Top five 'RAW' returns of all time

Sports Mole counts down the top five RAW returns of all time in a list which includes current WWE World Heavyweight Champion Brock Lesnar.

With Brock Lesnar and John Cena poised to do battle again at Night of Champions on September 21, we have been reminiscing about how their paths crossed in 2012.

In what was one of the most shocking RAW endings of the decade, Lesnar came back from a whirlwind eight-year hiatus to leave his mark on the face of the WWE.

Could it be considered the greatest RAW return of all time? Perhaps, but here are a few more candidates that could claim that title.

Note: There were so many good ones to choose from. Stone Cold Steve Austin, Kane and Chris Jericho can count themselves especially unlucky to miss out on Sports Mole's top five RAW returns ever.

5. The Rock, 2004

Not particularly the most memorable return or the most impactful, but this makes the list due to the sheer quality of this segment, and Mick Foley can be largely credited for that.

Foley was known for his hardcore antics in the ring, or in dumpsters and parking lots, but he is such an underrated performer on the microphone.

Here he shows his class as an entertainer by delivering a flawless, powerful promo while being ably supported by Randy Orton and Ric Flair.

Orton displays much of the charisma that saw him rise to the top of WWE, and it is such a shame that he is not allocated more microphone time nowadays.

Flair on the other hand did not even need to open his mouth; he just knows how to manipulate the crowd, who got more and more excited as Foley teased Rocky's introduction.

'The People's Champion' justified his self-appointed nickname and sent the crowd into raptures on the cue of his music.

4. The Rock, 2011

Don't worry, not all five selections are going to be The Rock, but he does take spot four as well as five on this list.

For seven years the millions... and millions of The Rock's fans had waited to see him return to the WWE ring, and they got their wish in February 2011 when 'The Great One' was announced as the special guest host for Wrestlemania 27.

Rocky took to the microphone like only he can, like he had never been away and showed us the entertainment that we had been missing while he had been making waves in Hollywood.

This night will be marked as the night that he officially started his historic feud with Cena, so as well as having a nostalgic feel to it, this clip's selection is given credibility by what has happened since.

Enjoy The Rock at his electrifying best.

3. The Undertaker and Triple H, 2011

With so many returns to choose from, this one could not be ignored simply because it is two for the price of one.

The Undertaker coming back was not a shock in itself as several vignettes had been aired in the lead-up to this particular RAW.

Triple H following him out of the curtain was totally unexpected, however, and soon the crowd was gripped by the silence of two all-time greats.

It is the element of surprise that is another attributing factor to this clip's selection, as 'The Game' and 'The Deadman' began their road to Wrestlemania 27.

The rest, as they say, is history.

2. Brock Lesnar, 2012

While it was spectacular and a fitting end to one of the best RAWs of recent memory, Lesnar's return just misses out on the number-one spot.

A runner-up berth, though is a suitable for the moment that the former Ultimate Fighting Champion returned to the WWE and put Cena and company on notice.

Lesnar re-signing with the WWE was a ploy by the company to add legitimacy and make wrestling cool again.

Rock and Austin made it cool back in the 1990s, but it was not seen in the same light at this stage in 2012. Lesnar changed all that with one thunderous F5.

The unbelievable reaction of the crowd showed the significance and magnitude of Brock's return and how it changed the landscape of WWE.

1. Triple H, 2002

"The world's most famous Game, in the world's most famous arena."

If Lesnar's was impressive, then the crowd reaction to Triple H's comeback at Madison Square Garden in 2002 was on a different level and it is for that reason why this clip tops our list.

'The Cerebral Assassin' had been absent for nearly eight months with the first of many quadricep injuries and his return, on the eve of the 2002 Royal Rumble, had been highly anticipated.

It is easier to manipulate a crowd that is pre-pumped, but Triple H still does a great job here. He speaks forcefully and concisely and keeps them on their feet during the whole segment.

He is also seen in a physical capacity when tussling with Kurt Angle, which was clever as it showed the crowd that he is fighting fit after a lengthy spell on the sidelines.

While he may have held WWE Championships before, this was the moment when Triple H truly arrived as being the number-one guy in the company.

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