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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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News From Cook’s Corner 4.12.21: The E-S-T of the I-W-C

Cook taking the long week/weekend and assessing some fun aspects that came to the forefront! Check out the news!

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Hi, hello & welcome to News From Cook’s Corner! It’s been a bit of a weird week for me. While the rest of you are celebrating WrestleMania or the cornucopia of WM Weekend shows, I’m stuck working very long shifts at a job I’ve given notice at. So I’m a lame duck while wrestlers in Tampa are swimming in the rain like ducks. Kind of ironic, I suppose.

What that means for this column: Haven’t finished the show. Watched Night One through parts of Sunday, watched the Broken Skull Sessions with Chris Jericho since I didn’t get home in time to watch Night Two from the beginning. Kind of awkward since this is a news column getting posted the day after WrestleMania, but hell, I’ve written about stuff I haven’t been watching for decades now. Gotten really good at faking it, though my exes would disagree with that notion.

(What can I say? When you’re single for most of your life and getting older, sometimes you try to act like things are working in a relationship when they really aren’t. Fortunately I’m over all this now and am quite happy with life as a spiritual eunuch. I’m not really sure how any of this is relevant to the column, just riffing here to fill space and give you a little update on how things are going. Those who were around back in the day remember I was quite emo about the lack of female attention. Now I’ve kinda had my fill and am good with it, though my friends try to make me think I’m not. I think we’ve riffed enough now and can start with some wrestling news.)

Anywho, here’s the news!

New Announcers For Raw?

WWE likes to shake things up on multiple levels after WrestleMania most years. Sometimes that involves a change in the announce booth, and that seems to be on tap this year. WrestlingInc reported that former ESPN host Adnan Virk will be joining Raw’s announce team starting this Monday, replacing Tom Phillips on play by play. Andrew Zarian added that Corey Graves will also be moving over to Raw, replacing Samoa Joe. No word yet on if this means Graves will be working both shows, or if Joe will be moving to SmackDown, or if Joe will be moving back into the ring, or if Phillips will be moving to NXT UK, NXT India & whatever other NXT pops up in the next couple of years.

Many folks I know like to make a big deal of these things, as they feel announcers are crucial to the overall enjoyment of a show. I used to as well, but the more I watch these things the less I think that they’re that critically important to the sports or sports entertainment presentation. Sure, it’s nice to have a legend of the business, or a dynamic presence in their prime, on the microphone talking about the action. It can get the die-hards through some rough seasons, or some less than compelling in-ring action. Does it really affect viewership? I don’t think so. It’s not like Los Angeles Dodgers fans stopped following their team after Vin Scully retired. On the flip side, it’s not like the 50+ wrestling fan demographic has flocked to AEW Dynamite to listen to Jim Ross or Tony Schiavone.

It’s what the people are talking about that matters, not the people talking about it. Which a lot of us in the talking & the writing business could stand to remember from time to time.

Why did the Hurt Business break up?

It’s the question that was on everybody’s minds right after Shelton Benjamin & Cedric Alexander were sent packing by Bobby Lashley & MVP. Why split them up? It was a stable that was working pretty well together, seemingly getting over with the public in the right way, and added a lot of options to Bobby Lashley’s act as WWE Champion.

The answer seems to be the same answer behind every other decision WWE makes. Cause Vince McMahon said so. He decided that Alexander & Benjamin didn’t deserve a push, which is pretty consistent with how their runs with WWE have gone, and that was that. Really not that surprising when you think about it. Somebody talked Vince into giving them a chance, Vince didn’t see it working the way he wanted it to, and then you had King Corbin backing up Lashley for an episode of Raw.

It’s a shame for Alexander & Benjamin, but it’s not in the least bit surprising. We’ll see if somebody else can talk Vince into giving them a chance down the road. Until then, the checks will clear.

Damian Priest Barely Made It To WrestleMania

I remember finding it kind of odd when Miz vs. Bad Bunny was announced for WrestleMania. It’d been reported for months that Miz & Bad Bunny would compete in a tag team match at the show, with John Morrison & Damian Priest as their respective tag team partners. It eventually got made into that, but what was with the pause?

