WWE: 5 Things to Watch for on the Post-NOC Edition of Monday Night Raw
Like most WWE pay-per-views, Night of Champions had its hits and misses, but Monday's RAW will certainly be of great interest to each and every fan. There is no doubt that the biggest issue that will be addressed is the controversial ending to the CM Punk vs. John Cena match.
Punk retained the WWE Championship due to a draw, but it's clear that Sunday furthered the Punk vs. Cena feud rather than ending it. That isn't the only thing to keep an eye out for, though, as there were several interesting developments at Night of Champions that figure to be explained on Monday.
There were a couple of title changes and some long-running rivalries appeared to come to an end as well, so all three hours of RAW should be jam-packed with action. Even if you weren't overly impressed with Night of Champions, I have a hard time believing that RAW will fall short of expectations.
Here are the top five things you should be on the lookout for while watching the Sept. 17, post-Night of Champions edition of RAW.
What Will CM Punk and John Cena Have to Say About Their Controversial Finish?
With no other superstars realistically ready to enter the hunt for the WWE Championship, most fans figured that the match between CM Punk and John Cena would end in controversial fashion. Those suspicions were proven right, as Punk retained the title by way of a draw since both men's shoulders were down following a German suplex off the top rope by Cena.
The finish ensures that we'll see Punk and Cena again at Hell in a Cell in all likelihood, but both competitors should have plenty to say about it. Cena initially thought he won the match, so he'll probably call Punk lucky to escape with the strap. Punk, on the other hand, said that he was the best in the world after the match, so he'll try to justify it.
I didn't like the ending, but perhaps I can be convinced that it was the right move with some nifty mic work on Monday night. I hate pay-per-views ending with draws and similar unsatisfying results, so I was left with a bad taste in my mouth on Sunday.
Despite that, I'm still hopeful that the Punk vs. Cena feud will be great, and it can be provided things are explained in a sensible and logical way on RAW.
What Is Next for Kane and Daniel Bryan Now That They're Tag Team Champions?
Kane and Daniel Bryan have been engaged in a highly entertaining rivalry for more than a month, but it took a hilarious turn on Sunday, as they defeated Kofi Kingston and R-Truth to become the new Tag Team Champions. Kane and D-Bry argued throughout the match, culminating with Bryan pushing Kane off the top rope, but he landed on Kofi and scored the pinfall victory.
Many of the WWE's comedy skits fail to land with the audience, but everything Kane and Bryan have done has been absolute gold. Their anger management segments have been hilarious and the way they bicker during their matches is great as well. The highlight of Night of Champions for me was Kane and Bryan constantly yelling at each other, "I am the Tag Team Champions!"
Kane and Bryan are an unconventional team, to say the least, but the tag division has been such a mess in recent years that their reign is welcome in my book. Kane and Bryan have been the most must-see part of RAW over the past few weeks, so I can't wait to see what they do.
The fact that two of the most popular guys in the company have the Tag Team Championships should do big things for the titles, so hopefully they are featured quite prominently on Monday.
Will Dolph Ziggler Get RAW Revenge Once Again?
The point of having a guy win Money in the Bank is elevating him to the next level so he can become a great world champion, but that is clearly lost on the creative team.
Dolph Ziggler has done little more than put veteran guys over since nabbing the briefcase a couple months ago, and that continued at Night of Champions, as he lost to Randy Orton for no apparent reason.
Guys like Jack Swagger, Alberto Del Rio and Daniel Bryan were booked poorly prior to cashing in Money in the Bank and after it as well, and all of them were considered failures as champions. Bryan improved by the end of his reign and is now unquestionably one of the top stars in the company, but he wasn't really taken seriously as champ due to the fact that he was losing so often before his cash-in.
Ziggler and Orton traded wins on SmackDown and RAW, but the match that truly mattered took place at Night of Champions and The Viper won. Something similar happened to Ziggler at SummerSlam, when he lost to Chris Jericho who, like Orton, didn't need the win. Ziggler got the win the next night on RAW, however, and many tried to rationalize that as an intelligent booking move.
It wouldn't be ideal, but I can't help but wonder if Ziggler might get a revenge win on RAW once again. If he does, it will only make me wonder even more why he didn't just win at Night of Champions, but at least it would make up for the loss to some degree.
Will Sheamus' Next Challenger Be Revealed?
Sunday night may very well have marked the ending of one of the most boring feuds in the WWE in recent memory, as Sheamus retained his World Heavyweight Championship by beating Alberto Del Rio. I would put it past the writers to continue this stagnant storyline, but conventional wisdom would seem to state that Sheamus will have a new challenger moving forward.
After Sheamus beat Del Rio on Sunday, I expected something big to happen, such as Wade Barrett attacking Sheamus, Dolph Ziggler trying to cash in his Money in the Bank contract or perhaps even both. The match ended without incident, though, which is probably just as well so we can finally move on.
Barrett is the most logical pick for the next No. 1 contender since there aren't many heels on the roster who are ready to ascend to that spot. Barrett has been out for several months and only has had a squash match against Yoshi Tatsu since returning, but he is the total package in terms of in-ring and mic work, so I have to believe he'll be the next man up.
Barrett said something about making a power move on the next edition of SmackDown, so he may not go after Sheamus until then, but I would love to see him make his presence known on RAW.
Will the "Mystery" of Kaitlyn's Attacker Be Solved?
Kaitlyn was set to receive a shot at Layla's Divas Championship on Sunday night, but she was attacked by a supposed masked assailant while warming up and was unable to compete due to an ankle injury. Eve tended to her and was then named Kaitlyn's replacement by SmackDown general manager Booker T, as he has been impressed by her work as his assistant.
Eve has clearly been feigning niceness over the past few weeks and had something to do with Kaitlyn's injury. In a lot of ways, it was akin to the incident in 1994 when figure skater Nancy Kerrigan was attacked by the husband of one of her rivals, Tonya Harding. With that in mind, the mystery of Kaitlyn's attacker should be a hot topic.
Eve made the most of her opportunity, as she defeated Layla and is the new Divas Champion. Eve is clearly the diva that the WWE wants to push most right now, as she recently won Stars Earn Stripes and has been receiving a ton of television time as of late.
I'm usually not too interested in the divas division, but for the first time in a long time, it seems like time and energy is being put into creating a storyline for the divas, so I'll certainly keep an eye on it and see how things play out.