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The Smark Henry RAW Review (6/25/18): Tell Me, Is That Deja Vu?


Before we get to this week's RAW review, let me first apologize for getting this one out pretty late this week. Your boy's been pretty busy and got literally swamped with meetings all week, so something had to give. Yes, even real life gets one over on me. But life goes on, and so does this review column!

Speaking of this column, a new reviewer will be taking my place on this space next week. We at the Smark Henry Offices are really psyched to have our new writers on board! You'll be seeing some new columns, while some old ones are going to make a comeback. Huge thanks to everybody who sent in their applications this past week. We really appreciate all the effort you put in and we look forward to expanding the Smark Henry family and growing the local wrestling community with you.

And now, on to the review.

In my 15 years of having watched wrestling, I've never really understood the logic behind putting two wrestlers, who have an issue with one another, on the same side of a tag team match with the intent of resolving the tension between them. It's a classic storytelling device that every promotion has used over the years. Wrestler A and Wrestler B are fighting for whatever reason. The authority figure comes in and books them in a tag match as partners. And then from there, it can only really go one of three ways: (1) they win and they smooth things out eventually, (2) they win, but the tension remains, and (3) they lose and one of them goes apeshit on the other.

We saw this scenario play out on RAW this week not once, but twice, which reeks of laziness and a lack of creativity on the writers' part. Sure, I understand putting Roman Reigns and Bobby Lashley through the same formula again this week. You need to keep them both busy while Brock Lesnar's status is up in the air (both in reality and in kayfabe).

To be fair, watching them one-up each other again showed that Creative was at least willing to display some continuity from last week's events. I even find it amusing that The Revival actually got a win over Roman and Lashley as a result of their one-upping getting out of hand. But can Roman and Lashley find something else to do next week? Don't give us a third straight tag match with The Revival. Tama na. Sobra na.

Speaking of "Tama na, sobra na," what about Sasha Banks and Bayley?


Before you accuse me of burying the lede, Bayley finally snapped and attacked Sasha Banks following their loss against The Riott Squad in six-woman tag team action. To be honest, I don't really know who the heel is anymore. Last week, I said that Bayley is the real heel because she forced Sasha to engage with her, when the latter clearly just wanted to get out of the arena.

This week, though, Bayley was screaming at Sasha's face to let The Boss know that the beatdown was a result of all the tension that had built between them over the years. To be fair, I found myself unable to blame Bayley when I recalled all the things Sasha did to sow dissent between the former best friends. Was it not Sasha who'd strike first? Leave Bayley out to dry? Assert that she was better than The Hugger?

Here's my problem with the angle, though. And I literally have a problem with an Angle. Kurt Angle.


Why did Kurt Angle have to go out of his way to say that the six-woman tag was Bayley and Sasha's "one more chance?" No, you know what, here's a better question. ONE MORE CHANCE TO DO WHAT? GET BACK LIKE POPOY AND BASHA? THESE GIRLS DON'T WANT TO BE FRIENDS ANYMORE! Why is Angle even so invested in their friendship in the first place?! Does Jason Jordan need playmates that badly?!

Zooming out, when will wrestlers realize that tagging together doesn't really do anything to fix their broken friendships? Jeez. It's bad enough we got an overused trope that makes little sense. It's even worse that the same plot device was used twice in the same fucking episode. Monday Night RAW, everybody, the answer to the question, "Which show's Creative team is so fucking lazy that they use the same storytelling devices twice in the same night?" D.


Quick Hitters:


  • "Contractual snag?" Really? Have we all run out of ideas to explain Brock Lesnar's absence? He's already broken Punk's record. Can someone just fly Braun Strowman out to wherever the fuck Lesnar's farm is so Strowman can cash in Money In The Bank right in front of Sable?
  • You know what, I can actually take more of The B-Team vs. The Deleters of Worlds. Just keep them in short doses like what we got this week. Don't overdo this shit, WWE.
  • Constable Corbin actually makes sense here. Does Kurt Angle get a hard-on from watching all these combustible tag teams implode mid-match?
  • Hold up, so Nattie and Nia Jax are already okay... just like that? Are we going to pretend that the events between WrestleMania and Upfronts didn't happen?
  • I didn't think I'd enjoy the Finn/Corbin vs. KO/Braun tag team match. KO really carried that segment in terms of the comedic aspects. He also carried that promo in the middle of the Shania Twain concert.
  • On a related note, can we all agree that Braun Strowman is the actual bully here? Then again... Kevin Owens did start it all by conspiring with all the other Money In The Bank Ladder Match participants to bury Braun underneath the ladders and take him out. Okay, Coach is right (gasp!). Ginusto ni Kevin 'to.
  • Speaking of Coach... no Word of the Hour all night!
  • That main event was actually fun, but that was a flat-ass ending. Plus, now that Roman Reigns has inserted himself into the story, does this mean he and Lashley are going to stop messing with one another? Can I get a "YES!" chant going?
Header image from WWE 

*****

Stan Sy (@_StanSy) is the Editor at Large of Smark Henry, and is also a radio DJ on Wave 89.1, an events host, a freelance writer, and one of the hosts of The Smark Gilas-Pilipinas Podcast. He also used to be one of the hosts and writers of The Wrestling Gods on FOX. He enjoys watching WWE, NXTLucha Underground, and the occasional New Japan match. You can ask him questions about wrestling, Survivor (yes, the reality show), or whatever you like on his CuriousCat account.

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