WWE has such much content every week that it could be a little overwhelming to keep track of everything that is going on. Monday Night Raw has a lot of stories to develop, 205 Live and NXT continue to improve every week, and SmackDown is building towards Battleground, which takes place this Sunday.
Monday Night Raw (7.17.17)
This week, Monday Night Raw is doing a good job at following up on the events from last week. From the women’s division to the Universal Championship, there is a lot to look out for.
First, and perhaps most importantly, there is a #1 Contender’s Match for Brock Lesnar’s Universal Championship. Since Lesnar retained his title against Samoa Joe at Great Balls of Fire, Roman Reigns decided that he should be the next contender (and Paul Heyman agrees). Joe says he is not finished with Lesnar and he should have another shot at the Beast. Kurt Angle decided to have each man earn it, and they will compete against each other this week to determine Lesnar’s challenger at SummerSlam. In their previous encounters, Samoa Joe is undefeated against Roman Reigns.
Second, there is going to be an announcement regarding Kurt Angle’s mysterious personal issues. For weeks, Angle and Corey Graves have been looking at their cell phones puzzled, saying that the text messages they have been receiving could ruin Angle’s career entirely. Angle decided that he is going to make this news public, with a follow-up interview on the WWE Network right after Raw.
Third, there are some developments in the Intercontinental Championship and Women’s Championship scenes, and there is a new feud brewing in the tag team division. By focusing on a common enemy, Dean Ambrose and Seth Rollins worked together to attack The Miz and his Miztourage, and Ambrose will address this in the opening of this week’s episode. Last week, Bayley pinned Alexa Bliss in a tag team match, so she could have possibly earned another shot at the Raw Women’s Championship. On top of all of that, The Hardy Boyz seem to have found a new rival in The Revival.
Lastly, there are a couple things that remain unseen. Big Show and Big Cass brawled in the opening of Raw last week, so there could be a development there as well. There is still no sight of Enzo Amore since losing at Great Balls of Fire to Cass, so be on the lookout for Smacktalker Skywalker as well. The Cruiserweight Championship scene still needs a #1 Contender, so the show’s content might round out with Neville and Akira Tozawa.
SmackDown Live (7.18.17)
Battleground is just around the corner (more on that below), and SmackDown Live should be going full steam ahead to its last exclusive Pay-Per-View before SummerSlam. With nothing officially announced this week other than the appearance of the Punjabi Prison, the only thing that fans should be expecting is the return of AJ Styles’ US Open Challenge. Don’t expect to watch anything SmackDown related after 205 Live, however. Talking Smack has been moved to just after Pay-Per-Views and might get canceled altogether.
205 Live (7.18.17)
If you have been reading these previews for the past few weeks, you know that nothing ever gets advertised for 205 Live. That is, however, until this week. Last week, Drew Gulak issued a challenge to Mustafa Ali to determine whose wrestling philosophy would make a better future for 205 Live. To make sure that there is complete closure, Gulak proposed a 2 Out of 3 Falls Match.
There are two matches this week that could determine the card for NXT TakeOver: Brooklyn III, which takes place in just over a month. Ember Moon and Ruby Riot both think they should get the next championship match against Asuka, and they are going to duke it out to see which one is right (although, this isn’t technically a #1 Contender’s match). In the main event, there are two undefeated men battling to see who will challenge Bobby Roode next for the NXT Championship. A reinvented Drew McIntyre goes one-on-one with SAnitY’s Killian Dain to determine who might be the next face of NXT.
There will be more details on Battleground later this week in our official preview, but here is the match card as of this writing:
- Shinsuke Nakamura vs. Baron Corbin
- Charlotte vs. Natalya vs. Lana vs. Tamina vs. Becky Lynch – #1 Contender’s Match (SmackDown Women’s Championship)
- AJ Styles (c) vs. Kevin Owens – United States Championship
- The Usos (c) vs. The New Day – SmackDown Tag Team Championships
- John Cena vs. Rusev – Flag Match
- Jinder Mahal (c) vs. Randy Orton – WWE Championship (Punjabi Prison Match)
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