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Mitchell’s Talking Smack Report! (5/15/21)

PPV weekend has Talking Smack!

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WWE Talking Smack

It’s WrestleMania Talking Smack-lash!

Statement makers, bone breakers, title takers, smack talkers! Natalya & Tamina are here after becoming the NEW WWE Women’s Tag Champions!

 

Kayla Braxton welcomes us back to the show!

We’re just a day away from #WrestleManiaBacklash, and we all want to know: will we see new champions emerge? Kayla asks Paul Heyman how he’s doing, and he says he’s stressed to the max. Kayla would be, too, because it looked Roman Reigns was stressed at the end of Friday Night SmackDown. Heyman says Roman is not stressed at all, but Heyman being Jewish, as you know, makes him the Ultimate Worrier. Jewish people stress at all times, because that’s what they do. Heyman takes care of all the stress, takes it off Roman’s plate so he doesn’t have to. That’s on the record. “Thank you, Mr. Heyman. You’re welcome, Kayla. I have answered you question. Next.”

Well, none of that happened but alright. Kayla wants to make a “Kayla’s Corner” segment since Heyman never wants to talk about anything other than Roman Reigns. So Heyman can sit there and look pretty while she does a quick rundown. Rey Mysterio defeated Dolph Ziggler 1v1 before the SmackDown Tag Team Championship match at Backlash. This could be the first time a father and son become tag team champions, so that’s very exciting! Surely we’re all hoping The Dirty Dawgs “nip it,” as it were. Heyman says he takes no vested interest in the tag division. Yes, because he only cares about Roman. No, because he has no money on the line.

But why does Kayla wish the Mysterios well but not Ziggler & Roode? The same reason Heyman always favors Roman. Because her livelihood depends on it? Because she’s Special Counsel to them? Kayla points out how last week, all Heyman wanted to talk about was her bias. Does Kayla have the hots for Dominik? C’mon, you can tell him. Is he your papi? Kayla loves seeing history being made, and that could happen at Backlash. That is what she wants to see. So moving on, Bayley will have a chance at regaining the SmackDown Women’s title against Bianca Belair, and it’s anyone’s game. Bayley is one of the best ever, but Bianca’s been on an awesome roll.

Heyman is beyond intrigued by this match. Kayla sighs and Heyman defends he just said something nice! All the time, he comes out here and says he’s a big fan of someone. He’s a big fan of Bayley, Ding Dong Hello, and is a huge admirer of Bianca’s talents. Heyman doesn’t know who will win, just like Kayla said. In a game of pick ’em, he can’t pick. Therefore, he is intrigued. This is something that would make him as a viewer want to watch Backlash on Peacock. But no, Kayla can’t be satisfied. Heyman tells Dominik to run home to San Diego because Kayla is no bueno.

Kayla can’t believe Heyman’s talked this much. He’s never talked this much to start Talking Smack. Maybe it was something he drank. But Kayla says we’re just a day away from a great SmackDown Women’s Championship match. But speaking of, we saw a great women’s title match and history made on SmackDown! Welcome the NEW WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions!

Natalya & Tamina join Talking Smack!

Kayla says it is about time Natty & Tamina have gold! They have a lot to say so Kayla says congratulations. She asks how satisfying it feels, after having put the entire Women’s Division on notice, that they won these belts. Natty says they were talking and said that destiny is always chasing. Natty always knew she’d be champion in her career. But Natty & Tamina were never supposed to have these tag titles. They manifested their wildest dreams, and have them now because they earned them! That’s what feels so good about this. Natty said it on SmackDown that these titles, this win, it’s a message to anyone and everyone that’s ever had a dream that they felt has passed them by.

It’s never too late, don’t stop, keep fighting with all your heart and those dreams can come true! They did that on SmackDown, and this is just a great feeling to know that good things happen to good people. Kayla put on social media that the two of them are veterans of this locker room. Natty & Tamina are locker room leaders, they’ve seen it all these last 10 years. Tamina herself, first gold in WWE since arriving in WWE. First and foremost, Tamina thanks Natty for believing in her, for taking her side, and for respecting her in knowing they could do this. And second, Tamina thanks her family, her kids, for them all giving her the opportunity and sharing her with the WWE Universe.

