WWE: 5 Things to Watch for on the Aug. 13 Edition of Monday Night RAW
With SummerSlam now less than a week away, the WWE will be looking to put the finishing touches on many of its storylines leading into the event on this week's edition of Monday Night RAW. There hasn't been a lot announced regarding the show ahead of time, but there is certainly plenty to look forward to.
Monday will likely mark the final confrontation between CM Punk, John Cena and Big Show at SummerSlam. Also, with Shawn Michaels scheduled to appear, it will be interesting to see if Brock Lesnar and Triple H appear together one final time before SummerSlam as well.
There is plenty that can be done with regard to the other feuds in progress too, so this promises to be a fine go-home edition of RAW with SummerSlam looming.
Here are the top five things that you should be watching for tonight as the WWE makes its final preparations ahead of the company's summer classic.
CM Punk vs. Big Show Will Lead Things off
According to WWE.com, CM Punk will kick off tonight's episode of RAW with a match against Big Show. There isn't any indication regarding Punk's WWE Championship being on the line, so I have to believe that this will be a non-title singles match with a no-contest ending.
Big Show stood tall at the end of the show last week and Punk did the same the week before, so conventional wisdom would dictate that John Cena will close the show on top this week. Since Punk has been morphing into a heel the past few weeks, I could see him bailing on the match and getting purposely counted out.
That would lead to general manager AJ Lee rescheduling the match for later in the night with Cena as the ringside enforcer to ensure that nobody can take off. Either Punk, Show or both will provoke Cena, leading to him getting involved in the match, resulting in a double-disqualification.
Cena will clean house and that will foreshadow the events of SummerSlam. I feel like Punk and Big Show will team up on Sunday to beat Cena and form a dominant heel team in order to prevent Cena from remaining at the top of the company.
Shawn Michaels Is Set to Appear for the 2nd Straight Week
After appearing on last week's RAW in his hometown of San Antonio for Shawn Michaels Appreciation Night, HBK will once again be on RAW this week in Dallas, according to WWE.com. Michaels announced last week that he would be in Triple H's corner against Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam, so something big promises to happen on Monday.
Last week, Michaels told Lesnar that Triple H would beat him at SummerSlam, and when Triple H came out to confront Lesnar, he left the ring and told him that he would see Triple H at SummerSlam, but he would see Michaels before then. With that said, Lesnar is likely to attack Michaels tonight.
Whether or not that leads to Michaels not appearing at SummerSlam is uncertain, but Lesnar needs some momentum heading into the event. He lost a lot of his steam when he lost to John Cena in his first match back, but beating down Michaels would give him major heat and make him look strong ahead of SummerSlam.
There hasn't been any indication that Triple H will be on RAW, so HBK will be prone to an attack and Lesnar will ultimately take advantage of it.
Will the World Heavyweight Championship Situation Be Resolved?
The World Heavyweight Championship is technically under the jurisdiction of SmackDown and general manager Booker T, but perhaps there will be some developments on RAW. Sheamus was initially scheduled to defend his title against Alberto Del Rio at SummerSlam, but Del Rio had several thugs dressed as police officers jump Sheamus, and that led to Booker cancelling the match.
Now, with six days remaining until SummerSlam, a World Heavyweight Championship match is absent from the card. There are several directions that the creative team could go in, but I'm anticipating a triple threat or fatal four way of some kind. I still think that Del Rio will be involved, but two or three other wrestlers—Randy Orton, Rey Mysterio and/or Wade Barrett—will likely be added as well.
Sheamus has suffered from not having any capable challengers for his title, so it would make sense to pit him against two or three guys in order to create some doubt about whether he can retain. I would still be surprised if he didn't, but at least a bigger match would enable a few more possibilities to take shape.
There is obviously a chance that this won't be addressed until SmackDown, but if the WWE wants to properly promote the match, we might see something happen on the World Heavyweight Championship front tonight.
What's Next for Chris Jericho and Dolph Ziggler?
Chris Jericho and Dolph Ziggler began a feud the night after Money in the Bank as Ziggler won the World Heavyweight Championship contract while Jericho came up short in his bid for the WWE Championship contract. Ziggler views himself as the future of the company and maintains that Jericho can't win the big one anymore, and that has led to a match at SummerSlam.
The match was announced on SmackDown, as Ziggler attacked Jericho during a Highlight Reel segment. It has been obvious for quite some time that a match was forthcoming, but now that it is official, fans will be interested to see if anything more comes of the feud tonight.
On last week's RAW, Ziggler wrestled Alex Riley with Jericho watching from the announce table. Ziggler was too preoccupied with Jericho, and that led to Riley picking up a shocking upset win. I'm wondering whether Ziggler will be given the opportunity to redeem himself heading into SummerSlam, or if Jericho will continue to have the upper hand.
Any result other than Ziggler winning at SummerSlam would be a shock since Jericho is set to go on tour with his band, Fozzy. Ziggler could use the rub and Jericho has no problem putting over young talent, so I would be perfectly fine with Jericho having the advantage ahead of SummerSlam.
Will Wade Barrett Make His Return?
Wade Barrett has been out of action since the night after Elimination Chamber, as he suffered a dislocated elbow during a battle royal on RAW. A vignette aired last week, however, touting the eventual return of the Barrett Barrage. It is uncertain exactly when Barrett might make his television re-debut, but it very well could happen tonight.
Barrett was on a major hot streak before getting injured, as he had beaten the likes of Randy Orton, Sheamus and Daniel Bryan. Barrett seemed to be on the fast track to a world title or at least a foray in the title picture. It seems like the creative team is going to make a concerted effort to play off his bare-knuckle boxing background and make him look like a legitimate tough guy.
My hope is that Barrett returns tonight and gets involved in the World Heavyweight Championship match at SummerSlam. Sheamus doesn't have an opponent currently, so I anticipate some sort of mini-tournament being held for three spots in a fatal four-way match on Sunday.
RAW has three hours of programming to fill, so it could easily have three such matches with Orton, Alberto Del Rio and Barrett coming out on top. Sheamus desperately needs a true challenger for his title, and Barrett would be an excellent choice.