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SmackDown RunDown Live (9/20/17): Just Another Jinder Mahal Rant


I’m not a crazy cat lady! I can’t believe another week has passed. Now I have to welcome you again to another edition of SmackDown RunDown Live and how great the wrestling week is, yadda, yadda. So hey, let’s start the review before Jinder Mahal blurts out another lame Karate Kid joke, shall we?

Let’s talk about how horrible these Jinder Mahal segments are

I don’t really know who Jinder Mahal is.

They were doing a great job with the whole “Great Khali is my insurance” thing and it was effective in establishing Jinder as a master planner, a villain who is 50 steps ahead of his foes. It actually made me appreciate him more and I waited for weeks for Creative to use this vehicle to finally establish him as the WWE Champion they actually want to represent the great nation of India. This was the IT factor they needed to anchor his name as one of the greatest WWE Champions ever. I expected him to pull off more schemes and tactics to beat opponents and outlast his challengers. For once, he would have looked like he deserved the world title. But after Battleground, his writing got worse and worse. Creative isn’t even trying to build his character.


This week, he came out and called Shinsuke Nakamura “Mr. Miyagi.”

They’re just expecting us to react to him. He’s a bad guy doing bad things, and they’re expecting us to appreciate how good he is as a heel. Sure, that’s how you make a heel, but that’s not how you make a star. Being a bad guy and doing bad things doesn’t make you a star. Being a good wrestler doesn’t make you a star, either (see: Dolph Ziggler). Proper character development and good writing do. Why can’t they just admit that they screwed up this Jinder experiment, go back to square one, and this time, build him up the hard and proper way? Find a character that matches his personality or at the very least, consider his range as a public speaker. Maybe a foul-mouthed racist ala JBL isn’t the right fit for a soft-spoken Indian man. Why not continue the trend he started at Battleground and make him a more diplomatic royalty with the Singh Brothers as his mouthpiece? It’s not a great one, but it’s way better than what we have right now.

These types of horrible promos aren’t helping his case at all. Am I supposed to be offended by his racist remarks this week? I’m not at all offended by his pathetic attempts to be edgy and shocking. I’m offended by how terrible Jinder Mahal is being presented. I’m offended by the fact that the WWE Champion has the weakest storyline in the entire show. I’m offended by his habit of pausing and pretending to let the fans boo him when he just simply forgot a line or two. That’s what I find offensive. Even Aiden English’s singing segments are more entertaining than a 10-minute, barely-intelligible Jinder Mahal promo. Do you want me to say that in Punjabi so every one of y’all can understand where I’m coming from?


I excused his shitty promo last week because I thought they’d mix things up on the next episode. But lo and behold, it was the same racist, edgy promo with a different coat of paint. What’s even more frustrating is that Shinsuke Nakamura was present this week. He was actually there! And all they gave him was a lousy backstage interview? Seriously? The champion’s making fun of his race in the ring, and he didn’t even come out and stop him? There’s literally no excuse to not end that segment with a confrontation. Hell, if you don’t want Nakamura to cut a promo, why not have him kick the heads off those Singh clowns? Who the fuck produced this segment?

Go ahead, Jinderlings, defend your hero. You caught me on a bad day.

Charlotte Flair takes her rightful spot as Natalya’s next challenger

The women of SmackDown Live took center stage this week as the search for Natalya’s next challenger resulted in a fatal four-way match. Charlotte Flair took home the privilege after hitting a quite lame big boot to Tamina, which is a pretty weak ending to a great main event, but hey, that’s just me. I can’t really say I didn’t see this one coming. After Naomi, who else is credible enough to challenge the crazy cat lady? Maybe Becky Lynch, but weirdly enough, she’s currently directionless compared to the entire roster, and that includes Tamina. Imagine that, Tamina actually has something going on while Becky has none. Wrestling is a strange sport.


