WWE Raw Reunion Preview: Stone Cold Steve Austin Returns and More for July 22

Erik Beaston@@ErikBeastonFeatured ColumnistJuly 22, 2019

Credit: WWE.com

Familiar faces will return Monday night for a special Raw Reunion aimed at sparking ratings and renewed interest in the WWE product.

Icons such as "Stone Cold" Steve Austin, Hulk Hogan, Shawn Michaels and Ric Flair will stop by the flagship, greet the fans, drop some fools with a stunner or three, and return to their daily lives while simultaneously reminding the audience of a time when wrestling was a hell of a lot more fun and interesting than it is now.

In between, the Superstars of today will do their best with the material given to them. Some will hit, others will fail, but the march to SummerSlam on August 11 will continue.

Find out what else you can expect from WWE Raw with this preview of the July 22 episode.

      

The Build to Rollins vs. Lesnar III

Seth Rollins predictably won a No. 1 contender's battle royal last week, setting up a rematch against Brock Lesnar for the Universal Championship at SummerSlam. While excitement for that match is nearly nonexistent, the build to it should ramp up Monday night, just 20 days out of the annual spectacular.

The only question is whether The Beast Incarnate will appear.

A show brimming with the star power of Austin, Hogan, Flair, Shawn Michaels and Co. does not necessarily need Lesnar.

The story does, though, because there is no obvious Superstar to step up and serve as Rollins' TV program in Lesnar's absence.

Maybe the feud with Corbin serves as a placeholder until the Brock Party returns to Raw in a week or two. Perhaps Bobby Lashley gets a few weeks of television matches out of Rollins until ol' Brock deems the flagship worthy of his presence.

It is possible WWE utilizes the wealth of household names at its disposal Monday night and has one of the legendary figures of its illustrious past cut a promo to hype up Rollins and the match.

Whatever the case, the build to Rollins vs. Lesnar III will play a significant role in the show as WWE prepares for its second most significant event of the calendar year.

    

Good Friends, Better Enemies

Natalya's win in the Fatal 4-Way match a week ago not only earned her a shot at Raw women's champion Becky Lynch, but it also set in motion a storyline in which two friends will set aside their relationship for championship aspirations.

Things intensified immediately after The Queen of Harts' victory last Monday as the new No. 1 contender and Lynch engaged in an exchange of words.

Expect matters to get even more intense, potentially turning physical, as Lynch and Natalya build intrigue and anticipation for their championship clash in Toronto.

Babyface vs. babyface matches are a tough sell, so the writing team will have to come up with some captivating angle to convince fans that they should both care and, more importantly, that the challenger has a chance in hell of dethroning Lynch.

     

Ricochet's Redemption

A week after losing the United States Championship to AJ Styles at Extreme Rules, The One and Only will be looking for revenge and, potentially, setting up a rematch for The Biggest Party of the Summer.

How will he go about it, and will he have any backup while confronting The Phenomenal One, Karl Anderson and Luke Gallows at a severe numbers disadvantage?

Perhaps The Usos will side with Ricochet, evening the odds and creating a big six-man rivalry ahead of the event. Maybe Zach Ryder and Curt Hawkins set aside their action figure collections and partner with the aerial wonder in battle. 

Whatever the case may be, Ricochet vs. Styles is just heating up, and at some point, the numbers will have to even themselves out if the babyface is expected to have a fair shot at regaining his title and, more importantly, avoiding the tired "overcoming the odds" babyface trope.

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