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    Thursday, February 16, 2017

    SmackDown RunDown Live (2/14/17): The Era of Wyatt

    You deserve it! Can you believe this episode aired on a Valentine’s day and yet there was little to no reference about it? Not trying to be bitter or anything, I just find it weird. But hey, I digress. This week, we witnessed the birth of a new era. Let’s get down to it.

    The Era of Wyatt begins by dominating SmackDown Live’s top stars

    Finally, Bray Wyatt has the whole world in his hands.

    I’ll have to eat every comment I made about the Wyatt-Orton storyline in my previous columns. In my defense, I didn’t really expect they’ll use this storyline as the vehicle for Bray’s first world title run. Plus, it gave Luke Harper a chance to go over as a betrayed follower who is now out to get the leader he falsely served. The Wyatt Family may finally be finished, but Bray Wyatt is cool again. So forgive me, Bray. I’ll definitely follow the buzzards from now on.

    It’s also a good sign to see Wyatt being built as a strong and menacing champion. He pinned Cena then Styles to win the title on Sunday, and this week, he defeated both men in a triple threat match that effectively removed both men’s rematch clauses. This type of main event is why I love SmackDown Live. It had the right balance of action and storytelling, what’s not to love? Special mention goes to Cena and Styles after they did a callback on their Royal Rumble encounter—that one I did enjoy. Orton declaring his devotion to Wyatt after the match was just icing on the Wyatt cake, a cake I would absolutely gobble up.

    I do have to talk about AJ Styles since Cena will be heading to an awesome storyline with the Miz. After his interview in this week’s Talking Smack, I’m convinced that they really want Styles to face Shane O’Mac at WrestleMania. That’s just stupid, really. Can someone tell me how this is a good idea? Shane can wrestle a bit, sure, but why should he wrestle someone as good as AJ Styles at the grandest stage of them all? Both men literally have nothing to gain if they pushed through with this storyline, especially AJ. Besides, the best option for him is to, I don’t know, turn him face already? Seriously, let him #EmbracetheLove!

    Some Blue Brand Vibes and Blues—Live!

    Vibe: Baron Corbin beating the hell out of Dean Ambrose this week was awesome. That massive Deep Six through the equipment table would’ve been perfect if the pyro guy didn’t have a premature explosion. Seriously, that spot ticked me off. It could’ve been perfect, an early contender for OMG moment of the year, even. Damnit, pyro guy. You’re the worst. Anyway, I really want to see Corbin win the Intercontinental Championship before he loses it to someone in a multi-man ladder match at WrestleMania. Wishful thinking.

    Vibe: American Alpha had their hands full as they faced the Ascension in a tag team match. If anything, this was a good sign for the Ascension. Sure, they lost, but it didn’t feel like a squash match. The Ascension were given enough airtime to show us what they got. Hell, they even got a televised entrance! When’s the last time they were treated like that? Slowly but surely, the former Road Warriors rip-off are finding their way back to relevance. Side note: I hated the Usos’ promo. How the hell did they rent that shipping container from Bray Wyatt? You know, when we though Sister Abigail let him out after Orton trapped him in?

    Blue: The Becky Lynch vs Mickie James was a weird one. It had a very slow start with too many rest holds for my taste, and when it finally picked up the pace, they ended the match abruptly. I know both women can deliver quality matches; it’s just weird to see them lose chemistry all of a sudden. Sure, Mickie James gained an effectively heel-ish win over Becky, but I do hope their third rubber match would be better than their first two.

    Vibe: The newly-minted SmackDown Women’s Champion Naomi and Alexa Bliss had to settle with a promo since Naomi injured her left knee at Elimination Chamber. I was really hoping Naomi would be in action this week, though. I hope this injury won’t lead to something serious now that SmackDown Live’s blooming women’s division needs her athleticism more than ever. As always, Alexa did a great job mocking the injured champion and carried the segment through the end.

    Vibe: Apollo Crews and Dolph Ziggler both had great interview segments this week. Apollo went on Talking Smack and talked about Ziggler and his family. His interview definitely did a great job adding some personality to the boring Apollo character. Now we know where’s coming from—he’s not just some guy defending a friend. Meanwhile, Ziggler basically declared to obliterate current and future NXT callups. Tye Dillinger, beware.

    SMACKDOWN RUNDOWN: This episode was awesome because of one man: Bray freakin’ Wyatt. Sure, the rest of the show contributed too, but don’t you just love the vibe of SmackDown Live right now? It really feels like anything can happen. You think Wyatt will face Orton at WrestleMania? Think again. I mean, it will happen, it’s hard not to appreciate the efforts of SmackDown Live to give their storylines some nice twists. I do worry about how the Blue Brand can maintain the quality of their show for seven weeks, but knowing these guys, I’m sure they’ll be just fine. So for the genesis of the Wyatt Era, I’m obliged to award this episode a solid A.

    Did you enjoy this week’s SmackDown Live? Did you notice The Miz was absent? Tell me why you’re alone last Valentine’s at the comments section below.


    Ricky Jay Publico (@HarambeMustLive) 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 (2/14/17): The Era of Wyatt Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Ricky Jay Publico
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