Another show from the Performance Center in Orlando. This one was taped last Wednesday after COVID testing.
WWE’s calling this one “Championship Monday” as four different belts will be on the line. That sounds exciting! Maybe I’m just a cynical bastard... okay, I’m definitely just a cynical bastard, but... I just don’t expect title changes. More than that, I don’t expect clean finishes.
The fight for the Raw Women’s championship is where a lot of fans are sensing/dreading a change. Charlotte Flair may lose a lot, but they do like to book her for championship reigns. It’s certainly possibly they script her to defeat Asuka tonight - they did it a couple weeks ago. But with the fast count drama surrounding the Empress’ feud with Nia Jax, look for Nia and/or John Cone to get involved here one way or another. The intrigue is in whether or not their involvement leads to a new champ.
The IIconics had Sasha Banks & Bayley’s number last week, which by itself could be an indicator the Women’s Tag Team titles will stay with The Blueprint & The Role Model. Both teams are heels, so there will be cheating. But keep an eye out for babyfaces Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross swooping in to make sure no one wins. Or, if my dreams come true, for NXT Women’s champ Io Shirai to show up and really start a program with Sasha. Or Bayley. Or both of them.
Not sure what to say about the Viking Profits at this point. Have I been entertained by their “anything you can do we can do better” series? At times. Has it gone on too long? For my money, yes. Will fans be able to take either team seriously again? Given the right story, sure. But considering the way WWE books tag team wrestling, I don’t think there’s much of a chance of that happening anyway.
What do I think happens when they Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins and Erik & Ivar wrestle to see who ends tonight’s episode as Raw Tag champs? R-Truth’s defense of the 24/7 title collides with their match, bringing Akira Tozawa, his giant ninja, a bunch of other ninjas, Big Show, and possibly the surprise return of El Torito with it.
Even if all of the above tomfoolery comes to pass, it’s really fine. There’s a PPV coming up in less than a month, and the matches on it are supposed to have stipulations. These normal wrestling contests can end in shenanigans to force ladder, cage, handicap, on a pole and other extreme match types for July 19.
Just no more turkey legs, okay? Or Charlotte title reigns.
The title scene
We covered most it above, but there are two belts not on the line during “Championship Monday”. One is Drew McIntyre’s WWE championship. I think we’re building to a SummerSlam showdown with Drew’s “Joker.” For the time being, McIntyre may stay mixed up with Bobby Lashley & MVP. Heck, they may even spill into Truth’s match, which then spills into the Viking Profits match.
Apollo Crews’ kept his United States title last Monday after beating Shelton Benjamin. MVP then pitched Shelty on joining him and Lashley. So maybe they have a rematch tonight, and Benjamin vs. Crews II spills into Truth’s match along with Drew & Bobby, which then spills into the Viking Profits match, which then... you know what? I’m gonna stop.
Other stuff to keep an eye on
- Testing or no, bringing a 71 year old with a heart condition and a few years removed from major surgery on his GI tract back during a pandemic seems like a bad idea. But Randy Orton isn’t just gonna crown himself the “greatest wrestler ever”. So Ric Flair will be on hand to do it for him. Maybe he’ll also explain why he low blowed Christian and allowed the Legend Killer to punt Edge’s best friend in the head.
- His son acquitted himself quite well last week, but Dominik Mysterio was outnumbered three-to-one when he evaded Murphy & Austin Theory to attack Monday Night Messiah Seth Rollins last week. So Rey is finally accepting Rollins invite, and we’ll see how his eye’s healed up since Seth tried to put it out last month.
- Her stable may be falling about, but at least Zelina Vega can focus all he attention on Andrade & Angel Garza this week since that pesky Kevin Owens won’t be around.
- Looks like a Lana/Natalya team may be in the offing. As long as Liv Morgan & Bianca Belair get to feud with them, I’m okay with it.
Four weeks until Extreme Rules!
What will you be looking for on Raw tonight?