By John Moore
WWE Talking Smack
Aired April 11, 2017 on WWE Network
-Daniel Bryan and Renee Young open up WWE Talking Smack and they were joined by Shane McMahon. Renee wore an NWO T-Shirt. Bryan talked about being excited about the aftermath of the Roster Shakeup while a bit sad to see some people leave Smackdown. Bryan said this was in the best interest of the superstars since they can get a fresh look on their new show. Bryan said he knows Renee is sad since Dean Ambrose is gone from Smackdown. Bryan and Shane jokingly pushed the blame on each other as to why Dean was gone. Bryan then said it was “Mr. McMahon’s” fault, I’m guessing to play along that Shane is a McMahon, but imply that it was Vince’s decision.
-Bryan laughed in saying he got rid of Miz and Smackdown was now peaceful. Shane said the Smackdown stars that moved to Raw will now matriculate through their roster to make Raw a better show since Raw is the show that needs the help.
-Dolph Ziggler was the first guest and he brought an apple on set to eat during his interview. Dolph claimed that he personally requested that Dean Ambrose get sent to Raw. Renee called Dolph a ridiculous human being. Dolph said he was listening to the analysis on Talking Smack and he’s going to miss some people. Dolph said he loves to hate Miz but Miz is gone. Dolph talked about the Shining Stars in particular as being very good. Dolph said he’s looking forward to seeing them on live events.
-Renee wondered who Dolph was looking at in the singles division. Dolph said he was looking at Shinsuke Nakamura and he just learned how to say that name. Dolph pointed out how the crowd already knows him yet Dolph doesn’t. Dolph said he only follows Smackdown and sometimes Raw. Dolph said he can’t wait to make Nakamura’s huge following sad when he beats Nakamura. Renee wanted to know Dolph’s thoughts on Nakamura confronting him two weeks ago (last week’s was unaired). Dolph said he knows where the money is and the money is in building towards a big match. Dolph said people expect Dolph to lose to Nakamura but he’ll prove them wrong.
-Shane brought up Shinsuke’s history in NXT. He said on Smackdown Nakamura is in “rookie status”. Shane said he can’t wait to see Dolph vs. Nakamura with Dolph’s experience on the main roster. Dolph talked about this being Orlando and New York, not Japan. Renee pointed out that they were in Boston. Dolph said Bryan understands the reference.
-Bryan talked about being a dad soon and announced that he’ll be a dad in two and a half weeks. At Dolph’s request, Shane showed off his sneakers. Bryan said his shoes were made of recycled tires. Dolph ended the interview by saying he’d be happy to fill in for Bryan when the baby comes along.
-Bryan talked about being roommates with Nakamura and former UFC Champion Lyoto Machida in 2002 at an apartment in Santa Monica, California. Bryan said he didn’t do too much since he was really poor at the time. Bryan called Nakamura the biggest star in Japan and he was taking a risk to test himself in NXT and WWE. Bryan said he has the crowd in the palm of his hands and is proving why he’s such a celebrity.
-Bryan shared a story about introducing Nakamura to doughnuts. Nakamura told Bryan that the doughnuts were too sweet. Bryan said he used that quote to be a mark by doing the Wolfpac “Two Sweet” hand gesture only to have Nakamura look down to him like he was a nerd.
-Renee transitioned to talking about the women’s division. Bryan said he was sad to lose Alexa Bliss and Mickie James. Bryan said he was excited to have Charlotte’s championship and main event experience. Bryan brought up some good matchups including a possible physical encounter between Tamina and Charlotte.
-Jinder Mahal was the next guest. Renee said Jinder should be shirtless due to all Jinder’s hard work. Jinder said he has the best physique in WWE and the most improved wrestler. Jinder said he would have won the Dre and his Smackdown debut if it weren’t for Rob Gronkowski. Jinder asked Shane why Gronk wasn’t banned for jumping the guard rail at Mania. Bryan was agreeing with Jinder. Shane said Jinder provoked Rob as they replayed the interaction between Rob and Jinder.
-Jinder said he only took a sip of Gronk’s drink because he was thirsty from his match. He said he spit it out due to not knowing that it was alcohol. Jinder said he doesn’t drink alcohol.
