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The Smark Henry RAW Report (2/12/18): A Second Chance


Still incredibly focused on the upcoming Elimination Chamber, RAW this week continued storylines heading to the pay-per-view. Specific spots were still being determined for the men's Chamber match, while battles for supremacy and temporary allies have been the key stories around the women's.



My heart was torn in two this Valentine season when Seth Rollins was added into the Fatal 4-Way of previous losers from the Elimination Chamber qualifying matches. Some people may say it's unfair, but it's really not—what's unfair is that those who already fell short get a second chance, in a roster full of talent. But I guess I'll forgive that injustice, because they added Seth to the match and made me the happiest girl on Earth! *insert 500 heart emojis*

But this is where things got really complicated. Finn Bálor was also in that match, and I just... I really wish these boys didn't have to fight. This isn't the time nor place to beat each other up, okay—this is totally not how we settle things around here. I mean, there are other means, you guys. Not like this...

Feeling like I was trapped in a Filipino soap opera and not knowing who to choose from the two men, I was still excited for the match. Seth and Finn are amazing wrestlers who never fail to put on a show—a bonus from the real suspense of not knowing who the heck was going to win. The match ended in a controversial manner, which, I honestly didn't see coming, so WWE did a good job there. It left me thinking that it's a way to hype up next week's RAW with Finn Bálor vs. Seth Rollins (RIP Nicole 1996-2018), until they recently announced that both of them will enter the Chamber instead. My heart is happy. Best Valentine's day gift EVER.

Oh, uhm, right, yeah, I guess I also have to mention the wrestling part. So the match was good...  It was pretty chaotic for the most part—in a good way—and Apollo Crews was actually a great addition to the match because all that fast-paced, flippy stuff always amazes the crowd. Those falsies almost gave me a heart attack, as expected, which made this match really enjoyable. See? I have a little more than six reasons (x2) to like this match.



Switching gears, the show opened well, too, with The Miz squaring off against John Cena. Never ever expect anything less from these two competitors—they delivered well like I knew they would. These placement matches for the Elimination Chamber have been pretty interesting, and the WWE has made a good point in making the competitors somehow earn their spots, rather than have it be done at random. It keeps the hype for the pay-per-view and keeps everyone talking about it—but most importantly, it gives these matches on RAW a real meaning. That's how you build up a pay-per-view.



Bayley vs. Sasha Banks felt like a match that needed to be done at a pay-per-view instead, but everything suddenly made so much sense when Nia Jax came out to beat them up post-match. In the past two weeks, Bayley and Sasha had failed to defeat Asuka—and with Nia's turn to try at Elimination Chamber, what better way to say "I can beat her" than to destroy the losers who gave Asuka a good fight, in like, two seconds. Nia has now proved herself to be a real threat to the streak that nobody should sleep on.



Last but not the freaking least, we finally get something different from Braun Strowman, proving that he can be both frighteningly threatening but also very funny. He was beyond over this week, you guys, which just shows you that in this world of entertainment, sometimes the best thing you could ever do is not to take yourself so seriously and just focus on bringing smiles to people's faces. I had a pretty good laugh at Strowman's singing—yes, if you haven't seen the episode, he sang a song, vibrato and all—and this was one of the most awesome segments RAW's had in a while. It's so fresh to see him do comedy like this and I hope he does more of it! ...but not too much.

The rest of the show felt almost like copy-pastes, or mix-matches that just go around in circles. Nevertheless, it had its moments this week unlike last week's, which makes it safe to say that RAW sort of redeemed itself somehow. You're probably thinking it's only because Seth Rollins played a big part on the show this time. Yes. You're not wrong. But... Okay, there's no but. We all know Rollins' promo and addition to the Fatal 4-Way made the entire episode. Don't lie. I grade this a B+!


Quick Hitters:
  • Well, well. Ronda Rousey finally remembers that she's a part of RAW and frees a night from her oh-so-busy schedule to show up at Elimination Chamber. You know, because free TV won't cut it for this full-time and extremely hardworking WWE Superstar.
  • Is it just me, or did Kurt Angle stutter so much in this episode? It made me so uncomfortable.
  • No Cruiserweights this week, again... But I feel it was necessary to give space to the matches that build up the Elimination Chamber. After all, they do have their own weekly show... Priorities, people!

Photos by WWE


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