Down since! Day One Ish!
Uce! OH! Jimmy & Jey Uso are back, and now they’re Backstage! What will they have to say about cousin Roman Reigns and the rivalry with King Corbin?
Renee Young runs down the schedule.
Freddie Prinze Jr. heads to Promo School and the Satin Sheet is fresh with new contract news. Plus, the special guests Jimmy & Jey bring the Bloodline backstage! That and more on another episode of WWE Backstage!
A new face joins the panel!
Well, two technically. But special guest, Promo School student and former WWE writer Freddie Prinze Jr. aside, the new panelist superstar is Xavier Woods of the New Day! Woods plugs UpUpDownDown, his personal Twitch channel, and more as he joins Renee, Booker T and Ember Moon. Woods knows Booker things he’s no coming back, but he’s walking around just fine! FPJ recalls meeting with management, first meeting Stephanie McMahon before Vince and was given a great run. The schedule is “more man than I am,” and FPJ had to tag out when fatherhood came calling, but he wouldn’t have traded that time for anything.
Time for #JustTheHighlights!
First on SmackDown: John Morrison made an impact when he parkour collided with Big E to help Miz win! Ramblin’ Rabbit was trying to be a rat and got got for it! Braun Strowman made sure Shinsuke Nakamura #GotTheseHands, but the Monster Among Men is still one step away from that title match. And in a GLORIOUS Return, Robert Roode helped wreck Roman Reigns and the Usos to save King Corbin and Dolph Ziggler.
Then on Raw: Lana lashed out at Liv Morgan with some liquid courage to the face! That also helped Bobby Lashley Spear Rusev and win, but now things are going to get nasty in a Mixed Tag Match! The Man and Empress put down ink on a contract, but then Asuka spat venomous mist into Becky’s face! Becky vows to go down swinging and to take Asuka with her. R-Truth had the biggest misunderstanding yet, and decided to undeclare from the Royal Rumble. That didn’t stop the reigning, defending, undisputed WWE World Champion from giving Truth an F5! Nor did it stop Mojo Rawley taking the WWE 24/7 Championship away. And just as it looked like The Monday Night Messiah would go down in the first-ever Fist Fight, Buddy Murphy would becoming the first disciple!
The panel discusses the week.
On the point of Murphy joining Rollins and his faction, Ember Moon loves it! She is tired of Murphy on a losing streak because of how talented he is in all fields. This is the evolution of Murphy from losing streak to the new ace in Rollins’ faction. Booker likes “the wub,” and Woods thought Kevin Owens going Sonic the Hedgehog off the quarter pipe was insane. Woods couldn’t believe Kevin made the jump! Moon also liked Samoa Joe in that entire segment, such as the blind senton off the stage! FPJ and Booker compared the pipe spot as “Hot Wheels,” but it was more like a bunch of cement mixers or firetrucks that wouldn’t ever make the loop.
Moving to Asuka getting the drop on Becky, and Becky’s fiery promo response, this build is going good to Booker. The mist must’ve been water based, though, because it cleaned up quick. The rivalry as a whole is great, Asuka put herself on the map the moment she was in NXT with her Goldberg-level streak. Becky isn’t just a boss, she’s The Man, and this is going to be explosive in Houston. FPJ loves Asuka, too, because it is so old school it is new again. Asuka has embraced this on a next level thing, using her Japanese to spit fire, and FPJ would love if someone translated. Funaki, where are you?! But the point being, Asuka is a legit obstacle for Becky’s steamroller run. Woods adds that this has finally brought back the dangerous side of Asuka that some may have forgotten since leaving NXT.
Moon as one who faced Asuka, that was one from even before the WWE that Moon knew could hit hard. Asuka was a monster in NXT, she’s finally back to being a monster on Raw. And if Moon could make the decision, it’d be Asuka’s win to steal the show and get the buzz again, as well as help Becky move into a new phase. FPJ says that is a breath of fresh air, too. Also Woods wants Kairi to have the umbrella to shield Asuka. Booker just hopes it doesn’t overshadow whatever he’d be doing.
Renee brings up a quick tweet: VSW aka Champion Myzter calling out Woods because he “almost looks like Pinky from Next Friday.” That gets a great laugh from the panel, and Booker jokes that Woods is glowing like Naomi.
“Welcome! To the Uso! Penitentiary!”
The first tag team to have held both the Raw and SmackDown Tag Team Championships in their careers, Jimmy & Jey are here! Woods gets crunk listening to the theme song! He says hey to his favorite rivals as they get up on set but Jey warns him, “Watch that Achilles tho!” Jimmy and Jey take their seats and high five everyone. Woods is proud that they’re “out here beating cases!” More on that later… Renee wants to know what it’s like to work with their cousin, Roman, again. What you mean, Renee? They came back without missing a beat. And back to Usos VS New Day, they had amazing matches. What were some standout moments? Jimmy stops a high-five to bring up the first tag team Hell in a Cell they did, and Usos beat the hell outta New Day. Woods isn’t as pumped for that moment, he got cuffed and kendo smacked, he still has scars. But it was a big paycheck either way!
