Ladies and gentlemen, there is a reason why WWE is still king of the wrestling business. There is a reason why any laughable company trying to compete with them will always be in second place.
Last night on WWE Raw, we all saw just why. They just are simply that much better than anything else in this industry. Of course, I am talking about the final five minutes, but there was so much more!
If I had to grade Raw, I would fall in A range. Here are the top 15 moments why it was that amazing!
Eve cut a very good promo last night.
She made Zack Ryder out to be a fool—again—and the fans hated her for it.
Short, yet effective. Very well done segment that kept everything simple and to the point!
I have mixed feeling on Raw beginning like they did.
The first image we see after WrestleMania should be something huge.
Did The Rock or John Cena win? Is the Streak still alive? Who are the champions coming out of Miami?
Instead, they focused on Mr. Excitement.
He favored all the heels that backed him, so that made sense. However, you would think David Otunga should have been rewarded...
Also, did everybody see my "it" girl, Aksana? Wow, she looked excellent. Some may think I hold her to Hall of Fame standards, but I don't.
She just simply has the "it" factor.
The Miz defeated Zack Ryder in a short match.
I enjoyed the match, but two things need to be discussed here.
One, Miz has won a few matches recently. I suppose the ridiculous "buried" reports are gone now, huh? He may very well be a major force again in 2012.
Second, Ryder actually showed a serious side to begin the match. I have been saying that for months now. Is his comedy, goof ball persona finally going away? I hope so!
This was complete filler, but Big Show made this fun.
Cody Rhodes lost to Kofi Kingston thanks to a distraction from the new Intercontinental Champion. It played into the last month, and it made perfectly logical sense!
Show finally got over on Rhodes, and it was long overdue. The face bested the heel when it mattered most.
SmackDown is going to be a huge edition this Friday.
Ratings have gone down the last few weeks, and WWE has seemingly taken notice. The company has put together a few big matches for the Blue Brand.
Randy Orton will face Kane. The two had an average match at Mania, so this should be no different. Being the face, I fully expect an RKO victory coming this week.
Also, Sheamus takes on Alberto Del Rio. If Del Rio wins, he gets a future World Title match. I will get into that segment a little bit later on...
This was a great one hour special.
It aired right before Raw, and I tip my hat to all the inductees. They certainly deserved it, and everybody handled the ceremony with class.
Thanks for the memories!
Abraham Washington has been spotted backstage for a few shows now.
Last night, he finally made his name known to the world. Some fans may remember him from FCW or even ECW. I know I do.
He was very entertaining on Tuesdays. I have compared his time on ECW to Dennis Miller hosting Raw before. It still rings true.
Miller did great on Raw in 2009. Just because the small town in Texas didn't understand his jokes doesn't mean he was bad. He was excellent!
The same can be said about Washington. He is very funny, and I got every one of his punch lines. I look forward to his work on Raw or SmackDown.
First, I must mention that Vickie Guerrero looked stunning on Raw.
As for the match, Santino defended his United States Championship against Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger. It was a fine match.
The crowd still loves Santino, and Ziggler and Swagger still can't get along.
All of that equals another win for the Cobra!
After the match, the heels went to attack the champ. Who ends up making the save?
He destroyed Ziggler, and the dancing was on. Cameron and Naomi looked great, and the faces celebrating is always nice to see.
Lord Tensai debuted last night on Raw.
I love the fact that Michael Cole and Jerry Lawler referenced his past in WWE. That immediately takes away any "too smart" fans that may have any ideas to come up with pointless chants.
"Shave your back!"
Forget all of that now. WWE has softened the blow. It was a smart move, and I hope the live audience takes note on future shows.
Lord Tensai destroyed Alex Riley in a short match. I have high hopes for Riley in this business, but it is clear he is not a priority right now.
He was given all the attention and looked good. I expect many more matches moving forward like we saw last night.
Think of how Umaga was handled on Raw for his first few months. That will be Tensai in 2012.
The live crowd in Miami was outstanding.
They came through big time Sunday night. The fans may have topped themselves Monday night. I do have a few more things to add to the live audience.
First, I really hope this is the end of the "What?" chants. Hopefully, that can be replaced by the "Yes!" chants. The attitude era is long gone, and Stone Cold is coming back.
