Back in the U.S., WWE heads to Kansas City for Raw!
The pay-per-view (PPV) schedule WWE set for itself in Oct. - Nov. is pretty crazy, and has resulted in the red brand being behind the eight ball with only one show to go before Survivor Series and neither of their teams set.
We’ll be keeping an eye on the men’s team, of course, and not just to see how they’ll stack up against SmackDown’s Daniel Bryan & Miz-led squad. How captain Baron Cobin fills the last two vacancies on his squad could tell us a lot about Braun Strowman & Drew McIntyre’s future booking, and his own fate as acting General Manager. Elsewhere on the show, commissioner Stephanie McMahon will return to address her brother, rival blue brand commish and Best in the World™ Shane McMahon. Authority figures are a big factor heading into the Nov. 18 event in Los Angeles, so brace yourself.
Kurt Angle wanted the captaincy Corbin has. Will Steph’s return lead to Angle getting Baron’s other job while the Lone Wolf gets transitioned into a feud with Strowman? Even more important, will WWE use the match which gave Corbin the captain’s chair, Kurt’s tragic loss to McIntyre last week, to move the Olympian back into a non-wrestling role? Or somehow put him alongside Drew, Braun & Dolph Ziggler on the men’s team and reduces the effectiveness of his sacrifice last week?
If Angle ends up as primarly an authority figure, there’s been talk of Alexa Bliss joining the kayfabe management team. Her role as captain of the women’s Surivor Series team has been seen by some as a trial run for an assistant GM role. Watching her interact with frequent rivals like Sasha Banks, Bayley & Natalya, allies like Mickie James & Alicia Fox, friend-turned-enemy Nia Jax and wild cards like The Riott Squad as she navigates picking five wrestlers for her squad should be fun. If Stephanie isn’t going to be around a lot, putting a character-first performer with a history of injuries like Bliss as a thorn in Kurt’s side could be a smart move.
This kind of drama isn’t what some of us are hoping for from WWE’s flagship wrestling show, even though we know by now the company turns to it often - especially in the winter months with lots of competition and WrestleMania just a distant speck on the horizon. At least there a few new variables like Corbin & Bliss in the mix this time rather than it simply being another round of McMahon family feud.
The title scene
Paul Heyman will be on hand tonight to talk up his client’s match with AJ Styles this weekend. Said client will be in the building. Question is, will Universal champ Brock Lesnar simply jog in place, or suplex a few people in addition to that?
As he gets ready for his own showdown with a corresponding SmackDown titleist, Intercontinental champion Seth Rollins is more focused on what his brother Dean Ambrose. The Lunatic doesn’t look to be planning to give Rollins any answers as to why he turned on him. Ambrose seems content to taunt and attack Seth from the sidelines for now, and that’s fine by us, too.
Considering how their Twitter fight’s been going (at least on my scorecard) Women’s champ Ronda Rousey might be better off waiting until the bell to fire the next shot in her rivalry with Becky Lynch.
Hopefully, DRAKE MAVERICK has his boys AOP refocused after winning the tag team titles from Rollins last Monday. The Bar don’t play, and we’re looking forward to some hoss-on-hoss violence this weekend.
Other stuff to keep an eye on:
- In addition to questions about the men’s and women’s team, there’s also a Survivor Series squad of tag teams to be built. If they need five pairs, it’s gonna be all hands on deck for Raw. Especially considering the previous two beltholders are tied up elsewhere on the card.
- Speaking of tag teams, Jax and Tamina made their alliance official last week with a two-on-one beatdown of Ember Moon. Unless McMahon’s segment tonight also finally unveils the long-rumored new women’s belts (or even if it doesn’t), expect the She-nom to be looking for revenge... and probably allies.
- Elias is very popular, and is picking up wins. Apollo Crews is picking up wins, but they jury is still out on the popularity thing.
- At least according to last week’s booking, Bobby Lashley’s butt > Finn Bálor’s _ fill in the blank here _.
It’s the Survivor Series ‘go home’ show!
What will you be looking for on Raw tonight?