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Mitchell’s WWE Backstage Report! (6/9/20)

The Women’s Revolution is Backstage!

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WWE Backstage 2020

Representing all the women! Salute! Salute!

After reliving WWE Evolution, it is once again ladies’ night Backstage! Renee Young, Paige, Ember Moon and Beth Phoenix discuss this week in WWE!

The panel assembles!

Renee has the Glampire, the Glamazon and the Shenom here! Paige claims Booker T’s co-host spot and starts by plugging beard products. Ember is going green with her hair and Beth figures if Renee is Rose and Paige is Blanch, does that make her Sophia? Yes, they’re the Golden Girls tonight! But WWE Evolution was big, and we’ll have Nikki Bella here to talk her main event match with Ronda Rousey, and Sonya Deville talking her own rise in WWE. October 18th, 2018 was truly a turning point, for gone were the days of the women only getting a few minutes on the card. What were the panel’s favorite moments from that night?

Ember says that it feels like a lifetime ago, but just remembering back, it was how together the locker room was as a unit, as women. They could’ve taken over the world and no one would’ve questioned it. That was the best feeling in the locker room ever. The battle royal was amazing and is truly a highlight of her career. Especially given the coming together of so many generations. Everyone meshed so well off the bat, it was amazing. It was one long day, but from that morning to the red carpet to the huge group photo, it was chaotic but great. Paige remembers the energy was so positive and it all smelled so wonderful. Paige, Renee and Beth were the commentary panel and obviously we have it happening her on Backstage. Every single woman killed it out there.

Beth remembers it as a maiden voyage for commentary as she does now on NXT. Just throwing out notes and enjoying the moment was great. It was a huge win for all the women, and she obviously has the Evolution plaque behind her. Renee remembers setting that picture up took 45 minutes! Looking at the picture itself, you wouldn’t know it but the cameras had to keep backing up to get them all in the shot. There were days on the indies where Beth remembered maybe one or two women in a promotion. But now, look at just how many are in the WWE alone! This also honored those who had passed, such as Chyna, Mae Young and many more. It was a great melting pot moment and it was superb.

To look back a bit, The Bella Twins, like many others, made their debuts when the women weren’t given as much of a platform as they are today. But Evolution was definitely a turning point in Nikki’s career as she faced The Baddest Woman on the Planet, with sister Brie by her side.

Nikki Bella relives her Evolution experience.

She remembers getting a call from Vince McMahon about the first-ever all women’s PPV. Then he says he wants her to have a match in the main event against Ronda. She was emotional and grateful. This was icing on the cake as the perfect finish to what she wanted to do in pro-wrestling. The Bella Army was there for Nikki but Ronda is the Raw Women’s Champion. Nikki had to put herself in the mindset that she was Goliath to Ronda’s David. Nikki was certainly impressive, and there were moments that Nikki did remember she was in the ring with a UFC champion. The DOUBLE Piper’s Pit where Ronda threw both Bellas, then hits Nikki with the super armbar takedown definitely solidified the legitimacy of this night.

It had been such a long fight in pro-wrestling for women, and they had accomplished something amazing on a night full of incredible moments. The crowd hung onto every little thing they were given. When you can make magic like that to happen, that is when you paint a masterpiece. The mat is the canvas that they painted a Picasso on.

The panel discusses the new wave of the Women’s (R)Evolution.

Two-thirds of WrestleMania 35’s main event, Ronda and Becky, are both out of the ring, at least for now. Who does the panel see moving up in that power vacuum and grabbing the proverbial brass ring? Beth says that things are changing quickly and spots open up abruptly. Becky’s face and name were on absolutely everything for a long time, but now she’s stepping aside. Beth doesn’t want to sound butt hurt over Raw snatching a certain someone up from NXT, but The EST, Bianca Belair, is still high on the list. Bianca is a future face of the Women’s Division with her physical capabilities, her poise, and the respect of her peers, without even scratching the surface. Renee can’t wait to see what more Bianca does. You can just feel the star power potential passing her in the hallway.

Paige adds that Bianca’s qualities are beyond the ring. She is great physically, she is great on the mic, but she is the one designing her own gear, her husband Montez Ford’s gear, and created a website for #BlackLivesMatter and other movements. She is a great human and has a passion for the business, so she is going to takeover. Paige also makes sure to shout out some congratulations to Becky, she’s going to be a mother! And then to Ronda, Paige was excited when Ronda came in and brought some new eyes to the product. But there are still so many women to fill the gap, from Charlotte, Bayley, Natty to Alexa Bliss and then all the names in NXT! It is the opportunity of a lifetime for the Women’s Division!

