What you need to know
Raw happened. A lot of people didn't like it. That made some other people mad.
It fit the overall theme of Monday night. John Cena was mad because he couldn't get a match at WrestleMania, and because Rusev says bad things about the U.S. of A. Randy Orton was mad at The Authority, except he was just kidding - until he wasn't. Everyone who's so much as touched the Intercontinental title in the last two weeks was mad at each other. And someone should send the Kidd-Neidharts to marriage counseling...
The latest Superstar to earn a nearly meaningless win over Bad News Barrett was Daniel Bryan. The unfortunate update for The Beard was the post-match Bullhammer he took. Dean Ambrose not only saved DB from the official IC champ, but he also defeated the man who brought the belt to the ring for his official match, Stardust.
In the Royal Rumble-esque brawl that followed, Dolph Ziggler and Luke Harper joined in, allowing R-Truth to jump from commentary to burglary. When the dust settled following a second big elbow to Bryan, Barrett confronted Truth, but was left holding the bag (with a replica belt in it) while Lil Jimmy's big pal celebrated with the white & gold strap.
WrestleMania's main eventers were both in Pittsburgh for Raw, but you wouldn't know it from the number of lines they spoke in the arena. #1 contender Roman Reigns got another video package, this one emphasizing his family legacy. WWE World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar got another fat stack for standing behind Paul Heyman while he talked up Reigns. Presumably, the Advocate's mic was cut for his comments about Lesnar destroying Roman on his way to UFC, rather than for his latest compliments for the Big Dog.
Andre the Giant's Memorial match was represented on the show by Ryback & Erick Rowan's victory over Big Show & Kane, and by Curtis Axel being tapped out by the U.S. Champion. The Giants defeat made Stephanie McMahon think that maybe The Viper was right about Kane & Show's best days being behind them, so she sent them to their rooms without dinner. The Axe Man is still on his way to 'Mania, as is the Bulgarian Brute now that Lana acquiesced to Cena's STF-enhanced negotiation techniques.
Divas were given a chance to (1) schill The Flintstones DVD like the Bellas, (2) have bad matches that remind everyone that workrate was never AJ Lee's strength and that Summer Rae was pulled out of NXT too quickly and (3) prove that you can still be mostly defined by your husband like Naomi and Natalya are.
Tag teams were given the chance to, well, really just one thing, and I'm pretty sure that's set-up another "get as many guys on the WM card as possible" match. The New Days scored an upset win over tag champs Cesaro & Tyson Kidd, while Los Matadores upset perennial contenders The Usos.
Bray Wyatt got an answer from The Undertaker, who will meet the Eater of Worlds on March 29th. Anyone hoping for an appearance by The Dead Man was disappointed, but you did get a gong, some pyrotechnics, a smoldering rocking chair and the song, so it wasn't a total loss.
What was a total loss was Mr. Money in the Bank's night. The long con by Orton meant he took another pinfall loss in a handicap match against his old Shield-mate Reigns. And the good fortunate and/or smart maneuvers of the Apex Predator left Seth all alone with Randy, who proceeded to beat him across the floor, ending him and the night with an RKO through the announce table.
What to look out for
The Bus rolled out of the 'Burgh and headed to Rock City on Tuesday night. We won't see what happened at the tapings in Detroit until tonight at 8PM Eastern, but you can find out more about it right now by clicking here for spoilers.
Fresh off a Stone Cold salute and a brutal dismantling of the self-proclaimed Future, Randy Orton slithers his way onto Thursday night. The blue brand used to be all about The Viper, but he's been scarce around these parts since he hitched his star to The Authority. What will he have to say to the SyFy audience?
Someone in Creative loves this IC title program, so expect those shenanigans to continue. Are they really rolling without our boi D-Bry for this one, or will they make it a seven man ladder match in Santa Clara?
With three different multi-man matches on the 'Mania card, who gets to have the Teddy Long special tonight? If Ambrose, Bad News, Harper, Stardust, Truth & Ziggler are otherwise engaged, there are more names being added to the battle royal all the time...perhaps even something to further the rift between an increasingly C-list Miz and his rapidly ascending former stunt double, Damien Wiz-dow.
Maybe they'll give the women a chance to main event and have Paige, AJ and Naomi vs. Natty & The Bellas? Nah, there's a better chance of Barrett getting a win than that happening.
(Note: I know some folks have come looking for a more definitive match listing - that will be posted behind spoiler text in the comments. If WWE.com releases more information on anything that's officially going to take place on tonight's show, that'll be updated here)
Can Smackdown clear the low bar many feel Raw set just a couple of nights back?
Who doesn't want to find out? If you watch and discuss along with your fellow Cagesiders, you're fairly likely to have a good time either way!