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WWE Raw preview (Aug. 28, 2017): String ‘em together

WWE’s in Memphis, but I’m pretty sure Vince McMahon still won’t let you call it rasslin’.

The Headliner

After shocking the world - or at least the bookies - Women's champ Sasha Banks by defeating Alexa Bliss at SummerSlam, The Boss now has to try to do something she was never able to do in any of her three previous reigns: successfully defend it.

Bliss pointed that fact out to Sasha last Monday when she announced she would be claiming her rematch tonight, and it’s just the latest mind game from the self-proclaimed Goddess. Alexa hasn’t been as successful at instilling doubt in Banks as she was in her previous rival, and Sasha’s bestie, Bayley - but The Boss’ inability to win two in a row against Charlotte Flair might be a better lever to pull.

Can Sasha change her fortunes? She’s on a roll - beating Nia Jax in her hometown to earn a pay-per-view (PPV) title shot and then finally emerging victorious from Brooklyn last Sunday.

If Bliss can break her stride, however, her nemesis won’t be the only multi-time Women’s champ on Monday nights.

The title scene

After an epic hoss fight in New York, Brock Lesnar emerged with his Universal championship still around his waist. But on both nights he and Paul Heyman spent in Barclays Center last week, Braun Strowman proved to have his number. The Monster Among Men ripped through The Beast Incarnate during a brief encounter on last week’s Raw, and General Manager Kurt Angle booked a title fight for No Mercy. Both men are in Tennessee tonight - will Brock and his advocate have a plan to avoid another running powerslam beatdown from Braun?

Those reunited Shield brothers Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins are enjoying holding the tag team titles, including their “dream match” win over real brothers Matt and Jeff Hardy last Monday. But Sheamus and Cesaro have a rematch coming to them, and The Bar will be looking to ruin Seth and Dean’s good time.

Intercontinental champion The Miz worked his way into a main event in Brooklyn, but it’s not clear if any of the other men involved in his tag match will challenge for his strap. Is his program with Angle’s son Jason Jordan still on? JJ asked dad for a big test last week and came up short against Finn Bálor. Will Roman Reigns try to become a grand slam champ like his man Ambrose?’s official preview for tonight is teasing tension between The Big Dog and John Cena based on the inadvertant Superman punch Roman landed on the Free Agent towards the end of their win over Miz and Samoa Joe. While all that gets sorted out, the A-Lister will keep racking up days with the white-and-gold belt.

Akira Tozawa already used his contractual rematch on 205 Live, and once again fell to the King. Did Cruiserweight champ Neville meet his next challenger when Enzo Amore arrived in the division? Neville didn’t seem too impressed when Big Cass’ old partner stepped to him last Tuesday, but the King doesn’t suffer insolent peasants well.

Other stuff to keep an eye on:

- She keeps asking for a chance, but lately all its earned Emma is losses.

- R-Truth hasn’t wanted to walk with Elias, or listen to any of his songs, for a couple weeks now. It hasn’t ended well for Truth. Maybe it’s time to move on to whatever’s next on Elias’ set list?

- After a SummerSlam loss, Bray Wyatt’s been awfully quiet - especially for someone who was telling us he’s a god just days before.

Four weeks until No Mercy!

What will you be looking for on Raw tonight?

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