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    Thursday, January 12, 2017

    SmackDown RunDown Live (1/10/17): LOL Cena Wins

    Hi, name’s Ricky, and I’m officially entering the Royal Rumble match! What, isn’t that how it works? No? Fine. Let me do it again. Hi, name’s Ricky, and I’m officially kicking off this week’s edition of SmackDown RunDown Live. Pretty disappointing night, if you ask me. Let’s get down to it.

    John Cena soundly defeated Baron Corbin and shocked no one

    Whatever momentum Baron Corbin is having, consider it derailed. The Blue Brand had a chance to establish Corbin as the main event player he’s destined to be, instead they just let the part-timer get over. I don’t get why Cena has to beat Corbin so cleanly. Are we back in the Super Cena era where the guy just wins even after a long hiatus? They spent months building Corbin as a force to be reckoned with, complete with vignettes and all. You can’t give the guy some major win over the former top star of the company?

    Here’s how I would book it. Baron Corbin dominates the match, then Cena fights back, Styles distract him somehow, Corbin then hits the End of Days looking like a major badass. Corbin gets a major win, Styles makes his presence known, and Cena doubts himself. That’s the point of the storyline, right? Cena wants to prove he’s not a has-been, yet he just lost to a New Era guy. That’s a compelling story right there. If they really want Cena to win the WWE Championship at the Royal Rumble, at least give us a good story to justify it.

    Dolph Ziggler’s delicious descent to madness and frustration

    I said it once, and I’ll say it again: an angry Dolph Ziggler is a fun Dolph Ziggler. I enjoyed the post-match chairshot beatdown more than the match itself. Hell, even the crowd’s cheering for Ziggler, and he’s supposed to be the bad guy. Ziggler looked incredibly strong in destroying Kalisto and Apollo Crews and although it looked like he’s going to turn heel, at this point, I don’t really care. As long as they keep him an aggressive madman, I’m sold.

    Then Talking Smack happened. They gave Ziggler a mic and he babbled on and on about his frustrations and making it big and stuff. Do we really need an explanation? I don’t, because I already got the message. Ziggler’s frustrated. He’s not gonna shake his ass anymore when he enters the ring. He’s out to destroy anyone. He’s so pissed he doesn’t even want to answer questions from the terrible interview lady. All of a sudden, he comes to Talking Smack and talks about what he did like it was nothing. That didn’t sit well with me at all.

    Some Blue Brand Vibes and Blues—Live!

    Vibe: The American Alpha successfully defended the SmackDown Tag Team Championships against the Wyatt Family in a very physical encounter. It was a fun match overall. Chad Gable could’ve just delivered bridging German suplexes to everyone and I would’ve been fine with it. They still want to push the dysfunctional Wyatts 2.0 storyline and as much as I hate the angle, there’s nothing I can do about it. So I’ll just surrender, see how the angle pans out, and hope that they won’t piss on the Wyatt Family’s already damaged legacy.

    Vibe: Dean Ambrose opened the show with the first Ambrose Asylum of the year and it was just fine. You can sense that Creative is being careful with how they treat Ambrose’s character now that he’s champion again, and this week, he was okay. He returned the Miz participation award from months ago and that got a few laughs. It was fine, nothing spesh, just something to make Ambrose look like a credible champ. I was hoping for another scathing Miz promo, but I guess sometimes the heel has to look foolish.

    Vibe: This week had some positive showing as well from the women’s division. Nikki Bella and Natalya had a great segment this week as they destroy each other prior to their match. The ensuing brawl they had managed to grab my attention and the Sharpshooter in the end was a nice touch. Meanwhile, Becky Lynch and Alexa Bliss didn’t have an in-ring segment, but they still got enough airtime to advance their storyline just a little bit. I guess we can’t really expect their rivalry to escalate further. They just hate each other and that’s about it. Creative would be stupid not to book their steel cage match in the main event next week. We still don’t know who La Luchadora is. Damn it.

    Blue: Carmella, on the other hand, had a bad night. It’s not entirely her fault, it’s just that the local competitor they got to put her over was terrible. Not dissing on her old school style, but CJ Lunde forgot how to sell and project facial expressions. It looked like Carmella was wrestling a dummy out there. And take this, if you need someone like James Ellsworth to distract your opponent twice and still take that much time defeating your green-as-grass opponent, it doesn’t really say much about you as a Superstar.

    Blue: Talking Smack was not entirely terrible as they gave Mojo Rawley some airtime to announce he’s going solo. I know I’ve said some positive things about the guy, but I think he’ll just get lost in the shuffle once he goes solo. What’s there for him, really? The tag team division was a good vehicle for him to improve his craft. I don’t think he’s ready to go out on his own just yet. Or who knows, maybe this will launch him to midcard success? Who knows.

    SMACKDOWN RUNDOWN: I’m not saying this week’s show was a bad one, I just think it could’ve been so much better. Creative had so many opportunities to make the show good and build characters in just one swoop. Corbin should’ve won, Ziggler shouldn’t have explained his actions, and the Wyatts should’ve just stopped with this implosion nonsense. Still, the show had great matches and segments fell right in place. This week’s episode don’t really deserve a grade higher than B right now, that’s for sure.

    Did you enjoy this week’s SmackDown Live? How the hell did Becky Lynch steal Eva Marie’s hair? Hit me with the End of Days at the comments below.


    Ricky Jay Publico (@HarambeMustLive) is a wrestling fan who enjoys watching high flyers and brawlers battle it out in the ring. A known Botchamania binge-watcher, he claims to have memorized the chronological order of Royal Rumble winners, but fails to remember who won in 2004. He writes stories about life and nonsense.
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    Item Reviewed: SmackDown RunDown Live (1/10/17): LOL Cena Wins Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Ricky Jay Publico
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