RAW Preview: Superstar to possibly win first title in 5 years, WWE spoils winner of #1 contender’s match?
Welcome to this week’s edition of WWE RAW Preview. Last week was an interesting episode filled with some great progression of rivalries and a few solid matches as well. New contenders emerged, things changed for the better for some superstars and WWE’s flagship show continued its build to Backlash 2020.
It’s going to be an interesting PPV and we’re just a few weeks out, with just three episodes of RAW left. Let’s jump right into it, starting with a title match:
#5. Andrade and Apollo Crews go to war in a United States Championship match
Let’s start with what we believe is the most exciting part of the night – the United States Championship match between Andrade and Apollo Crews. Andrade has been the Champion for a while now, but his reign hasn’t exactly set the world on fire.
His best match as the Champion came last month against Apollo Crews – a closely-contested bout where the challenger was close to winning before succumbing to a knee injury, forcing the referee to stop the contest and declare Andrade as the winner.
This would also cost Crews his spot at the Money in the Bank ladder match, which means that he has an extra chip on his shoulder. While Andrade might have Zelina Vega and Angel Garza in his corner, Apollo Crews is expected to have Kevin Owens backing him.
It was Kevin Owens who returned last week and had a small verbal confrontation with Zelina Vega before introducing Apollo Crews. The two would team up together in a successful effort that led to Austin Theory being kicked out of the group. We’ll get back to Theory later.
#4. A triple threat match to determine Asuka’s first title challenger
Charlotte Flair is pulling triple-duty and has been the hardest working WWE superstar during the pandemic, as she’s appeared on NXT, RAW, and SmackDown frequently. She recently faced Bayley on SmackDown in a Champion vs Champion match and was defeated without the requirement of Sasha Banks to assist the SmackDown Women’s Champion.
She’ll be back on RAW and will look to go through veteran Natalya and former RAW Women’s Champion Nia Jax to get another crack at Asuka – a woman who she’s all too familiar with.
Asuka is the new RAW Women’s Champion and her celebration last week was interrupted by Nia Jax – recurring through the show and spilling over backstage as well. While Asuka had the last laugh on the night, it seems clear where the direction of her first title challenge is going.
Nia Jax appearing and playing such an important role was essentially WWE spoiling the fact that she’s likely to beat Flair and Natalya to earn a title shot at Backlash 2020.
#3. The Viking Raiders and Street Profits continue the war!
Though the segment got a bit of criticism, we found it thoroughly entertaining. Following a mauling in Basketball by The Street Profits, The Viking Raiders proved that they were just playing around and pretending to be bad.
There was no pretending when they invited the RAW Tag Team Champions to an ax-throwing contest, where the Viking Raiders dominated Montez Ford and Angelo Dawkins. It looked like a traditional 17th-century setting, but The Street Profits looked out of place and so did the police, who stopped all the action.
However, Ivar being “cute” according to the police officer helped them get away with it. With all the shenanigans out of the window, it’s going to be interesting to see how the two elite tag teams approach this rivalry.
It seems to be leading to a Tag Team title match at Backlash, with The Viking Raiders still looking like the stronger team. Will The Street Profits be able to get the mental edge over The Viking Raiders? Or will the former Champions continue to prove their superiority?
#2. What’s next for Seth Rollins’ faction and Austin Theory?
Seth Rollins had an interesting role in last week’s episode of RAW. He started with a non-apology to Rey Mysterio, telling Rey Mysterio that the assault on him was for the better. It led to a confrontation with Humberto Carrillo, who was taken out.
Aleister Black would be the next in line to face Murphy, with the match ending after an ejected Austin Theory ended up aligning with Seth Rollins. One would argue that long-term, Zelina Vega made one of the biggest mistakes of her career by kicking the 22-year old Austin Theory from her group.
Seth Rollins will be the direct beneficiary of this,as he’s taken one of WWE’s hottest prospects under his wing. It’s going to be a great decision in the long-run, especially when The AoP return by the end of the year.
For now, the addition of Theory will be big in his battle against Aleister Black, who will be facing an unfavorable numbers game. What’s going to come of the Rollins-Black rivalry?
#1. Drew McIntyre appears on the MVP lounge ahead of Backlash
While it isn’t the match we expected at Backlash, it’s certainly going to be a tough match-up for the WWE Champion Drew McIntyre. His second PPV challenger is another superstar who lost at WrestleMania 36 – Bobby Lashley.
MVP has seemingly decided to take Bobby Lashley under his wing, telling him that he needs to start “being Bobby Lashley again”. There’s a lot of truth to what he said, especially given that Lashley has lost a lot of his edge over the past 7 months.
However, he’s been regaining his momentum, getting a few victories under his belt recently. MVP was out with Bobby Lashley in the main event of RAW last week to observe McIntyre in his match against SmackDown’s King Corbin.
McIntyre won as expected, with Lashley staring the Champion down to close the show. It was clear what was next for the WWE Champion and WWE later confirmed that Drew McIntyre will be defending his title against Bobby Lashley at Backlash 2020.
Drew McIntyre will be appearing on MVP’s show “The VIP lounge”, with a confrontation involving Bobby Lashley imminent. Expect an altercation between the two former allies-turned rivals as things heat up in the build to Backlash!