Randy Orton will challenge for Bobby Lashley's WWE Championship on tonight's episode of Raw, with the promotion bringing forward a potential main event originally booked for Extreme Rules 2021.
The bout was put together on last week's show. Announced for the 26 September pay-per-view after recent interactions between Orton and Lashley, it was followed, later on, by Lashley and MVP winning a Tag Team Turmoil match to become number one contenders to Orton and Riddle's Raw Tag Team Titles, with that match originally pegged for tonight's Raw.
Now, WWE has switched gears. Raw is being built around Orton vs. Lashley instead of the tag match - which is reportedly a product of AEW Dynamite outdoing the red brand in television ratings last week.
Dave Meltzer noted on Wrestling Observer Radio that holding Lashley vs. Orton on tonight's Raw is WWE's response to Raw being outdone by Dynamite, with the WWE's former flagship scoring 678,000 viewers compared to AEW's 681,000 in the key 18-49 demographic - which is how the television industry ranks shows.
It should be noted, however, that Lashley vs. Orton is still being advertised for Extreme Rules. This could mean a screwy finish on Raw.