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The Smark Henry Raw Review (7/22/19): Nostalgia Doesn’t Always Kliq




Hey guys! Nico Parungo here, filling in for Pepe Serapio and my, these are big shoes to fill. So let’s start putting them on because we have A LOT to talk about with this week’s “special” episode of RAW aka RAW Reunion

I know people love these nostalgia shows that WWE puts on. It doesn’t matter if it’s RAW 1000, Old School RAW, High School Reunion RAW, Wedding Anniversary RAW, or Your Aunt’s Friend’s Kid’s Birthday RAW, people love to see these legends again just to hear their catchphrases and make them remember the good old days because these writers can’t make new stars anymore.

Sorry if I sound like Sami Zayn or Samoa Joe but most of the legends didn’t do much for me. Pat Patterson, Gerald Brisco, Kelly Kelly, Candice Michelle, Alundra Blayze, and Ted DiBiase all became 24/7 Champion during the show, which was goofy and nothing more. It was nice seeing guys like Christian and Impact Wrestling’s Rob Van Dam again but they didn’t even do much.


A lot of the legends involvement also felt random. D-Von Dudley accompanied The Revival in their match against The Usos since... he was also in a tag team once? The Boogeyman almost made Drake piss his pants (again) backstage and... didn’t try beating him for the 24/7 belt? Even though he’s easier to pin than a piece of paper? Melina was a referee because…..

….
..

Then, of course, you have legends getting the better of current heels. It's bad enough that a potentially great Seth Rollins/AJ Styles match ended in a quick disqualification but having Styles, Luke Gallows, and Karl Anderson—now calling themselves The OC—run away from a bunch of old guys was just baffling. Ever since The OC reformed, these guys became the company's biggest heels not named Shane McMahon (ugh) and they could have gotten a lot of heat if they BEAT UP DX AND SETH ROLLINS!


But no. Fans needed to see Triple H and short-haired Shawn Michaels stand tall with Road Dogg, The 1-2-3 Old Man, Scott “all I can do is my strut” Hall, and Kevin Nash, while Seth Rollins tells AEW everyone to suck it. I know there are fans who enjoy moments like these but you all know those rose-tinted glasses you're wearing can prevent you from seeing red flags right? At least The OC didn’t eat any finishers; I’ll take what I can get.

Okay, the use of legends on this show wasn’t all meh and blargh. I did enjoy a few segments with these veterans.


Stone Cold Steve Austin cut a great promo for this show’s “main event” and proved that he still has it. He somehow made that line of calling the fans his family work. The respect he showed for all the other legends appearing was genuinely heartwarming and made me consider not shitting on some of them for a brief second.


Mick Foley alsoput Bray Wyatt over in a huge way. Having Bray put the Mandible Claw on Mick was horrifying to watch and actually got “The Fiend” booed, which was great! Look at that, a legend put over a younger superstar, what a noteworthy concept. 

I hope you weren’t expecting much wrestling from this wrestling show by World WRESTLING Entertainment but... look at all these matches that took place:
  • The Usos def. The Revival
  • The Viking Raiders def. Curt Hawkins and Zack Ryder
  • Roman Reigns def. Samoa Joe
  • Rey Mysterio def. Sami Zayn
  • AJ Styles vs. Seth Rollins ends in a DQ
Out of all these matches, only one of them—Zayn vs. Mysterio—can be considered fresh and that match was under five minutes. We’ve seen these other matches done before on other cards and they have been done a lot better. Admittedly, Reigns and Joe actually put on a solid match but most of us knew who was winning. 

The RAW-view: If you liked the previous RAW anniversary shows and are prepared for all the gratuitous cameos that won’t mean much by the next episode, you’ll probably like raw Reunion. Everyone else should wait for SmackDown Live, NXT, 205 Live, and all the other non-WWE wrestling shows this week. This show gets a C.

The RAW Rundown (RAWndown?):
  • Let’s talk about that horrible Seth Rollins promo. His mocking of how Paul Heyman pronounces Brock Lesnar was lame. Him calling Brock a weird, Godzilla thing was lame. Him calling Brock Lesnar a Seth Rollins-wannabe (WTF?) was LAME. Seth Rollins, when he isn’t wrestling, is lame. Vince McMahon probably thought it was such good shit though.
  • GOTTA give some love to Paul Heyman though; him running away from Seth was genuinely funny.
  • Becky and Natalya’s Moment of Bliss segment was short but sweet. It was a bit odd at first how Becky said Natalya tried to ruin her early on and then I remembered that short rivalry they had back in 2016, so at least someone remembers the WWE canon. 
  • On the other hand, Natalya bitching about Becky backstage was weird. When did Becky say she was the only one responsible for WWE’s Women's Revolution Evolution?
  • John Cena’s opening segment was just him being a hype-man for the rest of this show. At least he burned The Usos with his rhyme speak (that ain’t rapping).
  • Renee Young marking out for Rikishi was adorable.
  • The Usos defeated The Revival in a good match. Again. Yay. Are there no other tag teams on RAW?
  • I legitimately forgot about Alicia Fox until seeing her backstage segment.
  • Seeing Santino Marella again was nice. Watching Santino act pervy around Kaitlyn and Torrie Wilson was not.
  • Mike Kanellis better not have any problems beating Drake Maverick in this week’s 205 Live. Seriously, Maverick got beat by a schoolboy pin he knew was coming and a couple of stomps from Pat Patterson.
  • Seeing Kelly Kelly again was great because I am a straight man who likes seeing attractive women. That’s all I have to say about that.
  • I hope we get Drew McIntyre vs Cedric Alexander at SummerSlam. That would be one hell of an opener. Side note: that Reverse Alabama Slam didn’t look fun to take.
  • Corey Graves said The Viking Raiders were “relatively unfamiliar foes” to Hawkins and Ryder, even though The Raiders have beaten them twice before this match. What even is continuity?
  • I’m enjoying this Mike Kanellis storyline way too much. How can you not feel for the guy? Maria just emasculates him at every turn, even when he's just trying to say hi to Eve Torres and Eric Bischoff.
  • Sami Zayn should have tried running away, despite the legends that stopped him. He would have won by DQ if they touched him. 
  • Also, when was the last time Sami Zayn won a match?
  • When I found out The Club was rebranded as The OC, this song popped in my head.
  • Why do The OC have Shredder on their shirts?
  • Speaking of The OC, AJ telling DX “you’re one of us” was a direct reference to the last big RAW legends jamboree that happened last year. Why does DX hate The OC now anyway? Is it because Finn wasn’t there?
  • Braun Strowman is squashing nobodies again. Back to the drawing board eh?
Nico Parungo is a writer for Epicstream.com and has contributed several reviews for PWR and MWF. When he isn't frustrated about the WWE, he's playing video games at home and is bugging his friends with glorious puns. He's new to the world of Twitter drama but is quickly getting hooked.

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