By John Moore
-Renee Young and Daniel Bryan checked in from the WWE Talking Smack set. Daniel Bryan returned to his rightful seat as the co-host of WWE Talking Smack. Renee congratulated Bryan on living “The Dad Life”.
-Bryan said the dad life is 75% amazing and 25% demoralizing. Bryan clarified it was the lack of sleep and other things. Bryan said his daughter was now a national treasure.
-Renee transitioned to talking about Smackdown. Bryan said he didn’t want this. He said he wanted to be eased in rather than dealing with drama off the bat. Renee congratulated Bryan for doing a good job with the Money in the Bank decision.
-Carmella and James Ellsworth were the first guests of the show. Renee asked Carmella about where her briefcase was. Bryan clarified that he took it away from her. Carmella took the question as a slight against her. Bryan shook things off by saying that Carmella will have a chance to win the Money in the Bank next week.
-Ellsworth started to talk. Bryan said it was tough to look at Ellsworth and he said it in his sarcastic Daniel Bryan way. Ellsworth asked Bryan what he would have felt if someone took away the Money in the Bank briefcase that he won. Carmella blamed Bryan for making up rules on the spot. Bryan challenged Carmella immediately with his awesome patronizing tone and told her to quote some more rules in the “WWE Playbook”.
John’s Thoughts: Bryan is such a great agitator and so good at making these Talking Smack segments entertaining. This is why we missed the dude!
-Carmella feigned crying by saying that Bryan embarrassed her in front of her family. Bryan gave Carmella the “what the hell” look. Carmella asked Bryan how he would feel if someone stripped his daughter of something they want. Bryan cracked up thinking that Carmella said “Stripped your daughter”. Renee couldn’t help but crack up on the side.
-Ellsworth said WWE has done a good job with the women’s division. Bryan brought up a man climbing the ladder in what was supposed to be a monumental moment. Ellsworth told Carmella to not worry because he has a plan for next week. Bryan cut in and said Ellsworth was banned from ringside. Carmella said she’s going to win and become undisputed miss Money in the Bank. Carmella walked off.
-Renee gave Daniel Bryan a high five for making Carmella cry on his first Talking Smack segment back. Bryan told Renee that those were fake tears. Renee pointed out that it looked real due to the constant stream of tears. Bryan said its actress level tears. The same thing convincing James Ellsworth to be with her. Bryan said he’s not even sure if Carmella really knows the WWE rules. Renee pointed out that the question was a bit stupid due to it being so open-ended. Bryan claimed he was just asking for one rule.
-Bryan said he has no sympathy for them. Bryan then said to “Screw that guy!” to James Ellsworth for talking about his daughter.
-Renee transitioned to talking about Lana getting another match against Naomi. Bryan said Lana did well in her first high profile match. Bryan said thing are different now since Carmella can’t run in and cause paranoia. Renee asked Bryan to give Lana advice since he’s the guy everyone loves. Bryan wondered if Renee wanted him to give her advice on making people like her. Renee said she was talking about in ring work.
-Bryan said he came into WWE with ten years’ experience which is the exact opposite of Lana, who has very little. Bryan gave Lana credit for keeping up with a Naomi who’s in her prime. Bryan also revealed that Lana cut out alcohol. Bryan gave Naomi credit for kicking out of Lana’s signature move.
-New Day were the next guests. Big E brought a skeleton on set that he named “Jaheem Uso”. New Day asked Bryan to hug Jaheem. They then encouraged Bryan to kiss Jaheem.
-Xavier Woods clarified a WWE rulebook rule in saying that there should be only one pinfall “save” that can happen in a match. Bryan didn’t think that was true since most tag team matches have multiple “saves” to break up pins. Bryan said even though it’s a rule it’s allowed. He compared it to how holding is selectively called in the NFL.
-Renee asked New Day on their thoughts on the Hype Bros getting a chance to wrestle for a shot at the Tag Team Championships. Woods wondered if there was a clause in everyone’s contracts that guaranteed them a title shot after a long absence. Big E said Zack Ryder deserves it due to his thick tan. Kofi Kingston put a “target” on the back of Jaheem to symbolize the target on the back of the Usos. Kofi said the Usos have to be fighting champions like the New Day were.
