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    Thursday, August 1, 2019

    SmackDown RunDown Live (7/31/19): The Palace of Positivity

    I miss talking about the man who built the house we now know as SmackDown Live. It’s been a while since AJ Styles dropped by and this time, he brought his crew, the newly-minted RAW Tag Team Champions Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson. Finally, I have a valid reason to talk about The OC. First things first: not a big fan of the name. The OC? More like The OK because that’s the initial reaction when people hear them coming: “Oh, okay.” Boom, roasted.

    But other than their name, The OC is being built as a super faction and I couldn’t be happier. Giving Gallows and Anderson some tag gold instantly raised their stock. Now they just have to keep winning as a team and we won’t have any problems. And as for Styles, him winning the United States Championship feels like a downgrade, but it’s better than nothing. What better way to push a group to the moon than by adorning them with some gold?

    Now let’s shift the focus back to the Palace of Positivity’s ruler because he definitely looked like a million bucks this week, as if he needs more validation as the top champion. But yes, keep it coming because we could use more Kofi Kingston being a badass. And as we all found out this week, he can also hit a Trouble in Paradise ofndhegenawer with relative ease. As if we need more reasons to get hyped for his upcoming title defense, but yes, keep those coming as well.

    And speaking of Randy Orton, Kofi's SummerSlam challenger also made his presence known with a dope video package highlighting his sentiments on the whole KofiMania phenomenon. I rarely watch video promos anymore since they rarely produce great ones unlike in the old days, but this one was of those rare instances. I love how a bunch of coincidences lined up to form a compelling storyline that blurs the line between kayfabe and real life. Calling Ali the new Kofi Kingston added an extra oomph to what is already a banger of a rivalry. Great storytelling right there. 

    I said it once and it's probably appropriate to say it again: I'm not a big fan of veterans going at it with the current stars. You might say that Trish Stratus isn't that old. She can clearly still go based on her last performance at Evolution. But this one's not a tag team match anymore. Trish will be out there slugging it out on her own with arguably the best female wrestler today. I apologize for being a Debbie Downer. If only I can switch it off and act like everything's filled with love and rainbows.

    The best thing I can do is to give Trish the benefit of the doubt. Maybe she'll train hard to get back in shape or maybe she won't. I'm not going to act like I'm not hyped to see two generations clash. Plus, this will happen at a PPV like SummerSlam? Sounds hella lit to me. I really, really hope this one turns out well. Based on this week's promo, Trish Stratus still has it on the mic. If I keep talking, I'd probably hype myself up for this dream match. Oh no, now I'm hyped to see it as well. Damn it. 

    So, uh, wanna talk about that Roman Reigns segment? I do, because it was weird af. For starters, why did this segment close the show? I guess it heightened the intrigue and it got fans like me talking, so good job? And second, why did he walk away unscathed? Is this a Jeff Hardy getting burned by his fireworks type of situation? Wouldn't it be more dramatic if he didn't survive the gnarly spot? They can't even bury Roman Reigns right. Betting right now that his SummerSlam opponent is none other than the vicious Wile E. Coyote. 

    The Big Dog vs. The Big Wolf. I know Wile is a Coyote, but Reigns isn't really a dog, is he?

    SMACKDOWN RUNDOWN: I kid a lot, but I won't deny that this week's episode of SmackDown Live was still tight as heck. It's just that RAW was way better from top to bottom. They had Brock Lesnar, man! Meanwhile, we got Roman Reigns literally getting buried. Okay, I guess? I’m just glad the first least interesting episode under Eric Bischoff still holds up on its own. We got a fun main event out of it plus great build-ups for SummerSlam. That’s all we need, really.

    Show Grade: B

    The RunDown CutDown

    • I really love how Bayley turned her character around just by giving it a little bit of attitude. Her being the SmackDown Women's Champion will do wonders for the Blue Brand... unless of course a certain Boss makes her return and claims her spot on the top from her former best friend...
    • Aleister Black. Sami Zayn. SummerSlam. That's it. That's the bit.
    • Loving the program between Shinsuke Nakamura and Ali. Their quick match this week pretty much says it all. Here's hoping for a stellar title match at SummerSlam, regardless if it's in the pre-show or not. I'd watch the hell out of it. 
    • Also, Drew McIntyre eats up yet another loss. When will they ever use this guy properly?
    • Are they planting the seeds for a potential Dolph Ziggler vs. Shawn Michaels match? I can say this unironically now since HBK broke his own vow: make it happen, you cowards. 

    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 (7/31/19): The Palace of Positivity Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Ricky Jay Publico
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