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    Sunday, October 17, 2021

    SmackDown RunDown (10/15/21): Supersize Me, Daddy

    Please, Tony Khan, can you keep trolling WWE every week? Please make every weekend a massive pissing contest between SmackDown and Rampage. I'm supersized Ricky Publico, and this is the SmackDown BreakDown.

    I don't even care about the aftermath of Tony Khan "provoking" WWE. This "petty" feud brought us Bryan Danielson vs. Minoru Suzuki and Becky Lynch vs. Sasha Banks. You know who won the feud? Not just you; it's you and me, all of us! So unless you're receiving a monthly payout from either promotion, just shut the hell up and enjoy the goddamn wrestling! Tribalism among wrestling fans is just dumb. Buy stock from either company and then you can care about ratings and whatnot.

    With that inevitable mini-rant about the whole WWE vs. AEW rivalry out of the way, let's talk about this week's supersized episode. If you're in a hurry, let me save you some trouble: it was awesome! SmackDown can really bring out the big guns when they're cornered by young billionaires with their own rosters and TV shows to play with. I know I said this earlier already, but I really hope Tony Khan just keeps poking the bear because we'll definitely end up with a few legendary matches on free TV.


    So with all due respect to Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar, who did the bare minimum by showing up, that segment was nothing compared to the true main event of this week's show: Becky Lynch vs. Sasha Banks. Becky may not be the underdog anymore, but she's still the same wrestling machine when the bell rings. Becky pretty much wrestled like she's still the babyface shouting "Straight Fire!" randomly during every match. And Sasha, well, she's still the freaking Boss. What else can you expect?

    In fact, you probably forgot that this main event was a heel vs. heel match, and it still surpassed expectations somehow. Give these two women a good fifteen minutes, and their natural chemistry will just write the story seamlessly. It didn't matter that they're heels because Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks both have the DNA of rootable underdogs, so they're still compelling to watch inside the ring. I loved everything about this match: the leg drops, the Meteoras, the counters, the nearfalls—everything!

    If I really have to find faults with this match, I'd say it probably didn't need Bianca Belair being there. She didn't seem to offer much on commentary, and when she did commentate, it was just generic cookie-cutter babyface crap we've heard a thousand times. She even fudged up the finish by whipping the apron instead of Becky's arm. Good thing Sasha grabbed her for a backstabber, and commentary offered a few quick excuses to save that lame spot. Bianca Belair having a bad day almost ruined this match. 


    But nitpicking aside, this main event was still one for the ages. Shouldn't this match prove to the powers that be that they should probably give more minutes to the rest of the Women's division as well? Just look at the Queen's Crown semi-finals. They tried to make another heel vs. heel match work by setting up this whole "honor among thieves" schtick between Carmella and Zelina Vega. Why stop there and why not let them wrestle for at least ten more minutes? This is a tournament semi-final, after all, yet there was barely any prestige because there wasn't much of a match.

    They already eliminated Toni Storm and Liv Morgan—two favorites to win the whole thing—early in the tournament. The least they could have done was legitimize the crown by backing it up with solid wrestling. What we got instead was a heatless two-minute match and a nonsense Happy Corbin segment. They didn't even give Zelina the dignity of winning the match with a Code Red, instead relying on the tireless trope of rolling up a distracted opponent. Such an original and creative finish. /s


    You know what, let's stick with the women this week. If there's anything I didn't enjoy about this supersized episode, it's the power trip match pitting Sonya Deville and Shayna Baszler against Naomi. First off, isn't Sonya just an assistant official or something? Adam Pearce isn't even a General Manager or a Commissioner. Where exactly is Sonya getting these McMahon-like levels of power? Even Stephanie McMahon wasn't this brazen back when she's slapping the heads off anyone who dared talk to her.

    One more thing, is portraying Sonya Deville as a power-hungry authority figure really worth sidetracking Shayna Baszler's comeback tour? Is this going to be Shayna's role when she moves to SmackDown next week? Please don't make her a bodyguard for other people. We just had her back as the bone-breaking submission machine she should've been in the first place. We've moved on from her taking rollup pins for Nia Jax, for fuck's sake! Why can't we just let her destroy more elbows?

    My only hope right now is that this will act as a catalyst for Naomi to join The Bloodline. Because for someone who talks about family constantly, Roman Reigns should be doing something about how they're treating his cousin-in-law, right? Jimmy Uso should really have something to say, too since, you know, he's her husband? We've seen them strong-arm Adam Pearce before. And if he has the higher rank, then dealing with Sonya shouldn't be an issue. I mean, there has to be a reason behind all of this. 

    FINAL BREAKDOWN: Once again, we have Tony Khan and AEW to thank for this supersized SmackDown. Who knew only competition could jerk WWE around to produce a banger episode? Of course, there are still some things to work on. But this week's show proved that when they feel like it, SmackDown can absolutely tear the house down.

    Show Grade: A

    BreakDown Thoughts That Got More Time Than Carmella and Zelina Vega Did

    • As much as I enjoyed The Usos vs. Street Profits, it only highlighted how WWE should've separated the latter. Montez Ford pretty much stole the show here, and after their resounding defeat in this Street Fight, what else is there for the Street Profits? Strap the rocket to Montez already! They weren't even in street attire during the match! Traditions, people.
    • Finn Bálor vs. Sami Zayn also slapped despite having a predictable outcome. They could've easily ended the match the moment Finn first tried to connect with the Coup de Grâce, but they still gave us a few more minutes of false finishes and incredible counters. See, this is why being predictable doesn't always mean boring. Now please do this again on RAW for Xavier Woods.
    • Don't you just love Edge's vaguely ominous threats? He said he would scar Seth Rollins' soul. What does that even mean? Is he going to tie Seth up and force him to watch his parents having sex or something? Because that will surely scar anyone's soul. I'm not saying I hate it. I just find these threats hilarious instead of intimidating. 
    • I appreciate how almost everyone who had a match this week got to cut inset or backstage promos to hype up their respective matches. I know they used this last week to try and hype up the first round of the Queen's Crown Tournament, so I hope this is now the norm moving forward. Also, Becky Lynch's ARG graphic is the best one yet. Go on, change my mind. 

    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 RunDown (10/15/21): Supersize Me, Daddy Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Ricky Jay Publico
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