-Big E started chewing and doing strange things with his microphone.
-Renee asked New Day about their next step with so many things happening including Big E beating an Uso as well as Chad Gable re-appearing. Big E said he beat Jim. They then talked over the replays from their Smackdown match.
-Big E started to drink out of Bryan’s cup. Renee pulled things back on track by talking about Smackdown’s deep tag team division and New Day’s plan on approaching it. Big E and Kofi joked about Renee asking a dumb question because people shouldn’t reveal their game plan. Verbal madness ensued between New Day and Renee. Renee told New Day that the backstage were telling her to move on from this segment. This ended the New Day segment with them trying to hang on as long as possible. Bryan asked Big E how sweaty he was. They gave Bryan a group hug before leaving the set.
-Renee said the New Day were maniacs. Bryan gave Renee a “haha!”. Bryan said back in the early days of Talking Smack everyone would complain and give Bryan loads of crap. Bryan said New Day comes on Talking Smack and gives encouragement to Bryan.
-AJ Styles was the next guest. AJ talked about almost getting an opportunity to face Kevin Owens via the open challenge. AJ said he didn’t get the shot ultimately because Chad Gable was better at lying about his hometown than AJ.
-Renee wanted to know if AJ’s current goal was to become U.S. champion. AJ confirmed that it was. AJ said Owens claims to be the “face of America” even though he’s Canadian. Styles said Owens mocked the Open Challenge concept and when he becomes champion he will respect the open challenge.
-Bryan asked AJ for his thoughts on falling from the hook of the briefcase. AJ talked about trying to unhook the briefcase and failing. Bryan wondered if that would hurt more. AJ said winning makes everything hurt less.
-Renee brought up Shinsuke Nakamura and AJ’s standoff in the Ladder Match. Bryan wondered if AJ was going to shift his focus away from the US Championship and towards having a showcase match against Nakamura. AJ said the showcase match could be Nakamura vs. AJ for the US title if everything works out.
-AJ talked about Kevin Owens being successful in being Chris Jericho and AJ. Styles said he almost won and lost due to himself falling through a table.
-Bryan asked AJ if Kevin Owens is simply better than AJ. AJ said Owens wasn’t. AJ then turned the question around and asked Bryan if there was any time Bryan wrestled and thought that his opponent was better. Bryan said he did several times and Bryan said he thought Yuji Nagata and Jushin Thunder Liger were better when he faced them. AJ said when you get to this point, there wasn’t a man AJ has faced that AJ didn’t think he could beat.
-Renee asked AJ what AJ thinks qualifies AJ as the face of America. AJ said he’s American. AJ also said it’s a championship he never had and he would like to represent the US. AJ said he doesn’t have what Chad Gable has in being an actual Olympian and the U.S. Title was a way for AJ to represent his country. AJ then stopped and noticed he was getting a bit too sappy. Bryan wanted to compare AJ to a “Super American” but then thought that his joke wouldn’t work on WWE TV.
-Bryan asked AJ for daughter advice. AJ talked about having sons first and a daughter last. AJ said his fear was changing a girl’s dippers because boys have things that he knows stuff about as a male. AJ made a hand gesture and said he found out that to change a girl’s dipper you have to “wipe away”. This cracked up Renee Young. Bryan said he’s not only using cloth dippers, but also cloth wipes. AJ then brought up “Tar Poop”. Renee said there should be a segment where WWE fathers talk. Bryan wanted to kick Renee off the show and call it “WWE Dads”. AJ wished Bryan good luck with fatherhood as he walked off.
-Renee gave some final hype for next week’s matches including the Money in the Bank Women’s match. Lana vs. Naomi was another match. They also hyped The Hype Bros vs. The Usos in a non-title match. Bryan said he can’t guarantee he’s going to be back next week. Renee closed the show by saying her fingers were crossed that he would be back.
John’s Thoughts: Shane was fine in filling in and JBL does a pretty good job, but Daniel Bryan makes this show must watch. We talk about all the dream matches in wrestling, I kinda want to see all the dream interactions people can have with Bryan when he’s on his game as a great host and agitator. Bryan picked on Carmella like he used to Alexa Bliss and took her to another level. He also had cute interactions with both AJ and the New Day. I hope he’s back next week. Bryan makes this must see.