WWE Raw Preview: Ladder Match, Royal Rumble Hype and More for January 20

Erik Beaston@@ErikBeastonFeatured ColumnistJanuary 20, 2020

Credit: WWE.com

Just six days before one of WWE's most prestigious pay-per-views, the Superstars of Raw hit the USA Network airwaves Monday night looking to build momentum ahead of the Royal Rumble.

WWE champion Brock Lesnar will appear, the United States Championship is on the line and a huge mixed tag team match rounds out what is sure to be a buzz-worthy broadcast.

         

Already Announced

  • Ladder Match for the United States Championship: Rey Mysterio vs. Andrade
  • Mixed Tag Team Match: Rusev and Liv Morgan vs. Bobby Lashley and Lana

     

The Monday Night Messiah's Latest Apostle

Last week's show went off the air with Buddy Murphy aligning himself with Seth Rollins and AOP. Monday represents the first episode since his monumental decision and should be accompanied by an explanation for the Australian's actions.

The Best Kept Secret has spent the last month proving to the world why he is one of the most promising young stars on the roster.

His matches with Aleister Black have stolen every show on which they have appeared, but after weeks of frustrating results, he snapped and aligned himself with Rollins and AOP, making a power play that he hopes will reverse his fortunes.

Not only will Murphy's explanation headline the latest developments in the growing faction, but hopefully we also get a name for the group. After Rollins recently adopted The Monday Night Messiah as a nickname, do not be surprised if the name has some sort of similar connotations.

This close to the Rumble pay-per-view, expect Rollins and Co. to continue establishing dominance as the former universal champion looks to make it two-in-a-row in the men's Battle Royal.

          

Ladder Match Tops the Card

The rivalry between Rey Mysterio and Andrade intensified two weeks ago when the United States champion disgraced the lucha libre legend by unmasking him moments after beating him to retain his title.

A vengeful Mysterio attacked El Idolo in the backstage area, and officials last week made a ladder match for the title between the rivals official for Monday's show.

Andrade has benefited exponentially from this latest chapter of his rivalry with Mysterio. He is building momentum and credibility among fans with every passing week, and Monday night's broadcast could be the coronation he has yet to enjoy on the main roster.

Of course, that is if management can resist the urge to switch the title again.

The only question is whether it was wise to book Mysterio, a veteran of the sport and a competitor with a lengthy injury history, in such a dangerous match this close to a major PPV and the first stop on the road to WrestleMania.

        

Mixed Tag Team Mayhem

Bobby Lashley and Lana got a measure of revenge on Rusev and Liv Morgan a week ago when The All Mighty knocked off The Bulgarian Brute while the self-centered Lana humiliated Morgan at ringside.

Monday, the rivalry writes its latest chapter when Rusev and Morgan battle Lashley and Lana in a huge mixed tag team match.

A week after a significant singles match that failed to generate the response management was likely looking for, it is of the utmost importance for the future of the program that Monday's match does what is necessary to get fans to invest in what is unfolding before them.

Furthermore, if Morgan is to be a star, she must be more carefully handled than she was a week ago, when her first major appearance since her monumental announcement at the wedding saw her beaten down by Lana in a bit of questionable booking.

So much television time has been devoted to this program that there is no excuse for the writing team to carefully put Monday's match together in a way that builds all four while spotlighting Morgan, who is a star in the making and in need of that one red-hot angle to get herself over with fans.

Maybe this week's high-profile tag match is that angle.

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