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    Thursday, February 28, 2019

    SmackDown RunDown Live (2/26/18): KofiMania? More Like KO-Mania

    After watching some highlights from this week’s RAW, I was ready to concede that the Red Brand won the week. It’s probably going to be a standard SmackDown Live episode with a tag match in the main event or something. But man, I’m so glad I’m never right about anything.

    KofiMania has been gathering some steam for weeks now and WWE finally took notice. Vince McMahon, being the occasional genius that he is, thought of a clever tactic to make Kofi Kingston a bigger deal by—stay with me—taking his WWE Championship opportunity away from him. I know, I know. Put down your pitchforks for just a minute. I mean, yeah, you should be upset, but you should also be excited because KofiMania is definitely going down in April.

    So who did Vince McMahon appoint as Kofi Kingston’s replacement? The returning Kevin Owens. Wait, isn’t he the same dude who bashed Vinnie Mac’s head with his head? Yep. Isn’t he the same dude who beat Vinnie Mac’s son to a pulp inside Hell in a Cell? Double yep. Isn’t he the same dude who lost to Vinnie Mac’s son and Daniel Bryan at WrestleMania 34, banishing him and his partner Sami Zayn from SmackDown Live for good? Yep, yep, yep.

    The decision makes zero sense any way you slice it, but somehow that makes it even better. I’m sure if Vince McMahon had a legitimate reason, the outrage and support for Kofi Kingston wouldn’t be this big. And of course, Kevin Owens will come out as the biggest asshole the wrestling gods intended him to be, no matter how hard they try pushing him as an everyman. See? Everyone wins, except for Daniel Bryan, of course. This whole ordeal isn’t as hot as the Becky Lynch angle, but this new wrinkle to KofiMania is close enough and I’ll gladly take it.

    You can even make this angle better (or worse, now that I think about it) by throwing some racial undertones into the mix. After all, there’s really no valid reason why Vince McMahon suddenly replaced Kofi Kingston. Kingston pinned Daniel Bryan twice already. That’s the closest thing you can get to earning a title shot. Then all of a sudden, the hardworking black man gets replaced by a white man who didn’t do shit? That's racist, y'all.

    But there’s no denying that the KofiMania Screwjob made the WWE Championship scene more compelling than ever. Let’s just hope we won’t be getting a triple threat come WrestleMania. The show’s main event is already a triple threat affair; that’s already one too many. Making Kofi Kingston’s first Mania main event a triple will make his eventual win a complete rip-off of Becky Lynch’s road to greatness. Just make it one-on-one like a proper main event and we good.

    And what does this say about how the McMahon family is running both shows? If Vince McMahon can just come out and change whatever the others booked, does that mean Vince is the one in charge? I may be reaching here, but I think they’re slowly setting up a storyline where Triple H, Stephanie McMahon, and Shane McMahon will team up to kick out Vinnie Mac out of the company. The three of them are babyfaces, right? After all, Vince is the one making all these questionable choices. I don’t know, we’ll find out soon enough.

    SMACKDOWN RUNDOWN: RAW may have won the week, but SmackDown Live didn’t go out there without a fight, and fight they did. Kofi Kingston receiving his Becky Lynch moment already made the show great, but the surprise returns and the great matches help boost this week’s episode as one of the best of the year. And if John Cena was in my shoes, he’d probably rate SmackDown Live another A. You and me both, Cena. You and me both.

    The RunDown Cutting Board

    • I don’t mind seeing R-Truth every week as long as he delivers gems like this John Cena-inspired open challenges. He even got Rey Mysterio and Andrade involved so that’s a win in my book. R-Truth’s promo reminded me of that time when David Otunga, master color commentator, said with all seriousness in 2016 that AJ Styles grew up watching John Cena. Classic.

    • Oh, Matt Hardy’s back. I feel like I should be excited, but I’m not. But yeah, I guess SmackDown Live gained a new veteran tag team. A win is a win.

    • Although it’s always a delight to see Aleister Black and Ricochet in action, I don’t really want to see them as a tag team. I’d rather see Black as a singles guy, handing out massive Black Masses to everyone who dares mess with him. I don’t know, I just really like Aleister Black, okay?

    • Man, I really hate how Asuka didn’t even get a segment this week. The announcement of her title match with Mandy Rose could’ve been a promo of its own, at least a backstage segment. I’m pretty sure we could skip a week without a long Charlotte Flair rant, anyway.
    • Also, this is the only appropriate comment on Charlotte Flair’s promo.

    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 (2/26/18): KofiMania? More Like KO-Mania Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Ricky Jay Publico
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