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    Wednesday, September 4, 2019

    The Smark Henry Raw Review (9/2/19): Heeeey, We Want Heel Bayley!

    Sorry, the old Bayley can’t come to the phone right now

    Why? Oh, cause’s she’s a heel!

    Now that I’ve outed myself as a Swiftie (listen to Lover, you guys), RAW was a good show this week, despite the usual WWE trappings that we’ve all gotten used to.

    Let’s start with Bayley’s heel turn, something many of us were able to predict thanks to her painful interview with Charly Caruso. WWE interviewers never sound like real people and Caruso seemed to struggle with the questions she had to ask, especially the one about Becky overshadowing her. It’s a good thing that The Hugger made herself look good with that heel turn, which was satisfying to watch. Many of us have been clamoring for a major change in Bayley’s character and this could be the start of something beautiful.

    Becky Lynch’s promo was mostly good. The Man continues to cut some of the best Reality Era promos out there, pointing out how Sasha was the focal point of NXT and therefore has no right to be whining about her lack of opportunities, especially after everything Becky has gone through. Sadly, she also had to resort to calling Sasha a “blue-haired weirdo,” like some kind of third-grade bully. I wouldn’t say that it sucked the life out of this promo but it felt jarring to hear it after some of that straight fire.

    Another segment that had some minor downs and a big up was the opening segment. Seth Rollins and Braun Strowman had a sleep-inducing interaction that had Seth spouting more exposition than a Chris Claremont X-Men comic, while Braun shouted a lot, because loud = charisma. They even had a backstage segment together later on where they proceeded to do these very things all over again. Thankfully, AJ Styles interrupted them and cut an entertaining promo, making fun of Seth and Braun, even calling their partnership “kawaii.” Fucking weeb.

    Seriously, AJ was so over in the opener that anyone watching would have assumed he was the babyface if it weren’t for that beatdown after the opening tag team match. Ever since he reformed The OC with Gallows and Anderson, Styles has felt like a goddamn superstar again and he has even more swagger to back it up. The fact that AJ overshadows Seth and Braun whenever they have segments together makes me wish that he would just become the WWE Universal Champion but it looks like they’re saving that for The Fiend.  

    We also had A LOT of wrestling on this show, which I can’t complain about. I’ll cover the others in a bit but I want to point out how great Baron Corbin vs. Cedric Alexander was, easily being the Match of the Night. No joke, Baron had his working pants on (somewhat literally), while Alexander sold his ass off and timed his spots really well, like that sweet Michinoku Driver. The OC’s attack on Cedric earlier in the show gave him an out for this mostly-clean finish. I’m still expecting Ricochet to win the King of the Ring Tournament but this almost made me root for Corbin.

    Speaking of Ricochet, I have mixed thoughts about his King of the Ring Quarterfinal Match with Samoa Joe. The match mostly focused on Joe targeting Ricochet’s leg but the former Prince Puma was able to do a lot of flippy shit during his comeback. It made the heat portion of the match feel like filler and that non-finish didn’t help things. It wasn’t a horrible match and could arguably be good, but the lack of selling and non-finish dragged it down for me.

    Next week’s triple threat match between Corbin, Joe, and Ricochet should be pretty great though.

    RAW gets a solid B. There’s still a lot of the WWE funk that most of us hate but the Superstars did a decent enough job getting themselves over this week, despite the script.

    Match Results:
    • RAW Tag Team Champions Seth Rollins and Braun Strowman def. The OC (Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson)
    • Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode def. Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder
    • Lacey Evans def. Natalya
    • King of the Ring Quarterfinals: Baron Corbin def. Cedric Alexander
    • The Viking Raiders def. Local Talent
    • King of the Ring Quarterfinals: Ricochet vs Samoa Joe ended with a Double Pinfall
    • The Miz def. Cesaro
    • Bayley and Becky Lynch def. Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross via Disqualification when Sasha Banks Interfered

    The Raw-View:
    • The pairing of Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode is intriguing and I’m hoping they beat Seth and Braun at Clash of Champions. Also, how are they not called The Glorious Show-Offs? Then again, we have two RAW episodes left before the PPV…
    • If The OC's backstage attack on Cedric Alexander means we're getting him vs AJ Styles at Clash of Champions, then the PPV just became a must-watch.
    • Natalya and Lacey Evans had a pretty entertaining match, though I’m wondering if Lacey’s handkerchief spot should be considered a DQ. Isn’t that technically an item being used on the opponent?
    • I think Sasha Banks was better on the mic this week during her segment with Becky, though if I’m being honest, The Boss has never been the strongest promo, at least when she’s scripted. Really enjoyed seeing her yell at Sarah Schreiber though.
    • Bray Wyatt’s latest FireFly Fun House was amazing. I’m so ready for The Fiend to be Universal Champion.
    • The Viking Raiders squashed…zzzzzz….zzzzz….zzzzz….
    • Not a fan of The Miz beating Cesaro but he’s the one who’s getting an Intercontinental Championship Match so it makes sense to have him win. Ugh.
    • I’m surprised Baron Corbin hasn’t pointed out how Baron is a rank of nobility, so he doesn’t have to change his name if/when he wins. Then again, knowing WWE, he might be one of those superstars who ends up wearing a robe and crown for his gimmick ala King Sheamus or King Barrett if he wins.
    • Not sure how to feel about this Rey Mysterio storyline. It’s obvious that they want Dominick to wrestle soon but can’t we focus on the rejuvenated Rey we have now? Mysterio is better now than he was five years ago.

    Images from WWE

    Nico Parungo is a writer for Epicstream.com and has contributed several reviews for PWR and MWF. When he isn't frustrated about the WWE, he's playing video games at home and is bugging his friends with glorious puns. He's new to the world of Twitter drama but is quickly getting hooked.
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    Item Reviewed: The Smark Henry Raw Review (9/2/19): Heeeey, We Want Heel Bayley! Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Nico Parungo
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