All eyes will be on Roman Reigns during Monday's WWE Raw.
The Big Dog is set to make a major announcement about SummerSlam. Is a dream match on its way? Will Reigns issue a challenge to the universal champion? He's sure to have the WWE fanbase's attention regardless.
While that moment will focus on August's SummerSlam, the majority of the show is poised to zero in on the July 9 Great Balls of Fire pay-per-view.
Bray Wyatt, Dean Ambrose and The Hardy Boyz' rivalries' are sure to lead to new matches for that event. The Raw Women's Championship match needs to get sorted out. And a monster may storm back in time to claim a victim at Great Balls of Fire.
What's set to unfold on Raw in Evansville, Indiana? Backstage reports, storyline analysis and the Raw preview on WWE.com help piece together what to expect when the show airs on Monday at 8 p.m. ET on USA Network.
News, Potential Spoilers
A monster is lurking; Braun Strowman is reportedly set to return.
Mike Johnson of PWInsider.com reported that the big man has recovered from his elbow injury, writing: "The word backstage at Raw was that Strowman was cleared to return to WWE action a week ago and will be back as soon as WWE Creative plots his return into Raw storylines."
As for Samoa Joe, he won't have to worry about his newest rival charging at him on Monday night. As Dave Meltzer noted in a Figure Four Online daily update: "Brock Lesnar is not scheduled for Raw on Monday but will be at the rest of the Raws through and the day after the 7/9 Great Balls of Fire PPV."
WWE will have to hype Joe vs. Lesnar without The Beast Incarnate in the building.
PWInsider.com's Johnson also revealed that a WWE social media campaign will lead to an announcement that Kurt Angle will be a playable character on WWE 2K18. The story for the game will be that Seth Rollins has been destroying precious WWE items and Angle will seek him out.
As strange as it sounds, that could end up affecting what happens on Raw. Johnson wrote: "Whether any of this bleeds over into WWE's current storylines remains to be seen, but last year's game campaign was built around the idea of Brock Lesnar vs, Bill Goldberg, which ended up being a big storyline for the company in 'real life.'"
Injury stalled him, but Cedric Alexander is making his way into the Cruiserweight Championship picture.
The high-flyer knocked off Noam Dar on the most recent episode of Raw and defeated Ariya Daivari on 205 Live the next night. Per CageMatch.net, Alexander has five consecutive wins to his name. He's won his past three matches on Raw and is 8-2 in his past 10 matches overall.
A title shot is likely coming his way before long. He'll certainly have the numbers to demand one.
Ambrose, meanwhile, hasn't been quite as fortunate.
He has lost five one-on-one matches in a row, per CageMatch.net. Both The Miz and Elias Samson have beaten him twice in that span. That's miles away from the treatment his former brethren Reigns and Rollins are getting.
A three-way bout between The Miz, Samson and Ambrose appears to be brewing. At this rate, the smart money is not on The Lunatic Fringe in that clash.
Great Balls of Fire Build
Reigns' SummerSlam announcement will be the most anticipated part of Monday's Raw. Anything from him challenging John Cena to demanding to take on the winner of Joe vs. Lesnar for the Universal Championship is possible.
Whatever it is, The Big Dog said that not everyone will like it:
And regardless of what's ahead for Reigns at SummerSlam, WWE needs to set up something for him at Great Balls of Fire.
Bayley will be looking to get back into the women's title picture. In an interview with Corey Graves on the previous edition of Raw, the former champion talked about wanting to reclaim the belt ahead of WrestleMania.
The path to the gold will be crowded, though.
Nia Jax has been gunning for Alexa Bliss' championship. Emma returned from injury on the previous show. And Sasha Banks makes sense as a challenger for Bliss in the near future.
Things seem to point toward a multiple-wrestler match for the women's title at Great Balls of Fire.
The Raw Tag Team Championships picture is clearer. Sheamus and Cesaro escaped with the titles on the latest episode thanks to a double count-out. The Hardy Boyz, though, aren't finished with the champs.
The WWE.com preview stated: "How will The Hardys earn an opportunity for retribution against Cesaro & Sheamus? Their new quest begins on Raw."
Rollins and Bray Wyatt are on a collision course of their own.
Wyatt distracted Rollins during his match with Samoa Joe a few weeks ago. On the latest Raw, Wyatt and The Kingslayer traded verbal barbs in the ring.
The Eater of Worlds talked up his God-like power, something Rollins dismissed.
This will be the latest chance to rehab Wyatt's character. It too often feels like he's a paper monster, one whose threats don't match his actions. Will that be true once more in his rivalry with Rollins, or will a more dangerous side of Wyatt emerge ahead of Great Balls of Fire?
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