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WWE Raw preview (Oct. 24, 2016): Straight to hell

WWE brings the flagship to Shelton Benjamin’s old amateur wrestling stomping grounds in Minnesota. The Gold Standard is still rehabbing an injury and won’t be in Minneapolis tonight, but there’s another Gopher grappler who will...

The Headliner

The long-rumored, much hyped and video game inspired match between Goldberg and Brock Lesnar is now official. The man Paul Heyman calls “Bill” accepted the challenge during an emotional scene on last Monday’s show.

Tonight on Raw, the Beast Incarnate will come down from Saskatchewan - where he’s presumably been working on getting to the bottom of his positive UFC drug tests - to respond to the WCW legend.

Lesnar’s proven pretty immune to emotional appeals (Goldberg should ask Heath Slater where the whole “I’m just doing this for my kids” approach landed him), so I don’t expect Suplex City’s mayor to offer any mercy due to Goldberg’s family watching his comeback, for what seems like his retirement match.

But we don’t officially know when their match will take place, so that’ll probably get finalized for Survivor Series. As for the pay-per-view (PPV) coming our way this Sunday...

The Title Scene

Oct. 30’s Hell in a Cell will, according to Chairman Vince McMahon, have three main events.

Tonight’s Raw will have one, and it’s a Triple Threat between Universal champion Kevin Owens, his best friend Chris Jericho and #1 contender Seth Rollins. Things have taken a downward turn for Jeri-KO since the List maker started racking up losses to the Architect. Now Stephanie McMahon wants Chris & Kev on the same page as the red brand gets set to face SmackDown in a series of 5-on-5 elimination matches next month, and she apparently thinks giving them a common foe to battle is the way to do it. Look for as much psychological warfare as anything else when this main event hits our screens - even if it doesn’t go on last.

If the fans on the internet got to pick, the last match in Boston would probably be Charlotte trying to reclaim the Women’s title from Sasha Banks. The pair will already be making history as the first females to battle in a Cell. Is there anything they can do to convince the company to let them break another barrier?

Rusev and Roman Reigns feud for the United States championship has gone on long enough to deserve a major stipulation for the blow-off, so they’ll be locked inside the Hell-ish structure in what is also being called a HiaC main event. Last week, the Bulgarian Brute got revenge for Reigns interrupting his family history - and a bunch of other stuff, like beating him for the title - by making the Big Dog pass out in an Accolade. How will Romey retort?

The tag belts won’t be on the line tonight, but the teams who will fight for them on Sunday do have a match. At 427 days as champs and counting, the New Day are making history just by showing up. Can Sheamus & Cesaro get on the same page long enough to pose a serious threat to Big E, Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods’ reign?

It’s definitely not a main event, but TJ Perkins will be looking to make his second PPV Cruiserweight title defense against Brian Kendrick on Sunday. Hopefully it’s more successful than last week, when his team lost to the veteran’s in six-man action.

Other stuff to keep an eye on:

- Braun Strowman’s been asking for competition. Former NXT champion Sami Zayn answered the call last Monday. He also ended up on his ass. But the Underdog from the Underground got right back up, as he usually does, so it looks like BigAss McStrongMan has his first feud (no, I don’t count beating Sin Cara into the Cruiserweight division).

- Sami might be moving on up, but his old rival and sometimes tag partner Neville is doing jobs to Bo Dallas. What’s worse is, it was just to further Bo’s feud with Curtis Axel.

- After stealing a win over Bayley with her feet on the ropes - look, that’s what was supposed to happen - Dana Brooke is believing her own hype. Can the Hugster bring her back down to Earth?

- Not sure where last week’s loss to Enzo Amore’s pal Big Cass fits in, but there’s some effort being made to rebuild Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows into bad-asses.

- Before his next press conference, Titus O’Neil should make it a win. Or at least get better tag partners than those grifters the Shining Stars.

Hell in a Cell is this Sunday!

What will you be looking for on Raw tonight?

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