SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
Talking Smack has quickly become must see TV. That is very high praise for a network special that promotes sitting down and talking over wrestling on a wrestling network. It’s smooth, easy viewing that appeals to those who want to know more about what really goes on without ever damaging the overall characters. Every episode gives us a few interesting things that it are definitely worth knowing.
I’m Tom Colohue and this is Talking Points From Talking Smack.
Talking Points From Talking Smack
1. Talking Smack is trusted viewing
Talking Smack was the literal go home show for WrestleMania this time around and it opened with its standard Daniel Bryan/Renee Young formula. The General Manager is the sarcastic troublemaker and the employee journalist is the official honor-the-brand tactician.
This week more than ever, Talking Smack was aware of its audience. Styles was permitted to come out and be honest about his feud with Shane McMahon. Ambrose and Corbin continued their feud without ever having appeared on the actual Smackdown broadcast and Naomi got to state her credentials ready for Wrestlemania.
When you can trust your audience to watch a network exclusive talk show, you know you’re on to a winner.
2. A.J. Styles is on a minor detour
A.J. Styles is too good for his current program. Everybody knows that. The fact that Shawn Michaels was offered Styles at Mania, plus Kurt Angle was angling for it as well shows that clearly. Shane McMahon is a backup option. He always was and that’s a good thing.
Styles needed to be out of the main event picture for a while. Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton needed some breathing room to develop their story. It’s the same as John Cena going against The Miz in a standard Nikki Bella storyline. Cena needs to be away from the title for a while.
Despite going up against Shane at WrestleMania, Styles is still near the top of the card. And once Shane is out of the way, Styles will be right back up there competing for the title.
3. Naomi es en fuego
Or at least that’s what Mauro Ranallo would have been shouting. Naomi’s road to the top came suddenly but, somehow, it’s been a raging success. Naomi has been casually in the background for pretty much the whole time since the brand split, emerging only for her match with Alexa at the Elimination Chamber. Her win surprised everyone but the women’s division on Smackdown has been so even that Naomi has returned and shot right back to the top.
Will she take the title from Alexa? Probably. She’s long been the favorite even when injured. It would make sense given that Orlando is her home town. A win at WrestleMania would make her a top draw star, leaving room for a strong Mickie vs. Alexa feud and Natalya to step back into the title scene.
The build has been busy, but everything has come into focus now that Naomi is back. It was all built around her and it continues as it was.
4. Renee Young wears her colors proud
Renee Young is possibly the best thing Smackdown have right now. Talking Smack would not work without her. Renee Young also works to get people over in her own way. Her appearances in Total Divas and relationship with Dean Ambrose have worked in his favour. She briefly tangled with The Miz to bolster his heel credentials. She is a tremendous asset.
On Talking Smack she was quite subtle in how she promoted the unmentioned. At casual glance you can see a Dean Ambrose badge and, more tellingly, a Seth Rollins badge, a Steve Austin badge and a Shinsuke Nakamura badge on the left side of her chest pocket. Given how popular Talking Smack is, there was no way that these were going to go unnoticed. See if you can make out the last 2. They’re classics.
Renee Young essentially works for everyone. Smackdown is just the main benefactor. She is a walking advertisement.
5. Why isn’t the IC match a street fight?
This is genuinely confusing to me. When you’ve built a match around pure brutality in the way that Ambrose vs. Corbin has been built, why limit it to a ring? Both of these men were born to street fight. You’ve made a big deal of the forklift, so why not remind everyone about the Judy Bagwell on a Forklift match from Russo’s WCW?
Ambrose and Corbin’s duelling promos seemed like they were recording separately and scripted far too heavily. The WWE have something great on their hands here, if only they would let things happen instead of claiming all the control. Make it a street fight, park a forklift on the ramp and just let the magic happen.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S ARTICLE: TALKING POINTS FROM TALKING SMACK 3/21: Rise of Smackdown Tag Division, Ambrose Finds his Groove, Shane continues to get pushed, Cena-Miz