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The Smark Henry RAW Report (10/30/17): Back From The Dead


Last week, RAW was #UnderSiege (trust me, I’m tired of hearing those words, too, but I have to), with SmackDown Live’s roster making their first move in the battle for brand supremacy. I was excited to see what RAW had up their sleeves and what they were going to do to protect themselves.



Stephanie McMahon’s music hit while the entire roster is on stage, and everybody knows that no Stephanie McMahon segment is complete without some form of public castration. This week’s target was Kurt Angle, and he got it bad—and while some people hate it, I just promoted Steph on my list of “Women I Want To Be When I Grow Up.” I aspire to be the bitch that she is, while radiating such eloquence and class.

Oh, and, Kurt Angle has been named team captain of Team RAW at Survivor Series, so I guess it’s back to the drawing board for him as all of what he had planned and was ready to announce last week is now completely scrapped. Steph added salt to his wounds this week by threatening him that if the red team doesn’t take home the victory, he would lose his job as General Manager. Ouch. Drama...

Now I wasn’t too surprised about this announcement, as Kurt annoyingly posted pictures of his gear being made on Instagram, ruining it for everybody. Get this old man away from the internet, please… Anyway, I’m sure we’re all excited to see Kurt Angle compete again. But in kayfabe, there’s no way I’d want him anywhere near my team when he comes out every week looking like he’s about to cry. Toughen up, dude.

I’m not sure if these are low-key seeds being planted for some Kurt Angle match at WrestleMania, but I’m glad Kurt now has this angle (hah) with The Authority because it’s about time his job performance is reevaluated. Let’s face it, he’s been a pretty boring GM. I guess this now spices things up big time for Survivor Series.



Okay, Nia Jax hasn’t been gone for that long. Or was she, really, and we just didn’t care enough to notice? It’s most likely the latter. But then again, I feel biased towards Nia after the reports of her being unhappy with what she was given resulting in her absence—we can’t know what happened for sure, but if those reports are true, then I’m not excited she’s back. That’s some self-mark, entitled shit. It’s also important to mention that her return is timely, too, right in time for her debut on Total Divas this week. Despite what I feel about her, I’ll admit that Alicia Fox, as captain of RAW’s women’s division, did play a pretty powerful card by adding Nia to the team—since she’s a powerhouse nobody on SmackDown’s team can compare with. Watch out, blue team!



Samoa Joe’s sudden entrance while a returning Nia was making her way backstage literally had me say “whoa” out loud. That felt way too sudden, but that’s definitely a return we can all be excited about! He made it really clear that he’s heel this time, so there should be no more confusion like what I used to say about his last feud with Brock Lesnar. He destroyed Titus Worldwide and proved his dominance, and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for him in the next couple of weeks! I think he’d make an amazing addition to Team RAW.



Let’s talk about Braun Strowman for two minutes. Yes, he’s back, too, after only a week-long absence, but we’ve lost the clarity of who’s really angry with whom when Strowman went straight for The Miz this week on RAW. Because, you see, Miz helped throw The Monster out in the back of a garbage truck at TLC… But play the preschool teacher here and ask yourself who really started it—it was Kane! Kane not only started it, but was also the one who did most of the destroying. So why would they make Strowman stalk and go after The Miz, when Miz should be focusing on his own match—already set for Survivor Series—against the United States Champion, Baron Corbin? If Braun is to go after The Bar next week, then it would make a little more sense, showing us that it’s building up to his his end-goal, Kane. I feel like we’re all left here with no choice but to channel our inner Sherlock Holmes when trying to dissect these new storylines. What's new?

Also, I’d like to add that anybody would be smart enough to add Strowman to their team. Granted, the guys at SmackDown Live earned their spots at Survivor Series—but is it logical to make somebody like Braun “earn” it, when he’s all fired up and not really susceptible to a loss at the moment? He’d destroy anybody you put in front of him, anyway, so, what’s the point? Different teams, different strategies.



With that said, Kane then attacked Daniel Bryan after attacking Finn Bálor the same night. WHY?! What has Daniel Bryan done to you?! It doesn’t make any sense. Was this a clue that Kane will be part of Team RAW, while D-Bry will make an in-ring return and join Team SmackDown? Okay, I know this theory is really farfetched, but it’s not impossible. If it happens, though, it would’ve made more sense to have Shane McMahon as the sole authority figure in the blue team as the fair adversary of Kurt Angle. But as we’ve witnessed first-hand as of late, in times of desperate need, the WWE will give no fucks about the logic you want to see and will give you something random instead, as long as they know it draws major ratings and cash.

Aaaaaand if we get our heads out of our asses and step out of our perfect world of fantasies, then maybe this’ll simply change Bryan’s mind and make him encourage his brand to lay the SmackDown on the red team. Since they’ve now made it personal with Bryan, it would then stop him from being the diplomatic voice of reason and give him real motivation to retaliate.




Apart from all these returns and questionable decisions, we had some amazing matches that made this episode worth watching. Matt Hardy vs. The Miz was Match Of The Night for me, while Cesaro vs. Finn Bálor was awesome too. We had the women main event the show and the Cruiserweights killing it once again—Enzo Amore is hilarious as usual, and Drew Gulak is probably my new favorite. Sorry, TJP.

We’re in the midst of trying to get everything together for Survivor Series so it’s looking pretty unorganized for now, with me hoping they slowly put things into place as the weeks go by. This episode was pretty explosive, with lots of different returns and still a lot of hope for more returns in time for the pay-per-view. Also, I was really hoping they would start making advancements in their individual storylines with the guys from SmackDown on the show rather than cutting promos on social media. So I’ll give this episode a B for the elements of surprise and some great matches, but they really ought to make more sense out of things in the next weeks to come.


Quick Hitters:
  • Ah, yes, honorable mention: Bo Dallas and Jojo are back, too! Bray Wyatt and Roman Reigns to come! On a scale of 1-to-10, how scared do you think The Miz and Curtis Axel secretly were that night about getting contaminated?
  • Kane destroying Finn Bálor, if put into words, would be: “Ha-ha, there can only be one demon around here, fuck you.” 
  • Chad 2 Badd and Tex Ferguson came all the way from Southpaw Regional Wrestling and made their RAW debut in a Halloween-themed match. This is the second year in a row that Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows have been given this task, but they were all able to make us laugh, so the comedy kinda makes up for the horrible match. I think. 
  • Enzo Amore’s face when he hit that Eat Defeat on Kalisto was everything, you guys.


Photos by WWE

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