Road Dogg has revealed why the decision to cancel Talking Smack had to be made.
WWE’s “Talking Smack” was one the most welcomed moves made by the promotion following the 2016 draft. The show became an instant hit among wrestling fans due to the unparalleled chemistry between hosts Renee Young (Paquette) and Daniel Bryan. (Bryan Danielson) While the backstage program led to realistic storytelling, the show was turned to a “PPV only” one in July 2017, before being ultimately cancelled.
The show was revived in 2020 and hosted by Kayla Braxton and Paul Heyman, but once again met its end when it was renamed to “The SmackDown Lowdown” in June 2022.
Speaking on his recent “Oh You Didn’t Know” podcast, the recently rehired Vice President of Live Events blamed the low viewership of the show which eventually led to it being a sinking investment for the company. Road Dogg discussed that while he personally enjoyed the content being produced on the show, it just wasn’t cost effective:
“It simply was not worth it. It was a business decision where handling, shipping that big desk, you have to stay later, and so the people get paid for overtime. And you know what I mean? It’s logistically, it did not work, and it wasn’t doing great numbers, like people talk about it a lot, because it was really good.
Like it was really good, alternate content, where people got to express themselves sometimes a little differently than they did on the television show. And that’s the interesting part, that’s what makes it now like a cult following like, Oh, my God, that thing was great. Yeah, but none of you were watching it when it was on or else it would have stayed on, you know. It has to match the outgoing revenue, and then some hopefully. But yeah, it just didn’t do well.”
The former 6-time WWE Tag Team Champion also went on to recall how the natural presentation of stars is what led to the program’s instant connection with the fans, naming the iconic Daniel Bryan and The Miz segment as an example:
And look, I will reiterate, I thought it was great, because it was a little bit off the cuff. It was a little bit of guys knowing what stories they were in, because we made sure of that and they wouldn’t go off, you know, out of bounds. But they would push it, they would push the limits and people liked that man, some of the best work I’ve ever seen Miz and Daniel Bryan do was literally off the cuff, not one word you know, rehearsed or any of that. That was all natural man, and have a real moment of what just happened there?
And so look, so few people were watching it at the time, it was like, well, we should do something about that. And Vince said about what? And it was like this thing that happened on [Talking Smack] and he said Oh, where you know, 40,000 people watched? You know, like, Oh, great. Yeah, we should really do something about that. And he’s right, you know what I mean? Like, he’s not wrong about that. It was [good], but it almost got cancelled as quick as it was getting hot.
You know what I mean? Like, it felt like if they would have just held on maybe there was a way to monetize it somehow. And, and I don’t know, you know what I mean.
Speaking of Road Dogg, he will be appearing on the October 10 edition of Monday Night Raw, as a part of the D-Generation X‘s 25th Anniversary Celebration.
If you use any of these quotes please credit the original source with a h/t to Inside The Ropes.