Following a historic ending to WrestleMania tonight’s Raw started off with a bang and that’s with new WWE World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan. An electric Raw crowd made the opening segment involving Bryan one of the best ones. The show starts with a great video package that was also shown last night showing the career of Daniel Bryan. They then go to a live shot of the WWE fans and they are all chanting yes & continue to chant yes with Bryan coming down to the ring. The crowd’s chanting is so much between “Yes” & “Daniel Bryan” that Bryan just stands in the middle of the ring and soaks it in. A very cool chant then starts after Bryan talks for a few minutes and it’s “You Deserve It”. Which to me is one of the best moments and chants I have seen in a very long time. But that quickly came to an end as The Authority came out and interrupted Bryan’s moment. Triple H and Stephanie McMahon stand on the apron and let Bryan know that his title reign won’t last long. Triple H explains how he’s a fad and that tonight it will end because Bryan will defend his title against him…Yes Triple H live on Raw. After the break a nice a little backstage “meeting” between Triple H, Stephanie McMahon, Randy Orton & Batista leads to Stephanie making a match that puts Orton & Batista on the same team against The Usos for the belts.
Then the first match of the night is a six-man tag match involving the Wyatt Family against Big E, Sheamus & John Cena. A crowd very much different from any other we will see all year was very pro Wyatt’s(Which could be a trend). During their entrance the crowd was clapping along with the song and very into it. Every time Big E, Sheamus and especially Cena would get the advantage fans would begin to boo. But just as much as they would boo that they would loudly cheer when the Wyatt’s got the upperhand. A few of the newer chants the Universe has started during Bray Wyatt fights is signing “He’s got the whole world in his hands” & towards the end of the match chanted “Wyatt’s gonna kill you”. Fantastic chants that add to the craziness Bray Wyatt and his family give off. Bray Wyatt hits sister Abigail on Big E and gets the pin.
Before returning to action the WWE Universe receives a promo for NXT superstar Bo Dallas. It is time for fans to start BOlieve as Bo Dallas is going to make his return to the main roster soon. Following the vignette the Universe starts “Fandangoing” as Summer Rae and Fandango get ready for tag team action. Just like last year the fans all around the arena start “Fandangoing”, but Fandango does not receive the post WrestleMania push he got last year. As Fandango and Summer Rae lose to their rival Santino and Emma.
The most hated man in the WWE has entered the building and is making his way to the ring. Brock Lesnar along with his advocate Paul Heyman are here to address the WWE Universe. Heyman is on top of his game tonight(like he always does) and talks about how Brock Lesnar is the only man to do what no other man could do. Heyman brings up countless hall of famers, legends and current wrestlers who failed to beat Undertaker at WrestleMania, but Brock Lesnar was able to do it. Heyman even takes a playful jab at Hulk Hogan for screwing up what arena WrestleMania 30 took place in reminding him that it was the Superdome not the Silverdome. Heyman continues to tell everyone how Lesnar is the only one super athletic and that Lesnar is the only person who is “The 1”. No one else stepped foot into an octagon, and was never a collegiate wrestling champ. Lesnar has gone out on top(for the time) and Heyman sold it perfectly tonight.
Following the break the universe was treated to another vignette of another NXT superstar. This time it was for Adam Rose and the Rose experience. Next in action Randy Orton and Batista took on The Usos for the Tag Team Championship. In a pro Uso crowd the match was nice and quick due to Orton and Batista not caring about the outcome and getting both the teams counted out. Orton and Batista just wanted to take out their frustration on the usos and they did exactly that. Batista gave one of the Usos a powerbomb onto the steel steps. It ends with Orton and Batista both in the ring with their arms raised in the air with the fans booing. The return of Rob Van Dam happened tonight as he took on Damien Sandow. Sandow has continued to fall in the ranks with the WWE, and I have no clue what has happened. Sandow went from a possible tag team champion with Cody Rhodes, to winning the Money in the bank match, to unsuccessfully cashing in his briefcase against John Cena, but still had a great showing in it. But ever since then Sandow has fallen out of good standing some how with the WWE writers. Needless to say RVD won his return match on Raw against Sandow.
The very next match puts usual fan favorite Rey Mysterio into a match against new fan favorite Bad New Barrett. For the first time in months Wade Barrett is in action on Raw and is given a great reaction from the fans. Something the WWE writers can really go forward with is how the fans reacted to Barrett’s entrance. Throughout the match the universe was strongly behind Barrett and strongly against Mysterio. In the end Barrett hit his finishing move on Mysterio to pick up the win to a very pro Barrett crowd. Plenty of chants for Barrett during and after the match. Wade Barrett should be in line for a strong push based on the reaction given to him tonight. Up next the Raw debut of Alexander Rusev finally takes place as he takes on Zack Ryder. In a squash match to make Rusev look great obviously Rusev won. With a mouthpiece as a female it will be interesting to see how Rusev goes over with the fans. Very nice to look at with the eyes, but hard to understand on the mic Rusev’s mouthpiece could make or break him. His in-ring power can not be matched, but the likelyhood of his inability to talk could be his downfall.
