Typically, the WWE Raw episode after WrestleMania is full of surprises. In some cases, the show produces more excitement than the big event the night before. Throughout the years, there have been some memorable moments during the Raw that virtually resets the WWE calendar year.
In 2012, Lord Tensai debuted the night after WrestleMania, after a series of vignettes hyping his return. Tensai defeated Alex Riley in his debuted match but immediately received a very harsh response. As a result of the crowd showing their disinterest, the character flopped, and WWE tried to salvage it by turning him face and teaming him up with Brodus Clay.
That same night, one of the most memorable returns in WWE occurred. Fresh after John Cena competed against The Rock, Cena called Rock out the next night on Raw. Unexpectedly, Brock Lesnar come out, walked around the ring, and gave Cena an F5. Five years later, Lesnar has demolished Cena, made Triple H lose his smile, defeated CM Punk, manhandled Dean Ambrose, and most shockingly, ended the WrestleMania streak of The Undertaker. This is along with a WWE Championship run from SummerSlam 2014 to WrestleMania 31.
Another popular moment came two years later in 2014. In what many would consider the most memorable Money in the Bank briefcase of all time, Dolph Ziggler cashed-in following a match involving World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio. Even though Ziggler was a heel, he received the biggest amount of cheers in his character, as he defeated Del Rio to win the title. Unfortunately, this moment lasted for just a short time, and Ziggler has been struggling to reach that pinnacle ever since.
While the Raw after WrestleMania is an event of high anticipation, F4WOnline recently reported that the numbers for this year’s event is not going as successful as normal.
“Tickets for Raw are far from sold out, which isn’t a good sign. They haven’t been selling out Raw even during Mania season in traditionally strong markets like Detroit, even though this has been pushed as the last show at the Joe Louis Arena. It would be really cool if during the show tomorrow they’d acknowledge it being the last event in the building and do a video highlight of events that were in the arena.”
Last year, there were two debuts on the Raw after WrestleMania. Without much hype, Apollo Crews made his main roster debut against Tyler Breeze. Although Crews did get the win, it would not do much for his career, as he is still trying to make a strong presence on SmackDown Live. Most recently, Crews has been feuding with Dolph Ziggler during Ziggler’s recent heel turn.
The other debut was Enzo and Cass. Becoming one of the most popular teams in NXT, the team interrupted a promo of the Dudley Boyz on Raw. Although the team never won the NXT Tag Team Championship, they were still popular enough to advance to the main roster. Since then, they have been in the tag team championship hunt, but have failed to capture the titles.
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Over the past few years, the Raw after WrestleMania has grown to be a must-see event. Along with debuts and title changes, the show has gained such a high level of anticipation that WWE almost feels compelled to live up to it. This year, Brock Lesnar is expected to be the one to stand tall at the conclusion of WrestleMania. It will be interesting to see who the next person is to start a feud with him, and hopefully whoever it is can benefit from the popular of The Beast and be the next WWE Universal Champion.
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