Renee likes the rap battle between Usos and New Day, but again Woods isn’t so pumped for that one. Wonder why? It was fun, though. Backstage shares highlights, such as the Hell in a Cell beating. Where are the New Day highlights beating Usos? That aside, Woods speaks to the chemistry between all five men. They were all on the same wavelength immediately and making tag team magic. That was a win for everyone. And it wasn’t even supposed to run that long, but it was magic. After that roll, fans were on board, because even Booker knows, tag team wrestling was legit back in the day. That magic was great. Big ups to the Nasty Boys for Harlem Heat.
Moon admits she was glued to the TV watching those matches. The one-upping just kept going, and they even went, “What do we do now?” And that’s when each team went, “I’ll do all yo stuff, you do all my stuff!” And in the end, it is about the titles. Booker & Stevie Ray, 10-time tag champs, but he’s confident the New Day and Usos will both get there some day. But what most of all stood out to Booker given the Houston history? Booker remembers sitting with them and Rikishi, it was already “graduating” time after 8 months, they were that good! Moon came in a baby girl, but now she’s a grown woman. No one knew who they were going to be, but it was Booker who helped mold them. Booker knew they would be the new era of the Samoan bloodline, and he feels like a proud father in his own right.
Renee wants to know how things were introduced for the first time. They were talking names, and then Moon met them at “Christmas Chaos.” Footage is found and Moon can’t believe it! She was an elf, the Usos were in military gear, but the name was still in question. They walk out the curtain, the music hits, and… “C’mon down the aisle… Yin and Yang, along with… Trouble!” Well okay then. Booker says it was because of the Yin Yang Twins, since the Usos are twins. Renee is glad to see that Reality of Wrestling footage still exists. Woods knows Booker was feeling it in that moment, though. The funny thing was, no one knew who was Yin and who was Yang. But “Trouble” became Moon’s name because Booker, the first time Moon snuck down there, “You ain’t nothing but Trouble.” Holding out the name was great, too.
Shifting gears, the Usos being off TV because of a certain public incident, what did the Usos learn about themselves? They both know everyone else knows how rough road life can be. There’s so much put into everything, and things can go out of control, that’s what happened. Booker knows you can lose everything you worked so hard for in an instance. And when you’re at your lowest, the only way to get up is to get back to your roots. Samoan culture is about family and food. If you don’t eat, you’re still gonna eat because it’s disrespectful. Jey remembers a lady being surprised he had a family. There was no way getting around the kids finding the trouble that happened online, so they had to reassess because of that. They need to be accountable but not let those moments define them, either. Booker knows that, too, and is proud of the Usos of keeping it together.
The Usos are ready to stick around, what more will they have to say about everything in the WWE?
Women can (Royal) Rumble, too!
Even before the Women’s Royal Rumble match, women in the WWE were invading the Men’s Royal Rumble match! Chyna in 1999 AND 2000, Beth Phoenix in 2010, Kharma/Awesome Kong in 2012 and Nia Jax last year in 2019! Will we see another shocking female face in this year’s Men’s Rumble?
Wrestling with Your Feelings, with Rachel Bonnetta.
This week is Rachel’s first double session with both Fire & Desire, Sonya Deville & Mandy Rose. Rachel needs clarification, which is Fire and which is Desire? Sonya’s the fire, Mandy’s the desire. Got it. Thought it was the other way around… But a lot of women on the roster think they’re bullies. Bullies? Bullies. Sonya wants to know who! Mandy cools Sonya off, hence why she is fire. Mandy politely asks to know who those women calling them bullies are. Sorry, doctor-patient confidentiality. Sonya defends that they are not bullies, they are the vigilantes of the women’s division. Ember Moon rots her brain away, so Sonya broke her gaming system to free her from it. Wow, she did that? That is definitely bully behavior. Sonya laughs, Rachel laughs, and then Sonya gets mad that Rachel laughed. Just because Sonya laughed at something doesn’t mean Rachel can just join in.
Mandy laughs as Sonya takes Rachel’s notebook. Rachel grabs the book back and Sonya gets mad, saying Rachel hit her. You wanna go? Sonya throws another book then tears up a tissue box. Then she grabs the little statue, but puts it down because it’s actually cool. Rachel says they should leave. Sonya keeps teasing Rachel so Rachel decides she’ll leave! Mandy tries to get Sonya to stop but Sonya chases after Rachel, so Mandy has to chase after Sonya.
The panel discusses Fire & Desire.
Renee thinks that was pretty rude, and hopes Rachel was compensated for that session. Moon is laughing, even after what Sonya did to her Switch. Sonya just doesn’t understand nerd culture.
But to the story involving Fire & Desire on SmackDown, the courtship of Mandy Rose by Otis Dozovic! Is this the WWE’s best modern romance? DO we want to see Otis get the girl? Moon says Otis is the People’s Champion right now. He has charisma, the promo skills, and “dat belly.” The cake stuff was rather wild for Renee. But Woods says that eating all those sweets, you get cavities. And the perfect time to go to the dentist is “Tooth Hurty.” Renee can’t believe he did that joke.
Back to the story, Moon is happy to see Mandy and Sonya are in a story like this, because the two have so much depth outside of just being a tag team and being snobby, Moon wants to see this happen. Will Otis get the girl in time for Valentine’s Friday in February?
The Kansas City Chiefs shout out WWE!
