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Mitchell’s Talking Smack Report! (1/30/21)

Talking Smack is COMIIIIN~!



WWE Talking Smack

Talking Smack is ready to rumble!

This might be the biggEST episode of Talking Smack yet! Bianca Belair, Daniel Bryan and the Alpha Academy’s Chad Gable and Otis are COMIIIN~!


Kayla Braxton welcomes us to the show!

Just a day away from Royal Rumble 2021, and SmackDown had all the buzz! Paul Heyman is also getting touched up but it’s showtime. Heyman says just because Kayla doesn’t finish her make-up before they go on doesn’t mean he can’t. But that aside, Kayla keeps things moving and brings up what we saw on Friday. Not just the “face to face” of Roman Reigns and Kevin Owens, we saw Bianca Belair defeat the longest reigning SmackDown Women’s Champion ever, the first-ever Women’s Grand Slam Champion, and a favorite in the Women’s Rumble, Bayley!

Then AJ Styles returned to SmackDown and clashed with Daniel Bryan, and it all turned into mayhem, with BRAUN STROWMAN capping it off by laying waste to everyone! Is he in the Rumble? We’ll see on Sunday, but what are Heyman’s thoughts? “And I don’t care.” Heyman says it’s about time people understood his position. Heyman isn’t in the business of SmackDown or Raw or NXT, or even in the WWE. He is in the Roman Reigns business. He serves as Special Counsel to the sun in which the WWE Universe orbits around! Roman IS our solar heat that warms this entire product, and his heat permeates and generates PPV buys, Network subscriptions, this very show and all television licenses that drive the WWE’s stock up.

“WWE revolves around Roman Reigns, and I am honored and privileged to serve as his Special Counsel.” Even Kayla and everyone she mentioned are supported by The Head of the Table. Anything that involves Roman, Heyman is involved in. Heyman only cares about how things affect Roman Reigns, our Reigning, Defending, Undisputed, Universal Heavyweight Champion, who will be THE Last Man Standing against Kevin Owens! Heyman likes Kevin, respects and admires him, and he will miss Kevin here on SmackDown.

Because after Roman is done with Kevin, we will watch the Men’s Rumble match. And Heyman says the winner of that will surely not choose the WWE World Champion, whether it is Drew McIntyre or Goldberg. “If you want to main event WrestleMania, you will step into the ring against the Universal Champion, Roman… Reigns…!” Interesting how he said that, because their first guest tonight vows to win the Rumble and main event Mania!

Daniel Bryan joins Talking Smack!

Bryan has a new shirt, a tree shaped like the Yes finger. Bryan is not a shill as far as his merchandise, but this particular shirt is all reused material and all proceeds goes to planting trees. Now he doesn’t usually condone buying shirts you don’t need, but if it plants a tree, why not? Speaking of nature, Bryan loved Heyman’s solar system metaphor. Bryan loves science and space. What’s Heyman’s favorite planet? If Roman is the Sun, then Heyman is Uranus! Fist bump with Kayla! But obviously Bryan heard what Heyman said and Heyman assumes the winner will and should want Roman Reigns at Mania. Bryan has wanted to win the Rumble, so what is his response?

Bryan says Heyman can have his own opinion, and Bryan has always been interested in those opinions. Heyman is a genius when it comes to pro-wrestling. But the hard part is finding Heyman’s true opinion. Heyman says things, but Bryan wants to ask man to man that Heyman be truthful. Bryan is on the tail-end of a full-time career. Was there ever a point in Bryan’s career where Heyman thought Bryan was THE best? Heyman hesitates to answer. Bryan will sit here and wait in silence. They will make Heyman answer this. “Yes and no.” Heyman worried that Bryan was the best, meaning that their interests would conflict.

Heyman will bet, on any given night, that Bryan can be the best. Just because Bryan sees his career as winding down doesn’t mean Heyman does. Heyman thinks if Bryan gets a taste of glory again, if he tastes the Mania main event again, Bryan would be intoxicated. Bryan will want it over and over again, “Yes, yes, yes.” On the night Bryan steps into the ring with Roman, if Bryan is the best that evening, “we’re screwed.” Is Bryan the best right now? No, Roman is the VERY best of the best. Does Heyman worry that he’s wrong and that Bryan can prove on any given night HE is the best? Yes. Bryan appreciates that, but there are some things he got wrong, and it has to do with motivation.

