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    Wednesday, March 11, 2020

    RAWDown RunDown (3/9/20): Conchairto di Violenza


    Hey, #NitPickRick here, sneaking up once again to write a RAW review. Man, it's like they don't lock the doors here in the Smark Henry offices or something. Anyone can just go in and write whatever. Well, don't worry, I'll make sure to lock the doors when I get out. So while we’re here, let’s talk RAW

    There's no better way to start things off than to discuss Edge finally making an appearance after that hellacious Conchairto attack he suffered from Randy Orton. I’m sure I’m not the only one who missed seeing Madman Crazy Eyes Edge, and that’s why 2020 isn’t that bad of a year. Edge got a few shots in—even dishing out an RKO to Orton and a Spear to MVP. Let’s see Goldberg and Roman Reigns execute a storyline as compelling as this.

    And if that wasn’t enough, Edge gave us a glimpse into Orton’s future at CasualMania 36 in the form of two Conchairto shots to MVP’s poor little head. Needless to say, he ded. 

    But on the plus side, it effectively capped off a great segment by reminding us just how deranged and possessed Edge can get. I was actually surprised he didn’t hit MVP a third time because that would’ve made this segment more awesome than it already is, MVP’s head be damned. 



    This is probably just me reading into things, but aren't Orton's actions this week a bit out of character? I would assume his usual M.O. involves playing mind games with his prey. Like, he would attack someone, rile him up, and dish out a taunt-and-run when the prey decides to retaliate. Not this week though. Sure, Orton still waited for Edge to focus his attention on MVP, but he still went out there to try and finish what he started two months ago. 

    It’s as if every punch Orton landed before he was hit by an RKO was born out of frustration that Edge didn’t stay down when he tried to destroy him. It’s as if Orton meant everything he said to Beth Phoenix last week when we all thought it was just an excuse. And when he finally realized that Edge wasn’t that fragile after all, he abandoned his mission and slithered away. Old habits die hard. And for Orton, it’s the very same habits that saved him from Edge’s onslaught. 



    Speaking of compelling main event storylines, Drew McIntyre should definitely close out the show this year. If we’re getting yet another Roman Reigns coronation, at least let the image of McIntyre raising his newly-won WWE Championship close the show. McIntyre’s Road to WrestleMania is a lot more exciting and a lot more well-executed compared to Reigns anyway. We have yet to see a hurdle to his rise to the top and I hope it stays that way. 

    Drew McIntyre’s dominance continued after he literally and figuratively squashed Erick Rowan’s mini-push this week. It’s probably a good idea to keep the spider thing in a burlap sack because it wasn’t gruesome when McIntyre squashed it. And why are some people reacting like he stomped on a dog or something? It was a robotic spider, people. They didn’t really do much to make us feel attached to Rowan’s “pet.” If anything, he saved everyone from spider bites.  



    Over to the women’s division, Becky Lynch vs. Shayna Baszler is finally on track. While I do appreciate how they made Baszler look like a monster by dominating the Elimination Chamber Match, I feel like it stifled the buildup between these two. They should’ve just booked a gauntlet match for Elimination Chamber because that’s basically how Baszler won last Sunday—it’s just a glorified gauntlet match inside a cage. Still, at least we can all say she earned her title shot. 

    And at least they didn’t leave the other women with nothing to do, thanks to the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championship scene. It seems like Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross will be the next contenders for Asuka and Kairi Sane, so good job on giving the tag champs their heat back by beating Natalya and Liv Morgan. Also, the former Riott Squad members are set to feud, possibly until CasualMania 36, and while I still don’t care for it, at least it’s something. 



    What I don't want to commend is RAW's over-reliance on bait-and-switch tactics when it comes to their main events. And they're not even trying to make it fresh at least. Monday Night Messiah and Disciples vs. Viking Raiders and Street Profits again? I feel like we've already seen this months ago. I don’t mind the Monday Night Messiah dominating—I just mind how repetitive it is. I also hate how they made me crave for popcorn while I was watching this episode. 

    The least they could do is to keep things fresh by letting other members of Seth Rollins’ cult compete. Why not have AOP face the Viking Raiders or Street Profits this week? That way, we get Rollins vs. Black as promised, only this time they’ll have enough time to deliver a TakeOver-level main event. Then they can punctuate Rollins’ victory with the Owens beatdown. See? Is it really that hard to execute a good show and send online reviewers home happy? 



    Also, how about that AJ Styles promo? They tried to be edgy with building up the AJ Styles vs. The Undertaker match by giving it a shoot vibe, and I guess that's a neat effort. But did they really need to take that angle? At one point, Styles even declared he will make sure The Undertaker dies at CasualMania 36... all because the Deadman prevented him from winning the Saudi trophy? This escalation felt so unearned, it’s hard to take it seriously.

    Did they really need to involve Michelle McCool into this? Unless we’re going to see McCool hitting Styles with a Faithbreaker at some point during this “epic” CasualMania match, I don’t think adding some reality into this random-ass storyline will help its cause. Casuals will already pay to see The Undertaker kick some ass, regardless of his actual capacity to do so. Maybe reserve the shoot card for other current or future and deserving storylines? Just sayin’.

    RAWDOWN RUNDOWN: Other than the exhausting main event and the AJ Styles “shoot,” this week’s edition of RAW delivered yet another fun show that’s miles better than their Friday night counterpart. Although there were a lot of replays and video packages, they made up for it with great segments and solid wrestling action. Now if only we can start having actual main events that won’t lead to a multi-man tag match, that would be great.

    Show Grade: Steady B

    RunDown CutDown

    • Rhea Ripley and Charlotte Flair tried to make that segment work, but it’s really hard to care when we’ve already seen Becky Lynch do the same thing to Flair a year ago. Maybe a boot to the face would’ve been better instead of a sucker punch? That Rhea Ripley video package was pretty dope, though.
    • Maybe MVP can manage Ricochet and Cedric Alexander since it looks like Vince McMahon has given up on both men? Alexander shouldn’t be losing to a charisma vacuum like Riddick Moss. Do we need more evidence that Vince McMahon is out of touch?
    • I’m pretty sure everyone’s competing to be the best Stunner seller in the company. This week, the award easily goes to Murphy. 
    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: RAWDown RunDown (3/9/20): Conchairto di Violenza Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Ricky Jay Publico
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