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    Monday, March 23, 2020

    SmackDown RunDown (3/20/20): Love Hurts

    Move over, Gronk. You’re not the star of this week’s episode. In the second week of no crowd SmackDown, the unstoppable #OtisMania train continues to chug steam. My man Otis acting like a beast out here to no reaction. It’s just weird yet commendable how they tried to push a heated storyline in today’s quarantine era. I guess I just didn’t expect Superstars to do much as a precaution to the whole COVID-19 business. But holy smokes, Otis didn’t care about that.

    It all went down during Heavy Machinery’s match with the SmackDown Tag Team Champions, John Morrison and The Miz, that could’ve earned them a title shot at WrestleMania 2Nights. But nah, Dolph Ziggler just wanted to see Otis suffer, I guess, so he came out and taunted Otis with pictures of him and Otis’ peach, Mandy Rose. That’s enough for our lovable oaf to become less loverboy and more steel-chair-carrying-destroyer-boy. And let me just say: it was glorious.

    And as you can expect, this cost Heavy Machinery the match, with Tucker trying his best to console poor Otis. This was also another great instance of the crowdless setup adding more emotion to a segment. I felt every chair shot and the gravity of Otis’ emotional pain. Tucker probably had a hard time consoling a heartbroken friend who went berserk and is also responsible for forking up their tag team title opportunity. What a solid way to set up Otis vs. Dolph Ziggler at WrestleMania 2Night 2Furious.

    That’s not the only action-packed tag team match we got this week because we also got the first team-up of Daniel Bryan and Drew Gulak against Shinsuke Nakamura and Cesaro. It’s so fun to see Bryan and Gulak’s efficient wrestling against Nakamura and Cesaro’s more ruthless way of doing business. This match was also a hard-hitting affair as all men involved brought their best punches, kicks, and uppercuts before Bryan conveniently picked up the efficient victory.

    This eventually brought us a possible matchup for WrestleMania 2Big41Nyt: Sami Zayn vs. Daniel Bryan for the Intercontinental Championship. Are you orgasming yet? But first, Drew Gulak has to beat Shinsuke Nakamura next week because why not have Daniel Bryan get all the glory, right? What I enjoy most about D-Bry’s storylines recently is that he’ll definitely take someone with him for the ride. And Drew Gulak definitely deserves his time to shine. I’m sure his match with Nakamura will be a surefire instant classic. 

    Since we already mentioned him, let’s talk about WWE’s latest signee, Rob Gronkowski. He’s alright, I guess. He seems to be a genuine fan of the sport and not just some meathead looking for relevance after a rather unremarkable NFL career. He's actually one of the greatest football players of his generation, who also really really loves wrestling. I can appreciate that. He’s also comfortable working the mic, too. He’s like Mojo Rawley but, ironically, with all the hype. Him forming the Hype Bros 2.0 with Mojo could be a great move if WWE plays their cards right. 

    And he’s hosting WrestleMania 2Night is TheNight, too? You know what, why not? It’s not like he can add much to this trainwreck of a show. Since they’re not planning to cancel it anytime soon, why not make it two nights? And mind you, both shows will be taped beforehand, so you know it’s going to be great /s. But to be fair, it’s a fair strategy. At least they can embellish the show more. Maybe add more cheer noises and copy the way TakeOver does their lighting?

    SMACKDOWN RUNDOWN: This week’s episode turned out to be a great one that it bummed me out that no one’s around to enjoy it. Nevertheless, it brought some amazing matchups and moments. We even had an old-school Dirt Sheet segment, complete with spotty impersonations! That’s always a welcome plus. Still bummed that WrestleMania 2Nyts1Show is still happening, but I get it, the world’s currently fucked up. We make do with what we have.

    Show Grade: B+

    RunDown CutDown

    • Is Paige returning to in-ring action? Is that why she was heavily advertised before the whole COVID-19 stuff hindered her from traveling to the Performance Center? I’m not entirely sure but I really hope this is the case. She can easily feud with Sasha Banks, the one who supposedly ended her career. Please tell me that was the original plan before they went with this thrown together six-pack match.  
    • I love how Miz and John Morrison love incorporating the fact that the arena is empty into their heel promos. Their Dirt Sheet segment would probably make less sense if they did this in a crowded show. Now that’s how you make do. 
    • Why do I feel like Roman Reigns cut a long-ass promo when it was just a few lines? Maybe because his lines weren’t snappy enough? And I hate how everyone is overusing the curse word “bitch.” You know there are more curse words out there, right? It doesn’t sound cool when it’s used every two segments. 
    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 also writes reviews for PWR and everyone loves him for it. Don't fact check that.
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    Item Reviewed: SmackDown RunDown (3/20/20): Love Hurts Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Ricky Jay Publico
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