Turns out that Priest had a back injury and wasn’t cleared until the days leading into WrestleMania. Which is really lucky for him, as one of the points of this whole thing was to get him over. At least I think it was. Now we got everybody talking about how Bad Bunny was the best debut wrestler since Pat McAfee, which really wasn’t that long ago but now feels like it happened multiple years ago.

Don’t know what the odds are on Bunny & McAfee main eventing a future WrestleMania, but I rule nothing out these days.

Becky Lynch & Ronda Rousey Back Soon?

That’s the word according to WWE President Nick Khan, who told Colin Cowherd as such on his radio show last week. Quite the scoop for Cowherd, who was once detested by fans for making fun of Eddie Guerrero after he died & calling wrestling fans “booger-eaters”. Now, he’s got WWE executives appearing on his show. Makes me feel better about getting WWE executives on my non-existent show one of these days.

Becky teased a WrestleMania Night One return on her Twitter account, but as usual with her social media teases, nothing came of it. Dave Meltzer mentioned in the Observer that at one point there were plans to have her show up in a truck during a Bayley talk show segment, but obviously the plans for a big truck were shifted to Bad Bunny. Gotta say that it feels like a misfire not having Becky return at WrestleMania in front of the live crowd if she’s coming back anytime soon. If she’s not, no big deal, but if she’s a Night After WrestleMania surprise in the ThunderDome, it’s not the same as bringing her out in front of 25,000 people.

As for Ronda, she was rumored to be coming back for this year’s WrestleMania when it was taking place in Los Angeles. Dunno if that means she’ll be back for WrestleMania two years from now or not.

Dabba-Kato Returns

Surely you remember Dabba-Kato from his time on Raw Underground. The big fella hadn’t been seen after the end of those segments until Sunday night, where he re-debuted as Commander Azeez & helped Apollo Crews win the Intercontinental Championship. I would say this pretty much guarantees that he’ll be in line for a big push at the expense of Crews, but it’s not like the rest of Retribution has done anything since they dropped Mustafa Ali like a bad habit.

Here’s my question: The guy’s first name is Babatunde. Why don’t they just go with that? It just rolls off the tongue. No need to give him stuff like Dabba-Kato & Azeez when “Babatunde” is right there.

Mox vs. Gage?

The biggest news to develop from GCW’s Collective weekend involved Jon Moxley making a surprise appearance to confront Nick Gage after Gage re-gained GCW’s championship. Moxley had wrestled against Josh Barnett on another GCW show during the weekend, but this was the first time Moxley & Gage had crossed paths since their glory days in CZW. I don’t know if they consider their CZW days “glory days”, but it seemed like a good phrase to use there.

One expects that it’ll lead to a match between Mox & Gage for GCW, which would be a pretty big deal for them given Mox’s drawing power and the fact that Gage will be the subject of a Dark Side of the Ring episode this season, which starts next month. I also wouldn’t rule out a Nick Gage appearance in AEW, as Tony Khan is a huge fan of people from that era of CZW & AEW has seen nearly everybody else in the business not contracted by WWE make an appearance at some point this year.

That’s all I’ve got for you right now. Later this week we’ll do a Fave Five for April, maybe pick up the Top 5 Quarterbacks by Franchise gimmick where we left off, and whatever else I can think of for wherever else I can think of. Thanks for reading, and keep your stick on the ice.


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Mitchell’s Talking Smack Report! (4/10/21)

A WrestleMania edition Talking Smack!

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WWE Talking Smack

The Grandest Talking Smack of Them All!

Just hours before WrestleMania 37 starts its two night adventure, we have one last round of Talking Smack, and it’s RATED R with EDGE!

 

Kayla Braxton welcomes us back to the show!

It is the morning of WrestleMania 37, night one! Kayla’s so excited, and before we talk about tomorrow night’s Universal Championship Triple Threat, what are Paul Heyman’s thoughts about Jey Uso winning the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal? Heyman is extremely proud of #MainEventJeyUso, “the rightful winner.” Jey is a giant of talent and he proved it by winning the most prestigious annual battle royal that happens on WrestleMania Weekend. True, and yes, it is Mania Weekend. Kayla knows the real focus is on night two and the Triple Threat match, Roman Reigns VS Edge VS Daniel Bryan.

