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SmackDown RunDown Live (6/4/19): The '90s Called


“Don’t do this to me again.” 

You and me both, Goldberg. You and me both.

I would normally crack a joke about you missing me last week, but we all know how little you care about this little operation of mine. That’s fine, I’m starting to not care, too. Aside from the fact that I had a lot of work, I deliberately wanted to skip last week’s show. And to be perfectly honest, I’m pretty sick of reviewing SmackDown Live altogether. And since I’m already being completely honest and vulnerable, I’m sick of caring about wrestling as a whole. Why, you ask? Just listen to whatever the fuck Lars Sullivan’s promo was supposed to be.




But before I called it quits, I decided to give wrestling one last chance. After all, it’s been a huge part of my life. I can’t just turn my back on it just because I’m not growing any younger. But no main roster stuff, I said, so I finally watched the NJPW stuff I downloaded months ago. Then I watched AEW’s Double or Nothing. Then I watched NXT TakeOver XXV. Then I sat back and just started swooning again. It’s just sad how WWE will never reach the caliber of these shows, unless maybe when Vince McMahon is no longer in charge.

So here I am, back for another week of the same old routine. Writing these columns has become such a chore these past few months that I wasn’t sure how I can keep churning these columns out. But I just can’t give this spot up to a far more superior writer. SmackDown RunDown is the house that I built, quite literally. SmackDown Live may be bad right now, but running away is not an option. I can't change things, I can just change how I react. And boy, am I a guy who reacts. It’s how I got this spot in the first place. That’s how good I am.

But if I’m doing this, I’ll probably make some changes. First off, no more grading system. RAW and especially SmackDown Live will never reach that A+ grade anyway. I’ll just make an arbitrary grading system every week, depending on my mood. And second, it’s time to retire the #NitPickRick schtick. Being a nitpicky asshole isn’t fun anymore. I just want to enjoy writing this column again. The show I’m reviewing can be as bad as it wants to be, but I will never let it take away my passion for wrestling. So let’s talk about the actual show, shall we?



If there’s one thing the WWE is doing right, it’s presenting Kofi Kingston as a proper WWE Champion. His recent trip to his home country,Ghana was so significant and inspirational AF. When’s the last time a WWE Champion had a cultural impact on an entire nation? Too bad Kofi is currently stuck in a rivalry with Dolph “Whine and Dine” Ziggler, with his usual “It shoulda been meee” arguments. It’s a weak storyline but I’m glad Kofi and Ziggler are making do with what they’re given. No one asked, but this match will be my pick for MOTN at SaudiMania.



And speaking of positive things, how about Bray Wyatt still kicking it with these Firefly Funhouse segments? It’s legit the only thing worth watching in WWE right now. That Muscle Man Dance didn’t make any sense but seeing a creepy Vinnie Mac puppet dancing around and the subtle nudges to Wyatt’s old Husky Harris gimmick made this week’s installment great. And I know I shat all over the 24/7 Championship two weeks ago, but R-Truth’s wacky run as champion is giving the title some justice. No one should ever hold that title other than Truth.



Now back to the negatives. I will anger a lot of fans here, but I’ll say it anyway. I don’t give a shit about Goldberg and The Undertaker trying to stir up beef for the enjoyment of the Saudi Prince. The only reason these two are still regarded as wrestlers is that they recently wrestled someone healthy enough to carry their sorry old asses to a match. What do you think will happen when their old bones start cracking right in the middle of the ring? And I’m assuming this will be the main event, so all I can say is good luck and I hope this match blows.

The WildCard RunDown


Speaking of forcing storylines for SaudiMania, we have Triple H and Randy Orton “re-igniting” their storied rivalry for some goddamn reason. I did appreciate how both men tried to get the ball rolling but c’mon, these two are fighting over nothing. It’s annoying how weak the card for Super ShowDown is because of these nothing matches, but then I remembered this is a glorified televised house show in Saudi, so whatever. Let’s just get this over with. Three down, seven more shows to go, I assume.

SMACKDOWN RUNDOWN: I know I said I’m getting rid of the grading system, but I still need a paragraph to summarize the show, so this part of the review stays. As you can already tell, I’m not that hyped with this week’s go-home show for SaudiMania. With the exception of Bray Wyatt’s silly dance and the women’s triple threat, this episode barely did anything interesting. And the PPV is this Friday? Yeesh, good luck with that. I’ll give this week’s show one out of three blind mice.

The RunDown CutDown


  • So Alexa Bliss, a RAW Superstar, won a triple threat to become the #1 Contender against Bayley, the SmackDown Women’s Champion. If that’s not enough proof that the brand split is dead, I don’t know what is.
  • Wait, Andrade and Finn Bálor are feuding? Huh.
  • When Goldberg said, "Don't do this to me again!", he wasn't addressing the crowd's loving chants. He's telling WWE not to put him in another god-awful match ever again
  • Lars Sullivan did a great impression of Will Sasso doing an impression of an archetypal pro wrestler. Why does Vince McMahon think monster types should be channeling their inner Macbeth?
Photos from WWE, All Elite Wrestling

*****


Ricky Publico (@Peepomania) is Smark Henry's resident SmackDown Live reviewer... for better or worse. He also nitpicks PWR shows when no one's available to do so. A known lover of wrestling tournaments, he's a sucker for well-executed promos and fast-paced matches. He has yet to learn how to operate a microwave. Don't judge him.

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