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    Thursday, July 1, 2021

    RAW Food for Thought (6/28/21): Scottish Invasion

    Scotland may have crashed out of Euro 2020 but the unicorn nation dominated Monday Night RAW for better or worse! 

    I was completely onboard the Drew McIntyre train this time last year. I wanted his reign to last as long as it could. The only time I ever wanted him to lose was against Randy Orton at Hell in a Cell because, had he won, there would be no higher opponent left on RAW

    Now, I'm on the opposite side of the spectrum. His stubborn babyface arc to regain the WWE Championship ended with finality at Hell in a Cell and it should've stayed dead. There's no reason to keep him in the title picture! Drew winning tonight's triple threat match, let alone getting another shot, completely ruined the emotional impact of his crushing defeat. Fans will think he's more overpushed than ever now. Half the roster getting wasted in a Battle Royale won by last-minute addition Matt Riddle, who lost to Drew anyway, makes that perception even stronger. 

    To be fair, Drew and the commentary team acknowledged the last chance clause should he win the Money In The Bank contract. That gave me hope that WWE will actually follow their rules and keep the Lashley-McIntyre title feud dead. The match itself was a pretty good main event too; the ending just sucked.

    The Celtic women were in the winner's circle too. Nikki Cross extended her winning streak. She beat Shayna with a small package pin, and it wasn't an immediate distraction finish! Her look improved with no dark blue make-up. However, I couldn't wrap my head around her new "almost a superhero" nickname/slogan. Are they telling us that her character is realistic cause she's only almost a superhero? That disclaimer contradicts the butterfly metaphor she was going for though. It also deflates any hype. Could you imagine Hogan being introduced as The Almost Immortal Hulk Hogan? They even gave it a silly acronym with people calling her "Nikki ASH" or "Nikki ASH Cross". I can tolerate adding ASH to her ring name but I really hope it doesn't replace Cross.  

    Eva Marie's Scottish protégé was also victorious tonight. Piper Niven aka Doudrop got to display more power moves that she used to do on NXT UK. I have to admit that I am enjoying this storyline far more than I anticipated. It's funny and it taps into that 2016 absentee Eva storyline. WWE was even smart enough to add a rising babyface in Piper to play off Eva. I can't believe I'm saying this but I'm excited to see more of Eva Marie and Doudrop. Hopefully, this pays off in a great break-up and massive push for Piper Doudrop. 

    As for the other matches, I really enjoyed the one between Ricochet and John Morrison. Lucha Undergound fans were in for a treat as these two squared off again in what was easily the match of the night. That was the best double countout in a long time! The strap match between Jaxson Ryker and Elias was disappointing because it was too short though. 

    Overall, the Scottish domination of RAW this week was a mixed blessing. The show was able to benefit with more screentime for its talented Scottish women. Drew McIntyre, on the other hand, held it hostage.


    Image courtesy of WWE

    Stray Observations:

    • While writing this article, I looked up why Randy Orton was absent. No one outside WWE seems to know why. I hope it's just a storyline and that there's nothing wrong with him.
    • Riddle continues to be the funniest part of the show with his crayon letter and on-point impression of the Viper!
    • The Battle Royale wasn't a complete waste of time! We got to see Damian Priest finally return and put on a clinic against Riddle. These two should have a proper singles match on the main roster. 
    • Kofi Kingston and MVP had a compelling exchange this week. It's one of the few promos in RAW 2021 that didn't bore me. 
    • I see potential in the current feud between Mansoor and Mustafa Ali. It's like a Muslim version of the one between Kofi and MVP. It also reminds me of the conflict between Black Panther and Killmonger in the Black Panther film. 
    • Ricochet should win WWE moment of the week on socials with his wheelchair flip!
    • RAW Talk highlights: Jaxson Ryker was unusually relaxed instead of his stick-up-his-ass self. He even gave the strap to R-Truth. Maybe he'll no longer be a one-dimensional character. Drew also got to talk Euro 2020 picks with Kevin Patrick. 


    Kim Antonio is a contributor for Smark Henry and a lifelong fan of professional wrestling. He was first exposed to wrestling as a small child when his older cousin would practice finishers on him, which led him to hate wrestling. Later, he saw it on TV and was hooked ever since. He dreams of being a wrestling booker after watching Ready to Rumble and playing GM Mode on SmackDown vs. Raw. He hopes fellow fans will learn someday that there's nothing wrong with loving both shows of competing promotions. 
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    Item Reviewed: RAW Food for Thought (6/28/21): Scottish Invasion Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Kim Antonio
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