Retirement celebrations can be a special thing in professional wrestling.
Look back to Ric Flair's final farewell to the WWE after losing to Shawn Michaels. That night at WrestleMania and the night that followed on Raw will forever be remembered as truly emotional and memorable.
But in my estimation, those types of events will be rarities moving forward in wrestling. And Ric Flair is to thank for that.
WWE gave Flair the grandest farewell a television audience has seen in wrestling. And he dishonored all of it in the eyes of many fans by entering in-ring competition once again only months after being treated like a god among men.
Yes, Edge had his special moment and his farewell on Raw, but it was nothing compared to Flair.
But if there's any one man who will almost certainly be given the king's treatment upon his official retirement, it's Triple H. The Undertaker is the other obvious choice, but I'd be willing to bet the man behind that character would rather see himself fade into the darkness without fare.
Tonight on Raw, Triple H delivered an emotional speech, questioning if his road in wrestling has come to an end at the hands of Brock Lesnar.
Triple H had people eating from the palms of his hand, but this wasn't his final farewell to the WWE Universe. This was solid microphone work, but I refuse to believe this is how Triple H - one of the most decorated stars of this era - rides into the sunset of corporate business life.
While I agree with all the fans in the live crowd chanting, "Thank you Hunter," it's not the appropriate time to say it. This simply can't be the end of the road.
Whether or not there's a rematch with Lesnar in the future, there is certainly at least one more match, one more moment with Shawn Michaels by his side, waiting for The Game.
I applaud Triple H for being a tremendous performer in the ring, and especially on the microphone. A story like this could so easily be overplayed or come across completely long, but Triple H knows how to control the crowd.
But, hey, even if he's back next week on Raw, his "retirement" will still have lasted longer than most of Terry Funk's.
- Lawler opening Raw on the microphone and saying it was an unusual start to the show was unintentionally funny. The back-and-forth between Lawler and Punk wasn't bad, but it's almost becoming cliche to see Lawler face "heel" champions. The two would meet in the main event in a cage match, which wasn't bad at all. For a man his age, Lawler can still work and tell a story better than many of the current guys on the roster. After winning the match, Punk locked himself in the cage with Lawler and physically attempted to coerce Lawler into calling him the best in the world. When Lawler refused, Punk viciously assaulted him. I guess this is WWE putting the nail in the coffin of Punk's turn to the dark side.
- Remember when The Miz would call out John Cena for matches when the latter was unavailable and then he declared himself on a winning streak? Those were the days. That was part of what made me a Miz fan years ago, and his continued improvement in the ring has kept me feeling that way. People were blowing up social media complaining about the match between Cena and Intercontinental Champion The Miz on Raw, but I thought it was a really good match. Yes, it's another loss for the Intercontinental Champion, but did Miz look weak in the contest? Absolutely not. Miz dominated the match and seemed to have the better of Cena, and he comes out looking better for it. Cena is higher on the food chain; he should win, but Miz had a strong showing himself and didn't seem out of place.