By John Moore
WWE Talking Smack
Aired July 4, 2017 on the WWE Network
-Renee Young and Daniel Bryan check in from the WWE Talking Smack set. Renee talked about loving Independence Day. Bryan joked that Renee is not even American. Bryan did a cheap Pop Quiz on Renee by asking her the month and day that America got its independence. Renee was stumped. Bryan got a laugh by informing Renee that America got its independence on July 4th. Renee said Bryan set her up!
-Renee hyped the return of John Cena and Rusev. Bryan loved the AJ Styles vs. Chad Gable match. Bryan took credit for pitching the match. Bryan said when he pitches good ideas he takes credit but when the ideas are bad he blames “Mr. McMahon”. Renee wondered if Bryan was talking about Shane or Vince. Bryan said he meant Shane. Renee joked about how Mr. McMahon can be a blanket statement.
-Renee wanted to know Bryan’s problem with James Ellsworth. This is where Bryan got to say his weekly “Big Hog” quote. Bryan said he “has it out for the Big Hog”. Bryan said he had to do something due to Ellsworth’s constant interference in Women’s matches. Bryan then said he fined Ellsworth $10,000 and suspended Ellsworth 30 days. Bryan said it in exaggerated fashion. Renee said that was harsh. Bryan said he agrees, especially coming from the person who leads the “Big Hog Dance” in the locker room. Renee corrected Bryan based on the past story where Bryan said Rick Victor of the Ascension led the dance. Bryan agreed that he’s starting to rewrite his stories.
-Naomi was the first guest of the show who brought her Feel the Glow shirt and her glowing title.
John’s Thoughts: Is it just me or does Naomi’s neon sign “Glow” logo look exactly like the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling logo?
-Naomi said it took a lot of effort to keep the title looking the same while inserting the glowing lights. Renee asked Naomi if she thinks Bryan’s fine and suspension of Ellsworth was too harsh. Naomi said it wasn’t and it was deserved. Bryan congratulated Naomi for defeating Lana quickly. Renee cut to tweets from CJ (Lana) Perry where Lana complained about not having her shoulders on the mat in her last loss. Naomi said she was a bit mad for giving Lana a chance to complain but she shut that down on Smackdown. Bryan talked about getting a definitive win with the submission.
-Bryan asked Naomi about her thoughts on the landscape of the Women’s Division. Naomi said she just put some glow on the title and is not willing to give it up too soon. Bryan said she can’t because WWE has invested some money in getting the belt to glow. Bryan then caught himself and said he can’t say “Belt” because a belt is what holds your pants up (a reference to what Vince McMahon made as an edict in WWE).
-Renee liked the color changing. Naomi verified that there were 7 color settings. They showed the replay of Naomi’s entrance which included the glowing belt. Naomi said the title is glowing since she worked with people backstage on giving the title more of a personal touch by installing the lights. Bryan tries to ask Naomi a question but Renee calls him out again for calling the title a “belt”.
-Bryan asked Naomi if she feels she is in charge of the division. Naomi said it’s all about doing well in championship matches. Naomi said she’s at her best and will fight any woman in the locker room.
-Bryan asked Naomi who she wants to face at Battleground. Naomi gave a solid answer and said she would love to face Charlotte. Naomi bought up how the “Welcoming Committee” interfered in their past encounters. Naomi called Charlotte the best of the best and would help Naomi prove that she can be just as good. Naomi then ran over all the other women and why she can face all of them.
-Naomi said she wasn’t sure why Tamina came out to help Lana. Naomi brought up being in Team Bad with Tamina and how Naomi decided to move in more of a positive direction after breaking up that trio. Naomi said she doesn’t know if it’s jealously or shade but Naomi was willing to make Tamina tap out too. Naomi said it tough to read Tamina since she’s stone-faced all of the time. The interview ended at this point.
-Bryan said he would love to see Naomi vs. Charlotte at a PPV.
-Renee asked Bryan about why we didn’t get to see “Sweet Beets” tonight. Bryan wanted to hit Renee with some of his rhymes. Bryan said the Usos didn’t let him out there since they didn’t want to get embarrassed in front of Wale. Bryan then said “New Day merch puts down big numbers, but I’m in the garden growing heirloom Cucumbers! Ohhhhhhh!”. Renee said that sounded a bit off. Bryan said he rhymed numbers with cucumbers!
-Bryan said he didn’t expect some of the innuendo used in the rap battle. Renee tried to steer Bryan to talking about New Day. Bryan said the Usos did too by referencing “some video tape… footage?” and weenie doos. Renee then moved on to clips of the rap battle where Xavier Woods talked about the Usos carrying bags for Roman Reigns and the subsequent brawl. Bryan said the physicality made the segment fun to watch as a viewer and also did the job in making the Usos vs. New Day more intriguing.
