Three Things on Raw is a new weekly column (that will have a sister weekly article – shockingly titled Three Things on Smackdown) where I will detail the three things that I hope to see happen on Raw that night. While there are a multitude of storylines and angles, this article will focus on three pivotal segments that can decide who wins between Raw and Smackdown for the week. Here are the three things I want to see on Raw tonight.
Undertaker Announced for the Royal Rumble
Undertaker last appeared on Smackdown’s 900 episode bash on the “Cutting Edge.” He vowed to make whoever costs Team Smackdown the match at Survivor Series pay. He also interestingly claimed that Wrestlemania would no longer define him. The threat ended up being useless as Team Smackdown ultimately won the match, but his other words were left empty.
His words would seem to indicate a somewhat regular return for the Deadman, but he quickly vanished from WWE programming after this appearance. With the Rumble coming in just shy of three weeks, one could speculate him being in a championship match. Except, we already have two matches made for the card – Kevin Owens vs. Roman Reigns and AJ Styles vs. John Cena. The Royal Rumble is in Undertaker’s home state of Texas – I would have to assume he is a lock to be on the card with 70,000 seats to fill. Perhaps he will have a singles match with another superstar? Who would he possibly face?
I think the much more likely scenario is to stuff him into the Rumble match itself. This would essentially overload the Rumble match with top talent. Seth Rollins, Chris Jericho, Goldberg, Brock Lesnar, and Undertaker? If this scenario comes to fruition he immediately becomes my pick to win the Rumble match and face John Cena in a “career vs. title match.” Regardless, I want answers tonight on Raw on what direction the Undertaker is going. His appearance will be a massive disappointment if he makes more empty threats and leaves.
Sami Zayn Gets Revenge
While I certainly thought last week’s Last Man Standing match was a great one – I felt the finish was a bit weak. I didn’t like that Zayn didn’t meet a vicious end to finally put him away. That being said, we need Sami Zayn to really get some real offense and come out with a W tonight. It is certainly possible that this feud is over and done with and Strowman is moving on to other things (Goldberg? Undertaker? Roman Reigns?). I would personally like to see WWE go in a different direction.
My hope is Zayn makes a shocking return after his beatdown last week through the crowd. I want to see Zayn grab a chair and beat the ever loving shit out of Strowman and completely interrupt whatever squash match he is having. I want the chair destroyed and I want Zayn to have to go outside and grab another one and pound Strowman with that second chair until it too falls apart. Strowman would then recover in the corner and eat a Helluva kick and stay down for a few minutes as Zayn pumps up the crowd into an absolute fucking frenzy. After a few minutes Strowman would slowly begin to recover and Zayn would retreat back through the crowd as Foley comes out with security.This would be the first time Strowman has been legitimately put down for a decent amount of time.
The point of this angle would be to set up Zayn eliminating Strowman at the Rumble for the massive upset and himself getting eliminated after a deep run in the Rumble match. It would put Zayn over huge and give him a massive rub from the unstoppable monster. I think WWE is trying to build Strowman into the monster that faces a champion Reigns at Mania, but this would be an epic mistake. If they go this direction that will be a blog post for another time.
WWE Manages to Make This JeriKO vs. Reigns Feud Interesting
JeriKO are gold together. Really great stuff between the two of them. Ultimately I think WWE is building to a Wrestlemania match between the two which spells doom for Kevin Owens at Royal Rumble. Unfortunately, this means Roman Reigns is becoming world champion again which is something nobody wants to see again. The insufferable fear that Reigns is going to win the belt again is really sucking the energy out of this feud that Owens and Jericho are desperately trying to carry with their superb mic work.
I’m not entirely sure what WWE can do at this point to make this feud interesting. They are too cowardly to turn Reigns heel and admit they made a mistake. The depressing fact is that would be the spark to make this feud interesting. A double turn. Roman Reigns needs to show “heelish” tendencies tonight to begin to tease the double turn. Then at the Rumble match you have Reigns taking advantage of the rules and being overly aggressive and beating Owens within an inch of his life. Add in a screaming and begging Jericho suspended high above in a shark cage – being forced to watch his best friend get destroyed – and you have yourselves the double turn. AJ Lee was instrumental in conveying the sympathy Dolph Ziggler needed when Del Rio repeatedly kicked his head off years ago and Jericho will be just as instrumental. From there you could have Jericho then turn on Owens after Owens loses his rematch against Reigns and you have your Wrestlemania match. This feud desperately needs a spark and I feel this is just what the doctor ordered.
This has been Three Things on Raw, tune into Monday Night Raw tonight to see if any of these things come true and stay tuned for tomorrow’s Three Things on Smackdown!