Raw airs tonight (May 24) live from the ThunderDome in the Yuengling Center in Tampa, Florida. This is the second Raw episode during the five week build towards the upcoming Hell in a Cell event on June 20.
Bobby Lashley could really use a couple of friends right now
Last week on Raw, the All Mighty WWE champion was pinned for the first time in seemingly forever. With an assist from Drew McIntyre and Xavier Woods, Kofi Kingston was able to keep Bobby Lashley down for the three count in a non-title match.
The visual of McIntyre celebrating with Kingston and Xavier Woods as Raw went off the air was a reminder that Lashley could really use a few more allies right now. Of course, it wasn’t too long ago that he had Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin watching his back as part of The Hurt Business, but WWE decided to disband the group for reasons that still don’t make any sense.
Lashley will probably have to wrestle Kingston on Raw again before dealing with McIntyre at Hell in a Cell. It was a over a month ago when Bob teased new members would be joining the Hurt Business sooner rather than later. Delivering on those words will be the best way for him to survive this next month as the reigning WWE champion.
The title scene
WrestleMania Backlash laid the groundwork for the Raw women’s championship scene to move on from Asuka, but then the Empress defeated Charlotte Flair in a singles match on Raw the next night. Rhea Ripley doesn’t sound too interested in facing Flair. Sonya Deville had to curtail her pro-Flair decision-making in an attempt to work together with Adam Pearce. It’s not clear where this story is going right now.
AJ Styles and Omos had their hands full with Elias and Jaxson Ryker last week. Styles battled Elias in a singles match that ended in disqualification thanks to Ryker, and then Omos chased off the heels. Well, actually I think all four of these wrestlers are heels, but you’re supposed to boo Ryker and Elias more than you’re supposed to boo Styles and Omos, if that makes sense. Regardless of how you parse the heel dynamic here, the bottom line is that there’s still no reason to take Elias and Ryker seriously as a threat to the Raw tag team champions.
It seems like WWE is hell-bent on running the Tamina & Natalya vs. Nia Jax & Shayna Baszler match as often as possible. They are scheduled for a Women’s tag team championship match tonight, which will mark the fourth consecutive episode of Raw or SmackDown where they have stood across the ring from each other in a match. Alexa Bliss and Lilly seem to have their sights set on Baszler during this time, so you should expect to see the former champs thwarted by more Bliss voodoo tonight.
Sheamus beat Ricochet on the WrestleMania Backlash pre-show. The United States champion also beat Ricochet the next night on Raw. That doesn’t necessarily mean the story between these two wrestlers is already over. WWE loves booking constant rematches, after all, and these guys always put on a good match.
Other stuff to keep an eye on
- Xavier Woods is scheduled for a match tonight against
Matt Riddle. Tensions are escalating between New Day and R-K-BRO, and a win here could go a long way towards determining which team deserves the next shot at Styles and Omos.
- It looks like Damian Priest can finally move on to a new story now that the Miz has been eaten by zombies and John Morrison was vanquished in a lumberjack match on Raw. Which heel will Priest go after next? Lashley? Sheamus? Drew Gulak? We’ll just have to wait and see.
- After last week’s lumberjack match and ensuing Twitter exchange, we’re probably getting a match at some point on Raw between the Viking Raiders and T-BAR and MACE. Unless that’s the sort of match that belongs on Main Event.
- Babyface Eva Marie will no doubt deliver more hype about the upcoming Eva-lution that is going to sweep WWE just as the company is preparing to embark on a summer tour. With Jinder Mahal also recently returning to WWE television, tickets to those live events in July must be selling like crazy.
What will you be looking for on Raw tonight?