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SmackDown RunDown Live (11/21/17): If Logan Livs, We Riot!


Do you realize how stupid that sounds? It’s the aftermath of the hot mess we all know as Survivor Series and this week, they tried to clean up the shit that goddamn main event made with explosive debuts and reprimands. Let’s get down to it before Jinder Mahal points at the camera again.

Ruby Riot, Sarah Logan, Liv Morgan knocks out the women’s division

I’ll start with the NXT invasion first because I got bored with whatever storyline Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn are currently in. Let’s get the pleasantries out of the way first. Is it safe to call this a Women’s Revolution 2.0? The expansion of the women’s division finally happened and I’m all for it. Sarah Logan was one of my early favorites in this year’s Mae Young Classic and I’m glad she’s the first competitor to make it to the main roster. Liv Morgan’s call-up was long overdue, I actually thought she’ll be called up during last year’s draft. And Ruby Riot, well, she’s clearly ready for a bigger spotlight. Welcome ladies, and thank you for heating up the women’s division of SmackDown Live.


Now, let’s head to the nitty-gritty #NitPickRick type of stuff. I have said this a million times now, and I’ll say it again: Triads of women ruin women’s wrestling. It’s the Women’s Revolution 2.0 no matter how hard you look at it. Remember how three of the four horsewomen debuted to the main roster? Through clumps of women, of course! Is this really the best way to introduce NXT call-ups these days? What ever happened to the traditional method of hyping them week after week with promo vignettes until their eventual debut? And in case you missed this week’s RAW, Paige pretty much formed her own triad with Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose in the same manner. Looking like rip-offs wasn’t the best way to introduce these ladies.


Now you might play devil’s advocate and bring up the fact that the Shield broke into the main roster using the same shtick and they became the biggest thing in WWE. Yes, you’re absolutely right, faceless reader. The only difference is that the Shield came as a unit, complete with matching gear. They took out the trio’s individual personalities and treated them like complete unknowns. I think we all know that’s not the case this week. Riot, Logan, and Morgan kept their respective swaggers intact and aside from the fact that they are newcomers, they have nothing in common. Am I supposed to treat them as a unit? Why are they teaming up in the first place? I’m having horrible flashbacks from the first women's revolution. Urgh.


And how about their gimmicks? Liv Morgan was supposed to be the babyface version of Carmella. How’s that going to affect both women? Ruby Riot and Sarah Logan are babyfaces as well. If they’re not a unified faction, why turn them heel? We could’ve easily introduced them using the same gimmicks they used down in NXT and get them over from there. But like I said at the start of the column, I’m hyped for these women and I can’t wait to see them battle it out with the rest of the women’s division. Here’s hoping the first-ever female Royal Rumble match will happen next year, because we now have a lot of talented women waiting in the wings. Even if it’s a 20-woman Rumble, I’ll take it. Just make it happen.

The awesome Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn storyline just went off the rails

So SmackDown Live lost at Survivor Series. Boo-freakin'-hoo. You know why I didn’t care? Because there was nothing at stake. Even the RAW team didn’t receive any rewards, and they’re the winners! Shane McMahon came out to open the show looking depressed and all. I didn’t feel like the entire SmackDown Live locker had something to be sad about because if their team won, it wouldn’t affect them directly. Even Shane himself said they’re still the show despite losing the match. So yeah, there goes the entire glue that kept that shitty main event together. If the losing team can still claim they’re the A-show, did it matter that RAW actually won?


Why exactly is the entire locker room mad at Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn? Sure, they indirectly helped eliminate Randy Orton, but their impact would’ve been termination-worthy if the duo caused the decisive pinfall. Owens and Zayn should’ve brutalized Shane with steel chairs in the last moments of the match, allowing Team RAW to grab the victory. Now isn’t that a more riveting act of insubordination? Now Shane can have a believable justification for “firing” them, allowing both Owens and Zayn to become the modern day Awesome Truth, DX, or a refined version of the disgruntled employees gimmick. Instead, we saw both men suck up to people and beg to the brass for their jobs. What a waste of a compelling storyline.

Some Blue Brand Vibes and Blues—Live!

Vibe: Let me just say AJ Styles vs. Brock Lesnar was the best match of Survivor Series. Isn’t it fun to have an incredibly over guy as the top champion? Anyway, his promo with Jinder Mahal was good enough for what it tried to accomplish. I actually thought Jinder’s going to cash in his rematch clause on free TV so we can have a new challenger for Styles come Clash of Champions, but I guess having him linger in the main event scene is okay. As long as Jinder isn’t champion, 2018 should be a hopeful year for SmackDown Live. And hey, at least Jinder’s voice is back in full force. He can probably start delivering better promos from now on.

Vibe: I gave the Bludgeon Brothers a hard time when they first appeared and their promos in the woods didn’t pique my interest. I’m happy to report that their debut this week looked cool as hell. Both men are as intense as well. They basically kept the dynamics they had when they were still cult members, only with a fresh change of gear. I just wish they picked a more explosive finisher. The double armpit powerbomb is more suitable for a signature move at best.

Blue: This is just pure indulgence, but I didn’t enjoy Shelton Benjamin picking up a win against Jey Uso. The penitentiary members just won an action-packed champion vs. champion match at Survivor Series. Would it hurt to keep the momentum going by giving them a win this week? Again, I have no problems with the heelish American Alpha 2.0 getting a win. They definitely needed the win to step up as the Usos’ new challengers. I just don’t want to see the Usos losing right now. I feel really weird today.

SMACKDOWN RUNDOWN: This week, I learned to expect NXT call-ups after each “Big Four” PPV. I didn’t know there was a pattern and now I am educated. I know, I know, laugh at my idiotic brain. What you shouldn’t laugh at is the awful turn of events of the Owens-Zayn alliance and the sweet additions to the women’s roster. A new chapter has begun for SmackDown Live, for better or worse. Honestly, they can just keep Jinder Mahal away from the world title for a while and I’ll be good. In the meantime, let me award this week’s episode a B+.

Did you enjoy this week’s SmackDown Live? Who do you think will administer the game for Breezango next week? Estimate the weight of the Bludgeon Brothers’ tacky hammers 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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