Raw airs tonight (Mar. 21) with a live show from the Allstate Arena near Chicago, Illinois. This is the fifth Raw episode during the six week build towards WrestleMania 38 on the weekend of Apr. 2 & 3.
What’s going on with Bianca Belair?
WWE announced on Saturday that Bianca Belair has a fractured hyoid bone in her throat and is out of action indefinitely. Belair missed both Raw house shows over the weekend, which were headlined by Becky Lynch vs. Rhea Ripley. Belair has also been replaced by The Miz for an autograph signing today in Chicago. Considering the late timing of this news, some folks are wondering if the injury is a cover for something else that is keeping Belair away from WWE right now. Will she be back in time to challenge Becky Lynch for the Raw women’s championship at WrestleMania 38 on Apr. 2?
Given that the stories between Brock Lesnar & Roman Reigns and Ronda Rousey & Charlotte Flair are both playing out on SmackDown, it can be argued that Lynch vs. Belair is the most important feud on Raw right now. That’s why some fans find the timing of this injury strange, as WWE is potentially telling fans that Raw’s top WrestleMania match is at risk with less than two weeks to go until the event.
The most likely explanation is that Belair is fine and she will just miss one episode of Raw, before returning for next week’s go-home show. After all, that’s what happened when Becky Lynch recently fractured her voice box; she missed one week of Raw and returned for a post-match attack the following week.
Let’s face it, WWE doesn’t have much for Belair to do on Raw other than wrestle and beat Doudrop every week. So the creative team was probably finalizing plans for the Lynch/Belair feud over the weekend and settled on keeping Belair off Raw this week to sell Becky’s attack from last week. It sucks for the paying fans who were hoping to see Bianca at house shows over the weekend or at today’s autograph signing. But from the standpoint of the Raw viewer, this injury makes sense. Belair should be missing some time as a result of Lynch’s vicious attack.
After targeting Bianca’s throat last week, Becky threatened to go after her hair tonight. That won’t be happening now that Belair is off the card. Lynch will instead probably grab a mic and brag about coming back from injury so fast. She could also accuse Bianca of being too afraid to lose her hair to actually show up on Raw. So get ready for some Becky trash talk, because without Bianca on the show tonight, there’s nobody around to shut up Big Time Becks.
The rest of the title scene
Last week, the Street Profits interrupted RK-Bro’s celebration of their new reign as Raw tag team champions, and
Matt Riddle accepted their challenge for a title match at WrestleMania 38. This led to a singles match between Riddle and Montez Ford. The match didn’t have a finish because Alpha Academy stormed the ring and took everyone out. It looks like we’re heading to a three way title match at WrestleMania. As for tonight’s Raw, you can probably expect to see some combination or subset of these six men face each other in singles or tag team action.
Finn Balor isn’t having a great time so far as United States champion, because he keeps finding himself on the humiliating end of an Austin Theory beatdown and selfie. Damian Priest defeated Finn last week, which will likely lead to a rematch for the title between Damian and Balor (or The Demon) at WrestleMania. Finn needs to look strong tonight after two weeks of getting beat up by a guy who is feuding with a SmackDown commentator.
Queen Zelina Vega and Carmella look like they are going to lose the Women’s tag team titles at WrestleMania 38. Carmella can’t be bothered to take their matches seriously because she is too horny when Corey Graves is ringside. Will Sasha Banks, Naomi, Shayna Baszler, or Natalya show up on Raw tonight to mix it up with the champs or Liv for Brutality (Rhea Ripley & Liv Morgan) to build up anticipation for the 4-way title match at WrestleMania?
The 24/7 title scene is dominated by Dana Brooke, Reggie, Tamina, Akira Tozawa, and R-Truth. WWE has introduced romance to the story, leading to awkward kisses between Tozawa and Tamina.
WWE Champion Brock Lesnar is once again not advertised for Raw. If you want to see the WWE title these days, you’ll have to tune into WWE’s more important television show that airs on Friday nights.
Other stuff to keep an eye on
– Seth Rollins is stuck without a match at WrestleMania this year, and he isn’t creative enough to think of a way to make the card. Will this be the night that Cody Rhodes finally shows up on Raw and challenges Seth to a match on the grand stage?
– AJ Styles returns to Raw tonight seeking revenge on Edge. AJ will have to make the treacherous climb up the mountain of omnipotence to find the Rated R Superstar, along with his new blue lighting and theme music.
– Logan Paul and The Miz tried to ambush the Mysterios last week after the babyfaces defeated Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin. It didn’t work out well for the heels, and Logan Paul had a close call with a double 619.
– Kevin Owens is getting ready to kick Stone Cold Steve Austin’s ass at WrestleMania. It’s doubtful that Stone Cold will appear on any episode of Raw as part of the build, so Owens will probably have to find some jabroni babyface on the roster to beat up tonight. How about Finn Balor?
– Omos made his in-ring debut one year ago at WrestleMania and has never been pinned, which means he should have an important match on this year’s card. The main problem is that he’s the worst wrestler on the roster, and asking him to competently wrestle in the most basic back-and-forth singles match is beyond his skill level. Therefore WWE is still trying to figure out what to do with him at WrestleMania. For now, he’s spending his time beating up Apollo Crews and Commander Azeez each week.
– Alexa Bliss has become a complete afterthought on the road to WrestleMania.
– Doudrop and Nikki A.S.H. also don’t have a WrestleMania match, but they’ve at least been getting some television time. There was a rumor about the women’s Battle Royal returning to WrestleMania this year, but now that eight women are booked for a tag team title match, I don’t see how there are enough wrestlers remaining to fill out a Battle Royal. Doudrop and A.S.H. should attack someone with a chair tonight to try to get added to the women’s tag title match at WrestleMania.
– I also wanted to let you know that Veer Mahaan is still coming to Raw, in case you weren’t sure. Long-term storytelling doesn’t get any better than this, folks.