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WWE Raw preview (January 26, 2015): We know you hear, so that must mean you're ignoring us

What you need to know

No point burying the lede...remember how almost universally jazzed folks were for Daniel Bryan to face off against Brock Lesnar for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship he never lost?

Yeah, that's not going to be happening.

Bryan was dumped from the Royal Rumble match pretty early, and the crowd never recovered.  Strong starts by guys like Bray Wyatt and Rusev were thrown on the fire by veteran hands Big Show and Kane to make fans forget about their hero's ouster, but they only served to incite a Philadelphia crowd to louder levels of revolt.  By the time Roman Reigns pointed at the WrestleMania 31 sign, not even his cousin Rocky could save him.

We'll still get half of the Mania title program we were pining for, as Lesnar retained his belt in an instant classic that will be the positive memory of a rough night in the City of Brotherly Love.  Seth Rollins did not cash in his Money in the Bank contract, but he threw everything else he had at The Beast Incarnate - includining putting aside his differences with John Cena when the two enemies realized that neither of them could stop Brock alone.  Not even a broken rib caused by the prettiest elbow drop onto an announce table you've seen in a long time (sorry Dean Ambrose and apologies to Tyler Breeze...this was a #MMMGORGEOUS) and a stretcher job could keep the former UFC Heavyweight champ from the main event at the Granddaddy of Them All.

Cena had the other noteworthy moment of the night, and it happened on the Post-Show where Rusev interrupted his interview...resulting in a pull apart brawl.  Now we know what young talent John will be going over this Spring.

There were a bunch of tag matches on the undercard, but this section is called what you need to know - and, frankly, I don't think what happened in any of them will have any bearing on your ability to enjoy or understand the WWE product.  I'll tell you that they're still teasing the break-up of the extremely entertaining Miz & Mizdow pair, The Usos are still the tag champs, and Paige, Natalya, Tyson Kidd & Cesaro are good at pro wrestling.

What to look out for

They might have an empty XL Center in Hartford, Connecticut for their Royal Rumble fallout show...and that might be just what WWE needs after Philly turned on them last night.  Reigns will have to face whoever shows up, presumably without the man who grossed more money for Hollywood in 2013 than anyone else at his side.  Brock Lesnar is listed as appearing, so perhaps we'll get a stare down as the slow build to March 29th begins.

We do have another pay-per-view (PPV) to wind through, and a whole lot of Superstars without clear direction that need feuds, before 'Mania.  What will the crowds do for Bryan now after they again dislike the treatment he received to start the calendar year?  Randy Orton was supposedly backstage again last night - will he return?  As the white hot fan favorite he left as, or will that have cooled?

Is Undertaker coming back to start something with Wyatt, or is his dance card free?  Seth Rollins and Dean Ambrose both appear unencumbered...could their once popular issues be revisited?

Will Triple H continue to do all the talking for his presumed match-up with Sting?  How many appearances will THE VIGILANTE make before Santa Clara?

Lots of questions, and WWE better have answers...and quick.

What they should do

We've been through all of this before, but last night sure makes it seem like they need a refresher:

  • Treat Daniel Bryan like the mega-star their paying customers believe him to be.
  • Allow talented but unpolished acts time to grow and naturally form a connection with the audience.
  • When they start to form that connection, allow them to continue doing the things that attracted fans to them.
  • As their popularity increases, book them in ways that enhance that popularity rather than in ways that enhance the popularity of acts that are already over or not full-time workers.
  • Find ways to utilize one of the deepest rosters of talent in wrestling history over the course of five-to-ten hours of television time each week.  Some suggestions: tag team, women's and mid-card championship divisions that feature actual characters in conflict with one another.

What we're afraid they will do

You saw the main event last night, right?

What can WWE do to win you back to their side tonight?

Let us know below, and watch Raw with the best fans on the internet in the cSs live blog!

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