While it probably won’t top the Grizzlyweight title battles that happened last Friday, WWE will do their best in Memphis tonight.
The boys are back in town! No, we’re not talking about The Club (yet). Or The Miztourage (although we probably should be in this space, because... A-Lister).
We’re talking about a second straight week of Universal champion Brock Lesnar - and his challengers for the belt at the upcoming pay-per-view (PPV), Kane and Braun Strowman. All three men will be on Raw this week before The Beast and The Big Red Machine take a week off. They’ll be back for the 25th Anniversary/Royal Rumble ‘go home’ on Jan. 22, but until then, this is their last chance to build some intrigue and turn up the hype for their Triple Threat.
And there’s only one way to do that.
The best thing about this story so far came last Monday, when Kane was shut down in his attempt to form a partnership with Strowman against the champ. It certainly wasn’t the awkward brawl between the two veterans which closed the show. With so little suspense about where the actual Universal title story is headed - there’s always a chance we could get swerved, but if we’re not getting Brock vs. Roman Reigns at WrestleMania 34, it’ll be one of the most surprising things that’s happened in the 40ish years I’ve been watching Vince McMahon-booked wrestling shows (side note: WHAT HAVE I DONE WITH MY LIFE!?!?!) - the main goal right now should be giving us as much “Braun: Bad Ass Fan Favorite Loner” as possible.
Maybe one of those scenes where Paul Heyman puts over Strowman while still promising he’s headed to Suplex City, ending in a running powerbomb for The Advocate? Where a Kane attack prohibits Brock from getting revenge and Braun looks confused since he already turned down an alliance?
Just spitballing here. The important thing is... MORE BRAUN.
The title scene
Now that he finally put down Samoa Joe, and without getting disqualified in the process, what’s next for Intercontinental champ Roman Reigns? Will Joe quietly head to the Rumble field? Is that where The Big Dog is heading? His fighting champ routine has won over some skeptics, so expect to get another fight from Roman. And that might include a rematch with the man he beat for the belt. Rumors, and WWE.com’s official preview for this week, point to Miz trying to regain the strap he’s been synonymous with for the past year. We’ll see if his hand going up can make Reigns’ mouth go shut. I wouldn’t count on it.
The biggest issue tag titleholders Seth Rollins and Jason Jordan have right now is staying on the same page. The Architect is in his third reign as a pairs champ, with his third different partner, and could probably teach Kurt Angle’s son a thing or two. But JJ thinks he has it all figured out, especially after beating Cesaro to continue to put The Bar in their rear view.
Unfortunately for Women's champion Alexa Bliss, Asuka is most assuredly not in her rearview. The division’s focus is on their first ever Rumble, but with her submission win over Little Miss Bliss last week, the undefeated Empress made it clear what she’s capable of.
Barring some new setback for the 205 Live brand, the long planned Cruiserweight championship match between Enzo Amore and #1 contender Cedric Alexander should finally take place tonight. No word on if Goldust will corner Alexander, but Drew Gulak damn well better be there with Zo or I’ll make a Powerpoint presentation to explain how upset I am.
Other stuff to keep an eye on:
- Another possibility for The Miz would be to continue the feud his boys Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel have been having (alongside Elias) against Finn Bálor. A battle which last week was joined by Finn’s good brothers Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows. Whether that program continues or not, it’s worth wondering what if anything is next for The Bálor Club.
- Who knows what Woken Wisdom omniscient ghost Matt Hardy will have for consumer of terrestial entities Bray Wyatt this week, but we’re cackling in delight at the delightful possibilities.
- After only getting a backstage promo video last week, here’s hoping we see more of Paige after a “scary moment” took her out of action at the end of December. Although, with her and the rest of Absolution already set for the Rumble match, they can afford to rest her for a while longer.
- It is time to get busy filling open slots for both of Jan. 28’s big matches, though.
Three weeks until Royal Rumble!
What will you be looking for on Raw tonight?