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    Friday, May 3, 2019

    SmackDown RunDown Live (4/30/19): Earn Your Spots, Dammit!

    Remember qualifying matches for high-stake multi-man matches? Those were fun. We're two weeks away from Money in the Bank and as early as this week, we now know all the participants for the men and women's MITB ladder match. Call me an old man yelling at a cloud all you want, but I can't see why we can't have qualifying matches for this year's ladder match spectacle. We have enough time, people! 
    An MITB match is not a storyline-driven match. Imagine the amount of action and drama they could've packed in the three episodes leading up to Money in the Bank. Guys who can afford to lose like Apollo Crews, Chad Gable, Sonya Deville, and Mickie James could've used some airtime to at least remind everyone they're still around. So how exactly are they going to build up the MITB this year? Tag team matches week after week? Great.

    That's not to say that I didn't like the choices they made. Andrade, Finn Balor, Ali, and Randy Orton are all great picks. But will it hurt to make these guys earn their spots just a little bit? Anyway, I'm picking Andrade to win the MITB briefcase for SmackDown Live, but we all know Drew McIntyre will will it all. And you know what, I ain't even mad. Let's finally legitimize McIntyre as the main eventer he truly is, shall we? 
    Why is Kofi Kingston still being billed as the "new" WWE Champion? Kofi Kingston's been champion for 26 days now. He's far from being new. The way they started the show irked me because they basically just recapped the KofiMania saga from start the finish. Am I the only one annoyed by this type of promo? It's like, we saw the last show. You can recap before the promo starts but not during the promo. Get to the issue at hand!

    At least they gave the storyline the main event treatment it deserved. Kevin Owens once again rocked the mic as the conniving heel and it's like music to my ears. Go ahead, Kevin, tell the New Day toys what you don't like about them. They also made Kofi stand stall in the end which is great. One itty-bitty nitpick: I wish they kept Xavier Woods and Big E as a secret until Money in the Bank to make it look like the champ is all alone on his first title defense.
    Bayley is starting to become one of my favorite women on SmackDown Live, just because she's constantly putting out good matches with the best of them. I also like her current arc of finding a spot in a landscape dominated by Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair. She's my pick to win the women's MITB match and I think the chances of that happening are pretty high. But the man of the hour is still Becky Lynch after a decisive win against Bayley.

    I'm also really intrigued with Becky Lynch's suicide mission to defend her titles against Charlotte Flair and Lacey Evans in two separate matches. Creative is really doing a great job making it clear to Becky that she’s up against two of the strongest women in WWE. Basically, this can go two ways: have Becky give up one belt or cement her legacy by overcoming two mountains in one night. I’m all hyped about it and I really hope they choose the latter. Let’s make Becky Lynch a legend.

    SMACKDOWN RUNDOWN: After RAW went back to its old, boring ways, I didn't expect much for this week's SmackDown Live. But as always, the Blue Brand never stoops low, despite of course some underwhelming buildup for Money in the Bank. Some MITB qualifying matches could've made this show more intriguing, but I digress. The Kofi Kingston vs. Kevin Owens storyline being presented as a top storyline and Becky Lynch kicking ass are always great, so the show's not all bad. So yeah, the second episode of SmackDown Live' s new New Era receives a B from me.

    The RunDown CutDown

    • The Roman Reigns vs. Shane McMahon storyline is so unoriginal, even Reigns and Shane acknowledged how silly it is. I guess this is Shane transitioning into the role his dad made a career out of. Whatever man, just don't make it SmackDown Live's entire deal.
    • It really sucks that The Hardy Boyz had to relinquish the tag titles, but I'm excited to see which team will win it next. Unless of course they want Lars Sullivan to destroy the entire tag team division in a throwaway segment. If not, I'm picking Heavy Machinery.
    • I’m also not sure beating up R-Truth is helping Lars Sullivan’s monster push. I hope he starts a program with someone like Roman Reigns soon because he’s schtick is slowly getting old.
    • The best word to describe Bray Wyatt is awesome. And hey, that happens to be the word of the day or something.
    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 (4/30/19): Earn Your Spots, Dammit! Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Ricky Jay Publico
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