With SummerSlam now officially in the books, it's time for the WWE to begin crafting its big angles for the fall. Plenty of interesting things happened on Sunday night, so there is no question that Monday's edition of RAW will be a can't-miss episode for WWE fans everywhere.
Brock Lesnar defeated Triple H, CM Punk defended his WWE Championship against John Cena and Big Show and Sheamus retained the World Heavyweight Championship over Alberto Del Rio, so look for all of that and much more to be addressed on RAW.
SummerSlam certainly seemed to lack a certain amount of shocking moments, but the seeds were planted for further development in many instances, and that should make for a jam-packed RAW. It's true that ratings have been down as of late, but the company can most definitely turn things around with a strong show on Monday.
Although the three-hour shows have seemed a bit excessive in some instances thus far, I anticipate Monday's episode needing every last minute in order to sort through the events at SummerSlam.
Here are the top five things that you should keep your eye on as you watch RAW tonight.
Brock Lesnar defeating Triple H on Sunday night wasn't particularly surprising, but the way things played out afterward certainly was. Lesnar turned a Pedigree into a Kimura Lock and forced Triple H to tap out. Triple H lingered in the ring after the match, however, and continually said that he was sorry. Michael Cole and Jerry "The King" Lawler then speculated that it could be the end of The Game.
According to WWE.com, Lesnar broke Triple H's arm once again with the Kimura Lock. Not only was Triple H's arm broken, but his spirit was as well. Lesnar is scheduled to appear on Monday night with Paul Heyman, and although nothing has been confirmed with regard to Triple H, I have to believe he'll be there, too.
On top of that, WWE.com is reporting that Shawn Michaels will address Lesnar and Triple H via satellite tonight. My best guess is that Triple H will attempt to announce his retirement, but HBK will try to stop him. Triple H will proceed anyway and it will eventually lead to Michaels goading Triple H out of retirement down the line so that the two best friends can face each other one last time at WrestleMania.
CM Punk entered SummerSlam as a supposed underdog, as he had to defend his WWE Championship in a triple threat match against John Cena and Big Show. Punk proved once again that he is the best in the world, however, as he capitalized on a Cena Attitude Adjustment to Big Show by tossing Cena out of the ring and pinning Big Show himself.
Punk didn't become a full-fledged heel as many thought he would, but he did use a heel tactic to get the better of Cena yet again. Punk now has three big pay-per-view victories over Cena over the past year and he continues to one up him.
With the way Big Show was made to tap out to the simultaneous Koji Clutch and STF, and then ultimately took the pinfall loss, it seems inevitable that Punk and Cena will now engage in a one-on-one feud.
Although fans have seen that before, both Cena and Punk were face last year, so it will be an interesting dynamic with Punk bordering on heel status. Cena has yet to acknowledge Punk's status as the best wrestler in the world, but I'm sure Punk will be out looking for respect tonight. I'm expecting a pretty heated promo between the two of them that will hopefully lead to a match at Night of Champions.
Chris Jericho finally exorcised his demons and won his first big match since returning several months ago, as he defeated Dolph Ziggler at SummerSlam. Jericho is now scheduled to begin touring with his band Fozzy, though, so it stands to reason that Monday will mark Jericho's final appearance in a WWE ring for a few months, at the very least.
Ziggler needed that win in order to continue his ascent after winning Money in the Bank, but Jericho was given the victory for whatever reason.
There are several possible options for Monday, but I'm personally hoping that Jericho grants Ziggler a rematch and Dolph comes out on top. Ziggler needs to establish himself as a credible threat with that suitcase in tow, and getting revenge on Jericho would do exactly that.
After a possible rematch, I could see Ziggler attacking Jericho so that he could take some time off with that being the explanation. Even if another match doesn't take place, I certainly anticipate Jericho being attacked.
Ziggler is obviously the main candidate to do so, but I could also see a returning Wade Barrett jumping Jericho as a means of announcing his return to action. Not only would that make Barrett look like a legitimate tough guy, but it would setup a possible feud down the road.
Sheamus and Alberto Del Rio did battle over the World Heavyweight Championship yet again on Sunday and the result was a familiar one, as Sheamus retained. Rather than leaving it at that and ending what has been a long and boring feud, though, it appears as though it will continue. Del Rio had his foot on the rope when Sheamus made the pin, but referee Mike Chioda didn't see it, so the decision was then upheld.
WWE.com is reporting that Del Rio will file an official grievance with SmackDown general manager Booker T over the match's ending. It's certainly possible that this won't be addressed until SmackDown, but it is a fairly important angle, so I can see it getting some air time on Monday.
The ending was odd, to say the least, as the creative team seemed to have a very obvious avenue out of this awful angle. Perhaps the writers don't feel as though they have a better option than Del Rio to challenge Sheamus right now, but very few fans want to see another match between them. Hopefully Booker denies the appeal and Sheamus can move on to bigger and better things.
Many have been anticipating the return of Wade Barrett since vignettes began airing a couple weeks ago, and while it didn't happen at SummerSlam like many, myself included, thought it would, an appearance on RAW seems like a real possibility.
Barrett has been out since dislocating his elbow the night after Elimination Chamber, but with a lack of main-event-level heels on the roster currently, Barrett will be welcomed back with open arms by most fans.
My initial thought was that Barrett might return by attacking Sheamus at SummerSlam, but an even more effective return would be taking out Jericho tonight.
Most are probably expecting Ziggler to do that, but Barrett seems likely to return with a wrecking machine gimmick, so beating down Jericho and essentially writing him off television for a few months would help him get over right away.
Jericho was Barrett's pro on NXT, so there is definitely some history there and it wouldn't be a totally random attack. Once Barrett does that, perhaps he can then focus his attention on Sheamus on SmackDown and then Del Rio can officially be removed from the picture. WWE tends to struggle sometimes with returns, so I'm not holding my breath, but I feel like that would be a great way to re-debut Barrett.