Previously on Monday Night Raw...
Vickie Guerrero went out guns a blazin' as she sat on a ladder and booked matches befitting the name All-Star among the competitors for the red briefcase.
It wasn't enough to save her during her performance review. Chairman of the Board Vince McMahon supported her, Chief Operating Officer (COO) HHH didn't and a fan vote split the difference. Guerrero was Managing Supervisor of Raw no more.
To spite the fans (but delight those who love his brand of anti-humor), McMahon named Brad Maddox General Manager on the spot - even as he consoled a rapidly breaking down Vickie.
A series of videos aired throughout the night featuring a WWE reporter attempting to reach the Wyatt Family compound for an interview with leader Bray Wyatt. The faceless reporter succeeded, but it was mere prelude to the group's actual arrival in the arena.
Luke Harper and Erick Rowan savagely attacked Kane after his match with Christian, taking the Big Red Monster out of the ladder match on last night's show. Their patriarch promised chaos, now that the group was here.
...and last night at the Money in the Bank pay-per-view (PPV)
Every champion retained his or her belt. WWE Champion John Cena took Mark Henry out clean in the middle of the ring, presumably ending their program.
Divas titleholder AJ Lee kept her crown, but then cost boyfriend Dolph Ziggler a chance at regaining his when she interfered in his match by attacking World Heavyweight Champion (WHC) Alberto Del Rio.
Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns of The Shield defended the tag team belts in a hot opener against The Usos, and then attempted to interfere in the WHC Money in the Bank match on behalf of their teammate Dean Ambrose (that match was eventually won by Damien Sandow).
Curtis Axel defeated The Miz to remain Intercontinental champ and, more interestingly, attacked Daniel Bryan during the main event. That was set-up for Paul Heyman to definitively turn on CM Punk when he blindsided the Best in the World with a ladder, costing him the briefcase containing a WWE championship match contract - a case finally won by Randy Orton.
In Brooklyn (Brooklyn) at the house that Hov built!
Cody Rhodes put on a performance for the ages last night. And just when he seemed ready to grab the brass ring and head to the main event, a man to whom he believed himself to be bonded in friendship threw him down and grabbed it for himself. Tonight, we'll learn more about each man's next moves. Is there any chance they could still be in unison?
The champ is still here, but he's got a lot of challengers. The World's Strongest Man will likely have something to say, even in defeat. Daniel Bryan had stated his intentions to become WWE champion. Rob Van Dam is back, and his name is being thrown around wwe.com as a potential match-up.
And a man that Cena has been largely kept away from since Bragging Rights in 2009, one of his greatest historic rivals, now has a contract to face him anytime in a WWE ring. How will the Cenation leader deal with knowing the Viper could strike at any moment?
So far, Dolph has reacted to AJ's interference last night with dumbfounded shock. Will that continue? Was it truly poorly executed good intentions, or was the Divas champ scheming against the Show Off as she has so many men and women before him?
The Straight-Edged Superstar will undoubtedly have words, and maybe knees, for his "best friend" Paul Heyman. I think a certain former UFC Heavyweight champion will be in attendance tonight, as well. And what will the Dazzler have to say about being the target of the IC champ's run-in assault?
The big plot points from last week - the Wyatt's debut and Vickie's performance review - seem like a long time ago all of a sudden. But expect more on both fronts. And the one involving Bray Wyatt should be awesome.
Expect to pop for:
BETRAYAL! Truly, friendship was the biggest loser at Money in the Bank 2013.
But we should have seen it coming. Maddox willingly took his mentor's authority last week. Even Punk knew Heyman couldn't be trusted. We could see the signs of the Intellectual Savior beginning to crave all of the accolades that had been divided between Team Rhodes Scholars. And the only time we've seen AJ and her Zigglypuff together in recent weeks, they were bickering.
What had seemed like such a harmonious WWE roster not so long ago has been run through with perfidy.
While it's a lot to take for sensitive souls like myself still reeling from Team Hell No's break-up (and, if we're being honest, never really recovered from the mega-powers exploding twenty plus years ago), it does make for an exciting scene.
Cody Rhodes has been a future star for several years now. As much as I loved them together, a face turn and feud with the Duke of Decency could be just the thing to take them both to the next level (plus, beard versus moustache match to blow off their feud!).
While even his critics are sympathetic to Dolph Ziggler's plight, with no clear babyface challenger to Del Rio in sight and an opportunity to really look like a good guy by trying to win the right way (and, based on his reactions last night, maybe not verbally abuse AJ as their relationship breaks down), even a "step down" feud with Big E Langston could prove to be a key piece to the puzzle of his career.
And what's not to be excited about in the Punk-Heyman meltdown? Verbal duels between the two, a match with Lesnar, teaming with Bryan against Brock & Axel?
I may never learn to trust again...but I'm excited for some pro rasslin'!
The heat is on:
Brad Maddox. Settle down, Maddox-en. I thought his reactions last week were great. But his promo last night was not. And perhaps most worrisome, the GM role has not been a path to future stardom in this company.
I get, and even respect, that he's trying something different. He can be quite funny (usually on commentary, when he stays focused on calling the action while only occasionally doing his act, and not the other way around) but melding befuddled with ironically awkward does not seem to be working for the WWE Universe.
He seems to shine in backstage and pre-tape encounters, but struggle with a microphone in his hand on stage or in the ring. Unfortunately, the job he was just given will call on him to do a lot of both. I think he can adapt - he's done it with his commentary on NXT - but he'll need to do so rapidly to avoid future gems like this one.
And, when was the last time that the Raw authority figure character was a launching pad to bigger and better things? AJ survived being miscast in the role, but I'd argue she's still trying to get back to the level of over she had prior to Raw 1000. If you're not a McMahon or a laptop computer, the job has been like being forced out the airlock of Starship Raw.
Can beautiful Brad reverse the trend, or will he join the ranks of Adamle and Laurinaitis - the very men he seems to be trying to spoof?
To paraphrase an old saying, Money in the Bank changes everything. Tonight's fall out show will begin to show us how much the WWE landscape has been transformed.