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WWE Raw preview (Aug. 26, 2019): Let us in

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WWE gets Raw in New Orleans on Mon., Aug. 26.

The Headliner(s)

The week after he sent Finn Bálor off on (an apparently matrimonial) hiatus, none of the faces of Bray Wyatt were on WWE television. And that was good! If there’s ever been a gimmick which could benefit from the “special attraction” treatment, it’s the horror movie surprise of The Fiend. WWE doled out merchandise, entrance videos, and his kick-ass theme remix to keep Wyatt in the conversation.

Last week, he shocked all of us - including his victim, Jerry Lawler - by changing up his plan of attack slightly. It succeeded in both scaring and popping us, and left The King stumbling off to a local medical facility after a Mandible Claw.

So... now what? Should they stick to a no-more-than-every-other-week schedule for Wyatt appearances? Start to work him into the regular flow of Monday nights? Keep things completely random?

If I had a vote (and I don’t), I’d advocate for a mix of the last two options. The threat of The Fiend, or the eerie pleasure of a trip to the Firefly FunHouse, should always be on our minds. A visit from Bray or his dark shadow should be something we’re not quite expecting, but at least bracing ourselves for every week. But that uneasiness can be accomplished by occasional weeks off without withholding Wyatt from us most weeks.

Toward that end, I think this week or next should bring the return of the FunHouse. Maybe Bray addresses his actions from earlier this month, “forgiving” Finn and Jerry like he does on social media. Maybe it’s just a return to the early episodes of the show-within-the-show which didn’t seem to building to or from any traditional wrestling feuds. I definitely don’t think it should do much of anything to tease The Fiend’s next target or program. He should probably miss Clash of Champions, and instead focus on setting the stage for October’s pay-per-view (PPV).

We need all the time possible to prepare ourselves for The Fiend at Hell in a Cell. But maybe we could start by seeing Abby, Mercy, Huskus, Rabbit and the gang at the FunHouse tonight?

Let us in.

The title scene

Heck of a way for Seth Rollins to celebrate becoming Universal champion again, huh? He’s a champ-champ thanks to his alliance with Braun Strowman, and their win over The O.C. to claim the Raw Tag Team straps. Now, we’re all expecting this to lead to The Beastslayer vs. The Monster Among Men at the Sept. 15 PPV, but can they find some fresh spin on the familiar “team of rivals” or “Braun can’t win a big singles match” tropes which seem to be in play? And who gets the tag belts next?

They could just flip back to Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows. The O.C. isn’t without gold as long as AJ Styles has the United States title, of course. Ricochet isn’t done chasing the red, white & blue belt, or the Phenomenal One holding it. But he’s probably putting that pursuit on pause for however long he lasts in the King of the Ring tournament.

Is Raw Women’s champ Becky Lynch back from vacation, or will Sasha Banks continue to target poor Natalya in her absence? And does that mean the first match in this Boss vs. Man feud will be a Triple Threat?

Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross have certainly gotten the Women’s Tag Team championship back on television, but have they cleared out the division? We won’t have to worry about it tonight, since Cross will be facing Wild-Carding SmackDown Women’s titleholder Bayley. Maybe the Hugster and her Clash challenger Charlotte Flair will make like Braun & Seth and go for the white belts?

The 24/7 title is back around Elias’ waist, for now. And apparently you no longer have to be a WWE employee to win it, so look out!

Other stuff to keep an eye on

- We’ve got more first round KotR action tonight, with the aforementioned Ricochet going facing off against Drew McIntyre, and Miz battling Baron Corbin for the chance to advance (see all the possibilities in the updated bracket here). The good guys won when this was a tag match last Monday, if that helps you make your picks.

- While we’re back on the topic of tag teams... maybe Rey Mysterio & Dominic will be gunning for pairs gold now that Dom kept his old man out of retirement by reminding him of a promise to partner up?

- And since we were talking about Wild Carding in the titles section... do you think maybe we’ll see more of The Revival and their new running buddy Randy Orton tonight? What about Sami Zayn & his pal Shinsuke Nakamura?

Three weeks until Clash of Champions!

What will you be looking for on Raw tonight?

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