SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
WWE NETWORK REVIEW: TALKING SMACK
NOVEMBER 14, 2020
REVIEW BY NICK MORGAN, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Hosts: Kayla Braxton, Paul Heyman
This week’s guests: Sasha Banks, Otis, and The Mysterio Family w/Murphy
– Kayla introduced the show and welcomed her co-host Paul Heyman. Of course, Paul corrected the way he introduced her and went through his whole shtick about being Roman Reigns’ special counsel, blah, blah, blah. He also took a dig at Kayla’s hair. Booooooo!
– Kayla gave Paul some of it back and then highlighted the main angle of the night regarding Drew McIntyre and who Roman would be facing at Survivor Series next week. Paul said that Roman would be ready, whomever it is. Roman is the number one, and Randy or Drew are and will always be number two. After this went on for a while (a little bit too long), they briefly discussed Jey Uso and Paul simply said it is not his place, when Roman is ready to talk about it, he will. Good bit to keep the fan base guessing what is and will go on with the Roman and Jey dynamic.
– They finally moved on to the first guest, Sasha Banks, who Kayla introduced with great fanfare and an overabundance of positive adjectives, but she did it well. My whole problem with this is that it keeps Sasha in a more heelish lane as basking in your accomplishments and not showing humility is not conducive to a good wrestling babyface (in my opinion). Anyway, Sasha joined them at the table and actually called herself the Beyonce of wrestling, when Kayla commented on her “look” and outfits. Head shake.
– Even though it happened last week they, they discussed the fact that Sasha was able to retain her title and that she had now proved all the “haters” (her word) wrong that she couldn’t defend the title. After Sasha called herself the greatest of all time, Kayla brought up Carmela and Sasha continued her stance that as the Smackdown champion she is the greatest.
– Sasha called out Carmela to stop attacking her from behind, to come at her from the front. She is ready and will continue to prove that she is the best. After a brief spiel about beating Asuka at Survivor Series, Sasha took her leave and Kayla, and Paul threw some shade at Sasha at being a terrible guest (strange?).
– Next up was Otis. Otis continued to call Kayla his spicy pepper. Moving on, Kayla went right into the nights action between Otis and Dolph Zeigler. Otis went on a long speech about how he has had a lot of things thrown at him, but he just has to keep going and moving forward. Otis talked about beating up the pretty boy, Dolph, and Paul agreed with him. Paul said he hates Dolph’s hair and abs because he has neither. Nice play, Paul. Kayla said that both Otis and Paul could get the abs by going to the Alpha Academy (Chad Cable angle this week). Otis played up the angle with Chad a bit and we should be seeing more of that going forward. Big news: Otis mentioned that he and Mandy were still going strong. Great to hear Otis. This segment was a bit weird, and except for revealing that Paul envies Dolph’s hair and abs, and that Otis is upset at all the bad turns he has faced lately, not much else was forwarded here.
– Moving on the entire Mysterio clan including Murphy (!?) entered and ended up taking Paul’s chair giving him an opportunity to yell at the crew to get him a chair on the other side of Kayla. After the expected talk about family from Rey, Kayla immediately moved onto the Murphy question. She asked Murphy how it felt to finally get the approval from Rey and Murphy actually talked. He said that it was great to finally get to speak for himself and that Seth was a master manipulator and that he is glad to be able to make good with the Mysterios.
– Aalyah said that it was awesome to see her faith in Murphy fulfilled and that Murphy protected her dad. Awwwwww. Rey stated that it is great that after everything that the family had gone through that everyone was able to forgive and come together. Kayla asked Murphy about his match next week versus Seth and Murphy said he is looking forward to it, and that he has something Seth doesn’t have, backup (nodding to the Mysterios).
– And that ended the show with Kayla signing off after wishing Murphy luck next week.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Talking Smack continues to deliver, and this week at a very tight 22 minutes once again delivered. While I still miss Sami Zayn in the co-host role, using Paul in this role allows them to play on the Roman Reigns angle, which is really this best thing in WWE in many, many years, so I appreciate what they are doing with Paul here. Though I do say, please bring Sami back on a regular basis even if he is a third host at the table.
A general comment that I have noted before but bears repeating here: Talking Smack makes good use of the split screen during the interviews to play clips from the action on Smackdown and provides context to what is being said. Granted most people who watch Talking Smack have probably watched Smackdown, but just in case it provides a good reference point for the viewers.
I am not sure if it is a running gag they are doing, or is real, but Kayla always seems to have to remind the guests to take their hand-held mikes with them. I don’t know why, but I get a kick out of it.
As for the show this week, I thought the guest segments were so-so. Sasha needs a lot of work and basically all she says is she is the best but does little to build her story. Otis is just comic relief and seems to be sinking more and more into that lane as he becomes less of a factor on the main show. As for the Mysterios and Murphy, it really kind of fell flat and was just a big hug. While this is just the beginning of this, I didn’t really expect more, but maybe something from Dominic to show that he was not 100 percent okay with Murphy and his sister. If it’s a slow build fine, but I expect that they have kind of got themselves here and are not quite sure what they are going to do now.
Well, that is it for now, see you all next week. Until then, take care and stay safe.