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Big Raw Tonight, Dana White On UFC’s Future, The Rock Squashes Beef, Sasha Banks Debacle, More Backstage News

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Sasha Banks

- Happy Monday everyone! WWE Raw takes place tonight from the Joe Louis Arena in Detroit, MI and the show has a lot that has been announced as WWE looks to bring the audience back from last week’s lowest watched episode of year on July the Fourth:

* Vince McMahon is scheduled to return
* Rusev will defend the WWE United States Championship against Zack Ryder
* Sasha Banks will face Dana Brooke
* Battle Royal to determine the No. 1 contender for the WWE Intercontinental Championship
* WWE Tag Team Champions The New Day visit The Wyatt Family compound

- Don’t forget our WWE Raw “Open Thread” beginning at 8 PM ET here at featuring streaming live results and your discussion.

- The last we heard Vince McMahon was working hard to get Brock Lesnar there live to tout his UFC 200 victory but we’ve heard nothing to indicate a return will happen tonight. While it would help capitalize on Brock’s publicity post-UFC 200, tonight’s show is going to be focused on building Battleground, so WWE may opt to hold Brock off until the build for his program against Randy Orton at SummerSlam is started.

- Paul Heyman, who was in Vegas over the weekend for Brock Lesnar’s fight, won’t be at Raw as he’s headed to the United Kingdom for his one-man shows. WWE could always insert a pre-tape and we are told they have permission to show images from Brock’s UFC win.

- John Cena is advertised to appear on Raw but there are questions surrounding his availability as his social media today has indicated he’s been in California ahead of his gig on Wednesday where he will host ESPN’s “ESPY” awards. We’re honored to have been invited to that but unfortunately, won’t be able to make it out. It’s a huge gig for Cena and WWE.

- The biggest story of the day is the $4 billion sale of UFC, in which we covered earlier. Dana White, who will be staying on as president and retaining a minority ownership share, addressed whether or not fans should be concerned - "Exact opposite," White said. "Sport is going to the next level."

- The following email was sent out to all UFC fighters about the transaction:

Dear Athletes,
We are writing to personally advise you of a change to UFC. Renowned entertainment, sports and fashion giant WME | IMG has entered into agreement to acquire UFC. Silver Lake Partners, KKR, MSD Capital, L.P. and MSD Partners, L.P. will join WME | IMG as new strategic investors. The transaction is subject to customary conditions.

From the moment Zuffa, LLC purchased UFC over 15 years ago, you, the athletes, have always been the central focus of the promotion. That will not change. WME | IMG, who has been involved with UFC for many years, is focused on the continued global expansion of mixed martial arts and committed to further promotion you on the global stage.

Upon closing the deal, Lorenzo Fertitta will be stepping down as Chairman and CEO of the organization, however Lorenzo and Frank will retain a minority ownership interest in the business. UFC President Dana White will continue in his role and will also retain a minority ownership interest.

The organization's leadership, a team of great executives hand-picked to help lead the business, will remain in place to carry on their work and continue to lead the team of dedicated employees who promote your careers as mixed martial arts athletes.

You remain a very important part of the highly driven, dedicated and motivated organization that will continue to deliver world-class experiences and opportunities for you as athletes and for the greatest fans in the world.

Thank you,

The Zuffa executive team

- New today in our Members Content is a story about WWE agreeing in principle to acquire a major international star. We have the details at this link.

- Toronto will host WWE Survivor Series this year as the show will take place on Sunday, November 20, 2016. Tickets go on sale Friday at 10 AM ET.

- Eric Bischoff originally denied that he would be doing anything with WWE in terms of the brand extension and former General Managers but kept the hype alive on social media by noting that anything can happen in WWE. We haven’t heard anything but just be aware of that.

- Sasha Banks’s new action figure looks like Bret Hart, check it out below:

Sasha Banks Debacle

- Dolph Ziggler is scheduled to cover the Republican National Convention for “Kennedy Nation” on FOX Business next week.

- The Rock and Taz had a back and forth when Rock launched a new pro wrestling promo content on his YouTube channel last week. Taz didn’t like it because he does a similar contest and a good old fashion Twitter battle ensued. Rock sent this video to Taz and his fans about it.

- The WWE Studios film “Interrogation," starring Edge and Lana will be released on Tuesday, September 20, 2016. If that is something you are interested in, dot com has you covered.

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