Wrestling Night in America Reunion: PWTorch columnist Greg Parks is joined by former PWTorch columnist Pat McNeill for a full match-by-match preview of WrestleMania 36
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WWE TALKING SMACK REVIEW
MARCH 7, 2017
AIRED LIVE ON WWE NETWORK
BY CRAIG ELBE, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Renee Young welcomed viewers to the show and introduced herself and Smackdown General Manager Daniel Bryan.
They go right to Randy Orton winning the right to face Bray Wyatt at WrestleMania. Bryan was relieved to finally have the main event set for WrestleMania. He briefly talked about how Randy Orton and A.J. Styles each had a right to face Wyatt for the at WrestleMania and the compromise he and Shane McMahon came up with.
Bryan then guilted Renee about doing the “sweet” Raw Talk on Sunday following Fastlane. She pleaded she is bound by contract to appear where she’s told. He gives Renee some professional advice to not appear on shows that are bad while she claimed to bleed blue in her blue blazer for tonight. Bryan was still not impressed and congratulated her for hosting a bad Raw Talk. They both yell that she’s back and Talking Smack is awesome! A Miz dig perhaps??
Renee welcomed the first guest of the show.
First Guest: Alexa Bliss
Alexa expressed mixed emotions about her WrestleMania match. She said Bryan rudely interrupted her Bliss-ertation, but Bryan said it was sweet despite Shane giving it a failing grade. Bryan asked who she was going to announce as her WrestleMania opponent. Alexa said he didn’t care at the time and refused to say who it was going to be. Bryan told her she can’t make matches anyway. She retaliated by saying it wouldn’t kill him to shave his beard and got a pop out of Renee.
Bryan and Renee said Alexa is obviously angry with Bryan making her match at WrestleMania against all Smackdown women. Alexa stated she doesn’t fear anybody; rather, she’s upset with Mickie James. She said James shouldn’t bite the hand that feeds, taking credit for bringing James back to WWE. Alexa said James was afraid she was forgotten due to the Women’s Revolution. She said James was a distant memory but called her with an idea to bring her back and be remembered, but not with that cheesy ’80s song that Bryan suggested about Mickie being “so fine she blows my mind.”
Renee wondered if James in opposition would stress out Alexa at WrestleMania. She said James will be her first target. Renee gave out a few more names for Alexa to consider, settling on Carmella for a bit. Alexa said she doesn’t know and to ask Bryan about who will be in the match. Bryan restated that all available Smackdown women will be in the match, then seemingly challenged Alexa by saying she’s the best.
Alexa said she will do him a favor and welcome the match and prove over and over she is the best woman on Smackdown. Renee said she should be happy for the chance to prove that, getting a thanks from Alexa, saying she’s happy she will be champion going into her first WrestleMania. Renee seemed to leave it open to non-current women wrestlers being in the match, saying we will see who is available and open to challenge Alexa for the Women’s Title at WrestleMania.
Renee thanked Alexa for being on the show.
Renee gives Bryan a hard time for bringing up the “Hey Mickie you’re so fine” song to Alexa. Bryan said he had to drop it like it’s hot!
Renee talked over footage of Baron Corbin’s attack on Dean Ambrose earlier tonight. She said it’s difficult in her position to watch it again and she hasn’t been able to check in on his condition yet but she will right after the show. She asked Bryan how he would handle this. He said he takes solace in Ambrose’s toughness and said Ambrose has a roster topping match total over the last two years. Bryan goes on to say he had the most matches in 2013 and had surgery in 2014, adding the same is true for Cesaro, Seth Rollins in the years since, and that Ambrose is as durable as they come. Renee agrees as that is not news to her, especially since she’s been dating Ambrose. Bryan said this is the time year where people do crazy things and Renee concurred. Ambrose endures things he shouldn’t endure, but having cracked ribs hurts with every move you make.
Renee then brought out the next guest.
