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    Wednesday, August 29, 2018

    The Smark Henry RAW Review (8/28/18): Ripe and Ready for Slaughter

    Remember how Braun Strowman and Universal Champion Roman Reigns used to want to murder each other way back when? Well, they opened this week's RAW by shaking hands like a couple of gentlemen. I guess time truly heals all homicidal wounds.

    Reigns did his usual schtick about being The Guy, while Braun complained about Roman's Shield brothersDean Ambrose and Intercontinental Champion Seth Rollinscoming to his aid last week. It's not like Braun's numerous attempts on the life of my best friend in the whole wide world, Kevin Owens, do not warrant such contingency. You're a monster, Braun. You don't have time to whine about three guys ganging up on you. Just throw one of them in a porta-potty before pushing that porta-potty off the ramp, then throw one of them off a giant ladder to send them crashing through tables, and throw the remaining guy off the top of a cage. Easy peasy.

    Immediately after the handshake, though, former Intercontinental Champion Dolph Ziggler and his heavy Drew McIntyre came out to run down Roman and Braun, with Ziggler logically complaining about his title loss at SummerSlam to Rollins, who had Ambrose in his corner. Acting RAW GM Baron Corbin came out last to make the Reigns/Strowman title match at Hell in a Cell official before putting both guys in a tag team match against ZigMc for the main event. Great first booking, Corbin!

    But while he was out there, and because he's such a complete douche, Corbin arrogantly praised himself for a job well done before booking himself in a match against Finn the Human Bálor, and not Finn the Demon King Bálor. The match was pretty good, as all Finn matches tend to be, but it ended when Corbin got himself disqualified after hitting his Human opponent with a steel chair. Oh, wait, Corbin forgot something: The match was actually a no disqualifications match, stupid referee. So let's restart this whole thing.

    One chair shot and an End of Days later, and Corbin got the win. Classic dumb jock move. If Corbin actually had a brain, he'd have realized needing a foreign object to beat Finn the Human actually makes him look like a complete joke. I mean, if he did that to Finn the Demon King, then maybe he'd have looked cunning and wily. As it stands, he needed a weapon to pin a human smaller than him, someone he has already beaten at least once.

    Strowman surrendering his Money in the Bank briefcase to Corbin is interesting because it plays into what Braun has been beating us over the head with all along: He's not a coward. But he's not a genius, either. Now Corbin has something else to smash Bálor's head in with when he's not looking. I think it's just part of the deal for his Hell in a Cell title match, though. He didn't cash in as an opportunist. Braun cashed in as a lame duck. Capital F. But that bit about Drew calling Strowman and Reigns ripe and ready for slaughter? Amazing. I am most definitely stealing that line.

    You know what else was amazing? Braun turning on Reigns. HA! Braun is such a massive douche—he gets his kicks attempting to murder innocent prizefighters and bullying the rest of his competition. After ZigMc used their tag team acumen to wear Roman down, Braun didn't even help his partner when he got the tag. He just stood there, staring, while ZigMc took Reigns out with that double team ZigZag to Claymore.

    After the match, he destroyed Reigns and not even Ambrose and Rollins could save the champ. Ambrose got the same treatment after Reigns, then an injured Rollins completed the set. The Shield got dismantled by Braun ZigMc. That was epic. Could've worked better with the Authors of Pain and Braunthey already have the matching shirts for itbut ZigMc has all the talent in the world to make this Super Show-Down super awesome. Believe that.

    What I couldn't believe was what happened during Elias' segment. Okay, maybe I could believe it. Guy keeps getting interrupted on a weekly basis. Basically, what happened was... Elias. Guitar. Walk with Elias. Pops. Hometown insults. Boos. OH MY GOD IS THAT TRISH FREAKING STRATUS?! Oh, right. This was in Toronto. 

    Elias made a quip about Trish changing diapers (Vince is one kinky butthole), which Trish took in stride, even complimenting Elias somewhat. He's gonna get slapped, isn't he? Elias continued taking shots at Toronto before Trish plugged her Evolution match with my ex Alexa Bliss. Elias mocked that as well and implied Trish was just out there to be his groupie. Unfortunately, he's not into 60-year-old women. Ha! There you go! Elias got slappity-slap-slapped! Should've just Chick Kicked him, though. Trish might be one of my favorite female wrestlers from the past. It's always fun seeing her. 

    Thankfully, Trish stayed for the next match. Natalya, with RAW Women's Champion Ronda Rousey in her corner, faced Alicia Fox who had Alexa Bliss in her corner. Bliss cutting that promo was the best part of this match. That flashback I had when Mickie James came out to mock Trish gave me goosebumps. Lesbi-honest, that was a brilliant feud. 

    Natalya won with the Sharpshooter on Fox, even though James and Bliss attacked her. Trish and Ronda evened the odds afterwards and chased the heels away, leading to the finish. I'm still a bit disappointed Natalya didn't turn on Ronda at SummerSlam but, well, at least we got to see Trish this week. 

