This is going to be a powerful Raw Talk!
BRAUN STROWMAN is now on Raw’s Survivor Series Men’s Team, but the battle to qualify was brutal! What will he have to say about his “teammates?”
Charly Caruso and R-Truth welcome us back to the show!
But #CharTruth isn’t quite at 100%, mostly on Truth’s end after the Hurt Lock. How is he? Truth says he’s still enthusiastic, but he just can’t show it. He thought he was meeting the Water Boy, but there are different Bobby’s out there. The one that puts people in pain was the one out there. The spear and the full nelson from The Simpsons! And then, Truth loses his title to Gulak. Truth’s “baby” is gone because, though Lashley brutalized Gulak, too, Lashley put Gulak on Truth for the pin. Truth says Lashley is a “scoundrel” for doing all that in a non-title match. Truth laid down for Lashley but Lashley just likes hurting people. Gulak, too. But Gulak is champion, so he’s doing a little better.
Did Charly see Bobby Bouche anywhere? No, sorry. Suffering succotash. Charly is a big fan of the Water Boy, too. They should get her water bottle signed. Charly is glad to see Truth’s spirit is still strong. But let’s also talk about the ending of Raw: McIntyre getting some payback on Miz and Morrison for being the pains in the side they were, only for Orton to get him back. Orton has the title, has the RKO, and that’s how things ended. But there was also that laugh, from The Fiend… He’s always lurking, after all. Truth wasn’t hearing things, that’s good. It’s mostly just his neck. Wait, is that laughter live or the recording? Oh no. At least Truth isn’t the only one.
But there was also the Raw Men’s Survivor Series team. One more spot was filled, and with that we welcome the first guest, BRAUN!!
Braun Strowman joins Raw Talk!
The Monster Among Men joins Truth and Charly, and Braun says Truth looks like how he did after they had a run in. Does Truth want Braun to help with that neck? No, Truth’s good. Braun takes his seat, Truth says Braun could sit anywhere he wants. Truth knows Braun is the Monster Among Men, but has he met other monsters? Has he met Frankenstein’s monster? Or Dracula? Is this what Truth wants to talk about? Because Braun can just go. He doesn’t get paid to talk, he gets paid to fight. Right, of course. Charly talks about him joining Team Raw. How does that feel? Braun’s question is how they feel about it? Charly feels great about it. Braun says they should all fell great, because when the Monster comes around, it’s bad for those on the other side. Good point.
But Braun was also vocal about how he shouldn’t have had to qualify, he also should be the captain. Well like Braun said, all his accolades at just Survivor Series, the proof is in the pudding. Someone’s gonna #GetTheseHands, so it’ll happen again. Styles is Phenomenal, but he’s a chihuahua compared to all the BEEF in the ring with him. Sheamus is the second smallest at 250, Keith Lee is 330, Braun is 370 and change. Styles is 200 soaking wet and he wants to be the captain? Braun’s dated girls bigger than him. Truth knows what that is, #BBW. Charly asks how Braun feels the team is shaping up? Well two of his teeth are loose. Sheamus gives him a hug but then cowardly kicks him. Braun just wants to bring a win to Raw because that’s his job. Whatever these guys can argue about, Braun’s going to do what he gets paid to do. Truth’s sold. Charly is, too.
There is tension with Keith Lee, but Braun pinned him clean. Braun gives Keith credit for being strong, doing stuff no one has done to him. But the team will settle differences and bring the win home. If Braun had his choice, who would be his fifth man? McIntyre has a fire inside him, and there is history there, too. Strowman knows McIntyre has the same mentality so it’d be awesome to have that on the team. Charly and Truth agree. Yahtzee! Thank you, Braun, for this, sorry for the awkward start. Strowman knows they like to have fun, he likes to have fun beating people up. He’s calling it now, Team Raw with the win at Survivor Series. Tell Frankenstein Truth said, “What’s up?” Does Truth want to get something else broken? Truth waited for Braun to be gone, it’s okay. Just tread lightly. #CharTruth needs to live forever, but at this rate, it’ll just end up #Char.
Lacey Evans and Peyton Royce join Raw Talk!
The Sassy Southern Belle and the Venus Flytrap are both here together and yet Lacey gets her song. They’re a team? No, get that word out of your mouth now. How are they doing tonight? Better than Charly. Ooh, a lot of sass from Lacey. She checks herself out in the camera, apparently. Truth says there’s trouble coming, Lana said that. No, Lana is the trouble. She keeps getting put through tables. What help is she going to be? That spot should be one of theirs. Oh, Lana has a tough spirit, but she keeps getting her ass kicked. You gotta get up differently if you’re going to change things. But Lana won the Fatal 4 Way. Oh shut the gibberish. Whoa! Okay, well, despite the discord between these two, these two are quite a good combination already.
