wrestling / TV Reports

411’s WWE Backstage Report 11.5.19

November 6, 2019 | Posted by Robert Leighty Jr.
Booker T WWE Backstage

-Hello and welcome to the Premiere Episode of WWE Backstage.  FOX has spent a ton of money for SmackDown and decided to add a studio show to help promote their investment.  After a teaser episode, Backstage is making it’s debut on FS1 in a just a few minutes.  I think when this show was announced most were hoping we would get something similar to Talking Smack (which I loved reviewing), but from the early reviews that’s not happening.  For me I go into any new show with an open mind and I’m will always be a fan of having more wrestling content. As always thanks for reading!

-The show opening is narrated by John Cena as he talks about the life of WWE Superstars and what the cameras don’t get to see.  They show some classic moments (Hogan/Andre, Austin/HBK) as Cena talks about how this show will show everyone what is in the hearts of all the WWE Superstars.  It will show why they were chosen to go down this path and maybe inspire someone else to take the same path.  You want some….come get some!

-Renee Young kicks us off as they immediately plug the Firefly Fun House having a special episode tonight and HBK will be part of the show as well.  Renee is joined by her cohost Booker T and they are joined by Christian and Paige.  Booker puts over John Cena as he apparently calls him Mr. Shakespeare.

-Renee brings up that 175 members of the WWE roster and production crew were in Saudi Arabia and were stuck there an extra day due to plane issues.  Some were able to get out on another flight, but from that moment it lead to some of the best WWE TV in a long time.  We get video recaps of what went down on SmackDown and RAW as they highlight the NXT Invasion and the Brock/Rey situation.

-Back to Renee as she wants Booker’s input on the NXT Invasion.  Booker puts over Adam Cole and talks about running into him at an Independent show years ago and asked if he had gotten the call yet.  He told Booker he was still waiting.  Renee brings up that SmackDown was thrown together at the last minute and magic happened.  Christian says that NXT is no longer the brand where you get called up to the Main Roster.  Instead NXT is part of the Main Roster.

-Renee talks about trying to prepare for commentary at the last minute and they were flying by the seat of their pants.  They weren’t sure if the plane from Orlando was going to land in time for SmackDown.  Paige talks about how much of a badass Shayna Baszler is and Christian is a big fan of Rhea Ripley.

-Renee switches topics to the Rey/Brock feud and we get footage of Rey beating down Lesnar on RAW last night.  I also want to note I appreciate the ticker below the screen that provides things like “This Day in WWE History” (The Rock beat Jericho for the WCW Title), Current Champions, and brief recaps of the what is happening across the WWE.  Back to Christian as he loves finally seeing this side of Rey Mysterio.  He says that Rey is a grown ass man and sometimes you have to get angry and fight dirty when your family is disrespected.  Booker wonders if Rey can still fly high after all the injuries and if he still has something left in the tank.

-We get video of Asuka spitting green mist in Paige’s face to cement that heel turn and show slow motion of Renee getting kicked in the face while doing commentary on SmackDown Friday night.  That did look brutal.  Booker tells Renee that most people would be knocked out by the kick, so he gives her props.  Renee wants to know what the green mist was like and Paige says it does sting and has a horrible taste to it.  Renee and Paige joke about forming a tag team and that leads to somehow Booker going on a tangent about eating avocado and crab meat.

-Commercial break, but up next HBK joins the show!

-We are back with Firefly Fun House and Bray is super duper excited to be on the premiere episode of WWE Backstage.  He formally introduces himself and warns that he has been called many things in the past: genius, madman, sex symbol, and eccentric.  It would scare people to know what goes on in his mind and we get flashbacks of previous Fun House moments.  We will all be safe as long as we don’t make HIM upset.  Seth Rollins did and now they have the Universal Title.  Bray promises that on SmackDown everyone will realize there is a new ruler of the Universe.  All you have to do in Let Him In.

-Renee is kind of creeped out by Bray saying her name, but Booker was cool with it.  They jump into a segment called “No Holds Barred.”  Christian is a little bummed Bray didn’t say hi to him.  Christian doesn’t think Bray needs the Title to get to the level he is at, but he thinks that now that he has it, he will have it for a long time.  He calls Bray a generational talent and compares him to someone like Taker, Austin, and Rock.  He puts him over for stepping up his in ring talent and mentions the red light.  He knows some people have an issue with it, but he likes it as it is different.  Booker also talks about how Bray is different and he thinks there are feuds with Roman and Braun out there in the short time.  Christian is thinking long term and mentions Lars Sullivan.  Wow, where did he pull that one out?  Paige thinks Bray should be Champion for the rest of her days.

-On to Seth and how HHH basically told him that he was either with him or against him.  Renee wants to know what is next for Seth Rollins.  Paige says Seth needs to stop caring so much and he needs to be more like Becky Lynch.  “Damn” says Renee!  Paige wants him to be the guy that turned on The Shield.  Booker says Seth hasn’t been as hot as since he was with The Shield.  Renee mentions she likes the Shield a lot.  I see what she did there!  Christian gives the old age line of it doesn’t matter if they cheer or boo as long as they are reacting.  Booker doesn’t know what the crowd is doing because it’s not always cheering or booing.

