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SmackDown RunDown Live (2/7/17): This is How You Go-Home!


You done playing tickle-butt? It’s another edition of SmackDown RunDown Live and would you believe it, this week’s episode was actually a go-home show. Despite the very short amount of build time, I love this episode and I’m hyped for Elimination Chamber, despite how lame the match will be. Let’s get down to it.

Baron Corbin racks up a major win before Elimination Chamber

Thank heavens this wasn’t a lousy tag team match. This week, we got a four-way bout featuring 4/6 of the Elimination Chamber participants and it was one hell of match. But before that, we had a short little segment to kickstart the show. The Miz tried his best to antagonize the hometown of his archnemesis Daniel Bryan but he completely fell flat. The reaction to D-Bry was monstrous. AJ Styles also failed miserably to play a bad guy this week. Why can’t we just make this guy face? It’s getting really hard to convince the people to boo this guy. He’s just too much of a fan favorite and since SmackDown Live is in need of credible babyfaces, I can’t see a good reason why we’re keeping Styles as a cocky heel. Embrace the love, if you will. Corbin got a few lines in and Ambrose, well, he was just there, I guess.


D-Bry booked the four-way and all hell broke loose. There wasn’t a dull moment in this damn match. The Tower of Doom spot may have been a tad corny and Styles didn’t take the End of Days correctly, but that’s just for the nitpickers like me, I’ll let those small points slide. Every man in that match got to do their big moves and the crowd totally ate it up. Who knew a fatal 4-way on free TV with nothing on the line other than gaining momentum could be this fun? Although, I have to say, D-Bry missed the boat on awarding the winner the last entry into the Chamber. That would’ve made this match more meaningful. But hey, that's just #NitPickRick talking. Corbin pinning Styles was also a huge statement for the big man. He won’t win this Sunday, but SmackDown Live wanted to tell us Corbin is the next big thing. I love it.

John Cena and Randy Orton’s WrestleMania match was actually fun

I can’t remember the last time I enjoyed a Cena vs. Orton match. In fact, I think I have never enjoyed watching these two slug it out. This week’s main event, however, was a completely different story. While John Cena is still the cookie-cutter hero we all love to loathe, Randy Orton’s character underwent many developments leading to this loyal follower/potential Wyatt spy character he is right now. Seven months ago, we were worried this guy won’t be an asset to SmackDown Live because he’s “old and fragile.” Now, he’s looking to be the brand’s top guy again. Crazy, huh?


It’s safe to say John Cena vs Randy Orton at WrestleMania won’t happen after this main event encounter. Aside from erasing that match from the WrestleMania card, Cena gets momentum just days before Elimination Chamber, a privilege they didn’t afford AJ Styles when he was still the champion. My saltiness aside, you have to commend Creative for hitting three birds with one stone through one hell of a main event. They even found time to give Luke Harper enough airtime to hype his rubber match with Orton. I’m not sure what he will do after this storyline falls out, but right now, Luke Harper is lit. Thanks, Creative!

Some Blue Brand Vibes and Blues—Live!

Vibe: The dual contract signing segment was genius! Can you believe they actually crammed two storylines in this one smooth-sailing segment? Mickie James was amazing and she’s slowly getting back to shape in terms of her promo delivery. Alexa Bliss also stood out in her mic game, ignoring her challenger yet again in such a belittling yet entertaining manner. Becky Lynch won the night with her promo about slapping Mickie back to the past. That line was awesome! And although Naomi didn’t say anything cool, she ended the conversation with the slowest roundhouse kick in SmackDown Live history. You’ve gotta love it.

Vibe: SmackDown Live didn’t forget to hype their tag team division as they crammed all the teams together in a supposedly lousy but surprisingly fun 12-man tag. Everyone got some spots in and we actually got to see the Vaudevillains for more than a minute. What’s more shocking is the fact that the Ascension got the pinfall for their team. I repeat, the Ascension actually pinned somebody, no shenanigans involved. Faith in the Wasteland restored.

Blue: It’s safe to say that Creative really doesn't know how to build up the Nikki vs Nattie storyline and you know what, I’m not gonna blame them. Hell, even I don’t know how to make this one interesting. The tacky interview surely didn’t help their case. It looked liked two sets of boobs verbally abusing each other. And no, name-dropping Brie and Jearn won’t make this rivalry a hot one. It felt like they were trying too hard when they could just beat each other up, just like their little brawl on Talking Smack. That one was fine.

Blue: Dolph Ziggler continues his path down the dark side by destroying both Apollo Crews and Kalisto fresh after losing to Crews via roll-up. Why did they give Crews the win in the first place? Can’t they just have Ziggler lose via DQ or have Ziggler kick the teeth out of Apollo to establish him as a credible heel? Ziggler’s heel turn needs something big, stat.

SMACKDOWN RUNDOWN: You really have to give the entire SmackDown Live team a much deserved round of applause for this week’s episode. They were able to cram four weeks’ worth of storylines in under two hours of fun segments and matchups, with everyone having enough airtime to effectively establish themselves. Don’t mind the Blues I gave; this week’s show where a Cena vs. Orton match headlined the night deserves an A+. I’m not ashamed, this episode was both impressive and action-packed. I’ll stop the butt-tickling now.

Did you enjoy this week’s SmackDown Live? If you didn’t, why were you even born? Write me a 300-word essay about why John Cena should marry you 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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