witched version from the Bring it On soundtrack. Don’t ask me why teenage me watched Bring it On! Also, shout out to Haydn Gleed for bringing up B’Witched in a pro wrestling context on his podcast as well.
-Renee went into her serious voice in talking about Dean Ambrose where she said it was difficult to watch the attack by Baron Corbin. Renee said she was going to find out his medical condition after the show. Bryan said Renee can take solace in knowing that Dean is one of the toughest guys on the roster as he brought up the winners of the “most worked matches in a year” award in past years. Bryan mentioned how after the years he (Bryan), Cesaro, and Seth Rollins got that accolade, they were injured the succeeding year. Bryan then talked about how cracked ribs can affect everything in the ring.
-Apollo Crews was the next guest. Crews said he had some big news and he was declaring himself in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal. Crews said hit seems like a blur since the time he debuted the day after Mania. Crews said he had goals but didn’t pick up many wins. Crews said he was turning things around and this was going to be the year of Apollo Crews. Renee brought up how that accolade has helped take Baron Corbin to the next level. Crews said he agrees that this match can help him reach that top level. Crews said he loves this and the business was his heart and what he bleeds for. Crews said everyone is going to witness how hard he works.
-Crews talked about how everyone wishes to be on WrestleMania no matter what part of the card they are on. Crews then reiterated his point on winning The Dre. Renee was distracted by Apollo’s huge watch. Crews joked about Bryan “dropping it like it’s hot” earlier. Renee wanted Crews to teach Bryan how it’s done. Crews then recited Snoop’s lyrics. Bryan encouraged Crews to add the inflection to the “hot” part.
-Bryan wondered if they were allowed to talk about pimps in the crib? Renee tried to segue to the Cena/Nikki vs. Carmella/Ellsworth. Bryan deducted that Renee brought up pimps in regards to “The Big Hog”. Renee talked about being underwhelmed with Ellsworth’s attire and how she expected for stank on it. Bryan wanted to know the definition to the word “Stank”. Renee said it meant “sass”. Bryan said he doesn’t think it quite means sass? Renee assured him she was right. Bryan said he was disappointed we didn’t see a moonwalk.
-Renee Young then cut to “Breaking News” where they cut to footage of the WWE production guys in Gorilla Position. AJ Styles hobbled into the production area where personalities such as Michael Hayes, Jamie Noble, and Michael Cole were backstage. I think the epic looking bald dude was Adam Pearce? Hayes tried to calm down Styles. Styles ranted to Shane McMahon who was on the headset alongside Road Dogg. Road Dogg put himself between a ranting Styles and McMahon as he called for everyone to escort Styles out. The referees, Hayes, J&J Security, and other guys escorted Styles out. McMahon started to vent a bit as Road Dogg transitioned to calming Shane down. Michael Cole could be seen just standing in a corner while Shane was venting.
-Bryan said that this is a regular thing for the wrestlers to blame management after a match. Bryan said he’s lucky on Talking Smack since the wrestlers are calmer by the time they get to him. Bryan said he does understand Styles’ point of having an opportunity taken away from him. Bryan said Styles shouldn’t be complaining to Shane since Shane is the one who wanted to keep AJ in the main event without the number one contender’s match when it was Bryan that put the barrier in front of Styles. Bryan said this hurts Styles even more because Styles having less opportunities than most due to coming into WWE later in his career. Bryan said you don’t know when your career might end due to injuries as was in Bryan’s case.
-Renee wanted to know if AJ took it too far by getting in Shane’s face. Bryan talked about how Styles did what anyone, even the most level headed person like Bryan, would do in that situation. Bryan brought up how he (Bryan) is an extremely level headed person, yet he blew up on Triple H backstage in reference to that incident where Hunter canceled the ending of his match a few years back. Bryan brought up how Road Dogg was the peacekeeper in that situation too. Renee wanted to know if it was still the right thing to do. Bryan talked about how it was a matter of perspective and how the perspective was different from both management and wrestler. Bryan said he felt the same things as Styles since he was on a similar main event track at the time.
-Miz and Maryse were the next guests. Miz took control and asked Bryan who has authority to make matches on Smackdown Live. Miz then initiated a rant by talking about John Cena creating his own matches like the one against Carmella and Ellsworth. Bryan said Cena proposed it while Bryan approved it. Miz didn’t take that excuse. Miz said Cena is playing both the audience and the management. Miz said Cena just made the match on his own and probably sent a personal family text to Bryan about it in jest. Miz and Bryan then argued weather Ellsworth really wanted the match. Miz went back to mocking how Bryan and Cena are in the same family essentially. Miz then ranted about how Cena’s manipulating everyone from his family to the audience.
