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411’s WWE Backstage Report 2.11.20: Charlotte & Paige Talk Women’s Evolution, Stephanie McMahon On WrestleMania 37

February 12, 2020 | Posted by Robert Leighty Jr.
Paige Charlotte WWE Backstage

-Welcome to your weekly WWE Backstage Review.  The show had a slight delay thanks to the Dog Show and those that had Standard Poodle in your pool, came out on top this year.  Personally, I was rooting for The Golden Retriever.  Moving on though as Backstage this week will see the return of CM Punk and we are promised an interview with Stephanie McMahon.  I assume that was pretaped as I can’t see Punk and Steph being in studio together.

-Show intro as we skip the cold open to make up time.

-Renee welcomes us and she is joined by her co-host, Booker T and on the panel this week: CM Punk and Paige. Booker is hyped that his Houston team won in their XFL debut this week. Punk mentions Chicago doesn’t have a team, but they have the Hawks and he calls them the best team in the world in hockey. I’ll just say, Go Pens!

-Week in Review: Bray vs Goldberg is set on SmackDown, Bryan squashed Slater, and Corbin/Reigns is set for a cage. On RAW they continue to tease Rhea/Charlotte, Orton banished Matt Hardy to the shadow realm, and Shayna went Mike Tyson on Becky’s neck.

-Renee asks Booker what he thought about Shayna’s neck biting. Booker says it caught him off guard and he talks about Gangrel. He says wrestling throws curveballs and you have to learn to hit it. Paige thinks it was just a one off thing that reminded her of Mike Tyson and they aren’t portraying her as a vampire. Punk calls her a badass and that she doesn’t need the biting. He thinks she needs to base everything off her real credentials. Booker thinks it is okay to have something extra that she can use. Paige is excited to see more women being used instead of just the 4 Horsewomen. Punk talks about the Road to Mania and that everything should be focused on that and instead they have shows to build before then. He isn’t a fan of all the PPVs.

-They again show Randy obliterating Matt last night. Punk jokes that he doesn’t want to say anything good about Orton, but there is nobody better when Randy is motivated. When he is dialed in and has something to sink his teeth into, Punk doesn’t think there is anyone better. He was born into the business and is one of those guys that “gets it.” They show Orton smashing Edge and Paige says that moment gave her chills. Paige then wonders if this is the last time we are going to see Matt Hardy in the WWE. Booker says that the segment wasn’t about Matt Hardy, and he doesn’t know if he is finished.

-Breaking news: John Cena will be returning to the WWE on SmackDown this Friday. Oh man, I wonder if they are going to get him a Mania match.


-Nice montage of Ric and Charlotte Flair showing them each winning The Rumble. That leads to Charlotte being here live and Booker is nice enough to open the ropes for her. Renee asks Charlotte how it felt to be back in NXT. She says that she was nervous as the crowd of 300 was more intimidating than thousands on RAW each week. They all joke about how you need a ticket for catering in NXT now and Renee thinks Norman Smiley is holding all the tickets. I need a second as it’s not everyday you get a Normal Smiley shout-out. They talk about Finn moving back to NXT and Charlotte puts him over saying there is no NXT without Finn Balor. Booker asks who she thinks needs to be called up and she immediately says Bianca. She puts over how she is so more confident than she was at that point. Punk wants to know how Charlotte deals with stress. She mentions she can have the same live event match 4 months in a row and yet right before the match she starts getting doubts. Once her music hits it just all comes back to her. She says that she sometimes does a bunch of pushups and she would do dancing with Paige. Everyone wants to see it, but Charlotte doesn’t want to.

-We get footage of Charlotte on The Herd with Colin Cowherd and she talks about her and Becky being Thelma and Louise. Renee wants to know who is Thelma and who is Louise. Charlotte laughs that they never decided and wants to know who gets Brad Pitt. Punk points out that they both died in the end. Paige asks about Ronda and Charlotte brings up being the replacement for Becky when she got injured. She took that personally as she is not a replacement for anyone. She always wanted that match with Ronda so she worked hard to prove she could hang on that level. Booker asks about what her pinnacle will be and she just wants to keep getting better. Punk mention giving back and how he would go to OVW or FCW to work with the younger crew. He talks about how Charlotte would be the perfect person to give advice to Simone Johnson (The Rock’s daughter). Charlotte’s advice is for her to block out all the noise and work hard. You have to work twice as hard as everyone else and not take things for granted. She also thinks before going to her dad for all the advice she needs to listen to Normal Smiley, or Sara Del Rey. She jokes that dads are biased and that she could fall on her face and her dad would tell her it was great.

-They show a graphic of Charlotte and Becky in a car as Thelma and Louise. Charlotte wants to be the one driving as Becky is a horrible driver and the reason she can’t rent a car from Hertz anymore. They show the same graphic with Punk and Booker now and that cracks everyone up as they are losing it on this show.

-Commercials! During the commercials a fun fact scrolled by as they mentioned Hulk Hogan defeated The Giant in a Steel Cage at SuperBrawl on this date in 1996.