And after last night, where is Roman’s head at? Is he at his most confident? Is he worried after hearing from Edge and Bryan? Heyman seems confused by her line of questioning. He will say this, little disrespect as possible. Heyman is ready for Edge, but let’s get to it! The Rated R Superstar is tonight’s guest! Kayla says the cohost doesn’t get to do that, only she, the main host, gets to do that. Plus, Edge isn’t the first guest, he’ll be here later on. For now, we go to commercial.

 

Talking Smack returns, and Heyman speaks to us.

“It’s WrestleMania Weekend. I get a little carried away sometimes. My apologies.” Kayla makes a snide remark about the “sometimes.” But Heyman tries again. “Ladies and gentlemen, the Rated R Superstar, EDGE!” No! He’s not here yet! Maybe they should mute Heyman just in case. Kayla wants Heyman to relax, we’ve got a weekend of action to get to. Let’s talk tonight, WrestleMania Night One’s Women’s Tag Team Turmoil! Friday was extremely heated, but what does Heyman think? The Riott Squad, Mandy Rose & Dana Brooke, Tamina & Natalya, Billie Kay & Carmella, Naomi & Lana.

Heyman says you could choose anyone from this match, where they all want to be Women’s Tag Team Champions. Do any of THEM think Daniel Bryan legitimately tapped out Roman Reigns? Can we please talk about their match, not Roman’s? Heyman rants on, but Kayla says people are very excited for Tag Team Turmoil. Look at the chaos from last night! The winners of tonight’s match face Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler tomorrow night for the titles! Heyman says Kayla made a great point! Thank you, Kayla, he is now HOOKED. But with that out of the way, the RATED R SUPERSTAR-

NO. Kayla will make a deal with him. She’ll bring out Edge if he talks about one other match. They shake hands, and she brings up Cesaro VS Seth Rollins! Rollins’ return brought up issues and Cesaro was the one that voiced it. How would Heyman handle someone like Cesaro? Someone who, in Rollins’ opinion, disrespected him and his “positive” message. What would Heyman do if he were in Rollins’ shoes?

Heyman isn’t in Rollins’ shoes. He’s in Heyman shoes, as the Special Counsel to the Reigns-ing, Defending, Undisputed, Uncontroverted WWE Universal Heavyweight Champion, THE main event of WrestleMania, Roman Reigns, who will defend his title in a Triple Threat against both Edge and Daniel Bryan, where Roman has to beat either Edge or Bryan, but doesn’t have to lose to lose the title. And Heyman is supposed to talk about the King of Swing, Cesaro, and the Visionary, Rollins? They shook on it. Who will win? Can he at least say that?

The winner will be the winner. And that winner might be in line for a match with the Universal Heavyweight Champion, the winner of THE main event of WrestleMania, Roman Reigns. Kayla says it is up to her when Edge shows up. If Heyman won’t cooperate, they can drag this out all episode. Aw, is Heyman being a bad boy? Will Kayla spank him for misbehaving? Kayla wonders what else there is to talk about. Kayla is going to move things along, and Heyman is sarcastic about putting viewers first for once. They WILL have the Rated R Superstar on Talking Smack, after the break.

 

Talking Smack returns and this is the moment we’ve been waiting for.

Kayla welcomes to Talking Smack, the Rated R Superstar, one third of the main event of WrestleMania, EDGE! Edge walks right up and takes his seat, and he says hi to Kayla. Edge looks at Heyman, Heyman sits up and looks at Edge. Heyman smirks, and congratulates Edge. He offers a handshake, Edge takes it, and Heyman says he means it. This is Edge’s dream. THE main event of WrestleMania. Of course, Edge had this dream in 2020 when he shocked everyone and returned in the Royal Rumble. But who took him out of that dream? Roman Reigns. Roman eliminated Edge from the Rumble, stopped his dream dead in its track.

