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The Smark Henry RAW Review (10/7/19): What the Fiend?!



Yes, that was my reaction to the closing moments of Hell in a Cell. For this week's RAW, it turns into "Where's the Fiend?" because he was nowhere to be found. Was this a good follow-up to what happened at Hell in a Cell? Only time will tell.

For now, I'm extremely confused and very concerned. At least the Kabuki Warriors are now the WWE Women's Tag Team Champions—wait, what do you mean Kairi freaking Sane is a heel now? What the Funaki?!


First things first: Context.

During MizTV, The Miz introduced the possibility of both RAW Women's Champion Becky Lynch and SmackDown Women's Champion Charlotte Flair finding themselves on the same brand. Oooh, intrigue! That sounded more like a spoiler alert than actual foreshadowing, to be honest, because this usually happens whenever we get a Draft: champions either face each other for bragging rights or they end up switching brands. That said, I wouldn't mind Becky going back to her #Becky2Belts persona, though both locker rooms definitely deserve better than a single champion holding all the belts.

This recycled pair of champions (have the championships been rotating among the Four Horsewomen? oh, my Gable) then faced the WWE Women's Tag Team Champions, The Kabuki Warriors, Asuka and Kairi Sane. I thought we'd see Lynch and Flair lose this bout after a miscommunication or a disagreement, not only because that would have been pretty logical but also because building tension between these two was the whole point of that MizTV segment. Instead, Asuka spat Tajiri's sports drink in Becky's face to get the much-deserved win.

I'm all for Asuka spitting in people's faces, especially that green mist Tajiri made famous during my childhood, but I'm still a bit confused as to how and why these two fantastic faces turned heel in the first place. At least now they can make promos in Japanese like the evil foreigners Vince always wanted them to be. Oh, and Alexa Bliss and Nikki Cross getting their rematch should be fun. Petite besties versus evil foreigners? Damn it, Vince.


Speaking of Vince being Vince, I thought it was a super weird choice to open RAW with Rusev getting distracted by Bobby Lashley and Lana—together in Rusev and Lana's bed—and then being laughed at by Randy Orton and King Corbin. Yes, Baron is King now and I hate it. I hate him. His moveset is honestly entertaining, but I just hate his character, which is actually a good thing because Corbin is an actual heel. 

Another thing I hate? Whatever's going on with Lashley and Lana. I haven't seen either of them, as well as Rusev, for a while, but now they come back and throw this terrible porn storyline all over my face? That's just rude. It was fun seeing Rusev go HULK SMASH on Orton and Corbin, though, but I just really hate this "Lanashley smash." If this was an attempt to make the crowd sympathize with babyface Rusev, then they'll have to stop being confused first. This is a very confusing storyline. 


I'll be honest on this next one: I have no idea who Tyson Fury is. Outside of the obvious Manny Pacquiao (because I'm Filipino), the notorious Floyd Mayweather, and the Thrilla in Manila rhyme, my memory bank of anything related to boxing isn't good. I almost mentioned Conor McGregor here, likely because of that feud with Mayweather, so that is very troubling indeed. That said, I was informed that he actually is a great promo, so I guess the open mic thing in the ring was supposed to be fun. 

Sigh. The whole thing actually ended up with a lot of weird innuendos from Fury before he brawled with and hugged Braun Strowman. Bayley would've been proud. Braun's "furious" promo (get it?) was pretty fun, though, and I did enjoy seeing these two huge men punch security—people who were just doing their jobs, unconscious—so that they could continue hugging each other throughout the arena. Let the men hug, Po-Pos! I'm not gonna lie, I was half-expecting The Big Show to come out of nowhere and knock them both out to close the show.

RAW REVIEW: This show was promoted as a "Draft Showcase," though I never got to know what that meant exactly because the show did little to showcase the Draft. The only thing showcased here was the Tyson Fury and Braun Strowman thing because money. Speaking of fury, it infuriated me that the aftermath of Hell in a Cell involving the Fiend and the logical backlash was ignored. Has Paul Heyman lost control of the show? Because this entire episode smells like a Vince McMahon mistake. I'm giving this week's RAW a D for "Daft Showcase." 

Quick Hitters:

  • Natalya and Lacey Evans are still feuding despite their match at Hell in a Cell having been coined as the final page in their story. This was a pretty fun match with hardcore spots, but Natalya celebrating after the match like she didn't just get beat up pretty much ruined my suspension of disbelief.
  • The Street Profits are still a thing backstage, I see. All these Saudi and Draft stuff are clearly diversions from what I'm dubbing the worst booking in WWE history at Hell in a Cell. I am still super salty about that, and I probably will continue to be for quite a long time, not gonna lie. 
  • The Viking Raiders getting a non-title win over RAW Tag Team Champions Robert Roode and Dolph Ziggler sets up a title match between the two teams for next week, which I think has taken too long. While I'm hoping the Raiders win the titles to give them a better push, far away from the numerous squash matches they've been doing, I'm actually into Roode and Ziggler's partnership. If only WWE was, as well.
  • Aleister Black has a cool new submission finisher, with which he squashed the Singh Brothers. Definitely good for Black, but horrible for the Singhs. More importantly, where's Jinder?!
  • Oh, Cain Velasquez is Eddie Guerrero's son's godfather? Ah, that's a better explanation than my cousin flatly saying, "It's because Mexicans stick together, bro." That said, while it's a good emotional wrinkle for the inevitable Cain versus Brock Lesnar feud, they don't really need it. They already have significant history from their days in UFC. Drawing from that should better service the feud as something much more than an average professional wrestling storyline. 
  • I'm still a fan of AOP's pre-recorded promos, but that line about eating food from people's plates sounds too Vince McMahon than anything.
  • The OC getting a win over the Lucha House Party was both awesome and at the same time insignificant. Give The OC more wins and establish them as a fearsome stable, please.
  • Ricochet beating Apollo Crews was a foregone conclusion. What wasn't was each of them cutting promos before the match saying they were best friends. Since when? I'd have appreciated more effort being put into this storyline because this was just wack. The "superheroes can be real" line from Ricochet was also super cheesy, but I do like superheroes, so cool. Cool, cool, cool, cool, cool.
  • Universal Champion Seth Rollins cutting a usual Seth Rollins promo was as expected as WWE sidestepping the backlash from that Hell in a Cell ending. What a Vince thing to do. I'm starting to hate Seth Rollins.
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. According to him, Kevin Owens is his best friend in the whole wide world. More importantly, where was the Fiend?!

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