Uck, gross. Lacey’s gonna puke. She doesn’t want Peyton as a tag partner, she needs someone who can help pick her up. Peyton says she’s been picking Lacey up, and she is heavy. How dare you! Lacey is 140 at most, and she’ll kick your ass, too! Like she did to Lana? No, not pick her up literally. She means promote her, raise her up, make her and her “assets” look better than they already do. Peyton can’t. Well speaking of promoting, let’s talk about the rest of the Survivor Series team. Oh yes, let’s talk about them~! Well, Shayna posted about how the team is her, Nia, Mandy Rose and Dana Brooke. She explained “Lana isn’t in this pic because we aren’t wrestling her on Monday. She knows by now whose team this is (the table told her).” Okay, what’s your point? The team looks weak.
Charly reads the tweet for them and Peyton makes fun of her being able to read words. Charly wants to point out this is about putting differences aside for the team. Even for the benefit of both of them, this promotes Raw as a strong brand. Shouldn’t they want to support the team for everyone’s sake? Lacey does say that as part of Raw, the team represents them at Survivor Series. BUT look at what the team is! It’s all weak links! Lacey may not like Peyton and vice-versa, but they both could be better than those ones. They’re already thinking Raw wins. Do they think there is at least a strongest member? Peyton speaks up that it isn’t on the team, it’s the one sitting right here. Which one? Who? Who who who? Lacey will be an owl, that’s embarrassing, too. Look at these guns! And her ass kicking boots. Those are snow boots. But she’s cold. In Florida? Well these boots are made for kicking butt.
Charly says it is unfortunate that they’re both strong competitors and would’ve been great assets to the team. But that isn’t in the cards, so what is next? Lacey speaks over Peyton as she says she’ll be Raw Women’s Champion. Oh sorry was that Peyton’s answer? HEHEH! How long as Peyton NOT been a tag team partner again? Lacey doesn’t even know what it is to be on a team. Right, because Lacey holds herself accountable. Peyton’s been leaning on someone for her whole career and is now all alone. Does she thinks he can stand toe to toe with Lacey? Lacey will have Peyton’s ass crawling and crying to Billie Kay! WHOA~! Well at least Peyton has someone. Lacey has NO ONE. Not a single woman on Raw, because Lacey can’t be a team player. Peyton IS a fighter, she will fight Asuka and take that title! Lacey says, “Cry me a river, ya nasty!” Lacey doesn’t need no one.
Peyton waves a hand as a barrier and she almost smacks Lacey. Lacey will rip those fake earrings right out! She’s getting sweaty here. Peyton nudges Lacey away, Charly thanks them both for being here. Peyton pulls Lacey’s hair to keep her out of the way. Hey, this is natural hair! No extensions! Peyton thanks Truth for their time, Lacey says bye to the nasties. Peyton pushes Lacey and Lacey “falls” onto Truth. Lacey and Peyton leave, Charly worries for Lil’ Jimmy but it’s okay, Jimmy’s at camp. Charly asks if there’s something in the air or water that’s making people act all weird. Things are just… Did Charly have some? No, she drinks bottled, remember? Right, right. Charly has her fingers crossed for their final guest because guess what? It’s the leader of Retribution!!
Mustafa Ali joins Raw Talk!
Ali takes a seat and Charly tentatively asks how he is doing. He wants her to say his name. “Muu-sta-fa Ali.” No, it’s “Must-afa.” Charly repeats it that way, and so does Truth. Ali wants them to put some respect on his name. And he is doing fine. Charly wants to address the handful of attacks we saw tonight from Raw. Tucker and Ricochet were Retribution’s victims, but does Ali think everyone on Raw is that terrible that they deserve it? Retribution sees it as self-defense and the protection of justice. As Ali said, a sin cannot be forgiven until it is punished. Tucker’s sin was betraying his best friend, Otis. And how dare they question Ali’s actions. Aren’t they questioning what Tucker did? Though what does Truth know. Truth does know stuff, he just forgets.