Ember says she also loves Bianca Belair, and agrees we haven’t seen a minuscule amount of her potential yet. But don’t forget Liv Morgan, Carmella, Naomi, Sonya Deville, Mandy Rose and so many more. For the first time, we might even see a fight for the brass ring in the Women’s Division. Sonya and Lacey Evans went out there on SmackDown last Friday and put on an amazing match! This is an opportunity for all the women to step up, and they will, and then take advantage of The Man becoming The Mom and Ronda being away. Renee agrees on the insane depth of the roster. The future of women’s wrestling is looking GOODT.

 

Backstage returns with Just the Highlights!

On Raw: It’s time to talk less, and Claymore! Drew McIntyre made sure Bobby Lashley understood that ahead of Backlash, but the Rocky Mountain Machine still stayed up! Will Lashley topple McIntyre and take that WWE World Championship? And speaking of championships, Charlotte lost hers but gave Asuka a hell of a match. Nia Jax got involved and that screwed the Empress over. Will Asuka make sure Nia never does that again? And The Peep Show returned to give Edge a pep talk, but it only worked to upset The Viper. Randy Orton vows the Rated R Redemption ends, but Edge says it won’t! Who has the final say this Sunday?

On SmackDown: Jeff Hardy knows someone framed him, and the evidence points towards Sheamus! The Celtic Warrior didn’t outright deny it, but he did want Jeff to know that the Hardy Family won’t be disappointed in him anymore. They’re just used to it. And then Sheamus would BROGUE Hardy down! They have a grudge match this Sunday, will Hardy even the score? As for Miz & Morrison, they couldn’t help but mess with the Monster Among Men. Whether their pranks were funny or not, Braun Strowman had the last laugh when he tipped their van. Will he be able to tip the scales just as easily when it’s 2v1? And then, in a showdown of best friends, Bayley & Banks would dethrone Bliss-Cross to become the NEW WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions!

The panel discusses this week in WWE.

Yesterday was National Best Friend Day, so it’s very fitting to start off with Sasha and Bayley being tag team champions again. Ember takes her glasses off to say some very unpopular things. She doesn’t think this was the right move. Bayley and Sasha sell themselves in the story with the tension between them. Whatever PPV their eventual breakdown match happens on, this didn’t need the tag titles. The titles don’t elevate the story between Bayley and Banks, this just devalued the titles themselves. The IIconics and Bliss-Cross are now having to share things and it doesn’t help anyone. Maybe if the IIconics won the titles first and then Bayley & Banks took those from them, the Triple Threat for Backlash would have more going for it.

Paige anticipates Twitter coming after her. But she feels the tag titles haven’t been used to their full potential. Yes, she was with Asuka and Kairi Sane, the Kabuki Warriors, before the green mist Heel turn. Rude. But each team that reigned, if the titles aren’t being defended correctly, it’s just the whole division being thrown under the rug. Paige feels that at some point, the titles need to be taken seriously, because it was such a huge moment for the Women’s Division to get them! There are teams in NXT that could be used, too! Bayley and Sasha are great, we’re sold, but let’s build others, too.

Beth feels the same, but she’s also a big fan of tag team wrestling. Now we have enough women where it isn’t just about singles wrestling. We can have real tag teams that can be featured. Tag team wrestling has a different psychology than singles wrestling, and it is a disservice to all the talented females being left out because the titles are being piled into one place. That is to say, this eventual singles angle of Bayley VS Banks that will be featured regardless. Beth knows that when Raw and SmackDown weren’t using the tag titles, it should’ve been NXT’s turn. That’s a way to feature four women at once! Hopefully this changes and we finally get some steam behind the titles. That’s what it felt like with Bliss-Cross VS The IIconics, so hopefully it continues. Paige brings up Beth reuniting with Natty, and there’s some intrigue there.

Renee agrees that with all the depth in the division now, that was part of the excitement of the tag titles becoming a reality. It was a huge buzz, so it’s time to make the tag titles matter! But of course, with the titles multi-branded, we are certainly getting a double dose of The Boss & The Role Model now.

