SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
RAW TALK REPORT
FEBRUARY 1, 2021
AIRED ON WWE NETWORK
REVIEW BY NICK MORGAN, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Hosts: Charly Caruso, R-Truth
This week’s guests: Lacey Evans & Ric Flair, Naomi & Lana, The New Day (Xavier Woods and Kofi Kingston)
– Charly welcomed us to the show back selling the Royal Rumble. As the camera focused on Charly and Truth the first thing you noticed was that Truth had the 24/7 belt again. They then showed a clip of R-Truth sneaking up behind Peter Rosenberg while he was on the Michael Kay radio show and tossing Rosenberg around and ultimately pinning him to get the belt back.
– Moving on, Charly and Truth discussed the events on Raw, settling on the Alexa Bliss – Randy Orton angle that led to Edge beating Orton to end the show. It would be great if they actually discussed the angle, but they just spouted a bunch of cliches and moved on. They built up Edge’s big weekend and the fact that he will be going to WrestleMania. They spent no time really talking about this, but quickly moved on to Lacey Evans and Ric Flair.
– Charly asked them what was going on between them. Lacey’s explanation was “work smarter, not harder”. Meaning that she sees Ric as a smart man who can help her. Charly then asked Ric what he was getting out of this. His response, “I am getting my respect back.” From there, he basically alluded to the fact that he is a double hall of famer and has an incredible amount of knowledge and that he is tired of hearing that someone (Charlotte) is a bigger deal than he is.
– The whole angle and the interview were about the fact that Ric is going to give all his knowledge to Lacey and that the whole looker room is on notice that Lacey is going to go to the top.
Morgan’s Analysis: This segment was just all over the place with Lacey leaning far in on her Southern Belle accent and Ric trying to go full “Nature Boy”, which at age 71, unfortunately does not come off very well and is actually a bit pathetic. I am a huge fan of Ric Flair, The Nature Boy, but seeing him on this show just made me sad.
– Next, it was time to “Feel the Glow” with Naomi and Lana. Charly asked how it felt to win the match tonight and be first in line for a shot at the tag team belts. Both women noted that they were excited and took a moment to mention how they have been friends for a long time – going back to before they were in WWE. They discussed Nia Jax and when Truth said he had gone through some stuff with her, Lana said so had she, in the form of nine tables.
– Lana said that while she knows that the Royal Rumble is about getting a shot at WrestleMania, she was really psyched to have been able to be a major part in eliminating Nia Jax from the Rumble. Naomi then commented on how they feel, as a team, they have a real shot at beating Nia and Shayna because they are not taking Naomi and Lana seriously and they will regret “sleeping” on them.
Morgan’s Analysis: Interesting to see if WWE actually lets Naomi and Lana win so that Shayna and Nia can move on to other things. Both women came across personable and likable, but not vacant. Naomi has always had some credibility and in this setting, Lana came across really well. She wasn’t screechy or inept, but sincere and she actually made me want to root for her. Unfortunately, Charly had to end things by asking if they had come up with a name yet (boy, I hate WWE cutesy names), but Naomi floated “Ravishing Glow”, so we may have to live with that.
– After this feel-good segment we moved on to The New Day. Xavier immediately started cutting a promo on Retribution saying that he was now two and two versus Retribution and he wants Reckoning. He demanded that Adam Pearce make the match and Kofi noted that WWE has done some inter-gender matches (see Sasha Banks vs. Reginald) so the match should happen.
Morgan’s Analysis: Their energy here was way over the top and totally appropriate. It really brought the shade on Retribution and Mustafa Ali. They basically talked none-stop and every couple of minutes or so, Xavier went nuts and yelled directly to the camera for Adam Pearce to “give me Reckoning.”
– As Kofi and Xavier calmed down a bit, Kofi noted that he was close to being medically cleared and that he is coming for Ali. Xavier again demanded a match against Reckoning next week to complete his best of five series against Retribution and everyone said goodbye and we were out.
Morgan’s Analysis: Wow, the New Day really brought the energy and even if you missed some of what they said (even referencing Big E) it was a great segment to end the show and was really entertaining.
FINAL THOUGHTS: At a little under 26 minutes tonight the show was good and actually moved some angles along, especially Naomi and Lana. As I noted above, New Day brought the fire and I will be interested to see if they do the Reckoning match versus Woods. I’m sure that Reckoning (Mia Yim) could actually have a good match with Xavier (avoiding the punches and such, this is WWE after all), but a match of wrestling holds, flips and dives could be great. I could even see Mia Yim winning. On the negative side of the coin was the Lacey and Ric Flair segment. The whole angle is a dumpster fire and the more they try to salvage it by still winking at the creepy side of things, the worse it gets. It’s time to pull the plug. They need to deploy a typical WWE strategy and keep both Lacey and Flair off the show for a few weeks and then have her come back like it all never happened. I would love to see her do a full character switch and play up her military background and put her in some fatigues and make her a bad ass marine babyface, not a sexpot, blonde bombshell southern belle.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S RAW TALK REPORT: 1/25 WWE RAW TALK REPORT: Charlotte prepared for the Royal Rumble and Bobby Lashley calms the Hurt Business