I don't know where the creativity has been hiding, but this was without a doubt one of the best Raws in a long time, and perhaps one of the best ever.
It's not because the writers stuck with a storyline, nor is it because Miz is the champion, or simply because the writers did not do the predictable.
No, it's because the WWE finally listened to the fans and gave the fans some of the things they have been asking for. The bottom line is the WWE took a gamble tonight, they were creative, and they stepped up to the plate and for one night truly knocked it out of the park.
Here are the top five moments from tonight's Raw.
Many predicted that the "John Cena is fired" storyline would end quickly after it began and that on tonight's Raw, someone (Wade Barrett, Vince McMahon, Raw GM) would overturn the ruling and ensure that John Cena was in fact still employed by the WWE.
However, the WWE decided to go another direction.
Now, I, like many of you, don't believe that this is a permanent thing, but the idea to stick with it and allow Cena some time off to give some of the other superstars a chance to make a name for themselves is a great idea.
It also allows Cena to come back without being such a stale character, which many people have complained about lately. Also sending him out with such a "real" and heartfelt promo was a good touch. It was funny to see him acknowledge the fact that children and woman love him while men are the ones that chant "Cena Sucks."
The Qualifying Matches for the King of the Ring Tournament on next week's Raw were pretty well done.
With the exception of the squash job that Ezekiel Jackson put on Alex Riley (which somewhat foreshadowed Miz cashing in the briefcase), the rest of the matches were very entertaining. Bringing back the King of the Ring concept is also a nice idea to give the fans a reward that they do not have to pay for via PPV. I would have liked to see Dibiase win his match vs. Daniel Bryan, since Bryan is already wearing the U.S. gold, but all in all well done.
Very rare is it to see a WWE Championship match on free T.V.
Even rarer is it to see the match actually finish in something other than a count-out, DQ, draw or some other sort of terrible finish.
Not only did this episode have one championship match with a clean finish, it had two. In addition to the matches actually having a clean finish, they also were pretty entertaining and somewhat surprising with the outcome. It obviously looked like Barrett was going to win the first match, only to have his night spoiled when Miz cashed in his MIB briefcase to become champion. But once again the unexpected happened and Orton won the initial match (despite the pre-match attack by Nexus), leaving a wounded Orton to fall prey to the Miz.
Like it or not the Miz is a pretty talented wrestler.
His charisma and ability is something that the WWE needs moving forward. It would have been a huge mistake to have him cash in MIB and actually lose the match. In a company that is desperate for new top stars, you can't stunt the growth of one of your best mic workers by having him become the first person to ever cash in the MIB and lose.
On a night where they made a lot of good decisions the WWE made another one by allowing Miz his opportunity to carry the title in an attempt to create more headliners that aren't named Randy Orton, John Cena or guys born before Ric Flair won his first title.
A few people floated this idea a few weeks back after Punk was hurt and made a brief cameo in an announcing role on Raw. This idea quickly gained steam and seemed to be a perfect way to incorporate Punk's amazing mic skills while he recovered from injury.
On a night when a lot of good things happened, I think this was the best of them all. Adding Punk to the Raw commentary team somewhat fills the void that Jim Ross' absence causes. Punk's line of the night was in reference to Alex Riley when he said, "What, is he under the influence out there?"
I expect a much more entertaining Raw as long as the King and Punk are helping to overshadow the very annoying Michael Cole.