THAT'S WHAT HE DOES!!!!
Mark Henry made his way to the ring Monday night with rumors swirling that he was announcing his retirement. John Cena watched from the ring as Henry left his boots sitting at the top of the stage, the World's Strongest Man appearing to be emotional as he took to the squared circle.
Henry would go on to deliver a performance so spectacular that even the most cynical wrestling fans bought into the emotion he was displaying as he said goodbye to the WWE Universe, to the boys in the back and to John Cena, who had in his possession the WWE Championship. It was the only title Henry had not won, something he brought up on more than one occasion.
With tears streaming down his face, he told his daughter he was coming home as Cena entered the ring and raised Henry's arm high in the air. Then, as he moved in to hug the big man, Henry delivered the World's Strongest Slam to the shock of the audience!
Gone were the tears, gone was all of the emotion that had been etched on Henry's face, and in its place was the look of an angry man. He made his way up the ramp, retrieved his boots and told the world "that's what I do!" A backstage interview, conducted by Renee Young, resulted in a challenge from Henry to Cena about a match for the title at Money in the Bank.
Throughout wrestling history, even the very best and most elite performers have had embarrassingly bad acting segments on WWE programming. Mark Henry, however, was so good and convincing in what he was saying and doing that fans felt bad for the creator of the Hall of Pain. Then, in one fell swoop, he turned on everyone and left fans absolutely stunned by his sudden attack on Cena.
It was a great moment, a great performance and one that should create tremendous heat for their title clash in Philadelphia on July 14.
Raw is chaos!
The closing moments of Monday's Raw were reminiscent of Attitude Era shows in which fans were never really sure of what they would see and, more times than not, Raw would go off the air with utter chaos reigning supreme.
Feeling as though CM Punk was gaining momentum and in danger of losing his first match as World champion, Alberto Del Rio bailed out of the ring and accepted defeat in the form of a count-out after heading up the ramp and abandoning the bout. His escape was short-lived as Dolph Ziggler appeared and attacked the man that had taken from him what he worked so hard to earn.
The crowd erupted for Ziggler, who showed phenomenal aggression and intensity as he assaulted Del Rio. CM Punk, meanwhile, watched from the ring as the assault continued. Then, without warning, the music of Brock Lesnar played and the beast entered the arena. He stalked towards the ring while Punk looked slightly confused as to why he would be there. Lesnar grabbed a microphone and teased a promo before delivering the F5 to Punk.
The arrival of Lesnar and the F5 to CM Punk sets up a marquee match for August's SummerSlam pay-per-view and a summer of what should be entertaining promos and vignettes to set up the huge main event.
Ziggler and Del Rio's story, meanwhile, has the potential to create a huge babyface star out of Dolph Ziggler, who has been among the best in-ring performers for years now and has been the recipient of more and more cheers in recent weeks.
Del Rio, naturally a smug, cocky heel who showed a ruthlessness and lack of mercy that he had been missing previously, should provide a perfect foil for Dolph.
Their upcoming series of matches could be truly special.
The most important and surprising part of Monday's Raw was the manner in which feuds and storylines made progression and moved forward. One of the most common complaints by fans is that, often times, nothing really happens on Raw or SmackDown.
Monday night, the company tried to change that, introducing a minimum of four feuds/stories (Cena-Henry, Punk-Lesnar, Ziggler-ADR, Axel-Miz) that will develop and advance in the weeks leading to Money in the Bank and SummerSlam while continuing two (Sheamus-Sandow, AJ-Kaitlyn) that produced excellent matches the night before.
The creative side of things was extremely focused on Monday and it resulted in one of the best episodes of Raw, not only in 2013, but in years.