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SmackDown RunDown Live (1/31/17): I Guess 2009 Isn't That Bad


Look, children! The champ is here! It’s the end of January and we have a show to review. This week, the Blue Brand attempts to pick up the pieces from the Royal Rumble aftermath. Let’s get down to it.

Styles and Ambrose delivered another fantastic main event… just ‘cause

What I love most about this main event was that AJ Styles and Dean Ambrose didn’t really have to make the match that good. They could’ve just wrestled for a bit until Corbin and Miz showed up and wreaked havoc. Instead, we got a revisited rivalry worthy of a pay-per-view spot, and hey, Corbin and Miz still got their share of the spotlight. I could watch Ambrose and Styles wrestle all day and I’d still enjoy it. Kudos to Creative for bringing up the rivalry between the two, especially Ellsworth’s polarizing participation in it. The match is fine without Miz and Corbin bickering on commentary, but we got it anyway and that’s fine, I guess. Still, the match was great and with Styles getting the win, he may be in line for the Intercontinental Championship, assuming he doesn’t have a WrestleMania match yet.


So, the Elimination Chamber. Personally, I hate the match. The first one was okay, but the rest, not so much. My personal feelings aside, I really wish we had qualifying matches for this. Styles has a mandatory rematch so I think his participation in the Chamber is overkill. Besides, what did Corbin, Miz, Ambrose, and Wyatt do to deserve a spot in the Chamber? This is why you host qualifying matches, so the fact that the brand lacks big names won’t be too obvious. I don’t know, I’m just sayin’.

Naomi is on FIRE after pinning Alexa in a fun tag team match

Damn, Naomi! Where have you been? Seriously, you were gone for weeks and now here you are, tearing up the place. I love it! This week, we actually witnessed a fun women’s tag match. When’s the last time you ever saw that? Naomi pretty much stole the show with her unique offense and impressive athleticism. No one deserves to be the top contender for the SmackDown Women’s Championship other than Naomi right now. Besides, do you really want to see Alexa vs Becky for the nth time? I hope Naomi doesn’t miss a beat after this.



Speaking of not missing a beat, Mickie James was also impressive this week. This was my first time watching Mickie back in a WWE ring and I must say, she can still go. She can still take sick bumps and she’s still agile as before. I hope she refrains from taunting too much, though. But hey, that’s just me, the hell do I know. Becky can definitely use the detour before she regains the title at WrestleMania.

Some Blue Brand Vibes and Blues—Live!

Vibe: So… Cena is champ again. I really thought they would at least make his 16th reign interesting with a heel turn, but nope, he’s still the same old Cena. And don’t get me started about the Royal Rumble Match itself. Did anyone really want to see Orton win? Someone correct my calendar because apparently, we’re back in 2009.

Why is this in Vibe, I hear you ask. Setting my bias aside, this week’s tag team opener was a fun teaser of another Orton vs Cena rivalry *cue Too Many Cooks*. Hell, I’ll even go ahead and say that maybe 2017 really is Orton’s rebirth, and why the hell not? If we believe the rumors, Wyatt vs Orton for the WWE Championship would definitely be a must-see affair. Who knew this storyline could be this big? So you know what, Creative, I’ll play along. I’ll pretend that 2009 didn’t happen and see where this story goes.


Blue: Dolph Ziggler’s heel turn was good and all, but I think he’s targeting the wrong people. He should’ve squashed Apollo Crews this week and moved on to terrorize someone who actually has some heat, and then, maybe hunt for the IC title again? Sure, this builds up Apollo as a bonafide babyface, but I think Ziggler needs to be feuding with someone who can make an actual impact, because after the way he was treated at the Royal Rumble, his heel turn is slowly losing steam.

Vibe: I didn’t even care who Carmella faced tonight. I’m just wondering how James Ellsworth is still alive after that nasty bump he took during the Royal Rumble. Seriously, how is he still moving like nothing bad happened to him? Asking the real questions here.

Blue: After weeks of absence, the “there’s-no-team-stepping-up” was indeed a nice excuse for the American Alpha. The open challenge could be a nice touch, and the entire tag team division stepping up was also a good move. Was the lackluster brawl really necessary, though? It was too long, a commercial has to be placed in between. They even ended the segment awkwardly, the Alphas and Team SlayNo staring down at each other. I must say, having the American Alpha defend the SmackDown Live Tag Team Championships could be a solid gimmick for them. I think that would really build them as the top dogs of the tag division. Plus, every team can have some exposure on a weekly basis. Everyone wins!

SMACKDOWN RUNDOWN: If you’re still salty about the Royal Rumble, this episode of SmackDown Live is the perfect comfort show for you. What’s not to love? A stellar main event featuring two men revisiting their blood feud, a women’s tag match that is actually worth seeing, the potential WrestleMania rivals facing each other, and why not, a jabroni that just won’t quit… or die. This week’s show easily gets an awesome A.

Did you enjoy this week’s SmackDown RunDown? Is a match really more fun with multiple referees? Bake me an awesome cake down at the comments.

*****


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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