WWE Network Review: Talking Smack for 4-24-21

Hey yo. It’s John Canton the John Report guy here filling in for Aneil Komal for this review. Aneil couldn’t get the review done today, so he asked me to help and I’m happy to do it because I enjoy Talking Smack every week. It’s available on-demand on Peacock/WWE Network now. Let’s get to it.

The hosts for the show were Kayla Braxton and the great Paul Heyman as usual. Braxton how Heyman how he was doing, Paul figured she didn’t care and he sarcastically asked her how she was doing. Braxton said he was salty, Paul said he loves salty food saying he’s a Jew and mentioned some Jewish foods. He told us to Google “knish” if you don’t know what it is and he even swore, but it was bleeped. Braxton talked about how Natalya & Tamina have been on a roll. Braxton also let us know about the upcoming guests and then an introduction for the first guest.

Analysis: That was a pretty funny start by Heyman. I like it when he lets loose like that.

The first guest was Cesaro, who stared at Heyman while standing up and Heyman wanted him to be a professional, so they shook hands. Heyman said that he likes Cesaro, he’s always respected him and he worked with him. Heyman said he’s got the better of the deal, but that’s just business. Heyman said that there’s a pecking order, Reigns is the Tribal Chief, you get to talk to Jey Uso and if you get permission then you get to talk to Heyman as the Special Counsel. Heyman said that if he approves then he may let the Tribal Chief talk to you. Heyman said that the words coming out of Cesaro’s mouth are not worthy of reaching Roman’s ears. Heyman knows Cesaro wants Roman’s attention, then Cesaro shook Paul’s hand and tapped him on the arm. Cesaro then had a more serious look on his face as he stared at Heyman, who backed away a bit. Cesaro tapped the hand after doing the handshake and Cesaro backed away. Cesaro didn’t say a single word as he left. Kayla said that’s what being professional looks like.

TJR Thoughts: It was all Heyman talking while Cesaro didn’t say a word. Interesting approach by Cesaro. I think it was done this way to show how serious Cesaro is about wanting to challenge Reigns while Heyman did his usual thing about complimenting the guest while putting over Reigns. It worked in terms of showing how Cesaro isn’t going to back down until he gets that match with Reigns.

After a break, Heyman said that Cesaro is arrogant. Heyman said that he has been pissing people off in this industry for 34 years and before that in his life. Heyman said when he offends somebody like Cesaro, he (Cesaro) should sell it. Heyman wanted Bayley to move on.

The next guest was Bayley wearing a dancing Sami Zayn shirt that is on sale to benefit Sami’s #SamiforSyria charity. Heyman apologized to Bayley for making her wait as the guest. Bayley did a bit of a Sami Zayn dance. Bayley reminded us she is the longest-reigning Smackdown Women’s Champion in history. Bayley said that Belair got lucky, she’s in the honeymoon phase and she had a little luck in the Royal Rumble along with a lot of luck at WrestleMania. Bayley commented that she beat Sasha Banks a bunch of times, there weren’t balloons everywhere and dancing with her husband (Bayley doesn’t have a husband while Bianca is married to Montez Ford). Belair: “Get a life!” Bayley said now Belair has to get back in the ring with Bayley. When Braxton asked about Sasha Banks at WrestleMania, Bayley said she watched from the group to support the Women’s Evolution in WWE. Bayley reminded us that she has successfully defended the Raw Women’s Title and Smackdown Women’s Title at WrestleMania while Sasha did not. Bayley talked about how she’s been in the battle royal, in the Women’s Tag Team Titles and done it all at WrestleManias. Bayley said that Bianca has had a great start, but she’s there to crash the party and wondered if Montez Ford is gonna give her a hug. Bayley said that Heyman will celebrate with her. Braxton mentioned Bayley calling Belair a “rookie” in the past and Bayley thought it was hilarious that Bianca bought what Bayley said earlier. Bayley said she has seen what Belair has done in her career, Bayley knows everything about Bianca and what Bianca has done doesn’t top what Bayley has built. Bayley said that Bianca has a long way to go and she’s not going through Bayley. Heyman and Bayley clapped about that while Braxton tried to move on.

TJR Thoughts: Bayley is a fun heel talker, so it was fun to see her interacting with Heyman on the set. Bayley said what you would expect as a former champion that is also a veteran wrestler. Bayley doesn’t believe Belair is as good as her, so Belair has to try to prove it. It’s pretty simple, but it works as a storyline after WrestleMania. It was also cool that Bayley was out there wearing Sami Zayn’s shirt as well.

