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SmackDown RunDown (4/14/16): A Night of Too Many Firsts


How YOU doin’? This is Ricky with a new episode of SmackDown RunDown written live from the dark corner of our little room. This week was packed with debuts and first-time match-ups, you’d think this was an extension of last Monday’s RAW (well, technically…). If you missed this week’s episode, let me fill you in with the deets.

First Encounters of the Awesome Kind

This week’s episode featured a double main event of first encounters, both of which were equally good. For the first time ever, our resident dream match generator AJ Styles faced 1/3 of our resident league of foreigners, Alberto del Rio in the first main event of the night. If that sounded awesome in your head, the match itself will not disappoint you one bit. These two are not the best people behind the mic, but they sure do the talking inside the squared circle. That nasty reverse superplex (or reverse super DDT driver, as it looked like to me) was cringe-worthy though. See for yourself.



I’m glad Styles wasn’t too injured and was able to continue with the match, gaining a roll-up victory for the second straight week. What’s up with him getting wins via roll-up? Nitpicking and botched moves aside, Styles and ADR’s first encounter was solid from start to finish. Plus, it’s fun listening to Mauro say ‘Ushigoroshi’.


The other half of the double main event featured the first ever match-up of D-Bry spiritual successor Sami Zayn against the innovator of the holiday jacket Chris Jericho. Both men tried to tell the classic story of the veteran and the newcomer and they would’ve succeeded if it weren’t for the involvement of their current rivals. Dean Ambrose and Kevin Owens provided commentary during the match and as expected, they also interfered. This match would’ve been spectacular if it was given time to develop, but it was still a good way to close up the show. I guess we now have a main event for next week?

NXT TakeOver: SmackDown


You might as well brand this show a TakeOver with the amount of former NXT talents debuting this week. The first match of the night featured the first SmackDown performance of the dashing Baron Corbin as he defeated Zack Ryder, continuing his hot streak. I can’t see anyone stopping Corbin’s momentum and unless he gets injured, he’ll be a surefire midcard superstar.


We also saw the in-ring debuts of Enzo Amore and Big Cass in the first round of the Booty O’s Tag Team Tournament. The duo was impressive in their match against the Ascension. I’m actually excited for these two. Enzo and Cass are my pick for this tournament. Having the copper belts around their waist will add to their already evident swagger. Can you imagine the verbal tirades they are going to have with the New Day?


Emma 2.0 also made a statement this week by defeating Paige in her SmackDown debut. She had an amazing reinvention down in NXT and now she’s ready to conquer the Women’s division, starting with a rivalry with the self-proclaimed Irish Lass Kicker, Becky Lynch. I wonder who will keep Sasha Banks busy while she waits for her next title shot?

Some Blue Brand Blues

  • The Miz and his wife Maryse opened this week’s show with a quick MizTV segment that featured Miz pandering to his real-life wife. How awesome was that? Somewhere backstage, Lana is biting her lips out of envy. The Miz and Maryse are the WWE’s latest power couple and it’s awesome. Anyway, Zack Ryder interrupted the couple and gave his blessings to the new number one contender Cesaro. I think they still want Ryder to stay in the Intercontinental Championship hunt, but Creative wants to shed more light on the returning Cesaro. Fine by me, Cesaro deserves the attention. I just hope they keep a spot for Ryder somewhere.

  • The Vaudevillains continue their impressive SmackDown streak by advancing to the semi-finals of the Booty O’s Tag Team Tournament. They dominated the team of Goldust and Fandango, a team that barely makes sense. I really enjoy the Vaudevillains. We rarely see over-the-top gimmicks lately. This team is a breath of fresh air to the tag team division.

SMACKDOWN RUNDOWN: I didn’t say this last week because I didn’t want to jump the gun, but after another solid episode from the Blue Brand, I just have to say it: SmackDown is cool again. If you were not an avid SmackDown fan before, you better tune in now. Catch up on the Network or watch it on streaming sites; it doesn’t matter where you get your weekly fix. You have to return SmackDown to your must-watch list. I’ll give this episode another stellar A.

Did you enjoy this week’s SmackDown? Do you know what SAWFT means? Explain it to me below at the comments. Ciao!

*****



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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