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    Thursday, February 7, 2019

    SmackDown RunDown Live (2/5/19): BeckyMania’s Running Wild

    According to the Chinese calendar, this year is supposed to be the Year of the Pig. It would’ve been cool if Becky Lynch was a Pig, then we can really refer to 2019 as The Year of The Man. But don’t worry, because it’s still a great year for Becky Lynch. Since she was born in 1987, which makes her zodiac sign that of the Rabbit. According to most Chinese zodiac websites, people born in the Year of the Rabbit will receive lots of gifts and blessings this year, proving that even the Chinese zodiac is a  huge fan of The Man.

    And based on what happened this week on RAW and SmackDown Live, it looks like Becky Lynch’s prosperous year just got one notch better. After she won the Royal Rumble Match, we thought she’d slide right into RAW and start a feud with Ronda Rousey. We did get that, but we didn’t expect her to take the same spot originally slated for Rousey—a modern-day gender-swapped version of "Stone Cold" Steve Austin. She’s a great fit, too! How the hell did we miss that?

    Unlike the way she antagonized Ronda Rousey and basically every member of the RAW roster, Stephanie McMahon did a great job being the reasonable villain to The Man’s badass character. It didn’t feel forced, it didn’t involve emasculating tactics, and it didn’t make Becky Lynch look like shit. And when it was Triple H’s turn to grill The Man, her character was treated with so much dignity and reverence that it felt like Becky’s gunning for the WWE Championship from the Triple H of 2016. Damn, that would’ve been epic.

    All this stuff between Becky Lynch and The McMahons was so well done that the only gripe with it is that Becky didn’t sucker-punch Hunter like she did Charlotte Flair and Stephanie McMahon. I’m pretty sure Triple H can take a fist to the jaw and still gather himself up for a staredown with Becky. But sometimes, I just really have to shut up and enjoy the ride because we’re getting BeckyMania, folks! I’m just glad they’re not yet ruining this straight fire angle for everyone.

    Complimenting the WWE’s top storyline is SmackDown Live’s world title scene with Daniel Bryan and his sexy-ass hemp belt at the helm. D-Bry’s out here cutting fiery promos left and right, I’m starting to think that maybe they should let him keep the WWE Championship for at least a year. Thank the stars Seth Rollins didn’t pick Bryan two weeks ago because I can’t really imagine anyone holding the top prize right now. Also, I’m not ready to say goodbye to the RVD memorial belt just yet.

    But the way SmackDown Live is hyping up their Elimination Chamber Match is great, although nothing of note really happened this week. Bryan came out with a great promo as always and his contenders brawled. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing. We did get a fun Randy Orton vs. Mustafa Ali match and we saw Rowan’s badass new finisher, an Iron Claw Chokeslam. I wonder why he didn’t dish this out when he was a Bludgeon Brother. So yeah, I guess it was still eventful after all.

    And the contenders now have rivalries amongst themselves, which is a great way to hype up the Chamber Match further. Samoa Joe and Orton are busy beating down Ali while a babyface vs. babyface rivalry is slowly brewing between AJ Styles and Jeff Hardy. Now that’s a rivalry I want to see. Maybe Hardy is the catalyst for Styles’ animalistic tendencies or something like that. The point is Daniel Bryan needs to be champion for a long time, but I won’t mind seeing everyone under him beat each other up for a title shot.

    SMACKDOWN RUNDOWN: SmackDown Live is always great when they’re laser-focused on building up their storylines. This week’s episode was no different, with Becky Lynch and the Elimination Chamber main event being the driving forces of the show. And while Daniel Bryan’s doing pretty well with his fantastic heel run, all eyes should be on Becky Lynch and her Stone Cold-esque feud with her own generation of McMahons foiling her every move. For these and another brawl-for-all hype for Elimination Chamber, a strong B+ is in order for the Blue Brand.

    The RunDown Cutting Board

    • Did we really need another tag team? Rusev and Shinsuke Nakamura teaming up felt so unnecessary on a roster stacked with already great tag teams. Sure, you can argue that we didn’t need The Miz and Shane McMahon as a team, but at least they had a great storyline to justify their existence. Should we start calling this makeshift team the Anti-Bar?

    • If y’all are gonna make Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville team up for a long time, maybe give them a proper tag team entrance and not a theme song that starts with someone whispering “Mandy?” I’m really sick of seeing Sonya being blurred out by Mandy’s bokeh effect every time she does her kickass taunt.

    • Yes, SmackDown Live didn’t have qualifying matches for the Women’s Tag Team Championship Chamber match because their women's roster is not that deep. They even had to insert a makeshift team to complete the spots. “But what about the Sky Pirates?” For one, they’re from NXT, so no. And second, do you really want to lump two talented wrestlers together in a team when they can be split between the main roster brands and kick ass on their own?
    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 (2/5/19): BeckyMania’s Running Wild Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Ricky Jay Publico
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