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WWE Raw preview (April 2, 2018): Do something

Next week is usually the biggest Raw of the year, but try to get excited for the April 2 in Atlanta anyway. It is the last Monday before WrestleMania.

The Headliner(s)

It wasn’t enough for John Cena to beat his brother, the Free Agent mocked Undertaker using his signature taunts. Then he cut a promo where he practically begged The Phenom to show up and fight him in New Orleans.

Can The Dead Man, or the American Bad Ass, please show up tonight?

Cena says he’s absolutely fine buying a ticket and watching The Show of Shows as a fan, and he probably is. When else would a busy guy like him actually get seven straight hours off to just watch wrestling sports entertainment? But for the rest of us, it would be nice if we just got on with making this long-rumored match official.

The build has been clever enough, but where else can we go after Cena’s already name-dropped Michelle McCool, wrestled Kane and Instagrammed pictures of Texas Red? We can debate whether or not WWE needs to confirm Taker’s presence in the Superdome to ensure a sellout or spike Network subscriptions, but I think we’d all rather hear a gong (or a motorcycle engine) in Phillips Arena instead of more pleading.

Please, Undertaker. Do something.

The title scene

He’s listed as a “Featured Superstar” for tonight, and Universal champion Brock Lesnar has actually been making his bookings lately. And that’s been bad news for #1 contender Roman Reigns, who returned from his suspension to take another asskicking from the Beast. All these chair shots and F5s on steps are probably telegraphing Sunday’s outcome, but we’ll still take fighting over posturing.

She managed to escape unscathed after her cheap shot missed its mark, but Nia Jax is still coming for Alexa Bliss and the Women’s title. After Mickie James took a loss for The Goddess last week, there may not be anything between Bliss and the Irresistable Force’s in Atlanta. We’ll see if the champ can make it ‘Mania in one piece.

Finn Bálor’s Club may have saved him from a Skull-Crushing Finale, but Intercontinental champ The Miz has succeeded in keeping Finn and fellow challenger Seth Rollins focused on one another as much as him heading into their Triple Threat at The Showcase of The Immortals. With The A-Lister celebrating the birth of his daughter, Rollins will be focused on getting his win back from Finn when they wrestle on the ‘go home’.

Seeing as he keeps beating them one-on-one, Cesaro and Sheamus are probably anxious for Braun Strowman to pick a partner so they can defend their tag team titles in proper two-on-two action on Sunday.

The 205 Live crew returned to Raw last week, so we’ll take this opportunity to tell you to go watch Mustafa Ali’s great promo selling his Cruiserweight championship match with Cedric Alexander this Sunday.

Other stuff to keep an eye on:

- Since the last time Triple H and Stephanie McMahon were in a ring with Ronda Rousey, we’ve seen training videos from both sides and sold the notion Rowdy is so excited to be hurting people again Kurt Angle can barely control her. All four will get together together ahead of their mixed tag showdown at ‘Mania... look for the heels to fare better than the last time that happened to ramp up the drama for April 8.

- They may only be two people in a larger battle royal, but expect some time to be spent on the fallout from The Boss ‘n’ Hug Connection exploding in a backstage brawl last week. Tensions between Sasha Banks and Bayley have been simmering since at least Royal Rumble, and there will probably be at least one more flare-up before Sunday.

- Asuka is challenging for the other brand’s Women’s championship in NOLA, but that hasn’t stopped her from being a regular presence on Raw. Paging Atlanta area enhancement talent...

- He doesn’t have a match lined up for Sunday, but WWE still wants to walk with Elias. Expect a song (or two, if we get a Snickers commercial) to keep him in mind.

It’s the WrestleMania 34 ‘go home’ show!

What will you be looking for on Raw tonight?

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