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    Thursday, January 11, 2018

    The Smark Henry RAW Report (1/8/18): Nostalgically Staged

    On this week’s episode of Monday Night RAW, we got a highly-anticipated Miz return, an Attitude Era-esque segment between WWE’s three biggest monsters, and an—almost—dream match in Bálor Club vs. 2/3rds of The Shield for the main event. Not too shabby!

    That main event was almost everything we’ve always dreamed of. Damn you, Jason Jordan. But apart from the match itself, the segment prior to it was one of the funniest they’ve ever had! Jordan continuously showed how excruciatingly lame he is week after week and would embarrass the crap out of Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns. Poor boy’s just trying to fit in!

    Meanwhile, we now know that Bálor Club wasn’t going to be just a one-time thing, like most of us feared. I feel like they’re slowly trying to position themselves as heels with the arrogance they’ve portrayed this week. The bad guy look suits them pretty well, although I believe it’s going to be a little tough to get girls people to boo them. Don’t ask. You know why.

    Kidding aside, I’m just really happy they’re finally doing something right with these three, who were idle and almost useless towards the end of 2017. I can’t wait to witness their complete transition from being faces to nasty-ass heels.

    Going back to the match, despite a replaced Dean Ambrose, it was still so incredibly fun to watch. The dynamic between Jordan and his partners was so well-delivered—and the former would make me cringe so much my eyes were squinted through most of the duration of the match. Jordan cost them the match—the perfect result, really, with Bálor Club in need of a win to establish themselves, and some continuity in the clueless’ apprentice’s storyline.

    That was some Attitude Era shit in HD. Brock Lesnar, Kane, and Braun Strowman brawled it out backstage, with lots of heavy equipment flying all over the place. Strowman ended up pulling down some stored steel truss—yes, the RAW set—for it to crash on his opponents and instantly kill them. Just kidding. This is pro wrestling. Will the championship match push through after that? All the more.

    It was another creative and cool thing they made Strowman do to his opponents, to make everybody believe he’ll actually win. But that never happens, now, doesn’t it? We still have three weeks until the Royal Rumble, anyway, which is largely enough time for these three to do even crazier stuff that will hype up their Triple Threat match for the Universal Championship.

    Cute little manipulation stint by Alexa Bliss! She told Nia Jax that she’s her best friend, and that Asuka said nasty things about Nia—all in attempt to anger Nia enough to destroy Asuka come the Royal Rumble, so that Alexa wouldn’t have to face the undefeated at WrestleMania. So nasty. Sounds familiar, but I don’t know where…

    WOKEN Matt Hardy made his in-ring debut against Curt Hawkins. I don’t have to write who won that match. He doesn't really wrestle any differently than his normal self—apart from screaming "delete" a couple of hundred times... Matt debuted a new theme to match his gimmick as well—the piano really suited him, but they still have to work on a new titantron and replace the old Hardy Boyz stuff. Bray Wyatt showed up after the match—what's new?—and they had this Mexican standoff full of strange laughter. Is it getting old, already? Or is it just me? 

    My dumb self thought Enzo Amore did a good job in making me believe his injury could possibly have been real. I know, I know. I enjoyed that cheap finish to the match, though, because it’s simply Enzo doing what he does best—taking shortcuts out of everything, making excuse after excuse.

    This isn't forever, though. At some point, a hero in the Cruiserweight division will be built up enough to be able to take Enzo down. If you ask me, I'm not sure if I can see Cedric Alexander as that hero, though—but maybe Drew Gulak can be. Obviously, it's so much more interesting to add twists like that: the champion's super hilarious and super over sidekick turns on his boss and unexpectedly takes the championship. I'd even patiently wait until WrestleMania to see that. Gulak is MVP!

    This episode wasn’t extraordinary overall, but it did have its moments worth tuning in for. They’ve made some slow advancements in storylines, which is fine, because I believe they still have quite some time until the Royal Rumble to hype it up even more, anyway. RAW 25 is coming in two weeks, too, which should be pretty explosive and should get us excited for the pay-per-view. I grade this episode a C!

    Quick hitters:
    • They’re advertising for so many things right now: the Royal Rumble, the Mixed Match Challenge, and RAW 25. So much to look forward to, it’s awesome. It’s a busy and tough January for our emotions! Hang in there!
    • The women ought to step it up in the next few weeks to hype their Royal Rumble match. So far, the only woman proving herself as a potential winner is Asuka. That’s no fun.
    • Titus Worldwide actually won, you guys! Win or lose, I’m still so bored. But, beating the #1 contenders for the RAW Tag Team titles could mean The Bar could lose that privilege in the upcoming weeks, or, the Royal Rumble match could just become a Triple Threat. What an upset.
    • The Miz returned and wants his Intercontinental Championship back. And I don’t know what’s happening with me, you guys, but he, for once, looked really attractive. I honestly never thought I'd say that in a million years. Good hair can do wonders to your face... It’s like freaking magic!
    • Did anyone notice the MacBook on the table before the stage crashed? Someone took a bathroom break at the wrong time.

    Photos by WWE
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    Item Reviewed: The Smark Henry RAW Report (1/8/18): Nostalgically Staged Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Unknown
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