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Mitchell’s WWE Backstage Report! (4/21/20)

Oh yes, it’s Ladies’ Night!

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WWE Backstage 2020

WWE Backstage continues FoxSports1’s ladies’ night!

Join Renee Young, Ember Moon, Beth Phoenix and Natalya in a special women’s revolution edition!

 

The panel welcomes us to the show!

After FS1’s marathon of The Best of WWE: Becky Lynch, WWE 24: The Year of Ronda Rousey, The Best of WWE: Charlotte Flair, and WWE 24: Becky Lynch: The Man, the Women’s (R)Evolution continues! For the first time, the Shenom, the Glamazon and the Queen of Harts are on the same episode together! Beth confirms Edge is on “Dad duty” so Mama can enjoy ladies’ night. Natty has a cutout of Uncle Bret but Renee teases that they need a TJ (Tyson Kidd) one. But with WrestleMania far in the rear view, we move ever closer to Money in the Bank! Things are heating up, but for now, here’s…

Just the Highlights!

On SmackDown: Sonya Deville reveals the reason she betrayed Mandy! It’s not out of love, but out of loathing for “the most selfish human being” Sonya’s ever met. Fire & Desire has broken up but Otis will always be there for his “Sweet Peach.” Meanwhile, the NEW WWE Universal Champion’s past is coming back to haunt him. Will Bray Wyatt #GetTheseHands? Or just get inside the head of the Monster Among Men. And then, Lacey Evans makes sure Bayley doesn’t screw over Tamina, and now both the Sassy Southern Belle and Samoan Steamroller have big money matches! Will Lacey shut down Banks while Tamina goes for gold? And speaking of gold, the NEW~ DAY~ are EIGHT TIME W, W, E, World, Tag, Team, CHAMPIONS~! Big E won for his brothers in positivity, but will eight be great for ya bois?

On Raw: Aleister Black is headed to Money in the Bank! Will he climb the “corporate ladder” and make all others #FadeToBlack? The Monday Night Messiah accepts Drew McIntyre’s challenge to fight for the WWE World Championship, but not because he wants to. It’s because he has to. The Queen of Spades BROKE one poor Indi Hartwell not because she had to, but because she wanted to. And speaking of McIntyre, he took the fight back to Zelina Vega’s team, and left them down and out in #ClaymoreCountry. Will he do the same when Seth Rollins comes to #BurnItDown?

The panel discusses the week.

The MITB matches are filling up, but they’re taking a unique turn! This year’s matches will be at WWE headquarters in Connecticut! All 12 entrants will enter Titan Towers and head for the roof, where there will be a ring and ladders to still climb up and grab for the briefcases! What does everyone think about this change to an already considerable challenge?

Beth says that first of all, not even a competitor with MITB experience will know what to do. This new environment creates a level playing field. It is no longer an advantage to be an MITB veteran. There will be different weapons, different obstacles, and there might still be others inside that “corporate arena.” There is a gym in there, after all. Perhaps weights can be weaponized. What part will the elevators play? There are so many variables in this, so this is a brand new challenge. Ember adds that she’s really into it. This is a Hardcore match with a whole new environment. And just like Beth said, will there be random intertwining with the WWE 24/7 Championship? Renee sure hopes so!

Ember continues to agree with Beth that anyone could show up. There are so many fun things to think about, but the best thing is that there are fresh faces getting an opportunity. Apollo Crews qualified and he deserves this opportunity because of all his hard work. Ember felt like Apollo might get emotional after his win, but he still has THE match to go through. There is the ladder on the roof, putting a superstar at at least 20 stories up in the air! That’s scary! Beth agrees with Ember’s point on Apollo. MITB has traditionally been a star making match. It is an opportunity for someone working hard yet hasn’t had “that platform” to showcase what they can do. Beth feels Apollo will surprise the world with this match. We might even get a surprise winner out of this.

Natty agrees with that, too. This is an awesome move, especially during this time of being without the live crowd. It is a challenging time, obviously, but also an exciting time for everyone to push themselves and think outside the box! The superstars can build on each other’s energies and “create new rules” in a way. The crowd is usually who you play off of, but without them, now it’s time to “color outside the lines” and push boundaries! And to piggyback off of what everyone’s said about Apollo, Natty thinks back to when TJ was in his first MITB. TJ was so excited because he hadn’t gotten that opportunity before. Seeing these opportunities go to those who have been waiting, both Apollo and Dana Brooke, for example, this is an exciting time. There could be surprise winners, and even same-night cash-ins!

One competitor to keep an eye on in the Women’s Division is Asuka! Especially if you consider her practice routine. Asuka tweets a video of her playing old school Donkey Kong! If Mario can climb to save Pauline, can Asuka climb to become Ms. MITB? Beth says there are similar principles. Ducking and dodging go a long way to advancing. Natty has experience in Ladder matches, too, but how would being on the roof and still having the ladder match, what would that do? Natty confirms that being on even a 12 foot ladder is scary. Now add that it’s the WWE HQ, who knows who might end up in Vince McMahon’s office! Take the briefcase to the house! Natty says Vince’s office is wild, it has a real dinosaur skull in there!

But at the same time, that’s what’s cool about this match. Anything and everything could happen, and Natty loves the unpredictability. This is shaping up to be really cool, but her favorite part is that, given the tough times in the world, the WWE continues to think outside the box and find ways to entertain everyone. That’s a cool feeling. Renee says the adaptability is really interesting. The Boneyard Match, the Firefly Fun House, and now MITB at Titan Towers. WWE switching stuff up for a match that’s been around for some time now, this will add a special little something to hook the fans. From the fan standpoint, Renee will soak it all in.

Beth notes on the fear of heights that Natty brings. Being on top of a ladder is scary enough. Someone is going to be on top of a ladder, inside a ring, on the roof of a building! If you have a fear of heights, this is the worst situation ever. And even then, there’s also the competition happening! The winner will be who digs deep and brings out some courage from within. Ember says that is going to make this match even better. Sitting at home as a fan, watching everyone each night, Ember feels there is even more aggression and passion right now. Without the crowd, you are 100% focused on the other people in the ring, and 100% focused on destroying them. And yes, Ember is referencing Shayna here.

Shayna is the favorite in Ember’s mind, because we’ve seen how relentless she has been. Ember’s not sure how many people will even be able to make it to the roof. Shayna just snaps arms like nobody’s business. But speaking of breaking, Backstage takes a break, but promises to return with a classic showdown that helped spark the Women’s (R)Evolution!

 

It’s a WWE Backstage Watch-Along!

We flashback to May 29th, 2014, the ORIGINAL NXT TakeOver event! Renee has Beth and Natty with her to watch the NXT Women’s Championship match! The Queen of Harts has been a strong part of the Women’s (R)Evolution, and that even goes for her first-ever showdown with Charlotte Flair. In fact, this match is the first one players take on in the Women’s (R)Evolution game mode in WWE 2K20. For historical context, this match was for the vacant NXT Women’s Championship after Paige had to relinquish it because she had become WWE Diva’s Champion.

