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WWE TALKING SMACK REPORT
JUNE 12, 2021
REVIEW BY NICK MORGAN, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Hosts: Kayla Braxton and Paul Heyman
This week’s guest: Chad Gable & Otis, Bianca Belair, and a Paul Heyman commentary segment.
– Instead of Kayla Braxton we got Kevin Patrick sitting in. Paul Heyman immediately summed up my thoughts as he demanded subtitles and said he needed immediate help.
(Morgan’s Analysis: I am really hoping that this is totally a one-time thing, and we get Kayla back next week.)
– Heyman’s mere presence made Kevin Patrick seem better as he took over to a certain extent while also taking some shots at Raw at the same time. Surprisingly, Patrick started the run down of Smackdown with the Cesaro angle on “Ding Dong, Hello.” A strange choice. As Patrick continued to run down the show Paul was besides himself as Patrick talked about Kevin Owens and Big E, and then finally got to the main topic of Smackdown, Roman Reigns and the challenge from Rey Mysterio.
– Paul teased that while there was no official answer to Rey’s challenge, Paul himself would cover that at the end of the show. Patrick tried to get Paul to say what the answer was. Paul went ballistic trying to explain to Patrick, that what he said was a “hook” to keep people watching and not to spoil everything upfront. Paul then turned to the camera and quietly whispered that he couldn’t believe he was going to say it, but he missed Kayla Braxton.
– Trying to play into the shtick, Patrick said it was going to be a long night and sent us off to commercial, featuring the “Back on the Road” promo and a Hell in the Cell PPV featuring Bianca Belair and Bayley.
– Back to the show, Chad Gable and Otis were at the desk.
(Morgan’s Analysis: I can’t get used to Otis without his beard and his new character seems to be just sitting there supposedly angry and aggressive, but it just comes across grumpy.)
After Gable spoke, Otis asked how Montez Ford is doing, to which Patrick answered that he had suffered a partially fractured rib. Otis spoke very quietly, and Paul told him the director was asking that he speak up. After saying he wouldn’t, of course he did as he asked where Dawkins was and that he would squash him just like he did to Ford.
(Morgan’s Analysis: This new character of Otis is not good on the mic and in my opinion, they are ruining him as a promo. Before he was fun to watch, now he is boring. They could have changed his demeanor without destroying his energy, which they have done. Gable was okay, but really didn’t say much.)
– With that Patrick sent us to another break teasing Bianca Belair would be out next. This time we got an NXT Take Over promo and the vaccine PSA.
– And we are back with Bianca Belair. Patrick quickly brought up the fact that Belair turned the tables on Bayley on Smackdown and noted that she always gets the last laugh. Patrick asked how Belair is feeling in the locker room now that she is champion and noted that she must have a target on her back. Why he did this I don’t know as it forced Belair to just say “you took the words out of my mouth” and repeat what he had just said about having a target on her.
– At this point, thankfully, Paul took over and while complimenting Belair as the future, reminded her that indeed she does have a target on her back and she could lose but to be great, she has to push those thoughts aside and continue to strive and to win. Belair basically sat there nodding. Unfortunately, Patrick couldn’t leave well enough alone and interjected with a question about what are Bayley’s strengths, to which Belair responded that she is the “est” and she has proven against Bayley that she is the superior athlete so that the only way Bayley can try to get to her is via talking and playing mind games.
(Morgan’s Analysis: This was okay. Belair came across a little bit less arrogant and more assured of herself the way a professional athlete does, but because this is WWE, she was obviously scripted to bring up (several times) that she had the last laugh and just laughing in general, as if this is the major component of her battle with Bayley and not the physical confrontation. Belair threw in a few “ESTs” which I personally think drag her down a bit as a babyface, but she was definitely more the strong athlete tonight than the obnoxious “EST of WWE.)
– Another break here with an ad for Summer Slam and a second dose of the “Back on the Road” promo.
– Coming back, we are treated to what has and is becoming a feature of Talking Smack, the Special Counsel (Paul Heyman) comments on Roman Reigns. Patrick asked Paul if Roman would accept Rey’s challenge. Paul sat mute, forcing Patrick to repeat the question. Patrick kept trying to get the answer. Paul finally spoke, saying that he warned Rey and pleaded with him to not come after Roman, and then went nuts over the fact that Rey has asked for his revenge on Father’s Day in the Hell in the Cell. Paul then said that as the Special Council he has been authorized to accept the challenge and that he feels bad for Rey. Rey is not stepping into Hell in a Cell with any champions, but the “Monarch of the Matt”, “the Gracious God of the Grappling Game”, “the Tastemaker of the Island of Relevancy”, “the Savage Samoan Sadist”, “the Devil Himself”, you’re stepping into the demonic structure of Hell in the Cell with Roman Reigns.
– With that the show ended. This was prime Paul Heyman, a must watch if you are even a little bit a fan of Paul’s abilities.
FINAL THOUGHTS: A tidy 25 minutes, but the only must watch portion was the end segment with Paul Heyman accepting the Rey Mysterio challenge for Roman Reigns for a Hell in a Cell match. Otherwise, the show was okay, but not captivating. Kevin Patrick was a poor substitute for Kayla Braxton and the rapport she and Paul Heyman have. He is way too corporate and did not work well off Paul which is something that Kayla has mastered. As for the other segments, the Gable and Otis segment was slow, plodding and boring, much like Otis’ new character and attitude. Bianca Belair was totally fine. She is still not popping off the screen in the promo setting. They made the decision to make her a babyface and because of this, so much of her energy and character has to be held in check. She needs to find that something where she can explode off the screen while remaining a babyface. At points tonight she was close when talking about defending her title, but you could almost see her holding herself back, so she didn’t come across as arrogant and full of herself (i.e., Heelish). A totally watchable show, but totally pay your full attention at the end when they handed the reigns (pun totally intended) over to Paul and let him create excitement for a match where the outcome is as close to obvious as you can get.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S TALKING SMACK REPORT: 6/5 WWE TALKING SMACK REPORT: Heyman warns Rey Mysterio, Kevin Owens lays out his mission, more