But last night, things got very real between Christian, Edge, and The Peep Show. “We think you can have the Greatest Wrestling Match… Ever!” An extremely emotional moment was interrupted by The Viper and he invoked the names of Beth and her daughters again. So to start the discussion, it’ll be Ember so that Beth can gather her thoughts. Ember feels odd because Beth is here. But she will say that she loves when wrestling stories cross into real-life. We all waited those nine years for Edge to return, and it was great. We might be going backward with the order of matches, where we get the pure wrestling match first. But that’s not to discredit the Last Man Standing match at WrestleMania, because Ember loved it. But, Ember is going with Edge 1000%, she did the Five Second Pose before it was cool, she’s Edge all the way!

Did Beth hear that Ember is a fan of Edge? But Paige says Ember is taking Christian’s role as Backstage Buddha right now. And she has been very vocal of her own fan following behind Edge. She relates to Edge, is inspired by Edge, and again the nine year journey to overcome a career ending injury is incredible. Paige is also a fan of Orton’s ring psychology, camera work and all that. They both have so much pressure because they didn’t label this the Greatest Wrestling Match Ever, the WWE did. There’s just so much they have to think about and make this as perfect as possible. But Paige in the end is Team Edge. Renee knows Orton has been rather vocal online about his feelings of that label.

But finally, Beth has the floor! How has everything been going? Beth knows the panel is missing Christian, so she shows off the birthday give he gave her: a picture of himself. The back reads “To my biggest fan, Beth.” But last night, Christian had Beth in tears with that promo. That is what a friend who really loves you would really say. This really is the match with the most pressure on Edge and Orton, and internet heat is already rolling in. Everyone has an opinion. But Beth has no love lost for Orton but Orton really is one of the very best to ever lace up boots. And of course, we know how Beth feels about Edge. He has been doing research on the best wrestlers ever, and watching the matches that inspired him in the first place. You can’t go out there, take a beating at 46 years after a 9 year break, if you don’t love this in your very soul.

Beth doesn’t know what will happen, but she knows what we’ll get is Edge’s heart, soul and all the very best of himself and of Randy Orton. no matter what, we should all walk away respecting that.

 

Backstage shares a tweet from WWE on Fox.

“Who are your top five female WWE superstars of all time?” Put the names in and tag your friends! Well Asuka of course went with HERSELF all five times! Bully/Bubba Ray says #1 is Mae Young, and then there’s “Everybody else.” But didn’t he powerbomb her through a table once?

Charlotte Flair was very popular among the WWE Universe, but there is still a bucket list opponent she wants to check off. Courtesy of Alex McCarthy’s TalkSPORT podcast, Charlotte is quoted as saying, “I think if I look at the women who are not currently active, I’d have to say, I’d want a match with Beth Phoenix.” That is the one woman Charlotte hasn’t had a chance to face, and wants to take on the Glamazon. Well what does Beth say? Iron Woman Match? Steel Cage match? No, neither of those! Renee so crazy. But truth be told, the cage match is on Beth’s own bucket list. But not a modern cage, she wants to go old school with the blue square cage! Everyone who knows that steel cage must be thinking she’s nuts because that design is infamous for being unforgiving. But that’s still a dream match, and Beth is flattered for Charlotte to say all that.

Paige says, “Are you kidding?” It’d be amazing! Charlotte is incredible, and to go against a legend like Beth, a woman who entered the Men’s Royal Rumble, and then perform in the Women’s Royal Rumble even after getting busted open, who wouldn’t want that? If Beth doesn’t do this, she’s selfish because she’s disappointing her fans, including Paige. JK. But we do need this! The one time they were in the ring together was the Women’s Rumble, and it was incredible. Renee was a fan and is now a friend, and she loved watching Beth show up. Ember’s take is that Charlotte is amazing, and could see Charlotte doing a moonsault of the top of that blue cage. Or even Beth hitting a Super Glam Slam! But another name that wants after Beth, and Ember has been saying it herself, is well, herself! Because of the Shimmer DVD!

When Ember got started wrestling, others were like, “You want to wrestle like the girls on TV?” Back then, it was the Diva’s Era, a very different time. We all know what that was. But a friend gave Ember the Best of Shimmer, Volume 2, and said, “You need to wrestle like these women.” And the first match ever of REAL Women’s Wrestling: Beth Phoenix VS Mischief! That was mind-blowing. Ember vowed to be on Beth’s level, she wants to be in Shimmer and wrestle like that. That is why Ember has always wanted a dream match with the person that made her better. A very touching story and Beth is about to cry. Beth would be honored to step in the ring with Ember. Edge agrees, and we all hope Ember makes her own in-ring return. Paige asks if we’re hearing it here first. Is Beth coming back? Renee claims she heard it and Ember sure hopes so.

