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WWE Raw preview (June 27, 2016): Realest Elephant in the Room

Enzo Amore on Instagram

WWE sticks kind of close to home for a couple shows in Florida before heading off to the Pacific for the Fourth of July weekend. Let’s see what they might get up to on a Monday night in Tampa.

The Headliner

The big ‘Reality’ Era question is how will the company address Roman Reigns’ suspension for violating their Wellness Program.

Based on the official preview at, the answer is “not at all”. The Big Dog is still positioned as a #1 contender for the WWE World Heavyweight championship he lost to Seth Rollins at Money in the Bank. Both those men are being hyped for their upcoming Triple Threat against the man who defeated Rollins, Dean Ambrose, at next month’s Battleground pay-per-view (PPV).

Whether they mention Roman or not, he won’t be cleared to return until just before that July 24 show, so the build is going to fall on his former Shield brothers. The Lunatic Fringe stayed one step ahead of the Architect all last week. At some point “The Man” is going to get the upperhand on “The Dude”, though.

Will it be tonight?

The Title Scene

After some time away, Sasha Banks has burst back on the scene and positioned herself smack in the middle of the Women’s title scene. Champion Charlotte seemed to have the division right where she wanted it, with Dana Brooke by her side and her last two rivals fighting each other since Natalya turned on Becky Lynch. But The Boss has looked impressive in her still-new comeback. The new Dirtiest Player in the Game better have a trick or two up her sleeve.

Tag titleholders The New Day find themselves in a similar situation. Throughout their impressive reign, Big E, Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods have joked and wrestled their way past every opponent they could find. But have they bitten off more than they can chew by trying to bring the Power of Positivity to Bray Wyatt and his followers?

Hollywood called, and A-Lister and Intercontinental champ The Miz answered. His latest (direct-to-streaming) blockbuster is nearly wrapped, however. There are a bunch of Superstars who’d love to get their hands on that belt - and the man holding it - ASAP.

Rusev succeeded in humiliating Titus O’Neil last Sunday during their United States championship match on Father’s Day. Then the Dad of the Year winner put his title aspirations aside to kick the champ’s ass. Will we see more fireworks in this feud in time for a red, white and blue holiday?

Other stuff to keep an eye on:

- For the most part, John Cena has tried to handle his issues with The Club one-on-one. But apologies from Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson haven’t helped him much when he keeps coming up short in three-on-one affairs. On SmackDown, the Usos rejoined the battle against a trio they battled with their now suspended cousin. Will Jimmy & Jey be helping John try to humble AJ Styles & company from here on out?

- Live Tuesday shows, and especially the talent draft which will happen on the first one, will be a big theme of the next month. Will we get some indication of what Shane & Stephanie McMahon will be when Raw & SmackDown become distinct entities? Who might show up to lobby for a job tonight, and will any other potential General Managers be treated as anything other than comedy fodder?

- It won’t all be Authority/McMahon drama, though. The new faces who’ve debuted since WrestleMania, and the ones we’re all expecting to show up soon, will be jockeying for position in kayfabe and the real world. What might we see out of names like Enzo Amore, Big Cass, Apollo Crews & Baron Corbin over the next several shows? How committed is WWE to their “new era”?

Four shows till the brand split!

What will you be looking for on Raw tonight?

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