Days before Brock Lesnar creates an earthquake at the Royal Rumble, he will deliver tremors on WWE Raw. The Beast Incarnate is set to appear on WWE's flagship show with his eyes on the gold in Roman Reigns' possession.
Columbus, Ohio, will play host to the final Raw before the Royal Rumble pay-per-view.
Championships promise to be at the heart of a number of the stories that unfold. Becky Lynch will await an answer to her challenge. Kalisto will pursue the title he so briefly owned. And the 30-man Royal Rumble for the WWE title is in need of added hype.
Lesnar will appear with Paul Heyman at his side on Chris Jericho's Highlight Reel segment, as WWE announced on its website.
Paul Heyman @HeymanHustle
TOMORROW NIGHT - @WWE #RAW - @IAmJericho Hosts #TheHighlightReel with @BrockLesnar and Your Humble #Advocate! https://t.co/sOm6wRuZbR2016-1-18 04:19:01
With WWE fresh off touring India, several Superstars will have to battle through jet lag. Fortunately, Monday's Raw won't be fighting with football for the audience's attention.
How will WWE look to generate momentum before the Royal Rumble? What bouts will the company add to the card?
Injury reports, backstage updates and James Wortman's five-point preview on WWE.com offer plenty of answers.
News, Potential Spoilers
The women's division may be poised to bring back some faces fans haven't seen in a while.
Natalya has been absent from WWE shows for months now. She did, though, return to make an impact at a recent live event.
As noted on ProWrestling.net, Natalya appeared at a house show in Charleston, West Virginia, on Jan. 16. She saved Becky Lynch during a beatdown from Team B.A.D. Perhaps WWE has Lynch and Natalya continue their alliance onscreen on Monday's Raw and beyond.
Summer Rae made a return of her own when she wrestled for the first time in months. She took on Charlotte at two live events in India, as listed on ProFightDB.com.
Raw could use some variety when it comes to the women's division, as Charlotte and Lynch have been the only women spotlighted for some time.
Paige likely won't be able to help with that issue. In an interview with Channel Guide Magazine, Paige revealed that she's currently out of action with a concussion.
With Paige not in any ongoing storylines, the chances are higher that WWE takes its time with putting her back into action.
Rusev is healthy enough to compete, but he is apparently not at 100 percent. Dave Meltzer mentioned on Wrestling Observer Radio (h/t RingsideNews) that The Bulgarian Brute suffered a non-serious knee injury last week.
Rusev refuted the report:
It's stupid American propaganda. I'm not injured. Just because I didn't go beat up Brock It doesn't mean I'm injured. I go to India now.2016-1-12 16:30:16
But I I understand you Americans miss me crushing your favorite @wwe superstars. Because you are hypocrites. Injured HA! I'm never injured2016-1-12 16:49:16
He's certainly not too hurt to wrestle. As seen on CageMatch.net, Rusev competed in two matches during WWE's tour of India. However, a fan's photograph from one of the bouts showed the powerhouse sporting a knee brace:
This could all add up to a lighter workload for Rusev, with WWE leaning more on the other members of The League of Nations.
It doesn't look like Zeb Colter is showing up anytime soon. According to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (h/t WrestleZone.com), there are no plans for Zeb Colter to appear on WWE TV at this time.
As for who will appear Monday night, James Caldwell noted on Pro Wrestling Torch that The Dudley Boyz, The Wyatt Family, Kevin Owens and Alberto Del Rio are among those advertised for Monday's show.
Final Royal Rumble Build
On last week's SmackDown, Lynch made it clear that she wants a title shot against Charlotte. She challenged the Divas champ to a match at the Royal Rumble.
.@WWE's resident #PUNisher @BeckyLynchWWE just challenged @MsCharlotteWWE to a match at #RoyalRumble! #SmackDown https://t.co/rqReri12Hk2016-1-15 02:27:44
Look for Charlotte to accept.
This match has been brewing for weeks now. And with the Rumble less than a week away, the time is right to make it official.
It's not clear yet if the United States Championship will be on the line at the PPV. WWE could have another title defense on TV or wait for the Rumble, but it looks like Kalisto will remain the No. 1 contender.
Kalisto lost the belt to Del Rio on last week's SmackDown, ending a blink-of-an-eye reign. WWE.com teased him getting a rematch, however. Wortman asked, "Can the masked underdog contend with the machinations of The League of Nations and soon win back the title that was stolen from him?"
As for the Intercontinental Championship, Dean Ambrose and Kevin Owens have been busy escalating their feud of late.
Ambrose ended the last SmackDown by challenging Owens to a Last Man Standing match at the Royal Rumble. The match is already official, per WWE.com. Expect WWE to have the two rivals continue their violence against each other, further hyping their impending collision.
Heath Slater's new crew should get some attention from WWE Creative, too.
Wortman teased involvement from the group for Monday's Raw. He wrote: "Expect The Social Outcasts to be a trending topic once Raw goes on the air."
Lesnar and Reigns promise to be the show's focal points, though. The Beast Incarnate stormed into the ring last Monday, wiping out everyone in front of him, Reigns included.
Revenge should be on Reigns' mind on Monday. The WWE title will be on Lesnar's.
And as the two favorites to win the Rumble, Raw's spotlight will surely warm them for much of the night.