With no offseason and very little downtime, there are times when WWE must reset. A concept similar to when a playing a video game, the company simply alters course by changing title holders. Last week the company pushed the reset button heading into the summer months and it started just over a week ago. Let’s recap and look at the new direction.
John Cena is WWE World Heavyweight Champion. The WWE World Heavyweight Championship picture has been in flux since Daniel Bryan’s lone defense against Kane at Extreme Rules in May. Once it was learned Bryan needed neck surgery, WWE was reluctant to have him drop the belt in an effort to keep his momentum from Wrestlemania XXX going. There was a possibility he would be able to return at Money in the Bank last month, however, his recovery didn’t go as planned.
When Daniel Bryan was deemed unfit for Money in the Bank, he was officially stripped of the title and a ladder match to crown a new champion at the pay-per-view was announced. WWE tried to keep optimism alive in the weeks that preceded the announcement, even putting the legitimate plan into storyline in hopes of keeping fans engaged.
Bryan eventually delivered the sobering truth at the pay-per-view itself, clarifying he’s still without a timetable and could require a second surgery because he has yet to regain the strength in his arm.
With Bryan out and without a return, Cena went on to win the title later in the night at Money in the Bank. The reign is Cena’s 15th world title reign and by all accounts, he’ll defend it against Brock Lesnar at SummerSlam in August. However, WWE has already announced a title match with Cena defending at Battleground this month.
— Richard Gray (@wnwdotcom) June 30, 2014
AJ Lee is back and once again Divas Champion. WWE’s longest-reigning Divas Champion returned to the company after a near three-month hiatus and reclaimed the title by beating Paige on last week’s episode of Monday Night Raw. This was hardly a surprise as AJ Lee was held in high regard her entire time off and Paige continued to lose support. WWE used AJ’s time off to evaluate the Divas and it didn’t go well. From what I was told, AJ Lee’s stock only increased as Vince McMahon continues to view her as the face of the Divas division. Paige was heavily critiqued for her work on last week’s Raw, however, she does not have backstage heat because of it.
The WWE Intercontinental Championship is vacated. After suffering a shoulder injury a couple weeks ago, it was learned Wade Barrett needed surgery. As a result, he’s out a “number of months” and WWE is without an Intercontinental Champion. The company will crown a new Intercontinental Champion at Battleground in a battle royal featuring Alberto Del Rio, Big E, Bo Dallas, Cesaro, Curtis Axel, Damien Sandow, Dolph Ziggler, Kofi Kingston, Rob Van Dam, Ryback, The Great Khali and a participant to be named.
Now we circle back into Monday Night Raw as the company has a couple of weeks to build their next pay-per-view. You can read the plans for SummerSlam headed into last weekend before previewing this week’s Raw.
What do you think of WWE’s summer reset? Feel free to discuss your opinion in the comments area below.