Oh there’s the jokes. Laughing time is over, Ali is here. Tucker backstabbed his BEST FRIEND, and for what? To get ahead. So it is Retribution’s job to be judge, jury and executioner? Yes, all of that. That was their warning, and the warning is reality. So then, Retribution is the “cure” to what plagues WWE. Yes! Do you not feel this? He lost brain cells watching Peyton and Lacey talk! “Corrupt, greedy, selfish superstars” is all this place makes! Ali is here to fix that! But doesn’t Ali realize some people just want entertainment? Especially during the times we’re going through! Oh~ yes, be the eScApE fRoM rEaLiTy~! Ali doesn’t want them to escape but to feel it! Truth knows Retribution wears Bane masks, but what did Batman ever do to them?
Oh, haha, more jokes. What’s next? Mocking their names? You’re named R-TRUTH! What a great name! It is though. Ali says he will explain why they dress the way they do and have the names they do. Maybe Truth can learn to be serious here. “Imagine being judged by your name. Imagine being mocked because of how you look.” Imagine a guy like Mustafa Ali, that gave the members of Retribution the names and masks so that they could understand how he’s felt. Crazy, isn’t it? Not crazy at all. But can Ali explain why those names? Is it Flapjack or Slapjack? Maybe Ali isn’t the one to explain it. Maybe Slapjack himself can explain it! Because here he is! Maybe Mace and T-Bar can explain it because here they are!! Oh no, don’t mace Truth, he’s already in rough shape. What about Reckoning, too? Truth says he’s been through enough already! Please!
Well Truth has nothing to say so Ali will say it. “Mustafa Ali, thank you so much for being a wonderful, informative guest here on Raw Talk. We thank you and Retribution for saving us.” Mic drop. Retribution all give Truth one last glare, and even a laugh, before leaving. Charly is terrified, truly. Truth, you have to watch what you say! Truth thinks he pooted. What. Pooted. Well, time to end the show anyway. Let’s try and have a better episode next week. No more Mustafa or Retribution on the show…
A really good episode here. Braun’s segment was brief but to the point, and I like that he seconds Sheamus’ idea to get McIntyre on the Raw Men’s Team. I wonder if this is a tell that McIntyre won’t win the title in whatever match before Survivor Series. McIntyre, Sheamus, Strowman and Keith are all incredible powerhouses that can also do a lot more than just power, and then Styles is there as speed and even some technical ability, that’s a very powerful team. Lacey and Peyton had very humorously dysfunctional chemistry much like Shayna and Nia do, but I’m hoping their team doesn’t work out at all. What’s the point of breaking Billie and Peyton up if Peyton ends up in a new team? Peyton and Lacey should stay solo, take the long road to the title and maybe face Asuka around Royal Rumble season.
And Ali’s segment did so much more for the Retribution angle than anything Raw does with Vince hovering over it all. I like that the goofy names and weird disguises actually have a purpose, that they actually aren’t pretending these four aren’t Dijak, Dio Maddin, Shane Thorne and Mia Yim, but it’s them willing to walk in Ali’s shoes, as the saying goes. Ali has always been an advocate of breaking down cultural barriers in regards to his name, which he’s adding onto with how it needs to be pronounced properly. I feel like they should’ve taken half a beat to bring up how Ali was on their show before the Retribution reveal and how he was being nice then and ask if that was an act, because I feel like this Ali would say it was. Ali has so much potential, and the one promo about how WWE couldn’t figure out how to make money off him is more meta than you’d think. Ali and Retribution, with who is in it and what they can all do, should be the ones dominating Hurt Business and multiple divisions on Raw, if only Vince would shut up and move aside.
Mitchell’s Raw Talk Report! (1/25/21)
Who wants to Talk With Elias?
It will be a golden Raw Talk before the Royal Rumble!
The Hurt Business put in work and the Queen is worried about usurpers, but they’re here for some Raw Talk ahead of this Pay-Per-View Sunday!
#CharTruth welcomes us back to the show!
Charly Caruso says we’re on our way to one of the biggest PPV’s of the year, the Royal Rumble! She cannot wait! But she also can’t wait for tonight’s episode of Raw Talk, with Truth, who is still WWE 24/7 Champion! Isn’t she also champion by association? They should center the belt. And not to rub it in or anything, it’s been a long night for everyone, but Truth had his shot to officially enter the Men’s Rumble and it didn’t work out! What happened? AJ Styles is phenomenal and he has Omos with him. Omos is big. A mountain of a man! Hugigantimongous. Mount Everest or Mount Kilimanjaro? Both. You gotta look up, and East to West. You can’t focus on Styles with Omos there, there and over there. Charly almost thought he was here, but Truth says you’d have seen Omos if he was here.
