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WWE Raw preview (May 27, 2019): Revenge

WWE is spending Memorial Day in Kansas City.

The Headliner(s)

There’s nothing All Elite Wrestling did on Saturday night that WWE is incapable of delivering. Emotion, comedy, amazing in-ring performances, big surprises... these are all things we’ve seen from Vince McMahon-produced shows and events. As many of my colleagues pointed out in the wake of Double or Nothing, AEW didn’t reinvent the wheel. They just gave us a really good wheel.

Everything’s in place for Raw to either deliver or set the stage for stories and matches which do the same tonight. And rather than make t-shirt company jokes, call anybody or anything a pissant, or try to humiliate any of the performers who wish they were working for Tony Khan, the focus needs to be on reminding fans what some of the best promoters the business has ever seen can do with the deepest roster of talent anyone’s ever assembled.

Take the big hook for tonight - Brock Lesnar’s plans for his Money in the Bank briefcase. The “phoning it in”, “what’s the point, anyway?” option would be for Paul Heyman to reveal his client plans to cash in on Universal champion Seth Rollins at Super ShowDown. Instead, have Heyman without the answer. Use Lesnar’s oft-mocked schedule to create suspense, getting revenge on Rollins by forcing him to keep one eye on the entrance ramp whenever he’s in the ring. Live up to the “The Purveyor of Paranoia” nickname the Advocate gave Brock last week.

Lesnar could have a one-off match with someone like Rusev or Shinsuke Nakamura in Saudi Arabia. Or book the Rollins match for Jeddah, saying the McMahons approved a rematch due to Seth’s nutshot at WrestleMania 35, but have Brock keep the briefcase. He could use it as insurance in case the Architect somehow wins again on June 7. In the meantime, he could use it to torment Kofi Kingston. Or better yet, play Bane to Kofi’s Batman, and announce he’ll use his Money in the Bank contract for the WWE title shot at SummerSlam - then send wave after wave of challengers at Kingston between now and then, leaving an exhausted and beaten down Kofi to make a heroic last stand against the Beast in Los Angeles.

Point is, there are tons of options, just for this one story. All WWE has to do is pick a course, commit to it, and commit to telling the hell out of that story. That’s how you respond to the big splash Cody Rhodes & company made in Las Vegas two nights ago.

Now, if Braun Strowman murders a local talent-type dressed as Stardust tonight, will I be surprised? Let’s ask AEW’s newest signee...

The title scene

Considering Lacey Evans followed her to SmackDown last week, the answer to’s question “Who will be Becky Lynch’s next challenge?” seems pretty clear. The Raw Women’s champ also teamed with Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross against Evans & Women’s Tag titleholders The IIconics on the previous Raw. Which should probably be taken as another sign we’re getting more The Man vs. The Lady. I wouldn’t read too much into it regarding Peyton Royce & Billie Kay’s future.

The future of the United States championship is up in the air. Rey Mysterio won it at Money in the Bank, but Samoa Joe’s shoulders weren’t down as the ref made the three count, and Mysterio messed up his shoulder in the process. It’s a mess, but one which could lead to some good wrestling. If we can ever get more than a couple minutes out of Joe and Rey. Failing that, a tournament sounds nice.

R-Truth should stay 24/7 champion (or be involved in its storylines) for a while. But even if he doesn’t, this new belt will remain a source of fun - for as long as creative remembers it exists.

On Raw last Monday, The Usos and The Revival had a banger of a tag titl... wait. Neither of these teams are champs? They’re not #1 contenders, either? No offense to reigning Raw Tag Team titleists Curt Hawkins & Zack Ryder, but that should be addressed post-haste.

Other stuff to keep an eye on

- Strowman is not very good at killing Sami Zayn. He got revenge for Sami taking his spot in the ladder match last Monday, but Zayn was back up and ready to support Kevin Owens when he Wild Card-ed to SmackDown on Tuesday. Maybe Braun should focus on finding a reason for his Super ShowDown match with Bobby Lashley? Sami tried to give him one last week, but Bob didn’t want to soften up the Monster for him. Time’s running out, writers.

- They may be SmackDown guys (WILD CARD), but Raw Superstar Drew McIntyre’s role now looks to be as Shane McMahon’s new muscle for his feud with Roman Reigns. He did get fellow Team Red member Miz off Shane O’Mac’s back when he beat him last week.

- The most recent Firefly FunHouse was basically a clip show. If Bray Wyatt’s ready, it could be time to let him in... to the ring, that is. I’m not letting that terrifying man into my house (he does already have a spot in my heart, though)!

- Cesaro is a man of few words, and Ricochet is looking good while putting people over these days.

- It’s a strange pairing, so we’re all just waiting to see what come of this Nikki Cross/Alexa Bliss storyline. And to find out what AJ Styles will do now that he lost honorably to Seth.

Two weeks until Super ShowDown!

What will you be looking for on Raw tonight?

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