After everything that happened last night at the WWE Royal Rumble 2016, things will, to quote a certain Ayatollah, never be the same again. For the first time since 2009, Triple H is a World Heavyweight Champion. Brock Lesnar will likely start focusing on the Wyatt Family. A.J. Styles made his long-awaited WWE debut, Kalisto became a two-time WWE United States Champion, R-Truth — and arguably Curtis Axel — were the only “joke” entrants in the Royal Rumble Match, and Sami Zayn returned to WWE’s main roster to rekindle his feud with Kevin Owens.
— WWE (@WWE) January 25, 2016
The WWE Universe is officially on the Road to WrestleMania 32.
Every week, WWE posts a “Five-Point Preview” for Monday Night Raw. Since Raw airs live, it’s the only weekly WWE program for which spoilers are nowhere to be found. Instead, WWE gives their loyal fans a glimpse of what to expect on the company’s flagship program. With so much to address from last night’s Royal Rumble, WWE.com’s preview looks at five different stories in the WWE Universe that are scheduled to get some air-time on Raw.
With the Royal Rumble in the rear view, the roster now sets their eyes on Dallas, with a pit-stop in Cleveland for WWE’s Fast Lane. Roman Reigns and Alberto Del Rio have rematch clauses that must be fulfilled, Sasha Banks made a statement with a return at the Rumble, The New Day and Dean Ambrose need new challengers for their respective titles, and A.J. Styles has yet to offer an official statement on his new home. According to WWE.com’s official Monday Night Raw preview page, below are five narratives from the WWE Universe that will likely be addressed on the USA Network tonight.
Time to play The Game
With guys like John Cena and Seth Rollins most likely sitting WrestleMania 32 out due to injuries and the status and capabilities of huge names like The Rock and The Undertaker always an uncertainty, it would appear as though the rumored WrestleMania main event of Triple H vs. Roman Reigns is being orchestrated. While Reigns will undoubtedly ask for a rematch right away on WWE Raw, it seems much more likely that The Authority will make him wait until Fast Lane.
— ♡TheRareMaahiMayuri♡ (@HHHRocksMyWorld) January 25, 2016
However, with Triple H leading The Authority and Roman Reigns getting no respect from the WWE Universe, a WrestleMania match between the two doesn’t seem worthy of headlining the show in Dallas. In all likelihood, Reigns will walk into Dallas without a title. His cousin, The Rock, will be in attendance. Arguably the biggest rival in The Rock’s career, Triple H, will likely walk into Mania with the belt.
One way or the other, tonight’s Raw could help set the stage for all three men to have an important role at WrestleMania 32.
What will be AJ Styles’ next move?
One thing we learned about life in the WWE this weekend is that not all newcomers are treated the same. Talents like Samoa Joe and Austin Aries are being kept on WWE NXT programming before they see the WWE’s main roster. AJ Styles, on the other hand, debuted during one of the biggest matches of the year and lasted almost 30 minutes. Without so much as saying a word, Styles received one of the biggest pops of the night.
Reports indicate that Styles will be at Raw and SmackDown this week. Will someone step up to begin a feud with The Phenomenal One? Will he want a piece of Kevin Owens after the Prizefighter eliminated “A Double” from the Rumble Match? Could we see “The Phenom vs. The Phenomenal One” at WrestleMania 32? All eyes will be on Styles as he addresses the WWE Universe on Monday Night Raw for the first time in his career.
In less than a week, Kalisto went from never having held a WWE Championship to being a two-time WWE United States Champion. After a surprise upset on last week’s Raw, Del Rio struck back — with the assistance of Wade Barrett — the following night to regain the gold. But Kalisto won the rubber match at the Rumble, so the program between the two Mexican grapplers will continue. Will Kalisto be able to retain during the rematch and move on to a different opponent for WrestleMania? Could Sin Cara return to action and begin a jealousy-based feud with the other half of the Lucha Dragons?
Is Sasha Banks our next Divas Champion?
Triple H wasn’t the only one returning from an injury last night. After Charlotte managed to escape once again with the WWE Divas Championship, The Boss made her way to the ring to show that she’s not in the WWE to make friends with either Flair or Lynch. While sites like Cast Side Seats reported a Sasha Banks injury, she looked to be in good health at the Rumble. No mention was made of Team B.A.D. at all. Will Lynch remain a part of the program going forward, or is WWE building towards Charlotte vs. Sasha in Dallas?
And maybe more importantly: If Sasha Banks has a big match at WrestleMania 32, will her cousin Snoop Dogg help give her a ridiculously awesome ring entrance?
Of buzzards and Beasts
Not very many members of the WWE Universe are keenly aware of the fact that prior to last night’s event, Brock Lesnar had never lost a match at the Royal Rumble. He won the only Rumble match he had even been in and won all three singles matches he’s had at the event. So it should come as no surprise that it took four guys to officially eliminate The Beast Incarnate from the Royal Rumble Match.
While it seems uncharacteristic of Lesnar to not address such an issue, the “Five-Point Preview” makes it sound like the focus will be on the next victim of the Wyatt Family rather than how Lesnar will respond. If Lesnar has already left the Orlando area, could we get a response from Paul Heyman?
With a show that should contain, at the very least, new WWE World Heavyweight Champion Triple H and newly-signed WWE Superstar A.J. Styles, the first WWE Raw on the Road to WrestleMania has the potential to be a very big episode. WWE Monday Night Raw airs live on the USA Network at 8/7c.
[Image via WWE]