Welcome to this week’s edition of things WWE subtly told us on RAW. It was a solid episode that saw a lot of good storyline progression, great matches, moments, and an overall positive build-up towards the Day 1 pay-per-view.
The show was centered around the opening steel cage match and the RAW Women’s Championship main event. Thankfully, both delivered.
While there were several other moments as well, two to note were Bianca Belair getting a countout win over Doudrop, and The Mysterios and The Street Profits qualifying for a number one contender match for the RAW Tag Team titles.
A lot happened on the red brand this week, so let’s get started:
#6. An All Mighty addition to the WWE title feud on RAW?
This week’s episode of RAW opened with a steel cage match between Kevin Owens and Big E. While many felt that it should have been the main event, in hindsight, opening the show with this bout turned out to be the right decision.
We’ve now seen Owens and E square off on numerous occasions, and this time around, it was the WWE Champion who once again got the better of KO. Seth Rollins had a role to play at ringside, but he seemed satisfied simply watching the two men beating each other up.
However, the most notable part of the segment was what happened afterward. For some odd reason, it was during the break when Bobby Lashley came in and attacked Big E and announced his re-arrival to the WWE title scene.
While Lashley had a bad September and October following losses to Big E, Roman Reigns, and Goldberg, things have bounced back for him as he qualified for Survivor Series and now has seemingly re-entered the world title feud.
Kevin Owens’ addition to the feud seems to have been so he could take the pinfall, but Bobby Lashley’s addition likely indicates that the company simply wants an epic world title match at Day 1.
WWE rarely gets fatal-four-ways wrong, and Big E is likely to walk out the victor after pinning Owens. Lashley hasn’t officially been added to the match yet, but we imagine that it’s only going to take a week or two before the WWE title bout at Day 1 becomes a fatal-four-way.
#5. A tale of two teased break-ups on RAW
On RAW this week, we saw two big break-ups teased, with one being somewhat obvious, and the other, not so much. The first instance saw Nikki A.S.H. backstage with Rhea Ripley. She thought a fan was coming for her autograph, only to realize that said fan wanted Jerry Lawler’s autograph instead.
If Ripley didn’t roll her eyes enough, she did so even more after the match Nikki was in. This week, she took on Queen Zelina and fell short once again, with Rhea Ripley looking on with dread. That was the first break-up tease for the night on RAW.
The second was during the RK-Bro-nament, where four teams faced off for No.1 contendership for the RAW Tag Team titles. The Street Profits defeated AJ Styles and Omos via count-out, after which the latter walked away from The Phenomenal One.
After over a year, Styles and Omos’ partnership could be coming to an end. Perhaps it’s the right time since they’ve been together for a while, and the behemoth is ready for singles stardom, while AJ Styles can go back to being a more serious top contender.
#4. Damian Priest’s next opponent on RAW has already been revealed
Damian Priest had an open challenge on RAW again, and it was answered by former Tag Team and US Champion Robert Roode. The only actual issue we have with these open challenges is the relative predictability of it.
With that said, it’s not a long-shot to say that Priest’s open challenges have been the best since John Cena in 2015. Since then, several superstars have tried to follow the footsteps of the 16-time world champion, but none were able to elevate the title the way he did.
Either way, Damian Priest had a good match with Robert Roode and predictably retained the title, after which he was attacked by Dolph Ziggler, indicating his next challenge.
We’re not sure what WWE’s plans for Priest on the red brand are heading into Day 1, but the open challenge system seems to be the direction they’re heading in. The Priest vs. Ziggler match should be interesting to watch, other than the fact that it’s obvious who is walking out as the victor.
#3. Edge and The Miz’s feud on RAW and the consequences
The move last week on RAW to have The Miz confront Edge was a surprising one. While the latter mentioned the names of the current generation of superstars on the Monday night show, it was The A-Lister who answered him.
This week on RAW, The Miz TV featured Edge as the guest, with no Maryse present. When mentioning the reason why she didn’t appear, The Miz said that she would never come to a place like Memphis.
The promo was a good one, although it didn’t have the same level of intensity as last week. Even then, it was a good back-and-forth, with The Miz referencing getting kicked out of the locker room in his early days (by Chris Benoit, of all people).
While he obviously didn’t mention who kicked him out, he said that the reason for it wasn’t because he ate chicken in the locker room, but because he didn’t fit the mold.
It culminated with The A-Lister challenging Edge for the Day 1 pay-per-view, and the match is official. This only means one thing – this is a short-term feud on the red brand, primarily meant to heat Edge up for the upcoming WrestleMania season.
#2. Austin Theory makes a statement to Vince McMahon on RAW
This week on RAW, Vince McMahon once again called Austin Theory to his office, where the two sat together. While McMahon originally planned to put Theory in a match, it didn’t work out, and he suggested another way to impress him.
To impress the boss, Austin Theory unbuttoned his shirt and started doing jumping jacks, which was a hilarious shot in itself. But Vince McMahon had something different in mind and told the 24-year-old star to use his brain.
In what turned out to be the co-main event of RAW, Finn Balor faced and defeated T-BAR. Without even a second to waste, Theory attacked Balor and took several selfies with it.
It’s going to be interesting to see where the Vince McMahon-Austin Theory storyline leads to on the red brand. It’s unlikely that McMahon would be involved with him three weeks in a row if he didn’t intend on pushing him.
We anticipate the storyline to end rather abruptly, but as long as Theory benefits from it, then that’s all that matters.
#1. The RAW Women’s Championship feud is far from over
WWE did a great job building up the RAW Women’s Championship match, with the bout headlining the show. It drew comparisons to the Lita-Trish Stratus match on the Monday night show exactly 17 years earlier, as they headlined the show in a women’s title bout.
The circumstances were different this time, and the company did what they do best with video packages and made Liv Morgan look like a million bucks. She even entered second in the title match, with the story entirely being about her potential ascent to the top.
The match was perfect for the main event as the crowd was completely into it and into Morgan as well. While the sentiment before the match was that there was no chance she would become the RAW Women’s Champion, things suddenly changed during the bout, and that’s the power of incredible storytelling in the ring.
Liv Morgan came close on more than one instance, and Becky Lynch did what she did at Survivor Series – grabbed the ropes to win. It was a last-second clutch move and another brilliant piece of storytelling, and the show ended with Morgan heartbroken, while The Man scooted away from the ring victoriously.
If there was anything WWE hinted at the finish, it’s that the RAW Women’s title feud is far from over. Expect a rematch at Day 1.