But to Edge’s massive credit, he spent another year working towards the dream again. And this year, with all the odds against him, Edge started the Royal Rumble, outlasted 29 other hungry participants, and his dream prevailed. Here he is, when no one ever thought he would be. WrestleMania Weekend, THE main event. Heyman offers his respect and admiration to a degree that no words can convey. Edge smiles and says “Paul E,” living dangerously out here. For weeks, Heyman has talked such an immense pile of crap about Edge, but Edge gets it. Edge is here, so it’s a different story. Edge appreciates that. Roman cuts Heyman’s checks as his hype man. Heyman’s gotta feed his kids, and Roman is the meal ticket as “Head of the Table.”

But does Heyman know what Edge does to tables? Edge is the godfather of the TLC match. He puts people through tables and obliterates them. Heyman is talking about Christians but Heyman is Jewish and Edge is Agnostic so what the hell was that about? And then he said Edge would crap his pants out of fear? But Edge can look past all of that because oddly, these two have a lot in common and a lot of people wouldn’t realize that. Edge and Heyman didn’t have a path carved for them, open to them into the industry. No, Edge and Heyman are of the same cloth. They fought to get into this industry.

Heyman faked his credentials! He snuck into Madison Square Garden so he could pick the brains “of the grand wizard, Captain Lou Albano,” and took some of the best wrestling photos in the history of this industry! Edge went to Maple Leaf Gardens, stood at the back door and waited for Demolition, Tito Santana, George “The Animal” Steele, just so he could brush up against their greatness and understand what it took to get this, his dream! Then Edge would sneak in and ask to set up chairs, just to get that close to the ring and touch the canvas and feel it! So he could feel the ropes! Any indie show that came to town, Edge set the ring up and the chairs, just to give himself two minutes in there. Just so he could feel what it was like. Edge knows Heyman understands that!

And Heyman of all people knows what Edge is about. Heyman was one of the first to give Edge a chance. Heyman knows what Edge can do “when the governor has taken off.” The SmackDown Six happened because Heyman had faith in Edge! Heyman knew Edge could have a match with Eddie Guerrero that lives on today in people’s minds! That Edge could team with Rey Mysterio and set the world on fire with possibly the greatest tag team match of all time! Heyman agrees, that is true. Edge then asks Heyman, that knowing all of this, and having such an understanding, does Heyman truly feel like Edge should have fear in him? That Roman tells Heyman the truth?

Roman came out and talked about holding it down for 30 weeks. Edge has been holding it down for 30 YEARS! Those were taken away from him for nine, and he fought with every ounce of his being, of his soul, to get back here! Edge cools off to say he appreciates Heyman, and he understands what Heyman is doing. But Edge is never, ever going to agree with him. Heyman deep down doesn’t, either. Edge sets his mic down to let that sink in, and we go to break.

 

Talking Smack returns, and Edge is still at the table.

Heyman pats Edge on the shoulder, and says Edge’s theme song has this line, “You think you know me?” Heyman does know Edge. Heyman knows he knows Edge. Heyman knows nothing is going to stop Edge, and that is what scares Heyman. That’s why now that we’re here at WrestleMania Weekend, Heyman might crap his pants. Heyman’s father taught him the story of the carrot and the stick. You dangle the carrot in front of the horse because that’s what it wants. That is the lure. Nine years, 364 days ago, Edge was forced into retirement. “My GOD, no one can write this story!” Ten years to the DAY, Edge main events WrestleMania in a Universal Championship match, the spiritual successor to the title he never lost.

And if Edge wanted to go public and show the world all the messages he received that very night, how many of his contemporaries wrote to him, “I’m so sorry. Oh my God, this is a tragedy! How awful this is! How terrible this is! I’m sorry, I wish this wasn’t happening to you.” How many? Not Heyman. Heyman can’t help but chuckle when he thinks back, because he wrote, “Great promo, kid. First day of your miraculous comeback to live out your dreams.” And Heyman didn’t hear from Edge for about two days and thought he upset Edge. Edge finally wrote back, “Paul, my dream is to main event WrestleMania. And I will live out my dream, I promise you.”

