5 Things WWE subtly told us on RAW before Extreme Rules: Underutilized star turns face after 2 years, Braun Strowman set to feud with record-breaking star?

A QR code (left); The Monster Among Men (right)
A QR code (left); The Monster Among Men (right)

Welcome to the special edition of things WWE subtly told us on RAW before Extreme Rules 2022. It was quite an incredible episode with brilliant storytelling from start to finish.

The honeymoon period of Triple H taking over creative control doesn't seem to be over because the quality of storytelling has improved, and everything feels fresher.

Not everything is perfect, but WWE has also relied more on subtle storytelling - especially with the QR code and the White Rabbit. This week, there was the QR code as well as the anagram fan sign that hinted at Bray Wyatt.

But apart from that, this was what WWE subtly told us on the RAW before Extreme Rules 2022:

#5. A face turn and a future feud tease for Bobby Lashley on RAW

still standing. respect.

This week on RAW, the United States Champion Bobby Lashley was confronted by Mustafa Ali - a superstar who asked for his release in January.

It led to a match between the two, and it wasn't just any US Title match. While Lashley has been the highlight of RAW, the match was special because of the storytelling. Ali's toughness and his resolve to never quit saw him lose by a technical submission as he passed out from The Hurt Lock.

That's right - he passed out. He didn't tap out. The Hurt Lock is one of the most protected submission holds, and it says a lot about Ali not tapping out. It was the story of a superstar who has had a bit of a downfall but could have big things coming and a big push.

It's interesting that October 5, 2020, was when Mustafa Ali officially turned heel to become the leader of RETRIBUTION. It was October 3, 2022, when Ali turned face again.

Lashley was attacked by Rollins just as he was helping Ali back up. The US Champion issued a challenge to the four-time world champion. It was soon confirmed that the United States Title would be on the line next week between Lashley and Rollins.

If Rollins beats Riddle, which he could, then there is a genuine chance of him defeating Lashley for the US title.

#4. A big feud is being teased for Braun Strowman

.@TheGiantOmos and @The305MVP have their eyes set on Braun Strowman. ๐Ÿ‘€#WWERaw #WWE

Braun Strowman had his first match on RAW in over a year-and-a-half this week. He defeated Chad Gable with ease, as expected. However, there was a subtle moment in between where the camera panned to the backstage area where MVP and Omos were observing.

It should now be noted that Omos is a record-breaking WWE star - the second tallest superstar in WWE history (behind Giant Gonzalez) and the tallest in the modern era. It was a clear indication of the feud between the two giants.

#3. Candice LeRae's defeat signals Damage CTRL's dominance for a while to come

Damage CTRL took over RAW this week from top to bottom. While Candice LeRae's loss to Dakota Kai (via the assistance of Bayley) was just one sign, there were a few others.

IYO SKY and Dakota Kai assaulted Asuka and Alexa Bliss, leading to the main event between SKY and Bliss. Bayley made a statement in the contract signing with Bianca Belair, and Bliss would lose to SKY in the main event.

Asuka came out injured and tried to help but to no avail. Damage CTRL took out Bliss and Asuka, possibly indicating that The EST won't have any help (apart from Candice LeRae, potentially) at Extreme Rules. This could easily lead to a Bayley win and a Damage CTRL takeover, with all three women holding titles.

#2. The Dexter Lumis-Miz story and the subtle Johnny Gargano NXT reference

.@JohnnyGargano is well acquainted with the ways of @DexterWWE ๐Ÿ˜‚#WWERaw #WWE

The Dexter Lumis-Miz story doesn't take up much screen time. In fact, when looking at the three hours, it hardly takes up any time. But the utilization of time has been brilliant, and the storytelling has been top-notch.

Lumis has been looming in the background, making The Miz pass out and giving him "gifts." There was even a subtle transition after Candice LeRae's match to her husband Johnny Gargano, walking backstage and noticing The Miz being passed out.

Given his history with Dexter Lumis in NXT, Gargano gave a look of "I know what Lumis can do" and shrugged it off. While it was a reference that only NXT fans may have gotten, it was done subtly enough for their history to be acknowledged. We're looking forward to seeing what lies ahead in this feud.

#1. WWE builds up The Judgment Day before a potential defeat

"AJ it's me, Finn!"@FinnBalor is still trying to reason with @AJStylesOrg #WWERaw

The Judgment Day opened RAW this week with a promo, preceded by a match against AJ Styles and Rey Mysterio. This week, Styles took the pin as WWE did their best to build up Finn Balor as a threat to Edge ahead of their "I Quit" match at Extreme Rules 2022.

Given that Balor vs. Edge could be headlining the show on Saturday, it would have made sense for them to have a face-to-face segment, but that didn't happen. Either way, this was WWE's subtle way of making The Judgment Day a big threat ahead of Saturday.

Did you enjoy RAW this week? Voice your thoughts in the comments below.

A former RAW Tag Team Champion seemingly confirmed his injury on the show this week. Read about it here.

We asked Kurt Angle what Roman Reigns' weakness is right here

Quick Links

Edited by Angana Roy