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SmackDown RunDown Live (4/3/18): The Hell Are We Waiting For?


We’re just four days away from the biggest annual event in WWE and I’m happy to report that there’s almost nothing to complain about here on SmackDown Live. For the first time in years, the word WrestleMania doesn’t sound too dreadful to me. WrestleMania 34 definitely feels like a wrestling extravaganza set to entertain casuals and appease hardcore fans equally. And on the SmackDown Live side of things, everyone’s already caught Mania fever.

WrestleMania Hype: Nothing Did Go Wrong...Almost


Let’s kick things off with this week’s main event featuring WrestleMania rivals Shinsuke Nakamura and AJ Styles as they continue playing their mind games at the expense of Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin. This time, Styles got the upper hand as he served Nakamura a taste of his own medicine by executing arguably the most savage pat to the head ever. I feel like I should’ve seen this coming but for some reason, I didn’t, making it a more powerful gesture at least for me. Do I really have to wait five more days to see these two fight? I’m hyped AF. Also, Benjamin and Gable in the main event two weeks in a row? Nice.


Meanwhile, SmackDown Live’s secondary headline story was neatly wrapped up by having Daniel Bryan and Shane McMahon hug out their past grievances and later escort the gatecrashing Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn out of the arena with WWE’s unofficial farewell song. This storyline is really hitting all the right notes up until the final week of build-up. I’m just glad no one from Creative fucked everything up. They should do that more often. I guess we’ll be seeing Owens and Zayn next week on RAW. I wonder how they will fit in.


Feel free to dispute me, but I believe Rusev just turned face with his clean-as-a-whistle victory against Jinder freakin’ Mahal. Think about it. They’re supposedly both heels, right? But the one who struck first was Sunil Singh so when English fired back, it felt more like self-defense rather than being a cocky heel. And tell me, who among the two sidekicks tried to cheat on his main man’s behalf? Sunil. English could have interfered himself, but no, he stood there and believed on Rusev’s strength. And sure enough, Rusev prevailed with a vicious Machka Kick. This is Rusev Day fully realized, you guys. Hand him the U.S. Title, stat!


Every storyline is good to go. Well, except for one. I’m an idiot for completely forgetting about Charlotte vs. Asuka and how terrible the build-up for their first-time-ever dream match was. For one, isn’t Asuka supposed to be a SmackDown Live superstar by now? Why was she out there helping out the Alexa Bliss vs. Nia Jax angle when she should be on the Blue Brand hyping up her own match? Two identical promos isn’t really enough to build a marquee match now, is it? And to make matters worse, they gave out both women’s actual first encounter on Facebook Live, of all places. Great job dampening your dream match. Good luck selling this match, I guess.

SMACKDOWN RUNDOWN: The Blue Brand scores another great A in their go-home effort. They could’ve easily made this show into a WrestleMania promo show like they always do in the past, but damn, this week’s episode was still packed with lots of explosive confrontations. So yeah, I have nothing else good to say and I pretty much aired all my grievances. I’m all hyped up for WrestleMania 34 so to borrow a quote from Brock Lesnar, “Let’s do...THIS!?!”

Some Blue Brand Blues That Didn’t Make It


  • As much as I enjoyed seeing the forgotten members of the SmackDown Live roster get the spotlight (Hey, it’s Primo Colon!), it would’ve been better if this was an over-the-top-rope challenge or a mini-battle royale to make it more exciting. It’s awkward to watch them randomly throw each other over the top rope when they’re playing by the rules of an 8-man tag.
  • I’m pretty sure there’s a better way to shill the WWE Network other than that terrible New Day-Usos-Bludgeons segment. They should ask Paul Heyman how to do it.
Photos from WWE.com

*****

Ricky Jay Publico is a wrestling fan who enjoys watching high flyers and brawlers battle it out in the ring. A frequent 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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