The still-crackling electricity of the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view and the WWE Network's birth will inject tremendous energy into the Feb. 24 edition of WWE Raw.
A returning Hulk Hogan, a boastful Randy Orton and an irate Daniel Bryan will star at the Resch Center in Green Bay, Wis. Backstage reports name a number of Hall of Famers as additions to Raw's lineup.
WWE looks to build on the stories coming out of the Chamber and the ones that will lead to climaxes at WrestleMania XXX.
Breaking down rumors and WWE-issued hints provides insight into what to expect for John Cena, The Usos and the man who refuses to be bested at WrestleMania.
Even if the first hours of the WWE Network have not gone well, expect it to be the star of the show on Monday's Raw.
WWE is billing this as a revolution in TV and will look to make it feel as momentous of an event as possible. That means the return of big names. Fans already know that Hogan is making his way back to WWE just in time to hype the WWE Network.
He won't be alone, though.
Mike Mooneyham writes in The Post and Courier, "Ric Flair, who celebrates his 65th birthday Tuesday, also is booked for Monday’s big show that coincides with the launch of WWE’s new network."
Flair and Hogan add star power to the post-Elimination Chamber Raw, but it's another return that has actual in-ring implications. Undertaker is expected back, presumably to begin a feud with his anticipated WrestleMania opponent Brock Lesnar, who is among the Superstars advertised to appear.
According to PWInsider (via PWMania.com), "The Undertaker is currently locked to make his WWE return on the February 24th episode of RAW from Green Bay."
PWInsider added on the day of the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view, "Hulk Hogan, Jimmy Hart and Undertaker were all slated to fly into Milwaukee today for tomorrow's Raw."
Having both "The Deadman" and Hogan back is going to make this a highly memorable episode. Even the most bitter and snooty of fans are sure to have nostalgia rush through them when the first notes of "Real American" hit.
Raw is Rematches?
As much as Undertaker's return is about looking toward the future, WWE reportedly has some bouts on tap to satisfy fans in the present.
WrestlingInc.com reports that "Elimination Chamber rematches with Cameron vs. AJ Lee, The Usos vs. The New Age Outlaws and The Shield vs. The Wyatt Family is rumored."
The Usos' match may be for the championships as well. In regards to that potential clash, F4WOnline reports (via WrestlingInc.com), "word coming out of Elimination Chamber is that we may see The Usos capture the WWE Tag Team Titles from The New Age Outlaws."
While saving The Usos' tag match for WrestleMania would have made for a bigger moment, it would be fun to see the high-flying brothers get an emotional win on Raw. The six-man match is a less wise move.
There's no way that The Shield and The Wyatt Family can top what they did together at Elimination Chamber.
To have an encore so soon makes that bout less special. Bray Wyatt didn't have an immediate rematch with Bryan after the Royal Rumble and Lesnar and CM Punk didn't go at it again the night after last year's SummerSlam, and WWE should mimic what it did in both cases.
Rivalries Roll On
Batista vs. Orton is now set and one now has to wonder if Bryan will be added to that match at some point. As of now, it doesn't appear that he will.
In his five-point preview on WWE.com, Anthony Benigno offers no hint of a third man joining that battle. Instead, the focus seems to be on Triple H's involvement in that feud. Benigno writes of the situation, "Will The Authority be forced to pick sides?"
With WrestleMania so far away, there's little reason we'll see more between Orton and Batista than a verbal showdown this early. WWE has more than a month to hype this match and so it has to space out the physical altercations between the two.
Bryan may be busy with another foe, much to the audience's dismay.
Kane ended Bryan's title chances inside the Elimination Chamber when he attacked his former tag team partner. Don't expect Bryan to mimic Mahatma Gandhi's non-violent approach to that incident. The Director of Operations is set to get his head kicked in.
Cena will have an appetite for revenge as well.
The Wyatt Family slipped into the Chamber on Sunday and ambushed him. The Wyatt vs. Cena WrestleMania match fans have been expecting since "The Eater of Worlds" sunk his fangs into Cena at the Royal Rumble is coming.
Count on Cena challenging either Wyatt himself or the entire clan of brutes.
That story and others will begin in earnest as the company celebrates the WWE Network's launch and begins the long hyping process for WrestleMania XXX.
The glimpses WWE gives fans of that event will range from thrilling to disheartening. The announcement of Undertaker's opponent will provide the former and should officials refuse to insert Bryan into the championship match, that choice will provide the latter.
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