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WWE RAW TALK REVIEW
APRIL 3, 2017
AIRED LIVE ON WWE NETWORK
BY CRAIG ELBE, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Michael Cole welcomed viewers to Raw Talk as Finn Balor and Seth Rollins continued celebrating their win, with a nice moment between Balor and his family in the front row. The cameras went back to the announcers as they all briefly recapped Kurt Angle as the new Raw General Manager and next week’s Superstar Shake-up. Cole said Renee Young and Jerry Lawler will be on later with Raw Talk with guests the Hardy Boys and Bayley, but first…
GOLDBERG LIVE IN ARENA
Footage of Bill Goldberg making his way to the area from backstage was shown. He made his way to the ring through his pyro-less fireworks as Cole ran down his Universal Championship run. Goldberg was welcomed with “Goldberg” chants. He opened by saying what he was going to say isn’t part of the show. He said the facts are in October he was approached for a return. He said had a lot to consider: physical limitations, age, desire. After some initial mild crowd residence, Goldberg said this ain’t no damn script and he would appreciate it if they would listen. That earned him mild whistles and applause and no boos.
He said they may have wanted to see the invincible sum’ bitch, but things changed just a little bit. He said he’s still that guy but whose focus has shifted to his family and, as human beings, we can accomplish great things for the right reason. He said doing it for his family and the WWE Universe was the right thing. The cameras showed his wife and son in the front row.
He said after 13 years, they, the fans, gave him the opportunity to share a part of his life we never saw. The past number of months was an unbelievable ride and he was the luckiest guy in the world to show the fans a little piece of what he used to do. He said you can boo and cheer him, but the fact is that little boy, as he pointed to his son, is the reason his heart beats and why he gets up every morning and drives his ass in the weight room so he can be somebody his son is proud of. The audience gave him more applause and whistles.
Looking at his son, Goldberg said the past number of months they’ve accomplished what they set out to do, and he hoped he appreciates the opportunity that was afforded them by the fans and the people in the back because it’s once in a lifetime. He said he loves them both more than can be quantified, with proof being how he’s lived in the weight room, the bathroom, and the dinner table the last six months so he can be a little glimpse of what he used to be.
Another loud “Goldberg” chant broke out, then he told his son to come to the ring. His son tried to jump the barrier but didn’t stick his landing. Goldberg was quick on his feet and said he’s already bumping! Hell, before last night, that’s one more than he’s taken his entire career! After more applause and laughter, Goldberg said he knows a lot has changed in 13 years and the crowd likes to take over the show and be tough and make people stumble on their words. He reiterated he is speaking from his heart and this isn’t part of the show.
He put his arm around his son and said he was able to take the Universal Title to his school. His pride to do that was immeasurable and there isn’t anything anybody on the planet can do to take that away from them.
Goldberg said he can be cheered or booed, but because the audience cares enough to say something, that means he’s done something. Another “Goldberg” chant broke out. He said this could be the last time he’s seen in a ring and some of them may appreciate that. But, he said he’s here for his family and, as long as they appreciate it, he will do whatever it takes for him to be him.
Thirteen years removed from the WrestleMania 20 debacle, Goldberg said he and Brock did pretty good last night. He said he still had a little glimmer of what he used to be to succeed. And, since he still believes he’s still one of the biggest, baddest sum’ bitches on the planet, we never know what or who’s next and put the microphone on the mat and posed for the crowd.
Cole gave us a quick run down of Goldberg’s career and Goldberg picked up the mic again and said you never say never. Goldberg exited the ring and made the rounds clapping hands of ringside fans with his son.
The team of Renee Young and Jerry Lawler was at the Raw Talk desk. They both said they were emotional watching Goldberg address the fans and his family. They thought they were witnessing a farewell until Goldberg said never say never.
Renee said the Raw after WrestleMania always has lively audience. Lawler said Roman Reigns sure found that out with ten minutes of boos! (Jerry, I think there were more than just boos.) He said he’s from the old school where the bad guys get booed and good guys get cheered, but Reigns is a genuinely good guy. Lawler said his crown is off to Reigns for withstanding the hostility and giving only a five word promo.