    Backstage, the Bella Twins met up with the faces, yadda yadda yadda, they return to in-ring action next week against the Riott Squad, and, uhh, selfies. Wait, aren't the Bella Twins supposed to be on SmackDown Live? Huh. Unless they were secretly drafted by Corbin for some reason, then that's some Evolution crossover we're getting. Or are they doing the John Cena route of freelancing for both brands... Oh, I'm sorry Nikki. I forgot you guys just broke up or something. I honestly don't know anything about that. I don't watch Total Bellas. But, hey, uhm, hang in there? We can't win them all.

    Speaking of not winning them all, this week's episode might have been the saddest RAW in WWE history. It all started when Intercontinental Champion Seth Rollins came out and issued an open challenge. Velveteen Dream call-up confirmed for next week?! 

    This week, though, it was none other than my best friend in the whole wide world, Kevin Owens, who answered the call. Owens cut another awesome promo before the match. As expected, because it was KO and Seth freaking Rollins, the match was absolutely amazing. Unfortunately, after hitting the best damn moonsault ever (sorry, Christopher Daniels), KO only caught the mat and got his head stomped in for the loss. 

    Kevin stayed in the ring after the match, looking very emotional, before dropping the saddest two words I have ever heard come out of his mouth: "I quit." I had to take a few seconds of a breather after that happened. He's probably just got stressed, though. He'll be back next week. Right? Right?! RIGHT?!?!?!?!!?! 

    Corbin's going to fix this situation apparently. He told Stephanie McMahon over the phone, so he's taking this seriously. Wait, what do you mean he called for a masseuse immediately after? Wrong show, Corbin!

    I'll give this week's RAW a C for "Come back, Kevin Owens!"

    Quick Hitters:

    • WWE RAW Tag Team Champions The B-Team faced The Revival in in-ring action this week, and lo and behold, the actual tag team won the bout. Shatter Machines for everyone! The Top Guys then called the champs "a couple of morons who turned the tag team division into a joke" before telling their corpses to keep the titles clean for them because they'll probably get a title shot for Hell in a Cell. ...Scratch that, the title match is next week. What.
    • Speaking of Corbin, because the Acting RAW GM is a petty, petty man, he booked Bobby Lashley in a handicap match against... The Ascension?! They're still employed?! Man, it's great to see Viktor and Konnor again. Remember how they dominated everyone back in NXT? Maybe this time they'll be booked as dominant forces agai Nope. Lashley just squashed them. Come on, Vince. Just let us have one win.  
    • Titus O'Neil, being the awesome manager that he is, surprised Dana Brooke backstage with a match against Sasha Banks. Apollo Crews pointed out that it was a terrible surprise since Brooke hasn't had a singles match since, well, ever nine months ago. Titus shrugged it off, either because he has faith in Dana or because it wasn't him in a surprise match against someone who accidentally retired another professional wrestler into GM-hood. Titus is not handling this third wheel thing well. As expected, Banks beat Dana and then celebrated with her best friend, Bayley, who tried to injure her a few months ago. While Crews went in the ring to check on Dana, Titus stayed outside. This whole Titus Worldwide thing is so freaking weird, and I have no doubt this'll only get weirder in time.
    • While his Shield brethren get put in matches with awesome competition, Dean Ambrose got saddled with Jinder Mahal. Yes, I remember he was WWE Champion over on SmackDown Live and stuff, but Jinder hasn't been that impressive (lmao) on RAW. Sunil Singh got dropped on the floor as usual and in the end, Ambrose won with Dirty Deeds after blocking the Khallas. The backstage segment between these two was pretty great, though. Jinder the peace guru or something versus Ambrose's anger personified. Pretty good story right there. 
    • We got ourselves some good old fashioned side-picking/betting on the Triple H-Undertaker match for Super Show-Down in Australia. We saw Charlotte's dad, Mick "the one-eared wonder" Foley, and Captain Charisma himself, Christian. Man, it's good to see Mr. One More Match on WWE programming. I missed that creepy little bastard. Such a great worker. Oh, and Shawn Michaels will be on RAW next week to talk about the same match. He's going to hit Elias with the Sweet Chin Music, isn't he? Later in the night, we got another video about the match and Big Show, Booker T, Diamond Dallas Page, and Stone Cold Steve Austin made comments and stuff. Man, people got old. Man, I got old.  
    • Coach is back... I miss Renee Young.
    Images from WWE


    Jofer Serapio (@ShawarmaJoereviews WWE RAW for Smark Henry. His favorite professional wrestling shows include NXT, Lucha Underground, WWE, NJPW, Ring of Honor, and (gasp) Impact Wrestling. He pops hard for Samoa Joe, Marty Scurll, Kevin Owens, Drew McIntyre, and Andrade "Cien" Almas. Kevin Owens is coming back, okay?!
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    Item Reviewed: The Smark Henry RAW Review (8/28/18): Ripe and Ready for Slaughter Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Pepe Serapio
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