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    Thursday, November 16, 2017

    SmackDown RunDown Live (11/14/17): The Great RAW Raid

    And that’s why I bleed team blue! It’s the last stop before Survivor Series and we’re one show away from an awesome, overbooked, and lengthy (at least five hours! Five goddamn hours!) event. Also, RAW finally made their move against SmackDown Live! Was the wait worth it? Let’s get down to it before they powerbomb Shane again.

    Survivor Series Update: Kurt Angle and RAW Superstars raid SmackDown Live

    So RAW finally hijacked a SmackDown Live show and it was, um, fine, I guess. Everyone was already expecting the Red Brand to make their move this week so the least Creative could do was differentiate it from the siege three weeks ago. All they did was storm in and contain the action in the ring, so. it didn’t feel like a raid, siege, or even a hijack. It was simply a regular brawl that we usually see during a Royal Rumble go-home show. Triple H, John Cena, or Randy Orton didn’t even bother showing up to help their respective teams out. Where was Rusev or Breezango or the Bludgeon Brothers even? It was a raid for the sake of sending the build-up full circle. It wasn’t as exciting as the siege, though it was nice to see the Shield back together again.

    Oh, and one last nitpick: Kurt Angle should’ve ended the beatdown with his patented ankle lock. Breaking Shane McMahon’s ankle days before the PPV would be a good move to show RAW’s aggression and desperation to assert themselves as the A-show, since that’s the only thing these guys are fighting for. Seriously, can’t we raise the stakes here? Winners get overtime pay? Additional vacation leave? A better dental plan for Cesaro? Nothing? Alright, I guess. I do like the way Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn escaped before the brawl happened. I’m so ready for their backstabbing moment at Survivor Series. Do you think they’ll get the treatment they gave to Miz and R-Truth back when they were disgruntled employees in 2011?

    Here’s how my RAW raid will have gone if I booked it. I’ll have the RAW guys take out the SmackDown Live roster one at a time backstage throughout the entire show. Once the main event comes, the New Day, Kevin Owens, Sami Zayn, and Shane McMahon will be the only healthy ones left. Owens and Zayn will still escape, leaving the New Day and Shane to fend for themselves. Then the Shield can triple powerbomb each of them, leaving the SD commish for an excruciating Ankle Lock. A strategic raid is a more embarrassing attack on SmackDown Live and an injured Shane adds more obstacles for the Blue Brand. Oh well, this is just me cursing at the wind.

    Charlotte Flair captures her first SmackDown Women’s Championship

    After a grueling match, Charlotte Flair broke the hometown curse by beating Natalya for her title in the Queen City. First off, can we talk about how awesome this match was? Both women gave it their best shot in a rather physical match that thankfully didn’t end with a screwy finish because I initially thought Natalya would weasel her way out of this. The match ended with a Figure Eight which was weird because Charlotte didn’t bother targeting Natalya’s legs throughout the entire match. Other than that one inconsistent detail, this match easily nabbed the match of the night award—possibly the best title defense for Natalya.

    Speaking of Natalya, did she have to lose the title this soon? I don’t really mind a Natalya vs. Alexa Bliss face-off. The Survivor Series setting should be an excuse for two heels to fight each other under the pretense of representing their brand. I do understand that Charlotte vs. Alexa Bliss has a bigger draw, I just hope Natalya can carry the momentum she had even after losing the title. Charlotte’s victory left a gaping hole in the women’s Survivor Series team and instead of adding Natalya immediately, they left the spot open until the PPV itself. Well, I guess we’re getting Paige after all. Brace yourselves, Xavier Woods jokes are coming.     

    Some Blue Brand Vibes and Blues—Live!

    Vibe: Anyone want to hire Daniel Bryan as your personal advocate/hypemaster? I would. Just check out how D-Bry hyped the AJ Styles vs. Brock Lesnar match and you’ll see what I mean. He spoke like he’s the one facing Lesnar, and I bet that’s what he wanted in his heart of hearts while delivering that promo. It did a great job hyping up the historic match-up on such short notice. It was even as effective as Paul Heyman’s scathing selling points. I guess we now know what the future holds for Bryan. Anyone else want to see Bryan accompany Styles to the ring on Monday (Manila time)?

    Vibe: I was afraid Baron Corbin would lose the United States Championship since that’s been the trend recently, so I was relieved to see him retain against Sin Cara. As much as we all want to get fresh faces over on the show, giving them titles instantly isn’t the way to do so (see: Jinder Mahal). Good call to allow Corbin to retain and flesh out his reign. Hopefully, Creative will give him more chances to look more dominant.

    Vibe: Let this be a confirmation: Chad Gable has become a dick. I’m not saying I agree with it, but at least being a bad guy brought out the more aggressive side in his already impressive moveset. I actually felt good when Jey Uso superkicked the wits out of him for the victory. Gable got me worked hard. I do hope being heel will finally get him noticed. Turning on his American Alpha 2.0 should be a good first step.

    Blue: Let’s just take a moment to appreciate James Ellsworth, probably the second most successful pure jobber of our generation (I like the guy, but he ain’t Santino Marella). I think reverting him back to his lovable idiot character is a more proper send-off. But by looking back at his accomplishments and the fact that he was released after completing two entertaining story arcs made me realize I had nothing to complain about. He was actually a good performer, able to rally the people behind and against him in a snap. Only a few people can do such a trick, and I can’t believe one of them is this chinless dude. On the bright side, I heard Bullet Club’s looking for recruits...

    SMACKDOWN RUNDOWN: Despite my nitpicks, I’m still hyped for Survivor Series! Are you kidding me? When Survivor Series finally comes, I’ll be forgetting the fact that there’s nothing on the line or that the PPV is five hours long. AJ Styles vs. Brock Lesnar, Triple H and his younger brother Bobby Roode in the same ring, The Shield vs. The New Day, The Usos vs. The Bar—how can you even say no? It’s been a while since we witnessed a chaotic, all-star brand war and while last year was okay, this year’s is more intense and prolific than ever. So yeah, I can choose to be critical about it, but I’ll let my dumb male brain take over for a while and enjoy the show. For now, this go-home show will receive another respectable B.

    Did you enjoy this week’s SmackDown Live? Do you think Breezango will job to the Bludgeon Brothers next week? Let’s all look for my journalistic integrity at the comments below.

    Ricky Jay Publico (@NitPickRick) 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 (11/14/17): The Great RAW Raid Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Ricky Jay Publico
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