The show began in awesome fashion with the new WWE World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan coming to the ring to a huge ovation from the New Orleans crowd. This segment led to a rematch between Bryan and Triple H being scheduled for later in the night. The crowd was amazing as they chanted "You deserve this!" among various other things. Great way to start the show.
The opening match of the evening pitted The Wyatt Family against John Cena, Sheamus, and Big E. They put together a great closing sequence with alot of action and in the end, The Wyatt Family prevailed over Big E and the veterans. The Wyatt Family defeating two veterans like Cena and Sheamus shows that WWE has alot of faith in them. Here we also learned that the Wyatt/Cena feud would continue as Cena sat on the ramp shocked as Bray pinned Big E. The crowd was hot for The Wyatt Family through this match and booed Cena, Sheamus, and Big E. I also want to give credit to Sheamus for embracing it and mocking Bray's pose - THAT was great. Really enjoying Sheamus as of late. None the less, great opening match.
After a high impact match, it was a time to cool the crowd down with a fun segment. Santino & Emma came out to take on Fandango & Summer Rae. Although we've seen this several times it was an entertaining segment. Fandango and Emma got the biggest pops from the crowd. Emma making Summer tap out was really cool to see. Emma is one of my favorite Divas on the roster. So talented.
Following a light hearted match, it was time to address the elephant in the room. The Undertaker's streak being broken. Lesnar and Heyman came to the ring and Paul E proceeded to deliver one of the best promo's I've heard recently. The way he delivers things so flawlessly and with such passion is amazing. He truly knows how to work a crowd. I can't say much more - it was phenomenal. You need to see it for youself.
The next bout was a big one for The Usos as they had to defend their tag team belts against Batista and Randy Orton. The Usos retained after a double count out. Batista & Orton then proceeded to beat down The Usos afterwards.
The surprises kept coming next as Rob Van Dam made his return to WWE! Van Dam took on Sandow in what was a fun match. RVD hit all of his moves which is always entertaining. Just a shame Sandow had to be the guy that jobbed to him. Regardless, it's great to see RVD back in action!
Next up was another shocker for me - Wade Barrett or "Bad News Barrett" came out to WRESTLE. After weeks of not competing, he finally had a match. I was super excited about this and thankfully so was the crowd. Barrett has loads of potential and seeing him return to action in a competitive match against Rey Mysterio was great. I was completely surprised when Barrett got the win after delivering the BullHammer elbow to Mysterio! Definitely a mark out moment! Hope WWE continues to push Barrett. This "Bad News" gimmick may work well with him after all. As long as he continues wrestling. So great seeing him back in the ring.
Another young start got his chance to shine next as Alexander Rusev made his debut. It's too early for me to make an opinion about him, but he debuted in dominant fashion defeating Zack Ryder. The new talent initiative continues.
AJ Lee came to the ring and proclaimed herself the savior of Divas Division before being interrupted by NXT Diva Paige. AJ proceeded to give Paige a title match despite Paige saying she wasn't ready. Well turns out she was as Paige defeats AJ to become the NEW DIVAS CHAMPION! Yet ANOTHER mark out moment and ANOTHER new talent being pushed tonight! So awesome. I can't wait for the Paige/AJ Lee feud - it could save the Divas Division.
Hulk Hogan came to the ring next to present Cesaro with his trophy for winning the Andre The Giant Memorial Battle Royal. Cesaro was about to talk when Zeb stole the mic and took the credit for everything. Cesaro then started talking and said "I'm not a Zeb Colter guy... I'm a Paul Heyman guy!" WOW! If you know me, you know I'm a mark for Cesaro and Heyman so this was a dream come true. The crowd exploded as Heyman marched to the ring to announce that he was the new advocate for the "King of Swing" Cesaro! Soon after, Jack Swagger ran to the ring and attacked Cesaro. Swagger proceeded to throw Cesaro's trophy out of the ring breaking it. Cesaro hits the ring again and delivers some thunderous uppercuts to Swagger. This leads to a match that ends in a countout as Swagger runs off. AWESOME segment. Can't wait for the Swagger/Colter - Cesaro/Heyman feud. The promos and matches will be amazing.
The closing segment was just as great as the rest of the show. Bryan came down for his match with Triple H only for Batista, Orton, and Kane to beat him down. Triple H then came out and was about to pin Bryan when The Shield hit the ring. The Shield had a stare down with Kane, Batista, and Orton which led to a "This is Awesome!" chant. The Shield took out the three veterans leaving Triple H in the ring alone. Triple H gets up to tell The Shield not to hurt him and turns around to a running knee from Daniel Bryan! The Shield and Bryan celebrate as Triple H, Kane, Batista, and Randy Orton retreat!
In conclusion, a new era truly has begun in WWE. WrestleMania 30 was the start and last night was the first event in that new era and it was absolutely AWESOME. One of the best episodes of Raw ever.
To put it all together, last night - The Wyatt Family, Wade Barrett, & The Shield stood tall over John Cena, Sheamus, Triple H, Kane, Batista, Rey Mysterio and Randy Orton. On top of that Paige debuted and defeated AJ Lee for the Divas Championship and Cesaro aligned with Paul Heyman! Plus we saw the debut of Alexander Rusev and several NXT vignettes aired throughout the show which means there will be more new talent debuting soon.
If you missed last night's show - you NEED to check it out. It will go down as one of the best ever as well as the first chapter of a new era in WWE. After running from the idea of change for years, WWE has finally pushed new talent to the forefront and the result was quality TV. I'm more excited about WWE than I've been in years. This is truly a great time to be a WWE fan.