Raw airs tonight (Dec. 12) with a live show from the Fisev Forum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This is the third episode of Raw during the nine week build towards Royal Rumble, which takes place on Jan. 28.
Rhea Ripley has to wait her turn
Raw Women’s Champion Bianca Belair’s next challenger will be either Alexa Bliss or Bayley. Bliss and Bayley each won a triple threat match last week, which means they are facing each other tonight in singles competition. The winner goes on to face Belair for the gold.
Bayley has already failed multiple times to take the belt from Belair in recent months, making Bliss a decent favorite to win this match tonight. Bayley screwed Becky Lynch over last week, ensuring that Bliss is her opponent tonight. The Man could very well return the favor tonight, paving the way for Bliss to win.
Hidden beneath this story is the fact that Rhea Ripley is being lined up for something very important. Her star has quickly been on the rise ever since she corrupted the mind of Dominik Mysterio. On last week’s Raw, Ripley had a major staredown with Lynch early in the show. Even though Ripley did not win her triple threat match, WWE booking protected her by having Asuka take the fall, and then having Ripley deliver a post-match beatdown on The Empress of Tomorrow.
The takeaway from all of this is that even though Bliss will likely become the new number one contender tonight, Rhea Ripley is the one who represents a bigger threat to Bianca Belair’s championship reign. Bliss or Bayley will earn the next title shot, but Ripley and Lynch stand out as the favorites to win the Royal Rumble match and earn a championship match on a much bigger stage. Rhea Ripley just has to wait her turn.
The rest of the title scene
United States Champion Austin Theory can’t move on from dealing with Bobby Lashley and Seth Rollins quite yet. Bob and Seth will have a singles match tonight, with the winner earning a title match against the champ. Can Theory find a way to ensure that neither man wins this fight? The key sub plot here is that Lashley accidentally speared WWE Producer Petey Williams last week, and he was warned by Adam Pearce to make sure it doesn’t happen again. I wonder how Adam will react when it happens again.
WWE Women’s Tag Team Champion IYO SKY has a singles match tonight against Candice LeRae. LeRae has vowed to take out each member of Damage CTRL after they injured her a while back. Candice has already defeated Dakota Kai, which means SKY is the next name on her hit list.
Part-time WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns is once again not advertised for tonight’s show. You’ll have to tune into SmackDown later this week if you want to see the Tribal Chief.
WWE Tag Team Champions The Usos successfully defended their belts twice last week, and The Bloodline put Matt Riddle on the shelf for six weeks as part of that process. Kevin Owens is severely outnumbered in his battle against Roman Reigns’ family. Is anyone else in the Raw locker room willing to join his side in this fight?
Other stuff to keep an eye on
- Dexter Lumis and Johnny Gargano did quite well for themselves in JBL’s high stakes poker invitational last week. Does that mean they just picked a fight with Baron Corbin?
- The Miz appears to be dealing with some financial issues right now. After he was recently forced to pay Lumis all the money he owed him, The Miz couldn’t afford the buy-in for last week’s poker game.
- The Street Profits didn’t waste any time getting knee deep in the muck. They saved Akira Tozawa from a beating at the hands of The Judgment Day last week, putting themselves directly in the crosshairs of Finn Balor and his evil crew.
- Did last week’s show indicate that the war between The O.C. and The Judgment Day is over for now? If so, what’s next for AJ Styles and his buddies?
- Are Brock Lesnar and Edge returning to WWE TV in 2022, or are they waiting for the calendar to flip before resurfacing ahead of Royal Rumble 2023?
- Where is Omos?
- Will Chad Gable and Otis show their faces tonight after being humiliated by Kurt Angle’s milk truck just a few days ago?
- Asuka teased a gimmick change after things didn’t go her way last week.
What will you be looking for on Raw?