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WWE NETWORK REVIEW: TALKING SMACK
OCTOBER 31, 2020
REVIEW BY NICK MORGAN, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Hosts: Kayla Braxton, Sami Zayn
This week’s guests: The Street Profits (Angelo Dawkins & Montez Ford), Kevin Owens, Dominic & Rey Mysterio, and Bayley
– Hooray! Sami Zayn is back. Thank you, WWE! Sami is so good in this role and he and Kayla are definitely developing.
– The show started with Sami sitting alone at the desk dumping on Kayla for not being there in his inimitable style. He then started running through the Survivor Series but was interrupted by ring announcer Greg Hamilton who said he was told to come out and introduce Sami. Sami was confused but told him to go ahead. Hamilton did the full Sami ring announcement, Sami’s music played and…surprise, surprise, Kayla Braxton came out dressed as Sami Zayn (beard and all) for Halloween.
– Kayla went full Sami, expensive water bottle, fake Intercontinental belt, fake Canadian accent and all. Okay, a little dumb, but kind of funny. As I said above, Kayla and Sami are really developing a good on-air interaction and relationship.
– First guests out are The Street Profits. After some banter about which Sami is which and the real Sami complaining about how unprofessional everyone else is being. In the midst of the silliness Kevin Owens came out and played on his long-time friendship with Sami to comment on how good Kayla’s impersonation of Sami was. Sami complained loudly that he couldn’t concentrate with Kayla in costume and Kayla left to change and Kevin sat in at the table. They spent the next minutes telling the Street Profits that they had run out of time and it was time for them to leave. The segment ended with Sami throwing Montez’s red cup off stage and literally pushed the Street Profits out of the shot.
– Actually, a fun segment, though not much got accomplished.
– Kevin and Sami talked for a bit and you could tell that they are still good friends. Sami finally introduced the next guests, Dominic & Rey Mysterio. Sami, of course, asked about the whole Murphy-Aalyah angle and Rey seemed very concerned and upset, considering what he has gone through with Murphy. He said he felt somewhat responsible since Rey brought her into the WWE world to help support Dominic. Kevin made a good point that Rey had raised Aalyah well and that Rey should hope that he raised her right and she can make good decisions. Rey noted that he has to find out what is going on before making a final conclusion.
– Sami brought up Seth Rollins’ role in all this and Kevin interjected that Seth is a terrible person and perhaps pulling all the strings here and Murphy could be part of the plan. Rey ended by warning Murphy that he is messing with Rey’s daughter and that she should not be involved in what is going on in the WWE. Rey came off here really well, serious and believable, while Dominic didn’t say much, he did ok sitting there looking concerned. Between Kevin, Sami and Rey this segment actually seemed authentic and added some depth to a somewhat icky angle between Aalyah and Murphy.
– Kayla made her return after changing out of her Sami costume. Kevin said his goodbyes after giving Sami a few digs about his interview technique and exited while Kayla introduced their next guest, Bayley. Kayla noted that this had been the first time that she had introduced Bayley with saying WWE Women’s Smackdown champion at which Bayley handled rather well, making nice with Sami.
– Sami quickly brought the conversation around to the upcoming match next week with Sasha for the championship. Bayley did not seem at all down about losing the championship, but rather pumped up about getting it back, noting that she held the championship for 380 days and if you take away the 4 days that Charlotte held it, Bayley held that championship for over 500 days.
– Sami brought up the “knock” on Sasha that, while she can win the championship, she has been unable to defend them. Sami posited that this was most likely the reason why Bayley was looking forward to the match. Bayley concurred with Sami and said, “Sasha is the best I have been in the ring with, but she is not better than me.” That is a great statement of purpose and confidence and was perfect.
– Kayla asked about whether Bayley was looking ahead to the fact that if she beats Sasha, she would be the one to go a face Asuka at Survivor Series (of course they had to get that promo plug in). Bayley responded that of course se is thinking ahead and that is what makes her a great champion.
– With that Sami personally wished Bayley luck, “one champion to another,” and shook Bayley’s hand. Kayla wished everyone a happy Halloween and they went off the air with Kayla and Sami bickering back and forth and leaving a smile on my face.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Talking Smack continues to deliver, and this week at a tight 25 minutes once again delivered some entertainment (the Street Profits and Kevin Owens), some story advancement (Dominic and Rey Mysterio), and a solid promotional effort pushing an upcoming match (Bayley).
A nice easy watch, and I have to say that Bayley continues to deliver some of her best work yet in WWE. In this environment, Bayley toned down some of her recent over the top heelishness and while I don’t think this is any indication of a change in her character, she came across here and driven and sincere in her desire to get back the title. Don’t know what this means, but we will see what happens next week.
Well, that is it for now, see you all next week. Until then, take care and stay safe.