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    Thursday, February 23, 2017

    SmackDown RunDown Live (2/21/17): One Seed at a Time

    Day one… ish! We’re on week two of the Wyatt regime and things can’t get any better. Let me just cut to the chase for a bit: this is easily another solid offering from the Blue Brand. From the very first segment up to the chaotic main event, this week’s episode was such a ride. Let’s get down to it.

    A winner-less main event set up many storylines in motion—and it’s awesome

    Storytelling is where SmackDown Live really excels. This is why the Blue Brand keeps on kicking Monday nights in the butt despite their own shortcomings. This week’s main event is a prime example of how Creative crammed multiple storylines into one fun match. The pre-match promos were a nice touch, too. It felt like I was watching a star-studded version of NXT. Once the bell rung, all hell broke loose and surprisingly, no one looked like a jabroni through the entirety of the match.

    Dolph Ziggler and Apollo Crews will probably butt heads in the future while Dean Ambrose continues to come after Baron Corbin. However, John Cena and The Miz stole the show as they eliminated each other in dramatic fashion. It seems like their mixed tag match at WrestleMania is officially green-lit and I’m hyped for the buildup in the coming weeks. All these rivalries blended nicely into the match, like puzzle pieces in an action-packed puzzle. When the dust settled, only two men remained: the recently over Luke Harper and the Phenomenal AJ Styles.

    I didn’t even mind the finish. Sure, they pretty much botched the landing (no pun intended), but I’m on such a high with excitement I decided to go along with the narrative. Besides, did you really expect a winner here? I was expecting Bray Wyatt and Randy Orton to materialize in the ring and eliminate both Harper and Styles at the same time. Wow, that may have actually been a better way to end this. Nevertheless, this gives Harper a major push for his solo career, while Styles continues to be frustrated with the management that will eventually lead to Styles vs Shane-O, which is NOT something I want.

    Oh, and to top it all off, Bray Wyatt appeared on the Titantron with a menacing laugh while Randy Orton was secretly lusting over the WWE Championship behind the champ. I didn’t know Creative was a huge fan of foreshadowing.

    Alexa Bliss became a two-time champ after Naomi relinquished the title

    We were greeted this week with an emotional segment as Naomi surrendered the SmackDown Women’s Championship to Daniel Bryan, of all people. I absolutely feel bad for Naomi the way I felt bad for Finn Balor last year. I was just beginning to feel the glow, damnit! Hopefully, she can make it to WrestleMania  since her injury isn’t that severe, as far as I can tell. You can tell how frustrated Naomi was and you know what, we should all feel frustrated. I wish Naomi a speedy recovery.

    After the tearjerker segment, it’s only natural to have Alexa Bliss destroy the moment by demanding D-Bry to return her title. I don’t know if the crowd was just hyped or if Alexa really did connect with the WWE Universe. Either way, the reaction for her was great and she did a great job controlling the fans. She managed to gather heat without downplaying Naomi’s injury too much. She could’ve gotten more heat if D-Bry was forced to hand her the title because it totally makes sense.

    The way Alexa won her second title didn’t even feel like it was worth a cent. It was too sudden and the palm to the throat didn’t look like it could hurt someone. Here’s how I would book it, #NitPickRick style. D-Bry will reluctantly hand the belt back to Alexa much to the chagrin of the crowd. Then D-Bry will book her in a championship match against Becky, giving us the same match where Alexa wins via believable and convincing shenanigans. See, isn’t that a much better scenario?

    Some Blue Brand Vibes and Blues—Live!

    Vibe: Nikki Bella and Natalya proved that any rivalry will look cool in a Falls Count Anywhere match. Their matchup this week was just brutal. Nikki took way too many bumps than she should’ve, Natalya went through a freaking mirror, and they smoothly transitioned Maryse into the mix. I never liked their program, but even I have to say this was a fantastic way to end the rivalry. Now all we have to do is find another babyface for the unbalanced female roster and the division will officially be on fire.

    Vibe: American Alpha defeated Breezango in an easy-peazy-lemon-squeezy fashion, but the Usos stole the show as they tried to redeem themselves from their weird promo last week. Their mic work was on point this week. It sounded like The Rock, The New Day, Chris Rock, and Kevin Hart were rolled into one then split into two. Jey had the energy of a firecracker while Jimmy was the laid back smooth-talker and I’m already loving it. They also appeared on this week’s Talking Smack and they were hilarious. The Usos definitely won tag team of the week.

    SMACKDOWN RUNDOWN: SmackDown Live is coasting down the road to WrestleMania with guns ablazing! It’s hard to pick out a bad moment from this episode, and sure, the show could use a little nitpicking somewhere, but it was still a very solid show all throughout. If you like storytelling in your wrestling, SmackDown Live should be your cup of tea. We still have six weeks to go, so I hope the Blue Brand can keep the show as tight as possible. For now, I’ll hand this week’s show a massive A.

    Did you enjoy this week’s SmackDown Live? Why did Ziggler kick that poor green screen? Sing me a catchy song down at the comments.


    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 (2/21/17): One Seed at a Time Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Ricky Jay Publico
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