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SmackDown RunDown Live (5/30/17): P1 vs #HEEL


You want me to respect your authority? We're back with another edition of SmackDown RunDown Live? You missed me, didn't you? Well I'm all better now so we're back to your weekly dose of ranting and nitpicking. We are currently on one of my favorite seasons in wrestling and so far, everything's going great. Let's get down to it, because I'm really hungry af.

We're actually getting two MITB matches!

Next to the Royal Rumble match, the Money in the Bank ladder match is my favorite multi-man match of all-time. This year’s PPV is way more different than the past, mainly because AJ Styles is in it. Aside from that, we’re actually getting the first-ever Women’s MITB match! So expect me to be invested in the buildup of each match, starting with this week’s fun main event.


What I love about this match was both men are currently in the right roles. AJ Styles is rightfully the brand’s top babyface while Dolph Ziggler has the right flavor of cockiness—a refined version of his #HEEL persona, if you will. It resulted in a great match that would’ve been better if they stretched it out some more and if they shot the finish right. I think they were even setting up a screwy finish but Styles failed to latch on to the bottom rope so they just gave Ziggler the clean win. He certainly needed it after putting over Shinsuke Nakamura at Backlash.


I just found it weird that they didn’t use Styles’ hometown advantage to boost his momentum. It would’ve been a better way to close out the show by giving the hometown hero a big win over Ziggler, then the next week, they can just have Ziggler get his momentum back. This is why Ziggler’s win was a bit out of place. They should really give hometown heroes the rub once in awhile, especially if it’s AJ freakin’ Styles. Dolph losing this week could set up a mini-storyline between the two over who reigns supreme on SmackDown Live: the one who built it or the one who laid the foundation. I really hope they will still pursue this one in the coming weeks.


As for the tag match that opened the show, it was a pretty standard affair. Kevin Owens hosted another lame Highlight Reel that I really think they should stop doing. We get it, you’re the one who sent Chris Jericho to an early retirement *wink-wink* but him mocking Jericho is really getting old. He should just run with the Face of America gimmick. Whatever happened to the open challenge he tried to start? Meanwhile, Nakamura’s promo game is still struggling thanks to the language barrier. Why can’t they just let Nakamura speak Japanese just like Jinder is allowed to speak in Punjabi? What, WWE isn’t interested in the Japanese market? Anyway, the faces got the win after Nakamura pinned Owens for the second time in a row. Guess who’s the new contender.


Did I mention we’re getting a Women’s MITB match? Because we’re totally getting one! After the 5-way elimination match went astray and Natalya got sent through the table, Shane O’Mac came up with this awesome idea. I’m not really sure what to feel about this one. Of course I’m excited for the SmackDown Live women’s division. It’s just that we’ve seen multi-woman matches get bogged down by botches. Remember the 5-on-5 women’s match last year at Survivor Series? And now we’re adding ladders to the mix? Again, I’m not hating on this idea. I’m totally on board. Let’s just hope no one gets too crazy with the spots, you know?

Some Blue Brand Vibes and Blues—Live!

Blue: I don't have any valid reason to be sour because the New Day is back! As expected, they inserted themselves into the title picture in a segment that made the Usos look like total chumps. Why can’t they do the entire segment inside the ring? They should at least talk on an equal level, not with the faces towering over the heels. A better way to produce this segment is to just have the New Day open the show and do their usual schtick, only for the Usos to attack from behind. That way, the New Day gets their big welcome while the Usos get to be the paranoia-inducing heels they’re trying to be. That’s right, #NitPickRick is back.

Vibe: Well, Jinder Mahal is the current WWE Champion. I missed last week's episode so I wasn't able to share my two cents about him winning. I really want to rant here, but I just came back from being sick and I don't need stress in my life. Let me just give you the gist of my thoughts: There’s pandering, then there’s pandering. But hey, Jinder’s champ, land of opportunity, I get the point. Let’s just hope the guy can pull it off. Going back, Orton was fired up this week with a promo describing how the Orton family has their own brand of ass-whooping. It was a surprisingly good promo compared to his boring ones in the past. He should be as fired up as he was this week every time he’s on the mic if they really want him to be the hero to Jinder Mahal’s villain. Good job, Randy!

Vibe: I'm really glad they're still giving Breezango some airtime to be the goofy fashion police even after failing to capture the Piso Tag Championships. It wasn’t as funny as their first outing, but the telepathy bit got me. Keep ‘em coming, you weird po-pos. Also, the Unprettier is back as a legitimate finisher. Where my Christian peeps at?

SMACKDOWN RUNDOWN: Overall, this week's episode was a good one. The main event was great albeit a bit anticlimactic, a groundbreaking matchup was set, and Orton actually delivered a fiery promo a la John Cena. I'm really glad SmackDown Live got the privilege to host this year's Money in the Bank. If there's a brand who can make this PPV more exciting than its concept already is, it's the freaking Blue Brand. Expect some great matches to build this show up, but in the meantime, I'll be generous and award this episode a fat A-. Getting an A won’t be as easy as before.

Did you enjoy this week's SmackDown Live? Did you also giggle at that awesome South Park reference? Let's all gang up and pin Kevin Owens at the comments below.

*****



Ricky Jay Publico (@NitPickRick) 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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