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SmackDown RunDown Live (7/25/17): Welcome Back, Maaaannnnn!


Hit the trumpets! It’s another edition of SmackDown RunDown Live with yours truly, #NitPickRick in the house. Fresh off a very disappointing Battleground PPV, the Blue Brand is looking to bounce back and regain the trust of disapproving fans. Were their efforts successful? Let’s find out.

SmackDown Live sure knows how to make up for their blunders

SmackDown Live that I knew and loved, where the fuck have you been? I can admire the Blue Brand’s ability to fix their mistakes and make up for the wasted opportunities, but seriously, isn’t it better to not make those mistakes in the first place? I’ll just take the recent women’s MITB match as the best example of SmackDown Live’s complacency. Wouldn’t it have been better to have Carmella grab the briefcase herself in the first-ever match instead of covering their tracks by booking another one? I’m starting to see a trend here and I really hope they fix this attitude because they can only cover up so much.


Setting that mini-rant aside, how awesome was tonight’s main event? It was indeed one of the biggest main events in SmackDown Live history, no hyperbole intended. I wasn’t even expecting Chris Jericho to come out and wrestle! Y2J didn’t even miss a single beat, both on the mic and in the ring. I always pop for a Lionsault every now and then. You gotta love it, Maggle! That sequence where they were just kicking each other like madmen and AJ Styles capping everything off with a sweet Pele Kick was just perfect. In the end, Styles regained his U.S. Title and everything felt right in the world. I guess they’ll also pit Kevin Owens against Shane McMahon to make sense of all these abrupt title matches. That’s what I call a nice save. Maybe next week, we will witness a do-or-die match between Styles and Owens. I miss those types of matches, although there weren’t a lot of them. Let’s make it a thing again!

Somehow, Jinder Mahal now feels like he belongs in the main event


Critical, logical, and analytical side of my brain: After seeing what transpired at Battleground, I do have to agree that Creative is doing a great job of painting Jinder Mahal as a thinking man’s evil foreigner wrestling villain. We don’t see eye to eye most of the time—your contingency plan is a walking tree?—but I’ll give due where credit is due. This week, however, was different. Although his voice is still hoarse af, Jinder looked like a million bucks next to John Cena. I felt like he actually belonged there with the veteran Cena and his promo was actually better this week. I had to place my ear on the speaker of my iPad just to hear him deliver it, but it was better, nonetheless. Creative is definitely doing the right thing by having Cena go after Jinder. Whoever his #1 Contender will be, he has to wrestle the match of his life, especially if it’s John Freakin’ Cena. Jinder has to come out as a megastar if they really intend him to be the top guy of the show.

That side of my brain made of pure negativity: Pfft, Cena and Nakamura fighting over who gets to face a jobber at SummerSlam? Wow. Seriously, fuck that Maharaja guy.

But seriously, John Cena facing off against Shinsuke Nakamura next week? They’re not reserving it for a PPV or something? Jeez, this has got to be SmackDown Live’s best apology yet. Two weeks of monumental main events? How can you even dislike this show?

Some Blue Brand Vibes and Blues—Live!

Vibe: Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair picked up the win over the weird alliance of Lana and Tamina in the first tag match of the night. It was fine for what it was and it only confirmed my theory that Lana is what Eva Marie could’ve been. She looked like a little kid playing in the playground of big girls and somehow, it was hilarious to watch. By the way, the current Rollins/Ambrose storyline would totally work on Becky and Charlotte. They could’ve explored that a bit, you know? Maybe have Charlotte constantly save Becky in tag matches and she will always offer her hand to her but Becky would just ignore her, somewhere between those lines. Or let’s just rip off the entire storyline altogether. Why the hell not?

Blue: Finally! The Usos came to their senses and did what they should’ve done the minute the New Day stepped foot on SmackDown Liveattack them from behind like the paranoia-inducing team that they are. It took them months to realize that they can just mount sneak attacks on the team they absolutely hate? They should’ve done this when they were still the champs! This is just frustrating. Damnit, Uce. I’m glad they did it, but at this point, I just feel like it’s too late.

Vibe: The second tag match of the night featured Tye Dillinger and I’m just glad he’s back in the limelight. He got to team up with Sami Zayn to finish off Mike Kanellis and Aiden English. The final sequence of the match was a good way to send the Sami away from Mike. Will it hurt Mike that he lost his first rivalry? Sure, but I think him going over Sami is also not an option. Let’s just go back to square one and have Mike annoy someone else. Maybe Tye and Sami can form a team since they don’t have any major storyline right now. I’d pay to see that. Off topic, they clearly missed an opportunity by not having Aiden sing the Kanellis’ overly cheesy love song entrance.

Vibe: And in the first edition of Smacking Talk, it was revealed that Chad Gable is Daniel Bryan’s long lost son. It’s totally legit, you guys. D-Bry even had a DNA result to prove it. It’s hella legit.

SMACKDOWN RUNDOWN: Let’s just get straight to the grade. Here, SmackDown Live, have an A+. You definitely deserved it after one hell of a week. Props for bringing Chris Jericho back. Although we could’ve used some Breezango skit or something to explain their whereabouts, but hey, y’all have no right to complain.

Did you enjoy this week’s SmackDown Live? Is Tami Zayllinger a good name for a tag team? Show me your best Nakamura impression 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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