Last week, Monday Night Raw found themselves #UnderSiege. Tonight, we find out whether or not Kurt Angle is ready to respond, and if Shane McMahon and SmackDown Live will make another appearance.
Here are five things to watch for on tonight’s episode of Raw.
Shane McMahon and SmackDown Live fired the first shot in the brand war last Monday, invading Raw. They left the locker room in a state of chaos, with Angle in shock. There was no retaliation by Raw the following night on SmackDown, and that is sure to bother the Raw locker room. Angle will have to explain how he could let this happen on Raw’s home turf, and how he plans to get back at the blue brand.
It won’t be good enough to just say that payback will come at Survivor Series, especially if another attack is on the horizon. If SmackDown does strike again tonight, it is the perfect storm for Raw to tell the story of a GM that doesn’t have control of his own show, forcing Angle to respond with an attack of his own at some point before the PPV.
Here is what we know. The Raw champions will be taking on the SmackDown Live champions at Survivor Series. Another thing that we know, because commentary has made sure to point it out, is that these matches are subject to the champions holding on to their belts.
This may just be WWE’s way of trying to keep the suspense up while they have their champions do nothing, or there is a point to all of this. In kayfabe, if a general manager likes his title holder’s chances at the PPV, they would be wise to keep those superstars away from title matches to ensure their respective show has an advantage.
There are instances (see: The Miz) where a titleholder may push the general manager to create a match, which is another interesting element that could play out over the next couple of weeks.
Asuka’s next opponent
Asuka has two victories on the WWE main roster. Against Emma. Who is no longer with WWE. This is a weird spot that WWE put themselves in. Knowing them, they won’t mention Emma by name, but that’s the only person that Asuka has battled.
So WWE is going to have to very quickly move Asuka on to her next feud, allowing the commentary team to guide the conversation. It feels like Smackdown’s women’s team will win, so Asuka taking a pin at Survivor Series should be off the table. That means they are going to need something for the Empress of Tomorrow. Could a returning Nia Jax be the feud?
Speaking of the Raw women’s team, Alicia Fox won the right to become the captain. That means she also earned the right to put together the Raw women’s team (or at least we think she did). Tonight should be the first opportunity to see what kind of team Fox is putting together and if it stands a chance against the blue brand.
The only true monster
Kane has made it very clear. He is the only true monster of the WWE. Last Monday, he tried to prove that when beat Finn Balor clean (yes, clean) in the middle of the ring. The WWE’s official preview for Raw tonight teases another open challenge. It seems to be a little early for Braun Strowman to return after getting crunched by a garbage truck, so perhaps somebody else steps up and answers the challenge.