By John Moore
WWE Talking Smack
Aired May 2, 2017 on the WWE Network
-Renee Young checked in from the Talking Smack set and was joined by Shane McMahon, who had his signature red cup with him. Shane said Jericho was in the emergency room right now and tests were being done on his neck. Renee wondered if there were some repercussions due to Kevin Owens since this is a regular occurrence involving Owens. Shane said this was not ballet. He said Kevin was making a statement and doing what he has to do to climb the ladder.
-Renee talked about the footage being tough to watch before noticing that she was watching the end of the match rather than the post-match attack. Shane also had an odd and similar moment in recapping the popup powerbomb.
-Shane talked about getting the WWE Championship from Jinder Mahal and reiterated his point from Smackdown about how titles are earned.
-AJ Styles was the first guest. AJ brought Shane a cup of ice as AJ stressed that it was a backstage person who requested that AJ bring Shane the ice for his red cup drink.
-Styles said he feels great no matter who he has to face for the United States Championship. Styles said he might have been an equalizer in the main event match if he wasn’t banned from ringside. Shane tried to move things past that and said AJ can get his payback at Backlash.
-Renee called Styles a cornerstone on Smackdown and asked AJ how he feels about Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens possibly moving on that territory. AJ mentioned how he’s not afraid of anyone. AJ said he would take on Braun Strowman and not show fear. AJ said everyone gets knocked down but the key is how that person reacts and adapts to the situation.
-Styles brought up coming into the WWE at first and how it felt intimidating at the time but the tables have flipped and now he has more confidence to do what he wants. Styles said he does better with pressure and pressure makes diamonds. Renee wanted to know if Shane had a biased view on who would win. Shane just said whoever was best will win. Shane told Renee and Shane to bet on him in his claim to win the WWE United States Championship.
-AJ called Owens one of the best and compared their parallel journeys on both brands. AJ talked about how him being WWE Champion and going for the United States Championship is similar to how Kevin Owens won the Universal Title and is now the United States Champion. AJ said Owens was one of the best while AJ was better than the best.
-AJ talked about the land of opportunity tagline again but then held back out of apprehension. Renee said this was Talking Smack and AJ was free to say whatever he wants. Styles said Smackdown makes them while Raw takes em. Styles said Smackdown makes superstars. Styles said Raw can try to clean Smackdown out but all SD has to do is build someone up and put them in a position to succeed (like Jinder Mahal). Shane McMahon agreed. This ended the Styles interview.
-Renee talked about how this was the attitude of Styles that she likes to see represent Smackdown. Shane said he knows firsthand by being in the ring with that Styles.
-Renee used the AJ quote to talk about Jinder Mahal. Renee wondered if Mahal was seizing the opportunity. Shane said he and Bryan are trying to create an environment for people to make a name for themselves. Renee asked Shane how he feels about Mahal getting help from the Singh brothers. Shane said he prefers you do things on your own but other people take different paths. Renee said Sami Zayn has been in this three on one situation before. Shane said Sami should have known better about this situation because it happened to him before.
-Renee transitioned to talking about Baron Corbin. Shane simply pointed out how Corbin was fined and suspended.
-Natalya, Carmella, Tamina, and James Ellsworth were all the next guests. Shane was baffled that his red cup went missing. Carmella complemented Renee on her bangs. Carmella took control of the mic and talked about how she needs water after pinning the champion. Ellsworth went off camera to get her water. Natalya talked about sending a message especially to Charlotte Flair on how people don’t play like that on Smackdown.
-Natalya said Charlotte was handed everything which Shane disagreed with. Natalya said actions speak louder than words and justice was served tonight by women who have earned and deserve it. Carmella bragged about winning the match again. Natalya said everyone was sick of Becky’s whining and how Becky was not smart. Renee wondered if this was Ellsworth’s fault somehow. Natalya said Becky enjoys being backstabbed because she likes being the martyr. Natalya called Becky a snake. Renee pointed out how Becky called Natalya a snake last week.
-Renee wondered who out of the three women on set deserved a title shot. Carmella said she deserved one because she won the match earlier. Natalya said she does because she’s the leader. They then bickered a bit to show dissension. Carmella said it was Charlotte and Becky’s fault for causing this current dispute.
