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WWE Raw preview (Oct. 17, 2016): Virtually next

The red brand is in Denver. I don’t think there’s anything noteworthy about this show. Just an average Monday night...

The Headliner

If what you’re most excited about regarding the return of Goldberg to a WWE ring for the first time in more than a decade is hearing his music, it may not get much better than tonight.

After this, we’ll have another month of teases and video game references en route to a match between a part-timer and a 49 year old who was always more sizzle than steak. I mean, at this point, one guy’s only got three moves in his repertoire, and the other is Bill Goldberg. We’ll clearly be stringing this out with lots of Paul Heyman on our way to Survivor Series on Nov. 20, and then just hoping its not worse than their WrestleMania XX encounter.

But don’t let me rain on Vince McMahon and 2K’s parade. I’ll be grinning like a stupid idiot if some Colorado state troopers walk Bill in from the back, and we’ll take it from there.

The Title Scene

Don’t let the WWE hype machine fool you, there is a pay-per-view (PPV) before Survivor Series. And Raw has a champion (of the Universe, even) who is defending at - and in - Hell in a Cell. Sure, that only gets third billing in the official preview for tonight’s show, but the other stuff features Vince’s personal project and his son, Shane, so... you know how it goes. Oh, yeah, Universal champ Kevin Owens! He puts his belt on the line in the Cell on Oct. 30, and the challenger, Seth Rollins, keeps beating up his best friend Chris Jericho. It’s actually a lot of fun, if you have time to follow undercard stuff.

One belt we shouldn’t joke about is the Women’s title. The division may look kind of thin, but Sasha Banks and Charlotte’s extremely personal feud has already main evented on Monday night. And when they make history in Boston by stepping into the Cell to decide who leaves with the title the Boss currently holds and settle their issues (for now), it just might close that show, too.

Rounding out the three Cell matches at HiaC will be United States champion Roman Reigns and former red, white and blue bannerman Rusev. Romey messed up RuRu’s wedding celebration and beat him up a lot, because the Big Dog felt he was disrespecting Murica.

General Manager Mick Foley’s unique opportunity for Sheamus & Cesaro isn’t really paying off yet, with the Celtic Warrior messing with his phone instead of helping the Swiss Superman defeat Kofi Kingston last week. That’s alright, because there’s very little chance of New Day dropping the tag titles at Hell in a Cell. Or possibly ever.

Other stuff to keep an eye on:

- The storyline getting second billing on’s official preview tonight concerns how Foley & Raw Commissioner Stephanie McMahon will answer the challenge of SmackDown’s braintrust for 5-on-5 men’s, tag and women’s elimination matches at the joint November PPV.

- Probably why they’re also writing some copy on the feud between Bayley and Dana Brooke... gotta find a way to get to five women by Toronto. Dana retaliated for the Hugster laying her out before Sasha’s title win by jumping her during Bayles’ Northern Cali homecoming last week. You won’t like B when she’s angry, Dana.

- Braun Strowman was not impressed that Mick’s idea of giving him more challenging competition was to treat him like Ryback and feed him a tag team.

Two weeks until Hell in a Cell!

What will you be looking for on Raw tonight?

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