No one knows how much this means to Tamina that they got to share this moment. Thank you to her father, Jimmy Snuka, for showing her how beautiful this place could be. That it is amazing. It helps you live your dreams and become something you want to be. And then thank you to the WWE Universe for sharing this moment with them. Thank you to the people behind the scenes that made this happen. Tamina cannot thank us enough for what it means to her. Tamina absolutely loves every single one of us from the bottom of her heart. Thank you for everything they accomplished. Tamina and Natty both get emotional, and Tamina can’t put it into words other than, “Thank you all.”

Kayla is feeling the emotions, and to take a bit of a turn before they can go celebrate. What do the new champs want to say to those coming for them now? Natty says these belts are a passport to every single corner of the WWE! NXT, Raw, SmackDown, hell even NXT UK. Natty & Tamina have a passport to represent. So EVERYONE is on notice. Everyone from the Riott Squad to the Ravishing Glow to the #SexyMuscleFriends. Hell, if Nia & Shayna wanna play again, Natty & Tamina are more than happy to entertain them. Kayla again says congratulations and says we are all so proud. Now, go celebrate! Kayla needs tissues. How about Heyman? Maybe he can just use his handkerchief. But still to come, Big E and the new voice of SmackDown, Pat McAfee!

 

Pat McAfee joins Talking Smack!

Kayla notes that their next guest is a “pretty cool dude” with a lot of great stuff here and there. The Pat McAfee Show, he’s done guest commentary for ESPN College Game Day, is a two-time All Pro punter in the NFL, and so on. But he’s also on SmackDown commentary, and McAfee thanks her for the introduction. It is an honor to be here, not just because this is PPV weekend, but because Michael Cole has never been on Talking Smack. This is an award winning show and Cole’s “lame ass” has never been invited. It is an honor to be here with Heyman and Kayla, they’re doing a fantastic job.

How has he enjoyed being on SmackDown commentary? McAfee loves it! Obviously he made fun of Cole but working with him is a dream come true, too. Heyman knows how good that is. Because of Heyman and Kayla, SmackDown is the best show in sports entertainment. That’s real. He just gets to sit, watch, and react. That’s living the dream for a lot of people, and he’s having a blast on Fox on Fridays. Kayla says he is doing a great job. McAfee isn’t so sure about that. There are times when he sits up, almost steps on Heyman. He thought it was going to be a Nigerian Medal of Honor Ceremony, but then Kayla and Heyman talked backstage. McAfee knows he’ll make mistakes but he’s having a great time.

Kayla says while McAfee’s here, a day away from Backlash, she’d love to get McAfee’s thoughts on the matches set. Heyman wants to talk about the most important one, the biggest match available. Kayla says they’ll get to that match but first they have others. Why not? Because this is not Talking Paul, this is Talking Smack. There are things they have to get to. McAfee is pumped up to see EST VS Role Model. Bianca VS Bayley, what a build! Bayley said on SmackDown that looking at Bianca, it’s almost like looking at her younger self, all the mistakes and immaturities. Bianca is born for this, McAfee feels she’ll kick Bayley’s ass, but Bayley will do everything she can to win.

Heyman doesn’t want this to continue. Heyman turns to look at McAfee. He watches McAfee’s show, it is good, and it was his first exposure to McAfee because Heyman doesn’t watch football, “because it’s predetermined.” Oh, understandable. Heyman says this is a situation where The Tribal Chief, the End All Be All, Head of the Table, will defend his WWE Universal Heavyweight Championship. Heyman knows McAfee is complimentary to Roman. This is McAfee’s chance. Look into the camera here and acknowledge Roman. McAfee says to Heyman, who is right here, that he’d rather talk to Heyman, even though he does like looking into the camera because he looks so good.

Heyman wants him to acknowledge Roman and how will defeat Cesaro, but McAfee points out that Heyman alluded to it himself. Has McAfee not acknowledged Roman more than anyone else on commentary ever? We could go back, there are some #PaulHeymanGuys out there, and Heyman is Roman’s Special Counsel. But McAfee feels like he’s a #RomanReignsGuy. Heyman can’t always hear commentary, but McAfee is honored to call Heyman, Roman, Jey, and whatever’s going on with Jimmy. Don’t touch. Sorry, he got excited. But McAfee has been very supportive.