-Tamina tried to get a word in, saying that she doesn’t think Charlotte is as strong as she thinks she is. Tamina said Charlotte isn’t the only multi-generation woman on the roster. Tamina brought up herself and Natalya as examples and was surprised to find out that Carmella was a second generation wrestler. Carmella mocked Natalya’s hair but then pulled back.
-Renee asked Natalya of the origins of this random union. Natalya said they were all about trust, loyalty, integrity, and respect.
-Shane said it’s going to come down to one-on-one matches soon. Shane also brought up how all three of these women can’t be champion. Natalya reiterated earlier points about integrity and how Charlotte has things handed to her. The interview ended with Natalya pointing out how Renee was stirring the pot. James Ellsworth didn’t like Renee’s bangs for some reason.
-Renee really wanted to talk about Tye Dillinger again. Shane got his red cup back and made some joke about it being a perfect 10 moment. Shane said he really liked the Tye Breaker move. Shane made it seem like he saw that move for the first time. They talked about Aiden English crying. Renee said there was nothing wrong with a man crying.
-They talked about the Fashion Popo next. Renee said Breezango crack her up.
-Shane said the Usos are tough and the trick to beat them is you have to outsmart them.
-Kevin Owens was the next and final guest. Kevin Owens implored Renee to dictate what will happen in his match against Styles.
-Renee wanted Owens to address what he did to Chris Jericho. Owens asked Renee why she lets a blind person cut her hair and said just like that he just did what he had to do. Owens said Jericho had to understand what he did on Sunday. Owens said he’s Canadian while Jericho only claims to be Canadian even though he was born in the United States Owens said Jericho’s inner United States side took over and the American-ness caused him to steal the title from Owens while almost breaking his hand. Owens said he can’t even hold the microphone now.
-Owens stopped Renee from talking and talked about only getting even and taking what’s his. Owens said he thinks that Renee and Jericho are biased against him because they are Canadians who have a thing against French Canadians. Owens asked Shane if Shane has an issue. Shane held back and said that Owens was taking the bull by the horns.
-Renee wanted to know again why Owens continued with the beatdown after winning the championship. Owens said Jericho had the gall to call this Jericho’s show when everyone should know it was the Kevin Owens Show. Owens talked about his Universal Title run and how Jericho was carried on Owens’ back. Owens said even though Jericho would lose every single match he was in on Raw, Jericho claimed to be the co-Universal Champion. Owens said Jericho only beat Roman Reigns because Owens was in the match. Owens said if Jericho knows what’s good for him he’ll leave and not come back to the Kevin Owens Show. Renee let out a sigh of disappointment.
-Shane wanted to know how this ends with a fired up AJ. Owens said it ends with KO standing over a broken down AJ Styles with the title held in the air. Owens said he sensed hostility from Shane and Shane should treat him as a prized athlete. Owens said it bugs him that Shane doesn’t treat him like the best thing to happen to Smackdown from the Superstar Shakeup.
-Shane tried to diffuse things by saying he respects Owens and he wants to see the greatest in AJ and Owens to see what happens. Owens wasn’t pleased as he walked off the set. Renee said there was a lot of hostility tonight as she closed out the show.
John’s Thoughts: Two segments from tonight made me think of Maria Kanellis-Bennett (if the reports of her coming to Smackdown is true). For one, that random Natalya trio that seems to be floundering right now can totally be fixed with Maria as their administrative leader if she played a role similar to the one show played in TNA as the leader of the “Lady Squad”. Also, if she is coming to Smackdown, Smackdown/WWE will have two of the strongest heels in professional wrestling. I’ve dubbed Maria in the past as the female Kevin Owens due to her and his innate ability to piss everyone off at will by just speaking to them. In doing the pissing of the off, they create credible feuds with everyone. WWE is in need of strong heels, and hopefully down the road they get two of the most antagonizing heels in the entire business.
Owens was great tonight. He fills in the antagonist void that Miz left behind, but he does it in a different way, as he just antagonizes people with his quotes and a quality feud is born, man or woman. He caused heat with Renee and it was credible. He even managed to get a quality out of Alex Riley… Alex Riley! Shane was okay and I thought it was a good decision to pit him against Kevin Owens because Shane is a babyface. However, Shane was acting heelish tonight randomly at points and paid a lot of attention on his red cup. That said, JBL brings a lot more energy than Shane as the co-host, but Shane is harmless. At least they didn’t put an unleashed Booker T on set.