SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
WWE TALKING SMACK REVIEW
SEPTEMBER 19, 2020
AIRED ON WWE NETWORK
REVIEW BY NICK MORGAN, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Hosts: Kayla Braxton, Xavier Woods
This week’s guests: Heavy Machinery (Otis & Tucker), Lacy Evans, and
– Kayla Braxton welcomed everyone to Talking Smack and Xavier Woods joined in as they gushed about how great the Thunderdome was – okay, enough of the corporate hype. This seemed to be the week that Vince McMahon dictated that everyone needed to rave about the Thunderdome. Mission accomplished here.
– Kayla started off talking about all the big returns there were on Smackdown this week and they briefly talked about Sasha Banks (Xavier could barely contain his excitement about Sasha’s involvement with season two of the “Mandalorian”), but quickly the conversation turned to Big E’s return and how he went after some revenge on Sheamus. The segment showed on the split screen while Xavier noted how Sheamus escaped and Big E took out his anger on the poor security schlub who had lured him out to the parking lot a couple of weeks ago. Xavier seemed to have no problem with Big E beating up this poor guy, don’t quite know how I feel about that, but then this is WWE, so abusing mostly innocent people is a common occurrence.
– Moving onto the first interview, Kayla introduced Otis and Tucker, alluding to the issues they are having with “some other WWE Superstars” (Miz & Morrison by the way). Otis and Tucker gave Xavier a big hug and said hi to Kayla, with Otis calling her his “spicy pepper.” The conversation turned to the night’s angle about Otis ripping off the Miz’s clothes to reveal he was wearing tighty-whities, and they all got a laugh out of that. I know this is all about Vince’s weird sense of humor and the lawsuit angle later, but this is just ridiculous to see four grown adults talking about underwear.
– As they started talking about the lawsuit, Tucker made it very clear that “we” didn’t get served, Otis got served. This is obviously leading somewhere; I am assuming it will lead to a possible breakup? I hope not, the tag division is weak enough as it is. They did throw one nugget out there: Tucker is smart and actually has an accounting degree, to which Otis said, “I can’t count.” More dissension?
– Xavier asked about the situation with Mandy. Otis said they are confused and conflicted, but that their bond is still strong. Otis noted that not only does he have Mandy, but his big brother Tucker and his coach Shorty G (what?????????) hitting the weights with him (again, what??????). When Kayla asked about Miz and Morrison and their antics, Otis went on a rant that while they are trying to get into his head, it isn’t working, that he is tougher and smarter than they know and that if they want to get down to business, then he and Tucker are ready. A good promo, but a little confusing given the hints they dropped earlier about Tucker seeming to distance himself. Good, keep us guessing.
– As Otis and Tucker continued to rant a bit, Kayla wished them well and received a hug from Tucker and a kiss on the hand from Otis. Next up was the Southern Bell, Lacey Evans.
– Evans came out complete with face shield and hand sanitizer and her action figure. It seems that Evans character is becoming the pandemic character played for laughs. Leave it to Vince to make a joke out of that. In addition to her action figure, Evans also brought out her shirts and in fact even the hand sanitizer had her image on it. Talk about merchandising.
– Xavier noted that Evan hasn’t won for quite a while. Evans responded that whether she wins or loses, her purpose right now is to show what a classy woman should be and how they should conduct themselves. Such as how to cook, clean, and keep a man, to which Kayla took great offense. Evans seems to have slipped back in time to the 1950s and just keeps talking about how a woman needs to be a lady (read subservient, just what Vince wants, just don’t tell his daughter). Evans kept talking about “getting her own show,” which sounds to me like we might be getting some kind of segment on Smackdown somewhere down the line.
– As Evans left, Xavier mentioned how uncomfortable he was, and he started prodding Kayla to get into a fight with Lacey and that he would even train her. I wonder if this is leading somewhere.
– Next up was Jeff Hardy. Xavier noted how cool the side plates on Jeff’s Intercontinental Title belt were and Jeff noted that he had designed them himself. Xavier complimented Jeff on his creativity and went on a little tangent about how Jeff has always been creative and that it is great. Okay, but so what? Kayla brought the conversation back to Jeff’s challenge to A.J. Styles and Sami Zayn for a triple threat ladder match at Clash of Champions and announced that the match had been made official and would in fact happen.
– Xavier added the nugget that it would be “winner-take-all” to solve all the Sami stuff and whoever wins will be the undisputed champion. They actually got into an interesting conversation about Jeff’s career and how happy he was to be where he is and that it took a great deal of hard work. They built up the rivalry with A.J. Styles and the whole knee brace angle and how the match may turn into somewhat of a two-on-one match with A.J. and Sami working together, at least initially. Jeff acknowledged that it is a possibility, but a ladder match is his forte and he is ready for the challenge.
– Kayla asked for some closing words and Jeff knocked it out of the park with, “If you can’t break a table, break a ladder.” Absolutely perfect! Great job Jeff.
FINAL THOUGHTS: While the show was good, the middle section with Lacey Evans was absolutely terrible. Otis and Tucker were entertaining, and the Jeff Hardy segment was good, old-fashioned wresting promotion.
One thing I wanted to compliment the show on was the use of the split screen showing action that corresponded to what the hosts and guest(s) were discussing. It is a nice touch.
At only 21 minutes, the show moved quickly and, even with the bad Lacey Evans segment, did not tax my attention span. As I somewhat noted above, I am going to take a moment to comment that I think what they are doing with Lacey Evans’ character by turning her into some kind of retro 1950s housewife archetype is just blind to today’s realities and is somewhat insulting not only to the women wrestlers, but to all women in general. I am sure it is all Vince’s idea, but it is bad!
Well, that is it for now, see you all next week. Until then, take care and stay safe.