HOW ARE WE SUPPOSED TO PREVIEW A SHOW THAT'S ABOUT TO GET IT’S SUPERSTARS SHOOK?
Let's try, for the good people of Uniondale, New York, if nothing else.
The Chairman returned last Monday, on the day after WrestleMania 33, no less, to announce it was "time to shake things up around here". Since then, all wrestlers and fans have been able to talk about is what trades and other deals might be swung to change the rosters of Raw and SmackDown.
Not only is his boss, commissioner Stephanie McMahon, out nursing (kayfabe) injuries she suffered when her husband, Triple H, bumped her off the apron and through a table during his showdown with Seth Rollins at "The Ultimate Thrill Ride", but new red brand General Manager Kurt Angle hasn't even really gotten a chance to get to know his roster, and he already has to re-tool it. According to the official preview for tonight's show on WWE.com, Angle and Team Blue GM Daniel Bryan have already been talking, so we might have news right off the top of the show this evening.
The two biggest names rumored to switch brands, AJ Styles and Roman Reigns, have also been rumored to be staying put. The company's website is teasing the newly returned Emma as potentially heading to Tuesday night, while also mentioning the Phenomenal One's name.
While it's probably going overboard to saw anything could happen, it kind of feels that way. I know I want to tune in to find out... how about you?
The title scene
Universal champion Brock Lesnar isn't advertised for Uniondale - or anything much from now until mid-May. So get used to that. The man he beat for the belt at 'Mania, Goldberg, doesn't have a contract and kind of retired last week anyway, so I guess it's just as well. When the Beast Incarnate does return, he might have some options. His advocate, Paul Heyman, was already teasing a showdown with the new owner of the WWE yard, Roman Reigns, and Braun Strowman cut off Heyman's speech to announce he's coming for the red strap - as soon as he's done with the Big Dog.
Kevin Owens will be on TV tonight, and we already know he'll be defending the United States title at Payback later this month. When that show comes our way from San Jose, KO will be battling the man he beat for the title in Orlando, his old friend Chris Jericho. Owens also jumped Jericho during an interview last week to keep him from partnering with Seth Rollins to face Kev & Samoa Joe. That didn't work out too well for him, seeing as it led to Finn Bálor's return and a loss. Will it pay off for the next pay-per-view (PPV)?
Returning to her home town would be great news for Bayley, if only WWE employees fared better when defending their titles when on native soil. The Women's champ best friend Sasha Banks dropped the belt in Boston last year, and B's old rival Charlotte Flair lost it in the North Carolina city from which she took her name. That jinx/curse may be the least of the Hugster's worries if Nia Jax stays on Raw, however.
Broken, Savage or just plain extreme, the Hardys are back - and they're already holding tag team gold. Matt & Jeff haven't had a chance to celebrate, though. They had to face previous champs Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows in a rematch last week. And on the same show, they found out who their next challengers will be, as another set of former champs, Cesaro & Sheamus, defeated Enzo & Cass in a #1 contender's match.
On 205 Live, Austin Aries won the right to face the King again. Cruiserweight champion Neville outsmarted, and out-dirty tricked, the Greatest Man That Ever Lived at the Ultimate Thrill Ride. A-Double will be more motivated than ever to knock off Neville's crown, but lots of men have tried, and they've all failed.
Other stuff to keep an eye on:
- Rollins and Bálor are getting along. That seems noteworthy.
- Otherwise... WHO KNOWS? Sami Zayn wants to stay, Sasha wants to go (we think)... we could rattle off other stuff we might see tonight, but when we don't even know which stars will be sticking around...
Three weeks until Payback... but you don’t have to wait much longer for THE SHAKE-UP!
What will you be looking for on Raw tonight?