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WWE TALKING SMACK REPORT
MAY 29, 2021
REVIEW BY NICK MORGAN, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Hosts: Kayla Braxton and Paul Heyman
This week’s guest: Rey & Dominik Mysterio, Bayley, and a Paul Heyman commentary segment.
– Kayla Braxton welcomed us back to Talking Smack proclaiming that it is beginning to feel like summer, all as a lead up to promoting that Summerslam will be taking place on August 21st though neither she nor Paul would say where it would be held. Kayla and Paul went on for a bit about this followed by Kayla recapping Smackdown, notably the Usos victory over the Street Profits. Paul while not effusive, was very complimentary of their victory over a very solid team of the Street Profits. Kayla also touched on the Seth Rollins angle during this bit. Paul again “flirted” with Kayla, approaching the line of creepy but not quite crossing it, despite the mention of handcuffs.
(Morgan’s Analysis: I will again say that the rapport between these two is really fun to watch. While I can’t be sure its not just on camera acting, I believe there is some real connection and friendship between them that flows into the camera.)
– Kayla sent us off to break for a WrestleMania 2022 commercial featuring Steve Austin and then we are back as Bayley joins the hosts at the desk. They did a quick bit about Kayla really liking Bayley and Bayley pushing her new t-shirt available on the website. Kayla brought up that Bayley was “giggling” a lot on the show and Bayley shot back at her that she was just taking note of the fact that Bianca isn’t that great, and that Bianca Belair is still hung up on Bayley’s demand for a rematch due to Bianca being unable to beat Bayley without cheating (using her hair). Kayla defended Bianca of course, while Bayley noted that she has done so much more than Bianca and doesn’t parade around like the absolute best like Bianca does.
(Morgan’s Analysis: The segment was very unstructured, with Kayla even pulling the curtain back a bit by saying that she and Bayley were friends. It worked, as it allowed Bayley to do here heelish antics and taunting of Bianca Belair. One note of caution for Bayley is she needs to be more irritating and less entertaining, as it is entirely possible that once the fans are back, she could get cheered instead of booed. Personally, I love Bayley’s act and I think she is doing great and am a big fan of hers.)
– Off to break we go with a promo for the return of the live audience including the announcement of three new locations for the end of July. And we are back with Rey and Dominik Mysterio.
– After the pleasantries, Kayla immediately asked Rey about his ribs and Dominik said that he went out solo to defend the title because that is what Rey had done the week before. After this they went to the upcoming match with Jimmy and Jey Uso. Rey gave some standard platitudes about being ready to fight whomever. Kayla then tossed to Paul to discuss the situation because of the Usos connection to Roman Reigns. After some extended comments about how good the Mysterio’s are and how Paul gives them all the credit in the world, Paul said “I am not going to wish you luck because you are going to need it, but I will just wish you luck and will enjoy watching the match.”
– After this, Rey commented that whether it is the Usos or not it is going to take a lot for them to lose their title and that was that.
(Morgan’s Analysis: Good thing Paul was there otherwise this segment would have been snooze inducing.)
-Another break featuring the Vaccine PSA and a generalized promo for Summerslam coming this summer.
– Back from break Kayla did a quick rundown of the big matches on next week’s Smackdown and then threw to Paul for his generalized comments. Kayla and Paul bantered a bit mostly around Paul trying to get Kayla to say where Summerslam would be (she didn’t) until Kayla finally threw it to Paul and told him they were running out of time so if he had something to say he should do so.
– With that, Paul basically said he had nothing to say and nothing to get off his chest. Kayla asked if he had anything to say about the Usos. Paul did and said that next week there is a tag team match worthy of our attention. A match where two families will come to do battle. Paul heaped high praise on Rey and Dominik before turning to the Usos. He recounted a story of the first time he saw Jimmy and Jey was many years ago when he was managing the Samoan SWAT team and the Usos were only four years old, and Paul saw them wrestling around in the ring. He said knew then that they would be something special.
– At the end of his story, he then turned the segment into part of the angle that Jimmy must acknowledge the Tribal Chief, Roman Reigns.
(Morgan’s Analysis: Paul was doing two things here. Besides doing a great job building up the match, he was also leading us to believe that the outcome will have bearing on the situation with Jimmy Uso and how he will fit into the Reigns story. By not making any proclamations about what will happen, Paul is leading us to want to watch this match to see what will happen afterwards, whether the Usos win or lose. Mission accomplished, Paul.)
– The camera focused on Paul’s face as he smiled somewhat evilly, the show ended, and we are out.
FINAL THOUGHTS: A nice, tight 26 minutes with plenty of fun interaction between Kayla and Paul. With Paul doing most of the heavy lifting during the Mysterio segment, the segment moved well and delivered. Rey Mysterio is not the most dynamic talker and Dominik is still very underwhelming on the mic, so having Paul take charge made the segment work. The Bayley segment was pure Bayley and moved quick. They got in and out. As I noted above, they do need to be careful about making Bayley too much fun to watch. The final segment with Paul was good. Not his best work, but still very good and as I noted it worked in making the math next week seem important from a wrestling standpoint, but also really important from a storyline standpoint. Both Raw Talk and Talking Smack are pretty transparent promotional vehicles (almost just long commercials) and as such can, at times, be grown inducing as they have the same guests, saying the same things week to week. However, when they can use the show to create intrigue, that is when they work and when they are most enjoyable to watch. As with most things WWE these days, things associated with Smackdown and Roman Reigns seem to fire on all cylinders, while those associated with Raw, like Raw Talk, tend to languish. This week Talking Smack delivered, and I feel very comfortable recommending it as a nice quick and enjoyable watch.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S TALKING SMACK REPORT: 5/22 WWE TALKING SMACK REPORT: Nakamura on being the king, Apollo Crews hints at future, more