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SmackDown RunDown Live (3/28/17): The Ultimate Thrill Ride (for Casuals)


Top of the morning to ya la… damn it, wrong intro again. Ola, amigos! It’s another edition of SmackDown RunDown Live and you’ll be forgiven if you’re not hyped about WrestleMania Rollercoaster which will go down, let’s see… this Monday (Manila Time)? Seriously? This week’s a go-home show? Enough babbling then, let’s get down to it!

Randy Orton plunges a crucifix into Sister Abigail’s grave… and nothing happens




In a very poetic way, the Orton vs. Wyatt build was indeed a thrill ride. From the epic arson of Sister Abigail’s grave to this week’s crucifix nonsense, watching this storyline develop is like riding a rollercoaster with only one loop. I had really high hopes for this rivalry. Remember when I used to crap on Orton’s espionage mission to destroy the Wyatt Family from within? SmackDown Live was doing something great until the past few weeks when they decided to fuck things up slowly but surely up to the point where we’re just watching a B-grade storyline. Why the WWE title is on the line, I don’t even know. I have to remind myself every minute that WrestleMania Theme Park isn’t for me.



But hey, let’s talk about the main event, shall we? It was a valiant effort, really. Bray Wyatt faced off against his former follower, Luke Harper, in another great match. I was wondering what made Harper look good this week and then it hit me—the guy’s wearing a toupee! Finally, someone in the back decided to cover Harper’s bald spot and made him look 40% cooler for at least half of the match. Oh, and Bray acquired a new power: spitting ash. Actually, I’m not even mad, that’s amazing.


Then Orton came out and delivered some gibberish promo then stabbed the ground. I don’t even know what’s happening anymore. I think the writers are high or something. Let me remind you guys that this is SmackDown Live’s main storyline.

Cena/Nikki vs Miz/Maryse had the most satisfying segment… sort of




For a glorified squash match, the battle of the power couples had the better build of all the storylines this month. Miz and Maryse continued their Total Bellas skits, this time with an impression of Daniel Bryan. I was really expecting more jabs against D-Bry, but I guess they had to limit them so they can still focus on John Cena. I still enjoyed their skits the same way I enjoyed them last week. John Cena and Nikki Bella then came out and Cena proceeded to mansplain everything to the “shit couple.” Nikki didn’t really say much, and I guess that’s a good thing now that I think about it. Another fiery promo from Cena to hype up his wedding proposal their match.




We can also consider their storyline as a slightly better roller coaster with a few loops. The feud had a rocky start, but one scathing Miz promo later and a bunch of skits made everything fun and interesting. My only complaint about this storyline is that Creative didn’t even bother making us think Miz and Maryse could actually win. I mean, make us doubt a little, you know? They may be getting the best lines, but in terms of physicality, the Mizanins have zero ground. Cena and Nikki will roll through them come WrestleMania Carnival Ride, so they should have given their opponents some teeth.


Some Blue Brand Vibes and Blues—Live!


Blue: I love how they capped off the Styles vs. Shane feud on a high note by having a contract signing for their traditional one-on-one match. This is Triple H vs Orton at ‘Mania 25 all over again. Majority of Shane’s offense rely on weapons and crazy spots. It’s the same reason people are willing to see him wrestle in the first place. Now you’re taking what made Shane exciting all these years just so we can see him defeat AJ Styles, one of the greatest pro wrestlers of the modern era, at WrestleMania Sun? Good luck defending this one in your stupid videos, Simon of WhatCulture.


Vibe: Naomi’s back, you guys! I guess Creative revealed the surprise entrant this week since the SmackDown Women’s Championship match got bumped to the pre-show. I think she’s not 100% ready since she was still limping a bit. I really hope Naomi didn’t force her recovery or something. The women’s matches were kinda useless though. I just wish they just went ahead with the tag team match to save time for that Ambrose vs. Corbin interview, you know, to build the match that’s actually on the main show? Just sayin’. At least the stipulation for the match is now clear to me.


Vibe: Surprisingly, we had a fun 10-man tag team match this week to hype up the Andre the Giant Memorial Extravaganza Meteora Battle Royal. They are really giving Mojo Rawley some of the spotlight and I like it, not because I like the guy. I just like the fact that I was right. I predicted a few months back that Mojo’s gonna be big someday, and now we’re seeing the seeds are being planted. Slowly but surely, you guys. Mojo’s gonna be big and you’ll remember you heard it first here.


Blue: Oh, and in case you already forgot, Dean Ambrose will defend the Intercontinental Championship against Baron Corbin at WrestleMania Star City. Fun stuff.

SMACKDOWN RUNDOWN: I am deeply disappointed. We’ve seen how good SmackDown Live can be in the past. Remember when they were able to cram all the storylines in just two weeks to build up Elimination Chamber? This week, they can’t even sneak in an Intercontinental Championship segment, plus they gave the main storyline little time to wow us. I don’t know, I guess Creative just gave up trying. This week’s go-home show deserves another sloppy B and I hope they get their shot together after all these WrestleMania Disneyland happenings. Heaven knows how much I miss quality SmackDown Live episodes.


So yeah, not really hyped for WrestleMania Enchanted Kingdom. Nevertheless, I still hope you’ll enjoy the show, whether you’re #TeamMikes, #TeamFox, #TeamNetwork, or #TeamStream. I’ll be watching too, but expect the worst of critiques. And hey, if they end up tearing the house down, I’d be willing to eat my words. This is what we do, you know. Every time we make fun of wrestling, we secretly hope the higher-ups prove us wrong and give us a quality show. So yeah, that’s all for me. Let’s all unite again on Monday for WrestleMania!


*****


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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