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SmackDown RunDown (2/4/16): Calf Killers and Flying Bodies


Get ready to fly! Welcome to another exciting edition of SmackDown RunDown! Making his triumphant return is none other than your enigmatic Thursday night reviewer, Ricky Publico! I’m back! Special shoutout to the amazing Stan Sy for taking over last week’s RunDown. Man, I always miss the good episodes. How the hell did I miss AJ Styles’ SmackDown debut? I really have to get my shit together. So before I drift into nonsense rambling, let’s check out this week’s episode.

The Phenomenal One Week 2: Styles vs The Miz

I want to talk about this one first because I didn’t give Styles a proper welcome, so welcome to the big leagues, AJ Styles! Seeing Styles’ picture on the marquee still feels really weird. It’s like a WWE 2K15 mod being aired on TV. This week, Styles faced the Hollywood C-lister Miz in a surprisingly good match. I didn’t know The Miz can actually go toe-to-toe with someone like Styles. Bravo, Mike. 

It was a solid match and Styles was able to showcase his unique and ‘crisp’ moveset. Styles made Miz tap with the Calf Killer that Super Mauro was very eager to point out. Chris Jericho was at ringside providing a condescending analysis of the match, which put the cherry on top. After the match, Jericho challenged Styles in an ‘AJ vs Y2J’ rematch next week on SmackDown. That’s right, not on RAW, not on Fastlane, but on SmackDown. There’s no way I can miss next week’s episode.


Match Rating: 8/10. Match and segment of the night combined.

The next guy Jericho's going to put over at Wrestlemania.
Friction Costs a Flying Elbow and a Suicide Dive

Roman Reigns opened the show when he went one-on-one with the recently healed League of Nations member Rusev together with the functional injured guys, ADR and Barrett. I have to say, Rusev looked really lame walking down the ramp with an injured entourage. The match ended in a DQ after the two LoN members interfered, which prompted a Dean Ambrose run-in. However, a miscalculated elbow drop planted the first seeds of friction between Reigns and Ambrose.

This has been the theme for the rest of the night as Reigns and Ambrose faced Rusev and ADR in tonight’s main event after Ambrose accidentally hit Reigns again with a suicide dive. Is it just me or has Roman Reigns lost the steam he garnered last year since his lackluster performance at the Royal Rumble? With the way he was booked in the Rumble match plus the phenomenal arrival of AJ Styles, Reigns has become boring again. Is he really the guy who’s going to main event this year’s WrestleMania? How can we get behind a guy who rests backstage in the middle of a highly important championship match?

Match Rating: 6/10. Both match were pretty much the same. They have served their purpose and that’s about it.

Just turn on one another already. 
Express Thoughts:

  • Dolph Ziggler and Kevin Owens are feuding? I felt like I missed so much after not watching wrestling for a week. Kevin Owens faced the United States Champion #Kalisto2016 in a non-title match that saw the Lucha Dragon steal one from Owens after a Ziggler interference. The Ziggler-Owens rivalry felt rushed, but I’d still watch these two present another quality wrestling match.

  • I know I’ve been hating on the big Ryback, but this week, he really impressed me with his ongoing reinvention of himself. This week, he came out in a different attire. He ditched the singlet and the stupid armbands and chose a better get-up. His moveset has also been improving as he delivered a convincing win over Erick Rowan this week. If he keeps this up, I might consider hating on him a little less.

  • New Day defeated Social Outcasts in a very weird heel vs heel match. The match was decent itself, I was just confused. Who should I root for in this match? Both teams should be heels, right? Or did the Social Outcasts turn face last week? Did I miss it again? Damn it. To be fair, people love both teams. And outside of New Day insulting crowds, they get a lot of love from audiences. But still, we all know heel vs heel types of matches are confusing to watch.

  • The Women’s Division is heating up now that Sasha Banks has returned to claim her place in the spotlight at the main roster. Everything’s leading up to the huge triple threat match at WrestleMania, but this week, the Divas Champion Charlotte had to deal with Alicia Fox. Baby Flair made Fox tap for the win. Her next stop: Brie Mode. I don't mind Charlotte hanging around for a while with Brie, it gives Sasha and Becky some time to develop their own story.

  • This week’s Goldust-Truth segment was just there. I’ve been hearing comments about this short segments being funny and all, but this week was just there. I guess I missed the good ones again. Damn it.

SMACKDOWN RUNDOWN: This week’s episode was mediocre at best. Aside from the AJ vs Y2J 2 announcement, nothing stood out or felt special. On the plus side, storylines moved forward and rivalries were built. Overall, I’d give this episode a C.

Did you enjoy this week’s SmackDown? Is #Kalisto2016 catching on? How did AJ Styles do in his second week in WWE? Let me know down the comments below.

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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