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    Wednesday, September 5, 2018

    The Smark Henry RAW Review (9/4/18): The Shield Versus The Heels: Braun of Justice

    Braun Strowman, Dolph Ziggler, and Drew McIntyre dismantled the Shield last week, so this week, they opened the show for a nice change of pace. We could've gotten a really great pun for the opener sans Strowman. The Show opening the show? Get it? Bah.

    Braun's promo pretty much summed up how Universal Champion Roman Reigns needs The Shield to get over. I can't agree with Braun trying to make "monster-to-man" sound like it's "justice," though, considering he did try to murder several WWE wrestlers over timeKevin Owens, The Miz, The Bar, even Roman himself. I've never taken to Braun as a full babyface because of how he reacts every opportunity he gets to put someone else on the shelf. The man's clearly a violent psycho. Sure, it's a "fighting" show, but do you really need to lock a guy up in a portable toilet and throw them off the stage? That's just attempted murder. There's no saving grace for Braun. That whole thing with Nicholas was just him bullying The Bar. He's been a heel from the get-go, and one that should've been hauled to jail a long time ago.

    I love how Drew referred to their trio as kings of the jungle. That works really well with Drew's own aura, giving off vibes of a Scottish warrior king out to draw blood to get what he wants. The whole "feast on The Shield's bloody carcasses" line did it for me. Ziggler hyping the group as a future "most dominant force in WWE history" was both awesome and sad. It was awesome because hell yeah I want to see Drew dominate everyone like they're all haggis. It was sad because if we've learned anything from WWE history, it's that the Shield will inevitably snap them into nonexistence. RIP, Wyatt Family.

    The brawl that ensued when the Shield inevitably came out and interrupted ZigMcMan was as chaotic as it was awesome. It was great, seeing the Shield come out together through the crowd again, surrounding their prey like a pack of wolves. It was even greater when Acting RAW GM Baron Corbin sent out the RAW roster to get in between the two factions, only for the Shield to take out most of them. Clearly, both the Shield and ZigMcMan wanted to get those hands on each other. Drew trying to get back in on the fight despite being hauled to the back was a good touch. In the end, the brawl ended up backstage where security joined in and the Shield got loaded up into a police van. They also got fingerprinted and booked but were released right away. Thanks for the tweets, Mike Rome.

    Even after dismantling the Shield, Braun still wanted some competition. This apparently worked well for Corbin who, after satiating Stephanie McMahon's micromanaging lust through the phone, got a visit from Finn the Smiling Human Bálor. Corbin once again made fun of Bálor's height because he's a heel with no new material, while Finn told him he needs to start acting like a man before demanding a rematch. Another Bálor/Corbin match? YaNope! Finn got swerved! Corbin's apparently too busy for a match, but you know who's not busy and wants a match? Braun Strowman.

    Braun pretty much destroyed a valiant Bálor in their match, which made my demonic heart weep. Fortunately, Finn was saved from a triple powerbomb attempt on the steel steps when the Shield came back in a police van. Unfortunately, everyone else hates the Shield. From my best friend in the whole wide world Kevin Owens to 205 Live's Drew Gulak, a bunch of wrestlers ambushed the Shield and, well, pretty much destroyed them. What goes around comes around, I guess.

    What I could never have guessed was hometown hero Alexa Bliss making Natalya tap with RAW Women's Champion Ronda Rousey's finisher. That's a pretty interesting development there. Right before that match, though, Elias did his thing, reminding everyone he got slapped by WWE Hall of Famer Trish Stratus last week, before getting interrupted by Bliss and her two besties, Mickie James and Alicia Fox. Apparently, Alexa didn't appreciate Elias mocking Columbus and Ohio State, where she was born and went to school, respectively. Psyche! Bliss dgaf. Elias was right and the town is a butthole. Classic Alexa.

    After reminding me why I'm so stoked about her match versus Trish at Evolution and her title match versus Ronda at Hell in a Cell, my ex then asked Elias to play his song because she wants tosay it with me nowwalk with Elias! Ronda interrupted them, though, and then Natalya came out for her match that she inevitably lost. That's so sad. Alexa, play the evil heel who bit off more than she could chew against a more powerful face. 

    Bliss tried, and so did James and Fox, but Ronda's just too much for all three of them plus the steel ring steps. Unfortunately, while the steel ring steps were no match for Ronda, Natalya breaking up with her was. No, not that way, you weirdo. Backstage, while nursing her arm, Natalya told Ronda she needed some time alone. For some reason, the Bella Twins were also there, even offering Rousey to help her train. HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA! Best comedy segment of the night! The "Bella Twins offering Rousey to train" thing, not the Natalya thing. Poor Nattie. At least you got the injured body part right this time.

    Speaking of getting things right, we've got new tag team champions this week! Last week, The Revival proved that they were a formidable tag team that deserved a title reign. This week? They were on the receiving end of some mugging by The Show. Why? Because The Show wanted a RAW tag team title shot and they're not asking because it's their show! Well, technically, they did ask Corbin but were technically denied, so they resorted to taking out The Revival to free up the title picture. Man, I wish they took out the B-Team instead. The Revival needed this opportunity. 

