MVP Eyes Gold, Dolph Ziggler Looks Strong vs Drew McIntyre, More WWE Raw Fallout
This week's WWE Raw returned to the Performance Center with masked developmental stars in the crowd as the company dealt with a number of positive COVID-19 tests last week.
You could tell WWE was playing with an even more limited roster than it has had since the pandemic began because several Superstars appeared in multiple segments.
Angel Garza and Andrade even pulled double duty by competing in a tag team bout against The Viking Raiders and a handicap match against Big Show later in the evening.
We also saw Dolph Ziggler, Drew McIntyre, Sasha Banks and Asuka have a dual contract signing for their title bouts at Extreme Rules: The Horror Show on July 19.
Ruby Riott was in action against Peyton Royce, and MVP battled Apollo Crews in a non-title bout. Let's look at some of the biggest stories coming out of this week's episode of Raw.
Dolph Ziggler Gets to Pick His Stipulation
Raw opened in chaos as Sasha Banks and Bayley brawled with Asuka before they were finally separated for the dual contract signing with Drew McIntyre and Dolph Ziggler.
The WWE champion not only agreed to give The Showoff a title shot, but he also said he could pick whatever stipulation he wanted for their match at Extreme Rules.
While it's unlikely McIntyre will lose the title on July 19, allowing Ziggler to pick what kind of bout they have means we could see the Scot work outside of his comfort zone for once.
Ziggler has always performed well in ladder matches but McIntyre's height would give him an advantage. The Showoff wouldn't put himself at a disadvantage, so something along the lines of a cage or tables match makes more sense.
If he were to choose a tables bout, all he would have to do is make sure McIntyre falls through one at some point. Sheamus won the WWE title from John Cena using this exact strategy at the Tables, Ladders & Chairs pay-per-view in 2009.
Ziggler will likely draw out his decision for a week or two to build suspense and make sure McIntyre has less time to prepare.
Zelina Vega's Stable Is Just About Done
Zelina Vega's stable began falling apart the moment they kicked Austin Theory out of the group. This week, Andrade and Angel Garza appeared to be on the same page before having their biggest disagreement to date.
The duo were victorious over The Viking Raiders early in the show, but it wasn't the only contest they had on Monday. They also faced Big Show in a handicap match.
At one point, Garza was in control and Andrade selfishly tagged himself in. This upset Garza and they argued about it until El Idolo was left by himself, which led to Big Show hitting the KO Punch for the win.
Vega tried to play peacekeeper but ultimately left up the ramp with Garza, which is not going to make her original client happy at all. El Idolo is going to make her choose between him and Garza when things finally reach boiling point.
This breakup has been coming for some time, and with the way things have been going, Andrade is going to end up as the bad guy while Garza comes out of this as a fan favorite.
This week's disagreement is going to be viewed as the turning point when they kick off their feud. Garza and Andrade are both great wrestlers, so their eventual showdown is going to be a lot of fun.
Ruby Riott Has Seen the Light
Despite being a babyface in NXT, Ruby Riott was brought to the main roster as a heel alongside Sarah Logan and Liv Morgan in 2017.
She remained a heel during her brief feud with Morgan but when the two crossed paths last week, Riott was not her usual antagonistic self. She seemed genuinely concerned about her former teammate.
This week saw Riott take on Peyton Royce of The IIconics in a signed match. Royce got the win but Morgan was nowhere to be found, so we can speculate what will happen next.
Riott will probably face Billie Kay next week in a match that will end with both IIconics attacking her until Morgan makes the save. This will reunite the former partners and give Royce and Kay new rivals in the tag team division.
The difference this time, though, will be Morgan and Riott being on the same level instead of their relationship being a leader-follower dynamic.
MVP Wants His US Title Back
MVP has had a few interactions with Apollo Crews recently in an attempt to recruit him as a second client alongside Bobby Lashley, but the United States champion has refused his offer every time.
Mr. 305 has made it clear he was one of the best United States champions of all time when he held the title for 343 days in 2007-08.
With Lashley still setting his sights on the WWE title in the future, it leaves MVP free to pursue the U.S. belt currently held by Crews.
The high-flyer has been doing some of his best work since winning the U.S. title, and MVP is a great choice for a challenger. Crews can prove himself against a veteran who has one of the most dangerous men in the company as his enforcer.
It would be surprising if it took more than a week for WWE to book MVP vs. Crews for Extreme Rules for the belt. It's always possible Lashley challenges him instead, but it feels like this feud is more about MVP.