-Renee plugs The Daytona 500 as Sheamus will be driving the pace car on Sunday. That leads to a segment on the similarities between Sports Entertainment and NASCAR. They start the segment with a flashback to the nWo talking about taking over NASCAR. In the mid 90s Kyle Petty teamed up with the nWo to field an nWo car and Randy Savage also had one with Slim Jim. They put over Goldberg for being the most famous WWE star to be in the pits and others such as Charlotte and John Cena. Both sports give up heroes and villains and in the end it is all about the titles.

-Another plug as The Daytona 500 is the WrestleMania of racing.

-Yesterday it was announced that Mania XXXVII (I appreciate they used Roman Numerals on the graphic) will be in LA at at the still being constructed, SoFi Stadium. As I thought they throw to an interview Renee did yesterday with Steph at the stadium. So yeah, no Punk/Steph interactions. Renee says they need Steph to join them in the studio and Steph would love to. They gush over the stadium and Steph talks about the translucent roof and how you can project things on it which I am sure they are going to use. Steph brings up the last time Mania was in LA was the debut of Money in the Bank and the idea was pitched to her because her dad wasn’t there because of blowing out his quads at the Rumble. And, that’s the entire interview. Okay then!


-WrestleMania Moment: Miracle on Bourbon Street as Bryan beats Evolution in one night to win the WWE World Heavyweight Title. Amazing to think that may not happen if Punk doesn’t walk out after The Rumble.

-Tomorrow is the 1 Year Anniversary of The Gauntlet Match that started Kofi Mania. I actually had live coverage of SmackDown that night and it was an amazing performance. Let’s not forget that was supposed to be Ali’s spot, but his injury opened a door that Kofi and the fans that rallied behind him kicked down. Kofi went nearly an hour before he tapped out to AJ Styles.

-Booker and Renee are cracking up about an inside joke which makes Paige and Punk feel left out.

-Hot Take: Bayley vs Carmella: Who Should Win? Booker says Bayley is still trying to find herself and calls Carmella the female version of The Miz in that she takes a licking and keeps on ticking. Paige gets to answer who had the better return: The Dirt Sheet or The VIP Lounge: Paige says clearly it is the Dirt Sheet as she likes some comedy and things to be a little different so we aren’t always getting the same show. Mick Foley had a tweet stating Aleister Black was one major feud away from making a big jump up the WWE Ladder and Punk gets to pick that opponent. Punk thinks the feud should be with Andrade over the US Title. We got that in NXT and it was awesome, so that makes sense. Renee says Cena is coming back and want to know about him as the feud for Aleister. Quick, someone give Renee the book!


-Back with a plug for SmackDown

-Feb 23, 2015: The Bellas vs Emma/Paige ends in a few seconds or so, and that starts the #GiveDivasAChance movement and Steph is kind enough to bring up Charlotte, Becky, and Sasha. From there we get to Mania where the Divas Title in retired. Then in Sept, Becky becomes the first SmackDown Women’s Champion. In Oct 2016 Charlotte and Sasha go to hell in the first Women’s Hell in a Cell Match, June 2017 Carmella wins the first Women’s Money in The Bank Match (thanks to help from a man, which they leave out), Asuka wins the First Women’s Royal Rumble, Feb sees an All Women’s Elimination Chamber, then we get Evolution PPV, and finally the women Main Event last year’s Mania.

-The Main Event: Renee sits down with Charlotte and Paige to talk about the movement. Charlotte says that in NXT they were shocked to see how little time the women were given on RAW and that they wanted to stay in NXT. Paige puts over AJ Lee and calls her the best woman ever on the mic. Charlotte puts over AJ Lee as well and says there were women before her that were talented but not given the chance. She talks about how The Bellas, AJ, Paige were all given characters that fans could relate. They weren’t just grouped as The Divas Division. Paige says they (her and AJ) had a tag match at Mania with The Bellas and they knew the match was going to be cut short, so they had their Mania match the RAW before the big show. Charlotte talks about how far The Bellas came and was proud of Nikki’s match with Ronda.

-XFL on FOX plug. I still think Seattle Dragons is an homage to Daniel Bryan.

-Social Media SmackDown: A fan tweets that Charlotte was handed everything and didn’t deserve to be a 10 time champion. Charlotte calls him a booger eater and asks if he will be upset when she becomes a 16 time champion. Punk screaming as her hype man is awesome. Charlotte can’t help but laugh and mentions she is terrible at this. Punk says that he could help her a little bit and I really need him cutting promos on twitter fans every week. Renee closes the show as Charlotte continues to laugh as Paige gives her a hug.

-I really love this show as it flies by and everyone just has a lot of fun.  As I said before it is just great hearing Punk talk about wrestling again.  Charlotte was good here though she really struggled with shutting down the twitter troll, but that didn’t seem to be up her alley.  The Steph interview was kind of weird as there was much substance, but I like the idea of the roof being used as part of the show.  The breaking news of Cena returning on Friday is the big story though as there were rumors he wanted a Mania match since the show is in Tampa.  I guess we will have to wait and see where that is leading.

-As always, thanks for reading!

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WWE Backstage, Robert Leighty Jr.