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WWE Raw preview (May 23, 2016): Love to watch

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The Superstars of WWE can unwind after an extremely grueling pay-per-view (PPV) last night with a nice crab cake and some Natty Boh... but better not have too much of the Mid-Atlantic's favorite cheap beer, because they still have to deliver Raw from Baltimore!

The Headliner

He pretty much told us he was coming to Extreme Rules last night. WWE didn't try too hard to hide it. But that didn't stop there from being a lot of excited and/or intrigued fans when Seth Rollin showed up in Newark to deliver a pedigree to WWE World Heavyweight champion Roman Reigns.

A lot has changed since the Architect went on the disabled list with a torn-up knee last November. His old partner from the Shield holding the title he never lost is just the tip of the iceburg.

His mentor Triple H hasn't been seen since losing to Reigns at WrestleMania. The Game's wife, and the other half of the Authority team who picked Seth to be "face of the company" is now playing nice with the fans and her popular brother, Shane (but, she's still in control of the show, because, she's Stephanie McMahon).

Perhaps most importantly, Creative has embraced what's being called shades of gray storytelling.

If Rollins appearance to retrieve his Superstar of the Year Slammy last December told us anything, it's that he's not planning on kissing babies or playing Captain America just because he was hurt for a while. On the other hand, we all know even the man who broke our hearts when he betrayed his brothers ain't getting booed by a certain segment of fans while he's feuding with Roman.

Throw into that mix AJ Styles, who despite coming up short in two shots at the Big Dog, may be even more beloved now due to the performances he turned in - and the notion that he wasn't allowed to go over on Vince's handpicked guy.

Love him or hate him, cheer him or boo him, Seth Rollins makes things very interesting.

The Title Scene

We thought a stipulation which said Charlotte would lose the Women's title if her father even appeared during her submission match with Natalya would give us a clean finish. And, it's clear Natty did tap this time, but the Nature Girl still needed someone who acted like Ric Flair to help her get that result. That it was Dana Brooke, debuting as Charlotte's muscle since her original partner is looking at a lengthy rehab from back surgery, is... well, at least it's not a dude.

New Day retained their tag team championship in New Jersey, despite some more pre-match complaints from Big E, and thanks to some underhanded tactics from Kofi Kingston. The G.O.A.T.'s interference let the tandem of Woods & E keep the Vaudevillains in their bygone era. But Aiden English & Simon Gotch have grounds for a rematch. Meanwhile, is teasing potential feuds with Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows (fresh off a win over the Usos) and... wait, I think this says... yep, it says the Rising Stars.

Thanks to Sami Zayn's hatred of Kevin Owens, Miz was able to pin Cesaro to retain the Intercontinental title - despite the fact that the Swiss Superman got the Awesome One to tap to his Sharpshooter earlier in their Fatal 4Way, or that Sami's Helluva Kick was what put Cesaro down in the first place. With Maryse running interference for her husband - will anyone be able to snatch the belt from the A-Lister?

We only had one belt change hands last night, but the United States championship did so emphatically. Rusev machka-ed the heck out of poor Kalisto's lower back, and the Bulgarian Brute is now a two-time titleholder.

Other stuff to keep an eye on:

- Everything hung above the ring for the first ever Asylum match came into play - and then a few items besides - and Dean Ambrose was able to pin a bloody (from multiple tiny puncture wounds) Chris Jericho to run his win streak to two and probably end their feud. On to bigger things for the Lunatic Fringe? Time for another Y2J hiatus to begin?

- Baron Corbin used a legal low blow to get his win back from Dolph Ziggler. Now let's see if he can get airtime on Monday night, or join Apollo Crews in the forgotten zone.

- Not that he's needed it, but the word on the streets is that Big Cass might have some back-up for his ongoing battle with the Dudleyz (how u doin?).

- Despite an extensive video montage of their relationship, Goldust & R-Truth couldn't get a win against Tyler Breeze & Fandango last week. Hard to see WWE bailing on their story now, but anything's possible.

- Cody Rhodes is a free agent, Sasha Banks is (probably) hurt... a lot of stuff sucks.

It's the Extreme Rules Fallout show!

What will you be looking for on Raw tonight?

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