Backstage news from Monday Night Raw in Cleveland, Ohio…
- We're told WWE realized they had to "tread lightly" with Batista and Brock Lesnar on this week's Monday Night Raw given the fact fans want to turn them both. I heard there was a lot of angst over the 9 PM segment that involved Randy Orton, Batista and Lesnar because they were scared Batista would continue to get heat while Lesnar would end up the babyface.
What I didn't understand, as I noted here on WrestlingNewsWorld.com, was the fact The Authority (Stephanie McMahon to be specific) called Batista a "friend of theirs" in the opening segment but in the 9 PM segment (the one everyone was worried about) Batista said he would come out of Wrestlemania XXX WWE World Heavyweight Champion and it didn't matter what The Authority thought.
- The major story out of this week's show was the situation with Daniel Bryan at Royal Rumble and I detailed it as throughly as possible at this link. I'll add the feeling I got from speaking with sources is that Vince McMahon plans to "meticulously manage" the situation and feature Bryan more to appease the crowd. However, Vince was believed to be completely against putting Bryan in the title picture at Wrestlemania and while there was talk about switching up the proposed match with Sheamus, the most prominently talked about Wrestlemania match for Bryan was one against Triple H. I'll have more on this later. However, to be clear, the feeling I got (and reaffirmed with a source) was that WWE was looking for a way to contain the Daniel Bryan chants, not run with them.
- While neither CM Punk nor Kane were on this week's show, the preliminary plan was for them to face each other at Elimination Chamber next month.
- John Cena did not suffer a serious injury in the main event of this week's show. He waved off medical attention and was believed to be in pain but nothing more than that as of press time.