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SmackDown RunDown Live (4/4/17): The Nakamura Shake-Up


It’s the SmackDown Live after WrestleMania! If you think RAW is the only show with surprises, you’re dead wrong! WrestleMania season isn’t done yet and if you’re a big fan of a certain someone, you’ll love this week’s episode. Let’s get down to it.

Let’s welcome the newest members of SmackDown Live!


The “Ultimate Thrill Ride” may have closed its tracks for public use, but another exciting phenomenon will take its place: NXT Call-up Week. Last Tuesday (Manila Time) on RAW, we saw the impressive debut of the Revival on the main roster, and taking out the New Day is one way to make an impression. So, what you got, SD Live? Oh man, don’t even ask the question if you’re not ready for the answer.




For the Blue Brand’s first NXT call-up, they got the man who has some weird obsession with the number 10, Tye Dillinger. He already appeared at this year’s Royal Rumble so this wasn’t really a surprise. Plus, the guy just fits right in. He has this SmackDown vibe to him, you know? He came out this week to answer Curt Hawkins’ nonsensical open challenge. The crowd just ate Tye up, showing us that he was so over with the fans. The future’s bright for Tye; let’s just hope he won’t drown in the sea of midcarders on SmackDown Live. Maybe he’s the next target for our resident NXT killer, Dolph Ziggler. By the way, where’s that guy? Is he finally gone?



Oh, you think we’re done? Buckle up, buckaroo. Miz and Maryse came out to deliver another hilarious and spot-on parody of the recently engaged couple, John Cena and Nikki. They were about to leave when they were interrupted by a guy with a violin. Everyone in the arena exploded, and if you haven’t seen the episode, I think you already know who I’m talking about. Shinsuke freakin’ Nakamura came out and did his entire entrance routine. Everyone lost their damn minds, even me, and I’m not even a big NJPW fan. You know this guy’s a fucking rock star when he already established his ground on SmackDown Live just by entering the ring. An awesome acquisition, indeed.



It’s safe to assume that we’ll be seeing the Miz and Nakamura square off in the future. Man, it sucks to be the Miz. After getting his and her wife’s ass got jobbed to the ground at ‘Mania, Miz will then be fed to the extremely hungry Nakamura. Great, just great. This is why the Miz should’ve won at WrestleMania. Miz and Maryse may have forced Cena to save face and propose, but the fact is they still looked like chumps in the ring. Miz needs enough credentials to put over someone like Nakamura as the next top babyface to his nefarious heel character, and a victory over Cena should definitely do the trick. Oh, well.

Some Blue Brand Vibes and Blues—Live!

Blue: Urgh. Why oh why did Orton win at WrestleMania? After all the silly segments, Wyatt’s ridiculous powers, and the snazzy PowerPoint projections—all these things meant to build Wyatt up as the new agent of darkness in the WWE—he still lost to a measly RKO. Remove the disgusting imagery and you’ll get a match fit for a free TV main event, not a ‘Mania match. This week is just a preview of how boring the main event scene will be in the coming weeks. Let me guess, the House of Horrors match will be contested inside the Wyatt Compound with maggots, cockroaches, and worms. Urgh.

Vibe: Finally! They are actually turning AJ Styles face! Well, not officially, but his promo with Shane McMahon this week was such a welcome change. I know, I crapped on their ‘Mania match before it even started, but I will admit that their match was one of the more enjoyable ones from this year’s WrestleMania. This week, Styles interrupted Shane to shake hands and show respect. Wow. I just loved that segment, mainly because he wasn’t trying to be an unconvincing heel. It’s a step in the right direction, and by next week, if he stays on SmackDown, he’ll be the SmackDown Live-loyal babyface defending his “home” against RAW newcomers. Forget that, I actually just want to see Nakamura vs. Styles. Make it happen!


Vibe: The first great match of the night featured the newly crowned SmackDown Women’s Champion Naomi taking on Alexa Bliss in a championship rematch. The pace didn’t even slow down for a second and it was a delight to watch. They told an easy-to-follow story of Naomi overcoming the knee attacks of Alexa to retain her title. I wonder why they had Alexa cash in her rematch clause this early. Maybe they want to give other women a chance for the title. I just found this one weird because they could’ve milked this rivalry a little more since we never got a chance to see their storyline develop.


Vibe: The second great match of the night came from the seemingly forgotten storyline of Dean Ambrose and Baron Corbin. It was a non-title Street Fight, which was already weird for me because why would they give this match a stipulation if it’s not for the title? That said, it was an enjoyable car-wreck of a match nonetheless. It was even better than their ‘Mania Kickoff match. Hell, this should’ve been their WrestleMania match last Monday (Manila Time) and Corbin should’ve been the Intercontinental Champion by now.


SMACKDOWN RUNDOWN: Forget for a second that the whole Orton/Wyatt saga is still happening and what you’ll have is an awesome show. This week’s episode had everything—fast-paced and physical encounters worthy of WrestleMania spots, great promos, and explosive debuts. With the Superstar Shake-up looming on the horizon, I really hope Nakamura and other big names stay on SmackDown Live. You can have Orton for all I care. You know what, I’ll give this week’s episode an A. I’m feeling generous today.


Did you enjoy this week’s SmackDown Live? Did you pee your pants when Nakamura came out? Wipe yo’ ass down at the comments below.



*****



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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