Natty had Uncle Bret Hart in her corner while Charlotte had her father, Ric Flair. The two circle and tie up, go around and Natty throws Charlotte down with a hip toss! Cover, TWO! Natty grins as Charlotte gets up in a huff. The two go around, tie up, and Natty gets a waistlock. Natty trips Charlotte, floats along her back, and gets a facelock. In the present, Natty speaks to the importance of this match. This first TakeOver obviously led to all of the great TakeOver events we’ve had the last five years, but that match specifically was like Natty’s personal WrestleMania Moment. She knows it was only in front of the 200 or so Full Sail crowd, but it was a game-changer. Natty could feel it before the match, and knew it after. She even told HHH that from that first lock-up, she and Charlotte had natural chemistry.

In the match, Charlotte slips out of the facelock to get Natty with a hammerlock. The two stand up, Natty reaches back and drops down to fireman’s carry throw Charlotte. Natty has the arm and cranks back but Charlotte kicks and flails. Charlotte reaches up to headscissor and bring Natty down. Natty moves around and manages to kip out! Natty in the present continues to speak to a conversation she once had with Beth. On the main roster, she was so ready for the Women’s (R)Evolution. Beth was ready, the entire locker room was ready! So the TakeOver match with Charlotte, in which Natty currently headlocks Charlotte for a takeover, this showed the world what both of them could do.

It was also paying it forward. Everything Natty learned in the Hart Dungeon and from traveling around the world, she gave back to build the Women’s Division as a whole. There is no Women’s Division if they aren’t giving back to each other. Giving Charlotte “that kind of match” was a crowning moment for Natty, regardless of the result. In the match, Charlotte throws Natty off the headlock and the two have a stand off. They circle and tie up, and Natty gets the arm. Charlotte cartwheels through to wrench her back, and drag her down to a Fujiwara armbar! Natty endures as the fans rally up.

Renee says Natty has given back to so many women in the WWE. Natty is the unsung backbone of the Women’s (R)Evolution. Both Natty and Beth laid down the ground work that helped so many have the incredible matches we’ve seen. Does Natty remember how nervous Charlotte was going into the match? Yes, she was so nervous. HHH and Natty talked beforehand, and she asked how much time they were being given. He said there is no time limit, so they can “tell the story that you want to tell.” All HHH wanted was for Natty to keep Charlotte calm out there, because that’s how nervous she was. Natty loves when people are that nervous because she is the same. That is the energy she needs, and channeling it the right way is the best feeling. It means the match matters to you.

Speaking of the match, Natty rolls and gets to her feet to then roll and handspring. Natty gets a leg and trips Charlotte up for a toehold! Natty cranks back on it but Charlotte endures. Charlotte reaches with her leg but Natty resists. Charlotte keeps trying, and manages to bring Natty down! Natty lets Charlotte go and the two reset again. They circle, approach, and Natty kicks! But Charlotte blocks it to clamp on. Natty pie faces Charlotte so Charlotte pie faces back! Natty rolls and brings Charlotte down! She laces the legs for a modified deathlock! But Charlotte reaches back to wrap around Natty’s head and drag her off the hold! Charlotte has a headlock but Natty pops out to facelock again.

Meanwhile, Beth speaks to the build to this match. She could tell so many stories about Natty right now, but she’s earmarking a lot of them for Natty’s Hall of Fame induction. Not to sound cliche, but Beth says the WWE Women’s Division “is on fire right now.” This is the hottest it has ever been, and this NXT Women’s Championship match lit that flame! Beth remembers watching this match, and she couldn’t have been prouder. She couldn’t have been more emotional, either, because it was so amazing. For one, Beth knew Natty was capable of so much more than she got to show on the main roster.

Beth speaks for both herself and Edge, and just about anyone who knows Natty, in saying that Natty isn’t just one of the best women wrestlers. She is just one of the best period. That is why Beth loves this match. It was the perfect showcase not just for Natty, but a platform to see what Charlotte could become. And again, the emotion of this moment was great, because it was a generational match-up of two wrestlers with pedigrees behind their names. There was something so special about the timing, because the world was ready to see this. The world was ready to see that it’s not just men who can come from wrestling families and succeed. There are women just as hungry and can do the exact same thing. For Beth, this match is truly the start of the (R)Evolution.

In the match, Charlotte reverses the facelock but Natty powers her way up. Natty wrenches free of the facelock to whip. Charlotte reverses then drops down. She hurdles over Natty on the return, but Natty wheelbarrows to a victory roll! Cover, TWO! But Natty gets Charlotte in a body scissors! Charlotte endures but Natty pulls hair to bring her into a chinlock. Charlotte elbows free of the chinlock, but Natty body scissor clutches! TWO, but the body scissors stay on. Charlotte manages to move around and throw some hands! She starts thrashing and bouncing Natty off the mat! The ref reprimands but Natty reaches back with a leg. Charlotte gets away to avoid an armlock and scrambles to the bottom rope. Natty gives chase but the ref keeps her back.

Renee says that from the look on Natty’s face, this match really gives you something to chew on. This match had Natty salivating because it was something she wanted for a long time. Natty says she can still go back to that moment, it is ingrained in her memory. It is a warm and wonderful feeling associated with the WWE. Having Ric Flair and Bret Hart ringside, what nuggets of wisdom did they give? Looking back, there was no real story going. They had one video package for that match. Now there’d be a build that starts with the Royal Rumble and then the following months would just add and add to how big the match felt. But back then, just one little video told the whole story of what the match was.

The story was built more in the match, and it was Natty wanting to prove she still had it while Charlotte wanted to prove “she could hang.” It was about them both coming from wrestling families with big shoes to fill. Having Bret and Ric around made for nice accent pieces. In the match, Charlotte SLAPS Natty! So Natty SLAPS her back! Charlotte rushes Natty but Natty waistlocks to attempt a suplex. Charlotte blocks so Natty rolls her up, TWO! WWE Backstage takes a break but there will be more of this flashback to come!

 

The Backstage Watch-Along continues!

In the present, Natty is joined by her cat, 2Pawz, as the match continues from the kick out. Charlotte knees Natty low and then knees her in the back. Charlotte spins to add to the CHOP! She also kicks Natty down, and Ric gives a big “WOO~!!” from the apron. The ref warns Ric to keep his distance but Charlotte gives her own “WOO~!” Charlotte drags Natty up but Natty CHOPS her! Natty whips but Charlotte reverses, but Natty goes up and over! Natty waistlocks and wants to try the German again, but Charlotte turns things around to RAM Natty backwards into buckles! Charlotte throws elbow after elbow to get free, but Natty just jumps back on!

Beth speaks to Natty noting Ric and Bret in the corners. This was an interesting shift in the dynamics. Usually, the women are in the corners as the valets and managers. Here, it is the legendary male wrestlers being the supporting roles to highlight the women in the match. That alone is a cool detail in the (R)Evolution. Natty agrees with that. As iconic as Bret and Ric are, they both wanted to let the women have the spotlight. That in itself was so special. Natty remembers asking Bret if he’d be part of that night. She wasn’t sure if he’d say yes, because Canada to Florida is a long way to travel. But he jumped at the opportunity to do that, and that meant so much to Natty personally. So many people look up to Bret and Ric, so them giving the match a marquee feel was so special.

Renee agrees, the match tells such a great story when there wasn’t a lot of story told beforehand. But to use the family dynamic, and Natty’s journey in the WWE, and then giving Charlotte this match, it’s so cool to sit back and watch. Renee also vividly remembers this match since she was in NXT at the time, so she saw them put in the work. In the match, Natty has a sleeper hold while being a backpack, but Charlotte reaches back to hit a BACKPACK STUNNER! Cover, TWO! Charlotte is shocked and tries again, TWO! Charlotte is furious so she bounces Natty’s head off the mat again and again and again! She stomps a mudhole into Natty at the corner! The ref backs her off, but Charlotte yanks Natty out of the corner to let her hit the mat. Cover, TWO!

