Raw Five-Point Preview: May 20, 2013
Well, that was extreme. The wildest night of the WWE year is behind us now and among the Superstars left in the wreckage are WWE Champion John Cena (retained his title but paid dearly in the process), Triple H (defeated by Brock Lesnar in the steel cage), and no less than three champions dethroned by The Shield to give the NXT alumni their first titles in WWE. With the post-extreme era set to begin (and those pesky Paul Heyman rumors still floating around), here are five preview points for this Monday’s Kevin Jonas-assisted episode of Monday Night Raw.
Alberto Del Rio proved his mettle at Extreme Rules when he forced Jack Swagger to say “I Quit,” thereby earning the sole title of No. 1 contender for the World Heavyweight Championship. But now comes Del Rio’s greatest challenge: defeating the man who took the title from him in the first place, Dolph Ziggler. The Showoff’s been absent for a couple weeks now while he recuperates from a concussion, but look for the dynamic World Heavyweight Champion to make his return sooner rather than later as he prepares to face Del Rio.
Hail to the hounds
If The Shield’s dominance was ever in question, Extreme Rules erased all doubt that the former NXT standouts are here for the long haul in WWE: Following Dean Ambrose’s conquest of U.S. Champion Kofi Kingston and Seth Rollins & Roman Reigns’ dethroning of Team Hell No as WWE Tag Team Champions, all three Shield members now wear championship gold around their waists. Having secured their spot in the current pantheon of WWE’s elite, how will they begin their three-pronged reign of terror on Monday night?
Watch: Kofi reacts to title loss
The Champ is here ...
… But let’s not mince words: He’s lucky to be saying so. Last night’s brutal Last Man Standing Match between WWE Champion John Cena and Ryback ended in viciously indecisive fashion — neither man was able to answer the 10-count after crashing through the stage, causing Cena to retain his title by default. With Ryback having come closer than ever to seizing the WWE Title for himself, look for the “Human Wrecking Ball” to make another play for the title as WWE Payback approaches. As for Cena, he dodged the proverbial bullet Sunday, so look for Ryback to strike while The Champ is still in his weakened state.
Triple H may have won the battle against Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania, but it was Lesnar who ended their war at Extreme Rules. He defeated The King of Kings in a grueling Steel Cage Match with a punishing sledgehammer strike and F-5 that sealed The Game’s fate inside the confines of the steel. With Lesnar having reasserted his dominance via his hard-fought victory, what does the future hold for “The Beast Incarnate”? Only time will tell, but given that Paul Heyman has never let a victory for his camp slide by un-celebrated, there’s a strong possibility tomorrow will provide some answers.
And then, of course, there's that other question: Is there a third Paul Heyman guy?
Dancing away with the victory
Chris Jericho certainly wasn’t about to let Fandango’s lofty rhetoric slide after losing to the dancing Superstar at WrestleMania. Stewing over continued humiliation at Fandango’s hands, the first Undisputed Champion in WWE history paid the newcomer back in full at Extreme Rules, unleashing a heart-stopping Codebreaker that left the dancing fiend in ruins on the mat. With Fandango’s score against Jericho now at an even 1-1, does the two-stepper have another twist in mind for The Ayatollah of Rock ‘n’ Rolla? Tune in tonight at 8/7 CT on USA Network to find out!