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WWE Raw preview (July 20, 2020): Pretenders

Sasha Banks’ Instagram

Another show from the Performance Center in Orlando. This one is reportedly being taped today (July 20), along with next Monday’s

The Headliner(s)

Coming out of Extreme Rules, we have two people claiming to be champion when in actuality they aren’t. Let’s cover the one most likely to be resolved tonight in this section.

After a very busy finish to last night’s Raw Women’s title fight, Sasha Banks left with the belt. This was because of the obscure rule which says that if a referee is blinded with something spit from the champion’s mouth, then the challenger’s best friend can rip the shirt off their back and become the referee. Actually, that’s not a rule, and Banks’ fellow WWE Women’s Tag Team champ actually didn’t have the authority to count three. Which is why Asuka is pissed, and probably still the rightful champion.

But she’s also a fighting champion, which means The Empress of Tomorrow will want to settle this by kicking Sasha’s butt. And probably Bayley’s too. Maybe her Kabuki Warriors partner Kairi Sane will do some of the butt kicking. Sane has plenty of motivation, seeing as Bayley took her out at Exteme Rules for trying to stop one of Dos Straps’ attempts to interfere in the match.

If a rematch happens tonight, it could continue a trend for The Boss. Banks has held the red brand’s Women’s belt four times in the past, but never for longer than a month. In one case it was only for about a week. Will even her pilfered reign suffer a similar fate?

That’s not the only bit of intrigue in our inevitable Sasha/Asuka do-over, either. The Kabuki Warriors expressed their desire to wrestle one another on last Monday’s Raw Talk. Everyone’s waiting for the Role Models to explode, even as we’re seeing fewer signs a Banks/Bayley feud is imminent.

Whatever happens, here’s hoping that next iteration of The Boss vs. The Empress gets as much time as they did last night. The match was really, really good. All it needs is a less convoluted finish.

The title scene

One belt that is not in dispute is the WWE championship. Drew McIntyre faced a unique challenge when his old tag partner Dolph Ziggler gave their match an Extreme Rules stipulation - but only for him. It was a smart ploy by The Show-Off, and gave our fighting Scotsman his latest challenge to overcome. What’s next? All signs point to a SummerSlam showdown with his “Joker”... more on that below.

As mentioned above, ownership is in dispute for more than just the Women’s belt coming out of the weekend’s PPV. With Apollo Crews not cleared to compete, MVP left Sunday night’s show without wrestling, but with the new-look United States title. We’ll get a match to settle this someday, but with Crews status up in the air, it’s not clear when that’ll be.

It’s also not clear when Raw Tag champs Street Profits will next be back in action. Angelo Dawkins’ wife just recently gave birth, and Montez Ford may still be nursing a back injury from prior to WrestleMania 36. Whenever they’re ready, their long reign looks like it will be challenged by Andrade & Angel Garza.

His 24/7 title is always in dispute, especially with ninjas running around. At least R-Truth has a game show to sooth his nerves now.

Other stuff to keep an eye on

- The only match announced for tonight is Randy Orton and Big Show’s Unsanctioned one. Show returned after Orton punted Edge & Christian to reclaim his Legend Killer fame. If he becomes the latest legend killed as expected, Randy will be on his way to a date with McIntyre on Aug. 23.

- Truth actually might not have to worry about Akira Tozawa’s ninjas, since Shayna Baszler announced her return last Monday by taking a bunch of them out. We’ll see what’s next for the former NXT Women’s champ.

- We’ll also see what’s next, if anything, for Bianca Belair. The EST subbed in for Liv Morgan in Ruby Riott’s feud with IIconics last week. Peyton Royce & Billie Kay seem to be substitutes for Natalya & Lana in the Riott Squad reunion program. Don’t get too attached to anyone’s role in a story during the pandemic era.

- If his stomach is settled, Seth Rollins will probably address the fact he made Rey Mysterio hold a fishing bobber to his face took out Rey Mysterio’s eye last night. While Rey is negotiating his next contract making what’s expected to be a full recovery, there’s a long list of folks who will be looking to avenge Mysterio - starting with his son Dominik, and Kevin Owens.

It’s the Extreme Rules fallout show!

What will you be looking for on Raw tonight?

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