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WWE NETWORK REVIEW: TALKING SMACK
OCTOBER 10, 2020
REVIEW BY NICK MORGAN, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Hosts: Kayla Braxton, Sami Zayn
This week’s guests: Bianca Belair, Heavy Machinery (Otis & Tucker),
– Kayla Braxton welcomed everyone to Talking Smack and with quite a bit of dripping sarcasm and a little bit of trepidation noted that she had been given a new co-host, Sami Zayn. It was not made clear whether this was a somewhat permanent thing, or if, with Xavier Woods back in the ring, they will be rotating hosts for Kayla on Talking Smack. Only time will tell.
– Sami preened and made a big deal about setting his championship belt on the table just so. He noted how it was different being on this side of the mike and was just, well, full on Sami.
– Kayla noted that the first night of the draft was over and that A.J. Styles was moved over to RAW and Sami was extremely happy and let us know. They reviewed some other moves in the Draft, especially the move of Seth Rollins to Smackdown after six years as a Monday Night Raw mainstay.
– Kayla introduced their first guest, “The EST” Bianca Belair. Bianca sat down and Kayla immediately noticed that she had transitioned from red lipstick to more appropriate blue lipstick now that she had been drafted by Smackdown. Sami made sure Bianca was holding her mic correctly and made a big deal of settling into the co-host role and totally hamming it up. I love Sami. He is just great!!
– Bianca ran through opponents she would like to face, noting first, Sasha Banks of course and then mentioning that she hoped Charlotte Flair and Carmela would be drafted to Smackdown as she would like to face both of them. A little foreshadowing going on here? Bianca came off very babyface. Kayla read off a list of Bianca’s accomplishments including the fact that she can deadlift 415 pounds. Wow! And that she lasted 33 minutes in the women’s Royal Rumble. Kayla did bring up that Bianca’s husband, Montez Ford, is over on Raw as part of the tag team champions, The Street Profits. Bianca said that they would work it out. Of course, Sami immediately brought up that it might be ok if Ford stayed on Raw so she could excel without him. Bianca brushed it off.
– There was no mention of the fact that it seems (at least to me) pretty obvious, that since Cesaro and Nakamura (the Smackdown tag team champs) were drafted to Raw, that the Street Profits will be moving to Smackdown. Unless (I hope, I hope, I hope), they decide to merge the belts once draft time is over.
– Kayla sent Bianca off with profuse plaudits of her abilities, while Sami kind of did his heelish best to play it down a bit. Next up, Otis and Tucker. Otis of course came out with the money in the bank briefcase and lunch box. Otis immediately started his shtick, calling Kayla “his spicy pepper”.
– Sami and Otis started going at each other about the time Otis handed Sami a 40-pound ham and the fact that Sami is a vegan. They quickly transitioned to a discussion about the lawsuit and “court date’ that didn’t happen on tonight’s Smackdown (bait and switch much, WWE), but Kayla interrupted the levity with some breaking news: “The draft is continuing right now.” The first name is Humberto Carrillo moving over to Raw (so much for a Carrillo-Dominick Mysterio tag team); next Murphy is moving to Smackdown (this one was obvious with the other moves announced tonight, Seth, Rey, Dominick); Drew Gulak to Raw; Kalisto to Smackdown (the end of the party); Tucker moving to Raw (announced by Sami with an abundance of glee).
– So, they are breaking up Heavy Machinery. Kayla wondered out loud if perhaps Miz might have had something to do with this. Kayla also noted that they were breaking up several teams tonight (hello, New Day). Tucker noted that he and Otis are obviously upset but they will be okay, and you never know what might happen down the road. So, they keep Otis on Smackdown and keep Mandy on Raw and now move Tucker to Raw. I guess it’s one way to kill the Otis-Mandy angle.
– Moving on, Kayla yelled a bit at Sami about how he handled the news that Tucker and Otis were getting broken up, but Sami defended himself by noting how this could be good for Tucker and that he is a good talent and he could really excel on Raw. Of course, being Sami he couldn’t let it go there, he had to note that given all that he still did find it funny that they learned they were breaking up the way they did on Talking Smack. Thank you, Sami, for not giving in to your humanity and staying the heel we love.
– Kayla noted she was a bit worried about how Sami would react to their next guests given how he had just handled Otis and Tucker, but she went ahead anyway and introduced the New Day. Big E, Xavier Woods, and Kofi Kingston. Xavier told Sami to get out of his chair and left Sami standing for the rest of the segment. Xavier noted that since he is going to Raw that he and Kayla would not be working together anymore (so now we know, no more Xavier on Talking Smack. Sigh, he was good).
– Kayla asked them how they were feeling. Big E noted that they had been together for six years and that they were good times and that he was said. Big E added some levity by noting that Kofi might not have many years left and they all seemed to laugh genuinely. Xavier said that New Day was a brotherhood and now the audience would be able to see some form of New Day on both Monday and Friday nights.
– Sami talked about how it is a real accomplishment that New Day has been going for six years and they managed to keep it fresh and fun. But Sami, being Sami, he couldn’t leave it there and brought up how good a run Big E had been having lately and that he has been showing that he can be a monster. Xavier jumped in and agreed but asked Sami if he knows what Big E wants? Sami walked right into it and asked Xavier what does Big E want? Xavier took a long hard look at Sami’s Intercontinental title foreshadowing a program between Big E and Sami. That should be good to see. Bring it on!
– Kayla brought up the New Day’s farewell match next week on the season premiere of Smackdown versus Sheamus, Cesaro, and Shinsuke Nakamura and signed off until next week.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Another good outing for Talking Smack. Kayla and Sami had good chemistry, I hope they keep bringing Sami back, he adds some needed character to the show and he just seems so, so, so comfortable in his skin as the smarmy, slimy, heel who is quite self-delusional. Listen up WWE, keep going with Sami!
The guests this week were all strong: Bianca came off as a star on the rise, Tucker and Otis can be a little much at time (especially Otis), but tonight they toned it down enough so that their personalities could shine and generate some real feelings about them being broken up. They New Day were the New Day and rather than doing shtick, they really did come out and talk like friends and athletes who had forged a bond that while it is being stretched a bit, will not be broken. The tease of Big E going after the Intercontinental title was a bit obvious but underplayed enough to not be a joke.
All in all, well done!
The show was only 25 minutes this week and totally worth the time. Check it out.
Well, that is it for now, see you all next week. Until then, take care and stay safe.