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    Thursday, May 23, 2019

    The Smark Henry RAW Review (5/20/19): The Kofi Kingston Championship

    In case you're not subscribed to Xavier Woods' gaming channel on YouTube, aptly named UpUpDownDown, the title of this review is a reference to WWE Champion Kofi Kingston's handle/nickname over there, which is Mr. 24/7. Because he doesn't take days off. Get it?

    While it's still too early to tell if this new championship gets it, most of us can already tell that the design is definitely wack. I think they're trying to make it look like a clock or a watch but I can't be sure because I can't stare at it too long or my eyes will melt, which also happens with photos of Brock Lesnar with the Money in the Bank briefcase. Huh.

    It was pretty obvious that the live crowd was not into the idea of the 24/7 Championship, though personally, I'm looking forward to seeing more chaos with lower card wrestlers getting something to do. Yes, the design is atrocious, and it's very disappointing, considering how the championships at NXT are very beautiful. But since it's just a throwaway title for shits and giggles, I guess WWE didn't want to actually put in the effort in to try and hide that fact. Yes, this is a watered-down, PG version of the Hardcore Championship, though the latter looked way better in my opinion. Yes, they missed the opportunity of just calling this the Wild Card Championship.

    However, the good thing about this new title is that, it'll be open for all competitors throughout all WWE brands, including wrestling legends. Oh, wait, did they just come up with this so Goldberg and The Undertaker can feud over a title at Super ShowDown? Oh, god, no.

    Before that, though, Titus O'Neil became the inaugural 24/7 Champ—oh, wait, Robert Roode's mustache already pinned him and he has become the new 24/7 Champion! Drake Maverick chasing after the title made me laugh for some reason. I'm not quite sure if it's still because he once pissed himself on WWE programming or if it's because I'm just not quite sure if he's actually eligible for the championship because he's actually the 205 Live General Manager and technically not a competitor. Whatever. In the end, R-Truth tricked Roode and won the title before driving home. 

    In what was perhaps the best—and that's exaggerating it a bit—A Moment of Bliss segment in recent memory, since all of them have been somewhat forgettable and completely unnecessary, we continued with Nikki Cross playing the role of Alexa Bliss' completely sane minion. Ha. I'm still not buying it, Crazy Nikki C! 

    This was made very interesting by the strange dynamic between Bliss and Cross, not to mention RAW Women's Champion Becky Lynch being the guest and the WWE Women's Tag Team Champions The IIconics making an appearance after going off the grid for a long while. Oh, and Lacey Evans was there because she's still feuding with Becky and—holla holla holla playah!—we're having a six-woman tag team match!

    Alexa Bliss not wanting to be a part of all this was awesome. While Becky and Nikki did all the work, Alexa just drank her coffee at ringside. I thought this was both funny and interesting...u ntil I realized this was probably just because Alexa is still not cleared to wrestle. It's a shame, though, because it might be awesome to have Bliss/Cross play that "strange bedfellows" dynamic towards the WWE Women's Tag Team Championships, even if unsuccessfully.

    I've got to admit, watching Brock Lesnar carry the Money in the Bank briefcase like it's a boombox is pretty hilarious, mostly because I'm pretty sure a lot of people these days are no longer familiar with what a boombox is. I was hoping they'd at least address the logical issues behind Lesnar getting to win that titular match at Money in the Bank, like thanking Vince or Triple H for adding Lesnar in at the last minute or revealing that it was Bray Wyatt who tied Sami upside down, but no dice. Chances are, WWE's going to simply sweep all these potential storyline developments under the rug, though I am still hoping for some reason that that wouldn't be the case.

