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The Smark Henry RAW Review (5/13/19): Yowie Wowie! I Want My Mommy!



I'm a little disappointed. I gave the Wild Card Rule the benefit of the doubt, considering that it could potentially lead to surprises that would give both shows the ratings boost that they apparently need. Unfortunately, it's mostly just been Roman Reigns, The Usos, The Miz, Elias, and Shane McMahon jumping between both brands, with Shane McMahon's status confusing: Is he covered by the Wild Card Rule or is he just doing whatever he wants because he's a McMahon? I'm 99.9% sure it's just the latter.


Fortunately for this week's taped show, emanating from good ol' jolly England, the highlight of the night was nowhere near that confusing rule. Instead, the highlight of the night was the somewhat confusing role Bray Wyatt has been playing. I'm not going to lie: Wyatt's Firefly Fun House segments have been amazing to watch, and to be frank, they've been the highlights of each RAW since they started. Bray has always been charismatic and showering him with subtle references only served to up his mystique.

Seeing Rambling Rabbit taped back up again after what happened to him during last week's RAW made me pop, as I now actively pay attention to these segments for easter eggs and the like. Bray's new demonic appearance—his final form—was both amazing and terrifying. That new mask is truly a sight to behold. Hopefully, he'll be in action soon enough and won't be fed to another wrestler who doesn't need to beat him. If done right, this new Bray could even be more sinister than the old Bray. 


I don't know about you but I just can't buy Nikki Cross' new-found SAnitY. Sorry, I meant sanity because the main roster ruined that great faction. For starters, even if she did appear backstage as a sort of normal-looking female wrestler, she still wore that twisted smile by the end. During the actual Fatal 4-Way match that featured the other Women's Money in the Bank Ladder Match participants from RAW—sans Alexa Bliss because luggage problems or whatever—she also wore the very same twisted smile whenever she could. Plus, she appeared a bit aloof during that backstage segment with Bliss. Maybe she's just mourning the disappearance of her boys and her lack of "playmates" for the past few weeks?

This smelled like the Bray Wyatt route to me—RIP Sister Abigail—wherein we'll be getting subtle hints of what's to come with Nikki's actual character prior to her eventual reveal as the same insane but more psychological crazy person we've all grown to love. With her victory against Bliss' opponents for the titular ladder match from the RAW side of things, Nikki is poised to stake her claim to Bliss' actual spot, which may eventually lead to a feud with Alexa. My money's on Nikki attacking Bliss to get her spot during the actual PPV, feigning innocence in the weeks to follow, but that's just wishful thinking. Alexa's been known to manipulate her close friends to get what she wants, but could she actually manipulate someone like Nikki who's been shown to be unstable and quite not 100% up there? Just don't give up on Nikki yet, folks. The coming weeks could be more telling. 


Sami Zayn convincing Shane McMahon to book him against Braun Strowman for Strowman's spot in the Money in the Bank Ladder Match was a bit odd for me because, for some reason, I didn't think Shane could book matches on RAW. I guess he's just jumping shows as a crazy, power-hungry McMahon then. This was a brilliant idea by Sami, though, especially since this match was Falls Count Anywhere. That allowed Baron Corbin and Drew McIntyre—who are apparently friends again even though Drew punched Corbin a while back—to interfere and help Sami get the win. Oh, wait, Corbin just fed Sami to Braun. Oof.

I actually liked that last part because it revealed that Corbin and McIntyre weren't there to help Sami and expand their terrible midcard stable of villains. Rather, they were there to ensure the biggest hurdle to their Money in the Bank briefcase dreams, Braun Strowman, wouldn't even make it to the PPV. Although, where does this leave Braun now? Is he going to attack both Corbin and McIntyremaybe even Sami because why not?during the actual match and stop either of them from winning? Or is he just going to fade into the background for a while? 

Sami getting added to the mix is actually a good thing, considering he's pretty good in ladder matches. Even El Generico would agree. Braun could've been great, too, though, but I guess Corbin is a better big mansaid no one ever. That said, Money in the Bank just got a little more exciting. OlĂ©! 

RAW REVIEW: Bray Wyatt's reveal, Sami Zayn taking Braun Strowman's place in the Money in the Bank Ladder Match, and Rey Mysterio versus Cesaro made me enjoy this week's RAW. I'm also going to keep a closer eye on Nikki Cross now, hoping with all the hope I can muster that I'm actually right with this one. Compared to previous shows, I daresay this was pretty enjoyable, even if I didn't set my standards that high. I'm giving this week's RAW a C for "Cross that line, Nikki!"  

Quick Hitters:

  • Roman Reigns referencing the change in character within The Miz was pretty nice. We've all grown accustomed to "soft" Hollywood Miz that it's sometimes easier to remember that than the current "I'm gonna avenge my dad" Miz. I would watch that Reigns/Miz buddy movie, though, especially if it'll be on Netflix.
  • Shane should probably just make an official stable consisting of himself, Elias, Baron Corbin, Drew McIntyrethey're still friends for some reason, even though Drew should've just ended Corbin last weekand the Lio Rush-less Bobby Lashley. It's a terrible idea but it seems to be something they won't just delete from their brains, so whatever.
  • Mojo Rawley looks weirdand not the good kind of weird. They brought an extremely talented wrestler in Apollo Crews over from SmackDown to get beat up by Rawley? I mean, I guess it's pretty economical since they don't seem to have anything for Crews and this was a RAW show, so him being a SmackDown wrestler and a "guest" on this show means his SmackDown continuity is still safe or whatever? This was just whack.
  • RAW and SmackDown Women's Champion Becky Lynch getting destroyed by both Charlotte and Lacey Evans so the blonde twins could pose with their respective titles was a great sight to behold. This was the logical route as Becky was vastly outnumbered and her opponents wouldn't lose anything by working together because they have separate goals that only intersect because of Becky herself. Charlotte's promo here could've been better, though. She sounded like one of those network marketers drunk on buzzwords, making her words weigh less.
  • Ricochet losing to Baron Corbin was dumb. Corbin didn't need this victory because he's a heel and his very existence generates enough heat to power a nuclear missile. Instead, Ricochet could've done with the victory here, as the Money in the Bank Ladder Match is obviously suited to his in-ring skills and style. Ricochet is now losing momentum fast because we all know that on the main roster, having only great athleticism won't keep people interested in you.
  • Cesaro mocking the true parentage of Dominick was hilarious. Dominick? I'll just call him Eddie Guerrero, Jr., or EGJ for short. For those of you who don't remember, Rey feuded with Eddie way back in 2005, with a much younger EGJ in the center of that feud. Child Protective Services was probably not a fan of that storyline. Still, that led us to the "I'm Your Papi" tagline and shirt, which Samoa Joe referenced on Twitter, proving once again that Joe is one of the best heels in the WWE right now.
  • Sigh. The Revival promising to stop The Usos' backstage antics will lead to more of The Usos' backstage antics, won't it? I mean, I like The Usos honoring Eddie Guerrero and Spanky with these pranks, but I just feel weird that their victims have to be The Revival, whose contracts are set to expire and are seemingly being punished for wanting to leave the WWE.
  • That archived footage of Universal Champion Seth Rollins and AJ Styles wrestling each other 15 years ago was fantastic. It set up a deeper connection between the two outside of the usual promos.  
Images from WWE


*****

Jofer Serapio (@ShawarmaJoereviews WWE RAW for Smark Henry. He has been an avid professional wrestling fan since grade school. These reviews are as close to professional wrestling as he can get. Nikki Cross is still crazy, she's not fooling me.

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