WWE Opening Day: The Aftermath and the Future
Even though wrestling has no true off season, it is a well known fact to wrestling fans that the Raw after Wrestlemania is the beginning of the “new year” for WWE. Traditionally legends return, new wrestlers debut, and major changes happen, this year was no different. A day after a historic Wrestlemania, WWE kept the momentum going with a huge show. Here is my break down of what happened and what it means going forward.
Daniel Bryan opening promo- The new champion and “face” of WWE came out to celebrate his huge win in the opening segment. He basically used this time to thanks the fan and let them go nuts over his big win. It was amazing seeing everyone in the crowd doing the Yes chants for several minutes when he was out, it’s been said before, but nobody has been that over since Stone Cold Steve Austin. He is the first universally loved champ in years, if there was any boos or negative chants, there is no way you could hear them. This is great for the WWE, because for the last few years they have had very few face champions that were over with the entire crowd. This puts their top heels in great position too, because now anybody that goes against Bryan will be instantly hated, regardless of their own ability to draw heat from the crowd. The segment ended with Triple H coming out completely butthurt from his lost last night (which I was amazed was so clean) and making a match for later that night for him against Bryan for the title. Bryan responded by “Yesing” him out of the ring. Steph was with, who by the way, I was amazed didn’t injure her ankle by being dumb enough to wear huge heels to the ring last night, when she got dove on by Bryan.
What it means going forward– WWE is finally ready to back Bryan as a legit champion and Triple H isn’t done fucking with him.
After the match there is a segment where Randy Orton and Batista (who I will now dub as the Ed Hardy Boyz whenever they team together) complained that Triple H made a title match for himself, instead of either one of them. Triple H responded by saying they’d get their chance, but tonight was his night to fight Bryan and they should have his back. He also said the Ed Hardy Boyz would get a tag title shot later against the Usos.
The Wyatt Family vs. John Cena, Sheamus, and Big E (Big P Wangston)– This was a really fun six man tag match, that started as a brawl fest, but turned into a good match. Watching the match, you would have thought The Wyatt family was the faces, because the crowd was completely behind them and booed almost any offensive the other team had. The Wyatt family won, when Bray hit Sister Abigail on Big P.
What it means going forward– The E wanted to get the Wyatt Family some more momentum going after Bray’s loss to Cena and was able to do it without Cena losing credibility by taking the pin. There will probably be a rematch between Cena and Bray at Extreme Rules or another six man tag match involving Cena vs. the family somehow. Big P gets a small step up the ladder for what if he plays his cards right, should be a fairly big year for him. They still can’t really figure out what to do with Sheamus, but want to keep him involved in matches, so you will probably see him in a lot of things like this, until he gets his own angle.
Fandango and Summer Rae vs. Santino and Emma– This was a short comedy match, mostly used to give the crowd a break between big matches. Santino and Emma got the win, when Emma submitted Summer Rae. The only good part was when Fandango came out and the whole crowd Fandangoed. On a side note, I like Emma, hopefully they will eventually use her for something better than being Santino’s sidekick.
What it means going forward– Nothing really, until further notice Fandango and Santino will just be used as fillers or jobbers. At least it will give Summer Rae and Emma screen time, as to me they are the bigger attractions on both teams.
Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar’s promo– This segment was used for the sole purpose of putting Brock Lesnar over huge for his historic win over the Undertaker last night (which I covered in length on my last post). Paul Heyman showed why he is without a doubt the best manager in business by completely shutting down the crowd and promoting Brock as the best ever. Heyman stated that Brock was on a podium of his own, even above other greats, because of what he was able to accomplish on multiple platforms, not just WWE. The best part was when the crowd tried to start the dreaded “what” chants and Heyman completely shut them down. Brock didn’t say a word during the promo.
What it means going forward– I thought Heyman would for sure ask for a title match with Bryan after the win, but he didn’t bring it up at all, which means Brock is probably gone again till Summerslam season. When Brock comes back, I’m sure he will ask for and get a title shot. In the mean time, Heyman will align himself with someone else until Brock comes back.
The Ed Hardy Boyz (Orton and Batista) vs. The Usos– This turned out to not even be a match, as Batista and Orton instead just assaulted the Usos and caused themselves to get disqualified. I think this was a bad decision, as it just made the Usos look weak, which in turn makes the rest of the tag division look weak.
What it means going forward– The WWE wants to keep Orton and Batista relevant and like they are still threats. Since they are bros with Triple H, I’m sure that they will both get plenty of T.V time and titles shots. As for the Usos, they showed that they still don’t back the tag division as much as they should, but until another team comes along, they will probably hold the belts for at least a few months.
I should note at this point that there was two promos earlier for Bo Dallas and Adam Rose. Bo’s promo was good and I like the gimmick, but I still think he sucks as a wrestler. Honestly, I don’t know that much about Rose, but I can get behind anyone who rides around on the “Erotic Express”.
Rob Van Dam Returns!- Everyone’s favorite ECW stoner came back and in his first match took on Damien Sandow. No surprise that RVD won easily and Sandow continued his mysterious slide down the WWE ladder.
What it means going forward– RVD will have a short term, Jericho like return, where he wins a few matches, but mostly puts over younger talent. After Summerslam he will probably be gone again for awhile. Sandow will continue as a jobber for some reason, even though he has a ton of talent.