Renee notes how Natty mentioned the crowd of 200 in Full Sail. What is it like being there versus a mainstay PPV? Well first, 2Pawz needs to go for now, he’s getting grumpy. But for Natty, she’s said it before and will say it again. That very first TakeOver was like a WrestleMania Moment. It was about the feeling in that moment. As cool as it is to be in front of 80 thousand, there was an emotional connection between herself, Charlotte, Ric, Bret and the audience. It speaks to how much the audience, even when it’s just 200, enhance the match when you let them in and tell such a beautiful story. This match is perhaps the most special and wonderful moments in Natty’s career.

In the match, Charlotte keeps on Natty with the headscissor hold. Charlotte turns Natty over to drive her head into the mat again and again and again! Charlotte squeezes tight but Natty endures. So Charlotte just rolls and THROWS Natty away! Cover, TWO! Charlotte doesn’t let up, she brings Natty up to lock on the cobra twist! She pushes Natty’s head down to add to the stretch! Natty endures so again Charlotte thrashes her about. But Natty endures, slips out and gets around, to put Charlotte in the cobra twist! She grabs a leg to really stretch Charlotte out! Charlotte endures now, fights free, but Natty turns her for a backslide! Cover, TWO, but Charlotte basement dropkicks Natty down! Cover again, TWO!

Renee asks if there were any key moments or spots in this match where Natty and Charlotte could feel they had something special. Natty says that when Charlotte steals the Sharpshooter, Natty was a little reluctant to let her do that. This was their first ever match against each other, so should she do that? Natty realized that in this kind of match, knowing how big it will be, she just knew the feeling everyone would have. Everyone would be talking about this match for years to come, so this was the right time to have a moment like that. The funny thing is, Charlotte didn’t really know how to do the Sharpshooter, but it didn’t matter because technically she’s not supposed to. It added to the match and Charlotte’s character. Of course, there’s also the spectacular moonsault Charlotte does, and the first hints of the WrestleMania main eventer.

Charlotte whips Natty into a corner then stomps a mudhole again. The ref counts and Charlotte backs off at 4. Charlotte rushes back in but Natty dodges! Natty catches Charlotte on the rebound to spin her around for a butterfly suplex! Charlotte flounders up but Natty clotheslines her down! Natty fires up as she snapmares Charlotte down hard. Natty runs, walks all over Charlotte, then comes back with a basement dropkick! Cover, TWO! Natty can’t believe it but Charlotte still lives! Natty drags Charlotte back up, whips her to a corner. Charlotte tumbles up and out to the apron, but Natty DECKS her off! Natty wants after Charlotte but the ref keeps her back. Natty refuses to leave it at that, but Charlotte anchors her foot! Charlotte trips Natty up and THROWS her to the floor!

Natty says Charlotte is one of her favorite female performers in the world to wrestle. There is just magical chemistry there. Renee asks Natty how much Charlotte has changed since this match. Obviously she is now a ten-time women’s champion just between Raw and SmackDown, but how does that reflect in the ring? Well it’s been awhile since Natty wrestled Charlotte, wink wink nudge nudge let’s go again. However, it is interesting to see what Charlotte is doing, especially with her character. Charlotte is once again NXT Women’s Champion, which is a fascinating move. Even before she won the title, Natty had a bit of doubt. Would Charlotte really win the NXT Women’s Championship to go back to NXT? So when Charlotte did win, there was that unpredictability. Just imagine all the new match-ups now!

Natty wants to see Charlotte VS Tegan Nox, Charlotte VS Dakota Kai, and all these other possibilities. Charlotte’s evolution has been great, but Natty would love to have another rematch, even as soon as next week’s Raw. Renee would love it, too! But what would Beth’s dream scenario be in a Charlotte Flair NXT Women’s Championship defense? There really are so many women in NXT “stepping up to the plate.” Beth has really enjoyed the transformation of Dakota Kai, as has Natty. We’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg on Dakota, and the shackles are off. To see what Dakota could bring, and see her and Charlotte elevate each other, that is something to look forward to. One of Beth’s favorites is Mia Yim, who has the passion and ruggedness that Beth can connect with, as do many fans.

Renee notes how during the second Mae Young Classic that she and Beth called together, that was before Mia was signed. They both remember the passion from the crowd when HHH came out and they wanted Mia to be signed. It was nuts! What the NXT Universe wants, the NXT Universe gets! Natty adds that even before the MYC, Mia had that tryout for NXT. She was at the PC but got rejected. Mia contacted Natty, saying how they weren’t interested and not knowing what to do next. Natty called “the powers that be,” which wasn’t HHH back then. Natty told Mia to not stop, to not take “No” for an answer. You have to keep going and keeping getting in their faces. That door may be slammed on you over and over, but you just have to turn each “No” into a “Yes.” And the rest is history.

In the match, Charlotte throws Natty back into the ring. Cover, TWO! Charlotte stomps Natty in frustration, then heads up top. Charlotte MOONSAULTS, but FLOPS as Natty moves! Ric freaks out but Bret rallies up the fans. Natty rises and aims at Charlotte, for the DISCUS! Cover, TWO!! Natty has Charlotte’s legs, and puts on the SHARPSHOOTER! Charlotte endures as Natty sits down deep! Charlotte reaches and claws and crawls towards ropes, but Natty drags her away! Natty sits down deep again, but Charlotte powers up! Charlotte rolls Natty backwards and goes after the leg! She gets the Figure Four! Now Natty endures a signature leg lock! Natty powers the hold over, but Charlotte rolls it back, but Natty reaches for the ropes!

Charlotte SLAPS Natty! So Natty SLAPS back! It’s a SLAP fight while locked in the leg lock! Charlotte eggs Natty on, then rolls her away fro the ropes! Charlotte cranks back harder but Natty refuses to quit! And the SLAP fight continues! Charlotte and Natty keep battling with the leg hold, and they roll to the ropes on the other side. They’re underneath so that’s a ropebreak! But Charlotte doesn’t let go. She drags Natty into a HANGING FIGURE FOUR! The ref jumps out to make Charlotte let go, but she just stomps and kicks Natty’s legs! Charlotte finally lets go, and Natty flops to the floor! Both women manage to stand, and Charlotte stomps the back of Natty’s leg! Bret is concerned but Ric is rabid as Charlotte goes after Natty more.

Beth adds that what’s great about Charlotte being NXT Women’s Champion again is that the spotlight is even bigger on NXT now. The women of NXT have all busted their butts just to get eyes on them. Think about this: the WWE now has three brands, and we’re discussing which Women’s Division is the best. Not even individual wrestler, but the entire locker rooms! They have so many great wrestlers and diverse, that now they can even have that discussion! And all thanks to the Glamazon and the Queen of Harts, the #BossBabes, paving the way. Beth says it was also the careers of Bull Nakano, Alundra Blayze, and all the women to come before them. It does a bit of a disservice to those generations to say 5/29/14 is the “start of the Women’s Evolution,” because it is really a mountain all women wrestlers have climbed as a community.

