On a night when champions and megastars promoted their WrestleMania 29 matches, Daniel Bryan and Dolph Ziggler gave fans the best match of Monday's Raw.
With their tag team partners watching from outside the ropes, Ziggler and Bryan put on a performance that screamed, "Don't forget about our tag team match at WrestleMania. We're going to try to steal the show!"
Those two stars have put on great matches before, including their critically acclaimed battle at Bragging Rights 2010. In between speeches from John Cena and The Rock, Ziggler and Bryan showed off their fabulous chemistry once again.
Antonio Cesaro and Chris Jericho impressed as well, but Ziggler and Bryan made Monday their night.
Bryan couldn't grab Ziggler's arms for a surfboard submission, so he turned the move into a violent meeting between Ziggler's knees and the wrestling mat. He later wrapped up Ziggler in the ropes in a tarantula hold.
Ziggler fended off Bryan's kicks, blocking many of them with his forearms and dodging others. It appeared that Ziggler had Bryan's move set well-scouted. This familiarity adds fluidity to their matches, something that will strengthen their tag match at WrestleMania.
Hopefully, the intensity of their action on Raw is a preview of that upcoming match.
Bryan clamped on a sleeper hold and Ziggler slammed him onto the mat with veracity. Both men seemed to not hold back.
AJ Lee and Big E Langston's presence created an elevated sense of tension. It felt inevitable that they would involve themselves in Bryan and Ziggler's match. At WrestleMania, Langston won't be able to prowl around the ring like he did on Raw, but AJ will still be an unknown variable in the tag team title match.
On Monday, she circled around Kane until he was either confused or entranced, or both.
This previewed the kind of distraction AJ and her exposed midriff can cause. She may end up being the deciding factor in the battle for the tag team championship.
The match ended when an enraged Langston bowled over Bryan. A brawl ensued, one where Langston powered out of a chokeslam and delivered an awkward version of his Big Ending finisher on Kane. Ziggler and Langston then held up the tag belts.
This chaotic ending did well to give the tag match some momentum going into Sunday. WrestleMania 29 will feature great battles with much higher profiles, but Ziggler and Bryan showed us why no one should be sleeping on their match.