Bryan is not interested in the glory. He is not interested in the adulation of the fans, despite loving the yes chants. Bryan loved when they were at the Performance Center, in front of zero fans, with zero noise, and just wrestling. Do you know what made Bryan love him? If Heyman remembers the 2015 Royal Rumble, it was in Philadelphia, Bryan lost but Roman won. Bryan was in the match maybe five minutes. When Roman won, the fans booed. The Rock congratulated Roman and put him over as the man, and got booed. Bryan has a theory as to why.

“I think you’re right, Roman Reigns might be the best right now. He’s performing at a whole different level than everybody else. But he doesn’t wrestle with his heart. It’s a façade, it always has been. He came out there, when he debuted in this company, wearing a bulletproof vest, so you couldn’t see his heart.” Bryan’s theory is that the fans connect with Bryan because he puts his heart out there. That happened on SmackDown. Bryan’s been wrestling for 21 years. You go out there for 30 minutes, 45 minutes, a lot of guys in this business as long as he has would be on the apron. Bryan gets in there to go after The Miz, who he absolutely hates, because there’s no place he’d rather be. The difference is not who is the best or who wants it more, it’s about who fights with heart.

Bryan doesn’t know if you can tell how passionate he is about this. There’s a simple joy to it. The fact Bryan is willing to NOT do it shows you how much he loves his family. But before moving on, Bryan will give it his best. Now, Roman insolates himself with his family but that’s not Bryan! Bryan likes to have fun and experience new things! Life is about new experiences, and that’s why Bryan has been training with the ALPHA ACADEMY!

Chad Gable and Otis join Talking Smack! Though, not necessarily as official guests. Bryan explains Gable has been showing Bryan and Otis how to use their hips! Really get in there! DRIVE INSIDE! Can Otis show Heyman how they use their hips? Otis waistlocks and pumps! What will that do? That’ll toss so many men over the top rope! That’ll toss off so many men at the Rumble! And Gable is a great trainer! He has been having Bryan do 15 sets of dead lifts every other day! Bryan’s hips and glutes are so strong! The only person Bryan is worried about with stronger hips is big bad Otis. Otis has explosive hips! Kayla says their time total has come to an end, but Bryan gets the guys to show off their Three Amigos hip dance! HUWAH!

Bianca Belair joins Talking Smack!

Not much of a segue but Heyman is happy to see Bianca. He’s happy to see anyone else after what just happened. Heyman asks if Kayla notices that every time Bryan shows up, Heyman leaves the show all black ‘n’ blue. And this time, with an HR complaint. Well Kayla hopes talking about Bianca showing up and showing out will help him. Bianca has had a week! The WWE Chronicle special debuted, and the response has been so great. Bianca is so grateful to have a platform to tell her story and not be bragging or feeding her ego. Fans can connect and there is a purpose. They’ve shared their stories and it is great. Bianca has had time to reflect and be so happy and grateful she is where she is.

Kayla says Bianca is on top of the world, has she had time to process it? She beat the longest reigning SmackDown Women’s Champion! Bianca realizes what that means, but she’s just so happy with everything. Being on SmackDown, new kid on the block, and telling she is The EST, and now she’s showing and proving it! Who else would you want to do that against but Bayley? After everything with that obstacle course, Bayley being so rude, Bayley deserved it. Bianca is excited to use this momentum going forward. She will need that in her return to the Women’s Rumble after a great debut last year, eliminating 8 women and setting a record!

Is her rivalry with Bayley put on the backburner to handle the task at hand? Or will it continue in the Rumble? Bianca says the match is unpredictable, but Bayley being one of those 29 other women, she’ll come back with a vengeance and Bianca will be watching out for her. But that’s what’s great about the Rumble match. Bayley will try to one-up Bianca, but there’s also Shayna Baszler, who also eliminated 8, so Bianca’s going for 9! Bianca wants the record all to herself. Kayla says Bianca is writing history and is excited to see the next page. Good luck! Bianca is thankful and heads out.