And then speaking of directions, there was an interesting misdirection with the main event, Lil’ Miss Bliss, The Fiend’s protégé, what even do we call her? Truth says they’re family. And then Orton with his sunburn face gave her an RKO! Hard to know how to react to that, other than that was the worst thing that could’ve happened. Or one of them, maybe. Orton wants revenge for what happened to him so he took back his pride, dignity, etc. Truth says Orton needs some Aloe Vera or something. But Truth getting that close to Orton might get him in Alexa’s sights, too. Truth can’t risk that, Charly needs him to be a cohost. Truth needs Truth to be here, so he’s going to just move on.
Moving on to an exciting match coming at the Royal Rumble, the WWE World Championship, Drew McIntyre VS Goldberg. We almost got a throw down between them but they went after Miz ‘n’ Morrison as they were egging everything on. That’s what they get, though! Spear AND Claymore! But that won’t stop them from going after each other on Sunday. Who you got? Charly will make a prediction. Just because of what he’s done in the WWE and that Charly has a lot of respect for him, she goes with McIntyre. Nothing taken away from Goldberg, but Charly’s voting McIntyre. Truth is with Gillberg. Well, alright then. And speaking of another big time champion with something going on at the Royal Rumble, it’s the Queen!
Charlotte Flair joins Raw Talk!
Charly says Charlotte looks amazing these days and Truth agrees. Super shredded, and very happy, but of course because she has the championship. Charlotte’s got Andrade at home to help her, after all. She hopes she got the roll of the R just right. But yes, a lot of things to be happy about. A live-in trainer, some championship gold, but also some problems… Just a little. Let’s talk about that after her mindset for tonight’s match with Shayna Baszler that didn’t even turn out that way. There was some involvement from Lacey Evans, the “problem” they were about to bring up. Charlotte was looking forward to facing Shayna, given the history with Shayna’s buddy, Ronda. Maybe they texted like, “Do you remember when Charlotte kicked your ass?” Whoa~!
But Charlotte says Shayna means business, so she knew to give her the best. But then there was Nia Jax and all that. The tag titles will be on the line against Nia and Shayna, how is Charlotte feeling about that? Charlotte has Asuka so there’s that. Truth knows Asuka is great, and Charlotte may sound cliché but she knows she doesn’t want anyone else with her as she goes into battle. Charly said it before and will say it again, Charlotte and Asuka are two of the greatest women in the WWE. But Nia and Shayna were very strong tonight. Charlotte says they were just mad tonight. Truth agrees with that. Charlotte has had the opportunity to be in the ring with the Irresistible Force, and it isn’t often she faces someone bigger than her, but they bring out the best in each other and expect nothing different.
But then Charlotte also wants to be in the Women’s Rumble, but there’s everything with Lacey and Ric Flair. Some family drama, Lacey attacked Charlotte in front of Ric, what is going on? Charlotte knows Ric thinks he’s being cute and funny, and for the last couple of years it’s just been hard. Everyone around Ric are Yes People, they just praise Naitch, and then they leave and it’s just Ric. Charlotte has only ever wanted to protect the Flair legacy. She would do anything to do that. So looking Ric in the face and pointing out how Lacey is sexy and all over him, she can get that. But Ric is going from legend to creepy old man and she will say it because she’s not the villain here. Charlotte doesn’t even have time for Lacey, who is just an opportunist. Are the intentions the title? Is it really about Ric?
Truth says how could it not be about Ric? He’s the Nature Boy! Charlotte knows Truth is a Carolina boy but slow down. Charlotte has done everything she can to show she’s here because of her work, not her name. But then those who will do anything to get to the top, that is Lacey. You hear about it while everyone else is doing things the right way, but you see that kind of girl everywhere at every level. It’s hard to be sure why Lacey is doing this to Ric and Charlotte, but she’s definitely doing it to get at Charlotte.
So Charlotte has her hands full with the tag title challenge, Lacey’s antics, and then the Women’s Rumble. Charlotte is sure people think she’s had a happy-go-lucky life as Ric’s daughter, but she’s used to obstacles in her path. People don’t see it, but the ones who have obstacles don’t talk about it. Charlotte will be prepared for everything coming her way. Truth loves it and Charlotte feels like she has a hype man. Charlotte says she has mac ‘n’ cheese to share with him. Is there pork chop in there? Truth only does light pork chop in the mac. But Charly thanks Charlotte for her time and wishes her luck. See you later, champion!
Elias & Jaxson Ryker join Raw Talk!
