Three Things To Look Out For: RAW – 8/1/22

Monday Night RAW is upon us. But, there’s a different feeling in the air. Not only are we coming off of a Summer Slam weekend, but this is truly the first RAW led fully by Triple H. Despite his actual first time in control being last week, we were heading into a Pay-Per-View that was largely booked and planned by Vince McMahon. Now, Vince is gone and Triple H has a fresh, clean slate. So, what could happen? What will go down? Well, here’s three things to look out for on Monday Night RAW.

Call-Ups Galore:

The first real Triple H move that fans felt was right after the opening match to Summer Slam. Bianca Belair successfully defended her RAW Women’s Championship against Becky Lynch, then Bayley’s music hit and she made her long awaited return. Cool, right? Well, it got cooler. Bayley then introduced Dakota Kai to a shocking reaction from the crowd and Belair. But there was one more and that was Io Sharai, who’s now known as IYO SKY. Despite what you may think of the new name, this was such a cool moment that had fans all over the world buzzing. Reports came in following Summer Slam that the faction of Bayley, IYO and Dakota was pitched previously to Vince and he shot it down. So now, Triple H used his power to say yes, indeed. But that was Summer Slam, and this is RAW. So, I think we should be looking out for more moments like that one. Could we see new call-ups from NXT on RAW? It’s hard to deny the excitement fans get when a new, fresh face shows up on a new brand, but who could it be? Maybe Cameron Grimes, a guy who’s been in NXT for a while now, has won the North American Title and even was the reason for the resurface of the Million Dollar Championship. Though, he didn’t win the NXT title, he’s been in NXT long enough and it may be time for a call-up. Or how about Carmelo Hayes? He hasn’t been in NXT as long as a guy like Grimes, but the star-power is undeniable. Also a former North American Champion and the final Cruiserweight champion before merging both of said titles. It’s hard to deny the charisma of this man, it oozes out of him every time he’s on screen and he also has the in-ring skills to back it up. Not only that, he has a side kick in Trick Williams who even further enhances his character. Carmelo Hayes on the main roster would be money and a future champion waiting to happen. Now, how about some factions? Toxic Attraction and Legado Del Fantasma come to mind. LDF has been in NXT far too long, in many fans opinions, including my own. Every thing they do on NXT is spectacular and the leader, Santos Escobar, may be one of the more interesting characters in the entire company. There could be some very, very cool things you could do with these three on the main roster, but maybe they have to finish their business with Tony D first. Now, Toxic Attraction is an interesting one, especially coming off of Summer Slam because we now have a new faction in Bayley, IYO and Dakota, so do we want another women’s faction on RAW? Potentially they could feud, but there is always a chance we could see them show up on SmackDown this Friday, don’t count that out for any of these people. But, looking at it in a vacuum, Mandy Rose has already been on the main roster. She knows what she’s doing up there and could really help Jacy and GiGi in any ways they may struggle under the bright lights. Plus, this is another set of people that’s just money waiting to be printed. More women’s factions/teams is a big thing WWE could use, especially on the main roster if they plan on bringing those women’s tag titles back and Triple H could be the man to do it. There’s definitely more names you could choose from on NXT to call-up and maybe we’ll see one that I didn’t mention walk out on RAW. Just make sure to keep your eyes peeled for any new names tonight!

New Challengers For The Gold:

Right off the bat I’ll put it out there that we obviously know Drew Mclntyre is next for Roman Reign’s WWE Undisputed Universal Championship after he beat Sheamus for the right to challenge for the title at WWE’s Clash At The Castle. So, it’s likely we’ll see Roman and Drew go at it on weekly TV. But, what about the other champions? Since this is things to look out for on RAW, we’ll stick with just their titles for now. For so long we’ve seen a champion retain their titles on a big pay-per-view and then the next night on RAW they’re facing the same person they just beat at the big show. Well, under Triple H’s eye I can’t see that happening. The first evidence of this is blatant with Becky Lynch losing to Bianca and turning babyface to stand alongside her against Bayley’s new faction. So, who’s Bianca going to defend against next? Will it be Bayley? Or maybe Dakota or IYO could be next in line. There’s three potential challengers already in Bianca’s reach and with one Summer Slam segment, that RAW women’s title scene feels fresher than it has in months, if not years at this point. Another scene we’ve seen rematch after rematch with is the Tag Team Title scene. The Usos are the RAW and SmackDown Tag Title holders and for months they’ve only been fighting the Street Profits. Well, the Usos won at Summer Slam, so who’s next? Honestly, I don’t know. The RAW tag division is very much in need of a revamp. Weather that’s some call-ups from NXT or new teams thrown together, we need something new and maybe some new challengers will arise for the Usos tonight because it’s much needed. Lastly, Bobby Lashley. The United States Champion has defeated Theory to retain his title at Summer Slam and now what’s next? Well, hopefully something. Because for the longest time the mid-card titles in WWE such as the U.S. or Intercontinental titles don’t even feel like secondary titles, they’re even below that. They’re rarely featured, there’s no real feuds and the I.C. Title hasn’t been defended on pay-per-view in literal years. So, step one, feature the mid-card titles on the show and make them feel important again! Then, get a challenger. No need for call-ups here, you have all the guys you need for a great mid-card division, take your pick. Lashley vs. AJ Styles? I’ll take it. How about Cedric Alexander, they have history! Even someone like Tozawa, Chad Gable, Ciampa, Finn, Priest, Ziggler, Kevin Owens, Miz, Mustafa Ali, Rey Mysterio, T-Bar, VEER, Shelton Benjamin, look at all those guys! WWE has the makings of a really solid, core Mid-card that could rotationally challenge for Bobby Lashley’s United States Title to make it feel relevant again and I hope they do it. So, lookout for Bobby Lashley on RAW because a new challenger may step up.

More Authentic Promos:

Don’t we all just loathe the pre-written, robotic sounding promos that we hear every single week on WWE TV? Yes, yes we do. But now with Vince gone, let’s hope Triple H will allow some off the cuff authenticity to be featured in talking segments. At Summer Slam, Drew Mclntyre cut a promo about facing whoever won the main event at Clash At The Castle. It was a very good promo where he interacted with the crowd, specifically a child who he used his name in the promo and it felt very odd the cuff. Hopefully we see more of this on TV going forward. Nearly every week we see RAW kick off with a promo segment and nine times out of ten, it’s long, drawn out and robotic bullshit. But, allowing superstars to be off the cuff, have fun, interact with the crowd and most of all, be their authentic self with the handcuffs off, that’ll make the show feel so much better. Superstars being free to show their mic skills is something we’ve long awaited for and who knows, maybe some people that you think aren’t the best promo will surprise you when they can speak their own words and not someone else’s words written on a paper. So, here’s to Triple H hopefully allowing authenticity back into promos. We’ll all be looking out for that opening RAW promo, hopefully it doesn’t disappoint.

In conclusion, there’s still a lot of work to be done with RAW and WWE in general. But, fingers crossed Triple H in creative can help make this product not so dreadful to watch (and cover! Please be better, for my sanity!) kidding.. but, not really. This show needs a boost of energy, it needs a kick in the ass because it’s been boring for far too long. Will it change in a day? Probably not. But, hopefully we can get some inklings of a change that’ll let us know that they’re trying and overtime the product can be way better than what it currently is. RAW is tonight on USA Network at 8/7c. Lets see if the Triple H era is all it’s hyped up to be.

“With SummerSlam in the rearview, who will make the biggest statement tonight on WWE RAW?” -WWE. Make of this as you will.

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