5 things that could happen on RAW next week: After The Rumble, Before Backlash
WWE spent this week’s RAW mostly focusing on telling us how important the Greatest Royal Rumble event is going to be. They didn’t necessarily do a ton to build up the matches outside of the Brock/Roman match, which was just a 5-minute promo to start the show before both guys disappeared.
This week was another placeholder, which is extremely frustrating. They’re in a weird place right now with the shakeup and the GRR show, followed by Backlash which is more of a show to establish that both RAW and SmackDown will be on every PPV. That doesn’t mean they can’t do meaningful things in the meantime.
I assume we aren’t really going to see anything truly important until the first set of shows after Backlash. Right now it’s establishing new guys and holding in place. It doesn’t need to be that way, but it’s how WWE operates.
I made some pretty boring predictions last week (with the exception of the first one) because I figured not much was going to happen. Let’s talk about them.
- Ziggler goes after Seth Rollins
I said this was a bold prediction because of the state of flux in the brands, and it turned out to be the case. Ziggler and McIntyre teamed up and beat Titus Worldwide in a follow-up to the beatdown from last week. It was a fine match with a solid promo afterward, essentially establishing that they are going to be brutal and that they want to run RAW. They didn’t say whether or not they wanted to be a tag team, but maybe we’ll find that out next week because there’s a lot of work to do to get Backlash put together.
Rollins, who is defending the IC Title at the GRR and Backlash (assuming he retains on Friday) has a match, but Finn is only set up for that same IC Title match at the GRR. Those two teamed up in a meaningless match against the Miztourage, who are in a perfect position to get into something that matters. It won’t happen, but the loss of The Miz as their meal ticket gives them a big opportunity that they aren’t going to be a chance to capitalize on. Oh well.
- The Bar destroy Breezango in a rematch
The Bar ended up getting moved to SmackDown Live last week, so obviously, they didn’t appear. It also makes it a virtual guarantee that Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt will become the new RAW Tag Champions on Friday. That was pretty much the expectation anyway, but the red belts aren’t going to be moved to SmackDown, especially since the SD Live Tag Title match is being held between two SDL teams.
Breezango, unsurprisingly, didn’t appear at all this week. Not in a match or a backstage segment. I guess that’s better than The Ascension, who had yet another chance to be rebuilt now that they are on RAW, but were instead used as two slabs of meat to be deleted by Bray and Matt. It’s not a guarantee that both of these teams are going to be playing the exact same roles on RAW that they did on SmackDown, but I’d be willing to say there’s a solid 90% chance that will be the reality of the situation.
- Dallas & Axel lose to the AOP and break up
The Authors of Pain were another no-show this week. You would think with 3 freakin’ hours they would be able to fit everybody in, but that’s obviously not the case and never has been. I’m not asking for much -- a quick video package or backstage promo/interview isn’t difficult to fit in. Dallas and Axel both ended up staying on RAW and spent the evening trying to suck up to Seth Rollins and Finn Balor, trying to glom onto someone new now that Miz is gone. They were rebuffed by both men and then defeated by the same men later on in a tag match. Holding pattern.
- Bobby Lashley defeats Elias
In a shocking turn of events, Elias actually got a win on RAW this week. He took on Bobby Roode in the opener and beat him with a roll-up and a handful of tights, but a win is a win. Lashley did something far better, teaming with Braun Strowman to defeat Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens in an incredibly fun and extremely entertaining match. Strowman is so over it’s absolutely insane. They need to put the Universal Title on this guy yesterday. Lashley got a great reaction as well, partially because he was in there on a team with Braun, but also because he’s awesome.
- No physical interaction between Roman and Brock, Joe chokes Roman out
Heyman did a lot of talking, as expected. Roman interrupted, as expected. He said only a few words, which is how all of his promos should be, and that was that. Not really an exciting way to build up the match that is going to potentially be Roman’s first Universal Title win and Brock’s last match for a while. No Samoa Joe either, although he did appear in a selfie video promo to say that Roman was going to get beat up by Brock again and that he would be waiting to pick up the pieces.
Overall, I went 0.5 out of 5. I’ll give myself credit for the Roman/Brock segment, even though the half that I got right was part of the course. I’ll take it. I don’t want to put a zero up on the scoreboard for myself. Now let’s talk next week. The fallout of the Greatest Royal Rumble and the hard-sell show for Backlash.
#5 Baron Corbin beats up a bunch of No Way Jose’s conga liners
For some reason, I’m feeling that Baron Corbin is going to wind up winning the Greatest Royal Rumble match. They may have a good guy win it for a big feel-good moment, but if the match isn’t the main event (Roman vs. Brock in the cage is probably going to be saved for last) then it would be safe to have a bad guy win.
So Corbin will win the Rumble and either interrupt or be interrupted by No Way Jose, whose band of merry conga linemen and women will get taken out by Corbin. The men, obviously. I’d love to see him get to nail one of the women with a clothesline. That would get him some massive heat, and he could use it. The guy doesn’t have the speaking ability to really be the big hated guy they want him to be. Either way, some of the posse should get beaten up next week.