AJ Styles and Omos join Talking Smack!

The Brand to Brand Invitation seems to continue even to Talking Smack! The Phenomenal One is back and compliments Kayla on looking good. She didn’t have as much confidence back then but hopefully she won’t let anyone down. But what was it like for him to return to SmackDown? Styles tells Heyman he doesn’t need to stare at Omos, this is one guy you don’t want to upset. Heyman shakes Styles’ hand and says Roman isn’t here, and he is no threat to Styles. If Kayla gets jumpy, Heyman has Styles’ back. Omos is intimidating enough. Oh, would Heyman feel better if Omos left or- No, no, Heyman welcomes him. “My GOD are you huge!” Well where Styles goes, Omos goes. Rightfully so.

People say things like Omos is a bodyguard. No no, Omos is more like a bouncer if things get out of control. Omos hasn’t done anything wrong, he’s just Styles’ good friend. Then by all means, continue. Styles and Omos will share their story one day, but the focus is the Rumble. Styles has a plan, and a good one. Styles has never won the Rumble but he’s only been in two. Third time’s the charm. Styles will go after a championship. It could be the WWE World, or the WWE Universal Championship. Styles has not yet decided. But when he does, he’ll let Heyman know. Heyman is interested in that. A vested interest.

Because all due respect, cards on the table, Styles has faced Roman before, and Roman won. In fact, the impossible mountain to climb has been Roman. Admittedly, never has Styles had “these resources” at his disposal, and Styles has been on a tear on Raw. The way Heyman would view things, as Special Counsel, is that if or when Styles wins, Styles could announce it on Monday who he goes after. It could be McIntyre or Goldberg, whoever wins, because that doesn’t matter. Or Styles could wait until Friday, because the Rumble winner main events Mania. Not a prediction but a spoiler, the main event will feature Roman Reigns. To challenge Roman is to main event Mania.

Heyman wants that to happen for some selfish reasons. Styles is rightfully recognized around the world as THE best in-ring performer of this generation. The words, “Best, greatest, number one,” should all be copyrighted and trademarked for Roman, but Roman can’t lay claim to that until he steps into the ring with AJ Styles and defeats AJ Styles. To Heyman, if Styles, when Styles, wins the Rumble match, Styles VS Roman for the Universal Championship in the main event of WrestleMania is not just box office gold, that’s box office PLATINUM. Styles agrees. It sounds good to him and Omos. But it is Styles’ decision, and he will make that decision, either Monday or Friday.

Let’s just say he chooses the Universal Championship, and then Styles beats Roman at Mania, and Roman is no longer the Head of the Table, no longer the alpha. What that means ultimately is Heyman will be out of a job. And nothing would make Styles happier than seeing Heyman out of a job. What’s Omos think? Sounds good to him, too. Styles wishes Kayla and Heyman a happy weekend, then he heads out. Omos steps up a little closer to Heyman and Heyman leans away. Heyman says Kayla isn’t moving because she likes Omos scaring Heyman. But that’s it for Talking Smack this week!

My Thoughts:

A very good Talking Smack, with some good surprise guests. Of course, all the guests were a surprise to me, there was no advertisement for Talking Smack during SmackDown. Heyman was again very good in each of his promos, and the interaction with Bryan and Styles was good stuff to tease the various match-ups. I said for the SmackDown article that it feels like the Men’s Rumble winner will be from SmackDown, and they keep making it seem like it’ll be Bryan. Bryan’s promo makes for great story between him and Roman, about wrestling with heart versus wrestling for pride. Bryan made a great foil against Kofi Kingston, he’ll be just as good against Roman.

