There's only so long we can revel in the excitement of WrestleMania 34 before asking: What's next?
While Sunday's show won't go down as one of the greatest shows in Mania lore, there were quite a few moments from this show that will endure. The first half of the the pay-per-view was stellar, but a baffling tag team partner announcement from Braun Strowman and a one-dimensional main event hurt the overall momentum as the show stretched into its fifth hour and beyond.
Still, there's little sense in dissecting what went wrong, as what's done is done. We can instead look forward and opine on what the fallout from WrestleMania 34 means for the WWE moving forward. Neither Monday Night Raw nor SmackDown has had a shift in power at the top, with defending champs AJ Styles and Brock Lesnar each successfully defending their championships.
With two key nights of shows to come, and the chance to dramatically alter the direction of either Raw or SmackDown, what's next?
Here are 10 burning questions whose answers will go a long way in determining how the rest of 2018 (and beyond) will shape up in the WWE.
In her WWE in-ring debut, Ronda Rousey lands a fury of punches to both Stephanie McMahon and Triple H. Rousey, alongside Kurt Angle, would go on to win the match.
Is Ronda Rousey ready to jump into the ring by herself?
Arguably the biggest surprise, and probably the biggest relief on Sunday, was the outstanding performance by Ronda Rousey. She's the most substantial signing the WWE has had in a long time, and possibly in its history, and her presence is likely to continue to attract curious eyeballs from outside of the current WWE fandom. She was eased into her WWE debut by working with longtime veterans Kurt Angle, Triple H and Stephanie McMahon, but now it's time to let her fly solo. But against whom?
Despite her dominance, it would be a bad idea for her to be pushed into the title scene too soon. Sure, you can imagine a story between her and Asuka, two dominant forces with submission skills that are off the charts? Or perhaps the name value that transcends WWE, against Charlotte Flair? Either hints at the kind of splash that screams main event of WrestleMania 35. But before any dream match like that can happen, there's a lot of work to be done. She has plenty of initial opponents to choose from on Raw, and it'd be smart to put her up against someone who can carry the rivalry on the microphone; Alexa Bliss could fit the bill, or Paige's Absolution, although each would present different challenges in terms of physicality.
Whomever it is, Rousey exceeded expectations in a big way on Sunday night. And there's little doubt she could do so again, as long as the circumstances line up right.
What's next for Lesnar and Styles?
The anecdotal evidence seemed to point towards both Brock Lesnar and AJ Styles losing their titles on Sunday, but here we are. The next chapter looks drastically different for the Universal champion and WWE champion respectively, though, especially with rumors of a Lesnar return to MMA fueled by statements from UFC President Dana White and Paul Heyman himself.
Will Lesnar work both part-time? It seemed to work out sometimes over the past year, like at SummerSlam, although at other times the Universal championship was hardly the most important storyline on Raw. Further, the fact that Braun Strowman is a tag team champion ostensibly takes him out of the title mix for the moment -- and you'd think Roman Reigns will take a hiatus from going after Lesnar's gold after once again falling short in the WrestleMania main event.
So who's left? Not Seth Rollins, who's recently been given a big push in a different direction as the new Intercontinental champion. Maybe a David vs. Goliath Finn Balor feud, giving Balor his long-awaited rematch against the much larger Lesnar? Perhaps a return to tensions with a newly healthy Samoa Joe? Honestly, there is no clear narrative at the moment.
Styles, on the other hand, has a clear direction thanks to the postmatch activities of Shinsuke Nakamura. After defeating his long-awaited foe and defending his WWE championship, Nakamura feigned respect only to land a shocking low-blow and postmatch attack. The about-face for Nakamura will give this rivalry much-needed heat and an extended shelf life, and should offer Nakamura more of an opportunity to really let his personality grow.
How long until Daniel Bryan makes a main event-level impact?
No one really knew what to expect when Daniel Bryan stepped into the ring as a competitor for the first time in almost three years, but by all indications he seemingly hasn't lost a step. Bryan was victorious on Sunday night, which officially sent Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn packing from SmackDown, and now the questions begin. Does he officially cast off his role of general manager of SmackDown on Tuesday, and if so, where does he go from here?
There's a fine line here. Fans are fully behind him, and you don't want to mess around with meaningless rivalries that take any of the shine off his return, but you also don't want to rush him back into the world title picture before it makes sense. Ultimately, Bryan needs to work his way up and take some beatings, just not the kind that could put his health at risk. Finding an antagonist right off the bat would have been easier had Bryan and Shane McMahon lost on Sunday against Owens and Zayn, but with the two of them gone, it's going to be hard to determine what's next unless there's an instant roster shakeup in store.
The clear answer here would be if The Miz makes a move to Tuesdays, or Bryan goes to Raw, allowing each to pay off years of unrequited tensions.
Now that's she ended Asuka's streak, what's next for Charlotte Flair?
