Raw airs tonight (Sept. 20) with a live show from the PNC Arena in Raleigh, North Carolina. This is the final Raw episode during the five week build towards Extreme Rules 2021 on September 26.
Roman Reigns is here to save Raw
The main attraction for tonight’s episode of Raw is The New Day taking on The Bloodline in a six man tag team match. That’s right, Roman Reigns and the Usos are making the grueling trek from Friday nights over to Monday. I’ll leave it to you to figure out if this roster crossover is technically allowed via Brand-to-Brand Invitation, Wild Card rule, I Was In The Area And Decided To Stop By, or one of the many other established exceptions to WWE’s brand split.
The six man tag match was set up last week on SmackDown when new WWE champion Big E confronted Universal champion Roman Reigns, only to be ambushed backstage by The Usos later in the night.
With the NFL’s Monday Night Football providing stiff ratings competition for Raw over the next few months, WWE will have to pull out all the stops to keep their television numbers from slipping to AEW levels. Last week that meant booking a WWE championship match between Randy Orton and Bobby Lashley, as well as Big E giving advance notice on his Money in the Bank cash-in. This week it means we will be graced with the presence of the Tribal Chief.
SmackDown has been the far superior show to Raw ever since Roman Reigns returned to WWE and turned heel in late August 2020. SmackDown has also been given a recent boost by the returns of Brock Lesnar and Becky Lynch. It sounds like some of WWE’s network partners at NBCUniversal are a bit miffed by all of the good stuff going down on SmackDown on FOX, while Raw sits there in stagnation for much of its three hour runtime. We’ll see if the Head of the Table can provide the jolt that Raw needs, at least for one night.
Raw did get a very big moment last week when Big E defeated Lashley and won the WWE championship. Big E probably needs an opponent for Extreme Rules, and there isn’t much time to left to find one. So don’t be surprised if Lashley appears during tonight’s six man tag match to interfere in the New Day’s business and set up a championship rematch with Big E for this Sunday’s pay-per-view (PPV).
The rest of the title scene
Tamina and Natalya won the Women’s tag team titles on May 14. As far as I can tell, they have not defended those belts on TV or PPV since May 24. They have lost a whole bunch of matches since then, leading to tonight’s title defense against the odd couple team of Nikki A.S.H. and Rhea Ripley.
Damian Priest is scheduled to defend the United States title at Extreme Rules against the former champ, Sheamus. The Celtic Warrior has struggled to gain the upper hand on Priest over the last couple of months, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see the heel finally stand tall on tonight’s go-home show. Sheamus has a match against Jeff Hardy tonight. If Hardy wins, he will be added to the US championship match at the PPV. It’s worth noting that Hardy already lost a title match against Priest last week, and failed to bring home jobber gold the week before that.
Charlotte Flair and Alexa Bliss will battle over the Raw women’s championship at Extreme Rules. They’ve been busy playing with stupid dolls to drive interest in their title match. Alexa rallied fan support behind her last week when she called Charlotte a “narcissistic self-absorbed bitch.” Flair will likely cause some trouble when she takes a trip to Alexa’s playground tonight.
Randy Orton came up short in last week’s WWE championship match against Bobby Lashley. With that side quest out of the way, he can once again focus on defending the Raw tag team titles alongside his best bro,
Matt Riddle. Lashley and MVP were supposed to be next in line for a shot at the tag champs, but with MVP now injured and Lashley probably more interested in regaining the WWE championship, it might be time to revisit RK-Bro vs. AJ Styles & Omos.
Reggie is still doing a very good job of backflipping around jobbers to keep the 24/7 championship in his possession. Drake Maverick is the latest comedy guy to join the title chase, so we’ll see what new plan he can devise to thwart Reggie’s talents.
Other stuff to keep an eye on
- The team of Shayna Baszler and Nia Jax has finally imploded. After screwing each other over in recent singles matches against Charlotte Flair, WWE announced that Jax and Basler will go at it one-on-one tonight. If Jax has paid any attention at all to her partner in the ring over the last year, she’ll know that a halfway decent roll-up is all it takes to keep Shayna down for the three count. But the question is, does Nia know how to perform a halfway decent roll-up?
- Doudrop easily defeated Eva Marie last week on Raw. It’s unclear where both women will go from here. This could very well be the beginning of the end of the Eva-lution.
- Jinder Mahal is busy getting Claymored by Drew McIntyre on WWE’s current European tour (which mostly consists of SmackDown stars), so neither wrestler will be in the building for tonight’s Raw.
- This is the last episode of Raw before Extreme Rules. As of this writing, every single match announced for the PPV will be contested under standard rules, which makes the name of the event seem completely ridiculous. How will WWE address this lingering issue?
What will you be looking for on Raw tonight?