Another Monday has passed, and with it came a new episode of WWE’s flagship show, Monday Night Raw.
Tonight’s show seeked to solidify several storylines as the company inches closer to the upcoming Money In The Bank pay per view. Rivalries intensified, as well as names being announced for the men’s and women’s Money In The Bank ladder matches respectively. My weekly task is to help you fine readers unpack Raw’s coming and goings by highlighting five things we learned from the show. So without further ado, let’s jump straight into it!
1. Men’s MITB Begins to Take Shape
Tonight’s show opened with Alexa Bliss coming out to announce the Raw competitors that will be taking part in this year’s Men’s Money In The Bank match. Braun Strowman, Drew McIntyre, Ricochet, and Baron Corbin were all revealed, each making their entrances as Bliss announced their names. Inevitably, the four men began antagonizing each other, resulting in all four taking part in a tag team match to officially open the show. The most interesting part of all of this, in my opinion, is the implication of a possible singles push for Ricochet. Recent rumors suggest that Vince McMahon is very keen on pushing Ricochet’s former partner, Aleister Black, so Ricochet’s inclusion in MITB may just be a result of the team being split. However, I personally think that’s a slim chance we may see the One and Only capture the briefcase.
2. The Miz is the G.O.A.T.
Now, I know this isn’t something some of you are just learning, but I have to say that tonight’s return of the MizTV segment only added to the Miz’s growing claim of being one of the greatest stars in WWE history. Miz excels in every situation he’s placed into, and tonight was no exception. Even serving as the protagonist to Bobby Lashley’s third person speaking, monster heel persona, Miz attempted to get his guest over, citing his lack of physical athleticism in comparison to that of Lashley. This coupled with the perfect amount of selling delivered during the eventual attack by Shane McMahon only adds to the undeniable fact that the Miz should definitely be considered one of the greatest of all time.
3. Dana Brooke Might Win M.I.T.B
Okay, I’m sure many of you might be laughing at this one, but I’m a big proponent of never saying never when it comes to pro wrestling. Since her above average performance in the Women’s Wrestlemania Battle Royal, I’ve been highlighting the possibility of Brooke finally getting a push. So I’m going to go ahead and say that Dana’s inclusion in the women’s Money in the Bank ladder match could very well be WWE putting plans into motion for the former bodybuilder. Sure, Alexa Bliss also announcing her own involvement in the match makes her the odds on favorite, but maybe that’s just creative trying to keep things unpredictable. Only time will tell on this one.
4. The Funhouse Flourishes
Bray Wyatt’s newest gimmick is probably the most polarizing subject in pro wrestling currently. Fans either love or absolutely hate the direction that Bray’s character has recently gone in. Personally, I’m of the opinion that this gimmick is pure gold. Not only is the idea of a twisted version of Mr. Rogers original, but it also has created a great amount of mystery surrounding Bray. Both the references to events taking place during Wyatt’s original gimmick run, and the subtle tone changes during these vignettes seem to add credence to the idea that creative has big plans for Bray’s Firefly Funhouse.
5. AJ Styles’ Heel Turn Begins
Well, it was bound to happen eventually, right? After signing the contract for their Universal Championship match at Money in the Bank, Seth Rollins and AJ Styles stood face to face in typical prematch photo opportunity fashion until Styles opted to cheap shot the champion. An inevitable brawl broke out, ending with AJ hitting a Phenomenal Forearm to put Rollins through a table. It’s a safe bet that this closing segment was the beginning of Styles literally jumping back into his heel persona. WWE knows that Seth has been a veritable goldmine since becoming the top babyface of Monday Night Raw, and they also know that Styles can shine in either role. It goes without saying that these guys are going to put on one hell of a match at Money in the Bank no matter what, but the addition of Styles returning to his scathing heel promos can only mean that the lead up to this confrontation will create nothing but pure anticipation.
And there we have it, folks. Five things we learned from Raw this week. As we move closer towards Money in the Bank, it’s safe to say that things are only going to get more interesting on Monday Night Raw. So, until next time, may all your kicks be super and all your frog splashes five stars.
You can find me on Twitter @DirtSheetDandy. Thanks for reading.