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SmackDown RunDown (6/16/16): Go Home or Go Broke


Finally! Welcome back to a re-energized edition of SmackDown RunDown! In case you forgot, my name is Ricky, and I’m 5-foot-7 tall, and you can’t teach that! So, did anybody miss me? No? Oh, okay then. Trampled feelings aside, it’s good to be back doing what you really love. I may be fresh off from a 2-week hiatus, but I assure you, this column will be my contribution to the world of wrestling. And just like The Rock promised years ago, I will never leave all 65 (on average) of you, unless they offer me a big role in Hollywood or something. So as long as I’m still your regular Samoa Joe, this website will always have me.

Two weeks of not being a wrestling fan sucks. I missed so much. Brock Lesnar is back on UFC now? Seth Rollins is back? The roster will be split again? SmackDown going live on Tuesdays? Styles vs Cena? WWE live in Manila this September? Holy jabroni, that’s just too much! Did you buy your tickets already? It will be my first WWE live event ever. Hell, it will be my first live wrestling event EVER. Do you think they will sell WWE merchandise at the event? Excuse the noobness.

I’m digressing too much. Let’s go back to business. This week’s SmackDown is the go-home episode before Money in the Bank. I wasn’t able to watch RAW this week so I can’t really compare, with the only segment I saw being the Styles-Cena segment (which was AWESOME). So how did the Blue Brand send everyone home? Let’s find out.

AJ Styles vs Austin Creed Steals the Show



This match should’ve been the main event. It was that good. Styles challenged the UpUpDownDown guy in a PvP match that will serve as his warm-up for Sunday. It’s a refreshing sight to see two members of a faction go one-on-one without any shenanigans ending the bout. Both men dished out their best moves to finish one another, especially Xavier Woods, who was on fire tonight! This match was a reminder to everyone that Woods isn’t just a great talker; he can also set the ring on fire with his skills. Despite his efforts, Styles came out on top via the Calf Crusher. It’s also a reminder for John Cena: Styles can finish him alone.



Who’s Got Money: The hype for MITB this year is true: it is the most prestigious MITB in history and it’s because of one match: John Cena vs AJ Styles. I can’t promise I won’t mark out because holy shit, you guys, Styles and Cena will be in the same damn ring. That’s a dream match right there! So who’s going to win? I’m predicting AJ Styles all the way. The future has to go through John Cena, right? Then let the future rampage through.

Some Blue Brand Blues

  • This week’s episode ended with another 6-man tag match between the face and heel participants of the Money in the Bank ladder match. Shocking, right? It was your typical fun, chaotic 6-man tag. Cesaro brought the uppercut party and was able to Cesaro Swing three people successfully. That was nice. The final sequence was fun, too. Kevin Owens superkicked his partners, which led to Dean Ambrose converting a small package into a Dirty Deeds. Just let these six men fight already.

Who’s Got Money: Dean Ambrose is the most likely to win; Cesaro as Mr. Money in the Bank isn’t the worst idea. Now, Kevin Owens is definitely my pick, but if WWE really wants to fuck with our minds, the winner should be none of those men. At the final moments of the match, the lights should go out. After everyone is confused, one man should appear on the titantron.

“Run.”

Bray Wyatt appears on top of the ladder; every participant is down and out. Wyatt grabs the briefcase, raises it and screams, “Follow the buzzards!”

Or you know, just let Ambrose win and cash it in after the Reigns vs Rollins match. Either way’s fine.

  • We rarely get a four-way match on SmackDown, and this week sure was a treat. One member of the participating tag teams in the fatal four-way tag title on Sunday squared off in a fatal four-way match. Try saying that three times. Kofi Kingston outlasted Big Cass, Luke Gallows, and Aiden English to gain the momentum come MITB. The match could’ve used more air time but I get it, we’ll have to wait until Sunday to see the action fully. The interaction on commentary between Woods and Enzo was a great touch. Edumacation is my word of the week.

Who’s Got Money: Come to think of it, a four-way match is a good opportunity for New Day to lose the tag team gold to any of their opponents without looking weak. I feel like the Club is Creative’s top choice, but Enzo and Cass should be the new tag team champions. Muscles Marinara won’t look bad having a bronze belt around his waist.

  • Over at the squash matches section, Baron Corbin defeated Zack Ryder. I was going to joke about Ryder jobbing again, but fuck it. At this point, I don't care about Ryder anymore. I don't even care about Dolph Ziggler anymore. Why are we halting Baron Corbin’s monster push just to hang around some pre-show rivalry? Also this week, Rusev destroyed Kalisto before their match even started. Oh well, welcome to the job squad, Kalisto. So much for my patented hashtag.

Who’s Got Money: Baron defeats Ziggler, and Rusev defeats Titus. Are we good now?

  • Speaking of nobody caring, who actually likes the current program Charlotte is in? She became this monster heel who disowned her father only to turn into Dana Brooke’s owner? And why is Natalya still the top contender? She has kept Sasha Banks’ spot warm enough, so let other women warm it for her. This week, Charlotte defeated Natalya for the nth time. The Guerrero-inspired finish was fun, but other than that, I have no reason to watch this match.

Who’s Got Money: Just let Natalya and Becky Lynch win so we can finally nail the coffin on the Charlotte-Natalya rivalry. We really need new recruits in the Women’s division. We currently have, like, five active members on the roster. It's time we add depth to a division recovering from injury, both literally and figuratively.

SMACKDOWN RUNDOWN: Overall, this episode was a decent effort to send everyone home before the most prestigious Money in the Bank in WWE history. I have a feeling that MITB will lead to something great, considering that the brand split and the WWE draft will return next month. SmackDown will be as powerful as RAW come July 19 and hopefully, we’ll get better storylines and better programming. For now, I’ll have to give this episode another B.

Did you enjoy this week’s SmackDown? Did you notice this column was awfully long? Let me know your opinions of my return, or lack thereof, down the comments.


*****


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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