WWE News RAW NEWS: Lesnar returns to set up big feud, Henry retirement tease, Christian returns, Bryan injured?, Bryan & Hunter get heated, Stephanie-A.J., Smackdown match, more
Jun 17, 2013 - 10:25:07 PM
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By James Caldwell, PWTorch assistant editor
-- Brock Lesnar made an emphatic return at the end of Monday's Raw. After C.M. Punk beat World Hvt. champion Alberto Del Rio via count-out in the main event, Lesnar's music played to bring back Paul Heyman's top "client."
Lesnar walked to the ring to confront Punk, who stood face-to-face in the ring. Lesnar then dropped Punk an F5, setting up a new feud for Lesnar and Punk. It will likely lead to a match at Summerslam in August, unless WWE opts to put the match at Money in the Bank in July.
Lesnar's return was set up earlier in the show when Punk told Paul Heyman that he doesn't need his help, unlike Lesnar and Curtis Axel.
-- Mark Henry's retirement tease turned out to be just that, setting up Henry vs. John Cena for the WWE Title at the MITB PPV. Henry used the emotions of a retirement speech to suck in the crowd, lull Cena into a false sense of security, and then deliver World's Strongest Slam to Cena to set up their PPV title match.
-- In the first hour of Raw, Christian returned from injury to defeat Wade Barrett clean. Christian's return was lost in the shuffle by the end of the show.
-- Rob Van Dam returning at the MITB PPV was played up throughout Raw. WWE ran a highlight package on RVD twice during Raw and the announcers reacted to the strong reception to RVD's return announcement during Payback on Sunday.
-- Daniel Bryan sold a shoulder/neck injury that resulted in a "heated discussion" between on-air authority figure Triple H and Bryan off-camera. During a featured match against Randy Orton, Bryan sold losing feeling in his shoulder, prompting the match to be stopped and Orton declared the winner. Later in the show, Raw's announcers relayed "health updates" that Bryan suffered a stinger.
WWE then released video of Triple H discussing his "heated discussion" with Bryan. They tried to play it up as a shoot by noting Hunter and Bryan's heated discussion occurred "at the Gorilla position," and included comments from other WWE stars playing up the scene. [ LINK: Story HERE at WWE.com ]
-- WWE confirmed multiple heel and face turns during Raw. New World Hvt. champion Alberto Del Rio opened the show in full heel mode, Dolph Ziggler was presented as a face, and C.M. Punk is officially returning as a face. Meanwhile, new Divas champion A.J. Lee stayed in heel mode. She was not associated with Dolph Ziggler during Raw.
-- A.J. Lee had an in-ring promo exchange with Stephanie McMahon, which was a big moment in A.J.'s career. The angle set up the latest chapter of A.J. and Kaitlyn feuding over the Divas Title.
-- The McMahon Family Drama continued another week with Triple H, Vince McMahon, and Stephanie McMahon asserting themselves by abusing power, sending directives to Raw authority figures Vickie Guerrero and Brad Maddox, and intentionally countering each other's decisions.
-- Bryan vs. U.S. champion Dean Ambrose was announced for Friday's Smackdown "if Bryan is cleared to compete."
-- The Triple H vs. Curtis Axel match that was teased last week on Raw and during Payback last night did not materialize during Raw and was never mentioned during the broadcast.
-- Zeb Colter is now officially associated with Antonio Cesaro while Jack Swagger remains sidelined with an injury.
-- Ryback did not appear on Raw following his Three Stages of Hell loss to John Cena in the Payback PPV main event.
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