clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

WWE Raw preview (June 30, 2014): Adapt or perish

As a familar face assumes the WWE throne, what's next for the men who fell short? We look at what happened, what to look out for tonight and brainstorm a plan for a cult leader who has had a rough few months in kayfabe.

What you need to know

Daniel Bryan may be out for a lot longer, as he says that his arm strength isn't returning and that he might need another surgery.  Bo Dallas sure would like for him to just buck up and BOlieve, but Bryan just wants Bo to leave him alone.  I've got to say, I'll follow you just about anywhere DB, but you should listen to Dallas.  I mean, he is ten and BO.

The Usos are still tag team champions, because they're smart enough to let Luke Harper take himself out with his fancy big man topes so they can focus on Erick Rowan.  Paige is still Divas champion, because the bookers are more interested in telling a story about females who are on Total Divas being jealous of one another than really letting the champ get over on her own merits.

Pay-per-views (PPVs) seem more and more like episodes of television shows when you get things like Damien Sandow dressed like Paul Revere losing to Adam Rose.  And the eight hundredth iteration of Rybaxel vs. The Rhodes Brothers.  Hopefully the powers-that-be recognize that crowds are bored with that matchup when there are no stakes to it and not Stardust.

Summer and Layla...arrgh...I just can't.  Check the Money in the Bank live blog if you really must know.  Why have one angle going about women being jealous when you can have two?  In better news, Big E and Rusev really know how to work a big man match...maybe if they ever decide to book a decent story around it, fans would notice.

In one of the two main event ladder matches last night, six guys worked their asses off.  In the end, WWE managed to actually make you believe for a second that Kofi Kingston might win the briefcase containing a WWE World Heavyweight Championship title shot.  Dolph Ziggler played to underdog to perfection, at one point climbing the ladder with only his upper body due to the damage inflicted by a Jack Swagger ankle lock, and Dean Ambrose is a crazy person who the fans love.  Those fans love him even more now that he survived that superplex slot and a possible dislocated shoulder to come back and almost claim the briefcase.  Seth Rollins is a crazy person that the fans hate, but they probably don't fear him that much as a heel since he needed substantial interference from Kane to become Mr. Money in the Bank.

At least Triple H and Stephanie McMahon were happy about the traitor's win.  They weren't thrilled when a similar scheme didn't play out they way they wanted in the other ladder match.  After the eight(!) men in that contest put themselves through hell, the Kane plan managed to keep Roman Reigns away from the WWE World Heavyweight Championship belts, but not to put those straps over Randy Orton's shoulders.  In the end, it was a familiar jorts wearing figure who grabbed the titles that were hanging above the ring.

John Cena is at the top of the WWE mountain for the 15th time in his career.

What to look out for

A new era that feels a lot like several old era begins, tonight at 8PM Eastern, live from Hartford, Connecticut.

Cena was not the guy that The Authority wanted to end up with the strap.  While it's not clear yet why Hunter and Stephanie McMahon don't consider him good for business, the Cenation leader's win put him in the crosshairs of the ruling powers for the first time since Trips turned last summer.  What will The Game's next move be to try to ensure that the WWE WHC stays under his thumb?

One play would be to have Seth Rollins cash in his MitB contract quickly.  But even with the assistance of THE DEMON KANE, the Architect still hasn't conclusively dealt with his old pal Dean Ambrose.  The Lunatic Fringe will undoubtedly be looking to inflict punishment on both Rollins and Kane after the events of Sunday.  The other Hound of Justice can't be okay with the Devil's Favorite Demon, either.  Could Reigns and Ambrose be back in business with a common target?

Most of the other feuds that were part of the PPV look like they'll continue on; Cameron and Naomi still have issues, with one or both of them likely still on Paige's radar.  The Dusts have a winning streak going, setting them up for a program with either the tag champs or their most recent challengers.  There's no reason to think that Big E can defeat Rusev, but there's nowhere else for either man to go, either.

The more things stay the same, the more things stay the same.

What they should do

One man who suddenly feels directionless coming out of Boston, and who most definitely shouldn't, is Bray Wyatt.  A few weeks ago, fans had a feeling that he and his family might emerge from Money in the Bank holding all the gold.  Instead, they have none - and no clear way to go from here.

It's time for a new plan.  Have Wyatt announce (in his splendid, unique way) that he may have been a little ambitious with his initial blueprint.  Going after Cena and the titles (now one and the same) was too much.  He can something creepily cryptic about Sister Abigail always warning him that pride comes before the fall.

Rather than go after the head of the snake immediately, The Eater of Worlds will now make it his business to eliminate past champions, one-by-one.  This will continue to establish his name as one that the machine should be worried about, and set up solid programs against guys like Sheamus, or one off matches against ones like Ziggler.

And as Creative tries to suss out whether they want him to be a heel or a face, this would be an opportunity to set him against both.  No reason he can't have a program against Alberto Del Rio or a Smackdown match against Swagger, either.

Ensuring that he doesn't get lost in the shuffle, as unlikely as that is for a man with his skillset, is the key.  Whether it's with this idea or another, WWE needs to set him on a course that keeps him relevant and strong after having him come up short in his quests for the last three months.

What we're afraid they will do

John Cena is the unified champ as we head towards SummerSlam.  What else can they do to us?

Tune in tonight to find out!

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Cageside Seats Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your pro wrestling news from Cageside Seats