-Jinder said he came to Smackdown to win championships and have a fresh start. Jinder said people will forget about the old Jinder Mahal and Gronk ruined a part of that tonight. Shane brought up Jinder provoking Gronk again tonight and told him to focus. Jinder demanded that Shane ban Gronk so he can have a one-on-one match against Mojo Rawley. Jinder said there is no one in WWE out working him and out dieting him. Jinder said he doesn’t know what cheat days are in reference to Bryan’s doughnut story. Bryan said he did eat some vegan sweets today. Jinder said he isn’t happy with himself for not winning a championship in five years which is why he’s pushing himself. Jinder said he was told he had “potential” since he came to WWE and now it’s time for him to live up to that potential.
-After Jinder left, Renee tried to defend Gronkowski. Bryan gave the Patriots a raspberry for beating the Seahawks. Bryan said he agrees with Jinder that Gronkowski should sit in the cheap seats.
-Shane talked about Jinder being motivated. Bryan said people have been pointing out his body, but Bryan’s been more impressed in Jinder’s in-ring work, which has improved since his last WWE run. Bryan said not only is Jinder crisper but he has a chip on his shoulder. Renee argued that Mojo was also trying to prove himself as much as Jinder is.
-Bryan said he did train with Mojo and was impressed by his 60 inch box jump. They showed the clip of Mojo jumping the barricade cleanly. Shane sounded like he called Mojo a “Big Sweaty Hog”. This offended Bryan because there is only one “Big Hog” in WWE and that’s James Ellsworth. Bryan said he’s happy he didn’t lose the Big Hog or the Big Hog Dance in the locker room. Renee wondered how Bryan would be as a man without his Big Hog.
-Renee talked about the Usos and American Alpha putting on yet another great match. Bryan said he failed at WrestleMania for not getting them a spot on the card. Bryan said on their two hour show they failed to give people like American Alpha a chance to flush out their personalities on air. Bryan said that’s where New Day can help which will bring out the best in everyone from a personality perspective.
-Kevin Owens interrupted and threw his shoes on the table. Owens said they weren’t expensive. Bryan said a cow died for these leather shoes. Renee said her shirt was faux leather. This caused Owens to go sarcastic. Owens talked about his Smackdown debut. He said he felt great at first but then Sami Zayn showed up. Bryan said he felt Sami Zayn was underutilized on Raw. Bryan told Owens he didn’t feel the same for Owens since Owens was at the top as Universal Champion. Owens said he wasn’t Universal Champ during the draft and both Raw and Smackdown let him slip low. McMahon said as the person running Raw at the time, Owens didn’t have a good attitude.
-Owens wondered if being the face of America was why he’s good now. Shane then dared Owens to take his opportunity in the land of opportunity. Owens said he doesn’t believe that tagline that Shane likes to put out there. Owens said he’s still bitter that Smackdown didn’t draft him and neither did Raw at a high spot. Owens said Sami being dragged here pisses him off and that the “Land of Opportunity” is crap. Owens said management only gives opportunities to people they like. Owens said whether you like it or not, as champion Owens was better than every single person on Smackdown Live. Owens said he will make his own opportunities. He then mocked taglines by saying he was going to make it KO Country.
-Renee brought up Owens vs. Chris Jericho with the winner joining Smackdown Live. Owens said it was Owens joining Smackdown Live since that was a foregone conclusion. Owens confirmed that he wasn’t looking past Jericho but the proof was in Owens beating Jericho at WrestleMania. Owens then said he will go on to beat AJ Styles just like Owens beat Styles before the brand extension. Owens said he was still going to be the best in WWE and the face of America. Owens mocked Bryan’s yes chant. Renee thanked Owens as a guest and Owens said he doesn’t believe that. Owens continued with the sarcasms. Owens congratulated Bryan on his incoming daughter and said he has a daughter and son to care for himself. Owens sarcastically said that Bryan and Shane didn’t know that which is why they didn’t draft Owens to Smackdown to provide for his family. This was the last interview of this episode
John’s Thoughts: It was good to have Bryan back, and not only that, Shane was awake this week. The shakeup also allows more people to have this Talking Smack outlet that sadly a lot of Raw wrestlers don’t have the luxury of and it will be cool to see how the new roster members take advantage of it. Jinder Mahal got to shine a bit and it baffles me why TNA never signed the guy because he is good in the ring and a great talker. He just lacks natural charisma. He got to show something on Talking Smack that reminded me of when he had a surprisingly good feud with Great Khali. Let’s see if he can pull a Drew Galloway to wipe 3MB from the memory banks. Owens wasn’t as great as I expected, but he was still really good in his sarcastic role in pointing out how Raw and Smackdown had him low on the draft chart. Dolph was… well… Dolph… but at least he didn’t cry or yell.