‘WWE Monday Night Raw’ Preview: Brock Lesnar Returns

Brock Lesnar hasn’t been in a WWE ring since he destroyed Dean Ambrose at WrestleMania 32. That doesn’t mean that The Beast Incarnate hasn’t been busy, however. After defeating Mark Hunt at UFC 200, Lesnar found himself in the middle of a doping scandal. He hasn’t had a lot to say about it since it was made official, but that didn’t stop his SummerSlam opponent, Randy Orton, from bringing it up the first chance he got. As a result of the WWE Draft, Orton and Lesnar ended up on opposing brands, making their match a cross-promotional main event. What will Brock have to say to the WWE Universe and the WWE Superstars who represent the New Era when he returns on Raw?

Meanwhile, Roman Reigns continues to fly under the radar. After winning the WWE World Heavyweight Championship in the main event of WrestleMania 32, it appears that Reigns has been sent to the back of the line. Reigns wasn’t selected in the first round of the WWE Draft and then took the fall from Dean Ambrose at Battleground. The following night, Roman did the clean job for Finn Bálor and gave him respect in the post-match interview. Going completely unmentioned in this week’s official WWE preview of Monday Night Raw, just how insignificant of a role will Roman Reigns play as Stephanie McMahon and Mick Foley usher in the New Era?

Below is a deeper look at WWE.com’s official Monday Night Raw preview for August 1. Each week, the site provides the WWE Universe with some borderline spoilers in regards to the assumed events that will take place on the WWE’s flagship program, which airs live on the USA Network.

WWE Monday Night RAW Preview

As the WWE builds towards a huge SummerSlam event in three weeks, Monday Night Raw airs live from the Philips Arena in Atlanta. Now that Raw Commissioner Stephanie McMahon and General Manager Mick Foley have set an exciting match for SummerSlam by introducing the WWE Universal Championship, how will they continue to build hype for the new ratings war against SmackDown Live?

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Who will suffer Brock Lesnar’s wrath?

Just before Lesnar defeated Mark Hunt at UFC 200, WWE announced the first match for SummerSlam: Brock Lesnar vs. Randy Orton. When Orton returned to WWE programming at Battleground on Chris Jericho’s Highlight Reel, The Viper pulled no punches, exclaiming that a single “RKO outta nowhere” would be enough to finish off Lesnar — “no enhancement needed.” It was a not-so-subtle jab at the fact that Brock tested positive for an anti-estrogen drug, cloaking his victorious return to the MMA world in controversy. As he makes his first appearance on Monday Night Raw since being drafted, what will Lesnar have to say in response to Orton’s comments?

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Will Seth Rollins halt the rise of Finn Bálor?

As he quickly rose to the top of the WWE roster after dismantling The Shield, Seth Rollins began to refer to himself as the “undisputed future” of the WWE. On last week’s Raw, Finn Bálor made one of the greatest debuts in WWE history by defeating Cesaro, Rusev, and Kevin Owens in a Fatal 4-Way match before defeating Roman Reigns in the main event. The victories earned him a spot against Seth Rollins to crown the first-ever WWE Universal Champion at SummerSlam. As the two former NXT Champions prepare for what promises to be a spectacular match on August 21, what will they have to say to each other on Raw this week?

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Sasha Banks and Charlotte prepare for Round 2

Less than a week after winning her first WWE Women’s Championship, it was announced that Sasha Banks would defend the title at SummerSlam against Charlotte. Invoking her obligatory rematch for the biggest show of the summer, how will Charlotte handle her first episode of Raw as the former champ? And what will be in store for The Boss when she enters Monday Night Raw as the WWE Women’s Champion for the first time?

Who will face Braun Strowman?

Now that Strowman is away from The Wyatt Family, the WWE is emphasizing his massive strength and stature more than ever. The lighter rosters have left room for the return of local enhancement talent (formerly referred to as “jobbers”), so it wouldn’t be surprising to see Braun destroy a few more unknowns before working a program with one of Raw‘s mid-carders.

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Will The New Day rebound against Gallows & Anderson?

When AJ Styles was drafted to SmackDown and Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson were drafted to Raw, many thought that meant the end of The Club. Some even theorized that Gallows and Anderson would team up with Finn Bálor, a former member of The Bullet Club in Japan. Claiming merely to have expanded (rather than disbanded), The Club made their presence felt on WWE Raw last week by stopping The New Day’s in-ring celebration. This week, the longest-reigning WWE Tag Team Champions of all time have a chance to respond. Will the “power of positivity” shine through?

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Where To Watch

WWE SummerSlam 2016 is set for Sunday, August 21. It will air exclusively on the WWE Network at 8 p.m. Eastern/7 p.m. Central. The SummerSlam Kick-Off Show will begin at 7 p.m. Eastern/6 p.m. Central.

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WWE Monday Night RAW airs live on the USA Network at 8 p.m. Eastern/7 p.m. Central, with the Raw Pre-Show airing on the WWE Network at 7:30 p.m. Eastern/6:30 p.m. Central. Replays of WWE RAW aren’t made available on the WWE Network until several weeks after the original air date. However, a 90-minute version of Monday Night Raw is available to stream on-demand the following day with a Hulu Plus subscription.

[Image via WWE]