Coming off the back of last night’s Horror Show at Extreme Rules, Monday Night RAW tonight is subject to so many ‘what if’s’ that it really is must-see TV. Let’s take a look at 5 reasons why Extreme Rules has raised so many questions. Spoilers for Extreme Rules 2020 within!
Sasha Banks: RAW Women’s Champion (?)
Sasha’s bout with Asuka at Extreme Rules was a wonderful affair. Drama, excellent workmanship from both women, and an overall solid wrestling match. And then everything got complicated. Asuka tried to fix in the Asuka Lock, but Bayley attempted to assist Sasha, which resulted in Kairi Sane stepping in to stop Bayley. Asuka prepared a Green Mist, but Sasha ducked out of the way, resulting in the ref taking the brunt of the Mist. Bayley stormed the ring, smashed Asuka with a Tag Title, and literally ripped the official’s shirt off, performing the 3 count herself for Sasha to win.
Obviously, there’s controversy here. I personally loved the ending – of course 2 heels are going to cheat to win, I don’t know why people are so upset about that – but it’s where this goes next that’s the intriguing part. If Sasha is allowed to retain the championship (it’s not like Bayley did a fast count, she stuck to a regular 3 count), her feud with Asuka will likely come to a head at Summerslam. If Sasha isn’t permitted to retain, then surely it’s time for the long-awaited Sasha/Bayley feud for the Smackdown Women’s Championship.
Either way, Baysha’s celebration on tonight’s RAW will certainly be one to watch.
An Eye for an Eye – A Stipulation Too Far?
Rey Mysterio lost an eye at The Horror Show at Extreme Rules. Yes, it was a dodgy effect (ketchup-covered ping pong ball comes to mind) but the match itself was perfectly enjoyable! Rey and Seth are excellent workers, and the teases with the kendo stick and the chair leg, as well as the alternating turns on the steel steps, were tense and had me on the edge of my seat. That’s not to say the entire match wasn’t based on a ridiculous concept, because it was, but it’s where this match leaves Rey, Seth and Dominick that’s particularly interesting.
After successfully removing Rey’s eyeball (it’s really hard not to smirk each time I write about this match. I love how bonkers this whole stupid idea is), Seth proceeded to lose his lunch on the other side of the ring. Even the Monday Night Messiah isn’t heel enough to extract someone’s eye without feeling the effects. Could this lead to a change in Rollins’ approach? It would be quite interesting to have a heel disgusted by his own actions but still compelled to continue on the path of self-assumed righteousness.
And what of his acolytes? Will they still want to follow him? Kevin Owens punished Murphy on the kick-off show for Extreme Rules, and asked him how much longer he’d follow the Messiah. Could the extraction of a legitimate legend’s eyeball be enough for Rollins to lose his last supporters?
MVP: US Champion! Maybe…
Yes, yet another hokey finish to a title match at Extreme Rules. This was a theme across the night at Extreme Rules. In this situation, Apollo Crews wasn’t cleared to compete, and so MVP declared himself champion by forfeit. It will be interesting, as with Sasha, to see whether the red brand goes along with this idea, and if MVP will be expected to defend his self-claimed title in Apollo’s absence.
The other thing to come out of this PPV is… does RAW need an authority figure? I’m not saying we need Shane McMahon monopolising every storyline going, but perhaps a commissioner for the brand could be appointed once again. I wouldn’t even be against William Regal playing triple duty and managing NXT, RAW and Smackdown! His presence on NXT is felt when needed, and swept away when not – I can’t help feeling that the current status quo of the lunatics taking over the asylum on RAW needs something of a controlling hand to keep things together.
Legend Killer Reborn
Randy Orton has been on a path of destruction across the red brand since Edge’s return at the Royal Rumble, and I’m impressed with WWE’s patience in pitting him against Drew McIntyre. But as we await that inevitable clash, Randy and Big Show have an Unsanctioned Match on tonight’s RAW. This isn’t going to end in Big Show’s favour, I think we can safely say, but how much longer will Randy ‘need’ Ric Flair’s guidance and support?
In my mind, it’s only a matter of time before Hall of Famer Flair is on the receiving end of a (toned down) RKO. Will tonight be the night? And where will Randy’s path of destruction lead him next?
Who’s Next for the Scottish Psychopath?
Drew overcame stacked odds at Extreme Rules to beat Dolph Ziggler without breaking the rules of the chosen stipulation. The question now is surely who’s next? With Summerslam now looming on the horizon, it’s bound to be a marquee match that’ll look to give Drew a run for his money. There’s a few options that spring to mind, and each one comes with different routes that could be taken. The obvious ideas, to my mind, are Randy Orton, Seth Rollins and Bobby Lashley, and out of them the only one who seems to fit the bill is Randy, but he’s quite dedicated to the Legend Killer concept at the moment, so I can’t see them diverting him just yet. Which raises the question of who, exactly, is going to step up to the Champ?
Whatever way you look at it, RAW tonight is going to jam-packed, and it’s going to answer a lot of questions held over from Extreme Rules 2020.