Raw airs tonight (Sept. 13) with a live show from the TD Garden Arena in Boston, Massachusetts. This is the fourth Raw episode during the five week build towards Extreme Rules 2021 on September 26.
Don’t be surprised if Randy Orton wins the WWE championship tonight
Randy Orton is challenging Bobby Lashley for the WWE championship tonight on Raw. WWE needs a big attraction to counter the NFL’s Monday Night Football premiere, and it doesn’t get much bigger than a WWE title match.
Considering this match was originally booked for Extreme Rules, it might be tempting to assume we’re getting a disqualification finish here that will lend itself well for a rematch on the pay-per-view. But there’s one more finish that could lead to a rematch at Extreme Rules - what if Randy Orton actually wins the title tonight?
Orton has won the WWE championship more than just about anybody, so it’s certainly not a far-fetched scenario to consider. WWE has also shown a willingness to have this title change hands on Raw television. Two of the last three title changes have occurred on Monday nights, with Lashley squashing Miz for the title on Raw earlier this year, and Drew McIntyre defeating Orton for the title on Raw last November.
Orton’s three week reign as champ late last year shows that WWE is open to the idea of a quick title change for The Viper in order to add some short-term intrigue to Raw. He can win the title tonight and simply drop it back to Lashley at Extreme Rules.
Then there is the Goldberg factor. Goldberg wants to take Lashley’s soul, and is no longer interested in the WWE championship. If the idea is to book a Lashley vs. Goldberg rematch in Saudi Arabia next month and leave the title out of the mix, well, one way to accomplish that is to take the title off Lashley before the Goldberg rematch happens.
Do the above arguments mean that Orton is the favorite to win the title tonight? No, probably not. Orton and
Matt Riddle will have to defend the Raw tag team titles against Lashley and MVP at some point, and tonight’s match between Orton and Lashley might just serve as a way for the heels to do something especially evil to Randy ahead of that match.
Regardless of the outcome, it’s always an exciting time when the WWE championship is defended on television, so this one is well worth checking out.
The rest of the title scene
Charlotte Flair defeated Nia Jax last week to retain the Raw women’s championship, and she is now set to defend that title against Alexa Bliss at Extreme Rules. Before Charlotte can fully focus on Alexa and her stupid doll, however, she’ll have to deal with Shayna Baszler in a non-title match tonight. Baszler loses all the time, so this should be no sweat for The Queen. Shayna played a key role in Jax losing last week, so Nia will likely return the favor.
Thanks to the aforementioned Jax/Baszler conflict, it looks like the women’s tag team division, which has very few teams to begin with, is about to lose another one. Tamina and Natalya are the Women’s tag team champions and have made a habit out of losing
championship contenders non-title matches. Rhea Ripley and Nikki A.S.H. defeated them in one such match last week, which means they’ll probably need to beat the champs at least two more times before anything comes of it. Ripley will look to keep the momentum going tonight when she takes on Natalya in a singles match.
Sheamus defeated Drew McIntyre last week in order to become the top contender for Damian Priest’s United States championship at Extreme Rules. Priest is issuing another open challenge for the title tonight, so that comes with the exciting element of the unknown. Will Drew McIntyre answer the call and be pinned for the third consecutive episode of Raw, or is it time for Priest to beat up on a mid-card heel? The Archer of Infamy better hope that Omos doesn’t accept the challenge, because he’s pretty much the best wrestler on Monday nights in kayfabe.
Reggie successfully defended the 24/7 championship against Akira Tozawa last week. After the match was over, he evaded the typical cast of jobbers, which now includes Jeff Hardy and babyface Jaxson Ryker. Hardy is super excited about the whole thing, so maybe he’ll be motivated to come up with a better plan tonight for winning jobber gold.
Other stuff to keep an eye on
- The fallout of last week’s disjointed tag team turmoil match brings us an 8-man tag tonight. New Day teams up with Mansoor and Mustafa Ali to take on the fantastic foursome of MACE, T-BAR, AJ Styles, and Omos. Maybe the teams of Lucha House Party and Jinder Mahal & Veer have been left out of the mix here because their duties are required on Main Event?
- Doudrop challenged Eva Marie to a match for tonight. That’s a hell of a way to celebrate her wedding. It’s not clear if Eva has accepted the challenge.
- Karrion Kross is now steamrolling jabronis like Ricochet and John Morrison, but the Moist TV talking segment that preceded last week’s match didn’t do him any favors. It’s always one step forward, one step back for Dollar Store Super Shredder, which is why he was the prime example used by Mick Foley last when when criticizing WWE for watering down its top wrestlers from NXT.
- Are those Elias repackaging videos even a thing anymore?
- Keith Lee has been off television for several weeks in a row. Given those bizarre rumors about plans for Lee to turn heel, maybe the Limitless One is being kept on the sidelines until he can start anew in the upcoming WWE Draft.
What will you be looking for on Raw tonight?