WRESTLEMANIA season is well and truly over – but things never stop in WWE.
With the next big pay-per-view just weeks away – Payback on 30 April – the superstars on Raw were back in action last night, settling scores and setting up more big matches.
Here’s are seven things we learnt from Raw.
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Braun Strowman went on the rampage
Enraged that Kurt Angle had booked a match between him and Roman Reigns at Payback (Reigns’ separated shoulder can’t be all that bad, then), Braun went about destroying every jobber he could get his hands on. He battered Golden Truth and Kalisto, until Big Show stepped in.
But Braun’s path of destruction didn’t stop there. In a surprisingly good match against Show, Braun executed a huge tope rope super-plex on the giant that collapsed the ring.
An explosive moment that will keep up Braun’s monstrous momentum.
Samoa Joe is back to being a monster
For a few weeks we were worries that WWE had already lost interest in Samoa Joe. He didn’t appear at WrestleMania, and was on the losing end of a tag match on Raw the next night.
But he looked unstoppable again last night, dominating and tapping Chris Jericho with the Coquina Clutch (that’s a statement – it’s rare for a top babyface to tap like that, especially on Raw).
He then had a war of words with Seth Rollins, who he faces at Payback.
After what Rollins did to Stephanie McMahon at ‘Mania, Joe warned that “it won’t be business, it’ll be personal”.
The Hardy Boyz broke their silence
Matt and Jeff appeared in a backstage segment – the first proper mic time they’ve got since returning at WrestleMania.
Their patter was disappointingly ordinary, with no hint of their Broken gimmick in their voices or delivery.
Jeff later beat Cesaro in a singles match, ahead of the Hardy Boyz versus Cesaro and Sheamus title match at Payback.
It’s a respectful rivalry between the teams so far.
But can Cesaro and Sheamus somehow “break” the Hardys?
Miz had some hard truths for Dean Ambrose
Intercontinental Champion Ambrose appeared on Miz TV, doing his usual unfunny shtick.
But Miz had serious words for “The Lunatic Fringe”, reminding Ambrose how much he’d fallen from grace.
Just six months after being WWE Champion, Ambrose was “barely a blip” on the WrestleMania card (true).
He followed it up with another statement of fact “Do you know why you never break the glass ceiling?” asked Miz.
“Because you’re lazy and complacent” (also true), which prompted Ambrose to attack Miz.
This feud is a waste of Miz’s time. Best case scenario is Miz regains the IC strap and moves onto bigger and better. He deserves it.
There’s a new women’s number one contender
Alexa Bliss, Sasha Banks, Mickie James, and Nia Jax faced off in a number one contender’s Fatal Four Way.
It was a fun match, despite some sloppy exchanges (especially Jax’s power moves – her opponents must be nervous after some dangerous botches on Charlotte last week).
Banks was positioned as the babyface star – her exchanges with James were the highlight – but Alexa got the victory, craftily pinning Banks after Jax hit “The Boss” with a Samoan drop.
Bliss will now challenge Raw Women’s Champion Bayley at Payback.
The New Face of Fear doesn’t scare anyone
Bray Wyatt delivered a “Sermon to the Snake”, waffling on about why WWE Champion Randy Orton should be afraid of their upcoming “House of Horrors” match.
Speaking from a darkened room, Wyatt said: “You are scared Randy… I can smell it”.
We’re not sure what Orton’s supposed to be scared of, exactly.
Wyatt’s lost every major feud he’s ever been in – and Orton beat him easily at WrestleMania.
Finn is back in action
New Raw Superstars and perennial no-hoper Curtis Hawkins laid out a challenge – answered by “The Demon” himself, Finn Bálor.
Following a reported concussion against Jinder Mahal last week, some fans were concerned that Finn had gone straight back on the shelf – just two weeks after returning from injury.
Finn beat Hawkins with the Coup de Grace in just minutes.
But with no obvious storyline or opponent lined up, what’s the long-term plan for Bálor?
Watch Payback on the WWE Network April 30