Bad News Barrett vs. Rey Mysterio– Barrett (who barely ever wrestles anymore) wins easily over Rey, who mysteriously since his return became a heel jobber.
What it means going forward– I got some bad news for Rey, looks like he will end his career getting squashed by mid level heels and getting booed. Barrett will continue doing his Bad News segments and occasionally wrestle.
Alexander Rusev vs. Zack Ryder– Rusev easily demolishes Ryder. He wins using the same finisher that apparently all foreign heels must use in WWE, the camel clutch (oh, the accolade). Funny how the announcers acted like they never saw that move before.
What it means going forward– Rusev is the new foreign monster heel. He will spend months squashing nobodys and faces you forgot were still on the roster (Tyson Kidd, I’m looking at you). He will probably eventually have a feud with John Cena where he loses all momentum and is stuck with a gimmick like Brodus Clay or Tensai. Ryder will continue being the jobber everyone loves, until his contract is up and he decides to go to TNA to be the 3rd BroMan.
Ultimate Warrior cuts a promo that nobody cares about– Ultimate Warrior comes out and cuts a promo that draws zero heat or interest from the crowd, wearing a weird mask that’s supposed to look like his old face paint. He mostly just rambles on about the fans. Funny considering that not a one seemed to give half a shit about it. It was awkward for all involved, luckily it didn’t last terribly long. Hopefully it will be the end of seeing Warrior in the WWE.
What it means going forward– Zero, because I doubt you will ever see him back in a WWE ring. He just wanted to promote his DVD, he doesn’t give a fuck about WWE anymore.
Paige Debuts, Paige Debuts, Paige Debuts!!!– In what starts as an AJ promo where she just comes out and talks about how awesome she is, the one and only Paige (can you tell I’m excited about it?) comes out and interrupts to congratulate AJ on her historic run as champion. AJ basically says she doesn’t give a fuck what Paige says and that she will fight her right now, for the championship. After AJ slaps her around and tries to put her in the Black Widow, Paige reverses it into her finisher the Paige Turner (I’ll have to admit it was sloppy) and wins the Divas title!!!
What it means going forward– The E has a ton of confidence in Paige and she will have a huge feud with AJ, that will be the biggest diva’s feud since Trish and Micky went at it. It always means that the company has very little faith in the rest of the divas (besides the t.v show) as AJ just completely dominated all of them for basically a year. I believe eventually AJ and Paige will team up though, since both are “anti-divas” and take on the rest of the divas.
Cesaro becomes the newest “Heyman Guy”– Hogan comes out to present Cesaro with the Andre the Giant memorial trophy for his huge win at Mania. Cesaro comes out with Colter, who before Cesaro can speak for himself, cuts him off and tells everyone that Cesaro is lucky Colter took him in and made him a “Real American”, even though he isn’t actually American. He also calls him a “Colter Guy”, which Cesaro makes a really funny face to, then takes the mic and says he isn’t a “Colter Guy” anymore, but now he is a “Heyman Guy”. Heyman then comes out to a huge pop and redubs Cesaro the “King of Swing” and calls Colter grandpa. Then out of nowhere, Swagger attacks Cesaro and destroys his trophy. A match then starts between the two, it doesn’t go long before Cesaro attempts the swing and Swagger escapes and peaces out of the ring. The ref counts him out, as the crowd goes nuts for Cesaro.
What it means going forward– After he feuds with Swagger, Cesaro will receive the push of the year and put himself in the main event category before or by the end of the year. Heyman will continue cutting killer promos for Cesaro while he waits for Brock to return. Swagger will either became a mid level singles heel or be teamed with someone else as a mid level heel tag team, Colter may or may not continue to be his manager after he loses the Cesaro feud.
Backstage Steph tells the Shield and Kane that they better be on the same page with having Triple H’s back during his match with Bryan. The Shield doesn’t look overly thrilled about it.
Daniel Bryan vs. Triple H- Before the match can even start The Ed Hardy Boyz attack Bryan leaving him laying in the ring before Triple H makes his entrance. It what looks like it will for sure be a screw job, Kane music hits. For some reason, the announcers think he will restore order to the match, when obviously we just head him tell Steph he has Triple H’s back. When he gets in the ring, he then attacks Bryan. Now it looks even more for sure that The Game will get the easy win. When he goes to pick Bryan up, The Shield’s music hits and they make their way to the ring (with new masks on). Triple H tells them they better do what they are supposed to, but the Shield look like they are having none of it. They then get in the ring as Orton, Batista, and Kane do, then all hell breaks loose and it turns into a brawl. Bryan eventually gets up and hits Triple H with the running knee, then the heels retreat, while Triple H yells about starting a war.
What it means going forward- The biggest feud of the start of year is going to be the Shield and Daniel Bryan vs. the New Evolution and it’s going to be awesome. I have a feeling this feud will take up most of the year and produce many great matches, including what could be the greatest Survior Series match ever. Bryan will hold the title for awhile until maybe Summerslam, when he will then have a match against the returning Brock, which they will either use to push Bryan more or give Brock the title and have Bryan continue feuding with the New Evolution. Either way, this year is shaping up to be an all time great.