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WWE Raw preview (July 18, 2022): Logan Paul returns as a babyface

WWE.com

Raw airs tonight (July 18) with a live show from Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida. This is the third Raw episode during the four week build towards SummerSlam, coming up on July 30.

Logan Paul returns to WWE as a babyface

Logan Paul returns to WWE tonight when he appears as a guest on Miz TV.

Paul had a successful run in WWE earlier this year at WrestleMania 38. Based on his performance that night alone, one might think he’s already better in the ring than The Miz. They beat the Mysterios in Logan’s debut match, but Miz immediately turned on Paul and put him down with the Skull Crushing Finale. Paul has since signed a WWE contract and vowed that he’s coming for revenge on the A-Lister, while Miz seems to think they still have a path forward as a team.

The way this story has played out positions Paul as a babyface for tonight’s return. This Miz TV angle will almost certainly lead to a match at SummerSlam. The main unknown is if it will be a singles match between Paul and Miz, or a tag team match that also includes AJ Styles and Ciampa.

Is it a wise idea to cast Logan Paul as a babyface? Of course not! The YouTube star has his reputation as one of the most hated people on the planet for a reason; he couldn’t even get cheered in his hometown earlier this year on Raw. But the rumor is that Paul is calling the shots and he wants to be a babyface. That’s really the only way to wrap one’s head around this ill-advised decision.

We’ll get our first glimpse of babyface Logan Paul in front of a live WWE audience tonight. Paul proved that he can put on a good match at WrestleMania, but it will be much more challenging for him to get the fans on his side as a good guy. Is this a train wreck in the making? The only way to find out is by tuning in tonight.

Also, the Miz has very tiny balls.

The title scene

After last week’s count out finish, Raw Women’s Champion Bianca Belair will once again defend her belt against Carmella tonight. The booking of this match should give us a much better idea of whether Belair’s title match at SummerSlam will be a triple threat against both Carmella and Lynch, or a singles match with Big Time Becks. I’d put my money on Belair clearing Carmella off her plate tonight and solely focusing on The Man at the biggest party of the summer.

United States Champion Bobby Lashley was supposed to have an open challenge for his title last week, but plans changed and he instead wrestled in a tag team match. There’s no word yet on what he’s doing tonight, so maybe the open challenge is an option. Regardless, Bob is set to defend the title in a rematch against former champ Theory at SummerSlam. Theory is juggling several different enemies right now and doesn’t seem very focused on winning back gold from the All Mighty.

The WWE tag team titles will be on the line at SummerSlam when Jimmy and Jey Uso take on Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins in a rematch from Money in the Bank. Jeff Jarrett was just announced as the special referee for the championship match, so maybe the Usos and Street Profits will let us know how they feel about that decision.

24/7 Champion Dana Brooke didn’t have to worry about any jobbers chasing her down last week, but you never know what might happen tonight.

WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns will make his long-awaited return to Monday night...next week at Madison Square Garden. Brock Lesnar isn’t around either tonight. Maybe their upcoming Last Man Standing match at SummerSlam will get the video package hype treatment tonight. If not, then Paul Heyman’s services will be needed once again with none of the actual stars appearing live.

- Asuka and Alexa Bliss teamed up for a win over Nikki A.S.H. and Doudrop last week. Does that make Bliss and Asuka the leading contenders to challenge Vacant for the Women’s tag team titles?

Other stuff to keep an eye on

- Former NXT Champion Dolph Ziggler returned to Raw last week and proved to be a thorn in Theory’s side. We’ll likely hear from Dolph on the mic tonight to cement his babyface turn.

- The Judgment Day is trying to convince Dominik Mysterio to turn on his father Rey. While they are busy exerting their influence on his impressionable mind, vignettes keep airing that indicate Edge will be back soon. A Dominik turn or an Edge return will likely be in play for next week’s big MSG show, with tonight’s episode continuing to plant the seeds.

- Seth “Franklin” Rollins and Matt Riddle look like they are headed for a one-on-one match at SummerSlam. This feud would have more heft to it if one of these men held the WWE championship, but that’s not the timeline we live in. Riddle has been riding high the last two weeks, so Rollins will probably do something awful to him tonight.

- Omos pinned Angelo Dawkins in a six man tag team match last week. Does WWE have anything planned for the big man at SummerSlam?

- Raw desperately misses the presence of Kevin Owens, so hopefully he’ll be back very soon. Ezekiel has understandably lost a bit of momentum without his nemesis around. Maybe the news that Jeff Jarrett is appearing at SummerSlam will inspire Ezekiel’s older brother Elias to return to WWE again.

- Are Chad Gable and Otis okay after Brock Lesnar kicked their asses last week?

- It sounded like Raw was moving from a PG rating to TV-14 starting tonight, but that story was quickly retracted and the change is now in consideration for a later date. Pat McAfee made a reference to this news last week on SmackDown. Will anyone else follow suit on Raw?

What will you be looking for on Raw tonight?