clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

WWE Raw preview (May 22, 2017): Maximum machinations

The red brand hits Grand Rapids, Michigan tonight. Here’s what should be on the docket...

The Headliner

The big question for weeks has been who would next challenge Universal champion Brock Lesnar. We know the Beast Incarnate will defend the title Raw’s July pay-per-view (PPV) Great Balls of Fire, but the guy everyone assumed he’d be facing, Braun Strowman, is out for somewhere between a rumored two months and a reportedly kayfabe six months getting elbow surgery.

We got the first part of an answer last Monday. General Manager Kurt Angle announced a Fatal 5Way to determine the #1 contender for the next PPV, June 4’s Extreme Rules. And hostilities immediately escalated between the five competitors - Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns, Bray Wyatt, Samoa Joe and Finn Bálor.

Reigns put the Demon down clean, but things got really interesting in the main event. When Joe ran in to attack his nemesis Rollins during his match with Wyatt, it looked like we might get an alliance between the Destroyer and the Eater of Worlds. But then Bray hit everyone in the ring with his finisher, and all bets were off.’s official preview tonight insinuates Wyatt now has the upper hand heading into the upcoming match, and it’s hard to argue with them. The jockeying for position will no doubt continue tonight.

The title scene

Following his disqualification win last Monday, Intercontinental titleholder Dean Ambrose will have to contain his crazy at Extreme Rules, or Miz will claim the belt in their rematch. Good thing the Lunatic Fringe has a couple weeks to get things out of his system...

Calling herself “The Goddess of WWE” and mocking Bayley’s family isn’t the only way Women’s champ Alexa Bliss is trying to get the upper-hand before the Hugster’s rematch in Baltimore. She also broke out the kendo stick to show Bayles she has what it takes to get extreme. And she better, since the former champ asked Angle for and was granted a “Kendo Stick on a Pole” match for June 4.

The Hardys know Cesaro & Sheamus will again be coming for their tag team titles at Extreme Rules, but they don’t know if there will be a stipulation yet. They don’t seem too concerned, however, seeing as Matt is eyeing the SmackDown belts.

Heading into a trilogy fight at the next PPV, Cruiserweight champion Neville and Austin Aries’ feud has added several dimensions. Each man has a second (TJP for the King; Jack Gallagher for A-Double), and now Aries has a knee injury.

Other stuff to keep an eye on:

- Golden Truth’s road to redemption drove into a ditch last week when Goldust shocked the world by attacking R-Truth. Truth will be gunning for revenge while the WWE Universe looks for an explanation from Goldy.

- Alicia Fox isn’t only the better half of 205 Live’s Noam Dar, she’s also stepping back in the ring and wrestling on her own. It’s going well so far, too. Last Monday, she picked up a big win over former three-time champ Sasha Banks.

- After signing up with the Titus Brand, Apollo Crews probably wasn’t expecting Titus O’Neill to lose to Big Cass. But that happened. Kicking Enzo Amore probably made Apollo feel better, though.

- We’ll see if they pick back up Nia Jax’s storyline after a week off... she’s supposed to be watching Bliss’ back to ensure she gets a future title shot.

Two weeks until Extreme Rules!

What will you be looking for on Raw tonight?

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Cageside Seats Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your pro wrestling news from Cageside Seats