WWE RAW before Crown Jewel Preview: Possible title change to be canceled, Big in-ring return after over a year
Welcome to the WWE RAW before Crown Jewel Preview. Not only is it the final RAW before a huge special event in Saudi Arabia, but it’s also the last episode before the WWE Draft officially takes effect this coming Friday on SmackDown.
The brackets in the King of The Ring and Queen’s Crown tournament will narrow down, as Xavier Woods and Jinder Mahal will look to book a place in the finals against Finn Balor, while Shayna Baszler and Doudrop will look to set a date against Zelina Vega in the finals.
There’s a lot to look forward to tonight, so let’s begin:
#5. Bianca Belair challenges Charlotte Flair for the RAW Women’s Championship
— WWE (@WWE) October 17, 2021
Bianca Belair is still officially a SmackDown superstar until Friday, but she has a big chance to bring the RAW Women’s title back to where it belongs when she challenges Charlotte Flair in a big title match.
Bianca Belair has faced Charlotte Flair before, but ever since the WWE Draft, things have been chaotic. Belair lost to her rival Sasha Banks on SmackDown on Day one of the WWE Draft, and she defeated Flair by DQ due to outside interference from Becky Lynch.
As you may know, the RAW and SmackDown Women’s title situation is in a bit of a limbo with no clarification — something we will presumably get over the next couple of weeks.
SmackDown Women’s Champion Becky Lynch was drafted to RAW, while RAW Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair went the other way. A similar situation happened last year when The New Day and The Street Profits were drafted to the opposite brands with their titles. Adam Pearce eventually made them swap the titles to the brand they were associated with, ending any complications.
— WWE (@WWE) October 13, 2021
With the women’s championships this year, it’s a slightly different situation. Not only does Bianca Belair have the chance to become the RAW Women’s Champion tonight if she beats Charlotte Flair, but she can become the SmackDown Women’s Champion if she beats Becky Lynch and Sasha Banks in a Triple Threat match.
Belair being a dual titleholder seems unlikely, although it would be sweet revenge against her most recent rival, Becky Lynch, who is the only woman in WWE to simultaneously hold two top singles titles.
Belair is in a good position to win the RAW Women’s Championship tonight, but in all likelihood, the possibility of the title change happening may have been canceled. This is for a couple of reasons – first, WWE has been “overbooking” their four top women (Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair, Sasha Banks, and Bianca Belair) recently.
Second, it would likely further complicate the situation on SmackDown, and the intention might be to protect Charlotte Flair ahead of her move to the Blue Brand this week. With that said, we’ll likely get a title swap between Lynch and Flair soon.
#4. The Street Profits return to RAW to take on RK-Bro
RED CUP SEASON.
— WWE (@WWE) October 16, 2021
The Street Profits return to RAW and will have their first match on the red brand in over a year as they face Tag-Team Champions RK-Bro. It’s a jump from one top team to the other.
Previously on SmackDown, The Street Profits were looking to dethrone The Usos, but they failed to capture the Tag Team titles a few nights ago in an epic street fight.
This is going to be an interesting one. The Street Profits dominated the RAW Tag Team division for almost all of 2020 before their move to SmackDown later in the year.
RK-Bro have only been tag team champions for two months now, and there were occasional absences from Randy Orton. Ahead of their RAW Tag Team title defense against AJ Styles and Omos at Crown Jewel, RK-Bro will look to make a statement.
— WWE Universe (@WWEUniverse) October 12, 2021
Will it be a big win for RK-Bro and a big statement towards their challengers on Thursday? Or will The Street Profits make a shock impact and instantly throw themselves into the RAW Tag Team title picture?
#3. The Queen’s Crown and King of the Ring finals to be set on RAW
— WWE (@WWE) October 18, 2021
Last week on RAW, Xavier Woods defeated Ricochet, while Jinder Mahal defeated Kofi Kingston to qualify for the semi-finals of King of the Ring 2021. On the women’s side, Shayna Baszler defeated Dana Brooke, and Doudrop defeated Natalya to qualify for the semi-finals.
On SmackDown, Finn Balor advanced to the finals of the King of The Ring tournament following a win over Sami Zayn, while Zelina Vega qualified for the finals of the Queen’s Crown tournament with a win over Carmella — thanks to a little assistance from Liv Morgan.
— WWE (@WWE) October 17, 2021
Mahal will be expected to defeat Woods and qualify, while Baszler is a big favorite over Doudrop following her recent run of form on RAW and SmackDown.
Finn Balor vs Jinder Mahal and Zelina Vega vs Shayna Baszler seem like two interesting matches. Mahal will serve to benefit more from winning the KOTR tournament — one traditionally won by heels. The Queen’s Crown final will be a heel vs heel match if Shayna Baszler qualifies, and she might ascend to the throne following her move to SmackDown.
Will Xavier Woods and Doudrop be able to pull off two upsets on RAW?
#2. Will Bobby Lashley get his retribution on Goldberg with one more RAW before their match?
— Bobby Lashley (@fightbobby) October 12, 2021
Bobby Lashley vs Goldberg 2 was recently booked on RAW, with the match being announced for Crown Jewel. Following the debacle that happened post-match at SummerSlam where Bobby Lashley attacked Goldberg’s son Gage, things have gotten heated.
Goldberg vowed that he would get his revenge on Bobby Lashley, stating that he didn’t even care about the WWE title anymore. With revenge in mind, Goldberg returned to RAW and eventually got his match against Lashley booked for Crown Jewel. It’s going to be a big one, with the No Holds Barred stipulation proposed by The Almighty.
Last time Goldberg was on RAW, Lashley tried to damage him ahead of their match by having Cedric Alexander and Shelton Benjamin assault the WWE Hall of Famer.
He says I’m dead this Thursday when I step in the ring with him.
That’s the only way I’m losing this match so bring anything you got Bill.👊🏾 https://t.co/LRnLWkrmY4
— Bobby Lashley (@fightbobby) October 18, 2021
It backfired, and Goldberg stood tall on RAW. He hasn’t needed to appear since then, and if he was going to tonight, his appearance will likely have been announced beforehand to get ratings. Will The Almighty stand tall at Crown Jewel? Or will his words on RAW backfire on him?
#1. Big E & Drew McIntyre take on The Dirty Dawgs on RAW
— WWE (@WWE) October 16, 2021
This will be Drew McIntyre’s last RAW for a while. He will be changing brands this Friday on SmackDown, but he has one last shot at the WWE Championship.
At Crown Jewel, Big E will face Drew McIntyre in a blockbuster WWE title clash — one that has seemingly gone under the radar because of the fast build. It’s clear – -if Big E wins, the WWE title stays on RAW. If McIntyre wins, both World titles could go to one brand.
Either that, or McIntyre’s draft to SmackDown could be canceled altogether. The duo will have to pair up once again to face The Dirty Dawgs… again. Last week on RAW, Big E & Drew McIntyre had to join forces to face The Usos, but it was yet another story of how they could get along, even if it was just for that one match. Spoiler alert — they didn’t.
"Now you know."
— WWE (@WWE) October 12, 2021
Unfortunately, this serves as a poor way to conclude the build to a feud that had potential. While the rivalry wasn’t going to last long because of the circumstances of the draft, surely WWE could have done better with the two top babyfaces on RAW.