As Thom Abraham tweeted, “Eric Fisher going all Stone Cold on the Texans!” That is to say, beer bath! “And that’s the bottom line, cuz Stone Cold said so!” Renee says “Aw hell yeah!” And it makes for a great segue to the next segment.
It’s time for Promo School!
Renee, Booker, “Yin, Yang and Troooouble” are the judges tonight for the Hollywood leading man and former WWE writer, Freddie Prinze Jr! FPJ is on stage as the genius behind Promo School. It ain’t a claim, but a fact, and there are people here who can attest to that. He taught the promo class, but no one really wanted to show up. Two of them being the Usos, and then eventually The Miz. Miz didn’t understand what FPJ would teach him about acting. Well sure, he may not be Robert Downey Jr, but RDJ don’t care about them like FPJ do. And that’s where it all began!
Renee lets FPJ know how we do this here. He’ll give a promo, they’ll give him a grade from A to F. FPJ has never gotten an F in his life. Booker wants to give some advice, about being relatable. The Usos know FPJ can talk trash out the mouth, but make sure to have it in your face. But also, feel it from the heart. And Moon’s advice isn’t anything FPJ hasn’t heard, since FPJ is a great actor. She still has a soft spot for his Freddy from Scooby-Doo. But while they could introduce his “opponent” tonight, someone else is here who can do a better job. It’s THE NEW DAY! Big E kicks it off with AWWWWW~ WWE Backstaaage~! Don’t you dare be sour! Clap for your Menace on the Mic, your Doctor of Defenestration, your Prince of Promos, and the man that’s gonna slap you up up to take you down down, and FEEL~ the POWER~! This gon be a bloodbath, blood ‘n’ guts! Deader than your acting career, with chalk outlines!
Yes, of course, the opponent is Xavier Woods! #WatchThatAchilles. But Woods is feeling it either way. FPJ starts off. “It figures they’d send you. They know it’s tough.” FPJ has been working against this company, so of course they’d send Woods to shut him up, beat him up and shut him down. But this is a lose-lose situation. Beating FPJ does what? He beat up a 40-year-old retired teen heartthrob from the 90’s. Congrats. You’re no Stephen Amell, but still. And if Woods loses or makes a mistake, he is forever the man who lost to the man from Scooby-Doo. And that is not a loss you ever walk away from, like a Scarlet Letter you rip of and shout “This doesn’t define me!” It is a stain that makes Lady Macbeth blush.
But FPJ is glad they sent him, because he wants Woods to join him! Join FPJ and take all of this over! Woods may look at FPJ like he’s crazy, but he’s not lying. They could take over Backstage! FPJ is more Renee than Renee! Woods is more Moon than Moon! And this could be their show! Who would take it from them? Samoa Joe? He was only here because he was bored and injured. Joe is healthy and busy. And FPJ hears everyone through the camera chanting, “CM Punk!” but that guy works less for WWE than Lesnar does. FPJ is not worried about them. Woods can join FPJ and Woods can cut the quickest promo ever in just one word. Woods is great, but he created something “nothing less than a miracle,” and instead of giving him power, WWE put a leash on UUDD! FPJ can offer Woods the power. Who do you think bought up all the stock? Who who who? Who is crazy enough to pull off as something as insane as this? FPJ is not his enemy but his friend. Just say yes. FPJ offers his hand, but Woods doesn’t take it.
The judges give their grades. Booker says that was a Jedi mind trick to try and spare himself from Woods. That was a C-, though, because it was a risky move. Renee went with B+ for being creative, but also FPJ attacked her. Hey, FPJ gonna talk smack. The Usos both liked that, it was a journey going from good guy to the devil. Jimmy as “lower case” A! Jey says uppercase B! That was some real stuff, but there was a level he kept that he should’ve gone up. Moon says she loved it, but it was a bit long, only because it was the first time anyone tried something like that here. Moon says A-! Booker is disappoint. But now, Woods gives the retaliation!
FPJ re-offers the handshake and Woods plays along. “You think that I’m the kind of guy that needs a guy like you?” Woods’ answer is HELL NO. And because they come from different places. FPJ had a silver spoon in his mouth. He flashes a smile, he gets on the TV and stage, because he’s talented. Woods didn’t get that. He got doors slammed in his face, he got told he is too small, never good enough. But he turned it into two undergraduate degrees, a Masters and “a breath away from a PhD,” all while becoming a 7-time W, W, E, World, Tag, Team, CHAMPION~! And he tore his Achilles, yes, but his brain has made him busier these last 6 months than FPJ in the past 6 YEARS!
So here’s some advice to FPJ so he does better next time: “When Fox calls you up and you pick up, so excited, and they say, ‘Hey, we want you back for another Promo School because you’re the guy that invented it,’ the one thing you need to ask, the one thing you need to say, is, ‘Make sure I don’t go against Xavier Woods.'” Because if he does, Woods won’t be as nice as he was just now. WOO! Booker wants to give Woods an A. But now that the promos are over, even Woods admits FPJ was incredible. Will FPJ be back to teach some more lessons?
The Miz responds to Promo School.
Via his official Twitter, “Bravo. Best Promo School ever. Freddie VS Xavier Woods.”
CM Punk will return to Backstage!
