There’s little to no way the end of RAW won’t be based squarely around Roman Reigns and Triple H. Last week, we saw Reigns return to WWE TV, attack Triple H, splitting open Triple H’s head to the tune of six stitches, and even going so far as to break a television across Triple H’s back. This week, I wouldn’t be surprised if Triple H doesn’t show up, selling that he’s more hurt than let on, but I would think he’d be there, and he’s going to want to make Reigns’ life a living hell. At this point, the only real muscle The Authority has seems to be the League of Nations, but I would think LON has other plans for tonight than trying to gang up on Reigns. Reigns is going to get punished for his actions from RAW last week, he has to, it makes no sense for Triple H and Stephanie McMahon to just let it all go until WrestleMania. Whether it’s a multi-man match, a No DQ match, or Reigns’ punishment simply being that he’s not allowed to wrestle, The Authority is going to do something to harm Reigns or at least his image. Triple H will open the show, talk about what he’s going to do to Reigns at WrestleMania, then move into what is going to be done to Reigns tonight, then enter Reigns to hear his punishment face to face with Triple H. If I could book this, I would have Reigns continue his pursuit of Triple H from last week, where Reigns is done listening to Triple H talk, Reigns is over The Authority trying to set him up for terrible things, instead opting to pop Triple H in the mouth, and deal with the consequences later. If I could see Triple H begin to say that Reigns will have a match against…and as the name is about to be said, Reigns’ music hits, Reigns comes running down the ramp, Spears Triple H, then starts wailing on the Champ until enough people are brought out to pull Reigns off Triple H, and then Triple H finally says who the match is against and now it’s a No DQ, I would be happy. That would allow RAW to begin with something passionate and interesting, then end with the match, where Reigns looks like he’s about to beat his opponent, and Triple H comes down, and the two beat on each other as the show fades to black.
The Undertaker returned last week to help build his match against Shane McMahon, but I felt like the segment did no one any favors. Shane said Taker was nothing more than “Vince McMahon‘s bitc*”, Taker said no one tells him what to do, Chokeslammed Shane in no time –thanks to Vince shoving Shane into the fire,– and we learned that Shane really doesn’t stand much of a chance on the physical end; more so than that, we learned that Taker doesn’t have any reason to be in this match, and that was seemingly the entire reason for having the segment. I don’t understand why Taker is doing this, I don’t know if WWE will gift us with the reason between now and the conclusion of the match, but at this point I would think Taker’s reason will be Shane called Taker “Vince’s bitc*” so he’s mad about that, and wants to destroy Shane on principal. It’s weird, I care more about the possibilities of what could happen during the match, than the match itself, but that means to some degree WWE is doing their job. I don’t anticipate for The Deadman to be there tonight, but Shane and Vince need to have another stand off, and Stephanie McMahon needs to be out there as well. This week should be a reminder of what’s at stake, who gets what out of the conclusion, and the lengths all three will go to to make sure they’re the victor in all of this, while next week’s go-home show should be Taker and Shane squaring off.
Dolph Ziggler was given an opportunity last week to have his choice of “any” match at ‘Mania that Ziggler wanted, if Ziggler could just manage to defeat Triple H on RAW. Ziggler lost, I don’t imagine he’ll get a rematch, but I wouldn’t be completely blown away by Ziggler approaching or interrupting Stephanie again, wanting another shot, and weaseling his way into a match that hasn’t been announced yet. We’ve yet to find out the destiny of Kevin Owens and his Intercontinental Championship at ‘Mania, so I believe Steph will say if Ziggler can beat either Owens or Sami Zayn in a singles match tonight, he’ll get a Title shot at ‘Mania. I would greatly prefer for Ziggler to want to get into the match between Kalisto and Ryback, because I think Ziggler getting involved in that could help make the match more meaningful…and because I still want the IC match to be a singles bout between Owens and Zayn. With Neville getting injured in his match last week, that knocks one name out of the IC match, a big name, perhaps enough to change the plans for the match entirely –one can hope.– We’ll find out more about the IC match tonight, for sure, but will it stay a multi-man match as rumored or will the US Championship be up for grabs between more than just The Big Guy and Kalisto. I’m hoping we get a match for Kalisto that helps elevate him, making it at least appear as if Kalisto stands a chance against Ryback, which means Kalisto facing someone else who’s a big man, but WWE is limited on people for Kalisto to defeat, and it not look terrible for them. Kane was my first instinct, but I’m not sure WWE wants to risk Kane losing to someone in a throwaway match like that, at least with us being so close to ‘Mania, and WWE likely wanting Kane to be a legitimate threat in the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal; but, there’s always Mark Henry, who’s jobbed out to a lot of guys in recent history, but is still scary because he’s The World’s Strongest Man.
