RAW Talk (August 1, 2016)

RAW Talk is BACK! This weekly series focuses on WWE’s 5 point preview on their website and what the company wants us to look out for when the clock strikes 8 pm EST. Tonight, Raw takes place in Atlanta, GA and a certain beast is back to talk Summerslam. Let’s get into it! 

Via WWE.com

Who will suffer Brock Lesnar’s wrath?

We haven’t seen Brock Lesnar in a WWE ring since he defeated Dean Ambrose in a No Holds Barred Street Fight at this year’s WrestleMania, and The Beast Incarnate won’t wait until he battles Randy Orton at SummerSlam to make his presence felt in WWE’s New Era. Live in Atlanta, The Anomaly brings his menace to Raw.

Even though The Viper has slithered his way to SmackDown Live, Orton will be paying close attention to whatever Lesnar has in store. Raw General Manager Mick Foley will definitely have his hands full keeping the peace Monday night, when The Anomaly enters The New Era for the first time.

Here’s a sad tale of monster booking and a successful UFC bout turned sour in the minds of many fans after a drug test failure. Now Orton gets to prance around in worked shoot promos saying he doesn’t need enhancements and Brock is back (when WWE said he wouldn’t be suspended because he wasn’t showing up until Summerslam) to answer the Viper. WWE also doesn’t mention Paul Heyman, who is supposedly not contracted with them any longer, so it will be interesting to see if Brock shows up to talk all by his lonesome, or if he just interrupts a Golden Truth/Dudley Boys match and F5’s everyone in his path to end his segment. Or Brock could just tell us about his feelings again…

Will Seth Rollins halt the rise of Finn Bálor?

On his first night as a Raw Superstar – and on his birthday, no less – Finn Bálor defeated three elite Superstars in a Fatal 4-Way Match, withstood the might of Roman Reigns and stood victorious at the end of the night, earning the right to face Seth Rollins in the first-ever  WWE Universal Championship Match at SummerSlam.

WWE.com captured footage of Rollins witnessing Bálor’s main event victory over The Big Dog, and The Architect was uncharacteristically silent as the enigmatic Irishman celebrated. Does this quiet contemplation mean Rollins is confident about his upcoming clash with Raw’s hottest newcomer, or is he apprehensive about standing across the ring from Bálor? Expect to hear from Rollins this Monday night.

What a debut for Finn Balor, who had been teasing his call-up since the beginning of the year. Our very own Alex Briggs is still riding on a high after last week. With the announcement of a WWE NBC Universal Championship Title on the way, Balor and Rollins (very New Era of Rollins to just be handed a title shot at Summerslam, by the way) will face in the what we can only hope is the main event of the summer version of Wrestlemania PPV. Yay! We get to hear Rollins talk tonight. You can bet that my finger will be hovering over the mute button just in case. I’m eager to see where this goes. Balor is already booked to be a huge star on the flagship program for WWE and it can only get better (hopefully!)

Sasha Banks and Charlotte prepare for Round 2

In one of the most emotional championship victories in the history of Raw, Sasha Banks made Charlotte submit to the Bank Statement this past Monday night to capture the WWE Women’s Title. The victory was a testament to The Boss’ tenacity and desire to lead the Women’s division in The New Era.

Charlotte has already invoked her rematch clause, and will attempt to reclaim her prize at SummerSlam. Will the bitter, newly former WWE Women’s Champion also seek some early vengeance Monday night?

Last week was also huge for Sasha Banks. I may have had a tear in my eyes watching her push Charlotte off her throne and claim the top prize for the Women’s Division. It was a cool move to pull off a title change on free TV and make us wonder just who will end up winning at Summerslam. Most likely it will be Sasha and hopefully it WILL be Sasha, and WWE doesn’t decide to make her a chasing babyface for another few months. Plus, there’s a certain Hugger waiting in the wings.

Who will face Braun Strowman?

Last Monday night, local competitor James Ellsworth thought he had a fighting chance against the imposing Braun Strowman … he was wrong. The near-400 pound goliath utterly demolished his smaller foe in a shocking show of force, punctuated by a rarely seen reverse chokeslam, proving that The New Era just might be his for the taking.

Undoubtedly, Strowman will look to continue his dominance Monday night in Atlanta, but will anyone be brave enough — or foolish enough — to stand across the ring from this monster?

Hopefully James Ellsworth again. WWE has successfully gotten me interested in Braun Strowman AND some small dude who will never beat him in a million years. Imagine if Strowman is booked as a monster heel and then ends up facing Undertaker next year like he was rumored to this year? A lot of interesting things could come from that.

Will The New Day rebound against Gallows & Anderson?

They’re the longest-reigning WWE Tag Team Champions in history, Booty-O’s cereal is now available at FYE.com and they have an honorary fourth member named “Sonny Boy.” But why aren’t Kofi Kingston, Xavier Woods & Big E still celebrating? For that, you can blame Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson, who crashed The New Day’s party last Monday and laid out the WWE Tag Team Champions in a savage show of force.

Despite their penchant for fun and games, The New Day won’t be joking around when it comes to their response to Gallows & Anderson’s brutality this Monday night in Atlanta.

I was personally hoping for a Xavier Woods heel turn at Battleground and he would become Bray’s new lackey on SmackDown. I didn’t get that, then I also got a meh segment with “Sonny Boy” last week that was one of the lower points on a very few low point Raw. Tonight, I’m being told by this preview that New Day will be serious, and that’s what I hope I get. Imagine at the end of Summerslam, Gallows and Anderson are Tag Team champs while Finn Balor wins the WWE Universal Championship? That’s a very intriguing scenario.

What do YOU think is going to happen tonight on Raw? Join us at 8 pm for live tweeting on our Twitter @TheSmarkCity. Leave a comment or tweet us with your predictions! See you tonight!