The RAW after Wrestlemania. Often cited as being just as big a show as Mania itself, this is a wildly different RAW to your usual weekly show.
The energy brought over from Mania is unparalleled and although the 'smart' fans are often criticised for taking over the show, it's exactly that which gives Mania Monday its charm. Some of my all time favourite Mania Monday moments have come from the amazing attending crowd who will literally chant, boo and cheer for whatever the hell they want and there isn't a thing that WWE can do to stop them.
Mania Monday isn't just about the fans however. Some era defining moments have taken place on that very night, whether it be a debuting superstar, an eagerly awaited return or an unexpected heel turn. WWE have a knack for making every least favourite day of the week suddenly be the most eagerly anticipated.
So what can we expect this year? For once I can truly say... I don't fully know. This has been the strangest time to ever be a pro wrestling fan and although it has been difficult at times it has also offered up a genuine sense of excitement like we haven't felt for a very long time. The main issue here is we don't have those incredible fans. An empty arena for a huge debut or return... is that going to hit the mark at all?
Let's take a look at some of the things that we can definitely expect, while theorizing some of the more unexpected moments.
Returns, Surprises & Debuts
This is what Mania Monday is all about. Those big moments. The returns. The debuts. The excitement. The huge pop from the WWE Univ... oh wait. Nevermind. But regardless, Mania Monday is still likely to feature some familiar faces coming back to reintroduce themselves, while also introducing us to some brand new faces altogether.
How about an NXT call up? A few names I would like to throw into the hat (no put intended) are Cameron Grimes, Austin Theory and Kushida. The problem for those 3 is they would likely be used as nothing more than jobbers right now. The name which makes most sense to me is Damien Priest. He has come on leaps and bounds, and while he isn't the finished article, a program against a main roster star could do wonders for The Archer Of Infamy. His chances at the North American Championship seem to be over now after a few ill-fated challenges, so opportunities against new faces could help to make Priest the finished article.
Lars Sullivan. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. I really hope Lars gets another crack at making it in WWE. I wasn't a fan of him at first in NXT but over time he came to be one of my favourite big guys. Unfortunately, poor decisions in his past have held him back (we've all been there) and have halted his progress on the main roster. These decisions, coupled with an untimely injury and poor booking, have led to Lars seemingly being forgotten about entirely. If Strowman is beating Goldberg this weekend, let Lars step up and give us a good old fashioned battle of the big men.
Nia Jax has been due a return from injury for a short while now and would provide a breath of fresh air into the Womens Division, which is very much needed right now. Since Ronda Rousey left WWE, outside of Shayna there has been absolutely no intensity on either brand. Unless you count Becky Lynch putting on her best angry pout and getting a nice new coat. Nia stepping up as Shaynas first challenger would definitely be interesting.
Anofher surprise return that I'd like to see is Xavier Woods. One of strengths of The New Day is that even when they're a man down, they can keep their energy levels as high as ever and remain just as entertaining. However, Woods brings the group together nicely, working as more of a compere than a manager, while also being a very talented and underrated in-ring performer. Just ask Paige...
This one would make a great deal of sense to me despite New Day being part of Smackdown, as we saw the trio appear on the same episode of RAW last year which led to Kofi Kingston and Seth Rollins briefly facing eachother 24 hours after their massive Wrestlemania moments. If theres one thing The New Day can do effectively, it's entertain people even at the worst of times.
A Mania Monday McMahon Moment
Considering this has been an incredibly difficult time for WWE, arguably their toughest ever period, Vince and the McMahon clan have been unusually quiet throughout. Sure they must be extremely busy right now and stressed out to say the least, but this would be as good a time as any to break that silence.
Triple H can't always be the one to make the statements and announcements. At the end of the day this is Vince McMahon's company and it would be a smart move to have a pre taped message thanking the fans for their understanding and support throughout the pandemic. Vince has appeared on Mania Monday in the past. I'm hoping for a repeat here.
Announcement Of The 2020 Draft
The Draft - my second favourite night of the wrestling calendar. The Draft would likely have been slated for October, like it was in 2019, but this year WWE urgently need to inject some life into a product that is quickly losing interest, albeit through no fault of their own.
Lots of superstars have become somewhat stale over the last few months, and a lack of fan interaction during pre taped shows may have made the situation even worse. This would be the best time to announce this year's shake-up. A lot of upper mid card guys need something new right now, with Ricochet, Black and Lashley being right at the top of that list, and a move to Smackdown could be hugely beneficial for both the superstars and the fans. Lashley having a legitimate background in MMA would surely be a huge pull for the people at FOX who clearly want Smackdown to have more of a sports vibe to it.
If Vince is going to make any form of announcement, he should also make an announcement about The Draft to make Mania Monday even more important than usual.
WrestleMania Fallout - Who, What, When and Why?
Obviously this section largely comes down to what happens over the course of Wrestlemania. WWE have done a fantastic job of building hype for certain matches and superstars this year, with a lot of TV time and promotion given to the likes of Drew McIntyre and Shayna Baszler. But Wrestlemania isn't just a celebration of all things WWE, it also signals the start of a new year and new opportunities.
While WWE have done a great job focusing on those matches and superstars, they haven't put in any real groundwork for what happens next. If Drew defeats Brock and becomes WWE Champion, who steps up to challenge him? If Strowman beats Goldberg to become Universal Champion, who challenges him now that Roman is out sick? Shayna has already embarrassed the RAW Womens Division on her way to facing Becky, so who in the hell could believably challenge her if she wins this weekend?
We will certainly get answers to all of these questions, even if a few of them come down to the loser simply challenging for a rematch, but right now it's almost impossible to say who will be the next in line for any of the top championships in WWE.