For those who tuned in for the monumental 1,000th episode of WWE Monday Night Raw, most would likely agree that it was a strong effort from the company.
The night started with an impressive opening video segment, allowing fans to relive the reasons why the show has been such a long-standing success.
That helped set the tone for a night that WWE had been heavily promoting and, for the following reasons, definitely delivered.
The night started with a bang as Shawn Michaels and Triple H came out, representing the most popular group in WWE history: D-Generation X.
But what made this a great opening segment was the fact that Road Dogg, Billy Gunn ad X-Pac all made an appearance as well.
"Didn't there used to be more of us?," asked Triple H.
It had been many years since fans saw them all in a ring together and this was a perfect way to begin the night.
Damien Sandow came out and DX took care of him as only they can, much to the delight of the audience.
This was nothing short of an excellent way to begin the night.
Dude Love Dances with Brodus Clay
Most fans likely predicted that Mick Foley would appear on this show, but they probably didn't think it would be as Dude Love.
Dude Love was the special guest of Brodus Clay and after defeating Jack Swagger in about 10 seconds, Clay did what he does best and danced alongside Cameron and Naomi along with Dude Love.
Swagger was even introduced to a tie dye version of 'Mr. Socko'.
The Rock Makes a big Announcement
It was previously announced that The Rock would appear on the show and fans had to be highly anticipating that.
He came out following the wedding of Daniel Bryan and AJ, one of the few poorly booked segments of the show, and made a shocking announcement.
The Rock revealed that he has been granted a match for the WWE championship with whomever holds that title at the 2013 Royal Rumble.
While some fans may argue that this isn't "fair" due to The Rock not even being a part-time performer, it opens the door for so many possibilities and those possibilities will have us much more excited for the Rumble than any match that WWE could book between members of their current roster.
The Rock ended this segment with a huge 'Rock Bottom' for Daniel Bryan, who had claimed he's the best superstar of all time.
The Miz Becomes Intercontinental Champion
Whether you like The Miz or not, it was a good idea to go ahead with a title change on this show.
While Christian has made a solid title holder, The Miz is on his way back to the top after returning from filming The Marine 3: Homefront. The Miz was seemingly being punished for botching a move involving R-Truth on an episode of Raw back in February.
Following that, The Miz had lost just about every match he was in up until his return, including being squashed multiple times by Brodus Clay. By putting the IC title on him, it shows WWE is confident in pushing The Miz again.
The title win also makes The Miz a WWE triple crown winner, something only 24 other superstars have ever done.
Brock Lesnar Accepts Triple H's Challenge
It took a lot to do it, but Brock Lesnar finally accepted the challenge from Triple H and the match is now officially set for Summerslam.
Lesnar's representative, Paul Heyman, had repeatedly told 'The Game' that Lesnar had no interest in facing him but with the help of Triple H's wife, Stephanie McMahon, Heyman was finally lured into accepting.
Lesnar came out and he and Triple H both got some shots in before Triple H took him out of the ring with a clothesline. This was a solid segment to build to what appears to be the main event of Summerslam this year.
We got another physical confrontation between Triple H and Lesnar, along with appearances from Heyman an Stephanie, and those are few and far between anymore from her.
If there is anybody in WWE right now who is taking the ball and running with it, it's Heath Slater.
In the build to Raw 1000, Slater would call out a different legend each week, leading to former superstars such as Vader, Sycho Sid and Diamond Dallas Page to make special appearances on Raw. On this night, his challenge was answered by someone a little different: one of WWE's most popular divas ever, Lita.
The match was made a No Disqualification Match and that led to a bevy of former legends coming out; most notably Faarooq and Bradshaw, collectively known as the APA.
After Slater took shots from several of the former superstars, Lita capped it off with her signature top rope moonsault to win the match.
This was a nice way to end this angle and it has made Slater a bigger star, despite the fact that he lost nearly all of the matches.
And, is it just me, or does Lita seem like she should be back in the WWE sooner rather than later?
The Undertaker Reunites with Kane
Several mid-card level superstars, led by Jinder Mahal, came out to express their frustration with never having been given an opportunity on Raw. Because of that, they claimed they were going to take their own opportunity.
Kane had come out prior to this, only to be interrupted by Mahal, Tyler Reks, Curt Hawkins, Hunico, Camacho and Drew McIntyre. Just as they all began to surround Kane, a familiar bell tolled and the crowd came unglued.
(I had a good friend in attendance at the show and he reported that this was easily the loudest the place got all night.)
The Undertaker and Kane easily disposed of the six men, creating memories of one of the WWE's most dominant alliances ever, the Brothers of Destruction.
The very loud "This is awesome" chant (3:40 mark) was all you needed to hear to know how strong this segment was.
Apparent CM Punk Heel Turn
It had been announced last week that John Cena would be cashing in his Money in the Bank briefcase for a shot at CM Punk's WWE title, leading to much speculation about how this show would end.
Would Cena end the now eight month reign of CM Punk?
Thanks to The Big Show, Punk was able to hold onto the belt due to a disqualification. But when The Big Show continued to beat on Cena, The Rock, who defeated Cena at WrestleMania 28, ran out to his aid.
After a Rock Bottom to the 'World's Largest Athlete,' The Rock was set up for the 'People's Elbow.' But CM Punk had other plans, flying in and taking out The Rock before he could deliver it.
He followed that up with the 'GTS' before standing over The Rock, staring out into the crowd.
As Raw concluded, many boos were heard, signifying that WWE wants to portray Punk as a heel now, which is a very smart move. It will be interesting to hear from Punk next week, but it seems that WWE has set the stage for a showdown between he and The Rock.
From top to bottom, this was a solid show, better than a lot of Pay-Per-View events that WWE charges $44.99 for.
Sure, having "Stone Cold" Steve Austin appear would have made it better, but that's about the only gripe that one can have.
The WWE should be very proud of reaching this milestone and setting their sights on another 1,000 episodes.
When they get there, hopefully that show will be as good as this one was.
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