Just about every Superstar on the roster has retribution on their minds in the lead-up to WWE Payback, live on the award-winning WWE Network. But first, Raw rolls through Cincinnati, where Rusev has vowed to meet John Cena face to face. As the WWE Universe awaits this combustible confrontation between The Super Athlete and The Champ, what else is in store for Monday night’s hottest show? WWE.com has some ideas.
1.) Will chaos erupt between John Cena and Rusev?
Less than a week before their fourth and final battle at WWE Payback, United States Champion John Cena and the formidable Rusev are expected to meet in the ring after The Super Athlete called out The Champ on Thursday night’s SmackDown. Although Cena now holds two straight victories over Rusev — having fallen to The Hero of the Russian Federation in their first clash at WWE Fastlane — Rusev seems more confident than ever that he’ll make the “Never Give Up” Superstar say the two words he’s never uttered in his storied career: “I quit.”
What will happen when these rivals collide before WWE Payback? Additionally, how will Lana play into this confrontation, given the recent adoration she’s received from the WWE Universe?
2.) Are Erick Rowan and Luke Harper reuniting?
Erick Rowan and Luke Harper have freaked us out for years at this point, but the moment they shared Thursday night on SmackDown sent a shiver down our spines. After Harper dispatched Fandango, Rowan lumbered down the entrance ramp and, despite his prior issues with his former Wyatt Family accomplice, proceeded to pummel the dazed dancer. Was this Rowan extending a gnarled olive branch to Harper? Have these one-time members of The Wyatt Family joined forces once again? Anticipate more from this eerie tandem on Raw.
3.) Is Naomi unstoppable with Tamina at her side?
Naomi’s new attitude had already made her a dominant force in the Divas division, but her alignment with the returning Tamina has made it abundantly clear that a Divas Championship reign is in the former Funkadactyl’s very near future.
After destroying The Bella Twins and Emma in the last week, these powerful aggressors show no signs of slowing down, as Naomi keeps her sights set on Nikki Bella’s Divas Title. Can anyone stand up to this new alliance? Will The Bella Twins be able to withstand this new threat?
4.) Will King Barrett and Sheamus retaliate against WWE's underdog?
It’s good to be the king … usually.
Thursday night on SmackDown, King Barrett was humbled a bit when he and Sheamus were defeated by Dolph Ziggler and Neville in tag team action. This probably isn’t how he imagined his reign as 2015 King of the Ring would be going at this point, and he has surely been plotting a way to get back at The Showoff — who pinned Barrett in that match — and The New Sensation, Neville. Does a royal beatdown await either of these underdogs? And what about The Celtic Warrior, who clearly has unfinished business with both Ziggler and Neville? Bull Hammers and Brogue Kicks abound on Monday night.
5.) Who will gain key momentum before WWE Payback's Fatal Four Way?
OK, so Thursday night’s contract signing for WWE Payback’s Fatal 4-Way Match was pretty much a disaster, ending in a brawl between Dean Ambrose, Roman Reigns, Randy Orton and WWE World Heavyweight Champion Seth Rollins. After furniture was aggressively rearranged, it was “The Future of WWE” who stood tall, sending a clear message that not even the unfavorable conditions of a Fatal 4-Way Match will separate him from the most illustrious prize in sports-entertainment.
However, at WWE Payback, it will be every man for himself, and this week all four competitors in this high-stakes collision will have the opportunity to prove their dominance to the WWE Universe and to their opposition. Who will gain the upper hand on Raw?
Don’t miss Raw at 8/7 C on USA Network, and be sure to tune in to Raw Pre-Show at 7:30 ET on the award-winning WWE Network!