Raw airs tonight (Oct. 25) with a live show from the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. This is the first Raw episode during the four week build towards Survivor Series 2021 on November 21.
The Man leads Raw into a “New Era”
Ever since Becky Lynch returned to WWE in August, she’s been on the same brand as Roman Reigns, the top star in WWE. Now that Becky has been drafted over to Raw, she’s once again the top star on her brand, just like she was before she went on hiatus from WWE roughly 18 months ago. That means it’s time for Raw to be dominated by The Man.
Raw is three hours long, so Becky will probably have to wrestle more on Monday nights than she did on Fridays. It’s obvious that Bianca Belair will be the main threat to Lynch’s Raw women’s championship going forward. The new roster for the Raw women’s division also includes Carmella, Zelina Vega, Doudrop, Liv Morgan, Dana Brooke, Mia Yim, Tegan Nox, Tamina, Rhea Ripley, Nikki A.S.H., Alexa Bliss, and Nia Jax.
In the short term, Becky indicated she will compete against the SmackDown women’s champion at Survivor Series. That title is currently held by Charlotte Flair, unless she accidentally dropped the belt on the ground while I was typing those words.
Lynch and Flair participated in a “WWE Women’s Title Exchange” last week, because WWE Creative was bereft of any interesting ideas for them. The segment (predictably) didn’t go well at all and reportedly led to a backstage incident between Lynch and Flair. This is the biggest story in wrestling right now; there’s apparently a ton of heat on Charlotte because many folks believe she tried to double cross Becky in order to protect her own character from looking weak.
This is pro wrestling, so the shoot will probably now be turned into a work if WWE is indeed sticking to the plan of booking Lynch vs. Flair at Survivor Series. Lynch won’t shy away from that kind of angle, so she could certainly provide some fireworks tonight when she gets that mic in her hands. There’s never a dull moment in WWE, that’s for sure (unless Jaxson Ryker is on screen).
The rest of the title scene
WWE’s “New Era” of Raw will feature AJ Styles and Omos challenging RK-Bro for the Raw tag team titles in a rematch from Crown Jewel. If the heels come up short again due to AJ Styles being a much worse wrestler than Omos in kayfabe, will the big man start to think about ditching the Phenomenal One and pursuing a singles run?
Big E retained the WWE championship over Drew McIntyre at Crown Jewel. It’s expected that Big E and Roman Reigns will clash in a non-title battle of top champions at Survivor Series, but it’s not clear if that angle will begin to take shape tonight. If it doesn’t, the top heels on the new Raw roster include Seth Rollins and Bobby Lashley. Both men just lost at Crown Jewel, though, and don’t really deserve a shot at the champ. Edge might also be in the mix here, unless it’s time for the part-timer to go home for a while after a busy schedule over the last three months.
United States champion Damian Priest hasn’t had much to do over these last three weeks while waiting for new rosters to go into effect. Who will be the next man to step up for a shot at the champ? Some of the possibilities include Kevin Owens, Austin Theory, Otis, Apollo Crews, Finn Balor, John Morrison, Karrion Kross, and the Bearcat.
Reggie, R-Truth, Akira Tozawa, and Drake Maverick were all drafted to Raw, which means you can expect more of the same wacky 24/7 championship segments that have featured these wrestlers in recent weeks. Which of the wrestlers coming over from SmackDown will be unlucky enough to join the cast of jobbers? What about that jabroni Chad Gable?
Rhea Ripley and Nikki A.S.H. are the Women’s tag team champions, but WWE doesn’t have any teams for them to face on Raw or SmackDown. It’s not clear if WWE even knows or cares about this glaring problem.
Other stuff to keep an eye on
- The Mysterios are now on the Raw roster. They were most recently having a difficult time handling Sami Zayn over on Friday nights, who was beginning to create a rift between Rey and Dominik. Which heel on the Raw roster will take Sami’s place in that story?
- The new Raw tag team division also includes The Street Profits, Dirty Dawgs, The Hurt Business, Alpha Academy, and maybe even Apollo Crews & Commander Azeez. It probably won’t be too long until Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins are looking for a title shot at RK-Bro.
- Veer was drafted to Raw all by his lonesome, without Jinder Mahal or Shanky by his side. Will he be getting pushed right away?
- Queen Zelina Vega could very well receive her official coronation ceremony tonight, just as Xavier Woods did on SmackDown.
- There are three more members of the Raw roster who I have not yet mentioned in this preview: T-BAR, The Miz, and Gable Steveson.
- What’s going on with Elias? He hasn’t been mentioned on air in a while, he wasn’t drafted, and the videos teasing his return have completely vanished.
- WWE is promoting tonight’s episode as the season premiere of Raw. That means the season finale ended with a shitty disqualification. Let’s hope WWE comes up with something more exciting for the finish of the season premiere’s main event, whatever it happens to be.
What will you be looking for on Raw tonight?