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    Wednesday, July 4, 2018

    The Smark Henry RAW Review (7/3/18): Run, Owens, Run

    Hello. My name's Jofer Serapio and I am the new reviewer Stan Sy was talking about in last week's RAW review. I've been keeping tabs on professional wrestling since I was in grade school before I even hit puberty because of Eddie Guerrero's amazing character work and Rey Mysterio, Jr. consistently defying gravity. Probably. I'm not sure. What I'm sure about, though, is that, I'm a SmackDown guy who bleeds blue through and through, even before AJ Styles built Paige's house or something along those lines. That said, I am going to do my very best to not consistently whine about Roman Reigns. I actually like the guy. Editors, please don't fire me.

    Editor's note: he's on probation.

    That said, remember last week's RAW review when Stan Sy pleaded for Roman Reigns and Bobby Lashley to NOT get in "a third straight tag match with The Revival?" Well, you're not going to believe this, but they got a third straight tag match with The Revival. Why? The show's intro would have you believe that it's to further the animosity between Black Lesnar and Dwayne Johncena, but my theory is that they have nothing for The Revival.

    The Revival is hands down one of the greatest tag teams in the modern WWE landscape. They should be beating everyone they can get their hands on, paving their road to the RAW Tag Team Championships with the blood and bones of anyone foolish enough to get in their way. Unfortunately, the current RAW Tag Team Champions, The Deleters of Worlds, have their hands full with The B-Team in a pretty interesting feud—interesting mostly because Bo Dallas cosplays his brother really well and I'm pretty sure Bray Wyatt's turning on Woken Matt Hardy to join his brother. As sure as I am with Dean Ambrose returning to help Seth Rollins against 1990s' Shawn Michaels and Diesel—I mean Dolph Ziggler and Drew McIntyre.

    This whole thing with Rollins and Reigns against Ziggler and McIntyre was never going to last. At the very least, it was a simple reminder that The Shield was a thing. Reigns is going to be busy with Lashley and then WWE Universal Champion Brock Lesnar most likely, which means that Rollins will need someone to have his back against Mr. Ziggles and The Chosen One. Enter Ambrose for the nth Shield reunion since Rollins backstabbed his brothers with a steel chair shot to the heart. It's the perfect way to welcome back The Lunatic Fringe before he inevitably betrays Rollins and gets in another long-term feud with The Architect. Remember their previous feud? Remember when Seth drove Dean's head through a pile of cinderblocks? Classic Rollins!

    Speaking of pure unadulterated hatred, what is up with Braun Strowman picking on Kevin Owens?

    Granted that Owens did almost murder Vince McMahon, Sami Zayn, Chris Jericho, Shane McMahon, and anyone and everyone who has ever crossed his path, this great Canadian hero does not deserve to be treated this way. You can powerslam him in the ring. You can run him over at ringside. You can even throw him off tall ladders. But you cannot, and I emphasize this with much gusto, you cannot just trap Canada's favorite wrestler in a portable toilet and tip the entire thing over with him still inside! That's attempted murder, man, monster, Mr. Monster in the Bank, sir.

    That whole toilet thing actually reminded me of—sorry to pull a Sasha Banks here—my favorite wrestler, Eddie Guerrero, who once doused the Big Show with poop during an episode of SmackDown. Heh. Poop. Good times. Thankfully, that porta potty Owens got locked in didn't seem to have been as used as I expected. It didn't turn Owens into the Big Show, just Blue Meanie. Or a giant Canadian Smurf.

    As much as I'd rather see Owens back in top form as a murderous heel, though, he's actually really amazing in this comedic feud with Strowman. He's making their dynamic as enjoyable as he can while putting Strowman over, even if he doesn't really need to get put over all that much. Without the comedy, this could've been just another incident of Strowman being too OP for the heel. Then again, Strowman can't really fit the underdog babyface mold, so this is probably the best thing for him to do before he cashes in on Roman Reigns after the Big Dog finally beats Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania.

    We're all in (get it?) for Owens versus Strowman in a Ladder Match for the Money in the Bank Briefcase at Extreme Rules, right? With how the main event unfolded this week, I'm feeling that match could happen. Owens just needs to goad Strowman into putting that briefcase on the line and then he's all set to get thrown off of more ladders.

