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WWE Raw preview (July 13, 2015): No promises, no demands

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In the comments for last week's Raw Preview, a newer Cagesider opined that this regular Monday morning post would "be better suited to actually preview RAW".

While I'd counter that the "review of last week" that our X-Men: Schism and Avengers vs X-Men-loving community member asked that we skip is a way of previewing the show - knowing what comes before being useful in anticipating what will happen next, and all - I'm open to new approaches.

So for this week's Battleground 'go-home' show from Atlanta, Georgia, I figured we'd give the suggestion that "a few short sentences on each plot line would be nice" a whirl...

WWE World Heavyweight Championship

Champ and challenger are confirmed for Phillips Arena tonight, and Creative probably doesn't want to return to the "Brock Lesnar destroys $#!+" well twice in two weeks, even if it is everyone's drink of choice.

We've seen Seth Rollins mend fences with his Authority stooges in order to hit Paul Heyman's Guy with DAT NUMBERS GAME. A week off and a relaxing trip to Japan energized The Beast Incarnate to wreck J & J Security's new Cadillac and put the guys in the hospital. The Architect talked tough to the Advocate on SmackDown, but many fans remain unconvinced that Seth can or will be booked to stand up to the man he cashed in his Money in the Bank contract on at WrestleMania.

What they should do: Let's see a good old fashioned pull apart brawl. It's a different way to let BROCK SMASH, and we need our last impression of Rollins before the pay-per-view (PPV) to be something other than his running away into the stands because Lesnar scared him.

What we're afraid they'll do: Have a tanned, rested and ready Kane return from Hawaii to tip the scales in The Authority's favor, giving us another unlikely beatdown of The Beast that will convince no one that Rollins has a chance on Sunday.

United States Championship

Unhinged by a string of loses, including one that cost him his beloved NXT title, Kevin Owens is desparate to get the red, white and blue strap off of John Cena. That included being will to fast-forward his title shot to last Monday's show, until Cesaro announced that he should get a second opportunity in Cena's open challenge, since Owens cost him a chance to submit the champ the week before.

Neither the Swiss Superman or KO could put down the Face Who Runs the Place, however, with both falling to Attitude Adjustments to end last week's Raw.

What they should do: Not even sure how it makes storyline sense, but Owens vs. Cesaro, can that ever NOT be what they should do. If it were to help set-up a Triple Threat for SummerSlam, that would be just dandy as well.

What we're afraid they'll do: Actually, not much. We'll save the worries for Battleground, where an Owens loss begins to make his debut program look a lot like things from which Rusev and Bray Wyatt are still recovering. If we're nervous about anything, it's that KO will be booked too strong tonight, since that will make us think we're headed to another Cena win and...oh dang, I really am a mark, aren't I?

Roman Reigns vs. Bray Wyatt

The first match officially announced for July's PPV, The Eater of Worlds cost The Big Dog the MitB briefcase and announced his intentions to keep costing him things until "anyone but Roman" ascends the WWE ladder. Reigns remains confused.

What they should do: The meta-touch of Wyatt parroting what many fans were saying in January is cool, but it's a little too 'smart' to hang a whole feud on. A lot of us were excited when Bray threatened to bring Reigns' daughter into the storyline. It's the opposite of 'Reality', but sometimes over-the-top is fun, and reminding us of Raven/Dreamer or Mysterio/Punk isn't a bad thing. Let's bring back a little more of that menace to what started out as a promising program.

What we're afraid they'll do: More cryptic promos from the TitanTron while Roman makes his confused face, or more impersonators and magic tricks. Basically, more of the crap we get tired of in every Wyatt story.


Everyone hates Eva Marie, er, wait. Wrong show.

Paige's plea for a revolution in the women's locker room to overthrow the Bellas continues to fall on deaf ears, even as Nikki & Brie's alliance with Alicia Fox makes them look unstoppable. While Brie & Foxy pick up wins over the likes of Tamina & Naomi, cynics wonder if this whole thing isn't just a ploy to keep the butterfly belt off the table while Nik's shoulder heals and/or she breaks the record for longest Divas title reign.

What they should do AND What we're afraid they'll do:

Lana loves Dolphie

After weeks of abuse by Rusev, his social ambassador and girlfriend kicked him to the curb and found herself a new boy toy in The Show-Off. What started between Dolph Ziggler and Lana as a purely physical means of driving the hobbled former U.S. champ crazy with jealousy turned into twue wuv, and drove the Bulgarian Brute into the arms of Summer Rae, who continues to make the worst relationship choices this side of Charlie Sheen.

What they should do: Whatever gets this to a match between Rusev and Dolph the quickest.

What we're afraid they'll do: Anything that involves more talking about love in a wrestling ring, especially between the chemistry-deficient Ziggler and Lana.

Intercontinental Championship

That I almost didn't count this as a "major angle" tells you just about everything you need to know. Ryback is the champ. He's had a hard life and really loves wrestling for us and feed him more, I think?

Big Show is still on that Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal ego trip, and Vince needed somebody large for Ryback to pick up. Miz is better than this, but will probably be off filming another Lifetime movie soon, so he's here because he has history with the title, and Show.

What they should do: Get the belt on The Awesome One. Even Ryback supporters have to admit he wasn't what any of us had in mind when talk was about elevating the mid-card straps. If the U.S. title is the wrestling championship, let the IC be held by a guy who can actually get heat by being a cowardly heel while Creative tries to fix the WWE championship's prestige and Seth Rollins' character.

What we're afraid they'll do: Show's second Intercontinental reign. And a face turn. And some crying.

Other stuff to keep an eye on:

- Sheamus has the Money in the Bank briefcase, and is feuding with Randy Orton.

- The PrimeTime Players are the tag champs, and have a rematch with the most entertaining faction in WWE today, The New Day, coming up on Sunday.

- Dean Ambrose, who headlined the last PPV, has been beefing with Bo Dallas.

- King Barrett is still a thing, as is King What's Up. Only one of them is over.

There you have it, Cagesiders! Feel prepared for Raw?

Let us know what you think of the format. I honestly doubt that it will be a regular thing, because I don't think the storylines advance that much from show-to-show (or I'm not a good enough writer) to find new things to say about each program each week, but we'll see.

And tell us what you want WWE to, or are afraid they'll, do tonight below!

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