Renee says it is interesting, even going back to the MYC. Meiko Satomura being part of the second, and Mercedes Martinez finally signed with WWE via NXT. It is incredible to see the growth of the division, and wondering who will sign next and lay down more groundwork. What’s amazing now is the technology allows Beth in the US to watch all of the women wrestlers around the world. The fanbases are growing so that it isn’t just what’s on cable television anymore. We see more and more women, and it becomes a melting pot in the WWE, and we get these amazing dream matches. “It has never been a better time to be a lady wrestler.”

Natty agrees, because it is so great for the WWE to be embracing women of all kinds. Race, religion, ethnicity, every walk of life. Just looking at the diverse backgrounds and body types, there are small girls, big girls, short girls, tall girls, the mold has been broken. Everyone has a different flavor, and Natty gets excited thinking about all the dream matches she could have. In that case, who is on that list? Well, if Beth is okay with it… Oh, she has to ask permission? Renee politely interrupts because in the match, Charlotte puts Natty in the ring. Charlotte has the legs, and steals the Sharpshooter! Natty jokes that she’d love to put Beth in the Sharpshooter one more time.

But a really great thing would to win the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships with Beth. There are so many teams they could work with! Even just building dream teams to face, like Rhea Ripley with Bianca Belair against Natty and Beth. Renee suggests one more go with the Kabuki Warriors. There are so many women to choose from, especially in NXT. She’d love to win the women’s championship- Wait, the tag titles. Well, actually, another run with a singles title would be great, too. It should be off Beth, though. But whatever Beth is up for, Natty is up for. Teammates, opponents, whichever. Beth says Natty will never be rid of her either way.

In the match, Natty powers up and rolls to throw Charlotte down! Natty wants to steal the Figure Four in return but Charlotte boots her away! NATURAL SELECTION! Cover, Charlotte wins!! Ric celebrates his daughter’s crowning achievement! What was going through Natty’s mind at this point? Well, she was thinking how exhausted and thirsty she was. That was almost 30 minutes of wrestling. But also the emotion, because Charlotte dedicated this match to her brother, Reid. There was this big, special energy being directed to his memory, and they did it. There was relief and happiness, and they accomplished the story of Natty proving she still has it. It was a great feeling all around. But while reliving this moment is over, there is more to come, with Maria Menounos!

 

Backstage relives Maria Menounos’s Dusty Rhodes impression.

“You don’t know what hard times are, daddy! Hard times are when the textile workers around the country are outta work. They got 4 to 5 kids, they can’t pay their wages, can’t buy their food. Hard times are when the auto workers are outta work, and they tell ’em, ‘Go home.’ Hard times are when a man has worked a job for 30 years, 30 years, and they give him a watch, kick him in the butt and say, ‘Hey, a computer took your place, daddy.’ That’s hard times. That’s hard times.”

Maria Menounos joins the panel!

Once again, Renee loves that killer Dusty Rhodes tribute. Maria is happy to be back, and Beth points out Maria kicked her butt on several occasions. Renee wants to talk about that WrestleMania 28 moment. Maria could cry thinking back to that amazing moment. She was so lucky to be part of that moment. The most exciting and emotional movement ever, especially for a lifelong fan like herself. To be part of WrestleMania like that, against the Glamazon, no less! Maria can die happy. As for Beth, putting the match together, no one has the enthusiasm like Maria. It was also still when the women didn’t get a lot of time on the big stages, and that match in particular was one of the longest Beth had been a part of.

A lot of that was Maria getting mainstream attention for them, and the work Maria put in to get them on E! Network and all that. It was another big part of why women were featured on WrestleMania 28, and Beth just loves how much energy and enthusiasm Maria had. Renee knows the advice is to soak up the moment. Did Maria get to do that? Maria is pretty sure she did. She was also part of the go-home Raw and Tribute to the Troops, so there was a lot of build for that match. Maria admits to being terrified because of a bad injury on Dancing with the Stars. She feared breaking a rib and puncturing a lung, or even breaking her feet. But when you work with pros, and some of the best ones, it is really easy.

Renee asks how Natty and Maria became friends. Maria is part of the WWE Family because of her passion and respect for the business. Even when they’re not local. She traveled pretty far for some. But Maria has a great love that you can feel, even for someone who grew up in the business like Natty. Natty loves Maria’s enthusiasm and genuine personality, and her love of the WWE. They share that energy, so having Maria as a tag team partner, it was a lot of fun. It reminded Natty of why she loves the business. Seeing it through the eyes of a beginner like Maria, who wasn’t on the independent scene or raised in the business, the love for the business was genuine.

Renee asks Maria about Sonya Deville. Maria basically helped WWE make that signing happen, so how did that friendship start? Sonya was a host at After Buzz TV, the after show network for E! Network. So basically, it was the ESPN of entertainment. They were covering everything in TV, and that was Sonya’s start. Maria and Kevin watched Sonya’s MMA fight, and then they got to meet and talk. Maria was so impressed by Sonya’s toughness, and then a meeting with USA Network led Maria to Tough Enough. Should she be saying all this? Maria knew she wasn’t tough enough, but she had a good feeling Sonya was. And so the idea was pitched, and they called her and made the offer, and the rest is history.

Yes, Renee confirms Sonya crushed Tough Enough. But wow, Maria wasn’t going to host Tough Enough but compete? Maria’s machine gun laugh goes off, confirming that true story. Beth says Maria is tougher than she thinks, and she probably could’ve won. But hopefully Maria can be in the ring again some day, alongside some great friends.

 

Backstage returns to discuss Fire & Desire’s BREAK-UP!

Speaking of Sonya, obviously we saw her get everything off her chest in regards to Mandy’s apparent selfishness. “All I want is to see you hurt.” WOW! What does everyone think of this development? Natty has worked alongside Sonya, so what does she think about SmackDown this week? Natty felt that, as someone who has known both Sonya and Mandy, this made her take sides. She sees things from both perspectives, with Mandy being shocked by Sonya’s bitterness, but also the reasons why Sonya would be bitter in the first place. Their duo entrance was more Mandy than Sonya. This has shades of Becky and Charlotte where Becky didn’t want to be second fiddle. A lot of people can relate to that, Natty included. There comes a time when you don’t want to be second, and Sonya lit it up.

Beth adds that it is great to see both talents getting the opportunity they’ve wanted and worked for, for five years now. Having a best friend to go through that with is amazing. Beth and Natty know what that’s about, so this really resonates with them. There is a big difference between getting the big opportunity, and nailing it. What happens when a talent goes out and crushes it, this will bring more opportunities because they can’t be denied. Love her or hate her, Sonya just became a star. Now she and Mandy can both showcase what they can do, even if it has to be against each other.

Ember says she’ll try to keep it short and sweet, just like Booker T taught her. But there was Tough Enough where Mandy and Sonya were best friends. Then in NXT, they were best friends. Absolution behind Paige and Fire & Desire, they were best friends. Now, all of that history makes for a perfect feud. Ember says that fiery delivery works so perfectly during this time without a crowd. You can tell perfect stories and make stars! Ember loves Mandy, Sonya, Otis and Dolph Ziggler, and it all comes together in a beautiful story that makes a star out of everyone.

Renee says there is no easy transition, but it was last Thursday that the WWE Universe suffered a huge loss in the passing of Howard Finkel. Finkel was always proud of being the WWE’s first full-time employee, and will always be remembered as the most iconic voice in the business. On behalf of all the WWE, Backstage’s thoughts and prayers will be with the Finkel family.

