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    Thursday, July 26, 2018

    SmackDown RunDown Live (7/24/18): She’s a Stunt Baby!

    Let’s set the record straight, people. Y’all can hate about WWE shilling Evolution every damn minute, but that’s the only thing you can hate about it. I won’t accept any arguments on why WWE shouldn’t host an all-women PPV because the world ran out of valid arguments a long time ago.

    While the majority of reactions I read online were positive, I still found some bone-headed comments from losers who firmly believe Evolution will be a disaster. Somehow, these idiots still think women wrestlers are botch machines who screw almost everything up. Someone tell these suckers that men botch too, and yet they still hosted a sausage fest of a PPV in Saudi Arabia. I’m pretty sure no women in today’s roster made a full ass of themselves like Titus O’Neil did in that event, so shut your piehole and just enjoy history.

    Now you might argue that the women’s division of both main brands (I think NXT’s doing fine) currently have no compelling storylines to show for it. Fair enough, but don’t you think giving the women their own PPV is the ultimate motivator for Creative to write better storylines for the ladies? And even if they fail to deliver story-wise, who the fuck cares? It’s still a show full of talented women who can wrestle ten times better than any of you losers at home. So again, shut yo piehole and enjoy history, dammit!

    Samoa Joe and AJ Styles and I Can’t Even

    AJ Styles. Samoa Joe. WWE Championship. SummerSlam. Goosebumps.

    Let me explain my mini-stroke earlier. Y’all know one of my main guys in the WWE is AJ Styles, right? I’m pretty sure I never denied that fact. My admiration for Styles roots back from his TNA days. His epic battles with the likes of Christopher Daniels, Kurt Angle, and Christian intensified my growing love for pro wrestling at the time. I just loved the guy from the get-go. But when I first discovered TNA thanks to a mislabeled bootleg DVD, Styles was nowhere near the main event at the time. The man at the top of the mountain? Samoa Joe.

    With the best iteration of the TNA World Championship IMHO resting on his shoulders, Samoa Joe instantly became one of my favorites. And while Styles and Joe fought a bunch of times for the X Division Championship, they never had a proper one-on-one matchup for TNA’s grandest prize. How can they let this opportunity slip by? This TNA World title match has been sitting in my list of dream matches for years, taking a spot somewhere at the top.

    Flash forward to 2018. AJ Styles is the WWE Champion in need of a challenger. Who did SmackDown Live GM Paige pick? Samoa Joe. Where will they fight? At the second biggest show of the year, SummerSlam. I got my dream match with bigger stakes and a bigger stage! Christmas came early.

    As you can expect, this announcement made made the wrestling nerd in me explode with happiness. My only gripe was the segment’s placement. An announcement this big should be enough to close the show. Why wasn’t this in the main event? Am I the only one who thinks this is a big deal? Because I feel like I’m the only one nerding out here. But fine, I still think it deserved a main event treatment. The James Ellsworth tease was also brilliant! Not sure if he’s actually gone, but we’ll probably see him pop up from time to time.

    Alright, I’ll Watch Miz and Mrs Already, Jeez!

    If you think the Evolution plugs were annoying, how about an advertisement taking over the entire show? That’s exactly what Mr. and Mrs. Mizanin successfully pulled off this week as they made sure to plug their new show under the guise of debuting their daughter Monroe Sky to the entire WWE Universe. What I loved about this segment was how they found the right balance of promoting a new show and advancing a storyline. And of course, the stunt baby.

    But no matter how good the segment was, it shouldn’t have taken the main event spot away from the WWE Chamipionship announcement. It can either be a good opener or a midshow segment, but not to close off the show. The punchline was Monroe Sky wasn't really there. Great. In the meantime, a literal dream match will go down at SummerSlam. Seems like a bigger deal to me. Also, am I the only one weirded out about D-Bry’s eagerness to attack Miz while the poor guy’s clearly carrying a baby?

    We’ve Been The Legend Killers All Along

    Randy Orton is one of my low-key favorite wrestlers of all time. That fact alone proves Orton’s scathing promo right—he’s not viewed by myself and by majority of fans as the top guy, despite of his illustrious career. It’s easily one of the best Orton promos in his entire career, don’t even @ me for a second. I’m a sucker for well-written promos and Orton’s realization that the fans are the true legend killers made the writer inside of me happy. I feel like there’s a lot of people inside of me at this point. Keep count for me, will ya?

    We’ve seen this man’s selfish side, sadistic side, and heroic side throughout the years and his promo served as the culmination of his evolution as a character. He was hated and he was loved, but he never felt the respect he felt he deserved. Now his brutal side finally took over, and Jeff Hardy (and possibly Shinsuke Nakamura) happened to be the most likable fella within reach. It’s a fun curveball to spice up the United States Championship scene, but I’m not sure how Nakamura will factor into this. I’ll keep my eyes peeled.

    Becky Balboa Inches Closer to the Title

    Here’s a visual from Evolution I want to see: Becky Lynch re-capturing the SmackDown Women’s Championship after a lengthy rivalry with Carmella. Not bad, right? The probability of this moment just increased after Becky’s huge win over Carmella this week. With Ellsworth supposedly gone, I’m just glad Carmella can have good matches again without someone else hogging her spotlight. Becky Lynch is once again the chasing challenger, a role that fits her like a glove.

    Hopefully, this rivalry will be beneficial for Carmella’s heel work as well. Now that she’s supposedly alone, she’ll have to be more creative in making Becky’s life a living hell. Since Becky Lynch’s plucky babyface persona is the ultimate foil for any heel acts, I am confident both women can make this rivalry work. I don’t mind them prolonging this storyline until Evolution. If they want to add more women to the mix, that’s fine by me. But this should only end with Becky Lynch raising the SmackDown Women’s Championship over her head.

    SMACKDOWN RUNDOWN: Despite looking like an elaborate ad for Miz and Mrs, this week's episode of SmackDown Live still delivered the goods. It had the right amount of fun matches and enjoyable segments, complete with a major announcement that isn’t as groundbreaking as an all-women PPV but still significant enough to be excited about. I just wish they did a better job arranging the segments right but whatever, I still loved the show. Here’s a bouncing baby B+ for your efforts. Catch!

    Some Blue Brand Thoughts That Didn’t Make It

    • I loved everything about the Rusev vs. Andrade “Cien” Almas match. Probably my favorite shot was Rusev’s unfazed close up after receiving a huge chop from Almas. If the sentence “You done fucked up now, sucka!” had a face, that would be it. I’m not sure how Creative will handle the rift within the Rusev Day family, but Rusev not choosing to side with either one of them seems interesting. And hey, El Idolo is on a roll! That’s more like it. 
    • As much as I enjoyed SAnitY eating up another loss after a fun tag match, the real show will happen next week as The Usos goes one-on-one with The Bar in a Survivor Series rematch. Their Champions vs. Champions match last year was one of the best matches from that show and no doubt they’ll make sparks fly once again. Welcome back, Sheamus and Cesaro! Where you been?
    • Shame on you, Asuka. That’s not how you treat a future Women’s Tag Team Champion.
    • I popped for R-Truth’s entrance and I’m not afraid to admit it.

    Ricky Jay Publico (@NitPickRick) is a wrestling fan who enjoys watching high flyers and brawlers battle it out in the ring. A frequent 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 (7/24/18): She’s a Stunt Baby! Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Ricky Jay Publico
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