WWE returned to the USA network for Monday Night Raw last night (Mar. 30, 2015) from San Jose, California with the fallout show from the WrestleMania 31 pay-per-view (PPV) that went down this past Sunday night in Santa Clara. That included one of the best segments in the history of the program followed up by a terrible main event.
Click here to get full results with the live blog. Let's get to reacting to all the night's events.
MO MURDA MO MURDA COME COME AGAIN
There was so much to love about Brock Lesnar and literally everything he did on this show.
For starters, he's not just a perfect character, he's perfect at playing that character. Brock Lesnar is a vicious animal who does nothing but maul people. If he's fed -- like when he's WWE world heavyweight champion -- Paul Heyman can keep him on the leash. When he wants his rematch after losing that title without getting pinned and doesn't get his way, all hell breaks loose.
There is nothing better in all of pro wrestling than Brock Lesnar destroying everyone and everything around him. When he got his hands on Seth Rollins -- the perfect smarmy heel weasling his way out of defending his title -- it was like a bear getting its hands on a small child and just mauling the hell out of it.
Rollins, of course, gets away because that's what he does. But Brock was still hungry, so he feasted on whatever remained. That included Booker T, JBL, Michael Cole -- who was F'5'ed out of his shoes -- and even a cameraman who just so happened to wonder into the wrong place at the wrong time.
It was all done to get to suspending him to get him off television for a while, but my god this was glorious. It was like WWE called and asked exactly what I wanted and then gave it to me when all I could muster was "BROCK KILL EVERYONE."
For my money, the best Raw segment in history.
Also, Stephanie McMahon was once again perfect. Mom Stephanie pleading for the poor cameraman was adorable and vengeful Stephanie was deliciously evil lashing out. High marks all around.
That's the main event?
The Raw the night after WrestleMania is almost impossible to mess up, namely because the crowd is so very hot for damn near anything. Look no further than the Lucha Dragons being treated like peak Road Warriors.
But headlining with Ryback, Big Show, and Kane all involved in a six-man tag team match? Really?
Not only that, your new WWE world heavyweight champion is a part of this six man and not given a clear direction? Sure, they hinted at the Randy Orton program continuing but there certainly wasn't anything clear cut about it?
And on top of all that, they used Roman Reigns as a surprise tag team partner on the babyface team, let him get booed out of the building, and then put him over anyway?
And then just end the show that way?
This seems to indicate that Reigns won't be turning heel and they're counting on the crowds to settle down in the post-WrestleMania lull. But if what Reigns did at WrestleMania didn't help him get over as a babyface, is there any hope at all with this sustained push? At some point he'll need to turn just to let the boos out and turn him back later.
Plus, what's next for him? A Big Show program as advertising indicates? Is that going to help anyone or anything?
All of this seemed so distant from WrestleMania, so out of touch with what you would think they knew they would be getting into with this show.
With Lesnar leaving for a while, the future doesn't look nearly as bright as it did as Sunday night turned to Monday.
All the rest
Daniel Bryan vs. Dolph Ziggler: Remember when we said we really wanted these two to have a proper program over the Intercontinental title? It's probably not going to happen in the form of a straight up feud but the fact that they've gotten the chance to work together this way is reason to celebrate. These two are great at everything involved in being a great pro wrestler during an actual match, and it comes through each time they wrestle each other. I particularly enjoyed that they worked a hard hitting physical match in lieu of a technical back-and-forth. Bryan as Intercontinental champion could work so well for so long because it's really just about a guy you enjoy wrestling great matches over a title you want to care about.
Bigger Conor McGregor: Babyface Sheamus was the stalest character in the history of the world, a dude who gave you good matches but failed miserably to make you care enough to watch them. Heel Sheamus, rocking a mohawk with braids in his beard, could work so very well as a sort of bigger version of what the UFC has with Conor McGregor. Sheamus in front of that crowd chanting "you look stupid" was basically McGregor in front of Brazil chanting that Jose Aldo is going to kill him. Hopefully Sheamus can work heel in the same way McGregor does.
Lucha Dragons: They booked an eight-man tag that was basically the same thing we got at WrestleMania Sunday night but with NXT call ups the Lucha Dragons in the place of Los Matadores and The Ascension in the place of The Usos. And the Smarkamania crowd is so hot, it felt like a PPV main event between huge stars who have been doing it for years. Enthusiastic crowds are lovely, but they can also be deceptive. Lucha Dragons are fine and all, but they aren't as big a deal as they were made to seem. That said, Kalisto has huge potential if he's booked right, and he was AWESOME hitting all his spots in this match. It's way too early for it but the next Rey Mysterio? We know WWE is looking.
Damien Mizdow vs. Stardust: I suppose this is telling on how WWE feels about the Stardust character going forward, but I'll be damned if they don't have a hot feud with The Miz and Damien Mizdow. Absolutely love that Miz is so over the top in his anger, considering this has been building for so long and when he finally snapped it had to be filled with this much rage. That said, I don't understand why Mizdow is still working the gimmick. Are they going to explain this at some point?
The man whose first name they forgot: Can we all agree that it's really dumb that WWE isn't cool with letting wrestlers have first names anymore? Sometimes it works just fine, but don't push it on guys who were getting over just fine with more than one. Loved the Neville debut, though, because he looked great, hit a perfect Red Arrow, and AxelMania does another job. More of this, please.
John Cena vs. Dean Ambrose: So I guess I'm supposed to think that Ambrose went toe-to-toe with Cena and barely lost, so he's the real winner while Cena is also a winner? Is that the point? All I see is Ambrose building a reputation for consistently losing every single major match he's a part of. Fitting he's from Cincinnati because he is the Cincinnati Bengals at this point. Good enough to make the playoffs every year, never good enough to actually win when they get there. What's unfortunate is WWE hasn't been writing his character well enough to make up for it. Ambrose could be so much more than he is and it's unfortunate that he's booked in matches like this. It isn't much more than a half-assed way to attempt putting someone over without actually having to put them over. Sure, you can say the Bengals are still a really good team after going toe-to-toe with the New England Patriots and losing in the last minute, but you can only do that so many times before complacency sets in and everyone just accepts that failure is the ultimate end point. How many Bengals fans do you run into that are hyped for upcoming seasons because they believe they'll win the Super Bowl? None. They're all saying the same thing. "We'll make the playoffs, then get beat because that's what always happens." That's Dean Ambrose. I want to get excited but I've seen this before, and it never ends well for him. But hey, the match was good.
Divas tag match: This was interesting if only because the crowd was running through a series of chants of varying degrees of offensiveness depending on your point of view. Instead of focusing on that, it should be noted that while they pushed all the women into one match, they at least gave them time and delivered a fun match in the process. So that was nice.
Super hot start that nose dived into the finish. Still, the Lesnar segment made this show.
That's it from me, Cagesiders. Now it's your turn to sound off in the comments section below with all your thoughts on last nights show. How did you like it, if you liked it at all?