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WWE Raw preview (July 25, 2022): Raw is better off without Vince McMahon

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Raw airs tonight (July 25) with a live show from Madison Square Garden in New York City. This is the final Raw episode during the four week build towards SummerSlam, which takes place on Saturday night (July 30).

Raw is better off without Vince McMahon

We’re in a new era now that Vince McMahon is retired and gone from WWE Creative (at least for now).

McMahon has been Raw’s biggest problem for years. He’s been out of touch with younger audiences for a very long time. His over-reliance on part-timers and nostalgia acts has made it extremely difficult to create new stars on the WWE roster. His outdated notions about physical size have resulted in a bunch of terrible booking and roster decisions. The transition of wrestlers from NXT to the main roster has been a complete disaster in far too many cases thanks to McMahon’s chaotic approach. WWE commentary is worse across the board due to McMahon’s micromanagement and weird rules about what words/phrases can and can’t be said on air. Thanks to McMahon, WWE booking often doesn’t make sense and includes way too many rematches and bad finishes.

These problems won’t go away overnight just because Vince is out of the picture (for now). A lot of people who work behind the scenes are aligned with his view on how to present the WWE product on television. Many of them have followed his way of doing things for years, and are trained to deliver the product in a way that caters to Vince’s whims. Many more changes will have to be made to truly move away from McMahon’s tired presentation of pro wrestling.

We don’t know how the power grab over WWE Creative will shake out just yet. From the fans’ standpoint, it’s probably best if Triple H assumes the most power there, and could be even better if Paul Heyman lands a bigger role in the creative process. However, it’s worth remembering why CM Punk expressed concerns during his infamous pipebomb about WWE eventually being taken over by the “idiotic daughter and doofus son-in law.” They mostly learned how to do things from Vince McMahon, after all.

That being said, even if change is slow or chaotic at the outset, Vince’s removal (for now) is the necessary first step for giving Raw a chance to break away from old habits and embrace a new approach.

We’ll get our first look at what a post-Vince Raw looks like tonight in Madison Square Garden. With just five days to go until SummerSlam, it’s reasonable to expect they’ll stay the course with ongoing storylines. However, it’s hard not to share in some of the excitement and anticipation for a new vision and new energy in the WWE product going forward now that Vince McMahon is retired (for now).

The title scene

WWE Universal Champion Roman Reigns is actually showing up to work on a Monday night. He’ll compete with The Bloodline in a six man tag team match against Matt Riddle and the Street Profits. Brock Lesnar is challenging Reigns for the gold at SummerSlam, but The Beast isn’t advertised for tonight’s card. However, Theory will be lurking in the shadows. Might we get a Money in the Bank cash-in tease tonight?

Jeff Jarrett will be the special referee at SummerSlam when Jimmy and Jey Uso defend the WWE tag team titles against Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins. Will there be any more terrible referee calls in tonight’s Bloodline six man tag to further emphasize the need for Jarrett this weekend?

After vanquishing Carmella last week, Raw Women’s Champion Bianca Belair is set to defend her belt against Becky Lynch at SummerSlam. Considering their history together at SummerSlam 2021 and WrestleMania 38, this is a good time for both women to share the ring and cut one final promo to bring it home.

United States Champion Bobby Lashley is defending the title against former champ Theory at SummerSlam. This feels like something of an afterthought given Theory has lost all of his televised matches since Money in the Bank and appears to be more interested in the WWE Universal championship. Theory is so distracted that Bob didn’t even need to appear on last week’s episode.

The 24/7 Championship changed hands half a dozen times last week. Akira Tozawa, Nikki A.S.H., Alexa Bliss, Doudrop, and Tamina all had a few seconds with the jobber gold before Dana Brooke ultimately walked out as champ. Will Brooke be able to repeat her trick and escape New York City as the champion?

- Vacant is still holding the Women’s tag team titles. Is the future of this championship any brighter without Vince McMahon in the picture?

Other stuff to keep an eye on

- WWE will pay tribute to Rey Mysterio tonight with a 20th Anniversary Celebration. Mysterio is also scheduled to team up with his son Dominik to take on The Judgment Day. Finn Balor and Damian Priest have vowed to end The Mysterios tonight, which sounds like a pretty good excuse for Edge to return and save the day.

- Babyface Logan Paul is back on Raw tonight and hosting ImPaulsive TV. He was able to overcome a two-on-one attack from The Miz and Ciampa last week, and they will surely be up to no good once again tonight. Is AJ Styles around to have Logan’s back?

- Seth “Franklin” Rollins and Riddle will collide at SummerSlam. Kevin Owens inserted himself into their feud last week, luring Riddle into a trap. Riddle is busy dealing with the Bloodline tonight, giving Seth a prime opportunity to interfere and screw him over.

- Dolph Ziggler is back on Raw and really enjoys superkicking Theory. Will Dolph grab a mic tonight and explain his actions?

- Omos wrestled twice last week and both of his matches ended in disqualification. Like most things related to Omos’ wrestling, it made for very bad television.

- Veer Mahaan said “Boo!” to an unsuspecting Sarah Schreiber last week. Which word will he shout at her tonight?

- It’s always a big deal whenever WWE returns to Madison Square Garden, so there may be a few surprises or cameos planned for tonight’s broadcast.

What will you be looking for on Raw tonight?