WWE Raw is poised to line up its soldiers ahead of Survivor Series.
An intense energy is building as the Nov. 19 pay-per-view approaches. Last Monday, a crew of SmackDown stars marched into Raw and brought the hammer down on its rival brand.
Team Raw needs to be formed. Raw general manager Kurt Angle must decide which men and women will represent his show. Who will make the cut?
That process is sure to dominate the latest episode.
Fans in Raleigh, North Carolina, will get to see it all up close as the PNC Arena plays host. Elsewhere on Raw, a hoss may return to action and Kane will look to add to his list of victims.
Backstage news, Raw preview on WWE.com and projections help provide an early look at what to expect when Monday’s Raw unfolds. The show will then kick off at 8 p.m. ET on USA Network.
The Raw roster is a going to look a bit different come Monday.
On its official website, the WWE announced it has released Emma, Summer Rae and Darren Young. Rae and Young hadn’t appeared on TV in months, so this won’t affect the on-screen product much. Emma, on the other hand, was very recently a title contender and is coming off two big matches against Asuka.
BREAKING NEWS: WWE has come to terms on the releases of WWE Superstars Darren Young and Summer Rae. https://t.co/CU8R144QG2
Her absence will hurt the depth of the women’s division.
The red brand, however, will have one of its powerhouses back. PWInsider’s Mike Johnson reported: “Nia Jax is scheduled to be at tomorrow’s Raw taping.”
Speculation had been flying around about why she hasn’t been around, but Johnson noted that she’s been dealing with back issues.
Roman Reigns could be back before long, too. The Big Dog, along with Bray Wyatt, missed the recent TLC: Tables, Ladders & Chairs pay-per-view due to a viral infection, as Tim Fiorvanti of ESPN.com noted.
Ryan Satin of Pro Wrestling Sheet reported: “Sources tell us that the illness Roman is dealing with isn’t likely to keep him out of action for a lengthy amount of time, as he’s currently penciled in to return shortly before Survivor Series.”
The process of building up Cedric Alexander as a cruiserweight contender may be underway albeit rather slowly.
Alexander was on the winning side last Monday in a 10-man tag team match. That result was nothing new for him. He now has four consecutive wins under his belt, per CageMatch.net. He’s also 6-3-1 in his last 10 bouts.
EXCLUSIVE: The good vibes are undeniable as @CedricAlexander & @GottaGetSwann reflect on their victory at #WWETLC! https://t.co/jRVxlNX51H
Only one of those wins came in one-on-one action, though. So if the WWE is attempting to heat up Alexander, it’s doing so by rubbing two sticks together instead of opting for kerosene.
Cesaro and Sheamus’ recent record has the been inverse of Alexander’s.
Their feud with The Shield has netted them plenty of spotlight—but not victories. The Bar has now suffered four consecutive defeats, per CageMatch.net. The duo remains in a good spot in the tag team division, however, as there aren’t a swarm of elite heel squads set to overtake them.
The red brand has taken the first step in building its women’s Survivor Series team. It decided a captain last Monday when Alicia Fox won a Triple Threat Match against Sasha Banks and Bayley.
It’s time now to sort out who else is on the squad.
For the moment, Dana Brooke looks like the Superstar most likely to be left off. She has been the least showcased of the women still on the roster.
As for the men, Kurt Angle was set to announce the five-man team last week, but SmackDown’s invasion interrupted him. The WWE has a lot more directions it can go with here than with the women, as there are a lot more options to plug in.
Either Jason Jordan or Elias could be a part of Team Raw, especially should one of them emerge the victor in the current feud soon.
Last time out, Elias smashed a guitar over Jordan’s head in the middle of their match. Jordan is sure to respond to that attack this Monday.
One of the five spots on Team Raw may go to a man who has been wrestling at Survivor Series since 1997. Kane celebrated his return to the brand most recently by taking down Finn Balor. The big man is sure to be on the prowl again.
The WWE.com Raw preview teased as much: “The Big Red Machine is looking for competition. After taking care of Finn Balor in brutal fashion, who will be next?”
Braun Strowman’s presence looms during all of this. Kane turned on The Monster Among Men at TLC and shoved him into a garbage truck. Whenever that Goliath is back, Kane is sure to pay the price.
In the meantime, Raw is sure to focus on the aftermath of SmackDown’s attack last week. Team Blue stormed in last Monday and laid out anybody not in a blue T-shirt.
Raw didn’t go after SmackDown the next night, but a counterstrike is surely coming.
Until Survivor Series arrives, there will be a cloud hovering over both shows. Relaliation lurks. Anticipation grows. A war is brewing.