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Mitchell’s WWE Backstage Report! (2/4/20)

Drew McIntyre goes Backstage!

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WWE Backstage 2020

I dream broken dreams~!

Drew McIntyre is headed for a WWE World Championship match at WrestleMania, but takes a detour to go Backstage!

 

Renee Young and the panel welcome us to the show!

Now that NCAA Basketball is done for the night, Renee, Booker T, Christian and Ember Moon are here and still pedaling Booker’s beard gloss. Maybe Ember can use some on her faux fur jacket. But the Road to WrestleMania is picking up speed for WWE’s Super Showdown! But first…

Just the Highlights!

For SmackDown, The Miz and John Morrison return to tag team action in a huge Fatal 4 Way and are now set to challenge The NEW~ DAY~ for the W, W, E, Smack, Down, Tag, Team, CHAMPIONSHIPS~! Will that Super Showdown showdown be awesome? One thing that was awesome was Braun Strowman finally getting his match for the WWE Intercontinental Championship, and winning! Naomi returned to remind Bayley that Bayley has yet to beat Naomi, and then Bayley got to #FeelTheGlow! And in perhaps the biggest moment of SmackDown in 2020, Roman Reigns & The Usos made King Baron Corbin eat his words, and some dog food!

For Raw, The Man and The Empress prepare to go around one more time for the Raw Women’s Championship! Who takes the tiebreaker? And while The Queen, Charlotte Flair, has her chose of WWE women’s titles, Rhea Ripley has thrown her name into the hat! Will Charlotte look to not be Raw or SmackDown Women’s Champion but NXT? Randy Orton knows he owes an explanation for why he devastated Edge, but he couldn’t bring himself to say it. But biggest of all, The One and Only Ricochet is heading to Super Showdown to challenge the reigning, defending, undisputed WWE Heavyweight Champion of the World, BRRROCK! LESNARRR! Of course, The Beast made sure to let Ricochet know he was watching.

The panel discusses.

Ricochet VS Lesnar is coming, is this a great opportunity? Booker thinks that’s a trick question. Renee brings up comments from John Cena on Brock Lesnar. Via Sports Illustrated, the former WWE World Champion says, “I can say with the utmost sincerity that I believe Brock Lesnar is the best in-ring performer that I’ve seen. I know it’s an opinion, and if you want a cool quote, here it is: I think he’s the best in-ring performer of all time.” The internet exploded, but what is Christian’s opinion? Cena must be watching WWE Backstage a lot, that sounded like what Christian said. And Cena knows things about the WWE, and Christian says that in regards to wrestling in pro-wrestling, “It doesn’t have to be pretty to be effective.” Christian says Lesnar is top 5 for in-ring.

Ember agrees with Christian and Cena. Lesnar is the best, because while he is an attraction that sells, he really can hit hard and move in the ring. Lesnar knows who Lesnar is, and knows that love him or hate him, fans will come to see him. Renee wants someone to play Devil’s Advocate and give someone better. Ember figures it’d be Randy Orton. Orton just knows how to milk things, just like on Raw last night. Booker T agrees with that. Booker adds, “No bread, no water, just meat.” That is Lesnar in a nutshell. He is no nonsense, and just looking at him, you go, “Hey man, this guy.” Lesnar makes it real, he makes you feel something! In today’s wrestling, Lesnar is the most believable guy in the locker room.

Renee puts it in the perspective of the Royal Rumble. Lesnar did all that work, and he is so good at his part that you forget he’s that good at his part. Booker agrees, the Rumble was Shakespearean with Lesnar and McIntyre. It made a star out of not just McIntyre, but a lot of other men in that match. Christian adds on that while things can go off the rails, stepping in the ring with a guy like Lesnar, it elevates your status.

To the other Rumble, Charlotte continues to stall with her decision making. But perhaps she waited too long and could be facing her worst Nightmare. That is to say, Rhea Ripley wants after The Queen! The one woman, the one Women’s Champion, Charlotte hasn’t beaten dares her to pick the NXT title! Ember’s reaction is first that while she wasn’t behind Charlotte winning, she is totally behind this match up. Rhea has already made a big name for herself, so “Holy poop,” this match will be great. Charlotte was the first wave of the WWE Women’s (R)Evolution, Rhea is going to lead the next wave.

