It’s a sad day for fans of good WWE programming because it was announced today that WWE has decided to cancel Talking Smack on WWE Network effective immediately. The episode that aired this past Tuesday was the last episode of the broadcast that followed 205 Live on Tuesdays on WWE Network. The report comes from PWInsider, who also noted that the show will continue as a post-pay-per-view broadcast similar to Raw Talk after Raw PPV events.
Following the initial report from PWInsider, WWE issued this statement confirming the end of Talking Smack:
“We continuously review WWE Network’s programming line-up based on a variety of factors, including viewership and subscriber research. Talking Smack and Raw Talk will air following pay-per-view events, and Tuesday will continue to feature 205 LIVE.”
That’s the corporate answer to why it ended. According to Dave Meltzer on Twitter, the real reason is pretty simple: “Not enough people watched it.” That’s the similar reason given to the Raw and Smackdown pre-shows when the brand extension took place last year. It’s a reminder that when you have your own network like WWE does you can make those decisions on the fly.
Talking Smack started after the WWE brand split last July. It has been hosted by Renee Young every week with Daniel Bryan as her regular co-host. Others like Shane McMahon, John Bradshaw Layfield and even The Miz filled in as hosts at various times. Prior to the debut of 205 Live, the show aired right after Smackdown and that was a big plus. When 205 Live started last November 29 that pushed Talking Smack to around 10:45pmET on WWE Network and on demand. Going 45 minutes after Smackdown didn’t help and ultimately led to the end of the show.
It’s disappointing because the show was a lot of fun and allowed WWE’s Smackdown superstars a chance to unwind a bit and appear to be more free than when they are doing the overly scripted promos that we see on Raw and Smackdown every week.
The reason I chose a Daniel Bryan and Miz photo up top is because their epic showdown on Talking Smack last August is what really made Talking Smack a must see show. It felt real when Daniel Bryan told Miz he was soft in the ring and Miz fired back talking about how reliable of a performer he is while talking about how much he loved the business. This clip has over two million views on Youtube, yet WWE feels like this show isn’t worth the time.
The Miz will be remembered as the best guest in Talking Smack history. I missed him after he left to Raw in April. Guys like John Cena, Kevin Owens and The Usos did very well in that format too. Even Baron Corbin, who isn’t known for great promos, was a lot more comfortable in that setting than when he’s in front of a crowd.
I can understand ending the show because not a lot of people may have watched it, but is it really a hassle to produce? It’s only a table with two co-hosts and three guests come on to further storylines. By getting rid of the show, it hurts the ability to further storylines in a different setting.
It’s the end of another good talk show on WWE Network. Just like there’s no more Stone Cold Podcast and no more Legends with JBL, Talking Smack has been wished the best in its future endeavors as a weekly show.
It’s not a big deal in the big picture to WWE, but this is one of those moves that will lead to fans being angry about a fun show coming to and end.
I’ll leave you with this video of Daniel Bryan and The Usos rapping on Talking Smack.