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    Thursday, August 8, 2019

    SmackDown RunDown Live (8/6/19): I Did It For The GOAT

    Well, since WWE wants everyone to talk about it this badly, let's talk about Roman Reigns and the series of unfortunate events. 

    It started with this terrible segment where Reigns got buried under a pile of backstage rails and boxes and somehow walk out unscathed. Wow, how riveting. 

    Then they followed it up this week on RAW with an attempted vehicular manslaughter (which is basically just a fender bender) that shook Reigns to his very core, or something. Someone's trying to kill off the Big Dog and he's doing a shitty job at it. And somehow, the culprit turned out to be Rowan?

    Yeah, that Rowan. This behemoth of a man apparently had the strength to topple over some boxes and had the gall to run over someone with a car and yet we're supposed to believe that he ultimately his target twice? If they're going to rehash a storyline from 2000, why not do it the right way and actually hurt the guy? Rowan better take notes from the OG fall guy, Rikishi.

    Aside from making Rowan look like a doofus, this storyline had to drag Daniel Bryan into the mud. After teasing us for weeks, we now know what his career-altering announcement is going to be: He's going to be a murder mastermind! But for realsies, how is any of this career-altering?

    To be fair, Rowan's not necessarily guilty here. For all we know, this is just a setup for another swervity swerve. But if we're going to believe the dirt sheets that nailed Ziggler vs. Goldberg right in the head, this is a setup for a Roman Reigns vs. Daniel Bryan match at SummerSlam—which is great, I guess? It's so random and far out there, so Bryan better give us a good reason for this rivalry to exist. The bar is high when it comes to D-Bry storylines. Don't choke on us now. 

    And Buddy Murphy's part of this too? The guy has barely appeared on the show since leaving 205 Live and after debuting in a town hall segment, his next project is to be the Big Dog's bitch? Best Kept Secret, my ass. They called him up when he was doing fine at 205 Live just to be treated like shit. At least Cedric Alexander's having a blast on RAW. This storyline is benefiting no one other than Reigns, unless the GOAT saves us from this clusterfuck.

    Oh, I almost forgot. This week's show is the go-home for SummerSlam. Yes, that's on Monday (Manila time). I was shocked, too. So normally, we'll get great matches and epic promos to hype everyone up for the next PPV, right? Then it must be opposite day because we barely got any of those.

    Take this week's Kevin Owens Show, for instance. Remember how this whole angle started? With some red-hot shoot-style promos, that's how. I even called Owens the next CM Punk. So I was hyped to see how Owens and Shane were going to send everyone home. More pipebombs, perhaps? Shane namedropping AEW, maybe? Or maybe Owens teasing an ROH return? Anything to make their match feel like a do-or-die situation?

    Nope. We got none of those. To summarize, Owens challenged Shane to put his career on the line as well and the younger McMahon declined. And then a brawl happened. That's about it. 

    I feel like I'm being demanding here, but I would argue that this is a go-home show. Why give us something we've already seen week after week? This didn't feel like a proper send-off at all. Oh well, just go watch SummerSlam, I guess. 

    And hey, remember SmackDown Women's Champion Bayley? She's set to defend her title against Ember Moon at SummerSlam. You probably wouldn't know that given how they've made Moon look weak in favor of giving Natalya the spotlight. Forget that she already had her moment on RAW, now she had to make the SmackDown contender look like a chump, too?

    We get it. RAW's Becky Lynch vs. Natalya is a rad storyline. But did it really need to steal airtime from Bayley and Ember Moon? This is why the death of the brand split annoys me. Instead of getting a proper Bayley/Moon segment (or basically any segment involving Kairi Sane and Asuka), we got a repeat of Natalya going over the edge. Hey, you watching SummerSlam?

    Can someone tell me why Dolph Ziggler vs. Goldberg is happening? After carefully setting up Ziggler's rivalry with The Miz and Shawn Michaels, they threw it all away to accommodate Old Man Goldberg. I guess I shouldn't be too surprised that a few namedrops in backstage interviews brought us to this match. Other promotions out there should also build up rivalries between wrestlers after they bump into each other along the hallway.

    It would make so much more sense if HBK ended up facing up the Zigman at SummerSlam. After all, they already laid the groundwork last week and the two have more believable beef than Ziggler and Goldberg will ever have. Plus, isn't a Ziggler vs. HBK a more exciting matchup? The OG vs. The Wannabe? C'mon people, the story writes itself! How can you even let this one pass? Whatever, let's just get SummerSlam over and done with. 

    SMACKDOWN RUNDOWN: What a weak-ass go-home show. Instead of highlighting the great stories they have, they instead hyped up this weak whodunit storyline that probably will be forced on the SummerSlam card. They even made the Kevin Owens vs. Shane McMahon angle boring with an empty shell of a segment. Almost nothing clicked this week when all they needed to do is give us more Kofi Kingston and Randy Orton. Not a good look here, Uncle Eric.

    Show Grade: C

    RunDown CutDown

    • Probably the only decent promo this week was the one that opened the show. I'm now hyped to see this match go down, Trish Stratus having ring rust be damned. 
    • And also, Aleister Black vs. Sami Zayn came early! While I did enjoy seeing the Black Mass on free TV, I hope they find it in their hearts to still add this match to the SummerSlam card. I need a longer, more exciting version of this match, stat!
    • I hate being a complainer, but please give Chad Gable more airtime. I know he's a 205 Live guy now, but still. Give him more matches!

    Photos from WWE.com


    Ricky Publico (@Peepomania) is Smark Henry's resident SmackDown Live reviewer... for better or worse. He also nitpicks PWR shows when no one's available to do so. A known lover of wrestling tournaments, he's a sucker for well-executed promos and fast-paced matches. He has yet to learn how to operate a microwave. Don't judge him. 
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    Item Reviewed: SmackDown RunDown Live (8/6/19): I Did It For The GOAT Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Ricky Jay Publico
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