Raw airs tonight (Apr. 25) with a live show from the Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville, Tennessee. This is the fourth Raw episode during the five week build towards WrestleMania Backlash, coming up on May 8.
Becky Lynch might not be the only star returning to WWE tonight
WWE has announced that Becky Lynch is set to return to Raw tonight. The former women’s champion hasn’t appeared on Raw since she lost her title against Bianca Belair at WrestleMania 38.
Big Time Becks will almost certainly be focused on tonight’s Raw women’s title match between Bianca Belair and Sonya Deville. WWE could have saved this match for WrestleMania Backlash, but they made the smart decision to instead book it in Belair’s hometown. Will Lynch confront the champ after the match and issue a challenge?
There aren’t too many things more exciting in pro wrestling than a good return, especially when it’s unannounced and the wrestler has been gone for a long time. Becky’s return doesn’t meet that criteria, but fret not, dear reader, because it sounds like there could be multiple returns happening tonight.
The latest rumors indicate WWE is planning Asuka’s return, perhaps as soon as tonight, and she could be set up for a feud with Lynch. Asuka has been out since last summer, and her return will be a big deal.
Moving away from the women’s division, it sounds like we may also see Mustafa Ali show up on Raw tonight. He’s never really been pushed in WWE, and his potential return is fascinating due to his real life unhappiness with WWE. Ali asked for his release last year and has been waiting in limbo after WWE refused his request. The possibility of Ali with a live mic in his hands tonight is intriguing, to say the least. He could be a perfect new member for Edge’s faction.
We’re also still waiting for Alexa Bliss and Bayley to return to WWE. Bliss has a new frame of mind and is healthy, so there’s really no good reason to keep her off television.
Finally, last week’s episode of Raw might have laid the groundwork for Elias to return to WWE. His younger brother Ezekiel passed a lie detector test and then fought Chad Gable. The match ended in disqualification after Otis got involved. Zeke clearly needs a partner to help him deal with Alpha Academy, and his older brother is the most logical candidate, if he is ready to return to WWE.
Maybe we’ll “only” get the return of Lynch tonight. Perhaps we’ll get lucky and also see Asuka and/or Ali show up. Maybe we’ll hit the jackpot and get all of them and more. Who knows? It’s exciting to think about the possibilities as we get ready for tonight’s episode of Raw.
The rest of the title scene
Roman Reigns is the Undisputed WWE Universal champion, and is reportedly set to main event WrestleMania Backlash, but WWE has dropped very few hints about his direction or opponent for the event. The Tribal Chief isn’t advertised for Raw tonight, so don’t hold your breath waiting for WWE to reveal his opponent at the premium live pay-per-view event.
WWE is unifying the Raw tag titles with the SmackDown tag titles at WrestleMania Backlash. Before the Usos and RK-Bro go to war to determine who the best team in WWE is, Randy Orton will be honored tonight in a celebration of 20 years since his WWE debut. I’m sure it will be a very peaceful celebration that won’t be ruined by the Bloodline. Maybe Jimmy and Jey will even come out to congratulate Randal and share their favorite moments from his long WWE career.
Sasha Banks and Naomi are the Women’s tag team champions and will likely have to deal with Shayna Baszler and Natalya as their next challengers. Should we expect the heels to crash Raw tonight?
Austin Theory is the new United States champion after beating that jabroni Finn Balor last week. T-BAR and other heels were very excited to celebrate Theory’s big victory, and the new champ even got to take a selfie with Vince McMahon. Will WWE bother to give Finn a rematch, or is Theory ready to move on?
The 24/7 title scene got a big spotlight last week in a double wedding that featured multiple title changes. WWE reminded everyone in recent weeks that the jobber title can be pretty entertaining when they put some effort into it.
Other stuff to keep an eye on
- Bobby Lashley has an arm wrestling match against Omos tonight. This is the stuff pro wrestling nightmares are made of.
- Seth Rollins complained that Cody Rhodes had an unfair advantage over him at WrestleMania 38 due to the element of surprise. That’s why Rollins booked Rhodes in a match last against a mystery opponent that turned out to be Kevin Owens. Rhodes won by count out, because what’s a Raw main event without a count out or disqualification? Seth was frustrated by the outcome; he is likely to become more violent towards Rhodes with their rematch at WrestleMania Backlash right around the corner.
- Damian Priest’s match against AJ Styles two weeks ago ended with no explanation via mysterious blue light. It was a very bad ending, so Edge tried to recover from it last week by reminding everyone that he’s a master of mind games and doing creepy things. Edge didn’t appreciate some fans complaining about his pro wrestling comeback, and Priest didn’t appreciate being left off WrestleMania when Bad Bunny wasn’t around, so now they are done caring what people think about them. Overall, this was a pretty good explanation for their alliance and recent actions.
- Rhea Ripley turned on Liv Morgan last week. Rhea now likely shares Edge’s mindset on feeling underappreciated and not giving a shit what anyone thinks of her.
- Veer Mahaan is a very scary man with incredible hair. He has sent wrestlers out on a stretcher each of the last two weeks. Could Rey Mysterio be back tonight looking for revenge after Veer injured his son, Dominik?
- If Elias isn’t returning to WWE, will Gable Steveson instead be the person who shows up to help Ezekiel deal with Chad Gable and Otis?
- Tommaso Ciampa was officially added to the Raw roster two weeks ago. Since then, he has spent his time wrestling on Main Event. Oh boy.
What will you be looking for on Raw tonight?