Monday night’s edition of Raw was the first show after Wrestlemania 33, emanating from the Amway Center in Orlando.
Highlights from show included the return of Finn Balor, the debut of two-time NXT tag team champions, The Revival. Then you had the memorable opening segment featuring Roman Reigns and a new general manager was revealed.
There were plenty of questions heading into the biggest Raw of the year. Let’s see if they were answered.
1) What’s next for Roman Reigns? It appeared we would get the hint early as Reigns came out to begin the show to boos and chants which were unheard of. All Reigns said was, “This is my yard now” and walked off. During the segment with Brock Lesnar and Braun Strowman, Reigns’ name came up as future opponents by both men. It would appear to be too soon for a Lesnar-Reigns program so letting Strowman and “The Big Dog” finish their beef would be the way to go.
2) Who will make surprise appearances? On Monday, we predicted Balor, Shinsuke Nakamura and Tye Dillinger. One out of three isn’t too bad if you were playing baseball. Nakamura and Dillinger debuted on Smackdown Live last night. The Revival made their debut and beat The New Day, then left them laying after the match. Balor returned in the final segment of the show helping Seth Rollins beat Kevin Owens and Samoa Joe. For surprise appearances, it was a letdown as Balor was coming back from injury. Usually we get a fair amount of surprises. No disrespect to The Revival, it just didn’t cut the mustard due to the high expectations WWE has set for fans throughout the years.
3) Whose the first challenger for Brock Lesnar’s Universal title? We discussed the Lesnar--Strowman confrontation earlier and where that might be leading. Before Strowman came out, Paul Heyman was discussing the possibility of a Lesnar/Reigns program. WWE can always decide to go that route now and always go back, but keeping them separated would be best for business if the plan is to have the match be the main event of Wrestlemania 34. Balor would be the option to go as he doesn’t have a program. You could always go the route of him never losing the title in the ring and wants his chance to reclaim the belt. Who else is out there who could generate interest that isn’t in a program? Maybe it will be someone who switches over from Smackdown Live after the “Superstar Shakeup”. A challenger has to be determined no later than the end of next week’s show.
4) Will we get a new general manager? The obvious choice appeared to be Kurt Angle but you know how Vince McMahon likes to swerve the wrestling fans when something appears to be a foregone conclusion. No swerve here, though, as Angle was named the GM by McMahon. The newest member of the WWE Hall of Fame received an amazing ovation from the Orlando crowd. Angle didn’t need to say much in the ring as the crowd did the talking for him. He did some skits in the back with Enzo and Big Cass, then played mediator for a tiff between Jinder Mahal and Sami Zayn. Angle should relish in this role. Combine his rapport with the crowd and his natural ability as an all-around performer, he should be the best GM the WWE has ever had.
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