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    Thursday, December 13, 2018

    SmackDown RunDown Live (12/11/18): Word To Your Mother

    And just like that, #NitPickRick is back! Last week, I was going to feature a long winding rant about Xavier Woods calling fans fickle, entitled infants. But since I deliberately cleared out all of my tasks in preparation for my long-awaited vacation, my thoughts on the matter went with them. So let’s just say I agree to disagree with my man Xavier. This entitled infant is still a big fan of probably the most positive dude in WWE.

    TLC Hype: Asuka sticks Charlotte and Becky, Bryan Beats Ali, Ice Ice Sheamy

    How do you plead the case to make Becky Lynch vs. Charlotte Flair vs. Asuka the TLC main event? Pull off one of the best SmackDown Live main events in 2018, that’s how. The Blue Brand’s TLC send-off saw Charlotte Flair and Asuka relive their WrestleMania 34 rivalry in a match that managed to elevate both women’s stock and then some. Seriously, only a few people ionn the roster can manhandle Charlotte Flair the way Asuka did. In fact, I think there are only three off the top of my head and one of them’s the SmackDown Women’s Champion, Becky Lynch.

    Speaking of Becky Lynch, The Man didn’t sit this one out. After Flair threw out the match with a few kendo stick shots, chaos ensued as Lynch somehow got involved. But before Flair and Lynch could tear each other apart once again, Asuka, the apparent third wheel of this storyline, whacked the living shit out of both women. Aside from the cool visual of Asuka obliterating her opponents, it’s a good sign that Becky Lynch will be prepared to take more bumps come TLC.

    And hey, it painted Asuka as an actual, honest-to-goodness threat, something we haven’t seen in months. I’m feeling good about her chances come Monday (Manila time). Sure, it’s gonna suck that Becky Lynch will lose the title, but I’m pretty sure she’ll have a busier 2019, especially during WrestleMania season. Asuka needs the win the most and there’s no perfect way to pull the trigger now than at the main event of a historic TLC

    Sadly, that’s the only great thing about this week’s show. We kicked things off with Daniel Bryan rambling for minutes before he was interrupted by an equally vanilla Mustafa Ali. I don’t get why they had to make Bryan a rambling hippie. It’s also annoying how this was a rehash of his promo two weeks ago. Bryan can just shout words from his pretentious vocabulary to get them boos. Just give us this great first-time match already!

    And because of this directionless pre-match promo, we got to see a rushed match, where most of Ali’s offense got bumped to the small box during commercial breaks. I do enjoy how they’re building up Bryan as SmackDown Live’s main villain. I was skeptical when Bryan decided to burn his Yes Movement merch money, but seeing him tearing it up as a baddie must be worth it. He’s even a Thanos-type of villain, a man who makes a whole lot of sense despite his evil ways. Stop being fickle and ignorant, people!

    I really don’t get why Creative loves going out of their way to make The Bar the lamest tag team ever. Seriously, when were Sheamus and Cesaro painted as a major threat during their run as champs? Saddling them with Big Show didn’t help. This shitty rap battle didn’t help ,as well. I wasn’t expecting them to drop some sick burns, but I didn’t want them to be that lame either. Can’t they at least get a decent promo where they don’t look like chumps? I still have flashbacks from when Big Show knocked Cesaro out that one time.

    Thank heavens The Usos can spit some bars like it’s the most natural thing to do. They saved this segment big time, but why can’t this be a triple threat rap battle since, you know, they’re competing in a triple threat match at TLC? And honestly, how hard is it to write a few rhymes for Cesaro and Sheamus? It doesn’t have to be that great. Just make it sound credible enough for a white cracker rap. None of this Ice Ice Sheamy bullshit. They didn’t diss The Usos or New Day. Isn’t that the point of rap battles?

    Oh, and before I forget again, The Miz took his obsession with Shane McMahon to a whole new level this week by sanctioning an impromptu tag team match. I’m loving this storyline so far, mainly because I still don’t know what the endgame is. If this is a vehicle to execute a double turn, it’ll be a slow burn indeed. But at least we have another compelling storyline to look forward to in 2019. I’m all for it! Let’s just forget that shitty Tornado DDT and we’ll be fine. 

    SMACKDOWN RUNDOWN: It started out sluggish, but this week’s episode turned out great thanks solely to the chaotic main event. No, really, that’s the only thing worth seeing this week. Still, compared to the other go-home shows SmackDown Live produced the entire year, this one turned out fine. Aside from Asuka destroying the competition, the matches were okay at best and the promos were decent, if not repetitive or drawn-out. So yeah, here’s a B followed by an “It’s alright, I guess” shrug.

    Some Blue Brand Thoughts That Didn’t Make It

    • Hey, Rusev and Jeff Hardy won a tag match. The problem is it’s against Shinsuke Nakamura and Samoa Joe. So much for Joe’s mind games now that they've already met in the ring. I love it when Creative kills the momentum of their storylines. Also, what is Nakamura’s thing even? Just give the United States Championship to Rusev already. Jeez.
    • Randy Orton and Rey Mysterio did something. What, am I supposed to care?
    • Love the running theme of The Miz hiring ethnically diverse jobbers. Maybe next time, he’ll hire an Asian highflyer and a Jewish brawler or something. 
    • A few words the new Daniel Bryan should add to his vocab: Impertinent! Ruttish! Barnacle! Clotpole! Miscreant! Puttock! Varlot! Horrescent! And my personal favorite: Hoity-Toity!

    Photos from WWE.com


    Ricky Jay Publico (@NitPickRick) is a wrestling fan who enjoys watching high flyers and brawlers battle it out in the ring. A frequent 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 (12/11/18): Word To Your Mother Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Ricky Jay Publico
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