Preview: WWE Raw (07/17/23) – Brock Lesnar Returns

WWE Raw graphic featuring Cody Rhodes and Brock Lesnar.

WWE makes its way back to Atlanta, Georgia for WWE Raw tonight. As we’re just 3 weeks away from a massive SummerSlam event at Ford Field. They stop at the State Farm Arena. Formally known as the Philips Arena, it has been the typical stop for prime-time wrestling in Atlanta since 1999, retiring the well-remembered Omni.

In the July 9th, 2001 edition of WWE Raw, we got the historic moment when the invaders of WCW and ECW came together amid a main event where ECW alumni Rhyno, Raven, Mike Awesome, The Impact Players, and Dudley Boyz faced off against a united mix of WWF & WCW talent. Only to reveal that it was a trap and ECW had sided with WCW all along. Thus The Alliance was born.

The Beast Stops At Atlanta

After a week off, ‘The Beast Incarnate’ Brock Lesnar makes his return. Cody Rhodes has been chasing that elusive third match against Lesnar since defeating Dominik Mysterio at Money In The Bank, however, Lesnar has yet to accept. It seems that will finally change tonight as he’s set to address said challenge tonight.

Hard to imagine the match won’t take place at SummerSlam inside the massive Ford Field, it’s just a matter of answering the challenge and adding whatever stipulation is needed. Something that has been mentioned now for weeks here. Let us wait again and see if we finally get the ‘yes’ and the ‘but’ afterward.

A Rather Odd Rematch

At Money In The Bank, Matt Riddle failed to win the WWE Intercontinental Championship from the imposing leader of Imperium, Gunther. It was a near-one-sided bout as Gunther simply used his imposing physical force to win the match. Which makes this non-title rematch so odd, as ‘The Original Bro’ had told Drew McIntyre of this affair last week. McIntyre explained it wasn’t a good idea, as he would not be available for WWE Raw tonight as a backup.

But Riddle explained he got the rest of Imperium banned from ringside. Which is all fine and good. Except Gunther was already capable of defeating Matt Riddle with no help. So, it’s very odd that that was the impetus for this rematch. At the same time, we saw last week how after failing to win another tag team match, Gunther and Ludwig Kaiser have been snubbing Giovanni Vinci. Which is something we already saw before if we followed the group in NXT, just before their call-up.

Battle For The Jacket

Last week, we saw Maxxine Dupri graduate from Alpha Academy. Somehow. However, The Viking Raiders and Valhalla came in and took away the Letterman Jacket Otis and Chad Gable got for Maxxine Dupri. They laid down the challenge. If they want that jacket back, they have to fight for it. In a Viking Rules Match. One of these already took place.

Many months before. As the Viking Raiders took on The New Day in said match. It’s basically a No Disqualification match with Viking-themed weaponry laid about. Can Alpha Academy and Maxxine Dupri get the jacket back and properly celebrate their graduation? Or will the Viking Raiders successfully pillage this school?

Women’s Tag Team Title Match

Raquel Rodriguez and Liv Morgan will have their first defense after regaining the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships at Money In The Bank against eternal and perpetual challengers, Chelsea Green and Sonya Deville. Despite this Tag Team title bout, it seems the main focus is Raquel Rodriguez running afoul of the current Women’s World Champion, Rhea Ripley.

After the two had a staredown last week and Rhea warned the Champions not to step into her business. This seems to point us toward Raquel Rodriguez reviving her feud with Rhea Ripley from NXT. Though, it hasn’t exactly been as eventful as it was when the two first clashed back in 2020.

3 Weeks To Detroit

Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens, the Undisputed WWE Tag Team Champions, take on The Judgment Day. In particular, Dominik Mysterio and Mr. Money In The Bank, Damian Priest. Rhea Ripley confronted the Champions last week. Explaining that The Judgment Day looks to hold all the gold in WWE. Damian has a tool to assist with that.

However, at the same time, it seems Seth Rollins and Finn Balor have yet to finish their issues over the World Heavyweight Championship. A match has yet to be announced between the two and Balor did just get through pinning NXT Champion Carmelo Hayes last week. Also, other matches seem likely teased for SummerSlam, but are yet to be announced.

Such as Drew McIntyre, who is apparently off this week, and Intercontinental Champion Gunther, and much more that has already been mentioned here. We just have to watch and see what happens tonight, on WWE Raw.

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