‘WWE Monday Night Raw’ Preview: Updates On A Roman Reigns Rematch, Brock Lesnar’s TKO, And Sasha Banks

Finn Balor defeated Seth Rollins to become the first-ever WWE Universal Champion at SummerSlam 2016 last night, but that isn’t even the biggest story of the weekend related to the Monday Night Raw brand. Roman Reigns was set for another match against Rusev, with the WWE United States Championship on the line for the first time. However, after Rusev attacked Reigns prior to the start of the match, Reigns fought back even harder. By the time he was finished with Rusev, the officials declared the Bulgarian Brute unable to compete. With Roman’s title match getting canceled before it even began, will he be granted a rematch on Monday Night Raw?

Another SummerSlam match that didn’t have the conclusion many expected was Brock Lesnar vs. Randy Orton. In the only cross-promotional match on the card, Lesnar left SmackDown Live’s Orton bleeding profusely. The referee awarded the match to Lesnar via TKO, undoubtedly hoping to appeal to the fringe UFC fans that tuned in to see what Lesnar was up to at SummerSlam. The fans at the Barclays Center weren’t pleased with the outcome, as they immediately began chanting for Bill Goldberg. Instead, after the match had been called, the only thing they got was Shane McMahon eating Lesnar’s F-5.

Additionally, it is being reported by the Big Lead that Sasha Banks will be off TV for about a month. After a surprising loss to Charlotte at SummerSlam less than a month after winning the WWE Women’s Championship, Sasha’s name has been removed from events as far out as September 23. According to WWE, Banks suffered a lower back injury during her match against Charlotte at SummerSlam. There’s no reason to believe that she’s the latest victim of the WWE’s Wellness Policy (like Roman Reigns, Alberto Del Rio, Paige, and Eva Marie), so fans of The Boss will have to wait for further updates.

Below is a deeper look at WWE’s official Monday Night Raw preview for August 22. Each week, the WWE Universe is provided borderline spoilers regarding the assumed events that will take place on the WWE’s flagship program, which airs live on the USA Network.

WWE Raw: Sasha Banks
What does the future hold for Sasha Banks? [Image via WWE]

WWE Monday Night Raw Preview

After both NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn II and WWE SummerSlam 2016 sold out the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, Monday Night Raw makes it three nights in a row for WWE in the home of the Brooklyn Nets and the New York Islanders. As reported by Cageside Seats, the Raw ratings continue to edge out SmackDown Live, drawing 2.915 million viewers last week, as opposed to SmackDown’s 2.743 million. Commissioner Stephanie McMahon and General Manager Mick Foley hope to continue that trend this week during the fallout from SummerSlam 2016.

Raw Becomes The Demon Kingdom

Finn Balor has barely been a part of the WWE’s main roster for an entire month, and he’s already made history by becoming the first-ever WWE Universal Champion. The red leather belt, which was unveiled for the first time last night at SummerSlam, looks an awful lot like the WWE Women’s Championship. There’s no doubt that Seth Rollins will demand a rematch. Since he never lost the title, he’s guaranteed nothing. Will The Demon King defend the Universal Title on Monday Night Raw? Will Finn Balor be ready to headline Clash of the Champions just two months after being pulled from NXT in the WWE Draft?

Charlotte Demotes The Boss

Charlotte regaining the WWE Women’s Championship just 27 days after losing it to Sasha Banks was one of the biggest surprises from SummerSlam weekend. With the latest rumors being that Sasha Banks will be off of WWE television and live events for the next 30 days, who will step up to Charlotte next? If Sasha returns in a month, it will give her just enough time to invoke her obligatory rematch at WWE Clash of Champions. In the meantime, Charlotte will likely spend time in the ring with other women from the Monday Night Raw roster, like Alicia Fox and Summer Rae. With Dana Brooke at her side, Paige on a 30-day suspension, and Banks apparently out, the only other competitor currently on the Raw roster is Nia Jax. While it seems that WWE is building towards an eventual Nia Jax title reign, she’s still working her way through enhancement talent on Raw.

The Beast At His Most Barbaric

Many questions have been raised about the finish to Brock Lesnar vs. Randy Orton at SummerSlam. Was the blood fake? Was Orton blading? Was the TKO ending a work, or did they actually make that call on the fly? In the current era of professional wrestling, they often blur the lines between reality and kayfabe. With Brock Lesnar being active in both the UFC and WWE — in addition to the comments recently exchanged between The Beast and UFC fighter Conor McGregor — the lines have become even more blurred. After delivering the F-5 to Shane McMahon at SummerSlam, it seems likely that Lesnar will receive some sort of kayfabe suspension, giving a storyline explanation for his absence until the WWE is ready to pay for his services again.

Have The New Day Found The Cure For ‘Ringpostitis’?

The only tag team in modern wrestling history to hold WWE tag titles longer than The New Day is the long-retired tag team Demolition, who held the World Tag Team Championship for 478 days in 1988 and 1989. Just when it looked like Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson were about to hit the Magic Killer and walk away from SummerSlam 2016 as the new WWE Tag Team Champions, honorary member of The New Day Jon Stewart provided enough of a distraction to prevent the finisher from happening. When The Club finally got their hands on Stewart, Big E came out from the back, resulting in a disqualification when he attacked Anderson and Gallows. The DQ win over the current champions means that Gallows and Anderson are likely to receive a rematch. The WWE Universe could find out tonight if that rematch will be at Clash of Champions or sooner than that.

Will The Big Dog’s Rampage Continue?

After Roman Reigns violated the WWE’s Wellness Policy and served a 30-day suspension, it was unclear what direction his in-ring career would take. After failing to capture the WWE World Heavyweight Championship from Dean Ambrose, Reigns was awkwardly transitioned into a program with WWE United States Champion Rusev and his wife, the Ravishing Russian Lana. While WWE recently put the U.S. title around the waist of John Cena, it didn’t seem likely that they wanted to do the same with Reigns. Having missed his opportunity at SummerSlam, it’s possible that the match will be rescheduled for Clash of Champions.


Where To Watch

WWE SummerSlam 2016, which originally aired Sunday, August 21, is currently available to stream on-demand via the WWE Network. The next Monday Night Raw-branded PPV will be Clash of Champions on September 25.

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]