A career spanning five decades, #TheFink is arguably the best ring announcer in WWE history. He basically invented the way to say “AND NEW…!” in pro-wrestling. He called classic moments like Shawn Michaels surviving elimination in the Royal Rumble, and would even join in the fun with some future legends. Finkel will always be remembered as a friend to all in the WWE Universe.

 

The Gronk unretires from the NFL!?

Yes, as Jay Glazer tweeted earlier today, Rob Gronkowski simply said, “I’m baaaaaack!” He’s now on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to reunite with Tom Brady! The WWE wishes Gronk the best of luck. Well, all but one.

R-Truth has a message for Gronk!

“If nobody congratulated this man yet, allow me to be the first one to do so. Robert! Er, Rob Gronkowski, congratulations. You’re back to playing football! You’re the man!” The only problem is… He still has the WWE 24/7, 48-7, 7/11, I-95 South European Television Championship. And that’s Truth. Truth is the “rightfullest owner” of that title. So if Gronk wants to meet on the I-95 South to hand it over, that’d be nice. And don’t expect to throw, pass, toss, juggle or shuffle any balls until Truth has his baby back. And Truth knows where Tampa Bay is. It’s in Tampa, Florida! So give Truth his baby back, or he’ll show up at press conferences, picnics, church services, all that. This is still the WWE, Gronk.

The panel loves that promo!

Anyone else notice Truth had his new music video in the background, too? Ember’s gonna check that out later. She loves Truth, he always puts a smile on her face. And with that, Backstage is a wrap! See everyone back here next week!

 


 

My Thoughts:

A really good episode here, with so much good content. I was wondering if they were ever going to do a ladies’ night episode, and here it is! It was great seeing that match from the original NXT TakeOver, and to hear everything Natty and Beth had to say about it and the WWE Women’s Division as a whole. Though Natty talking about the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships really only emphasizes how Vince has dropped the ball on the Women’s Tag Division. I hope something changes so that the already red hot division can get even hotter. Maria being back on was great, and learning how she was the connection that brought Sonya Deville to the WWE. I do wonder, though. Why isn’t NXT part of Just The Highlights? That is the next thing for NXT to achieve to then become THE brand of WWE.


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Mitchell’s Talking Smack Report! (2/27/21)

YES! YES! YES! Talking Smack!

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WWE Talking Smack

Will Talking Smack say YES and #EmbraceTheVision?

The newEST episode might be the biggEST yet, as Bianca Belair, Daniel Bryan and SETH ROLLINS are all on Talking Smack!

 

Kayla Braxton welcomes us back to the show!

We had an electrifying Elimination Chamber and we’re on the way to Fastlane on the Road to WrestleMania! And Paul Heyman looks fresh, looks snazzy! Is that new? Has he not looked snazzy before? Was he old and tired then? Kayla likes to think her fashion sense has rubbed off on him. Heyman is “bad at bougie.” Kayla finally got her eyes checked and finally saw how good he looks. And no, they will not be going on a date. He will be calling HR about the harassments. Well new topic before we get way off the rails, Kayla says the Elimination Chamber PPV was great, and Roman Reigns retained his title. Kayla lets the crew know to keep going because she will be.

But Friday Night SmackDown saw that once again, things didn’t go Daniel Bryan’s way. There’s the WrestleMania sign, and the main event is supposed to be Roman VS Edge because Edge chose Roman, but Bryan still wants to be Universal Champion before then. Is there a bit of Heyman and Roman that is nervous? Heyman crumples up papers and throws it away. Heyman wants us to kiss his kosher tukus. Roman sweats no man as he is the “end all, be all,” and is THE WrestleMania main event! That main event will be against Edge. Bryan can wish and hope and dream and fantasize about a match against Roman Reigns, “and it ain’t gonna happen.”

And why is that? Because Roman is locked in against Edge! All Bryan is trying to do is “upset the apple cart.” That won’t happen against the Reignsing, Defending, Undisputed, Uncontroverted main event and Universal Champion, Roman Reigns. Bryan will be joining us later on, but first, a guest Heyman is very happy to see, it is the Savior of SmackDown!

Seth Rollins joins Talking Smack!

Heyman says the pleasure is all his, and this is an honor, as well. Rollins is a little sore, maybe dizzy, from being in Cesaro’s swing. How is he feeling? Rollins had to find his stomach. It got to the seventh row. Rollins also recompressed his spine, and he feels much better sitting here. An unfortunate series of events tonight, but sometimes you have to take it on the chin and move on. It’s great, it really is, it’s all great. But then they replay the footage of the insane amount of rotations, and Kayla notes that Cesaro basically rejected Rollins’ offer. Rollins wants us to remember that he didn’t invite Cesaro out there, that’s fake news.

Cesaro interrupted Rollins tonight after turning on Rollins last week. Cesaro even patronized Rollins, then he’s rude this week. Rollins wanted to offer his help to get Cesaro to the next level, everything Rollins touches turns to gold, and that’s all Rollins was trying to do. But then, did Rollins perhaps spoke too soon about Cesaro not having killer instinct? That swing looked pretty killer to Kayla. Rollins is just here, sitting at this table, having a conversation with them. It’s not how many times you get knocked down but how many times you get back up! Where’s Cesaro’s killer instinct? Nowhere! Without Rollins’ help, Cesaro may find it, he may not. Slim chances, really, but that’s just Rollins’ opinion.

Heyman says Kayla is being too critical. And in this case, the phrase would be, “It’s not how many times you get swung around, it’s whether you get back up.” Rollins is up, yes. Heyman admits that his Tribal Chief, Roman Reigns, has seen the media that Rollins has done recently. It is all quite impressive. Rollins was on The Bump! Roman and Heyman missed that one. Partially Kayla, partially #FakeNews. But Roman is quite flattering of Rollins, which makes the Special Counsel a little concerned. Not because Cesaro is more of a man or more of a competitor, “but because he is on such a tear right now.”

To Heyman, Cesaro has finally found what he hasn’t been able to before, and now he’s in a zone he’s never found before. That zone, combined with his superhuman strength, makes Cesaro one of the more dangerous superstars in the WWE today. Now Rollins is a visionary, that even Heyman is inspired by. Rollins took time off rightfully so, but Heyman is inspired by Rollins’ vision for the future. The only concern is that Cesaro will disrupt that vision. Rollins says that is fair, because everything Heyman said about Cesaro is true. What Rollins was saying about Cesaro was true. But as a Special Counsel, Heyman surely understands that “sometimes things go the easy way.” People just understand, get along, life is good.

Other times, that’s not how people come to an understanding. Cesaro wants to take the hard road. Rollins isn’t sure where that’ll lead them, but he vows Cesaro will learn that the things Heyman said about Rollins are true, too. Rollins tried to talk to Cesaro, Cesaro made this difficult, but it will all be okay. “We” will be just fine. Heyman thanks Rollins for gracing them with his presence. Rollins appreciates them having him. So until then, no more fake news, Kayla.

As Rollins leaves, Heyman turns to Kayla and says that when he came onto set today, mostly that he’s not a morning person, but his back has been killing him. All he did was shake Rollins’ hand, and he felt better! He’s not saying he was healed, but something is very special about Rollins. Kayla sighs, and says Heyman is just a bandwagoner. But moving on to one of their favorites, she is the woman that lasted the longEST in the Women’s Royal Rumble and won it all, and is now the challenger to the SmackDown Women’s Championship, it’s the E S T!

