What you need to know
Smackdown gave us one of those segments where all of the participants in a match come out and talk about how they're going to win said match. The bout in question was this Sunday's ladder match for the vacated WWE World Heavyweight Championship. The participants are John Cena, Alberto Del Rio, Sheamus, Cesaro, Randy Orton, Roman Reigns and Bray Wyatt.
Actually, Bray didn't come out with the crowd. He's not much of a follower, man. He spoke later and informed us that he will play WWE's little childish games - for now. But after he takes the belts at Money in the Bank, it will be the era of Wyatt, and all the children better run.
This being Teddy Long's old show, all these guys were destined for one thing and one thing only - tag team match, player. The heels would battle the faces, but not before a bunch of other stuff. You can't start the show with the main event, ya dig?
There will be a second ladder match at the pay-per-view (PPV), this the traditional one for a briefcase containing a contract for a future world title shot. We don't know who all will fill out that match, but we know Seth Rollins will be one of the names called out in Boston. The traitor (and architect) of The Shield got a head start on his preparations by beating Kofi Kingston and once again costing his old partner Dean Ambrose a match - this time against Kane.
This was really just an excuse to show off their new tunes and duds, though.
Bad News Barrett is learning all about the curse of the Intercontinental title (again). First he failed to get into the title match when he lost to Sheamus, now he's losing to Dolph Ziggler. At least the pair will probably make it onto the PPV one way or another, either in the second ladder match or a singles match for the IC belt.
You know who's lamer than Adam Rose? Titus O'Neil. Kevin Hart doesn't know who one of them is. The other can't beat the guy that Hart thinks is Fandango.
Speaking of 'Dango, the ladykiller has two ladies fighting over him. But that puts him in the crosshairs, and those ladies are accidentally hitting him and costing him matches. That allowed Bo Dallas to go eight and BO on Friday night, but he did have a nice message of support for his vanquished foe. There are plenty of fish in the sea, you know.
Zeb Colter thinks that Big E is in league with Lana, Rusev and the Russians. Apparently, he hasn't been watching WWE television lately. His conspiracy theories are not helping his remaining Real American, Jack Swagger, get any wins, though.
Then, in that main event we were telling you about? The faces won. Because John Cena, that's why.
What to look out for
Raw hits the nation's capital tonight, so expect plenty of political humor with Vince McMahon and his arch-nemesis Barack Obama in the same town.
With the competitors for the title match all set, all eyes turn to who will compete for the right to stalk the winner of that match, the briefcase containing a contract for a title match. Triple H promises that we won't see any qualifying matches. That might help to make it seem like Seth Rollins didn't get preferential treatment from The Authority, but without any other details, we don't even know how many spots need to be filled. WWE is promising that tonight will anwser all of our questions.
Roman Reigns pulled a move right out of the middle school playbook when he made Stephanie McMahon throw up last week. What will his punishment be? Will it involve not being in the title match? Probably not, so anything else will seem dumb. But probably not as dumb as spiking iced coffee with vomit powder.
The Funkadactyls are breaking up, or so it seems. But will either Cameron or Naomi get a shot at Paige's Divas championship out of it, or just a match against each other?
Whether or not he gets into the ladder match for a title contract, Dean Ambrose wants to get his hands on Rollins. What will he do tonight to make that happen - on Raw, at Money in the Bank, or anywhere in between?
What they should do
Not sure if the currently thin PPV card will allow it, but it would be a magnificently troll move to have Haitch and Steph announce that Seth Rollins' competitors for the contract ladder match were names like Santino Marella, El Torito, Titus O'Neil or
JTG Xavier Woods.
What better way to say to the audience and the roster, "yep, we're giving it to Rollins as a reward for his betrayal, what are you going to do about?"
Much like Santino in the 2012 Elimination Chamber match for the WHC, you can book a really fun bout with a guy who shouldn't have a chance coming close to pulling off the epic upset. Throw in the possibility of a run-in by Ambrose to take out Seth, and you could advance a silly storyline at the same time you advanced a serious one.
Costing Rollins a reward that was handed to him on a silver platter would be a great part of the payback he's due for his treachery. And if Brock Lesnar is set to win the title at SummerSlam, the briefcase holder (1) shouldn't be a heel and (2) isn't going to successfully cash in anyway.
Most of the legitmate threats, guys that fans would take seriously as the holder of THE title in WWE, are all in the title match. No offense Dolph Ziggler or Bad News Barrett fans, but do you really see Vince putting his only championship on either of them right now? Over Lesnar?
So why not give it to an undercard face? It would give him a storyline for a while, and eventually he gets fed to The Beast Incarnate. Plus, you're adding to the list of failed cash-ins, which adds suspense down the line from the days when the briefcase equaled a run with the belt.
Or you could have Rollins win it anyway after some drama. But keep mid-card acts like Ziggy, Barrett, Big E and Rusev free to fill out the card in other matches.
What we're afraid they will do
The problem with all of the above is, they might have someone win at Money in the Bank and then beat Lesnar at SummerSlam. That would be dumb. They can't throw away the end of Undertaker's Streak so that Cena, or anyone - including Bryan - can continue on with the belts. If Brock's not winning the WWE World Heavyweight Championship, he shouldn't be competing for it right now.
Can tonight's episode of Raw break the only curse in WWE worse than the IC Title curse - that of the dreaded go home show?
Tune in tonight with all of your favorite Cagesiders to find out!