Second Guest: Apollo Crews
Apollo Crews made his way to the desk, ready to make an announcement. He declared himself an entrant to the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at WrestleMania. Crews said he’s excited for his first WrestleMania, as he debuted last year the night after WrestleMania 32. He said he’s had many opportunities since then, but not many victories. Crews vowed to change that trend at WrestleMania.
Renee recalled Baron Corbin’s constant bragging about winning the Andre the Giant Battle Memorial Royal last year. Crews said he feels winning it this year will launch him to the top, adding he’s willing to compete with the best and he’s worked very hard to be in this position. He said everybody will be witness to how hard he’s worked.
Renee asked how he feels about being in his first WrestleMania with his declaration. Crews said that being able to compete in his first WrestleMania is awesome, a dream shared by every aspiring and current Superstar. He repeated that he’s not just going to live his dream but win the Battle Royal and get his career on track to the next level.
Renee pointed out Crews’s large watch, saying winning that Battle Royal means more of that stuff. Crews and Bryan laughed, and Crews said he wants some more bling bling!
Renee thanked Crews for being on the show, allowing them the exclusive on his announcement. Before he left, Crews gave Bryan a quick lesson on how to properly recite “when the pimp’s in the crib ma, drop it like it’s hot” line in the song with correct inflection on the word “hot.”
Bryan sarcastically wondered if they should be talking about pimps in their cribs, the Renee started talking about the James Ellsworth & Carmella, John Cena & Nikki Bella, and Miz & Maryse situation. Bryan smelled coincidence from Renee with going from pimps straight to Ellsworth. Renee hoped for more stank from Ellsworth, meaning sass as Bryan did not know what stank was.
Renee alerted us to a WWE Network exclusive with some breaking news
Backstage footage of a despondent A.J. Styles is shown with him coming through the curtain to the Gorilla position, showing a seated Michael Hayes, a standing Adam Pearce on one side, and a seated Michael Cole, next to a headsetted Shane McMahon, with B.G. James next to Shane on the other side of the tables of monitors. Vince must have been hiding, perhaps in laughter or embarrassment.
Everybody gave encouragement to Styles, but Styles got in Shane’s face, yelling at him, “Is this what you call opportunity! I deserve to be in the main event!” Styles tells James to shut up as Cole looked bewildered. James put himself between Styles and Shane, loudly instructing Styles to look to him and called for somebody to remove Styles while Shane inaudibly yelled back. Hayes got up and we saw Jamie Noble appear along with some referees that helped Hayes get Styles to the next room. Shane yelled at Styles that he’s sorry it didn’t work out for him. After Styles was gone, James told Shane it’s going to be okay, all they gotta do is calm down Styles. Shane threw his headset and exclaimed “HIM!”, throwing his hands up that he’s pretty pissed about getting confronted like that by Styles.
Back to Renee and Bryan
Bryan said he and Shane get stuff like that a lot being in their positions, but fortunately for Bryan everybody has a chance to cool down before appearing on Talking Smack. He feels for Styles, but found it weird he took his frustrations out on Shane as he was the one backing Styles’s claim for the main event spot against Bray Wyatt at WrestleMania. Renee shared Bryan’s feelings for Styles and his position.
Bryan detailed Styles’s long career and how long it took him to get to WWE. He added how frustrated Styles must be to lose out on a main event spot at WrestleMania, not knowing if he will ever see another similar opportunity due to his estimated 17 years of wear and tear. Bryan compared his WWE career to Styles’s, that he waited to main event WrestleMania a long time, and his WWE time was only six years.
Renee wondered if Styles took it too far with Shane. Bryan said he’s always been very level headed but told a story of getting in Triple H’s face. It was after Triple H told the referee to stop the match after Bryan suffered a stinger in match against Randy Orton in 2013. He said that B.G. James was the man to separate them as he did tonight with Shane and Styles. Renee followed up and asked Bryan if he getting in Triple H’s face was the right thing to do in hindsight. Bryan replied that he understands both positions, being in management now. He said that match against Orton would have been the biggest win for him at the time. He said he would have won if it wasn’t taken away from him. Some of the same can be said for Styles and his loss against Orton tonight after already earning the WrestleMania main event last week.
