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Raw Five-Point Preview: September 30, 2013

WWE Battleground is fast approaching, and the lines have been drawn. From CM Punk’s brewing rivalry with Ryback (and Paul Heyman) to Daniel Bryan’s battle for the vacant WWE Title with Randy Orton, the various tensions within the WWE locker room are building to a head. But it’s an old rivalry between the McMahons and the Rhodes family that seems to have taken the most interesting turn, as WWE COO Triple H has invited Cody Rhodes, Goldust and Dusty Rhodes to a summit on Raw. What will The King of Kings propose for his family’s longtime foils? Here are five hot topics to watch for this week’s Raw.

Fork in the Rhodes

The Shield is attacked on their way to the ring by Cody Rhodes and Goldust.

The McMahon-Rhodes rivalry continued to heat up last week when Cody Rhodes and Goldust hopped the barricade in street clothes and got a few shots in on The Shield, Triple H’s chosen opponents for Daniel Bryan and the rest of the locker room, moments before the first 11-on-3 Handicap Elimination Match in Raw history. The Rhodes boys’ efforts helped chip away at The Hounds of Justice’s defenses and contributed to their defeat, and now they’ve accepted an offer from The King of Kings for a sit-down this Monday night. What turn will the family drama take?

¡OLÉ!

Los Matadores will debut on next Monday's Raw.

You’ve waited, you’ve anticipated, and now, Los Matadores are finally making their arrival in WWE. Little is known about the identities or motivations of the mythical masked men, but in a tag team division rife with competition, the field is wide open for these newcomers to make an immediate impact. One can only hope the mysterious matadors give the WWE Universe a performance they will never soon forget.

Snakebit

Rob Van Dam is voted in by the WWE Universe to face Randy Orton in the WWE App Vote Match.

Randy Orton seems to have taken Stephanie McMahon’s demands to heart from a few weeks ago: Commanded to unleash his remorseless side, The Apex Predator has complied by beating both The Miz and Rob Van Dam to within an inch of the injured reserve list. Such aggression hasn’t been seen from the former WWE Champion in some time; can fellow contender to the vacant title, Daniel Bryan, withstand Orton at his most brutally efficient?

Running the Show

Big Show does some "heavy lifting" for Stephanie McMahon by kocking out The Miz.

With each passing week, Big Show continues to sink further and further into the subservience of the McMahon family. At this point, The World’s Largest Athlete has been reduced Stephanie McMahon’s personal knockout machine, socking anyone who looks at the queen bee the wrong way. But every Superstar – every man, really – has a breaking point. How long and how hard can the corporate power continue to push the giant until he snaps?

Those who do not remember history …

Paul Heyman baits CM Punk into an attack by Ryback & Curtis Axel.

… Are doomed to repeat it. Case in point, CM Punk willingly let himself be drawn into the open for a free opportunity to punish Paul Heyman, believing he could withstand the inevitable sneak attack by Ryback and Curtis Axel. He was, of course, woefully mistaken, as The Human Wrecking Ball sent Punk for an ugly trip through a table before The Second City Saint’s hometown crowd. We know now that Punk will meet Ryback at WWE Battleground, but can the former WWE Champion keep his animosity in check until then? Or will he be goaded into another ambush? Tune in this Monday at 8/7 CT on USA Network to find out!

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