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    Monday, September 6, 2021

    The SmackDown BreakDown (9/3/21): Nice Try, Finn

    Don't mind me. I'm just here writing a review while watching All Out on a fucking workday. Adulting, amirite? So don't be surprised if I drop AEW references every once in a while. I'm Ricky Publico, and this is yet another late edition of the SmackDown BreakDown.

    Roman Reigns defending the Universal Championship on free TV. What's not to love? All of the Tribal Chief's title defenses have been bangers. Seriously, I can't think of a bad one off the top of my head. This man can make a drama-fueled match work then deliver a TakeOver-quality match in the flip of a switch. And he does all of this while keeping his brand of villainy intact—well, except for that one time he threatened to leave WWE for no apparent reason. But forget about that; here's Roman Reigns smashing Finn Bálor.

    This is the reason why Roman Reigns is WWE's final boss right now: he's the source of heat. Every heel tactic he executes supposedly came from this twisted mind. Having the Usos attack Finn Bálor before the title match was obviously Reigns' idea, and SmackDown went through all the trouble of showing him giving the instructions backstage to illustrate his strategic side. Even having Paul Heyman as his counsel was supposedly his idea, as explained by Paul himself last year. Everything that surrounds Roman Reigns only boosts his evil persona.

    Compare that to Kenny Omega, who has to surround himself with a bunch of people just to get some heat. There's literally no reason to boo him other than we're supposed to because AEW has yet to give us a compelling reason to make him look like the company's final boss. Miro is even more intimidating and compelling as a villain, and he doesn't have a posse like 95% of the roster. Sure, Kenny Omega can be a nasty mofo once the bell rings, but as a character? I have yet to take him seriously as the top bad guy. Oh, I just thought of another AEW heel who's far more hatable: MJF.

    Anyway, Roman Reigns predictably smashed Finn Bálor, but that doesn't mean we can't talk about how great the match was. Despite Finn's supposed injuries, it was far from a generic squash match. It even featured the craziest kickout at 2.99999, cleverly disguised as a low blow. That's just amazing. After the match, they teased the return of Demon Finn with a single heartbeat. Great, I guess that's the only way they can make Finn Bálor interesting for the casuals. Can they at least treat him like a demon this time? Thanks.

    Here's another thing I loved about last week's episode of SmackDown: this two-minute backstage segment. I freaking love it! Paul Heyman's comically loud Brock Lesnar ringtone, Kayla Braxton's justifiable bias against Paul, him actually answering his phone and furthering his loyalty drama, and Big E continuing the mind games on Paul Heyman. See how much they can pack in just two minutes? 

    FINAL BREAKDOWN: Once again, SmackDown is saved by another stellar main event. The rest of the show was okay at best. At least there were lesser rematches, and we also got Cesaro vs. Seth Rollins out of it. Sorry, it's tough to find something interesting here when AEW's out there flaunting CM Punk, Bryan Danielson, and Adam Cole in their ring. Maybe Brock Lesnar can shake things up next week at Madison Square Garden. Fingers crossed.

    Show Grade: B+

    BreakDown Thoughts That Also Rooted for Rick Boogz

    • As much as I love seeing Becky Lynch on my TV, I don't appreciate SmackDown rehashing an entire promo. Her segment with Bianca Belair was basically the same promo last week minus the interruptions from Carmella and Zelina Vega. Hopefully, by next week, they stop talking about Bianca's 26-second loss and just tearing each other apart on the mic. Or have Becky sucker punch Bianca again. That would be awesome. 
    • I get that Seth Rollins had to go over to set up his match with Edge next week at the Garden, but seeing him square off with Cesaro never gets old. Plus, we got to see the Cesaro Swing with more than ten rotations. Keep showcasing him like this, and it won't matter if he loses his matches most of the time. Just keep him visible until he eventually wins the Royal Rumble next year. I feel like I'm the only one advocating this at this point.
    • I appreciate how this show was littered with backstage segments that allowed more members of the roster to get airtime. Hey, there's Toni Storm rooting for Rick Boogz, apparently. And hey, Carmella and Liv Morgan were also there. So I guess they're feuding again? Great. And Naomi's itching to get an opportunity! That's something.
    • Dominik Mysterio vs. Sami Zayn was probably the only rematch last week that made total sense. I also loved the Helluva Kick outta nowhere finish. I just enjoy seeing Sami Zayn kicking everyone's heads off in general. 

    Header image taken from WWE.com


    Ricky Publico (@nyamnyamgarbage) is Smark Henry's seasoned veteran and resident SmackDown 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 (9/3/21): Nice Try, Finn Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Ricky Jay Publico
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