Another show from the Performance Center in Orlando. This one was taped last Friday.
If Randy Orton is back tonight - and a big question about both episodes filmed on July 3 is which of the Superstars who missed last week’s show (and one we haven’t seen since early June, but more on her in a bit) will show up on our screens - he’ll continue his program with Big Show. It’s a feud that is almost certainly leading to another notch in Orton’s Legend Killer 2.0 belt.
Show tried to call The Viper out last Monday, but got Andrade, Angel Garza, Zelina Vega, Ric Flair, and Viking Raiders instead. The first three mocked the Giant’s legend status, Naitch issued a warning, then Erik & Ivar came to Show’s aid. It was fine, kept Randy on our minds while he was away, and killed several of Raw’s too long runtime.
But it didn’t make me any more excited for an Orton/Show match in 2020.
It’s possible that the lighter schedule both men have been working recently will lead to a better match or matches than what I remember from their 2013 feud, or the numerous other times they’ve wrestled over the years. It’ll have to, if the plan is for a memorable bout - like the ones Show had with Braun Strowman a few years back - to build on the Edge & Christian “killings” and continue Randy’s rise to mega-heel status.
Something quick like what Orton & Flair did to Christian could work just as well, though. But WWE needs to really remind us why we don’t want to see that happen to Show.
Even to non-Captain Charisma superfans (full disclosure: I’d a card-carrying member of the Peepmaster’s Coalition), not much work was required to make Randy’s attack on Christian meaningful. His friendship with Edge and the comeback fake-out did the trick. Kicking a guy who retired due to concussions in the head was the evil icing on the dastardly cake.
Show’s a respected veteran and a lovable guy currently making TGIF-style family sitcoms. He did some good promo work a couple weeks back selling his ties to Edge & Christian. I don’t know if it’s the career full of face/heel turns or the predictability of the outcome, but I’m just not invested in his character’s fate as we approach his inevitable punting.
Is there much WWE can do about that at this point? They’ve tried having him fend off undercard bad guys like Akira Tozawa & his ninjas, and midcard ones like Vega’s bickering business associates. Short of inserting him into the Seth Rollins/Rey Mysterio program, I’m not sure what other kayfabe tools they have.
Perhaps they can play up Show’s real life health issues? Have him talk about fighting to get back after hip surgery so he could stand up to villains like Randy. Orton’s year has been built around worked shoot material anyway.
We’ll see what they opt for… if both The Viper and The Worldest Largest Athlete are around. Please leave Ric Flair at home, though.
The title scene
Drew McIntyre made his Extreme Rules WWE title defense against Dolph Ziggler official last week, then ended up getting yelled at by Sasha Banks and on the losing side of a mixed tag match.
The Boss will be in the corner of her WWE Women’s Tag Team champion partner when Bayley faces Sasha’s Extreme Rule opponent, Raw Women’s champ Asuka, tonight. Asuka got rolled up by Banks on Raw, then got payback with a Green Mist-assist to Io Shirai on Wednesday. The big question here is who will have the Empress’ back against The Role Models. Kairi Sane is rumored to be around, and was even advertised at one point… then she wasn’t. Could Shirai return the favor? What about Bayley’s PPV challenger, Nikki Cross?
It took an assist from Bobby Lashley, but United States titleholder Apollo Crews still took a loss to MVP a week ago. Then he ended up being one of several people ragdolled around in Lashley’s Full Nelson.
Raw Tag champs Street Profits weren’t around last week, but with a win over previous #1 contenders Viking Raiders, it looks like Garza & Andrade want the smoke.
Poor R-Truth just wants to keep his 24/7 title safe from ninjas.
Other stuff to keep an eye on
- With Rey & his son Dominik not in the building, the Monday Night Messiah preached his lessons to Aleister Black & Humberto Carrillo. Rollins & Murphy picked up a win, and Carrillo managed to keep both his eyes. He did get stomped into the steps, though.
- A Lana & Natalya alliance is happening, and might be something a reunited Ruby Riott & Liv Morgan deal with in the future. First Liv has to get back on screen, then she may need to help Ruby deal with IIconics after Peyton Royce defeated Riott last Monday.
Two weeks until Extreme Rules!
What will you be looking for on Raw tonight?