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    Tuesday, October 2, 2018

    The Smark Henry RAW Review (10/2/18): Brothers Of Destruction, Brothers Towards Destruction

    It's the final RAW before we head down under for WWE Super Show-Down, which means that this week, attempts were made to up the ante for several storylines. While RAW doesn't have the IIconics or Buddy Murphy to play the hometown card, it does have the continued suspense of the Dean Ambrose/Drew McIntyre supposed betrayal drama and, of course, the Triple H/Undertaker Last Time Ever match. Considering the rumors regarding a particular match at WWE Crown Jewel, that last bit might be misleading. After all, both men have made it clear that time's ravages do not affect them. That is, maybe up until they all collide in beautiful and progressive Saudi Arabia. I'm more into the storyline with that one than the actual in-ring action.

    First thing's first, Dean Ambrose addressing the elephant in the room in a way only Dean Ambrose could was pretty entertaining. Charly Caruso wasn't really needed here, but I guess Vince really hates paying people to do nothing. Ambrose reiterated all the truths that could argue for his turn, much to everyone's delight, only to piss on all that fire with the whole brotherhood counterargument, much to everyone's dismay. Of course, because wrestling fans have long memories, that doesn't do much to kill our thirst for the turn. Remember when we all thought Dean would turn on The Shield during the Wyatt Family feud? Remember when Seth Rollins turned on the Shield? Remember when Seth Rollins put Dean's head through cinder blocks? Brothers? Okay then.

    Acting RAW General Manager Baron Corbin was off his game this week. I was into his whole "cool story, bro" reaction to Dean's, well, cool story about being a bro; but Corbin lost me when he called it "whining." Whining about what, exactly? It just didn't feel right. What felt right, though, was Corbin trying to shove Ambrose into a corner, only for Dean to play the bad-ass and go "eff that" on Corbin's terms. Lest we forget, Ambrose plays by his own terms. Unfortunately, Dean also plays by the WWE payroll's terms, so in the end, Corbin still had the final say.

    The match between Dean Ambrose and Braun Strowman, whose movie's trailer was barely elementary, was interrupted by both WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns and WWE Intercontinental Champion Seth Rollins. Maybe they were truly concerned about their so-called brother? Maybe they wanted to make sure they won't be heading to Super Show-Down one Hound short? Maybe both? Either way, to an already conflicted Dean, it sure seemed like his brothers didn't have that much faith in him after all. The Lunatic Fringe seemed to take it that way, evidenced by his backstage interactions with Rollins, and then Reigns. Of course, there's a difference in importance between a war and a battle, but whose war is this again? Why is Dean fighting someone's war when he could be fighting for something more important to him? Those titles look more important, I think.

    Roman Reigns versus Dolph Ziggler was a foregone conclusion. No offense to Dolph, of course. He's the better wrestler, all things considered, but we do have a storyline to focus on, so enough of that. It was a little weird for Corbin to not make this, and Rollins' match with McIntyre later, a title match. Reigns wanted it to be a title match, so why exactly did Corbin not let it be one? With titles at stake, the champions defending have more to lose and the challengers have more to gain. This could've been a way to not only physically soften the champion heading into Super Show-Down but also play mind games with them. You may be the champion, Roman, but you are utterly powerless against someone who can call the shots and threaten your championship reign. Then again, money comes first, of course. More than debilitating a hated employee physically and mentally, the financial prospect of a wasted Crown Jewel main event proves to be more important to Corbin's crowd.

    Speaking of calling shots and threatening champions, I guess Drew's being replaced by Dolph in the "should I turn?" department within the Dogs of War. Because Strowman is obviously a giant turd, he threw a jab at Ziggler after his loss against Roman in the name of motivating Drew. Wow. It's like the Dogs of War are destined to implode. Will Dolph turn on Braun and Drew, maybe superkicking Braun and getting in Drew's face during that Super Show-Down showdown? 

    They have to turn Drew face then, right? Maybe not. Dolph did assist Drew with that distraction, allowing the Scottish Psychopath to maul Seth's face in with a Claymore. That was a really great match between Drew and Seth. Hands down, both these guys are amazing wrestlers. The post-match chaotic brawl between the two factions was pretty noice, too, with the Dogs coming out on top. Sorry, Hounds. Better luck next time.   

