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WWE Raw preview (Aug. 5, 2019): Submission sorority

WWE’s in the hometown of Bruno Sammartino, Kurt Angle, and some guy who previews Raw on this here website. It’s true. It’s damn true. The last pre-party before the biggest party of the Summer is in Pittsburgh.

The Headliner(s)

Last Monday, Raw Women’s champion Becky Lynch interrupted Natalya’s training session to put her SummerSlam challenger in a Dis-Arm-Her. Natty returned the favor by putting The Man in a Sharpshooter. To be fair, she did save Bex from an Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross beatdown first, but I’m not sure that’s relevant.

It all got the Queen of Harts thinking about making their pay-per-view (PPV) match on Sunday in Toronto a submissions match. Natalya didn’t make the challenge, because she didn’t think Lynch would accept it.

Dafug? Guessing that’s an attempt at psychological warfare from Nat, because turning down challenges isn’t part of The Man’s character.

Setting aside the possibility this stipulation could be a victim of the re-write craze going on behind-the-scenes at WWE these days (something allegedly affecting the blue brand more than the red one), it’s a development which should definitely be made official. Not only does it fit the feud, it would help this match stand out from Lynch’s other, less-than-technical PPV matches of late. It would give the Canadian crowd a reason to pop for the possibility of Bret Hart’s finisher.

And on the off chance WWE wants to set-up The Man’s next feud in the aftermath of her match with Natalya in Scotiabank Arena, somebody tapping out would make a nice seque to the more exciting possibilities.

Starting with the one who is currently active with WWE. Lynch’s run to WrestleMania 35’s main event started with, of all things, a submission loss. I’m of the opinion that Asuka and Becky should talk about their Royal Rumble match a lot more. The Empress should brag about it, and The Man should be hungry to avenge it. I’d love to see them get another chance to tell a story that’s not overshadowed by the Rumble itself - or any other convoluted ‘Mania building blocks.

Speaking of the main event in Jersey last April, Natty’s friend Ronda Rousey doesn’t seem to be pregnant (not that that would stop her from being championship material these days), and still has wrestling on her mind. When she comes back, Rowdy will want to face the only woman to pin her in WWE. And given the less-than-decisive nature of that pin, she might just suggest their rematch be a battle of armbars.

And sticking with our submission finishers theme, there’s a four-time champ who is either coming back soon or never coming back, and she’s been known to make some people tap out with her finisher. Imagine the pop if after Dis-Arming Natalya and giving her a nod of respect, The Man is hit from behind and locked in Banks Statement?

No offense to Natty, but she was always going to be a transitional program for the Bad Lass. A submissions match would make for a nice thematic tease for some bigger threats on the horizon.

The title scene

We don’t need any further proof that Universal champion Brock Lesnar is a threat. After the Beast Incarnate sent Seth Rollins to the medical facility last week, the #1 contender has kept his condition a secret. Brock will definitely be in the building for tonight’s SummerSlam ‘go home’, and’s preview is teasing a response from the Architect. Can anything convince us Rollins can, or should, be champ again though?

Only one of the belts held by The O.C. - AJ Styles’ U.S. title - is currently booked for Sunday, but Ricochet’s pursuit of the red, white, and blue strap may now be mixed up with Jimmy & Jey Uso’s quest to become seven time tag champs. That’s because after Karl Anderson & Luke Gallows won the Raw Tag titles from The Revival last week, Dash Wilder & Scott Dawson disappeared for the night. The Usos and The O.C., on the other hand, ended up in the brawl that closed Raw.

Maria Kanellis is WWE’s first pregnant champion, and so far that’s meant that no one - not even Drake Maverick or her husband Mike - has dared challenge her for the 24/7 strap. Is she destined to reign until after she returns from maternity leave next spring?

The IIconics’ Women’s Tag titles get a lot less airtime than the green & gold, but there’s talk they’ll find their way onto the card in Toronto. And Raw Superstars Bliss & Cross may be in the mix!

Other stuff to keep an eye on

- Last Tueday, somebody caused some stuff to fall around Roman Reigns without hurting him at all, and WWE (& R-Truth) are vowing to get to the bottom of it. All we know is, if this is supposed to give us the Big Dog’s SummerSlam match? We better find out tonight.

- Whether it was Samoa Joe or not, there are definitely still issues after the collapse of peace talks between the two Samoan Joes.

- While that was going on, Cedric Alexander was making Drew McIntyre look foolish again. He swears he didn’t redirect his frustration into a forklift attack, we’re guessing the Scottish Psychopath isn’t done with the former Cruiserweight champ.

- While Ricochet was earning his U.S. title shot, Andrade ripped off Rey Mysterio’s mask. That kind of aggression will not stand, man.

It’s the SummerSlam ‘go home’ show!

What will you be looking for on Raw tonight?

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