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WWE Raw preview (February 16, 2015): Keeping it Kayfabe in an all too 'Real' world

What you need to know

International shows and the resulting travel schedules left Kane kayfabe in charge of WWE after Raw last week.  With the help of his good friend Big Show, the plan was to continue The Authority's work of breaking down Fastlane main eventers Roman Reigns and Daniel Bryan.

Their scheme involved having the pair run the gauntlet as a team, and while it may not have worked for their heel-ish purposes, it was a particularly inspired bit of booking to kill half of the show while John Cena, Seth Rollins and other heavy hitters were in the Middle East.

Before tag team turmoil, however, we were "treated" to Bray Wyatt killing R-Truth to build his menace with more than just promos that call out The Undertaker, Paige beating Summer Rae to remind us that both are NXT products (where women are given time to do anything their male couterparts do in the ring) & build the Brit's feud with Nikki Bella and Fandango's latest win over Adam Rose to further the Exotic Express founder's program with his entourage.

From that, we got The Beard & The Big Dog taking out a large swath of the pairs division, including three former tag champs.  After a bickering Miz & Mizdow went quickly, the current kings - and Reigns' relatives - Jimmy & Jey Uso took the singles' stars to the limit, and caused some friction between the men who want to face WWE World Heavyweight champ Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 31 when Bryan chose to inflict punishment on Jey rather than adhere to the path of the técnico.

Los Matadores and SlaterGator were easily dispatched by one half of the makeshift team, as they probably should have been.  The Ascension continued the gimmick rehabilitation that's been successful by featuring less talking and more violence when they were disqualified for softening our heroes up for The Big Corporate Demon Show.

That capper ended with Show taking a Spear and a Running Knee to eat the pin after the Giant hit a WMD on his partner.  Their trial by fire earned Roman and Daniel a newfound respect for one another and left the audience looking forward to Fastlane and beyond, but not the Show vs. Kane feud it will almost certainly contain.

What to look out for

Dusty Rhodes is coming to Raw - although, given that the show is Orlando and The American Dream works full-time as a trainer at the Performance Center, he doesn't have that far to travel.  Hopefully, he doesn't catch a ride from the new #1 contender to the NXT belt...

Will he be able to keep the peace between his sons, or even convince Stardust that he is his son Cody?  We'll have to keep an eye on that, as well as how The Usos bounce back from last Thursday's brutal encounter, while Tyson Kidd & Cesaro will surely be looking to strike while their targets are wounded.

On the subject of eyes, John Cena reportedly wrestled in U.A.E. during the Abu Dhabi trip, so it looks like his eye cornea is okay.  Expect WWE to pretend that didn't happen, though, to build drama and potentially protect their top act in his ongoing battle with United States champion Rusev.

There are a couple of angles that remain up in the air with less than a week to go before the next pay-per-view (PPV).  The Intercontinental champ is much more invested in mocking Dean Ambrose with a bad news than he is granting him a match - what will the Lunatic Fringe do to get Barrett in the ring, and his face on the wall in Stamford?  And Sting accepted Triple H's invitation to talk while scaring the COO right out of his fancy suit.  How will the Cerebral Assassin respond?

All that, plus the ongoing saga of The Authority versus DB & RR continues...with the added drama of another Big Show turn thrown in the mix!

What they should do

How committed to 'Reality' is WWE Creative?

We're about to find out - at least if audiences force the issue regarding the Seth Rollins social media situation from last Monday night.  Triple H's very brief statement on the matter would indicate that it will remain out of kayfabe, and for all involved that's probably the healthiest course of action.

But if vocal segments of the WWE Universe bring it up, and Mr. Money in the Bank and the women (especially Zahra Schreiber) involved are okay with it, this could be another piece of the puzzle that turns him into a mega-heel.

The reveal of Adam "Edge" Copeland's affair with Amy "Lita" Dumas came out in a reminiscent if pre-Twitter fashion, and were part of taking the Ultimate Opportunist to the next level (for the record, I'm not saying that last Monday's breach of privacy was part of Rollins being unfaithful - because I have no idea if that's true.  The rumors are out there, and provide a plausible explanation, so they probably aren't going away).  Having Rollins' tell the crowd that he didn't cheat on anyone, he just bought into something that would be better for his career - fits his current scheme.

To be clear, if he, Schreibner or even the woman allegedly behind the leak of the private photos, Leighla Schultz, is uncomfortable with such an angle, they shouldn't go through with it.  If they are okay with even veiled references to it, it fits right into the gimmick.

The more practical reason why this won't happen is that it doesn't fit with PG programming or Triple H's concerns about his children's Google search results.  In that scenario, Creative should cook up something else major for Seth to do - both to distract the audience's attention from the scandal and to touch-up his heat.  The wounds created by his betrayal of The Shield are starting to heal, and his impressive character & ring work are only going to earn him more cheers from hardcore fans without something new for which to hate him.

If adding unfaithful sexter to his schtick won't fly, maybe he should become world champ by ruining Daniel Bryan's second WrestleMania moment.

What we're afraid they will do

Oh, probably act like nothing happened and then have him get squashed by Roman Reigns when he tries to cash in his MitB contract.  And then have poop dumped on him while The Big Dog tells a fairy tale about him set to Photoshopped comedy photos.

It's the go home show for the latest free PPV!  What do you want to see happen on tonight's show?

Let us know that below, thoughts on how crowds will react to The Future and what WWE should do to keep his momentum going regardless, or anything related to tonight's show in the comments below.  And be sure to stick around for our live blog of the show and all the fallout...right here at cSs!

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