The June 23 edition of WWE Raw will center around constructing and promoting Money in the Bank 2014.
Monday's Raw is sure to add several matches to the upcoming card that has but three official bouts so far. Verizon Center, Washington, D.C., hosts the circus that is WWE, on a night when simmering feuds will continue to grow hotter, a bizarre partnership will roll on and opportunity awaits several Superstars looking to become the next "Mr. Money in the Bank."
Picking apart backstage reports and James Wortman's five-point preview on WWE.com, Bleacher Report reveals much of what to expect on the go-home show, and in the case of Los Matadores, what not to expect.
News, Potential Spoilers
They may not have made it onscreen regardless, but it appears that an injury is going to keep Los Matadores out of action on Monday's Raw.
Art Mahr of PWInsider reports that during their match on Sunday's show in Newark, Delaware, "one of Los Matadores suffered what looked like a pretty serious knee injury. The crossed arms went up and out came the medical staff." Mike Johnson later added on PWInsider it was Fernando who suffered the injury and that he was on crutches afterward.
The bullfighters' low position on the company ladder means this won't affect WWE's plans much.
Los Matadores not being at full strength is balanced out by WWE adding a new team (sort of) last week.
Cody Rhodes realigned with his brother Goldust, debuting his Stardust persona. All signs point to this angle continuing for the foreseeable future.
Rhodes worked the Stardust gimmick at a house show in Long Island, New York, on Saturday and did so the night before in Providence, Rhode Island, as well. The latest backstage word says that the new persona is running on a trial basis of sorts.
F4WOnline, via Marc Middleton of Wrestling Inc, reports the following:
The plan is that if the angle gets over, they will get a WWE Tag Team Title shot at SummerSlam. If it doesn't get over, WWE changes course and we finally get the Goldust vs. Cody Rhodes singles match at SummerSlam.
With this in mind, expect the Stardust and Goldust tandem to get a number of opportunities in the spotlight, including on Monday's Raw. Should they generate a healthy amount of buzz, that spotlight is only going to grow brighter.
The show could mark the end of Vickie Guerrero's time with the company. She had reportedly been scheduled to leave in April, and the delayed process appears to have begun in earnest.
According to F4WOnline, via PWMania.com, "Word coming out of RAW is that the current angle between her and The Authority is going to lead to her WWE departure, possibly within the next few weeks."
Guerrero's coffee run last week led to Stephanie McMahon violently vomiting. Expect her to at least receive some major punishment for that gaff and possibly a pink slip to go with it.
The Money in the Bank Ladder Match
As Seth Rollins announced on Tuesday's Main Event, the upcoming pay-per-view will feature a traditional Money in the Bank Ladder match, and the former member of The Shield is the first official entrant.
With less than a week until the event, look for Monday's Raw to heavily focus on who joins him. Wortman writes, "With virtually the entire roster eligible for this career-changing bout, who will join the Shield turncoat in this chaotic confrontation? We'll find out on Raw."
Dean Ambrose is a safe bet to be on that list. He and Seth Rollins have spent the last few weeks attacking, distracting and antagonizing each other. It would make little sense to not take advantage of that rivalry by placing both foes in the same bout.
There are signs that Dolph Ziggler will follow him into that fray.
On last Friday's SmackDown, Ziggler pinned Bad News Barrett, one of his bigger wins in months. Barrett attacked "The Show-Off" after the bell, and WWE featured both the victory and the assault on SmackDown fallout.
It's easy to imagine the company trying to further milk this tension between enemies while building on Ziggler's momentum but having both him and Barrett enter the match with the contract-filled briefcase on the line.
Reverberations from Last Week
Roman Reigns tampered with McMahon's coffee last week. While Guerrero is sure to get her share of the blame for the incident, Reigns will no doubt face The Authority's fury.
Triple H had banned Reigns from the Battle Royal, yet Reigns wormed his way into the match anyway and eventually won it.
Take Wortman's questions as sure signs of retribution coming. He asks, "will Reigns be punished for maneuvering his way into the WWE World Heavyweight Title picture? Also, will Vickie face consequences for the unfortunate coffee incident that started it all? "
It's increasingly clear that the long-term plan here is to have Triple H and Reigns go at it one-on-one. The Evolution vs. The Shield feud has morphed into Ambrose vs. Rollins and Reigns venturing out on his own while Triple H tries to impede his progress.
Expect some additional seeds of a future Triple H vs. Reigns clash to be planted on Monday's Raw.
Team implosion within WWE isn't stopping at The Shield, either. On Tuesday's Main Event, Naomi watched on as Paige pummeled Cameron. That followed the two partners bickering after Paige forced Cameron to tap out on Monday's Raw.
Wortman writes, "With tensions continuing to mount between Naomi & Cameron as they both pursue the Divas Championship, are we witnessing the gradual extinction of The Funkadactyls?"
Paige is without a challenger at Money in the Bank at the moment, but she could soon find herself in a Triple Threat match. The Funkadactyls are splintering largely because of their frustrations in pursuit of the Divas title. Pitting them both against Paige furthers that story and allows this burgeoning partner-versus-partner rivalry to blossom.
It's one of the ways fans can expect the Money in the Bank lineup to grow, along with the scramble to compete against Rollins in the match that earns the pay-per-view its name.