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    Friday, April 26, 2019

    SmackDown RunDown Live (4/23/19): PretendsToBeShocked.gif

    Well, the KofiMania celebration had to end sometime, right?

    We have to face the fact that Kofi Kingston has to eventually defend his WWE Championship against someone. Let's just all be glad it's not Roman Reigns. Thankfully, Creative had the presence of mind not to make the show all about Reigns and instead keep the idea that SmackDown Live is still the Land of Opportunity. So who’s the first contender for Kofi’s first title defense? It’s none other than the guy they christened The Big O last week, Kevin Owens. Cue the dramatic gasps and the clutching of the pearls.

    I can’t believe some of you really bought the idea of Kevin Owens as a good guy. I didn’t, and I’m not just saying that just to be cool. Check my previous columns if you want. Owens not being an asshole just didn’t sit well with me ever since they tried positioning him as SmackDown Live’s top babyface. I’m really glad KofiMania happened because it made the real comeback of the Kevin Owens we know and love possible. And thank heavens they didn’t wait months to pull the trigger on this “shocking” betrayal. Owens even had his work cut out for him; he only had to deal with Xavier Woods to get through the champion. Timing sure is everything.

    Putting everyone back on track was basically the theme of this week’s episode. It began with Roman Reigns being portrayed as a man of few words, as it always should’ve been. Elias returning to a top-level storyline after months of burial also deserves some recognition. Heck, even Jinder Mahal—yes, that Jinder Mahal, stop laughing—ended up looking like the strategic brute I’ve always wanted him to be when he wisely escaped the clutches of Lars Sullivan. Yes, Mahal didn’t job to anyone this week. Isn’t that amazing?

    But the one Superstar who received the most significant new breath of life was none other than WWE’s resident hugger, Bayley. You’ll be forgiven if you already forgot that Bayley is a former RAW Women’s Champion and a legitimate singles competitor before she was saddled with a seemingly never-ending storyline with Sasha Banks. Now that it’s actually over, did you ever think she was going to be relevant again? I’m sure as hell didn’t. But then she came out to interrupt her fellow Horsewomen and shut them both down like she’s out there looking to kick some major kadunkadunk. I freaking love it!

    And after delivering the match of the night, Bayley ended up losing to Charlotte Flair. While that sounds like a bad thing at first, step back and look at the bigger picture. First of all, do you really want to see Charlotte Flair compete in a Money in the Bank Ladder Match? I don’t because it ruins the suspense of it. So it was better to give the title opportunity to Charlotte now and get it over with so someone like Bayley can win the MITB briefcase. Isn’t that a better scenario? Besides, Becky Lynch beating two versions of one woman on the same night just sounds more badass as an accomplishment. The point is, Bayley is cool again and I really hope she gets a title opportunity sooner than later.

    SMACKDOWN RUNDOWN: Color me impressed because WWE's new New Era actually looks great! To think I was only worried about SmackDown Live becoming the new Roman Reigns show. I'll even dare to say that the Blue Brand is way better now than it was before. And I know I probably shouldn't say this since I'm a SmackDown stan, but this week's RAW was hella fire, too! This new direction needs a name because it really feels like we've entered a new era in the WWE canon. The Women's Era? The Indie Era? I'll leave them to it, but for this week, I gotta give them an A+ for a job well done.

    The RunDown CutDown

    • Finn Bálor actually picking up victories puts him back on track as a top guy. But l hope they keep Andrade in the Intercontinental Championship picture. He did earn a win over Balor two weeks ago so this match should've been a title match.
    • The Insane Elbow never gets old and I'm really glad SmackDown Live nabbed Kairi Sane. Am I worried about The IIconics losing their matches? Not really. Billie Kay and Peyton Royce's separate losses this week just reinforces the idea that the IIconics are greater together than individually. And besides, do we really want to see Kairi Sane lose her first singles match on the main roster?
    • Considering how Cesaro and Sheamus became a prominent tag team in WWE, I feel like they deserve a better break-up than this. But hey, at least Cesaro can try and grab the brass ring once again as his own man. Picking up a win over Cedric Alexander on RAW was a good start.
    • The random Shake-Up transfers, as crappily executed as they are, still favor SmackDown Live. We actually got Aleister Black, y'all! We also got Chad Gable so that's nice.
    • Of course it’s probably not true, but I’d like to believe WWE did send Andrade back to SmackDown Live because Charlotte Flair decreed so. Then Zelina Vega cried foul so they sent Aleister Black to the Blue Brand as well just to shut her up. See, love wins every time. 
    Photos from WWE.com

    Ricky 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 (4/23/19): PretendsToBeShocked.gif Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Ricky Jay Publico
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