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    Wednesday, November 8, 2017

    The Smark Henry RAW Report (11/6/17): The British Invasion

    Monday Night RAW
    this week was taped in Manchester, England! We had a lot to address from last week’s episode, which didn’t really do a good job at building up Survivor Series and focused too much on its monsters. With an almost-complete SmackDown Team, RAW had yet to step up and make new additions.

    Last time I was ever this upset over an episode was the one with Chris Jericho’s Festival of Friendship. I kept repeating to myself how excited I was to see Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins vs. The Usos at Survivor Series that day, and I felt like I cursed the whole thing because they lost the titles to Cesaro and Sheamus later in the main event. I needed a full ten minutes to recover from the pain, sadness, anger, and frustration I was simultaneously feeling.

    I was a mess. I was always a fan of the New Day ever since they started out as a team, until today. I know what you’re thinking—I am so beyond worked right now, it’s ridiculous. Perhaps you’re right. But… My boy, Seth Rollins, had to get distracted and had to be the one to take the pin. Seth, nooooo! Seth, why?! It’s like my entire world shattered. Because of this, I wanted to lock myself in my room and sulk for the rest of the week. But now that I was able to grab myself an ice cream cone and have my loved ones console my unstable self, I think my diary entry ends here.

    Seriously speaking, though, it’s like the WWE gave us all blue balls. The Shield was so hyped up for TLC, you’d think they were unstoppable—and all of that was suddenly taken away from us when Roman Reigns got sick and was unable to perform. Just when I thought the situation couldn’t die down any further, we now lost Ambrose and Rollins from the Survivor Series main card, and Jason Jordan was named as the fifth and final member of Team RAW in lieu of an anticipated Roman Reigns. Well, shit.

    For what it’s worth, we could get The Shield vs. The New Day (hopefully not at the pre-show) which, I guess, is also equally as exciting, now that I think about it. The title match in the main event of RAW was also nothing short of amazing—these four continue to bring out the best in each other every time, and it’s never boring to watch them even if they’ve been booked to go against each other millions of times.

    I’m a huge Seth Rollins mark—if, you know, you haven’t already noticed—and so, yes, I’m biased towards the results, but I guess a sudden title change was a nice way to shake things up as we move towards the pay-per-view, and was a great way to show their flexibility. I mean, who would’ve actually guessed, right? Surprises are nice because it’s their way of effectively toying with the audience’s emotions. I believe I’ve been the best example for that.

    Asuka and Sasha Banks have now officially boarded Team RAW. Recruiting Asuka felt natural to me, but just when I thought both Sasha and Bayley were going to fill the last two spots somehow, only Sasha was named while both girls were in the ring after their tag match.

    Interesting. The camera was at a great angle where Sasha was seen all high and mighty while Bayley’s down, looking upset and confused. I’m hoping these are seeds planted for the team drama we create weeks of buildup for. What’s a whole team in wrestling without some drama within them, right? But I have a feeling Bayley will eventually be added, anyway, because I doubt Dana Brooke will make the cut, and my gut is telling me Mickie James won’t either. But, I don’t know. I’m excited to see how this will play out on the next episode!

    Other additions were made on the Red Team. I knew this was going to happen! I knew Finn Bálor and Samoa Joe were going to try to destroy each other and that both Superstars would be added to Team RAW. The double countout worked out rightfully since neither of them should have lost.

    Just like with the women, this was a nice way to plant some drama for the team—from rivals who tried to destroy each other to now forcible teammates who now need to learn how to work with each other. Will everybody be able to get along? Most likely not. But measuring a team’s unity is what makes you wonder about their true chances of winning, thus creating suspense for the match. I wonder who’s going to screw who this year!

    And of course, a show in England is not complete without a hometown hero’s appearance. We usually have Paige to do the job, but this year, it was the United Kingdom Champion, Pete Dunne! He made his debut on RAW to go against the Cruiserweight champion, Enzo Amore, and man was it rough. It looked like it hurt a lot, but it was a match I’m sure we all enjoyed. It was a hard-hitting yet fun match, and the crowd’s enthusiasm made it even better!

    RAW was extremely confusing last week, and it seems like they took it easy this week, providing us with a simple episode. It was a wrestling-heavy one with good matches and a big surprise at the end that was executed clearly. Lots of additions have been made to the men and women’s teams and we’re now almost fully focused on Survivor Series! I grade this episode a B-!

    Quick hitters:
    • Honestly, how adorable was Reign-ee Young?! 10/10 potential replacement. 
    • Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel deserve the world. They’re hilarious in their promos and they make the The Miz’s jokes even funnier than usual. 
    • What was up with the tech on this episode? Pete Dunne’s music played before Kurt Angle was able to introduce him, and Michael Cole was heard on air communicating backstage. This week’s production game was weak! Perhaps it was the jetlag? 
    • Of course, a Guitar-on-a-Pole match. I should’ve known. I’m so mad I didn’t think of this myself.

    Photos by WWE
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    Item Reviewed: The Smark Henry RAW Report (11/6/17): The British Invasion Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Unknown
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