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The Smark Henry RAW Review (9/11/18): It's a Dog-Eat-Hound World



Let me just get this out of my chest: Braun Strowman is a monster douche. That said, uniting a bunch of heels against the Shield is something I can get behind. After all, I'm a comic book fan and this whole thing just reminds me of every time the bad guys get together to fight the good guys. Hounds of Justice? Meet the Dogs of War. Whatever happens, someone's going to get put down.

Unfortunately, the week after they got ambushed, The Shield took everyone but ZigMcMan out. I thought that was a little too early, but I can't say I didn't enjoy the action. RIP Jinder Mahal. Acting RAW GM Baron Corbin bringing a lot of police officers in because he didn't want a repeat of last week was technically a repeat of last week. The only difference was that the Shield didn't get hauled to jail this time.

Corbin's ultimatum for the Shield to either leave the premises or get their titles stripped along with jail time was logical; but we've seen too much WWE to know what happens to ultimatums. Dean Ambrose didn't even have anything to lose herehe doesn't have a title and he probably wouldn't mind some jail time judging by that grin that appeared on his faceso he could've just gone on ahead and raised hell on his own if only he didn't love his brothers that much. Aww.

I love how Braun not only went after Reigns in his promo, but also threatened their special guest referee Mick Foley, referencing the legend's 1998 injuries from The Undertaker. That was a pretty nice touch in my book. The brawl that followed was nothing new, but that Samoan Drop looked pretty nasty. I just can't cheer for either of these men, though. As I've said, Braun's a douche and Roman? Well, Roman's not bad but he just tried to murder Braun, so I can't cheer for that. This is like when you're out walking in the streets at night and two drunk guys start fighting each other nearby. You want to find out what happens next but don't really want to get involved.


I'm not sure if Alexa Bliss and friends actually believed they could beat RAW Women's Champion Ronda Rousey and her best bud Natalya. Sure, they had the numbers advantage on paper but we've seen how OP Rousey is on her own. Not even Alexa plus her two friends plus steel ring steps could stop this mamma monster. With a Hart Family Dungeon graduate in Natalya backing her up, Rousey was sure to get the win in this bout. 

Did anyone else enjoy that Hart Attack? I did. Massively. The post-match angle seemed to suggest that Bliss might be able to beat Rousey with underhanded tactics but, well, Bliss would need more than a cheap kick to the ribs if she wants to take that title off Ronda at Hell in a Cell. How about a Natalya turn? 


Speaking of more turns I won't stop talking about, of course RAW Tag Team Champions Drew Ziggler and Drew McIntyre were going to retain their titles. They're on a hot streak at the moment and won't be stopped any time soon. At first, I thought that Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose hitting that ring pretty much screwed Seth's Intercontinental title reign because of Corbin's threat from earlier. But that loophole, though! I had a laugh at that. Sneaky, sneaky, Shield. Or should I say, just Ambrose and Rollins? 

But why was Corbin afraid of getting arrested? He has a McMahon on his side, falsifying police reports be damned. Surely, someone else deserved to go to jail more, right, Braun "Mass Murderer" Strowman? Anyway, Ziggler & McIntyre versus the better 2/3 of the Shield for the titles at Hell in a Cell sounds like a complete show-stealer. I'm rooting for Ziggler & McIntyre to retain for obvious reasons. Maybe Ambrose will finally turn on Rollins during this match? Maybe Ziggler on McIntyre or vice versa? Too early? Yeah, maybe.


Triple H and Mick Foley were both advertised for this week, so we got a pretty good promo from both of them, the latter at the expense of a musical genius in Elias. I can't say I'm hyped for this Super Show-Down match between Triple H and The Undertaker, though. The Undertaker's obviously no longer in his prime, but maybe Triple H can still carry him? This match is going to be slow but it will also most probably have some great psychology. 

I thought Foley was going to double down on plugging the same match, perhaps taking Taker's side to balance things out. But apparently he was on the show to announce something else: his special guest referee stint for the Roman/Braun Universal Title match at Hell in a Cell. Someone's going to get thrown off the top of the cell, huh? Maybe it'll be Elias next week if he ends up getting interrupted by The Undertaker.


The 205 Live invasion is alive! Just last week, 205 Live GM Drew Maverick surprised all of us when he came out to reveal that he was going to be AOP's manager, all while hilariously dressed in their ring gear. He's still hanging out with the formerly known Authors of Pain this week as they decimated their foes in the ring. 

Also this week, we had 205 Live's Lio Rush interacting with RAW's Bobby Lashley at the gym. It was both odd and refreshing. Are they bringing in Rush to serve as Bobby's mouthpiece? Or was this just a one-off? Rush wouldn't be a bad addition to Monday nights, though. He's charismatic and he's not that bad on the mic. It's just going to be a little weird since the Man of the Hour (and his amazing shirt) is a heel on the other show. But then again, what is Lashley's alignment these days?

