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SmackDown RunDown Live (5/1/18): This is a Go-Home Show?


And now, a very sarcastic review of the Greatest Royal Rumble house show.

The 50-man spectacle was truly the greatest Royal Rumble match of all time since the 40-man one from 2011. Seeing Braun Strowman become the Saudi Arabian champion was almost as satisfying as seeing Daniel Bryan outlasting everyone for over an hour, only to fail miserably and get a massive hickey on his chest. Strowman finally received the push he so desperately needed. I want to see him defend his title against Sami Zayn just for the lulz.

The rest of the card was incredible and exciting as well, especially Undertaker vs. Rusev. I bet you didn’t see that finish coming. Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar stole the show with another hard-hitting cage match. I really hope Reigns gets a title shot every PPV from now on because it’s so much fun to see him fail every single time. Saudi also had the rare opportunity to host a dream match: John Cena vs Triple H. Finally, two legends meet in one ring.

And now, a boring and insubstantial review of this week’s SmackDown Live.

More of a GRR Aftermath than a Backlash Go-Home


I don’t understand why they can’t just move Backlash to two or three weeks from now to let storylines develop a little or, you know, let the freaking wrestlers rest their overworked bodies. But no, we’re getting a rushed PPV with almost nothing to show for it. The SmackDown Live side of the card looks good, so that’s a positive, I guess.


SmackDown Live did a better job at making it up for the women as Asuka, Becky Lynch, and Charlotte Flair engaged in six-woman tag action against Carmella and the IIconics in this week’s main event. It’s a standard affair with everyone getting some offense in until Asuka ended the match with a beautifully-executed Asuka Lock. I’m glad they’re not giving Asuka a losing streak like I suspected, but it’s interesting where she will go from here. How will Creative continue Asuka’s dominance now that she’s as vulnerable as everyone else?


Meanwhile, the main event also did a great job hyping up Carmella’s first title defense against the streak-ender, Charlotte Flair. I’m loving Carmella’s heelish title reign so far. She really fits the mold of a delusional, chickenshit heel. I’m pretty sure she’ll retain the title at Backlash, but what ace will she pull out her sleeve to do so? I guess we’ll have to find out. One positive thing about the women not being part of GRR is that they got enough time to flesh out their respective storylines. So hurray, Carmella and Charlotte. Steal the damn show on Monday (Manila Time).


AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura continued their ball-busting adventure this week but first, Styles had to confront a seething Samoa Joe. Excuse me while I shake off the goosebumps. While I did enjoy Joe’s promo, I find it hard to ignore how he shoehorns in plugging his match with Roman Reigns at Backlash. I don’t even get why these two have a match in the first place. And they thought the best way to shill this was to reference it every now and then? I tried not to, but it totally ruined the awesome Styles vs. Joe reunion for me. Thanks a lot, Roman.


So how come we only got a No DQ for Styles and Nakamura? Sounds a bit tame compared to what devious things Nakamura did over the past few weeks. How about a ladder match? Or maybe a Falls Count Anywhere? Hell, they can just change it to a No Holds Barred match. It’s pretty much the same as a No DQ, but it sounds way cooler. Like, two superstars facing each other in a No Holds Barred match must really hate each other to require foreign objects to beat each other up. I think this is the first legit nitpick I’ve ever had for the year. That’s weird.


And as for the show’s opener, The Miz may have failed to stir the pot between Jeff Hardy and Randy Orton but he did a good job setting the two up for their United States Championship match at Backlash. They’re lucky I will always give a damn about Hardy and Orton so I can excuse their almost non-existent build-up. On the other hand, can someone tell me why The Miz is still gunning for the Intercontinental Championship? The dude should just focus on tormenting Daniel Bryan or something. I do appreciate they’re making us wait for their inevitable showdown. I just hope it’ll be sooner than later before everyone’s interest spaces out.


And lastly, let me talk about the weird backstage segment between the Rusev Day family. It’s really annoying that they’re already teasing a break-up between Rusev and Aiden English when they barely got any type of push. I get that it’s logical to pinpoint Rusev’s kayfabe failures to English, but we all know English is an essential part of what made Rusev Day such an over gimmick in the first place. How about you give these two a huge push first before you break them up so their eventual feud can at least be meaningful and compelling? Because we all know who’s going on top here, so at least make English the next babyface to root for.

SMACKDOWN RUNDOWN: “At least they tried” is what I can ultimately say about the Blue Brand’s efforts this week. I’m not saying it was a bad show all throughout, I’m saying it didn’t feel like a proper PPV send-off, probably because WWE focused all their hard-ons promoting the glorified Saudi house show. Nonetheless, it was still an eventful show with good matches and serviceable segments to boot. But let’s face it, no one’s hyped for Backlash so let’s just get the show over with. In the meantime, the Labor Day episode of SmackDown Live gets a B.

Some Blue Brand Blues That Didn’t Make It

  • That Big Cass segment took way too much time, time that could’ve been used to hype other matches or give guys like Tye Dillinger some spotlight. We already got it the first few minutes in, Daniel Bryan is a midget. Comedy, ladies and gentlemen.
  • The Bar and The New Day are set to feud for the next few weeks as Xavier Woods scored one against Sheamus. Watch out for stellar singles and tag matches between the two teams.
  • I said this last week and I’ll keep pointing it out until it happens. I firmly believe Renee Young will just snap one day and just attack the next heel she has to deal with. “You want to see a moose? I’mma snag you bald, ya dumb bitch!” *plants Billie Kay with Dirty Deeds*
  • So will MizTV open every SmackDown Live episode from now on? Asking for a friend.
  • I think Lana’s Russian accent got buried along with Rusev.
Photos from WWE.com

*****

Ricky Jay Publico (@NitPickRick) 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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