Renee agrees, and seeing those two standing face to face, there is definitely the rise of a new star. Booker says he smells the money this match is going to print. Ember says that the only downside is that this pulls the rug out from under NXT TakeOver: Portland. Rhea VS Bianca is only two weeks away and yet we’re looking ahead to WrestleMania. Christian says it adds layers. Bianca can say Rhea is looking ahead, is getting distracted, and could end up losing. But the note of who Charlotte has and hasn’t beat was a great element. Booker also likes “The Ripper” for Rhea’s alternate nickname.

 

WWE Backstage returns, and welcomes special guest, Drew McIntyre!

The 2020 Men’s Royal Rumble winner joins the panel, giving a little wave before stepping over the top rope. He gives high-fives and fist bumps all around before taking his seat. Drew is even a gentleman, picking up Ember’s dropped cue card for her. #ReformedPsychopath. But what a whirlwind couple of weeks for McIntyre. Booker likes the jacket, and as McIntyre points out Christian’s Bond villain style, Christian offers his assistance as evil manager. But Renee wants to know: Why is now McIntyre’s time? How is it that things aligned for him? He himself isn’t sure, things just fell into place. Was he holding back? Was he not having fun?

McIntyre might’ve been overthinking something, and then he just let loose and started having that fun. Fans are having fun alongside him so that was what helped propel him the rest of the way, and right at the Royal Rumble. Renee agrees, that always seems to be what works, but it’s easier said than done. McIntyre says that his time away from the WWE is what helped him find himself and had his fun. Returning via NXT helped translate that, but then it was hard with being on Raw and having to fit into stories like with The Shield. Roman Reigns got to face The Undertaker, having great moments, and it showed that McIntyre needed to let loose. This is 100% real Drew.

Ember brings up an important thing. Everyone wants to be in that spot, but how did it feel to point at the WrestleMania sign? So much was going through his mind but his face said it all. The past 19 years, the ups, downs and sacrifices, it was all let out that night. McIntyre finally gets a WWE World Championship match, and win or lose, he’s already feeling great. He just can’t help but point at Mania signs, too, it’s become instinct. Booker says he had his five, and McIntyre was always in there. McIntyre had to leave the WWE, come back and now he’s got a rocket on his back. How much pressure does he feel? Pressure may not be the word, but McIntyre appreciates being Booker’s five. This journey was so unique for McIntyre, he’s seen all sorts of things, and now he’s ready to be the guy. Renee says they can see it and feel it.

Christian says how McIntyre was overthinking things. You never want to think what’s next, you need to be in the moment. Things slow down, and you figure things out. What was it like being away from the WWE and having things slow down like that? McIntyre says it wasn’t too long that he felt relieved. He went all in, “balls to the wall,” and the more he relaxed, the better the fans liked him. McIntyre could feel it. His first few months on Raw, he was just “big and angry, hairy and Scottish,” which no one can actually relate to. Well, maybe there’s an equally big, angry, hairy Scotsman, but other than that guy. Christian likes McIntyre’s countdown. McIntyre admits that was a spur of the moment thing and it just worked. Especially the kip up, he hadn’t done one since he was a kid playing soccer.

Ember knows people say “It’s not about the destination, it’s the journey,” but could McIntyre speak more to that independent scene journey and his return? McIntyre says he needed to leave the WWE in order to apply what he learned and become the face of several companies he worked with around the world. ICW in Scotland was most notable, and the audiences kept growing all the way from 1500 to 7000! McIntyre credits his being a former WWE wrestler to some of it, but it still felt incredible to know he helped grow a company through his hard work. And that was a great training ground for him to return and prove he can be the face of the WWE.

Renee can tell the wheels are always turning in McIntyre’s head. Where does he get his inspiration from? He isn’t sure. McIntyre just loves wrestling and has kept this same drive throughout. But he lost it somewhere along the way and was disappointed. Being released reignited him and here we are, him going 110%. McIntyre wants to make his wife proudest of all, because she has always supported him, no matter where he went. Booker and Christian also know that journey, so what would it mean for McIntyre to finally be a world champion? Very important. McIntyre was told 10 years ago he’d be the future world champion, but clearly that didn’t work then. Vince is a sorcerer, it seems.