    Who really needs to get thrown off a ladder, though, is Bayley. At least that should've been Sasha Banks' mindset heading into that mandatory counseling.

    Last week's major talking point was Bayley finally going over the rails, attacking her former best friend, basically decimating Banks at ringside, while yelling at her that she "ain't shit." WWE tried to bleep that last part but unsung heroes caught the not-so-PG line and put it up on YouTube. Some artist even made a pretty awesome shirt, in honor of that line, that you could buy for like three days because three days is all anyone's getting before Vince McMahon hears about your shit and cancels your show faster than Sasha Banks can reference Eddie Guerrero... Or Ring of Honor can make a deal with Madison Square Garden.

    This whole thing between Bayley and Banks has been simmering for a couple of months now that I was starting to get bored with these two. Fortunately, last week happened, even though this whole counseling thing dampened the Bayley heel hype. Unfortunately, this week, Bayley and Banks were relegated to pre-taped segments, with Banks not even trying to just straight-up cut Bayley. I mean, Bayley threw her all over the place last week and Banks wasn't going to do the same with her in Dr. Shelby's office—yes, that Dr. Shelby—like she didn't almost get injured and have her livelihood put in jeopardy? That doesn't sound like a Legit Boss to me.

    It's interesting to note that last week also saw the reunion of Team Hell No on SmackDown. Dr. Shelby would've been missed if he didn't show up on this week's RAW, if only for nostalgia's, and maybe continuity's, sake. What's not interesting, at least for me, is if they go down the same Team Hell No route for Bayley and Banks. Hug it out? That's Bayley's entire gimmick. Hopefully, she ends up hugging Banks out instead. Bayley-to-Belly on the floor during a PPV tag match against The Riott Squad? Hell yes.

    I'll give this week's Raw a D for Deja blue.

    Quick Hitters:

    • Drew McIntyre needs to get in that Universal Championship picture ASAP. He should fit in well fighting Reigns, Lashley, and Lesnar for that belt in a real monster's brawl. Then Strowman cashes in on whoever wins that brawl and becomes the new Universal Champion.
    • Were Bo Dallas and Bray Wyatt supposed to wrestle this week? Because last week, Axel already pinned Hardy. Dallas cosplaying as Wyatt is perfect. Hope Wyatt gets better from that injury soon, though. Axel's already 2-for-2 against Hardy. That can't feel good for the champs.  
    • Man, it's going to be hard for Finn Bálor to get his career back on track with Constable Baron Corbin's nose up in his business. Is this feud just going to be two men duking it out for pride, glory, and honor? Or is Corbin going to use some of his political power to mess Bálor up? I hope it's the latter. That could be extraordinary. 
    • No Way Jose should've learned from his NXT feud with Austin Aries. Or from last week when Mojo Rawley did the exact same thing and attacked him. Also, Jose needs better friends. What's the point of a conga line if they can't have your back when a former defensive lineman attacks you? 
    • I'm calling it now: RAW Women's Champion and champion of my heart Alexa Bliss retains her championship after Ronda Rousey accidentally murders Nia Jax with a punch or something at Extreme Rules. Then at SummerSlam, it's Alexa Bliss versus Ronda Rousey versus Nia Jax. Rousey's also probably murdering Mickie James at Extreme Rules.   
    • Oh, yeah, Jinder Mahal's still around, doing his inner peace thing backstage because someone on the writing staff probably googled the term "guru" and went "Sure, why not? He's Indian, it's Indian, we've got nothing for him, everything writes itself." Dear Lord, I hope the other Bollywood Brother gets cleared to return soon so we can ship them to 205 Live for that show's proper tag team division to finally hit its stride.
    Images from WWE


    Jofer Serapio (@JoferSerapio) is just some guy on the Internet who writes a bunch of unrelated stuff. Like Sasha Banks, his favorite wrestler is Eddie Guerrero. Unlike Sasha Banks, he's never going to get attacked by his best friend because Kevin Owens is too busy running away from Braun Strowman. He's into NXT, Lucha Underground, WWE, NJPW, Ring of Honor, and (gasp) Impact Wrestling. Guy does not discriminate. Guy just whines a lot.
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    Item Reviewed: The Smark Henry RAW Review (7/3/18): Run, Owens, Run Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Pepe Serapio
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