Next week, as part of the homestretch to the Royal Rumble, the Voice of the Voiceless returns to voice his opinion again! What will that opinion be?
The Satin Sheet is back!
Ryan Satin has a new haircut and some New Years new contract news! We can confirm that Elias is still with the WWE for another multi-year deal, so that we can walk with him for the foreseeable future. Plus, the WWE Performance Center has the new recruits in, and Mercedes Martinez is back! And get this: she’ll be in the NXT Women’s Battle Royal this Wednesday! Will Mercedes go from signee to #1 contender in one night?
A new segment debuts: Headbangers!
We have the Usos VS “Team Achilles” with FPJ and Booker T as the officiators. The Usos go up first, but no it isn’t arm-wrestling. The game is one partner puts the card on their forehead, and there will be a name of a WWE superstar on it. The other partner gives clues as to who that person is for their partner to guess. Jey takes the cards and Jimmy will give clues. Ready, go! Oh wait, Jey had the card upside-down. Flip it over, and this is easy: eyebrow. The Rock! Boom! Next: the swagger. Razor Ramon! BOOM! Third: the laugh, “Everybody’s gotta price!” Million Dolalr Man, Ted DeBiase! BOOM! Fourth: dance moves. Papa Rikishi! BOOM! Fifth: pumping the arms. Ultimate Warrior! BOOM! Sixth: the arm gesture. Bret Hart! BOOM! Seventh: Finger guns. Cactus Jack! BOOM! 7 points! While it doesn’t count, they do try to get an eighth superstar in. Jimmy does the Catholic cross then jumps, but Jey thinks it’s RVD. But then realizes it’s Shane McMahon.
Moving on, now it is Team Achilles’ turn. Woods takes the cards to do the guessing. He believes in Moon. First up, “OOOH YEAH~!” Randy Savage! BOOM! Second: Moon struggles but remembers beer bath. Stone Cold. BOOM! How could she forget Stone Cold? Third: “Uhhhh… Pass.” Dude Love. Fourth: “It’s the HOOOO Train~!” Godfather! BOOM! Fifth: Upside-down but “DAMN.” Ron Simmons. Technically right but not perfect. Time’s up! The Usos win! Well twin magic does it again. How good would you have done? That’s all for tonight’s episode, make sure to tune in again next week!
Man, this was probably the funniest, most entertaining episode yet! Woods joining the panel was great because of his natural charisma. The Usos and Freddie Prinze Jr. were amazing guests to have, and I did not know FPJ used to be a WWE writer. I loved learning the origins of the Usos down in Reality of Wrestling, everyone was cracking up, including me. FPJ did amazing in Promo School, that was like a story from an alternate universe and it was great. Especially Woods playing off it in his. I definitely would’ve given FPJ an A. And if I was actually giving scores to WWE Backstage, I might give this one the highest score of them all so far. Maybe not as high as an NXT or AEW Dynamite episode, but definitely in the high 8’s.
Mitchell’s Talking Smack Report! (1/16/21)
Kevin Owens is back!
The Prizefight is ready to #StunTheWorld!
After the bait ‘n’ switch on Friday night, Kevin Owens is back not only to talk smack, but to speak on becoming Roman Reigns’ challenger once again!
Kayla Braxton welcomes us back to the show!
We’re just two weeks away from the first PPV of 2021, the Royal Rumble! We have more entries making themselves known, such as Jey Uso! What does Paul Heyman think about that? Heyman just smiles. Kayla says Jey plans on winning the Rumble and going to WrestleMania to face the WWE World Champion! Has this been the plan all along? Heyman says Kayla’s enthusiasm is contagious. Well, okay… Heyman isn’t being himself but she knows he loves ranting. She wants to hear his rant on the “questionable injury” Adam Pearce cited as to why he has to back out of the title match. And then the man we thought was done came out, it was KEVIN OWENS! Kevin has another shot at Roman Reigns and the Universal Championship!
Heyman tries to start up a rant, but he says anything he has to say, he will say to Kevin’s face. They’ve advertised a “debate” on this show, so let’s get to that. Kayla knows what he means by that. It is the two men who will once again face off for the WWE Intercontinental Championship next Friday, Big E and Apollo Crews!
Big E and Apollo Crews join Talking Smack!
Big E points out that his music gets played, not Apollo’s. Kayla wants to say congratulations on SmackDown over former Intercontinental Champion, Sami Zayn. But she will say what she is sure everyone was feeling on SmackDown. Watching these two, who have been friendly, it was so hard to watch them at each other like that. She doesn’t like it. Is this awkward sitting next to each other right now? Big E says it’s fine. They’re here for competition. Big E will say he’s known of Apollo doing extra work in 2011, then later on. Big E had never seen anything like Apollo, with his strength, build and athleticism that Apollo has proven over and over.
But Big E has not worked over 8 years to get this singles run for Apollo to just slide in here, fun ‘n’ games. Big E is here to make money and win titles. Big E likes Apollo, but this is not Apollo’s time. Apollo is deserving of the opportunity, but if he thinks he’ll just come and beat Big E when 2021 is his year, no. All that friendship is still here as Big E beats him up. But what happened last week? Doesn’t Big E think that was closer than it should’ve been? Did Apollo win? This isn’t horseshoes. Apollo says he respects Big E, and even looks up to him. Apollo admires everything Big E has done. But Apollo is coming for the title because he has to have it. He needs it!
