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SmackDown RunDown Live (7/2/19): Just Get Over It!


Is there such a thing as an everyman's heel? Because I think we got one this week with Kevin Owens. You know what else we got? A main event showcasing SmackDown Live's tag team division. So it was a good episode then? You bet your ass it was.

But let's go back to Kevin Owens, the man of the hour. It's so random that Owens suddenly received some love on SmackDown Live, and yet it's also well-deserved. He opened the show this week with an uninspired KO Show and openly antagonized Shane McMahon. A heel antagonizing another heel? You don't really see that often, but here we are. It felt fresh, especially with Owens personifying most of my complaints: nobody cares about Shane O'Mac and especially Dolph Ziggler's endless "It shoulda been me" spiels.



And somehow, we got a tag team main event out of the ordeal. So random! Not only did we get a fun tag team match with Ziggler/Owens and Heavy Machinery, we were also graced by the presence of New Day, Rowan, and Daniel Bryan (who also had a fun match with Big E prior to this) on commentary. I miss hearing Daniel Bryan rant about almost anything, so that alone made the main event great. Also, The Compactor is slowly becoming my favorite tag team finisher. It brings me unexplainable joy.

Just when we thought we were getting a new makeshift tag team, Kevin Owens had to end it in an instant. While his actions were still on brand with his type of villainy, I felt like they're setting up Owens for another babyface run. Again, so random to focus on him out of nowhere, but that’s what makes it fresh. I do think they should at least make it a slow burn. Have him be the everyman’s heel who targets other heels. Although now that I think about it, that pretty much describes an anti-hero, which is basically a babyface in disguise. Damnit.


We also had a good week of promos from Aleister Black, R-Truth, Bayley, and Nikki Cross. Even Shelton Benjamin and his wobbly eyeballs received airtime this week. 

But perhaps the show stealer came from Kofi Kingston and Samoa Joe’s first face-off. It had the usual ingredients of a Samoa Joe promo, although he dialed down on the creeping on the family business. And the supposed shocker of them all: Kofi Kingston flipping the bird on Samoa Joe. Now that’s how you attract a demographic, I guess. But yes, I’m all for it. Both men walked out looking like a million bucks and that’s all that matters to me, really.

The Wild Card RunDown

The Club is back from the nth time. I'm pretty sure The Club already reunited before this, but back then, Finn Bálor was the one leading the charge. He barely did anything with The Club though, and after a few months, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson went back to obscurity. So we're doing this again, huh? They even copied the way The Club first formed, this time with Ricochet at the receiving end of a beatdown. Did we really need to see AJ Styles become an ineffective heel again? Man, time sure flies fast, especially in the WWE.


But hey, don't consider me a hater or something. Of course, I'm a fan of AJ Styles finding his edge once again. I guess my one request is please, for the love of the Phenomenal Forearm, do it right this time! Here's hoping that they'll give Gallows and Anderson convincing and dominant victories. Hell, give them the RAW Tag Team Championships. The Club can even start a feud with The New Day (if Xavier Woods and Big E end up winning the SmackDown Tag Team Championships) in a winner-take-all type of rivalry. Go crazy, just do it right.

SMACKDOWN RUNDOWN: Apparently, Eric Bischoff wasn't in charge of this week's episode but somehow, it still felt different. It captured the essence of the old SmackDown Live where anyone can be the focus of the show, regardless of division or storyline. It's the first good episode in months but I'm not putting my hopes up. Let's see how the former head of WCW will take the show from here. For now, let me give this one an honest grade because it certainly deserves a solid B+.

The RunDown CutDown


  • I guess I’m in the minority here, but I enjoy the Aleister Black promos and I can’t wait to see who knocked on his goddamn door so we can see him kick some ass already. As long as they maintain this eloquent side of him, I think Black can still maintain a mysterious character.
  • Also, Nikki Cross hosting A Moment of Bliss has been the most wholesome, adorable thing in WWE this week.
  • Will Eric Bischoff bring his wacky stipulation matches to SmackDown Live? I’d love to see a modern-day San Francisco 49ers match, just for the lulz.
  • We were promised an R-Truth and Drake Maverick segment and we didn’t get it. That’s why this week’s episode didn’t get an A.

*****

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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