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    Sunday, May 30, 2021

    The SmackDown BreakDown (5/28/21): Did Somebody Say Tag Team?!!


    Whoever said WWE doesn't care about tag teams probably choked to death watching this episode because, holy moly, this week's episode of SmackDown had a lot of them. I'm Ricky Publico returning to active duty, and this is the SmackDown BreakDown

    Sure, not every tag match was stellar, but I'm just glad Vince McMahon didn't tear the script for this tag team-centric show. I can't even remember the last time the tag team division got this much love. From the big-fight feel opening segment to the championship match main event, this week's episode went all out in flaunting their superior tag team division, and I can't stop gushing about it. So let me collect my thoughts and put on my nitpicking hat because that's why they pay me the big bucks around here.

    Sometimes, the most effective way to hype up a match is to simply give them free rein to riff on the mic, and that's exactly what The Street Profits and The Usos did to open the show. I especially loved Montez Ford reminding us how dope the Usos' Haka was back in the day. And while they had a clunky start, they finally picked up the pace by the time they stopped spamming rest holds, delivering a dream match towards the end. Hard-hitting and high-flying—that's an awesome match in my book. You love to see it. 

    And did I mention there's drama brewing between Jimmy and Jey Uso? I almost forgot because I really missed seeing these twins tear it up in the ring. Maybe it's because Roman Reigns put it succinctly, but this is the first time I ever believed Jey Uso really deserved that "Main Event" moniker. He did headline back-to-back shows when Jimmy wasn't around. That said, now that Jimmy's back, Jey got relegated to the opening match, barn-burner of a match with the Street Profits notwithstanding. Is the writing brilliant, or am I just easily manipulated? I'm inclined to believe it's both.

    So what happens now? I don't even know, man. I was convinced The Usos will take the titles off the Mysterios next week and complete the Bloodline set, but maybe Roman Reigns is planning something even bigger. Why settle for the tag titles when Jey can be the Intercontinental Champion alongside the Tribal Chief? Maybe Roman really wants both Jey and Jimmy to branch out as individuals. Ever think about that? Whatever the endgame is, I'm already hooked on this family drama, and I can't wait for the next installment. 

    Why stop the tag team love there when we have the Mysterios and the Dirty Dawgz headlining this week's episode? They basically wrestled the same match from WrestleMania Backlash, but who cares? The tag team division is being treated as a big deal. That's all that matters. I also appreciate how they only gave them around ten minutes to tell the exact same story because if you're just going to copy-paste a match, don't stretch it out for time. Just keep it short and sweet to make it work. 

    I do have to question the comical strategy of Dolph Ziggler and Bobby Roode. If their logic is that Rey Mysterio fended them off on pure adrenaline, shouldn't they be more afraid of what an adrenaline-fueled Dominik Mysterio can do? He's twice the size of his dad, and he can probably lift heavier stuff when he's in fight-or-flight mode. Not a great plan, Dirty Stooges. I also love how they just disappeared after taking the rollup defeat. But overall, it was a great main event that was fresh enough to work. 

    It didn't even end there because right after the opening tag match, we got Natalya and Tamina squaring off against a more aggressive Riott Squad. Weirdly, they didn't even show how Tamina got sidelined at the start of the match. And it's just sad that despite heeling it up a bit, Ruby Riott and Liv Morgan still can't pick up a win. Props to Ruby for selling Tamina's moves like it's the death of her. They're really going all-in on Tamina as a monster, and I love it. 

    FINAL BREAKDOWN: If you're curious if a show not centered around the main stars could still work, then you'll love this week's episode. Trust SmackDown to effectively use their roster to pull off two entertaining hours of programming that won't make you puke in a bucket after the first hour. 

    SHOW GRADE: A-

    BreakDown Thoughts That Also Have Tag Team Partners

    • I really hate it when wrestling tries to insult my intelligence. Case in point: Kevin Owens acted like his lungs gut cut out from his ribs after another Nigerian Nail from Commander Azeez. It's bad enough that this match ended the same way all Apollo Crews' singles matches end, but they're really pushing it with the overselling of the Nigerian Nail. It's as lame as Austin Gunn puking out blood after receiving normal-looking gut punches from Anthony Ogogo last week on Dynamite. I can't wait for the next devastating finisher: the Irish Whip. I'll bet my bottom dollar someone will actually try to make that work.   
    • Bianca Belair vs. Carmella also rocked, mainly because they treated Carmella with the same regard a former champion deserves. It's so easy to forget that Carmella can actually go toe-to-toe with the best of them. Sure, they could've easily had her job to the SmackDown Women's Champion, but she actually gave Bianca a run for her money, and I loved it. Bayley on commentary also made this match a lot better, and it's always a great time to witness her berate Michael Cole. Yes, Bayley, he is a stupid idiot. 
    • Let's normalize commentators getting hyped for whoever they want the way Pat McAfee went hard this week on another epic Shinsuke Nakamura entrance courtesy of Rick Boogs. It will take me time to get used to that ugly-ass name, but Rick Boogs has a bright future as the cooler version of Elias. And yes, let's continue to campaign for the next King of the Ring tournament so we can see Nakamura and Xavier Woods destroy each other in the finals. 
    Header image taken from WWE.com

    *****

    Ricky Publico (@nyamnyamgarbage) is Smark Henry's seasoned veteran and resident main roster reviewer. He's a sucker for well-written 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. His potential haunts him.  

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    Item Reviewed: The SmackDown BreakDown (5/28/21): Did Somebody Say Tag Team?!! Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Ricky Jay Publico
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