But to be serious, winning that title and at WrestleMania, that is the culmination of everything. All the hard work, hitting “the lowest of lows” and fighting his way back up. McIntyre once pictured himself facing a guy like Lesnar, and pictured the promotional material. That was motivation, and McIntyre made sure he would be believable as an opponent. And now, seeing the real promotional pictures, “it’s bloody insane.” He feels he could’ve dreamed bigger, like first Scottish President of America. But “dream” is not even enough, this would be amazing. Everyone commends and congratulates McIntyre for this journey. McIntyre will stick around, maybe point at a Mania sign. Speaking of Mania, we’ll relive a match McIntyre mentioned after the break!

 

WWE Backstage recounts The Undertaker’s WrestleMania journey.

The Phenom went on an undefeated streak of 21 WrestleMania matches, until he encountered Brock Lesnar. The Streak ended, and at the time, Lesnar became the one in 21-1. But even after rebounding against Bray Wyatt, Taker and Roman Reigns met in a battle for “The Yard” at WrestleMania 33. The Big Dog now speaks to what it was like to be the last to defeat The Dead Man on the Grandest Stage of Them All.

Roman says that when he was told he’d be the one to face Taker, “it was kind of a mixed bag of emotions.” Roman was both excited but nervous to share that stage with him. Taker’s entrance is always great on film, but there’s nothing like it live at WrestleMania. Everyone respects Taker, so it was a huge moment by default. And then the two made it a huge moment in reality, because Roman understood the magnitude of getting a moment only a few can have. Fans didn’t like it, but even with a great performance from Taker, Roman won the match. “I think the hardest part of it all was that WrestleMania fireworks shot” to close it out. Roman admits he couldn’t help but be sad. It felt like Taker was done, and it weighed heavier on him than expected.

And of course, there’s always the Monday Night Raw After Mania. Fans obviously hated Roman, but it was oddly the coolest moment in his career. Roman felt more powerful in that one segment barely saying a thing than he ever could speaking. You usually don’t want to be hated, but for that 15 minutes, Roman owned the WWE Universe. “This is MY Yard now” will go down the five strongest words Roman has ever said.

The panel discusses with Drew McIntyre.

The Scottish Stud knows what it is like to be in the ring with The Big Dog, but also to be in the ring with The Undertaker. What is it like staring down The Dead Man? McIntyre says there are no words. Taker is a legend, he is THE Phenom, and as the footage plays from WWE Extreme Rules 2019, that was one of McIntyre’s favorite moments. It is a top 5 for McIntyre, he learned so much in that match. Standing up behind Taker, that was the most gifable thing in McIntyre’s life.

Booker notes that as good friends with Taker in real-life, having come up around the same time, you’d think he was just another guy. But getting to the WWE by the time Taker had established himself, that program and the theatrics, seeing that walk, Booker was marking out like a fan. Plus, Taker gave Booker that rub, and it helped Booker know he had made it. Renee notes that the entrance is definitely something that you can get starstruck from. Christian agrees with all of that, his first match with American Badass Taker and that motorcycle entrance also had him in awe. Hearing the fans react is different because the fans recognize Taker as someone on a different level. Christian learned that getting in, staying in, and succeeding in the WWE are all very different things, thanks to that match.

WWE Backstage throws it to Ember Moon and a special guest!

The co-founder of Kinda Funny Games, Greg Miller is here! Ember knows Greg is a gamer, but what got him into the WWE? Well like anyone else born in the 1980’s, pro-wrestling was everywhere. Hogan, Macho Man, Million Dollar Man, Saturday morning wrestling and then Monday Night Raw, he had an entire childhood of wrestling! Moon  heard from a little birdie that Miller went to WWE events for five straight months. Miller confirms, he and wrestling fan friends went on a road trip and it just happened to time out with WWE events. The stretch of Survivor Series all the way to Mania, he got to be at every PPV! And Miller was the guy that Lesnar screamed at during Survivor Series that one time! Did he pee himself? A little…

Ember knows Lesnar schooled Miller then, but is Miller ready to go to class? Of course he is! Promo School is in session after the break!

 

Next week, WWE Backstage is Clobbering Time!

CM Punk returns to join the panel for next week, and we also get The Queen, Charlotte Flair! Will Charlotte have her answer in regards to Rhea Ripley’s challenge by then? And what will CM Punk have to say about that and everything else going on in the WWE?

 

Greg Miller gets ready for Promo School!