Charlotte Flair put on an unbelievable performance in New Orleans, taking down a previously undefeated Asuka in what stands as one of the best, if not the best, match on the WrestleMania 34 card. So what's next? It's not an easy answer, if only because the depth and star power on SmackDown Live don't seem to measure up to what's happening on Raw.
The idea of Flair feuding with Ruby Riott or someone on the Riott Squad seems anticlimactic after the lead-up to WrestleMania, as does a tiff with Naomi, who surprised everyone by sneaking back into the ring and winning the inaugural WrestleMania women's battle royal. There's always Becky Lynch, the one potentially big-money rivalry that hasn't been explored much on SmackDown, but without something like a battle royal victory that could've thrust her forward, her current trajectory seems more appropriate for an emeritus member of SmackDown than true title contender.
Thankfully, that leads us directly into our next question.
What superstars would benefit most from a brand switch?
Let's start with Bliss, who has spent time and succeeded on each show. Her versatility speaks to her talent level, and for now, a change would do her good after running the gamut with matches against every woman of note on the Raw roster including Nia Jax, to whom Bliss lost her Raw women's championship on Sunday.
A Bliss return to SmackDown could allow for a chance to revisit tensions with Flair for months to come. They faced off at Survivor Series, but that was a de facto All-Star game-type event that felt rather flat when all was said and done. SmackDown needs depth in the women's field, and Bliss is a big-time name.
Speaking of much-needed depth, how much would Raw benefit from acquiring The Usos, who lost their titles on Sunday in relatively short order? They spent 306 days over two stints as SmackDown champs since the beginning of 2017, and it was far from a Lesnar-esque reign. The Usos competed nearly every week, putting on one great match after another. But the reality is, there isn't anything fresh for them on Tuesday nights.
And wouldn't you know it, Monday nights need a shock to the system to revive the tag team division. As stellar as the talent on Raw's roster is, there's a noticeable tag team chasm. Jeff Hardy and Jason Jordan have been injured, while two longtime tried and true teams, The Revival and Gallows & Anderson, are midcard players at best these days and largely get forgotten.
The Bar, of course, has worked brilliantly since Sheamus and Cesaro finally got on the same page, but their current run didn't garner much visceral heat with anyone as they essentially stampeded over everyone until they lost their tag team titles to Strowman and a young fan at WrestleMania.
The most likely performers to switch brands, though, have to be Owens and Zayn, if only because they were officially fired from SmackDown after their loss to Bryan and McMahon. How much fun would it be to see KO and Zayn wreak havoc with new Intercontinental champ Rollins or Balor, or even Reigns, who needs a new foe?
Why has WWE failed to take advantage of the popularity of Rusev?
If any question doesn't have a satisfying answer, it's the curious case of Rusev. His renaissance is one of the most unlikely and welcome narratives in a long time among fans, and yet he nearly didn't even find his way onto the main card.
He has great charisma, athleticism and in-ring work, and yet he continues to founder in the midcard with no real sense of direction. Not only did he fail to secure the United States title Sunday, he was the one pinned by Jinder Mahal in a baffling moment that took the wind out of the sails for a stretch on the WrestleMania card. Rusev Day won't last forever, and it could've been a truly special moment to see him celebrate with a crowd going into a frenzy -- even if it was a half-hearted, Zack Ryder-esque short-lived reign.
What rivalry should we looking forward to most in the next couple of months?
We're going with Rollins and Balor. Yes, they have been in the ring a lot lately, but only to build their WrestleMania match. The rivalry never had a chance to blossom with a more personal story after SummerSlam 2016. It's time for these two to spend some quality time -- sans The Miz -- as they continue to elevate the Intercontinental championship.
So who should The Undertaker face in WrestleMania 35?
Granted, The Undertaker did not have a long performance against John Cena on Sunday, but he was certainly better than he was a year ago. It seems unlikely to have such a one-sided match and have that be the end of it, and the possibility exists that he could even appear outside of the realm of WrestleMania. If history with the likes of Triple H and Shawn Michaels is any indication, Cena may well want his revenge for this embarrassing showing.
Will Roman Reigns ever win the Universal championship?
Probably, but based on what we saw at WrestleMania 34, it was evident he lacks versatility compared to others, and fans are simply not buying into him as the underdog or the representative of the people. You almost feel for him at this point, because as much as we think he's been spoon fed in this company, he hasn't had anything close to resembling a long run as heavyweight champ, totaling just over 100 days in three stints. On two different occasions, Reigns appeared likely to step up as the heir apparent at WrestleMania, only for the main event result to go a different direction.
Reigns needs a break from the title picture for now, which begs the question, then what? Maybe he gets into the Intercontinental picture again with Rollins and Balor? Or maybe just a good old-fashioned blood feud with a returning Samoa Joe? That'd be fun.
Which loser Sunday will rebound the quickest?
Sing it together ... Rusev Daaaaaayyyyyyy!