Raw airs tonight (July 17) with a live show from State Farm Arena in Atlanta, Georgia. This is the third episode of Raw during the five week build towards SummerSlam, which takes place on August 5.
Matt Riddle needs help
Matt Riddle goes one-on-one tonight against Intercontinental Champion GUNTHER, in what is currently slated to be a non-title match.
Riddle teamed up with Drew McIntyre last week and won against Imperium’s Ludwig Kaiser and Giovanni Vinci. The match was a showcase for Drew’s return to the ring after a few months away from WWE. GUNTHER tried to interfere at the end of the fight to help out his Imperium stablemates, but Riddle thwarted the Ring General with a flying knee. GUNTHER wasn’t too happy about that, so now he gets to take out his frustrations on Riddle in the ring.
McIntyre is missing Raw this week for what sounds like an awesome movie, so the Original Bro will be all alone for this match against GUNTHER. However, Matt won’t be dealing with Imperium’s usual numbers advantage. In order to keep a level playing field, Kaiser and Vinci have been barred from ringside for tonight’s match.
That condition normally works out well for a babyface, but Riddle is still the clear underdog tonight. That’s because he already fought GUNTHER earlier this month at Money in the Bank, where the champ convincingly beat his ass without any involvement from Kaiser or Vinci. In other words, GUNTHER isn’t the one who needs help to beat Riddle. Riddle clearly needs all the help he can get, but without Drew McIntyre around to provide that for him, he’s in a world of trouble when he steps into the ring against GUNTHER.
The rest of the title scene
Raquel Rodriguez and Liv Morgan defend the WWE women’s tag team titles tonight against Chelsea Green and Sonya Deville. Women’s World Champion Rhea Ripley has repeatedly warned Raquel and Liv to stay out of her business, to no avail. Does Rhea plan to influence the outcome of this title match en route to finding an opponent for SummerSlam?
WWE Tag Team Champions Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens will fight The Judgment Day’s Damian Priest and Dominik Mysterio in a non-title match tonight. The Judgment Day pinned Sami Zayn last week. Will another win for the heels earn them a tag team title shot during SummerSlam weekend?
Speaking of the Judgment Day, World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins just can’t get this group off his back. Finn Balor and Damian Priest are apparently now on the same page, which could be bad news for Rollins. Will Finn really work towards helping Damian cash in his Money in the Bank contract on Seth, or does Finn intend to take Seth’s gold all for himself?
Other stuff to keep an eye on
- Part-timer Brock Lesnar returns to Raw tonight, presumably to answer Cody Rhodes’ challenge for a rubber match at SummerSlam. Brock still hasn’t given Cody an explanation about why he turned on him the night after WrestleMania, so if The Beast is really in a talking mood, maybe he’ll address that decision too.
- Alpha Academy goes against the Viking Raiders tonight in a Viking Rules match. This is essentially a No DQ match where the ring will probably be surrounded by Viking themed paraphernalia and plunder. Erik, Ivar, and Valhalla raided Maxxine Dupri’s graduation ceremony last week and stole her letter jacket, so the babyfaces are looking to take back their property.
- Becky Lynch wants a rematch against Trish Stratus, but The Man couldn’t even beat Zoey Stark last week. It seems like Lynch needs to make an adjustment and find a new strategy for dealing with Stratus and Stark.
- Ricochet confronted Logan Paul last week and challenged him to a match. The YouTube star wasn’t all that interested, so Ricochet knocked him on his ass. What else does Ricochet need to do to in order to get this douchebag to accept the fight?
- Ronda Rousey is on a collision course with Shayna Baszler, who turned on Ronda at Money in the Bank. This is a story where one week WWE presents Ronda as the heel, while the following week Shayna is the heel. Maybe the fans should just boo both of them at this point.
- The Miz picked up his first win of 2023 last week in a match against Tommaso Ciampa, thanks to a major assist from Bronson Reed. Bronson previously helped Miz win a match against Dextler Lumis in December, but it didn’t lead to an extended partnership between the heels. Will they continue working together this time? How will Ciampa respond to Reed’s interference?
- Indus Sher mostly spend their time on Raw squashing jobbers or cutting promos. Perhaps WWE is waiting until after SummerSlam to raise their level of competition.
What will you be looking for on Raw?