Raw airs tonight (July 4) with a live show from Pechanga Arena in San Diego, California. This is the first Raw episode during the four week build towards SummerSlam, coming up on July 30.
There’s a reason why Theory won the Money in the Bank contract
WWE swerved their audience at Money in the Bank 2022 by adding Theory to the men’s ladder match moments before the match started. He went on grab the briefcase and now gets a title shot anytime he wants one over the next year.
Why did WWE go ahead with this surprise booking decision? The most likely explanation is that they need a dweeb who can fail his eventual cash-in attempt on Roman Reigns, and Theory fits the bill.
Reigns has been a top champion on SmackDown for almost two consecutive years. During his dominant reign, the last two Money in the Bank contracts were cashed in on the top Raw champion (Miz cashing in on Drew McIntyre, Big E cashing in on Bobby Lashley). However, now that Reigns has unified the top titles and is the WWE Universal champion, the Money in the Bank contract is a booking inconvenience for WWE. WWE has big plans for Roman at WrestleMania 39, and he is unlikely to drop the title before then. That means the Money in the Bank contract holder will probably fail his cash-in attempt this year.
It could really hurt the push of a top star like Drew McIntyre or Seth Rollins if they won the contract but later failed against Roman. Sami Zayn could have been a cash-in loser, but fans know he has zero chance to ever beat Reigns for the title. Theory at least has Vince McMahon in his corner, which means there’s a reason to believe he can go all the way.
A SummerSlam match between John Cena and Theory has been rumored for a while, but Cena is not advertised for any upcoming WWE dates and there’s a lot of uncertainty about the match taking place. What if Theory’s role at SummerSlam will instead be to cash in during the main event match between Roman Reigns and Brock Lesnar?
Lesnar has lost both of his matches against Reigns over the last year and isn’t expected to win this one either. One way to protect Brock might be for Theory to cash in when both men are down, turn it into a triple threat match, but then take the fall. That scenario doesn’t mesh well with a Last Man Standing stipulation, but WWE can always change the rules on the fly as needed.
Theory will be on Raw tonight to brag about his accomplishment and offer insight into his plans for the Money in the Bank contract. Will Vince McMahon make his weekly television appearance and give Theory the big endorsement as the next WWE Universal champion and face that runs the place?
The rest of the title scene
Bianca Belair retained the Raw women’s championship at Money in the Bank with a predictable win over Carmella. It was less predictable that Carmella would attack her after the match, which means this feud must continue. Given Carmella’s lack of a singles push this year, a rematch is much more likely to happen tonight or next week on Raw television rather than a stadium show like SummerSlam.
Bob Lashley won the United States title from Theory at Money in the Bank. With Roman Reigns not around on Monday nights, that makes the All Mighty the top ranking men’s singles champion on Raw. Will Theory be looking for a rematch, or has he moved on to greener pastures as the Money in the Bank briefcase holder?
The Usos are still the WWE tag team champions after getting the better of the Street Profits at Money in the Bank. It was a controversial finish, because replays showed that Montez Ford’s shoulder was not down on the final three count. A rematch is probably on the way, it’s just a matter of whether it’s on TV or SummerSlam. In the meantime, there are initial indications that the Street Profits might be breaking up, so we’ll keep our eyes out for any more clues regarding that potential creative direction.
24/7 Champion Dana Brooke missed last week’s Raw. She later said she was in a bad car accident but will be back in no time.
Other stuff to keep an eye on
- Logan Paul signed a WWE contract and is coming for tiny-balled Miz, who will have something to say about it tonight.
- The Judgment Day is taking on The Mysterios in a tag team match tonight. Finn Balor and Damian Priest are trying to convince Dominik that his father is a bad leader and it’s time to ditch him, just like they got rid of Edge. Speaking of Edge, it wouldn’t be SummerSlam without several part-timers in the mix, and it looks like he’ll be back very soon to get revenge on Balor, Priest, and Rhea Ripley.
- Liv Morgan cashed in the Money in the Bank contract and defeated Ronda Rousey to become the SmackDown women’s champion. Will she appear on Raw tonight to celebrate her big moment, or is that being saved for later this week on the blue brand?
- Kevin Owens missed last week’s Raw (and a match against Ezekiel) and it’s not clear if he’ll be back tonight.
- It looks like
Matt Riddle and Seth Rollins are being set up for a singles match at SummerSlam. After Seth’s vicious attack on Riddle last week, the Original Bro nailed him with a super RKO off a ladder at Money in the Bank.
- It’s been assumed for a while that Becky Lynch will get a championship rematch with Bianca Belair at a stadium show. SummerSlam is a stadium show, but Big Time Becks might have to deal with Asuka first before she can get back into the title picture.
- Will creative have anything for AJ Styles at SummerSlam? He hasn’t had much to sink his teeth into ever since Edge kicked his ass on multiple PPVs in a row and then disappeared.
- Omos’ presence really dragged down the men’s Money in the Bank ladder match, which isn’t a surprise due to his obvious shortcomings as a pro wrestler. But WWE keeps chugging along with this guy, so they’ll probably find a new opponent for him to beat up tonight.
- Alexa Bliss spends her time these days talking to a stupid doll that buys her things using the WWE credit card.
What will you be looking for on Raw tonight?