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The Smark Henry RAW Review (7/31/18): Nobody Puts Lesnar in the Corner



Yes, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages, your eyes did not deceive you: WWE Universal Champion Brock Lesnar actually showed up for work this week. Why? Because he needed the money, that's why! And mostly because he was contractually obligated, as GM Kurt Angle and Paul Heyman helped him point out throughout the show.

Even though we did get another Roman Reigns opener, where he just whined and whined about the same thing he's been whining about since forever, seeing Heyman and Lesnar backstage was a welcome respite—especially from that weird Bobby Lashley shout-out. Reigns now respects Bob? Because he beat him last week? Damn, Reigns is a butthole. At least Reigns got to use the b-word, promising to turn Lesnar into his b-word after he beats him at SummerSlam. B-word.  

Meanwhile, Heyman continued to be money on the mic whether backstage or out there for all the Miami crowd to see. The tension that spawned between Heyman and Lesnar during the fantastic backstage segments, kudos to the ingenious progression throughout the show, gave me some Red Wedding vibes. Will Heyman really betray Lesnar and join up with Reigns at SummerSlam? Probably not. But that could actually work for Reigns, though. Might even make me cheer for a heel Reigns with Heyman right behind him. 

While I would love to see Lesnar finally drop that title and free up the main event scene, I'm not 100% into having Reigns be The Guy that finally slays The Beast. How many opportunities has Reigns had again? How many of those opportunities have ended with him failing to cash in what his mouth keeps checking? I'm still keeping my fingers crossed that my best friend in the whole wide world, Kevin Owens, wins that Money in the Bank briefcase off of Braun Strowman at SummerSlam and cashes in on Lesnar and Reigns during the main event. Belee dat!

What I can't belee, though, is Reigns getting removed—ejected—out of the building by Stephanie McMahon. Why did he need to get kicked out of the arena? Because Lesnar, the man who keeps manhandling Reigns, suddenly needs protection from him? It doesn't make that much sense. Shouldn't Steph be incensed by Lesnar's appearance with the UFC instead? Wouldn't it have been best for business if she just let these two jocks that she doesn't even like go head-to-head and smash each other to bits on this week's show? Props to Reigns for sucker punching Baron Corbin, though. That's what you get for beating Bálor clean in that ring!

Lesnar truly not giving any f-words about the show and Heyman's contract getting threatened by Angle with termination were great bits of logical inclusions. Why hasn't anyone thought of threatening Heyman's contract? Oh, right. Because Lesnar will F5 you in the middle of that ring, your authority over him be damned. What a douche. Does no one from the UFC know how to respect authority?


Speaking of someone else from the UFC who doesn't know how to respect authority, Ronda Rousey was also on this week's show. Apparently, her suspension is over? Man, I didn't even notice she was suspended. It just came and went. Kinda like Ellsworth over on SmackDown Live.

Rousey was in Natalya's corner for her match against Alicia Fox, who had WWE RAW Women's Champion Alexa Bliss in her corner. With Mickie James injured, or so Bliss tells us, and considering the beating Rousey gave her the past two RAWs ago, you'd think Bliss would wisely try and avoid her SummerSlam challenger. But, no! Bliss put her own life at risk just so she could help Fox steal that win. What a weird but devilish decision.

Although, I guess, if Bliss was actually worried that James wouldn't be able make it to SummerSlam, getting an ally in Fox was a good plan. It wasn't as great of a thing as I'd hoped, though. I guess I just wanted Bliss to take out Rousey with a steel chair to the back while the referee wasn't looking. Then again, would that even work? Rousey looks too jacked to get bothered by terrible upholstery. RIP Bliss. I love you, but Rousey might actually kill you come SummerSlam. But first, she'll be making her RAW in-ring debut next week against Fox. Considering what Fox did to Rousey this week, RIP Fox. Your psycho ex antics will be missed.


Who didn't find peace this week was Jinder Mahal, who—what the heck—beat Braun freaking Strowman?! Well, that's what you get for hindering the Jinder, Braun! Don't hinder the Jinder! Never hinder the Jinder. Besides, Owens trying to steal grabbing your briefcase was no excuse to get counted out. My best friend in the whole wide world was just trying to polish it. It was probably just a bit dirty from those dirty giant hands.

