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With another historic WrestleMania in the books, “The Raw After WrestleMania” has only fueled future storylines that are sure to bring further excitement to Raw and the wrestling world at large.
While many pivotal feuds received some measure of resolution over the two-night WrestleMania event, Raw set the stage for some of the most important possible matches to come. Here are a few budding dramas we’ve got our eyes on.
Roman Reigns takes the reigns
It’s the biggest storyline of the year and there’s no telling where it will go next. Billed as one of the most significant matches in WWE history, Universal Champion Roman Reigns beat out WWE Champion Brock Lesnar over the weekend to unify the two titles. And on Monday, he celebrated that big win.
But the “Tribal Chief,” who was sporting a “Greatness On A Different Level Mode” shirt, made it clear he wouldn't become complacent.
“With me at the head of the table, the billion-dollar deals are coming easy,” the undisputed champion proclaimed, adding that he is “constantly operating at GOD-Mode.”
He declared, with The Usos and Paul Heyman at his side, that “we are never content,” and that he is “constantly moving forward.” He teased that he would give more hints of his “next step” in this Friday at Smackdown.
Cody Rhodes’ return
The “American Nightmare” is back! The WWE Superstar announced on Monday that he signed a “multiyear agreement” with WWE following his shocking return and victory over Seth “Freakin” Rollins at WrestleMania on Saturday.
Rhodes delivered a triumphant address to the crowd and paid an emotional tribute to his father, legendary Superstar Dusty Rhodes, vowing to one day hoist the WWE Championship belt. Rollins even rolled out his own welcome (back) mat, entering at the end of Rhodes’ speech and extending a (possibly amicable?) hand before telling Rhodes “Welcome home.”
A genuine show of respect, or the precursor to something else? We’ll see.
Bianca Belair will defend her title
Bianca Belair shined bright on Monday’s Raw, with a literal shiner, as she celebrated winning the WWE Raw Women’s Championship on Saturday against Becky Lynch. She stood proudly, wearing shades, as she came out into the ring before taking off her sunglasses to reveal her battle wound.
“I stand here with one eye tonight,” she said, before talking about she successfully overcame Lynch after a longstanding and “humiliating” feud, in which Lynch “poked” at her for months. After Lynch had beaten her in mere seconds at last year’s SummerSlam, Belair told the crowd that she proved herself supreme and is now focused on what comes next.
Belair vowed to defend her title against any future opponent so it’s probably fair to say that her moment in the spotlight will be challenged soon enough.
Veer Mahan’s re-debut
Veer Mahan also finally returned to Raw Monday, after months of teases and “coming soon” vignettes by WWE.
Mahan made his presence known after The Miz beat Dominik Mysterio as Dominik's dad Rey watched from the ringside. Veer’s entrance music rang out after the match and Mahan came down attack both father and son.
It’s no doubt that Mahan’s comeback, and his decision to go after the Mysterios, will result in some interesting future storylines.
Elias returns as … Ezekiel?
Kevin Owens showed up at Raw, fresh off his defeat to WWE legend “Stone Cold” Steve Austin at WrestleMania, which he tried to chalk up to a back injury, when his promo was interrupted by Elias, er, Ezekiel.
Confused? The WWE Superstar, sans his signature beard, introduced himself as “Elias’ younger brother. The name is Ezekiel.”
This stopped Owens dead in his braggard tracks. Who knows where this storyline will go.
MVP betrays Bobby Lashley
The shocking new rivalry between Bobby Lashley and MVP should make for some interesting drama. Lashley appeared to be at a high point after his defeat of Omos during WrestleMania on Sunday. However, he was quickly brought down just a day later. His longtime ally MVP betrayed him on Raw, aligning himself with Omos, who showed up to exact payback on Lashley over his WrestleMania defeat. MVP and Omos then absolutely destroyed Lashley.
And why? Well, MVP blamed it all on “budget cuts.” Only time will tell how this will all play out.
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