Tonight’s edition of WWE Monday Night Raw takes place at the Enterprise Center in St. Louis, Missouri. It’s the last Raw before Thursday’s WWE Crown Jewel PPV/WWE Network show in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. That means the wrestlers taking part in Crown Jewel will likely be on a long flight to Saudi Arabia tomorrow. After next week’s Raw in New York, the crew heads to Europe for nearly two weeks.
Here’s what WWE has advertised for tonight in their Raw preview on WWE.com along with my predictions.
Seth Rollins and Erick Rowan set to battle in Falls Count Anywhere Match
This is Rowan’s first match on Raw since the WWE Draft and I think they will want to book him strong, but I would be shocked if Rollins lost. Since it is non-title and it’s Falls Count Anywhere, there’s a possibility that “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt shows up because this is WWE and they don’t really care about separating the rosters that much even though Wyatt is on Smackdown. If Wyatt shows up and attacks Rollins then maybe Rowan will get the win.
The reason this is Falls Count Anywhere is because Rollins/Fiend at Crown Jewel is also Falls Count Anywhere, so this will almost be a preview of that match. I’m going with a Rollins win because I think WWE wants to keep him strong going into Sunday’s match with The Fiend and it wouldn’t surprise me if The Fiend attacked Rollins after the match.
Another thing that WWE needs to cover tonight is what happens if The Fiend wins the Universal Title at Crown Jewel? Does that mean the title is on Smackdown? Does that mean The Fiend is back on Raw? They need to try to explain what happens.
Hulk Hogan and Ric Flair to appear days before WWE Crown Jewel
It’s another appearance for Hogan and Flair after multiple appearance on Raw and Smackdown over the last month. The match at Crown Jewel looks like this: Team Hulk Hogan (Roman Reigns, Rusev, Ricochet, Ali and Shorty G) vs. Team Ric Flair (Randy Orton, Baron Corbin, Bobby Lashley, Shinsuke Nakamura and Drew McIntyre).
The obvious thing to expect is a tag team match like they did on Smackdown with Hogan’s team winning a good main event, but I doubt that happens here. There’s already a match between Ricochet and Drew McIntyre, so a tag match doesn’t appear likely. Maybe they will do Rusev vs. Orton. If that happens, then I expect a distraction from Lashley and Rusev’s cheating wife Lana, which would give Orton the win. Lashley hasn’t had a match since mid-July after elbow surgery, but he should be good to go now.
Becky Lynch to face Kairi Sane on Raw in matchup of champions
This should be a lot of fun although it’s still weird to see to Sane as a heel considering she is one of the most natural babyfaces that WWE has on the roster. The women have nothing to do at Crown Jewel as usual, so there’s been a holding pattern with the division of late. If they are doing champion vs. champion at Survivor Series then we’ll get Lynch vs. Bayley, which doesn’t interest me that much at all. I’d rather see Lynch in a meaningful rivalry with Sane and her tag team partner Asuka. I could see Charlotte Flair getting involved too.
I assume Lynch wins this match because she rarely loses matches (even non-title) and then Asuka attacks after the match. That can lead to Flair making the save out of respect and then they can do Lynch/Flair vs. Asuka/Sane next week or at another time.
Rusev and Lana will take their quarrel to “The King’s Court”
This story is hated by some fans, but I don’t mind it that much because I’m all for anything that gets Rusev more of the spotlight. I think he’s an underrated superstar in WWE. I also think Bobby Lashley’s heel run has been boring for the most part, so using Lana as a cheating wife to get Lashley more over is okay with me. It’s weird how fans complain about the lack of stories, but then when we are given a story, people complain. A woman cheating on a man or vice versa is an easy story to get heat and it’s already working with these people.
It’s hard to predict what they’ll say here, but I hope the dialogue is interesting and Rusev needs to be booked better than last week. Instead of having Rusev say he wants to have Lana back, he should say he doesn’t love her anymore and he wants to move on, then she can say she wants to ruin his career and go on from there. When Rusev is out there talking about wanting her back like he said last week, it makes him look like a loser instead of a cool face that is out there getting revenge.
I already predicted a Rusev vs. Orton match being set up on Raw, so maybe this segment will be used to get there with Lashley saying he doesn’t want to face Rusev and instead, Orton comes out to face Rusev.
Lawler has been divorced three times (I looked it up), so he’ll probably make jokes about how he knows about divorces.
Ricochet looks to tip the scales for Team Hogan in rematch with Team Flair’s Drew McIntyre
This is a rematch from their excellent match on last week’s Raw, which opened the show and I rated ***1/2 out of five, which means I enjoyed it a lot. Rematches in WWE often times mean that it’s 50/50 booking where the guy that lost the previous week gets his win back. I’m not sure if they will do that here, though. I think WWE is finally going to pull the trigger on McIntyre by giving him that main event push where he’s the next challenger for the Universal Title and I think that means McIntyre needs a winning streak. The problem with that is they need to feature Ricochet more as a rising star. Booking him to lose matches isn’t the right way to use him. That’s wrestling, though. You can’t push everybody at once. Somebody has to do the job.
I think it’s possible we get Kevin Owens and The Street Profits vs. The Club trio of AJ Styles, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson. Last week it was The Street Profits beating Gallows and Anderson thanks to KO hitting a Stunner on Styles, so it makes sense to do the 6-man tag team match this week.
In addition to all of that, I expect guys like Aleister Black and maybe Buddy Murphy to pick up victories to showcase them more as rising stars. Plus, 24/7 Title “comedy” segments. Great.
Here’s a reminder of the Crown Jewel lineup.
* WWE Championship: Brock Lesnar (c) vs. Cain Velasquez
* Falls Count Anywhere Match for the Universal Championship: Seth Rollins (c) vs. “The Fiend” Bray Wyatt – This match “can’t be stopped for any reason.”
* Braun Strowman vs. Tyson Fury
* Five on Five Tag Team Match: Team Hulk Hogan (Roman Reigns, Rusev, Ricochet, Ali and Shorty G) vs. Team Ric Flair (Randy Orton, Baron Corbin, Bobby Lashley, Shinsuke Nakamura and Drew McIntyre)
* Tag Team Turmoil Match: The New Day (Kofi Kingston, Big E and Xavier Woods), Raw Tag Team Champions Dolph Ziggler and Robert Roode, Smackdown Tag Team Champions The Revival (Scott Dawson and Dash Wilder), The Viking Raiders (Erik and Ivar), Zack Ryder and Curt Hawkins, Heavy Machinery (Tucker and Otis), Lucha House Party (Kalisto, Gran Metalik and Lince Dorado), The OC (AJ Styles, Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson), and The B Team (Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel)
* United States Championship: AJ Styles (c) vs. Winner of Battle Royal
* Cesaro vs. Mansoor
* 20-Man Battle Royal
I’ll have a WWE Raw review that will go up on Tuesday morning. It’s possible that I may post it late tonight, but Tuesday morning is more likely. I’ll also have a preview of WWE Crown Jewel most likely on Wednesday. I expect to write about Crown Jewel live on TJRWrestling on Thursday afternoon as well. Thanks for reading.