By John Moore
WWE Talking Smack
Aired March 28, 2017 on the WWE Network
-Renee Young and Daniel Bryan checked in from the Talking Smack set. Before getting into the actual show, Bryan spoke on behalf of the Talking Smack cast and WWE in offering his condolences for Jim Ross and his family regarding the death of his wife Jan Ross. Bryan talked about how it was great being around Jan and everyone has only had good things to say about her.
-Bryan said things were tenuous and stressful before WrestleMania. Renee asked him how Bryan felt in a position of power. Bryan said as opposed to thinking about himself as a wrestler, he has to think about an overall presentation. Renee wondered if he worried about competing with Raw. Bryan said he wasn’t worried about that but more so concerned with making Smackdown the best it could be at the big show. Bryan then exaggerated in saying “The Ultimate Thrill Ride” slogan.
-AJ Styles was the first guest of the show. Styles said he felt great for getting the chance to embarrass Shane McMahon in front of the entire world. Bryan asked AJ about not shaking Shane’s hand in the ring and brought up how he used to do it in Ring of Honor. AJ brought up how it was just bad timing by Bryan because even Shane and the crowd thought it was an odd decision. Bryan said he was just being a peacemaker.
-Renee asked AJ about his expectations regarding Shane. AJ talked about having a solid advantage with regular match rules. Renee talked about Shane pulling things out of his sleeves in the past and Bryan brought up the flying elbow through the table on AJ. AJ said he won’t be fooled again and as a winner he’ll find a way to make something like that not happen. Bryan brought up Shane making Jericho bleed in two punches as well as his MMA training. Styles said he wasn’t afraid and was going to embarrass Shane. AJ said Shane doesn’t have access to tricks due to the possibility of a disqualification.
-Bryan wanted to know if AJ was trying to make a point in proving that Shane doesn’t belong in the ring with AJ. Styles said he was going to make an example out of Shane to show people what happens when you pull Styles from the main event of WrestleMania. Styles also brought up how he is still owed a one-on-one rematch and told Bryan to write it on Renee’s notes. Renee gave a little more hype to the match before the interview ended.
-Bryan said he agrees with AJ’s mindset of underestimating Shane McMahon. Bryan said AJ goes into the ring 200 nights a year proving to everyone he’s the best while Shane competes in two matches (Hell in a Cell and Survivor Series). Bryan said if he were in AJ’s position he would think that Shane couldn’t hang with him. Bryan brought up how Shane doesn’t only hang but takes his opponents to another level. Bryan brought up Kurt Angle, Undertaker, and Shawn Michaels. Bryan said he was most interested in seeing which Shane shows up and if we really do see a huge gap in talent between AJ and Shane like AJ assumes.
-Renee then started to show off some of her WWE shirt pins. Bryan wanted to talk about how Renee’s hair grew like about a foot in a week. Renee said it was a wig and said Bryan was being judgmental. Bryan said he was just wondering why Renee would put fake hair on her head. Renee said she felt great doing things like whipping her hair back and forth.
-Renee said watching the John Cena and Miz segment made her feel stressed out. Renee brought up how both wrestlers were actively swaying the audience to their side at a moment’s notice. Bryan said it’s hard for him to stay objective especially with Miz putting Bryan in the parody. Bryan said Miz is good at verbal sparring while also getting calm people angry. Bryan said Cena could return the verbiage even better which is tough for Miz.
-Bryan brought up how Cena offered Miz a free shot to the face which Miz refused. Renee said you can’t blame Miz for not responding. Bryan said he does blame Miz because John Cena laid into Maryse in addition to Miz tonight and laid into her hard. Bryan said if someone like Cena did this to Brie, he would punch him on the spot. Bryan said he doesn’t care if it’s Brock Lesnar. Renee said it was tough seeing this as a friend of both Maryse and Nikki Bella.
-Naomi was the next guest. Renee pulled up the clip of Naomi relinquishing her Women’s Championship. Naomi said that clip made her mad all over again. Naomi talked about how it was so sudden but she is at least thankful for coming back as a mentally and physically stronger person. Naomi said Bryan and Shane made the right decision at the time for her health. Naomi said coming back felt good and even though she wasn’t out for too long it was tough watching Alexa Bliss talk bad about her on television.