Jinder actually got into this mess by trying to help Braun find his inner peace last week. On paper, that actually sounds like Braun was being a douche this week. Yet again. But we all know Jinder actually deserved this, right? At least if you saw his title run over on SmackDown Live, you'd agree. Shinsuke could've been WWE Champion by now, damn you, Jinder.

I have been enjoying Owens' efforts in this feud. Both KO and Braun are actually making the comedy work, especially with Braun no-selling his various murder attempts on Owens. This week's antics were both a surprise and, well, they were pretty believable, to be honest. Owens was anxious about the only good thing in his match against Braun getting taken from him, while Braun just wants to keep hurting Owens because he's Braun. Also, RIP Sunil Singh. How much is Jinder paying you to get beat up every single time? Damn. What a casualty of greatness.

I'll give this week's RAW a C for "Can anyone tame The Beast?" The answer's probably Roman Reigns come SummerSlam. #blessed

Quick Hitters:

  • WWE Raw Tag Team Champions Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas, The B-Team, were interviewed in the middle of the ring. Their pretty hilarious schtick was interrupted by The Deleters of Worlds and perennial sore losers, Woken Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt. Apparently, dreams aren't real but nightmares are? The Revival finally got tired of just watching these two teams butt heads every week and came out with fists, not flips. This led to a pretty defining victory over the former tag champions for Dash and Dawson. Are The Revival finally getting the push Top Guys deserve? Or are they just going to play Rusev to the champs' AJ Styles?
  • Drew McIntyre, the Sinister Scotsman, lost another singles match for the second consecutive week. It was another DQ loss after WWE Intercontinental Champion Dolph Ziggler attacked Seth Rollins. Rollins almost had the win after he hit that Curb Stomp on Drew, but thank Vince, they actually refrained from making McIntyre lose clean. The finish actually helped protect Drew and even gave Rollins the momentum heading into SummerSlam, though that backstage attack might've just erased that momentum. Such heels!  
  • The Boss and Hug Connection? Wait, what? Just take Bayley out already, Sasha! With a sniper rifle or on a date, it doesn't really matter, as long as there's a big food fight during that date. Their tag team match against The Riott Squad was a pretty strange last match pick for the night. Or was it? Is this confirmation of the WWE Women's Tag Team Championships? A man can only dream.
  • That Bobby Roode and Mojo Rawley backstage brawl was pretty interesting. Rawley trying to intimidate the League of Unbooked but Talented Wrestlers (not their actual name) before mocking Roode's catchphrase does a lot for his own character. Roode putting his dukes up and brawling backstage does a lot for his own character, too. Well done on both fronts. At the very least, it was something new for both guys.
  • Apollo Crews beat one-half of the Authors of Pain? What? Okay, maybe this could actually be interesting. I mean, Crews does have the talent. Then again, Akam plus Rezar equaled a dynasty of domination in NXT. Hmm. But we're all certain Titus is losing next week to Rezar, right? I mean, it's Titus, so... To be fair, Titus and Crews actually have experience in their singles careers, whereas Akam and Rezar have been a tag team from the get-go. That could explain how Crews beat an Author of Pain, I guess. It was just a roll-up, anyway, right?   
  • I guess Bobby Lashley's moving on from the main event title picture by picking a fight with Elias? RIP Elias and Elias' pretty good album. Bring a towel. At least Elias was able to namedrop The Rock and set fire to rumors online about a possible WrestleMania match with The Great One. Oh, and, yeah, Corbin beat Bálor clean in the ring, too, hopefully to end their feud. Eh.
Images from WWE


*****

Jofer Serapio (@ShawarmaJoe) is just some guy on the Internet who writes a bunch of unrelated stuff a world-traveled veteran of the word game. After barreling through his favorite professional wrestling shows, namely NXT, Lucha Underground, WWE, NJPW, Ring of Honor, and (gasp) even Impact Wrestling, he joined Smark Henry to unleash his strange squared circle philosophy on his fellow professional wrestling fans. His path of obsession continues to grow with every RAW he reviews, and his love for Kevin Owens promises that he’s not going to stop anytime soon. Unless he gets fired of course.

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