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    Saturday, October 31, 2020

    The SmackDown BreakDown (10/31/20): I Believe That Love is the Answer

    Roman Reigns and Jey Uso on WWE SmackDown Live

    After a long hiatus, I am back to breaking down the Blue Brand. Am I still frustrated with Vince and company for all their BS? Absolutely. However, what swayed me to start writing about SmackDown is that at the core of the corporate structure are a bunch of people who love pro wrestling—young talent looking to make an impact alongside some of the most established veterans in the sport. If anything, my choice to review WWE is to highlight good wrestling created by good people.

    With that being said, there was some lovely (wink wink) wrestling on this week's SmackDown

    Rey Mysterio, Dominick Mysterio, Aalyah Mysterio on WWE SmackDown Live

    Romantic Love

    Let's start with this hot take: the Rollins/Murphy/Mysterio family feud is decent. 

    Yes, this feud has been going on for way too long. It has been six months of Rollins and Mysterio and their children (Murphy is basically Rollins' abused son). You knew this feud was going downhill when an "eyeball" was removed from the face of the legendary luchador

    However, what it has evolved to is a classic soap opera storyline. Forbidden love. Warring families. Really awkward romantic chemistry. I am honestly eating it up. If you look at it from a cringe humor perspective, this is easily THE feud of the year. From this episode alone, Aalyah saying, "I love you"—on a so-cringe-it's-funny level—was only the second-most quotable confession of love . 

    Sasha Banks on WWE SmackDown Live

    Love in Friendship

    "Backstabbing bitches never win."

    "Fight forever" is a chant that can only apply to a select few feuds. Owens and Zayn. Omega and Okada. Banks and Bayley. And this week, we had a treat of a segment between Bayley and Sasha. The new champ came out with the belt looking like a million bucks. After cutting a solid promo, Bayley then came out, and, as usual, the history and chemistry between these two sold me on their rematch next week and then some. 

    After stealing the show at Hell in a Cell, their rematch next week carries with it a special type of hype. With Bayley seeming to have the edge because of Sasha's record of failed title defenses, I can appreciate the storyline recognizing this—adding more stakes to a match that already had plenty.  

    Daniel Bryan and Jey Uso on WWE SmackDown Live

    Familial Love

    Ironically, Rollins's former Shield brother was also dealing with family issues this week. At the start of the show, Roman gave his cousin an ultimatum: fall in line or leave the family. The amount of raw emotion in these segments is a needle in the haystack of written scripted dialogue. 

    By the end of the night, after an upset victory over Daniel Bryan for a spot on SmackDown's Survivor Series team, Reigns got his answer. Jey viciously attacked a defeated Bryan. Superkick. Splash. Splash through the commentary table. Classic post-match beatdown. The core of this whole storyline is the amazing performance of one Jey Uso. The confusion and anger in everything he has done this episode was beautifully portrayed—furthering his 2020 breakout performance status.

    On an important note, please watch what happened after the cameras went off on YouTube, friends. Legitimately hard to watch stuff. 

    Breaking Points:

    • The Triple Threat between Natalya, Billie Kay, and Bianca Belair was fantastic with each Superstar playing their role fantastically. I am calling it now: Billie Kay could probably be a top heel if WWE gave her the chance.
    • Although Nakamura and Cesaro took a loss, I will never be tired of Montez Ford's "From the Heavens" frog splash. What thing of beauty. 
    • Owens and Ziggler's Survivor Series qualifying match was decent. Can't be mad at it. 
    • The worst thing about this episode: the Lars Sullivan promo. Lars Sullivan's promo was so creepy and he himself is so creepy. I know that it's Halloween, but please just cut this storyline out. Thanks.

    The Final BreakDown: This episode of SmackDown furthered their key storylines well and was pretty entertaining throughout. With strong performances from key players, it was refreshing to see the show feel like it is going somewhere. Where is that exactly? Let's find out.

    Grade: Soft A-/Solid B+

    Image from WWE

    Jacob Tambunting is a freshman at the Ateneo de Manila University currently studying BS Psychology. In his high school years, he authored plays for competitions, essays for projects, and fan fiction for fun. He currently lives with his two parents, his two siblings, and his two dogs, and is probably writing something angsty on his 10-year-old laptop. He breaks down SmackDown and writes The Supercard, where he presents a three-match card of wrestling matches from different promotions based on a certain theme.
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    Item Reviewed: The SmackDown BreakDown (10/31/20): I Believe That Love is the Answer Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Jacob Tambunting
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