4/8 WWE Raw Preview – Looking Back on 5 Years of Post-Mania Returns & Debuts

Mike Killam

Monday Night Raw is live from the Izod Center in East Rutherford, NJ tonight, in a follow-up to last night's huge WrestleMania pay-per-view. Keeping in traditional with WWE history, what kind of returns, debuts and big surprises can we expect from tonight's episode? Let's take a look back at the last five years of Post-WrestleMania Raw: 

2008: Following his loss to Shawn Michaels at WrestleMania XXIV, WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair came to the ring to officially retire, surrounded by friends and fellow legends. Also, tag team Cryme Time returned, as did Matt Hardy in a losing effort to then-WWE Champion Randy Orton. 

2009: Vince McMahon made his return to confront Randy Orton, putting himself in a main event match with the Viper. During the match, Dave Batista made his return from injury to save the McMahon family from Orton and the Legacy. This was also the night Vickie Guerrero became General Manager of Monday Night Raw, and Ricky "The Dragon" Steamboat had his "moment" of victory in an All-Star tag team match. 

2010: Two year's after he ended the career of Ric Flair, the "Heartbreak Kid" Shawn Michaels bid the WWE Universe farewell. Several WWE Hall of Famers participated in a lumberjack match, and Bret Hart addressed the fans following his victory over Vince McMahon at WrestleMania. 

2011: Many remember this as the night when John Cena and Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson booked their "Once In a Lifetime" match a record year in advance, for WrestleMania XVIII. However, this was also the night "Stone Cold" Steve Austin introduced the roster of Tough Enough competitors, and Sin Cara made his highly anticipated debut. 

2012: Then-WWE Champion CM Punk defended his title against Mark Henry twice, as John Laurinaitis' reign of "People Power" officially began on Monday Night Raw. But the big story – aside from the debut of Lord Tensai, of course – was the surprise return of Brock Lesnar! 

What can happen tonight, as Raw goes live for the first time since John Cena won the WWE Championship from the Rock this Sunday? Will the Miz have a new challenger to his Intercontinental title, or will Wade Barrett want his revenge? And what's next for WWE's new sensation Fandango, after his huge debut win over Chris Jericho on the grandest stage of them all? 

Monday Night Raw is live tonight at 8PM EST and Wrestlezone will have complete, exclusive coverage of the show. Chris Jericho, The Rock and John Cena are all scheduled to appear, but you can count on WWE to deliver a few surprises and twists to "shake things up" to start off this brand new year! 

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