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
JULY 23, 2017
AIRED LIVE ON WWE NETWORK
REPORT BY REYAL POLLARD, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
“THIS IS MUSIC TO MY EARS!” Renee practically yells at the start of the show, clearly excited for Talking Smack. Renee introduces us to a very scaled back Talking Smack set. Renee and Lawler debate the ethics of Renee’s excitement for the return of the Great Khali vs. the King’s disappointment for Jinder screwing Orton over in the match. They settle in on “excitement” being the wrong word. Renee questions where Randy Orton goes from here. Off camera, Kevin Owens approaches talking before his interview formally starts.
Interview 1: Kevin Owens
“People of the United States, I’d like to congratulate you for having me as your new champion” -Kevin Owens
Kevin Owens begins by rubbing in Renee’s face how WWE trusts her with less and less responsibilities. Ouch. Renee brings up the ref bump immediately. Owens defends the ref bump pretty epicly “It was the consequence of me getting A.J.’s filthy body off of me.” Kevin goes on to call this the most important three count in WWE history. He then goes through his list of accolades thus far in his short career in the WWE. NXT champ, 2x IC champ, Longest reigning Universal champion, and now a 3x U.S. Champion. Lawler plays the “everyman” by telling Owens he thought the finish would come with Owens tapping while the referee was down. KO states that it is because he is “a fighter, the elite.” He claims he would never tap out to anyone.
Renee asks how did the MSG result change your preparation. “What a stupid question.” Kevin presses further on Renee by saying he didn’t have to prepare differently because he’s fighting the same person. After hearing her out a little, Kevin shuts her down again, telling her she is always wrong. Lawler steps in to “clarify” Renee’s question, bringing up the question of whether he let that loss to A.J. get in his head. Kevin Owens continues to play jerk to Renee before getting to the question at hand. He expresses frustration over always having to wrestle at MSG regardless of which show it is (Raw or Smackdown). He even says he had his wife and kids in the front row this most recent time when he lost. Owens presses forward by saying it doesn’t matter, because they also saw him win tonight.
Lawler brings up AJ feeling now the same way Owens felt at MSG. Lawler questions what AJ will come back at Owens with. Kevin Owens responds, “Why would he come back with anything?… The children of America now have someone to look up to.” Owens throws it in Renee’s face that the weekly Talking Smack was cancelled. Renee and Kevin get into a spat, as they always do. Lawler comes in as a peacemaker, but instantly agrees with Owens. Owens begins to chant “Jerry Lawler” and the two begin to bicker again. Renee asks the obvious question of AJ’s contractual rematch. Kevin hopes it doesn’t happen. “The rematch clause is irrelevant, it shouldn’t even matter.” Kevin tells the American people, “People of the United States, I’d like to congratulate you for having me as your new champion.”
Renee wraps up the interview questioning what exactly is KO’s problem with her while he yells shut up off camera. Renee vents further to King which leads King to confess the whole thing being awkward for him. King and Young review the Flag match results. King gives incite saying, “anytime you have a match where you are fighting for your country, there’s a lot of pressure on your shoulders.” Renee and King sell the relief Cena had by winning that match. Jerry talks about the pride that being a champion gives you and says Cena had that pride tonight.
Interview 2: Natalya
“Charlotte got a taste of her own medicine tonight. Let’s not forget how rotten she’s been to so many people for so long.” -Natalya
Natalya is welcomed to the show and Renee stresses how much of a relief it must be to know she has the guaranteed title shot at Summerslam. Nattie gives a few I told you sos to the hosts. King asks about how it felt to eliminate Charlotte to win the match, playing up the Flair-Hart dynamic. Nattie says that everyone thought Charlotte or Becky would win.
It is brought up that Carmella called Nattie to win on the preshow, but Nattie doesn’t trust her. Young proposes the what-if scenario of Carmella cashing in and becoming championship before Summerslam. Nattie says she is the best of the best of the best. She runs through the list of competitors in the match and how she is better than them. She even says that unlike King, she is real royalty, no offense. Moving to Naomi, Nattie turns on the sas saying that she is going to snatch Naomi bald. Nattie says she is the best there is, best there was, best there ever will be. She brings up Summerslam has always been great for the Harts, but it will be nothing to her stealing the show this year. Renee asks if Natalya will be bringing her cat, Two Paws. Nattie reminds Renee that her cat doesn’t leave the house for less that $10,000.
Renee is flabergasted by the shade Nattie throws at Grumpy Cat. She also remarks about Natalya’s new attitude. King was not a fan of the rap battle, he admits. But, after some dad jokes, he says tonight was not “rapping” it was scrapping. Renee builds the New Day’s win up more by saying how hard it was to overcome the Uso’s, whom were on a streak. Renee previews the upcoming interview with Jinder, but first does the sponsor shout out to the NXT toy line.
Interview 3: Jinder Mahal
“Before the match you said that you your were going to leave Randy Orton’s legacy in the Punjabi Prison. Do you feel those 1.3 billion people in your home country of India are looking at it that way, or are they looking at it as you couldn’t beat Randy Orton without the Singh Brothers and the Great Khali?” – Jerry Lawler
Jinder brags about his win and picking a stipulation that was to his advantage. He says Orton underestimated him and claims to be the hardest working Superstar and now the proven smartest Superstar. Mahal brings up three matches against Orton and three times defeating Orton. He is the 50th champion and the greatest champion, in his eyes. Renee brings up the interference, which Mahal owns by saying,“Renee, that’s exactly why I picked the stipulation. I didn’t break the rules. I came in with a plan. My plan was to walk out the WWE Champion.” Mahal says the people of his country can actually stick together, unlike Americans.
Lawler does what none of the announcers ever have done and questions whether the people of India want Mahal representing them if he can’t do it without interference. Mahal responds by saying he is the fighting pride of India. He says the whole country is celebrating, complete with fireworks. He boasts that he is the future of WWE, not Rollins, not Reigns. Mahal claims he has conquered Orton’s legacy. King objects, but Jinder insists Orton is past his prime and is a thing of the past. Mahal claims to be in his prime, improving week-by-week. Mahal says he will go down as the greatest of all time. Renee asks about an update on Samir Singh. Jinder promises he’ll be okay and says he did his job as an insurance policy. They look at the replay of Samir’s bump off the cage. Lawler asks about future matches where they are banned from ringside, though Mahal counters that he will have a plan for those matches when the time comes. Renee asks where do you go from here. Mahal opts to reply to her in Punjabi. He does the signature Jinder Mahal mean face and exits the set.
Renee wraps up the show.