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SmackDown RunDown (12/6/19): I Used to Have a Family


Finally, a family-centric storyline I can get behind. If you’re an avid reader of SmackDown RunDown (which is technically sad, but hey, thanks for your patronage), Superstars targeting other Superstars’ wives and families is one of my storyline turnoffs. Remember when DDP tried to stalk Undertaker’s first wife? Remember when Samoa Joe tried to do an NXT TakeOver on AJ Styles’ family? Hell, the Rusev/Lana/Lashley thing gets an eye-roll from me.

But somehow, Bray Wyatt trying to do the same thing to Miz’s family makes all the sense in the world. For one thing, targeting families, playing mind games, and generally acting like a goddamn creep are so on-brand with the Bray Wyatt/Fiend character. Samoa Joe, DDP, Bestiality Sex Kurt Angle, or literally anyone else couldn't pull off something like this without looking like a sleazeball. Call me biased, but Bray earned his right to be creepy and I’m all for it. 



And it’s not like Bray is targeting The Miz for no apparent reason. Miz was the one who brought family into the conversation a couple of weeks ago, which coincidentally was the word of the week. Wyatt even dropped a reference to his former family, complete with a blink-and-you’ll miss D-Bry cameo from that failed Wyatt Family infiltration storyline. It makes sense for Bray to want to be part of a new family—Miz just happens to flaunt his on a weekly basis.

Speaking of Bray Wyatt, this episode had some interesting moments that may or may not affect the character mechanics of the Bray/Fiend dichotomy. For starters, this is the first time Bray Wyatt attacked someone in his Firefly Fun House attire. Not just attack someone, he actually came out of his Fun House set and did the deed himself instead of The Fiend. Maybe Bray just forgot to bring the Fiend attire this week, but I’d like to think it was a deliberate choice.



We can then conclude that Fun House Bray and The Fiend are indeed separate beings and we should start treating them as such. I know Bray has always referred to The Fiend as a separate being—and we have an ugly-ass belt to prove it—but we have never seen them act out on their own, until now. I’m so hyped The Miz will be a major part of this angle instead of just being a bystander to D-Bry’s protagonist. Imagine the promos we’re gonna get next week. 

So does this mean Fun House Bray is the one facing The Miz at TLC? Is the Universal Championship on the line? What happened to Daniel Bryan? What did the Fiend do to D-Bry? God, this storyline is the gift that keeps on giving. 

And now, we’ve reached the part of the review where I just shrug at the other stuff that’s not the Bray/Bryan/Miz storyline. What else is there? I mean, the four-way elimination tag was pretty good. The Revival won and they’re going to feud with The New Day yet again. The classic tale of fun vs. fundamentals is good and all, but it’s not like we’ve never seen these two teams feud before. Also, shouldn’t we be pushing Heavy Machinery instead? Otis’ charm ain’t gonna last.



Lacey Evans and Sasha Banks also did their thing this week and at least the lines are a little bit clearer. Evans is now a babyface and is using her military experience as her reaction magnet. Not bad, not bad at all. Alexa Bliss also got a win over Mandy Rose, which is nice. I’ll always pop for a well-executed Twisted Bliss from a healthy Goddess. I’m happy to report that the women’s division is doing okay. Now let’s wait until they do something spectacular. 

Oh, and thank god Roman Reigns vs. Dolph Ziggler was placed in the main event. At least I know I didn’t miss anything when I stopped watching after the Lacey/Sasha/Bayley segment. Reigns got doused with dog food? Neat. 

SMACKDOWN RUNDOWN: I’m more sick of me as you are but I’ll repeat myself for the 564353th time just so we’re clear: Bray Wyatt, Daniel Bryan, and The Miz are the only reasons why you should be watching SmackDown right now. The women's division is doing okay, the tag team division’s fine, Drake Maverick’s butt got whooped, and one-third of the show was awarded once again to Roman Reigns and King Corbin. I feel like I’ve written three exactly identical reviews in the past few weeks. I hate it. Someone send help. And cookies. 

Show Grade: C

RunDown CutDown

  • What exactly should I feel about Drake Maverick’s beef with Elias? They literally could’ve started a better storyline with these two since they were both blanks up to this point. Is Maverick’s embarrassment entertaining? How exactly does Elias benefit from beating up an annoying prick? Way to convince Elias to stay in the WWE, I guess. 
  • There’s only one way to revive the excitement of SmackDown and they’re not brave enough to do it. Two words: Johnny SmackDown. 
  • I’m glad Mustafa Ali and Shorty G lost that fatal four-way. C’mon people, these two are clearly meant for singles success. Why slap Shorty G back into the tag team division when you spent months making him a star?
  • Also, I definitely didn’t get my weekly dose of Sami Zayn and Shinsuke Nakamura acting like assholes. Where are they, anyway?

Photos from WWE.com


*****

Ricky Publico (@TeetotaleRicky) 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. While he enjoys nitpicking shows, he now prefers enjoying wrestling for what it is instead of stressing himself over things he can't control. He's also deciding whether to buy another iPhone or not. 

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