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    Sunday, January 24, 2021

    The SmackDown BreakDown (1/22/21): Stand Against Moral Injustice

    I'm a simple man. Just give me two massive Helluva Kicks and an explosive Pop-Up Powerbomb in an episode of wrestling and I'll praise it to the moon and back. I'm Ricky Publico, and this is the SmackDown BreakDown.

    And hey, did you know Daniel Bryan is now part of SmackDown's creative team? No wonder we're seeing guys like Cesaro and Apollo Crews get their time under the sun. Who knew getting a Yes Man would improve the quality of SmackDown drastically? So let's just get down to it because there's literally nothing bad about this week's episode. I can honestly talk about every single segment, too bad I'm the laziest writer in the entire Smark Henry office. Yeah, I don't know why they haven't fired me yet. 

    What can I say about Roman Reigns that I haven't said in previous reviews? It's like every opening segment promo he cuts is better than the last, and this week was no exception. Why are his promos so compelling? I found myself siding with him again for just a second, especially when he said he's been carrying the WWE on his back for years. I was like, yeah Adam Pearce, how dare you complain about getting injured. See? Reigns made me hate Adam Pearce! What kind of monster does that?

    Extra points for pointing out that he missed a few months of action before anyone throws it back to his face. It's like his promos were carefully written with proper context and references. Masked Randy Orton better take notes from the Tribal Chief. This is easily the best Roman Reigns promo out there, unless of course he decides to outdo himself next week with another banger of a diatribe. Sure, Paul Heyman took a swipe on the mic too, but Reigns still won. Imagine outshining Heyman on the mic. 

    Don't even get me started on this week's main event. I now feel stupid about not seeing the Kevin Owens swerve last week coming, but see how good Roman Reigns vs. Adam Pearce could be? From the opening segment down to the moment before KO saved the day, Reigns and Pearce looked golden out there as the big dog and the underdog respectively. Ring rust my ass; it's clear that Pearce can still hang with the best. Then KO came and put Reigns through the announce table and I'm like, I'm okay with this. 

    If you're really forcing me to nitpick something from this awesome episode, it's that Reigns' Superman Punch just looks awkward as a striking finisher now that he's the biggest heel in the company. Also, I still can't get over the fact that Kevin Owens is still out there stunning people regardless of how anticlimactic it looks in a middle of a brawl. That's why I had the giddiest grin when he gave Reigns a good ol' Pop-Up and made himself look good as a contender in this storyline for once. Perfection.

    Aside from Roman Reigns, the women of SmackDown took it upon themselves to flex their superiority over the women of RAW. If you want more proof that the Red Brand exists in its own shitty bubble, look at how the Blue Brand treated the Women's Tag Team Champions. See how good Charlotte can be when she's not dealing with her father and his mistress, who was once considered a Charlotte clone? See how good Asuka can be when she's not eating a pinfall cake against Alexa Fiend? 

    Only in SmackDown can you see these two megastars fulfill their roles as proper tag champs. They did exactly that when they soundly defeated the Riott Squad. That's another great thing about this match. Ruby Riott and Liv Morgan weren't just a couple of jabroni contenders. They actually have their own storyline involving the amazing Billie Kay as the latter tries hard to belong. That's the amazing thing about SmackDown: every moving part contributes to the overall quality of the show.

    And I don't know if you saw it, but we just had the most competent intergender match in years. Sure, it had a lot of arm drags and monkey flips, but it was way better than any match involving James Ellsworth. And man, Reginald's got the moves! All he had to do was take the L and not be a creep, but I guess he had to show off his acrobatic skills. Hopefully, this is how D-Bry is planning to slowly inject intergender wrestling in WWE because there's really no valid reason not to do it in this day and age.

    If you think Roman Reigns' back is hurting, you got nothing on Bianca Belair. Aside from dominating Bayley's obstacle course, she also carried Otis on her shoulders and dunked a basketball in the same breath. Leave it to SmackDown to take a boring concept and make it watchable and entertaining. They even found a spot for Chad Gable! And while the ending was predictable, it was exactly what Bayley needed to re-establish her unique brand of villainy. Sometimes, it's best to keep things simple. 

    And I'm sorry but I can't ignore the brilliance of Sami Zayn any longer. I'm handcuffing my praises in the main part of the review because he clearly deserves it. Just like Roman Reigns, Sami Zayn keeps elevating his gimmick to newer and better heights week after week. Who else can make an acronym out of their own goddamn name? Anyone who does a conspiracy gimmick from now on should ask permission from him first because he owns it now. Can't wait to see what he does next week. 

    THE FINAL BREAKDOWN: I apologize if this entire review sounds too flowery, but SmackDown's just that damn good and I'm just trying to savor it before they remove D-Bry from Creative and start poisoning the well again. You can call me crazy all you want, but history has taught us that we can't have nice things for a long period of time in the WWE. Savor every moment and tell your favorite wrestlers you love them before they get shipped to RAW and go back to sucking ass.  

    Show Grade: A+

    BreakDown Thoughts that Stand with Sami Against Moral Injustice

    • We now live in a timeline where Cesaro is a viable option to win this year's Royal Rumble match. Also, I love how Cesaro dismissed Daniel Bryan's challenge because he already conquered him. Gitchyoassouttahere tired wrestling tropes, it's Cesaro's time to dominate SmackDown

    • Big E vs. Apollo Crews vs. Sami Zayn at the Royal Rumble? Yes, please! I'm not sure who needs the win more, but as long as it tears the house down, why complain about a matchup this fresh?

    • I hate that Talking Smack comes out on Sunday now (Manila time). Part of its charm is that it happens right after an explosive episode and then everyone explains their actions and stuff. I guess it's still a great show, I just hate its new schedule. There's your nitpick right there. 

    • I also love how almost everyone acknowledged Sami Zayn's presence at ringside. Except for you, Dolph Ziggler. You'd think the only standup comedian in the roster would churn out a quip or two. 

    • Baron Corbin and Dominik Mysterio got the pee break spot of the night, but it was far from a boring match. This was the only time I considered Baron Corbin dangerous. But hey, that's SmackDown for ya. Get used to it. 

    Header image from WWE.com

    *****

    Ricky Publico (@nyamnyamgarbage) is Smark Henry's resident main roster reviewer...  for better or worse. A known lover of 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 (1/22/21): Stand Against Moral Injustice Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Ricky Jay Publico
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