WWE Raw: 5 Talking Points to Come from Monday Night's Show
The night after WrestleMania is always a special occasion, and this year was no exception.
Monday Night Raw saw alliances formed, new faces debut, a big-name return and, of course, a championship change hands—thus providing us with a thoroughly entertaining evening of action.
It all kicked off with Daniel Bryan’s WWE World Heavyweight Championship coronation.
It was well received and fully deserved; however, it will not be included as one of the top five talking points from this week’s Raw. As wonderful as it was, the long-term significance of this segment was limited. It was a celebration rather than storyline development, and thus, there’s little more to say other than a massive congratulations.
Similar things can be said of the Brock Lesnar segment. Paul Heyman merely addressed the ending of the Streak and lavished praise on his client. But no one came out to challenge “The One”, and so, again, there is not much more to add to this.
Elsewhere in the show, though, there was plenty to discuss.
Aside from The Undertaker, the highest-profile losers at WrestleMania XXX were Bray Wyatt, Batista and Randy Orton.
However, each of those men came back with a bang on Monday Night Raw. Wyatt and his Family were both hugely impressive and hugely over, as they defeated the babyface team of John Cena, Sheamus and Big E. Expect the feud with Cena, and the faction’s resurgence, to continue unaffected by the ‘Mania setback.
For Batista and Orton, though, things were a little less straightforward.
The duo teamed up to face the Usos, and although the match completely devalued the Tag Team Championship, it was an interesting turn to see a partnership formed between these WrestleMania adversaries.
This is a really interesting development, and one that I’m very keen to see more from. It reminded me a lot of the Two Man Power Trip from back in 2002, although we’d soon discover that this was an alliance of more than just two...
More on that later, though.
The Past, Present and Future
One of the better aspects of this week’s Raw was the seamless blend of the past, the present and the future.
It was the Ultimate Warrior who gave us our blast from the past. The newly inducted Hall of Famer cut a short but sweet promo thanking the fans for their support over the years, which was a nice segment for all involved.
Our taste of the present came in the form of the in-ring returns of Wade Barrett and Rob Van Dam. Both men are capable of filling main event spots, and given the fact that Extreme Rules is right around the corner, this is the perfect time to welcome Mr. Monday Night back to television.
And as for the future, we saw the long-awaited Raw debut of Alexander Rusev, as he defeated Zack Ryder via his Accolade camel clutch.
With his unique mixture of power and technique, he reminds me somewhat of Samoa Joe. That can only be a good thing, and thus, I’m looking forward to more from the Bulgarian in the coming weeks and months.
Laying the foundations for the future like this is hugely important in the WrestleMania aftermath. It’s all well and good having part-timers come back for the Show of Shows, but the WWE needs to ensure that the roster is equipped to cope with the exit once the party is over.
And that’s exactly what it did on Raw, which is a very good thing for both the company and its fans.
But Rusev wasn’t the only one to make the jump from NXT...
Paige Wins the Divas Championship
Paige, the 21-year-old anti-Diva from Norwich, England, made her Raw debut and defeated AJ for the Divas Championship.
It was as unexpected as it was effective, and the New Orleans crowd was fully behind the debuting starlet as she hit the Paige Turner for the one-two-three.
First off, it was great to see another new face on the main WWE roster. As mentioned in the previous slide, this kind of future planning is exactly what is needed at this time of year, so kudos to the WWE on that one.
And secondly, how great is this for the Divas division?
Paige and AJ are amongst the best females in the company right now. It’s been too long since we saw a female feud based on in-ring talent, so if these two go on to put a decent program together, then we can expect some exciting showdowns between the two.
Seeing the response to Paige’s victory was reminiscent of the days when Lita and Trish once main evented Raw. Here’s hoping that this development can rejuvenate the flailing Divas division.
WrestleMania was a huge night for Cesaro, and he continued that momentum on Raw when he pulled one out of the bag and revealed himself as the newest Paul Heyman Guy.
Cesaro then saw his Battle Royal trophy destroyed by his former partner Jack Swagger, thus signalling the start of a major midcard feud between the two. This is perfect, as a midcard build is something that was lacking in the lead-up to WrestleMania. And furthermore, the sky appears to be the limit for King of Swing with the best manager in professional wrestling now in his corner.
Credit to Heyman for making the flawless transition from heel to face, by the way, but were the WWE writers sure that aligning Cesaro with him would have got such a positive reaction?
I wouldn’t have thought so, but given that Jack Swagger is clearly playing the heel in this one, perhaps they knew of the respect that many fans now hold for the former ECW chief.
Either way, it was a great segment and an awesome twist. This builds up a feud with Swagger nicely and is further evidence of the WWE planning ahead.
What a way to close the show.
Bryan was on the verge of losing to Triple H, only for The Shield to come out and make the save. It looks like this could be setting up some kind of faction vs. faction feud, with Bryan and The Shield forming what would be an almighty alliance.
Furthermore, Triple H’s team doesn’t look at all bad. Having recruited his former Evolution cohorts, he, Orton, Batista and Kane make for a particularly dominant opposing quartet.
If this does lead to a head-on collision, it could be an incredible rivalry.
Adding Orton and Batista to The Authority is a wise use of the two heel stars, as they were struggling to make an impact in their previous roles. Also, keeping The Shield together will provide us with more fantastic action in the coming weeks and will arguably make the eventual breakup all the more significant.
Long story short, this was a great arrangement and yet another promising sign of what’s to come.
For me, Monday Night Raw was excellent this week (couldn’t you tell?).
Extreme Rules is over three weeks away, but we’ve already got a number of budding rivalries to look forward to at the event. And furthermore, these rivalries cover the entirety of the card. Cesaro’s battle with Swagger promises to be great, as does whatever rerun that we get of Cena vs. the Wyatts.
There’s also the Divas Championship to consider, and as for the main event—anything could happen after the star-studded gang warfare that we witnessed on Raw.
Add to that the Intercontinental and Tag titles, and you’ve got a PPV that could easily go down as one of the best of the year.
But do you guys agree with my thoughts on Raw?
Please feel free to comment below with your own opinions, and let me know if you disagree with any of the matters discussed in the article.
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