Just Say No
There was one segment on the entire three-hour broadcast of Raw Monday night that made fans want to purchase Payback to see what would happen next.
That segment was the one involving Daniel Bryan, Stephanie McMahon and the state of the WWE Championship.
Bryan teased that he would, in fact, hand over the titles as his neck was more injured than originally believed. Then he refused, citing everything he and the fans had to go through to get the championship.
Handing them over to Stephanie would mean that it was for naught and the Authority had ultimately won.
Stephanie, always the cunning and manipulative boss, had a backup plan. She aired footage of Brie Bella shoving her two weeks ago, then threatened to fire Bella if Bryan does not show up at Payback to relinquish the championship.
That ultimatum gives fans a reason to want to buy Sunday's show and see what Bryan does. Being the moral, upstanding good guy, it is likely that he will drop the title and preserve the employment of his beautiful wife.
At the same time, Kane will likely be lurking around Chicago's Allstate Arena, ready to strike at any moment.
Who is to say that Stephanie will not fire Brie anyway? After all, the McMahon family has never been the most admirable or honest clan around. It has regularly gone back on its word and provided tremendous heartache for those who oppose it.
What better way to establish Stephanie as the top heel in the company, something she has been doing a fine job of on her own, than to have her not so subtly persuade Bryan to hand over the titles and then fire Brie anyway?
Will we get a Brie vs. Stephanie match at some point in the near future while Bryan heals up from his recent surgery?
There are plenty of questions surrounding the story, which has become one of the better ones in the company thanks in no small part to the deviousness of McMahon and the overall likability of Bryan.
The End of the Show
No, not the contract signing between The Shield and Evolution but rather the actual end of the show. Never before has this writer been so happy to see the beginning of Chrisley Knows Best than he was Monday night.
"And the hits just keep coming," Michael Cole said as Damien Sandow, under the guise of Davy Crockett, stepped out onto the stage.
When the voice of the company—the man who gets paid to shill the product and tout its greatness—openly indicates that WWE is having an off night, you know it is bad.
Hopefully, SmackDown, the more wrestling-oriented show, rebounds nicely this Friday night. If not, WWE could be looking at a disastrous buyrate for Payback, a show that actually looks quite good on paper.