Anyway, it’s only a matter of time before the Queen gets crowned again, but I don’t think Natalya will make it easy for her. Natalya’s going to make Charlotte grind for it, just like Charlotte did when their roles were reversed. Hell, it wouldn’t be a shock if Nattie brought their old rivalry up being the petty champion that she is. Expect another set of great matches from these two in the coming weeks. On a side note, I do hope they can find something for Becky. Maybe she can feud with Carmella for a while before the latter cashes in? I didn’t even notice she was absent this week. Weird.

Some Blue Brand Vibes and Blues—Live!

Vibe: Shane McMahon and Kevin Owens both produced another great set of promos to hype up their upcoming HIAC match, although I didn’t think Owens’ appearance was necessary. I’m not saying his promo was bad, far from it. He had this cool and delusional vibe that a great heel promo has and every heel in the company should try and replicate. What I mean is beating the CEO of WWE should come with some sort of punishment, right? Like, he can be suspended for a week and not appear at all, just to sell the idea that Owens is really in the doghouse. I don’t know, I think suspending him for one episode adds to the tension they currently want to produce between the two. Anyway, welcome back, Shane! Still pumped to see how Shane will wow us at HIAC.

Vibe: The brewing triple threat storyline between AJ Styles, Baron Corbin, and Tye Dillinger has been great so far. Creative made sure all three men have a score to settle with each other and I think that’s a good way to build a storyline with three men involved. I’m sure they’ll settle everything at HIAC and I’m sure Styles will retain, but it’s really cool to see Tye Dillinger being used more prominently. After this whole thing blows up, I want Styles to just take on any challenger, exactly like what Cena did a year ago. Basically, I just want to see Styles vs. Gable again. Make your minds work, Creative!

Vibe: Rusev made a comeback this week and hey, it may not be as big as I want it, but it’s better than not having him around at all. Rusev’s backstage interview after the match was hilarious. He was definitely elated to get a win over Randy Orton and he should continue barking “Rusev Number One” a lot, just because it’s funny. Hopefully, this segment will set up the proper Rusev vs. Orton we deserve to see. It’s also interesting how Aiden English played a huge role in Rusev’s quick victory. English is really holding his own since his Vaudevillian days and I hope he continues this trend of relevance in the coming weeks. He even dropped Orton on the announce table! Not every jobber gets to do that.

Blue: The only thing that will perfectly wrap up Dolph Ziggler’s current gimmick of playing the most elaborate game of dress-up is for him to do a CM Punk entrance. He can just enter the stage unannounced using Punk’s theme and as everyone loses their minds, Ziggler comes out and does his usual rant. Imagine the nuclear heat he’ll receive. I’m not really sure he can do that though, not really sure about the legalities and all. But if he can, then he really should before this act goes stale just like his previous gimmicks.

Vibe: The New Day vs. The Usos at HIAC should at least be a stipulation match, right? At least make it a do-or-die one? Regardless, I’m sure they’re going to steal the show once again. I just think they could spice it up a little bit, you know? The Street Fight was a good start. Why not up the ante? The first-ever Last Team Standing match, perhaps? In other news, a Hype Bros heel turn? I was expecting a break-up instead, but hey, let’s give this one a shot. I just want to see both Zack Ryder and Mojo Rawley be relevant again.

Vibe: Also, Renee Young is all of us right now.


SMACKDOWN RUNDOWN: Jinder Mahal aside, I actually enjoyed this week’s episode of SmackDown Live. What’s not to love? Charlotte Flair returning, Rusev getting a huge win, Shane O’Mac and Kevin Owens trading verbal jabs, seeing Renee Young get yelled at, and sure, I’ll lump in Ziggler’s attempt at channeling DX. If you can skip that stupidly racist promo, you’ll get a solid show from top to bottom, plus a competent women’s main event to boot. I’ll have to award this week’s show a strong B.

Did you enjoy this week’s SmackDown Live? At this point, do we just accept the fact that the second season of Fashion Files got canned? Post your fake bank account details for fun 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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