Bianca Belair joins Talking Smack!

Kayla wants Bianca to bop Heyman with her ponytail. But then Bianca wants to show off the boots and she hops up on the table! She celebrates choosing Sasha banks, and she asks if she should hop back down. History is being made, the decision was made, and now it will be The Boss VS The EST! What made her choose Sasha over Asuka? Well, Bianca hops back down, and she says Asuka is great, The Empress of All Day, Everyday, but something felt right about choosing Sasha. WrestleMania is already big, but how to make it bigger? The first two African American women headlining, that’s how! That’s magical!

Kayla knows Bianca got emotional before over this moment, but doesn’t she have to pinch herself? We’re just a little over a month from WrestleMania, has that settled in yet? Bianca says winning the Women’s Rumble was one thing, but to be facing Sasha Banks in WrestleMania, the decision made it real. She was shaking from excitement! Her mom was texting and talking Bianca up, and Bianca is so excited for what this means. No matter what happens, history is made, probably one of the biggEST moments in Bianca’s young career, and it’s against Sasha Banks.

Kayla says Bianca has made serious waves, but you can’t take anything away from Sasha. So how does Bianca plan to show the world that she is equal to The Boss? Bianca took some weeks before making a decision because of how big it is. And Sasha, ever since Bianca walked into the Performance Center, was on Bianca’s mind. Sasha is one of the NXT Four Horsewomen, there are records and barriers she’s broken.

Now Bianca isn’t jealous, because all of that is inspiring. Sasha says she’s the best, but Bianca is the EST, so she has to prove that by facing the best! Bianca is happy but she isn’t content. She wants to be THE SmackDown Women’s Champion. Sasha is great, but the new kid on the block is going to prove herself on the GrandEST Stage of Them All! Kayla loves to see it! Heyman tells Bianca she’s earned every bit of this. Bianca shoves off the boots one last time before heading out.

Heyman say she agrees with Kayla, and he has said everything he can say to Bianca as a challenger. That’s why he didn’t say much tonight, or this afternoon, morning, or tomorrow, or next week, or any time, other than Bianca faces one of, if not the greatest, SmackDown Women’s Champions ever in Sasha Banks. Heyman has spoken to Bianca as a challenger, and looks forward to talking to her as a champion next time. Kayla agrees there 100%. But YES, we have one last guest, and Heyman wants to get out of here now, but Heyman’s said things about this man, it is THE GOAT!

Daniel Bryan joins Talking Smack!

Back again! Bryan says Heyman didn’t want him here because Bryan is going to bring up that 80’s mullet braid that Heyman had and how he’d swing it like Bianca did. It was amazing, it has to be somewhere online. Heyman used to wear a thong and asked for singles, but… No one ever did. That’s the saddest ever. That’s why Heyman went into this industry. But Kayla notes that things haven’t gone Bryan’s way the last week, so how does he feel about that? Bryan wants to talk more Elimination Chamber than SmackDown, actually. Well congrats on that win in the Chamber! Third time ever! Can’t win a Rumble, but he can win that. But at the end of Sunday, Bryan didn’t feel like a winner.

Bryan has worked really hard in his career, and always puts his best foot forward. Over the last year, Bryan’s done his best to take a step back, and push others forward. The WWE has amazing talent! When Bryan was last here, he was talking about Cesaro and how great Cesaro is, and people saw that! People know how great SmackDown’s roster is! Bryan goes through the Elimination Chamber, he has his win, and then Roman capitalizes on him. Bryan’s done this before, he can do it again. But then he gets beat “really, really quick.” Bryan is okay with losing. He’s lost a lot of matches, too.

But then Bryan gets out of the ring, Edge spears Roman, and Edge points to the Mania sign. Bryan loves Edge, but that was when Bryan felt like “an absolute failure.” Two guys in the main event of WrestleMania, only wrestled a total of three matches this year. Bryan went in there, fought with all his heart against five other men who were fighting with their whole heart. Even guys Bryan doesn’t really like, from Jey Uso to Kevin Owens and Baron Corbin. But Bryan felt like a failure because for the last 12 months, Bryan put himself on the back burner for these other guys, and then he failed. “Then came the deepest realization of them all. And it’s that I failed myself.”

The WWE did this personality profile years ago, testing the top stars about things, and after Bryan did his, the lady told him, “This is incredible. You are in the bottom one percentile for ambition. This is the lowest ambition score I’ve ever seen!” How is that possible when he’s so successful? It’s because Bryan loves what he does. In that moment at Chamber, Bryan realized that he’s more ambitious than he knew. And the fact that it’s Roman and Edge, and not Bryan in there, who in the last 8 days wrestled more than those men combined in 2021! Do you understand?! Bryan tries to wrestle on every Friday Night SmackDown, and if there were live shows, Bryan would wrestle on those, too! Bryan will fight anyone!

On Sunday, Bryan sat on the ground while two men who wrestled only THREE matches get to main event Mania!! Bryan failed Bryan. So how does it feel to win the Chamber? Not good at all. Kayla offers Heyman time to respond. Heyman smirks, and says, “I’m gonna make your day.” Heyman has the opportunity of a lifetime for Bryan. The Special Counsel has been authorized by Roman Reigns to make Bryan this following offer: If Bryan wants a Universal Championship match against Roman Reigns BEFORE Edge and WrestleMania, aka at Fastlane, then next week on SmackDown, Bryan is offered a rematch with Jey Uso. And if Bryan wins that rematch, it’ll be Roman VS Bryan for the Universal Championship at Fastlane.

But if Bryan loses, then Bryan must ACKNOWLEDGE Roman. Bryan will say Roman is THE Tribal Chief, THE Head of the Table, THE end all, be all and the best of the very best WRESTLERS on this planet! The Reignsing, Defending, Undisputed, Uncontroverted Universal Heavyweight Champion and THE main event of WrestleMania. Bryan accepts this offer. And if Bryan loses, then he swears, promises, that he will say all that and even shake Roman’s hand. Bryan will call Roman the Tribal Chief and the best he’s ever been in the ring with. But Bryan has a condition of his own: to make sure we get a proper result this time, make the match a STEEL CAGE MATCH. What does Heyman say?

Kayla loves that, that sounds awesome! What does Heyman? Bryan makes it a chant, “Steel Cage Match! Steel Cage Match!” Bryan will break the table if he has to! Oh no, Heyman is freezing up! Is Roman a coward?! Don’t say that on Talking Smack! Heyman blabbers that he can’t authorize the extra stipulations! But it’s just an itty bitty steel cage! That’s not itty bitty! It’s HUGE! “STEEL CAGE MATCH!” Kayla calls Heyman a chicken, bawk bawk! Wait, did a text come in? Bryan thinks Roman is a chicken~! But that text was FROM Roman, and the Steel Cage Match stipulation is on! Bryan smiles and tells Heyman that’s all he wanted to hear.

But Bryan has a message for Roman. Tell Roman, “I am no longer putting myself on the back burner. I am no longer putting other people first. I am going out to take what’s mine, and that’s the reign that I’ve had before CM Punk, and that’s the best damn wrestler in the world!” You heard it here first, folks! Bryan VS Jey, STEEL CAGE MATCH! If Bryan wins, he gets that Fastlane match for the Universal Champion! Heyman seethes as Kayla says bye and see you next week!