Then acknowledge him! Say that tomorrow, at Backlash, the WWE Universal Heavyweight Champion, Roman Reigns, will defend his title successfully against Cesaro. Begin. Okay, McAfee can’t remember all that. But at the end of SmackDown, McAfee was being very supportive. Heyman was on the McAfee Show, he was a great guest, even with the bad internet service. But at the age of 3, Roman was in the locker room and Heyman just knew that was the future. McAfee first saw Roman when McAfee as a West Virginia Mountaineer faced Georgia Tech in a bowl game. Roman was picking up humans and dumping them on their heads!

Heyman just said he doesn’t care about football. You could talk about the Harlem Globetrotters for all he cares! But he wants McAfee to say the Tribal Chief will successfully defend his WWE Universal Championship against Cesaro at #WrestleManiaBacklash. Three, two, one, action! McAfee says his team won the game against Georgia Tech. And he’s not Heyman’s puppet! He isn’t going to do what Heyman wants. McAfee’s a commentator, so he can just commentate! Jessie Ventura is rolling over in his gave and he’s not even dead yet! McAfee says The Body Ventura loves McAfee, and he didn’t deserve that. The argument continues on as Talking Smack cuts away!

 

Big E joins Talking Smack!

Big E has a mallet. He just found it. He promises he won’t use it, he just wanted to make sure someone knew. Don’t worry, Heyman. Big E rests his feet up on the table at full leg extension and apologizes if he’s too close to Heyman now. It’s good to be back, he’s been away from Talking Smack but he’s here. Heyman looks good. Heyman says this looks like a scene out of Basic Instinct. Oh right, Sharon Stone and the crossed legs. Is that the vibe he’s getting right now? Didn’t know they had this kind of relationship? Is this where Heyman’s supposed to say, “Hey, Big E, nice hammer.” That’s too much. Says Big E putting his feet up in a V formation! Heyman is somehow too much.

Kayla says they need to get going so she asks about next week’s Fatal 4 Way for the WWE Intercontinental Championship! What are his thoughts on this match? He’s into it. His issue is “Fatal” is always a misnomer. No one is gonna die. That’s not on the docket. But this is not a friendly four. There needs to be a new term that’s less than fatal but more than unfriendly. He wants the title but prays no one dies. Big E has a lot of momentum to reclaim. He sees it as he had Uncle Mo in his house and he got to kiss Uncle Mo’s bald head and get some good luck, and that helped him.

But then Azeez and Apollo kicked down the door, got Mo under their arms and ran off with him, and so Uncle Mo isn’t in Big E’s house anymore. Heyman lets Big E use his bald head. Thank you, Paul! Big E’s winning now! It’s set in stone! Did not expect that gesture. But Big E is gonna get the belt back. Who would’ve thought Big E would lose in his hometown? How often does that happen? But Big E is getting back on track. Heyman says if Big E does win, he owes Heyman. Owes him how? Things Heyman’s alluded to before aren’t happening. BUT, Big E will say that once he reclaims Uncle Mo, gets back on track and becomes a three-time Intercontinental Champion…

Which, by the way, people sleep on that first reign. That was many moons ago but it was still a thing. Big E was a young man, with a lot of hope and not jaded. It was a different time. But Big E will get back on track, get the title back, beat challenger after challenger and get going again, ya boi will be on PPV’s, SummerSlam, defense after defense, and is six, eight, nine months in, WrestleMania in 2022, Big E will be facing Roman Reigns for that Universal Championship, hopefully he’ll be champion then. Big E walks out Double Champion! Big E thinks LONG TERM! Short term, we have trouble. Short term, there are things to overcome.

But long term, Big E will be a champion you can be proud of, that you deserve! Big E will beat the Baron Corbins of the world, the Aleister Blacks of the world, and step into Mania and say, “ROMAN REIGNS, I WANT WHAT YOU GOT!” Big E will be double champion, thank you very much! Kayla is pumped up and Big E heads out. Heyman says they need to be careful with the glass table. “It’s a bad day, yes it is.”