 

Sonya Deville goes Backstage!

Fire & Desire breaking up and Sonya DECKING Mandy Rose still gives Renee chills! Renee and Paige talk with Sonya now, put your hair up and square up! Absolution Reunion Part 2, but without Mandy because boo Mandy. Mama Paige is crying, tho. But that promo from all that time ago, did Sonya feel it in that moment that it was something special? Well it’s weird, because in the days leading up to it, Sonya wasn’t sure exactly what she was going to say. She was thinking about the story in total, and there was so much real emotion in it. Sonya and Mandy were basically sisters, being roommates together, starting in Tough Enough together, then Absolution and Fire & Desire. It was a lot to work with, so when that day finally came, Sonya was in her own head thinking, “This is going to be my moment.” It was make or break so she needed to kill it. The second she said her first line, she was in the groove.

What was the reaction from the locker room. Surely there were people who didn’t know that’s what she was bringing. It was crazy. The internet erupted, there was shock, because she barely got any mic time. No one knew she had a voice and opinions of her own. Sonya wanted to talk, and having to ask creative and even Vince himself that. She wanted just one shot. If she screws up, go ahead and take it away from her forever, but that’s how confident she was. Paige says that she is so proud of Sonya. She’s obviously very protective of them, but she saw them both day one in Tough Enough as a judge, and then brought them along on the road. Mandy Rose has been the one in the spotlight, but Sonya never gave up and now she is a star. Mandy’s a star, Sonya’s a star, both are killing it. But how has it all felt personally for Sonya?

First of all, Sonya remembers an interview back as Absolution, and being asked how it is to work with Paige. Sonya said that watching Paige prepare a promo, which she had almost every single night, all of that was so inspiring. Sonya remembers wanting to do that, too, but everyone played their roles, everything happens for a reason and timing is everything. But being here now, it feels justified and good and that Sonya is where she’s supposed to be. If they didn’t go through all of that, if Sonya didn’t feel like the third wheel, would she have had that passion? No. That emotion was real because of how Sonya was portrayed as second to Mandy. It’s a societal thing where the gorgeous one attracts attention. Sonya loves Mandy to death, but it is what it is. Sonya was the badass, serious one but she knew she was more than one dimensional, and now we all see that.

What are some moments Sonya looks back on during her time with Paige? You can’t work with Paige that long and not have some good stories. Sonya of course has some stories. She just remembers how excited they were for the debut. Not everyone gets a great debut like that. They ran through the crowd, beat up Sasha and Mickie James, and Paige is Mama Paige for a reason. She’s always had great advice and great confidence. Sonya was freaking out as the rookie, but she’d look at Paige and Paige would be so calm. How did she do it? Paige reminds Sonya of that live event prank she pulled about their match being moved around. She told them they ended up first on the card and so Mandy and Sonya had to hurry into their gear. Paige got others involved, but to their credit, Sonya and Mandy didn’t fall for it.

Sonya says they didn’t fall for it because while they were ten minutes late, they were already rushing as the rookies. They were flying down the highway and Paige says, “We got moved to first!” The two freaked out, thinking they’d have to do make-up in the car, but then Paige followed up with something about getting dressed in the car. That tipped them off. Paige has another amazing memory from Tough Enough. Reminder that June is Pride Month and Sonya is the face of pride right now. Paige got to see on Tough Enough Sonya coming out on world television. What was that like? Paige can’t fully understand that feeling, but she felt the energy coming off Sonya and using the WWE as a platform. It is crazy to think how long ago that was.

But yeah, it was a crazy thing. Sonya hadn’t come out to anyone but immediate family, and her girlfriend at the time wasn’t out to anyone at all! So when Sonya was asked about relationships, a normal question for most, it was this loaded question for her. She’s gonna out her girlfriend at the same time, but saying she’s single is lying and she’d get dragged into love angles. So what was she to do? Flight or fight said, “Yeah, I have a girlfriend.” And then she couldn’t have predicted the last five years, but it at least helped Sonya be comfortable with herself. When you’re forced to speak your truth, your truth becomes reality. It wasn’t planned, because Sonya thought she was okay with herself, but then she realized she wasn’t. No one close to her really knew. She was ashamed of herself back then. But now, five years later, to know she is okay with herself, and she’s helping others be okay with themselves, that’s special.