Well maybe get it from someone else, but this isn’t the time. Apollo will stand there and shake Big E’s hand as he tells him he told Big E so. Big E says Apollo is great but he’s not Big E. Not to be rude, but Apollo can’t do what Big E can do. Big E is Big E, Apollo is Apollo. They shake hands and Heyman is disappointed. What, he wanted them to brawl here? YES! Kayla says Heyman plays side but Heyman says he plays the side of the winner. All this respect and admiration means squat when they get in the ring. They don’t really like each other that much, that’s just the sportsmanship talking.
Heyman puts it this way: New Day was on top for YEARS, and deservedly so. All that merchandising. But did Big E ever turn to his “buddy” here, and tell him, “Let me get you in on this.” Apollo’s kids’ college funds would’ve been taken care of just like that. But no, Big E wanted it all to himself. And when or if Apollo wins that title, do you really think Apollo will just hand Big E the belt and say, “I want your children to see you as a champion.” They’re both going to learn that sportsmanship is for LOSERS. The winners believe that hatred is a far better emotion in the ring than love and respect. Big E says that’s a “lovely” speech, but nice try. But Apollo seems to think Heyman has a point. Apollo leaves and Big E has a lot to think about now. Kayla wishes both men good luck and Big E heads out.
Kayla turns to Heyman and wonders why he’s been giving pep talks to both men. Heyman just tells the staff to pick up the mic that Big E rudely left behind. Apollo is fine because the emotions are understandable, but Heyman apologizes for what Big E did. Kayla has no idea how to handle this kind of Heyman. Heyman then points out how we can call this “Talking Smack” but Kayla doesn’t encourage the smack talk. Why not just call this “Talking Nicely” then? Moving on, Kayla welcomes the new duo of second generation superstars in the Queen of Harts and the Daughter of Superfly!
Natalya and Tamina join Talking Smack!
Kayla loves Natty’s outfit, it’s very race car driver. But congratulations on the win over Liv Morgan of the Riott Squad. Natty is the #BOAT, and that victory felt great. Natty’s career has torn her between the girl next door and the killer wrestler inside, and SmackDown gave her that chance to be the latter. She really wanted to break Liv’s legs. Kayla brings up the surprise team up of Natty and Tamina, but it’s working. What is it that brought them together? They’re veterans in the division, locker room leaders, have been here for over a decade, but why do they feel this pairing is going to shake things up?
Natty says that Tamina will agree that their combined experience makes them very dangerous. Being from the greatest bloodlines, the Hart Dynasty has so many hall of famers, from grandfather Stu to her late, great father Jim the Anvil, to her uncle Bret and uncle Davey Boy the British Bulldog. Then there’s Jimmy Snuka, another hall of famer. It’s just natural this greatness comes together. Tamina can’t even understand why Kayla would ask that. Natty says Kayla means well. Kayla asks about their time here in the WWE, how Tamina has yet to hold a title. Wow, straight to the point! If that’s what makes someone up here, well…
Natty says Tamina has been held down and that is going to change. When Tamina aligns with the #BOAT, Best Of All Time, the perspective changes. Tamina is destined for greatness and Natty is proud to have someone like her watching her back! “She is a 6′ 1″ Samoan princess that will KICK YOUR ASS! Any more questions, Kayla?” Kayla knows there are six women so far who have declared for the Women’s Rumble, not these two yet, but it is every woman for herself in that match. There is only one SmackDown Women’s Championship, will that get in the way of this new partnership?
Natty says that is actually a good question. Tamina isn’t so sure, but Natty says Kayla is unfocused. They’re both going to be excited to be in the Rumble on the road to WrestleMania. But they’re missing the fact that Natty and Tamina are the best of the best, no one is better, and their track records back that up. Natty is the BOAT, and she would not have someone in her corner that isn’t great. Kayla apologizes for any disrespect they perceived and wishes them luck. Natty and Tamina think Heyman looks great. Natty says Kayla looks good and Tamina thinks not so much. Heyman says if Natty’s the #BOAT, this team should be the #YACHT: You Are Crazy, Hot and Terrorizing! Let’s get that on paper. Natty even gives Heyman a kiss on the cheek before she and Tamina leave.
Kayla has no good way to segue but we all know the guest that is left: The Prizefighter!
Kevin Owens joins Talking Smack!
Kevin sits right down by Heyman and says we don’t need to play his music or applaud. Kayla is just happy to see him back. Kevin insists Heyman start. Heyman looks to Kayla and she waits on him. Heyman looks back to Kevin, prepares himself, and says, “You outsmarted us.” Heyman has to hand it to Kevin and Pearce. After 30 plus years, not a lot of people have pulled over something on him. Heyman’s pulled stuff over on others, but Kevin got a good one there. This is basically checkmate. Well played. So devious yet straightforward.
