Paul Heyman will reportedly not be returning to WWE Talking Smack.
The Special Counsel to Universal Champion Roman Reigns had been hosting the show alongside Kayla Braxton since early November 2020. However, Heyman was notably absent from the most recent episode of the show, with Pat McAfee appearing with Braxton.
In a new report from Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, it has been suggested that the change will be permanent. Discussing Heyman being absent from the show, Meltzer noted that it’s not a one week change and that there’s no real reason behind the switch.
“Paul Heyman is now off Talking Smack. Pat McAfee and Kayla Braxton did the show this past week. We’re told the change is permanent and not a one week thing, but of course, everything can change tomorrow in WWE. There’s no real reason for it past a company decision and Heyman’s interplay with talent on some of the episodes was the most compelling talking stuff done on WWE shows.”
Heyman’s time on Talking Smack has produced some of the more memorable moments in the show’s history. His verbal sparring sessions with the likes of Edge, Roman Reigns and Daniel Bryan being lauded by fans.
While Paul Heyman is as a past master of cutting an effective promo, the man himself recently revealed the process behind the art.
Speaking in an interview in May of this year, Heyman explained how each promo differs from the next and how it’s vital to know your audience. In reference to Talking Smack, Heyman detailed how he approached the show compared to a regular segment with Roman Reigns.
“You have to read the room,” Heyman says. “If not, you’re a nostalgia act before you’re even cognizant of the fact that time has passed you by. In some ways it hasn’t changed. I still ask myself, ‘What’s my goal? What am I selling?’ I’m a salesman, I’m a hype artist, I’m an interest-facilitator. My job is to get you interested in the product, in the personalities I’m selling, in the match I want you to witness, subscribe and buy. With Talking Smack, the medium is different; the platform is different. It’s like comparing Twitter to Instagram. The promo that I did on SmackDown, the ‘Yes! Yes! Yes! No! No! No!’ promo was all about just how great Daniel Bryan is and why that demonstrates the enormity of Roman Reigns’ star power—because as great as Daniel Bryan is and all he’s overcome, he’ll never overcome Roman Reigns.”
On the most recent episode of Talking Smack, the returning Zelina Vega appeared in feisty mood. During the appearance, Vega dismissed her competition in the women’s Money In The Bank Ladder Match, before setting her sights on Bayley and Bianca Belair.