After a weekend in Asia and the Middle East, WWE returns to Middle America. What up, Cleveland?
Elias was just trying to play his song about hating Angelenos, when Braun Strowman starting throwing The Drifter around the ring. Strowman was just trying to do his job and give Elias the competition he’d asked General Manager Kurt Angle for.
Then Kane had to come along and ruin everything.
Now, The Big Red Monster takes another step toward fulfilling his destiny of being the latest “monster” to put over The Monster Among Men when they go one-on-one in another official match tonight.
Will this be the bout that finally breaks this feud out of the not-as-good-as-the-one-with-Big-Show rut? It doesn’t have a stipulation on it (yet), so it’s probably not ending here, so we better hope so.
The other open question is... Strowman’s run this year has been built on escalating buzz-worthy spots. After Braun running powerslammed Kane through the mat last month, what stunt will they pull to try and top that?
Just thinking about this makes me hope Show returns soon... or WWE thinks of something to do with their new giant besides pit him against their old ones.
The title scene
The venue says Universal champion Brock Lesnar will work next Monday’s show in Rhode Island, but he’s still not on the “Featured Superstars” list for the event page on WWE.com. Either way, you can safely not worry about this title for another week.
Which is something it feels like we can say about the Women's title,too. Alexa Bliss is around - she sat at commentary for Paige’s comeback last week - but the focus recently has been on the women who’ve arrived on Team Red over the last few months. The group were here before Asuka arrived from NXT have taken a backseat... including the champ.
If you’re at all like me, you got worked into thinking the tag team championship would be changing hands last Monday. The Bar is craftier than we give them credit for, however. Even after Angle restarted things to account for The Celtic Warrior’s love of ass-kicking, Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins still weren’t prepared for Sheamus and Cesaro’s secret weapon - Samoa Joe. Which is fitting, since the third man in The Shield, Intercontinental champ Roman Reigns also hasn’t had an answer for Joe lately. At least the addition of the Samoans has added some possibilities to the GM’s go-to formula. As a result, we’re getting Roman vs. The Swiss Cyborg, Joe vs. Dean and Seth vs. Sheamus (they can’t all be fresh match-ups).
The Zo Train’s guest conductor Drew “Gabba” Gulak was supposed to have a match tonight which would determine if he’d face his mentor, Cruiserweight titleist Enzo Amore, for the belt. If a #1 contender contest happens, it won’t be against the guy Drew was supposed to face. But the where, when and who of a wrestling match is pretty low on the priority list. How ‘bout that Nia Jax?
Other stuff to keep an eye on:
- His first post-awakening appearance on WWE television was more DELIGHTFUL than most of us imagined it could be. Now that The #GreatWar is upon us, what treats does Matt Hardy have in store for us? And will a battle with the Woken One be the thing that helps Bray Wyatt finally achieve his potential as a character? There’s so much potential in Hardy’s gimmick to not only entertain, but to refresh (or should we say “reincarnate”) other acts, we’re giddy with ANTICIPASHUN about what might be coming next.
- Her return to action was against Sasha Banks, but WWE.com’s official preview tonight is telling us to pay attention to what Paige has been doing with the undefeated Empress of Tomorrow. That seems like a collision that might need to wait so Absolution can built up (and maybe so Asuka can be ready for Ronda Rousey, or vice versa). Might be time to revisit Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville vs. Bayley and Mickie James.
- Doesn’t matter why we hate him at this point, the fact is Jason Jordan is so despised he can make a smark cheer Roman Reigns. Kurt’s whining, manipulative son is already a heel, but stay on the lookout for an official turn.
- Being pushed to the limit by a member of The Miztourage is a hell of a way to get over, but Finn Bálor will do whatever it takes. And then tweet about it.
Seven weeks until Royal Rumble!
What will you be looking for on Raw tonight?