Normally, right about now is when we’d all be feeling the WWE doldrums, as we head into Useless Pay-Per-View No. 2 of the summer. With Battleground an interminable three weeks away, it would be reasonable to be pretty bored with the current product, which is already retreading Money in the Bank. But don’t despair! This weekend will see an interesting spectacle that will probably top anything else between now and SummerSlam: WWE live in Tokyo! Yes, The Beast in the East is happening on July 4th (check local listings, but it’s probably going to be around 5:30AM or earlier for the United States), and it is stacked with a fun-as-hell card. Owens versus Balor for the NXT title? Neville versus Chris Jericho? BROCK LESNAR VERSUS KOFI KINGSTON?!?! Setting our alarms now. An additional bonus for this show is that it has been built up exactly zero times on Raw, so we’re not sick of the matchups already (something that can’t be said for Battleground). So, what exactly is being built up on Raw, live from the nation’s capital, tonight? Well...
Following last week’s rumble with Brock Lesnar, Seth Rollins will ride the momentum into...a tag match with Kane at his side, against Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns. *Yawn.* WWE’s modus operandi is well-established by now: throw together two different feuds into a tag match and let it fizzle out their flagship show. It’s frustrating because it’s lazy; an easy solution to the problem of “How do we tell interconnected stories?” Regardless, it’s too hard to complain about something featuring all three graduates of The Shield, even if Kane is involved. You can probably expect some Bray Wyatt shenanigans, but most certainly not a dose a Brock Lesnar.
Someone you can expect for now and for the foreseeable future is Dolph Ziggler, who reportedly re-signed with WWE on a multi-year deal. It was rumored that Ziggler would leave WWE for greener pastures (mouths were salivating at the possibility of him invading the Lucha Underground temple), but alas, he will remain as part of Raw for now. That means more of his half-assed feud with Rusev over Lana, a feud that now inexplicably includes Summer Rae on the Big Bulgarian’s side.
Tough Enough had its debut last week, but it suffered from low ratings, so expect to get bombarded with advertisements for it during Raw tonight. One thing to note that might affect main roster programming is that The Miz is the host of the Tough Enough after-show, which figures to factor into his current feud with Ryback and the Big Show; whether it’s an indicator that he will win the Intercontinental Title at Battleground is up in the air, but he will most certainly brag about his hosting gig in that special Miz way. It could be worse.
Here’s your weekly “Will Charlotte Ever Debut On The Main Roster?” update: Paige continues to have absolutely zero friends on the main roster, as the Bella Twins scoop everyone up in a weird battle for supremacy of the Divas division...a battle they seemingly have already won. We’re still waiting for Charlotte to get the call up to help out Paige, and like every other week, it’s rumored that it might happen tonight. When it doesn’t, feel free to get angry in the comments section; we’re angry, too. (For our money, Charlotte will debut before SummerSlam, leading to a tag match with Paige against the Bellas.)
Finally, a bit of a WrestleMania 32 news dump: Shawn Michaels was reportedly approached to do something for the big show next year, but he turned down WWE...for now. It appears that the Heartbreak Kid really is done wrestling, but he might still be a part of the celebration in his home state of Texas. On the other hand, The Rock has no plans to follow-up his surprise appearance at a house show in Boston this past weekend with any meaningful programs leading up to WrestleMania 32. That’s all subject to change, as we’re willing to be that Vince McMahon will chuck buckets of money at The Great One to have him appear on what he hopes in the biggest show ever. Stay tuned.
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