After a nice trip south of the border (for folks not named Rusev, anyway), Raw hits the Texas capital tonight. Will WWE keep Austin weird?
While the debate about their frequent title changes and the presentation of the overall division rages on, the fact is Sasha Banks & Charlotte Flair’s Women’s title feud was a ratings success last week, so WWE is pushing their angle at the top of promotional materials for tonight’s episode.
It probably sounds like nails on the chalkboard to some fans, but per standard kayfabe rules, Charlotte has a rematch coming to her after the Boss took the title for the third time, and both the Nature Girl and the company she works for have already made it clear that another showdown between Raw’s top pair is imminent.
What stipulation can be added to top Hell in a Cell and Falls Count Anywhere matches? What role will Flair’s father, Ric - who last Monday became Banks’ biggest cheerleader - play going forward? And perhaps the most pressing question... will the next bout happen on pay-per-view (PPV) where Charlotte has an impressive win streak going in singles matches, or on a future episode of Raw, where Sasha’s on a roll?
The cumbersomely named Roadblock: End of the Line is coming up in less than two weeks, so answers should start coming tonight.
The title scene
With a non-title win last week, United States champ Roman Reigns earned himself a shot at Kevin Owens’ Universal title at Roadblock. Did the Big Dog also irreparably damage the best friendship between KO and Chris Jericho? Owens says no - he just wanted to prove he could win on his own - but it may be too late. He did call the List stupid, after all.
After defeating Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson again last week, the New Day are inching closer to breaking Demolition’s record for longest WWE tag team championship reign of modern times. The powers-that-be are set on making Big E, Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods earn their place in history, so they’re likely to have another defense lined up for tonight. But as long as they’re demonstrating they’re not above cheating to set the mark, does it matter?
205 Live premiered last week with an emotional victory for Rich Swann, as he defeated Brian Kendrick to become the cruiserweight champ. His story continues tonight as we all watch to see how WWE integrates the new Network exclusive show focused on the division into their Monday night flagship.
Other stuff to keep an eye on:
- As if dealing with the Owen’s heartbreaking lack of appreciation for his efforts wasn’t enough, Chris Jericho also was assaulted in the parking lot last week by that entitled jerk Seth Rollins.
- General Manager Mick Foley sees a lot of himself in Sami Zayn, which is one of the reasons why he wants to keep the Likeable One from getting killed by Braun Strowman. Is that the only reason, though? Sami thinks Foley is being a bit of a hypocrite. And, wait a minute? Is this a feud between Strowman and Zayn or Sami & Mick?
- Despite the fact the Swiss Superman doesn’t appear to drink alcohol, Cesaro & Sheamus did some bonding in a bar last week. Will they move their shared love of ass-kicking back to the squared circle?
- Paul Heyman forgot to shave, but he did try to warn us that his client, Brock Lesnar, was heading into the Royal Rumble as one pissed off hombre... something Rusev found out in Mexico this weekend.
- Which only added to the Bulgarian Brute’s problems, seeing as he was already dealing with Enzo Amore & Big Cass’ insinuating that his wife Lana likes the realest strudel in the room (how you doin?).
Two weeks until Roadblock!
What will you be looking for on Raw tonight?