The roster splits and Team Red heads to Grand Rapids, Michigan to start the road to SummerSlam (with a pit stop at Extreme Rules).
It was a good night for General Manager Kurt Angle, as his show cIeaned up in the Money in the Bank ladder matches. One of those briefcases already brought about a title change (more on that in a second) and wayward Universal Champion Brock Lesnar has a potential challenge coming up from a familiar face.
Braun Strowman and The Beast Incarnate have had several run-ins in the past, and they haven’t lead to any great matches (although they did produce one much-talked about moment). The Monster Among Men’s Money in the Bank briefcase gives creative a new way to build to a possible rematch, but that way really can’t be the usual cash-in model.
It’s always tricky when a babyface wins the MitB contract, but Strowman being indestructible and unstoppable limits things even further. While he may have the power to hide in trash trucks, sneak attacks aren’t just out of character, they’re potentially damanging to his brand.
Now, Braun’s image has survived comedy segments with cellos and partnering with a child, so it would likely be okay even if he took the traditional route to cash-in. But it’s much more likely he’ll call his shot and set-up a title fight in advance. But that doesn’t mean there’s no suspense about the match, or its outcome.
Someone Strowman has had great matches with in the past, Roman Reigns, still has a valid in-story claim to another shot at Lesnar. And running through both men to his first singles title would be a legend-building moment for the former strongman. That could happen in a Triple Threat scenario, or with Braun agreeing to a fight with The Big Dog to secure a SummerSlam shot at The Beast.
Which makes you wonder why The Monster needed the briefcase in the first place. It’s a valid question, but not one we can do anything about as we get ready for tonight’s show - where we’ll be watching to see how WWE handles Braun and his new briefcase.
The title scene
Raw’s win in the other ladder match has already produced a new (if familiar) Women’s Titleholder, as Alexa Bliss crashed a thrilling match between Nia Jax and Ronda Rousey to pin her WrestleMania foe. WWE.com’s official preview for June 18 is already teasing both wrestlers will be looking for revenge. A SummerSlam Triple Threat could be in the cards in this division, too.
Another man who’d been rumored for a possible shot at Raw’s top prize likely still his hands full. That’s because Intercontinental Champion Seth Rollins had his hands full of Elias’ belt while he beat him at Money in the Bank. The Kingslayer prides himself on being a fighting champ, and you can expect Elias will still be looking for a fight.
The only belts from the red and blue brands not represented on Sunday nght’s pay-per-view (PPV) card were Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt’s Tag Team Titles. Deleters of Worlds already have challengers in The B-Team. Now... when will that showdown happen?
Other stuff to keep an eye on:
- The men and women who came up short in Sunday’s ladder matches will now need to regroup, refocus and come up for a new plan to climb Raw’s figurative ladder. Provided they’re in any shape to do so. We’re especially worried about poor Kevin Owens...
- In addition to Reigns’ victory over Jinder Mahal, Bobby Lashley also left Chicagoland with a big win over Sami Zayn. The Destroyer has to be ready to move on to new, non-sister and obstacle course-related challenges. We know we are.
- After suffering a three-on-one beatdown from Riott Squad last Monday, expect Bayley to be looking for revenge. Maybe she’ll make up with Sasha Banks for some back-up, since that feud isn’t going anywhere, anyway.
It’s the Money in the Bank fallout show!
What will you be looking for on Raw tonight?