“Card subject to change” and finding suitable replacements are at the sole discretion of WWE management, Kevin hid in plain sight yet they didn’t see it coming. “It’s brilliant in its simplicity!” Heyman admires the hell out of that move, maybe even envies it. “But not comes the consequences. And the consequences are the Last Man Standing match at the Royal Rumble against Roman Reigns.” Heyman is the Special Counsel, and in that role, when Roman plucked Heyman from obscurity, Heyman’s contribution to Roman’s greatness is civility on the surface, and the explosiveness of aggression when Roman gets in the ring and has the title that seats him at the head of the table.
Heyman cannot control Roman’s rage. “There is no civility. He’s going to explode.” Now, “shooting from the hip,” when Heyman was in charge of Raw, he got Kevin out of a lot of jams that he got himself in, but Heyman liked that about him. Heyman says another time, another place, another situation, Kevin would be a first-round draft pick Paul Heyman Guy. Kevin signed the contract to fight in the Last Man Standing match, and that must scare him because we know Roman will hurt him, “beat you fugly,” and put Kevin in an ambulance after a match that ends because Kevin cannot stand after the beating received “from a Samoan who is not that manage generations removed from savage.”
Heyman predicts that Kevin will say to himself in that ambulance, “Well, I know I’m not in Heaven, because God doesn’t love me. Not after the sins that I besmirched upon the Tribal Chief. This must be Hell.” Kevin is going to Hell. And then Kevin will think that Hell looks like Florida. Kevin chuckles as Heyman continues. Heyman is trying to find the silver lining in this. Heyman wants Kevin to be on SmackDown, SmackDown needs his star power, but then Kevin stood up to Roman. And everyone will talk about that for a long time to come. “You made it. You’re a hero. But that heroism comes with a price, Kevin.” And that will be paid at the Rumble as Roman makes sure Kevin will not stand up again.
Kevin laughs a bit more, and that confuses Heyman. Kevin says the “card subject to change” thing always pissed him off. Does Heyman know how badly Kevin wanted to see Razor Ramon VS Jeff Jarrett? But nope, card subject to change, Goldust VS Henry Godwinn! It was a great match but it wasn’t Ramon VS Jarrett! But then over 20 years later, “card subject to change” helps Kevin, that’s poetic justice. And Kevin heard what Heyman said and he wouldn’t disrespect Heyman by ignoring him. But the only Hell is listening to the (BEEP) Heyman spews!
Heyman saved Kevin from jams on Raw? Kevin doesn’t remember it that way. Kevin was saving Heyman from jams when the show wasn’t going how they wanted, and how it wasn’t compelling, and someone needed to make some magic. Who did Heyman run to and beg? KEVIN. And how many times did Kevin let Heyman down? NEVER! Kevin’s been a Paul Heyman Guy since 1998 after discovering ECW. Just because they never worked in those “parameters,” Heyman has helped Kevin more than he knows. And for that, Kevin will be grateful.
But all this stuff about what will happen at the Rumble and about Roman’s anger, all of that is as sincere when Kevin would go to Heyman these last five years and ask to fight The Beast and Heyman would just go, “I’ll talk to him about it.” It never happened. Heyman didn’t care, just like he doesn’t really care here. But that’s fine. Because at the Rumble, it IS Last Man Standing. Look to the ThunderDome screens. Kevin wants to show us but the cameras don’t move. But that spot over there just a couple weeks ago, Kevin was thrown off. Roughly 13 feet up. Kevin wasn’t here last week, not because he didn’t get back up but because he did, and management wouldn’t let him. Kevin listened that time because an extra night home is always nice.
But Kevin doesn’t want to be a hero, he just wants to be Universal Champion. So here is what’s going to happen. After the show, Heyman will leave this table, call Roman, because Roman surely got out here because Roman doesn’t wait around. Kevin says that just as Heyman likes him, he likes Heyman, so he won’t make Heyman a messenger. Kevin will deliver this message face to face next Friday on SmackDown. And now they’re done. Kevin puts his mic down and gives Heyman a hard smack on the shoulder before leaving. Talking Smack ends with that, will Kevin be Universal Champion the next time he’s on?
A very good Talking Smack! I find it interesting that Big E would say he’s here for the money and titles but is still willing to have friendly competition. Those seem like contrary sentiments, but then Heyman gives another great promo to them, and Apollo is the one agreeing. I said for the SmackDown article that it’d work out for Apollo to go Heel, and this made it seem very likely that that’s happening. Natty and Tamina had a good segment, though Natty did most of the talking for the two of them. Though what speaking Tamina did worked for her. I know we’re heading for the Rumble, but I feel like Kayla should’ve suggested a shot at the Women’s Tag Titles first, because they’re trying to be a tag team. WWE main roster really doesn’t know what they’re doing with the Women’s Tag Division, do they?
But the best segment, because of how it relates to the Roman Reigns story and has Kevin Owens, was the Kevin Owens segment. Heyman gave another great promo and Kevin had a great response. And honestly, it is a brilliant idea to use “card subject to change” in story, when normally it’s a shoot disclaimer that someone can’t make the trip. Kevin setting up a segment for next week, it’s meant to sound like things might turn into a brawl, but I feel like they’ll find a way to keep things from turning into that. Pearce is still a WWE official so maybe he uses his authority to thwart Roman’s rage and influence.
Mitchell’s Raw Talk Report! (1/11/21)
Raw Talk will be mighty!
The All Mighty United States Champion is on Raw Talk!