The Drifter and his follower are back and they talk BBQ after what we just got. What is his favorite? How do they mean? Regional, Carolina, Tennessee, etc. They vote for Carolina, which is Truth’s liking. Charly makes sure everyone knows the question wasn’t just because they were talking BBQ with Charlotte there. Charly was testing if they could come to an agreement given the miscommunication the last few weeks. Wow, Charly! They’re pals, but great journalism move. So then what is happening? There was discord but are things moving in the right direction?
Of course! They got on the same page, the communication problems are gone. They handled things on WWE Main Event on Hulu, but not like two weeks ago. The footage shows things, but Ryker & Elias took on Ricochet & Jeff Hardy on Main Event and took care of business! Hardy is a living legend, we all know that, and Ricochet is one of the most talented wrestlers in the world today! But Ryker is an intense animal that loves the Universal Truth, and Elias himself is a once in a lifetime performer. But those four on Main event shows how jam-packed Raw really is. Charly asks if Ryker sees Elias’ guidance as serving him well. Of course!
Wait, Elias is sinking in his chair. Truth says it’s cuz Elias is lying. Well it happened to Keith Lee but for a very different reason. Get us a montage of people sinking in the chairs. That’ll go viral. Elias says he wrote the Universal Truth cuz he speaks the truth and now he’s talking to Truth! Nice one! Okay, one last time to see if they can get on the same page. Who do they think wins the Royal Rumble? They say “WE are going to win the Royal Rumble.” Oh so if one wins, they both win. Yes, they are going to win. Simple as that. Watch this Sunday! Elias is declaring officially, so there you go. It is an official declarence. A declaration? Yes, that, too.
Well Charly will pass that along, though we don’t know the rules right now. Truth says it’s about opportunities but Ryker wants to take it. Ryker and Elias will write history at the Rumble when THEY win! 2021 will be historic! Well alright. Good to have them on the same page with the declarence, be ready for a Raw Talk BBQ. But now from BBQ to perhaps fine dining? The Hurt Business is here!
Bobby Lashley & MVP join Raw Talk!
MVP warns Truth, “Every word out your mouth tonight, measure very, very carefully. Because I am not here for it. And I give you my word, one, ONE, wrong thing out your mouth, and it’s on.” Like a pot of neck bone? Don’t play around, Truth. Charly seconds that because of what we saw the last few weeks. Bobby Lashley told us two weeks ago that he’s not playing around with Riddle’s bro-ness stupidity and Truth went and said something that angered MVP. MVP almost got Truth that night, and Charly is just happy that she wasn’t here for that. Things will not go that way this week, Charly won’t allow it. Oh, allow? Is that’s how this is? Y-Yes…? So if MVP slaps Truth, how will she stop him? Right, nevermind what she said, then.
Lashley tries to lighten the mood as he keeps MVP back and has a big smile. Riddle won tonight’s gauntlet match and has a rematch for the US Championship. Lashley’s feelings about Riddle, the one thing the Hurt Business wants to accomplish is to get rid of disrespect. Lashley beat Riddle before, Riddle is not a problem. But he was a problem for the rest of the team. No, the problem was inside the Hurt Business. There is some dysfunction, but they’ll sort that out. So why is it happening now? The VIP Lounge was meant to be a celebration as they have major titles, so why is it happening now? Lashley wants MVP to relax but MVP keeps glaring at Truth.
Truth tells MVP he’s missing out on interview time, they’re just asking questions. Lashley says when you get on top, sometimes things get tense. They’re all friends. MVP has been a great friend, as has Shelton Benjamin, and even Cedric Alexander is a friend. But they have titles, money, but that causes tensions to rise and things get out of hand. Truth says he was a friend and got put in the Nelson from the Simpsons. MVP says this is just a speed bump. It’s done, as is the line of questioning. What will Charly “allow” now? She just wants a feel for what’s going on. Individually and together, the Hurt Business is successful, but it is a bit worrying when things start to break down. You may want it to be a speed bump, you may want to rebound, but look at Conor McGregor!
Lashley says it’s been awhile since McGregor won. But the Hurt Business is fine. They’ll talk it out, it’ll be back in place. They can’t be crumbling if they still have the gold. Truth says he likes the THB necklace. MVP asks how much Truth likes it. He likes it a lot. Charly says not to push any more buttons. The show is done, MVP and Lashley head out, and #CharTruth says they appreciate their time. The Royal Rumble is coming, will that speed bump hit someone in the butt?
