Kester's WWE Raw Rundown: Daniel Bryan joins The Wyatt Family, Brock Lesnar returns, and The Shield continues to build towards a split

Posted in: Kester Editorials, MUST-READ LISTING
Jan 2, 2014 - 09:18 AM

By Ryan Kester

Daniel Bryan and The Wyatt Family

This story came out of nowhere. Daniel Bryan's involvement with the Wyatts had holding pattern written all over it until he finally admitted to his recent losses and said that the fans' cheers were not enough for him. Bryan went from a top star with a great reaction to one of the few acts with a tangible story going into the New Year. It's an unexpected by ultimately good spot for Bryan to be in as WWE builds to the Royal Rumble.

Despite the character potential this opens up for Bryan, the move is so sudden that it has the stink of a rushed decision about it. For WWE and Bryan's sake, one has to hope this move is one that comes with a clear plan throughout WrestleMania or WWE risks sacrificing one of their best babyface reactions for nothing.

Brock Lesnar

Lesnar's return was the first moment of Raw that showed that WWE wasn't talking their usual end of the year approach and coasting, and it seemed to wake up the crowd for the rest of the show. Lesnar and Heyman slipped into their roles well, and the idea that Lesnar is moving on to a new challenger rather than giving someone their win back is refreshing. Lesnar's focus on the newly unified Heavyweight Championship adds legitimacy to the belt as it puts the strap over as something prestigious enough to cause a former star to come back into the fold to pursue.

While Lesnar is declaring for the top title, it wouldn't be surprising if he ended up as the returning Batista's WrestleMania opponent. WWE hasn't had a good giant man match at 'Mania for a few years, and Lesnar and Batista would be able to deliver one with more energy than most.

The Shield

WWE is charging ahead with The Shield's unraveling story, and while it is far too premature to have the group looking at a split, the work that is going into their dissention is entertaining. All three members of the group gave a performance that made their frustrations apparent without giving away too much too early.

With reigns' performance on Monday, WWE could easily be setting up the Shield to split up simply because they have plans with the big man. While his move set has been very limited in the group, he has an intensity WWE enjoys in their top stars, and Reigns has really shown a wide range in recent weeks with his reactions and mannerisms that could benefit the strong, somewhat silent character they've built for Reigns thus far.

Overall Show

Raw was impressive this week. Expectations were admittedly low for the final show of 2013, but WWE didn't let the year go quietly by having Lesnar make his return and ending the show on such a cliffhanger. The coming week in WWE television is an exciting prospect for the first time in months.

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