    I guess it was pretty absurd to think Brie Bella would get at least this show off after concussing a rioter, but at least she and her twin sister did not steal anyone's wrestling time this week. Why? Because this week, we've got RAW Women's Champion Ronda Rousey taking to the ring against the ring leader of the rioters, Ruby Riott. With the numbers disadvantage, not to mention she's fighting "Rowdy" Ronda Rousey, Ruby Riott was expected to fall; and fall she did. Man, what a tap-out. I guess Liv Morgan and Brie Bella are still doing their six-women tag match at Super Show-Down? RIP, Liv. RIP.

    WWE Hall of Famer and resident sexy boy Shawn Michaels returned to RAW this week to cut a promo to build towards the Last Time Ever Triple H versus The Undertaker match for Super Show-Down, and believe you me, I got chills, man. This wasn't just a promo to hype the match, as it also effectively hyped Shawn's involvement, as well as Kane's, turning this whole thing into that rumored future match between DX and The Brothers of Destruction at WWE Crown Jewel

    Kane appeared alongside the Undertaker and proceeded to beat up HBK because I guess DX are the faces in this feud? Triple H tried to make the save, but was no match for these two champions of hell. This was simply electric. These four wrestlers are obviously no longer in their prime but I can't just dismiss how nostalgic and exciting their "final" interaction made me feel. That double chokeslam brings back so many memories.

    RAW REVIEW: It's hard to capture people's interest for three hours, but I believe RAW did a pretty good job this week. It helped that this was the final show before a new overseas PPV in WWE Super Show-Down. Plus the fact that they managed to add an aspect of intrigue into the power feud between the Hounds of Justice and the Dogs of War and rein in a nostalgic reunion between two legendary factions—DX and The Brothers of Distraction—didn't hurt. I'm giving this week's RAW a B for "Brothers, brothers, everywhere." 

    Quick Hitters:
    • My best friend in the whole wide world, Kevin Owens, Elias, and Lio Rush are all amazing on the mic. From that backstage segment involving cashews, almonds, and spinach (just get both cashews and almonds, Elias!) to the pre-match segment where KO made a great point about John Cena teaming with Bobby Lashley at Super Show-Down not making sense—props to Elias for getting nuclear heat with a Seattle SuperSonics jab—I was pretty much entertained from start to finish. The battle in Seattle between Lashley and KO wasn't that bad. Rush's luck finally ran out this week, with Elias catching him and distracting Lashley for another loss. The post-match beat down Elias and Owens gave Lashley, something that Rush couldn't even make the save for, was a logical way to show why going with Cena was really the better option for Lashley.
    • Alexa Bliss' A Moment of Bliss segment was a creative way to remind everyone that Bliss is still a thing without having to put her in that ring. The segment hyped the upcoming match between her and Trish Stratus at Evolution, and man, was I hyped. Bliss is a great promo and her match against Stratus, a Hall of Famer at that, is going to be fun.
    • The Revival lost to The B-Team? After they had that great match with RAW Tag Team Champions ZigMc last week? How does this even make sense? Oh, right, Creative hates The Revival for some reason. What a shame. Thank god for 100% heel AOP Manager Drake Maverick, not to be confused with 100% face 205 Live General Manager Drake Maverick, and AOP for beating the B-Team up for me. Nothing against Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas, but The Revival should've been given a push this week. Oh, and nice jacket, Drake. 10/10
    • Last week, Finn Bálor plugged the Mixed Match Challenge by beating Jinder Mahal. This week, it was Finn's MMC partner Bayley's turn to plug Mixed Match Challenge by beating Jinder's MMC partner, Alicia Fox. Wait, their respective team names are Team B&B and Mahalicia? What?
    • Konnor beat Bobby Roode?! What? Konnor's on a winning streak on RAW?! Oh, my god! The Ascension is finally winning matches! Welcome back to the Wasteland, boys! Granted that it was a distraction win, which only serves to further the tension between Roode and Chad Gable, a budding tag team whom I believe should be individually chasing singles titles. Isn't it too early to break up Roode and Gable? Oh, wait, we're just turning Roode heel here, right? Glorious. Put him back in a suit please.
    • Charly Caruso came back to my screen to introduce the 2018 Breast Cancer Awareness Month campaign with Susan G. Komen, so go to Komen.org/DonateWWE if you want to help.
    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 (10/2/18): Brothers Of Destruction, Brothers Towards Destruction Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Pepe Serapio
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