The Hounds are Unleashed
After serving as The Authority's hired henchmen for the last eight months, the Hounds of Justice bit back at their owners, preventing them from ruining Daniel Bryan's first night as WWE World Heavyweight champion and igniting a war with Triple H, Batista and Randy Orton that should make for some tremendously fun television over the next few months.
The Shield has been on a roll since it turned babyface with an attack on Kane back on March 17, and the group is easily one of the most over acts on the roster.
It was only fitting that on a night that looked toward the future, Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose were featured as heavily as they were at the close of the show.
"You Deserve It!"
The New Orleans crowd greeted new WWE World Heavyweight champion Daniel Bryan with the reaction most expected they would. So loud was it, in fact, that Bryan struggled to speak between all of the "Yes!" chants and a united "you deserve it" declaration.
Bryan corrected the audience, telling the fans that they deserve it and that without them, he would never have made it to where he is now.
Of course, Triple H and Stephanie McMahon interrupted, and a match between the Game and the new champion was announced for the evening's main event, but that could not detract from the major reaction Bryan received to start the show.
Monday night Raw was ripe with excellent moments and thrilling debuts, but the work of Paul Heyman may very well go down in history as one of the best performances in WWE history.
Early in the show, he was like a kid in a candy store, gleefully discussing his client Brock Lesnar's victory over the Undertaker and the fact that Brock likes nothing more than putting tears in the eyes of children. He discussed the injury the Phenom suffered during the match, his collapse backstage after the bout and Vince McMahon personally accompanying him to the hospital.
Then, he talked about the lack of respect Lesnar received from his peers. Of course, when he is the "one in 21-1," respect does not matter.
It was a glorious heel promo from Heyman, who even insulted the broadcast team with this gem: "John Bradshaw Layfield and the other two things they call announcers." He left the ringside area with Lesnar in the middle of tremendous heat.
When he returned later in the evening to assume the role of agent to Cesaro and cut a largely babyface promo on Zeb Colter, Heyman's greatness as a performer was solidified even more than it had been previous.
He went from getting the type of heat only the most vile, despicable and disgusting heels could to getting a babyface pop just over an hour later. Very rarely can any entertainer in any field play with the emotions the way Heyman did Monday night, and for that, he deserves more credit than this writer could ever give.
John Cena, Big E and Sheamus vs. The Wyatt Family
The first match of the night was an incredibly fun six-man tag that was instantly elevated in terms of quality by a molten hot audience.
Bray Wyatt looked outstanding and was able to catch Intercontinental champion Big E with Sister Abigail and score the pin, slightly making up for the loss he suffered to Cena the night before. A good, old-fashioned six man tag team match to get the in-ring portion of the evening's festivities off to a hot start.
New Divas Champion
It has been a very long time since the fans had anything to sink their teeth into in terms of the Divas Championship, but that all changed Monday night when the Total Divas cast was left in the locker room and NXT Women's champion Paige emerged from the back, went face to face with Divas champion AJ Lee and ended the 295-day reign of the New Jersey native.
The passionate post-WrestleMania fans made the night very special for the Norwich, England native, delivering a thunderous ovation as she made her way to the ring.
Her win ended a reign for AJ that should have meant more, but a lack of quality competition and too much focus being put on a reality show hurt it severely. Luckily for her, a rivalry with new champion Paige, who scored the victory over AJ when she broke out of the Black Widow and delivered the Paige Turner, could result in some very good matches if given the time and opportunity.