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    Thursday, December 7, 2017

    The Smark Henry RAW Report (12/04/17): Stay Woke

    On last week’s RAW Report, I had mentioned that the episode lacked star power with the notable absences of Triple H, Brock Lesnar, The Miz, Dean Ambrose, and Sheamus. We didn’t exactly get to see Triple H this time around, again, but we did learn that Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose would challenge Sheamus and Cesaro for the RAW Tag Team Championship, which we all know never disappoints. Sasha Banks was also announced to face Paige, who was having her first match in over a year, which was enough to hype out the entire episode.

    I had hoped the crowd this week would be better than the last and actually, you know… cheer. And thank God the Los Angeles crowd delivered as always! The mark-out moment of the night was “WOKEN” Matt Hardy’s promo in all its glory. What better way to kick-off this gimmick on WWE television by feuding against another weirdo in Bray Wyatt? That promo “exchange” was so strange, but then again, so are both of them… so it all fits fine. I’m so glad the crowd got behind this one quickly and was really into it. I’ve always wanted to see a Hardy do well on his own, and this is Matt’s chance! Hopefully, though, his brother Jeff, his wife Reby, King Maxel, Senor Benjamin and Vanguard-1 could join him down the line to complete the whole gimmick. Or is that asking for too much? Either way, this is delightful!

    Okay, I don’t know about you, but I never get tired of watching Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose vs. Sheamus and Cesaro. They’ve had a gazillion matches together but they always somehow manage to bring something new and exciting to the table each time. Ahhh, the beauty of pro wrestling.

    What made this match even greater was that I had no idea who would win it. A predictable match can still be a good one, but this kept me wondering throughout, which made it even better. My heart told me my man, Rollins, and his partner would win, but my gut said otherwise because it still felt too early. I ended up by guessing correctly—which doesn’t happen too often—so I felt happy but sad at the same time because my babies lost. Get ‘em next time, boys! The chase isn’t over!

    Samoa Joe made things even more interesting and beat up the challengers, who, in case you ever forgot, are 2/3rds of The Shield along with the Intercontinental Champion, Roman Reigns. This set up a 6-Man Tag match for next week in the most predictable way possible, but, I’m glad there was a buildup to it instead of just having it randomly this week.

    Speaking of Roman Reigns, Jason Jordan showed us a side he hasn’t before! His frustrations have been building up since a little before Survivor Series and seems to continue to disobey his father’s wishes, which ultimately comes back to bite him each time. It’s almost as if the WWE is showing us that if you’re a whiny, entitled little brat, nothing good ever comes out of it. This is his slow transition into becoming a heel, and we’ve just yet to witness a major Jason Jordan outburst to solidify that.

    The Cruiserweights put on an amazing match with well-deserved “This is awesome!” chants. Dare I say, this match stole the whole show! The Fatal 4-Way match between Drew Gulak, Mustafa Ali, Tony Nese, and Cedric Alexander was so beautifully structured and executed, that I almost forgot who the winner was because all of them looked like winners after that. But yes, Gulak took home the victory which I think is fitting and interesting, considering he’s been playing one of Enzo’s little pets for a while now. Moreover, he’s done a pretty good job at winning over the crowd with his hilarious promos! Gulak will then have to face Rich Swann next week to determine the real #1 Contender for Enzo Amore’s Cruiserweight Title. This mini-tournament was a nice way to build something up out of nothing, all while having these guys showcase their abilities to its fullest potential on RAW. If you decided that this match was the time for your bathroom break, I feel sorry for you.

    Sasha Banks vs. Paige has been the match of my dreams for the past year, and we all got it right here on free TV. It seemed too good to be on an episode of RAW and probably should have been saved for a PPV… But I guess this was fine, too, so my impatient ass wouldn’t have to wait too long to see Paige in a very good and competitive singles match. This was really exciting albeit a predictable finish, all because it’s been way too long since we’ve seen the Diva of Tomorrow in action and I’m sure we all wanted to see how she’d do.

    I’m still waiting for Triple H. It’s like he just kept us majorly hanging and now the others either have to drop their storylines with him or feud with someone else for the meantime. Do they just expect us to remember it all once he feels like coming back?! ...Y-yes. But it shouldn’t be that way. You should keep your storyline going while it’s fresh in the audience’s minds, before they lose interest. Otherwise, they can detach themselves from it! Nevertheless, it was a pretty decent show with really good matches and new feuds brewing up. They still managed to make things compelling enough for me to say that none of the matches nor segments were truly filler. So, I grade this a C!

    Quick hitters:
    • So when are we getting the faces’ retaliation on Absolution? When we’re dead? 
    • Finn Bálor is so lost at the moment—maybe he and his abs should Waze their way into my arms instead. 
    • Nia Jax... Man, I don't know. I'm not sure I want to know. 

    Photos by WWE
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    Item Reviewed: The Smark Henry RAW Report (12/04/17): Stay Woke Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Unknown
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