My Thoughts:

What a great episode for Talking Smack! Rollins was great, though he sure seems to be driving the point that he’s satirically portraying a certain side of the political spectrum. #FakeNews being used is a bit of a giveaway, but he and Cesaro are going to have a great match, and I like that Heyman of course ties in that Roman sees great things in his old frenemy. Maybe one day we get the Tribal Chief and Savior of SmackDown interacting directly. Bianca showing off the boots, jumping on the table, that was a lot of fun. She still said quite a bit of what she’s said before, but Bianca VS Sasha is still going to be a really good match.

Bryan had the best segment this week, he had passion in pointing out how he is the workhorse, Roman has (for story reasons) shifted to part-time, and Edge (though he was hurt for most of 2020) is basically the same. Setting up the Steel Cage Match here was great stuff, too, and I figured we were getting a rematch of Bryan VS Jey anyway. Upping the ante is great, but I would think at this point, that means Bryan wins the cage match and we see what happens at Fastlane. At the same time, Roman could easily interfere with a cage match because turns out, the cage doesn’t stop anyone from anything. We’ll have to wait and see, but I would hope Bryan overcomes the odds at least one more time.


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Mitchell’s Raw Talk Report! (2/22/21)

Raw Talk will be PHENOMENAL, Bro!

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WWE Raw Talk

Raw Talk has the Phenomenal, Ravishing Glow, Bro!

After the wins they got on Monday Night Raw, AJ Styles, Naomi & Lana, and even the NEW WWE United States Champion, are here for Raw Talk!

 

#CharTruth welcomes us back to the show!

Charly Caruso and R-Truth are still missing the WWE 24/7 Championship, but that’s what it is. There’s this empty space here on the table and Truth feels all off. He feels he can’t even focus on tonight’s business. Charly was hoping Truth had a trick up his sleeve but he just spoke to Bad Bunny and Damian Priest. Well DP is always with Bunny so he can’t do anything. It’s complicated. Of course. Truth vows to get his baby back, but Charly says overthinking can mess you up. Truth has to swoop in, but not too fast. If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. Okay but which is it he needs to do? Because he could go safe late or work earlier. What? Well, whatever.

But moving past the 24/7 title, let’s transition to the WWE World Championship! The Miz cashed in at Elimination Chamber, he is the new champion, but now he has a big battle on his hands. Bobby Lashley took down Braun Strowman and is going right after Miz next week! Charly felt Miz would cash in during the PPV kickoff show, but she didn’t think it’d go that way. And now, a little over 24 hours later, Miz feels the hurt. Truth says Lashley beat down Braun! Wait, everything has changed from then to now? Charly says this is mind blowing! So much can happen in the WWE even overnight. Truth says this just keeps reminding him of the missing 24/7 title.

Charly breaks it down: The Miz is world champion after cashing in the MITB contract. But he might just be champion for now, because Lashley is coming. Miz owed Lashley a debt, Lashley is going after the gold. Truth says Miz better be ready. Charly asks if Truth was looking forward to a Triple Threat. That would’ve been good. It’d be scary for Miz because it’s Lashley AND Strowman. People would get hurt there. But it’ll just be Miz VS Lashley for the title. Miz did say that he doesn’t want to be a transitional champion. What’s that mean? Well, sometimes you see a champion who holds a title a long time, while others simply pave the way for another champion. Oh, okay. Truth says he’s a transparent champion. Not the same…

Charly says if Miz is predicting his future, if things go his way, he will be a champion for a long time, but Lashley will give him a run for his money. But from the world champion to the United States Champion, and Charly makes sure Truth is okay talking about titles without his, it’s THE BRO!

Matt Riddle joins Raw Talk!

Truth is excited for Riddle and Charly congratulates the Original Bro for having the hat, the shirt and now the gold! Riddle tells CharTruth that last night was amazing, breath taking even! Keith Lee didn’t get to be part of things but John Morrison won his way in. That was a wrinkle in things, a new obstacle to overcome, but thankfully there was another person to pin because Riddle has to admit, he wouldn’t have been able to pin Bobby Lashley. “That guy is a beast!” Didn’t you see Lashley tear up McIntyre after their Triple Threat? And then tonight, destroys the Monster Among Men! Riddle’s been in the ring with Braun, that guy is no joke, so that says a lot for Lashley.

Charly asks what it feels like for Riddle to have overcome a behemoth? Riddle is all about beating behemoths, taking on big challenges. Riddle mentioned Air Bud, the dog that just wanted to play ball. Riddle is just the Bro that wanted to be US Champion! And now that he has “Travito,” lil’ Travis the eagle, it’s all good. Charly likes that name. Truth says #LilT-Fly! Tweet tweet! Riddle has his mascot, his belt, he’ll have that by his side every waking moment. Last night’s Knieval gear, he’ll get a dirt bike, take a jump after WWE’s The Bump, all sorts of stuff. This is his golden ticket!

How does it feel winning his first singles title in WWE? Personally, he started thinking it wasn’t going to happen. It was staggering, all those defeats. He beats Style in his debut but loses in the title match. The same for Lashley over and over. Riddle felt like Air Bud, being told, “No.” Even Keith Lee, a best bro, was saying Riddle couldn’t do it. But Riddle didn’t stop, and now you see it in his eyes! He is a champion! Riddle says the man doesn’t make the belt, the belt makes the man! Riddle took Lashley’s belt, and he beat the guy to beat! Truth is fired up for Riddle, and Riddle says that yeah, Truth doesn’t have his gold, but it’s just a matter of time! 24/7, 365! Truth is THE 24/7 man! BOOM!

Charly says #CharTruth is good but can they get an official Bro nickname? Riddle is feeling on the spot. He takes a day or so. Well Truth will give Riddle some time, then. Riddle doesn’t want to make something lackluster. Truth, we don’t need any lacklusterisms. Charly says the feat was remarkable, and Riddle says he has great feet. Riddle has the hardware, but does he feel after everything, his early momentum that stagnated, is the door open for him? Yes, especially after winning again tonight against a great opponent in Morrison. Beating Morrison clean with the Bro Derek, this is the start of a beautiful thing. Things are gonna change for Riddle. He’s winning gold, he might even get an investor for his Bro ideas! #Brogurt, #Bronuts, etc. MVP was a little meh on it, but the Hurt Business does know business. But Lashley is a savage, so…

Charly says Riddle is pretty savage. A savage stallion! He needs some pedicures and stuff, but he has been kicking butt. Charly says Riddle can go get that treatment, and wishes him and “Lil’ T” luck. And she never realized there was an eagle there. But now, it’s time to #FeeltheGlow!

Naomi and Lana join Raw Talk!

The #RavishingGlow are contenders for the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships and are building momentum while they wait for the match. There is great energy now! Lana isn’t crying tears, she’s smiling ear to ear! Naomi helped dry those tears by teaching her to believe in herself! But let’s talk about their title shot. They’re excited, dreams are coming true! To start this year, Lana set goals to become champions by the end of the year, and they are going to do that! They have a contender’s spot! Vision boards FTW! Every time, when Lana is on Raw Talk, they talk about manifesting dreams. Lana had a shot before, got hurt, but she’s back again for another shot!

