The spoils from Money in the Bank in hand, a new champion, a new briefcase-holder and momentum-laden titleholders enter the June 30 edition of WWE Raw.
The XL Center in Hartford, Connecticut, welcomes John Cena, who will be carrying some extra weight in gold, and Seth Rollins, who has a contract for a title bout in his grasp. Both men will figure into stories involving The Authority, as Triple H and his various cronies will look to dominate the night.
The post-Money in the Bank show will have WWE take its first steps toward Battleground. Which rivalries ended in Boston's TD Garden on Sunday and which new ones will emerge?
Taking a look at backstage reports and Anthony Benigno's five-point preview on WWE.com provides several answers to those questions.
News, Potential Spoilers
Randy Orton spent the last half of the WWE title Ladder match with a gash in his head.
WWE.com reported that "Orton sustained an injury during the WWE World Heavyweight Championship Ladder Match after being struck in the head by a ladder." It took 12 staples to close the wound. ESPN's Robert Flores shared a shot of the medical staff attending to him.
PWInsider's Mike Johnson added, "I am told he did also bang up his arm."
As Orton is a central figure in the storyline involving The Authority, expect him to be a big part of Raw, but likely in a non-wrestling role. There's no need to throw him in the ring already, staples and all.
However, The Viper could be one of the blockades standing between Triple H and Roman Reigns.
Orton and Kane conspired to keep Reigns from winning at Money in the Bank. That is sure to anger the powerhouse and have him charge at the COO.
Backstage word suggests that Reigns won't be heading into a direct collision with Triple H yet. Battles with the henchmen will come first.
According to F4WOnline (h/t Marc Middleton of Wrestling Inc), there were some discussions about having Reigns vs. Kane at Battleground and then Reigns vs. Orton at SummerSlam, saving Triple H vs. Reigns for Night of Champions "as a big match that will help push WWE Network renewals for the earlier subscribers."
If this is the arc WWE wants to compose, look for Monday's Raw to feature either Reigns looking to take out Kane or Triple H sending his personal masked beast after the former member of The Shield.
With potentially three months left to stretch out this narrative, it's likely the storytelling pace will be slow.
The Usos may be entering a new story soon, with a set of new challengers. Konnor of NXT's The Ascension called out the Tag Team champs. The Usos' response suggests a future clash between these two.
It's doubtful that WWE brings the dominant duo from NXT to the main roster on Monday's Raw, but it would certainly add depth to the tag team division. It looks as if the more plausible scenario for now is that another pair of brothers come looking for The Usos' titles.
Feuds Beginning, Feuds Progressing
Stardust and Goldust defeated Ryback and Curtis Axel at Money in the Bank, a win that the five-point preview bills as the duo establishing themselves as a top team.
In that look at Monday's Raw, Benigno asks, "Can a run at The Usos, who defeated The Wyatts to retain their Tag Team Championships, be far off?" This is a strong possibility. If The Usos aren't going to face Luke Harper and Erick Rowan again, there aren't a ton of options for who challenges them next.
The biggest question about that potential matchup is if WWE is willing to pit babyface versus babyface or have the Rhodes boys play more of a heel role.
Either way, look for Stardust and Goldust to get another win on Monday's Raw to further showcase Cody Rhodes' new persona and push the face-painted duo into contention.
Challengers will also be in pursuit of Cena. Brock Lesnar is reportedly in line to face the world champ at SummerSlam, according to the Wrestling Observer Newsletter (via Wrestling Inc). He and Cena also appeared together on a leaked SummerSlam poster, signaling a possible spoiler for that event.
Before that, it's unclear who the champ will face.
Reading into the WWE.com preview for Monday's Raw, it points toward one of Triple H's goons getting the next crack at the title. Benigno writes that Cena now "finds himself square in the crosshairs of WWE COO Triple H."
Triple H and Stephanie McMahon certainly looked unhappy about Cena winning.
Fans can count on Cena crossing paths with someone from Triple H's camp, possibly working toward setting up a match for Battleground. One bout fans can bank on seeing at that event is Dean Ambrose against Seth Rollins.
Their rivalry has been intense over the last few weeks, and Rollins beat out his former partner for the Money in the Bank contract in Boston. He did so with some help, though, as Kane ambushed Ambrose. That will surely lead to more fistfights between Ambrose and Rollins.
Monday's Raw could also feature a continuation of the intensifying rivalry between Rusev and Big E.
That possibility is exactly what Benigno hinted at when he wrote, "Has E had enough? Or will he make another attempt to defeat The Bulgarian Brute?" It sure sounds like we're going to Round 3 of this feud, either on Raw itself or Battleground.
With Rusev, Rollins, Reigns and Cena, it's clear that WWE isn't working from a clean slate as it constructs the card for its next pay-per-view. Money in the Bank's reverberations are sure to influence the last Raw in June and the next major event on the horizon.
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