 

Talking Smack returns for Paul Heyman’s time.

“I was asked before this show went on the air if I would like to say a few words about the passing of ECW Original, New Jack.” Heyman avoids eulogies as best he can, because any time he’s faced with them, he thinks, “Hey, this sucks, and there’s no good spin I can put on it.” When Heyman heard that New Jack passed, Heyman had hoped New Jack turned to his wife and said, “Hey, I’d like to read my own obituary. Call a bunch of people and tell them that I died, and then everybody’s gonna make a big fuss about it and I’ll read about my own life.” And then after selling a bunch of shirts, he’d go, “Gotcha!” because that’s what New Jack would do. But it seems that’s not the case. And that sucks.

And usually, when you pay tribute to someone in the WWE, you show a lot of footage about that person. To be blunt, WWE can’t show footage of New Jack, “because he was THE most non-PG performer in sports entertainment history. Because New Jack was a gangsta. And everybody who was a fan of ECW, that came to see ECW, who watched ECW knew that fact from the moment his music hit. And no, we never had rights to use his music. Why? Because as an organization, we were gangstas, and New Jack was the most gangstas of all of us gangstas.” But 20 years ago, if you had seen New Jack live, heard him cut a promo, you understood how real he was.

Heyman sighs and says, “Jerome Young was quite an individual. And deep in his heart, he was every bit of New Jack that he could offer you. I wish you all a most extreme weekend, gangsta style.” Heyman throws up the X to let you know this is a shoot, and Talking Smack signs off.


My Thoughts:

What a powerful episode. Natty & Tamina had a great segment, they got emotional and even I felt a bit emotional with talk of still fighting for your dream. McAfee’s segment was hilarious, and I think it was great that it just cut away to a break without anything being resolved. This could hint at a unique take on a commentator getting involved in a feud. Good ol’ JR was a Stone Cold supporter and got attacked by Rikishi, Jerry “The King” Lawler came out of retirement long enough to have a match with Edge, and then again against Heel Michael Cole in a rather awful feud. McAfee could get deeper involved with this Roman Reigns story somehow, or even in both those ways. He could get assaulted by Jey on Roman’s behalf and then retaliate since he’s had in-ring experience already through NXT.

Big E had both a hilarious segment and a very charismatic segment that really hypes up the Intercontinental Championship match next week. Even his point about a “Fatal 4 Way” never being fatal in the literal term was something to think about. And Heyman using the very last segment not to put Roman over but to share his thoughts on Jerome “New Jack” Young was another emotional moment. While I don’t know if I’d personally watch the classic ECW, it is a shame no one in the USA who would want to can find those moments because Peacock keeps it PG while the WWE Network has everything and it is up to the viewers what to watch and not watch.


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Greg DeMarco’s Ratings Analysis for WWE Monday Night Raw (5/23/2022): All About The Top 5 On Cable

Greg DeMarco has your May 23 WWE Monday Night Raw ratings–and more importantly analysis. What does it really mean? Read and see!

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Greg DeMarco has your May 23 WWE Monday Night Raw ratings–and more importantly analysis. What does it really mean? Read and see!

We now have your ratings for the May 23 edition of WWE Monday Night Raw, and it’s a good look for WWE. Net’s start with the specifics:

  • Hour #1 – 1.846 million viewers, .42 in the all important 18-49 demographic, ranked #4 among all shows for the night on cable
  • Hour #2 – 1.821 million viewers, .43 demo, ranked #2 for cable
  • Hour #3 – 1.530 million viewers, .38 demo, ranked #5 for cable

(Available via ShowbuzzDaily)

WWE Monday Night Raw Numbers for Nerds (like me)…

Here are your averages for Raw:

  • 1.732 million viewers per hour
  • .41 demo rating
  • 3.6 ranking average (occupying 3 of the Top 5 spots for the night)

Let’s take a look at the change over last week, shall we?

  • -71k average viewers over last week’s average of1.803 million (-3.93%)
  • -.20 in the demo rating over last week’s .61 average (-.2)
  • average ranking of #2 among all cable shows for the night last Monday (#1, #2, and #3)

What does it all mean, Greg?

