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    Monday, December 7, 2020

    The SmackDown BreakDown (12/4/20): There's a Lady in the Ring

    Another trip to the wrong show, another column dedicated to simping for the Head of the Table. I'm Ricky Publico, and this is it the RAW Rhe... dammit. This is the SmackDown BreakDown. 

    I'm back moonlighting for the Blue Brand again and I couldn't have picked a better time to do so because I can always use some Tribal Chief drama in my boring-ass life. We're four months in and I still can't find any glaring flaw from Roman Reigns' brilliant character revamp. In fact, I'm still in awe with this ever-improving heelwork. This week's opening segment proved it: he accepted Kevin Owens' challenge and walked away without looking like a run-of-the-mill chickenshit heel. 

    "There's a lady in the ring" should be a t-shirt or something because it's so classy and dickish at the same time. And hey, Kevin Owens was there, too, doing his thing. KO in the title picture is always great, although I'm one of the few people who still prefers seeing him finish people off with a Pop-Up rather than a Stunner. But in the end, it doesn't really matter. The Tribal Chief needs all the big names to legitimize his claim as the best of the best, and Owens looks good as another candidate.

    Another great thing about the Reign of Reigns is that it still keeps the wrinkle of a reluctant Jey Uso woven into its narrative. Creative could've easily made him more subversive and let him fade to the background as a minion, but here were are still fleshing out how he's still the brash young guy who keeps "fucking up." If I have to nitpick it a bit, I wish commentary and Kayla Braxton dialed down on highlighting this angle up to make it more subtle and prevent overshadowing Reigns' feuds.

    That way, the Jey Uso beatdown would've been more shocking. But again, Roman Reigns attacking his cousin as consequence for speaking for him was still a great visual for Reigns' tyranny over the entire Samoan clan. Instead of a backstage freakout, Roman Reigns upped his punishment game by treating Jey Uso the same way he treated his new rival Kevin Owens. Just look at this glorious photo of Reigns towering over two grown men and tell me he's not the biggest jerk in WWE right now. 

    Also, I love how arriving late has become part of Roman Reigns' moveset because it's actually genius. It's not like they're going to cancel the match just because he's late. Reigns even accomplished two goals: he "punished" Jey for a while by making him go alone and made it easier for his team to turn the tide against his opponents at the same time. Again, another brilliant heel move, and all he had to do was arrive late. Oh, he also pummeled Otis with the steel steps. That too. Okay, Reigns simping over. 

    The amount of love Pat Patterson received this week was just incredible. As someone who isn't familiar (or particularly interested) with anything from wrestling's past, even I can't help but feel the feels after watching the "My Way" tribute video. You can just tell that he's a beloved personality backstage and after reading a couple of farewell messages from almost every wrestler, I'm convinced that Pat Patterson really was a great guy and hopefully, I can find the time to watch some highlights of his career. 

    His moving tribute led to a six-man tag that I honestly didn't mind at all. I think I can finally tolerate random six-man tags as long as it has a theme to it, not just babyfaces vs. heels #6355. It was a fun tag match that served as Big E's first test post-New Day. His new theme definitely slaps and his chalk entrance from NXT cements him further as a unique solo act. All we need is the five-count gimmick and we'll finally achieve the perfect balance of wackiness and tenacity only Big E can provide. 

    The Final BreakDown: For a match dominated by tag team matches, this week's episode of SmackDown wasn't that bad. In fact, it was a fun romp that featured great storytelling, unflinching action, and just plain ol' wrestling goodness. The star was definitely Roman Reigns, but the emotional tribute to Pat Patterson actually improved the show. Sold effort as always from the Blue Brand. 

    Show Grade: A

    BreakDown CutDown

    • It took them long enough to give King Corbin a court of his own. Great job picking the guys who are literally billed as "forgotten" to be his dispensable bodyguards. Now Corbin looks like a proper, more threatening heel instead of a buffoonish king. Also, I didn't get why the Mysterio family had to act like dicks last week, so at least Corbin is a bit justified here. 
    • I feel like I now know why Sasha Banks never had a long title reign. It's because the only time she's compelling to watch is when she's either chasing the gold as a babyface or clutching the title as a heel. Now that she's a babyface champion? Meh. It doesn't help that her villain is a hodgepodge of two personalities. The "new" Carmella may have the looks of Lana and the finisher of Nikki Bella, but she's still acting like the same old Carmella so the revamp seems useless now more than ever.
    • I love how Bayley lost her match against Natalya as part of her storyline with Bianca Belair. See, babysitting the new kid on the block doesn't always have to involve a one-upmanship type of program. Sometimes, you can actually twist it up by having the heel veteran get dunked in the face once in a while.  
    • I also love how Billie Kay is making the most out of the 30 seconds she's getting week after week. Whether she's on SmackDown or Talking Smack, she sticks out like a sore thumb and I love it. Also, her headshot and resume look pretty damn good and anyone would be lucky to have her guidance. 

    GIF of the Week


    Photos from WWE.com


    Ricky Publico (@nyamnyamgarbage) is Smark Henry's resident RAW reviewer...  for better or worse. A known lover of wrestling tournaments, he's a sucker for well-executed promos and fast-paced matches. While he enjoys nitpicking shows, he now prefers enjoying wrestling for what it is instead of stressing himself over things he can't control. He's anxious about the future, now more than ever. LET HIM IN.
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    Item Reviewed: The SmackDown BreakDown (12/4/20): There's a Lady in the Ring Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Ricky Jay Publico
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