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SmackDown RunDown Live (10/4/16): Gear Up for No Mercy


Lord, have mercy… or not. Another Tuesday, another SmackDown RunDown Live. We’re just five days away from No Mercy and as the go-home show, this week’s episode of SmackDown Live tried their best to hype up all the matches on the card. Let’s get down to it.

AJ Styles and Dean Ambrose took turns shutting John Cena up


After two weeks of exciting main events, Creative decided to send the booking of this phenomenal triple threat full circle with a simple face-off promo. Pretty anticlimactic, if you ask me. It would’ve been okay, though, as long as Styles gets to close the show looking strong. That didn’t happen, making the show’s champion look like a third wheel to the brewing Ambrose-Cena program. In all fairness, Styles had a good promo while Ambrose looked menacing as he mouthed off at Cena. AJ Styles better win clean on Sunday to redeem himself before Ambrose and Cena can move on to their own rivalry. 

MizTV celebrates Dolph Ziggler’s career with a Dolph-umentary


First off, the remainder of Spirit Squad are in great shape, especially Kenny, and I think they can have another run in WWE. Second, how intense can this rivalry between Dolph Ziggler and The Miz get? I was already sold after their promo last week. They actually kicked this up a notch by mocking Ziggler’s career. If this program doesn’t launch both men back to the main event scene, I don’t know what will. I want Ziggy to stay and capitalize on this huge wave of momentum, even at the expense of derailing the phenomenal reign of The Miz.

Some Blue Brand Vibes and Blues—Live!

We have now reached the part where we play our favorite bathroom game, Vibes and Blues! As always, Vibe means “I’ll cheer for that!” while Blue means “The fuck is this shit?” Let’s go?


Vibe: Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton had another good segment this week. Orton interrupted the Wyatt vs. Kane match that started the show and lured the Eater of Worlds into an empty storage room. We then see clips of a rambling Wyatt throughout the show before Orton opened the room to find Wyatt gone, presumably taken by Sister Abigail. Does this mean we’ll be meeting Sister Abigail anytime soon? Maybe I’m reading too much into it. Hey, I’m just glad they didn’t do a reverse Predator vs. Prey rip-off.


Vibe: Alexa Bliss gained all the momentum in the world come No Mercy after pinning the SmackDown Women’s Champion in a tag match that pitted Alexa and Carmella against Becky and Nikki Bella. Nikki chased Carmella to the back, allowing Alexa to hit Twisted Bliss to her No Mercy rival. See how fun the Women’s Division can be with simple yet effective booking? Now Alexa looks strong while Becky garners more support in defeat.


Blue: Jason Jordan grabbed the quick roll-up victory against Jey Uso before almost becoming the next victim of the evil twins. SlayNo came out to save the bigger Alpha and chase away the Usos. That’s pretty much it. What a lovely way to hype their championship match. At least Heath Slater is now the guy coming in for the save. That’s kinda cool.


 Vibe: The tag team division didn’t totally suck this week. The Hype Bros faced the Vaudevillains and it didn’t feel random at all. It’s obvious that the Hype Bros are being paired with the Ascension, which is a good thing for the once great tag team. Who knew borrowing the Usos’ face paint will give the Ascension something relevant to do? It’s also a refreshing sight to witness another rivalry unfold that is not motivated by a title.


Blue: The in-ring debut of Jack Swagger on SmackDown Live was tainted with controversy as he picked up a questionable win against Baron Corbin. Our resident lone wolf was struggling to reach the ropes while Swagger locked in the Patriot Lock, and somehow, the referee interpreted his struggle as tapping. That’s a weird twist considering that Corbin clearly didn’t tap. It didn’t really benefit anyone. Oh well, have fun at the pre-show.
 
Backstage Segment of the Night: AJ Styles drops by Talking Smack

If Creative won’t give the spotlight to the WWE World Champion, then I will. Here you go, AJ. His appearance was rather short and it wasn’t as explosive as Ambrose’s or Cena’s promos. That’s just unfair. I’m starting to feel like Styles will mirror Chris Jericho’s Undisputed Championship reign when he was treated poorly as a champ. A clean and decisive victory at No Mercy will definitely help gain credibility. Beating two big names in one night clean? That’s something to brag about.

SMACKDOWN RUNDOWN: The final hype for No Mercy didn’t really compare to last week’s tight show, but it was still good for a go-home show. I didn’t even mind Curt Hawkins’ kooky vignette. SmackDown Live may have placed a chip on their shoulders following the success of Backlash last month, but looking at the card, I’m sure they will be just fine. For now, this week’s episode will go back to their B+ streak.

Did you enjoy this week’s SmackDown Live? Do you think we’ll ever see Apollo Crews smile again? Shower me with kindness down at the comments.

Photos from WWE.com

*****


Ricky Jay Publico (@HarambeMustLive) 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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