    But, hey! ZigMc looks good as the new RAW Tag Team Champions! The Show is still a pretty lame name, but this pair of talented workers definitely deserves the titles. Just imagine the quality of tag team matches that could happen. We all know that Drew deserves gold around his waist—the Universal title even—but for now, this is a pretty good step in the right direction. Does this mean it's going to be a Triple Threat tag team title match at Hell in a Cell? Oh, crap. The RAW tag team division suddenly got lit.

    Just as lit as 205 Live General Manager Drake Maverick, who is now also the manager of AOP. Wait, what? But Drake Maverick's a face on his show, why is he a heel on RAW? And didn't AOP drop Paul Ellering because they wanted to write their own chapter? They also dropped their full name, apparently, settling for the acronym. I guess the Book of Pain is going to be really short now. Just like Drake Maverick in that AOP gear, channeling his inner Kurt Angle. It's definitely a pretty great boost for AOP, having a manager who's a general manager of another show. Drake Maverick could've just brought in TJP who wanted that Intercontinental title shot and someone else like Buddy Murphy, but looking like he favored two guys from his show might just open up a whole can of worms for his GMship.  

    The Authors ended up squashing some boys and Maverick promised to make AOP COP (Champions of Pain). Scratch that Triple Threat tag team title match at Hell in a Cell! Fatal Four-way tag team title match at Hell in a Cell confirmed?! Wait, no, what if... A WarGames match for the RAW Tag Team Championships? Book it, Vince!

    I'll give this week's RAW a C for "Chosen Champ Claymores Chumps!"

    Quick Hitters:

    • My computer froze while I was about to write HBK, so I guess I wasn't the only one excited for this. Or maybe I just need to get a new computer. Shawn talked about the Last Time Ever match between Triple H and The Undertaker for the WWE Super Show-Down event in Australia, where Buddy Murphy's probably winning the Cruiserweight Championship and Peyton Royce (sorry, Billie Kay) becomes the SmackDown Women's Champion. Predictably, Shawn bet everything on his buddy Triple H to win the match. He went on to state that Triple H is in better shape than the Undertaker, which led to the Dead Man coming out. Chills. The Undertaker argued about besting both Triple H and Michaels, along with their egos, and in Shawn's case, his career. This was a pretty intriguing promo that made me wonder if they're setting up a Michaels versus Undertaker match for WrestleMania. Hmm. Anyway, Triple H and WWE Hall of Famer Mick Foley will be on RAW next week, so I guess this legends tour is not stopping anytime soon.
    • The whole in-ring meditation thing between Bobby Lashley, my man, and Jinder Mahal almost got me worried there. These two aren't exactly known for doing great segments and I didn't need to take another leak. Thankfully, it was all a ploy for my best friend in the whole wide world Kevin Owens to attack Lashley, my man, for...some reason. What happened to KO quitting last week, though? And why was he cool with helping Braun with his thing? Did falling from that ladder, that cage, and that stage while Braun locked him up in that portable toilet made KO forget their vicious, one-sided murder-y feud? What are you doing KO? Why are you even near that monster? You should've gotten a restraining order by now. Or at least waited until Hell in a Cell to screw Braun over and then get a restraining order. 
    • Kurt Angle Chad Gable and Triple H Bobby Roode are now a tag team? What? Their debut match against The Ascension, RIP, wasn't that bad, though. Here's hoping this leads to a program where Roode turns heel by taking out Gable. A feud between heel Roode and Gable could be awesome. Or better yet, glorious. 
    • Sasha Banks beat Dana Brooke in a singles match last week, so this week, they're facing each other in a tag team match: Bayley had Sasha's back while Ember Moon had Dana's for some reason. Titus Worldwide was at ringside because they have a storyline now. Dana unfortunately got distracted by Titus Wordwide yelling strategies at herwasn't that her job?and it led to Banks getting the win by rolling her up. Ouch. Is Dana really leaving Titus Worldwide? But I thought she was going to get it on with Apollo? Man, I was starting to get hyped for that thing. 
    • As promised last week, we got the Bella Twins making their in-ring return against The Riott Squad this week. Well, against Liv Morgan and Sarah Logan, anyway, with Ruby Riott at ringside. I still have no idea why the twins are on RAW when they're supposed to be on SmackDown Live. Maybe because they won't be taking as much valuable time from other wrestlers as they would on the other show? Thanks for dumping them on RAW, guys. This match was awkward to watch. At least they tried? At the very least?
    • Renee Young is back this week because apparently Coach is away on assignment or something. No offense to Coach, but I hope that assignment lasts until 2020.
    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. 
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    Item Reviewed: The Smark Henry RAW Review (9/4/18): The Shield Versus The Heels: Braun of Justice Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Pepe Serapio
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