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SmackDown RunDown Live (5/7/19): RIP Brand Split (2016-2019)


It's safe to say that the current iteration of the Brand Split is as good as dead. Don't pat yourself on the back, Vince. We've seen how this Wild Card Rule will play out in the end. Hell, in the same episode where Vince McMahon said the rule only allows three SmackDown Live stars from crossing over, we ended up seeing a total of five. It's so pathetic. Remember in 2011 when they did the same thing with RAW Supershow? Yeah, this is Sheamus-as-World-Champ era all over again. Shame, I really thought this iteration of the Brand Split did well. 

 
But honestly, I'm not even that upset about it. It's hard to stay mad when they end up delivering a great show like this week's episode of SmackDown Live. I mean, this stupid Wild Card Rule did give us back-to-back WWE Championship main events that are equally worth paying PPV money for. We got a WrestleMania rematch on RAW and here on the Blue Brand, we got a Triple Threat match we didn’t know we needed. I’m so hyped to see Sami Zayn this close to winning a world title. Is it too early to start SamiMania?

 
And what better way to build up the WWE Champion than to have him defend it whenever and wherever? Kofi Kingston getting one hell of a week should shut his doubters and haters up already. Why the fuck are you has-beens telling our boy Kofi to gain more muscle or to be more serious? If you think about it, Seth Rollins needs a push like this more than Kofi does. We’ve complained for months how the Universal Championship was barely defended when Brock Lesnar held it. Seth should be hosting open challenges or something. But fine, I’m glad Kofi is the one receiving the spotlight. KofiMania is still running wild, baybeeeeeeee!

 
And hey, we got new tag team champs in the form of the Eco-Brothers, Daniel Bryan and Rowan! It’s a great move to put Daniel Bryan in the tag team division where he can spew his green initiative and elevate SmackDown Live’s tag team division at the same time. Also, Bryan can rest easy and let Rowan do the heavy lifting. Look at that, hitting three birds with one stone. Then again, I kinda wish The Usos won the titles again to save them from the shit program they have with The Revival. SmackDown Live knew how to treat The Usos better.

SMACKDOWN RUNDOWN: The Brand Split may have died this week, but the spirit of SmackDown Live as the unrecognized A-show in WWE is still alive and kicking. Awesome matches and solid writing all throughout—what's not to love? I guess one complaint is that we only got one segment for the women. C'mon, guys, you're better than that. And no IIconics! What the hell? So here's an almost perfect B+.

The RunDown CutDown


  • Do me a solid and follow @MithGifs because hot damn, this Twitter account is so good at contextualizing wrestling storylines. You can also follow me if you want (plug, plug, plug), but do follow Mith Gifs like, right now. They just did one on the desperation Blue Thunder Bombs Sami Zayn delivered this week. So good.
  • If you're wondering what my reaction to the MITB ladder match participants was, check out last week's review. It got lost in the mail for some reason. 
  • Sonya Deville better come out as a huge babyface when this BFF angle with Mandy Rose finally falls apart. I'd like to think Sonya being Mandy's weekly sacrificial lamb should have a good payoff. I'm not settling for mediocre, people!
  • Matt Hardy shouting "It's him!" at the sight of Lars Sullivan and basically doing nothing for a solid 10 seconds should be a mood.
  • If Andrade ends up winning the MITB briefcase, can they change the text of the briefcase to “Dinero en El Banco?” That’s not too much to ask for, right?
Photos from WWE.com


*****
Ricky 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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