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    Thursday, May 4, 2017

    SmackDown RunDown Live (5/2/17): Help Him Out, Maaaaaan

    SmackDown makes 'em, RAW takes 'em! It's amazing how time flies. One moment, you're enjoying an awesome four-day weekend and the next, you're back at your boring office day job reading random columns like SmackDown RunDown Live online. But hey, now that you're here, let's just get down to it, you know?

    Kevin Owens finally sent Chris Jericho out of WWE TV

    Let's face it. Chris Jericho winning the U.S. Championship at Payback was a hail-mary attempt by Creative to be unpredictable. I guess they sensed how lackluster the show was going to be so they decided to let Jericho win so we smarks would feel bad about being know-it-alls. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed Jericho making someone tap using the Walls in 2017. I just can't help myself from shifting to #NitPickRick (which is now my Twitter handle, plug, plug, plug) mode because there was a better way to execute Jericho's exit from WWE canon. More on that in a minute.

    This week, we got a taste of what it would look like if Jericho was drafted to SmackDown Live during last year's Draft and what can I say, this episode almost became the Show of Jericho. I would really love for the List of Jericho to be a thing on SmackDown Live. Can you imagine how stupidly good it would be to have someone feud with him just because he placed the guy on the List? Besides, the Blue Brand could use some veteran star power on their seemingly stacked roster. I'm just rambling here, you guys. Someone stop me from kissing Jericho's ass.

    Okay, back to the main event. What can I say, the way they wrote off Y2J was well done. It all made sense. Kevin Owens gained back his title and his heel heat in the process and well, Jericho is finally gone for the meantime. I just thought the match itself was such a drag to watch, mainly because we could see what was going to happen from a mile away. There was literally no room for a twist this time and we could've had a different main event this week if only they tweaked their Payback encounter.

    Jericho would have still won the match. But wouldn't it be better for Owens to viciously attack Jericho after the match, forcing Y2J to vacate the title? Then on the next SmackDown Live, they can have a battle royal or a fatal four-way that will end up with Owens and AJ Styles squaring off, adding more fuel to their rivalry. This way, Creative can have their twist for Payback, Jericho is brutally written off, Owens can still have his heat, we get an awesome main event for this week's episode, and we properly establish the Owens-Styles storyline for Backlash. Everybody wins.

    I really wish Chris Jericho didn't have to leave, though.

    Some Blue Brand Vibes and Blues—Live!

    Vibe: Say what you will about the #DontHinderJinder movement, but you've got to commend Creative for their consistent presentation of Jinder Mahal as a legitimate contender for the WWE Championship. This week, he did a great job besting Sami Zayn in a match via the Singh Brothers’ shenanigans. I don't know about you guys, but I think the Maharaja experiment isn't a spiritual successor of R-Truth's 2011 push. This guy's getting a real push to the top and I'm all for it. Off topic, is Baron Corbin's suspension legit? It doesn't seem part of a storyline of some sort. Yikes.

    Vibe: I gave the women's tag match a Vibe because technically speaking, the match was well executed and they were able to tell a good story out of the whole Welcoming Committee gimmick, but I’m still not feeling it, you guys. Don’t worry, this is just a personal take. I also liked how they teased a Becky Lynch heel turn for a second. If I were Lana right now, I’d be afraid to step into SmackDown Live and meet the Welcoming Committee because I assume that’s how they will operate from now on. And why is the damn title still not glowing? Am I the only one bothered by this?

    Blue: Tye Dillinger disposed of the Drama King pretty quickly with a modified version of the Tye Breaker. This may be just me, but I think Tye’s just out there to try out new ways to knee someone in the face or head. He needs to be put in a program with someone real quick. Hey, why not make this Drama King thing into a mini-rivalry, you know? Aiden English was hilarious this week. Give this overacting guy some more stuff to do.

    Vibe: Fashion Files! Yes! Breezango didn’t disappoint me with this funny little skit. Too bad it’s short though, but I guess that’s part of its charm so I won’t bitch about it any longer. The jokes landed well and both men’s promo skills are on point, especially Fandango, who’s still channeling his Southpaw persona a little bit. This is by far my favorite segment of the night. Too bad this was the only spot the entire tag team division got. I feel bad for the Usos. They’re the champs, for crying out loud. I think there’s a curse on the Piso Tag Team Championships. Ever noticed how every team who has held the titles doesn’t get enough airtime as champs?

    Vibe: Dolph Ziggler took care of a fat Sin Cara this week and it was a pretty straightforward match. Ziggler needed to be strong for good ol’ Nak so I guess he’ll be getting a string of wins in the coming weeks before he gets fed to the artist who has a name that’s at the tip of my tongue. By the way, is the guy under the Sin Cara costume still Hunico? That might explain that weird ring gear. Either that or Hunico just got too fat for the Cruiserweight division.

    SMACKDOWN RUNDOWN: Overall, this week's episode was jam-packed with good matches and a brutal main event to boot. Despite my nitpicking, I still enjoyed how tight the show was. There's really nothing to complain about other than the absence of the tag champs and the little to no exposure of the entire tag team division. Every storyline is just clicking right now as we build up the card for Backlash, no angle to complain about for the meantime. For now, the A-streak continues with another stellar effort from the Blue Brand.

    Did you enjoy this week's SmackDown Live? Were you once penalized for Jimmy-walking? Help me find the seven dragon balls at the comments below.

    Ricky Jay Publico (@NitPickRick) 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 (5/2/17): Help Him Out, Maaaaaan Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Ricky Jay Publico
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