So how important is it to Sonya to see same sex relationships and stories in the WWE? Well, in any show or movie, you see it because it’s part of society now. Sonya think it should be the same with pro-wrestling. We’re on the right direction and Stephanie McMahon has been supporting Sonya in that inclusion the last 2 and a half years. Paige was there for Comic-Con a few years back, there was also the New York Pride Parade and now some Pride shirts. Inclusion is coming, it’s here, and the WWE is onboard. Speaking of Pride merch, doesn’t Sonya have shoes, too? Courtesy of Mache Customs, Sonya has rainbow Nike shoes. Renee thanks Sonya for joining the show, and of course she can come for the real deal when we can return to the studio.

 

The next wave of the Women’s (R)Evolution is here!

Io Shirai finally has the NXT Women’s Championship after TakeOver: In Your House, but she’s not the only one rising up. Beth can speak to this as commentary, but who does she think the WWE Universe needs to keep their eye on? We’ve seen so many already get their brand out there, such as Shotzi Blackheart, but Beth has to go with a woman who we’ve seen the journey and potential and want to see more of. It’s Tegan Nox! Everyone agrees, because of the ACL injuries, the return and how she’s shined already. Then a standout from TakeOver, Raquel Gonzalez! Those Chyna vibes! Raquel knows how to use her size and presence and there are big things in her future.

Ember and Paige are both former NXT Women’s Champions, so what do they see from this big moment in Shirai’s career? Well first off, NXT is the place where hard work does pay off. That grind in the Performance Center, 8 to 12 hour days, knowing you are the face of the division and the brand now, that’s great. There is so much confidence that comes with having the belt. Ember personally felt she had to step up and be a leader, and surely Shirai can do that. Paige as the inaugural, she actually didn’t have that many eyes on her because the NXT Women’s Division then is not what it is now. The division now is the best it’s ever been because of the platform. But being the first NXT Women’s Champion, with the first merchandise featured on WWE’s shop, that was huge.

It frustrates her when people act like it’s part of the script. No, they all worked their whole lives for this. When you get to WWE, you want the title, and when you get it, that’s real! The passion, the emotion, it’s all real. The WWE is trusting you with something, to be the face of a brand or a division. It feels good but has a lot of pressure that comes with it. But Shirai will handle it as an absolute star and one of the best in the world. And a quick shout out to Candice LeRae going from bubbly Babyface to sinister Heel and is doing wonderful work. Renee definitely wants to see what Shirai does next and that reaction from Full Sail was incredible.

 

Backstage wraps it up!

Renee thanks Paige, Beth, Ember and Sonya for being on the show. We spoke a bit last week about the situation around the world, and yesterday, the New Day spoke on their podcast about their own experiences. So to end the show, we will end on Big E’s powerful words. “I don’t know how you don’t feel empathy for a man like that, who’s accused of passing a counterfeit $20 bill, man! He didn’t deserve to die like that. We cannot be okay with murdering us! You just can’t be okay with it. Because it’s not the first time. And I cannot accept living in a country where this is acceptable. Where it takes two days to get an arrest for this man!”

Xavier Woods adds that we need to “figure out the best way to get through that. And for a lot of us, that is making sure that people see us as ‘non-threatening.’ So the work, the countless hours, we have to be on guard to make sure that if there’s someone around who might be nervous around us, we have to make sure that their fears are assuaged. Because if they’re scared of us, and they leave this interaction and we haven’t presented a kind smile and a big ‘hello,’ they’ll pass us by and later still be scared of us. But if we do the work, to smile and wave and make them feel better, then maybe they’ll feel better later. But it’s such an unfair thing to put on anyone.” Powerful words that no one can deny.


My Thoughts:

Another really great episode, to where I almost feel like I need to give these scores. Following up FS1’s showing of Evolution, talking Women’s (R)Evolution was natural and a lot of fun. It was great hearing about Evolution from the panel, Beth’s perspective on Edge VS Orton as well as her feelings on some dream matches. I do appreciate that they felt throwing Bayley & Banks into the tag title story was not necessary, because in the long run, it probably isn’t. If Becky was still here and the Four Horsewomen were fighting over the tag titles, I’d get it. It’d be a step closer to having a Grand Slam Horsewomen collection as Becky and Charlotte need the tag titles while Sasha still needs the SmackDown Women’s Championship. But we also really do need NXT included on the tag division. Sonya has definitely become a star, so hearing some stories from her perspective was really good. And closing with comments from Big E and Xavier Woods was another strong ending to show the WWE and Fox aren’t shutting out the real world.


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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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