With Mr. McMahon’s “Wild Card Rule” allowing a limited number of Superstars to cross brands for a night, Raw was host to a WrestleMania rematch when SmackDown LIVE’s Kofi Kingston defended his hard-earned WWE Championship against “The New” Daniel Bryan. Did Bryan cause Kingston’s 11-year journey to the WWE Title to end in heartbreak? Also on Raw, Universal Champion Seth Rollins teamed with AJ Styles in an impromptu tag team match, Ricochet put his Men’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match opportunity on the line and much more!
He did it. Roman Reigns showed up. After a full weekend of will-he-or-won’t-he speculation — complete with some passive aggressive @’s from The Big Dog to the official WWE Twitter account — the four-time World Champion did as he promised and appeared at the top of the show, smack in the middle of Mr. McMahon’s opening address to the WWE Universe. That would have been surprising enough, but The Big Dog didn’t come alone.
Reigns — who admitted he came to Raw to rebuke the McMahon family by going where he was needed rather than where he was assigned — was quickly followed by WWE Champion Kofi Kingston and Daniel Bryan, who wasted no time rekindling their pre-WrestleMania hostilities. Luckily, their appearances led to an epiphany from The Chairman: A “Wild Card Rule” that allows three Superstars to make one-off appearances on the opposite brand they are assigned to. And since he had three SmackDown Superstars already, Mr. McMahon once again used their presences to his advantage by sanctioning two WrestleMania rematches: One between Reigns and Drew McIntyre (who appeared to puff his chest over the SmackDown ship-jumpers infringing on his turf) and a WWE Title bout between Kofi and Bryan. As The Chairman said, it’ll be a night to remember, and for all the chaos that unfolded, it seems like things couldn’t have gone any more according to plan.
The “Wild Card Rule” certainly lived up to its name in the very first bout under its banner, as a WrestleMania rematch between Roman Reigns and Drew McIntyre led to a four-way brawl encompassing two Raw Superstars, two SmackDown Superstars and a member of the McMahon family to boot. McIntyre more or less had his way with The Big Dog for most of the match until Reigns hit what would have been the match-ending Spear on his last legs, but the pinfall was broken up by Reigns' SmackDown rivals, Shane McMahon and Elias. That brought out The Miz, who had been lying in wait for Shane-O-Mac outside his private dressing room and chased off “The Best in the World” with steel chair in hand.
In the aftermath of the match, Reigns found himself pulverized by a Claymore from McIntyre while The A-Lister tracked down Shane in the backstage area and went to town, blistering the former Team Blue Commissioner with several swings of the chair. Unfortunately for Miz, Shane fought him off with a low blow and managed to escape in his private limo, leaving The Awesome One's quest for retribution unfinished for now. Call it a narrow victory for Reigns’ rivals, though they’d be wise to keep things in perspective: After all, this “Wild Card Rule” goes both ways, and they might not be as safe as they think.
There would have been no bigger way for Daniel Bryan to reclaim the mantle of The Planet’s Champion — and the bully pulpit that goes with it — than by dethroning Kofi Kingston on Night One of the “Wild Card Rule” in Raw’s first true WWE Title Match since 2016 … but The Power of Positivity is not quite done just yet. The Dreadlocked Dynamo’s miracle run continues, despite a fearsome effort from The Beard that nearly sapped all the pancake power out of Kingston thanks to a rough landing over the ropes and a targeted attack on Kofi’s arms.
With Kofi worn down from Bryan’s strikes and submissions, the champion was deer-in-headlights helpless against a Running Knee. But a wobbly-legged Kingston dodged the maneuver, wormed his way out of a LeBell Lock and connected with Trouble in Paradise to the jaw, grounding Bryan for three and keeping the magic alive. History made again. Bryan thwarted again. And now it can happen anyplace at anytime. It’s a new day, yes it is.
In other action … Baron Corbin & Bobby Lashley def. Universal Champion Seth Rollins & AJ Styles … Braun Strowman threw Sami Zayn in a dumpster … Ricochet def. Robert Roode to defend his place in the Men’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match … Lacey Evans def. Allie Catrina; Raw & SmackDown Women’s Champion Becky Lynch brawled with Evans after the match … The Viking Raiders def. Raw Tag Team Champions Zack Ryder & Curt Hawkins …
Mercy the Buzzard devoured Rambling Rabbit on Bray Wyatt’s “Firefly Fun House” … and The Usos pranked The Revival with “Ucey Hot” cream; Lars Sullivan attacked No Way Jose.