SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
WWE TALKING SMACK
MARCH 27, 2021
BY NICK MORGAN, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Hosts: Kayla Braxton and Paul Heyman
This week’s guests: Sasha Banks, Apollo Crews, and Paul Heyman
– The show started with the camera focused solely on Paul Heyman who introduced himself as the special counsel to Roman Reigns and went on a short rant regarding the fact that Roman now needs to face both Edge and Daniel Bryan and foreshadowed Adam Pearce’s upcoming appearance on Talking Smack. He said that he has a lot to say to Mr. Pearce. Paul then introduced Kayla Braxton and the show got on with its task of blatantly promoting WrestleMania.
– Kayla turned the energy up to 11 and hit us with the WrestleMania is “only two weeks away” bit. She started her rundown of recent events by touting the upcoming triple threat match and threw it to Paul for his “morning rant.” Rather than take the bait, Paul threw it back to Kayla noting that anything he has to say he will say directly to Adam Pearce later in the show. Kayla then went on to run down the matches at WrestleMania, focusing on the new matches announced on Smackdown including Rollins vs. Cesaro, Apollo Crews vs. Big E, and Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn and threw to a commercial noting that Owens would be joining them after the break.
– Kevin Owens joined the show and was in his calm, happy mood. He said he was looking forward to fighting Sami Zayn. Kevin noted that he and Sami have been “joined at the hip” for almost 20 years and they are more like brothers than friends. Kevin talked about how when they were wrestling in Canada at the beginning of their careers they were always asked for as a duo for events. Kevin acknowledged that he has always respected Sami, but that everything that Sami has been doing over the last couple of months (the whole conspiracy thing) is not the real Sami. Kevin said he is looking forward to knocking some sense into Sami at WrestleMania. For Kevin this is a dream come true, but it might be somewhat of a nightmare for Sami.
– Paul kept trying to interject and Kevin kept cutting him off, this was great and nice little bit of business to tie back to their interactions when Kevin was battling Roman. Continuing to dig at Paul, Kevin asked him if he thinks with the addition of Daniel Bryan would Roman still retain his title at WrestleMania. Of course, Paul said no he didn’t think so, he knows so and then said, “that’s not a prediction that’s a” and Kevin finished it off saying” spoiler.”
(Morgan’s Analysis: Ah, it’s great watching two masters at work in a duet of words that is seamless and actually seems real and unscripted. Bravo.
– Kevin then made news that he was looking forward to the Money in the Bank PPV, definitely foreshadowing a possible run of Kevin Owens with the briefcase.
– After another commercial for Covid19 vaccinations, Bianca Belair joined the hosts on the set. Bianca noted she was excited about WrestleMania and she feels good about getting some payback on Sasha on Smackdown but was a bit taken aback by Kayla bringing up Sasha hitting Bianca with a Backstabber. Bianca did her best to cast the match in a more sports way in terms of its two athletic women battling for something special.
(Morgan’s Analysis: A note here on Bianca: She is new to this and we shouldn’t expect perfection. She has improved greatly over the past year, but still needs some work, especially in the modulation of her voice, as she tends to just stay at one level and not go different places to emphasize different points. Also at points she seems to “fast talk” as if she is just trying to get through the scripted lines she has memorized. Bianca needs to learn how to use pace, pauses, and tempo to become great.)
– At this point Paul interjected: Don’t worry about Sasha calling her a rookie, accept that you are a rookie that has pushed Sasha to the limit and is fighting for the championship at WrestleMania. Paul then gave Bianca the same advice he gave Big E, remember that this is a business and camaraderie with the other wrestlers is not the thing, your family and fiends are what are important, not the people “in the back.” He said that if your focus is solely on the championship and not making nice-nice in the back, then you can be successful. Bianca took this all in and ended her segment with saying she appreciated Paul’s advice and wisdom.
– We got another WrestleMania video commercial and were then graced with the presence of Adam Pearce. Adam sat looking very satisfied with himself and Paul was visibly upset, but begrudgingly shook Pearce’s hand. Paul threw away his notes, wished Pearce a good Passover, and then launched into his grievances. Paul outright asked Pearce to change the WrestleMania match for the Universal Championship. Paul’s main complaint seemed to be (and actually to me makes sense) that the championship can change hands without Roman being beaten. Through Paul’s tirade, Pearce just seemed bemused by the whole thing and actually happy that he was causing Paul such agitation.
– Paul made the point that Roman has been dominant and now in this type of match he can’t really be dominant and be on offense. Instead, Paul said he has to be defensive to make sure that Bryan doesn’t beat Edge or Edge beat Bryan. It’s not what the public wants. By doing this match, Paul posited that Pearce is denying the paying public from seeing what they want and that is a dominant Roman Reigns on offense against another top opponent. Pearce responded that he was blown away by Paul’s setting out of his point of view and that in fact he hadn’t thought of things that way. As he paused Paul jumped in and asked, “so you are going to change the match?” to which Pearce responded, “hell no,” with a giggle from Kayla off camera.
– At this point Pearce really seemed to enjoy sticking it to Paul and this was playing into a story that Pearce is tired off being pushed around by Roman and company and is looking forward to this. Pearce left the set saying, “See you at WrestleMania. See ya, wouldn’t want to be ya.” Pierce was obviously happy to have stuck it to Paul and Roman, which quite frankly says to me that Roman is going to win, but made for a nice exit for Pearce in this situation.
– The show ended as it began with, the camera focused solely on Paul. He angrily noted that both Edge and Bryan had formally needed to retire due to injury and asked the fans of Edge and Bryan if they thought that Roman was not able to punish them. They have pushed Roman into a corner and Roman will unleash his savageness on them, bust the PG standard, leave Edge and Bryan broken and walk out of WrestleMania as the champion.
– As Kayla said goodbye, Paul angrily tore off his mic and earpiece and we were out.
FINAL THOUGHTS: With the three “commercial” breaks, the show ran 32 minutes, which is a bit long, but the performances throughout the show were great, making the show very watchable. Kevin Owens was great, Bianca was okay (with an assist from Paul) and the final segment between Paul and Adam Pearce was a good watch, so not a lot of negative to say. I still want to hear from both Edge and Daniel Bryan on the main event of WrestleMania, but I expect we will get that over the next two weeks. As long as they keep up this level of show, I would plan on watching as it will help in getting psyched up for WrestleMania.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S TALKING SMACK REPORT: 3/20 WWE TALKING SMACK REPORT: Paul Heyman cuts a show closing promo, Banks tries for history, more