By John Moore
WWE Battleground Talking Smack
Aired July 23, 2017 on the WWE Network
-Renee Young and Jerry “The King” Lawler checked in from the WWE Talking Smack set. Renee talked about being so happy to hear the Talking Smack music again. Lawler said it takes a lot to shock him, but he didn’t expect the ending of the Punjabi Prison match. Lawler said Renee is excited in a different way than him. Lawler said he doesn’t like seeing Great Khali back because he screwed Randy Orton out of the title.
-Kevin Owens walked on set to terrorize Renee. Owens took credit for getting Talking Smack cancelled and relieving Renee of some of her responsibility.
-Renee tried to question Owens about throwing AJ Styles into the referee. Owens said he didn’t do it on purpose and was being defensive. Owens said the referee was collateral damage to him being a spectacular athlete. Owens said the only thing that mattered was that the ref was able to make the three count.
-Owens bragged about being the two time U.S. Champion, NXT Champion (two months after arriving in WWE), two time Intercontinental Champ, and the longest reigning WWE Universal Champion.
-Lawler said he watched AJ and Owens’ face and Owens convinced him that he was going to win. Lawler said he almost had second thoughts on Owens winning when Owens was in the Calf Crusher. Owens said he’s a fighter and the elite.
-Renee asked Owens about how his preparation changed after losing the title at MSG. Owens said it was a stupid question since the match was already scheduled at Battleground. Owens said Renee is wrong a lot in her assumptions. Lawler said losing in Madison Square Garden was embarrassing and that might have been the motivation that caused Owens to win, and that’s the message Renee might be trying to get out. Owens complimented Lawler on being more articulate than Renee.
-Owens said WWE can’t have a show at Madison Square Garden without him in it. Owens referenced a Smackdown house show that happened where they brought him, a Raw wrestler at the time, to wrestle on it. Owens pointed out that he lost the title at a Raw house show where they needed extra matches.
-Owens said he was man enough to represent the United States. Owens said AJ was wrong in his comments in the pre-show just like Renee is wrong most of the time. Owens talked about AJ and Renee having bad haircuts. Renee looked pissed.
-Lawler wanted to know what Owens thought about AJ’s response to losing. Owens laughed it off. Owens said the children have someone to look up to in a US Champion. Owens turned his ire towards Renee rolling her eyes. Owens and Renee bickered. Owens said he resurrected the show that Renee ruined. Owens and Renee bickered a bit more.
-Lawler calmed things down. Owens mockingly cheered Lawler’s name. Owens went back to arguing with Renee and the two bickered. Lawler said this reminds him of when he was confronting Andy Kaufman on David Letterman.
-Renee asked Owens about AJ’s rematch clause. Owens said the rematch clause is irrelevant. Owens said he has better things to do than argue with Renee. Owens thanked Lawler for having him on. Owens walked off and said to make sure Renee was nicer to Jinder. Renee said bye. Owens responded with a mocking girly goodbye towards Renee.
-Renee was pissed and talked to Lawler about Owens always targeting her on Talking Smack. Owens told Renee to “Shut Up!” while off set. Renee said she wanted to leave but she’s literally tethered to her seat.
-Renee transitioned to the Flag on a Pole match between Rusev and Cena. Lawler said Cena planted both the American Flag and Rusev. Lawler said Cena’s motivation was just like the motivation of Owens, pride.
-Natalya was the next guest. Renee complimented Natalya on the win and for being a cornerstone in the division for years. Natalya said the told everyone so. Natalya then did Bret Hart’s “best there ever” catchphrase. Natalya said she loved serving it to Becky and Charlotte after they were the favorites to win coming into the match.
-Lawler brought up Carmella picking Natalya to win. Natalya called Carmella a snake and she’s not buying anything from her. Natalya hyped up all of the people she beat. Natalya said she loved rubbing the win in Lana’s face because Lana doesn’t deserve to be in the ring. Natalya said Lawler wasn’t the real king, she is.
-Renee said Natalya hasn’t had a singles championship match in over a year. Natalya said Naomi isn’t in her league and shouldn’t be Smackdown women’s champion. Renee brought up Natalya disrespecting Naomi when Naomi wanted a handshake. Natalya said she was going to snatch Naomi bald at SummerSlam. Natalya did the Bret Hart catchphrase again. Natalya also talked about how great Bret Hart has been at SummerSlam.
-Renee asked Natalya if 2Paws was coming to SummerSlam. Natalya said her cat doesn’t leave the house for less than $10,000 a day. Lawler said he makes more than grumpy cat. Natalya said Grumpy Cat is Greasy Cat. This ended the Natalya interview.
-Renee said she likes that Natalya is putting everyone on blast. She then complemented New Day on becoming the new Smackdown Tag Team Champs. Lawler said he was too old to respect the rap battle from Smackdown but he liked the match over that rap battle.
-Renee said it was unbelievable to watch the Punjabi Prison Match.
-Jinder Mahal was the next guest. Lawler said the reason he picked the match was because it was his turf and Orton underestimated him. Jinder said he proved already that he was the hardest working champion and now he proved he was the smartest.
-Jinder said the structure was punishing and the final resting place of Orton’s legacy. Renee brought up the Singh Brothers interfering as well as the returning Great Khali. Jinder said he didn’t break the rules and it was all a part of a plan. Jinder said Americans bicker in their families and people in India stick together.
-Lawler asked Jinder if the 1.3 people in India are thinking that Jinder couldn’t have won the match without help from the Singh Brothers and Khali. Jinder said he’s the fighting pride of India. Jinder said the whole nation is celebrating with fireworks and everything. Jinder reiterated that he followed the rules. Jinder said he’s the future and to forget about Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, and Baron Corbin.
-Lawler said he doesn’t think Randy Orton thinks his legacy was left in the ring and that Jinder had to go over the top to beat him. Jinder said he’s already beaten Orton three times already. Jinder said he’s looking past Orton to cement his own legacy. Jinder said he’s entering his prime while Orton is past his prime.
-Renee wanted an update on Samir for falling off the cage. Jinder said he’s getting checked up on and is tough just like Jinder. Jinder said the Singh Brothers are his insurance policy. He said it’s their mission to make sure Jinder walks out WWE Champion.
-Lawler said someday the Singh Brothers will be banned from ringside. Jinder said he always has a plan no matter what Shane McMahon or Daniel Bryan try to put against him.
-Renee asked Jinder about his future plans. Jinder spoke “to my people, in my language, of Punjabi”. Jinder spoke in Punjabi. Lawler joked about the ending of Jinder’s speech sounding like a curse word (because it sounded like Jinder said “WWE The Bitch”). Renee asked Lawler for being on set for the most part and closed out the show.
John’s Thoughts: Like Renee, I’m disappointed that weekly Talking Smack was canceled (they should have canceled the lame 205 Live show). At least these get to stay, but the show is still missing something when Daniel Bryan isn’t involved. You won’t get Bryan talking about Double Meat or horny Santa Rhyno’s anymore. At least Kevin Owens is treating the show like it used to be, so hopefully Talking Smack will still be a forum where the talent get free reign over what they say. The only detractor from doing it after PPVs is that only champions/winners will get TV time, so people like Mojo Rawley or Baron Corbin are presumbly going to see less time on this show to hone their promo skills.