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The Smark Henry RAW Review (9/26/16): After-Clash




This week’s RAW sought to regain some momentum after the last couple of duds, and over their first exclusive pay-per-view, Night Clash of Clans Champions. Though they had all the luxury in the world to capitalize on some of the happenings from it, they did no such thing. This resulted in a RAW that looked extremely phoned-in, as if they simply needed to fill their quota of three hours of television. Oh, wait.

The episode actually started with a match, and this is an amazing development in itself. The new United States Champion, Roman Reigns, defended his title against Rusev in a rematch from last Sunday. However, this time around it ended in a double count-out. Now, the Rollins vs. Rusev match from last week's episode was done tastefully in an effort to protect both participants. But, with this match, it doesn't really accomplish anything. Reigns beat Rusev soundly at Clash of Champions, and this particular finish would leave a sour taste in most viewers' mouths the same way the seventh Cesaro-Sheamus match did.

Also, no matter what Reigns does from here on out, it will always be tarnished by the stigma of being chosen by the machine. He may wrestle better than he did years prior, but all that will be for naught whenever we're subconsciously reminded that this man was—and still is—the pet project of Vince McMahon and the WWE. The United States title is merely a placeholder to give him something to do at this point. Fitting as character-wise, Roman never had any desire to win this championship anyway.


Cesaro and Sheamus delivered more than usual in their Clash of Champions match, which resulted in the most entertaining match on the card. However, it was tainted by the non-ending of a no-contest. Seeking to give a consolation prize of sorts, GM Mick Foley named The Celtic Warrior and the Swiss Superman as the new #1 contender's for the RAW Tag Team Championship.

This doesn't sound too bad on paper, if only this wasn't seen as a forced effort to bring some life into the tag division. The New Day are in some serious need of competition, and this newly-formed tag-team could either freshen things up or make them even staler. This could either catch some lightning in a bottle the same way Heath Slater and Rhyno did for SmackDown Live. But if it doesn’t, here’s to hoping they don’t get the titles from The New Day. We don't want even more champions not caring about the belts they won, now do we?

We were also treated to two matches from the Cruiserweight Division this week, one in the form of a tag match and the other featuring Cruiserweight Champion TJ Perkins. The division so far has really been exciting to watch, and has been a worthy follow-up to the Cruiserweight Classic. The little changes in presentation to set it apart from the rest of the show is a testament that RAW is at least trying to put its best foot forward.


However, there's one thing that would make viewers care, and that's the Cruiserweights themselves. Barring WWE veteran Brian Kendrick, they have little to no character development, and ample time should be given to it as they give to the matches themselves. We need to see what makes these new wrestlers tick before we start to care why they flip. Even if a semblance of this was well-done in the hype videos during the Cruiserweight Classic, but an introductory course for RAW’s casual viewers is more than necessary.

The main event came in the form of best buds Chris Jericho and Universal Champion Kevin Owens picking up a win over Enzo and Big Cass. Seth Rollins not being involved in the finish in some way to get retribution on Owens is disappointing, even when he already tried to crash the Highlight Reel episode that was going on prior. This episode of RAW seems like a burnout more than anything, and not just the way that it could lead to burnout when sitting through it. There were no big moments to note of, as this episode just served as filler. With Hell in a Cell a month to go from now, I don't blame the creative department for slacking on the job.

Also—where the hell is Triple H? He still has some explaining to do.
Photo from WWE

*****


Miguel Asistio (@MTGMAis 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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