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WWE Raw preview (Sept. 5, 2016): No question about it

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Americans will be wrapping up the holiday celebrating the end of Summer. In Kansas City, WWE will be trying to figure out exactly what happened last week when Triple H returned and shook up everything we thought we knew about Raw.

The Headliner

It’s all about the Game, and how you play it. But why did Hunter decide to re-enter now, and make the moves which crowned Kevin Owens the second Universal champion and betrayed his protege Seth Rollins? Did his wife, Commissioner Stephanie McMahon, really not know he was going to show up and Pedigree Rollins and Roman Reigns?

At least attacking Reigns, the man who defeated him for the World title at WrestleMania 32, and glaring at his old nemesis, General Manager Mick Foley, need no further explanation.

What did KO know, and when did he know it? As we’ve documented here at cSs, the relationship between the Prizefighter and NXT’s leader goes back a long way. Was Owens just Trips’ latest “Plan B”, or is Kev holding the red strap the latest phase of an ongoing operation?

A lot of things hang in the balance, among them roughly half the roster’s heel/face alignment and whether we’re about to sit through the 99th McMahon vs. McMahon power struggle.

Will they give us answers on Labor Day, or string us out another week?

The Title Scene

Your United States champion has been in Bulgaria, marrying his ravishing wife Lana for the second time in about a month. Will Rusev be back in time for the show? How are his ribs? And how quickly does his feud with Reigns restart?

With Sasha Banks taking a few weeks to rest & rehab her aching back, Charlotte is without a challenger for her Women’s title. The newly signed Bayley has made it clear she wants a shot, and has a couple of wins over the champ’s sidekick Dana Brooke on her Raw résumé already. But will the Nature Girl, or the powers-that-be, give the Hugster such a huge opportunity just a couple weeks into her main roster run?

Her allies, Tag Team champs the New Day, would undoubtedly throw their positivity and support behind a Bayley title shot. But Big E, Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods should probably keep their eyes on Brooke’s partners from last week, Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows. The self-described doctors and retirement planning experts have been successful in almost everything they’re tried to do since coming to WWE - and if they keep getting shots at the tag straps, the ex-Bullet Club members will probably be successful in ending New Day’s historic run, too.

Other stuff to keep an eye on:

- He’s excited to share the red belt with his tag partner KO? How will the new champ, or Chris Jericho’s old rival Triple H, feel about that?

- Cesaro was probably never really hurt (except for how sore these guys and gals probably are every day), but he is in a 0 - 2 hole in his best of seven series with Sheamus. Can he start his comeback with back contusions?

- Also probably not that hurt is Sami Zayn. We know he’s getting a house show fight with the Universal champ when the red roster flies to the United Kingdom after tonight’s show. Now could we get him something to do on television?

- Now that Nia Jax and Braun Strowman have each squashed local competitors on the same episode, will they team up to take on two-to-four rivals at a time?

- What was Paul Heyman smiling about after Steph accepted his apology?

- Why are Titus O’Neil and Darren Young on our screens? We know why Mr. Bob Backlund is, he’s awesome, but maybe it’s time for him to try to make someone else great again. Perhaps he can help us figure out why Raw signed Jinder Mahal...

Three weeks until Clash of Champions!

What will you be looking for on Raw tonight?