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SmackDown RunDown Live (8/22/17): GLORIOUS!


Respect the artiste! It’s the post-SummerSlam edition of SmackDown RunDown Live and with you as always is the Shakespeare of Shame, the Beethoven of Boring, and the Mozart of Meh, #NitPickRick in the house. There’s only one way to describe this week’s episode—and that is “Glorious!”

SmackDown Live acquired new players for their awesome roster

I didn’t even know WWE can call up NXT stars after the second-biggest PPV of the year. I thought it’s just a WrestleMania thing. But nonetheless, we got Bobby Roode, bitches! As you can expect, I was caught off-guard with this move. I haven’t been reading the rumors lately, so yeah, it was a nice surprise. I really thought he was going the Finn Balor route on NXT but I guess the Blue Brand needed the star power more. It’s also interesting to note that he’s being packaged as a babyface. Can he pull it off? I don’t mind him being a face, really. We’ve seen him as a face before back in TNA and he was fine. Besides, SmackDown Live needs a budding babyface to compliment Shinsuke Nakamura, Randy Orton, and AJ Styles.


Since Styles is busy making his title the TNA Television Championship, it’s safe to say our buddy Roo is headed to the main event after the Jinder-Nakamura program blows over. Can you believe two top TNA stars will ever step in WWE on the same brand? I followed Roode’s career back in the good ol’ days of TNA. Beer Money is actually one of my favorite tag teams ever, I just have to remind myself to put them on the list whenever I’m asked who my faves are. So yeah, I’m hyped for Roode to finally take the WWE Championship away from Jinder Mahal. I want him to hinder the Jinder.


It’s not just Bobby Roode, you know. We also got Shelton Benjamin! Finally, we got the purest athlete in WWE right here on SmackDown Live and thankfully, he didn’t bring his momma with him. And he’s teaming up with Chad freaking Gable? That’s just fantastic! I hope this partnership is temporary though. I want Gable to go solo for now and maybe have Benjamin mentor him. My point is I don’t want Gable to be part of a tag team right now when his solo career is barely off the ground. I’m cool with them having a competitive rivalry ala TJP-Swann. That I can get behind. But let’s just see where this partnership goes. The Gold Standard is back, baybee!

Kevin Owens took his last shot at the US Title and missed, big time

I absolutely love how they capped off the AJ Styles vs. Kevin Owens rivalry. For one, the opening segment of the night is pretty much what you expected. Owens bitched about his loss and he was irritating af, I didn’t know if I should applaud his heel work or backhand slap him right in the face. But since I can’t do the latter, I just allowed myself to get worked up as Styles agreed on letting Owens choose the referee so he can stop bitching about it. The entire segment was genius. Also, wouldn’t it be funny to have a kid referee?


Owens then spent the entire night looking for a referee. His first choice was Sami Zayn, of all people. I just can’t help but be depressed about Sami’s standing on the Blue Brand. Compared to his buddy Kevin, he has done nothing on SmackDown Live. Anyway, I actually thought Sami would agree to referee the match but he ended up declining the offer. Thanks for the tease, Creative. Owens then bluntly rejected an offer from Breezango before accepting Baron Corbin’s deal. Man, talk about a fall from grace. Who knew this guy was a former MITB winner? Now he’s just a measly referee. Lol wut indeed.


The main event is once again exactly what you expected. I won’t overthink why Shane suddenly came out to scold Corbin and take over as referee (even though the Comish himself didn’t do that the first time Owens was “screwed”, but hey, I’ll let it slide). The Kevin Owens vs. Shane McMahon rivalry is officially a go and now that Shane “screwed” Owens one more time, I’m curious where they would go from here. Will this be a copy-paste storyline from the Shane-AJ storyline? I’m not really sure if I want to see a straight-up Shane vs. Owens match, but again, it could be another great match. I just want this to be a stipulation next time. I’m pretty sure Owens won’t be in the mood to fight fair and square.

Some Blue Brand Vibes and Blues—Live!

Vibe: Finally, they are starting to treat the Usos (day one ish!) right by actually giving them momentum-building matches, starting with their dominating victory against the Hype Bros. If only they did this during their first reign as champs, the Usos (day one ish!) would be a bigger deal by now. But hey, let’s just appreciate Creative’s efforts in legitimizing our SmackDown Tag Team Champions. A well-established heel tag team is what the New Day needs and rest assured, their next PPV match will once again be an instant classic.

Vibe: I loved the story they were trying to tell during the women’s tag match. The new champion Natalya ate a loss here but at least she wasn’t pinned. It’s a welcome change to see the heel team the ones bickering and Carmella not wanting to tag in was a nice wrinkle to their temporary alliance, allowing Naomi and Becky Lynch to pick up the victory. Carmella is still touting the belt so I guess she’ll continue looming above the Natalya-Naomi storyline. I wonder how long Natalya can keep the title. I still don’t fully grasp why they took the title away from the red-hot Naomi only months after introducing the glowing belt. Aren’t they planning to sell these to children?

Vibe: Shinsuke Nakamura beating the Singh Brothers in a handicap match is retribution enough for distracting him during his WWE Championship match at SummerSlam, I guess. I almost gave this segment a Blue for how boring it was, but I’m glad they wrapped it up with a Kinshasa to the face of our favorite WWE Champion in the whole wide world who everyone loves. I’m glad they’re still pushing through with this rivalry because their SummerSlam encounter was underwhelming, for a lack of a better term. They need to flesh this story out more, make us care about why they’re fighting. Relying on Nakamura’s hype to carry this program forward won’t be enough.

Vibe: I’m giving Dolph Ziggler’s return a Vibe just because I’m glad he’s back on WWE TV. His sarcastic promo was a bit intriguing, though. I really hope he can pull off this new gimmick he’s planning to debut next week. I’ll give you a chance any day, Ziggler. Just do your best, bud.

SMACKDOWN RUNDOWN: After a rather disappointing SummerSlam outing from the Blue Brand, this week’s episode redeemed SmackDown Live as a show full of surprises. The entire show revolved around moving storylines forward while also establishing new stars in the process. I don’t really have anything bad to say about this episode, really. Although some superstars could’ve appeared to address their losses at SummerSlam (looking at you, Ruru), this week’s just a solid show from top to bottom. So for delivering a rather glorious episode of wrestling, I’m grading this one an A+.

Did you enjoy this week’s SmackDown Live? Are you already missing the glowing title like I do? Let’s piss off Jim Cornette by drawing dick emojis 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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