Cody Rhodes dominated Kofi Kingston in a short match, but he failed to capitalize on the opportunity to pin his opponent. Rather, Big Show emerged, taunted him with photos of last night's match, and allowed Kingston to hit Trouble in Paradise for the victory. Rhodes looked strong by making quick work of Kingston early on, and the Big Show spot was a fun way to keep their feud going. I expect Rhodes to get a rematch, fall short and hopefully move up the card.
One night after defeating John Cena, The Rock took over the beginning of Raw, cutting one of his signature lengthy promos. The Rock vowed that he would walk down the ramp to the ring one last time as the WWE Champion. I'm not sure a title run should be in The Rock's future, but I'm not opposed to seeing him wrestle a few more times through the next year, preferably culminating in a Hall of Fame induction and official retirement next year. As for tonight, though, the crowd bought into every word he said, and the promo came across as one of the strongest since his return last year.
Newly crowned World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus' attempt to address the crowd was cut short by Alberto del Rio, who announced Laurinaitis had granted him a title match on Smackdown Friday. Del Rio vs. Sheamus has potential, but Bryan really needs his rematch and to wrap up his feud with "The Great White" first. The crowd, which was amazing all night, came to life in this segment with chants of "Daniel Bryan" and the chant of the night, "Si! Si! Si!."
Abraham Washington made his return to WWE television, trying to sign Henry as his client. Washington will likely be better suited as a manager than a talk show host. The only confusing thing is Henry being so upset; he won the match and has a rightful claim to another title shot. Hopefully he'll take Washington's advice and get what's coming to him. If not, maybe there's a Harvard Law grad lurking in the hallways somewhere.
The "Yes! Yes! Yes!" chant popularized by former World Heavyweight Champion Daniel Bryan has become the new fad for wrestling fans. It made its presence known at both Ring of Honor and Dragon Gate USA shows over the weekend, as well as at WrestleMania - even long after Bryan's match - and tonight on Raw. Hopefully it doesn't become old, stale and misused like the "What" chant has in recent years.
WWE aired a one-hour Hall of Fame special before Raw. It was great seeing even clipped versions of speeches, but judging from comments of friends and fans who were at Saturday's ceremony, this condensed version didn't do the ceremony justice. One of these days I'll make it back to WrestleMania and take in all the glitz and glamour.
Santino Marella d. Dolph Ziggler and Jack Swagger to retain the United States Championship
Lord Tensai d. Alex Riley
Mark Henry d. CM Punk by countout
Kofi Kingston d. Cody Rhodes
The Miz d. Zack Ryder
Coming out of WrestleMania, WWE presented a heck of a Raw. The show featured good in-ring action, particularly the Punk-Henry match; two re-debuts in Lord Tensai and Lesnar; and some strong storyline progression. This was one of the best Raws in recent memory, and if this momentum can continue, we're in for a strong post-Mania season of wrestling.
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