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    Thursday, September 13, 2018

    SmackDown RunDown Live (9/11/18): Stop Touching Each Other’s Wives Edition

    One of the coolest things I’ve seen in WWE didn’t involve any violence. It was the opening segment to the September 13, 2001 episode of SmackDown, a mere two days after the horrific 9/11 attacks. Instead of cowering in fear, WWE marched on and encouraged everyone to watch a wrestling show inside a huge stadium. That iconic episode became the first large gathering of Americans at a time when people were scared to even go out.

    Obviously, I knew all about it years later, but this genuine moment still guts my heart. It’s still inspiring to see every Superstar, official, and backstage personality stand strong and defiant amidst a dark time in American history. See sometimes, wrestling can be cool as shit. 

    Hell in a Cell Hype: Just Enter Hell Already, Jeez

    After SmackDown Live paid their tribute to 9/11, they went straight to business in shilling the Hell in a Cell PPV for the last time. Let me just tell you now, it wasn't that good of an episode. It was okay at best. So let me just help the Blue Brand hype up their storylines.

    Let me start with the match I’m most excited to see: Charlotte Flair vs. Becky Lynch. This storyline unlocked a side of Becky Lynch we didn’t know we needed. They didn’t do much this week—Becky just disguised herself as a fan after Charlotte’s match and it was an impressive disguise at that. I guess they’re still pushing her as this nasty heel who attacks people from the back. Sorry, her exaggerated efforts to look like a heel don’t really help that case at all.

    And while Becky did the cowardly thing to further parodize a heel character, I think it’s interesting to note how commentary framed the entire Charlotte vs. Sonya Deville match. Apparently, the champion handpicked Sonya for a match like it’s her choice or something. That’s an arrogant move if you ask me. I think they’re still keeping their options open in the sense of a double turn, but I’m positive we’re not going to get that. Creative is clearly sold on the idea that Becky is now a bad girl. Just look at her angry kid scowl. I’m shivering already.

    Meanwhile, the tag team division decided on a new contender for the SmackDown Tag Team Championships. And guess what, it’s Rusev Day, bitches! The match was solid from top to bottom, with the finish perfectly illustrating the dynamic of Rusev and Aiden English. Now here’s my thing with this win. My initial pick was The Bar, but fine, let’s have Rusev Day win this one. What I want right now is for Rusev Day to win the tag titles, because c’mon, we can’t keep delaying the momentum of these guys.

    Creative keeps on pushing Rusev to nowhere. He got fed to Randy Orton, he was given multiple chances to win the United States Championship, and he even earned a shot at the WWE Championship at one point. Let’s not forget that the entire reason the Rusev Day family had a small was because the couple felt that his trusty bard was the one holding him back. Now that they’re okay, isn’t it logical for them to achieve something together to send the story full circle? That’s my case, your honor. Go ahead and have them lose to the New Day already.

    Moving on, the show opened with Jeff Hardy facing his older demon in the form of Shinsuke Nakamura. What are they even planning with Nakamura? At this point, he’s as irrelevant as Asuka. That’s just sad. They didn’t even follow up on their clever United States of Nakamerica thing, instead brushing off his absence as “waiting for better competition.” Why can’t we just put his title on the line against Jeff Hardy and Randy Orton on Monday (Manila Time)? That’s a better use of the Cell than hosting another Hardy and Orton beatdown. At least the winner gets something. Oh well, I’m sure they’ll find something for him to do on the pre-show.

    And finally, let’s talk about the main event, or should I say, the “meh” event. Compared to their fabulous main event outing last week, this one dragged like hell. It was never really a match because what else can you expect from two women who aren’t the best workers in their league and have taken way too much time away from the ring? I do appreciate the fact that Maryse’s supposed in-ring return warranted a main event treatment, mainly because she was indeed one of the top heels back in the Divas era. I have to respect that, at least.

    Now I’m concerned about what will go down at Hell in a Cell. Adding the wives was a nice wrinkle on paper, but if Brie tags in, can we even get a decent match between her and Maryse? I sure hope so. This segment didn’t need to be in the main event, but looking at the other matches and segments this week, I don’t have anything to suggest as a replacement. So yeah, it’s the go-home show. Let’s just get on with it, you know?

    SMACKDOWN RUNDOWN: It can’t all be winners, I guess. For a go-home show, it was okay, but it wasn’t as explosive as the previous episodes. No complaints here since SmackDown Live already did a great job building up all the storylines for Hell in a Cell. If anything, this show was all for formality’s sake. I’m already hyped to see all these SmackDown Live matches go down on Monday and nothing they do right now can ruin it for me. So yeah, they get an easy B-

    Some Blue Brand Thoughts That Didn’t Make It

    • R-Truth and Andrade “Cien” Almas did some great work this week. It’s a good thing they’re now starting some sort of mini-feud. You might find it odd that Almas is wasting his time on someone like R-Truth, but c’mon, you have to love Truth after what he pulled off last week. Plus, Carmella is sort of a face now and it’s actually not that weird. Hell in a Cell Kickoff, here we come!
    • Cool story, Joe. I guess whoever wins the title also wins AJ’s family now? Have fun having 10,000 kids man. 
    • I really hope Sonya Deville gets a decent push someday. She’s like a female Ken Shamrock and honestly, who else can rock that look convincingly other than Ronda Rousey? She can be the next top heel if they wanted one.
    • Can someone tell Kayla Braxton to tone down her enthusiasm and just ask the damn questions? Thank you. 
    Photos from WWE.com


    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 (9/11/18): Stop Touching Each Other’s Wives Edition Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Ricky Jay Publico
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