The final guest was Sami Zayn with Kayla introducing Zayn as a conspiracy theorist. Zayn said that he was the victim of a conspiracy that was proven by Heyman on this show. Heyman said that it was confirmed as fact. Zayn said that people do it to try to marginalize him. Zayn said he’s actually in a very good mood, but he doesn’t want to call him a conspiracy theorist. Heyman told Zayn that he loved the dancing. They showed Zayn’s dancing routine from Smackdown with Zayn saying it can’t really be taught because it’s what comes from your soul. Zayn thinks that Owens might have a damaged trachea while adding that was the rhythm that fueled Sami’s soul. Heyman wanted Sami to dance, but Sami didn’t want to do it. Sami said those dance moves on Smackdown were pure, unadulterated joy and you can’t quantify it. Sami said he’s a truth-teller and a world-class athlete. Heyman was sad that Sami didn’t want to dance. Sami tapped him on the shoulder, Heyman wanted a hug and Sami was a bit reluctant to do that. After some awkward pauses, Heyman pulled away and then they agreed to hug. Zayn said he needed that hug.

TJR Thoughts: It was bit brief, but it covered the usual stuff from Sami talking about his conspiracy theories as well as his rivalry with Kevin Owens. No dance for Zayn even though they wanted it. Save it for Smackdown, I guess.

There were a few minutes left in the show for a Paul Heyman monologue to talk about next week’s Smackdown main event: Roman Reigns vs. Daniel Bryan for the Universal Title. If Bryan loses, then he is gone from Smackdown.

Here’s what Heyman said while into the main camera. Thanks to our friends at WrestlingInc for the transcript.

“The most decoratively, dominant pinfall in the history of WrestleMania main events, Roman Reigns — what did he do to Daniel Bryan and Edge? Smash ’em, stack ’em, rack ’em, pin ’em, pack ’em. And that’s what Roman Reigns is going to do to Daniel Bryan, who just doesn’t get it through his damn, thick skull. Next week, Roman Reigns will put the Universal Championship on the line. Daniel Bryan wins, he’s the new champion. And he can go defend it against his new buddy, Cesaro, all that he wants!”

“If Roman Reigns wins — and I assure you, he will win — that’s it for Daniel Bryan. He’s out of here. He’s not coming back, like the Midnight Rider. He’s out. O-U-T. Gone! Banished from SmackDown. No more Daniel Bryan. No more Bryan Danielson. No more ‘American Dragon.’ No more Brie Bella’s baby daddy around here. Gone! Finished! Kaput! Out the damn window!”

“In the history books. Someone to remember when you say, ‘Tell me something about Roman Reigns and the people he victimized. That he imposed his will on as The Tribal Chief.’ The end all be all, the reigning, defending, undisputed, controverted WWE Universal Champion. The head of the table!”

“If you’re a fan of Daniel Bryan, I encourage you, I implore you to watch next Friday night, live on SmackDown. It’s the last chance you’re going to get to see Daniel Bryan in action. You pushed the Tribal Chief too far. Now — as you should have learned at WrestleMania — now come the consequences.”

I’ll finish it off. To wrap it up, Heyman said that next week, we will absolutely positively guarantee you will witness the greatness of the GOAT, the greatest of all time – the most dominant champion in WWE history, you will experience Roman Reigns. Heyman even tossed his phone across the table. Heyman stared over to co-host Braxton and that was the end of Talking Smack for this week.

TJR Thoughts: It was more promo greatness from Paul Heyman. It’s to be expected at this point. Heyman does a terrific job of setting the stage for a big match or moment. When he talks about Roman Reigns, he’s at his absolute best, and what he said definitely made me more excited about Reigns vs. Bryan next week.

It was a good show overall. Bayley (best dressed on the show as she wrote on Instagram) and Zayn are two of my favorite heels due to how ridiculous they are at times, but they also make some good points as well. Cesaro didn’t say a word, which was a bit different for a show called “Talking Smackdown.” You could say that actions speak louder than words for him. As usual, Heyman made it entertaining while Braxton plays off him well. Talking Smack is an easy watch for 25 minutes on a quiet Saturday afternoon. Good job by everybody involved.

Thanks for reading. Go Toronto Blue Jays, Toronto Raptors (brutal this year) and Toronto Maple Leafs. My contact info is below.

John Canton


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