There are two matches announced for WWE Raw on Monday night. Last week WWE didn’t advertise anything for Raw beforehand and it was a disappointing show, so WWE probably felt like they needed to promote a couple of big matches this week.
* Braun Strowman will face Randy Orton in their first match ever. Since the WWE Title match at WrestleMania Backlash is already set as Bobby Lashley defending the WWE Championship against Drew McIntyre, it’s possible that we get a shady finish in this match and then the Strowman/Orton rivalry leads to a match at the WrestleMania Backlash PPV.
* Asuka will face Charlotte Flair on Raw as well. Since Charlotte attacked Asuka and Rhea Ripley last week with Charlotte returning to Raw as a heel, it makes sense to do that match. Asuka and Charlotte have wrestled many times over the last few years.
The other thing they are promoting is that Drew McIntyre is demanding answers from MVP and Bobby Lashley because Drew was attacked by T-Bar and Mace at the end of Raw last week. The preview video is below.
Money in the Bank PPV Update
The next WWE PPV will be WrestleMania Backlash on Sunday, May 16. After that it’s going to be Money in the Bank on Sunday, June 20. That’s from the Wrestling Observer Newsletter, who noted that last week the plan was to do Money in the Bank first and then Backlash, but then WWE changed their mind.
TJR Thoughts: I think it’s the right call for WWE to do Backlash after WrestleMania and have a bit of a gap before Money in the Bank. Since Money in the Bank is considered one of the biggest PPVs of the year (after the big four although I would say it’s better than Survivor Series), it’s smart not to have it right after WrestleMania.
SummerSlam May Have Fans in Attendance
It’s possible that the annual August WWE PPV known as SummerSlam may have fans in attendance. That’s according to Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated:
“Following the success of last weekend’s WrestleMania, which was held in front of a live crowd at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, WWE returned to its ThunderDome on Monday, performing in front of a virtual crowd. Sources within WWE confirmed to Sports Illustrated that the plan is to hold SummerSlam in front of a live crowd.”
It’s not known where SummerSlam might take place if WWE has fans. They could opt for an outdoor venue or perhaps go with an arena. They have plenty of options.
TJR Thoughts: It makes sense because there are starting to be more fans at sporting events like NBA and MLB games in arenas. There are more COVID-19 vaccines being distributed in the US every day and by the end of May, a lot of the country will be fully vaccinated. We know WWE is committed to the Thunderdome concept for a few more months at least, but by August or even before that, I think they’ll be back to being in front of fans on a regular basis.