12/18 WWE Talking Smack Report – Post-Clash of Champions Edition: A.J. Styles, Usos, Charlotte, Sami Zayn & Kevin Owens

By Reyal Pollard, PWTorch contributor

DECEMBER 17, 2017

The show launches with Renee welcoming first time host, Sam Roberts. Roberts admits he has some big shoes to fill. They immediately jump to the recap of the main event win for Aj Styles. Sam gives a high level overview of all the names Jinder has been able to defeat during the Mahal Experiment. They throw to a recap of the Tag Match finish before bringing in the Usos. Roberts sings the praises of Chad Gable, but gives credit to the crowd liking all the teams.

Interview 1: The Usos

The Usos enter the set with their usual swagger. Renee immediately asks about Jey’s hat and where she can get one. Don’t worry, it’s available at WWEShop. The Usos hit a small rendition of their 12 days of Christmas song. They began to talk about the strength of the tag division; the Usos talk about knowing they had to bring it ever since the brand split. It’s the reason they use the term Day One their merch. They say it is not just a catchphrase, it’s a way of life, or as they put it, from the womb to the tomb. There is no one else that has the twin connection that they have. Renee brings up the mutual respect between the Usos and New Day. Usos talk about the dynamic between them and the New Day but go quick on talking about Chad Gable. Sam tries to ask a question, but the Usos try and get him to sing a little of their Lockdown song. Sam deftly avoids it and goes on to ask his question; does it shake them at all to hear the crowd react to their opponents as much as they do? “Hell no,” is their reply. One of the Usos goes on to state, “when we come out there, they are gonna cheer for the Usos.” Renee talks about the Bludgeon Brothers. Jimmi says they are going to just duck and dodge them until they have to. During the replay of the BB match, all four people on the panel remark at the destruction that the Bludgeon Brothers pulled off. Roberts, or Sour Flower as the Usos have begun to call him, asks who is the opponent they are most looking forward to facing in 2018? They reply that they want someone to step up. Renee thanks them for joining.

Young resets by throwing to the highlights from the Shane/Bryan ref angle. Renee aptly calls it messy. She hammers home the drama and tension between the two GMs. Roberts goes further by saying that he wouldn’t want to be on the Smackdown roster come Tuesday. He continues by saying how DB didn’t appear to have an ulterior motive. They both mention that Shane was, at one point, being specifically vindictive. Renee throws to Dasha, whom is standing with Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn.

The camera cuts to Sami and Kevin celebrating over the top. They pop Champagne while shouting they are on Smackdown Live now and forever. Dasha makes her way in while Sami pours water on himself and Kevin continues to pop corks. Dasha asks if they would call their victory tonight monumental. Sami clarifies that it wasn’t just monumental, it is historic. He shouts at her that they fought the law and they won. He continues, “we knew there was never a doubt we would keep our jobs. We knew there was never a doubt that we are the best in WWE.” Kevin joins in and asks Sami “Did we know there was a man in that ring who would do the right thing, Daniel Bryan?” They both begin to chant “YEP!” Sami begins to dose-e-do with Dasha while Kevin coats them both with Champagne and the scene ends.

Back in the studio Renee and Sam react to the interview. Renee feels bad for Dasha, saying she’s never drank a drop of alcohol in her life and now she is getting coated in it. Sam mentions that you shouldn’t feel bad for her, because at least she was invited to their party unlike he and Renee. They pivot to the Women’s Championship defense and bring out Charlotte Flair.

Interview 2: Charlotte Flair

Charlotte starts off by showing off a big bruise on her cheek she dubs a “Nattie Mark”. Roberts asks how you can know it was from Nattie because of the abuse from all the women, but she replies that you can always tell when it’s a Nattie Mark. Young mentions that this victory is huge for her. Charlotte brings up the old adage that pressure bursts pipes. She views pressure as a privilege because it is an honor to hold the Smackdown Women’s title on her shoulder. Lots of women want to be the champ but it is her job to be the best. She views the office as her ring. She gives 110% because she is the best. She begins to get emotional and teary. Young asks about the effect the new women in the division have had on her. Charlotte says that she was also in NXT and knows what it is like to want to make a name for yourself on the main roster. The difference is that they disrespected her by interrupting her match. Sam asks about them and the other women fighting each other for the opportunity to kick Charlotte while she was down. Charlotte says she think of everyone as a threat. Nattie, Carmella, the Riott Squad. She then tags her statement, “Even if my best friend Becky Lynch comes back”. Renee asks what does 2018 hold for Charlotte. Charlotte says she wants to be like AJ Styles. She wants to be the attraction for people to watch Smackdown and PPVs. Roberts says that a lot of people view her as the standard bearer. He then asks about Nattie’s post match promo taking the shot at Charlotte, even though it is hypocritical coming from Natalya. Excuses don’t win titles. Charlotte defends being a second generation superstar and how she is proud of her dad and how she’s had to work twice as hard. After a few thanks from the host, Charlotte shows pride that she made it through without crying. They share a laugh that she was close.

Up next, they talk about the triple threat for the US Championship. Sam provides analysis of Dolph Ziggler coming in and winning due to his experience edge in a triple threat match. Sam says Ziggler won because he figured out his spot and executed. Renee gives Ziggler credit for going out of his way to prove the point to the WWE Universe and how that will set him up going into 2018. She then pivots to an introduction to the final guest, AJ Styles.

Interview 3: A.J. Styles

AJ limps into the set. They ask how he’s doing and he replies, “I’m hurting”. He gives Jinder props for not really using the Singh brothers, though he says the Singh brothers are always out there as a distraction. Jinder is a big guy and isn’t easy to throw around. AJ says that he overcame the challenge. Roberts asks about if he would have been ready if the Singhs did interfere. AJ says he was prepared because he had to fight against it in his last match with Jinder. He mentions that the 450 wasn’t smart but he had to try and put Jinder away quick before they could get a chance to interfere. Sam praises the roll-through that AJ pulled off to keep the Calf Crusher locked in. AJ gives a great in-character explanation of why it works. Young asks if the lack of interference tonight was possibly a strategy, was it meant to keep him looking over his shoulder. Styles admits that it almost cost him the match. Regardless, he defended his championship. AJ talks up how much the beating is going to be felt tomorrow. Renee asks what it means to have the championship. AJ says passionately, “this is what you work your whole career for. It means everything to me in this business to be the number one champion. Not a champion, the champion. It doesn’t get any better than this.” He acknowledges the Universal Championship also existing and having unfinished business with “that guy”. He even says that he still knows he can beat “that guy.” AJ says he is one of the best and deserves to be treated that way. Sam asks if AJ is done with Jinder and Styles replies that Jinder is done. He suggests Jinder find some other title to chase after. When asked about who AJ thinks is on the horizon, he turns the question back on those asking him. AJ makes the point of saying whoever thinks they want a shot at him needs to step up.

Renee thanks A.J. as well as her co-host and signs off to wrap up the show.

FINAL THOUGHTS: Charlotte’s promo is worth checking because she manages to show some emotion and breaks out of her robot mode. Also A.J. just shows off why he’s the best in the company. It’s a clinic on how to be in character in 2018 and not come off as insulting to the audience. So natural.

CHECK OUT THIS PREVIOUS REPORT: 10/8 WWE Talking Smack Report – Post-Hell in a Cell Edition: Styles reacts to losing U.S. Title and Sami’s turn, Corbin gloats, Usos say they are done with New Day

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