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    Thursday, September 14, 2017

    SmackDown RunDown Live (9/12/17): Not Everything Stays in Vegas

    Am I a star now? It’s your boy #NitPickRick and this week, we’re live in Sin City, baybay! And you know what they say, whatever happens at Sin City never sleeps. Sorry, been binging some Steven Universe before writing this piece. Anyway, let’s get started. We’ve got Vinny Mac himself, for crying out loud!

    Kevin Owens thankfully didn’t sue, instead, he dismantled the Boss

    This week’s main segment of the night was a good one just because it didn’t turn into a bitch-ass lawsuit angle (that one’s for you, Roman). It turned great when Vince McMahon tried to overcome his old age and channel his classic McMahon swagger to intimidate Kevin Owens. It got even better when Owens twisted Vince’s words and start beating up the CEO of WWE.

    How Owens busted Vince wide open in the forehead with one swift headbutt is beyond me. The crowd didn’t lie when they told Vince he’s still got it, because he definitely has, signs of aging be damned. Stephanie McMahon even came out to confront Owens to heighten the tension. I’m surprised Triple H didn’t come out and attack Owens while screaming, “I gave you a world title, man! What the f**k is wrong with you?” That would’ve made this a truly epic main event and give a forgotten storyline the closure it deserves.

    Anyway, that was one hell of a segment, don’t you think? I didn't even consider the fact that they’ll use this storyline to hype up the next PPV which will happen in…four weeks? Geez, what are we hyping up here, WrestleMania? Nevertheless, this segment between the smug boss and the embarrassed employee did set up the Hell in a Cell main event nicely. It’s another trip to the cell for Shane McMahon as he now looks to avenge the beating his father took from Kevin Owens. What a wonderful turn of events this has been. And to think the top prize of the Blue Brand won’t be contested inside the cell! The Kevin Owens vs. McMahons storyline is the one noteworthy thing SmackDown Live has going on right now, and they better not screw this up the way they made the WWE Championship a dud of a title.

    Because seriously, is anyone really excited with the current WWE title picture? I’m sure as hell not.

    Some Blue Brand Vibes and Blues—Live!

    Blue: Speaking of duds, what the hell happened to that Jinder Mahal promo? I appreciate that they’re trying to mix things up by adding awful, awful comedy to his promos but was that really the right way to go about it? Was this promo produced by kids? Wait, I guess WWE is for the kids, so yeah, that kinda makes sense, but still. Don’t you want your WWE Champion to be treated seriously by the adults who supervise the kids you’re targeting anyway? And to think they just ended it there without even giving Shinsuke Nakamura a chance for rebuttal. I understand that he’s a heel and we’re supposed to boo him, but I for one would want to boo someone because he’s good at heeling it up, not because he’s stupidly presented to my face. But I guess times have changed. Am I out of touch? Am I Jim Cornette now?

    Vibe: Let’s just move on to better things, starting with the Sin City Street Fight. It’s probably a dull Street Fight if you ask me (they weren’t even in street fight jeans), but it was a great match nonetheless. I was actually expecting the New Day to have the upper hand because they’re three people after all, but Xavier Woods not playing any part in their victory was a nice touch. I guess that makes them full-blooded babyfaces without any traces of trickery in their past, and having them regain the titles was probably the right call for now. Now all they have to do is close this rivalry for good with a do-or-die-insert-stipulation-here encounter at Hell in a Cell, a la Network vs. YOLO Twins. That’s right, I keep up with my PWR peeps.

    Vibe: The other title matches of the night weren’t that great, but they were good for what they were. The AJ Styles vs. Tye Dillinger match was disappointingly short. I was expecting a great encounter between the two, but no, they somehow had to involve Baron Corbin. His interference during the match didn’t even matter. Why not have him attack both men later after the match and let Styles and Tye produce an MOTY candidate? Weren’t you trying to bury this guy a few weeks ago? Meanwhile, the Natalya vs. Naomi bout also received limited time to develop an actual title match. I really feel like they shouldn’t have let that stupid Maharaja promo drag on for minutes just to leave room for these two title matches to breathe. I do have to applaud how they’re building up Natalya as a strong champion by letting her gain submission wins. She doesn’t feel like a transitional champion to me.

    Blue: For some reason, the makeshift team of Chad Gable and Shelton Benjamin isn’t really clicking with me. Is it because Shelton’s not as exciting as he was back in his previous WWE run? Maybe they just need a better entrance music, or a better storyline, perhaps? Or maybe it’s because I really hate seeing Gable being saddled back in a tag team when his potential as a solo act is yet to be realized? I’m not really sure. Anyway, I smell a Zack Ryder heel turn. Should be a good idea, I guess, as long as they handle his character and promos properly. He is a fan favorite, after all.

    Vibe: Also, Dolph Ziggler came out as Bayley. Like I said last week, I’m seeing a man melt in front of my eyes and I’m leaning into it. Guessing by his pattern, he’s going to do something new next week. He can maybe wrestle someone and imitate his opponent’s moves and taunts. That’s good, I guess.

    SMACKDOWN RUNDOWN: When was the last time a SmackDown Live main event got your heart racing with tension? I can’t really remember, that’s why this week’s episode will be a memorable one. Say what you will about Vince McMahon, but he sure knows how to make things interesting. And hey, he can still take bumps like he’s 60! Kevin Owens just became SmackDown Live’s public enemy number one and I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen next week. The rest of the show had highs and lows, but I don’t really mind. I’d still give this episode an A. It just feels wrong if I didn’t, you know?

    Did you enjoy this week’s SmackDown Live? Are you still bothered about the lack of Fashion Files as I am? List down all the things we can buy with our now affordable human rights 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 (9/12/17): Not Everything Stays in Vegas Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Ricky Jay Publico
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