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    Sunday, June 13, 2021

    The SmackDown BreakDown (6/11/21): Insert Relatable Meme Here

    Leave it to Roman Reigns to not brandish an actual life-ending weapon like a fucking loser to prove his dominance. Why use a sword when you can just throw them to irrelevance yourself? I'm Ricky Publico, and this is the SmackDown BreakDown.

    Finally, Roman Reigns has reached that level of villainy only reserved for Brock Lesnar: not giving a shit about other people's kids. Actually, Reigns took it one step further by yeeting the said kid straight to the shadow realm and it was awesome. Through yet another simple yet effective use of camera blocking, SmackDown launched their newest blood rivalry (and a brand new meme format for the ages). 

    Man, imagine the amount of stuff you can get away with in the ThunderDome. I wonder why we didn't see vicious attacks like these more often. The last time they used it was when Apollo Crews savagely beat Big E with the steel steps and it was amazing. They should really do more of these in the next PPV because unless you have a great storyline going or you're Sasha Banks, a Hell in a Cell match can get boring real quick. Let's exploit some camera angles and blind spots for greater effect and not just use stupid swords to slice through tables. God, that contract signing segment was so awful, I could gag. 

    And while Roman Reigns vs. Rey Mysterio felt rushed because they packed two main event segments in last week's episode, that and Reigns dumping Dominik into the abyss ultimately made the rivalry personal enough to justify entering the Cell. Rey calling Reigns a rat bastard felt cathartic, for some reason. Once again, the Mysterios have found themselves in the crosshairs of a beastly champion. Although this time, I doubt Dominik can help his father unless he hides under the ring before the cage is lowered. But yeah, we all know who's going to win in the end; I'm just glad they're giving this rivalry more meat to chew on. 

    If I can nitpick the main event segment for a tiny bit, I was disappointed we didn't get the lead pipe-wielding version of Rey-Rey. That would've made my Brock Lesnar parallel earlier a lot more poetic. Is a kendo stick the only weapon in the inventory this week? That's probably why Roman Reigns still got the upper hand in the end. You should've brought your trusty pipe, Rey! 

    It wasn't just the teen murder that made this episode great, though. Right before that awesome main event segment, Roman Reigns and Jey Uso finally had "the talk" and it was another slam dunk promo from our favorite Head of the Table. I'm not even sure if it was possible to tread the tightrope between manipulative and sincere, yet here we are. I love how Reigns' manipulation of his cousins transcends kayfabe. Watching him passionately explain his side with sensible arguments made me question if he's really the bad guy here. Again, another superb performance from the Tribal Chief. 

    And the final shot of him just staring at the Universal Championship after laying the verbal smackdown on Jimmy Uso was just chef's kiss-levels of perfection. The obvious implication is that Reigns is simply doing all of this just for himself, but his acting leaves enough room for positive doubt. Maybe he's just really proud of representing the family or he's burdened by the responsibility of carrying the family on his back. Why are we even assuming the worst immediately anyway? That stare could literally mean anything. Nonetheless, it was a brilliant punctuation mark to an already great backstage segment. 

    Who knew we needed to hear two of the most annoyingly good cackles in WWE side by side? In a masterclass of using cheesiness to the segment's advantage, they achieved the impossible of producing a great segment that hits two big rivalries with one efficient door. I love the level of self-awareness as well! They knew how iconic and annoying Seth Rollins' laugh is so of course, they'll pair him up with the best female heel right now who's currently in a laughter-based storyline. Their chemistry is electric, too! They didn't babble to oblivion and their heel personalities complemented each other. You love to see it. 

    Forget about the corniness of it all. It worked because Bayley and Seth Rollins played their parts perfectly. And when the true punchline arrived, it was even more satisfying. Seeing Cesaro beat the drip out of Seth felt cathartic, even. I also love how defeated Bayley was when her set got destroyed. "Oh, man," she said as she tried to fix the mangled Ding, Dong Hello Show door. So adorable! I forgot for a second that she was supposed to be the heel here. And like clockwork, Belanca Belair came out to laugh at the misfortunes of poor Bayley. Bravo, what an equally entertaining and efficient promo from all people involved.  

    FINAL BREAKDOWN: Another great episode in the books. Thank you for your service, Roman Reigns. The stellar laugh-off segment featuring Bayley and Seth Rollins also helped big time. I would've given it a higher grade if not for the repetitive match syndrome currently plaguing the Blue Brand. I know I'm not watching RAW, but it's starting to feel like it, slowly but surely. Please, I don't want to ragequit reviewing a show again. Not my SmackDown

    Show Grade: A-

    BreakDown Thoughts That Couldn't Stop Clowning Around

    • Man, I should really stop saying things like how I'd like to see [name of wrestler] and [name of wrestler] wrestle all day or every week. Because no, the same pair of wrestlers shouldn't face each other every goddamn week, no matter how good they are. So no more of that hyperbole. I don't want to see Big E and Kevin Owens tag anymore. I want Big E to start a fight with literally anyone else since they took away his next star-making rivalry. I want Kevin Owens to start focusing on Sami Zayn again. Give us those prime-cut promos and have him stay away from the Intercontinental Championship. I want Carmella to wrestle anyone not named Liv Morgan already, even if her stereotypical gimmick already expired two weeks after it first debuted. Just please, SmackDown, you're better than this. Don't copy RAW

    • Speaking of repetitive matches, how many more times do we have to see Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Baron Corbin? C'mon, people, it's not that hard to set up a King of the Ring tournament! Just get eight names each from RAW and SmackDown and run it for the next few weeks until we get Xavier Woods vs. Shinsuke Nakamura in the finals, preferably at SummerSlam. That would instantly get you fresh match-ups for weeks and a great way to welcome back crowds in August. Please, please let this Battle for the Crown next week be a prologue for this year's King of the Ring. Please. 


    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 (6/11/21): Insert Relatable Meme Here Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Ricky Jay Publico
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