-They hype Reigns vs Corbin on SmackDown this Friday and it seems Tyson Fury will be on the show as well.  We take another commercial break.

-Back with a highlight package of Shawn Michaels and he joins the show from The Performance Center in Orlando.  Shawn says he is doing ok as it has been a busy week, but it is fun.  Renee brings up Friday and how they were short on talent and asks Shawn what it was like when NXT got the call.  Shawn talks about hearing the rumors in the morning that the flight was delayed and he just texted Hunter to let him know he would help if needed.  HHH texted him at 2 PM to head to Orlando and get with the NXT crew to catch a plane to Buffalo.  He was getting texts about what could be happening with the show and he was relaying the news to the talent on the bus when they landed.  Renee knows Shawn is used to crazy schedules, but wants to know how the NXT talent reacted.  Shawn says they didn’t know what was going on, but they were so excited that they handled it as pros.  He talks about youth being a great thing as they didn’t have a chance to get nervous.  He says they will deliver tomorrow night as well.

-Booker says he always calls Shawn “The Fish they call Wanda” as he was the one that got away as they never had a match together.  He asks Shawn about the NXT kids and what it’s been like working with those young guys and how big can it get with them.  Shawn talks about how enjoyable it has been to work with people that have the same passion and dream he had.  Going to live TV was such a huge change and yet they handled everything like pros.

-Renee brings up Bryan/Cole on SmackDown and asks Shawn how it felt watching at ringside knowing he also helped train Bryan many years ago.  Shawn calls it an awesome opportunity to be out there to see the match.  He calls Bryan one of the greatest wrestlers or workers in the history of the business.  He is thrilled and proud of what Cole did in the last week and says Bryan has been a success since day one.

-Renee thanks Shawn for joining the show and we head to another break.

-Renee introduces the newest member of the team: Ryan Satin and he gets his own segment called “The Satin Sheet.”  They discuss Alexa Bliss and he  mentions she has been out of action due to an undisclosed injury, but will be back soon.  They bring up Orton’s tweet that he re-signed with the WWE.  Satin says the two sides have been in talk for months and while Orton has joked online about his future, he is staying in the WWE.

-That ends Ryan’s segment and we head back to the main group as they discuss Orton staying with the WWE.  Christian thinks that whatever Orton is being paid, it’s not enough.  Paige has nothing to add to that.

-They go back to Paige calling out Seth and Paige calls him a friend and that she wasn’t the only one to call him out.

-Another break and it seems The GRONK will be part of the show next.

-Renee pays some bills by plugging all that is happening on FOX in the coming days: Chargers at Raiders tomorrow, SmackDown on Friday, Maryland at Ohio State on Saturday, and FOX NFL on Sunday.

-GronkMania is next as we get highlights of him interacting with the WWE.  Gronk has some prerecorded comments about his favorite wrestler: Val Venis, favorite matches: any with Auston or DX (and he makes sure to throw in 2 Words for Ya).  He can’t choose between the People’s Elbow or Stunner as his favorite finisher.  He calls getting into the ring at Mania a dream come true.  He used to pretend to be a wrestler as a kid and says that while Jinder is super jacked, he handled him easily.  He takes credit for Jinder becoming WWE Champion.

-Booker challenges Gronk to show up Backstage and he will unretire him, just to retire him again.  Renee asks Paige who was her favorite celebrity or athlete to step in a ring and she puts over Stephen Amell.  Booker puts over Malone and Rodman.  Christian cheats a little by bringing up Kurt Angle and mentions he had Kurt’s first match.

-Renee gets someone in her ear telling her that Big E is watching and tweeting which terrifies her.  We go to the tweet which is a picture of Renee interviewing New Day while barefoot and it seems E wants a Feet of the Week segment.  Renee is embarrassed by the picture and says she was only doing it to make E look Big.  She mentions that Woods is on the IR and Booker jokes that he is done for good.

-We take our final break.

-We are back for our final segment which is where they get to talk trash to fans who take shots at them on social media.  Renee says the segment is sponsored by “your mom.”  Christian is first as someone calls him a smug, rich a-hole.  Christian says maybe he didn’t like the company he was in and that he wants the smoke.  Renee mentions that Christian has that Attitude Era money.  Next someone calls Booker out and says he sucks.  Booker won’t talk about his 2 Hall of Fame rings or World Titles, but he wants to talk about heart and the lack of heart the poster has.  Renee doesn’t want to encourage them to send mean tweets, but it’s a segment they are going to keep doing.

-That ends the premiere edition of WWE Backstage.

-I found the show to be a mixed bag of things I liked and things I didn’t.  Overall it was enjoyable and did a decent job of balancing actual news while also trying to stay in storyline.  I did like the brief Satin segment as it did give it a bit of a real sport feel and the Shawn interview was fun.  That last segment is still pretty bad though and it doesn’t seem like they are going to drop it anytime soon.  I’m all for calling out twitter trolls, but it just isn’t working the way they probably want it to.  Outside of that, I found the show enjoyable as Renee is great in this setting and can roll along with Booker’s craziness.  Paige and Christian are fine as they add just enough.  Overall, this was fine.

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WWE Backstage, Robert Leighty Jr.