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    Thursday, September 29, 2016

    SmackDown RunDown Live (9/27/16): Stepping It Up a Notch

    Face the facts! This edition of SmackDown RunDown Live is brought to you by the same guy who delivers it to you week after week, so yeah, no changes there. Speaking of deliver, the Blue Brand definitely delivered another fun show that featured a WWE Championship match and a guy who had a mental breakdown. We should start right now, really.

    John Cena stood tall over his No Mercy rivals

    The Phenomenal One defended his WWE World Championship against the Dude in an excellent Backlash rematch, with Cena scouting at commentary, as you do. Cena ended up distracting Styles and Ambrose, allowing Styles to roll up Ambrose for the win. After the match, Ambrose and later Styles both received an AA each for their troubles as John Cena gave us a possible scenario for No Mercy, a historic, record-breaking scenario, that is.

    You really have to praise the booking of this triple threat rivalry. Last week was Ambrose’s turn to shine and this week, Cena got his chance. Cena’s involvement tonight might even set up a future story with Ambrose and it’s very likely that this storyline will trigger Ambrose’s heel turn. On a side note, I love it when Cena holds up a belt. It always looks cool to me. They better make AJ Styles look strong next week. Maybe have him beat Cena again via shenanigans.

    Dolph Ziggler begged for one last IC title match

    The two sons of Cleveland went face-to-face as Dolph Ziggler interrupts The Miz’ homecoming celebration. The Miz came out, complete with fireworks and an awesome Miz video package, and bragged about his accomplishments. Dolph Ziggler then came out and tried to ruin the night but Miz just went ahead and ripped Ziggy a new one. As Mike starts to leave, Ziggler just broke down and begged The Miz for another IC title match with his career on the line. That’s one huge way to up the ante on an already red hot story.

    What’s not to love about this segment? The Miz did an amazing job gathering heat in his own city and the way he antagonized Ziggler was pure gold. He really wants to send Ziggler away as he quickly addressed the loopholes that losers of a retirement match take advantage (moving to RAW, going to NXT, all that stuff). I love how The Miz suddenly became eager to face Ziggler knowing that his victory would send someone packing for good. His character just keeps on getting better.

    Dolph Ziggler, on the other hand, was shouting his lines again but it totally makes sense this time. His promo was emotional and heartfelt and at this point, I don’t care if he turns heel or not. I want him to be this passionate Son of Cleveland and if he plans to stay with WWE, it will probably help him propel back to the main event scene. I really have to see No Mercy now. It’s been a while since we’ve had a very emotional match-up in WWE. I don’t want the never-ending Intercontinental Championship to end just yet, but I don’t want to see Ziggler leave just yet, either. Stop playing with our hearts!

    Some Blue Brand Vibes and Blues—Live!

    I hope you’re glued to your seats because here’s another round of Vibes and Blues! As usual, Vibe is equivalent to a Yes chant while Blue is as good as a resounding boo. Enough chitter-chatter, let’s begin!

    Vibe: I don’t know if you enjoyed the Predator or Prey segment or not, but I kinda liked it. They tweaked the formula, at least. Orton and Wyatt actually traded a few punches before Wyatt escaped and Orton put the goat mask on and started singing. That one was weird, the good kind of weird. Even Erick Rowan’s mask evolved from the shitty clown mask to this demonic ram. That was a superb upgrade. Don’t change it next week.

    Vibe: The Usos got a new entrance! Their new theme song didn’t really stick with me, but hey, it’s broody and evil and it suits them well. The Uce twins teamed up with the Ascension to face the SmackDown Tag Team Champions Slayno and the American Alpha in a fun 8-man tag that saw Heath Slater tapping out to a vicious Half Boston Crab from Jimmy Uso. Creative is really going all in with the badass twins and I can’t agree more. Maybe have them not do any Samoan splashes and we’re good. Now only if they turn their cousin Roman heel…

    Vibe: Carmella and Natalya defeated Nikki Bella and Naomi in a rematch from last week’s “tag match”. I think this was the match we should have seen last week. It was given enough time to develop and the action was okay. Carmella pinning Nikki Bella via roll-up was also good. I really wish they didn’t waste last week’s segment with a no contest. The women of SmackDown Live can work matches. I say let them tell better stories in the ring.

    Blue: Speaking of the SmackDown Live women, Alexa Bliss attacked the SmackDown Women’s Champion from behind. Okay, I guess? How come this segment got the least airtime? They should at least have Becky fight someone, then she gets jumped on by Alexa. Just sayin’.

    Backstage Segment of the Night: John Cena talking smack on… um, Talking Smack

    It was John Cena’s turn to talk smack on Talking Smack and it was awesome. He’s just a natural on the mic and regardless if you hate him or not, his promo tonight made you want to see him tie Ric Flair’s historic record. He also threw some shade on Dean Ambrose’s statements last week and I sense a Cena vs. Ambrose coming after No Mercy. I don’t want Cena to win just yet. I want him to chase his 16th title for some time. That would be cool.

    SMACKDOWN RUNDOWN: I really think someone from the SmackDown Live Creative team read my review last week. They actually improved on the other storylines while keeping the main event as stellar as last week’s. That’s amazing! Aside from my usual nitpicking, I actually enjoyed everything that transpired on this show. SmackDown Live finally ended their B streak as they receive a well-deserved A for their awesome effort this week.

    Did you enjoy this week’s SmackDown Live? Do you think Baron Corbin should have at least cut a promo? Bake me a cake down at the comments.

    Photos from WWE.com

    Ricky Jay Publico is a wrestling fan who enjoys watching high flyers and brawlers battle it out in the ring. A known Botchamania binge-watcher, he claims to have memorized the chronological order of Royal Rumble winners, but fails to remember who won in 2004. He writes stories about life and nonsense.

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    Item Reviewed: SmackDown RunDown Live (9/27/16): Stepping It Up a Notch Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Ricky Jay Publico
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