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    Monday, February 17, 2020

    SmackDown RunDown (2/14/20): The One Where Otis was Late

    Happy Valentine's Day, losers! Did you have a fun Valentine's this year? I certainly had a fun Valentine's Day this year. You know who didn't have a fun Valentine's Day this year? Otis, you poor thing. 

    Kudos to SmackDown for giving us a fun Valentine's Day segment that's actually good and not cringe-inducing. We all knew Otis and Mandy Rose's Valentine's Day wouldn't end well. What I didn't expect was how well they handled the storyline. You can't blame me for judging them, certainly after years of love angles where the woman suddenly turned heel on the plucky hero by cheating on him or something. Let's just say romance isn't WWE's specialty. 

    But holy hell, this one. This one's a good exception and I can only hope it gets better from here. For starters, Mandy Rose didn't come out as the bad guy here. There's only one man we should be hating right now and it's none other than WWE's resident fuccboi, Dolph Ziggler. This guy fits the role perfectly like he's born to be an asshole. The crowd reaction to Ziggler's reveal was wild as well—they didn't want to see Otis get cockblocked. Great heel work from Ziggler.

    And before you completely hate on Ziggler, our boy Otis is without his faults. For one, he arrived so goddamn late. I know he's nervous and all, but that's no excuse to make your supposed "peach" to wait for your pathetic ass. Pro-tip for all the hopeless romantics out there: if you're the one who asked for the date, it's your responsibility to make sure he or she actually enjoys the date. One way to do that is to not make her wait for more than five minutes.

    And second, he can't get over his goddamn insecurities, even after weeks of them flirting. You were in the zone, Otis! All you have to do is show up! But no, he had to arrive late and he had to hesitate like an idiot, allowing Ziggler to swoop in. This is why the Chads of the world get the girl, people. It's not because they're handsome or muscular or rich—it's because they're confident (probably because of those qualities). "Hair up and square up" also applies to love, Otis. 

    What's good about this romance angle is that it will probably give the tag team division some needed spotlight without the use of the tag titles. It's not every week that we get to see a non-title storyline take center stage. We can expect a rivalry between Heavy Machinery and Ziggler-Roode in the coming weeks. Also, Ziggler's relevant again! And he'll drag Robert Roode along with him. We rarely get to see them do anything relevant these days. 

    So yeah, this storyline rules. Please don't drop the ball on this one, WWE. Keep it simple, keep it classy, and keep it as adorable as possible. In all fairness, they made it seem like Mandy Rose genuinely did like Otis. It's just that you can't blame for having trust issues, you know? I'm still rooting for Otis my man and hopefully, he musters enough courage to tell his sweet peach how he really feels. At WrestleMania Peg Leg, perhaps?

    It’s not all love this week as things got competitive in the women’s division. If we forget the dull Moments of Bliss segment didn’t happen, SmackDown kicked things off with a SmackDown Women’s Championship match between Bayley and Carmella. They gave it enough time to unravel and the hyperactive crowd made the match even better by hanging on every nearfall. Carmella looked strong losing and Bayley, well, she’s still the same chickenshit heel.

    I also loved how they followed up the match with backstage interviews to further weave the storyline of two hungry contenders in the form of Naomi and Carmella vying for the arrogant champion’s title. Carmella really is the star of the night by delivering a great match and backing it up with a strong promo game. Hopefully, we get to see these three women battle it out at Super ShowDown...hold up, there will be a women’s title match at SaudiMania? *insert daaaaaaamn gif here*

    SMACKDOWN RUNDOWN: For once, I will actually say that the romance angle was the main highlight of this week's SmackDown. I feel weird just saying that, but I also can't ignore how compelling this specific romance angle is. Other than Otis' heartbreak and the SmackDown Women's Championship picture, it's still the Roman Reigns-centric SmackDown show we've been getting for weeks now. I miss rating the show consecutive A grades.

    Show Grade: C+

    RunDown CutDown

    • This week’s main event put me in a difficult spot. On one hand, it’s John Morrison and The Miz headlining the show. That’s always nice. On the other hand, they’re up against Roman Reigns. Urgh. Daniel Bryan didn’t need to be out there. We all know Roman Reigns matches end.
    • Can we please move on with this one-sided Sheamus/Shorty G rivalry? We get it: Sheamus is big, and WWE doesn’t care about Shorty G and Apollo Crews. No need to beat a dead horse. 
    • John Cena vs. Elias for WrestleMania Ships Ahoy? Let me guess, Elias is going to turn heel again? After all this work to put Elias over, they’re just going to feed him to the Cenaman himself. Right. 
    • Please let Super ShowDown be over so we don’t have to see Bray Wyatt make old-timers relevant. Ten more days, people. Ten more days…
    • Cesaro received the loudest pop of his career by clanging a cowbell and disposing it after said pop. This Canada crowd is one of the best crowds out there. 
    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 (2/14/20): The One Where Otis was Late Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Ricky Jay Publico
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