Extreme Rules' aftershocks color the May 5 edition of WWE Raw.
Bray Wyatt, John Cena, Triple H and Batista all head to the Times Union Center in Albany, New York. NXT transplant Adam Rose is set to join them.
Backstage reports and hints from Alex Giannini's five-point preview on WWE.com inform fans which Extreme Rules rivalries will persist and which Superstars will be on the hunt for new adversaries. A hiatus and an injury will shape the show, as will plans for future matchups.
Maria Menounos will be tweeting about it all, taking over Natalya's Twitter account for the night.
News, Potential Spoilers
Batista's upcoming schedule will affect Monday's Raw and the coming weeks in a big way.
F4WOnline, via PW Mania, reports, "Even though Extreme Rules is Batista's last advertised appearance for this current run, he will be in Albany for tonight's RAW and could be booked in a segment for his exit with The Shield."
Evolution likely wasn't going to stay together for an extended period, but Batista's reported hiatus rushes things along. It also muddles WWE's plans for the world title at Payback.
The above report also says that Batista vs. Daniel Bryan at Payback was WWE's original plan, but The Animal turned that match down. He instead opted to take his time off early.
Batista felt "losing to someone so small" (Daniel Bryan) at Payback PPV wouldn't help him: http://t.co/WOfHbZeFMy— WrestleZone.com (@WRESTLEZONEcom) May 3, 2014
Kane could be the biggest beneficiary of all this.
According to F4WOnline, via Wrestling Inc, "The plan coming out of Extreme Rules is if they can't convince Batista to work with Bryan at Payback, then they will do Kane vs. Bryan in a Buried Alive Match."
Fans will get a good idea of what scenario to expect for the WWE title at the June pay-per-view with how Monday's Raw plays out. Should the show focus on Kane, expect a rematch between the men who were once Team Hell No.
If Rob Van Dam gets a rematch against either Jack Swagger or Cesaro, it likely won't be on Monday's Raw. Count on Mr. Monday Night to take it easy in Albany.
PWInsider's Mike Johnson writes, "Van Dam has some bruising and swelling to the left side of his face, as well as cut that started near his ear and went down his cheek after his Five Star Frog splash crushed a trash can."
There's no need to rush him into action with so many wrestlers on the roster. Have him do a backstage interview if needed.
The show features a number of Superstars who can pick up the slack by boasting about their Extreme Rules wins or, in one case, try to turn the crowd into Rosebuds.
Celebrations, Short-Lived and Otherwise
The Rose party starts on Monday's Raw.
The NXT prospect is set to take his fun-loving act to the main roster. Scouring the talent pool for potential low-level heels to pit him against in his first outing, one finds that Damien Sandow or someone from 3MB are the most likely options.
Of course, Rose may instead choose to just party in his debut and delay the actual wrestling part of the equation.
The show will also offer chances for champions Bad News Barrett and Paige to celebrate. Barrett defeated Big E at Extreme Rules to win the Intercontinental Championship for the fourth time. Paige knocked off Tamina Snuka to remain Divas champ.
Giannini writes, "Who will step up next to challenge for the butterfly-emblazoned title?"
Eventually, it will be AJ Lee who does that. Don't count on it happening just yet, though.
Wrestling Observer Newsletter, via Wrestle Zone, reports that AJ is "expected to return to WWE in about 4 to 6 weeks."
WWE may be done with the Tamina vs. Paige story, but it would be wise to keep it going for now. Those two women put on an impressive show at Extreme Rules and could improve upon it with more of a story and more ring time.
The company is hinting that Barrett will be moving on to new challengers rather than face Big E once again. Giannini asks, "Who might step up to knock Barrett off his podium?"
Barrett's momentum is suddenly scorching. He's piled up recent wins against a host of former world champs, from Sheamus to Rob Van Dam. Whoever gets the next crack at the Englishman is likely just going to be his next victim.
Bridge From Extreme Rules to Payback
Although Extreme Rules just ended, count on the build to the next pay-per-view to begin on Monday's Raw.
One marquee feud is set to continue and another is set to evolve. With Batista's reported hiatus, we can't expect The Shield and Evolution to just continue their battle as is.
Expect the spotlight to focus on Triple H. He's been painted as the leader of the reformed group and, with or without Randy Orton, looks to be continuing his pursuit of The Shield. Giannini writes, "Surely The Game isn't yet done with the black-clad trio. Might pay-per-view tensions spill onto Raw?"
The answer is certainly yes. The only uncertainty is how the next stage of this clash plays out. Will Triple H find new partners or just aim his hatred at Roman Reigns?
PWInsider, via Wrestling Inc, noted before Extreme Rules, "The main goal of WWE doing a feud between The Shield and Evolution is to push Roman Reigns as a top player and to get him into a singles match against Triple H."
It's far too early to start truly building toward the reported Reigns vs. Triple H SummerSlam showdown, per F4WOnline, via Wrestle Zone. Still, Monday's Raw will keep this continuing story going, moving from its current six-man incarnation to something new.
Wyatt vs. Cena is far from over as well.
Their Cage match at Extreme Rules ended in odd fashion—a choir boy with the voice of a demon scaring Cena right into Wyatt's arms. That doesn't feel like the final chapter in the least. The Wyatt-Cena series is now 1-1.
Little Johnny stops John Cena from escaping the steel cage by freaking him out and Bray Wyatt picks up the win! pic.twitter.com/HujMLvCDnv— WrestlingMoments (@WrestleMoments) May 5, 2014
Their rubber match will be one of Payback's biggest bouts.
Until then, expect more double talk from Wyatt. Giannini asks, "What new message might Bray Wyatt have on Raw?"
It will be hard to top last week's haunting image, but there will be creepiness abound as WWE gives Wyatt another soapbox to stand on.