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    Sunday, June 20, 2021

    The SmackDown BreakDown (6/18/21): One Hell of a Main Event

    Quick, no one's hyped about Hell in a Cell. What could possibly hype them for our upcoming PPV? I know! Let's give away our main event—the only HIAC matchup that deserved its stipulation—on free TV! Brilliant! I'm Ricky Publico, and this is the SmackDown BreakDown.

    That imaginary conversation you just read was the best explanation I could come up with for why we got a bafflingly great main event on this week's SmackDown. Even now as I'm writing this, I'm still not sure if I should love it or hate it. Because on one hand, it was the most predictable match from the Hell in a Cell card. On the other hand, it was also the match most fans were excited to see, mainly because it's the most compelling storyline WWE has. They did spend weeks building this storyline up for a PPV, no matter how rushed it felt. To get the resolution on free TV dampened all the build to get to this point.

    And if the goal is to get everyone hyped for Hell in a Cell this Monday (Manila Time), why give away this match? Why not Bianca Belair vs. Bayley? Why not Cesaro vs. Seth Rollins? I know I should be thankful that SmackDown once again raised some eyebrows with this ballsy move, but now I'm not excited to watch HIAC. What exactly should I look forward to now? Bobby Lashley vs. Drew McIntyre? Charlotte vs. Rhea Ripley? Even the SmackDown side of the card doesn't have a "must-drop-everything-to-watch" quality to it. Leave it to SmackDown to devalue an already lackluster PPV. 

    But now that I think about it, why do I care about HIAC? This is a SmackDown review so of course I'm going to shower this amazing history-making main event with praises. By the way the match unfolded, I was convinced it still deserved PPV treatment. C'mon, you can't interrupt this physical and emotional masterpiece with commercial breaks! I honestly expected this to be a one-sided massacre since they didn't have the confidence to give it a PPV spot but no, it was far from it. Rey Mysterio certainly didn't spend his first trip to Hell as a sitting duck to the already imposing Roman Reigns.

    I'm surprised Mysterio held his own against the Tribal Chief, which then baffled me further. Why didn't this make the PPV?! It was a great HIAC match! But screw them, they probably don't want Drew McIntyre to be overshadowed or something. This match was yet another entry into the Roman Reigns Title Defense Hall of Fame, and I loved every minute of it. The best part was when Reigns threw Rey's helpless body outside the ring and through the cell, giving the phrase "like father, like son" a whole new meaning. Again, these are the brilliant bits of excellence you probably won't see on the actual PPV. 

    Another thing The Tribal Chief has perfected throughout his reign is how to end a match. Reigns even debuted a modified version of his Guillotine Choke, probably because Rey-Rey's too small to latch on to. But for some reason, this version of his submission looked more elegant and Rey quickly tapping to it made it look more devastating. And because a Roman Reigns match can't just end with him raising his title in victory, he had to add insult to injury by choking him out again and punctuating his victory with a simple Father's Day greeting. After all, if you're going to overdo something, do it in grand fashion.

    And with that, the first-ever HIAC match in SmackDown history is in the books. But that's not the only big news that came out of this week's episode. In an interesting development to the Reigns family drama, Jimmy Uso is now in! After weeks of being the "difficult" cousin, Jimmy finally fell in line and acknowledged Roman as the Head of the Table. And did I tell you Jey Uso is still missing? The drama continues! I love how we're probably getting a reversal of roles in the coming weeks. But Reigns did task Jimmy with finding his brother, so maybe this is the beginning of The Bloodline stable we've been waiting for?

    FINAL BREAKDOWN: Again, leave it to SmackDown to overachieve to the point of potentially devaluing the PPV they were supposed to be building up. I would've been fine with a go-home promo and a scuffle between Roman Reigns and Rey Mysterio. But giving us the exact PPV main event? Now that's something else. I really wish SmackDown would stop indulging themselves and maybe focus on other storylines they have? Because other than Roman/Rey, Bayley/Bianca, and Cesaro/Seth, they're offering nothing to make me want to watch on a weekly basis. Spread the love, will you? 

    Show Grade: A-

    BreakDown Thoughts That Aren't Sorry For Who They Are

    • The build for Bianca Belair vs. Bayley was way too promo-heavy for my taste. Look, their previous segments have been great, but I'm just tired of hearing Bianca talk about her WrestleMania win and not apologizing for who she is. Yes, we get it, you're not sorry for being the best, then why not show it by beating some jobbers or something? We finally got some physical action and in the end, Bayley came out on top as she tried to replicate the multi-screen visual that wowed everyone two weeks ago. Now that just made me want to see Bayley win since she's the one doing all the cool stuff in this program. Bianca Belair's next rivalry better be more compelling this. 

    • Isn't it ironic how babyfaced Otis is more monstrous than bearded Otis? I see what you did there, Chad Gable. Man, all I can say is Otis is doing his best work to date. He can even use his former failures like losing Mandy Rose to RAW and losing the MITB briefcase to The Miz as fuel for his already uncontrollable rage. They should really explore this soon in the upcoming Draft. Miz to SmackDown and have Miz and JoMo feud with Alpha Academy, anyone? 

    • How exactly can Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn tell a proper story when they're stuck dealing with Apollo and Commander Azeez? And now they have a random match at Hell in a Cell. What exactly are they fighting about at this point? It's such a waste of one of the most storied rivalries in WWE history. Also, seeing Commander Azeez wrestle in full uniform just made me feel uncomfortable for him. It's probably impossible to move while wearing that goofy-ass general uniform. 
    • Really, that's it for the Battle For the Crown? Man, that fucking sucks. Thanks for making the match longer, at least. In the end, the asshole who just took ownership of the crown won and now he's the king, I guess? I don't know. This storyline's lame. 

    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 (6/18/21): One Hell of a Main Event Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Ricky Jay Publico
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