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WWE Raw preview (Aug. 9, 2021): Don’t blame Goldberg for this one

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Raw airs tonight (Aug. 9) with a live show from the Amway Center in Orlando, Florida. This is the fourth Raw episode during the five week build towards the upcoming SummerSlam 2021 event on August 21.

Don’t blame Goldberg for this one

Goldberg isn’t advertised for Raw tonight. If he is indeed not in the building, that means Goldberg never worked consecutive episodes of Raw during the five week build to SummerSlam.

Two weeks ago, I used this space to joke that Goldberg already needed a week off after showing up for one night of work. Instead of doubling down on that sentiment here, I’d like to present the other side of the coin: WWE is to blame for Goldberg’s work schedule. If they wanted him to be at Raw tonight, he’d likely be there, but they aren’t willing to pay for more appearances. WWE certainly has the money to make it happen.

WWE is advertising more talking from Bobby Lashley and MVP tonight. Without Goldberg around to respond or confront them with his awkward verbiage, Lashley will probably get to beat up more jabronis like he did with Shelton Benjamin and Cedric Alexander two weeks ago. It won’t necessarily be bad, but it probably won’t do much to add excitement for the WWE championship match between Bob and Bill at SummerSlam.

The rest of the title scene

If hearing from Lashley and MVP doesn’t satiate your appetite for promos, don’t fret, because Charlotte Flair is also advertised for a talking segment. The Queen easily defeated Raw women’s champion Nikki A.S.H. in a non-title match two weeks ago. She dominated Nikki again last week in another non-title match, but got a little too cocky and ultimately lost the bout. Meanwhile, Rhea Ripley embraced a much more obvious babyface role last week when she defeated Nia Jax in a singles match. A.S.H., Flair, and Ripley are set for a triple threat match for the title at SummerSlam. Ripley should be more directly involved in Charlotte and Nikki’s business this week.

Randy Orton never showed up last week to save Matt Riddle from being destroyed by Omos. If Orton remains missing from Raw, that means Omos and AJ Styles don’t have anybody on their radar for a Raw tag team championship match at SummerSlam. Counting tonight, there are only two episodes of Raw left to see if WWE can find a way to get Styles onto one of their biggest cards of the year.

Tamina has been working singles matches now that Natalya is on the shelf for a month due to ankle surgery. Given that the primary threats for the Women’s tag team titles are Shotzi & Nox, who are over on SmackDown, it’s not a given that we’ll see Tamina or the Women’s tag titles show up on Raw tonight, unless Shayna Baszler hasn’t reached her monthly quota of losses yet.

Damian Priest defeated Sheamus a couple weeks ago in a championship contender’s non-title match. Priest followed that up last week by pinning Johnny Drip Drip twice in one night. It’s a foregone conclusion that Priest will be challenging Sheamus for the United States championship soon, it’s just a matter of whether or not the title match is booked for SummerSlam.

Reggie has added some life to the 24/7 title scene as the new champion, but it might just be a fleeting thing. We’ll see tonight if WWE can come up with a new opponent for Reggie to face besides the usual assortment of jobbers and R-Truth.

Other stuff to keep an eye on

- I’m pretty sure that Drew McIntyre threatened to murder Jinder Mahal with his flame-generating sword, now known as Angela, and he told Jinder to take the threat seriously. This actually isn’t out of place in WWE, given how much attempted murder there was the year before.

- Eva Marie and Doudrop are having problems dealing with Alexa Bliss and a stupid doll. It’s a given that Lilly is a better worker in the ring than Eva, of course, so that means Doudrop will have to step up her game to make this a balanced feud.

- Karrion Kross and Keith Lee have traded wins the last two weeks. This might be a race to see which wrestler can find a way to get over by losing the most matches.

- Speaking of losing matches, the new team of Mansoor and Mustafa Ali followed up their debut win with a loss last week against MACE & T-BAR. It’s not an episode of Raw without a rematch, so a rubber match between these two teams could very well be booked for tonight, unless it’s already being moved over to Main Event.

- The clock is ticking on Asuka and New Day returning to television in time to make the SummerSlam card. But Jaxson Ryker has also been absent from Raw the last couple of weeks, and that’s clearly a much more pressing issue to figure out in time for SummerSlam.

What will you be looking for on Raw tonight?