Renee welcomed Raw Women’s Champion Bayley to the show.
First Guest: Bayley
Bayley said nothing has sunk in yet after feeling every emotion during this past WrestleMania week. She said her week was the busiest ever being the Women’s Champion and provided a few examples of what she did. Bayley talked about meeting Kurt Angle, now her new General Manager, and how cool it was that he knew her name and wished her luck in her WrestleMania match.
Lawler said she has officially arrived, but is going to have to quickly get her head around not being the underdog Bayley after succeeding early. She was shown footage of pinning Charlotte Flair at WrestleMania for the first time and was a little embarrassed how weird she thought she looked. She said she just wants to be herself while Lawler suggested she’s now satisfied. Bayley said she’s happy for the WrestleMania win but not satisfied, and wants to keep reaching for more and learning more. Bayley she said she wants to be a Hall of Famer. Lawler said defending the championship will be tougher than she’ll ever imagine. She agreed, saying she has a long road ahead of her.
Bayley acknowledged slipping on a Bayley Buddy during her entrance at WrestleMania, but said she didn’t care because she was trying to soak in the experience on the 85 yard walk to the ring. She fan-girled more about being a longtime Hardy Boyz fan, and told a couple stories of upsetting teachers in school with her fandom of the returning brothers. She said she’s still too nervous to talk to them, but it’s very cool to have them on Raw with her.
Renee brought up Undertaker’s apparent retirement to Lawler. He said it was more emotional than when The Streak was broken three years ago. He was always known for leaving it all in the ring at WrestleMania, and by leaving his gloves, coat, and hat in the ring, he did just that and we’ve probably seen the last of him.
Renee expertly pivoted to welcoming the new Raw Tag Team Champions to the show.
Second Guests: Matt and Jeff Hardy
Lawler asked if they’re feeling a little sore, and Jeff laughed back. “I wonder what from!” Jeff said. Matt said coming back at WrestleMania and winning the titles was intoxicating. Jeff said he was nervous, then it was all back to natural for him after he walked out. Matt said they were hidden the whole time until they had to come out for their match. He said it was overwhelming but great and felt like it was the right time.
Renee asked why now is the right time. Matt said he and Jeff were in different places but took some time off and healed themselves, physically, mentally, and emotionally and started families. He said that they are both in great places now and are the Hardy Men!
Renee got more curious and asked where they’ve been. Matt said they were truly everywhere, and went on an Expedition of Gold to win the championships of every worthy federation, and they did it everywhere they went. Now, coming home and winning the most prestigious tag team championships, they have successfully concluded their Expedition of Gold.
Jeff said he’s got a couple of Hardy Girls and Matt will have his Hardy Boys, alluding to Reby’s pregnancy.
Jeff marveled about how cool the production is in WWE. Far cry from the compound, I’m assuming!
Regarding current tag team competition, Matt said there is a whole new crop of great tag teams that present great match-ups and scenarios, and they are there to cement their legacy and prove they are the most exhilarating tag team in history. Renee congratulated Matt and Jeff and welcomed them back. Matt said they are happy to be home.
Renee said Finn Balor looked great in his return tonight. Lawler agreed. Lawler said that having Kurt Angle as the new Raw General Manager will be unpredictable to say the least. Regarding next week’s draft, Renee and Lawler said they didn’t know it was coming. Lawler said drafts are not easy to guess, and cited he and Jim Ross being separated during the first draft as a key example.
Renee joked about doing Raw Talk and not Talking Smack, but Lawler said she’ll be doing everything, and she said she can handle it. Lawler quickly said it was very cool to see Jim Ross at WrestleMania and Renee concurred and signed off.
CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S TALKING SMACK REPORT: 3/28 WWE Talking Smack Review: Styles ready to embarrass Shane, Corbin threatens Ambrose, Naomi talks about hometown reception