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    Wednesday, June 7, 2017

    The Smark Henry RAW Report (6/5/17): Less Sports, More Entertainment

    Extreme Rules happened, and as always after a pay-per-view event, WWE leaves you with either unanswered questions, or the start of a brand new chapter. This episode of RAW after Extreme Rules got me specifically intrigued to see Samoa Joe address Brock Lesnar, as I personally did not expect to see Joe win the number one contendership.

    This episode is debatably more entertaining than the last. The matches were alright but nothing was too buzzworthy; although the segments and promos were the ones to really carry this episode.

    First things first, the Samoa Joe promo coming after Brock Lesnar and the WWE Universal Championship was exactly what I was waiting to see and was one of the highlights of the entire show. Joe executed it clearly and straight-to-the-point. When Paul Heyman came to the ring, however, there was a moment where Joe mouthed lengthy threats while cornering Heyman, but he wasn’t holding a mic. I guess he forgot that there are thousands of people in the arena watching live who’d like to hear what he’s saying, too. It’s not a drastic mistake and he might’ve even done it intentionally to get a good bully’s grip on Heyman with both hands. It’s just that if I was actually there watching, I’d would’ve shouted “Hey!” It’s a good thing the camera caught it clearly for the people at home. Another detail I’d like to point out from this promo was that Joe mentioned and criticized Lesnar’s free schedule and how he can show up when he likes—which then begs the question, who’s the face and who’s the heel in this situation? Granted, it’s a match that many, including myself, are excited to witness. But to me, the best storytelling in wrestling is when there is a protagonist and an antagonist: you’d want the clear distinction between the two to get better pops and reactions from the crowd as opposed to leaving them confused. I just think it would make the audience more emotionally invested that way.

    As expected, the Miz and Maryse hosted a celebration after winning the Intercontinental Championship in a really great match against Dean Ambrose at Extreme Rules. A frustrated Ambrose was given the night off, but Miz remained paranoid and afraid of an attack. This lead the champion’s celebration to go sour when he started to mistrust everything around him. Maryse stormed off like any person would when Miz ruined the whole party she planned, drawing the last line when he destroyed her present for him assuming it was The Lunatic Fringe inside the box. Until, of course, it turned out Ambrose was the cameraman all along and nobody was actually able to catch that. Sneaky. Now, what made this segment work well was that all three characters were able to tell the story in a natural manner by behaving reasonably and rationally, which enabled the audience to relate.

    So on this week’s episode of Riverdale RAW, more suspense was added to two ongoing mysteries in the brand. We learned that Cass was attacked backstage as well, so now I must cross him off my list of suspects. Don’t lie to me and say you didn’t write one, too. On the other hand, GM Kurt Angle went out to the stage to call up Corey Graves for a private conversation in the middle of live television as if they didn’t have enough commercial breaks to do so, and we still don’t have any clues as to what it could really be about. Did you ever experience your girlfriend or boyfriend act like something is wrong but when you ask them, they’ll brush it off and say it’s nothing and still act the same and expect you to figure it out? Yeah, it’s the same feeling. I swear, this better be good. They are milking the suspense every week and making sure we’re hooked, so they better not let us down!

    Another Roman Reigns victory… This time, it was against Bray Wyatt. What makes this even sadder is that right before the match, Bray cut a short and sweet promo about taking revenge against the other contenders from the Fatal 5-Way match at Extreme Rules, only to have Reigns shit all over Bray’s very first step into the conquest he desired to make. Talk about an irrelevant win while dragging greats low. Look, you guys, WWE isn’t that ignorant and they surely know how the majority feels about Reigns. Perhaps this whole thing is intentional but not to specifically make him look strong, but for us to hate him. Maybe it’s the reaction they long for. Another theory could be to have RAW cater to the Indian fans this way just like what is speculated of Jinder Mahal’s WWE Championship win on the SmackDown Live brand. I don’t know. I’m trying to defend them as much as I can. I have hope that they’re not this dumb!

    As for the Women’s Championship match, I felt a little disappointed. I’ve been noticing that ever since Alexa Bliss became champion, the championship matches haven’t been anything extraordinary like we’ve seen Sasha Banks, Charlotte and Bayley do. I don’t know if it’s Alexa herself or the writers for this division, but for the first time in a long time, I’m uninterested. Meanwhile, on SmackDown Live...

    Overall, this episode of RAW was driven with segments and storyline advances, which isn’t a necessarily a bad thing for me, but fell way too short on the actual wrestling part. Nevertheless, I give this episode a solid B-.

    Quick Hitters:

    • Samoa Joe traps Paul Heyman in the Coquina Clutch. Stay tuned for Brock Lesnar next week!
    • The Miz and Maryse’s celebration interrupted by Dean Ambrose was fun to watch. The couple are great entertainers on the mic and I don’t think there are many who can say otherwise.
    • Kurt Angle and Corey Graves continue to hide their secret. Can anyone predict when they’ll reveal the information?
    • Big Show teaming up with Enzo to replace Cass, who was attacked by an unknown earlier that night. Who could it be? The plot thickens! And no, actually, you’re not watching Netflix.
    • On that note, DID THEY JUST SQUASH THE CLUB?
    • Kurt Angle telling Alexa Bliss that her “Bayley: This Is Your Life” segment from last week was the worst segment of the year. See! They’re definitely listening, you guys! Now if only they could acknowledge the Roman Reigns situation, too…
    • Speaking of, what the hell was this Roman Reigns clean and irrelevant win for again?! Please, someone explain! This should at least have a good storyline behind it.
    • TJP is attacked by Neville. Is this another face turn? Well, that was fast.

    Photos by WWE
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    Item Reviewed: The Smark Henry RAW Report (6/5/17): Less Sports, More Entertainment Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Unknown
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