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WWE Raw preview (Jan. 4, 2021): Try, try again

Live from ThunderDome!

The Headliner

It’s Legends Night, which means there will be middle-aged and old folks roaming around Tropicana Field during the Jan. 4 episode of Raw. But that shouldn’t factor into night’s marquee match. That will feature Keith Lee challenging WWE champion Drew McIntyre. And while it’s unlikely Ric Flair or Hulk Hogan will get involved, there is a former titleholder who could.

Miz regained the Money in the Bank contract last Monday. Adam Pearce, or his off-screen bosses, bought Miz’s argument that since he hadn’t been the one to hand the briefcase to the official (his running buddy John Morrison did), he hadn’t actually cashed in. That means a guy who just lost to Gran Metalik - and hasn’t won a non-handicap match in more than a month - is back in the main event scene.

It’s been clear since the case fell into Otis’ hands last May that WWE didn’t really know what to do with the men’s winner this time around. When McIntyre survived the Triple Threat Miz Morrison’s cash-in created at TLC, it looked like maybe we could just put it behind us. It wasn’t ideal, but after a decade or so of a MitB win = a title reign, over the past several years WWE’s managed to inject some uncertainty into the equation. They’d already drained the enthusiasm many of us had for another Miz reign by having him lose his feud with Shane McMahon. There wasn’t any great outrage over what happened at last month’s PPV.

Giving Miz back the briefcase did heat some folks up, though. Why not capitalize on that by having him successfully cash-in during or after McIntyre/Lee tonight?

There’s probably no way WWE will turn Miz into anything other than a cowardly “comedy” heel between now and his contract’s expiration date. A short title run for the A-Lister could be used to help set-up whatever their desired WrestleMania program for McIntyre is. Hell, a shocking title change to end the episode might get some of the folks tuning in to see the Legends to come back next week to see what happens.

Having Lee pull off the upset would probably excite more folks online, but I just don’t see that happening. Backing into Miz’s second WWE championship? That sounds more like Raw.

The title scene

We’re waiting for the inevitable showdown between Raw Women’s champ Asuka and the person she holds the WWE Women’s Tag belts with, Charlotte Flair. In the meantime, they’re still tussling with former champs Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler. The heels tried to take the Queen out last week, but the Empress wouldn’t let them.

It’s not clear if Raw Tag Team titleholders Cedric Alexander & Shelton Benjamin are done with The New Day or not. The Hurt Business did pick up another win over Xavier Woods & Kofi Kingston when they teamed with Hardy Bros Jeff & Riddle. The aftermath of that match definitely continued Riddle’s feud with United States champion Bobby Lashley, because the All Mighty can’t be happy about being leveled with a knee from the Original Bro.

Angel Garza is 24/7 champion. Now just debut Eva Marie as his manager, move him on to bigger things, and put the green & gold back on R-Truth where it belongs.

Other stuff to keep an eye on

- Will Randy Orton set anyone on fire this week? Did he send Alexa Bliss to hell to reunite with The Fiend last week like she wanted?

- So far, AJ Styles’ muscle > Elias’. Can Jaxson Ryker help his man even the score this week, or will the threat of Omos keep AJ in the win column? Or will we just forget about this heel vs. heel match from last week and move on?

- Not even being choked out by Mustafa Ali could convince Ricochet to join RETRIBUTION.

Four weeks until Royal Rumble!

What will you be looking for on Raw tonight?

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