By John Moore
WWE Talking Smack
Aired April 19, 2017 on the WWE Network
-Renee Young and Shane McMahon checked in from the Talking Smack set. Shane encouraged Renee to do a drumroll for some reason. Shane was drinking from a red plastic cup. Renee informed the viewers that Shane was filling in for Daniel Bryan due to the expected arrival of his daughter very soon. Renee told viewers to check out Brie’s Instagram and that she is ready “to drop any second”.
-Renee showed off a gift she received earlier in the day. It was a Louisville Slugger with her name and the Smackdown Logo imprinted on it.
-Shane reiterated his “Land of Opportunity” tagline in regards to the Superstar Shakeup aftermath.
-Number one contender to the WWE Championship, Jinder Mahal, was the first guest on Talking Smack. Jinder thanked Shane and Renee for giving him the platform to declare himself the future WWE Heavyweight Champion. Shane reminded Jinder of asking for the opportunity, which Shane gave him this night and Jinder took advantage. Jinder argued that Shane didn’t give him an opportunity; rather Jinder took the opportunity to become number one contender. Jinder called his opponents “five of Smackdown’s best” and he said he beat them all by himself.
-Jinder said he will become champion all by himself due to hard work. Renee retorted by pointing out how Jinder cheated in his match with the help of the Bollywood Boys. Jinder quickly brushed it off even though Renee referenced the footage. Jinder continued to brush it off and drew attention to the boos in his post-match promo. Jinder said people should give him respect because when he becomes World Champion he will become “The New American Dream”.
-Shane drifted off topic by talking about how the Talking Smack chairs allow him to sit face to face with the tall Jinder. Renee brought things back on topic by asking Jinder about his thoughts on having time to prepare for his championship match at Backlash. Jinder talked about having the opportunity to beat the best version of Randy Orton (so I’m assuming even Jinder believes that Bray has no chance). Jinder said he wants an undistracted Randy. Jinder brought up that he’ll train hard for the next few weeks. Jinder Mahal reiterated that he will become the “New American Dream”.
-Jinder said he saw fear in Randy Orton’s eyes. Jinder slipped on his words a bit by saying he’s a younger version of Randy Orton. Jinder went into his speech about being in better shame and conditioning than Randy. Jinder said he has no reason to be nervous of Randy and Randy has more to lose. Renee gave Orton credit for being in peak performance himself. Jinder said that’s true but Randy’s at the top of the mountain and there’s only one place for him to go. Jinder said he was a hungry shark who tastes blood for the first time and Randy should be worried. Renee closed out the interview and Jinder tried to call himself the “Future American Dream” again. After Jinder left, Shane pointed out that the name belongs to Dusty Rhodes.
John’s Thoughts: Jinder did go a bit overboard with the “Future American Dream” thing in a corny way. I do see where he’s coming from though in that I believe this is a reference to how Dusty Rhodes seemingly saw something in him. Throughout his time in FCW, Jinder was always put in the main event picture and in NXT he was the first main event heel to challenge Seth Rollins for the NXT Championship. Jinder reminds me of Impact Wrestling’s Eli Drake in that he is a good talker, but he hasn’t found his charisma or connection with the crowd yet. Hopefully, like Drake, something just clicks with him and hopefully he can find this in this random main event push.
-Shane gave kudos to Jinder for coming last week to stake his claim to a top spot and delivering the next week. Renee and Shane are looking past Bray Wyatt at this point and talking about Randy Orton vs. Jinder Mahal.
-Renee transitioned to “The Face of America” Kevin Owens. Shane said last week was uncomfortable when Kevin Owens was on the set. Shane said he’s had past issues with Kevin Owens as GM of Raw which stemmed from KO’s bad attitude.
-The newly dubbed “The Colons” were the next guests on the show. The intro graphic under them also said “The Colons”. Renee complemented The Colons for beating American Alpha. Primo said it isn’t a popularity contest and they were there to be successful, make money, and enjoy the things that come with being successful. Epico brought up their past history. He said Primo and Epico were Tag Team Champions five years ago and even defended their titles against The Usos at WrestleMania.
