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SmackDown Rundown: (11/12/15): The Championship Chase Continues


Before the long APEC week dawns upon us, how about some Blue Brand action? Welcome to another edition of "SmackDown RunDown"! I’m still Ricky, your tired Thursday night recreationist. Man, what a week! The absence of Seth Rollins left a huge hole in the WWE landscape, but here’s an awesome tournament to cover it up. This week culminated the first round of the WWE World Title tourney. Who made it to the quarters? Let’s find out!

First Round Finale: Two Highflyers and a Mex-American

When the tournament was officially announced on RAW, I thought all the matches would happen exclusively on Monday nights. I’m so happy I was wrong. This week’s episode had three first round matches. We could’ve had four matches on both RAW and SmackDown, but I guess they had to fill three hours on the flagship show. Well, having three is better than nothing at all.

Let’s start with the least awesome match of the three. Mex-American Champion Alberto del Rio faced Cody Stardust in a seemingly predictable match. ADR started the match with another “You are all haters” promo, but I liked this version compared to last Monday’s out-of-place promo. ADR and Zeb Colter got slightly more heat and it was appropriate since ADR’s match happened right after. Stardust got some offense during the match, but Del Rio double-stomped his way to the quarterfinals. Is ADR getting that weird push again wherein they make him look strong and they are not even prepping him to be a top face or heel? I don’t think his current gimmick even has steam to last him for months. And why is Jack Swagger not in the tournament?

Match Rating: 6 out of 10 stars. It was alright.


Who did it better: Carlito or Alberto?


The Man that Creative Forgot Neville squared off against King Barrett with a cape in a good match that featured Neville’s determination and Barrett’s aggressiveness. I enjoy brawler versus highflyer match-ups, and this one didn’t disappoint. Neville took some nasty spots in this match courtesy of Barrett’s style of offense. We need some Barrett aggression in the main event. Just sayin’. Nevertheless, Neville dug deep and he was able to connect with the Red Arrow to punch his quarterfinal ticket. I also like the pre-taped promos adding more depth to every potential contender.

Match Rating: 8 out of 10 stars. Nasty spots and Red Arrow. I’m satisfied.


Some hated the Wasteland finisher. I actually like it.


Here’s a shocker: Kalisto actually made it to the quarterfinals! Can you believe it? Rey Mysterio 2.0 went one-on-one with Captain Armbands Ryback in another David versus Goliath fight. The match itself was my favorite of the night. Ryback asserted himself as the big guy and Kalisto played the struggling underdog wonderfully. The finish was awesome too. That Salida del Sol from the top rope painted Kalisto’s never-say-die portrait. I guess WWE has found themselves their new Mexican hero. Kalisto even got a pre-taped promo. Sure, ADR’s gonna kick his ass anyway, but still. They are ready to push this guy to the midcard scene. I say, why the fuck not? The tag team division may lose a valuable team, but hey, we got the Usos back.

Match Rating: 9 out of 10 stars. #Kalisto2016


Kalisto actually made me like Ryback a bit.

Wyatts Wage War against the Brothers of Destruction


The Wyatt Family has officially challenged Undertaker and Kane to a match at Survivor Series, where the Brothers of Destruction will face two Wyatt Family members of Bray’s choosing. I guess it will be end up being a handicap match anyway, but I hope the brothers find reinforcements. I still want Finn Balor and one other guy to aid Taker and Kane in a traditional elimination match against the Wyatts. Anyway, the wacky family came out to start the show with each member pledging their faith to brother Bray. After issuing the challenge, Beardy the Strowman hugged Fandango to death in a quick squash match that shed a little spotlight on the dancing superstar.

In the main event, Hobo Luke Harper and White Lamb Erick Rowan faced the Usos in a tag match that ended in DQ after the family sacrificed the twins while waiting for Taker’s response. Dean Ambrose vs Tyler Breeze should’ve been this week’s main event though. It would have been Tyler Breeze’s SmackDown debut and Dean Ambrose is pretty much the new standard bearer of Thursday nights, unless they are really turning him into a bad guy. It’s more appropriate than having another Wyatt show to end the episode.


Taker said Yes!

SMACKDOWN RUNDOWN: Overall, this week is still a good showing for the Blue Brand. This week gave us the end of the first round of the WWE World Heavyweight Championship Tournament through some quality matches. We may have lost the U.S. Open Challenge, but we got this World Title chase to provide us with some wrestling goodness. I’d give this episode an A.



EXPRESS THOUGHTS:


  • Roman Reigns is getting more and more comfortable on the mic. I love it. Keep giving him quality material for his promos, and he’ll surely get over.

  • Can you believe Y2J put over Fandango at WrestleMania, of all places?

  • When did Stardust turn face? I can actually get behind that.

  • No divas? No space for a Sasha versus Natalya match?


So did you enjoy this week’s SmackDown? Are you excited for Rey Mysterio 2.0? Where is the power of positivity? Feel free to air your complaints down in the comments. Have a great one!

All photos taken from WWE.com


*****

Ricky Jay Publico is a wrestling fan who enjoys watching high flyers and brawlers battle it out in the ring. A known Botchamania binge-watcher, he claims to have memorized the chronological order of Royal Rumble winners, but fails to remember who won in 2004. He writes stories about life and nonsense.

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