WWE Raw preview (July 22, 2019): Open house

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WWE’s getting a bunch of bands back together tonight in Tampa.

The Headliner(s)

Announce a bunch of old-timers (many of whom would open a can of whoop ass on me if they heard me calling them “old”) are coming back and everyone’s a fantasy booker. Including your friendly neighborhood previewer of Raw.

Sign me up for the Kevin Owens getting a stunner lesson from Steve Austin, and/or The Man giving Stone Cold his own salute. Mick Foley should lead a parade of 24/7 title changes tonight, ending with either R-Truth or Drake Maverick getting the green & gold monstrosity back. I’m not tuning in to not see The Club and The Kliq stare each other down.

More than any of those things, however, I was to see Bray Wyatt add another name to the list of people he’ll forgive when it’s done. Whatever that means. Right now, it sounds cool, and that’s the important thing.

After taking out Finn Bálor last week, who is rumored to be Wyatt’s SummerSlam opponent but who’s probably still back in Ireland tonight, the Fiend needs a new target. If there’s a problem with what happened last week, it’s that when your first victim is a guy who’s held most of the company’s singles belts, it’s hard to go back to The B-Team or local talent types.

My first choices are high fantasy, largely because they’re not even being promoted for the show (although a late rumor says one of them will be there!). But Bray been on the losing side of high-profile run-ins with these guys, and already done the forgiveness routine with one of them on Twitter. They also seem like guys who would put over a former WWE champ before heading back to Hollywood.

And they wouldn’t have to just show up to get Sister Abigailed. Let them take out The B-Team, or whatever comedy heels WWE wants to run at them (note to Creative: “comedy heels” =/= your current tag champs). Then the lights go out, the screeching horror movie sounds play, and we come back to see John Cena or The Rock getting kissed on the forehead by The Fiend.

WWE needs to make a clear statement to fans that this Wyatt run will be different from every other Wyatt run on the main roster. They can do that by having his new alter ego get the better of big stars outside of actual matches. He’ll have to beat some names in official action, too, but even before we get there, this would send the message that Bray isn’t going to be the guy who puts over The Guy any more.

And look, if John or Dwayne won’t be there, The Fiend could take out multiple smaller stars throughout the course of the night. Point is, a show full of legends is a fun way to reinforce that notion we should be scared of whatever’s escaped Firefly FunHouse.

Let this idea in, WWE.

The title scene

Universal champion Brock Lesnar has not RSVP-ed to the reunion, so his SummerSlam opponent Seth Rollins may need to find someone else to practice his Beastslaying on. All involved need to find ways to convince us this Rollins/Lesnar feud is different from the one we were just underwhelmed by a few months ago.

Everyone who predicted Natalya would be Becky Lynch’s next challenger for the Raw Women’s championship, raise your hands. This is the internet, so I can’t tell for sure, but I’m guessing there aren’t a lot of hands up. We’ll see what WWE does to convince us Natty’s a threat, seeing as this is the first meaningful thing she’s done since Ronda Rousey left. Say, there’s an angle…

Ricochet needed some back up to deal with United States titleholder AJ Styles and his good brothers Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson, so he recruited The Usos. Will we get a six-man for the ages on Aug. 11, or does the One And Only want a one-on-one for the red, white and blue.

With Jimmy & Jey palling around with Ric, Dash Wilder & Scott Dawson recruited another old school heel in Robert Roode to form their own trio last week. But seeing as The Club crashed that party, and since the Top Guys beat the twins at Extreme Rules, what’s next for Raw Tag champs The Revival? And don’t say “fodder for D-X”, WWE.

With all involved technically being SmackDown Superstars and enough names to fill two three hour shows announced for tonight, I wouldn’t expect to see much Women’s Tag title story advancement tonight. Look out for some IIconic exclusive clips on YouTube, though.

Other stuff to keep an eye on

– After a shocking win over Drew McIntyre, what’s next for Cedric Alexander? Probably getting his ass kicked by Drew McIntyre. So let’s instead ask, since those dreams of a date with the Dead Man in Toronto next month apparently dashed, what’s next for Drew McIntyre?

– The pep talk Nikki Cross gave her did not help Alexa Bliss earn a shot at The Man’s title. Can their friendship withstand all these setbacks?

– After using him to build Shane McMahon for months, WWE might be looking to give The Miz more of a serious side. Last week, they used Dolph Ziggler to do it, but there are reportedly no plans to do A-Lister vs. Show-off at SummerSlam. This is one of those things that makes you go hmmm…

– Another thing that’s like that… how will Mike Kanellis be emasculated tonight?

– A lot of big names went from Extreme Rules into the #1 contender battle royal. Since Roman Reigns, Braun Strowman, Bobby Lashley and others didn’t win that, they’ll need something to do for the next PPV.

– Will WWE have time to do that and trot out all these alumni (and others the company is clearly just using to pad the stats)?

Three weeks until SummerSlam!

What will you be looking for on Raw tonight?




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