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The Smark Henry RAW Review (7/4/16): The Boreth of July

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Even if they are a globally-traded company airing in over a hundred countries, WWE required this week's RAW to have some red, white and blue-colored festivity. Taking place on the fourth of July, the episode had the main event of a 16-man elimination tag match as the main event, pitting eight of USA's most patriotic Superstars against the Multinational Alliance. Was the main event, as well as the rest of the show, able to pull off a star-spangled surprise of a show? With a food fight that showcased the roster in their down-to-earth selves, it set up the tone that it could be a cheesy three-hour ride. Luckily, it was less so than what what was initially implied… right until the end.

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Titus O' Neil—decked in full Apollo Creed gear, no less—looked to take the United States Championship off Rusev, in what was a slightly better affair than their past two matches. Though they still lack the chemistry to produce a fine match, this at least came at a faster pace and a good enough opener to set up the show. Meanwhile, Becky Lynch finally got her match with Summer Rae and grabbed a quick win for Lynch serves as a nice appetizer for the undercard Women's match at Battleground. However, both matches struggled to live up to the food fight.

Charlotte and Sasha Banks, the two headliners of the Women's division confronted each other and it was quite a show. With their superlative nicknames to behold, "The Boss" and "The Queen" got into it in a very entertaining exchange of words followed by a Bank Statement to the champ. Their words stung and had the flow similar to that of real-life verbal wars, as it escaped the realm of normal promo-cutting and ventured more on to the side of verbal burning and snappy comebacks.

This segment proved that these two are simply the best currently and leading the charge can only lead to an improved division in general, gracing it with the Midas Touch. For anyone with a pulse, it's known that this could be the main match for the ladies at the PPV—it just hasn't been officially announced yet.

Another individual who has the Midas Touch is the face that runs the place, John Cena. With his issues against AJ Styles and The Club blowing up, things took an unexpected turn when Enzo Amore and Big Cass turned out to make the save. This sets up the stage for a six-man tag at Battleground, amidst the unofficial declaration of beating Cena up as a weekly institution. Before that, the team of certified Gs had a quick win against the Social Outcasts, and much later they were in an ad for the Sonic Boom Box. It may be safe to say Cena had taken a liking to the silver-tongued duo, and it's showing tremendously in such as short amount of time. Definitely a time to be alive if one's a fan of them, especially.

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Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins continued the propagation of their Triple Threat title match without their third man involved. Roman Reigns is still out serving his supsension, and Ambrose and Rollins took part in matches against The Miz and Dolph Ziggler, respectively. It made for pretty quick fodder, but the exchange between the two former brothers seemed clunky at best. A muted reaction by the crowd to their exchange also did neither favors, as this may be a sign for a Triple Threat build-up to work, they actually need three men.

Another segment that fell short this week was The New Day's. This came across as a bit of a shock, seeing as they stole the show mocking the Wyatt Family last week. However, this did see some possibility of dissension within the ranks, with Xavier Woods now acting as the rational one knowing full well what danger they got themselves into. Though this segment was lackluster, next week's could deliver as they go on to visit The Wyatts' compound, complete with scary dolls, rocking chairs, and presumed jittery camerawork.

The main event, which saw Team ‘Murica take on The Multinational Alliance, seems like a half-baked version of such kinds of affair within other promotions across the world. Though the lineup of talent looked extremely impressive on paper, the match proved to be a downer. Perhaps it was having too much people involved in a tag match (see Tribute to the Troops main events for example), but the match was slow and a pain to sit through from start to finish. The eliminations went too fast for their own good, and it lacked suspense especially when it's obvious Team USA would win on a night celebrating the independence of said USA. With the ones standing tall involved an irrelevant Big Show and an even more irrelevant Zack Ryder. Instead of RAW ending their Fourth of July celebration with a bang, it sadly ended with a pitiful whimper.

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Quick results


  • Rusev def. Titus O' Neil to retain United States Championship (2/5)

  • Enzo Amore and Big Cass def. Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel (1/5)

  • WWE Champion Dean Ambrose def. Intercontinental Champion The Miz in a Champion vs. Champion non-title match (2/5)

  • Seth Rollins def. Dolph Ziggler (2.5/5)

  • Becky Lynch def. Summer Rae (1.5/5)

  • Team USA (Big Show, Kane, Apollo Crews, Bubba Ray Dudley, D-Von Dudley, Mark Henry and Jack Swagger) def. The Multinational Alliance (Canada's Chris Jericho, Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens, Switzerland's Cesaro, Ireland's Sheamus, Mexico's Sin Cara, Kalisto and Alberto del Rio) (2/5)


Awards



Best segment: Sasha Banks and Charlotte
Best match: Seth Rollins vs. Dolph Ziggler
Worst segment: The New Day
Worst match: Becky Lynch vs. Summer Rae
Honorable mention: The food fight (depending on how you look at it, it could be either deemed the best or the worst thing the show had to offer)
Male Superstar of the Night: AJ Styles
Female Superstar of the Night: Sasha Banks

*****

Miguel Asistio is also known as the best writer in the world—at least according to his CM Punk-inspired delusions of grandeur. In the real world, he's been a proud fan of the WWE since its Ruthless Aggression days. He also enjoys reading comic books and playing fighting games when not trying to make his dream of being a successful novelist come true.

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