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    Wednesday, November 6, 2019

    The Smark Henry RAW Review (11/4/19): RAW is Undisputed

    After last week's abysmal RAW, we finally find ourselves with a pretty decent episode this week, thanks primarily to the ongoing Survivor Series ad that is the NXT invasion of both RAW and SmackDown. After the yellow brand's takeover of last week's SmackDownthank you, "flight delay"I was expecting a lot of that awesomeness to spill over to this week's RAW. I was not disappointed. Well, not as disappointed as I thought I'd be at least. I mean, nothing was ever going to stop me from enjoying Keith Lee throwing himself out of the ring. My god, that was pretty amazing. 

    Let's start things off with the Universal Championship's nostalgia tour. Paul Heyman's promo was just Paul Heyman doing Paul Heyman things, which is to say, it was awesome as per usual. Paul even said the B-word. Nice.

    What wasn't nice was me forgetting that Rey Mysterio was a part of RAW. I've seen him too many times on SmackDown now both in this era and during my childhood that I thought he was actually part of SmackDown. It's also a bit weird, in my humble opinion, for WWE Champion Brock Lesnar to quit SmackDown and move to RAW just to pick a fight with Rey since, well, his so-called advocate has full creative control of this show. Couldn't he just ask Paul to set Rey up for a quick beatdown? Good times.

    Lesnar giving RAW an HR nightmare by beating up backstage personnel brought me back to awesome, however. It was fun watching Brock manhandle everyone he came across like an Impervious Greatwurm out to give me my 0-5 streak. Yes, I play Magic the Gathering. Tweet me your challenges. All these backstage attacks eventually led to Paul E. mocking Jerry "The King" Lawler to his face with the sweetest line of the night, referencing that time Jerry actually had a heart attack on air. Bad times.

    Dio Madden standing up for Lawler and getting F-5ed for his trouble was a nice touch, too. It gives Dio substance for the more casual audience who doesn't know much about him outside of being the resident third wheel on commentary. That seemed to be the last straw, as Mysterio finally came out for the save, attacking Brock with a... lightsaber? Okay, I guess even The Beast Incarnate is susceptible to space swords.

    Seriously, though, Brock selling Mysterio's attack very well just goes to show how much he respects and likes working with the lucha libre legend. It was also a more interesting way to book Brock's next opponent, a major departure from him just giving them an F-5 and laughing at their corpse. I honestly can't wait to see what happens when Brock and Rey collide at Survivor Series for the WWE Championship.

    Speaking of championships, WWE Women's Tag Team Champions The Kabuki Warriors just ate a loss, courtesy of Charlotte and Natalya. I know, I know. It's easy to make fun of Charlotte and Natalya's team-up as them just being a pair of blondes—Vince's type apparently—getting partnered together because, well, they're a pair of blondes. However, Charlotte and Natalya are also submission specialists and they have the blood of legends flowing through their veins, that of the legendary Ric Flair and Jim Neidhart, respectively.  

    Unfortunately, Asuka being made to tap to Natalya's Sharpshooter is a depressing development. I love Natalya and the Hart Family, as I've never failed to mention in these reviews, but I think that Charlotte and Natalya just don't have that good of a chemistry together. It's disappointing, considering their level of talent, but watching them get the win here made me die a little inside. Hopefully, this is just to move the next Women's Tag Team title feud forward and The Kabuki Warriors will continue to retain and reign for a long time. Asuka and Kairi Sane are so much more fun to watch, after all, and they're just really good together as a team.

    NXT Daddy Triple H opening the show with a convoy of cars was enough of a tease to get me salivating for the inevitable NXT invasion of RAW. Seth Rollins' existential promo in the ring after rightfully losing the Universal Championship to Bray Wyatt's The Fiend continued the trend for me, especially the part where he seemingly appeared angry that some people wanted him to lose that match and that title. With Brock back on RAW as the top champion, it does feel like everything has regressed. Well, on paper anyway. 

    I found it pretty strange how Triple H's tempting offer to his favorite son borrowed the exact same lines from Finn Bálor, who recently turned heel: "Your future is in your past." Is that a hint that Bálor may become the team captain of NXT's Survivor Series team while Seth leads the RAW/SmackDown team? Hmm. That could be something.

    I honestly don't think Seth will take Triple H's offer, but if he actually does, despite what happened in his main event NXT Championship match against Adam Cole, it would be a very interesting development. The way that match ended seems to me like they still want to plant more mystery and intrigue regarding Seth's next move. I would've loved for Cole to have beaten Seth clean right then and there, but letting the uncertainty surrounding Seth grow as well as highlighting both the heel stable pack tactics of Undisputed ERA and the growing war between NXT and everyone else was admittedly a much better choice.

    RAW REVIEW: Like I said, this Seth storyline is very intriguing to me, so that adds to how much I liked this week's RAW. Brock selling Rey's attack, making himself appear vulnerable and the Ultimate Underdog stronger heading into their title clash at Survivor Series, was also pretty good. The NXT invasion angle being awesome was just a given. Everything else, however, still felt a bit subpar. Hmm. I'm giving this week's RAW a B for "(Adam Cole) Bay-Bay!!!"  

    Quick Hitters:

    • Buddy Murphy versus Cedric Alexander gave me 205 Live flashbacks. It was a pretty awesome match, though, which was the usual case with Murphy.
    • Because of course this was always meant to happen, Andrade and Zelina Vega teamed up against Sin Cara and the luchadora named Carolina from last week. Andrade and Vega winning here was the best and only choice.
    • Bobby Lashley injured his... dick, so Rusev fought Drew McIntyre instead. Wow. All we need now is King Corbin and we'd have King Corbin's Court right here. Please don't do that, WWE. Lashley wasn't actually injured because, of course, he wasn't. Ricochet coming out to make the save for Rusev just proves how much of a good guy Ricochet is because the two times Ricochet got mobbed by these Team Flair members prior to Crown Jewel, no one from Team Hogan, not even Rusev, came out to save him. Faces are dicks.
    • That RAW Women's Champion Becky Lynch backstage interview that got interrupted by NXT Women's Champion Shayna Baszler was epic. This back-and-forth was the stuff of legends, and I can't wait for Baszler to win that match with the help of her crew and maybe even a returning Ronda Rousey. Calling that now.
    • Seeing The Street Profits' promo falling flat was a little weird for me because these are two of the most charismatic guys I've ever seen. That crowd was wack. The six-man tag match that followed, with Humberto Carillo teaming with them against The OC, was pretty fun. It's just a little off-putting that United States Champion AJ Styles, the heel in this feud, now has three straight wins over Carillo, the face in this feud.
    • This week on Who Will The RAW Tag Team Champions The Viking Raiders Squash Now: A couple of guys in polo shirts. Yep. That was it. Maybe next week, they'll beat up guys in clown masks. Welp.
    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. According to him, Kevin Owens is his best friend in the whole wide world. Brock, I am your father.
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    Item Reviewed: The Smark Henry RAW Review (11/4/19): RAW is Undisputed Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Pepe Serapio
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