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SmackDown RunDown Live (8/2/2016): Getting Ziggy With It


I’m that damn good! It’s another fun edition of SmackDown RunDown Live! Hooray! I’m your host, Ricky (hooray?) and this week, the Blue Brand is looking to follow up their efforts from last week by developing characters and setting up future rivalries. So enough small talk, let’s get down to it.

Is The Show Off’s Major Push Just For Show?



The WWE World Champion Dean Ambrose opened the show by calling out his number one contender to meet him face-to-face and their first face-off was full of fireworks. Ambrose talked about how he clawed his way to the top, while Ziggler rebutted with the fact that Ambrose came into the WWE as part of a high-profile faction while Ziggler was a former cheerleader. Ambrose then levels Ziggler with a stinger—Ambrose fights to win while Ziggler just steals the show. Ouch.



Ziggler stood his ground in response to the Lunatic and told him exactly who he will be at SummerSlam—he’ll be the new WWE World Champion because he’s that damn good. Ambrose responded with the ultimate mic drop–that maybe Ziggler’s not as good as he thinks he is. This is exactly how this rivalry should be booked. Ziggler needs to find that edge, and in order to do so, the doubt in our minds should be planted. To drive that point even harder, Bray Wyatt came out, planted Ziggler with a Sister Abigail, and challenged him to place his title shot on the line in a match against him.



The main event came and surprisingly, it had a slight big fight feel, maybe because Daniel Bryan, Shane O’Mac, and I are actually doubting that Ziggler would win. It was a stellar match that featured Ziggler’s desperation to prove everyone wrong, Bray Wyatt stepping out of character a bit by actually caring for a championship belt, and Ziggler’s newfound aggression by totally exposing the turnbuckle and bashing Wyatt’s face on it. One huge superkick later and Ziggler was able to keep his title shot. That could’ve been the perfect way to end the night, but Erick Rowan, and then later, Wyatt himself, attacked both Ziggler and Ambrose because hey, Wyatt has to shine.



This is definitely a step in the right direction for Dolph Ziggler. Considering how he was booked for the since Survivor Series 2014, Ziggler needs a major overhaul in his character to convince everyone again that he can hang with the likes of Dean Ambrose. He needs to be a man who craves winning, not just stealing the show, and this week, Ziggler earned his victory the hard way. Give him more wins in dramatic fashion then maybe we can make Ziggler great again. Wrong catchphrase, I know, but it suits the ZigZag better. He’ll lose at SummerSlam for sure, but he has a brooding Wyatt waiting in the shadows, so I think he’ll be fine. Did you know Ziggy is fluent in American sign language?

Some Blue Brand Vibes and Blues—Live!

I know I should’ve started this last week, but hey, better late than dead, right? Here’s my version of Ups and Downs, with Vibe being Up and Blue being Down. It has a nicer ring to it, doesn’t it?


Blue/Vibe: The confrontation between AJ Styles and John Cena was mixed bag for me. It’s as if I’m back in 2006 when hating Cena was the hottest trend in WWE. AJ Styles sounded off about how much he hated Cena and as much as I love the guy, he sounded like a whiny internet fan who considers indie flippy wrestling as true wrestling. I guess that is exactly what Styles is going for and I’m not a big fan. John Cena fired back with his usual passionate declaration that WWE is his home and how much he loves the WWE Universe. I love me some fiery Cena promos. I get it, John Cena isn’t the best wrestler around, but man, is he passionate about his wrestling. I’m pretty sure hating on John Cena ended being cool after his rivalry with The Rock, especially after delivering quality matches during the U.S. Open Challenge Era. But hey, we’re getting Cena vs Styles at SummerSlam. You might think AJ Styles will win, but you know, LOL Cena wins might happen, too.



Vibe: After Randy Orton’s awesome invasion last Monday on RAW to send Brock Lesnar to ViperVille, SmackDown Live was on high alert for Lesnar’s retaliation. It came during a match between Randy Orton and Fandango. Lesnar didn’t wait for the match to end and just hit the F5 to even the score. Security escorted Lesnar out of the arena and surprisingly, Lesnar was pretty nonchalant about the entire thing. The last time we saw Lesnar with security personnel, he was trying to kill the Undertaker. This is a good way to set the tone for their match and I expect their efforts to destroy each other will escalate before SummerSlam.



Vibe/Blue: Apollo Crews defeated Kalisto and Baron Corbin to become the new #1 Contender for the Intercontinental Championship, with the Miz watching at ringside. The match was rather short for my taste, and it’s weird that Crews, the powerhouse, pins Kalisto, the small guy, with a small package. After the match, Corbin attacked Kalisto and Crews came back for the save, but Miz stepped up and planted his new contender with a Skull Crushing Finale. Baron Corbin wasn’t done and gave Mike a taste of an End of Days. I’m glad for Apollo Creed (Daniel Bryan’s words, not mine) but I’m more welcome to the idea of a Baron Corbin reign as Intercontinental Champion.



Vibe: American Alpha debuted this week by defeating the Vaudevillains in incredible fashion. The much-anticipated tag team displayed their impressive athleticism and infectious energy in a match that should’ve been longer to give the Vaudevillains a chance to shine a little. I guess a quick win is fine, too. Gable and Jordan are ready to lead SmackDown’s tag team division, now all we need is to establish new tag team belts to legitimize their claim.



Blue: Are you looking for top-notch women’s wrestling action this week? Well, move along, nothing to see here. Becky Lynch and the seducing, dazzling, enchanting, bewitching, no-selling Eva Marie were scheduled to fight but it was cancelled after All Red Everything faked a leg injury. Carmella was also scheduled to fight Natalya but Crazy Bun Natty attacked the Staten Island Princess before the match even began. If you really want to solidify the women’s division on Tuesday nights, how about giving them more time to wrestle? You know, because they are wrestlers, after all?

SMACKDOWN RUNDOWN: Overall, this was actually a good show. SmackDown Live is shaping up to be its own brand by trying their best to tell new stories, rewrite characters, and upgrading the overall presentation (the return of the vertical information graphic tingled my nostalgia nerve while the hovering camera angle is starting to grow on me). They really should try exerting more effort on the women, though. I believe our Tuesday night ladies can give us some good wrestling action and compelling storylines. This week’s episode deserves another convincing B.

Did you enjoy this week’s SmackDown Live? Are you hyped about Rhyno facing Heath Slate next week? Where the hell is Alexa Bliss? Let me know at 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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