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    Saturday, February 20, 2016

    SmackDown RunDown (2/18/16): The Chaotic and Beastly Road to Fastlane

    Unleash the beast! Welcome to another edition of SmackDown RunDown! My name’s Ricky and I’m here again to offer my two cents on this week’s edition of our favorite Thursday night B-show. We got a dry run for the triple threat main event on Sunday, and a huge third encounter between two great wrestlers were set. Let’s get down to it.

    A Monstrous Visit from the Suplex City Mayor

    Brock Lesnar changed the address of SmackDown to Suplex City as he made his presence felt in his return to the Blue Brand he once ruled over. This says a lot since he didn’t appear on the flagship show last Monday. It was also an amazing feat to witness SmackDown execute a go-home show that was better than RAW. Pat yourself on the back, Road Dogg.

    Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose teamed up this week to face the Dudleyz in this week’s main event. No one’s really expecting anything from this one since everyone knows Lesnar will ruin the match but I still appreciate the efforts of these four men, especially the return of the Bully Ray persona. This table-free gimmick of the Dudleyz are off to a good start since they aligned themselves with their former boss Paul Heyman on RAW. Hopefully, this will elevate their stock a little higher in the tag team division.

    As Lawler would say, "Don't turn around, you're not gonna like the view."
    As expected, Lesnar made his return and wasted no time to dominate his Fastlane opponents. Both men fought back a little before they start fighting themselves, with Ambrose attempting another Dirty Deeds to Reigns but ended up receiving a Samoan Drop for his troubles. Lesnar placed the period to his statement of dominance by planting Reigns with a vicious F5. I wonder how the Wyatts will take this monster out this Sunday.

    Lesnar was about to leave when Triple H’s music interrupted him. Triple H came out and stared the beast down to close the show. Now that’s how you hype up the crowd for Fastlane. At this point, I’m not sure who’s going to win on Sunday. Lesnar makes the least sense and we all know the Wyatts will handle him in Wrestlemania Star. Reigns is the obvious pick but since the guy lost some steam, and after watching Adam Blampied’s fantastic booking prowess, I’m convinced that there is a chance Ambrose will win this one since he dropped the IC belt last Monday. Fastlane just got a little bit more exciting.

    All aboard! Suplex City!
     Express Thoughts:

    • It’s official: AJ Styles vs Chris Jericho 3 will happen at Fastlane. Chris Jericho gave his answer to Styles after defeating The Miz in a solid match. This rivalry has been giving a little spotlight to The Miz and he’s just running with it. We are reminded that the Miz can go toe-to-toe with the greats. Anyway, Styles did a little convincing to Jericho before Y2J reluctantly accepted. Jericho initially declining the challenge has placed the role of heel to himself in this classic rivalry. Now that the lines have been drawn, I’m excited to see how Creative will extend this feud to Wrestlemania Star

    • The now seemingly healthy League of Nations sans Barrett defeated Dolph Ziggler and the Luchas to open the show. It’s nice to see the League running up and about. Mauro Ranallo may be absent this week, but we got Kevin Owens to provide his hateful banter with the SmackDown commentators. Owens got his mojo back when he recaptured the Intercontinental Championship last Monday. His rivalry with Dolph Ziggler now have legs to stand on thanks to his belt. It’s a good week to be Kevin Owens.

    • I don’t know why #Kalisto2016 is still keeping Sin Cara as a tag partner. They’ve been teaming up for the past few weeks when we thought Kalisto’s solo run has already taken off. Unless there’s a heel turn on the horizon, I don’t see the point of the Lucha Dragons still parading around as a tag team. Let #Kalisto2016 prosper.

    • Sasha Banks made Tamina tap and Charlotte made Natalya tap. I have nothing else to say about the Banks-Lynch alliance other than they just made a good catchphrase. Everything looks good and I’m just excited to see how they will overcome the challenge of TamiNaomi. The Charlotte-Brie feud, however, I have something to say about. After Charlotte dominated good ol’ Natalya, Brie Mode rushed in to settle her score with Baby Flair. What followed was a post-match beatdown that made me cringe. It’s like Daniel Bryan never taught her anything about wrestling. Props for Charlotte though for selling those lame kicks. Good luck to both ladies on Sunday.

    SMACKDOWN RUNDOWN: The return of Brock Lesnar plus an unexpected yet brief appearance of the WWE World Heavyweight Champion Triple H this week were the nods SmackDown received as signs of recognition to the Blue Brand’s importance. As the last show before any PPV, SmackDown should be upgraded to an A show by trusting them to handle important storylines and host meaningful segments. This week was the dry run and everyone did a good job. I’ll have to give this episode an A.

    Did you enjoy this week’s SmackDown? Did you enjoy the tour to Suplex City? Are you excited to see Becky and Sasha ‘kick some lass…like a boss’ on Fastlane? Let me know down the comments below.   

    Photos from WWE.com
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    Item Reviewed: SmackDown RunDown (2/18/16): The Chaotic and Beastly Road to Fastlane Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Ricky Jay Publico
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