728x90 AdSpace

  • Latest Posts

    Thursday, June 10, 2021

    RAW Food for Thought (6/7/21): Annabelle Bliss

    This week's episode ended with a segment that encapsulates 2021 Monday Night RAW: creatively ambitious and laughably stupid. Hi, I'm new RAW reviewer Kim Antonio and this is RAW Food for Thought. 

    I feel bad for Shayna Baszler. I can understand getting pinned by Asuka again and again, but now she's getting beat by Reginald and a doll (albeit one with supernatural properties). I really hope both Shayna and Alexa come out strong from this feud. It's easy to book feuds like this with characters like The Undertaker or Kane but it's tricky with Lady Fiend Alexa. At this stage, I think Alexa should feud with women she has a personal history with—like Nia Jax, for example. Save someone like Shayna for later.

    To be fair, I was impressed by WWE's execution, especially when Shayna Baszler retreated backstage. Props to WWE Creative for trying something new. They're clearly trying to pitch new things even if it's a little jarring—their production crew and writing staff are clearly fans of horror films. Maybe they've been taking cues from Lucha Underground or Impact. Maybe they just finished watching the new Conjuring film and wanted to incorporate it into their wrestling show. Or maybe they just wanted a quick pop culture hype cash-in. I doubt this was paid for by Warner Bros. like with WrestleMania Backlash, however. 

    Anyway, seeing it made me understand why this was the episode's "main event" instead of the contract signing for the WWE Championship match at Hell in a Cell. I'm excited and apprehensive as to what her screams—and this feud—will lead to. 

    Speaking of that contract signing, I thought it was a pretty decent segment. Drew got to cut a very Scottish promo using the legend of King Robert the Bruce and the spider in the cave to frame his struggle against Bobby Lashley as a noble cause. It's nice when the writers go beyond the film Braveheart for McIntyre material. Then, Lashley raises the stakes to a Last Chance match where Drew can no longer challenge for the title so long as the All Mighty is WWE Champion. Drew agrees and, to prevent any further interference, he ups the stakes as well to a Hell in a Cell title match. They sign the contract, prompting Drew to get under Lashley's skin by slicing the table with his longsword. 

    More than the Hell in a Cell itself, this match is very interesting because of that Last Chance stipulation. After all, Hell in a Cell will be the last PPV inside the WWE ThunderDome. The winner of this match will determine who Vince McMahon thinks is good enough to carry the Red Brand for the ticket-paying audience. It's as simple as that. 

    All signs point to Drew McIntyre being THAT guy considering the response he got at WrestleMania 37 and the pattern of the Randy Orton feud last year. If you don't remember, Randy Orton vs. Drew McIntyre (c) at Hell in a Cell 2020 was their 3rd consecutive PPV match-up and Randy won the title. I hope I'm wrong though because I want Bobby Lashley to head into this year's mammoth SummerSlam as the WWE Champion. 

    Moving on to the ever-shrinking RAW Women's Division, a resurgent Nikki Cross got the spotlight again. Adam Pearce and Sonya Deville decided to have a tag team match between Cross and a partner of her choosing versus the reluctant team of RAW Women's Champion Rhea Ripley and her rival Charlotte Flair. Nikki predictably chose Asuka because... who else would it be? There is Naomi of course but she's on the shelf after Lana's surprising release. The fact that these four women had a match together when it should have been two or three different segments is a testament to RAW's dire need for more female superstars. Surprisingly, Nikki Cross got the pinfall victory over the RAW Women's Champion but whether this leads to anything meaningful remains in doubt. 

    Overall, this episode was like many other RAWs I've seen this year: long, boring, and/or mediocre segments punctuated by awesome moments.

    Final Grade: C-

    Stray Observations 

    • WWE is on a massive promotional push this week. HHH appeared in an awesome segment at the NBA playoffs and SummerSlam at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada has officially been confirmed. I hope "Up" by Cardi B is the official theme song and we get a live performance.
    • SummerSlam returns wishlist: Brock Lesnar, The Undertaker, Batista, Goldberg, Sasha Banks, Becky Lynch, RVD, HHH, and even the controversial John Cena. Gotta fill up that stadium somehow.
    • Sonya and Adam were having a little side chat during Drew's promo. That was kind of rude in my opinion and pointless for storytelling. 
    • The only upside to the recent wave of releases so far is that we finally get to see people stuck in Main Event having regular matches on RAW. 
    • Ricochet and Humberto Carrillo had a fun match that was ruined by double countout. Triple threat for the WWE United States Championship at Hell in a Cell perhaps?
    • Mansoor and Drew Gulak also had a quick fun match that ended too soon. Oh well.
    • AJ Styles is too old for the slang word "cap." I also admit that I still find it weird that someone as old as him is a Twitch streamer. 
    • Funniest part of the show is The Miz falling down the ramp during the slow-motion part of John Morrison's entrance. 
    • The most notable part of RAW Talk this week is that the Viking Raiders spoke in their normal voices. They even alluded to their time as The War Machine.
    • With new merchandise, it's only a matter of time before RK-Bro become RAW Tag Team Champions. Then again, it could be like the ill-fated tag team of AJ Styles and Chris Jericho. Remember that? 
    Image from WWE

    *****

    Kim Antonio is a contributor for Smark Henry and a lifelong fan of professional wrestling. He was first exposed to wrestling as a small child when his older cousin would practice finishers on him, which led him to hate wrestling. Later, he saw it on TV and was hooked ever since. He dreams of being a wrestling booker after watching Ready to Rumble and playing GM Mode on SmackDown vs. Raw. He hopes fellow fans will learn someday that there's nothing wrong with loving both shows of competing promotions. 
    • Blogger Comments
    • Facebook Comments
    Item Reviewed: RAW Food for Thought (6/7/21): Annabelle Bliss Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Kim Antonio
    Scroll to Top