The WWE Universe entered a new and exciting era last Monday night as debuting Superstars, returning icons and new titleholders basked in the afterglow of one of the greatest WrestleManias of all time. As the landscape of WWE continues to undergo a seismic shift — and The Shield continues to combat The Authority — what lies ahead this week in Birmingham, Ala.? WWE.com offers five ideas to get you pumped for Raw at 8/7 CT on USA Network. Also, don’t miss Raw Pre-Show at 7:30 ET, only on WWE Network.
1.) Playing The Game
Social media nearly imploded last Monday night when The Shield saved WWE World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan from a 4-on-1 attack, helping The “Yes!” Man send Triple H, Batista, Randy Orton and Kane running for the hills (or at least up the entrance ramp). When SmackDown’s Six-Man Tag Team Match pitting Bryan & WWE Tag Team Champions The Usos against The Viper, The Animal & WWE’s Director of Operations similarly devolved into chaos, The Hounds of Justice once again aligned with the leader of the "Yes" Movement before dropping Kane with a massive Triple Powerbomb.
In light of the defiance shown by both The Shield and the just-married Champion of Champions, how will the COO punish these King of Kings contrarians?
2.) The Diva of Tomorrow .... today!
Who saw that coming? Last week, NXT Women’s Champion Paige made her Raw debut to congratulate AJ Lee on her unprecedented 295-day Divas Title reign, not knowing that just a few moments later, the British-born grappler would be the one to dethrone the ever-arrogant AJ and start a reign of her own. Goaded into a match by the cocky champion, the newcomer hit AJ with the Paige Turner to score the pinfall and the butterfly-emblazoned prize.
Although “The Diva of Tomorrow” celebrated with her fellow Divas in an emotional post-match WWE.com Exclusive, Paige’s resolve will continue to be put to the test as an entire division — including a bitter and vengeful AJ — will be looking to wrest her newly-won championship from her grasp.
3.) Where does RVD go from here?
When Rob Van Dam returned to WWE after a six-year absence at WWE Money in the Bank last July, his goal was clear: to outlast five other Money in the Bank “All Stars” and earn a guaranteed opportunity for the WWE Championship. Despite strong efforts in the months that followed, “The Whole Dam Show” never attained the championship glory he had once enjoyed, though his first match back from a six-month hiatus last Monday showed the former WWE Champion to be more than re-energized. On a roll since his high-flying re-emergence, RVD has picked up two substantial victories over Damien Sandow, but where will this former WWE Champion ride this wave of momentum?
4.) The next 'Next Big Thing'
As if Cesaro hadn’t already cemented himself as a major player in WWE with a huge victory in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at WrestleMania 30, “The King of Swing” was officially anointed as a Paul Heyman Guy the following night. When you’re aligned with the man who masterminded the end of The Undertaker’s vaunted Streak at The Show of Shows, you’re destined to, as Heyman himself puts it, become “the next great commodity in sports-entertainment.”
In a Hulk Hogan-esque feat of strength on SmackDown, Cesaro manhandled the 425-pound Big Show to stun the giant with his signature Neutralizer, though his former allies Jack Swagger and Zeb Colter continue to meddle in the former U.S. Champion’s affairs. How will the powerful Swiss Superman continue to benefit from the tutelage of one of the most calculating minds in WWE history?
5.) Wyatt's War Rages On
John Cena might have overcome his fear of the twisted Wyatt Family with a triumphant victory at WrestleMania, but “The Eater of Worlds” has continued to feast on the Cenation leader’s psyche. On SmackDown, Bray Wyatt vowed to go “to new extremes” in his quest to bring out the monster he claims lies beneath Cena’s virtuous exterior. Might “The Man of 1,000 Truths” have been alluding to a potential encounter at Extreme Rules on May 4?
Perhaps most troubling is the trio’s bizarre connection with many members of the WWE Universe who, as evidenced by several haunting crowd chants last week, have fallen under the sway of the silver-tongued patriarch. Can the Cenation leader somehow combat the eerie allure of The Wyatt Family?
Don’t miss Raw this Monday 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!