A returning Brock Lesnar delivers an F5 to John Cena.
Brilliant promo from The Rock to kick off the show. I believe this is the first time Rock came out at the top of the hour since returning, and it couldn't have happened at a better time. Rock was certainly at his best here and it clearly showed. After much speculation that this would be the last of Rocky we'd be seeing for the time being, his tease for chasing the WWE Champion was well delivered. That story of Rock reclaiming the title could be excellent if booked correctly.
Fun match with Santino Marella successfully defending his United States Championship against Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger in a Triple Threat match. Ziggler took some quality bumps here which are always nice touches during his matches. I like the dissension between Ziggler and Swagger throughout the bout, making it more than the predictable handicap match. As much as don't like Santino as champion, at least he gets an above par reaction from the crowd. I'm very glad to see Brodus Clay finally being entered into an angle that doesn't include him squashes every week. Given the comedy factor from both Clay and Santino, forming a team with the two would make perfect sense.
Typical squash match with Lord Tensai dominating Alex Riley. It was a good debut for Tensai and helped establish him as a force to be reckoned with. I was surprised to hear the commentators refer to him as a former WWE Superstar (A-Train), so I'm glad they acknowledged that fact. I felt like a bigger move was coming from Tensai to impress the crowd, but it ended via referee stoppage. Nonetheless, he got a good reaction and hope to see him continue his menacing streak as time progresses.
Strong title match between WWE Champion CM Punk and Mark Henry. The belt being on the line was unnecessary since Henry could have earned a championship match, but it didn't hinder the bout whatsoever. Henry was more dominant than he's been in months, while Punk played the vulnerable underdog extremely well. The count-out ending protects both Henry and Punk and saves the clean finish for another day. The crowd made this match even more intriguing than it originally seemed to be, so I hope a feud between the two is in the cards for the very near future. Chris Jericho's ambush on Punk following the contest was logical, but it was a smart move to regain the heat he might have lost following his submission loss to the Straightedge Savior at WrestleMania 28. Sure, the bottle breaking prematurely was a bit obvious, but it was still a cool visual.
Decent promo featuring new World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus and the returning Alberto Del Rio. I was hoping for more from Del Rio than the usual mic skills, but it was passable given the fact we haven't heard it in months. With the crowd hot as ever for Daniel Bryan, it's a shame that Sheamus had to get the mixed reaction that he did the night after winning the golden prize. Regardless, this was a nice set-up for their upcoming match on this week's SmackDown.
The Miz aggressively pounds on Zack Ryder.
Quick match with Kofi Kingston defeating Cody Rhodes with help from new Intercontinental Champion Big Show. Kingston felt like an afterthought here, and he and Rhodes could have provided a better match if given more time. If Show got what he wanted at WrestleMania 28 by embarrassing Rhodes, why would he add insult to injury the next night? I'm looking forward to Rhodes moving on from this feud and onto bigger and better things.
Good match between The Miz and Zack Ryder. Much like the previous match, it wasn't given enough time, but it was fine for what it was. They should have played up the fact that Miz and Ryder were the final two competitors in the 12-man tag team match at Mania for this to make sense. I've been looking forward to this bout for a long while, so I hope it develops into a feud in coming weeks. If nothing else, Miz was able to pick up his first singles win in four months, so it's great to see his career get back on track.
Amazing segment to close the show with the shocking return of Brock Lesnar and his interruption of the solid promo from John Cena. Once again, Cena delivered a great promo in his fallout from his loss to The Rock at WrestleMania as well as addressing the rumors of him turning heel. Having Lesnar come out instead of Rock was a very smart move, and once Lesnar's music hit the arena, the moment was absolutely electrifying. From their stare-down to Lesnar delivering a huge F5 to Cena, this segment was the perfect way to end a strong show. It will certainly bring forth a lot of questions as to why Lesnar has returned and what comes next.
Overall, an extremely entertaining aftermath show following WrestleMania 28 that set an extraordinary tone as we kick off the new wrestling year. The action was decent as a whole, but it was the promos over the course of the night that really made this a memorable show. The various clips shown of the big event on Sunday will also help viewers buy Mania for those who didn't watch it live. With The Rock, Triple H, Shawn Michaels, and The Undertaker gone from Raw for the foreseeable future, the move of bringing back Brock Lesnar was brilliant and gives me hope we're entering a new era of awesomeness going forward.
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