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WWE Raw preview (June 1, 2020): Messiah complex

Another show from the Performance Center in Orlando. This one was taped last week.

The Headliner(s)

WWE’s reportedly telling media outlets to refer to WWE champion Drew McIntyre as the star of Monday Night Raw. But, even as he’ll probably continue to build toward a PPV clash with Bobby Lashley on the June 1 episode, you wouldn’t know it from their official preview.

Seth Rollins is all over the thing, and deservedly so. Creative used last summer’s backlash to their bad decision to cast him as the hero in a feud against their hottest act, and his (shoot? worked? worked shoot? shoot-that-turned-into-a-work-much-love-hh?) badly received Twitter & interview campaign as defender of the company as the foundation for his Monday Night Messiah heel turn. Seth’s flourished in the role. So here we are with a show which will feature him wrestling Aleister Black and emcee-ing the “retirement ceremony” of Rey Mysterio.

The latter is grade-A villainy, as Rollins got his heat back after losing to McIntyre at Money in the Bank by “blinding” the legendary luchador, then spent two weeks bragging about how he “sacrificed” Rey for the greater good. Everyone and their dog is expecting Mysterio to pull a Mark Henry and tell us he has a lot left in the tank (and a son training to be a WWE Superstar). Even though it’s telegraphed, most of us are here for it... in large part because they’ve done such a good job making the Messiah a hateable prick.

Whether or not Rey ends up winning this feud or not, you figure Black and maybe Dominick help him get revenge in the end. Then Seth can target someone else, and the cycle continues.

But if they continue to position Rollins as a major focus of Monday nights, how long until he collides with McIntyre again? How long can they put off another clash between their two stars? Do they work Seth’s paternity leave into the plans?

It’ll be interesting to watch and find out.

The title scene

Another performer who deserves consideration as the star of Monday Night Raw is Women’s titleholder Asuka. She’ll look to avenge her WrestleMania 34 loss, and keep The Queen’s champ vs. champ losing streak going, when she faces NXT champion Charlotte Flair tonight. Flair has to defend her belt on Sunday at TakeOver: In Your House, and Nia Jax awaits the Empress at Backlash... so don’t be surprised if we don’t get a clean finish, is all I’m saying.

We’ve got a new United States champ in Apollo Crews, and he’ll start his quest to prove his reign will be different from his predecessor Andrade’s - and pretty much everyone who’s held the red, white, and blue belt over the last few years - when he faces an opponent of his own choosing on Raw.

Street Profits continued their non-wrestling feud with Viking Raiders on the golf course last week, then headed to the PC to win a wrestling match by disqualification. The latter existed to set the stage for Lashley & McIntyre’s pull apart brawl, but it’s hopefully a sign Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins will actually defend their Raw Tag straps against Erik & Ivar in the ring sometime soon.

They’ve got a match coming up on Friday, but Women’s Tag Team champions Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross still have issues with IIconics on Mondays, too.

R-Truth wants his baby back, but Rob Gronkowski says he’s keeping his head on a swivel and plans to continue his record-setting 24/7 title reign.

Other stuff to keep an eye on

- At this point, the build toward Randy Orton and Edge’s wrestling match that will be greater than all the other wrestling matches in history consists of past wrestling greats picking a winner.

- Angel Garza fared better than Zelina Vega’s other associate last week. We’ll see if he continues his feud with the man he beat last week, Kevin Owens, or moves on to something else.

- Liv Morgan’s ring gear filled the hole in her soul.

Two weeks until Backlash!

What will you be looking for on Raw tonight?

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