Heel Rush managing face Lashley could be interesting, as it gives Lashley's currently bland portrayal a more complicated dynamic to work with. Then again, RAW might not even give a damn about Rush being a heel on the other show, turning him face or at least a tweener during this run in the same vein as Maverick's alignment being vastly different between shows. Will Rush corrupt Lashley in this version of Heyman-Lesnar? Or will Rush simply be Rush, using Lashley as means to get more exposure, more money? My money's on the latter.  

Lio would be the third 205 Live guy to recently feature on RAW after the aforementioned Drake Maverick and Dogs of War member Drew Gulak, who has been low-key appearing on the show outside of actual matches. Maybe next week, we get either TJP or Buddy Murphy challenging Rollins for the Intercontinental Championship.


It's a little painful to see my best friend in the whole wide world Kevin Owens attack my favorite model Tyler Breeze, but I guess KO's gonna do what KO's gotta do. I was apparently wrong, too: Kev didn't quit because of Braun's numerous attempts on his life. He quit because Bobby Lashley took out Sami Zayn. I guess that kinda makes sense, but can't he get angry at both Strowman and Lashley at the same time? He doesn't have to fight them both at the same time, just fight Lashley and distance himself from Strowman. I mean, Braun did try to kill him and not just once! Still, all that anarchy, agony, and destruction from The Kevin Owens Show sounds mighty promising. 

This could be KO's return to his NXT roots where he did what he wanted to do with little to no repercussions, portraying a prizefighter focused solely and violently on getting that prize. KO with a carte blanche is much more dangerous than any given wrestler on RAW even with that same carte blanche, which pretty much means everyone since they're all being paid to fight each other anyway, all for our entertainment. Braun's numerous murder attempts, Dolph and Drew stealing The Revival's title shot (where were Dash and Dawson this week, anyway?), The Shield hitting the ring whenever they want... RAW will always see its fair share of chaos. With KO seemingly back on his "Fight Owens Fight" mindset, there's only one question left to ask: Who's next?

I'll give this week's RAW a D for "Dogs of War versus Hounds of Justice."

Quick Hitters:

  • Finn Bálor beat Elias in a match that Foley booked as a favor from Stephanie McMahon. Yeah, that whole reason didn't make sense to me, either. For old time's sake? Didn't he get fired as RAW GM because he went against the Authority? This was a throwaway match to build Finn up but at the expense of Elias. I am starting to get annoyed at Bálor's consistent smiling. It's fast becoming a reminder that they're completely wasting his potential to be something greater.
  • Glorious Gable made it 2-0 against The Ascension this week. I like Bobby Roode and Chad Gable but this is still pretty weird for me. Maybe in the long run, I'll warm up to the idea. Both men should be chasing the Intercontinental Championship instead, with Roode maybe even competing for the Universal Championship. Roode's reaction to that blind tag, though. Hmm. Beneath all the hype and smiling, something is most likely brewing between these two. How long can Roode allow Gable to tag himself in and steal his victories? How long before Gable realizes that between Roode and himself, he's more of the veteran in the WWE tag team division? Can these two really coexist when they're both clearly hungry to prove themselves on their own?
  • Big Show's segment with the Superstars of Tomorrow, which were cancer patients dressed in their WWE Superhero gimmicks, was pretty cool. Show hasn't factored in as an active wrestler for a while now. A backstage role may be in his future if it isn't already.
  • The Bella Twins are still on RAW because whatever. Nikki beat Ruby Riott in their match after the Riott Squad apparently vandalized their locker. This was not what I wanted out of Evolution. Did anyone want this out of Evolution? If you're one of those peeps who wanted this out of Evolution, who are you and how do I send you my dogs' diarrhea?
  • Good news, everyone: Renee Young has finally officially replaced Coachman as a full-time member of the announce team. Let the rejoicing begin.
  • There were more video packages this week than actual wrestling, with most of those video packages not even for RAW wrestlers. I honestly didn't mind, though. RAW has one hour more than SmackDown Live and I guess RAW could always help a brother out. This way, SmackDown Live gets more time for actual wrestling while RAW can do away with repetitive matches. At least in theory. 
Images from WWE


*****

Jofer Serapio (@ShawarmaJoereviews WWE RAW for Smark Henry. His favorite professional wrestling shows include NXT, Lucha Underground, WWE, NJPW, Ring of Honor, and (gasp) Impact Wrestling. He pops hard for Samoa Joe, Marty Scurll, Kevin Owens, Drew McIntyre, and Andrade "Cien" Almas. 

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