In the constantly moving world of wrestling, there's never much time to sit and reflect on pay-per-views. So it's not too surprising that instead of dwelling on the Royal Rumble on WWE Raw, the attention turned to setting the stage for the next pay-per-view, Elimination Chamber.
On Raw, The Authority announced that Randy Orton would have to defend his title in the Elimination Chamber. Not surprisingly, Daniel Bryan was the first to respond to the announcement.
WWE continued to blur the line between reality and storyline as Bryan ranted about how he wanted to be in the Royal Rumble, but The Authority wouldn't let him, and that The Authority should tell the fans what they want.
The Authority responded by bringing out The Shield, and then Sheamus and John Cena came out to defend Bryan. A six-man tag team match was created in which the winning team would be entered into the Elimination Chamber.
At the end of the night, it was The Wyatt Family who ended up deciding things, however. At the end of the match, they came out and attacked Cena, drawing a disqualification, and giving the win to Cena/Sheamus/Bryan.
There was a fantastic shot towards the end of the show that showed The Shield livid about their shot being stolen, the three victors in the ring, and The Wyatt Family on the stage.
As to where WWE goes from here, I think it's a safe bet to say that the three winners will stay in the Elimination Chamber, despite, I'm sure, some protest from The Shield/The Authority.
It could set up a situation in which those three have to defend their spots (maybe individually against each of the three members of The Shield?). You were never going to have a six-man tag team match as the main event without those three in it.
I'd also guess that Brock Lesnar will take part in the Elimination Chamber if he continues to call himself the No. 1 contender, though there are complicating factors there (more on him later).
If he is in it, that leaves one spot to be determined over the next few weeks. CM Punk, a member of The Shield (perhaps to continue the dissension storyline, you have them all face each other for a spot?) and Bray Wyatt are all definite contenders for that last entry.
This also could set up a match between The Shield and The Wyatt Family, which could be incredibly compelling and has been teased a few times over the past few months. It also could be the reason to give fans what they've been asking for seemingly for years ... a pseudo-War Games match with the Elimination Chamber.
The Royal Rumble is known as the official start to the Road to WrestleMania, but these next few weeks are really what shapes the WrestleMania card. Usually, by the end of the Elimination Chamber pay-per-view, we have nearly all of our matches in place. So expect storylines to really speed up in the next few weeks.
The rest from WWE Raw:
-- Jake "The Snake" Roberts was announced as the second member of the WWE Hall of Fame this year. I discussed this a few weeks ago when he returned on Raw, and it's great to see. If nothing else, having The Ultimate Warrior and Roberts giving speeches this year should make for an incredibly compelling ceremony. I have to think Diamond Dallas Page will be his inductor.
-- Lesnar interrupted an in-ring segment between Orton and Batista. Lesnar demanded a match with one of them that night. Later that night, he came back out in the middle of a tag team title rematch between The New Age Outlaws and The Rhodes Brothers, beating up Cody Rhodes and Goldust with chairs. Paul Heyman then said that if The Authority ignores him, that's what happens. So we could see Lesnar destroying people the next few weeks until he gets what he wants, which is always entertaining. Or ... he could destroy people until someone steps up to challenge him ... perhaps a certain “conscience of the WWE.”
-- Alberto Del Rio and Kofi Kingston had a surprisingly good match that was more or less ruined by the crowd. I understand chanting when it comes to the situation with Bryan or chanting "boring" at a truly boring match. I will never understand chanting for JBL or Jerry Lawler when there's actually a pretty decent match going on in the ring. All in all, the Cleveland crowd seemed very disappointing on television (even drawing a comment from Stephanie McMahon in the opening segment that they couldn't get their chants straight), and during this match, it might have been the worst.
-- The Real Americans beat Sin Cara and Rey Mysterio in a tag team match. During the match, Zeb Colter slapped Jack Swagger in the face (later written off by the broadcast team as motivation), and while the team regrouped, the tease is there for a split.
-- The Usos beat Ryback and Curtis Axel. I still think that when The New Age Outlaws drop the titles, they're dropping it to the Usos.
-- Dolph Ziggler beat The Miz in a “Battle of Cleveland.”
-- R-Truth beat Fandango, and the person who seemed to benefit the most from it was Xavier Woods, who was doing commentary. NXT's Emma also showed up again in this segment.
-- Naomi pinned AJ in an eight-divas tag team match.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun