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The Smark Henry RAW Report (3/19/18): Bray's Vessel Gets Deleted


You really start to feel WrestleMania's around the corner when the weekly shows barely ever disappoint as much as they used to anymore. All stories were being continued this week and new developments were made, as well as some little surprises here and there that nobody really expected to see.



It was quite an eventful episode of Monday Night RAW with our Universal Champion finally showing up after a few weeks of silence, to give Roman Reigns a response. I absolutely loved the tease they did to build up both their appearances—even though we all knew they would show up, we didn't know exactly when. 

Brock Lesnar looked like the real bad guy, beating up a handcuffed and defenseless Reigns—and although there were some cheers for Lesnar and some distasteful "you deserve it" chants towards Reigns at the start, The Beast was miraculously able to garner loud boos after he had inflicted the damage on the Big Dog. I felt as though the audience was confused in this particular segment, including myself—enjoying the violence Lesnar gave as the sadistic fucks that we are, but still holding on to the sympathy for Reigns that we've felt these past few weeks.

Overall, this segment was so entertaining, and I wonder when Vince McMahon will lift Reigns' suspension so he could retaliate.



This RAW Women's Championship match against Asuka was made to be on an episode of RAW, with a finish so freaking obvious that I wished I could've fast-forwarded my livestream to get to the part where Nia Jax came out. Moreover, the match wasn't good as they both looked a little lost and looked like they didn't really know what to do with each other. Maybe they just didn't plan it or care about it enough, but after watching that match I'm low-key glad Asuka ended up by choosing Charlotte—it's clear that she'd have a better WrestleMania match against the SmackDown Women's Champion instead.

The chase was great, and Alexa Bliss running all the way through the crowd was a nice touch. The crowd loved it and that segment was really over—and just like I mentioned last week, this overall story about a victim standing up against her bully is not only a simple, clear and relatable one, but also leads a great example and conveys an important message to all. I love it.



Speaking of the women, the Bayley and Sasha Banks feud just shows you that you don't need a championship to be the sole reason why two people would want to fight. I stress this a whole lot in here, but it simply takes a compelling storyline for people to want to tune in.

The two confused besties finally cut a promo on each other, trying to hash it out—but before some real explaining could be made, Absolution came out to cut everything short and took advantage of the fact that they weren't 100% okay yet. This led to some remaining tension in the air between Bayley and Sasha, and I almost just want Sasha to go full-on heel on Bayley and rip her to pieces already so their match at WrestleMania would be based on betrayal and would then truly be justified. Well, that is, if they're getting one. Though if they don't, I apologize in advance if I don't respond to you for a day as I'll be busy writing a very angry open letter to their Creative team that they will most likely never read.



Braun Strowman vs. The Bar for the RAW Tag Team Championships at WrestleMania was initially a strange and boring idea for me. If it was going to be a handicap match, it wouldn't interest me at all because we're all familiar with what Strowman can do by now. However, RAW General Manager Kurt Angle instructed the Monster Among Men to look for a tag partner for the match and created this suspenseful mystery—which is essentially the hook for people to care about this match. Who the heck would agree to team up with Strowman? He looks like the type to break his tag partner in half if they messed up. Would you risk yourself like that?



John Cena is basically carrying this feud right now. He begged The Undertaker to show any sort of sign, and when he didn't, he proceeded to talk about the disappointment the Deadman gave the audience. To solidify that statement, they made Kane come out to give Cena a chokeslam—because, I don't know, family support?—which then really made the audience feel the anticlimax.

We're about three weeks away from WrestleMania and we still have no idea if this match is even really pushing through, or when we'll be seeing any response from The Undertaker. With this, people are bound to tune in to Cena's every promo and every match, because nobody would want to miss 'Taker's appearance.



Okay, I didn't think this would be the main event of the show, actually. That was a bit of a nostalgic video to watch albeit a long one, as it brought as back to the BROKEN universe we all loved from TNA. I got a little bored with it after a while mostly because I personally don't really enjoy matches wherein I can't hear a crowd reaction. Also, I feel like the fans generally don't enjoy or talk about all of this being in the WWE as much as they did when it was in TNA. The cameos were great, however, with Matt Hardy's family and... friends... there, including the injured and MIA Brother Nero. That was a nice surprise and it made me wonder if they'd all be at WrestleMania during a Matt Hardy entrance, because, that would be pretty epic. His babies are so cute!

All matches weren't memorable and it wasn't even really wrestling-heavy to begin with. The segments, however, continue to kick ass and get me excited for WrestleMania 34, which is what I'd expect anyway being this close to the biggest pay-per-view of the year. Overall, I grade this episode a B!


Quick Hitters:
  • Apparently, the last match taped at the Hardy compound wasn't even shown to the live crowd. Instead, there were dark segments: Braun Strowman vs. Elias, and surprise surprise, Ronda Rousey beating up Dana Brooke. I get that it can be really useless and wouldn't have made a real difference in the show, so I ain't mad that they didn't show this on air.
  • The Miz went deep in his promo but botched and said "Prince Nevitt" instead of "Prince Devitt," so he should consider hiring more security as the Finn B├ílor and Bullet Club fangirls are now probably out to get him.
  • Mickie James looked like she could store things in her hair from how high it was. But always looking pretty, regardless!

Photos by WWE

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