SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
WWE TALKING SMACK REPORT
JUNE 5, 2021
REVIEW BY NICK MORGAN, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Hosts: Kayla Braxton and Paul Heyman
This week’s guest: Kevin Owens, Street Profits, and Paul Heyman commentary segment.
– The show opened with Kayla welcoming us to Talking Smack and as the camera focused on the set, we see flowers and a big Happy Birthday balloon as it will be Kayla’s birthday on Monday. Even Paul was caught up in the moment and though he said he would regret it, he wished Kayla a happy birthday. As Kayla defended the fact that she was celebrating her birthday “weekend,” she and Paul did their normal bantering back and forth, which I still feel is the best part of the show. Just before they headed into break, Paul grabbed the big, helium-filled birthday balloon and proceeded to try and crush it…he didn’t succeed, as Kayla looked on with both horror and amusement.
(Morgan’s Analysis: One interesting note, this may have happened previously, but this is the first time I noticed that they had the mild, low level “excited” crowd noise. Perhaps this is in advance of when they are back in front of live audiences that they will continue to film this show right out on the main set, next to the ring.)
– After the break featuring a promo for the Bret Hart A & E biography and a Raw promo, we come back to the show and welcome Kevin Owens. Owens and Paul immediately continued to do their somewhat prickly relationship shtick (yes, Owen did wish Kayla a happy birthday). Even in this Kevin Owens segment, Paul took the opportunity to push and cut a promo on the Tribal Chief, Roman Reigns.
– Getting to Owens, Kayla asked Owens about his frustration level over the pre-fight beat down by Commander Azeez, and to his credit Owens freely admitted that he is not frustrated with the situation since he also did bad things and had people help him when he was champion. Owens took a shot at both Roman and Crews by saying that they have only reached the heights they have because they have people doing much of their fighting for them (Jey Uso for Roman and Azeez for Crews.) Owens then moved into his obligatory WWE-mandated (in my opinion) spiel about it has been great being able to see his family every day for the past year, but that is going to end, because they are going on the road again.
(Morgan’s Analysis: Please WWE, run all the promos and commercials about returning to the road you want, but let the wrestlers promote their feuds and battles, not carry this kind of water.)
– Owens did his best to make this about him and his striving for a championship. Owens, in a very serious but subdued manner, said that he would deal with everything thrown his way, he will deal with Sami Zayn (who attacked him this week), he would deal with Crews, and then alluded to coming after Roman Reigns again. He then wished Kayla happy birthday, insincerely shook Paul’s hand and gave him a fist bump, which Paul sold as hurting and walked off the set.
(Morgan’s Analysis: Not a bad segment, Owens was pretty subdued, so the energy was low, which while I like most of what Kevin said, the segment came off somewhat flat and uninspiring. Wrestlers don’t always have to be at 110%, but I would have liked a little bit more from Kevin here.)
– Off to break we go with Paul saying, “Sami Zayn isn’t the only prick amongst those two.” This break we get the “Back on the Road” promo and an NXT In Your House promo.
– And we are back with the Street Profits, promoting their match next week against Otis and Chad Gable. After sitting silent for a moment, Montez Ford finally said they were focused concerning the match and Dawkins added that they are also pissed, and they will be shutting down the Alpha Academy next week. Ford continued and said that when Gable approached them with a business proposition, they listened respectfully, but turned it down. This was interesting, both Ford and Dawkins were very serious, taking a swipe at the New Day and talking about they are all about doing business and making profits. Ford said the Street Profits like to enjoy themselves and spread energy into the world but when it comes down to it, they are about getting the business done.
(Morgan’s Analysis: Okay, it is official. At least for this week, we will have to see what happens with their entrance next week, the Street Profits are moving on from their happy-go-lucky, red cup holding, way over the top attitude and are getting down to business.)
– The segment ended with Ford and Dawkins saying they live everyday by four words, “We Want The Smoke.” With that the screen went to black.
(Morgan’s Analysis: I am intrigued where this is going. I really like a more serious Montez Ford, who speaks clearly and with purpose. I hope WWE gives this new attitude time to breathe and that this is not a sign of turning heel. I like a serious and focused Street Profits.)
– During this break we got the Vaccine PSA and the Summerslam promo.
– As they have been doing lately, Talking Smack has two guests and then gives Paul a moment to comment and build up the Roman Reigns angle. This week was no different as Paul used the opportunity to tout the Street Profits as a real solid and credible team in the tag team division. After this Kayla showed the clip from the end of Smackdown with Reigns beating down Dominik Mysterio and Jimmy Uso leaving the ring, while Jey remained in the ring.
– Kayla bluntly stated that Rey Mysterio is coming for revenge, but Paul told Rey not to take this battle on. Kevin Owens can win his battles and the Street Profits will beat the Alpha Academy; Rey should think twice. This is the Tribal Chief. Paul implored Rey not to make the statement that he now has a vendetta against Roman Reigns. Paul told Rey not to come after Reigns, if he wants to protect his son, walk away, this is not a battle you can win, there is only a single number one, Roman Reigns.
– In his monologue, Heyman even said that Rey was not “mano” enough to take on Reigns.
(Morgan’s Analysis: I am not 100% sure, but this sure looks like they are going to stretch this out through Hell in a Cell and have Rey meet Roman in the cell. It won’t be pretty, but it should allow them to keep the Roman/Jimmy match, which seems inevitable at this point, barring some other happenings, from happening too quickly. This was an excellent use of Paul’s ending monologue. Let’s see, he hyped the Kevin Owens/Apollo Crews – Commander Azeez angle, the Street Profits vs. Alpha Academy angle, and kept the focus on Roman Reigns. A masterclass in wrestling promotion.
– With the camera focused on Paul and the last words spoke being “Roman Reigns”, we are out.
FINAL THOUGHTS: A very good and quick 24 minutes, with a mission statement from Kevin Owens, a character modification for the good by the Street Profits, and the continued push of Roman Reigns and a tease of a possible feud and Hell in the Cell match between him and Rey Mysterio. They need some of this on the main show (especially the Profits’ new attitude), but I will take it here and this show definitely made me interested in watching next week’s Smackdown to see what happens.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S TALKING SMACK REPORT: 5/29 WWE TALKING SMACK REPORT: Rey and Dominik talk the Usos and their future, Bayley makes case for a rematch, more
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