A pretty good Raw Talk, but I will say this. Elias and Ryker did a good job to plug WWE Main Event, and I like that they tried to put it over as proof that Raw is so stacked, they couldn’t fit their match with Ricochet and Jeff Hardy on the show so they put it on Hulu. That’s not true, I’m sure that match could’ve been fit on tonight’s Raw if things were a little different, but at least it’s happening somewhere. Charlotte had a good segment, nice little shoot on how she is with Andrade romantically, and for being able to play that confidence bordering on arrogance, she seems like a really nice person in her day to day life.
The Hurt Business had a really good segment to close, and I like that there is this ongoing story of tension with MVP and Truth. I really hope MVP gets the 24/7 Championship before the faction loses one of the other titles. And that shouldn’t be too hard, it’s the 24/7 Championship. He might even lose that title as the Raw Tag or US Championships are lost because Truth could just sneak in and roll him up. I just hope the Hurt Business lasts long enough to only break when they lose it all.
Mitchell’s Talking Smack Report! (1/23/21)
DING DONG, HELLO~! Talking Smack!
Talking Smack has a strong episode this week!
Cesaro, Bayley and Sami Zayn are all here to talk some smack on what went down! Will there be any sore losers among them? *cough* Bayley */cough*
Kayla Braxton welcomes us back to the show!
We’re just over a week away from the Royal Rumble, and Friday Night SmackDown had us on the edge of our seats! Kayla is here with cohost Paul Heyman, who has some explaining to do as he does his evil finger pyramid. Kayla knew right away Heyman had something planned, and he did, and instead of Adam Pearce VS Paul Heyman, we got Roman Reigns beating Pearce up. Roman did beat Pearce up, but Kevin Owens got back at Roman, too, and Kevin asked Heyman if he was watching. Were Heyman’s eyes open? Then yes, he was watching. “It was the perfect plan. Conspiracy theories abound and they’re all true.” They had Pearce locked in, Sonya was about to take over because Pearce was out the door. Heyman pulled the strings, he kept Kevin away all evening, but somehow Kevin screwed them. “Card subject to change.”
But Heyman isn’t done ranting! Wait until he finishes his point. Well he took a breath- Yes, he just took a breath! She made the mistake to jump right into any opening. Heyman continues to say that this is Kevin’s problem now: “The Royal Rumble, next Sunday, we’re not going to be pulling Card Subject to Change. Card will be delivered as advertised!” Which means KO is stepping into the ring with “an angry, infuriated WWE Universal Heavyweight Champion who understands that this match only ends when one man is left standing.” And it won’t be Kevin. That’s not a prediction, that’s a spoiler! Three, two, one, now your turn, Kayla. Kayla appreciates that. Let’s lighten the mood, the host of DING DONG, HELLO~!
Bayley joins Talking Smack!
Heyman shakes Bayley’s hand and says he is a great admirer of her work. Bayley thanks him for that and appreciates Kayla’s slow clap. Heyman introduces himself and says if she wants to see something outside of her own brilliance, watch Roman Reigns get his hands on Kevin Owens in the Last Man Standing match to not only defend his title, but to put Kevin down with a beating that will earn a Parental Advisory Warning. Bayley likes that! They should get their people on that. Kayla has people? Yes. Now, to the “Ultimate Athletic Obstacle Course Challenge.” Bayley is flexing now, but Kayla points out that while it was Bayley’s idea, it didn’t go as planned.
Heyman says nothing goes as planned on SmackDown! And they had the best plan! The absolute best plan! But Kevin screwed it up! Kayla brings this back to Bayley’s plan in the obstacle course. Kayla gets Heyman relates to that here, but Bianca Belair, the EST, proved herself on Bayley’s course. She even embarrassed her. Bayley says to stop the replay, get to the end. Fast forward, guys, c’mon. Kayla brings up Bayley kinda cheated, and still lost. Bayley says it can’t be cheating if it’s under her rules. This is fair and square as her first-time-ever obstacle course challenge. Is no one listening? Is Bianca paying them to play the footage?
But it doesn’t matter, SmackDown doesn’t do obstacle courses between the longest reigning women’s champion and “some new chick.” Bayley doesn’t even want her weird chair anymore. Does Kayla want to be in the Royal Rumble? Bayley will gladly “welcome” her into that as the Role Model, the CAPTAIN of SmackDown! She’ll grab Kayla by her ear piece mic and throw her out, just like she will Bianca and every other woman in the match! Kayla doesn’t discount that, Bayley is an incredible competitor. But in the obstacle course- Heyman speaks up because he doesn’t like the use of “incredible,” it means “not credible,” but Bayley is definitely credible. She is a GREAT competitor, and Kayla is envious! #BayleyEnvy, make a shirt, put Kayla’s face on it.
