Just six days out from the TLC: Tables, Ladders and Chairs pay-per-view, WWE Raw hits the USA Network airwaves Monday night from the Bon Secours Arena in Greenville, South Carolina, with a major championship main event and an angle sure to have significant repercussions on a prominent storyline.
What else might the show present viewers so close to a year-end PPV with only two matches officially announced thus far?
- United States Championship Match: Rey Mysterio vs. AJ Styles
Rusev and Lana to Announce Divorce
What started as a horrifically bad soap-opera storyline has developed into a guilty pleasure as Rusev has upped the intensity in his quest for revenge against estranged wife Lana and Bobby Lashley.
Monday night, The Bulgarian Brute and Ravishing Russian will write the latest chapter in their sordid storyline as they make their divorce official. So close to a pay-per-view event, though, it also feels like a setup for the long-awaited one-on-one clash between Rusev and The All Mighty.
Expect physicality in some form to give way to the official announcement of their match. Do not be surprised to see chairs, a table or a ladder utilized to set up a gimmick match for a PPV that is traditionally overloaded with them.
Seeing as how Rusev has gotten over on Lashley and Lana the last few weeks, this is the time for The All Mighty to earn some heat back. The Bulgarian Brute should be in for a tough, painful night but may ultimately benefit if WWE booking patterns are any indication.
What's Going on with AOP?
The Authors of Pain attacked Kevin Owens on last week's show and dragged him to the locker room, never to be seen or heard from again. KO later tweeted that he escaped Akam and Rezar's grasp, but the lack of televised followup hurt what was a great start to last week's show.
Monday, we will find out what TLC has in store for Owens, the dominant tag team and Seth Rollins, who was conspicuous in his absence for most of last week's broadcast. Will we see a tag team match pitting KO and The Beastslayer against the former NXT tag team champions that finally leads to the latter's official heel turn?
Might we see Owens and Rollins band together to score an upset win over AOP in a "wacky teammates who can't stand each other" story?
Whatever the case may be, WWE must address its TLC plans for Rollins and Owens Monday, and given recent storytelling, they almost certainly involve Akam and Rezar in some form or fashion.
Beware The Viper
AJ Styles will challenge Rey Mysterio for the United States Championship in a rematch of their contest from two weeks ago.
The Phenomenal One will be looking to regain a title he feels was stolen from him by The Master of the 619, but it is not necessarily Mysterio he should keep an eye out for.
Styles has made an enemy of Randy Orton in recent weeks and it was The Viper who cost him the U.S. title to Mysterio. Such a high-profile main event almost invites the third-generation star into the picture, especially if WWE Creative is eyeing a match between Orton and Styles for Sunday's TLC.
What has the potential to be a great TV main event may prove to be little more than angle advancement and a setup to a major PPV contest.
With Orton incurring the anger of Drew McIntyre of late, too, do not be surprised if a major schmozz occurs to necessitate a Fatal 4-Way match for the U.S. title on Sunday.