Raw airs tonight (May 15) with a live show from the Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, North Carolina. This is the second episode of Raw during the three week build towards Night of Champions, which takes place on May 27 in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Liv Morgan and Raquel Rodriguez are fighting champions
Can you believe it’s been about one year since Sasha Banks and Naomi walked out of WWE? It was last year on May 16, around the time when Raw was set to go on air, when the Women’s tag team champions reportedly had enough of WWE’s bad creative, dropped their belts off on John Laurinaitis’ desk, and walked out the door. It sounds like part of their frustration stemmed from a creative pitch to have Naomi and Sasha do the job for the singles women’s champions (Bianca Belair and Ronda Rousey) in one-on-one matches at the next WWE PPV.
The tag belts were vacated until August, after Vince McMahon stepped down as head of WWE creative, when Raquel Rodriguez and Aliyah became the new champs. Damage CTRL has typically dominated the belts since then, with multiple reigns combining for just under six months in total.
Rodriguez and Liv Morgan won the titles last month, and Morgan has stated that her goal is to bring stability to the belts. They’ve successfully defended the gold multiple times on TV already, and the pressure doesn’t let up tonight with another title match scheduled. The champs are the solid favorites to walk out of Raw with their championship reign intact after they take on the team of Sonya Deville and Chelsea Green.
Has anything really changed with the women’s tag team division since Sasha and Naomi walked out of WWE and Triple H took over creative from McMahon? The current titleholders aren’t being used to put over the singles champions, so that’s a start. I think a stronger sign of growth for the women’s tag division will be when the champs are no longer overlooked for PPV title defenses. The last time the belts were defended on PPV was November 2022 in Saudi Arabia, over six months ago.
Speaking of which, Night of Champions is coming up in less than two weeks in Saudi Arabia. Will tonight’s title match come with an angle that gives the champs something to do on PPV?
The rest of the title scene
Intercontinental Champion GUNTHER arrives on the Raw brand tonight as the top heel on the show. His first challenger for the gold will be determined with a Battle Royal. Will a star who has already challenged him on SmackDown like Braun Strowman or Ricochet earn one more shot at The Ring General, or does a new opponent like Matt Riddle or Bronson Reed emerge from the pack?
WWE has created a new World Heavyweight Championship for the Raw brand, but SmackDown star AJ Styles may end up being the first man to hold it. Styles will wrestle Seth Rollins at Night of Champions to crown the first ever champ, after both men won multiple tournament matches last week. Will WWE strictly adhere to the new rosters for Raw and SmackDown by not having Rollins and Styles cross paths before the PPV, or is it already time to start breaking the rules?
WWE Tag Team Champions Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn are booked for a title defense at Night of Champions against Roman Reigns and Solo Sikoa. Yes, it looks like Owens and Zayn are actually going to work Saudi Arabia. The champs are the underdogs in this title fight, given the fact that Reigns and Sikoa rarely ever lose. Will KO and Sami appear on Raw to address this latest chapter in their war against The Bloodline?
SmackDown Women’s Champion Rhea Ripley made quick work out of Dana Brooke on Raw last week, before Natalya stuck her nose in Rhea’s business. If the idea is for Natalya to challenge Ripley at Night of Champions, there’s a decent chance that Nattie will win a match on Raw tonight to prove she deserves it.
If you’re tuning into Raw to see what Raw Women’s Champion Bianca Belair is up to, you’re watching the wrong show. The best place to check out the Raw champion is on SmackDown, naturally.
Other stuff to keep an eye on
- Brock Lesnar is a sore loser who screwed Cody Rhodes out of last week’s tournament, setting up a rematch between these two men at Night of Champions. Part-timer Brock isn’t expected to be on Raw tonight, so Cody has the ring all to himself to explain how he plans on conquering The Beast yet again. Will WWE announce any new stipulations or gimmicks for the rematch?
- Becky Lynch is scheduled to appear on Raw to speak her mind on Trish Stratus. The Man’s mic was cut off last week after she surprised Trish with a punch to the face, but she’ll have plenty of time tonight to talk trash about Trish. Does Lynch have a date in mind for a match against Stratus?
- The Miz has been trying to convince Shinsuke Nakamura to join forces with him, to no avail. Instead, they’ll go one-on-one in the ring tonight. Is there a chance that Nakamura might change his mind about Miz after seeing what he’s capable of between the ropes? Or does Miz have a backup plan, like secretly recruiting a new henchmen to help him take out the King of Strong Style?
- Otis lost a match against Mustafa Ali last week after receiving mixed signals at ringside from Chad Gable and Maxxine Dupri. Will Otis respond by telling both of them to stay backstage for his next match, or is it bound to happen again before he adjusts?
- Dominik Mysterio picked up a win over Xavier Woods last week. Did Woods learn to stay out of The Judgment Day’s business, or will he be even more determined to take one of them down tonight?
- There are plenty of fresh faces on the new Raw roster, such as Apollo Crews, Katana Chance, Kayden Carter, JD McDonagh, Xia Li, Tegan Nox, Riddick Moss, Emma, and the Viking Raiders. Zoey Stark received a spotlight last week with a win over Nikki Cross. Which of the names listed above will receive a similar spotlight tonight?
- Free agent Omos has yet to make his next move following a loss to Seth Rollins at Backlash. The clock is quickly ticking down on the big man if he hopes to compete at Night of Champions in Saudi Arabia in less than two weeks.
- The Way reunited on Raw last week, and Johnny Gargano teased that “He’s coming.” Does this mean Veer Mahaan is about to join the group?
What will you be looking for on Raw?