Kayla asks if Bayley underestimated Bianca and therefore underestimating the other competitors in the Rumble. Bayley will say Bianca is a great athlete, we’ve seen what she’s capable of over the years. Bianca eliminated EIGHT superstars, but did she eliminate Rhea Ripley, a former NXT Women’s Champion who had her WrestleMania moment with Charlotte Flair? No, Bayley did! Quality over quantity! The lights, the stress, it’s all making Bayley sweat. Kayla thinks Bianca was making Bayley sweat. Maybe Bayley did the obstacle course and that’s why. Kayla does appreciate the challenge, it was entertaining, until the end when Bayley attacked Bianca. OH? Let’s check the ratings and see if it was entertaining.
Kayla thanks Bayley for her time, Bayley has a party to go to, Heyman says Kayla is condescending but he would never do that. He again shakes her hand and says Bayley is a generational talent. See you in the Rumble, Kayla. In the match! But speaking of the Rumble, our next guest is a superstar who vows to win the Men’s Rumble, the Swiss Cyborg!
Cesaro joins Talking Smack!
Cesaro likes the high chairs. He shakes hands with everyone and takes a seat. Standing tall, sitting tall, as he should after his victory. Cesaro beat Daniel Bryan last week, has a bit of a chip on his shoulder and turned down the rematch challenge. Why is that? Cesaro says he always has something to prove. He likes new challenges. He beat Bryan already, why do it again? And Bryan wasn’t even dressed anyway so he’d just be taking advantage. Kayla has known Cesaro for awhile, this feels like a new Cesaro. Is he showing a different side to the fans? No. Does he really seem that different? Kayla says there’s more intensity.
Well Cesaro says this is less new and more the old Cesaro. Cesaro went back to the basics, his strengths, and it’s paying off. So what is it about Bryan that “irks” him? Cesaro says it’s not the way we might think. They’ve known each other for about 15 years or more, they had a rivalry since they’ve met and it’s been very competitive. It came to the WWE, after having some of the toughest matches ever with Daniel Bryan. So yes, Bryan “irks” Cesaro because Cesaro needs to beat Bryan. Bryan brings out the best in Cesaro, and Cesaro does appreciate that, but it drives him.
Both men have been very vocal about winning the Men’s Rumble, but with 30 men total, will they be the final two? Cesaro is confident that they will. Anyone else that says differently, they should not be in this building, in that ring, and certainly not in Cesaro’s presence. Kayla says that Bryan having never won a Rumble, that is why this is so important to him. Bryan’s hunger could be greater than the others. Yes, it could be. But what a great New Year’s Resolution. Cesaro isn’t a fan of those, because you should want to be better every day. Not just once a year, but every day, be better today than you were yesterday, forever. Bryan’s hunger may be big, but it’s opinion.
That is what irks Cesaro. If Bryan wants to win that badly, then Cesaro wants to win even more. That is how this rivalry works, that is what is needed in the WWE. Use everything as motivation to get to that next level. Kayla agrees. Now say Cesaro does win the entire thing, which Kayla could see happening. Has Cesaro thought about who he will challenge at WrestleMania? The options are Roman and Kevin for the Universal Championship, or Drew McIntyre and Goldberg for the WWE World Championship. Cesaro said last week on commentary, he would challenge Roman Reigns on behalf of Shinsuke Nakamura. Now McIntyre mentioned Cesaro as a dream opponent and Cesaro would love that, too, but Cesaro is a man of his word.
Does Heyman have something to say on that? Heyman says Roman VS Cesaro is big box office. Heyman has sung Cesaro’s praises since he got into the WWE. Cesaro knows that respect and admiration, and is a very dangerous man. You don’t hear all this energy, he’s soft spoken and “means not to be anything else besides himself.” Cesaro is rightfully confident because he is uber talented, and is on a path to the top. There’s only one man who can stop him, and that is Roman Reigns, which is why that match could headline WrestleMania 37. Roman will put down Kevin, and Cesaro has a good chance of winning the Rumble, so we’ll wait and see.
Kayla thanks Cesaro for his time, and Cesaro tells Heyman to tell “Table Head” that he’s next. And finally, a man Kayla thought she’d never miss but definitely does lately, the “Great Liberator!”
