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WWE NETWORK REVIEW: TALKING SMACK
NOVEMBER 7, 2020
AIRED ON WWE NETWORK
REVIEW BY NICK MORGAN, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Hosts: Kayla Braxton, Paul Heyman
This week’s guests: Carmela, Sami Zayn (not really a guest, more like a pissed off former co-host), King Corbin, and Seth Rollins
– Kayla introduced the show and welcomed her new co-host Paul Heyman. Wow! Kayla admitted she was nervous to be hosting with him and Paul played up the somewhat smarmy, know-it-all side of his personality.
– Paul told Kayla that he “got this” and went right into his “special counsel” to Roman Reigns shtick and said that he was there to keep Kayla on the straight and narrow, alluding to her “unauthorized” interview with Jey Uso on Smackdown this week. Kayla tried to check that everything was okay and that she hadn’t caused any problems, and when Paul basically said she was being busy-body, Kayla tried to defend herself by saying she is a journalist (oh, please!). Paul said you are not a journalist, “you are a gossip.” Wow!
– Kayla then said something even stupider; she said “we” (journalists) are glorified gossips, to which Paul responded that Walter Cronkite and Edward R. Murrow (you youngsters can google them) are now rolling over in their graves. I don’t know if Paul was the one who wrote this or whether this was off the cuff, but it was great!
– Kayla then moved on to the end of Smackdown and the continuing angle with Roman and Jey. Paul did a great job in saying that Roman is not evil, but rather that he is a family man and loves Jey and the rest of his family. A nice bit of adding meat to the bones of this angle.
-Next Kayla introduced Carmela. I really hate this new character. She went from a cool person from Staten Island to an airhead from Hollywood, just another blonde bombshell from Vince McMahon’s fantasies. Carmela heeled it up and noted how no one is talking about Sasha Banks defending her title. “They are all talking about me,” she said. Then Paul went on and on, building up Carmela and talking about how she is beautiful, sexy, and empowering. He said that she laid out Sasha on the stage. (Beautiful and sexy should not be the characteristics of a wrestling star. Bring back the old Carmela!)
– Kayla asked Carmela why she changed from the happy, dancing, fun Carmela and Carmela said that was not her, this is the real her. Right after that she immediately went into how good she was as that other character. Ugh, tone deaf. Carmela heeled a bit on Sasha, obviously building up to the feud that she will obviously be in with Sasha in the near future.
– Before the next guest, Sami came out and demanded to know why the “champion of the people “is not in the co-host chair. Sami went off on Kayla demanding to know if Kayla had anything to do with this. Kayla said she had nothing to do with it, so Sami turned to Paul and asked him. Paul denied it as well and said that it was all Kayla’s doing. Paul asked Sami if he (Paul) had ever lied to Sami and Sami said, “Well, yes.” Then Paul took a long pause. Sami then went on a rant, saying that he was the man, the champion of the people, and he is being denied and that they (the powers that be) are trying to suppress him. He then cut a promo on Bobby Lashley and their match at Survivor Series. Great segment! Let me take a breath!
– Next up was “King” Corbin. They discussed his match against Rey Mysterio and his participation on the Survivor Series team. This was pretty bland, even with Paul trying to liven things up. Paul did most of the talking in this segment (pretty entertaining), and they obviously did this as Corbin is not the most engaging talker. Watch the beginning of this segment while Paul is talking and then skip the rest.
– Kayla pretty much rushed Corbin off the set and moved on to the next guest: Seth Rollins. Kayla complimented Seth’s fur-trimmed jacket and he totally no-sold the compliment and then Seth went on to say he was the leader of the Survivor Series team, right after the segment where Corbin said he was the leader or captain. They are running the same angle on Smackdown about a fight for the captaincy of the team as they are on Raw. Yes, I am shaking my head in confusion that these writers can’t come up with something else. Note to the powers that be: KILL the Survivor Series or just make it one match on a pay-per-view. Having a whole show around this concept is now officially the worst thing ever.
– Kayla asked Seth about Murphy and Seth said that he was not surprised that Murphy came around and pledged his discipleness to Seth. Seth said that “truth will light the way” and as such he always knew that Murphy would come around. Seth did a good job. He sounded completely crazy like a cult leader, but was not over the top shouting, and ranting; instead, he was just calmly speaking about how he sees reality. This was really good.
– Okay, this just seems ridiculous, Kayla asked if Seth wanted Dominic to come over and see the light. Did they really just lay this all out there this blatantly? I wonder if this is just a huge swerve or whether they really are that bad at writing this stuff. I guess we will see.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Talking Smack continues to deliver, and this week at a tight 25 minutes once again delivered. The pre-guest segment with Kayla and Paul was a lot of fun. Sami’s “run-in” and meltdown was great, and Seth did a good job setting up his character for the next chapter, though I was not keen on Kayla bringing up Dominic’s potential alliance with Seth; better to let us continue to speculate.
Carmela sucks in this new character. As the Princess of Staten Island, she was brash and fun (whether face or heel). This character is just a boring, cookie-cutter, Vince McMahon, blonde heel (think Charlotte without as much talent). I wonder if we can VOTE Vince off the island? The Corbin segment was just flat, despite Paul doing most of the heavy lifting.
As for Paul, I enjoyed him tonight, but I hope they don’t make this a regular thing as too much Paul can get redundant and boring. Keep Sami and the main co-host and then maybe throw Paul in occasionally as a guest co-host or a third member (again, only occasionally).
A liberal use of your fast-forward button will totally enhance your enjoyment of Talking Smack this week, but as the poor segments were relatively short, even a straight-through viewing is fun and enjoyable.
Well, that is it for now. See you all next week. Until then, take care and stay safe.
RECOMMENDED: 10/31 WWE TALKING SMACK REVIEW: Kayla and Sami talk with Street Profits, Kevin Owens, Dominic & Rey Mysterio, Bayley
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