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WWE Raw preview (August 18, 2014): No getting up from that

What you need to know

John Cena got the piss beat out of him by the new WWE World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar.  That statement doesn't really do justice to what happened, but I'm not sure anything does.

Lots of titles switched hands at SummerSlam.  In fact, all of the ones that were on the line.  Paige figured out the perfect counter to AJ Lee's Black Widow submission and the 21 22 year old is now a two-time Divas Champion.  Dolph Ziggler worked a brief but fun match with his current rival The Miz, and left it as a two-time Intercontinental champ.

Nobody in the crowd or behind the scenes really knew what the "flag match" between Rusev and Jack Swagger entailed, but that didn't stop the two hosses from beating the everloving red, white and blue out of each other.  The Bulgarian sold his ankle like a champ again, and the American did a heck of a job selling his ribs - making it all the more believable when they did the "pass out not tap out" spot to give Lana's man the win.  Poor Zeb Colter got cold-cocked for his trouble too, and their was no doubt that this was Vladimir Putin's night.

The former Shield-mates threatened to the steal the show with their lumberjack match.  That stipulation may have been a stretch heading into Los Angeles, but they made the most of it in the Staples Center, giving Seth Rollins a win over Dean Ambrose due to a headshot with his Money in the Bank briefcase.  It also set up some intriguing future tension between both men and their old nemeses the Wyatt Family and Director of Operations, Kane.

The Big Dog of the Hounds of Justice got a big win over Randy Orton, but it probably wasn't an impressive enough performance to silence his doubters.  Bray Wyatt also got a big win over Chris Jericho.  Their performance may have been strong enough to silence those that were bad-mouthing their feud on the way to this pay-per-view (PPV), but it still probably got lost in the shuffle of a solid and eventful show.

Definitely lost in the shuffle is Cesaro, who was bumped to the pre-show and jobbed to Rob Van Dam there.

Stephanie McMahon and Brie Bella kept the hottest story of the summer alive, and probably even made it so fans will be asking for a rematch somewhere down the line.  But not until Brie takes care of her sister, Nikki, who turned on her twin and helped the principal owner of WWE pin her one, two, three in the middle of the mat.

What to look out for

WWE rolled the dice last night at SummerSlam, and tonight they'll roll into the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.  If there's any game that let's you bet on $9.99, you should probably play it.

Paul Heyman will be out to entertainingly tell us "I told you so".  Seth Rollins and Stephanie McMahon will do much the same.

The former will be met by a crazy person who will undoubtedly tell us that last night's lumberjack match didn't settle anything.  The latter should include a Total Diva explaining what made her betray her own flesh & blood.

The next steps the Paige/AJ feud and the final steps for the Jericho/Wyatt feud will be laid out for us.  Dolph Ziggler and Roman Reigns will hopefully not embarass themselves on the microphone.

Since we're in Sin City, I'd expect THE EXECUTIVE KANE to make some matches by spinning a wheel or something wacky like that.  Just don't expect any Sting...unless you want to.

What they should do

Cena should not be on television tonight.

It's unreasonable to expect him to be gone for too long.  There's a Network to sell, and a bunch of t-shirts, ball caps and wrist bands, too.  But the story that they decided to tell last night requires him to take a week off from television.  And any hope we have of getting some interesting character development out of him requires that this loss be treated differently from the times that he has lost to The Rock, or Daniel Bryan, or Randy Orton.

Despite that extended squash we were treated to in L.A., John is one of the few folks that Creative can position against Lesnar that we'll believe can beat him.  Some of that is 'smart' knowledge, sure, but they can also use this opportunity to really get more fans behind him by acknowledging that the same old, same old didn't come close to working this time.

But that starts by selling the beating he took at SummerSlam.  And that starts by not showing his face on Raw tonight.

What we're afraid they will do

Have him trot out and demand his rematch clause, without a mark on his face or a hitch in his step.  There's a really good chance that round two will be announced for Night of Champions very soon.  But it shouldn't be kicked off by a fresh-looking Cena angrily demanding it tonight.

How will the Age of Lesnar start on USA Network tonight?

Find out with your fellow Cagesiders, tonight at 8PM Eastern in our live blog.  And stick around after the show for a recap, analysis and probably some potty humor on Cageside Live and in Geno's Reactions!

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