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WWE Raw preview (Sept. 7, 2020): Shuffle up

Live from ThunderDome!

The Headliner(s)

As of Monday morning, WWE hasn’t released much information about the Labor Day edition of Raw. They’re asking if anyone can stop Randy Orton ahead of the Clash of Champions rematch with WWE champion Drew McIntyre he just earned by pinning Seth Rollins last Monday, but that seems like an odd question given we just saw the Viper take loses at the last two PPVs. Sure, they’re referring to the punts that put McIntyre in the local medical facility two weeks ago and not getting beat by the champ and Keith Lee - but still. What do they think Randy is, RETRIBUTION or something?

That lack of information, and the fact that in putting out two events over the last three weeks WWE’s given us reason to examine & re-examine everything about their shows, did make one thing clear. Raw would benefit greatly from a reshuffling of its roster.

Lee’s arrival helped, and The Limitless One could be Rollins’ new dance partner with Rey Mysterio out. But especially on the men’s side of things, it feels like we’re watching many of the same feuds we’ve watched since WrestleMania. It shouldn’t take personnel changes to transition out of stories, but that looks like what it might take to get them to stop booking matches between Angel Garza & Andrade and Street Profits for the latter’s Raw Tag titles.

Fortunately, everyone from the dirt sheets to Triple H has said a WWE Draft/Superstar Shake-up is coming this fall.

New match-ups will only take us so far. We’ll probably tire of a Big E/MVP program if they run it for six months, just like we did the Apollo/Crews MVP one. But once we get to the end of the year, it’s Royal Rumble season. The Road to WrestleMania gives new motivation to old rivalries, and voila, we’re through another year of the longest running weekly episodic television show in history.

Pass some time thinking about who you’d like to see move from NXT and SmackDown to Raw while we run through the rest of the red brand’s affairs.

The title scene

From the way last Monday played out, it looks like Raw Women’s Champ Asuka’s next challenger could be Mickie James or Natalya. Either would make for a good one PPV program while the newly solo Peyton Royce is built up... or while we wait for one of the four women in the new WWE Women’s Tag title championship program to refocus on singles glory. Nia Jax, Shayna Baszler, Liv Morgan or Ruby Riott would all make logical opponents for the Empress.

If I were new United States titleholder Bobby Lashley, I’d stick to Raw Underground. The Hurt Business always gets to be badasses in Shane McMahon’s worked shoot lair. When MVP, Lashley & Shelton Benjamin are upstairs, they take losses. Down below, they dominate the same guys.

He’s got his baby back! Here’s hoping R-Truth’s 39th run as 24/7 champion is a long one.

Other stuff to keep an eye on

- Mentioned them briefly in the top section, but we may have actually seen some development with RETRIBUTION last week. The rabble-rousers broke up the tornado tag between long-time rivals Montez Ford, Angelo Dawkins, Andrade, Garza. They beat-up a game Zelina Vega, but may have sparred Angel’s amore Demi Burnett. Hmmm...

- In addition to business being good for The Hurt Business, Raw Underground was also good for Riddick Moss and MMA Horsewomen Jessamyn Duke & Marina Shafir last week. It was not good at all for the heartbroken Billie Kay.

- One-eyed man Aleister Black continued to target Kevin Owens, costing KO a chance at a Clash of Champions title shot. If I were Black, I’d want a piece of Rollins. But I am looking forward to KO vs. Aleister when they give us an actual match.

- Are we finally about to see Dominik Mysterio work with someone other than Seth?

Three weeks until Clash of Champions!

What will you be looking for on Raw tonight?

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