SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
WWE NETWORK REVIEW: TALKING SMACK
SEPTEMBER 26, 2020
REVIEW BY NICK MORGAN, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Hosts: Kayla Braxton, Xavier Woods
This week’s guests: A.J. Styles w/Joseph Parks, Lucha House Party (Kalisto & Gran Metalik & Lince Dorado, and Bayley
– Kayla Braxton welcomed everyone to Talking Smack and introduced Xavier in his “flashy” jacket. Getting past the opening small talk, Kayla and Xavier gushed about the ending to last night’s Smackdown and how Roman Reigns exploded on Jey Uso. While not at all reality, Kayla and Xavier, especially Xavier, talked about how great Jey Uso is and how being a tag team wrestler makes him a tough opponent for Roman. They both pushed the fact that Roman acted the way he did was because he was afraid of Jey and the possibility that he could win. I am sorry but that is just not the reality of the situation, but I understand that their purpose here was to build up the fight and make it seem like Jey has a shot. He doesn’t!
– They then moved on to talking about how great the upcoming Intercontinental three-way ladder match would be and introduced A.J. Styles (along with Joseph Parks) to the show. Thank you to the powers that be that they had Joseph Parks accompany A.J. Parks is great and a lot of fun. Don’t even listen to what he is saying just watch his facial expressions. He is a master.
– Getting down to business, Kayla asked A.J. about the upcoming match and A.J.’s Twitter post trolling both Sami Zayn and Jeff Hardy. Xavier stepped up and asked Parks about the analytics he has run on the match, but as he was answering A.J. cut him off and they started arguing about visiting A.J. grandma and A.J.’s carbo cycling and the fact that his grandma makes the best biscuits and gravy. What? Whatever, it was fun watching A.J. & Parks interact.
– Xavier pushed on the analytics issues and Parks just started spouting numbers and equations and finally said, all he had to do was push the button and his computer program would tell him the winner. Parks pushed the button and proudly announced that the winner would be, wait for it, Tito Santana! I loved it. After being totally embarrassed, Parks said he will work on the program, but nonetheless the winner on Sunday would be A.J. Styles! And that after the match they would go over to A.J.’s grandma’s house to celebrate. A.J. tried to put the kibosh on this, but Parks was already inviting both Xavier and Kayla to join them. A.J. got all flustered and finally agreed they could come over on Monday, because it would be too late on Sunday.
– Kayla switched it up and asked A.J. a legit question on who he is most concerned about and he said Jeff Hardy, mostly because Hardy has had so many of these types of matches and he is the master. He then switched over to Sami and started going on as to how Sami is not a champion and should not even be in the match and that he is out of shape as well. Mostly blaming the fact that he is a new father and that he has not been training and just taking care of his wife (rubbing her feet?). Parks just had to add that he rubs his wife’s feet as well, this guy is great.
– After the fooling around, A.J. cut a legit promo on both Jeff Hardy and Sami Zayn and stated unequivocally that he will win the Intercontinental championship. With that, Parks added a little bit more humor and A.J.’s grandmother mentions and off they went. This was great.
– Next up was the Lucha House Party. They immediately started discussing who would sit and who would stand, continuing the dissention angle. Xavier brought up the tension, but Kalisto quickly said it wasn’t tension but just miscommunication and that while he was away Gran Metalik and Lince Dorado were killing it, but now that he is back he want to “lead” them to even better things. At this Lince said he really didn’t like the attitude that Kalisto was saying he was the leader.
– Xavier tried to give some advice about tag teaming with friends, but Lucha House Party just kept arguing, not yelling a ton, but clearly not on the same page. Lince finally got to say his piece and noted that despite everything when it comes down to the action in the ring, they are together and will do what it takes to win. But, right after that Kalisto jumped in and said that he was to lead them to victory and that set everybody off again. This is just stupid. Yet another breakup angel and quite frankly kind of boring. Let these guys light it up in the ring and have a fun match, this dissension stuff is not good, especially for these guys.
– Xavier asked them who was going to actually be in the match and both Kalisto and Lince said they would let Gran Metalik answer, which he did in Spanish. Kalisto translated it to say that it didn’t matter who was in the ring, together they would win. Xavier and Kayla were all “ok, good, you guys are on the same page”, but to me this just sounds like another reason to have some dissention at Clash of Champions when they try to decide who will actually be in the fight. Oy vey!
– The final guest of the night: Bayley. Bayley entered with his championship belt and “the chair”. Xavier asked about the chair, and Bayley said, “well you never know when you might need a steel chair, right Kayla?” Kayla asked Bayley what it would be like defending her title without being part of the “Golden Role models”, at which point Bayley went off that her and Sasha did not have a tag team name, that it was just Michael Cole calling them that. That her and Sasha were never a real tag team and that she has no concerns over beating Nikki Cross because so far, she has beaten her every time.
-Bayley called the WWE Universe (man I hate using that phrase), the WWE Sheep and that she has done “pretty dang good as an NXT champion, and RAW champion, etc. So, it doesn’t matter about Sasha. Xavier and Kayla praised Bayley, with Xavier saying she is all through WWE history and Kayla noting that she is a grand slam champion. Of course, Bayley just ate this up.
– Xavier went on to note that Nikki has been dealing with some stuff with Alexa, but that Alexa is often at ringside for Nikki. He asked whether Bayley is concerned about that? And the fact that Alexa has been hitting people with the Sister Abigail. Bayley said bring it on, she is not worried about Alexa and the Fiend stuff. Bayley even went so far as to mention that Alexa may actually hit Nikki with it again. Foreshadowing alert watch for Alexa to interfere somehow or someway.
– Kayla tried to bring up Nikki’s being “too nice”, Bayley just brushed off anything about Nikki and touted that she has been champion for almost one year and she has nothing to fear and that she will whoop Nikki and she hopes Sasha is watching from her “hospital bed”. Bayley shook Xavier’s hand but left Kayla hanging.
FINAL THOUGHTS: This episode was pretty good this week without any real weak segments. The Lucha House Party was a bit forced but it did work to continue the story they want to tell, no matter how much I think it is a stupid story.
A.J. and Joseph Parks were great and having Parks there to interject humor (and A.J. playing off it very well), let A.J. get serious at the end was pure gold.
Bayley was her obnoxious self and she played off Xavier and Kayla well. I will say this about Bayley in these types of segments: She has a real feel as to how far to take it, occasionally she will push too far, like with her “ding, dong, hello” shtick, but generally she just makes you want to see her get punched in the face, which is the whole point. Bravo, Bayley!
Running a quick 23 minutes the show is a definite watch, especially if you can catch it before the Clash of Champions on Sunday night. There was some good groundwork laid, and I will be interested in seeing if any of the little strings they laid out on this show end up playing a role on Sunday.
Well, that is it for now, see you all next week. Until then, take care and stay safe.