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    Saturday, March 6, 2021

    The SmackDown BreakDown (3/5/21): When the Uhaa Nation Attacked

    Bruh, I'm still bitter that I missed an epic episode of RAW only to come back and review a subpar episode of SmackDown. I think I entered the Twilight Zone or something. I'm Ricky Publico, and this is the SmackDown BreakDown.

    This week's episode started strong enough with a classic rah-rah speech from Daniel Bryan. It took him a while to get to his point and he made a few stumbles along the way. I was so sure he was setting up an Edge tirade, only for him to go the babyface route of blaming himself for his failure. That makes sense, but I just really want him to at least explode a little bit and admit that he targeted Roman Reigns just to fuck with Edge. His promo was okay, but it felt like he dragged out his speech to fill some time.

    Thank Heavens for the Tribal Chief, Roman Reigns. Ironically, Reigns had the most compelling point out of the two battling philosophies. He talked about how love is not based on need but on what you can do for the people you love and honestly, that's a pretty solid point that my 14-year-old self would totally post on my Facebook wall the very next day. A well-spoken argument, no matter how twisted it is, will sometimes garner a more favorable response. Sorry, D-Bry. tonight wasn't really your night. 

    I also found Cory Graves's steel cage introduction incredibly cheesy. It's a Steel Cage Match, Corey, you can literally ask the referee to open the door for you and win. It's not even for a world championship so why all this pageantry? Why can't they just pan around the cage to show how massive the cage is and let commentary hype it up in three to five sentences? That's good enough for new fans to get the gist of what a cage match is. Why is SmackDown suddenly struggling to fill time on a two-hour show?

    The match pretty much exposed why a Cage Match is the least interesting cage-based match there is—unless both competitors are trying to destroy each other inside the cage, this type of match will mostly consist of wrestlers climbing the fence and pulling each other down before a crazy high-risk spot. This week's main event didn't even have the latter. Again, I feel bad about crapping on my boy Daniel Bryan, but it is what it is. I still want to see you get added to the WrestleMania 37 triple threat main event.

    Almost everyone had an off night this week. But only one man managed to emerge unscathed from the bad juju, the Uhaa Royalty himself, Apollo Crews. If you think his promo last week was great, you'll definitely dig the upgrades he made to his character. He now carries a big-ass spear! Also, he has his own personal army, making him look like a final boss of a thrilling action movie. And I love how he just demanded a title shot from Big E, sending his increasingly entitled personality full circle.

    And perhaps the most controversial upgrade was his thick Nigerian accent which divided everyone on social media. Some fans had flashbacks of Kofi Kingston's infamous Jamaican accent, while others loved how Crews really dug deep to find his roots. I, for one, loved the accent. It also helps that Crews is of Nigerian descent, so him having that accent makes complete sense. Plus, he already said it best in his promo: you don't have to like the new Apollo, you just have to accept the real Apollo, accent and all.

    I couldn't care less about Street Profits' journey towards a tag title opportunity, I'm pretty sure they'll get there eventually. What I'm curious about is how they're booking Baron Corbin and Sami Zayn. I didn't even realize how protected the End of Days is until Fightful pointed it out on Twitter. Does that mean something is in the works for King Lone Wolf? It will also explain why Creative pulled him out of his feud with the Mysterios. Not really sure how I would feel about it but I'm more or less intrigued.

    Do you think Sami Zayn's documentary will lead to a face turn? Hear me out: you know how documentaries have this sudden twist that will shift the mood of the story? Imagine if that happens in Sami's documentary when he finally realizes how all his failures were his own fault and there was no conspiracy after all. Isn't that a great way to conclude a conspiracy angle? This could launch Sami Zayn to new heights as the new inspirational hero with more edges than his previous babyface gimmick.

    FINAL BREAKDOWN: It's an unusual off night for the Blue Brand this week. The show focused heavily on advancing storylines that they forgot to tend to the wrestling part. The matchups weren't as fresh as well, only tweaking it a bit to pass it up as new. And why are there so many replays from last week? It's like an admission that they didn't have anything good this week. Still, this episode gave us a great Roman Reigns promo and the final form of heel Apollo Crews so it's not all bad.

    Show Grade: C

    BreakDown Thoughts That Can Also Dribble Bowling Balls

    • Wow, that Bianca Belair vs. Shayna Baszler match stunk. Aside from the usual Reginald shenanigans, that ending defied all logic. I love Baszler didn't even try to break free from the Kiss of Death when she was healthy enough to exploit Belair's already injured arm. What a terribly executed match. Poor Baszler.
    • Is it really that hard to find something for Murphy that they just keep associating him with Seth Rollins? Great job undoing all that effort to keep the disciple away from his savior. What even is Murphy's character at this point? Seth Rollins' best-kept captive?
    • This week's episode had a lot of aimless segments as well. Bayley's rehearsal of a Ding Dong, Hello! segment was 🤷‍♂️, Nia Jax and Shayna Baszler bullying and eventually eyeing Reginald was 🤷‍♂️, and Natalya and Tamina complaining to Adam Pearce was too short to ever mean something, so it's a big 🤷‍♂️.

    Header image from WWE.com


    Ricky Publico (@nyamnyamgarbage) is Smark Henry's resident main roster reviewer...  for better or worse. A known lover of 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's anxious about the future, now more than ever. LET HIM IN. 

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    Item Reviewed: The SmackDown BreakDown (3/5/21): When the Uhaa Nation Attacked Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Ricky Jay Publico
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