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WWE Raw preview (July 4, 2016): Own the night

Chris Jericho on Instagram

Where else would you go to spend U.S. Independence, especially after a weekend in the Pacific?

Columbus, Ohio of course!

WWE is promising a show-long “cookout”, which kind of sounds like one of those Impact Wrestling Thanksgiving shows where Kurt Angle would dress as a pilgrim and have all the heels over for dinner. Pretty sure there are one or two guys on the current roster who know a thing or two about those...

But, let’s be honest. It’s not like WWE hasn’t run more than their fair share of holiday-themed shows. But will tonight be John-Cena-avenges-Santa-Claus? Or Titus-O’Neil-pukes-in-a-hat?

The Headliner

The WWE champ and the Intercontinental titleholder will have their second televised battle in the last five days. On SmackDown, Dean Ambrose ruined some of Miz’s haute couture cleaning his messy mustard mouth and then pulled out a victory after surviving a Figure Four and kicking out of the Skull-Crushing Finale.

Given that, not sure why we need to see this again. Probably because there will be numerous grill items and condiments around for maximum lunacy!

The Title Scene

While neither of the belts are on the line in tonight’s champion vs. champion affair, we will have a title match on Raw. Appropriately, it’s the United States championship. Rusev has successfully defended his title twice recently - beating a weary Cesaro on Thursday of last week and humiliating Titus O’Neil on a Father’s Day pay-per-view (PPV). O’Neil got a measure of revenge with a countout win last Monday... and everyone knows non-title victories = future championship match!

The Wyatt Family got in the ring for the first time in months, and looked as dominant as ever (meaning: whenever they’re not facing people like John Cena, Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar). That should concern tag champs The New Day, but Big E & Kofi Kingston seem to think Bray Wyatt is another challenge they can joke their way through. Xavier Woods on the other hand, is having a different reaction to the Eater of Worlds.

The Boss is back, and Sasha Banks’ intentions are clear. Charlotte’s days holding the Women’s title may be numbered - even if her workout buddy Dana Brooke did pick up a win over fellow NXT product Billie Kay on SmackDown.

Other stuff to keep an eye on:

- For the second straight week, the official preview for tonight’s show wants to know, “Will Cena get payback against The Club?” Maybe he can finally get revenge against AJ Styles, Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows if he brings his dance partners from Tokyo...

- To get you ready for the Cruiserweight Classic, which will pit 32 men from around the globe in tournament action to discover the world’s best sub-205 pound wrestler, tonight we’ll get a 16-man elimination tag pitting Team USA against Team World in what will likely be the usual main roster multi-person cluster****. But there’s a chance Rusev and Cesaro could be on the same team, so I’m watching.

- We have to wait for Battleground for more Kevin Owens vs. Sami Zayn action, but maybe they could team-up to kick Chris Jericho in the face again tonight?

- Becky Lynch performed her most heroic act in a babyface career full of valor when she saved us from Natalya’s commentary last Monday. How can the Lasskicker top that?

- Wonder if there will be any update on brand split plans? Or maybe some information about who might be running Raw and SmackDown come July 19? If only there were spoilers which might contain that kind of information!

Three shows till the brand split!

What will you be looking for on Raw tonight?

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