-Miz brought up Cena blaming Miz for stealing his identity from many sources. Miz said you can say the same thing about Cena when you think of it. Miz said Cena stole his personality from “every white kid with an identity crisis from the ’90s”. Miz said Cena was a cross between Marky Mark and Vanilla Ice. Miz then said that Cena stole the Death Valley Driver finisher from Tommy Dreamer. Miz said John Cena also stole Dolph Ziggler’s girlfriend. Miz said John Cena’s last T-Shirt design was stolen from a beer company. Miz then said that Cena only had the match against Ellsworth tonight to get to Miz because Cena was jealous of Miz. Miz continue to rant about Cena probably manipulating things to his favor.
-Bryan said when he puts John Cena’s name on a headline more people come to the show. Miz then went back to saying that Cena is manipulating people with crap. Miz then mocked how Cena has had things easy since day one since he received blessings from people like Undertaker and Kurt Angle while Miz came into WWE with people putting him down and saying he will be gone in three months. Miz talked about being the one who faces real adversity. John Cena said the real John Cena story was Cena on the brink of being fired a few months after debuting. Miz wondered how Bryan would even know since Bryan wasn’t even in WWE around the early 2000s. Miz said Cena just manipulated Bryan at the dinner table.
-Miz accused Cena of surrounding himself with Bryan and Nikki Bella publicly for public and superficial image purposes. Renee tried to calm things down but Bryan took control himself. Bryan called Miz a “patsy” for WWE. This caused Miz to be appalled. Bryan called Miz a WWE shill by doing everything WWE wants him to so he won’t get fired. Miz said he was a bigger star before WWE so it was natural. Miz said he could do something else like acting, but he loves WWE.
-Somehow this rant went back to Miz mocking how Bryan can’t wrestle. Bryan stood by his longtime point of WWE just not letting him rather than lacking the ability to wrestle currently. Bryan said we might see a different answer to that in “a year and a half”.
-Renee asked Miz to back up his accusation of Cena being jealous. Miz mocked John Cena for taking multiple takes on a reality show. Miz called Cena robotic while he and Maryse are natural. Maryse called Nikki and Cena a fraud and only living to promote their brand. Miz then helped Maryse with the promo by asking her what Nikki Bella was doing when Maryse was the longest reigning Divas Champion at the time. Maryse said Nikki Bella was just a “Celebrity Wrangler” who walked down the ramp with them to make them feel comfortable backstage. Miz then brought up how Nikki got more opportunities after connecting with John Cena. Maryse then ranted about all of the media that Nikki got due to Cena’s influence. Maryse said Nikki is also jealous of the wedding ring. Renee and Bryan then just went silent to help rush this segment to the end. Miz then said next week won’t be as good as this week since they won’t be on it. Miz and Maryse left as Maryse gave a halfhearted outro due to the events that just occurred.
John’s Thoughts: One thing you can really count on when Miz in on this show is lots of meat to the segment and this one wasn’t as good as the one that put Talking Smack on the map, but it did a lot for Miz by allowing him to counteract Cena’s accusations, which he isn’t allowed to do on the main show. When hearing the promo Miz cut, it might be divisive to the viewers but from the perspective of transcribing it, there were a lot of intricate points that Miz buried in his rant. What’s true, is WWE definitely would never allow Miz to say the things he said on the main show where there are millions watching. What this current Miz promo reminded me of was back in 2009 when Miz first got Drafted to the Raw brand from ECW. This was when Miz stepped out of John Morrison’s shadow and did his Anti-John Cena gimmick where he claimed John Cena was afraid to wrestle him.
When Miz is on fire, he definitely shows fire; and the fire he draws from always seems to be kindled from the early period of his career when people like JBL or Chris Benoit tried to ostracize him from the locker room. Some people may not have liked this promo, but I thought Miz got to show more good promo skills here and it even reminded me again of the time he feuded with MVP. Jason Powell keeps talking about how Kevin Owens will be the next generation WWE babyface, but I wonder if WWE can find a way to harness Miz’s fire in a similar way? Just make sure they don’t do what they did last time to him as a babyface.
Aside from that heavy Miz segment, this was a good show as always. We got our usual fun Bryan ribbing. Alexa may have replaced “The Ryback” as the target for said ribbing. Bryan got to give us a timeline as to when his WWE talent contract is up, so Jeff Jarrett, Jado/Gedo, and Delirious are probably marking the date on their calendars and getting those big checks ready! I kid, I kid! Aside from that, Bryan did offer a lot of great insight into the kayfabe of WWE by relating it to his real life problems. Overall, a meaty show with a lot the good stuff we expect from it.