Dean Ambrose is a wild card tonight, not just because he’s the Lunatic Fringe, but because Brock Lesnar isn’t scheduled to be there tonight, right now Paul Heyman isn’t scheduled either, Triple H has Reigns to deal with, and Ambrose doesn’t have anything else on-going to deal with. What happens with Ambrose tonight? Possibly contending with Adam Rose after busting the Mongoose with a Kendo Stick on Smackdown last week. We need to see Ambrose clear out the ring, mess up a group of dudes with ease, all so we can continue to believe Ambrose stands a chance against the Beast Incarnate.
Charlotte said on Smackdown that she’s sorry for ever thinking Sasha Banks and Becky Lynch deserved to be called “Horsewomen“, insulting her former friends and making sure the WWE Universe hates Charlotte as much as possible. This feud is getting a lot better, the match is going to be a great one, but more than anything, I can’t wait for Charlotte to get knocked off her throne. It’d be good to see Sasha and/or Becky in a match tonight, but with nearly all the other Diva’s getting involved in a separate ‘Mania match, I sort of don’t think that’ll happen. If we could get a Sasha vs Natalya match, I would be over the moon, or perhaps a Becky against Paige; but for now, it looks like Paige is teaming with Team Bella –minus Nikki of course, to take on Team B.A.D., and Lana. There have been some rumors that Natalya would get involved with Paige/Bella’s, but that means another name joining B.A.D. and Lana, which would probably be Summer Rae. I think we’ll see the Six-Diva or Eight-Diva Tag match booked for ‘Mania tonight, and it’ll come after Brie Bella counters another Lana attack.
New Day accepted the League of Nations ‘Mania challenge, pitting New Day against LON in a 4 on 3 Handicap match with the WWE Tag Team Championships up for grabs, but until ‘Mania, I don’t see another Tag match happening prior to the Show of Shows. We got Kofi Kingston against King Barrett last week, I think we’ll get Big E against Sheamus tonight. LON needs to look unstoppable, either winning clean or winning by way of numbers, so that New Day has something to overcome at WrestleMania, instead of just winning yet another outing.
I’m not breaking official news here, but expect Stan Hansen to be announced for the latest inductee into the WWE Hall of Fame. *I just wanted to point out how funny it was that I posted this and within five minutes the news broke that Stan would indeed be going into the HOF*
I’m really hoping the AJ Styles vs Chris Jericho match is announced tonight, if only because I want confirmation that we’re getting it, instead of them being involved in another match, where their feud concludes on a note that involves several other bodies. It’s been drawn out, probably done on purpose, and we may not get a clear answer until next week, but one can hope that won’t be the case. I want the build, but I want the excitement of knowing what’s coming as well.
The last thing is adding names to the Andre match, which currently only has all four members of The Social Outcasts. I expect The Wyatt Family to announce their collective entry as well, hopefully resulting in a Tag match between Luke Harper and Braun Strowman against Heath Slater and Curtis Axel. It’s been said that WWE reduced the number of entries from 30 to 20, which pissed me off due to knowing how much WWE wants to get as many names on the show as possible, which is why the IC match won’t be a singles outing, and why we’re getting a ridiculous multi-Diva match that means nothing, and then WWE drops ten names from the Andre? What?!? It’s frustrating. Big Show, Henry, Kane, and several other veterans will likely put their names in the hat, but will we see any surprises tonight for the Andre? Someone bigger than Bray Wyatt?
That’s The Lowedown on what I think happens on RAW tonight, let me know what you think will happen in the comments, and through social media. Thanks for reading, and remember to watch more wrestling!
The future is bright and full of suplexes!
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*updated at 10:09am est*