It looks like Wrestlemania-quality matches have come six weeks early.
In a stellar half-hour main event match, John Cena defeated CM Punk and will (still) go to Wrestlemania and face The Rock in a rematch, this time with the WWE title on the line. The match had everything -- great storytelling, athleticism, the crowd was loud and invested, both men painted a great picture with false finishes. We even saw John Cena deliver what was once known as a "Batista Bomb" and CM Punk deliver a pile driver (a move thought to be banned by WWE but smartly used in the match in the place of a "signature" move).
If you didn't see this match, it's more than worth your time to check it out.
So with Cena and Rock tied up, who does Punk face from here? All signs point to the Undertaker, who made a surprise return at a WWE live event at Waco, Texas, teaming with Sheamus to defeat Wade Barrett and Damien Sandow. I can't believe certain fans would actually complain that Undertaker would return at a live event -- it's a surprise reward for loyal WWE fans who attend live events, and even though he didn't appear Monday night, it likely spiked interest for this episode of RAW. Not to mention, it adds gasoline to the fire of speculation that he will return and compete at Wrestlemania.
** Jack Swagger had a very busy and noteworthy week: After being arrested for a DUI/possession of marijuana, and along with Zeb Colter appearing one of the greatest response videos ever made by WWE (this one to Glenn Beck), the "Real American" was on RAW as part of an interesting Miz TV debate with Alberto Del Rio.
I'm enjoying this back and forth and am already interested in this match at Wrestlemania. I'm also interested in seeing if Swagger's DUI will simply be swept under the carpet with no official response. According to WWE's wellness policy on the corporate website, this kind of offense is subject to either termination or a suspension (much like Rob Van Dam, who faced a similar situation in 2006 while both WWE and ECW champion).
** Triple H returned to RAW to beat up Brock Lesnar, and Lesnar got color. A lot of it. He was gushing blood, and the action continued. I'm actually curious how WWE will handle showing these scenes in future video packages leading up to Wrestlemania (likely in black and white). This was a hot start to an overall entertaining episode of RAW.
** Donald Trump will be inducted into the "celebrity wing" of the WWE Hall of Fame. Anyone who has issue about this wing please read this blog I wrote about a year ago. With Trump's induction, this looks to be the most stacked Hall-of-Fame class in WWE history. The Class of 2005 (Hogan, Piper, Sheik) is up there as well.
** Mark Henry beat the Great Khali. Mark Henry needs something else ASAP.
** Speaking of something else, Ryback beat Dolph Ziggler pretty soundly.
** All signs point to Sheamus facing Wade Barrett at Wrestlemania. Remember Wrestlemania 18, when Edge and Booker T were fighting over a shampoo commercial? Well, these two are fighting over a movie role. I suppose stranger things have happened.
** R Truth beat Cody Rhodes.
** Kane had one arm behind his back and Daniel Bryan had a bag on his head blindfolding him (a la Wrestlemania 7 Jake Roberts vs. Rick Martel), but they still beat the Prime Time Players. What does that say about PTP?
** Randy Orton and Sheamus got the better of the Shield as Randy Orton RKOed Seth Rollins. I wouldn't mind seeing The Shield capturing the tag titles in the near future.
Arda Ocal is an on air personality with The Score Television Network. Follow him on Twitter @arda_ocal.Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times