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For years now, the RAW after WrestleMania has been viewed as a way to reset the landsape after the prior year culminating at “the granddaddy of them all.”  In regular TV speak, WrestleMania is the season finale and the RAW after is the season premiere.

The RAW after Mania has become almost as big as (and some years even bigger than) WrestleMania itself.  In recent years it has trumpeted the triumphant return of Brock Lesnar, Dolph Ziggler cashing in his Money in the Bank briefcase to win the World Heavyweight Title, and Paige’s debut and subsequent Diva’s Title victory.  There’s one more thing that the RAW after WrestleMania gives us, you might have heard a few people talk about it:  The crowd.

Always held in a much smaller venue than the PPV the night prior, it tends to be a collection of the hardest of the hardcore wrestling fans across the world.  These crowds aren’t afraid to tell you who they like, and maybe more importantly they’re not afraid to completely shit on something they don’t.  Whether it’s the “Yes” chant after WrestleMania 28 or “Fandango-ing” after WrestleMania 29, we’re gonna leave that show with something to talk about.

I think with the RAW after WrestleMania {Play} we saw a slight change in booking philosophy for the post-WrestleMania show.  Sure we got the big Brock Lesnar angle, but with that being the final date on Lesnar’s expiring contract, we were going to get that regardless.  Instead of leaving the show with a better feel for where the WWE was headed, I felt a large portion of the show was an attempt at pandering.

Daniel Bryan vs. Dolph Ziggler.  Dean Ambrose in a US Title Match again John Cena.  The NXT call-ups of crowd favorites (although let’s be honest, anyone this side of Bull Dempsey and Tye Dillinger would’ve been crowd favorites) the Lucha Dragons and Adrian, I mean uhhhh… the man that first names forgot, Neville.  Outside of a main event that included Big Show, Kane, and the number one heel of WrestleMania 31 weekend, Roman Reigns, it was an EXTREMELY carefully booked show.  The show was booked for this crowd in an attempt to keep this rowdy bunch largely satisfied.

This brings us to the RAW after the RAW after Mania, catchy huh?  Outside of the Brock angle, and Randy Orton appearing to be on a collision course with Seth Rollins at Extreme Rules, the WWE landscape is wide open.  The Miz/Mizdow feud was really the only other feud that got any attention or advancement, which leaves lots of storylines to be built in the next three weeks.

Where does the Diva’s division go with the recent “retirement” of AJ Lee?  Are we headed towards Naomi and Nikki Bella at Extreme Rules?  Will we get the NXT call-ups of Charlotte or Sasha Banks that were teased prior to RAW last week?

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Roman Reigns seems to be out of the title picture for the time being, but where does that put him?  Will they put him out there in front of a not so hostile crowd to address his WrestleMania main event defeat?  Will he EVER stop feuding with Big Show and Kane?

How will WWE justify Michael Cole’s appearance on RAW one week after being F-5’d out of his shoes (well, shoe) by the baddest man on the planet?  Who will surface to be the number one contender for the Intercontinental Title?  Will the crowd in Austin, TX also think that Sheamus looks stupid?  How does Bray Wyatt transfer the rub of being in a WrestleMania match with The Undertaker?  Where do the powers that be truly slot the newly debuted NXT talent when they’re not in front of a crowd of hardcore fans?  Will they EVER realize that no one likes The New Day?

I could keep on going, but I think you get the point.  The #RAWafterMania left us with more questions than answers, thanks to what I consider pandering booking.  This makes this week’s RAW even more important in building the landscape for the next WWE calendar year.  So let’s all sit back, and see what they have in store for us.  As Michael Cole would say, “You can join the conversation on Twitter by using the hashtag #RAWafterRAWafterMania.”  (I’m only half kidding)

Let me know what you think about last week’s booking, as well as what lies ahead for this week’s episode of RAW.  As always you can follow me on Twitter @RebookTheFinish, or leave a comment down below!

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