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    Thursday, April 11, 2019

    SmackDown RunDown Live (4/9/19): Big E Does The Splits

    WrestleMania 35 is like the wedding of one of your best friends. You saw them through the highs and lows of their relationships and eventually, you witnessed their love solidified forever in a grand ceremony where everyone had a great time. And now, you’re watching them have the time of their lives on their expensive honeymoon. Okay, I know that sounds creepy, but I swear that metaphor sounded better in my head. I should really reconsider thinking aloud next time.  

    Seth Rollins, Kofi Kingston, and Becky Lynch all walked out of WrestleMania 35 with championships on their shoulders, cementing their respective legacies in the process. Their long and treacherous journey to the top may not be as perfect as we wanted, but they all made it worthwhile with their significant title victories. Say what you will about this year’s WrestleMania, but it will go down in history as the best WrestleMania for the fans, by the fans. Basically, we’re now in the honeymoon phase of what I consider a better and grander version of TLC 2011.

    Believe your eyes because they’re not lying: Kofi Kingston really is the new WWE Champion. I hope you’re okay with that because I will never stop gawking over it. And you know WWE wants to close the WrestleMania weekend on a high note when they didn't even book Daniel Bryan to appear and lecture us about getting rid of his sexy-ass hemp belt. It's all rainbows and positivity this week, even with The Bar and Drew McIntyre attempting to spoil the party. The champ's just out there kicking butt with his brothers in the main event so I ain't complaining. Plus points for Kofi's adorable son who's probably thinking about being a WWE Superstar himself.

    It’s not all Kofi Kingston this week because we have other champions to celebrate. For instance, how about Becky “Two Belts” Lynch who wasted no time and started a rivalry with Lacey Evans on RAW? Aside from seeing Becky carrying two belts like some badass mofo, I’m also hyped for Lacey Evans. People have been comparing her to Eva Marie these past few months because of her strutting gimmick and I never understood why. For one, we’ve seen Lacey Evans kick butt in NXT and in the Mae Young Classic. Her skill isn’t even worth comparing to Eva Marie’s entire library of matches in NXT. I know that sounds harsh, but you guys know what I mean.

    The way they booked Evans is actually genius af. Think about it: She’s getting plenty of mainstream exposure without devaluing someone to job for her and once she stopped strutting and started fighting, you’ll definitely keep your eyes peeled for more. Creative pretty much baited you into taking notice of Evans and you all got hooked, just like Becky Lynch got hooked in the face with the Woman’s Right two nights in a row. I'm not saying we immediately give Evans the titles but she should provide a credible contender for the double champ not named Ronda Rousey, Asuka, or Charlotte Flair (although Becky did call her Charlotte 2.0 and she's not wrong).

    It still boggles me how we didn’t get The Usos vs. The Hardyz at WrestleMania considering how the storyline writes itself. Two brother tag teams competing to become the best tag team in WWE? What’s not to love? It's not like we needed to see Ricochet and Aleister Black make their Mania debut that badly. They even lost so what's the point then? If the plan all along is to give The Hardyz one last tag title run, why not pull the trigger at the Grandest Stage of Them All? And if that wasn't enough, they had Lars Sullivan come out and decimate the new champions like they're nothing. Thanks on crapping on what could've been an epic tag team rivalry.

    But fine, I can forgive WWE for the Usos/Hardyz debacle because they gave us the next best thing: The IIconics as Women’s Tag Team Champions. I’ve been singing the praises of these two for months now and I’m so glad they finally listened. The open challenge they had this week was a good sign that IIconics are veering away from being portrayed as chumps, at least for now. Isn’t it great that a more proper and entertaining tag team is now leading the blossoming women’s tag team division? The IIconics are finally recognized and The Hardyz are champs once again. *insert that line Thanos said that one time about balance and stuff*  

    SMACKDOWN RUNDOWN: Clearly, everyone still has the KofiMania high and I’m all for it. But just like RAW before it, SmackDown Live succeeded in making the new champs look good while giving us a glimpse of the impending doom that is the Superstar Shake-Up. I didn’t even know I wanted a Braun Strowman vs. Samoa Joe rivalry, but here we are. And hey, The Hardyz scored some tag team gold in 2019! Need I say more? I’m feeling generous too so here’s a strong B+. Here’s hoping SmackDown Live gets Drew McIntyre or Finn Balor next week.

    The RunDown CutDown

    • Shane McMahon got a good ten minutes of airtime just to berate a ring announcer. Great heel work, I guess. Unless Greg Hamilton is secretly a great wrestler and they're setting him up for a surprise debut or something, there's really no point in involving this poor guy into whatever this is. We get it, you're the best in the world. Can you start doing something that's actually worth booing?
    • They better give Carmella a major push after beating Andre the Giant at Royal Rumble.
    • Maybe if we ignore whatever the hell that puppet was, it will go away.
    Photos from WWE.com

    Ricky 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 (4/9/19): Big E Does The Splits Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Ricky Jay Publico
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