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    Wednesday, May 31, 2017

    The Smark Henry RAW Report (5/29/17): Back To High School

    Why, hello there! I'm Nicole Le Sauxyou've probably heard of me as the first female co-host of FOX Philippines' The Wrestling Gods. From now on, you'll be seeing my name on here weekly as I'll be taking over Stan Sy's RAW review column! Yay!

    So let's get it started.

    First of all, who would’ve thought that this was the go-home show for Extreme Rules? Who would’ve thought this was even an episode of Monday Night RAW? Man, it sure didn’t feel like it.

    The show started out with its regular formula. You know, the one we’ve been seeing every week: an interrupted talk show for the opening segment, followed by some tag team action, then stuff that no one really cares about, Cruiserweights, a Women’s segment and/or match that won’t make too much sense, more Cruiserweights, more stuff no one really cares about, then closing with either a pretty awesome main event match that has been hyped all throughout the show, or a buzzworthy segment.

    That said, there were no surprises in the first hour until the writers decided to spice it up this week and turn the regular wrestling show you know and love into a murder-mystery.

    Ok, well, nobody died. But the second Corey Graves interrupted Michael Cole and walked out of commentary to go backstage, it did make fans like me genuinely wonder what was going on. It was so abrupt; it could’ve been something out-of-script, something that can inevitably happen on live television. You’re probably thinking I’m really naïve right now. I get it, okay—I get really sucked into the drama sometimes.

    It wasn't until WWE themselves went on Twitter and posted about Graves walking out that I knew they were stirring the pot for something. He appeared to have received text messages of “embarrassing information” that could “ruin” GM Kurt Angle; and everybody is dying to know what it’s about. Juicy. It feels like I’m back in high school.

    At some point, Graves was then aggressively approached by Big Cass, denying the suspicions of being the culprit of Enzo’s attack. It made me wonder if the whole thing had something to do with that and figuring out who really did it. Nevertheless, this other wing of mystery would go on throughout the whole show, just filled with speculations and clues, making you think you were watching an episode of Riverdale. It’s pretty interesting, if you ask me.

    But not all drama the writers came up with for this episode was fun: Alexa Bliss’ “Bayley: This Is Your Life” segment was so painful to watch. Hearing the crowd’s reaction to it just made it all the more excruciating. You should’ve seen my face; I couldn’t stop cringing. I’d usually skip watching something dreadful like that but I couldn’t because I needed to write this review. It’s one of those segments that's so darn scripted that you can feel it in the Superstars how much they hate it. The actors hired for this segment supposedly representing Bayley’s fourth grade teacher, ex-best friend and ex-boyfriend were so terrible, the crowd booed them out of the building and everybody just wanted to get that segment over with. What was the real point, anyway? If I had to write a segment of this nature, I’d guide Alexa into being a truly hated heel by making her make out with Bayley’s ex-boyfriend instead of her ex-best friend. That would really give Bayley a reason to run out and interrupt, and cause all the relating teenage girls tuned in to go wild.

    Moving on… Goldust is back! Finally! I’ve always enjoyed his vignettes and I always thought they were worth watching. He quoted lines from Psycho and naturally appears unlikeable as a heel. Meanwhile, right after his, you have R-Truth in the exact same position trying to give a similar promo, this time quoting lines from Pulp Fiction and looking rather badass than trying too hard to be goofy. I hope they tear each other apart at Extreme Rules.

    The triple threat match with Samoa Joe, Finn Balor and Bray Wyatt could’ve been the main event of a RAW episode, but it wasn’t, so it really deserves an honorable mention. The outcome of this awesome match shows you a taste of what’s to see at Extreme Rules, showing everybody that the victory could fall on anybody you least expect—which is great, of course, for dividing the odds evenly for the Fatal 5-Way to come.

    The main event was also worth watching. Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns put a match of quality with Reigns picking up the clean victory after a spear out of nowhere. My question is: why!? This match is one of those really good ones but was meaningless from the start and made no real advances to any storyline. Maybe it’s the bias I have with Rollins being my favorite to win the match (every match, really), but I still don’t truly understand why Reigns had to win that one clean. I mean, aren’t there three other competitors in their match at Extreme Rules? What happened to them? They all could’ve gotten it on, breaking the main event somehow resulting in a violent clusterfuck and hype everybody up for the upcoming pay-per-view, but instead we went straight back to the regular formula and were given a banal finish.

    Overall, this episode of Monday Night RAW may have fallen on Memorial Day, but did not create anything memorable for anyone to remember. (There was a joke in there somewhere, please forgive me.).

    I would probably give it a grade of C-. Regardless, I have high hopes that Extreme Rules will not disappoint this week and maybe then we can expect a better episode of RAW the following day.

    Quick Hitters:

    • Roman Reigns looked way too strong again in the main event. I feel like that statement is getting quite repetitive in these review articles.
    • Worst segment in 2017 nominee: Alexa Bliss’ “Bayley: This Is Your Life”
    • “What did Corey Graves find out about Raw General Manager Kurt Angle? With The Revival out of the picture, who attacked Enzo Amore for the second time? Tune in and find out as the plot thickens in next Monday’s episode of RAW, 8 P.M., live on the USA Network!”
    • Is Elias Samson another vicious monster in the making? But his frustrated artist gimmick is cute!
    • So it’s Sasha Banks and Rich Swann vs. Alicia Fox and Noam Dar at Extreme Rules. ...What have you done to these talented women? These Superstars deserve better feuds. Instead, we got Sasha dancing a routine with Rich in the middle of the ring. Well, alright, a lot of guys probably enjoyed that.
    • The Hardy Boyz always give me that little heart-sinking feeling when their music hits, then I get burned out, then all the hype is gone, and then I stop caring. Am I the only one?

    Photos from WWE.com
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    Item Reviewed: The Smark Henry RAW Report (5/29/17): Back To High School Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Unknown
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