It is time to end the "What?" chants after 10 years. Move on, folks.
Secondly, I have often said that there is a fine line between freedom of speech and ruining a show for others. Last night, Miami went too far in just one segment.
The rest was fantastic!
CM Punk defended his WWE Championship against Mark Henry.
No, I didn't expect a title change. No, I don't see Henry getting the gold and holding it for months.
None of that would make sense right now.
Punk is feuding with Jericho. That needs to be the focus heading into Extreme Rules. Being in Chicago, Punk needs to look weak during the build.
Henry won by count out over the WWE Champion. Yeah, thanks for the "reports" of his demise. I always appreciate the laughs you see on labeled as "news" on wrestling websites each and every week.
You had to love the "natural disaster" tease from the new Raw general manager here. Taunting Punk, Johnny Ace foreshadowed the arrival of a certain "tornado."
Jericho poured alcohol on Punk afterwards. As well as smashing a bottle over his head, it is clear that the feud is far from over. Chris stood tall tonight, but I doubt he will in a few weeks.
WWE did a nice job at making Sunday's event feel "special."
To those that purchased the show, we saw many amazing moments. To those who didn't, WWE showed many pictures from the show.
It gave you just a small glimpse of how great WrestleMania XXVIII was. Being a paying customer, I wish WWE could make all of their PPV shows mean more.
We shall see in the future.
As for next year's Mania, it is sure to be huge. Being in the north east, you know the fans will show up. I have been to many states but never in that area. Perhaps I will finally go there for WrestleMania XXIX!
Finally, thanks for yet another hilarious "Wrestle Zone exclusive!" Shawn Michaels taking on Triple H next year was laughable from the beginning.
It is a shame this constantly gets posted as being legitimate, with such a lousy track record. Don't worry, I am sure another "exclusive" is coming soon on WWE's plans later today...
This is where the Miami crowd went too far.
Sheamus is the next big star in WWE. Not Daniel Bryan!
I loved the excited crowd. It was amazing to feel their emotion, and it really does make the show better.
Sadly, it became too much here. As I mentioned, Sheamus is getting all the spotlight now. For the fans to boo him and chant, "Yes!" over his segment was just ridiculous.
Alberto Del Rio returned to Raw and was kicked by the new World Champion, but I will wait and see how SmackDown goes before I judge his near future. His match with Sheamus will tell a lot.
However, all of this was about the crowd chanting Bryan. It took away from the face getting his post-Mania moment, this really should have been Sheamus' time. Showing Bryan and AJ backstage was a nice touch.
Sadly, fans were still pouting. This reminded me of a three year old being put in the corner for a time out. Instead of taking it, they pound their head against the wall making noise until they get their way.
Once again, folks, Sheamus should have defeated Bryan in less than a minute. It happened. It's over!
Let's all move on and see the next chapter in this story.
The Rock staring Raw was the right move.
He won the match and needed to address the WWE Universe. Rocky did just that in very entertaining fashion. For the next few months, I do not expect to see him again.
Yes, he said a WWE Title reign was in his future. However, none of that will happen shortly. That seems like a tease for WrestleMania XXIX next year in April.
You can mark that one down. The Rock will wear the gold again.
Rocky in a WWE Title match against Cena in their rematch? Perhaps SummerSlam? Something else later on in 2012?
Interesting to think about throughout the year.
Did everybody see that epic John Cena heel turn? It was amazing, and now I love him again! Just like 2003, he is my hero.
Oh yeah, none of that happened. He didn't join the dark side and isn't going to. I really hope fans realize this and just move on already. It has been six years now!
As for the final segment of Raw, what else needs to be said?
John Cena wanted to talk about his loss to Rocky, but he was interrupted by Brock Lesnar! Well, here comes the pain. With many big names leaving for awhile, he is officially back in the wrestling business to fill that gap in the main event picture.
The Next Big Thing came out to an absolutely unbelievable crowd reaction. For those doubting if fans would remember him or not, guess what—they did.
He soaked up the return and nailed Cena with an F-5 before posing to close the show. If this isn't moment of the year in 2012, I would really love to know what will top this.
Lesnar is back (part time, no doubt), and WWE is about to get very, very interesting. Amazing way to end the show, and there will not be a single fan in the world that will miss next week's Raw!
Follow Justin Watry on Twitter