-Bryan talked about Wale being a great guest since he knows the WWE show really well.
-Renee talked about Tenee Young (Tyler Breeze). Renee said she doesn’t look like what Breeze tried to do and doesn’t have a high pitched voice. Renee wondered if she asked questions the way Tyler did in the segment. Bryan said he doesn’t think Renee talks like that but he does think the other WWE interviewers do (Charley Caruso and Dasha Fuentes I assume?).
-Mike and Maria Kanellis were the next guests on Talking Smack. Maria struggled a bit with the height of the seat. Mike joked that his love lifted her up. Bryan said the power of love turned off the camera. Maria said the camera turned off due to a poor, unfortunate soul. Mike said he felt sorry for Sami Zayn for wanting attention. Mike said it’s embarrassing for Sami.
-Renee cut to the clip of Mike and Maria’s debut at Money in the Bank. Renee wanted to know what message Mike and Maria were trying to deliver. Maria said you’re seeing it in the form of Love. Maria said it’s emanating from them. Maria said she’s trying to show it to everyone because most people don’t find it or are just faking it. Maria said Mike and her have found. Mike said the message is “Love”. Mike said he’s been wrestling for 16 years and it was “Love” that brought him to WWE.
-Bryan confirmed that Maria went by Maria Kanellis during her first run with WWE. Bryan then verified with Mike Kanellis that he knows him by Mike Bennett. Bryan wondered why he took Maria’s last name. Mike said they were ahead of the curve. Mike said Maria was a strong powerful woman. Mike said he was doing the same thing over and over again for years which is the definition of insanity. Mike said this strong powerful woman came into his life and brought him love so the least he could do is take her name. Mike then said that “Mike Kanellis” sounds powerful.
-Renee wanted to know about Mike and Maria’s mission statement. Maria said they were there to prove that love conquers all. She said it should defeat all of the evil in WWE. Bryan wanted to know if there was a specific person that Maria was trying to target as hateful. Maria said it was everyone. Mike said he feels hatred, jealousy, and anger in the locker room, for what? Mike said that hate got him nowhere for 16 years and he found love. Mike said it was like waking up from a bad dream. Renee then wished the couple well and ended this portion of the interview.
-Bryan said he thinks Mike and Maria’s message on love is very Zen.
-Renee hyped up the John Cena vs. Rusev in a “Flag Match” along with the Rocket League sponsors. Bryan wanted to talk about John Cena being a “Free Agent”.
-AJ Styles cut Bryan off by starting his interview. Bryan asked AJ which match was more difficult, the Battle Royal or Gable. AJ said it was most definitely Chad Gable since Gable is an Olympian.
-Styles talked about how tough his match with Gable was because of the way Gable throws people around.
-Styles talked about it being tough wrestling in two matches. Bryan compared it to when he faced Triple H and then Batista/Orton in one night. Styles said the hardest part is not letting your muscles cool off. Styles said the best part about his night was the Battle Royal format keeps the other wrestlers from being focused on one person.
-Bryan talked about Kevin Owens petitioning to keep Styles out of a match against him last week. Renee brought up Owens claiming to be a superior athlete to Styles. Styles said Owens is only champ now because Styles got stuck in a hole. Styles said the only thing Owens is better at than him is at eating.
-Bryan proposed an “Eating Challenge” for next week. Styles said some of Bryan’s ideas are so ridiculous that people want to see it so he shouldn’t propose them. Bryan then reiterated his point and said he wants to see AJ Styles vs. Kevin Owens in a “Wiener Eating Contest”. AJ said he would lose. Bryan said that’s not certain because Kobayashi was thin when he won the eating contest. Styles said this accomplishes nothing. Bryan said he has the most confidence in Styles to beat Kevin Owens in an eating contest. Bryan wanted the fans to #AJStylesWeinerChallenge. They were short on time and Renee closed out Talking Smack at this point.
John’s Thoughts: Only Daniel Bryan can get away with talking about eating wieners, Big Hogs, sex tapes, and double meat on a weekly basis. Forget Bring it to the Table, Talking Smack is where it’s at if you want your worked shoot fix. AJ and Naomi were okay. It was good to have Mike and Maria on the set. I’m still not 100 percent sold on the “Power of Love” thing, but I have the utmost confidence in Mike and Maria to make it work. I wasn’t high on the “Leader of the Knockouts” initially especially with the low bar set by Karen Jarrett and Brooke Hogan, but Maria Kanellis found a way to make it one of the most compelling stories in TNA in 2016 to the point where there are still storylines about her currently in Impact/GFW involving Laurel Van Ness and Allie. Mike’s no slouch himself and can carry his end of a main event level promo very well.