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SmackDown RunDown (1/17/20): The Year of No Nasties


Let it be known that I’m officially giving up on Bayley’s new edgy character. 

I don’t care about it anymore and clearly, Creative doesn’t either. I’d-like-to-speak-to-your-manager Bayley peaked the moment she debuted her new attitude. She captured the SmackDown Women’s Championship with it, and that’s probably the last time she’ll ever look credible as a champion. Now, she’s just Generic Chicken Shit Heel #234234 and I hope Lacey Evans beats her already.

I am now on the Lacey Evans bandwagon as SmackDown’s top babyface. The way they converted Evans from a lackluster heel to a very convincing good gal deserves all the praise in the world. Focusing on her background as a marine and a mother did wonders for her babyface run—add that to the fact that she already has a killer finisher. They even spent weeks building her up as a legitimate threat to Bayley’s weak regime, sealing the deal for the Sassy Southern Belle.

I’ll even go as far as predicting that WWE is building Lacey Evans up to become the female John Cena, but a bit better. Remember when they made us believe that Cena was a Marine? He played a Marine in the movie, but that was enough to endear him to American fans, which then led to his meteoric rise in WWE. Imagine if Cena had a more flexible moveset and a jaw-dropping finisher. Fans would've probably accepted his residency at the top for years. 

That's where Lacey Evans is right now. WWE is ticking all the right boxes in making a proper babyface for SmackDownSure, Charlotte Flair is the unofficial female Cena right now, but I'm betting that 2020 will be the year of no nasties. Side note: I find it interesting that the Queen herself is stuck in some sort of limbo for the first time in years, while Evans is the one gathering all the momentum in the world. It’s an interesting reversal of fortunes if you ask me. 



Why is Kane here? That was my main takeaway from this week’s opening segment. He cut a promo about the Royal Rumble Match and how he loved eliminating all those people, but he didn’t even specify if he’ll compete this year. And why is he sweating too much? It looked like he was bleeding through the mouth before I realized it was just his red eye makeup being washed away by his goddamn sweat. I love Kane, but why is he here?

I’m not really sure why I’m fixated by this. Again, I love Kane as much as the next guy, but I really hope he won’t take a spot from anyone in this year’s Rumble. He’s never gonna win it at this point and he’ll only prevent other rising stars from joining the fray. That aside, Kane did lure out The Fiend to set up an ambush courtesy of Daniel Bryan. It was a good segment and all, but they didn’t even end it with a classic Bryan/Kane hug. Again, why is Kane here?!



So let’s just forget about Kane for now and focus our eyes on the real main event this week: John Morrison making his WWE in-ring return to. And for those of you who didn’t follow JoMo’s post-WWE career, I’m glad to report that he’s still the flashy son of a gun you all know and love. As for the likes of me, there’s really no shock here. If anything, it’s a confirmation that John Morrison is ready to pick up where he left off eight years ago. 

After JoMo’s win over Big E, he’s now a step closer to capturing his third tag team title with The Miz. I can’t wait for them to escalate this program into a full-blown rivalry with The New Day. I’m sure they’re going to tear the house down when they finally meet in the ring, but I’m more excited to see them throw verbal jabs at each other. I’m still waiting for my Dirt Sheet revival like it’s 2008 all over again. Please make it happen, I’m so easy to please.



And I can’t help but dedicate a paragraph to the Otis/Mandy Rose/Sonya Deville portion of the show. Adding some sort of jealousy angle to the mix made the storyline fresh and the fact that Sonya lost because of Otis and Mandy stealing the show was a clever twist. Now the storyline is as intriguing as ever coupled with a lot of possibilities Creative can play with. Plus, Alexa Bliss picked up a win this week! That’s always a welcome plus.  

SMACKDOWN RUNDOWN: Despite a decent showing this week, I can’t help but notice how the first three episodes of SmackDown for 2020 were all structured the same way. They start strong with great promos until they reach the main event centered around Roman Reigns and King Corbin. It’s time to freshen up the formula by bringing new faces into the mix. You know, something SmackDown used to be good at. But whatever, I’m just glad another week is over. Can’t wait to see Roman Reigns beat the odds yet again next week. /s

Show Grade: C+

RunDown CutDown

  • Can Adam Pearce be the SmackDown GM already? It’s really irritating to watch wrestlers themselves book their own goddamn matches. I need some structure in my wrestling, dammit! 
  • While the main event was still the formulaic Roman Reigns show, it did help Robert Roode get in a main event spot. That’s the only positive thing about it, really.
  • Conspiracy theory: Elias wasn’t really injured last year—he just spent his “injury” break spending millions of dollars on expensive guitar and songwriting lessons. And after all that, he can’t even make his songs rhyme. Money well-spent, I guess.    
  • Hey, remember when Shinsuke Nakamura won the 2018 Royal Rumble Match? This reminder was brought to you by the “Shinsuke Nakamura won a Rumble Match” gang.
  • Starship Pain: 30% of the time, it connects every time. 
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 switch back to Android or not.

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