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WWE Raw preview (June 19, 2017): THE announcement

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The red brand takes over Evansville, Indiana tonight.

The Headliner

It won’t be a good announcement. It won’t be a bad announcement. It will be THE announcement.

If TV ratings are any indication, he may not move the needle as much as some past guys in his position, but no other members of WWE’s full-time roster could announce they were going to make an announcement and generate the kind of attention Roman Reigns has over the past week.

Since claiming his yard from Undertaker at WrestleMania 33, the Big Dog has been a bit adrift. He resumed his long feud with Braun Strowman, finally claiming the upperhand when the Monster Among Men needed surgery on his elbow. Reigns tried to take the next step toward winning Raw’s top prize, but despite winning individual match-ups with most of the other men in Extreme Rules’ Fatal 5Way, he was unable to emerge victorious from that and earn a long awaited rematch with Brock Lesnar.

So what is his big SummerSlam announcement? He told us on Twitter “not everyone is going to like what I say”, but that’s pretty much every time he talks. Or does anything. He is polarizing, after all.

Kind of think Braun, who is rumored to be coming back sooner rather than later, isn’t finished with him yet, but not sure how that plays into this segment. Reports say it’s not building to a match with new “free agent” John Cena, and Reigns next match with Lesnar isn’t supposed to happen until next year.

Lots of questions... we’ll see what answers we get tonight. WWE is insinuating Roman will lead off the broadcast, so we shouldn’t have to wait too long.

The title scene

Plans don’t call for Universal champion Brock Lesnar to be on the show this week, which won’t help with whispers #1 contender Samoa Joe’s gotten into his head. The Samoa Submission Machine has shown a willingness to go right after the Beast Incarnate - and to take out Brock’s advocate, Paul Heyman. Will anything change the momentum heading into Great Balls of Fire?

Speaking of being in someone’s head, Dean Ambrose has definitely gotten into Intercontinental champ The Miz’s. The A-Lister continues to see the Lunatic Fringe around every corner - or at least in every oversized gift box and bear costume. If he doesn’t get his mind right, Dean may take his title and cost him his marriage to an increasingly frustrated Maryse. On the bright side, it does keep resulting in new Elias Samson songs, and wins for the Drifter.

Women’s titleholder Alexa Bliss isn’t making any friends, even among her fellow rudos. She cost Nia Jax her promised shot when she picked a fight with other wrestlers at ringside, and last week she walked out on teammates Jax and the recently returned Emma during a six-person tag. Former champs Sasha Banks & Bayley are angling for a chance to regain the belt, but we might get a heel vs. heel feud next in this division...

An attempt to finish things once and for all between the Hardy Boyz and Cesaro & Sheamus accomplished pretty much none of that in last Monday’s main event. A double countout in the deciding fall of a two-out-of-three falls match means the Celtic Warrior & the Swiss Superman are still tag champs, but something tells me Matt & Jeff will find a way to get another opportunity to win the belts back.

Neville continues to prove he’s the King, but the Cruiserweight champion seems worried about Akira Tozawa. Maybe it’s because of Tozawa’s friend Apollo Crews and their ties to Titus O’Neil’s brand?

Other stuff to keep an eye on:

- Seth Rollins is not afraid of Bray Wyatt, or at least he wasn’t before seeing the Eater of Worlds teleportation abilities.

- General Manager Kurt Angle didn’t receive any mysterious blackmail texts last week. Maybe his tormentor was watching the NBA Finals?

- Big Cass was assaulted again, but he didn’t let it stop him from competing with his little buddy Enzo Amore. They did take an ‘L’ from Gallows & Anderson, and then Zo pissed off Big Show by accusing him of beating up Cass after the Giant saved him from a post-match beatdown. Oh, the drama...

- At some point, Goldust and R-Truth are going to stop making videos for each other and fight.

Three weeks until Great Balls of Fire!

What will you be looking for on Raw tonight?

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