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WWE Raw preview (July 29, 2019): Top that

Less Legends this week when Team Red sets up shop in North Little Rock.

The Headliner(s)

And speaking of Legends, that was a hoot last week, huh? It cost WWE a week of SummerSlam build, but more on that in a second.

There were three examples of veterans being used really well at Raw Reunion. Stone Cold Steve Austin’s heartfelt closing toast, Mick Foley putting over Bray Wyatt by taking a mandible claw from The Fiend, and the nearly show-long 24/7 title caper which saw Pat Patterson, Gerald Briscoe, Kelly Kelly, Alundra Blayze and Ted DiBiase win the green belt in between stalwarts of the scene Drake Maverick and current champ R-Truth.

It was clever and funny, just like almost everything we’ve seen since the title’s lackluster introduction back in May. That’s continued in the days since, with Maverick resuming the search for both his precious and a way into his marital bed.

There’s no reason to believe Drake, Truth, Carmella & Renee Michelle can’t keep this fun going for a while. They’ve turned it into the top story on Raw and kept it there for a couple months now. But when you’ve already used a marriage and lots of sex jokes, it’s worth wondering if we’ve reached peak 48/7 European Television title.

Maverick seems to be ending his run as the General Manager of 205 Live, presumably to focus solely on the 24/7. Truth’s been making lemonade out of $#!+ lemons his entire WWE career. A few substantial twists could be extremely helpful to keep things fresh, though (not that the parade of Legendary champs wasn’t great, but it’s fleeting). Now that women have won the title, shouldn’t Michelle or Carmella get opportunistic?

Some fresh blood in the scene could be beneficial, too. Have Baron Corbin decide that since he couldn’t win the red strap, he’ll come after the green one. Then have rivals Maverick & Truth team-up to stop him.

The 24/7 has been the breakout star of the year, and it very well might stay that way if it just sticks to its current plotline. But if WWE can tweak the formula while it’s already hot, it might get even hotter. The marriage of Raw and a comedy belt has been a success, now let’s consummate the sucker!

The title scene

Verizon Arena says he’ll be there, but WWE still isn’t telling us to expect Universal champion Brock Lesnar. The man who’s set to challenge him on Aug. 11, Seth Rollins, will fight for Shawn Michaels’ honor. See Dolph Ziggler superkicked HBK on SmackDown last week, and Michaels was one of the guys who stood up for Rollins against The O.C. at the Reunion, so... it’s a throughline. And hey, Brock might show up to make things even more interesting.

Seth’s girlfriend - although thank goodness we’re not talking about that on-screen as much as we used to - and Raw Women’s champ Becky Lynch also has a tune-up for her defense in Toronto set for tonight. And Natalya almost certainly will be on hand to see The Man face Alexa Bliss. Becky & Natty’s feud's gotten personal pretty quickly, and The Goddess’ friendship with Nikki Cross is still going strong, so Lynch may find herself seriously outnumbered before all is said and done here.

It’s doubtful United States titleholder AJ Styles will find himself outnumbered. Sure, he and Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson got punked by D-X and he Kliq last week, but those guys won’t be in Arkansas tonight. It’ll be interesting to see if Styles’ rival Ricochet is, thought. The One And Only was reportedly out last week with an infected elbow, and if he’s gonna try to win his title back at the next pay-per-view (PPV), he’ll need to get in the Phenomenal One’s face soon.

The Usos picked up another non-title win over Raw Tag champs The Revival last week, but that was with some help from their dad, and before Jimmy got in trouble with the law. It’s time for new challengers. I know Viking Raiders are heels, but it’s either them or we let the current NXT champs drop the mics and get in the ring, right?

Other stuff to keep an eye on

- After a war of words led to Samoa Joe’s latest loss, he and Roman Reigns will try to get on the same page with a “Samoan Summit” tonight. History tells us this has a low probability of success, but I’m pulling for this to be the exception to the rule.

- Drew McIntyre did not take his surprise loss to Cedric Alexander well. Will the former Cruiserweight champ respond? Will it go any better than last week when he got sent into the apron in very painful-looking fashion?

- Hopefully Mike Kanellis has nursed his wife back to health so Maria can resume humiliating him on national television.

- His SummerSlam match is with a SmackDown guy who’s currently sick, but we’re still hoping Bray shows up to creep us out tonight.

- Rey Mysterio taught Sami Zayn some manners last week. Is that a new program? What are folks like Braun Strowman & Bobby Lashley gonna be doing in Toronto?

Two weeks until SummerSlam!

What will you be looking for on Raw tonight?

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