A lot has happened for WWE outside of the ring since the last episode of Monday Night Raw, including Paige’s sex tapes and nude photos being leaked, the financial statement showing that Triple H earned more than Vince McMahon in 2016, and 2017 WWE Hall of Fame Inductee Kurt Angle saying that John Cena is the GOAT (greatest of all time) of professional wrestling. On this week’s episode of WWE Raw, the on-screen drama between Triple H and Seth Rollins is sure to continue as part of the build towards WrestleMania 33, and the animosity between Commissioner Stephanie McMahon and General Manager Mick Foley continues to grow. While it seems unlikely that Paige will suddenly reemerge onto WWE programming right after the scandalous videos were leaked, if the rumors are true that Angle will be replacing Foley after WrestleMania, then that story arc will likely be furthered this week.
Triple H: Highest Paid WWE Employee
It was reported this week that Stephanie’s husband is being well-compensated for his dual role as on-camera heel for Monday Night Raw and behind-the-scenes genius for NXT. According to official reports released by WWE, Triple H earned more than Vince McMahon in 2016. In fact, Triple H’s income from WWE in 2016 (just shy of $4 million) was more than John Cena’s annual guaranteed contract from WWE ($2.75 million).
WWE continues to push forward with a feud featuring Triple H vs. Seth Rollins, but they still haven’t made it clear whether or not the two will come face-to-face at WrestleMania 33 or whether Samoa Joe, Finn Balor, or anyone else could work as either man’s proxy at the biggest event of the year. More details are bound to be confirmed on Raw this week.
Will Kurt Angle Replace Mick Foley?
The feud between Triple H and Seth Rollins is tied directly to the animosity growing between Stephanie McMahon and Mick Foley. On last week’s Raw, Foley channeled his inner Mankind and pulled out Mr. Socko in an attack on Triple H. He didn’t keep the upper-hand long, however, as Stephanie took out the GM with a low blow. This could all play into the WWE rumor that Kurt Angle will be replacing Mick Foley as the Monday Night Raw General Manager after WrestleMania 33.
Given the amount of airtime that WWE has given to Kurt Angle recently — along with his on-camera skills and natural chemistry with the WWE roster — it seems likely that Angle will take Foley’s place when the former Mankind goes in for hip surgery. Angle has only had great things to say about WWE and the current roster since being announced as an inductee into the 2017 WWE Hall of Fame. In a recent interview, Angle even said that John Cena was the greatest professional wrestler of all time — very high praise from someone who has worked programs with the likes of Hulk Hogan, Steve Austin, Sting, The Rock and The Undertaker.
Raw Women’s Division: Has Dana Brooke Surpassed Paige?
Before Paige getting hacked and having her private photos and videos leaked to the public, she had barely been mentioned on WWE programming. Since WWE prefers to stay away from scandals like this as part of their current PG-era, it will almost certainly go unmentioned. In fact, it is likely to prevent Paige from returning to WWE programming anytime shortly. There were no plans for her at WrestleMania 33, and the raunchy videos will probably guarantee her zero face time during the biggest weekend of the year for WWE.
While Paige’s career is in recovery, she seems to be an afterthought when it comes to the Raw Women’s Championship. Currently, champion Bayley is scheduled to face Sasha Banks and Charlotte Flair in a Triple Threat Match at Mania. With Nia Jax still seemingly involved in the story, WWE has decided that now is the time to give Dana Brooke a chance to shine. When Charlotte cut ties with Dana on Monday Night Raw last week, Brooke attacked the former Raw Women’s Champion, making it clear that Flair has at least one other problem to be worried about before her title match in Orlando.
According to WWE’s official Monday Night Raw preview, Roman Reigns will be facing Braun Strowman in the main event. While WWE isn’t advertising an appearance from The Undertaker, it’s certainly a possibility. Also, in a new edition of The Highlight Reel, Chris Jericho has claimed that he will be exposing the “real” Kevin Owens for the first time ever.
Intriguing chat with #Mindfreak @crissangel on #TalkIsJericho NOW! We discuss how the #McMahonFamily gave him his first break by hiring him at #WWENewYork, how I almost caused him to die by eating a piece of pizza, the ill effects of submersing himself in a tank of water for 24 hrs, @chuckliddell saving him from a bar fight, walking up the side of the @luxorlv hotel, burying himself alive under the ground in concrete, hanging from flesh hooks a thousand feet above the ground, his obsession w #Houdini, the serious injuries he’s suffered doing his illusions, his love of @michaeljackson & @kissonline, the deep respect he has for @paulstanleylive, the amazing work he does for children’s charity and more on @itunes & @podcastone NOW!
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- WWE Fastlane 2017 Results — Goldberg Wins Universal Title, Roman Reigns Beats Braun Strowman
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- WWE SmackDown LIVE & 205 Live Results: John Cena Cuts Epic Promo
Updated WWE WrestleMania 33 Card
- Goldberg (c) vs. Brock Lesnar — Universal Championship Match
- Bray Wyatt (c) vs. Randy Orton — WWE Championship Match
- Bayley (c) vs. Sasha Banks vs. Charlotte Flair — Raw Women’s Championship Triple Threat Match
- Alexa Bliss (c) vs. all available SmackDown Women — SmackDown Women’s Championship Match
- Luke Gallows & Karl Anderson (c) vs. Enzo & Big Cass vs. Sheamus & Cesaro — Raw Tag Team Championship Triple Threat Match
- Chris Jericho (c) vs. Kevin Owens — United States Championship Match
- Neville (c) vs. Austin Aries — Cruiserweight Championship Match
- The Undertaker vs. Roman Reigns
- John Cena & Nikki Bella vs. The Miz & Maryse
- Big Show, Mojo Rawley, Apollo Crews, Curt Hawkins — Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal
- American Alpha (c) vs. The Usos — SmackDown Tag Team Championship Match (unconfirmed)
- Dean Ambrose (c) vs. Baron Corbin — Intercontinental Championship Match (unconfirmed)
- AJ Styles vs. Shane McMahon (unconfirmed)
With less than two weeks before WWE WrestleMania 33, most of the Monday Night Raw matches have been confirmed for the event. This year’s event is scheduled to be hosted by The New Day, just as it was hosted by The Rock at WrestleMania 27 in 2011 and Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania 30 in 2014. WWE WrestleMania 33 will air live on Sunday, April 2, from the Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Florida. As more information is confirmed, it will be updated at WWE’s official WrestleMania 33 preview page.
Where To Watch WWE Raw
WWE WrestleMania 33 will air live on the WWE Network on Sunday, April 2, at 7/6c. The WWE WrestleMania 33 Kickoff will begin at 5/4c and can be streamed live on all of WWE’s digital platforms, including the WWE Network, YouTube, WWE.com and the WWE App.
Episodes of WWE Monday Night Raw air live on the USA Network at 8/7c. 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 subscription.
[Featured Image by Mark Mainz/Getty Images]