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WWE TALKING SMACK REPORT
MAY 15, 2021
REVIEW BY NICK MORGAN, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Hosts: Kayla Braxton and Paul Heyman
This week’s guest: Natalya & Tamina, Pat McAfee, and Big E
– Kayla Braxton welcomed us to Talking Smack and she and Paul Heyman had their usual period of banter with Paul doing his best to build up the upcoming pay per view featuring Roman Reigns. Kayla brought things back to Smackdown in what she called “Kayla’s Corner,” since Paul only cares about Roman Reigns. As Kayla ran down the events of Smackdown, Paul kept interjecting and we got more Kayla vs. Paul banter which is always a good thing.
– Of course, Kayla’s run down centered on events on Smackdown that were directly involved with the Backlash PPV. Unfortunately, this portion of the show ended as Kayla brought out Natalya and Tamina carrying their brand-new tag team championship belts. Natalya spoke in typical WWE speak about never expecting to win the tag team championships, but that they fought for their dream and they won, which means that anybody can achieve their goals. Tamina thanked Natalya in believing in her and for getting her her first championship in WWE.
– Natalya ended the segment by saying that the titles were a passport to every corner of the company and that they welcome all comers to challenge them. Natalya has to work on her tone. It just sounds so fake and forced. Anyway, off they went, and we went to a break with a promo for Backlash featuring the Reigns vs. Cesaro match and the vaccine PSA.
– OK, we are back with Pat McAfee. Why have an announcer on this show? Regardless McAfee immediately threw Michael Cole under the bus, after which he did the mandatory “no, seriously, Michael is great” routine. After a couple of minutes of McAfee spouting off about how great Smackdown and WWE are, Kayla asked him his thoughts on the upcoming Backlash card. McAfee predicted that Bianca Belair would beat Bayley and then Paul asked him about Roman Reigns. Paul asked McAfee to acknowledge the Tribal Chief and McAfee said that he feels that he is Roman’s biggest supporter among the announcers. Paul kept asking McAfee to predict that Roman would win and McAfee kept avoiding it. As McAfee kept avoiding Paul’s request, Paul had the line of the night, “you are a commentator, so commentate, Jesse Ventura is rolling over in his grave and he isn’t even dead yet.”m As McAfee began to respond we went to break with promos about the original programming of the WWE Network on Peacock.
– Back from the break, McAfee was gone. Big E was on set when we returned. Unfortunately, we go more “funny” Big E as he sat down and promptly put his legs up on the desk with his legs spread wide while Paul made Basic Instinct references.
– With Big E not having a match at Backlash, this segment was about the fatal four-way for the Intercontinental Championship on next week’s Smackdown. Despite his posture, Big E did speak rather seriously about reclaiming Uncle Mo (read momentum) and winning back the IC title.
Morgan’s Analysis: This was weird. Based on what he was saying, Big E was being serious, but having his feet up on the table diluted it a bit.
-As Big E spoke though he got more passionate and laid out his mission – regaining the IC title, beating all comers for nine months and then walking into WrestleMania 2022 and taking on Roman Reigns and walking out a double champion. At the end, Big E let out a big “Oh Yeah” and left the set.
(Morgan’s Analysis: Despite the small foolishness at the beginning, I like this, and I hope it’s foreshadowing the future for Big E.)
– Without any preamble we were sent off to a break with a Backlash promo featuring the RAW Women’s Championship and came back focused on Paul who cut a short somber spot on the passing of New Jack. Paul was obviously upset, and he decried that he couldn’t show a bunch of clips of New Jack because so much of his clips were in no way PG. New Jack was a gangster, and they were all gangsters back then. Paul ended using New Jack’s real name, Jerome Young, wished everyone an “extreme” weekend and ended with the crossed wrist salute.
(Morgan’s Analysis: This was obviously something that really meant something to Paul, and it came through the screen.)
FINAL THOUGHTS: This was a pretty good 29 minutes, though I could have done without the Natalya and Tamina waste of time. But the rest was pretty good, even Pat McAfee, though I still don’t understand why he would be there when they could have used Bayley, Jey Uso, or even Jimmy Uso. What McAfee did was good, but too corporate in its style and how he handled it. The way it just ended with the break coming mid-McAfee sentence and returning with Big E was just strange. All I can think of is they hadn’t planned on the ending segment with Paul talking about New Jack and they didn’t want to go over their normal 28–30-minute timing so they just edited out some of McAfee since the rest of the show was pretty much tight and to the point.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S TALKING SMACK REPORT: 5/8 WWE TALKING SMACK REPORT: Rey and Dominick address winning the tag titles, Owens talks birthday stories, Heyman stews in disgust over main event, more