By Graham "GSM" Matthews
Triple H Interrupted WWE World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan
First off, the Bryan video package that aired at the start of the show highlighting his rise to the top was excellent and captured the good-feel moment of his big title win at WrestleMania 30. Bryan was as over as ever in front of this red-hot crowd and it was awesome for him to come full circle since it was this post-'Mania crowd that started the "Yes!" chant phenomenon two years ago. His thanking of a the fans and the crowd interrupting him with their chants was a very cool moment. Triple H coming out was logical and Bryan's interactions with him were comical. Bryan vs. HHH for the WWE World Heavyweight title is a marquee main event, so they gave viewers something to look forward to for the rest of the night with that blockbuster announcement.
The Wyatt Family def. John Cena, Sheamus and Intercontinental Champion Big E
I could understand Cena and Sheamus being booed by the smarky live crowd, but I felt bad for Big E being put in that spot. He doesn't deserve that in my opinion and shouldn't have taken the loss for his team, though it doesn't surprise me since Sheamus and Cena are basically untouchable (no pun intended). Regardless, it was a very solid match and the crowd chants/songs were comical (trust me, I'll be mentioning the live crowd and their hilarity multiple time throughout this review). The Wyatt Family needed this win after their loss at WrestleMania, so it gave them their heat back to an extent. I expect the Cena-Wyatt feud to continue and Wyatt should get a win over Cena at some point.
Santino Marella and Emma def. Fandango and Summer Rae
It's well-documented that I'm no fan of Fandango, but it was a nice touch for him to appear on the post-'Mania Raw since this is where his popularity began last year. I expected this match to see on the WrestleMania 30 pre-show, but Santino then got injured, but I guess he's better now? This match was no more than two minutes long, so it didn't matter anyway. I'm glad Emma won for her team since her entrance theme got to play afterward and the sight of the live crowd doing the Emma dance was a cool one. Now when can she start being taken seriously by being put in Divas Championship contention?
Paul Heyman and Brock Lensar Bragged About Defeating The Undertaker
You had to know this promo was coming the minute Lesnar broke The Streak, and did not disappoint in the slightest. Heyman is so damn great on the mic and his bragging of Lesnar being "the one" was pure gold. It was every bit as great as I expected it to be and Heyman did a tremendous job of turning the crowd against him despite being a favorite of smarky crowds. The question now is what's next for Lesnar. He's due a title shot at some point, though I could see that happening at SummerSlam. WWE has to explain his absence for the next few months somehow, but perhaps he isn't disappearing just yet after all. Time will tell.
WWE Tag Team Champions The Usos vs. Randy Orton and Batista Ended in a Double Count-out
The match didn't even get started before it was over. I'm disappointed. Not because I was looking forward to the match, but rather the chants from the live crowd. The attack on The Usos was vicious and put heat back on Orton and Batista while also establishing their newfound partnership. Poor Usos. Hopefully they'll rebound next week. On the other hand, I'm excited for a potential Evolution reunion as they go against Bryan and the "Yes!" Movement.
Rob Van Dam def. Damien Sandow
It's great to see RVD back after a few month hiatus. He was spotted at the WWE Hall of Fame ceremony this past weekend so everyone essentially knew he was returning tonight or sometime soon, but the live crowd was still red hot for him (what weren't they hot for?). It was a basic squash match, so it was nothing special, but poor Sandow. He's been buried (yes, buried) for so long that it's ridiculous, but I guess one more loss to Mr. Monday Night wouldn't hurt, right?
Bad News Barrett def. Rey Mysterio
Finally! I complained earlier that it made no sense to include Barrett in the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal, but WWE was smart to save his in-ring re-debut until this show so it'd feel like a bigger deal. The live crowd didn't mind Mysterio at first, but once Barrett came out, they turned against him. I feel bad for Mysterio, but retirement has to be coming for him, right? About time they put all that heat Barrett has garnered to good use, even though he was cheered like crazy here.
Alexander Rusev def. Zack Ryder
Like with Barrett, I fully expected Rusev to be in (and win) the Battle Royal at WrestleMania, but I'm glad they held off until this show. He didn't draw a strong heel reaction, but perhaps in time. It was a standard squash match that showcased Rusev's dominant moveset nicely. I don't know how well he'll get over, but he's talented, so I look forward to what he brings to the table on the main roster.
The Ultimate Warrior Addressed the WWE Universe
It was insanely cool to see Warrior on Raw for the first time in nearly two decades. He didn't ramble as much as he did at the Hall of Fame ceremony (though I enjoyed the speech) and had the crowd in the palm of his hand by doing the Ultimate Warrior shtick. He didn't say much of note, of course, but it was awesome for him to make a short and sweet appearance to thanks the fans and plug the replay of the Hall of Fame ceremony on the USA Network.
Paige def. AJ Lee to Win the Divas Championship
It's been a long time coming, but Paige has finally been brought up to the main roster where she belongs. Her debut came off like a memorable moment and many of the audience members recognized her, so there was no better place for her to arrive than the night after WrestleMania. The interaction between her and AJ played out exactly the way we've envisioned it happening for months, and the quick title change was an incredibly hot moment. When was the last time a Diva's match received that kind of reaction? One might say that they could have built toward this, but giving Paige the strap on her first night puts her over in a huge way and will move her into the feud with AJ that we've been dying to see for quite some time now. The Divas division isn't exactly "saved", but this is most excited I've been for it in... well, ever.
Cesaro def. Jack Swagger by Count-out
Cesaro appearing alongside Hulk Hogan was very cool, but what was even better was when Cesaro announced himself as the newest Paul Heyman Guy. Heyman had been teasing this a few days ago, and they definitely delivered here with Cesaro. They make a great pairing with excellent chemistry, so I'm excited to see them together. The feud with Swagger is logical now that they're split up, so hopefully we'll more of them in the ring soon. If Zeb Colter and Swagger are heels, does they make Heyman and Cesaro faces? I guess we'll have to wait and see.
WWE World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan vs. Triple H Went to a No Contest
It was obvious from the get-go that The Shield would come to the aid of Bryan, but that didn't make the moment any less awesome when their music hit. Bryan vs. HHH is still a money match for a future pay-per-view, so it was smart of them to hold off on that for a later date. I loved seeing The Shield brawl with The Authority. I've said since the start that The Shield is the best stable since Evolution. Well, now we've got them against each other. I didn't think I'd ever see the day.
There will be those that will be disappointed that Sting and/or The Undertakter didn't show up, and although I was highly anticipating a Sting debut here, everything on this show was so perfectly executed that I'm content with it not happening. I don't if Undertaker's health issue had anything to do with it, but hopefully we hear from Undertaker sooner rather than later. Regardless, this show was a true spectacle and even better than any other post-WrestleMania edition. Storylines were furthered in a logical fashion, a new champion was crowned and several new faces from NXT debuted. Personally, I couldn't have asked for a better show, as there wasn't one thing on this episode to complain about. Anyone who nitpicks this show clearly hasn't been watching the product for the last eight months. Otherwise, they would appreciate this gem of a show over all the garbage we've been forced to endure for far too long. It started at WrestleMania 30 and continued on this show, but we are entering an all-new era in the WWE. To say I'm excited for it would be an understatement, and I hope you enjoyed this episode just as much as I did. The future is here, the future is now!
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