The cancellation of Talking Smack represents everything that is wrong with WWE’s product right now. Talking Smack was a weekly show hosted by Renee Young and SmackDown GM Daniel Bryan. It was essentially WWE’s version of a post-game show but with a twist. The show sometimes would feature an attack or altercation between WWE Superstars. I thought the show was much more effective when it aired immediately following SmackDown. Unfortunately, it was bumped back an hour and 205 Live is now aired directly after SmackDown. It has now been reported that Vince McMahon is unhappy with the product and doesn’t believe it is in the company’s best interest to continue to produce it on a weekly basis. Apparently, McMahon also wants to phase out Talking Smack completely in the near future.
I really enjoyed Talking Smack. I thought it was the only place, other than podcasts not affiliated with WWE, where Superstars could be themselves. They could say things off the top of their heads, instead of relying on a script that 40,000 writers created for them. They could speak naturally and avoid the awkward pause we see so much on WWE television when a Superstar tries to remember their lines. They could actually speak words they use in real life, instead of desperately trying to make their way through a corny written promo carefully sculpted by folks that have bored the WWE Universe to tears for years now.
Take a look at a Superstar like Baron Corbin. He clearly possesses talent and looks like a badass. There is absolutely no reason that he shouldn’t be a star in WWE and should have the ability to bring in money just based on his look alone. Corbin is also a good performer in the ring and his End of Days finisher is just awesome. His only issue right now on the main roster is promos. He speaks like a robot and half the time he is rocking back and forth while cutting a promo. He doesn’t look comfortable with the scripted words he is given. However, when you watched Corbin on Talking Smack he came off way better than he does on SmackDown every week. WWE is obviously banking on Corbin being a star as he is currently holding the Money in the Bank briefcase. I could be wrong, but I don’t think having Corbin utter phrases like “sayonara Nakamura” like he did on this past week’s SmackDown, is going to help him all that much in the future.
If you convince a friend that hasn’t watched wrestling for some time to check out the current product, one of the first things they will notice is the poor promos. Obviously the PG rating limits what Superstars can say, but it shouldn’t prevent them from being entertaining. It is hard to be entertaining when you are performing a promo that is not in your own words and is something you do not believe in. Every week I see Superstars just trying to get through a promo. I don’t see intensity or passion for the material, I just see employees trying not to screw up what their bosses have given to them. The Miz is now hosting fake award shows and beating up random people in bear costumes. I’ll take The Miz flipping out on Talking Smack over that any day of the week.