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WWE Raw preview (June 8, 2020): Marriage story

Another show from the Performance Center in Orlando. This one is being taped today.

The Headliner(s)

When last week’s episode ended with WWE champion Drew McIntyre trapped in a Bobby Lashley full nelson, the company made sure we knew “the star of Monday Night Raw” didn’t pass out. But they didn’t answer the other question I had about the main event, which saw McIntyre defeat MVP before Drew’s Backlash challenger attacked... why was Lana out there?

For a few weeks now, Lana’s been bristling about MVP’s increased role in her kayfabe husband’s career. Which is understandable, since one of the arguments he used to get Bobby to use his services is that the All Mighty was wasting too much time dealing with the Ravishing sometimes-Russian’s nonsense.

Traditional wrestling logic would have led you to think that when Lana was out for MVP’s match with McIntyre last week, she’d somehow get involved. She did insult and slap him earlier in the show. Then she let out a full-blown evil laugh while monologuing about how Lashley told her not to be ringside at his matches, but didn’t say anything about MVP’s.

But after making her usual entrance, she was a non-factor. It was weird, and you have to think it will be addressed no later than Sunday’s PPV.

They’ve made sure to plant the seeds for issues between MVP and Lana over the past month. Lord knows they’ve established issues between her and Lashley, only to ignore them, then establish them again.

It’s not my ideal scenario, but it would be nice to have them at least definitely conclude that storyline rather than just ignore it. The only thing worse than having soldiered through the months long Lashley/Lana/Rusev/Liv Morgan saga would be having soldiered through it for absolutely nothing.

Heat between his wife and his manager can also help explain Bobby losing his title shot this weekend. Raw’s done a good job keeping Seth Rollins a viable threat and interesting character after his loss to the Scot. It would be nice to see them do the same with Lashley, especially if that led to Bobby’s long sought after match/feud with Brock Lesnar as a non-title program. Let those two legit badasses throw down in a side feud that doesn’t tie up any belts.

Lana could be key to having both McIntyre and Lashley leave Backlash looking strong. It won’t retroactively transform the months of watching her and her Bobby make Rusev’s life miserable into good television. But it’s better than nothing.

We’ll see if they start when Lashley hits The MVP Lounge on tonight’s episode.

The title scene

We were deprived a clear winner in last week’s champion vs. champion match because Nia Jax distracted Raw Women’s titleholder Asuka. And now Charlotte Flair isn’t even NXT Women’s champ anymore! They’re running that back tonight as a non-title affair, but how long until Flair comes gunning for the Empress’s belt? Will new black-and-gold brand standard-bearer Io Shirai get the same “three show” privileges The Queen enjoyed? Oh yeah, and I guess we should also be interested in how Asuka gets revenge against Jax heading into their showdown this weekend...

We also didn’t get a winner in the match new United States champion Apollo Crews respectfully offered Kevin Owen. But the duo did get a win over the interfering team of Angel Garza & Andrade. Will KO and Crews try again? Can Zelina Vega’s boys ever get back on the winning track?

Street Profits and Viking Raiders will look to break the tie in their “anything you can do, we can do better” series with a decathlon. You’d think this would someday lead to a match for Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins Raw Tag titles.

IIconics were gunning for a showdown with the old Women’s Tag Team champions, so you have to imagine they’ll still have their eyes on the prize even though Sasha Banks & Bayley now hold them rather than Alexa Bliss & Nikki Cross. Don’t count out Bliss Cross Applesauce, either. Because a title match needs some babyfaces, even when there’s issues between the partners in all the teams who’d be involved in a three-way program. The new champs are coming to Raw tonight to “divulge an impending announcement.”

Speaking of eyes on the prize, R-Truth got his baby back! And now that Drake Maverick isn’t released, maybe we can get back to the glory days of the 24/7 title.

Other stuff to keep an eye on

- Nobody knows Edge like Christian, so Captain Charisma returns tonight for a special Peep Show just so he can see where his best friend’s head is at heading into his Greatest Wrestling Match Ever with Randy Orton at Backlash in a few days.

- Seth Rollins wants Rey Mysterio to retire to complete the “sacrifice” the Monday Night Messiah thinks he made for the good of Rollins’ mission. WWE wants us to think Rey might... even though Mysterio says he won’t. Aleister Black is pissed about what Seth did to Rey. So is Humberto Carrillo. That goes double for Rey’s son Dominik. For us fans, the only problem with any of this is that there are four babyfaces, and Rollins only has two acolytes in Murphy & Austin Theory.

It’s the Backlash ‘go home’ show!

What will you be looking for on Raw tonight?

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