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    Thursday, March 16, 2017

    SmackDown RunDown Live (3/14/17): Not for Hardcore Fans

    How’s it hanging, guys? Welcome to this week’s Smackdown RunDown Live. Excuse me if I’m a bit off this week. I hate to start with a rant, but hey, all my columns here at Smark Henry are a bunch of organized rants.

    Is anyone excited for WrestleMania? I’m looking at the card so far and I can only point out a few matches that I actually want to see. But every time you express displeasure with this year’s big event, some smart assholes will retort back “It’s for the casual fans” or “If you don’t like it, don’t watch it” or any response in the same tone. Really? Are you kidding me? While the first statement has some degree of truth in it--wait, scratch that, it’s actually true. But is that really an excuse for the horrible storylines we’re getting? Is that reason enough not to criticize the current product? That I should just not watch it because I don’t like who’s in it? Really? Guess what, I don’t like how the leaders of this country are running things. Should I just pack my bags and move to another country then? I can’t make fun of the people in charge and the stupid decisions they make on a weekly basis? God, I hate WrestleMania.

    I apologize for being a hardcore fan who actually wants to make wrestling better for everyone. But no, I guess the casuals can have fun with our current lineup of exciting storylines. WrestleMania is the time for old-timers to earn their paycheck, the part-timers to get some warm-up before moving to their next ventures outside the ring, and for the active roster, who are actually the ones who will carry the company for the next few months, will have to settle at the back of the spotlight. If that’s what the casuals want, well by golly they’re gonna get it. But don’t tell me to just shut up and watch.

    Okay, rant over. Initiate this week’s review.

    The Return of Bray Wyatt and Randy Bore-ton

    Man, I almost forgot about Randy Orton and Bray Wyatt. I was so focused on a certain storyline that I kinda left the Orton-Wyatt storyline on auto-pilot the past few weeks, mainly because I have no problem with the progression of their story. I actually like it. So yeah, I thought Creative can’t screw this up until this episode happened. It didn’t suck that bad, it’s just that this week’s Orton and Wyatt segment was lacking.

    Let’s start with the Randy Orton promo. I literally yawned during his entire speech. Maybe it’s because I’m doing my SmackDown Live duties at midnight, but even if I’m watching this on a weekend with all the time in the world, I would still yawn. It sounded like someone at the back rewrote his awesome arson promo from two weeks ago and wrote it on an idiot board for Randy Orton to read inside the ring. We already know his plan, his motives, and his goals. Why is he explaining it again? I guess they had to rehash his promo for the casuals to completely understand. His boring delivery also didn’t do him any favors. We just wasted around five minutes of our lives just to listen to this guy babble.

    Now let’s head to Bray Wyatt. If you think about it, what he did was pretty messed up. Imagine smearing mud to your body. Gross, right? Now imagine if the mud was made from someone’s burnt corpse. That was a dark and awesome spot right there. It gave Wyatt a more dangerous vibe. My only problem with it is that his promo was too short and had no other spectacle. I’m not saying it was bad, this is just me being a #NitPickRick kind of guy. Orton burned down a house. I was just expecting Wyatt would try to top that atrocity with something more sinister, you know? He missed one week so I was expecting a grand return to power. I hope they’re just holding back so they can try to destroy each other in the remaining weeks of their buildup. This is the brand’s main storyline, so you can’t really blame me if my expectations are high. Or I guess whatever works for the casuals, right?

    Some Blue Brand Vibes and Blues—Live!

    Blue: Man, this entire Styles-Shane situation is so all over the place, and they even dragged D-Bry into this. Who cares about what you think, you goat-faced hippie? Why would you even “fire” Styles if Shane will just hire him back moments later to fight him at WrestleMania? The tension was already there, there’s no need to fake fire somebody. At least the beatdown was fun to watch. Like I’ve been saying for weeks now, you can’t expect me to feel sorry for Shane. As Styles put it, he brought this all on himself. There’s no way the crowd’s going to boo AJ Styles at the Grandest Stage of Them All. But hey, what do I know. My opinion doesn’t count anyway, I’m not a casual.

    Blue: So, MizTV happened. It was bad. So bad. First off, this segment had too much Maryse. They gave too much time for Maryse to speak and someone in Creative forgot how she wasn’t the best of talkers. Second, can someone tell me why should I cheer for nepotism? Oh, and D-Bry, if you really want to punch Miz in the face, go ahead and do it, you biased, brother-and-sister-in-law favoring little turd. Show some damn neutrality for once, will ya? You’re supposed to be the bigger man here. Jeez, I didn’t realize how this segment made me hate Daniel Bryan this much. Did you know his naming his first child “Birdie”? I hate this episode so much.

    Vibe: Despite my hatred for this episode, they’re actually doing something right with the women’s division. Carmella had a strong moment after the Becky Lynch vs Natalya match which was also an average match. Meanwhile, the now-babyface Mickie James and champ Alexa Bliss delivered a short and sweet match; I just wished the crowd gave a damn about it. The way Alexa sold that Mick-kick was so graceful. This Alexa vs The World storyline is shaping up to be a fantastic WrestleMania match and that’s one of the few things I’m excited for in this god-awful casuals-friendly PPV.

    Blue: After being absent for two straight weeks, the tag team division is back with a vengeance! They even took the main spot as The Usos finally pinned the American Alpha in a hard-fought battle. Again, the crowd didn’t give a damn about the main event. I appreciate the gesture, but if the crowd, especially the casuals, were not exposed to an entire division for weeks, they probably won’t care the next time they appear on the show. Oh well, guess who’ll be in the ‘Mania pre-show this year?

    Blue: Mojo Rawley defeated Dolph Ziggler via count-out. What, am I supposed to care?

    Blue: Another reason why this episode was kinda weird was because we only had two announcers at the commentary table. Yey! Unfortunately, it’s Maggle and the airplane sexter running the show. Urgh. This is why we need a play-by-play guy like the great Mauro Ranallo at commentary. Both these buffoons don’t know how to call most of the moves and they sounded like two men just describing how every move feels, and of course they all hurt, geniuses. Mauro, please come back next week. Thanks. Stupid blizzard ruining my wrestling.

    SMACKDOWN RUNDOWN: Well, we all knew SmackDown Live’s going to have a bad episode at some point, and although this one’s not that bad, it’s completely crap compared to the string of awesome episodes the Blue Brand has ever produced. This episode made me see some of SmackDown Live’s negative aspects that I never knew existed and I never thought would annoy the hell out of me, especially how babyface authorities can make you hate the system sometimes. I’d give this episode a C, probably the first bad episode of the year. That is, if my opinion as a hardcore fan counts.

    Did you enjoy this week’s SmackDown Live? Will you smear a dead body’s ashes to your body for a million bucks? Do my taxes for me down the comments.


    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 (3/14/17): Not for Hardcore Fans Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Ricky Jay Publico
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