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    Saturday, February 22, 2020

    SmackDown RunDown (2/21/20): The Fiend Will Remember That

    GOOOOOOOOOOOOLBERG! I gotta admit, I chanted along with the crowd when he came out. I suddenly don’t hate the idea of Old Billy going against our boy Bray Wyatt. Do I secretly like Goldberg? What's wrong with me? And he got a good hit on the Fiend, too. He actually looked good out there! I’m not saying this ironically, I swear. 

    I definitely enjoyed this segment for a bunch of reasons. Aside from Goldberg looking like a strong contender, he actually let Bray Wyatt have some time to let his shenanigans shine through. It also brought us a rare vulnerable side to the Fiend, who up until this point was written as an unstoppable force. Remember when he no-sold Daniel Bryan on numerous occasions? And Goldberg is out here spearing the soul out of Bray. Again, everything looked great!

    There’s definitely nothing wrong with seeing the Fiend tuck his tail between his legs sometimes. That’s why I’m not too worried about him losing the Universal Championship to Goldberg, regardless of how badass he was in this week’s episode. I’m definitely intrigued now to see how this match will turn out. Hopefully, they get rid of the red lights entirely, despite what the rumors are saying. But hey, it’s SaudiMania, so have at it. Just get rid of it after the event, would ya?

    Naomi vs. Carmella also took centerstage in this week’s main event but unlike last week’s competitive title match, this one kinda felt meh. Probably because it’s a bit too choreographed that it took me away from the match. At one point, you could hear the referee shouting the next spot of the sequence. I just loved last week’s main event match better, really. Also, the highlight of the match was when Bayley got kicked out of ringside. That’s always a plus in my book. 

    At least the right woman won and hopefully, Bayley defeats Naomi via shenanigans and Carmella somehow gets involved to set up a triple threat for WrestleMania Hook Hand. It feels flat if it’s only Bayley and Naomi, so why not add Carmella to the mix? And while you’re at it, add Lacey Evans. After all that build, she ended up not having a clear direction weeks before WrestleMania Parrot on the Shoulder. She should be the champion right now, damnit!

    The Symphony of Destruction match is probably one of the most creative match types the WWE has ever thought of in years. A Falls Count Anywhere match with musical instruments as the only legal weapons? Genius! I love how all the participants of this groundbreaking match all held an instrument coming into it—well, except for Shinsuke Nakamura but his old entrance included a guy playing the violin, so that counts. The name is kind of a mouthful though, but that’s just me.

    This match literally begs for chaos and I’m glad they went all out with it. The Symphony match turned out better than I expected and let’s just say all the instruments were definitely harmed during the making of this match. Where else can you see a match end with someone getting driven through a grand piano? Shinsuke Nakamura probably received a few cuts just from that bump alone. SmackDown definitely won the night with this chaotic encounter.

    Let me dedicate a couple of paragraphs to the newest Hall of Fame inductees, the Bella Twins. It’s mainly to antagonize the dudebros out there who think they don't deserve such an honor. First of all, the WWE Hall of Fame is like the Oscars: their imperfection doesn’t take away from their prestige. Remember, Donald Trump is a Hall of Famer and the guy never took a single bump. And we all know the Oscars don’t know how to feel the pulse of the people at times.

    In this case, the Bellas definitely deserve every bit of recognition they’re getting right now. Aside from headlining the Divas Era, they also brought in more eyes to the WWE through their popular reality shows. And please, can you not bring up their botches and the wrestlers they injured along the way? Because if that’s the case, Seth Rollins will never be inducted, ever. Just give these women their due respect and enjoy the women’s revolution they helped build.    

    SMACKDOWN RUNDOWN: You know a SmackDown episode is good when there’s barely any Roman Reigns in it. Finally, an episode that captured the essence of the old SmackDown we all knew and loved. A lot of things happened and a lot of storylines were advanced in major ways. And did I mention there was no Roman Reigns? I feel like I haven’t. The Symphony of Destruction match definitely gets the nod here—the rest made the show even better.

    Show Grade: A

    RunDown CutDown

    • Someone sabotaged Otis! It’s definitely a welcome wrinkle to an already great romance angle. Mandy Rose didn’t remember texting Otis that she’ll be late, so it’s time to speculate. Was it Dolph Ziggler? Was it Sonya Deville? C’mon, I’m at the edge of my seat here!
    • You know what’s cool? Miz letting John Morrison’s entrance music come second. You know what’s not cool? The Miz and Morrison chant. I get that it’s supposed to be bad, but did it have to be that bad? But that’s fine, I guess. I’m just glad SmackDown’s tag team division is as lively as ever, even if it involves the usual suspects.
    • Daniel Bryan giving Heath Slater and Drew Gulak something useful to work with is such a boss move. We need more top stars like The American Dragon. 
    • What’s up with the glitchy envelope thingy that randomly appears throughout the show? It started last week but I didn’t think much of it. Now I think it’s something worth pointing out.
    • Apollo Crews broke the rules of watching TV in WWE. We all know you should watch it sideways. You never watch in front of it. You silly Apollo, you. 
    Photos from WWE.com


    Ricky Publico (@TeetotaleRicky) is Smark Henry's resident SmackDown reviewer... for better or worse. A known lover of wrestling tournaments, he's a sucker for well-executed promos and fast-paced matches. While he enjoys nitpicking shows, he now prefers enjoying wrestling for what it is instead of stressing himself over things he can't control. He just bought an Android phone and he couldn't be more delighted.
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    Item Reviewed: SmackDown RunDown (2/21/20): The Fiend Will Remember That Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Ricky Jay Publico
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