Styles teasing he could choose either is a good move, too, because there needs to be something up in the air to make the road to WrestleMania more fun. And Bianca had a good though a bit short segment, but she was mostly repeating what she did her best to say on SmackDown. I really feel there can be a good bit between her and Bayley during the Rumble, and I think the main thing that’d keep Bianca from winning will be Bayley, even if Bayley has to cheat to do it. Then Bayley, Bianca, and any four other women on SmackDown can get in on the Elimination Chamber, and maybe Bianca eliminates the majority of opponents in that, paralleling when Shayna Baszler ran the table.

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AEW Coverage

Mitchell’s AEW Continental Classic Update! (11/27/23)

What a start to the tournament!



Did your picks win points?

The AEW Continental Classic is underway, with almost everyone competing. Check in here if you haven’t seen the winners and losers of week 1!

Here are your Gold League standings!

  • Jon Moxley: 1-0, 3 points
  • Swerve Strickland: 1-0, 3 points
  • Jay White: 1-0, 3 points
  • Rush: 0-1, 0 points
  • Mark Briscoe: 0-1, 0 points.
  • Jay Lethal: 0-1, 0 points


Here are your Blue League standings!

  • Brody King: 1-0, 3 points
  • Claudio Castagnoli: 1-0, 3 points
  • Daniel Garcia: 0-1, 0 points
  • Eddie Kingston: 0-1, 0 points
  • Bryan Danielson: Yet to Compete
  • Andrade El Idolo: Yet to Compete


My Thoughts:

Nothing too crazy, nothing too wild, this tournament only just got started. The only disappointing point is that they could not get Bryan “cleared to compete” Saturday night. Not sure how much of that is shoot given the bad eye, but this was kinda the problem of wanting him in the tournament over tons of other choices. Bryan wants to face Okada for WrestleKingdom 18, how is Bryan supposed to do that at his best if he’s also gonna be in a round robin, doing five top level matches in about as many weeks? And it takes away from Andrade being able to do something. Also a little surprised we didn’t even hear from Andrade on Saturday.

Now as we heard on Saturday, round two’s matches are set. Gold League will see Mark Briscoe VS Rush, White VS Swerve, and of course, Moxley VS Lethal. Nice variety there, a couple 0-1 guys facing off, as well as two 1-0 guys, and then 1-0 VS 0-1. No offense to Lethal, but he feels like an 0-2 going up against Moxley. Hard to call the other ones but that’s the fun of it. Meanwhile, Blue League sees Brody VS Claudio in a showdown to be 2-0, then Bryan and Andrade finally jump in, Bryan against Eddie and Andrade against Garcia. Sadly, feels like Eddie and Garcia are going 0-2, no way Tony Khan is booking Bryan and Andrade to lose their first shots.

In fact, that could be half the reason they did wait on those two, that’s almost too good for just a first round opener. But I still would’ve done it, same as NJPW does stuff like that for round robins, which this is all modeled after anyway.

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AEW Coverage

AEW announces Continental Classic entrants

The C2 is set!



Tony Khan Reveals the Blue and Gold “Leagues!”

Originally livestreamed, Tony Khan and Tony Schiavone officially announced the twelve total entrants and divided them into the two round robin blocks known as the “Blue League” and “Gold League.” If you don’t feel like sifting through the almost 30 minute video, the groups are:

Blue League

  • Bryan Danielson
  • Andrade El Idolo
  • Brody King
  • Claudio Castagnoli
  • Daniel Garcia
  • Eddie Kingston

Gold League

  • Jon Moxley
  • Swerve Strickland
  • Rush
  • Mark Briscoe
  • Jay Lethal
  • Jay White


Tony Khan also explains the rules for the Continental Classic:

  • Every match has a 20 minute time limit
  • The winner of each match earns 3 points, losers earn 0, 1 point for a draw
  • EVERYONE ELSE is banned from ringside for true 1v1 action


Eddie Kingston also joined the selection special as his “life’s work” is on the line in this tournament, both the ROH World Championship and NJPW Strong Openweight Championship on the line as part of the modern day North American Triple Crown Eddie, Tony Khan, AEW, ROH and NJPW are looking to create together. Gold League competes tonight on Dynamite while Blue League will have their start this Saturday on Collision. Look for more articles like this one to keep up with the Continental Classic standings over the next six weeks of tournament action!

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