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The Smark Henry RAW Review (10/10/16): Strength In Numbers



(Obligatory Triple H update: He was still not there tonight)



In weeks past, RAW has had tremendous focus on the Universal Championship and all its main event players, sometimes even sacrificing a lower championship's value for star power. However, this week's episode featured a conscious effort to showcase RAW as a well-oiled machine, which was much needed considering that Hell in a Cell is right around the corner.

In what most perceived as a cookie-cutter introduction to this week's RAW, we had quite the unique twist instead in setting up a big match. Rusev interrupted both Charlotte and Sasha Banks, but both women proceeded to snatch the mic away from him. They then took care of the Bulgarian Brute with a double dropkick. Rivals putting their differences aside always makes for interesting stories, and in this case, the women took down one angry man taking their spotlight. The big takeaway from all of this, however, is that the RAW Women's Championship will be contested not just at, but inside Hell in a Cell.

This was the catalyst for a mixed tag match, with the Women's Champion victorious alongside United States Champion Roman Reigns in a makeshift team. The segment that took place before this as well as the match itself benefited all parties involved, as Banks heads to Hell in a Cell with two big wins against Charlotte while Roman Reigns wasn't booed mercilessly this week due to being associated with a massive fan-favorite in Banks.




Another division that took a step in the right direction this week was the Cruiserweights', with the debut of a familiar name in Sin Cara. This was a brilliant move as the division gained a recognizable face, and it could do wonders for Sin Cara rather than have him toiling in the lower midcard, being fed to Braun Strowman. Cruiserweight Champion TJ Perkins and his rival Brian Kendrick also took part in a backstage segment before TJ's match, and it gave both men some decent character development by playing the history between the two of them. Slowly but surely, the Cruiserweight division is getting better treatment and these little steps go a long way in getting the fans to take it seriously.

Two teams this week made their claim in getting a shot at championship gold, as Anderson and Gallows perpetrated an attack on Enzo and Cass, while Cesaro and Sheamus continued to butt heads even with their impending title shot waiting in the wings. These teams will surely put the tag division on notice, even if the chemistry Cesaro and Sheamus as a team looks like it came out of some buddy cop movie. This could be seen as attempt to match up to SmackDown Live's bolstering tag division, and whether it is or isn't, at least it's nice to see the Swiss Superman and Celtic Warrior have an end goal to work towards. It certainly beats seeing them as curtain-jerkers every night.

Seth Rollins and Chris Jericho competed in the main event this week, which was nothing short of magical considering all the talent both men had. It made room for a great match especially since the stipulation put in place was Jericho getting a shot at the Universal Championship at Hell in a Cell if he wins. While that stipulation is something we've all seen before, it's the little seeds that have been planted that will prove interesting. With Rollins picking up the win, this ensures a fair fight between Rollins and Owens inside the Cell—or will it?


There are now some evident cracks between the "unbreakable" friendship that is Owens and Jericho's, and it can lead to some good television over the next few weeks. Will either man turn on one another, and in what manner? Who will be the victim and who will be the traitor? Just as Owens and his championship are currently taking a backseat to Rollins' seething anger towards Triple H, it looks like Rollins is an afterthought in this particular bubble that Jericho and Owens find themselves trapped in.



This week's RAW was a rare showcase of every division in a proper manner, from the heavyweights battling for their red-colored championship all the way to the cruiserweights battling for their purple title. More importance placed on all divisions is a good thing, and it looked as if every character was not without purpose. The demonic structure that is the Hell in a Cell will soon be just a complementary piece to the puzzle, instead of being a selling point if RAW continues this trend going forward. It would certainly turn into a cohesive show, and an overall brand as colorful as the varied hues of their championship belts.

Photos 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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