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WWE Raw preview (May 17, 2021): The women’s title story can finally focus on Charlotte Flair

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Raw airs tonight (May 17) live from the ThunderDome in the Yuengling Center in Tampa, Florida. This is the fallout episode following last night’s WrestleMania Backlash.

The women’s championship story can finally focus on Charlotte Flair

WrestleMania Backlash was originally scheduled to feature a singles match between Raw women’s champion Rhea Ripley and Asuka, but Charlotte Flair was eventually added to the fight, because that’s what Charlotte does.

The match ended with the Empress being pinned by Riptide for the third time in the last 6 weeks. It’s pretty clear that Asuka isn’t ready for any more title shots after her latest failure.

That means we’re probably getting a more focused one-on-one story between Ripley and Flair in the coming weeks. Will it culminate in an actual Hell in a Cell match on June 20? Or just a regular singles match? Charlotte can probably get whichever match type she prefers, considering that she seems to have Sonya Deville in her back pocket.

The title scene

Bobby Lashley took advantage of Drew McIntyre’s Claymore and was able to pin Braun Strowman to retain the WWE championship at WrestleMania Backlash. In the aftermath of Bob’s big win, MVP has promised a surprise for the All Mighty champ tonight. Will Drew McIntyre resort to corny babyface comedy to ruin Lashley’s surprise? Or will he come out like a silent badass and Claymore everyone?

Randy Orton RKO’d the New Day last week. So maybe R-K-Bro and New Day will have to mix it up to see who will be the next challenger for the Raw tag team champions, AJ Styles and Omos.

With Tamina and Natalya becoming the new Women’s tag team champions on SmackDown, they can now cross brands and appear on Monday nights. If that happens tonight, Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax will probably pick one more fight with them before it’s time to find some new opponents on the Raw roster.

Sheamus beat Ricochet on the WrestleMania Backlash pre-show. Despite the loss, Ricochet made it clear that he’s still coming for the United States championship. Will Humberto Carrillo or Mansoor have anything to say about that?

Other stuff to keep an eye on

- Last week, Lilly and Alexa Bliss had their eyes set on one person from a ring that included Charlotte Flair, Nia Jax, Shayna Baszler, Asuka, Mandy Rose, Dana Brooke, and Reginald. We should be able to narrow down this list of Lilly’s potential first target even more after tonight’s episode.

- The Miz and John Morrison were eaten by zombies at Wrestlemania Backlash, but I bet tonight we’ll find out how they escaped in one piece. What I don’t expect to find out tonight is how a zombie apocalypse angle is supposed to get Damian Priest over.

- Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin squared off last week, and the older star actually went over. With all of his allies gone, Cedric has nobody to blame but himself for these losses.

- Jinder Mahal is back on Raw and will probably win another match tonight to remind us that he used to be a jobber WWE champion.

- Angel Garza didn’t shove a flower up anyone’s butt last week. What a travesty.

- Last week, Eva Marie told us that it takes 99 bad pictures before you get the perfect one. I wonder what other inspirational words she’ll grace us with tonight as part of the Eva-lution.

What will you be looking for on Raw tonight?