Renee told us the footage of Styles confronting Shane is now available on WWE.com for us to watch again.
Renee then welcomed Miz and his wife Maryse to the show.
Third Guests: Miz and Maryse
Renee wasn’t sure where to start so Miz took the initiative and asked Bryan who makes matches. Bryan answered he and Shane McMahon. Miz asked how can John Cena make a match between himself & Nikki Bella vs James Ellsworth & Carmella last week. Bryan simply replied Cena proposed it and he and Shane made it official. Miz disagreed and wondered how Cena could have this much effect on the higher ups and the WWE Universe, hinting favoritism. Bryan restated that wasn’t the case, that the challenge was accepted by Ellsworth & Carmella. Miz disputed Ellsworth’s willingness to accept the match, but Bryan said Carmella pushed Ellsworth into the match.
Miz still didn’t buy it and insisted Cena texted Bryan he just made a match and he’ll see Bryan at dinner afterward. Miz kept on, recalling how Cena accused him of gimmick theft last week. He said that can be true about anyone, including Cena and listed all of Cena’s thefts using the sales pitch trick Cena used against Miz last week of “but wait, there’s more!” before each example.
Miz continued taking exception to Cena’s reputation and power, thinking the mixed tag match was a shot at him and he’s jealous of Miz’s talent and marriage. Miz accused Cena of telling Bryan to draft him to Smackdown around the number 3 spot instead of number 1 so he could be part time and he’s sick of it. Bryan said no such thing happened despite Miz claiming to “know” it. Bryan said he knows when Cena’s name is advertised, more people show up than if Miz is advertised. Miz continued to insist Cena has brainwashed everybody with his crap, citing Kurt Angle’s and Undertaker’s immediate endorsement upon debuting in 2002. Miz said he’s endured more crap, like being told he wouldn’t last three months but didn’t give up.
Bryan told Miz he doesn’t know the full John Cena story, that he was once very close to getting fired after only a couple months of debuting. Miz continued to not believe Bryan, even dreaming up a scenario that Cena had everybody sign contracts to be his friend, girlfriend, etc. Bryan insisted Miz was never close to being fired at all because he’s always been a WWE patsy and shill. Miz said he was a huge star before he got to WWE and could do anything he wants, but chooses WWE because he loves it. He said he could be an actor if he wants, to Bryan’s quick retort of being a straight-to-DVD caliber actor. Maryse asked Bryan what movies he’s done. Bryan said he didn’t want to be an actor, to which Maryse felt Bryan was a hypocrite. Miz piggybacked on that and said Bryan can’t wrestle anymore because of his head. Bryan asked if he can’t wrestle or if they just won’t let him wrestler, and said in a year and a half we’ll see what happens!
Renee asked why John Cena is jealous of Miz & Maryse. Miz mocked Cena’s times he’s told Nikki he loves her on reality shows, assuming after many takes. Maryse said she and Miz feel Cena and Nikki’s relationship is robotic and plastic only to elevate their brand. She added Cena being in a relationship is only to make him look better. Miz and Maryse have a discussion about Nikki pre-Cena and post-Cena. They conclude Nikki got to where she did because of Cena, listing everything that’s been handed to her. Renee asked Maryse if she’s jealous of Nikki. Maryse said absolutely not and showed her wedding ring as proof of Nikki’s jealousy of her, which is something she’ll never have.
After trying to field some more brain busters from Renee and Bryan, Miz said next week’s Talking Smack won’t be as good as tonight’s because they won’t be on it and left the desk.
Renee hoped next week’s show will be on a better note as Bryan wished he could say more.