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SmackDown RunDown Live (12/18/18): Writing is Hard



No, you’re not getting a review this week. Why? Because writing is hard.

No really, it is. As several WWE writers and Superstars already told us, it’s really hard to come up with five hours of wrestling on a weekly basis. Coming up with scripts and segments is hard. Plus, you have to deal with a senile old man who’s obviously out of touch. Plus, you have to deal with the egos of your co-writers and the egos of the talents themselves. Plus, you have to deal with the fickle audience who desperately wants to hate them. It’s hard, you guys.

And if that wasn’t sarcastic enough for you, let me just hit you with what I really think. I have never felt more useless in my life. Imagine loving something so much that you care enough to dissect and analyze that thing, only to be told that making that thing is hard and the makers should be free of criticism. Yeah, that analogy sucks but you get what I mean. Call us Jon Snow because we know nothing!





But #NitPickRick, they’re only pertaining to garbage fans who whine about how easy writing a show is. Well, whining about wrestling is what we do here at SmackDown RunDown. I try my best to be fair and articulate in offering my opinions. And thanks to my editors here at Smark Henry, I’m confident that my reviews are a lot more educated than the average wrestling fan tweet or YouTube comment. But just like those bozos, I’m just some guy who happens to like wrestling.

Like them, I don’t know their hardships in writing gems like “suffering succotash” or “I wish you died in the womb!” I don’t know how much blood, sweat, and tears these guys sacrificed to make Snitsky kicking a fake baby or Triple H raping a mannequin a reality. As long as I’m not directly working for the WWE, I’m just a troll masquerading as an armchair expert. Yeah, fuck me and every review I’ve ever written. My opinions don’t mean jack.





But #NitPickRick, no one told you to stop criticizing the product. Yeah, no one outright said to not criticize them, but isn’t the whole “x is really hard” argument a surefire way to discourage further criticism? So as someone who’s not in the know, I’m obligated to sympathize and feel guilty about all the things I’ve said about storylines and character developments. Because, as we now know, writing is hard. You want a better show? Write it yourself!

I now feel shitty about the times I criticized Roman Reigns’ overexposure or Ryback’s level of dullness. I now feel bad when I laughed at last week’s “Ice Ice Sheamy” or when I rolled my eyes after hearing “the three most dangerous letters in sports entertainment” spiel for the nth time. All the times I bitched about Rusev not getting a fair shake when other Superstars are busting their asses off made me feel like an entitled infant.

So what’s the use of writing these stupid weekly reviews? WWE worked hard on these shows so it’s automatically good and undeserving of criticism in any way possible. Why did I waste three years of my life writing for SmackDown RunDown? I sincerely apologize to Xavier Woods, Seth Rollins, every wrestler that wrestled for WWE, and everyone who has written for them all these years. I should just enjoy all your efforts and sacrifices to provide entertainment for losers like us.

As the great philosopher Daniel Padilla once said, “Shut up ka na lang.”

So yeah, that’s your review for the week. What about this week’s SmackDown Live? Well, it was great! All the writers and wrestlers worked hard to produce a flawless show for all of us. The fans should be more thankful to the WWE and the entire wrestling industry. I give this week’s episode an AAA+ to infinity. Great stuff.

Some Blue Brand Thoughts That Didn’t Make It


  • Fine, here are some thoughts about the show. The whole McMahon takeover is one big overcorrection. As far as I’m concerned, RAW’s the only show that’s in the dumps. SmackDown Live’s doing just fine. Why exactly do we need four authority figures to implement some real changes in both shows? Anyone who’s playing the GM role can do that. Kurt Angle could’ve done that. He should still be the GM, right? Paige could’ve done that. Why did she get the axe? It’s not like she can wrestle again. Or maybe...
  • And them apologizing for “not doing a great job lately” annoyed the hell out of me. They pretty much gave the WWE Universe the burden of running the show. What happens if this setup fails? I’m betting the pet dog that I don’t own that Vince would blame us. “See, you people can’t run the show if your lives depended on it. You’re all fired!” And then back to status quo of RAW sucking balls.
  • I also don’t get why the totally logical rematch clause was scrapped. From a kayfabe perspective, it removes an advantage from the champion. It’s a lot easier for a babyface champion, but what’s the incentive for a heel champion to defend his or her title now that he or she will be sent back to the end of the line after losing? Also, if the only reason is that it’s “antiquated,” why stop there? Why not remove the champion’s advantage altogether and let the champion lose the title via count-out or DQ? 
  • With that being said, the McMahons pretty much delivered on their promise of bringing fresh faces and matchups. As much as I want to be sarcastic, this week’s episode was actually another homerun for Team Blue. We have Mustafa Ali now! How did that happen? Asuka’s the champ now! Isn’t that neat? The Good Brothers and SAnitY actually made an appearance! What in tarnation? It definitely felt like a brand new era just arrived on SmackDown Live.

*****



Let me just take off the sarcastic gloves completely. I know that this week’s column has been nothing short of a rant more than a competent review, but I just can’t help but speak up. Believe it or not, I love professional wrestling. If you're reading this, I know you do, too, probably more than I do. When you love something, you can’t help but care for it. And when you care about something, you can’t help but be passionate about it.

My passion for the business brought me here. Getting this gig for Smark Henry has been one of the highlights of my writing career. Who wouldn’t turn down an opportunity to talk about something you’re passionate about? And sure, I’m not the most entertaining or thought-provoking writer here on the site, but I can always claim that my opinions, good or bad, come from a place of love and admiration for the craft. TL;DR: I care, therefore I rant.

So this whole ordeal is just so disheartening for me. WWE can claim they worked hard all they want, but if the end product turned out bad, why can’t fans call a spade a spade? The show sucked and it’s okay. Just take the hit and do better next time. WWE can’t expect the people to enjoy something they clearly don’t. We don’t need to know how much effort you put into it if it still turned out bad. Stop guilting the fans into not expecting better from their wrestling. 

And stop directly or indirectly telling us to go make our own show if we hate it so much. If we could produce our own shows, we would, but we all know that’s impossible. I, for one, don’t have a billion dollars to make my WWF No Mercy fantasy federation a reality. I can’t even buy a decent pair of pants. That’s one of the reasons why I watch WWE in the first place. You have all the resources and capabilities to produce that one thing we’re all passionate about.

And if we think you’re doing a bad job at it, the best thing we can do is to voice out our opinions. Most of us use social media; writers like yours truly use their respective platforms to forward critical thoughts and suggestions, and some even take time to put a camera in front of their faces and start processing what they just saw. Sure, others just spew mean comments and randomly call for the return of the Attitude Era, but there are also some of us who are hella good at articulating our opinions.

All these efforts to dissect and analyze your shows only prove one thing: the fans are actively immersing themselves into your product. We buy merch, subscribe to the Network, or buy tickets to PPVs and live events because we believe in your brand and we believe you can always do better. You don’t even need to listen to any criticism if you want. Just don’t call us entitled infants when we demand better from WWE. As much as you hate to admit it, our voices matter. 

I am aware that maybe I’m overreacting a bit, but someone has to say something. Allow me to be that asshole. Thank you for coming to my TED Talk.

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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