Raw Five-Point Preview: May 26, 2014
We’re less than one week away from WWE Payback, but we might very well be heading into the anticipated special event without a WWE World Heavyweight Champion. As the WWE Universe waits to see whether the leader of the “Yes!” Movement will indeed relinquish his hard-earned title, what will transpire when a special Memorial Day edition of Monday night’s hottest show emanates from the University of Tennessee? WWE.com has five theories.
Although their hero underwent successful neck surgery and is fortunately on the mend, the “Yes!” Movement has been in turmoil since The Authority demanded that Daniel Bryan personally surrender the WWE World Heavyweight Championship this Monday on Raw. As argued by Stephanie McMahon last week on Raw, the WWE Universe needs an active champion, and since Bryan is currently unable to compete while in recovery, giving up his title is “best for business.”
WWE COO Triple H addressed the matter further last Wednesday on WWE.com in an exclusive interview with Michael Cole, suggesting that perhaps Bryan’s “not tough enough to be able to handle the gig” and that the fan-favorite Superstar will do the right thing by relinquishing the WWE World Heavyweight Championship. If Bryan doesn’t, we can only assume that the consequences will be dire.
Okay, we’ve all watched (and re-watched) the footage of Alicia Fox going bonkers and dumping a WWE fan’s soda all over herself last Monday night, but let’s not forget the reason for the bizarre celebration: Alicia pinned Divas Champion Paige, giving the 21-year-old her first defeat since her Raw debut the night after WrestleMania.
Even though Fox has seemingly come unhinged in recent weeks, her new and slightly tilted outlook on life is already reaping huge benefits. With a victory over the reigning titleholder, has Alicia secured herself a Divas Championship Match in the near future? Hold on to your cups.
Process of elimination
Last week, The Authority banned all “non-official” WWE personnel from ringside during Seth Rollins’ clash with Batista, which resulted in Triple H trying his hand at ring announcing and Randy Orton serving as a special timekeeper for the wild encounter. Because that’s totally fair, right?
However, Raw General Manager Brad Maddox leveled the playing field for The Shield by allowing Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns to serve as guest commentators for the bout, ensuring that if either The Game or The Animal tried to intervene on their Evolution cohort’s behalf, The Hounds of Justice would be ready to strike. As expected, the combustible elements in and around the ring sparked an all-out melee between the embattled groups, with Evolution ultimately retreating up the entrance ramp from the fired-up Shield. That encounter has only raised the ire of the WWE COO, who has since vowed to “eliminate The Shield one-by-one.”
Will Maddox be punished by The Authority for his apparent act of defiance? And with tensions between The Shield and Evolution at an all-time high, will these two warring factions tear each other apart during the contract signing for their No Holds Barred Elimination Match at WWE Payback?
Kiss and yell
How’s Fandango going to dance his way out of this one? Last week, the sashaying Superstar was in for a shock when Summer Rae — who he dumped via Twitter, by the way — returned to Raw and planted a kiss on her former dance partner. Layla was incensed by Summer “cutting in” on her all-too-public relationship with Fandango, and found herself in a wild brawl with the blonde beauty that ended in a relative stalemate.
Now that there are two women in Fandango’s life, the fleet-footed master of the ballroom might be having second thoughts about scorning Summer Rae. Will the sequins fly again if Summer and Layla cross paths on Raw?
The final countdown
It was like the most disturbing episode of “Sesame Street” ever last Monday night when Luke Harper stood over an incapacitated John Cena and slowly counted to 10 — a sinister look at what could be the Cenation leader’s fate at WWE Payback when he collides with Bray Wyatt in a Last Man Standing Match. Cena has made a career of standing firm in the face of adversity, but as “The Man of 1,000 Truths” continues to assert his control over the hearts and minds of the WWE Universe, the 14-time World Champion might be facing a battle that he simply cannot win.
Will Cena be able to dull the “scorpion’s tail” that is Wyatt’s tongue on Raw, or will the backwoods preacher stride to WWE Payback with “the whole world in his hands”? Tune in this Monday at 8/7 CT on USA Network, and be sure to tune in to WWE Network for Raw Pre-Show at 7:30 p.m. and Backstage Pass immediately following the show!