Although most hardcore wrestling fans can admit that WWE programming has been much better as of late—thanks to the rise of The Shield, Dolph Ziggler and others—there is absolutely no question that tonight's edition of Monday Night Raw ensures that the product will reach an entirely different level of entertainment value.
Above all else, The Rock will make his long-awaited return to the company as he prepares for his WWE Championship match at the Royal Rumble pay-per-view. The Rock announced on the 1,000th episode of Raw that he would challenge for the title at the WWE's January event. And with the evnt drawing closer and closer, he will be much more visible moving forward.
Speaking of the WWE Championship, CM Punk has been cleared to compete (h/t TWNP News.com) and will defend his title against Ryback in a TLC match. This particular bout has been in the works for weeks, but it was uncertain if it would come to fruition due to Punk's knee injury. Now that Punk is supposedly 100 percent, it looks like he and Ryback will close the show.
If those two massive events aren't enough, there is plenty of other buildup that needs to be done for the Royal Rumble as well. The World Heavyweight Championship picture is still unsettled, the mid-card titles are uncertain and only a small handful of superstars have been announced for the Rumble match itself.
Here are the top five things that you should be on the lookout for during what is sure to be an entertaining episode of Raw.