Three days from Super Showdown in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, WWE Raw hits the airwaves with a stacked show that promises the return of WWE champion Brock Lesnar, the latest from the unhinged Randy Orton and the first time Becky Lynch and Shayna Baszler have been in the same building since the latter's vicious assault of The Man two weeks ago.
What can fans expect as WWE builds not only to its latest trip to the Middle East but also WrestleMania 36 on April 5?
No matches have been announced for this week's show as of publication
The Beast is Back
Lesnar will be in Winnipeg, Manitoba, for this week's broadcast, and two Superstars are sure to have The Beast Incarnate's attention.
The first will be Ricochet, who will challenge for the WWE Championship in Riyadh Thursday. The One and Only delivered a wicked low blow that gave way to Lesnar's elimination in the Royal Rumble match, then earned an opportunity at the WWE title by defeating Bobby Lashley and Seth Rollins in a Triple Threat match.
Monday will represent his last opportunity to send a message to The Beast ahead of their title clash. Unfortunately for Ricochet, it is also an opportunity for Lesnar to send a message to him. A very painful, very unforgiving message if he is not careful.
The second is Drew McIntyre, who has a date scheduled with Lesnar for WrestleMania. Might The Scottish Psychopath make his presence felt, perhaps throwing the titleholder off and making it possible for Ricochet to score an unprecedented and unexpected upset at Super Showdown?
McIntyre has been the hottest babyface on the red brand over the last month, thanks in large part to a personality that has broken free from the scripted restraints of the creative process. He has connected with audiences, many of whom anticipate him defeating Lesnar on The Grandest Stage of Them All.
Even if he does not interact with Lesnar this week, expect him to be prominently featured as he continues his march to Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.
Who Will The Viper Strike Next?
No one is safe.
At least that is what the actions of Randy Orton would suggest.
The Viper has spent the last month brutalizing both Edge and Matt Hardy, often accompanied by exclamations of sorrow. But why? He has yet to issue a valid explanation for his actions, and nor has he appeared all that interested in doing so, either.
Instead, he has left bodies in his wake, and Monday brings another opportunity for more of the same. Who might be on the receiving end of an RKO and/or con-chair-to?
Given the pattern, an associate or former tag team partner of Edge is likely.
Superstars such as Christian, Rey Mysterio or Jeff Hardy would best beware if they find themselves around the third-generation star Monday.
Will The Man and The Submission Magician Clash?
Two weeks ago, Baszler made her main roster debut, attacking Lynch following a successful Raw Women's Championship defense against Asuka and biting her neck in a sign of dominance.
The moment not only announced to the world that the dominant NXT competitor was now at home on the red brand, but it also showed she had targeted The Man and her title.
Last week, Lynch issued a warning to Baszler.
Now, the two women will be under the same roof for the first time since The Queen of Spades' impactful debut and fans should expect a physical confrontation between the two.
Lynch has not traditionally forgiven nor has she forgotten. This is not likely to be the start of that pattern.
Expect The Man to seek out Baszler but possibly endure another attack at the hand of The Submission Magician.
With so many weeks until WrestleMania, it is clearly the Raw creative team's agenda to push Baszler as the next contender to Lynch's title. To do that, it must present her in a way that makes those unfamiliar with her NXT work see her as a legitimate threat to the champ.
Expect more of that this week.