By John Moore
WWE Talking Smack
Aired April 26, 2017 on WWE Network
-Renee Young checked in from the Talking Smack set with her “New” co-host John Bradshaw Layfield. JBL complemented Renee on her wig as she returned the favor. They also reminisced about their time as hosts of the YouTube “JBL and Cole” show. JBL said he was the best at talking smack.
-Tyler Breeze and Fandango showed up as the fashion police. Renee congratulated them on becoming number one contenders and asked how they will approach their match against the Usos. Fandango called them “The Uggos”. Breeze called them the “U So Uglies”. Renee wanted to know Breezango’s training method. Fandango said he hates clocks (?). JBL dubbed the Usos as the best tag team and the last few years. He then called Breezango weird and said they look like people from The Love Boat.
-Fandango took off his shirt to expose his chest. JBL told Fandango that he didn’t have to get “nekid”. Renee asked Breezango if they are going to get serious now that they have a championship match. Breeze said they will get serious now that championships are involved. Fandango called this a “funny facade” and they weren’t giving everything away at front.
-JBL asked Breeze about his furry selfie stick and asked if you could buy those off Amazon. Breeze said it was custom made. Renee pointed out how Fandango wears sunglasses indoors. Fandango gave JBL a ticket as JBL made more old man referential jokes. Renee congratulated the contenders again and ended the interview. Fandango and Breeze gave the hosts “claw” bumps.
John’s Thoughts: You know who would make better number one contenders for the Tag Championships? Chett Chetterfield and Mr. Mackelroy. Maybe even Tyler Breeze and Johnny Curtis. Curtis, in particular, is a very talented character wrestler and is just stuck in a gimmick almost as damaged as Sin Cara.
-Renee asked JBL about his reaction to Shinsuke Nakamura. JBL said Nakamura has the most innate charisma that anyone has ever seen and said that everyone’s most requested signing to their brand was Shinsuke Nakamura. JBL referenced his own time in Japan and brought up how Nakamura was the youngest IWGP Champion in Japan and someone who harbors the lost art of the Strong Style. JBL said Nakamura will become one of the biggest superstars that WWE has ever had. JBL then compared Nakamura to Undertaker in how the person rises above all other. Renee brought up being in awe for Nakamura’s entrance yet again.
-They transitioned to talking about Dolph Ziggler. JBL brought up how Ziggler shouldn’t think he’s overlooked because of his World Championship past. JBL and Renee pointed out that Ziggler is still talented to this day. Renee said Ziggler’s gripe might come from not getting the rocket put on his back to the top of the card. JBL said Ziggler can get that rocket once he has a good match against Shinsuke Nakamura.
-Becky Lynch was the next guest. Becky called the new heel trio “The New Wench Order” and called them Snakes for attacking Becky as individuals and trying to bully her into joining their group. JBL said it might be Becky’s fault that she’s being targeted. Becky said maybe it is her fault that she’s good enough to be a visible threat. Becky said everyone that has jumped her has gotten rewarded with top opportunities, pushes, and media. Becky said she’s not going to take that approach and as long as she survives she’s winning by doing the right thing. Becky also brought up how a lot of our current champions have been underhanded. JBL said he’s made a career out of breaking the rules. He then referenced Bobby Heenan.
-Becky said she aims to be a role model to the children. JBL told the children to start cheating on their tests. He said you could write notes on your hand or even hire someone to steal test results from the teachers for you.
-Becky Lynch said she didn’t enjoy seeing the heel trio mess up the Women’s championship match. Becky said she doesn’t regret not joining them because everyone should fight their own battles. Becky said surviving against multiple obstacles causes her to grow.
-Becky talked about being great friends and rivals with Charlotte and how Charlotte hasn’t beaten her in a fair fight since Charlotte has relied on Ric Flair and Dana Brooke in their past matches. JBL went back into his advice about cheating and backstabbing. Becky said she’ll be sleeping on a fluffy cloud of her good conscience. This ended this interview.
-Renee berated JBL for speaking lies to the children. They then transitioned to talking about the House of Horrors match. JBL compared it to the Mankind Boiler Room match where we didn’t know what it was until it happens. JBL said this will be a match for the ages since Bray is a creative person. Renee then reiterated the hype about it starting outside and ending up in the ring. JBL said it might be like Piper vs Goldust but he still wasn’t sure. As for Breeze and Fandango, they need to drop the fashion police thing which comes off as a pale imitation of Chris Jericho’s list with the citations. Breeze needs to become Derrick Zoolander again while The Dango needs to go back to being Johnny Curtis since he’s vastly underutilized.
-Randy Orton and Jinder Mahal was the next topic on Talking Smack. JBL compared Mahal’s quick rise to his own rise back in 2004. JBL brought up selling out the Staples Center in LA back then with Eddie Guerrero and that happened due to the opportunity presenting itself. JBL said Jinder Mahal and himself have really close career parallels. JBL called Mahal a smart, intelligent person, and great athlete. Renee brought up how Mahal’s Instagram shows the hard work he is putting in his body. JBL then brought up how this is a positive for WWE because of the 1.3 person market in India.
-Sami Zayn was the final guest of Talking Smack. JBL made some more old man John Wayne reference that flew over everyone’s head. Renee welcomed Sami Zayn to Smackdown. Smackdown said he had mixed emotions about the move but he’s heard all over the place from the fans that he should move to Smackdown Live. Sami brought up how Smackdown was branded the land of opportunity and he’s built his career on top of opportunity. Sami said this may be the land of opportunity but it wasn’t easy street.
-Sami talked about running into obstacles on Raw and the same will come up on Smackdown. After Renee asked the question about toughest opponents, Sami brought up how he was just a hair away from becoming number one contender only to have the Singh brothers take it away from him. Sami said it’s things like this which have been around his career to make the accolades much better.
-Renee then transitioned to talking about Baron Corbin. Sami said Corbin was no innocent than Kevin Owens. Sami Zayn compared Baron Corbin to Braun Strowman. Zayn said Corbin was unlikable in his NXT days. Zayn said Corbin has reached a certain amount of success but now he has some sort of similar grudge as Braun Strowman.
-Before Zayn could finish his thought, Baron Corbin stormed the sent to put the right hands to Sami Zayn. After pummeling Sami with some rights, the referees came by to stop the onslaught to close out Talking Smack.
John’s Thoughts: It looks like we might be getting JBL for a month or so given that Daniel Bryan will be a new father, but I hope it’s just a month because Bryan is just so good at the babyface agitator and co-host. Plus, we won’t get our weekly “Big Hog” reference in a while. That said JBL on this night was an upgrade over what Shane McMahon brings to the table. This is partially due to having good chemistry with Renee Young, but a different one compared to her and Bryan’s. JBL’s only real weakness is he makes these old man references that only he seems to get; and the free reign Talking Smack guests along with Renee let him know that.
This was a solid episode, but nothing really spectacular from a character development perspective. Becky and Sami are two of the most genuine babyfaces in WWE and Becky in particular is arguably the most pure babyface in professional wrestling. The Baron Corbin attack was pretty tame by attack standards, but Sami sells these things really well and could make Baron Corbin a legit top heel in the next few months. Like he said, just like Braun Strowman. It’ll be interesting to see how he does now that he doesn’t have yelling Mick Foley in the way.