Sami Zayn joins Talking Smack!
Sami notices he has no music. Kayla says he can try again but no, the moment has passed. “These are the little things I’m talking about.” Kayla says Heyman has a part in this but Sami says Heyman’s been in this business longer than Kayla’s been alive. Kayla can’t catch a break. Sami says Heyman is a lot of things, a lot of bad things, almost all of them true, but Heyman is not jealous of anyone. Sami says this is rather fitting that he’d get put on Talking Smack and then he gets disrespected. He brings up the conspiracy and brings in his film crew.
The documentary crew is here because Sami doesn’t recognize the cameramen and Sami’s been here 8 years. This is so the footage is true and unedited. Now, conspiracies. There is a long standing one against Sami, but it’s all the little things, the little acts of disrespect that add up. Everyone else gets music and a warm welcome, but Sami gets treated like a fool after being a cohost! Sami had his cuffs as a peaceful protest, the right to assembly. America loves their rights, right? This was Sami making a point, engaging in his right to do that. This was all to make management aware that he will not be silenced. But people act like he was in the wrong! Kayla does, doesn’t she?
Heyman voices his agreement. Sami says the thing is, but Heyman says it’s like a bad marriage. Sami was called an instigator, but he has the signs he brought to SmackDown. Let’s dissect these. #SAMI: Stand Against Moral Injustice. Those who don’t like this sign, why? Are they FOR moral injustice? Yes or no? But isn’t it hypocritical? Sami doesn’t like Apollo cheating but Sami was cheating a lot! Heyman has to tell Sami, he loves the sign, but he admits he kinda likes moral injustices. Sorry. Nothing against Sami, but still. Wait, Apollo Crews walks on set! Sami is glad to see him, though! Apollo wants to hear Sami in person. Keep going. Sami says this is perfect.
Sami brings up a sign that works for Apollo, “How Do You Sleep at Night?!” It works for Big E, too, who holds SAMI’s title! How does Apollo feel getting his title shot, cheating to win?! Apollo is okay with that?! That’s the difference between Sami and Apollo! Sami stands for something, he has a value system! Sami doesn’t want to upset Heyman but he wants Apollo to hear him. “How do you sleep, cutting these corners to get ahead?” Apollo acts like a nice guy with a million dollar smile, but then he’s okay with winning how he did? At best, Apollo should’ve given Sami a rematch and then we’d see who is the better man.
Heyman says Sami is upsetting Apollo but Sami says he doesn’t care. Apollo says Sami can talk, talk, talk, but eventually Apollo will get Sami in that ring. Well that’s a threat. Don’t make excuses, Kayla, it is a threat on her show! Heyman doesn’t like being in the middle of this, literally. Sami says he has to think about his camera crew’s safety. Apollo won’t intimidate Sami, but he is doing this for his documentarians. Apollo is going to be confrontational, he’s making Heyman uncomfortable, so Sami is going to leave. Not for Sami’s safety but his cameramen. Sami excuses himself, and Kayla says that’s fine, this is the end of the show anyway.
Heyman tells Apollo that Sami is just distracting him. It’s what Sami does. Is Apollo going to be distracted “by a prick” or be focused on the Intercontinental Championship? Apollo say she’s going to beat Sami’s ass, THEN go get the title. “Because I can.” Heyman is impressed. With that devious smile on Heyman’s face, Kayla goes to close the show, but then Kevin Owens shows up… Heyman and Kevin stare down, Heyman gives a nod, and Kevin leans over to tell Heyman, “You feel it.” Kevin then offers a handshake, and Heyman takes it. What did Kevin mean by that?
What a great episode! Heyman was great throughout the whole episode, but he’s great all the time really. Him trying to interject the Roman story into everything was great. Bayley had a good segment, and it fits her Heel persona that she takes a 360 on the obstacle course because she lost. Bayley VS Bianca really should happen on the go-home next week to get them both going into the Rumble. Cesaro made a good point, New Year’s Resolutions are a bit silly when you should be trying harder every day. And I really like that, though not fully Face, Cesaro is calling out Roman here on behalf of Nakamura. I still think Cesaro would be great as a Face, so we’ll have to wait and see.
And then the last segment was awesome stuff. Sami getting NO theme music, ranting on with Heyman on his side mostly, and then the surprise appearances from Apollo and Kevin to plug their stories, all of it was done perfectly. Apollo even somewhat defying Heyman was great. Whether he goes Heel or not, an aggressive Apollo is definitely a good move for him.
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