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WWE Raw preview (Sept. 4, 2017): Top that

Labor Day in Omaha.

The Headliner(s)

Universal champion Brock Lesnar has the night off, so Creative won’t have to get creative figuring out ways to keep #1 contender Braun Strowman and the Beast Incarnate apart. They did need to give The Monster Among Men something to do after sitting on the sidelines last Monday, so they turned to a veteran hand with nothing else going on who they knew was capable of good matches with Braun - and who brings the possibility of spectacle. Weeeelll, it’s The Big Show!

The last time these two giants fought, the ring collapsed beneath them (although referee John Cone kind of stole the spotlight). In order to at least tease topping that, WWE is putting them inside a steel cage this time. Place your bets on someone getting thrown, speared, punched or chokeslammed through it now.

All eyes will be on Strowman as he preps for the biggest match of his career at No Mercy, but pay attention to Show, too. The World’s Largest Athlete is on record saying this is his last year as an in-ring performer... is he destined to go out as the man who puts over younger big men? Or does he have one last run in him - one which could start by upsetting Braun tonight?

Before that was announced, our focus for this week was on The Miz’s Intercontinental championship. Jeff Hardy won a battle royal on the previous episode to earn a shot at beating The A-Lister to win the white-and-gold strap for a fifth time. The Charismatic Enigma is looking to start his latest singles run off with a big moment - something Miz hasn’t had a ton of since moving to Raw in the Superstar Shakeup.

Title changes have become fairly common of late... can The Miztourage prevent their boss from becoming the latest? As’s official preview for tonight reminds us, Curtis Axel and Bo Dallas did help Miz pin Jeff on the SummerSlam Kickoff. We’ll see if Hardy has a plan to ensure history doesn’t repeat itself in Nebraska.

The title scene

The answer to last week’s preview teaser question was “no”, Sasha Banks could not successful defend the Women's title, so Alexa Bliss is once again atop the division. But for how long? Not only does The Boss likely have a rematch coming, but Alexa’s best friend Nia Jax made it clear the belt was more important than their relationship when she dropped the new champ seconds after her win last week.

The Shield reuinion continues to go smoothly for tag champs Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins, but the men they beat for the belts have other plans. Cesaro and Sheamus split a pair of one-on-one matches with Seth and Dean last Monday, proving they can still pick up a win over their rivals. And one pin or submission is all they’ll need when they eventually exercise their rematch clause.

The King continues to look unconcerned, but there’s a lot of buzz around the newest edition to 205 Live’s roster, and it may only be a matter of time before Enzo Amore comes for Neville’s Cruiserweight championship. And even if it’s not the Smacktalker Skywalker, there are guys like Cedric Alexander and Gran Metalik racking up wins and hungry for a title shot.

Other stuff to keep an eye on:

- After a promo exchange you probably heard about, Roman Reigns and John Cena will look to continue the build toward their match on Sept. 24, either by raising the tension level. Or maybe by teaming up to beat Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows like they did last week. Could go either way.

- It’s the darnedest thing, but Emma actually looks to be getting a bit of a push. At the very least, she’s in a storyline which has gotten television time for the past several weeks. It even led to a win over Mickie James that means she can continue to claim she started the WWE’s Women’s Revolution. What now? We don’t know how to react to their being two storylines for the women on Mondays!

- He’s already summoned The Demon, so where does Finn Bálor go now that his feud with Bray Wyatt clearly isn’t over? Maybe triggering a premature summoning was the Eater of Worlds plan all along? Whatever the case may be, Wyatt eliminating Finn during last week’s battle royal means this continues.

Three weeks until No Mercy!

What will you be looking for on Raw tonight?

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