1.) Off the leash
In WWE, everything evolves, including and especially the conflicts that mold Superstars into legends. The Shield has – perhaps ill-advisedly – pushed for a rematch against Evolution at Payback, and the troika of multi-time former World Champions has been all too happy to accept. The Hounds of Justice have run roughshod over Triple H & Co. ever since, though it’s hard to imagine a group spearheaded by The Cerebral Assassin would be in this much of a funk unless it was all subterfuge. Is the other shoe about to drop on The Shield?
2.) I must break you
Can anyone stop Rusev? Mother Russia’s favorite son has flattened anyone and everyone who wandered into his path over the last month or so. But that was before Big E, the first Superstar who matches Rusev in pure power. The Super Athlete got the better of the former Intercontinental Champion last week, but don’t expect the powerlifting champion to be so easily caught off-guard a second time.
3.) Bray of light
So it’s settled: The great battle between John Cena and Bray Wyatt will conclude at Payback in arguably the most decisive manner available: a Last Man Standing Match. Despite Cena’s undeniable comfort in this kind of contest, all of his momentum hasn’t slowed down Wyatt at all; each victory Cena scores seems to reinforce The Eater of Worlds’ own twisted belief in his crusade. The Cenation leader will have to resort to something near-inhuman to defeat his foe, which is more or less what Wyatt wanted all along. Can Cena escape with his soul intact?
4.) A rose in full bloom
The Exotic Express has been hot out of the blocks, steamrolling all over Zeb Colter & Jack Swagger’s “Real American” cause and immediately making a name for its wacky conductor, Adam Rose. Thus far, Rose has yet to throw hands with former World Champion Swagger in any official capacity, but there’s only so long the NXT veteran can push before Swagger retaliates and Rose is forced to bare his thorns. Will this be the week Rose turns the so-called “lemon” Swagger into pulp?
5.) The Champ is........
Here? At least for now, as Daniel Bryan was WWE World Heavyweight Champion when he went in forneck surgery this past Thursday. Whether he remains so has yet to be seen, as The Authority has decreed that – absent an official timetable for the “Yes!” Man’s return – they will decide the fate of Bryan’s hard-won championship themselves. Given Bryan’s contentious history with the front office, it’s safe to say that the whim of the suits might present a bigger threat to Bryan’s championship status than the demon Kane ever did.
Will The Champion of Champions’ reign carry on? Tune in to 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!