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SmackDown RunDown (10/25/19): Slide 1 Out of 345 Slides


Full disclosure: I’m writing this review right after watching a riveting episode of NXT. I don’t know, I guess I just miss watching a wrestling show for the sake of just watching. And I had a great time. It’s basically what I want SmackDown to be: a diverse women’s division, tag teams that are not New Day or The Usos (and Breezango’s there, that’s all I need), and a main event scene involving actual pro wrestlers. I guess I should start watching NXT regularly again.

That’s not saying that this week’s episode of SmackDown was bad. It was actually a good one. Not as good as Finn Balor bringing back The Prince, but good nonetheless. I will even backtrack on my sprak last week and say that having Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair (and Jimmy Hart for some reason) helped a lot in hyping up guys like Ali, King Corbin, and Shorty G. And the Brock Lesnar brawl was pretty fun as well. Not for Dominick Mysterio, of course, but fun nonetheless.



But enough about them. This is my column, after all. I can focus on whatever I want. And this week, my attention will obviously go to Daniel Bryan’s #Indecision2019, the only storyline not related to SaudiMania. And it’s a doozy of a storyline, too. 

Should the Yes! Movement return or should D-Bry move forward and join the Internet Darlings? The answer should be easy, but Sami Zayn and Shinsuke Nakamura did raise some compelling arguments.

And this is what makes this storyline interesting. Wrestling logic dictates that the good guy will always pander to the people, right? But Bryan’s heel turn last year centered around the people not caring for the environment and being wasteful. That’s what made him a Thanos-like villain in the first place. Fast forward to this week and Bryan’s situation has changed, but the people didn’t really change that much. We still don’t give a damn about the environment.



So as Sami Zayn eloquently put it, should Bryan return to the past and side with the people—the same people he called out on being wasteful—or should he continue evolving like Chris Jericho and side with formidable Superstars that share his real-life ideals? Bryan’s response was great, too. Instead of going the cookie-cutter babyface route and punching them in the face, he walked away from them, clearly conflicted. It’s so intriguing and I love it. 

They better not screw this up the way they screwed up the whole How to Get Away with Murdering Roman Reigns storyline. This one has so much potential. It could lead to the return of the mega-over Yes! Movement, or it could lead to the formation of a new badass faction. I also appreciate how they’re giving Daniel Bryan something to work with instead of writing him off as punishment for not joining the others at SaudiMania. That’s why you’re the GOAT, D-Bry.



Let’s also talk about the women’s division and how Nikki Cross will eventually be fed to Bayley at the next PPV. I appreciate how they’re giving Cross a big push, but I wish they gave it to her when she was still an exciting prospect. Her unhinged and creepy version back in NXT was so great. Now, she’s reduced to a boring former shell of her old self. She’s basically the anti-Bayley and of course that will lead to her eventual downfall. They are all Bayley’s bitches, after all.

If there’s one thing they’re doing right, it’s rebuilding Lacey Evans. Her squash match/segment this week was so good, mainly because it didn’t last long and she got to clobber someone in the face. More segments like this and we’ll eventually see Lacey Evans as a worthy contender for a title. I hope they build the rest of the women’s division the way they’re giving Evans attention, because other than Bayley and Sasha Banks, the roster needs all the hyping they can get.

SMACKDOWN RUNDOWN: Compared to last week, this week’s episode was a fun watch. From start to finish, the fun vibe didn’t fade, which is probably the most positive thing I could ask for a show like SmackDown. I can’t help but compare and say that NXT is a million miles better, but not for a lack of trying from the Blue Brand. Now that this one’s over with, I’ll go watch this week’s episode of Dynamite and learn what the fuss is all about.

Show Grade: B

RunDown CutDown


  • The Firefly Fun House segment didn’t fail to deliver yet another creepy episode, but it kinda felt weird that it didn’t relate to his storyline with Seth Rollins. It also felt rushed. He didn’t even get to say “Let me in.” It’s not a Firefly Fun House episode without Bray Wyatt’s usual request to let him in. I will let him in all the freaking time. 
  • From losing the WWE Championship to losing to Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler in a quick match, they’re really doing Kofi Kingston dirty. At least they’re acknowledging the fact that Kofi is showing signs of frustration. That’s the least they could do. 
  • I’m pretty sure Ric Flair isn’t allowed to say where Crown Jewel is taking place. You gotta love senile Ric Flair. He’s even better than the still-in-his-prime Ric Flair.
  • I unironically kinda want to see the other 344 slides Drew Gulak has.
  • Shorty G looks like if Kurt Angle, Dr. of Thuganomics John Cena, and fruity pebble John Cena somehow had a threesome and somehow gave birth to a new wrestler. I’m still on the fence. 


Photos from WWE.com

*****

Ricky Publico (@NotDMagician) is Smark Henry's resident SmackDown reviewer... for better or worse. A known lover of wrestling tournaments, he's a sucker for well-executed promos and fast-paced matches. 

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