We’re less than two weeks away from The Biggest Party of the Summer, but Randy Orton doesn’t seem to be in a celebratory mood — big surprise, we know. As the WWE Universe waits to see how Roman Reigns will respond to the SummerSlam challenge laid down by The Viper on SmackDown, what’s in store for Raw? WWE.com has some ideas.
1.) That's what happens when people steal from me!
For the very first time, we all witnessed Roman Reigns beaten into a state of utter helplessness by Randy Orton last week on Raw — an assault fueled by The Viper’s belief that Reigns cost him a WWE World Heavyweight Championship opportunity at SummerSlam the previous week.
Now that WWE COO Triple H has chosen Brock Lesnar to challenge John Cena for sports-entertainment’s most coveted prize, WWE’s Apex Predator has focused all of his energy on making the juggernaut suffer. On SmackDown, Orton dared Reigns to face him at SummerSlam — a challenge that has yet to be accepted by the powerhouse. Will we get an answer from Reigns on Raw, or has The Viper taken the fight out of one of WWE’s most indomitable Superstars?
2.) Paige's friendly fire
No, Paige. That’s not how a trust fall works. After Divas Champion AJ Lee handily dispatched Rosa Mendes on SmackDown, the titleholder fell victim to a surprise sneak attack by her “frenemy” that sent her soaring off the stage and leaving the arena on a stretcher. According to WWE physician Dr. Chris Amann, AJ suffered whiplash as a result of the attack Paige claimed was just some good-natured horseplay.
AJ will no doubt be looking for retribution this week. With her injury at the hands of The Diva of Tomorrow, though, will she be able to attain it?
3.) Dolph, interrupted
Intercontinental Champion The Miz’s “moneymaker” just gets more and more punchable as the weeks go on, doesn’t it? On SmackDown, the so-called “A-Lister” saw fit to interrupt Dolph Ziggler’s bout with Alberto Del Rio, causing a distraction that left The Showoff vulnerable to The Mexican Aristocrat’s dreaded Cross Armbreaker submission maneuver. If you’re at all familiar with the storied history between Ziggler and Del Rio, you know that loss had to sting.
But that’s in the past. Now, The Showoff is clearly in pursuit of The Awesome One’s title — a prize that has given the oh-so-Hollywood paparazzi hound a starring role on every WWE program he’s on. Will Ziggler soon steal The Miz’s spotlight?
4.) Kicking into Brie Mode
Brie Bella’s back in WWE, but will she soon regret negotiating a match against Stephanie McMahon at SummerSlam? The battle-ready Bella Twin revealed in an exclusive interview on WWE.com that she has no regrets about choosing to face Stephanie on Aug. 17 in Los Angeles, affirming that she’s fighting on behalf of the family members — sister Nikki and husband Daniel Bryan — that have been tormented by The Authority over the past year.
SummerSlam marks Stephanie’s first official in-ring WWE match in more than a decade. Is the Authority matriarch worried about the encounter ahead, or is the savvy daughter of WWE Chairman Mr. McMahon about to unleash some of her family’s time-tested “Ruthless Aggression” on Brie?
5.) One down, one to go?
It’s a process of elimination for Chris Jericho as he gets ready for his anticipated rematch with Bray Wyatt at SummerSlam. On SmackDown, the Fozzy frontman defeated the hulking Erick Rowan, effectively barring the sheep-masked behemoth from ringside during Y2J’s Aug. 17 clash with The Eater of Worlds. Should Y2J similarly eliminate Luke Harper from this match, Wyatt will be forced into a fair fight against Jericho — a rare scenario indeed for the calculating “Man of 1,000 Truths.” Will Jericho have the opportunity to level the playing field this week?
Don’t miss Raw this Monday at 8/7 CT on USA Network, and be sure to tune in to WWE Network forRaw Pre-Show at 7:30 ET!