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    Thursday, September 5, 2019

    SmackDown RunDown Live (9/3/19): Bayley, the Fourth Horsewoman

    There ain’t no stopping her now because finally, Bayley is putting the spotlight on her. 

    We all know Bayley as this lovable hug monster who can drop elbows on short notice. While that schtick did wonders for her down at NXT, it didn’t translate well when she eventually got called up. She gets thrown a bone from time to time, but she never had an impactful presence like Becky Lynch, Sasha Banks, and Charlotte Flair ever did. I bet you already forgot that she was a former RAW Women’s Champion. Yup, that actually happened. 

    While her co-Horsewomen were out there making history, Bayley was stuck at the midcard toiling away with the likes of Nia Jax, Alexa Bliss, and Ember Moon, among others. Things started to pick up when she won this year’s Money in the Bank briefcase and captured her first SmackDown Women’s Championship on the same night. In turn, she became the first-ever women’s grand slam champion, a great start to Bayley’s eventual rise.

    Bayley then started to adopt a more aggressive attitude, dialing down the hugs and adding more intensity to her promos and matches. And for a while, it worked in her favor. She became a bit of a badass, but not as badass as either Becky Lynch or Charlotte Flair. Even with her current success, it’s still not enough to catch up to the level of her co-Horsewomen. And when Sasha Banks came back, it’s back to the shuffle with our favorite hugger.

    At least that was the plan before Bayley pulled one over us and started pummeling Becky Lynch with a steel chair. Bayley ultimately chose to side with Sasha Banks, turning heel in the process. The edge her character’s been missing finally came and it fit her like a glove. It worked so well that they had to do it again this week, this time with Charlotte Flair. And I love how oblivious she is about her heel turn. Just like that, Bayley is now part of the conversation.

    I hope I did justice in summarizing Bayley’s current arc because so far, I’m loving every minute of it. Fans clamored for the four of them to have a program together and since the other Four Horsewomen have yet to surface, why not pit them against each other? Four women with a lot of history with each other; four women who took different paths to get where they are now. Needless to say, my body is ready for yet another epic storyline from the women’s division. 

    We now turn our attention to SmackDown Live’s King of the Ring second-round matches because once again, they delivered the goods. 

    This Ali guy, so red hot right now. After a banger of a first-round match with Buddy Murphy last week, he’s back at it again bumping crazy like it’s nothing. Imagine making Elias look good in a match. Elias, you know, the guy with the guitar and stuff? This was probably the best Elias match in WWE, all thanks to Ali. It’s a shame that the Heart of 205 Live SmackDown Live got booted off the tournament in exchange for, sigh, Elias. Urgh.

    But man oh man, things are about to pick up because my boy Chad Gable just blew the lid off the arena by making it to the KOTR semi-finals. Man, the number of non-believers out there are appalling. If you call yourself a fan of Kurt Angle, why aren’t you supporting Kurt Angle Lite? Gable just eliminated Andrade from the tourney, a fellow crowd favorite. If they didn’t want Gable to win it all, why keep him alive until the semi-finals?

    Speaking of the semi-finals, it’s pretty obvious that Elias will lose this one. Lest we forget, Kevin Owens owes him a fall. There’s no better way to pay him back than at the semi-finals when Elias is just inches away from the crown, extending Gable’s string of luck in the process. Think about it: out of all the participants, Gable is the only one telling a coherent story. It’s a rather simple formula: everyone makes fun of his height and he beats them with tenacity and sheer luck.

    And I’m betting my bottom dollar he’s going to do it again, this time with a run-in from Kevin Owens, but not before Gable and Elias deliver a nail-biter main event. Mark my words, people. It’s going to be King Shorty come Clash of Champions. Bend the knee, mufuckus. 

    SMACKDOWN RUNDOWN: While this week’s episode isn’t as tight as the previous one, I’m glad they’re sticking with the formula of packing in as many explosive and diverse matches as possible and then balancing it out with equally great segments. Compared to this week’s RAW, there’s nothing to write home about, unless you care about Chad Gable as much as I do. Still, the opening segment and the KOTR matches were superb while the latter part, not so much. Again, unless you care about Rowan being a solo act again.

    Show Grade: B+

    RunDown CutDown

    • Fine, I guess I can spare some time to talk about the latest in Roman Reigns’ mystery attacker. Turns out, it was Rowan all along, and that he acted independently. Hooray? I guess he deserved it a bit, he is a monster after all. It’s just a bit of a letdown that this is the payoff. It didn’t feel like a payoff at all. I wish Daniel Bryan was the mastermind. Oh well. 
    • Every streak comes to an end and this time, it’s Buddy Murphy’s weekly showcase. I wish he was the one who took up Aleister Black’s challenge. We could’ve seen a fantastic squash match. 
    • Fire and Desire earned a big win against the Women’s Tag Team Champions Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross. It wasn’t a revelation of a match, but I’m just glad the tag champs are out there giving the titles some visibility. I miss The IIconics though. 
    • I would say something about the Kofi Kingston beatdown, but it’s not like we’ve never seen it before. The segment wasn’t bad or anything, give me a super RKO anytime. It just didn’t have anything to write home about. Still love the storyline, for sure. 
    • Love how even Zelina Vega is rooting for Chad Gable. C’mon guys, jump on the Gable hype train already! 

    Photos from WWE.com


    Ricky Publico (@Peepomania) is Smark Henry's resident SmackDown Live and PWR reviewer... for better or worse. He also nitpicks PWR shows when no one's available to do so. A known lover of wrestling tournaments, he's a sucker for well-executed promos and fast-paced matches. He has yet to learn how to operate a microwave. Don't judge him.
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    Item Reviewed: SmackDown RunDown Live (9/3/19): Bayley, the Fourth Horsewoman Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Ricky Jay Publico
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