It has to be terrible, right? a perceived 33% drop in the demo? That’s TERRIBLE.

Nope. Not at all. Factors to consider:

  • Last Monday Raw was not opposed by NBA basketball or NHL hockey–and it finished #1 through #3
  • This Monday saw the NBA playoffs on ABC (while on network, would still grab viewers and share from Raw), and the NHL playoffs on Turner (the NHL is doing amazing playoff numbers since moving to Turner).
  • The only programming to beat WWE Monday Night Raw was live sports. They beat everything else.

While I always preach that we cannot compare network numbers to cable numbers (we can’t), it’s important to remember that live sports will still pull eyeballs from Raw

One thing to consider for next week: Memorial Day Weekend, where people are headed out of town. We might get a Shark Tank rerun, and I can expect a dip in viewership. But given the loyalty of wrestling fans, the holiday weekend might actually cause WWE Smackdown On FOX to finish #1 for the night on the network.

Another thing to consider is that when I was looking at r

Why is the ranking the most important stat to consider?

For WWE Monday Night Raw, advertisers are going to primarily look at one thing (this applies to all TV show ratings, outside of live sports): how did you finish against your competition on the same night, on the same medium. For Raw, this means all other network shows on Friday night. What you can’t do is compare to last year, or decades ago during the Monday Night Wars. No one with any actual decision making powers cares about that, so why should we?


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Greg DeMarco’s Ratings Analysis for WWE Smackdown On FOX (5/20/2022): #2 Among Network Shows

Greg DeMarco chimes in with your May 20 WWE Smackdown ratings. What does it really tell us? Greg tells you!

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WWE Smackdown On Fox

Greg DeMarco chimes in with your May 20 WWE Smackdown ratings. What does it really tell us? Greg tells you!

We now have your April 30 edition of WWE Smackdown ratings, and it’s not the best news. Let’s start with the breakdown:

  • 2.031 million viewers
  • .45 rating in the all important 18-49 demographic
  • ranked #2 among all network shows for the night (behind ABC’s Shark Tank)

(Available via ShowbuzzDaily)

WWE Smackdown On FOX Numbers for Nerds (like me)…

Let’s take a look at the change over last week, shall we?

  • +138k viewers over last week’s 1.893 million (+7.29%)
  • +.5 in the demo rating over last week’s .40
  • ranked #2 among all network shows for the night last Friday (behind ABC’s Shark Tank)

What does it all mean, Greg?

What does it mean? It means it was a good week! Positive change in the viewership and demo rating, but most importantly finishing #2 in the demo for the week.

Any other factors to consider:

  • ESPN had two NBA Conference Semifinal games on Friday night, one of which overlapped WWE Smackdown On FOX
  • Turner had three NHL Conference Quarterfinal games on Friday night, two of which overlapped WWE Smackdown On FOX
  • All of the above listed games finished in the top ten, but for cable

While it’s not the same medium (cable instead of network), it’s going to pull viewers from Smackdown due to the nature of the populations that watch. They are not directly competition, but something to be considered when looking at the results. Keep in mind that Smackdown improved those metrics week over week, against that competition.

One thing to consider for next week: Memorial Day Weekend, where people are headed out of town. We might get a Shark Tank rerun, and I can expect a dip in viewership. But given the loyalty of wrestling fans, the holiday weekend might actually cause WWE Smackdown On FOX to finish #1 for the night on the network.

Why is the ranking the most important stat to consider?

For WWE Smackdown On FOX, advertisers are going to primarily look at one thing (this applies to all TV show ratings, outside of live sports*): how did you finish against your competition on the same night, on the same medium. For Smackdown, this means all other network shows on Friday night. What you can’t do is compare to last year, or decades ago during the Monday Night Wars. No one with any actual decision making powers cares about that, so why should we?

*Yes, WWE Smackdown On Fox (and Monday Night Raw) is live, but it’s not a sport. At least not for the networks, who are provided with 52 weeks of episodic programming that consistently delivers. Live sporting leagues don’t run 52 weeks/year, and more of a special event than RAW or Smackdown.


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