RAW tonight has two big returns in the forms of Vince McMahon and John Cena. Those two being announced, rather than being surprises are still a shocker to me, because I feel like Cena’s should have been a total surprise instead of being non-chalantly mentioned on RAW last week; but it did help to sell out RAW in Brooklyn. The former is going to be the biggest story line of the night, so let’s cover the ladder for now. Cena is back, he had an MSG show over the weekend where he also faced Alberto Del Rio for the US Championship, and RAW will feature the same matchup. Will WWE continue its momentum from two weeks ago by having a Title change or will it be more of the same, where the League of Nations (LON) will get involved, cost Cena the Title, and we’ll get a rematch at Royal Rumble? I don’t want to see a Title change every week or even once a month, but I don’t want WWE to get back to the point where the only time and place for a change is at PPV‘s, because then RAW, Smackdown, and the PPV’s are predictable again. Cena dropped the US Championship to Del Rio during Del Rio’s return match after being out for more than a year, but since Del Rio has held the Gold with the Stars & Stripes on it, the Mexican superstar hasn’t done a thing with it. It’s hard to gauge whether or not we’ll see another US Title run out of Cena, where the Face that runs the place can bring back the US Open Challenges, making the US Championship mean more again, while further helping Cena become one of the all time greats; but if it were up to me, I would certainly pay to see Cena put the Title up in a US Open Challenge on the WrestleMania stage, where we can see either a massive return or a legendary debut.
Then there’s Vince McMahon, coming back to TV after Roman Reigns popped him in the mouth with a monumental Superman Punch:
Any time Vince is on TV, it’s gold, which is partially why ratings were so good two weeks ago when he was there, and why I’m sure tonight’s will be just as high; but I’m more curious to know why he’s there, than simply being excited that he is. If Vince is showing up after what happened with Reigns, that has to mean he’s there to punish Reigns for the WWE World Heavyweight Champion‘s actions during the night Reigns won the Championship. What’s the punishment going to be? That Reigns gets fired? Stripped of the Title? Made to face multiple foes, all in matches where the Title is on the line? Or maybe Vince will acknowledge Reigns’ efforts, Reigns’ willingness to do whatever has to be done in order to reach the top of the mountain? Odds are that Reigns will be pitted against all –or most– members of the LON, with Sheamus being the final opponent, in the main event of tonight’s RAW or he’ll have a 4 on 1 Handicap match, with the stipulation that if Reigns doesn’t win, he’s fired. I’m looking forward to seeing if WWE can keep things going, to improve upon the step up they took two weeks ago –and took a step back from last week with The Slammys,– but I’m understandably nervous that all we’ll see is what we’ve seen WWE do hundreds of times.
It won’t be difficult to take up a lot of time using those two major story lines, and I wouldn’t be entirely surprised if they intersect in some way, especially when knowing there are a lot of talents that won’t be present for RAW, due to another WWE Live Event going on tonight as well. The talent that won’t be present for RAW? The Wyatt Family, Kane, the Dudley Boyz, Tommy Dreamer, Tyler Breeze, Dolph Ziggler, Paige, and Charlotte. With the Wyatt’s and Team ECW taking up at least a promo segment and a match, they’ll be missed tonight, but then there’s the inability to continue the story line with Becky Lynch and Charlotte, barring any pre-taped backstage segments. Then there’s what’s been going on with Dean Ambrose, Kevin Owens, and Ziggler, but with the Show-Off in Allentown, PA tonight instead of Brooklyn, it’ll have to be a one on one between Ambrose and Owens. Kane not being there is the least impactful of the group, but his absence is still notable after returning last week, along with being on Smackdown as well.
Cena, Reigns, and Vince will be needed to carry the show tonight, along with Ambrose and Owens taking up a ton of time with a rock solid match. There’s always New Day to take up two to three segments, but I’m hoping we don’t get yet another New Day vs Lucha Dragons match, where Lucha gets oh so close to beating the Tag Team Champions, but comes up short when Xavier Woods shows up with a distraction. Lucha have beaten New Day multiple times over the last month, but the last two weeks haven’t gone Kalisto and Sin Cara‘s way; is this a sign that Lucha are set for a big victory sometime soon? Kalisto winning a fan voted Slammy Award had to be a good sign for the higher ups, but is it enough to justify taking the Titles off arguably the most entertaining part of RAW every week? I still think New Day should walk into WrestleMania with the Gold, but maybe giving Lucha the chance to be Champs for a while isn’t a terrible idea. My biggest issue with it though is that I think WrestleMania 32 is the perfect platform for a new team to step up, to be the next big team, but in order to be seen as credible, they’ll need to defeat heels, not faces. I called for Enzo Amore and Big Cass to debut on RAW right after NXT Takeover London, feeling like if Enzo and Cass weren’t going to take the NXT Tag Team Champioships, then the WWE Roster needed to be their next destination. What if tonight is the night? RAW is a little short handed, they’re going up against a big time AFC North edition of Monday Night Football, and WWE ideally wants to continue to push the envelope towards being seen as a great product again. I think it’s more likely that we don’t see that debut until after the Rumble, during a promo where New Day says they’ve beaten everyone WWE can throw at them, and then Enzo and Cass arrive. Since New Day took care of their opponents last week, it’s still possible that could happen tonight, but the RAW after the Rumble is where I’m placing my bets.
Lastly, with no Paige and no Charlotte, I think we might just see a Number One Contenders match out of Becky and Sasha Banks or a standard match between Becky and Naomi, after what happened between Team B.A.D. and Becky, with Naomi dumping eggnog over Becky’s head. It would make more sense for it to be against Naomi, but a Becky vs Naomi match doesn’t scream ratings, which is why there might be a Number One Contenders match, where Team B.A.D. interfere, and Becky gets a shot at Naomi on Smackdown.
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!