Every Saturday, we (and much of the wrestling web) hype up Talking Smack, and especially the way co-host Paul Heyman uses the SmackDown post-show to further Universal champion Roman Reigns’ current storyline and prep future ones.
At this point, I figure you’re either watching the show, or clicking around trying to find out how Heyman & company did it this week. So here’s your answer for the Jan. 23 edition.
It’s an entertaining 26 minutes all around. For starters, in his now customary reaction-to-how-SmackDown-ended opening monologue, Heyman hints that “Sonya [Deville] was about to take over SmackDown” due to the machinations which set up his main event match with Adam Pearce. That should interest folks fantasy booking a connection between Pearce’s new hire and the Tribal Chief.
From there, Kayla Braxton is great as always. She gets to play beleaguered even more than most weeks since none of today’s guests were babyfaces. Bayley’s her charmingly obnoxious self. Cesaro is all business, and throws his name in the mix for a future shot at Reigns... after he deals with his irksome-but-respected rival Daniel Bryan in the Royal Rumble. Sami Zayn is Sami Zayn.
When Apollo Crews crashes the set at the end of the show, Zayn directs the question on his sign at him. Threatened by Apollo’s answer, Sami ends up leaving for the safety of his documentarians. That gives Crews and Heyman an opportunity to share yet another moment. And once Paul has ensured that Apollo is primed to take out not only Zayn but also Big E, a man he’s identified as a threat to the Tribal Chief, the special counsel is pretty pleased with himself:
He doesn’t get to relish in a successful manipulation for long, though. Another person he’s verbally sparred with at this desk several times in the past walks up from the other direction. This happens to be a person who just put his client through another desk on Friday night.
There’s not much said this time, just a few whispered words. But smack is still talked...
I felt it. Did you?
Check out the entire episode of Talking Smack on WWE Network here.