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    Thursday, September 19, 2019

    SmackDown RunDown Live (9/17/19): What Brock Sees, Brock Takes

    And just like that, Brock Lesnar is your new #1 contender for the WWE Championship. That’s it. That’s the review.

    But before we talk about the Big Bad Brock, let’s commend Creative for trying their best to make Kofi Kingston vs. Randy Orton work. Capitalizing on their past grievances was great. Expanding their rivalry into a personal, family-centered storyline, not so much. But they did try to give Kofi Kingston his first formidable rival in the form of The Viper; that alone deserves some praise. Now if only it ended on a high note.

    Alas, it didn’t. The Kofi/Orton saga ended with a so-so finale at Clash of Champions which saw Kofi Kingston overcome his past tormentor. I was expecting a more emotionally-charged match with plenty of callbacks and a bunch of shenanigans here and there, leading to the ultimate triumph. At least they got the victor right, but other than that, Kofi Kingston has yet to have a career-defining moment as the WWE Champion. 

    But maybe he’ll finally get one with Title Shot McGee over here. Maybe an imminent threat like The Beast is what Kofi Kingston needs to elevate his game. I love how he whisked away Big E and Xavier Woods when Brock Lesnar came out, as if he already knows what’s about to go down. And when he thought Lesnar was going to shake his hand, he instead went for a title raise taunt, which of course earned him an F5. Love little details like those.

    Now you might be worried about Kofi Kingston losing his strap to Brock Lesnar to boost the ratings of their first FOX episode. And just today, the first NXT live broadcast gave everyone something to talk about. But somehow, I don’t believe that is the case. I don’t think they’ll shock us with a title change just because of a network change. Maybe the surprise will be a barnburner of a match between the two. A boy can dream.

    Moving on from that bombshell, we have King Baron Corbin’s coronation segment. I guess we’ll just have to continue living in a timeline where Corbin is the king. I don’t hate him that much for it, really. Some of his best matches happened throughout the King of the Ring tournament, with his finals match against Chad Gable not being an exception. I’m not going to act like a sore loser just because I’m a Gable stan (hopefully I used that word correctly).

    King Corbin deserved the crown and I can’t wait to see what he does with it. We already got a glimpse after Chad Gable ruined the ceremony. The former American Alpha received a nice pop for his efforts, while Corbin looked like a proper asshole out there. This is shaping up to be a run-of-the-mill good vs. bad storyline, but I hope they make up for it with fantastic matches. Let’s also hope Creative gives them better lines to deliver next time.

    SMACKDOWN RUNDOWN: For some reason, this week’s episode was booked the same way some graphics from last Monday’s RAW were displayed. It baffles me that they opened the show with a six-man tag and a bombshell of an announcement and ended it with something mundane at best. Other than that, the show’s rather OK, I guess. It certainly feels like they’re willing to shake things up before the big move to FOX, so that I can respect.

    Show Grade: B-

    RunDown CutDown

    • The Bludgeon Brothers are back and they’re stronger than ever! That’s all I got from this week’s main event segment. Also, there’s probably a Daniel Bryan face turn in the horizon. I guess that’s pretty rad as well. 
    • As much as I hate lawsuit storylines, I did enjoy Kevin Owens ranting about his legitimate case. Babyfaces rarely get the last word in these segments, so this was a welcome change. So does this mean we’re getting segments taped from a court or something?
    • Carmella making the save for Charlotte is also a welcome change. Apparently, Becky Lynch is too good now to appear on SmackDown Live. But yeah, Carmella looked good out there. 
    • I’m really loving this new Shinsuke Nakamura. He looks like a proper rockstar now and he’s speaking Japanese like he doesn’t give a shit. And it’s also nice of them to bring back his rivalry with Ali. That guy needs more screen time, tbh.
    • I can’t wait for SmackDown Live to go back to Friday nights. I can write these goddamn reviews now on a Saturday instead of cramming like crazy on Wednesday nights/Thursday mornings. Small victories!

    Photos from WWE.com


    Ricky Publico (@NitPickRick) is Smark Henry's resident SmackDown Live 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 (9/17/19): What Brock Sees, Brock Takes Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Ricky Jay Publico
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