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WWE Raw preview (Sept. 14, 2020): Limits

Live from ThunderDome!

The Headliner(s)

On Raw Talk last week, Keith Lee said he was tired of WWE champion Drew McIntyre getting involved in his matches. McIntyre is looking for a tune-up after missing time due to the fractured jaw his Clash of Champions opponent Randy Orton gave him. That’s the set-up for tonight’s battle of big boys Drew & Keith.

It also marks The Limitless One’s fourth week on Raw, and a makes it a good time to check in on a former NXT champ Vince McMahon allegedly wants to “push to the the moon.”

Over at Wrestling Observer, Dave Meltzer and Bryan Alvarez have a theory about NXT call-ups and other shiny new toys McMahon takes an interest in on the main roster. In a nutshell, it goes like this... they get three weeks before Vince gets bored with them. After debuting with a big win, they get ten minutes with Dolph Ziggler the following week. Then their time as “just another guy” starts.

Lee’s rollout doesn’t exactly fit the formula, but it’s worth wondering if we aren’t seeing a version of it applied to the big Texan.

Sandwiched in between non-finishes caused by McIntyre’s issues with The Viper, Keith picked up a clean PPV win over Orton at Payback, beat Ziggler (it’s always Ziggler), and took an RKO but not a pin in #1 contender Triple Threat. Now he gets a one-on-one with the champ that will almost certainly end when Randy attacks his Scottish nemesis to pay him back for the trio of Claymores Drew hit him with last Monday.

It’s far from the worst rollout; the idea is to associate Lee with the biggest names on the Raw roster (Seth Rollins took his Spirit Bomb finisher in the Aug. 31 Triple Threat). He doesn’t seem like an afterthought. But he does seem like a supporting character.

As is almost always the case in the never-ending drama that is pro wrestling, what happens next will determine whether Keith Lee follows a more Kevin Owens-like path, or if his will look more like Ricochet’s. Transitioning him into something other than being the third wheel in the Orton/McIntyre feud would be smart. Unfortunately, I don’t see another star-making program just sitting there waiting to happen.

Give us your evaluation of Lee’s first month on Raw, and put on those fantasy booking hats to figure out what WWE should do with The Limitless One next.

The title scene

“In Your Face” Monday will also feature the Raw Women’s Champ in action, and Asuka will actually be putting her belt on the line against Mickie James. The set-up here is simple - the Empress wants to take on all comers, James wants to cement her legacy with another title reign. Will the finish be as simple, or will those persistent thorns in Mickie’s side Lana & Natalya get involved?

Since we’ve seen them wrestle Zelina Vega-managed teams and Viking Raiders non-stop for months, WWE’s dug up the brand-to-brand invitation rule to find opponents for Raw Tag Team champions Street Profits. Survivor Series season starts early tonight when Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins face SmackDown Tag champs Cesaro & Shinsuke Nakamura.

The #1 contenders for Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler’s WWE Women’s Tag titles Ruby Riott & Liv Morgan looked to have a clean sweep in hand during a pair of handicap matches with the champs last week. But before Liv could pin Nia, those dastardly kids RETRIBUTION cut the lights. Perhaps they’ll officially announce this for the PPV at the end of the month... and hire better security.

Bobby Lashley’s United States championship is safer than ever now that The Hurt Business has expanded to add Cedric Alexander. They didn’t even have to head underground to pick up wins over folks like Apollo Crews, Ricochet or Erik & Ivar last Monday!

Two weeks and counting on R-Truth’s 39th run as 24/7 champion. God is good.

Other stuff to keep an eye on

- It wouldn’t be “In Your Face” without a battle between the Mysterios and the Monday Night Messiah. After Dominik & his whole family lit Murphy up with kendo sticks a week ago, Rollins will try to deal with things himself by heading into a steel cage with Rey’s son.

- Even in Raw Underground, Kevin Owens and Aleister Black weren’t able to settle their issues. Dabba-Kato took out both of them in Shane McMahon’s lair. Now Black isn’t the only one who’s hoppin’ mad.

- We finally got a mission statement from RETRIBUTION. They’re gonna wreck everyone... who happens to be on Raw, and not in really important matches. Sounds like a plan, I guess.

- Peyton Royce is on her own, and Mandy Rose is here now.

Two weeks until Clash of Champions!

What will you be looking for on Raw tonight?

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