Question: How does one follow up a weekend that included NXT once again putting on an amazing Takeover, a nearly seamless Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, and over seven hours of a Wrestlemania that actually delivered?
The only logical answer is with another three hours of wrestling, of course! Seriously though, after the incredible amount of pro wrestling content most fans absorb over Mania weekend, the “Raw after Wrestlemania” normally serves as a much needed palette cleanser. With Wrestlemania’s rivalries traditionally reaching their conclusions on the “Grandest Stage of Them All”, it becomes the task of the R.A.W. (Ha!) to plant the seeds for new upcoming storylines.
For instance, Triple H officially welcomed X-Pac and the New Age Outlaws into the ranks of Degeneration X the Raw after Wrestlemania XIV. Hollywood Hogan turned face on the Raw after Wrestlemania X8. Paige beat AJ Lee for the Divas Championship during the Raw after Wrestlemania XXX. The point I’m trying to get across is this, big things happen the night after Wrestlemania.
All that being said, I personally can’t think of a better episode of Raw to start my new weekly article wherein it is now my task to give you fine readers “Five Things We Learned From Monday Night Raw”. So, without further ado, let’s jump right in to the five things we learned from the Raw after Wrestlemania 35!
1. Lars is Back on Track
One of the quieter rumors going into Mania was the pending status of former NXT star Lars Sullivan after apparent anxiety attacks derailed his main roster debut. Reports surfaced stating that creative felt Sullivan had reached a better place mentally, and that he would be making his second attempt at a debut soon. This led most fans to believe Lars would make an appearance during Sunday’s big show. However, Lars instead made his presence felt in a surprise display of destruction against Hall of Famer Kurt Angle tonight. A dominant debut against a legend the caliber of Angle implies that WWE hopefully has a basic idea of what the future months hold for the behemoth known as Lars Sullivan.
2. An Evans vs Lynch Rivalry Is Happening
Well, it is about time Lacey Evans did something other than just walking up and down the ramp looking slightly confused while her entrance music plays! Tonight, the “Southern Belle” made a non-verbal statement following up an intense stare down between herself and undisputed Women’s Champion Becky Lynch with her infamous signature move, the “Woman’s Right”. This, for lack of a better term, sucker punch led to the two women brawling up the entrance ramp, with officials breaking the competitors up as Lynch attempted to apply the “Dis-Arm-Her”. Personally, I think Evans will be the perfect first challenger for Becky. Besides the obvious fact that Evans will benefit from the high profile exposure that comes from sharing the spotlight with a talent as on fire as Lynch is right now, Becky is also the perfect person to make the still relatively new Lacey look like a million bucks in the ring.
3. Sami Zayn Is Ready for A True Singles Run
Surprise returns are one of those many traditional troupes that pertain to the R.A.W. Tonight was no different as Sami Zayn made his long awaited in-ring return after issuing an open challenge that was answered by current Intercontinental Champion Finn Balor. Despite failing to dethrone the “Demon King”, Zayn displayed an amazing performance inside the squared circle, only to follow it up with a scathing heel promo aimed at the WWE Universe. It’s safe to say Sami definitely stands a chance of being one of the top heels on Raw in the coming months.
4. The Dana Brooke Push Is Legit!
Firstly, I need everyone to try to remain calm, even though we all know that Dana Brooke getting an actual push very well could be the first sign of the apocalypse! Sunday’s show saw Dana putting on an impressive performance in the Wrestlemania Women’s Battle Royal, leading to hushed whispers of a possible push for the former bodybuilder. Tonight the level of speculation rose further during a quick backstage promo between Brooke and Becky Lynch. After congratulating Lynch on her success in Sunday’s Main Event, Brooke made a not so subtle statement about wanting an opportunity for one of the Women’s titles. Sure, it could all be wishful thinking, but it is important to remember that WWE doesn’t let us see anything they don’t want us to see. All speculation aside, it is rather interesting that this promo implied that the women’s titles will be defended separately.
5. WWE Seemingly Changing Booking Practices
Not long ago, we were given a promise of change from the McMahon family. This promise came with statements such as “No more rubber match booking” and “The repeal of the longstanding Championship Rematch Clause”. I know that there were plenty of fans that rolled their eyes at these bold promises being made by the same people that had already failed to listen to us countless times before. However, both tonight’s show and Wrestlemania seemed to be designed to actually give fans what they want to see. I know I’m not the only fan hoping this will be a continued trend moving forward.
And there you have it, folks. Just like Wrestlemania 35, this article is officially in the books. So until next time, may all your kicks be super, and may all your frog splashes be five stars.