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SmackDown RunDown Live (10/17/17): On Best Friends and Bad Ideas


It’s your boy #NitPickRick once again, welcoming you to another edition of SmackDown RunDown Live! A lot to unpack on this week’s episode, but you probably won’t like most of it. Let’s get down to it, shall we?

Sami Zayn destroyed Daniel Bryan without even touching him

The most effective heels were once the most effective babyfaces. This is certainly true with Sami Zayn, and if you’re not in love with his heel work right now, don’t watch wrestling ever again. From a fantastic promo last week, Sami followed it up with another steaming one, this time targeting GM Daniel Bryan. Just check out the promo below so you can see it for yourself. I’m not lazy or anything, it’s just too good to describe (but yes, I am lazy).


If you were D-Bry, how the hell can you even respond? Every word from Sami stuck way too hard on Bryan’s ego; you just have to feel bad about Bryan and hate Sami for realsies. It was almost a pipe bomb because his arguments were all rooted in the truth. Because sometimes, you just have to deliver a promo closer to your heart, and in this case, it totally revealed Sami’s frustrations and his lack of care for the WWE Universe. And is it weird to agree with the heels? I mean, technically, they were right, right? Damn you Sami Zayn!


And as if the damage wasn’t enough, Kevin Owens came out and continued to roast the SmackDown Live GM. In the end, Sami was the one who dealt the final blow by calling Bryan a sellout. Bryan was so embarrassed, his response was a very lame “I’mma go find some dudes to fight you for me.” This was probably my favorite segment of the year. Sami’s heel turn was the best thing that happened in his WWE career and I don’t want to think about who will turn on who just yet. Let’s just enjoy this wonderful heel act from the real-life beshies.



Also, Sami’s heel turn is already paying off. He just pinned Randy Orton in this week’s main event tag match. Sami Zayn, SmackDown Live’s former underdog, just beat a 13-time world champion. If Sami was still a babyface, I will never believe that previous statement. But it happened and it was awesome! Also, props to Owens for being able to compete just two weeks after his brutal HIAC match. He’s one tough SOB. Another sidenote, Randy Orton and Shinsuke Nakamura are apparently a team now. Yey?

Jinder Mahal vs. Brock Lesnar is a terrible, terrible idea

Let me just say it right off the bat: no one will benefit from this match-up. As much as WWE wants to push Jinder Mahal to the moon and back, his star and drawing power is nowhere near Brock Lesnar. If anything, this is noble, albeit cheap, attempt to get Jinder Mahal over to the WWE Universe. Let me explain why it won’t work.

It will be impossible to justify Jinder Mahal winning. Obviously, Jinder Mahal can’t go over clean. What, is he Goldberg now? Just look at the quality opponents Brock Lesnar has had over the years. Are we really going to buy the fact that this Indian jabroni’s going to kick his ass at Survivor Series? Yeah, that’s what I thought. So the solution is to have him win via shenanigans, right? Even if Jinder uses Great Khali to win, it would still come out as unconvincing. Are they really expecting us to believe that Brock Lesnar—the guy who overcame Braun Strowman, among other big men—is going to be distracted/defeated by a giant tree? Simply put, Jinder Mahal’s victory—in any way, shape, or form—would be unrealistic.


The clear outcome would be Brock Lesnar going over Jinder Mahal, and aside from Lesnar, who will benefit from this? Jinder isn’t a worthy opponent for him in the first place so this won’t be considered a money match. Jinder losing certainly won’t help the Make-Jinder-a-Star initiative because he was the one who challenged Lesnar in the first place. Why would you feed the guy you’re trying to push to the company’s top draw? Are they actually expecting Jinder to go over just because he had a marquee match with Brock Lesnar? As if the WWE Championship isn’t devalued enough, now you’ll actually let the WWE Universal Champion stomp on SmackDown Live’s main guy. So yeah, I have no idea what Creative was thinking when they made this decision. I really hope Brock Lesnar declines next week.


Also, AJ Styles will be the sacrificial lamb to legitimize Jinder Mahal further. Smart move, since the guy can make anyone look good. I just wish Creative placed their efforts more on people who are actually over, you know? Why are we going through all this trouble convincing everyone to elicit reactions for Jinder Mahal when we clearly have someone like Styles to carry the SmackDown brand on his back? Although I have to say, Jinder Mahal delivered what was probably his best promo in his entire main event run. He muscled through with his soft voice and he moved and bowed hard just to shout his lines and be heard, and indeed, I heard his passion loud and clear. Good job on that, buddy.

Some Blue Brand Vibes and Blues—Live!

Vibe: The epic rivalry between The Usos and New Day is finally over and this week, we saw both teams move on to their new rivalries. The tag champs’ promo with their challengers was a bit confusing though. Are the Usos really heels or are they now face? Because what Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin did was a bit dickish. That promo would be better if Renee pointed the damn mic on Benjamin’s mouth properly, just sayin’. Meanwhile, the New Day may be clashing with the team of Rusev and Aiden English and I think that’s cool. More Rusev Day shenanigans, please.

Vibe: Dolph Ziggler picked up a win over Bobby Roode after a roll-up-holding-the-tights thingy and you know what, that’s fine. The 50/50 booking makes sense. Despite their lack of chemistry, I still think we should extend this rivalry because what else is there for both of them? I’d rather see Roode on a C storyline than not see him at all. We’ll just have to sit this one through and hopefully, Roode won’t forget his lines in the future and Ziggler would still keep that healthy set of locks he has.

Blue: Well, that six-woman tag team match sure was nothing. Sure, it featured Lana as a wrestler again, but you can’t really expect someone to improve when you’re keeping the trainee on the bench, you know? Anyway, it was a tag match full of finishers and Charlotte Flair making Lana tap. Yeah, making the rookie wrestler tap out sure looks good on ya. I don’t even know why I’m writing about it other than it’s on the show and I have to talk about it somehow. Why did I choose this format anyway? I need to revamp my goddamn column again.

Blue: Let’s talk about shitty booking for a moment. On this corner, we have the United States Champion Baron Corbin, the guy who beat AJ Styles in an awesome main event. On the other corner is Sin Cara. Guess who won when they collided randomly in a match. Not going to spoil it for ya, I’ll just commend Creative for reviving a guy’s push only to shit on it again the following week. If this is a result of another petty issue backstage, I’d be pissed.

Blue: Will you be mad if I told you this week’s edition of Fashion Files wasn’t really that funny? I mean, if you’ve seen the movie, I guess you’ll get a laugh or two. But since I haven’t, the entire sketch meant nothing to me. Even the “jumped the shark” joke from Ascension seemed too late at this point. So yeah, even their “jumped the shark” joke...jumped the shark. But hey, I’m still not giving up on the Fashion Duo. I just want them to be funnier next time.

SMACKDOWN RUNDOWN: Sami Zayn was clearly the brightest spot of the week and he’s the only reason why I cared about this show, everything else was just meh to me. I don’t know why, maybe I’m just having a bad day or something. Aside from the whole Owens vs. Shane storyline and the awesome Usos-New Day, nothing in SmackDown Live is worth writing about and now that the latter just ended, all I have is the entertaining heel work of Sami Zayn and his impending involvement in the Owens-Shane storyline. Expect lower grades in the coming weeks, just like the C+ I’m going to give this week’s episode.

Did you enjoy this week’s SmackDown Live? Celebrate my second year here in Smark Henry by following me on Twitter @NitPickRick and tweeting me your worst insult. Thanks for always reading my junk.

*****

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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