Want to know what's happening in the major angles in WWE right now? Get eyes on our Raw preview and Reactions, since everyone knows Monday night is when the important stuff happens.
Want to know what is definitely happening on tonight's SmackDown from Portland, Oregon? Peep our spoiler post.
On Thursday mornings, we'll dig into the mid-card, the interesting and/or horrible stuff happening on the fringe away from your John Cenas and Brock Lesnars. Plus, pretend for a spoiler-free minute that we're the Legendary Teddy Long and guess at the blue brand's patented tag match of the week!
RuRu and RaeRae
Many of us were ready to shovel dirt on The Bulgarian Brute at the end of his feud with John Cena, and again when his break-up with Lana came prematurely...then went off the rails completely with his injury.
And make no mistake, the angle has been a mess - and a borderline offensive one at that. The Ravishing Russian who had been pulling Rusev's strings, taking orders only from Vladimir Putin himself, was now a jilted flower, using Dolph Ziggler to make her ex jealous before falling in love...despite a lack of chemistry or any perceptible mutual interests. The former U.S. champion stalked his ex while in a walking boot, and ended up putting Ziggler in the kayfabe hospital.
Former Fandango gal Summer Rae swooped in to Single White Female Lana's identity, and leggy blonde man Rusev was only too happy to begin treating her like a rented mule. But somewhere in that quagmire, the Super Athlete demonstrated an understanding of his gimmick that Creative seemed to lack, Summer was energized getting to play the first real character she's had since NXT (and one - "mean girl" - she takes to really well).
With The Show-Off off making movies, the focus of the program has shifted to Lana vs. Summer. And the frequency with which the woman that my boss loves to call RaeRae has dominated her opposite number may just be a case of setting the heel up for the fall, but also feels a little like there may be something to those "Lana lost her push rumors".
What they should do: Other than make Geno's whole week, as Summer did by re-Tweeting him above, I'd love to see the focus stay on the ladies here. If the endgame is a Lana & Rusev reunion, that should happen on a big stage, but not so quickly as SummerSlam. That puts us out until 2016, and as fun as his matches with Dolph will probably be, we probably don't want to see them at four or five pay-per-view (PPV)s in a row.
Book the women for a match with a stipulation for Brooklyn. A submission match would make sense if they could do it, maybe make it no disqualification to boot. Let Dolph return to save Lana from an Accolade, popping the crowd and continuing to fix the face/heel alignment of the feud.
Then we've got Fall and Winter to do men's matches and mixed tags, all beneath that glorious flag (tho)...
What we're afraid they'll do: Dolph returns tonight to slut shame RaeRae, and force a match with Rusev when all the heat is elsewhere.
Divas Revol-blahblahblah, ratta-tah-tah
Three women got called up from NXT, and we started to get longer matches - sometimes even two of them on Raw! - and everyone is really high on the Divas, unless they screw something up. Or Creative gives them an unfortunate name...HEY! IS THAT RONDA ROUSEY!?!?!
What they should do: So much...start by not showing any botched finishes on pre-taped shows when you could just re-shoot them to make everyone involved look better like you did for Sin Cara for years when Myzteziz was under the hood. Then add some stakes to the Triple Threat team elimination match you threw on SummerSlam because #DivasRevolution. Or characters for any of the women.
What we're afraid they'll do: I live in eternal fear of Tamina vs. Brie. Even their presence as part of a tag match on Monday gave me nightmares...
The Theodore Long Honorary Tag Match goes to...
Did Teddy book SummerSlam? Cause, dang, that's a lot of multi-person matches. Anyway...
Speaking of the August 23 show in New York, since WWE is showing no inclination to put anything on the line in the excellent program between Cesaro & Kevin Owens, or even book it for the PPV, I'll guess that they keep their rivalry going the old-fashioned way, by tagging with Randy Owens & Sheamus, who will end up with a match at SummerSlam, because...you know.
(Note: I know some folks have come looking for a more definitive match listing - that will be posted behind spoiler text in the comments. If WWE.com releases more information on anything that's officially going to take place on tonight's show, that'll be updated here)