Raw Talk (almost) always has the WWE 24/7 Champion, but now it has the WWE United States Champion! Bobby Lashley is here, along with MVP!
R-Truth and Sarah Schreiber welcome us back to the show!
Usually it’s Charly Caruso and #CharTruth, but Sarah is substituting in with the “ever-entertaining, talented, FORTY-SIX time 24/7 Champion!” Sarah asks permission to pet the title and he allows it. But if they’re not CharTruth, then they have to be something else. Truth Saram? Like serum but… not. But whatever their combo, they’re hear to talk some truth. Truth says Charly is visiting her mom for Thanksgiving. Right… We’re just a little past that, but anyway, on to tonight’s Raw!
Firstly, did Truth expect the Legend Killer, Randy Orton, to fight a legend in The Game? And what else did we see? A FIREBALL was fired from Alexa Bliss! Truth watches back the footage, Orton was talking trash to HHH but then Alexa Bliss returns and shoots the fireball right at him. It seems when he didn’t set her on fire, she decided to set him on fire! She’s starting to creep Truth out. Sarah says it does make sense, though, when Alexa has lost it all. She lost the Firefly Fun House because of Orton, she lost The Fiend because of Orton, and has nothing left to lose. Truth agrees with that, but why the fireball? Why!? And it has all but blinded Orton right there. Is he okay? Do we hope he is or isn’t? HHH just confronted Orton for being awful, but then this happens. This is getting hot quite literally.
But other major news from Raw was that the WWE World Champion, Drew McIntyre, has tested positive for COVID, is quarantining, but still accepted Goldberg’s challenge for the title! That’s going to be good! Truth is going with McIntyre, but he knows Goldberg is Goldberg. McIntyre is a fighter, though! A Scottish Warrior, sword and all! Excalibur or what? Um… Well, a thrilling and terrifying night overall, but we need to get to our first guest, the Lethal Lothario!
Angel Garza joins Raw Talk!
Garza has a question for Sarah first. “Why are you so lonely?” Is she lonely? She has Truth here. And hello, don’t just blow past Truth! Garza tunes all that out and says he’s brought something for Sarah: a rose. Well, she knows he’s offered a rose to a lot of different ladies, and even once before to her. Yes, and she left him hanging. Also, Truth is putting gummy worms all over Garza as a reminder of the Bogeyman spooking him on Legend’s Night. Sarah accepts the rose, and then asks Garza how he feels about having lost the WWE 24/7 Championship to Truth. Who? Garza only sees Sarah.
Truth keeps trying to get Garza to acknowledge the gummy worms, and Sarah asks if Garza isn’t disheartened by the loss. Garza says he’s only focused on Sarah. They can look at each other in the eyes and- Well, last week, Garza was trying to flirt with some of the legendary ladies, such as Torrie Wilson. Garza denies that but Truth points out how Garza also thought he had a chance at Card B and Ariana Grande, but then Bogeyman and Truth had the last laugh. Garza only acknowledges the gummy worms in offering them to Sarah, and she politely declines. Is he not discouraged at all after last week? Just a little. But when Garza sees Sarah, everything else is gone.
Well while Garza is romantic and sweet, cute even- Truth points out she’s letting the flower droop. Garza throws the gummy worms away and Sarah is sensing tension between him and Truth. Are there any refs around? Truth says Garza is mad that he didn’t get Cardi, he got the Bogey. Sarah asks if Garza was expecting the Bogeyman and Truth says nope, he was hoping for Cardi B! Garza gets mad at Truth and wants him to lose so he can be alone with Sarah. Whoa, did he forget what show it was? Maybe Garza should go. Well there was no chair over on the other side! Right, sorry.
Sarah wants to ask Garza about his expectations in 2021. Apparently he wants a woman but he can’t get one, he’s too much of a player! Garza says 2021 is HIS year. For…? You’ll see. Truth says that’s not likely. Now have more gummy worms. Sarah, stay away from him, he’s a player! Moving on, someone else irresistible is the Irresistible Force!
Nia Jax joins Raw Talk!
Sarah asks how Nia is doing and Nia says she’s doing well. Nia and Shayna had a good win but Nia seemed upset she didn’t get the win herself. No, that’s not it. It isn’t? No, it isn’t. Nia isn’t sure what Sarah and Truth are getting at, but just because their hair is that high doesn’t mean they can look down on Nia. Nia doesn’t mind if it was her or Shayna who got the win, it was that they got the win. It was just a bit surprising. Sarah brings up the Royal Rumble is coming, and that is every superstar for themselves. Are they preparing for that as a team? Nia thinks Sarah has some horns under that hair, she is definitely starting something.
Truth says Sarah is asking legit questions and Nia agrees, it is every woman for themselves. Nia has a good history in the Rumble matches, and Truth should remember that. Remember what happened when she went after him? Truth says Nia apologized, but she doesn’t remember that. She never apologizes. So she and Shayna are on the same team, same path, et cetera? They were so dominate- ARE dominate! The hair gel is getting to Sarah. Rumble season is everyone for themselves, tonight threw Nia off balance, but they’re a team. They’ve come a long way from when they started as a team. Shayna did great last week all alone, even though she lost. But as a team, they won.