-Naomi said it’s going to be difficult competing against all of the women in the division where she has to bring everything she has, especially being in front of all of her love ones. Renee said she’s supposed to be unbiased but she’s rooting for Naomi 100 percent. Bryan joked about not knowing about air high fives. Naomi said Bryan made the high fives look stank. This ended the interview segment.
-Bryan said Naomi looked great especially with the side kicks that she did which Bryan said he’s probably not athletic enough to do. Bryan said she was as explosive as before her injury.
-Bryan couldn’t help but use the last segment to segue into talking about “The Big Hog” James Ellsworth. Renee wondered about his possible attire again. Bryan bought up how Ellsworth wore sweatpants tonight. Renee said she thought it was cargo pants. Bryan stressed it was sweatpants because sometimes “The Big Hog” just can’t be contained. Bryan then called Ellsworth the wild card with Carmella and how his help can help Carmella in such a congested match.
-Renee transitioned to Tom Philips conducting an interview with Dean Ambrose and Baron Corbin and said they were in separate rooms due to their conflict…
-Baron Corbin told Philips to shut up because people don’t pay to see Tom, they pay to see him. Dean was in joke mode and called Baron a “wet blanket” for making fun of Tom. Baron said Dean makes people laugh, but he’s not a funny guy, and it wasn’t funny when he crushed Dean with a forklift. Baron said he doesn’t care about what people think, he only cares about making Dean suffer. Baron said he enjoys seeing the moment when someone breaks.
-Dean he’s only afraid of two things, tarantula hawks and lime disease. Dean said he’s not afraid of a Bebop and Rocksteady looking bully. Dean said he was going to give Baron a life lesson and wrestling lesson by gouging his eyes, kicking ass, and hitting dirty deeds to steal Baron’s lunch money. Dean said to bring a truck or even a cannon because when Dean falls he gets back up to hit Baron harder. Baron said he’s bringing a truck to run Dean over and over again. Baron then recapped moments and said he took Dean’s dignity. Dean Ambrose said Baron Corbin was boring like a root canal. They then told each other to shut up. Dean Ambrose then got cute after Baron told him to shut up by grabbing a remote control to turn off Baron Corbin’s camera feed.
-Baron Corbin then marched on the Talking Smack set and said what just happened was disrespect. Baron Corbin said Dean Ambrose is a joke and is going to get hurt. Baron said things won’t be so funny on Sunday and they’ll be no remote to stop him from beating Dean’s head in. Bryan said joking was Dean’s style. Baron Corbin said Dean was holding Baron’s championship and he was going to pay for it.
Baron said there is a difference between him and Ambrsoe. Baron said on Sunday when Dean is defeated, Dean can go back to parking lots, stapling dollar bills to his forehead in front of twelve rednecks who are cheering him on. Baron said Dean can hope to keep those dollars, get paid in his hot dog, and go back home; but Baron said he was the one percent who played in the NFL. Baron said only one percent of college football players make it to the NFL. So when Dean’s stapling dollars to his head, Baron was playing in front of 70 thousand people making big time money. Baron said he was a person you build the brand around and he can carry Smackdown. Baron said he was the future of this business. Baron talked about leaving WrestleMania with a 2-0 record with the IC Championship and we’ll see who’s laughing. Baron walked off set.
-Bryan said it’s interesting how Corbin said he’s the future but not the present. Bryan said he feels Dean is the present. Renee gave one last hype for WrestleMania. Bryan checked out of the show by mocking the “Ultimate Thrill Ride” slogan again…
John’s Thoughts: Oh, that’s why Dean Ambrose and Baron Corbin were not on Smackdown. It appears their segment was cut from the show. In a way, it was odd they didn’t show it, but Ambrose was a bit too cute tonight. What that segment did do well was show both versions of Corbin, who was a bit better in the interview than he has been on Smackdown in the past when he had to deliver a “pro wrestling promo.” He was so much better on Talking Smack when he got to talk about being the one percent while Dean got paid in hot dogs. Talking Smack is doing a good job as the main roster version of the Dusty Rhodes promo class that we’ve seen clips of from back in the day. Bryan and Renee are just really good at getting the best promos out of everyone.
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.