The post-WrestleMania RAW has become a focal point of the WWE calendar over the past few years and this year’s edition really felt like the start of a new era in WWE.
The post-WrestleMania RAW in 2012 saw The YES Movement begin, 2013 saw the crowd Fandangoing and 2014 saw the crowd embrace the new era.
The crowds are always incredible at these shows. High on WrestleMania, the post-WrestleMania RAW crowds are full of passionate fans from around the world and they always create a special atmosphere.
Firstly, the spearhead of the new era: Daniel Bryan. After winning the WWE World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania, Bryan came out on RAW to a huge reaction and a sea of YES chants, much like the night before. Adored by the fans, he spoke from the heart and thanked these fans for bringing him to where he is today.
Secondly, the introduction of the NXT stars to the main roster. NXT Women’s Champion Paige debuted on RAW, winning the Divas Title from AJ Lee. This moment was something special, as Paige got a crowd reaction not seen for the Divas since the Lita and Trish Stratus era. While AJ Lee is the most talented Diva in the WWE, Paige is equally as talented and these two could now have a feud similar to Lita and Trish Stratus if booked correctly.
Alexander Rusev also debuted, squashing Zack Ryder with a great display of power, strength and athleticism. Rusev is a big, athletic guy and could be a great foreign heel in 2014.
Bo Dallas and Adam Rose had vignettes aired during RAW which will lead to debuts in a short while. Dallas has a wonderfully annoying Bo-lieve gimmick, which sees him play a frustratingly positive heel and Adam Rose, formerly Leo Kruger plays a camp party-goer who is surely going to catch on with the singing and dancing WWE crowds.
Paige’s debut was a huge, shocking moment and the vignettes aired showed the WWE crowd what to expect in the coming weeks. NXT is full of stars and they seem to be slowly infiltrating WWE TV as WWE under Triple H’s command looks forward to the future.
Thirdly, Cesaro. Cesaro won the Andre the Giant Memorial Battle Royal at WrestleMania 30, scooping up The Big Show in a moment strikingly similar to Hulk Hogan slamming Andre at WrestleMania 3 and on RAW he had the penultimate spot on the show, getting a rub from Hulk Hogan and then aligning himself with Paul Heyman.
Heyman’s ‘guys’, apart from Brock Lesnar (Ryback and Curtis Axel), have faltered in the past and have led to them being separated from the mastermind that is Paul Heyman. Cesaro should buck the trend, though, as he has all the skills to be a top star in the WWE. Only time will tell, of course, but all signs seem to point to Cesaro being a major player in the coming years.
Finally, The Shield turning face and The Authority faltering. 2014, so far, has been the year of The Authority. They have kept Bryan under thumb and ruled WWE TV. At the end of RAW, however, The Shield finally snapped and attacked Triple H, leading to Bryan and The Shield standing tall as RAW went off the air.
While this moment may not seem as big as Paige’s debut or the start of Bryan’s title reign, The Shield turning face mean they now have a fresh load of match-ups and storylines against The Authority with Bryan leading the way of champion. Expect The Shield and Bryan to be some of the top stars for the rest of 2014.
The rest of the show saw some great crowd reactions, which you can see below:
All photos courtesy of WWE.