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WWE Raw preview (June 15, 2020): Meet the new boss...

Another show from the Performance Center in Orlando. One set of reports said this was being taped last week, another says it will be taped today along with Friday’s SmackDown. {shrug emoji}

The Headliner(s)

According to Dave Meltzer on Wrestling Observer Radio, the episode we’ll see tonight (June 15) will happen today. That means it’s the first Raw overseen entirely by Vince McMahon and Bruce Prichard after the announcement that Paul Heyman is only Brock Lesnar’s manager now.

Since that news hit last Thursday, there’s been a ton of rumors and reports about how it will change the show. Specifically, there’s a lot of concern/interest in how a list of performers Heyman was pushing as future stars will be handled by Vince.

Backlash didn’t provide many clues. We didn’t see any titles change hands. That was achieved via the usual bad of tricks, included distraction and non-finishes. You can read into those, but in theory, Heyman still had a say in what happened last night. Maybe his influence persists into what we see tonight... but it seems more likely McMahon & Prichard turn the page and start with a clean sheet of paper.

What will that mean? We won’t find out until 8 p.m. Eastern. But let’s break down the big questions we have coming out of last week, and last night.

The title scene

The impressive reign of WWE champion Drew McIntyre continued with a win over Bobby Lashley, and you have to think a guy Vince once dubbed “the chosen one” is pretty safe. But Lashley was protected via the ongoing issues between his manager MVP and his kayfabe wife Lana. And there’s a well-position snake lurking in the weeds who we’ll talk more about in a sec...

A week after she was pinned in the main event on television, Raw Women’s titleholder Asuka didn’t win her match at last night’s Backlash PPV, either. We expect Charlotte Flair and Nia Jax to make their case for a shot at The Empress’ strap, and we’re anxious about her prospects for a lengthy reign in the Triple Threat that’s likely coming at Extreme Rules next month.

There’s a lot of questions about both United States champ Apollo Crews and the man he beat (and likely removed from contention for Raw’s mid-card belt), Andrade. McMahon seemed to sour on Crews once before, and El Ídolo’s prospects have long been rumor fodder. Andrade’s likely headed to a feud with Zelina Vega’s other client, Angel Garza. Where either man stands when that is over is anyone’s guess. Apollo’s future is less clear, but he & his friend Kevin Owens never got to finish their match for the strap.

Whether you were entertained by their cinematic non-match last night or not, you’re probably wondering what the future holds for Viking Profits. Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins still hold the Raw Tag titles. Erik & Ivar seem to have more interest in getting into adventures via friendly competition with the champs than they do in taking the belts. And it’s not like WWE’s shown much interest in promoting tag wrestling over the past decade or three. I’m not even sure who the other established teams are on Raw right now? Seth Rollins’ lackeys, I guess. But Murphy & Austin Theory are busy (we’ll get back to them momentarily). How long until the belts are used as a means to end in a feud between a pair of singles stars?

After successfully defending their titles - and preserving their friendship for at least a few more days - Women’s Tag Team champions Sasha Banks & Bayley probably have the night off. They have a defense on Wednesday’s NXT to get ready for, after all. Who knows what plans there are for this scene... except to make sure Charlotte hold these belts at some point in her career.

R-Truth’s first big spot after getting his baby back was to get ragdolled around by Lashley. But let’s not pretend the 24/7 title’s been a priority for a while now, anyway.

Other stuff to keep an eye on

- Randy Orton defeated Edge in THE GREATEST WRESTLING MATCH AT BACKLASH 2020, but the bigger story is the Rated R Superstar’s injury. WWE’s already hinting at how it will be worked into storylines, and we expect Edge to be written out for the foreseeable future tonight. Orton’s got no shortage of prospective opponents, from Raw and NXT.

- After trying to take his eye and then celebrating his “sacrifice”, Monday Night Messiah Seth Rollins has “invited” Rey Mysterio to the show tonight. He wants him to bring his son Dominik with him. The Mysterios have vowed revenge. Seth wants to explain how what he did is good for the red brand. This should go well... and probably involve Murphy, Theory, Aleister Black & Humberto Carrillo before all is said and done. To stay on “how will the McMahon/Prichard era be different?” theme, it’ll be interesting to see how Black & Carrillo fare in all that.

It’s the Backlash fallout show!

What will you be looking for on Raw tonight?

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