SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
WWE TALKING SMACK REPORT
MAY 22, 2021
REVIEW BY NICK MORGAN, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Hosts: Kayla Braxton and Paul Heyman
This week’s guest: Shinsuke Nakamura, Apollo Crews (w/Commander Aziz), and Paul Heyman talking about Roman Reigns.
– Kayla Braxton, as normal, welcomed us to Talking Smack and introduced Paul Heyman. They immediately went into their weekly banter back and forth, which is always fun to watch. Since this is WWE, of course Kayla took the earliest opportunity to push hard on WWE’s return to shows in front of live audiences starting in mid-July around the Money in the Bank PPV. Interesting to note, in the graphic it said, “live events in July” and only mentioned the three shows with Smackdown and Raw sandwiching the PPV, but did not say anything about more to come.
– After a quick run down of the events on Smackdown featuring the Cesaro angle, Kayla sent us off to break for a “back on the road” promo and a promo for the RVD Icons special on the WWE Network (Peacock).
– Coming back, we are graced by Shinsuke Nakamura – a strange choice considering his promo weakness. Nakamura came out wearing Corbin’s crown and mostly spoke Japanese at the desk. When Kayla took out her phone to activate the translation app, Paul told her that he could handle the translation duties. Kayla reviewed all the social media items that Nakamura had put out, including the cat photo that everyone is going wild over. Paul ultimately took over the interview and in a funny bit that might have flown over some people’s heads started using a bunch of Yiddish words that I’m sure Nakamura had no idea what they meant.
– Regardless of this, Paul called Nakamura the new King and asked him how he felt. He even brought up the possibility of a match between the King Nakamura and the Tribal Chief. Nakamura responded in Japanese, so we have no idea what he said, but the implication was that Nakamura would be up for it and looks like we may be heading in that direction at some point.
– Off to break we went for a vaccine PSA and a promo for Raw featuring the Kofi Kingston/Bobby Lashley/Drew McIntyre situation.
– And we are back with Apollo Crews and Commander Aziz (who by the way just stands around and doesn’t talk). Crews spoke about retaining his title and also of course brought up that the WWE is returning to live audiences. Kayla corralled Crews’ enthusiasm and asked him about the Aleister Black interference in the match. As any good heel should, Crews just denied that there was any impact on the match and that he didn’t even know what Kayla was talking about. All during the interview, Aziz kept scowling at Paul and Paul was cringing at the thought of Aziz attacking him. Paul politely asked to speak to Crews and leaned in and whispered that the whole Aleister Black stuff was BS. The one or so more minutes of the interview was filled with a lot of non-sequiturs, cross purpose talking, and somewhat incomprehensible statements as Crews’ accent was at times hard to understand and Paul was speaking very quietly. On the whole this interview was pretty much just an excuse for Crews to act as heelish as possible and to keep Black’s appearance front of mind.
– As Crews lefts, Kayla mentioned that after the break, Paul would regale us with conversation about Roman Reigns. This break we got the back on the road promo again and a commercial for all of the original programming available on the WWE section of Peacock.
– After the break, Kayla touted the Usos versus the Street Profits next week as a lead-in to Paul discussing Roman Reigns. Kayla asked Paul what Roman thought of Jey teaming with his brother for a tag team match. The main thrust of Paul’s discussion was that there is a lot of family drama going on right now, but that Jimmy Uso must fall in line. Paul continued to build up the greatness of Roman Reigns (bringing up, yet again, Roman stacking up and pinning both Daniel Bryan and Edge at WrestleMania). Paul rattled on for a couple more minutes touting Roman’s greatness.
(Morgan’s Analysis: Paul is always good, but I think this rant should have been much, much shorter, or even non-existent. It did not add anything new. I think they went the way because they did not want to start the build towards whatever Roman will be doing at Hell in the Cell. If this is the case, better to leave it out.)
FINAL THOUGHTS: A quick 25 to 26 minutes this week. As usual the banter between Paul and Kayla was the best thing on the show. They have developed a real rapport. They actually seem to be unscripted and at times Kayla has a hard time keeping a straight face. This week, this rapport saved the show as the Nakamura segment was just silly since Nakamura didn’t say anything that the viewer could understand. It was not a difficult watch this week, the way Raw Talk can be, but you won’t miss much that is really fun or important if you don’t watch this episode.