If WrestleMania is WWE’s version of the Super Bowl, the episode of “Monday Night Raw” after the biggest event of the year is the equivalent to the season opener. Following WrestleMania 32, WWE began a new wrestling season on Monday, giving a hint of what is to come over the next few months.
Triple H didn’t appear on TV after losing the WWE World Heavyweight Championship to Roman Reigns, and it doesn’t look like he’ll be getting a rematch for the title. Instead, it will be AJ Styles who next challenges for the belt. Styles became the No.1 contender after beating Chris Jericho, Cesaro and Kevin Owens in a Fatal 4-Way, opening the door for plenty of possibilities.
WWE hasn’t officially turned Reigns heel, but crowds will almost certainly treat him like a villain in the build for his title match with Styles at WWE Payback on May 1. Styles has been one of WWE’s most popular wrestlers since debuting at the Royal Rumble, and he could be featured in the main event of the next few pay-per-views. Reigns was booed mercilessly on Monday, and he might not be a babyface for much longer.
With Styles being put into the WWE World Championship picture, it fuels speculation about the future of NXT Champion Finn Balor joining the main roster. Balor led New Japan’s Bullet Club with recent WWE signees Doc Gallows and Karl Anderson, before heading to WWE in 2014. Styles took over as the faction’s leader when Balor came to the United States, and now that all four wrestlers are with WWE, it might only be a matter of time before they join forces on the main roster. Gallows and Anderson have yet to debut on WWE TV, but there have been rumors that they could appear on "Raw" very soon.
— Scott Hall (@SCOTTHALLNWO) April 5, 2016
As Reigns deals with Styles, it’s unknown what’s next for former Shield member Dean Ambrose. He didn’t appear on “Raw” after losing to Brock Lesnar at WrestleMania 32, though it’s hard to imagine Ambrose will be far from the main event scene.
Sami Zayn was supposed to be in the Fatal 4-way to become the No.1 contender, but he was removed from the match after he was attacked by Owens. Their feud is far from over, and they could be involved in another PPV match very soon.
Zayn and Owens could still be involved in the Intercontinental Title picture. Zack Ryder dropped the title to The Miz just 24 hours after winning it at WrestleMania 32, and it’s probably a safe bet that he won’t get the championship back.
A few mid-card feuds appeared to begin on “Raw.” After The League of Nations kicked King Barrett out of the group, The Wyatt Family came to the ring and attacked Sheamus, Rusev and Alberto Del Rio. Enzo Amore and Colin Cassady made their debuts on “Raw,” and it looks like they’ll be entering into a program with The Dudley Boyz.
Enzo and Big Cass weren’t the only NXT stars that got called up. Apollo Crews and Baron Corbin wrestled on “Raw” for the first time, and it was announced that The Vaudevillains will make their debuts on “SmackDown.”
Natalya could be the next challenger to Charlotte’s Women’s Title after she called out the champion on “Raw.” Sasha Banks remains the most popular female wrestler in the company, and WWE might have a long-term plan for her to beat Charlotte for the belt at SummerSlam. Former NXT Women’s Champion Bayley didn’t make her main roster debut as many expected.
It could be a while before Lesnar has a match again. He didn't appear on “Raw” after winning at WrestleMania 32. Lesnar still hasn't had a match against Bray Wyatt, which WWE has teased. That could be coming later in 2016 when Lesnar returns.
The Undertaker was nowhere to be seen on Monday, but he'll be back with WWE before the month is over. He's advertised for "Smackdown" on April 19 in London. The Deadman is also set to appear at live events from April 21-23.
John Cena wasn’t on the show either, and his appearance with The Rock at WrestleMania 32 might have been a one-time thing as he continues to recover from shoulder surgery.
Perhaps the most confusing part of "Raw" was Shane McMahon's involvement. Vince McMahon gave him control of “Raw” for one night, even though he lost to The Undertaker on Sunday. There’s a chance that his return to WWE won’t end with his WrestleMania 32 match.