    Universal Champion Seth Rollins and WWE Champion Kofi Kingston challenging Lesnar this week was a bold but logical move. The threat of the briefcase is psychological and you often never see the cash-in coming...unless a face has it. Should either Rollins or Kingston get the briefcase off Lesnar right away, then the loss wouldn't be as painful as it would be if it came from out of nowhere, though to be fair, a trip to Suplex City will always be painful. Having said that, Brock winning the Money in the Bank contract is an effective way for his heel act to play the part-time card to its full potential wherein he'd always just swoop in to take the easy pay while everyone else has to work hard full-time.

    However, instead of Lesnar cashing in on either Seth or Kofi this week—like that was ever going to happen—both champions ended up getting booked by Triple H against Bobby Lashley and... Baron Corbin. How is Corbin still main-eventing RAW? Before that, though, Lashley was sought by Sami Zayn for help against Braun Strowman because, I guess, Strowman is facing Lashley at WWE Super ShowDown? Sami was smart here in trying to recruit Strowman's next opponent but Lashley just stood there and ogled Braun. Meanwhile, Corbin was also in a backstage segment where he got himself slapped by AJ Styles. Phenomenal.

    The main event getting changed into a No DQ match was probably because of Shane being a McMahon, though things didn't really get interesting until after the match when Brock Lesnar came out to once again play mind games with Seth and Kofi. Seth holding a chair made me concerned a bit because for some reason, I had a flashback of when he betrayed The Shield years ago and thought he was going to offer Kofi up to save himself from Brock Lesnar. I need to stop drinking coffee. 

    In the end, Lesnar didn't actually do anything because duh?! He'll be back next week, though, to tell us which champion he'll massacre. What even.

    RAW REVIEW: To be honest, I think the 24/7 Championship—though gross-looking and lamely named—is a very fun idea. The change of lighting and overall aesthetics during the third hour gave me NXT vibes, which I'm not sure what to make of. At least WWE's trying to improve their product in that department. Having Bobby Lashley and Baron Corbin team up, with Corbin once again main-eventing RAW, however, does not inspire the feeling of improvement. I'm giving this week's RAW a C for "Can Brock Lesnar just cash-in on R-Truth?"  

    Quick Hitters:

    • I thought Lars Sullivan's exclusive in-ring interview, where he was supposed to speak for the first time and then getting interrupted by Lucha House Party before the Freak could talk was an inspired choice. Lars isn't that great of a promo and he really doesn't need to be one. He's a monster, and all he needs to do is keep destroying things and people. It's just a bit awkward that he's currently destroying luchadores, considering the allegations surrounding his past
    • Cesaro versus Ricochet was all kinds of awesome. There's no doubt about that. I was surprised to see Cesaro get the win, plus he also got a new theme, so I guess that was... that.
    • Shane McMahon is a McMahon and can do whatever he wants, we all know this. Roman Reigns becoming a permanent Wild Card was expected because of the ratings issue. Drew McIntyre joining Shane is actually pretty logical, considering he was Vince's Chosen One and Roman punched Vince in the face and Drew and Roman have a rivalry of sorts and yadda yadda yadda. This all actually works out.
    • The Usos versus The Revival was fantastic! It was great to have The Revival win this match after weeks of getting pranked by The Usos. Wait, are Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins still the tag champions? Wow. Okay then.
    • Bray Wyatt's Firefly Fun House is still the best thing on the show, especially with this week's extended opening credits that morphed into a creepy horror show. I can't express how much I loved this bit. This was extremely great.
    • Samoa Joe's promo was A+. He really got screwed over at the PPV and everyone saw that his shoulders were up when he was pinned clear as day. I'm looking forward to how they address this whole thing with the United States Championship next week. Hopefully, with Eddie Guerrero's son becoming the champion to honor his father.
    Images from WWE


    Jofer Serapio (@ShawarmaJoereviews WWE RAW for Smark Henry. He has been an avid professional wrestling fan since grade school. These reviews are as close to professional wrestling as he can get. Someone e-mail me R-Truth's address so I can pin him.
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    Item Reviewed: The Smark Henry RAW Review (5/20/19): The Kofi Kingston Championship Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Pepe Serapio
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