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SmackDown RunDown Live (11/20/18): I Stan The Evil Ones


2019 is going to be a big year for WWE. For the first time in years, we actually have a women’s rivalry worthy of headlining next year’s WrestleMania in the form of Becky Lynch/Charlotte Flair vs. Ronda Rousey. Becky Lynch, and by proxy Charlotte Flair, took 2018 by the balls and changed the criteria for being “The Man” while Ronda Rousey did the same as she enjoys one of the best rookie years we’ve ever seen since Brock Lesnar in 2002.

And when it comes to these women, there are a lot of ways they can go with this storyline. They can either involve Charlotte Flair and make it a three-way dance, add Nia Jax, or make it a Four Horsewomen vs. Four Horsewomen type of deal. Whichever way they go, it’s going to be epic. WWE shouldn’t screw this up for the WWE Universe. There’s no better time than WrestleMania 35. Make it happen, Vince. But for now, let’s focus on the one who’s not injured.

Thanksgiving Came Early For The Bad Guys


As Creative framed it, Charlotte Flair has snapped. After failing to beat Ronda, Flair gave her the beating of a lifetime at Survivor Series—if only Rousey sold it properly and didn't host an open challenge the following night on RAW. But still, it was supposedly unlike Flair to lash out like that, as commentators told us, conveniently forgetting that The Queen was once a despicable character. Remember when she disowned her father in the ring? Fun times.



I guess they really want us to believe Flair has joined the dark side, but why I am I still unconvinced about this? Sure, giving your opponent nasty welts isn’t a hero’s doing, but Becky Lynch did ask for Flair to give Rousey a beating like the one Becky was going to give Ronda herself. And as Flair said, mission accomplished. How is she the bad guy here? And yeah, the beating she gave to The IIconics was a bit much, but the two did provoke her and tried to cheat their way out of it. So yeah, she became more aggressive, but I don’t think she broke bad just yet.



If anything, Charlotte Flair got her confidence back because she was reaffirmed by her former rival, the one who soundly beat her at Evolution. If I was Flair, I’d feel like Super Mario infused with a blinking star, too. And besides, since Becky Lynch is still out, we’ll have to settle with aggressive Charlotte Flair for now. The way I see it, Flair is still playing proxy for the real star of SmackDown Live. And you know what, I stan for that (am I using it right, fellow kids?). Go ahead, Charlotte, break some more bodies.



Daniel Bryan... uh, excuse me, the NEW Daniel Bryan also took the time to explain to the people—uh, sorry, to his old self—how he was able to capture the WWE Championship last week against AJ Styles. I was still on the fence about this heel turn before Survivor Series, but Bryan’s promo this week made up for his sudden change of heart. Can you believe his loss against Brock Lesnar was part of the narrative? He made that loss count and not count at the same time. Sure, he still lost, but it was the remnant of the old D-Bry who lost, not the new one.



I guess my only gripe about this promo was the missed opportunity to change his name to Bryan Danielson. I mean, if he really hated the side of him that millions loved over the years, why keep the name? You can’t just add the word ‘new’ to your name and expect us to treat it like it’s a badass thing to do. It’s not, and you’d be doing the GrabCamuses of the world a favor by bringing your American Dragon persona into the WWE canon. Besides, Bryan Danielson sounds like a man who would do all those terrible things for his dream. Shave all your hair off while you’re at it. No one’s going to hate you looking like a lovable goat.



And in this week’s main event, quintessential evil man Randy Orton showed everyone how villainy is done after desecrating Rey Mysterio in their grudge match. You tired of these two slugging it out? I’m not. These two always had the greatest of chemistry, with Orton always finding the right spot to hit the high-flying Mysterio with an RKO. Check out the variation this week. It’s so perfect you’ll kiss the tips of your fingers just like I did. Mamma mia, that’s a spicy RKO-a.


But I read on Twitter that people hated it because the heel targeting Mysterio’s mask has been done a million times. That’s true but think about it for a second. What else is there to target? Remember, Orton’s quest is to destroy everyone the WWE Universe loves. Who else do we love more than Rey Mysterio? And what makes Mysterio unique? His bra tattoos? His tights that make him look like he’s wearing an adult diaper? His EG armband? Of course, it’s his freaking mask, you dummies!



And true to his current gimmick, Orton destroyed Mysterio’s mask—his identity, heritage, and source of livelihood—the way he removed Hardy’s face paint. It’s the dickiest move out of all dick moves someone can do to a luchador. How’s that lazy writing? And mind you, Orton didn’t just unmask Mysterio. He ripped the mask’s eyehole and he tried to break Mysterio’s neck. Yeah, I bet you all forgot that part. When will Orton’s neverending push... end? It will end when he stops being an evil motherfucker. Right now, he’s still pretty evil to me.



Unfortunately, not all of our bad guys were having the time of their lives. Take sycophant Miz, who failed to convince Shane McMahon to team up with him after losing to The Bryant Brothers. The MizTV segment was entertaining from top to bottom, with Miz’s horrified expression after getting pinned by an unknown dude named Bryant taking the cake for Screencap of the Night. Let’s just hope these jobbers aren’t sending dick pics to underage girls and we’ll get ourselves some new jobber sensations. And they’re brothers? What?

SMACKDOWN RUNDOWN:
SmackDown Live may have lost the battle, but they certainly won the war. Just look at how fast they picked themselves up and produced another great episode like nothing happened. And even their biggest Survivor Series losses turned into launchpads for awesome character work. No bitterness here, RAW certainly needed the sweeping win more than anything. I’ll take badass heels doing badass things every single week, please. As such, another A is in order for the Blue Brand.

Some Blue Brand Thoughts That Didn’t Make It


  • Sonya Deville is slowly moving away from Absolution’s shadow and I’m loving it. Mark my words: she’s a megastar waiting to happen. Maybe she’ll break out of her shell in 2020 or later. Have patience, people.

  • Meanwhile, Naomi and Asuka continue to pick up wins but I think these victories are leading to nowhere. I mean, who’s there left to beat? The IIconics? They just got their butts handed to them by one woman. They need more competition if they’re planning to keep this team going.
  • Speaking of teams, is it time to #GiveTagTeamsAChance? Seriously, they’re the only one who picked up a victory at Survivor Series. Give them more time, dammit!
  • Can we please stop timekeepers from being dicks? The IIconics can’t pick up a chair from their area but Randy Orton can? Stop giving them conviction, dammit! That also goes to the security personnel who shooed Seth Rollins away on RAW. You're basically NPCs. Know your role, playas.
  • I am now being informed that the tag teams were properly represented this week in the first-ever Feastfight match featuring The New Day and The Bar. While the match was fine by itself, they were just playing with food. As a poor member of the working class, that’s just nasty.

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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