Another episode of WWE Raw is set with efforts beginning to move toward the next major PLE.
WWE Raw is now on the road to WWE SummerSlam 2023 after a successful MITB PPV in the UK. On this week’s episode of WWE Raw, Rhea Ripley is scheduled to defend her championship against Natalya in a Night of Champions rematch. Brock Lesnar is also scheduled to return to continue his trilogy with Cody Rhodes on the road to SummerSlam.
In other news regarding the fallout from MITB, Drew McIntyre returned at MITB and made it clear that he is challenging Gunther for the IC Championship at SummerSlam. Shayna Baszler betrayed Ronda Rousey at MITB and will hopefully explain her actions. Meanwhile, Becky Lynch will continue her feud with Trish Stratus in their long-rumored match for SummerSlam.
The following will focus on Rhea Ripley’s title match with Natalya on this episode and the future of her title reign on the road to WWE SummerSlam 2023.
WWE Raw is scheduled to take place on July 3, 2023, live on the USA Network, and Beth Phoenix will definitely confront Rhea Ripley.
Rhea Ripley (c) vs. Natalya [World Women’s Championship]
Rhea Ripley will retain the World Women’s Title against Natalya by squashing her again because Natalya has no business dethroning Ripley this early in her title reign, especially on a random Raw. The booking of Ripley’s title reign has been lackluster, to say the least. She has been battling a plethora of underwhelming opponents in underwhelming feuds ever since dethroning Charlotte Flair at Mania. As Becky Lynch said last week, Ripley is not even showcased at MITB and is merely a sidepiece for Dominick Mysterio on the flagship show as champion.
Furthermore, WWE is not even building up compelling challengers for Ripley. Tegan Nox and Piper Niven are not utilized on Raw at all when they could have been built up for the big UK event against Ripley. Natalya, Dana Brooke, Chelsea Green, and Sonya Deville are all booked as “hands” and/or enhancement talent. The only credible challengers for Ripley outside Becky Lynch are Liv Morgan, Raquel Rodriguez, Rousey, and Baszler, who are all preoccupied with the tag team division that has a minimal chance of being revitalized after the departure from Sasha Banks and Naomi.
If Ripley is gonna have a challenger for SummerSlam, WWE will have to plan the return of a part-timer like Lita, who has talked about a dream match with Ripley in multiple interviews, or even Beth Phoenix, who has unfinished business with Ripley from Edge’s feud with Judgment Day. In fact, Beth Phoenix actually has tag team history with Natalya as the Divas of Doom, so she could run in to save her former tag partner, Natalya, and set up a title match with Ripley to put her over at SummerSlam. Edge is also planned to return this Friday, so Beth should not be too far away.
Prediction: Rhea Ripley
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