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    Thursday, February 14, 2019

    SmackDown RunDown Live (2/12/19): #GiveKofiAChance

    It took them decades to do it, but I think WWE finally learned to harness the power of troll booking.

    Remember when fans spent months speculating who the Higher Power was, only to end up getting kicked in the nuts with a lame Mr. McMahon reveal? WWE has been trolling the fans for years with shitty storylines like this. Remember the Anonymous RAW GM? CM Punk losing his heat against Triple H? Brock Lesnar retaining the Universal Championship at last year’s WrestleMania? WWE usually trolls the hardcore fans to punish us for knowing too much.

    But somehow, Creative finally realized that they can troll the fans in a good way. In today’s Twitter age when the WWE Universe has already seen 85% of what’s behind the curtain, the powers that be found a clever and engaging way to snatch the rug from under us, the all-knowing fans, and play with our emotions like they did back in the old days. I feel like we’ve reached a new level of kayfabe here, or maybe that’s just me overthinking again.

    Think about it. They just pulled a fast one on us by “suspending” Becky Lynch and shoehorning Charlotte Flair into the historic WrestleMania 35 main event last Tuesday (Manila Time). Everyone who isn’t Charlotte Flair was livid. The outrage was palpable from both spectrums of wrestling fans. But as our Editor at Large brilliantly explained, it’s probably the best swerve WWE has ever executed. We smarks got worked, people! How the hell did that happen?

    WWE exercised their newfound skill this week on SmackDown Live by giving us another instant classic gauntlet match. I’d even argue that this was way better than last year’s RAW gauntlet that showcased Rollins as the Red Brand’s Iron Man, but hey, that’s just me. This week, the Blue Brand found their very own Iron Man: expert pancake thrower Kofi Kingston.

    Feel free to correct me, but this was probably the best ovation Kofi has ever received in his entire career as a singles competitor. This ain’t a simple cool Rumble or MITB stunt he just did. He beat three main event-caliber Superstars in one match—one of them being the WWE Champion. That’s the best push he has received since he was feuding with Randy Orton in 2009. Call him Lady Gaga because a star was born, plain and simple.

    Remember when we wanted WWE to #GiveTruthAChance and they ended up delivering? So yeah, it’s time to give #GiveKofiAChance a shot. Seriously, after his legendary performance this week, WWE should be obligated to give him at least one full reign as champ. Besides, the WWE Championship scene is covered in a thick fog of uncertainty anyway. Bryan’s contender could be Mustafa Ali. It could be the now babyface Miz. Or it could very well be Kofi Kingston himself, thanks to his 60-minute performance this week. C’mon, Vince, make it happen already.

    And after all that jazz, guess who ended up winning the entire thing. Better yet, guess how many minutes the eventual winner wrestled to get that victory. All he did was dish out the most afhsdfnaserwer of all RKOs and BAM! Randy Orton wins, easy peasy. Orton, the guy who’s always getting them opportunities every time he blinks. Just like Charlotte Flair, Orton was booked to win a grueling match in the most comfortable method imaginable. Genius.

    Sure, there was no outrage, but most fans drove their palms straight to their faces after seeing Orton win another big one. After seeing Kofi fight his way through the gauntlet, nobody wanted to see this veteran main-eventer, who has already won a bunch of world titles in his prime win the whole damn thing. But using the Charlotte Flair logic above, this move made you root for Kofi Kingston even more, right? Orton may have won but Kofi Kingston still came out a star.

    Yeah, it’s annoying to get trolled. But WWE trolling us is part of the ride now. I believe that they actually had a change of heart these past few months. They’re not just punishing us anymore for loving their product too much. If anything, they genuinely want to give us what we want; they just want us to work hard for it. So just enjoy the ride. It’s not supposed to be smooth sailin’ all the time, you know.

    SMACKDOWN RUNDOWN: Do yourself a favor and watch this week’s episode if you haven’t already. Charlotte Flair’s full heel promo deserves a nod and there was a good triple threat tag match in there somewhere. But you should definitely stick around to see Kofi Kingston defy the odds in an exciting gauntlet match for the ages. If you still think he’s not WWE Championship material after this, there’s really no helping you. It’s another easy A for me.

    The RunDown Cutting Board

    • Where’s Asuka? I didn’t mention this last week because I was satisfied with her video package. My mindset is that maybe Asuka’s in line for a Brock Lesnar type of deal where she just appears on SmackDown Live as the premium prizefighter and maybe she gets to cut a promo or two. But this week, she was barely mentioned. Now I’m concerned. Please, give her something that’s worth tuning in for. She’s still the SmackDown Women’s Champion, dammit!
    • For once, The IIconics looked great just days before Elimination Chamber. It’s refreshing to see them triumph over everyone else instead of laying flat on their backs. It’s a long shot, but I still want these Aussies to win it all. Maybe WWE’s also looking to troll us by giving the IIconics the win. Who’s with me?
    • Also, The Usos and Team McMiz had a great segment. I still can’t believe I’m out here rooting for a badass Shane McMahon like he’s the most legit wrestler in the company. The Usos may have brought the verbal heat, but Shane-O dished out the best zingers of the night. This rivalry is fire!
    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 (2/12/19): #GiveKofiAChance Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Ricky Jay Publico
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