This past Monday on Raw gave us our first look into the rivalry between The Shield and the Wyatt Family. The two teams will compete in a six man tag match at Elimination Chamber later this month, a feud that started last Monday when the Wyatt’s caused all three members of Shield a shot at the WWE World Heavyweight title at the Pay Per View.

This feud has it all, and Monday was just a taste of what this rivalry will potentially bring. The two factions have an eccentric leader - Bray Wyatt for the Family and Dean Ambrose for Shield - and all six superstars are incredibly talented in the ring. But the focal point of this feud is going to center around the microphone, where both teams feature some of the best promo work in the WWE.

During Raw on Monday, the Wyatt’s interrupted a segment with Shield, who were still arguing over the events at the Royal Rumble. Shield challenged the Wyatt’s last week on Smackdown and the Wyatt’s gave their answer on Monday. With Bray Wyatt leading the microphone work - he does 95 percent of the talking for his group - everyone listened. I don’t remember a superstar who really made you stop doing what you’re doing to just listen to what he has to say.

Wyatt called the Shield a bunch of pawns, always moving forward, never moving back, until they get to that moment where they sacrifice themselves “in the name of your king.” It’s either just Wyatt’s way of describing Shield, who has always had an agenda since they debuted in the WWE, or it could mean something much more, especially with their imminent break up.

But the Shield wasn’t going to take Wyatt’s words lying down. After the Family demolished the team of Dolph Ziggler, R Truth and Xavier Woods, they responded with a promo of their own on the jumbotron. Seth Rollins, the group’s acrobat, taunted Wyatt’s “rhetoric,” and “little analogies of what you think is going on.” Roman Reigns finished with a demand for the Wyatt’s to believe in the Shield, but the only thing I will believe in is that we’re set for a fantastic promo heading into the next Pay Per View.

If there is any team that can take down the idea of the Shield it’s the Wyatts. With the psychological warfare they play, they can crack the armor of the Shield. This is a program that needs to last through Wrestlemania. If the WWE is patient with it, it could be one of the most successful stable-vs-stable story lines in a very long time. There are a lot of budding stars in either group, and this could be the launching point for the future of the WWE.

Tag titles in a cage

The New Age Outlaws were forced to defend their tag titles against Cody Rhodes and Goldust on Monday, this time in a steel cage so that no interference, including a rampaging Brock Lesnar, wouldn’t interfere. The winner was decided by pinfall or submission, not exiting the cage.

It was a great match by the Outlaws, who are a combined 94 years-old, and the Rhodes Brothers. The high point of the match was when Rhodes climbed the cage to attempt a moonsault on Road Dogg. Rhodes seemed to catch only a part of Road Dogg, and was instead Fame Asser’d by Billy Gunn and pinned.

Rhodes seemed to have hurt his left arm when he landed as well. It’s unsure whether or not Rhodes took a bad bump and missed Road Dogg or if that was a part of the high spot to make it look more devastating. Either way, Rhodes has some serious guts to attempt a move like that.

Lack of star power on Raw

The one thing WWE has an abundance of is superstars. Oddly enough, Raw was lacking in that area on Monday. John Cena was off as he reportedly suffered an eye injury this past weekend at a house show. Brock Lesnar, who made a scene last week, was nowhere to be seen or mentioned either.

Most importantly, there was no mention at all of CM Punk, who walked out on the company last week. There were “CM Punk” chants throughout the night though, which could be heard quite clear on the broadcast.

WWE did make up for it with a near-30 minute match between Daniel Bryan and Randy Orton. Triple H told Orton that if he were to lose to Bryan, Triple H may reconsider who the face of the WWE should be. Bryan won the match clean despite the best efforts of Kane to interfered. After the match, Kane and Orton beat down Bryan with the show ending with them standing over Bryan.

WWE heads to Atlantic City

WWE will be making a stop to Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City on March 22, just two weeks before Wrestlemania XXX in New Orleans. Superstars Daniel Bryan, Sheamus and Big Show will be among the stars for the house show event.

Tickets went on sale today at noon. Prices are $15, $25, $35, $55 and $95, and can be purchased online at www.ticketmaster.com, at the Boardwalk Hall Box Office, all Ticketmaster locations or by calling 1-800-736-1420.

Next Week

Betty White will be the guest star on Raw next week. She is still incredibly funny, and I’d be intrigued what spots she would be involved in.

Three Questions

-Will Triple H make Daniel Bryan the face of WWE after he beat Randy Orton?

-Will Brock Lesnar get his answer?

-How will the Wyatt Family crack the Shield?

Power Rankings - The best performers of the past week - Feb. 3

1 Daniel Bryan (6) - He pinned the WWE Champ despite outside interference.

2 Batista (1) - He came out on top after Alberto Del Rio sucker-punched him.

3 Bray Wyatt (3) - He’s gotten into the head of The Shield.

4 Roman Reigns (2) - He’s the muscle of Shield and could be their answer for Wyatt.

5 Randy Orton (4) - He lost clean to Bryan and The Authority is losing faith in him.

6 Antonio Cesaro (UR) - He’s in the Elimination Chamber and looking impressive

7 New Age Outlaws (UR) - They successfully defended their belts in the steel cage.

8 Christian (UR) - He’s in the Elimination Chamber, and beat a slumping Jack Swagger.

9 Big E Langston (7) - Was pinned by Reigns, but is still Intercontinental Champ.

10 Titus O’Neil (UR) - After ditching partner Darren Young last week, he pounded Zack Ryder.

Started at The Press in 1993 as an Ocean County reporter. Moved to the copy desk in 1994 until taking over as editor of At The Shore in 1995. Became deputy sports editor in 2004 and was promoted to sports editor in 2007.