But this is the Royal Rumble! They’re gonna be tight? Would Truth trust Nia at the Rumble? HELL NO. Well, Shayna and Nia were tag team champions, are they still after those belts? Wow, Sarah is coming out hot! Nia and Shayna always have eyes on the prize, but when it comes to the Rumble, when one of them wins, they’re going to WrestleMania! And Truth, be careful, you might not make it to the Rumble. Truth says he’ll be too worried about his baby. But would Nia and Shayna work together in the Rumble for a moment? We’ll wait and see. Uh oh, that means they will fight. Friendship is DONE. Shut up, Truth!
Well, Mandy and Dana have been very resilient to the animosity. What did Nia think about Shayna’s loss? It seemed like Shayna didn’t care about winning, she just wanted to kill. If Shayna turns it on, she could take out most of the other women. Not all, but most. Shayna has that killer instinct, brought it tonight. She might’ve been down on the mat a little too long last week, but that’s not the point. If she brings it, it’s done. Sarah thanks Nia for her time, Nia insists she never apologized to Truth, even now, and Nia heads off. And lastly, the Hurt Business is here!
MVP and Bobby Lashley joins Raw Talk!
MVP says they’ve got this on lock and Truth agrees. It was a busy night tonight but tonight, the Hurt Business was winning. MVP says it is business as usual. MVP points out the spot on his suit, that is Matt Riddle’s “DNA swatch,” his blood. Riddle’s people will get the dry cleaning bill. Send it to Batman because Matt’s the Riddler. MVP doesn’t care to understand what Truth is talking about. But the United States Champion isn’t losing any time soon. Lashley could even add the 24/7 Championship if he wanted to. MVP references Truth’s usual confusion by saying Lashley could use “Nelson from the Simpsons” on Truth to get it, too.
Speaking of that, Truth wants to talk with them. What Lashley did to Riddle, the Hurt Lock, that’s the exit ramp. A full nelson submission victory and Lashley wins. Luckily the ref was paying attention this time. Yes, the last time it happened, the ref missed it. MVP says the ref messed up that time, and doesn’t want anyone defending it. Just because he’s a WWE referee, he’s above reproach? Lashley speaks up to say that he beat up a real fighter. Riddle didn’t win back then, and he didn’t win against MVP tonight. Not really! MVP says Riddle can win a match but he still lost the fight. So congrats, bro, you won by DQ!
Was MVP shocked by that challenge? No, Riddle is an idiot! Nothing Riddle does surprises MVP. MVP says Riddle and Truth are the same, they’re both “idiot savants.” Truth takes that as a compliment. But Riddle has been a thorn in the side of the Hurt Business since coming to Raw, and clearly Hurt Business isn’t investing in Riddle’s ideas. Lashley says Riddle is more a roach. Hurt Business has big plans for 2021 so they’re not wasting time with Riddle and the Bronuts and whatever other nonsense he comes up with. Truth says Lashley could probably chow down and put away a lot of Bronuts, though.
Lashley and MVP get up and get in Truth’s face. Truth just wants an apology for Lashley putting him in the nelson like 100 times! One little apology won’t hurt the Hurt Business! Just one. MVP says Lashley won’t punch Truth in the mouth yet, and the show will end here. MVP wants Truth to apologize, and Truth apologizes. Sarah just has one more question. The Hurt Business has the United States and Raw Tag Team Championships, what does MVP have his eyes on? MVP says the US title IS their gold. Truth speaks up again and MVP gets mad!
MVP asks Truth what he just said and Sarah does her best to remain calm. Lashley pulls MVP away and they spare Truth. Truth says this is why they can’t have Hurt Business back! Sarah does her best to smooth everything over, and thanks us for tuning in to this week’s Raw Talk.
A fairly good episode of Raw Talk, and perhaps more than just McIntyre had to quarantine because of his positive test. Charly Caruso being the primary interviewer for Raw and therefore being frequently in close proximity, it’d make sense she would quarantine as a precaution. Sarah Schreiber did alright, though I would’ve thought Kayla got the nod to fill in since she hosts Talking Smack. But again, Sarah did alright, her part at the end could’ve been a bit more flustered but we can kayfabe that as her being more professional and able to handle a stressful situation.
Going into this, I thought Garza should’ve closed so he and Truth could end Raw Talk on a 24/7 Championship match. But starting it off with Garza was fine. Garza tuning out Truth until he just couldn’t hold back his frustration was a good way of doing his segment, and this will definitely lead to another 24/7 Championship “match” at some point, which I think will be a bit of fun. Nia had a decent segment, mostly her trying to stir up trouble with Sarah, but her passive aggressive comments toward Shayna were a good detail. Hurt Business had a good segment because of how angry they got with Truth, as Charly has always been warning Truth about. I hope Charly gets to point that out to Truth when she returns.
And while MVP said Lashley having the US title was enough for him, I really do think MVP should become 24/7 Champion to get at Truth, but then also it’s a great set-up where MVP has the other members as bodyguards so that he can hold onto the belt for a long time, and perhaps set a record in length of reign. That won’t be so hard, as Rob Gronkowski was the longest reigning at a recognized 57 days, aka two months. So MVP could have Hurt Business protecting him for two or three months, set the record, then he loses on like the 60th night to Truth or another star that’s their rival.
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