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SmackDown Rundown (12/17/15): The Rise of The Roman Empire’s Aftermath


Don’t you dare be SOUR! Welcome to another edition of SmackDown RunDown! I’m Ricky, your Thursday night recap boy. I’m actually excited for this week’s episode. After last Monday’s stellar RAW, I expected Road Dogg will elevate their game quality-wise. Did they succeed? Let’s get to it then.

Reigns Wins! Reigns Wins! Reigns Wins!


Here we are, guys. It finally happened. Roman Reigns is now the WWE World Heavyweight Champion. You know what, I’m fine with that. Sure, Reigns still has a lot to improve on, but no one can deny he worked his ass off to be better. Besides, “sufferin’ succotash” is now down to “tater tots”. Still bad, but less bad, to say the least. His vicious meltdown at TLC was awesome for me. Now I’m invested. Now I care more than I previously did. This isn’t the remake of Daniel Bryan’s story anymore. The question now is how can the WWE follow up on their good delivery?

This week’s SmackDown improved a little compared to last week, I’ll give them that. Roman Reigns opened the show with a cool, laid-back promo about winning the belt and the Authority fired back with just the right amount, throwing in a few words and jokes here and there. Somehow, Creative is slowly getting the rhythm of how to properly write promos for the Roman character. Then Sheamus came out and tried to talk Reigns into leaving the building on his own accord as ordered by the McMahons. I almost thought they would arrest Reigns and I was ready to hate this segment altogether. Letting Reigns awkwardly beat up the security team was a good call. I’d hate this storyline to go down the lawyers-and-lawsuits route. We settle things inside the ring here, not in a court.

The belt looks good on him. Just sayin'.


Kevin Owens and Dolph Ziggler Need to Chill


This week’s main event surely delivered. Former Intercontinental Champion and Expert Vince Russo Disser Kevin Owens faced the equally intense Dolph Ziggler in a fight that caught me by surprise. I was expecting a regular rubber match after last Monday’s altercation between Owens, Ambrose, and Ziggler. No one told me this would be a fight. Both men gave a great effort in making this main event a big deal. Dolph Ziggler rolled up all his career frustrations into his fiery interview and Kevin Owens channeled his inner psychotic grizzly bear upon declaring he would place Ambrose in an institution and Ziggler in a hospital. Guys, chill.

The main event was both physical and fast-paced; every back-and-forth felt malicious enough. It was a fight and I loved it. The match ended in a DQ, with Owens ignoring the ref and just going batshit crazy on Ziggler. Dean Ambrose came for the save, but he ended up being the recipient of a desperation superkick from Ziggler. What a sequence. I don’t really get why they dragged Ziggler into the Owens-Ambrose feud, but this program just got three times more epic. These three will steal the show at the Royal Rumble. Believe that.

Match Rating: 8/10.
Definitely match of the night.

That time when you really have to go super saiyan to beat your opponent.

It’s a New Day for the Lucha Dragons


I’d watch a Lucha Dragons vs New Day match any day and it will always be awesome. We got exactly that this week as the merchandise factory New Day squared up against the Lucha Dragons in the obligatory tag match. This time, Big E was on the sidelines as he hilariously failed to provide air for the team’s signature trombone yet successfully provided the commentators a list of monikers for the fabulous trio. The match was exactly how you would imagine a match between these two teams would go. The way the Dragons grabbed the victory was awesome: no roll-ups or small packages involved. I guess we’re in for a New Day-Dragons feud in 2016.

Match Rating: 8/10. Almost the match of the night.


Ladies and gentlemen, next year's breakout star. #Kalisto2016

The League of Nations Dominated Ryback


Snarling Superstar Ryback faced the former MexAmerican and current United States Champion Rio McBerty in a match that you already know will end in a screwy kind of way. They still put a good effort into the match up until the League of Foreigners’ run-in. Somehow, that felt lazy to me. Ryback got distracted and ADR capitalized by applying the Cross Armbreaker. I miss that move. Also, King Barrett is back. I hope his injury is healed by now. I want me some Bull Hammer action.

Match Rating: 7/10.
The sight of Ryback flat on his face saved this match.
 

I'll enjoy this moment any day of the week.

The Becky-Charlotte Saga Intensifies


By now, it’s clear that they really are turning Charlotte heel and we are seeing the slow burn. It continued this week when she meddled with the Becky Lynch vs Brie Bella match. Charlotte caused the distraction—an act that Becky witnessed, mind you—but the Lass Kicker capitalized anyway and applied the Disarm-Her on poor Brie Mode. That’s the part I didn’t get. If Becky is all about winning by herself, why did she reluctantly accept Charlotte’s help in the match? Anyway, the post-match exchange between Charlotte and Becky Lynch was good. Now it’s personal.

Match Rating: 6/10. It has served its purpose of advancing the story.
 

Here's something to watch out for.
By the way, Sasha Banks Section. So that’s why the Stardust Section’s been missing.
Maybe Stardust gave the Boss his spot.

Tyler Breeze and Goldust Happened, and the Wyatts were Here, Too


Goldust creeped on Tyler Breeze’s dressing room and hissed at him and his Sum-Sum. Later in the night, Goldust provided the distraction during Tyler Breeze’s match against Titus O’Neil—who is apparently going solo temporarily, I guess—causing the Shaman of Selfies to lose the match. All I can say is whatever this is, it’s interesting. That’s the kindest word I can think of. Having fun at the main roster yet, Breezy?

Match Rating: 5/10. It is what it is. O’Neil won. Woah.
 

It's like the selfie stick suits Goldust better.
Oh, the Wyatts cut a promo, too. I almost forgot. What was the point, anyway? They didn’t even have a match this week. Their matches with the ECW Originals were fun and all, I’ll give you that. Why can’t you work a match on SmackDown? I guess they’re still pretty banged up. That promo meant nothing. Do you realize you’re not that scary anymore?

SMACKDOWN RUNDOWN: This week’s episode isn’t as stellar as last Monday’s RAW, but it’s still fun to watch. Maybe Road Dogg’s still testing the waters here. On the next episode, I’ll be less patient and forgiving. So again, better step it up Mr. Dogg, sir. I’ll give this episode a B.

Did you enjoy this week’s SmackDown? Did you enjoy this week’s main event? Do you want to sit in the Sasha Banks Section? Let me know at the comments. Next week, we are live. For now, I bid farewell!

All photos 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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