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    Saturday, December 26, 2020

    The SmackDown Breakdown (12/25/20): A Merry Christmas To All, And Good Night

    Big E on WWE SmackDown Live

    The best time to pull off a title change everyone's wanted is absolutely Christmas Day. Happy Boxing Day, Filipinos, this is ya boy Ro and I'm still taking over for the SmackDown Breakdown.

    This week's pre-taped episode of SmackDown may have been on holiday mode, but the people involved still wanted to deliver some good action (and little nonsense) for Christmas. One would expect an abundance of Christmas shenanigans like they always do this season, but somehow they went for the complete opposite: there is an actual total of only four lengthy matches and one real backstage segment. RAW could never pull this off, even on their best night.

    And one of those matches involves, as mentioned, a title change people have wanted to see for a while now. Big E beats Sami Zayn for the Intercontinental Championship in a feel-good lumberjack match main event, giving us just enough to feel like a solid singles feud but saving a little more presumably for a bigger platform.

    I don't think I need to go into why it's about time Big E won the Intercontinental Championship after building up to this match for almost a month now. We're finally getting the singles push we were promised, and in the true spirit of Christmas, it's always a good feeling to get what we want, especially when it involves such an awesome guy. If there's anything to worry about, it's how the reign is going to go from here—but SmackDown the brand is handled slightly better that it's a little easier to give them the benefit of the doubt. Merry Christmas, E.

    The other half of the card involves the Samoan family's issues with the people going up against them. Even though they just had a brutal TLC match three days before taping this episode, Roman Reigns and Kevin Owens deliver a show-stealing steel cage bout for TV that should earn them some sort of raise. They could've taken it easy, but that's not how the Head of the Table works.

    I don't know if this counts as the end of their feud, but Reigns once again satisfies with a diabolical heel finish that sees Jey Uso handcuff Owens to the cage wall, preventing him from leaving and winning. The match was sprung on us without any build, but I'm guessing the logic was to finally keep Jey from interfering like he did in the TLC match. Seeing as that still puts an asterisk on the win, I don't think the feud should end here just yet.

    Speaking of Jey Uso, the man just can't catch a break. I know Creative thinks they're doing him a favor by having him look great against the main eventers he's going up against, but in both sports logic and Roman Reigns's kayfabe logic, his losses aren't making him the competent hatchet man they want him to be.

    I get it—Daniel Bryan has to win because he's Daniel Bryan, and he's also declaring himself the first entrant in next year's Royal Rumble match. But Jey Uso also has to get the job done, especially after not being able to do so ever since turning heel and joining his cousin's side. Throw him a bone. Have him beat someone like Otis or any of the midcarders they're not using in a match just to put a win on his record. Roman can't be happy about this, can he?

    Last on the card is an impromptu Women's Tag Team Championship match, seeing the champs from RAW finally come back to SmackDown after months and going up against *checks notes* thrown-together challengers from the top stories in the division. You actually have a tag team who's got two wins in a row over the past couple of weeks in the Riott Squad, waiting for a shot. But sure, let's make this match star-studded. I can let it slide because it's Christmas.

    What I can't really let slide is the stupid triple threat tag match rules on the main roster. I say main roster because when they did do this on NXT a few weeks ago, they actually had representatives from all three teams work the match at the same time, instead of this two-representative mess that the commentators needed to explain and justify. The upside is the match did actually get better once Bayley and Carmella were eliminated.

    Despite my griping, though, if you are looking for a decent WWE show to watch this Christmas, this is it. The fact that there were no silly Christmas hijinks like there were on RAW already puts this episode of SmackDown ahead. I still wonder what the difference is for us to get a show like this on Fridays, but maybe that's just Christmas magic.

    THE FINAL BREAKDOWN: I wish they built up to this card a little more online (especially when you have three title matches on the show) but once you get into it, it's pretty solid. Worth a watch for your quiet holiday weekend. 

    Show Grade: A-

    BreakDown Thoughts That Didn't Make It

    • It doesn't even take an eagle-eyed viewer to note that there were RAW midcarders serving as lumberjacks in the main event, betraying how much SmackDown gets shafted by the lopsided yearly Draft. I get that RAW needs more guys on paper thanks to their three hours versus SmackDown's two, but when you're focusing on the same group of people on the show, what's the point? Just have them draft an equal amount of people.
    • I have no idea why the heel lumberjacks were able to attack Big E without drawing a disqualification. I always intuited that that's what lumberjacks were supposed to do, but I've been trained to know that they should just toss the guys back in.

    Photo from WWE.com

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    Item Reviewed: The SmackDown Breakdown (12/25/20): A Merry Christmas To All, And Good Night Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Romeo Moran
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