No doubt still feeling the effects of Kane’s onslaught last week, WWE World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan has nevertheless affirmed he will be at this week’s Raw, live in St. Louis. Will the “Yes!” Man suffer the wrath of his Extreme Rules opponent once again, or will Stephanie McMahon be able to rein in the demon she has unleashed?
Also on Raw, “X-Men: Days of Future Past” star Hugh Jackman drops in on the WWE Universe. What can Wolverine himself expect during his second visit to Monday night’s hottest show? WWE.com offers five early thoughts on the final Raw before Extreme Rules
1.) Can The Authority control Kane?
Brie Bella and the entire WWE Universe looked on in horror last Monday night as Kane viciously assaulted Daniel Bryan with a sadistic succession of Tombstone Piledrivers. As a result, Bryan was diagnosed with a cervical cord neurapraxia — a contusion of the spinal cord — that could have put his WWE World Heavyweight Championship reign in jeopardy. Bryan was fortunately able to recover and has vowed to appear on this week’s Raw, where Stephanie McMahon plans to apologize for the heinous actions of The Devil’s Favorite Demon.
Although Stephanie seemed to protest Kane’s attack last week, is The Authority truly repentant? Or is Stephanie merely doing some “damage control” to save face? Regardless, it will be interesting to see if The Authority is able to extinguish the wildfire they’ve started — or if they intend on letting it burn everything in its path.
2.) Snikt! Wolverine pops his claws
Remember that one time when Wolverine showed up on Raw a few years back and punched Dolph Ziggler in the face? The Showoff certainly didn’t forget, but he seemed to forgive the Academy Award nominee last week on Twitter, extending a digital olive branch to Jackman and gushing about the latest trailer for “X-Men: Days of Future Past,” in theaters May 23.
However, Ziggler’s Twitter hatchet-burying with this week’s Raw guest star drew the ire of perennial malcontent Damien Sandow, who ignited a war of words with his fellow former Money in the Bank contract holder. In the social media skirmish, Ziggler promised that he and Jackman will teach The Intellectual Savior of the Masses “something about respect.” By the time Raw’s over, Sandow might wish he had Wolverine’s healing factor, bub.
3.) Hounds on the hunt
On SmackDown, The Shield faced seemingly insurmountable odds when they were placed in an 11-on-3 Handicap Match — their second such encounter in as many weeks. However, rather than face the same unfair fight that left the trio vulnerable to an Evolution assault on April 14, the crafty Hounds of Justice appropriated their Extreme Rules opponents’ “adapt or perish” credo to whittle the larger team’s ranks down to just five Superstars. Although they were still technically outnumbered, Seth Rollins, Roman Reigns & Dean Ambrose picked up the victory and left their foes battered, bruised and breathing hard.
Now that The Shield has laid waste to all those who have stood between them and Evolution, what will happen between these two powerhouse factions before they go to war at Extreme Rules?
4.) Bad News Barrett meets rad dude
And then there were two. In the final round of an intensely competitive tournament to determine the No. 1 contender to the Intercontinental Championship, Rob Van Dam and Bad News Barrett will clash on Raw to earn the right to challenge Big E for the illustrious prize this Sunday at Extreme Rules. As a six-time holder of the coveted title, the veteran RVD seems to have the upper hand going into this must-see bout, but the bare-knuckle bearer of bad news has been on a tear of late as he vies to become a four-time Intercontinental Champion himself.
Even though Big E has been nigh unstoppable as Intercontinental Champion, he’d be wise to watch closely as his potential challengers collide on Raw. Will the tournament winner go on to unseat this titanic titleholder?
5.) When we say uce yall say Ryback?
Announced exclusively on WWE.com after SmackDown went off the air, Ryback & Curtis Axel will challenge The Usos for the WWE Tag Team Championship on Raw. The unorthodox pairing has displayed new ferocity in recent weeks, with Ryback defeating Jimmy Uso one-on-one last week on WWE Main Event and Curtis Axel pinning Jey Uso on SmackDown. In the aftermath of this singles sweep, the intimidating duo has cemented their standing as the greatest threat to the twins’ title reign. Will #RybAxelRules be trending on Twitter with the crowning of new WWE Tag Team Champions on Raw?
Don’t miss Raw, Monday night at 8/7 CT on USA Network, and be sure to tune in to WWE Network for the Raw Pre-Show at 7:30 and Backstage Pass immediately following the show!