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    Saturday, October 9, 2021

    SmackDown BreakDown (10/8/21): Queen of the Meh

    Don't mind me. I'm just here wondering if I somehow entered an alternate timeline where the Women's Evolution in WWE never happened because holy shit, they're really out here booking pee break matches as part of a supposedly historic tournament. I'm Ricky Publico, and this is the SmackDown BreakDown.

    When they announced last week that SmackDown will premiere the first round of both the King of the Ring (KOTR) and Queen's Crown tournaments, I was expecting a series of action-packed episodes that will give underutilized Superstars (preferably Xavier Woods) the spotlight. And while we pretty much got that through the KOTR opening round matches, I feel like SmackDown simply booked two women's matches the way they used to pre-Women's Evolution while just plastering the Queen's Crown branding at the last minute. I thought WWE was in hot-shotting mode, and yet they gave us this crap? 

    Contrast that with Dynamite, where AEW introduced a secondary title for their women's division that's somehow bigger than the main championship. Plus, they made time for one hell of a match featuring Hikaru Shida and Serena Deeb. That match was competitive, brutal, and ran for ten minutes—all for a meaningless trophy. It even became the catalyst for Serena Deeb's heel turn. See how much value that one match had? Say what you will about AEW's inability to give their women screen time, but when they put in the effort, it's actually worth watching.

    Meanwhile, SmackDown is out here trying to convince me that Toni Storm, the woman who beat Io Shirai to win the 2018 Mae Young Classic, can't even last three minutes with someone like Zelina Vega. At this point, the Queen's Crown is just the WrestleMania Women's Battle Royal. Imagine if each tournament match this week lasted at least ten minutes. Liv Morgan would've endeared herself more to the crowd despite her loss. A Toni Storm victory would've given this tournament an ounce of credibility. Instead, we're getting Carmella vs. Zelina Vega next week. Shayna Baszler, save us. 

    Unlike the Queen's Crown, the King of the Ring tournament is off to a good start, with Sami Zayn outlasting Rey Mysterio and Finn Bálor beating Cesaro. Out of the two first-round matches, Zayn vs. Rey was my favorite because it advanced the Rey/Dominik storyline while also being an entertaining match. While Cesaro vs. Bálor wasn't that bad, it felt more like a transaction. The match never really picked up, and before you know it, Bálor had already won. Oh, and we're not going to address the God screwjob at Extreme Rules? Okay, I guess. 

    FINAL BREAKDOWN: SmackDown could've been a solid show with the first-round matches of both King of the Ring and Queen's Crown tournaments all on their own. But for some reason, they failed to capitalize and instead wasted our time with either segments we could've seen next week or segments we'd already seen last week. Hopefully, next week's Supersized episode won't bore us that much. I also hope Carmella vs. Zelina Vega gets at least five minutes of airtime. 

    Show Grade: C-

    BreakDown Thoughts That Didn't Even Pass the Three-Minute Mark

    • Okay, not all the segments this week were useless. The opening promo between Bianca Belair, Sasha Banks, and Becky Lynch was something I've been waiting for so long—they finally showcased Bianca's superhuman strength! As if lifting both Becky and Sasha over her shoulders wasn't enough, Bianca somehow put both women through a table, and it was awesome. Please, more of these! 

    • Roman Reigns is always welcome to appear on SmackDown, but his segment with Paul Heyman could've easily been a tense backstage meeting instead of the show wasting precious minutes just on Roman's entrance alone. They could've given those extra minutes to the two first-round Queen Crown's matches. And you know how else they could've saved time? By scheduling the Edge and Seth Rollins segment to next week. God, this episode was so frustrating. 

    • Ultimately, they could've saved even more time by cutting the Happy Corbin segment because what even is the point? We've seen this segment before, only this time, Kevin Owens got a tamer beatdown. Also, shouldn't he be selling the brutal attack he received from both men weeks ago? Ah, forget it. I don't care. Don't you wish Baron Corbin went broke again? 

    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: SmackDown BreakDown (10/8/21): Queen of the Meh Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Ricky Jay Publico
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