Hey! Raw's in my hometown! Look out for fries & cole slaw on sandwiches, Lombardi Trophies (seriously, they're just laying around everywhere) and smarks still screaming BOO-TISTA like it's 2014.
But what we really need to know is - can we expect an uptick in quality when WWE broadcasts live from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania tonight?
We Want to Believe (DAT)
Last Sunday night, Roman Reigns WWE title reign ended minutes after it began because of Triple H's distraction and Sheamus' Money in the Bank contract. It marked the second time this year that the Big Dog was pinned in a match started via briefcase cash-in.
Afterwards, he wept. One day later, he got a rematch with a Tables, Ladders and Chairs stipulation at the next pay-per-view (PPV) and went to town on the new champ & his Euro-bros, using the item that gives that puts the 'C' in TLC. A lot of fans loved this side of Reigns. There have been cries for a return to his Shield gimmick as asskicker or few words, and many hoped that his Survivor Series tears cleaned the slate for that return.
Then he was on SmackDown, talking about his childhood. You know...REAL LIFE. It wasn't a total trainwreck, however, as the Celtic Warrior arrived to mock Roman some more. And it actually worked, with the champ coming across as an arrogant ass in a way that garnered sympathy rather than pity for Reigns. And when his rival started to list the damage he'd inflict on him at the PPV, we were back on track.
What they should do: This is hardly an original thought - Geno and I have been talking about on Cageside Live for longer than he's been making himself laugh with nicknames for Braun Strowman - but they need to stay the course with Roman Reigns as the wronged man out for revenge.
If you're going to sell his admittedly marketable personal life as a devoted husband and father, do it everywhere other than Monday and Thursday nights. Need someone to come out and explain the angle in which he's involved? Let the guy he'd feuding with, or an Authority figure, or an ally, do it.
What we're afraid they'll do: Reigns opens tonight's show with a twenty minute promo...full of "hilarious" one-liners and insults about Sheamus' hair! See, he's been fuming about that "walking talking Adele song" crack the Irishman hit him with last week, so - suffering succatosh, son - he's been practicing his comebacks...
But that's all reheated opinion, and we here at Previews want to do you better than WWE currently is. So here's an a look at a different stagnant storyline we'd like to see addressed on Raw tonight...and it's even related!
We Don't Want to be Sour
The New Day are routinely one of the best thing about every show on which they appear. But as tag champs, there's not a lot of entertainment to be had from their feuds.
Their elimination tag at the last PPV helped set-up what looks to be their title defense at TLC. Their issues with the Usos and Lucha Dragons continued into the week when those teams crashed Big E, Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods' country music celebration/open challenge and then when Jey dressed as a mutant turkey to help Kalisto & Sin Cara defeat the champs in non-title action (pro wrestling, everybody!).
No announcement has been made regarding if Jimmy & his twin brother and/or the Dragons will officially get shot (with plunder) at the tag titles in two weeks, but the rumor is that it'll be a Triple Threat. But why should we believe that, even with the champs at disadvantage under that stop, these teams will succeed where Prime Time Players and the Dudleyz have failed?
What they should do: We can talk about how funny heels don't draw all we want, because it's historically been true. What is also true, however, is that lots and lots of fans want to cheer The New Day.
Like the arguments that fans want to boo Reigns, why fight that? Especially because a full-fledged face turn isn't even required to position E, X and Kofi for applause. They can be edgy tweeners, a kind of 2015 D-X...but they need something with which to mess. They need rivals.
WWE misjudged nostalgia pop for actual affection with Bubba Ray & D-Von, and they're not likely to get a much better response pushing any tag team on the current roster as heroes trying to squelch TND's positivity. But what if The Usos were the villains? And what if they became rudos by allying themselves with Triple H?
The way the Authority have ignored the tag scene (and the Divas) has sent a message that those wrestlers aren't important. Making a run at controlling the division and its title instantly tells us that teams do matter.
And not only are Rikishi's boys exactly the kind of duo Triple H & Stephanie McMahon should deem "best for business", but signing them up with be another knife in Roman Reigns' back. A wrong within his family for which the Big Dog would have to seek sweet, personal revenge.
Along the way, there's now a tangible target for the non-sour trio to lampoon in both the Us-owws and the Corporation. They shouldn't be rescuing babyfaces or dropping cheap pop references into their promos all of a sudden, but at least when we're cheering for their antics and sharing them on social media, it will be at the expense of dudes Creative is pushing as beloved future Hall of Famers.
Plus, leaving New Day in the middle keeps Lucha Dragons as traditional good guys. And that gives them the option to someday push Kalisto as a singles guy. Unless they hate money. Which current ratings indicate they might.
What we're afraid they'll do: "What up, Uce?"
"You know. Same old, same old, Uce."
"Ready to have a long fued for the tag titles, Uce?"
"You know it, Uce."
Other stuff to keep an eye on:
- Speaking of the Dudleyz and their less-than-scintillating return, their current task is to rehabilitate the Wyatts after they were the sacrificial offering at Undertaker's anniversary party.
- Despite tapping in her title shot on WWE Network last weekend, Paige got a rematch on a technicality that didn't factor into the reason she gave up. But that's standard heel stuff. What's less okay is that Becky Lynch is jobbing out to her while they continued a misguided face push for Charlotte. We'll get more of this tonight - provided the champ has recovered from that devastating PTO on the table last week.
- Dean Ambrose rebound (clotheslined) his way back from losing to his brother in the WWE title tournament finals and got right back into a feud with Kevin Owens for the Intercontinental title. The Lunatic Fringe beat Dolph Ziggler and Tyler Breeze - whose program is also continuing - on SmackDown to officially become #1 contender.
- The whole MexAmerica thing is still going on with Zeb Colter and Alberto Del Rio. And they're seriously trying to rehabilitate Jack Swagger as a good guy to build the angle and get over Del Rio's United States title run. Which will probably just get fed to John Cena whenever he's back from Fox reality show duty.
Two shows until TLC!
What do you think they should, or are afraid they will, do on Raw tonight?