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SmackDown RunDown Live (8/16/16): The Summer(Slam) Heat is On


Where’s my contract? I can’t believe Tuesday came by and went, because that only means it’s time for another edition of SmackDown RunDown Live. It’s the final chance to hype the upcoming SummerSlam. How did the Blue Brand send everyone home? Let’s get down to it.

The Champ Eats Another Superkick Sandwich

We start the show with an episode of MizTV and before The Miz could start the segment, his guests rudely came out and started another awesome verbal war. Ambrose gave a good effort to get into Ziggler’s head, but the Z-Man didn’t come out unprepared. He lashed out to Ambrose about pushing him over the edge and about how the Lunatic should worry about knocking Ziggler out. He ended the segment by showing Ambrose what will happen when they reach the point of the match where Ambrose has to dig for that one last move.


For the second week in a row, Ambrose tasted Ziggler’s boot via an express superkick. Another piece of solid mic work for both men, too. This rivalry has been built nicely and I’m glad it didn’t lose any momentum whatsoever. Both men looked incredibly strong, especially Ziggler, the one guy who desperately needs it. Ambrose accidentally or intentionally looked like a major a-hole though. Should we be worried? I hope this trait won’t drag out too much during the entire saga. I want this rivalry to go for at least three pay-per-views. It’s a waste if we end this on Sunday. Ziggler is a few days away from getting his edge back. Let’s just hope he doesn’t dye his hair black again.


Cena Sends Styles a Message via Table Express

John Cena vs Alberto del Rio, a rematch from their bizarre encounter last October at Hell in a Cell, closed out the show as tonight’s main event. Scouting on commentary was Cena’s rival, AJ Styles. I would’ve enjoyed this match if it weren’t for David Otunga’s excessive banter with Styles. Seriously, how much did John Cena pay Otunga to preach about Cena’s holiness? Jeez, what an ass kisser. I get that he’s supposed to be the face commentator, but as far as I’m concerned, commentators shouldn’t blatantly worship face wrestlers. Point is, I hate Otunga, please remove him from my wrestling.


Cena was able to avenge his loss from HIAC with a thunderous Attitude Adjustment. After the match, Styles ambushed Cena with a Phenomenal Forearm but the resident Superman was able to recover and deliver another AA to Styles. Cena wasn’t done yet, as he brought Styles’ unconscious body outside and sent the Phenomenal One through the table with yet another FU. I’m also thrilled to see these two battle it out again at SummerSlam. Hopefully, the right man will win, because we all know how Cena treats newcomers (see: Kevin Owens, Bray Wyatt).


Some Blue Brand Vibes and Blues—Live!

It’s the last show before the biggest party of the summer, so how many vibes did this episode get? As always, Vibe = Up and Blue = Down. Let’s do this!


Vibe: Randy Orton was the next chapter of Heath Slater’s wacky quest for a WWE contract. After last week’s misunderstanding with management, Slater got another shot to be a member of the Blue Brand. The problem is, he had to go through the mayor of ViperVille and guess what, Heath Slater actually won! It was a DQ win, but still! After getting himself disqualified for ignoring the official, Orton proceeded to destroy Slater and mock his SummerSlam opponent Brock Lesnar by using his moveset. On hindsight, shouldn’t this be the perfect time to have the whole brand invasion thing going on? I’m starting to feel like they jumped the gun on that one.


Blue: WWE World Champion Dean Ambrose faced Erick Rowan in a non-title match, with Bray Wyatt at ringside. The two had a solid match with Dean Ambrose getting the victory with a massive Dirty Deeds. What made this one a Blue was Bray Wyatt teasing the end of Wyatt Family as we know it… again? Really? Rowan loses a match and he’s out? Uhm, okay? You better make sure when you break the Family, you break the Family. Repackage both Rowan and Harper into new characters that will distinguish them from Bray, because I don’t really see the point of them dissolving again.


Vibe: The women of SmackDown continued to shine this week as Naomi almost made her SmackDown Live in-ring debut. Her ring gear was awesome. Look, I’m a simple man. I see pretty lights, I approve. She was scheduled to face Eva Marie, but she didn’t make it because she got stuck in traffic. Eva Marie’s obnoxious voiceover guy continues to entertain. That guy should win a Slammy or something.


The second women’s match came in a tag team match featuring the team of Becky Lynch and Carmella against Natalya and Alexa Bliss. During the match, Eva Marie came out fresh from being stuck in traffic (the poor lady) and taunted the ladies in the ring, but the daughter of a neon light sign, Naomi, chased the delaying All-Redhead around the ring, interrupting the match a little bit. The distraction led to a Disarm-Her to Natalya who tapped out for the second week in a row. There is so much potential with the women’s division on Tuesday nights; all they really need is something to fight over.


Blue: This week featured a 12-man tag team match that really was a glorified version of a tag team division roll call. American Alpha, Uso Crazy, and the Hype Bros faced the Ascension, Breezango, and the Vaudevillains in a crowded and rushed match that set to highlight no one, except of course for American Alpha. Multi-man tag team matches aren’t really that fun to watch. Unless it’s a 6-man, tornado, or an elimination match, count me out. On the brighter side, we actually have a solid tag team roster on SmackDown Live. That’s nice.

Backstage Segment of the Night: Heath Slater almost became a SmackDown superstar.


Let’s see… we have the cold open featuring probably the most underwhelming contract signing in wrestling history, we have AJ Styles giving ADR a #BeatUpJohnCena pep talk, another Kalisto beatdown courtesy of the lone wolf *giggle*, and sure, let’s count Apollo Crews dropping the Miz during the commercials. In the end, I’ll have to hand it to another Heath Slater moment.

After his DQ victory against Orton, Shane and Daniel were set to sign the hottest free agent, but his head may have been shook too hard. He mistook Daniel for Foley and started praising him. He then mistook Shane for Stephanie and told him how beautiful her sister is. When Slater was about to sign the contract, Commissioner Shane gently took away the contract, much to the disbelief of poor Slater. We were so close, man, so damn close. Think about his eight children!

SMACKDOWN RUNDOWN: This week’s episode got me excited about SummerSlam, no doubt about it. From Ziggler shutting up Ambrose to Slater almost signing a SmackDown Live contract, every moment in this episode had something to offer. Hell, even Eva Marie’s latest debut delay was funny. SmackDown Live is ready to steal the show come Sunday, we better be ready ourselves. For their efforts, the Blue Brand wins another A in my book.

Did you enjoy this week’s SmackDown? Were you glad no crazy fan tried to stab AJ Styles with a knife? Hit me with your darkest insults down at the comments.

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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