-Primo said everyone who wasn’t the Colons was in trouble. He said they weren’t here to make friends, kiss babies, or shake hands. He said they were here to win. Renee said some of the PR rounds come with being a WWE Superstar. Primo said he isn’t going to judge what other people do in their households, but that’s not what the Colons do because they aren’t politically correct. Shane said it depends on the superstar and you can’t really force a person to visit a children’s hospital or charity event when they don’t want to because it won’t come off as genuine.
John’s Thoughts: I know Shane was in China at this time, but he clearly wasn’t watching WWE when Stephanie McMahon, Heel Mark Henry, Heel Big Show, and Heel Alberto Del Rio did all of those Make A wish and Children’s Hospital appearances.
-Epico said the Colons were here to win championships and prove to the world that they come from one of the greatest wrestling families in the world. Epico referenced the former World Wrestling Councile Universal Champion, Primo’s Dad Carlos Colon. He also referenced former WWE U.S. Champion, Carlito Colon. Epico also referenced that he and Primo were former Tag Team Champions and they wanted to remind the world of what the Colons were about. Primo talked to Shane about growing up in the business just like him. Shane talked about how growing up in the business allows them to see more of what works and what doesn’t work compared to most people. Shane said he and the Colons have seen it all growing up in the family business.
John’s Thoughts: You’ve really seen it all when you’ve gone through being both Puerto Rican Spanish Matadors and Wrestling Travel Agents. But seriously, whose dumb ass idea was it to say in the creative board room, “Let’s make the Colons Wrestling Travel Agents! That will draw heat!”. Ugh. Carlito really needs to spit in the face of whoever thought of that.
-Primo said they were going to change the Smackdown Tag Team Division. Epico said they were hungry and ready to claim their throne. This ended the interview as they respectfully left.
-Renee talked about the Smackdown Tag Division looking really deep. Shane said it’s not only that, but the different attitude of tag teams entering the division.
-Lana was the next topic of conversation. Shane called it exciting and an opportunity. Renee said she was excited to see what Lana can do away from Rusev (and hopefully she stays far far away from doing anything with the Dolph Ziggler character).
-Charlotte Flair was the last guest on Talking Smack. Shane called Charlotte a phenomenal athlete. Renee wondered what everyone in the roster thinks about Charlotte being thrust in to the top spot. Charlotte said she simply had the guts to ask for it. That’s it.
-Charlotte said it’s only seven days and she’s number one contender. Renee asked Charlotte how she felt confronting a new opponent like Naomi. Charlotte had a long awkward pause. Charlotte said no one will outwork her. She said she will have the title around her waist next week. Shane said Charlotte earned the shot tonight.
-Renee said people have credited Charlotte by being a gifted athlete and she now has to face a person with very similar gifts athletically. Charlotte said Naomi was an amazing athlete but Charlotte is “the dirtiest player in the game”. Charlotte then said it was “second nature” (oh gawd! this thing is dying a 1000 deaths). Charlotte then said she was “the queen”. The interview ended at this point.
-Renee talked about Charlotte impressing her by getting better every single time she’s in the ring. Shane said Charlotte is very confident, has amazing ability, but Naomi has some things that Charlotte hasn’t seen. Renee said she (Renee) wasn’t jumping ship and is still on the Naomi bandwagon. Talking Smack ended with Renee randomly taking a sip out of Shane’s red cup.
John’s Thoughts: Ouch! That was painful by the end with Charlotte. The strange thing is that she’s usually very solid on the microphone and was good two hours before Talking Smack. This episode ended at about 18 minutes, which is short and I’m assuming a part of that was them having to pull the plug on that slip up by Charlotte. I don’t want to harp on her too much, because I know she can be good, but that reminded me of the “Charismatic John Johnson” (TJ Perkins) of Southpaw Regional Wrestling.
Bad Charlotte segment aside, Shane was awake tonight unlike two weeks ago as he and Renee had a solid episode. Shane brings a different approach where Daniel Bryan tries to light fires while Shane tries to help people flesh out their characters. The best news of the night is that the Shining Stars Travel Agency is no more and it looks like Primo and Epico are going to simply be good tag team wrestlers with a fighting edge to them.
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.