SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
WWE TALKING SMACK
APRIL 17, 2021
BY NICK MORGAN, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Hosts: Kayla Braxton and Paul Heyman
This week’s guest: Dolph Ziegler & Robert Roode, Bianca Belair, and Apollo Crews w/Commander Aziz
– Kayla welcomed us to the show and sold the preceding WrestleMania weekend and touting tonight’s show as a champions edition. Kayla quickly moved on to Paul and asked him how he was doing and Paul responded that he was fantastic. They continued to have some of their normal back and forth and then Paul dumped on the WWE Then, Now, Forever opening noting that Freddie Blassie was dead and that Andre the Giant was dead, but there was no real talk about Roman Reigns. They continued to banter a bit and then Kayla quickly announced Dolph Ziegler and Robert Roode.
– Dolph came right out and dumped on the Street Profits, noting that the Profits had stated that this was “take back” day, but the Profits lost and now had to go to the back of the line. Listen, both of these guys can talk, but they are constantly on this show and WWE treats the Tag Team division so badly that it is really hard to care about what theses two have to say as they seem much more interested in cracking jokes and “looking good” than about the fact that they are the Tag Team champions.
– After about one minute, they left saying they had a lot to do and have a victory party to go to. Kayla went to commercial noting that Bianca Belair was up next. We got the Steve Austin promo for next year’s WrestleMania in Dallas. And we are back with Bianca Belair.
– Belair was at the desk with her new belt and talked about how great it feels to be champion and how unreal the whole ride has been. Kayla noted that Belair continues to show respect for Sasha Banks and asked her how she will elevate the title. Belair said all the normal things about being a fighting champion and that she wants to give Sasha an immediate rematch. When pressed on who else she might want to face, Belair did mention Bayley but made a point to say that she has already pinned Bayley. This was said with confidence not cockiness, so Belair is staying in the babyface lane. Belair continued and said that in addition to pinning Sasha and Bayley that she would like to pin the other “horse women” implying Charlotte and Becky Lynch.
– At this point, Paul chimed in with his admonition to Belair that if she can do it, she could go down as one of the greatest champions (man or women, human or Martian, yup he went there). Paul basically mentioned every woman on both Raw and Smackdown as potential opponents (Paul, I don’t think Lana or Tamina have a shot). After this, Paul asked to shake the hand of a great champion and Belair was out.
– We got some more commercials at this point featuring Peacock and the Vaccine spot. Then they came back with Apollo Crews and his henchman, Commander Aziz.
Morgan’s Analysis: Okay, let me just say straight out that I hate this angle as it makes this whole new character by Crews seem cheap and more cartoonish, rather than leaning into the mythology that Crews has found something in his roots, and it has led to him breaking out from the mid-card to become the Intercontinental Champion. Sigh, WWE just has to turn everything into a caricature and leave the character behind.
– They did a goofy thing with Crews giving Paul permission to take a picture with Aziz acting protective. Quick comment on Aziz, all he did was a grumpy, frown face. Crews noted that it was his plan to have a no rules match and have Aziz interfere and it was smart on his part. Crews claimed that there were parades in Nigeria for Crews and that the President of Nigeria wanted to meet him. The writers for this character are going so far overboard that it is fast becoming a farce. When Crews was just using that he had found his roots as motivation I actually thought it worked, but they are really getting close to making Crews look like a fool.
– Paul then basically gave the same speech that he gave to Belair to Crews, noting that Big E would be coming for Crews. At the mention of Big E, Aziz pounded the spear on the ground. Paul asked Crews about Big E and Crews cut a promo directly into the camera saying that he is not scared of Big E and that he knows that Big E can’t beat him. He said that at WrestleMania he took a part of Big E’s soul and that now there is no way Big E can win.
Morgan’s Analysis: I guess we will see if Vince actually likes this new character or will Big E win back the title and Crews will drop back down the card in a Tag Team with Aziz.
– Crews then switched back to happy guy and said the celebration would continue. He told Aziz to fire up the jet and Crews was out. Off to another commercial featuring the Rey Mysterio ad for the 2022 WWE game and a promo for next week’s Raw with Asuka versus Charlotte.
– Back to the set with just Kayla and Paul. Kayla turned the floor over to Paul who cut a promo on behalf of Roman Reigns and the fact that Roman was the main event of WrestleMania and that all of the champions on the show must be jealous. Paul went on for a few minutes about Roman being the Head of the Table, the sun around which the WWE revolves, and the fact that Roman stacked up both Daniel Bryan and Edge and remained the dominant champion on WWE. Paul ended by stating that next year at WrestleMania Roman Reigns would again be the main event as the defending champion and that was not a prediction but a Tribal Chief Guaranteed Spoiler!
– And we are out.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Aside from Paul’s ending monologue, this was a very blah 26-minute show this week. Similar to Smackdown itself, the show just had very little energy and was pretty repetitive in what it was putting forth. Dolph and Roode were jerks, Belair was perky and really didn’t say much, and Crews was mostly cringe inducing. It won’t kill you to watch this week, but there was really not much news or noteworthy detail, unless you wanted to see Aziz’s solitary facial expression and see how long he could maintain it without cracking up. I wish I could be more positive, but this show was not good this week, despite both Paul and Kayla’s best efforts.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S TALKING SMACK REPORT: 4/3 WWE TALKING SMACK REPORT: Sami Zayn rants about his documentary, Natalya & Tamina set their sights on WrestleMania, more