The Beast Is Back
Monday's Raw was headlined by Triple H's announcement of the new No. 1 contender to the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. As the King of Kings made his way to the ring, there was definitely a sense of excitement in the arena.
"We want Lesnar" chants began mounting, so fans were prepared when Paul Heyman arrived and then introduced his client Brock Lesnar as the so-called "Plan C" for The Authority.
With a single handshake and a nod of approval, Triple H accepted Lesnar as the challenger to John Cena's title on August 17 at SummerSlam. He exited the squared circle and allowed Heyman to address both the WWE Universe and Cena.
"John Cena, you can't escape this beating," Heyman warned the champion as he detailed the pain and punishment Lesnar would dish out to WWE's resident superhero.
Lesnar's return was greeted with open arms by the fans in Miami. Why they were so accepting of a man who, just three months earlier, had ended the most fabled winning streak in professional wrestling is somewhat of a mystery.
Are fans really that tired of Cena? It appears as though the answer is an emphatic "yes," something Heyman was quick to point out. By doing so, he almost guarantees a story in which fans are pitted against one another more than normal, as if the company is encouraging the pro- and anti-Cena portions of the fanbase to engage in a verbal war in the weeks leading into SummerSlam.
It is a unique way to handle the promotion of the bout but one that could pay off in spades if it attracts more viewers to Raw, SmackDown, the WWE Network and pay-per-view.
Stephanie Slaps a Bell, Gets Arrested
Stephanie McMahon has been the best heel in all of World Wrestling Entertainment in 2014 and again proved why Monday night.
After finding out that Brie Bella was seated at ringside to watch her sister Nikki compete in a 4-on-1 Handicap match, Stephanie confronted the former Diva. She taunted her and then responded to an insult with a slap, something that would come back to haunt her later in the show.
Following a concert by Flo Rida, Stephanie was approached by detectives, who took her into custody and charged her with battery.
Stephanie's reaction—that of a spoiled brat who suddenly found herself on the wrong side of the law and without a way out—was outstanding. Even better was the crowd's reaction. They were elated to see the top villain in the company get some comeuppance, even if they would have preferred it to come at the hands of the gorgeous Bella twin.
The two segments from Monday's show hopefully set up a match between Stephanie and Brie at SummerSlam. The crowd was incredibly hot for everything involving the two, and an official match would immediately become one of the most anticipated on the August 17 card.
Wasting the type of response they got from the fans in Miami would be a monumental mistake.
It has been more than a decade since Stephanie competed in a sanctioned match, meaning that the next time she does, the company can milk it as a special attraction—something it barely does anymore.