SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
WWE TALKING SMACK REPORT
JULY 3, 2021
REVIEW BY NICK MORGAN, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Hosts: Kayla Braxton and Paul Heyman
This week’s guest: Bayley, Zelina Vega, and Kevin Owens
– No Paul Heyman again this week, as Pat McAfee joined Kayla Braxton to host this week’s edition of Talking Smack. Pat and Kayla bantered a bit and touted the return of live audiences. McAfee gave props to the ThunderDome. Kayla then brought things back to talking about the Money in the Bank PPV and the angle with Edge on Smackdown and the absence of Roman Reigns from the show. They spent several minutes on the Edge/Jimmy Uso confrontation and Kayla dumped on Roman for talking about family all the time, but not helping his cousin this week.
– McAfee actually defended Roman a bit regarding how much he has helped his family over the past months. Kayla then transitioned to Baron Corbin and came right out and said that she felt bad for Corbin and his evident fall from grace.
(Morgan’s Analysis: Okay WWE, we get it. We are supposed to feel bad for Corbin as you try to turn him babyface.)
– Kayla and McAfee touched on Otis and how he now “looks mean” as they replayed Otis’ destruction of Dawkins in a squash match last night.
(Morgan’s Analysis: A quick note here. McAfee was doing a good job keeping the energy up tonight without going over the top. If he can stay in this lane, then I’m on board.)
– On the following break we got a Summerslam ad and a spot for the “Back on the Road” stuff.
– And we are back with Bayley. Bayley dumped a bit on Kayla for her introduction and then Kayla moved into the “I quit” stipulation for her match against Bianca Belair. Bayley took great pains to clarify that she said she would “probably” quit if Bianca beat her, totally setting up the heelish out Bayley will have and will not be quitting WWE in any kind of permanent way.
– McAfee asked Bayley about Belair, to which Bayley answered that Belair is just stupid to ask for this match and that there is no way she will ever utter the words, “I quit”, and that this is a match that she never expected. Bayley admitted that this kind of match is somewhat intimidating for her but imagine how intimidated Belair must feel and that at Money in the Bank she will win, adding that her dad lives in Dallas so he will be there, and Bayley will give him a big old hug. The Hugger is back, no, just for her dad.
– Kayla teased that Zelina Vega would be next, and we are off to another break featuring the vaccine PSA and a Money in the Bank promo.
– Kayla welcomed Vega back (she was a bit sarcastic in her joy at seeing Vega, there is something going on there, does Kayla ultimately get into the ring with Vega, that is one I would pay for). Vega was very snarky and Kayla, through some shade by asking Vega, hey did you win your match (which she didn’t). Vega defended her loss in that Liv Morgan grabbed her tights to get the win (McAfee did bring up that Vega tried to use that tactic first.)
– Vega said she didn’t see much competition amongst the women in the Money in the Bank match and that she was going to win.
(Morgan’s Analysis: This was interesting, Vega is a great talker (don’t really have enough evidence on her wrestling) and WWE is totally playing up some kind of angle between her and Kayla. Watch this space and we will see what happens.)
– Another break with another “Back on the Road” spot and a promo for the upcoming Raw.
– Coming back, Kayla touted the upcoming Money in the Bank qualifiers coming up next week — Seth Rollins vs. Cesaro and Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Baron Corbin. After this promo, Kevin Owens joined the set and McAfee was in awe of the Last Man Standing match between Owens and Sami Zayn. Rather than respond to that, Kevin asked where Paul was. Kayla made some excuses about Paul’s absence and Kevin pulled out his phone and said he was going to call Paul because he has some things to say to him. The phone rang and Paul answered on speaker. Kevin told Paul that several months ago he told Paul that he was going to win the Money in the Bank contract and when he did, he was coming after Roman.
– In classic Paul Heyman, the voice on the phone (it definitely sounded like Paul) said “you have the wrong number” and hung up. Just so we the audience didn’t think that Kevin had dialed the wrong number, announced that yes in fact Kevin had dialed the right number and that the voice on the phone was indeed Paul Heyman.
(Morgan’s Analysis: I liked this. It was humorous, but also gave some gravitas to the Kevin Owens quest for the Money in the Bank briefcase.)
– And that was it, Kevin left, and Kayla signed us off with a Happy July 4th and we were out.
FINAL THOUGHTS: A nice, quick, 26 minutes that moved quickly, had three good talkers in Bayley, Vega, and Owens and while totally predictable, was a good watch. I do miss Paul Heyman, but with McAfee as the co-host, while the show is not as well put together, it does have a little bit lighter tone, with less pontificating. Kayla continues to be excellent and just as she does with Paul, she seems to have a good rapport with McAfee, and they are good playing off each other. Kayla can keep McAfee from running off the road too much. All in all, another good week for Talking Smack.
NOW CHECK OUT LAST WEEK’S TALKING SMACK REPORT: 6/26 WWE TALKING SMACK REPORT: Edge vs. Roman Reigns made official, Rollins reacts to Edge’s return, Carmella talks Money in the Bank, more