SPOTLIGHTED PODCAST ALERT (YOUR ARTICLE BEGINS A FEW INCHES DOWN)...
RAW TALK REPORT
JULY 19, 2021
AIRED ON PEACOCK (VIA WWE NETWORK)
REVIEW BY NICK MORGAN, PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Hosts: Kevin Patrick and R-Truth
This week’s guests: Alexa Bliss, Reginald Thomas, and Drew McIntyre
– To start of Raw Talk this week they replayed the entire ending angle from Raw with Nikki A.S.H. cashing in the MITB contract to pin Charlotte and become champion before celebrating in the crowd. Then much to my disappointment and joy, the show starts and the same in studio format as Talking Smack is now the format for Raw Talk too. While we still have to put up with Matt Camp, we do get Kayla Braxton as the other standup host of the program.
– Together the two recapped all the big angles of the show, including Nikki, Goldberg’s appearance and Lashley vs. Keith Lee before throwing to Sarah Schreiber (no they did not mention her name or even caption her name) interviewing Alexa Bliss and Lilly (yes, they captioned that the doll was part of the interview). Alexa and Sarah asked about Eva Marie and Piper Niven and Alexa made her normal veiled threats and commented that Eva Maria “tripped over the high-horse she was on.”
(Morgan’s Analysis: Okay, a pretty good line, but wow, no matter how good Alexa acts in this angle, it is still some of the worst stuff on WWE TV and that is saying a lot.)
– Back in the studio, Kayla sent us off to break for an ad about buying replica title belts, followed by a recap of the John Cena angle on Money in the Bank opposite Roman Reigns and Cena’s promo on Raw. Back in the studio, Kayla was really enthusiastic about Cena’s return and Camp waxed on about the chance that Cena has to win his 17th title. The two hosts kept yammering on, almost begging us to be interested and to build nuance in the angles. Interestingly, while this is Raw Talk, they spent a lot of time talking about the Smackdown champion, Roman Reigns.
– After recapping the Reginald angle and his winning of the 24/7 title we get sent to another backstage interview with, you guessed it, Reginald. Kevin Patrick interviewed Reginald, who now has a last name, Thomas, and he made a big deal about the 24/7 title and as a jumpy Reginald looked around nervously, Patrick noted that holding the belt can cause anxiety. To punctuate this point, Reginald, looked left then right and said he had to go and ran off. And we are off to another break this time featuring Summerslam.
– Back in the studio, Kayla and Camp talked about Drew McIntyre (joining them soon apparently) and recapped his angle with Jinder and his henchmen featuring the MITB interference and the abuse of Shanky with a chair on Raw. Interestingly, Kayla justified this assault be saying, “well if you take something away from Drew, you are going to pay for it.” Not a good look, having the babyface reporter justify what was clearly dastardly. The reporters should just not make a value judgement.
– They showed the entire chair beating and it looked even worse this time. Kayla and Camp were clearly trying to sell this is justified and that Drew should get understanding and even kudos for standing up for himself. Wow, not your grandfather’s babyface.
After a couple of minutes of this, Kayla threw to Sarah. Sarah asked the obvious question about the “brutal” (her word) attack tonight, and Drew gave the expected answer that because Jinder and his pals stole his opportunity to win Money in the Bank, all of the energy Drew has that was focused on getting the championship back has now been transferred to taking his pound of flesh from Jinder and friends.
(Morgan’s Analysis: Okay, I guess that makes sense. Forget about reaching the pinnacle of WWE, I just want to beat someone up. That is a great way to go through life. Drew was fine here. Very motivated and focused, much like he was all of last year, in his pre-story time persona. It is just unfortunate that he is giving this promo on Raw Talk and not getting the opportunity to show this side of himself on the main show and in effect, re-introducing himself to the WWE fans, live and in person.)
– Interestingly, Sarah then asked about how it felt to be in front of the fans and Drew noted that it would have been great to be out there as the champ, then abruptly switched back to the Jinder and Shanky beatdown stuff.
– After returning to the studio, Kayla noted that Drew was a nice guy, but she is psyched to see an angry, brutal, unleashed Drew and that Jinder had better watch out. While Kayla’s statement was succinct and brief, of course in this format, Matt Camp had to basically rephrase it and repeat it.
– And we are out with strangely a Money in the Bank promo.
FINAL THOUGHTS: At a short 21 minutes, this show was still 15 minutes too long. This format with the studio hosts (even if it was Kayla) yammering on saying the same thing as each other with just different wording and then throwing to a “backstage interview” with rather silly questions and little if any impact on the storylines of the characters, before going back to the studio to have the hosts recap what was just said is just painful to watch. I will give Drew credit for cutting an impassioned promo, clearly taking him away from the championship picture to focus on Jinder for what seems like could be a months long angle. I wouldn’t be surprised if this went all the way to the roster shakeup (draft) in October. Drew was the only thing worth watching here and his promo should have been on the actual show, not a throwaway piece of content like Raw Talk has become. WWE needs to rethink this new format of the show, where the stars are the in-studio hosts and the wrestlers are just props for in studio banter.