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    Sunday, July 4, 2021

    The SmackDown BreakDown (7/2/21): Fight Forever and Beyond

    If there's one thing this week's episode proved, it's that the universe doesn't and shouldn't revolve around Roman Reigns and whatever storyline he's in. I'm Ricky Publico, and this is the SmackDown BreakDown.

    I've always found Last Man Standing matches boring, but the last two iterations I've seen involving Kevin Owens were two entirely different beasts. Check it, the one they did earlier this year even involved vehicular manslaughter! Now that's a killer. And since SmackDown is willing to hand out free Last Man Standing matches on free TV, they might as well use it to showcase other storylines not involving Roman Reigns. I just wished they had faith in them to close the show. SmackDown used to be good at this, you know. 

    Never mind the fact that it was dampened a little bit by it being an MITB qualifying match—Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn will always keep you at the edge of your seat. These guys just know exactly how to hurt each other and how to make every move look like a million bucks. From the fancy moves they dished to the way they sold each other's attacks, KO and Sami once again showed everyone why they're the best in-ring storytellers in wrestling today. Sure, I may not care why they're fighting in the first place, but I'm just glad they're here tearing each other limb from limb. You love to see it. 

    It really sucks how they didn't main event this week's episode. You just know that if they were given more time and importance, they could do so much more. And I don't mind if I'm being greedy here. If you're brave enough to not feature your main star in an episode, you better give people a concrete reason why they shouldn't just change the channel right now. I really thought they had it with this Last Man Standing match. Give them a third of the show and we could've seen a strong MOTY contender instead of a run-of-the-mill MITB qualifier. Just sayin'. 

    So if Roman Reigns wasn't around, who did SmackDown have holding the fort of them? Edge and Jimmy Uso? Okay, I guess. As much as I love seeing Edge zooming in on his and other people's eyeballs, he didn't need two whole segments to send a generic message to Roman Reigns. I do appreciate how he was fixated with his Glasgow Grin submission. That was indeed one of the best highlights of their WrestleMania 37 main event. A great recovery from his "Roman, where you at?!" fiasco last week.  

    But this didn't need to be split into two segments at all. What's stopping Jimmy Uso to just come out after Edge and get the brawl going to start the show? Opening with this explosive segment and ending it with Kevin Owens obliterating Sami Zayn with two tables and the ring apron would've made this week's episode one of the best ones to date. If you have a big fight slated for your show, any segment should give way—even if it's for Roman Reigns' storyline. Putting Jimmy Uso in the main event so they can give him the Main Event moniker shouldn't be the priority this week. Again, just sayin'. 

    Add this to my growing list of wrestling pet peeves: rivalries stuck in a time loop. I'm so done with Bianca Belair and Bayley. How many more times are we going to hear the same goddamn promo? It's like they're erasing the slate after every PPV match. When will they stop treating Bianca Belair as a rookie? She already has a Hell in a Cell victory, people? At this point, Bayley and Bianca should just be brawling every time they see each other in the ring or backstage.

    Also, isn't it weird that Bianca Belair is the one chasing Bayley even after she's beat her multiple times? So much for letting your rival live in your head rent-free. And I love how after Bianca laid out the challenge, Bayley had the better response compared to the champion's generic babyface one-liner. Why is Creative so hellbent on making me root for the goddamn villain? I'm so close to just placing an embargo on this storyline because I'm sick of talking about it week after week. Once again, just sayin'. 

    FINAL BREAKDOWN: Of course SmackDown can exist without Roman Reigns! All they have to do is showcase the right match or segment in the main event and they're good. Sadly, that's not what they did this week. Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn deserved that main event spot and everyone knows it. They better get their shit together because this is so unbecoming of the SmackDown I knew and loved. 

    Show Grade: B-

    BreakDown Thoughts That Sat on Michael Cole's Stupid Head

    • Okay, now Sonya Deville's just tripping balls at this point. In a way, I can see why Carmella's a shoe-in for an MITB spot, but Zelina Vega? What exactly did she accomplish before she got fired for supporting unionization? That's right, nothing. Then she lost her first match back in under a minute? Oof. I think a RAW booker is disguising themselves as a SmackDown booker. 

    • Jesus, what the fuck is wrong with Rick Boogs? What the hell did Baron Corbin do to you? That short backstage promo really riled me up because it's such an uncharacteristic move from a supposed babyface. Someone tell this asshole they were the ones who stole Corbin's crown for the lulz. And forget about the storyline itself: imagine berating a visibly depressed person with the shittiest puns. Terrible look for Boogs—and Shinsuke Nakamura, really. 

    • Imagine if Otis still has the MITB briefcase and he's currently running this monster storyline. Let this machine plow through the midcard already. He's wasted in the tag team division.

    *****

    Ricky Publico (@nyamnyamgarbage) is Smark Henry's seasoned veteran and resident main roster reviewer. He's a sucker for well-written 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. His potential haunts him.   

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    Item Reviewed: The SmackDown BreakDown (7/2/21): Fight Forever and Beyond Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Ricky Jay Publico
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