Raw airs tonight (May 2) with a live show from the Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, North Carolina. This is the final Raw episode during the five week build towards WrestleMania Backlash, coming up on May 8.
There’s finally a way for Roman Reigns to lose his gold
It initially looked like the main event of WrestleMania Backlash was going to be a tag team match unifying RK-Bro’s Raw tag titles with the Usos’ SmackDown tag titles. But everything changed last week when WWE added Roman Reigns and Drew McIntyre into the mix, turning the match into a six man tag team bout. Now it will be Roman Reigns and The Usos vs. RK-Bro and Drew McIntyre. The key issue WWE still needs to address with this match is which championships are on the line.
The addition of WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns introduces the possibility that one or both of his belts will be on the line in this match. Even though WWE claims the WWE championship and the Universal championship were unified at WrestleMania 38, Roman is still walking around with two separate titles. If WWE is looking to separate those titles ASAP, having Jimmy or Jey Uso take the pin at WrestleMania Backlash is one way to get the WWE championship away from Roman.
WWE has used six man tag matches to dethrone their top champion before, such as when Vince McMahon was pinned at King of the Ring 2000 to cost his partner Triple H the WWF championship. If WWE puts exactly one of Roman’s titles on the line at Backlash, that could be where this is headed.
If WWE instead turns the 6-man tag into a match where both of Roman’s belts are on the line, that means the Bloodline is probably looking at a clean sweep where they take all the gold. There’s no way Roman is losing everything in this kind of match.
One other possibility is that both sets of tag titles remain up for grabs, but none of Roman’s titles are at risk. This is a strange way to go about unifying the tag titles, but hey, this is what can happen when there are no credible challengers for Roman and he simply needs something to do.
Finally, WWE might book a match where none of the tag titles and none of Roman’s titles are on the line. This is the least interesting scenario and doesn’t warrant the main event of a pay-per-view. It also doesn’t make sense to have a non-title match because Roman’s primary goal is to get all the gold in the Bloodline. Hopefully WWE won’t go down this route.
So which titles will be on the line at WrestleMania Backlash when The Bloodline takes on Drew McIntyre and RK-Bro? We will likely learn that answer tonight when the Bloodline shows up on Raw.
The rest of the title scene
Bianca Belair retained the Raw women’s championship against Sonya Deville last week in what was tantamount to a three-on-one handicap match, with Carmella and Zelina Vega there to assist Sonya. With all three of those heels conquered, Rhea Ripley stands out as the likely next heel up to challenge Bianca. However, there isn’t enough time to book that match for the pay-per-view, and Rhea will have to settle her issues with Liv Morgan first.
United States Champion Theory has moved on from that jabroni former champ, Finn Balor. Theory was confronted by a returning Mustafa Ali last week, who wanted a shot at his mid-card gold. Theory managed to avoid that match by texting Vince McMahon to book Ali in a match with The Miz instead. How much longer can Theory avoid a match with Ali?
Sasha Banks and Naomi are the Women’s tag team champions. They are busy dealing with Shayna Baszler and Natalya on SmackDown. Could the champs show up on Raw for a tune-up match against Carmella & Vega or Doudrop & Nikki Ash?
The 24/7 title scene is still all about R-Truth, Dana Brooke, Reggie, Tamina, and Akira Tozawa. Tozawa pinned Reggie in a mixed tag team match last week. R-Truth was the ref and tried to use his power in the stripes to take Dana Brooke’s 24/7 title, but it didn’t work. What ploy will Truth come up with tonight?
Other stuff to keep an eye on
- Asuka returned to Raw last week and upstaged the return of Becky Lynch. Becky is struggling to find her identity now that she is no longer a champion. It sounds to me like she isn’t ready for Asuka.
- Bobby Lashley beat Omos in arm wrestling last week, but Omos beat Bob’s ass afterwards. The two big men are set to square off in a WrestleMania 38 rematch at WrestleMania Backlash. Another win for Lashley could mean he’s being set up for a shot at Roman Reigns during the summer.
- Cody Rhodes and Seth Rollins have yet to escalate the level of violence in their feud. Seth can’t get over the fact that Cody beat him at WrestleMania 38, but he hasn’t been willing to extract Cody’s eyeball over it yet. Perhaps that will change if Cody beats him again at WrestleMania Backlash.
- Edge and Damian Priest are establishing their new faction with wins over AJ Styles and Finn Balor. Their faction will probably need a better name than Judgment Day or Grand Jury, though. Edge’s group might also need a new member. Ciampa did turn heel last week by attacking Mustafa Ali for no clear reason, so maybe he’ll be joining up with Edge and Damian soon enough.
- After injuring Dominik Mysterio, Veer Mahaan has spent his television time squashing local jobbers and celebrating 20 years of Randy Orton. Rey Mysterio will have to return to Raw one of these weeks to try getting revenge for his son, I think.
- Ezekiel has only been in WWE for a few weeks yet he’s already wrestled in the main event of Raw. His older brother Elias is surely proud of him, and it’s driving Kevin Owens nuts.
What will you be looking for on Raw tonight?