Charly sees these two being an awesome championship team. They are unlike the other teams, not to take away from those other teams, but these two have a unique set of skills and a great look. Naomi says you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. Drinking? No, basketball! Naomi & Lana are a unique duo, a new duo, but not new to WWE. They need to believe in themselves or no one else will. They have confidence in themselves, and once Lana believes in the Ravishing Glow, tuning out the negativity, this deep friendship is going to propel them. So was this something under the table? Oh wait sorry to bring up tables, Lana.

Charly asks Lana if having a former champion in Naomi by her said help lift her up? Of course! Lana feels lucky to have a tag partner like Naomi. Lana has passion but she also has doubt. Nia, Shayna, they’re great but they are bullies. Naomi’s a two-time champion so she knows what to do. Charly knows Lana has been through a lot with Nia and Shayna, and Lana says she’s afraid, but she’ll run at her fears to face them head on. Naomi says there’s nothing to fear because Nia and Shayna are still human. “They bleed just like us! They get hurt just like us!” That means they can be beaten. They’ll slay the dragons! Exactly! Naomi says they aren’t losing teeth here!

Charly says Lana & Naomi can bring the heat, but just look at what Shayna & Nia did against Asuka and Charlotte. Truth asks if Lana’s gonna bring the glow, and she says she will. How does that work with the electric company? Leaving lights on wastes energy. No, it’s LED’s, Truth. Charly asks where they get inspiration for their gear? Naomi loves neon lights and futuristic things, and Lana is just ravishing. But Lana does say she gets fashion shows and comic books but what about Naomi? Naomi says it’s like Coachella, DJ light shows, that stuff. They can all go to a festival and dress up together one of these days! Charly can’t wait to see what their futures look like, and whenever the title match is, Lana and Naomi are going to train and be ready for anything!

And lastly, from positive energy to a phenomenal winner, it’s the Phenomenal One!

AJ Styles and Omos join Raw Talk!

Truth and Styles have known each other a long time and Truth doesn’t like Styles’ attitude. Styles says Truth is hugging too much. No, those were daps. No, they were hugs. Truth still can’t get “Omos” right. But how is Styles feeling? He won against Ricochet tonight but lost at Elimination Chamber. Ricochet is good, though. Styles says he did what he could at the PPV, chips fell where they may, he isn’t champion. But he was still here tonight. Where’s McIntyre? Jeff Hardy was here, Sheamus was here, even Randy Orton and Kofi Kingston were here. But where was McIntyre? Truth says he was busy. Yeah, because he got hurt! Got his feelings hurt, too! That’s why he’s not champion!

Truth says that’s not cool. Is Styles lying, though> Well Truth wasn’t looking for anyone but maybe he was here. Charly says McIntyre probably has a valid reason. Styles asks if Truth, after losing his title- Oh, we’re going there, huh? Well, Truth is here on the show. Would Styles wanted to see McIntyre after he beat Styles? That’s not the point, Styles is just saying McIntyre isn’t here. Styles is here, got a win, because he’s man enough. But who won’t be here for a few weeks will be Ricochet! Styles and Omos got him! Truth says that was too much, too. Truth is baffled that Omos did it! Well Styles calls that the #JKCB, the Jackknife Choke Bomb! Styles enjoyed that!

Omos asks Truth if he has something more to say about that. Truth asks if Styles is putting money in Omos’ pocket. Omos gets upset but Truth says this is what was on the paper! Styles has Omos cool down and Truth says he does NOT want none with Omos. The questions aren’t needed. Bye, questions! Styles likes that better. Omos pats Truth on the shoulder and Charly asks Styles what he wants to say tonight. Styles made his presence known in a big way. Then asks what’s next for them? Charly asks them that. “Sky is the limit!” Who knows what’s next? There’s nothing these two can’t do! Truth believes they’re right there. Charly does, too.

Is Truth in pain? Well he feels uncomfortable. It’s all good, though, they’ll ask the right questions. Charly says they can just wait and see what is in store. Styles asks where Truth got those pants. Are they custom or homemade cuz of the kids and stuff? Charly says no hard feelings, especially not from Omos. Truth says he’s not giving the eye or anything. Charly thanks us for tuning in, and on behalf of Truth, signs off.


My Thoughts:

A pretty good Raw Talk, went by pretty quickly, and just kinda touched on everything we saw tonight without really setting anything forward for next time. Riddle giving Lashley his props was pretty good, it helps them transition away from Riddle and Lashley now that Lashley is going after the world title. Lana & Naomi were okay tonight but it was hard for them to have anything new from previous times when their match on Raw was mostly filler. It seems most likely that their match for the Women’s Tag titles waits until Fastlane, after Nia & Shayna have also dealt with Dakota Kai & Raquel Gonzalez on NXT, 3/3/21.

Styles’ segment was good for bringing up McIntyre not being on Raw. While more McIntyre VS Styles would be great stuff, I hope McIntyre’s story stays to the title, going after Lashley or Miz after next week’s Raw. Styles and Omos, meanwhile, could go after Riddle’s US title, or just build momentum so that Styles can come back to the world title after Mania. Styles saying “Sky’s the limit” is basically summing up that they have all kinds of options, all of them phenomenal.


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Sports Entertainment

Coverage5 hours ago

Andrew’s NJPW Castle Attack Results & Match Ratings: 2.27.21

Castle Attack is a two day event, with this first one having top tier talent; but no championship stakes. Does...

Outsiders Edge WWE New Outsiders Edge WWE New
Podcasts6 hours ago

The Outsider’s Edge presents The Drunken Episode – Jon Moxley, Paul Wight, and Mania Predictions

Kyle and Rance are joined by PC Tunney to talk Jon Moxley beating KENTA, Paul Wight to AEW, and WrestleMania...

WWE Talking Smack WWE Talking Smack
News6 hours ago

Mitchell’s Talking Smack Report! (2/27/21)

YES! YES! YES! Talking Smack!

Podcasts12 hours ago

Chairshot Radio: POD is WAR Cold Opens 2019 [022721]

Listen to every cold open from POD is WAR 2019. Join the truculent trio for a collection of non stop...

Coverage 205 2021 Coverage 205 2021
Coverage20 hours ago

Mitchell’s WWE 205 Live Results & Report! (2/26/21)

It's a Retro Premier grudge match!

Coverage SmackDown 2021 Coverage SmackDown 2021
Coverage1 day ago

Mitchell’s WWE SmackDown Results & Report! (2/26/21)

Who is heading to WrESTleMania?

Podcasts1 day ago

A Winner Is You #25: SkullAss

The Phenomenal AJ Balaz joins the podcast! AJ’s article with his Top 5 Most Difficult Video Game Bosses prompted the...

POD is WAR New Graphic POD is WAR New Graphic
Podcasts2 days ago

POD is WAR: Burning Face Calories

The truculent trio pontificate on the MiZ cashing in his Money in the Bank contract and Paul Wight signing an...

Coverage NXT UK 2021 Coverage NXT UK 2021
Coverage2 days ago

Mitchell’s WWE NXT UK Results & Report! (2/25/21)

Who will be on top of the Tag Division?

The #Miranda Show The #Miranda Show
Podcasts2 days ago

The #Miranda Show: ADAM COLE BAY BAY!

Miranda's gift to Greg is an entire show to talk about Adam Cole, BAY BAY! (And boy do they ever...)

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