Heyman does know Edge. Heyman knew nothing would ever stop Edge from living that dream. Not a fused neck, not a number of surgeries, not the advice of doctors, not even his wife’s pleas to stay out of the ring. Heyman knew nothing could stop Edge from living out his dream. “You know what happens tomorrow night? You live out your dream. You do. And the best part of it is, everyone gets to share that moment with you. Because in front of a LIVE crowd, you will stand in the ring, in the main event of WrestleMania, and the ring announcer will say, ‘Ladies and gentlemen, one of the contenders. In this corner, the winner of the 2021 Royal Rumble, Edge!'”

And what happens next? Ding ding ding, because Edge has lived his dream. He made it to the main event, but reality will BITCH SLAP him across the face, because in another of those corners, it isn’t the carrot. That is when the horse realizes the carrot is soured. Across the ring is the stick, ROMAN REIGNS. Roman is the reality that Edge will witness when he wakes up from his dream. Here’s the problem: Heyman does know Edge. And Heyman knows that if there is a breath left in Edge’s body, nothing will stop him from becoming Universal Champion tomorrow night.

But Heyman also knows Roman Reigns, and what being Tribal Chief means to him, and what being Head of the Table means to him, and what being the End All Be All means to him, and what being WWE Universal Champion means to him. Heyman knows that if Roman has to take that last breath from Edge’s body, that’s what he’ll do. Heyman knows it’ll be a massacre. It’ll be a beating so bad, Edge needs to understand what Roman is capable of. Roman’s in his prime, at his best, and that he is merciless! It’s to the point to where when Edge gets home and tells his children what it means to go for their dreams, and then hugs them tight, he won’t be able to feel it! Roman will take that from Edge! That is how bad it’ll be.

Heyman does know Edge, and likes him, respects him, admires him, and wishes his children aspired to be like him and live out their dreams at all costs. But the price Edge is going to pay to live a dream, Heyman says that is not worth it. Heyman gives Edge a hug, and says, “I am so sorry for what Roman Reigns will do to you tomorrow night. I’m sorry.” Heyman pats Edge on the back and says he is sorry it has to end this way for Edge. Heyman wishes he could stop this, but he can’t. There’s no counsel Heyman can offer Roman that will stop him from doing what he has to do to stop Edge. Heyman takes a deep breath and sits down, but Edge gets his mic back.

Edge pats Heyman on the back and head, and is forehead to forehead as he says, “Paul. I once crawled over to make the cover in a match while my arm was turning gray and smoking and bubbling from second degree burns, with barbed wire punctures in my stomach, and thumbtacks lodged into every part of my body, AFTER diving face first into a flaming table, just to mark my territory and to show that I belong in the main event of WrestleMania. I did all of that just to show that I deserve to be in the main event of WrestleMania. So what do you think I will do, and what depths do you think I will find, when I am in the main event of WrestleMania?”

Thanks for the warning, Edge appreciates it, but Heyman knows what Edge is capable of because he sees it in Heyman’s eyes and smells it coming off of him. Edge is not normal, Heyman, and you know that. See you tomorrow, see your Tribal Chief and Bryan, and Edge will take back what is HIS. Edge backs away to storm off the set. Heyman is stunned silent, and Kayla has no idea what to say. Will there be no words come THE main event of WrestleMania Weekend?


My Thoughts:

WOW, this was an awesome episode. Only one guest in Edge, but both he and Heyman just put on a masterclass of promos. It does help that there’s a lot of history here but the passion was great, too. Heyman was great with how impatient he was, and how he kept trying to redirect to the Triple Threat, and then both he and Edge had even great emotional looks as they went through their interaction. I just knew Heyman was going to turn things from putting Edge over to burying him as he put Roman over.

They did forget Bryan is in the mix, but something makes me think that’s the point. This was “meant” to be Roman VS Edge, they still see it as such, Bryan could still be the fall guy so there’s a winner without weakening Roman or Edge. Bryan can respond just by firing off first and tearing into both guys early in the match. But Edge bringing up that insane Hardcore match with Mick Foley, and a Triple Threat being No Disqualifications by default, I almost hope things escalate to where tables, chairs, and whatever else shows up and adds to this match, as it is the biggest match and it’d fit how big they’ve been hyping it up.


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