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WWE Raw preview (Aug. 19, 2019): Mind your business

WWE gets Raw in St. Paul, Minnesota on Mon., Aug. 19.

The Headliner(s)

If you just got out of a four month coma - that’s awesome! Hope you’re feeling okay. Also, Sasha Banks returned for the first time since WrestleMania 35, and wow did you miss a lot of drama.

The Boss did Boss-things in Toronto on the SummerSlam fallout show. And in taking Natalya’s spotlight, emotionally rope-a-doping her into a beatdown, then starting an “is Sasha unsafe?” debate like it was 2018 with her steel chair assault of Raw Women’s champ Becky Lynch, Banks did the kind of Boss-things we haven’t seen since at least Team B.A.D. Maybe even her run atop NXT.

A championship match at Sept. 15’s Clash of Champions pay-per-view (PPV) is rumored, and if it’s as good as their black-and-gold brand rivalry, should continue on into October and Hell in a Cell. That should probably happen even if it’s only as good as their PCB vs. B.A.D. rivalry. But I digress.

The reason I made the (bad) coma joke at the outset is because I’ve been wondering what Sasha should say about her recent hiatus. Obviously, it has to be addressed in some form or fashion. The Man trash talking her in the press while she was away clearly motivated her last week. It’s also the perfect explanation for why we got the bad b**** version of her character instead of the smiley friend of Bayley she was when we last saw her.

But while I love to play “work or shoot?” as much as the next person who spends too much time thinking about pro wrestling, I hope that refuting Lynch’s claims she was ducking her is the only thing that makes it into the story. There’s lots of history here, interviews like this provide fresh heat, and I trust these performers to make a lot more in interactions to come. The last thing we need what should be the best main roster Women’s title feud of 2019 bogged down in ‘Reality’ Era talk of booking or dirt sheets.

Banks can say she was recharging her batteries and finding herself (Kendrick Lamar lyrics optional). Then just resume showing everyone who The Boss is by doing Boss-like things.

Give us conflict, not gossip.

The title scene

Since Brock Lesnar isn’t getting a rematch, what’s next for Universal champion Seth Rollins? That may depend on how the United States title fight goes. Braun Strowman saved Rollins & Ricochet from an extended O.C. asskicking last Monday, and earned a chance to take the red, white and blue belt away from Styles. Whoever’s not wearing a belt when that’s done is my guess at Seth’s Clash challenger.

Speaking of The O.C., Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson have been more focused on watching their good brother’s back than finding their first Raw Tag Team championship opponents. Which makes sense, since they’re heels, the prior champs were heels, and the main face team’s recently had some legal trouble. But WWE says all belts will be defended at Clash, so somebody’s gonna have to step up. Maybe those viking dudes who keep wrecking local types?

For the first time in a long time, the Women’s tag straps have been getting a lot of television time. But Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross likely need new rivals, too, seeing as they beat the former champs and the former #1 contenders in two-on-two action last week. Perhaps the fiery and desire-y blue brand duo who were in the match where they won the titles?

The 24/7 title is around a SmackDown Superstar’s waist, but will Elias be able to focus on his upcoming King of the Ring bout when he’s got to watch his back for the likes of R-Truth, Mike Kannelis, and Drake Maverick tonight?

Other stuff to keep an eye on

- There’s first round KotR action tonight, and we’re kicking things off with a couple doozies. Cedric Alexander tries to rebound from his valiant loss to Drew McIntyre when he faces the charming (to me, anyway) complainer, Sami Zayn. And it’ll be a heel-on-heel slobberknocker when Samoa Joe & Cesaro step into the squared circle to see who advances to face McIntyre or Ricochet in round two (see a full bracket here).

- That’s all the official preview has for us as of this writing. Not that that’s not plenty. But we’re also on the edge of seats wondering just how much longer WWE will make us wait for a return trip to Firefly FunHouse.

- We’ve also got Rey Mysterio trying to reclaim his mojo, and maybe a Robert Roode push?

Four weeks until Clash of Champions!

What will you be looking for on Raw tonight?

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