For the first time in over a decade the Ultimate Warrior made an appearance on Raw. The WWE universe loved every minute of it as the Ultimate Warrior was able to get back into character perfectly. Shaking the ropes, doing his old catchphrases, and even putting on a fake facepaint head gear(to help sell product) during his speech. The Ultimate Warrior basically thanks the fans for helping him live forever and help carry his legacy on forever. The shocking events continue as we get to see AJ Lee come out to talk about her victory last night at WrestleMania. AJ Lee mentions her title reign(294 days) and that she is the best diva in the world. Seems like she is taking a page away from her fiance CM Punk. But before AJ Lee could be done the debut of Paige an NXT superstar comes out. Paige tells AJ that she is out there to congratulate her. but AJ Lee was not buying it. As she smacks her across the face and then ultimately challenges her to a match and willingly puts her Divas title on the line. An impromptu Divas title match is upon us as the WWE has finally given AJ Lee some real competition. In a match mainly dominated by AJ Lee seems to be going her way as he locks in the black widow and Paige looks to be in trouble. But not so fast as Paige is able to break the hold and hits her finisher on AJ Lee and ends AJ’s streak at 294 days. Paige on her Raw debut wins the Divas title from the best diva on the roster. By bringing Paige to the main roster it has finally given AJ Lee a legit rival that can help bring the divas division back to life.
The fans in attendance get a treat as Hulk Hogan comes out to present the Andre The Giant Memorial trophy to the battle royal winner Cesaro. Cesaro comes out who is accompanied by Zeb Colter to accept the trophy. After congratulating Cesaro on his win Colter begins to talk before Cesaro can. Colter starts taking credit for helping Cesaro become the man and wrestler he is and claiming Cesaro is a “Zeb Colter Guy”, but that’s not quite how it turned out. Cesaro gives everyone a shock as he announced that he in fact is not a “Zeb Colter Guy”, but he is in fact a “Paul Heyman Guy”, and out comes Paul Heyman to loud amount of cheers. Putting Paul Heyman with Cesaro is great for everybody involved. Heyman started getting cheered with Cesaro being a fan favorite, it keeps Heyman on TV for a long time, and Cesaro doesn’t have to talk. Heyman has made plenty of superstars in the WWE, and Cesaro is going to be another one helps make it to the next level. Pairing Heyman with Cesaro will be something that will be great to watch over the next handful of months. Following the announce of Heyman with Cesaro; Jack Swagger attacks Cesaro from behind and destroys his Andre The Giant Trophy. They go to break and we come back to a match between the two. A good back and forth match his tons of fan favorite chants towards Cesaro leads to Cesaro taking control of the match, and Swagger leaving the ring and getting counted out.
The main event of the evening is upon us, but before the match gets underway we go backstage to see Stephanie McMahon with Kane and The Shield. Stephanie tries her best to get these four on the same page as Triple H prepares for his title match against Daniel Bryan. Stephanie wants Kane and The Shield to do whatever they can to make sure Triple H leaves tonight as champion. We go to the ring where WWE World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan comes out. But not so fast because Orton and Batista make their way to the ring to beat up Bryan. Both Orton and Batista hit their finishing moves on Bryan as Kane then comes out. Kane makes it look like he is trying to end the beatdown, but then gives Bryan a chokeslam. Following the chokeslam it leads to Triple H finally coming out to fight Bryan for the belt. HHH orders the referee to start the match, and he does so. HHH get in position to give Bryan a pedigree, but out comes the Hounds of Justice. Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, and Dean Ambrose make their way to the ring from the stands. A stare down between The Shield, and Kane, Orton and Batista happen as they stand on the apron. HHH tries to give all six men orders to not do anything, but is unsuccessful as they all enter the ring. As HHH is done telling Kane, Orton and Batista to “stand down” Reigns hits HHH with a spear and all hell breaks loose. The Shield start attacking Kane, Orton and Batista. Ambrose and Rollins take care of Orton and Batista as Reigns give Kane the superman punch. The Shield then surround Triple H as if they would give him the triple powerbomb, but it leads to a running knee from Daniel Bryan. So the title match that was supposed to take place ends up turning into a war between Triple H, Kane, Orton and Batista against Bryan and The Shield. Tonight’s Raw ends with The Shield united in the ring and the fans chanting “Yes” along with Bryan.
Tonight’s Raw was filled with high powered action, great fans, and a show that helped boost the career of several superstars. As rumors filled throughout the day on what might happen the universe saw no Sting, no Punk, no Taker and was still given one hell of a show. Superstars like Daniel Bryan, Cesaro, Bray Wyatt & his family, Wade Barrett, The Shield, are and should get the push they deserve from the WWE officials and the universe. The “new year” has begun on the WWE and is also bright for other stars like Bo Dallas, Adam Rose, Paige, Alexander Rusev, and other NXT stars. While tonight’s raw didn’t see fan favorites like Dolph Ziggler, Kofi Kingston, and The Miz make an appearance that doesn’t mean they won’t have an impact on the WWE’s new year.
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