SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
RAW TALK REPORT
FEBRUARY 8, 2021
AIRED ON WWE NETWORK
REVIEW BY NICK MORGAN, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Hosts: Charly Caruso, R-Truth
This week’s guests: Bianca Belair, Damian Priest, and Mustafa Ali (w/T-bar & Mace)
– Charly introduced the show and welcomed R-Truth and they did their silly “CharTruth” thing and then talked about the Super Bowl and how Charly predicted that the Buccaneers would win. They also spent a couple of moments talking about the announcement of the Elimination Chamber championship match with Drew McIntyre defending in the chamber against Sheamus, Randy Orton, The Miz, Jeff Hardy, and A.J. Styles. Interestingly, they kind of glossed over it, but did talk about Sheamus interrupting the main event on Raw between Drew and Randy, but they moved on quickly and introduced their first guest.
– Bianca Belair was out first.
Morgan’s Analysis: Going into the segment, I was interested to see how Bianca (who has been all over the place in her promos) would do without the influence of Paul Heyman. Last week with Paul handling most of the heavy lifting, Bianca came across great. R-Truth is not Paul Heyman.
– Charly talked about Bianca’s outfit (lots of red sparkles) ad complimented her. Bianca spoke and talked about how she is very excited and that even as a grown woman, right now she feels like a five-year-old in a candy shop.
Morgan’s Analysis: This seemed authentic and came across well until R-Truth started taking it down his ridiculous path talking about M & M’s. Thankfully, Charly was able to bring things back and asked Bianca who she was going to challenge…waiting with bated breath…nope, they just kept talking about all the option.
– Bianca did some normal explaining about all her options for WrestleMania and even when Charly asked her directly, Bianca said either of them would be worthy opponents. Charly asked her about Sasha and with no decision to be made, Bianca mused about maybe doing some kind of poll, to which Charly said, why don’t you just have people tweet at you with their ideas and then they gave out Bianca’s twitter account.
Morgan’s Analysis: Okay, not a bad way to get some social media engagement going.
-With that, Charly ended the segment and Bianca said good night.
Morgan’s Analysis: This was a pretty good appearance. They kept it short and didn’t ask Bianca to go above and beyond. All in all, another successful outing for Belair.
– Next up was Damian Priest. When asked by Charly how its going, Priest noted how cool it was to be in the Rumble with his heroes like Edge and Christian and that he was on a nice roll with two victories in his first two weeks on the big show (Raw). Attention then turned to Priest’s relationship with Bad Bunny, noting that Bunny is a friend. After Truth tried to derail things by mixing things up and started talking about Bugs Bunny, Charly again brought things back by asking Priest how it must be fun to work with Bunny and “who knows, maybe you can tag with him.”
Morgan’s Analysis: Wow let’s not be so blatant when we tell the fans what’s going to happen. I can see it and it makes sense. Priest and Bunny vs. The Miz and Morrison. Priest came across well and can definitely carry a conversation and a promo. My only note on him is that during the segment he only looked at Charly and Truth, so all we got from him was his profile. Looking at the people you are sitting with is a good thing and some wrestlers don’t do it enough, but in his first appearance on this show, he should have done at least one face to the camera moment to lay out a mission statement of some kind.
– Mustafa Ali was up next (along with T-Bar & Mace). As Mace stood over Truth and intimidated him, Ali went on a rant, not about a wrestler, but about the fact that he only found out that he would be on Raw Talk only a few minutes earlier and through a tweet from a fan. Ali went on to continue to complain that all the off-screen producers and camera people were not happy and smiling like they are when Bianca Belair or Priest were out there.
– Ali’s rant was mainly about all the people who ask him why he hasn’t won a title yet, when the people at WWE still don’t pronounce his name right. Truth chimed in that he wasn’t one of them, to which Ali said yeah, you’re right, but you say Mufasa (think Lion King), so don’t get on your high horse. Ali continued that he is bitter and angry that Mace and T-Bar have had their names erased and that all the WWE is concerned about is performers who allow themselves to “become puppets, catchphrases, action figures, and tee-shirts.” While shouting down Charly and mocking Truth, Ali laid into the New Day. He said to them that the New Day had been great, they broke down the doors, but then they slammed the door behind themselves and left no room for helping out people like him and Retribution to get a shot. Ali said they became corporate stooges. Ali continued in this vein for quite a while.
Morgan’s Analysis: Ali can really do this kind of promo well and it’s entertaining. Quite frankly, I have to say that he totally ate Truth and Charly’s toast and left them looking pretty weak. I do love the irony that Ali is talking anti-establishment with the full permission (and possibly scripting) from the overarching powers that be. Nonetheless, I’m along for the ride on this one, but they need to pick their shots. Too much of this could turn into go away heat. Also, I wonder what happens when crowds come back? I have a feeling they will cheer for Ali and his merry pack of misfits.
– Ali signed off while still yelling at everyone and while Charly and R-Truth tried to maintain some semblance of control.
FINAL THOUGHTS: At a little under 22 minutes tonight the show was good and on the whole the guests were interesting and not completely bland WWE automatons – especially Ali. Bianca managed her pretty short segment well, Priest made a good first impression, and Ali just took control. Now that I have said good things, here comes the rant. GET TRUTH OFF THIS SHOW! His humor is stupid, it breaks the flow of any interesting comments by the wrestlers, and he’s irritating. I think Truth is a really talented and fun lower-card wrestler. Doing his shtick backstage or in the ring can be fun, but here he just comes off as a goof. I don’t know if his shtick is supposed to generate some kind of strange type of heat, but for me, it’s turn off the TV type heat. Okay, that’s it for the rant. Truth aside, it was a good show tonight.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S RAW TALK REPORT: 2/1 WWE RAW TALK REPORT: Woods calls out Reckoning and Lana & Naomi talk winning the tag team titles
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