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    Thursday, September 22, 2016

    SmackDown RunDown Live (9/20/16): The Lunatic vs The Franchise

    It’s all about the glow! Are you ready for another edition of SmackDown RunDown Live? Before we support our Monday night counterpart on their upcoming Clash of Champions PPV, the Blue Brand looks to steal the spotlight with two big main events. Let’s get down to it.

    Dean Ambrose Steals a Win from John Cena

    For the first time on SmackDown Live, Dean Ambrose goes one-on-one with John Cena in tonight’s main event. I was actually intrigued with how this one would go down and I was not disappointed. The match was good and both men were evenly-matched. Cena couldn’t get the job done with an AA, while Dean Ambrose failed to end the match with Dirty Deeds. In the end, Ambrose was able to roll Cena up for the win. After the match, WWE World Champion AJ Styles came out and attacked Cena and Ambrose before SmackDown Live GM Daniel Bryan announced that the Phenomenal One will defend the WWE World Championship against Dean Ambrose next week on SmackDown Live!

    After the huge announcement, Ambrose was able to recover and hit Styles with Dirty Deeds to close the show. Now that’s a fine main event right there. Dean Ambrose was obviously the star of the night. A roll-up victory gave Ambrose the momentum he needs for No Mercy without making Cena look weak. It’s also a wonderful sight to see Cena lose clean. It makes him look more human and vulnerable. Ambrose is looking incredibly strong and hopefully, Creative this momentum to clearly define his character. As fun as his interview in Talking Smack was, we still don’t know what his character is. Can they just commit to making Ambrose heel and let him fire zingers at everyone?

    The Miz sprays off Dolph Ziggler to retain

    Aside from a massive first encounter, this week’s episode featured an Intercontinental Championship defense that saw Dolph Ziggler try his luck again in capturing the gold from the dastardly Miz. Their match wasn’t as good as their Backlash encounter, but it was still a fun co-main event. Towards the climax of the match, Maryse tried to spray something in Ziggler’s eyes but the ref caught her, prompting the official to send her to the back. After some action outside the ring, The Miz was able to grab the spray and did the dirty work himself, allowing him to hit Ziggler with a Skull-Crushing Finale for the win.

    Is there any heel in WWE who is as red hot as The Miz? Granted, he had a slight tumble when he was pinned by John Cena last week, but he was able to brush that off with another solid heel win. The Miz is also continuing the trend of mocking the SmackDown GM by borrowing some D-Bry moves. I really hope he won’t drop the IC title any time soon. I really think there’s no one in the roster who can hold the IC title and make it mean something other than Mike. As for Dolph, we have yet to see him snap after losing time and time again. I really hope they pull the trigger on the Ziggler heel turn soon.

    Some Blue Brand Vibes and Blues—Live!

    This week’s main events were indeed good, but what about the rest of the show? We’ll find out in another grueling edition of Vibes and Blues! For those who have short-term amnesia, Vibe means thumbs up while Blue means thumbs down. Shall we start?

    Vibe: Finally, a good tag team match! The Usos defeated the returning American Alpha to become the new #1 contenders for the SmackDown Tag Team Championships. The match was given enough time and it had enough story to make it interesting. The Usos are looking more legit to me and their backstage segment with the tag champs Slyno right after the match was excellent. The Beauty and the Man-Beast are in for a fight come No Mercy.

    Blue: The show opened with a contract signing for the SmackDown Women’s Championship match at No Mercy. I know they are trying their best to make Becky Lynch vs Alexa Bliss a big deal, but I just wish they gave both women better scripts. Alexa had a decent start before Becky went preachy for the nth time. Someone tell Becky she is allowed to be mean and aggressive sometimes. Needless to say, it ended with a table flip and a small scuffle. Welcome to the New Era?

    Blue: Randy Orton sent Erick Rowan packing with an RKO for the win before Bray Wyatt spoke on the Titantron about being a god or something. I really have lost interest in this rivalry. Unless they tweak their formula or they actually go at it, I won’t have anything positive to say. Let the guys fight and be done with this. On a side note, what the hell happened to Erick Rowan’s sheep mask?

    Blue: Baron Corbin sent Jack Swagger a statement by savagely defeating Apollo Crews. I don’t really get why they are setting up a Corbin-Swagger rivalry when they can just develop the Corbin-Crews rivalry and make it the SmackDown Live version of the Cesaro-Sheamus rivalry. Do we really need to push Swagger after his horrendous Rolling Stones promo last week? I’d rather watch Apollo Crews spell. And why isn’t Curt Hawkins debuting yet?

    Blue: Naomi and Nikki Bella vs Natalya and Carmella happened, apparently. I had to rewind since I wasn’t able to catch it during my first viewing. Carmella threw out the match by sending Nikki Bella through the barricade. Am I supposed to comment on that “match”? At least Carmella finally gave an official explanation about the Nikki Bella attacks on Talking Smack. That’s good, I guess?

    Backstage Segment of the Night: Dean Ambrose on Talking Smack

    I almost picked the backstage confrontation between the Uce twins and Slyno. I’m glad I stuck around and watched Talking Smack instead. Dean Ambrose was fantastic on the mic during his segment as he talked about his dislike of Cena and how he is better than both Cena and Styles. I really hope they cross the line and turn Ambrose completely heel. This is the Ambrose I can get behind: a guy who is unhinged and unfiltered.

    SMACKDOWN RUNDOWN: After a rather lackluster showing last week, SmackDown Live bounced back with a stellar championship match and two big names going one-on-one for the first time. This should be the kind of show the Blue Brand is producing week after week. They have to work on the other storylines too, not just the main event ones. But other than that, SmackDown Live is still a well-structured show compared to the previous episodes of RAW. For that, this week’s episode deserves a B.

    Did you enjoy this week’s SmackDown Live? Should we add Rowan’s shitty sheep mask on Jericho’s list? Write me a haiku 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 (9/20/16): The Lunatic vs The Franchise Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Ricky Jay Publico
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