By John Moore
WWE Talking Smack
Aired March 14, 2017 on the WWE Network
-Renee Young and Daniel Bryan checked in from the Talking Smack set. Renee talked about how WrestleMania is starting to look good after tonight. Bryan talked about how he likes Pittsburgh and how his favorite part is coming through the entrance tunnel of the city. Renee said Pittsburgh is an underrated city and she also liked how that city introduced her to Jimmy John’s. Bryan gave Jimmy John’s a raspberry.
-Renee talked about conducting a 360 degree camera interview with Bryan and Kurt Angle at the same time. Renee brought up how the two talked about a dream match while comparing each other’s fighting styles. Bryan joked about the 360 cam and said it can make you see the back of Bryan’s head.
-The mood shifted into serious as Renee replayed the footage of AJ Styles beating down Shane McMahon backstage including throwing him into the glass car window. Renee said it was tough seeing the lengths AJ would go in a state of desperation. Bryan said he was angry. Bryan said he lost all respect for Styles after taking the same path as him. Bryan brought up how Shane was actually advocating for Styles to be in the “main event” of Mania over Orton and it doesn’t make sense that all AJ is doing is complaining and taking his frustration out on an ally. Renee concurred. Bryan said AJ is blaming everyone but himself and that he’s not as high a quality of human being as Bryan originally thought.
-Bryan brought up how he had his retina detached and how glass can do that as Bryan has seen happen to other wrestlers. They cut to Shane McMahon declaring himself as AJ’s opponent. Bryan brought up how he fired Styles for beating down Shane. Bryan said even though Styles is the greatest wrestler in the world, Bryan didn’t want him there if that’s how he conducts business. Bryan said Shane was not in a state of mind for making WrestleMania decisions.
-Renee asked Bryan if he would agree otherwise on the firing if Shane wants a Mania match. Bryan stretched his arms out about a meter to show how much more power Shane has than him. Renee asked why there would be such a difference in power. Bryan said because Shane McMahon was literally a McMahon. Bryan said he tried arguing with Vince McMahon before and of course it didn’t end well.
-Bryan said the fans were angry when Styles got “fired” because a lot of them see AJ as the best wrestler in the world today. Bryan also compared the potential Styles vs. McMahon match to Angle vs. McMahon. Bryan said Shane’s not the greatest wrestler in the world, but he’s tough. Bryan said it can be memorable if it happens.
-Mickie James was the first guest. Mickie said tonight was one of the biggest nights of her career but then shifted to saying it was the best night since she came back. Mickie said she was a bit disappointed at Alexa Bliss not keeping her end of the deal for giving her a singles match for assisting her. Renee asked Mickie if she knew someone she’s never met before would not stay true to her word. Mickie said in this business you don’t have any real friends and everyone is out for themselves.
-Renee talked about how Mickie has a lot of WrestleMania experience compared to the other women on Smackdown. Mickie said she was excited and April 2 was a special day to her. Mickie said she won her first Championship against Trish Stratus on April 2 and she now has a chance to tie Trish’s title reign count to make a mark as one of the greatest women wrestlers of all time.
-Carmella walked in and talked down to Mickie. Carmella said she didn’t want to toot her own horn but she dropped Becky, Nattie, and will drop Mickie. Carmella said she has gold on her hat, on her neck, and on her waist soon. Nattie came in out of nowhere (it was sudden like she used instant transmission). Natalya used the Bret Hart “best there was…” line. Natalya and Carmella bickered as Natalya called Carmella fake. She said it was great to see Mickie and took credit for running Mickie out of WWE. Natalya said she was the locker room leader now and told Mickie thanks in a patronizing way. Becky Lynch walked in and said Natalya leads snakes. Becky then stated her case of how everyone jumps her. Alexa showed up last.
-Alexa Bliss said the chaos was Bryan’s fault and that all of the women were animals. Becky called Alexa a snake. Alexa and Becky bickered a bit. Becky called Alexa a Santa elf. Alexa blamed Bryan again for the chaos and arguing. She also blamed Renee for letting Bryan do it. All of the women argued again. One by one, they slowly started to walk off. Renee also tried to push it along while also mentioning how 2Paw’s Instagram was getting to be too much so she unfollowed it.