Renee says no pressure, but all the pressure. Miller knows, and he wants the judges to know they look lovely today. Renee explains that King Booker, Christian, Ember and McIntyre will be grading Miller’s performance. Any advice real quick? “Don’t screw up.” Anything more, McIntyre? Nope. Booker wants to hear a cool catchphrase or two. “Drink it up, because it’s Miller time!” Greg wants to write these down just in case. Christian branches off that, and says you need to believe what you say because then the fans will believe it. And Ember wants it to be relatable, especially to yourself.

Renee likes that strong advice, but points out Miller needs a target. Miller is picking a fight with Xavier Woods! Aren’t they gamer friends? They are, they work a lot together through YouTube, but Miller plans on taking his “buddy” down a notch! Expose the Woods! Woods is selling something that isn’t true, but everyone drinks it up. Miller prepares himself as Renee heads off stage.

“Xavier Woods. Or should I call you… Austin Creed?” Or perhaps his real real name, “The Worst Part of The New Day.” Miller introduces himself as THE Greg Miller of Kinda Funny Games, but Woods already knows that, right? The year was 2015 when Miller invited Woods to be on HIS E3 stage! And what did Woods do? Talked about games, about how cool Miller was and how they could be friends, and then did what he does best: stole from Miller! Woods took the subs, the industry contacts, “everything that mattered!” Miller thought he could trust Woods when Woods invited Miller to the WWE E-Sports Challenge, but then what happened? Woods steals all the credit when Miller was the host! Miller carried that show on his BACK like Kofi carries Woods every week!

But Woods still gets all the credit. And then what did he do? Woods took the Kinda Funny World Championship from Miller! Has anyone been covering this on this show?! NO! Miller went to visit his wife’s sick mother, and he is STRIPED of the KFG World Championship by “the crooked commissioner,” Xavier Woods! “And then, to add insult to injury,” Woods steals KFG’s idea out of nowhere! Now there’s an UpUpDownDown World Championship?! It shows up all the time on YouTube, but does Miller get a shot at it? The Game Awards’ #1 trending gamer! The South by Southwest Most Entertaining Online Personality! Greg Miller, “one of the coolest dudes in video games.” But no, no title shot.

And then Woods gets hurt! Owie owie big toe hurts. Woods does all his YouTube gaming stuff that aren’t kinda funny! Miller tells Woods what’s going to happen now: Miller will make his own history and his own plans. March 27th, 2020. The Allstate Arena in Miller’s hometown of Chicago, Illinois! Mrs. Miller’s Baby Boy is coming home, and if Woods is any kind of man, he’ll be there, bad foot or not. They will have a Nidhogg II single match, and if Miller wins, he becomes #1 Contender to the UUDD World title. If he loses, which won’t happen, Miller will tweet to his one MILLION followers (which is more than Woods but Woods will try to steal them soon enough), and for an entire month, that people should sub to UUDD. But if Woods no-shows, then it’s forfeit! That’s fair, isn’t it?

But for those thinking, “That’s extortion!” Miller learned a lesson a long time ago. “It’s better to be Greg than great.” Mic drop!

Renee loves how Miller served that one up! Miller got Renee to hate Woods now! How did no one know this?! Woods having three names is a sign. But now, to the grades! Booker knew it, it WAS Miller Time. Miller thanks the king for his compliment. Booker likes that it was real and relatable. B+, his highest grade yet. McIntyre enjoyed how intense it was, but it went long. It kept his attention, at least, and the challenge made was great. So B- to stay with Booker. Christian doesn’t say a word, but he’s given Miller a C+!? Harsh! But then Christian explains, he agrees with McIntyre. It could’ve been stronger but had a great finish. Miller was in control but he was taking his time getting there. But sometimes, a promo without an in-person target is hard because you have to do it all yourself. But the length risks losing people’s attention. Leave them wanting more.

Finally, Ember feels her part in this year long build behind the scenes given her time on UUDD, and feels how real and important this is to Miller. Ember does agree with the other points on length, and adds that there is an intensity level he needs to keep his eye on. But all that said, it was completely believable, so Ember gives a B+! A great balance, great feedback, and Miller had fun. Booker wants him to get that beard gloss. But with Promo School over for the night, WWE Backstage will shift gears to analyzing The Viper’s promo from last night. What grades do they give Randy Orton after the break?

