5/1 WWE TALKING SMACK REPORT: Heyman addresses Reigns vs. Bryan main event, Seth talks next week’s match with Cesaro, more



APRIL 30, 2021

Hosts: Kayla Braxton and Paul Heyman

This week’s guest: Natalya & Tamina, Apollo Crews w/Commander Aziz, and Seth Rollins, with a final word from Paul on the Roman vs. Daniel Bryan match

– Kayla opened up the show welcoming us to another edition of Talking Smack after an amazing Smackdown. As the camera focused on the desk, she introduced her co-host, Paul Heyman and they bantered a bit with Kayla even telling Paul that he looks very good with his tie and pocket square and asked him about getting dressed, to which Paul actually started to answer starting with his showering. Kayla quickly stopped him, and they continued on some more with good natured ribbing going both ways.

– Kayla finally brought things back to the actual Smackdown show and noted that of course Paul wanted to talk about Roman Reigns’ big win but first they had to welcome their first guests of the night: Natalya and Tamina. Oh my, not these two. Before they could be asked a question, Natalya immediately stated that they deserve a shot at the tag team championships. At this point Tamina broke in and went off on both Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax. I don’t know why she was so angry, but she just came out yelling without any build up. Not good. Tamina continued to rip Nia saying that Jax has disrespected her, getting angrier and angrier until she stood up, tore off her jacket and just screamed and stormed off.

– Kayla tried to spin this as a Tamina “we have never seen before” but have been waiting to see. Not me especially, but this is obviously the continuation of 50/50 booking in the ring leading up to a match at Backlash. Ok, whatever, this was very short and pointless, as Natalya was left standing there and had to note that she had to go check on Tamina. Kayla sent us off to break and we got a promo for a new WWE network program, Most Wanted Treasures, which looks like an American Pickers type show where legend wrestlers travel around and visit people who have collected memorabilia over the years, Sarcasm alert, looks like a real winner here, yeah, uh, NO! We also got another spot for the WWE 2K22 video game featuring Mysterio. Bring back the vaccine ads, please.

– Back from break it is the Apollo Crews and Commander Aziz show. Rather than coming out strong and basking in his retention of the Intercontinental Title, Crews just started complaining that everyone was after him and that is why he has Aziz with him to watch his back. Crews then turned to Paul and now understands what Roman goes through and that he, Crews, will follow in the “Tribal Chief’s” lead and eliminate all his opponents (Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, and Big E) and then he will invite Roman onto his private jet and go off and celebrate. I really hope this was just some shtick for Paul to grin at on Talking Smack and does not indicate that Apollo will somehow be brought into the Roman Reigns story line, because that would be awful given Apollo’s current overacting and this whole angle. We will see, but I really hope not. With that Crews left as Kayla tried to ask him some questions and then she stated to complain to Paul that “isn’t this supposed to be an interview show?”

– Paul sat and smiled smugly and answered Kayla’s comment about the show by saying that what just happened was all to the credit of Roman Reigns and his absolute destruction of Daniel Bryan and the “Yes” movement. Not quite sure how that applies, but OK. Kayla then sent us off to a break with a promo for the WWE 24 show featuring The Miz and a vaccine PSA.

– After two rather brief segments we are back with Seth Rollins at the desk. Paul and Seth took the opportunity to question why Daniel Bryan was included in the PSA since he is not supposed to be anywhere on Smackdown now that the great Roman Reigns had banished him from Smackdown by totally beating him. Paul threw it back to Kayla and then immediately took it back and started to talk with Seth about his wardrobe for which Seth thanked him and also commented how great Roman’s victory was.

– Seth pivoted to Cesaro and said he felt that Cesaro was looking beyond Seth Rollins and whatever Cesaro thinks he is in store for him and that he went to school watching Roman and will use that to totally destroy Cesaro next Friday. Kayla finally got a word in, bringing up what Cesaro did to Seth at WrestleMania, to which Seth noted that since Smackdown is indoors so there will be no weather delay which Seth has been using as a reason he lost to Cesaro.

– Seth showed supreme confidence that he would beat Cesaro and when Kayla noted that Cesaro seems to be focusing on a potential run at the Universal championship, Paul just ignored her and said that if he wasn’t so busy with being the special counsel to Roman, he would hire a team of lawyers to get the match result between Cesaro and Seth at WrestleMania expunged from the record. Not sure how this relates to the Cesaro vs. Roman potential match, but these three were just riffing here and going this way and that. It was a bit hard to follow, but it was fun watching Seth do his smarmy, excuse-ridden heel thing, Paul do his smug, professional thing, and Kayla in there giving as good as she got, doing her exasperated professional reporter/interviewer thing.

– Seth took his departure as we went to break with a tease that Paul would comment on Roman Reigns when they returned. We got the Stone Cold ad for WrestleMania 2022 in Dallas.

– Back on the set, Kayla handed the reins over to Paul to talk about Roman Reigns (see what I did there?). Paul took a moment and then talked about bringing up a kid in WCW and then delivered him over to Vince, yup, the Undertaker. Paul noted that his “Beast” broke the streak and that he had a hand in creating Stone Cold. After noting he has been involved with the best of wrestling for 34 years and he is in awe of Roman Reigns. Paul continued for about a minute as only Paul can and then brought Cesaro into it, noting that he was glad Cesaro doesn’t have a wife or kids, so he won’t be embarrassed when he back out of a confrontation with Roman. Paul told Cesaro he should definitely back out of this and then proceeded to recite Humpty-Dumpty replacing Dumpty with the Humpty Swiss Superman.

– Paul ended by saying that Cesaro does not have a chance against the “Savage Samoan who eviscerated the Yes movement into a requiem for a Danielson.” He called Roman the “GOAT, the greatest of all time, he doesn’t just beat you, he drives your ass out of here, Roman Reigns.” Paul then tipped his head down slightly looking up through his eyebrows and smiled a small, wicked smile as the show ended.

FINAL THOUGHTS: The show was very watchable at 28 minutes with about five minutes of breaks and commercials. The initial spot with Kayla and Paul is always fun and the Natalya & Tamina and Apollo Crews segments were mercifully short. Things picked up with Seth, who while is somewhat stagnant on the show, has toned down his outfits a bit and he, Paul, and Kayla really seemed to be enjoying themselves going all over the place for about five minutes allowing Seth to cement his smarmy heel character and get away from the cult leader thing he had been doing. The final five minutes with Paul riffing on Roman, the ultimate banishment of Daniel Bryan, and the futility of Cesaro’s quest was pure gold and worth watching just for that. Throughout the show, Paul kept bringing up Roman, so it did feel like the main talking point, but part of me wishes that there was some way that they could have just concentrated on that, shown clips, had Paul talk about it, or maybe even have Michael Cole come on to lend his voice to what Roman is doing. I know you can’t have Roman on this show as it would not fit with his character to be willing to lower himself to appear, but the show should have totally focused on Roman and the fact that Daniel was defeated.

NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S TALKING SMACK REPORT: 4/24 WWE TALKING SMACK REPORT: Sami talks about inspiration for his dancing over KO, plus Bayley, Cesaro react to Smackdown with hosts Braxton and Heyman

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