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    Sunday, December 20, 2020

    The SmackDown BreakDown (12/18/20): Kevin Owens Will Not Die

    Kevin Owens and Roman Reigns on WWE SmackDown Live

    Kevin Owens cannot be killed, and it's the best babyface work I've seen in a while from this company. Hey, it's ya boy Ro filling in for a province-bound Ricky this weekend, and this is the SmackDown Breakdown.

    These go-home shows tend to go one way in WWE all the time. Challenger goes up against champion, he gets his ass kicked because champ's just OP, and he lays there on his back as we head into the pay-per-view. Or vice versa; someone's bound to be laying on their back. But rarely do we get to see the guy fighting from underneath show the tenacity—in its grittiest form—needed to get us to believe.

    Kevin Owens isn't going to win the Universal Championship tomorrow, but by God, if he isn't the most believable contender out there. I've discounted him because he's been meandering ever since escaping the Seth Rollins black hole of ridiculously long feuds, but he's killing it right now. This is the best realization of the everyman gimmick that he's taken on, his dream for it come true. And ironically enough, he'll have Roman Reigns, the guy who's even the head of the Owens family table, to thank.

    What was supposed to be a filler feud before Reigns inevitably took on Daniel Bryan is now something I want to see for at least another month. I wouldn't even bat any eyelashes if KO suddenly won the title, too. I'm all in on the fact that he cannot be killed, even though that's not going to be enough if he wants to win a championship. Sometimes, the only visual that matters is the guy getting back up to keep fighting, no matter how damaged he is. This should be the TLC main event, and if it isn't, I'm... complaining on the internet.

    It was also an evening of side-feuds progressing, since we know we won't get everything on the PPV. One match that got some progression was Bianca Belair vs. Bayley. Before catching the show, I'd already seen criticism of how Bayley beat Bianca despite losing two weeks in a row.

    When I did actually catch the match, those people apparently left out the fact that Bayley did cheat to win. Dirty finish by a heel? Hardly shocking, and while the dirty spot could've been better and we could've done with a Bianca win, a not-so-decisive loss doesn't tarnish her reputation as much as a definitive one would. It's clear that they're saving up a Bianca win (if they're actually doing that) for a future spot. It's tough to give WWE the benefit of the doubt nowadays, I know, but on the other hand, I don't think giving up and deciding to close your mind is what a good critic does.

    Speaking of dirty finishes and things to let play out, the solid SmackDown Tag Team Championship match between the Street Profits and Ziggler and Roode ended with some tights-pulling from *checks notes* the babyfaces? It only doesn't work if they don't plan on following through with an actual heel turn; otherwise, it makes your dominant tag champs look weak. (But I'm sure they already know that.)

    THE FINAL BREAKDOWN: I don't know if it's the two-hour format or SmackDown managing its time well to deliver emotional beats and good action at the same time, but I'm more hyped for the blue side of TLC thanks to this show. Let's go! 

    Show Grade: B+

    BreakDown Thoughts That Didn't Make It

    • Interesting that we got a pretty lengthy Sami Zayn/Big E segment this week without an official match announcement for TLC. It was pretty entertaining, and I can't wait for the eventual Big E title reign.

    • Carmella's sommelier is apparently a regular now, so congrats to PC recruit Akeem Young for making it to SmackDown without even getting on NXT.

    • People are not going to like that result because it's Shinsuke Nakamura and it's Otis, but as an Otis fan I'm okay with the win because it's going somewhere. 

    • Glad to see Jey Uso looks a lot more competent as a henchman this week.

    • Did anyone foresee that Billie Kay would get more airtime on a two-hour show than Peyton Royce ever did in a three-hour one? 

    Photo from WWE.com

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    Item Reviewed: The SmackDown BreakDown (12/18/20): Kevin Owens Will Not Die Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Romeo Moran
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