What to Expect from the Jan. 6 Edition of Raw
Monday sees the first Raw of 2014 being aired, and it promises to be a special one, as it is "Old School Raw."
That means we will be treated to a whole host of cameo appearances from some superb WWE stars from days gone by and hopefully will see a continuation of some storyline developments to boot.
It is just under three weeks until the Royal Rumble pay-per-view—and there are only two more editions of Raw before Batista returns on Jan. 20.
Let's take a look at what we can expect from the forthcoming edition of Raw.
Inevitable Old-School Surprises
Last year on "Old School Raw," we were treated to the return of acts such as The New Age Outlaws—which always makes this particular Raw theme one to look forward to.
The big question is, just who will return this time around? It was already confirmed that Ric Flair will be making a return—which will no doubt send the crowd wild when his entrance music hits.
Per LordsofPain.net, we are going to be in for a real treat with the names that have been confirmed for the event:
Other names confirmed for the special include: Ric Flair, Rikishi, Too Cool, Gene Okerlund, Dusty Rhodes, Roddy Piper, Diamond Dallas Page, Bob Backlund, Ted DiBiase, The New Age Outlaws, Irwin R. Schyster and Booker T.
Personally, a spot with Roddy Piper is going to be my highlight of the night. What will yours be?
Brock Lesnar to Assert His Authority
What a return to Raw it was for Brock Lesnar last week. It wasn't just the fact that he impressively laid down a marker for WrestleMania season—it was the way he went about it.
It was a smart move from creative to have Mark Henry be the guy who stepped up to try and silence Lesnar—in that it impressively displayed Lesnar's main trait—brute force.
That rivalry should be picking up again this week on Raw, with both men no doubt cutting segments to build toward a probable match at the Royal Rumble.
It is hard to see how Lesnar can lose that match should it happen, so expect The Beast to once again assert his authority on Raw.
Roman Reigns to Step Up to the Plate
Over the past few weeks, several members of The Shield have tried—and failed—to knock off CM Punk on Raw.
Seth Rollins put on a good show with Punk last week but came up short with an ending to a match that suggested further fractions within the stable.
This week, it is the turn of Roman Reigns. The match will give a huge indicator as to what the plans are with him.
Expect Reigns to beat Punk—and get some huge momentum in the process. It will single out Reigns as the dominant force of the group—and cause further troubles amongst The Shield with the Royal Rumble approaching.
Some Desperately Needed Title Promotion
With just three more editions of Raw until the Royal Rumble, last week represented a massive backward step for the newly unified championship belt.
That is not an ideal way to promote a championship match. Cena and Orton were actually starting to pull some decent promo work out of each other in the buildup to Tables, Ladders & Chairs—they really need to do that again if their match will carry any hype.
Another week without any promotion of the supposed main event would see the championship drop even further down the list of importance ahead of the Royal Rumble.
Daniel Bryan to Suffer a Bray Beating
Last week, the ending to Raw threw up a huge swerve when Daniel Bryan finally aligned himself with Bray Wyatt.
Quite where the story is heading is anyone's guess—which essentially makes it compelling viewing. Bryan debuted his new gimmick—Daniel Wyatt—at a WWE live event in the past week, where he suffered a beating from Bray Wyatt in a steel cage match.
Expect a repeat of that for the benefit of the TV tapings on Raw this week. Bryan will be acting as the sacrificial lamb for the Wyatt Family as the road to the Royal Rumble gathers pace.
The only question is, when will Bryan show his hand?