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WWE Raw preview (Apr. 11, 2022): There’s a big change coming for Rhea Ripley

Raw airs tonight (Apr. 11) with a live show from Little Caesars Arena in Detroit, Michigan. This is the second Raw episode during the five week build towards WrestleMania Backlash, coming up on May 8.

There’s a big change coming for Rhea Ripley

Sasha Banks and Naomi will defend the Women’s tag team titles tonight on Raw against Rhea Ripley and Liv Morgan.

Ripley and Morgan somehow earned the title match after losing a non-title championship contender’s match last week against Banks and Naomi. Liv was pinned in that match, leading to a frustrated Rhea walking out on her partner. After Ripley had some time to cool off, she talked to the decision-makers and found a way to get this title match booked for tonight.

Morgan showed up on SmackDown later in the week and defeated Sasha Banks in a singles match. Ripley was not there to support her partner. Or maybe Rhea was just abiding by the basic roster rules that indicate she is a Raw wrestler and isn’t allowed to appear on SmackDown.

The stage is set here for Ripley to turn on Morgan. They are a makeshift team that only exists because WWE wanted to find a way to get both of these women onto the WrestleMania 38 card. Now that WrestleMania in the rear-view mirror, there’s no reason for this team to stay together. And considering Rhea’s relatively recent bad experience with former makeshift tag team partner Nikki A.S.H., she’s completely justified if she wants to get as far away from the women’s tag division as possible.

The rumor mill suggests Rhea might be joining up with Edge’s new faction. If that’s true, she could be in line for a singles push in the near future. As for Liv Morgan, well, I don’t think she has any idea that this is all going to blow up in her face tonight.

The title scene

Roman Reigns is the Undisputed WWE Universal champion, but it’s not clear if we should expect to see him on Raw tonight. He ordered SmackDown Tag Team Champions Jimmy and Jey Uso to come to Raw to unify their belts with the Raw tag team titles. Two thoughts that immediately come to mind are: the roster rules don’t matter in the slightest since so many wrestlers can come and go between Raw and SmackDown as they please, and are any of these titles really unified if they aren’t merged into a single belt? That second point is jumping the gun a bit, because Jimmy and Jey will have to go through RK-Bro in order to deliver for their Tribal Chief. Beating Randy Orton and Matt Riddle is easier said than done, of course.

Bianca Belair became the new Raw women’s champion at WrestleMania 38 by defeating Becky Lynch. We heard from Bianca last week on Raw, so maybe this week we’ll hear from the former champ. WrestleMania Backlash is coming up in four weeks, and it wouldn’t be surprising if a rematch is booked for that card.

United States Champion Finn Balor lost in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal, was left off the WrestleMania 38 card, and was then pinned last week on Raw by Austin Theory in a tag team match. With underwhelming booking like this, Finn’s belt could be going around Theory’s waist sooner rather than later.

The 24/7 title scene should be witness to a couple marriages fairly soon. Reggie and Dana Brooke are supposed to tie the knot, as are Tamina and Akira Tozawa. And you know R-Truth is plotting a way to use the ceremony to get his baby back.

Other stuff to keep an eye on

- Cody Rhodes wrestles tonight on Raw for the first time in six years. He’ll take on The Miz, who won a match last week in less than a minute over Dominik Mysterio. Given Cody’s world title aspirations, it would be a shocker if he lost this match against a guy who can’t hang at that level.

- While making a bunch of excuses for getting his ass kicked by Stone Cold Steve Austin at WrestleMania 38, Kevin Owens was interrupted by Ezekiel. Ezekiel is Elias’ new name now that he has been repackaged and shaved off that facial hair. The strange thing is that Ezekiel claims he isn’t Elias; he says that he’s the younger brother of Elias. Owens was so flabbergasted by the absurdity of Ezekiel’s presence that he stormed out of the ring last week. Will these two men cross paths again tonight?

- Bobby Lashley defeated Omos at WrestleMania, but their feud is far from over; MVP turned on Bob last week and joined Omos. It would appear a rematch is coming our way, perhaps at WrestleMania Backlash. At the very least, MVP has some explaining to do tonight.

- Veer Mahaan finally came to Raw last week and launched an unprovoked attack on the Mysterios. He gets an official match with Rey tonight. Is Veer going to follow the path of BUTCH and lose his debut match after all the hype?

- Damian Priest simply stood near the ring at WrestleMania 38, and that somehow led to AJ Styles being distracted and losing his match against Edge. Priest is now aligned with Edge, and Styles gets Damian in a one-on-one fight tonight. Could Tommaso Ciampa be showing his face here?

- Is Dolph Ziggler’s foray in NXT over after he lost the NXT championship to Bron Breakker last week on Raw?

- The Street Profits picked up a win over Alpha Academy last week. What does the expected arrival of the Usos mean for these teams?

- Horny Jerry Lawler is back on Raw commentary tonight, filling in for horny Corey Graves, who got married to Carmella over the weekend.

What will you be looking for on Raw tonight?

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