 

WWE Backstage gets the Hot Tag!

Three topics, 30 seconds each, it’s go time! First up is the coming Valentine’s Day “date” between Otis Dozovic and Mandy Rose for SmackDown. Booker feels that 30 seconds might not be enough. First, he wants to shout out his wife, Sharmell, as Valentine’s Day is their anniversary. But to SmackDown’s own Valentines, Otis needs to treat Mandy right and assure her that they’ll be in each other’s corners no matter what. Take her ice fishing, it’ll be isolated and cozy, and take it from there. Time’s up and on to the next subject.

The Viper broke everyone’s hearts when he went after The Rated R Superstar’s repaired neck a week ago, but his follow-up last night was lacking. Fans booed and jeered, and in the end, Orton couldn’t say what he wanted to say. Christian’s thoughts? Thinking about the emotions involved, from Edge’s return at the Royal Rumble and his subsequent reunion with Randy Orton, and the joy that the fans felt, only for it to turn around 180 degrees the next night. Orton doing that damage got that reaction of horror, no words were needed last night. Sometimes, body language is enough. Just like Christian said in Promo Schoo- No, you’re time is up, Christian, stop.

Lastly, Liv Morgan got another win on Lana, but the celebration was ruined by the return of Ruby Riott! Riott turned on Liv and now friends are enemies. Ember is happy to have Ruby back and that Liv is going to be her first target. Ruby should’ve come back in the Rumble to return and showcase herself. And not for one second did Ember think this was not going to be a betrayal. Ruby could’ve gone to SmackDown to do things there to allow both women to reestablish themselves, but this feud will be amazing with the personal element. Time’s up, Ember gets her buzzer beater! Renee adds that Ruby is looking GOODT, and there’s a lot of depth to the Women’s Division now.

 

WWE Backstage brings out the Satin Sheet!

What news does Ryan Satin have for us this time? WWE confirms that they signed two big independent wrestlers! One is Timothy Thatcher, internationally accomplished wrestler and an original member of the original Imperium when he, Walter and Marcel Barthel were in the European wrestling scene. That news has reached said former friends, and the NXT UK Champion shared a photo of the original Imperium.

Second to sign with the WWE is Killer Kross, one of the hottest free agents today. The details are scarce but the deal was put together recently as many major promotions were working to recruit Kross. No word yet on which brand Kross debuts on, but he’ll certainly make an impact when he arrives.

 

Someone tweets WWE Backstage!

TeelTeen says “Here you go, Christian.” TeelTeen gave Captain Charisma his own hairless cat a la Dr. Evil! McIntyre’s powers are growing, but he was hoping they’d animate Christian with a swivel chair. The Backstage Buddha approves.

 

WWE Backstage plays the 10 Year Challenge!

They compare Drew McIntyre now in 2020, to when he was WWE Intercontinental Champion in 2010! He looks like a wee babby! McIntyre figures if he shaved his beard, he’d go right back to looking like that. But just so McIntyre isn’t the only one being teased, Booker has a surprise! It’s RENEE YOUNG 10 years ago on Sportsnet’s The Break! “So, NBA. You think you can just come back whenever you want?” Renee was happy making fun of them while it was gone but now it’s crawling back into her life like everything’s okay. Oh she can’t stay mad at the NBA! Renee remembers those days both fondly and yet with embarrassment.

 


 

My Thoughts:

A really great episode for WWE Backstage! So much great stuff from McIntyre and I loved Greg Miller’s promo for Promo School. I almost feel like we need to do coverage of that Nidhogg showdown just so we know how the story ends! And I do have to admit, I agree with things said about Lesnar. He has gotten so good at being the Heel you love to hate, you forget that’s the point, and that he is a legit athlete. He may get the titles and the part-time schedule, but in the end it is worth it if you can feel absolute adulation and joy when someone beats him. Or at least eliminates him from a Royal Rumble with a low blow and a Claymore kick. I loved hearing about McIntyre’s journey, and I really do hope McIntyre wins at Mania to make his literal decade of hard work pay off.


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Mitchell’s Talking Smack Report! (1/16/21)

Kevin Owens is back!

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WWE Talking Smack

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?


My Thoughts:

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.


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Mitchell’s Raw Talk Report! (1/11/21)

Raw Talk will be mighty!

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WWE Raw Talk

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.


My Thoughts:

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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