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    Thursday, December 28, 2017

    The Smark Henry RAW Report (12/25/17): Win Belts on Chriiiistmas Daaay (On Christmas Day)

    For the first time ever, RAW decided to go live on Christmas this year, and I can't help but feel bad for the Superstars who sacrificed their time to be with their families for the sake of entertaining us. Respect. Although they took the time and effort to be in Chicago, Illinois on Christmas day, the writers didn't seem like they put as much time and effort in creating this episode.

    This week, I'll admit, they gave us a fresh segment and match in Elias and John Cena. I was actually glued to my screen as this opened RAW and was thoroughly entertained. To absolutely no surprise, the ruthless Chicago crowd chanted "CM Punk" during the whole segment and it seemed as though Elias didn't know how to handle it as he kept stopping and acknowledging it. You'll learn through the years, young grasshopper...

    Anyway, the match wasn't anything extraordinary, but it did feel nice to be witnessing something new for once. However, after a while, the audience started to chant "this is boring" and immediately after was when Cena took it home. Wellp. I didn't think it was that bad! I actually liked it, geez! The Chicago crowd was just mean.

    Speaking of the Chicago crowd, I don't think there's anything worse than doing the GTS in front of these people. "CM Punk" chants eventually flooded Hideo Itami's way—the guy who invented the move whom Punk actually got it from. But they wouldn't care. Because it's "CM Punk all the way ride or die forever and ever, amen." Man, it didn't help either that Itami legitimately broke Brian Kendrick's nose after that. You guys, that could be the last time we see that move as WWE probably had lots to consider afterward...

    Either way, exciting call-ups like Itami deserve better storylines than to start off facing random people. I get that it's a way to establish themselves into the roster, but it sort of takes away from all the hype. It would've been more interesting to've inserted him in a story that people can follow every week and constantly anticipate what's next, rather than for people to be like, "oh, look, it's Hideo in action again!"

    ...Which is what they did for Absolution, thankfully. A returning Paige with newcomers Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville immediately inserted themselves into a storyline with the good girls, with their roles as the nastiest chicks in the locker room, not to be messed with. They had a really good tag match, dominating pretty much all throughout. If there's one match on this episode I'd recommend, it's this one!

    But the main event was also a must-watch. And, okay, here's my story: when Kurt Angle told Jason Jordan and Seth Rollins that they would face The Bar for the RAW Tag Team Championships, and then told Roman Reigns that his Intercontinental Championship would be on the line, I immediately had the feeling that Seth and Jason were going to win the gold. Why? I have no idea. Because it's Christmas, I guess. And Christmas is full of surprises.

    I was screaming on the top of my lungs when they won—Jason Jordan got the winning pin, oh my gosh?!—and I should've bet money on this somewhere because not a lot would've believed in them like I did. It was a stressful, but good match, though I hope Jordan didn't just "get lucky" because Dean Ambrose got injured and was convenient enough to replace him. I'm still not sure if I really like the dynamic between Rollins and Jordan, or perhaps I'm just not used to it yet. Either way, can't wait to see how this plays out in the weeks to come!

    From verbal to physical, finally: we all got a nice little treat when Matt Hardy finally put his hands on Bray Wyatt in the ring. It wasn't for long as it was just a tease, but it's really good to know that this storyline is finally moving forward as we head to the Royal Rumble—I was starting to think the promos were getting pretty repetitive and I was getting slightly bored with it. Just slightly.

    This Christmas day edition of RAW struggled to stay interesting through all three hours; and a lot of matches and segments were clearly made to kill time, though I appreciate the advancements they made in the #WOKEN storyline, as well as the title change. I'll cut these guys some slack—Christmas is a time of giving. So I grade this episode a B-!

    Quick hitters:
    • What on earth are they doing to Finn Bálor? Ahhhh, I see. He's gonna win the Royal Rumble match, isn't he?!
    • As for Curt Hawkins... The streak continues, I guess... Good for him...
    • Nia Jax and Enzo Amore almost kissing got me squealing like a dying seal, though I don't know if it's because I'm kilig or very repulsed.
    • The Cruiserweight tag match did nothing but fill the holiday-themed match quota of the night. Yawn.
    • What's the point of announcing yourself to be part of the Royal Rumble match? Ah, yes, the first-ever women's Royal Rumble match, featuring all women of RAW and SmackDown Live!—uhm, except for you, Asuka. Not you.

    Photos by WWE

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    Item Reviewed: The Smark Henry RAW Report (12/25/17): Win Belts on Chriiiistmas Daaay (On Christmas Day) Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Unknown
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