Live from ThunderDome!
A lot has happened since we last previewed an episode of the red brand. WWE finished up the Draft, and there are going to be plenty of people who haven’t been Monday night regulars floating around Raw. Opinion is fairly evenly split on which show came away with the better roster, which is probably a good thing.
Raw Underground is apparently no more, and folks like Dabba-Kato, Arturo Ruas, and Riddick Moss who were featured in Shane McMahon’s fight club will be integrated into the regular line-up (probably not Raw’s though... hello Main Event!).
Which brings us to another “ratings grabbing” concept WWE introduced us to in early August. The rollout’s been rocky, but with Mustafa Ali’s reveal as the leader of RETRIBUTION the group finally seemed poised to put their ridiculous rollout behind them. Last week included a couple more bumps in the road, though. First, the drafting of a group who’s stated goal is to destroy the company doing the drafting - the latest sign said company isn’t too worried about the group achieving their goal. Then, Ali’s promised explanation for his actions was bumped off the show.
As has been the case for a while now, the members of the group did a pretty good job spinning both gaffes on social media. WWE hasn’t addressed either, and isn’t promoting a segment with RETRIBUTION or its leader for this week’s show.
The title scene
More than half the company’s championships are in play in some form or fashion tonight, so this will be a bit of a lightning round...
Drew McIntyre and the WWE title are sticking around on Raw, and headed to a third match with Randy Orton at Hell in a Cell later this month - even though McIntyre won the first two. The Viper did pin the the champ last Monday, in a six-man that also featured...
Potenital new challengers for Raw Tag Team champs Street Profits. Robert Roode & Dolph Ziggler are being set-up as challengers for Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins, but new SmackDown Tag Team champions Xavier Woods & Kofi Kingston were drafted to Raw on Friday. The New Day probably wants the smoke, and tonight may be their only chance to get it.
Raw Women’s titleholder Asuka is staying on Monday nights, and she likes to loudly remind the world that no one is ready for her. So tonight the ring will fill up with women from both brands, battle royaling for an opportunity to face the Empress. Past Asuka foes Bayley and Sasha Banks are getting ready for a Hell in a Cell match on Oct. 25, but they could be included in tonight’s bout- and SmackDown Women’s champ Bayley could be drafted to Raw before the night is through.
Even though their titles allow them to work all three of WWE’s brands, Raw used a pick on WWE Women’s Tag Team champs Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler. They made quick work of Liv Morgan & Ruby Riott last Monday, and await their next challengers. Mandy Rose & Dana Brooke? Sure, why not.
The Hurt Business is staying on the red brand, and United States titleholder Bobby Lashley may have finally finished feuding with Apollo Crews last week. Which is good, because he, MVP, Shelton Benjamin & Cedric Alexander could be first on RETRIBUTION’s to do list. Intercontinental champ Sami Zayn is eligible to be drafted tonight.
One week and counting on R-Truth’s 42nd run as 24/7 champion. God is good.
Other stuff to keep an eye on
- A week after he was revealed as RETRIBUTION’s leader, Mustafa Ali will address the people watching the show produced by the company the group’s sworn to destroy. Maybe we’ll find out whether he was the SmackDown hacker, and how revealing Dolph Ziggler & Sonya Deville’s plot to the world was part of his master plan?
- The entire Rollins/Mysterio drama moves to Fridays soon, but not before at least one more sermon from the Monday Night Messiah. Seth wants to say goodbye to Raw, and we’ll probably see Aalyah tell her dad & brother she’s not ready to stop texting Muprhy.
- He’s in the pool for tonight, but Braun Strowman proved last week he’ll show up wherever he wants, whenever he wants. And after his “exhibition” with Keith Lee ended with both of them flying off the stage, we figure the Monster Among Men will still be looking the Limitless One.
Two weeks until Hell In A Cell!
What will you be looking for on Raw tonight?