-Renee transitioned to talking about Miz and Maryse vs. Cena and Nikki Bella and asked for Bryan’s thoughts. Bryan said he’s trying to recover from the last segment. Bryan talked about how women have been taking over his life like how he grew up with women; he married Brie, his baby’s a girl, and now segments like this. Bryan said around women, there’s just too much talking. Bryan said that segment caused him to be introspective and afraid that having a daughter might make his life full of nagging and talking.
-Bryan said he wants to try to address questions individually and everyone just kept arguing. Renee then asked Bryan for a prediction. Bryan copped out by saying it’s impossible, but he is looking most forward to James Ellsworth’s entrance with Carmella. Bryan said he can imagine “The Big Hog” coming out to a Bayley like entrance with balloons. Bryan said these balloons will be just a little different. Renee and Bryan cracked up! Renee wanted to know what Bryan would want Ellsworth to wear after being less than stellar a few weeks ago. Bryan recommended flesh colored tights. Renee said no one should wear flesh colored tights. Bryan said Giant Gonzalez had wonderful flesh colored tights.
-Bryan talked about how talking about Ellsworth allowed him to get the last segment out of his system and now he can move on to talking about Miz and Maryse. Bryan said he was there during the situation where Maryse claims that Brie and Nicole blocked Maryse from getting a WWE/Total Divas contract. Bryan said he was living together with Brie at the time and none of that happened. Bryan also agreed that he can’t offer an objective opinion because he supports Brie and hates Miz. Bryan said this hate wasn’t a secret and he hates Miz TV. Bryan said all that said he still gives Miz opportunities. Bryan said Miz is easy to hate with a “Donald Trump style of arguing”.
-Bryan said he also dislikes people like Miz, AJ Styles, or Baron Corbin blaming other people for their lack of success. Bryan said, that said, people will probably be excited to see John Cena and Nicole face Miz and Maryse. Renee said the most entertaining part could be between Maryse and Nicole due to the hate. Bryan said he was booking it and at WrestleMania we were getting Miz and Maryse vs. John Cena and Nikki Bella in a “face punching extravaganza”. Miz said we like face punching and that’s how this match should be billed. Renee closed the show by hyping up the Mania matches mentioned on this show and Bryan yelled about face punching in the comical way that he does.
John’s Thoughts: No bombshells this episode, but Talking Smack is still a fun show to watch due to Renee and Bryan being perfect talk show hosts. Renee and Bryan are like the Kelly and Michael of WWE. In fact, I wouldn’t mind a non-wrestling talk show hosted by Renee and Bryan on national television. Renee is the perfect interviewer that can easily disarm any of her interviewees. She also does a good job helping them feel comfortable. Bryan is a natural in bringing the best out of people both in the ring and on the microphone and we’re seeing that microphone part here. What is the most entertaining part of Bryan’s shtick is how when he sees a chance tear into someone with a joke, he dives deep! He also is good in not jumping the shark on singular jokes by finding fresh punchlines. It’s always a treat to see Bryan talk about things like “The Big Hog”, double meats, or poking fun at Ryback for taking a Cialis to show Brock Lesnar that he’s a man!
As for the episode, we got solid confirmations of several Smackdown highlight matches. Nothing on the Randy Orton/Bray Wyatt front, but that was probably due to this show having about a 25 minute time limit and I wouldn’t have cut Bryan talking about “The Big Hog”. I bet Vince gets a kick about talking about the Big Hog too. Mickie James was better this week than her last time on the show but the bickering women thing was a bit too much, but Bryan covered it well by turning nagging women into a talking piece.
Feedback is always appreciated and feel free to contact me via twitter @liljohnm to tweet and discuss Smackdown or Talking Smack. You can also comment and discuss WWE directly with me via email: firstname.lastname@example.org. It’s also a good time to chat with me about Lucha Underground too because it just got uploaded on Netflix today.
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