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    Wednesday, October 4, 2017

    The Smark Henry RAW Report (10/2/17): The Post-Credits Teaser

    Did you know it’s been six months since Kurt Angle was named RAW General Manager? Yeah, me neither. I was in disbelief when our Editor At Large Stan Sy mentioned it to me—it’s seriously been that long? So let’s emphasize on him a little bit and assess his performance on this week’s episode, since I honestly can’t think of anything groundbreaking he’s done during his time as GM, apart from signing Asuka.

    Mickie James was granted a RAW Women’s title match against Alexa Bliss at TLC. This was an amazing move by the GM, but it was no surprise at this point. It’s nice to see other women outside of Sasha Banks, Bayley, and Nia Jax receive an opportunity for the title in a singles match. The segment that led to this match was honestly really entertaining and puts the women on the map again, because screw those random Fatal 5-Ways and screw Sasha and Bayley’s obnoxious friendship that’s been going on for way too long.

    We also got to see Alicia Fox on the show this week! We don’t get to see her often and it really is a tragedy. She has so much personality and is amazing in the ring; I’m glad we got to see her in a lengthy tag team match against the besties. Alicia was heel in here, no doubt, but Emma totally just abandoned her mid-match and now it’s like a battle of who’s the bigger bitch. Ah, women.

    I kind of understand why Kurt Angle would create such clauses for the Cruiserweight division, who I, by the way, had no idea was in charge of 205 Live. If Kurt never exercised his authority, we’d probably have our first funeral segment on RAW in memory of Enzo Amore. In all seriousness, though, the clause angle is pretty great—it’s a smart way to stretch out Enzo as champion for a while, and a fun way to introduce a new member in the division.

    But the champion can only stay safe for so long: another thing Angle decided well on this week was the introduction of Kalisto to the purple brand! It’s about time, really. Nobody’s allowed to touch Enzo except for Kalisto at this point, which puts a lot of pressure on him, and gives him some big shoes to fill as the entire locker room is expecting him to take the title away from the outsider. Don’t f*ck this one up, Kalisto!

    Another thing Kurt Angle is doing a great job at is making me lose so much interest in Finn Bálor. Okay, maybe it’s not really his fault, but I hate how he’s still letting Bálor feud with Bray Wyatt. I mean, he has eyes, right?! It’s not hard to see the whole arena dozing off when these two get their TV time. I don’t know why they’re still feuding, and I have so many questions: Where is Goldust? Where is Brock Lesnar? But more importantly: if Wyatt finally gets his needed win over Bálor in what I pray is the last match of their feud, how does that rightfully make the latter the next contender for the Universal Championship? Bálor’s all over the place!

    However, we can’t change what’s being done, so might as well dissect this continuing feud with Wyatt. I was so bored with what they were saying, until the closing image where Wyatt, for once, genuinely creeped me out. I watched the promo segment back, and Wyatt actually countered Bálor’s previous statement about the demon being a creation of the man: he argued that you don’t put on face paint to become a demon, but rather you peel the skin back to reveal the demon underneath. Okay, I guess these promos are actually pretty good if you make the effort to carefully listen. Wyatt also heavily mentions Sister Abigail; and according to this week’s Grapevine, it’s rumored that Wyatt himself would play the character of Sister Abigail instead of it being a separate character. Fine, mindf*ck. But can this be their last match already? Please?

    Something the General Manager needs to do next is book The Miz, Sheamus, and Cesaro vs. The Shield at TLC. I thought the Cruiserweight closing segment was going to be the end of it, but that extremely last-minute Shield mini-reunion had me screaming across my living room. It was like, “Hey, don’t walk out of the Marvel movie just yet—watch out for the post-credits teaser scene!” Guys, the Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose alliance was never a real Shield reunion. This is a Shield reunion. Although we didn’t get the official pose on the show, it’s bound to happen eventually. Fasten your seatbelt, folks, for another insane, emotional roller-coaster ride ahead. Roman Reigns played the babyface role amazingly this week—the total opposite of how he was acting in his feud against John Cena—so the confusion is very real. I love The Shield, so this is also the only time I will be cheering for Reigns. The only time.

    Looks like we’ve officially hopped on the train to TLC! Matches are being made and new feuds are rising. I can’t wait to see what unfolds in the next couple of weeks. Although the first two hours of the show felt so dragging that it made me want to go back to sleep so badly, the third hour woke me up more than my cup of coffee was ever able to—so props for that. I grade this episode a B-.

    As for Kurt Angle, I think we can all agree that he hasn’t shown too much personality and hasn’t done anything iconically Angle. He’s booked great matches, signed some great stars including his illegitimate son… But Angle appointed as General Manager, to me, is nothing but a one-hit-wonder type of thing: it was cool at first, solely because we haven’t seen him in so long, but that’s all this has been. He’s a regular authority figure we don’t hate on, but also one we don’t go too crazy for anymore. Maybe a few more months of this until we switch it up? I kind of miss Triple H and Stephanie McMahon, you guys. If I were to grade Kurt Angle’s performance, I’d give it a D-.

    Quick Hitters:
    • Elias is going nowhere. Stall, stall, stall. On the bright side, I think his singing and guitar-playing have gotten a lot better since his debut!
    • Okay, I’m all for creative taglines. But is it really necessary to say “Oh it’s true, it’s damn true!” after every Kurt Angle announcement? Quick, someone create a drinking game out of this.
    • How tragic is it that we don’t get a Hardy Boyz storyline for TLC? Get well soon, Jeff! *insert crying emoji*

    Photos by WWE
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    Item Reviewed: The Smark Henry RAW Report (10/2/17): The Post-Credits Teaser Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Unknown
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