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    Wednesday, October 18, 2017

    The Smark Henry RAW Report (10/18/17): Seeing Red

    This week’s Monday Night RAW was the go-home show for TLC and I hadn’t even realized it until I saw the stage filled with the respective weapons. They had one last shot—heh, get it? Chair shots?! No? Okay—to get everybody hyped for the red brand’s gimmick pay-per-view, but were they able to leave a lot to be desired? Not so much, actually.

    The entire show was actually centered around The Shield, with segments, promos and matches all throughout the night that highlighted their storyline. WWE wasted no time in starting the engine to the nostalgia train, making them come out in their tactical vests and Shield (okay, fine, technically Roman Reigns’) entrance music. Is it a little too soon, though? An official reunion was something they could’ve teased up until this episode, and they could have had them re-introduce their old entrance and their old gear at TLC in order to give folks a real reason to tune in to the pay-per-view. They immediately gave it all away, however, and stirred the pot instead with random additions to the match.

    Yup. He’s baaaaaack! And it’s the nostalgia act we don’t need nor want. Is it surprising? Yes. Is it satisfactory? Not even remotely. Kane’s return woke me up right when I was about to fall asleep from boredom by giving me this rush of overwhelming confusion. Why Kane? Why is he siding with The Miz, exactly? It could be anger towards Roman Reigns specifically for retiring his brother, the Undertaker, at this year’s WrestleMania 33, but we don’t know any of the context for sure until the commentators elaborate on this at the pay-per-view. I have so many questions leading up to TLC, but all we know for sure is that we now have a 5-on-3 Handicap Tables, Ladders and Chairs match. It’s either The Shield gets some surprise help of their own, or it’s really going to take three men and not one, but two monsters to defeat the reuniting trio. I’m not sure how I feel about that last one. I'm sorry, I guess we should all know by now that Roman Reigns counts as three people. Make Roman The Shield look strong, they said... *rolls eyes 180 degrees

    That brawl backstage, though, also felt extremely nostalgic as it reminded me of the past eras and how they’d take fights everywhere around the arena. I felt like I was playing SmackDown! II on the PS1, especially with Miz locking them there. WWE undoubtedly has the technology to bring cameras from the ring to the back, so how ‘bout we do this more often again! Yes? Yes. It would be nice to see some authority figures and referees at the back, too. I thought this was the Reality Era!

    It’s also important to mention how hot the crowd was for The Shield when they came out, and it was interesting to see if those cheers would rub off on Roman Reigns, solo, in his match against Braun Strowman in a Steel Cage. We all know how the audience usually reacts towards the Big Dog but I’ve totally been proven otherwise—I’m now convinced this was the most brilliant way to save Reigns. Brainwashing the crowd this way has been incredibly effective; I feel neutral now when he comes out and that’s a lot coming from me!

    We have Finn Bálor vs. Bray Wyatt III—oh, sorry, let me correct myself—it’s The Demon vs. Sister Abigail. My bad. In all honesty, they weren’t doing bad these last couple of weeks and so I was anticipating one last fire promo from the two to really solidify this last bout, but Bálor’s words were really underwhelming. Alright, so let me get this straight: the longer the feud goes on, the weirder it gets.

    Wait, I get it now! It’s because we’re close to Halloween, isn’t it? Is this supposed to be for the kids? Demon Finn does look pretty orange on the poster; it would remind you of a pumpkin. Or maybe even candy corn. I also wonder if “Sister Abigail” will wrestle looking just as creepy as the visuals we’ve been getting... So, it’s safe to say my interest officially lies in the production design and horror aesthetics of this match rather than the match itself.

    Fellow fan and stand-up comedian Red Ollero shared some hilarious insight:

    Alexa Bliss teamed up with Emma to face another random pairing of Mickie James and Bayley. Coming into this match, I had a feeling Emma would take the pin that would ruin her credibility to be facing Asuka this week—but Mickie pinned Alexa instead, saving Emma from looking like Asuka’s assigned jobber. Even though we all know she most likely is. Shh...

    Apart from the star-studded main event and the Empress’ anticipated main roster debut, the rest of the card for TLC isn’t looking too exciting. This go-home show didn’t do much to hype the remaining matches as it dedicated so much time to the main event’s storyline. It wasn’t bad, the attention just wasn’t spread out enough. I give this episode of RAW a C-!

    Quick Hitters:
    • Alicia Fox vs. Sasha Banks is on the pre-show. It’s kind of a shame considering how freakishly good these two women are. 
    • On a scale of 1 to 10, how hot does Seth Rollins look in that vest and why is the answer 10,000? 
    • I laughed so hard when The Club started singing! Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows are such quality acts. But being paired up with Elias to face Jason Jordan and Titus Worldwide felt like lower card guys just going out there to do lower card things… 
    • Once upon a time, the entire Cruiserweight division wanted to eviscerate Enzo Amore—and now five of them want to join him all of a sudden. Alriiiiight. Money talks. 
    • If Curtis Axel’s segment was your favorite part of the night, how good could the show really have been? 

    Photos by WWE
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    Item Reviewed: The Smark Henry RAW Report (10/18/17): Seeing Red Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Unknown
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