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WWE's 'Bret Hart Appreciation Night' steals show

One of Canada's all-time great pro wrestlers gets night he deserves

By Arda Ocal

8:01 AM EDT, May 28, 2013

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WWE often boasts that there is nothing like attending a WWE live event.

There is truth to this statement -- particularly, what happens after the cameras stop rolling at a televised event or Pay Per  View. Sometimes, it's just the top name of the company (more often than not these days John Cena or CM Punk) smiling and waving, slapping hands before they make their way backstage to close the show.

Sometimes, you get interesting moments that only the superstars, the crowd in attendance, and (in segmented parts) social media get to share -- someone's birthday being celebrated, unscripted interaction between superstars in the ring or nights of appreciation.

Raw was in Calgary Monday night and Bret Hart, Calgary's most famous son, was in attendance. WWE created "Bret Hart Appreciation Night" and this time, kept the cameras on so fans with the WWE App could watch the festivities.

While it seemed more structured than previous appreciations nights I have witnessed (Edge in Toronto being the most glaring example), it was still a lovely homage to one of the greatest WWE champions of all time. It included great behind the scenes stories from Chris Jericho (who explained how he, as an independent wrestler, helped Bret think of a finish to a PPV match against the British Bulldog in 1995) and praise from Vince McMahon, Shawn Michaels and Pat Patterson, who called Bret the "greatest Canadian wrestler of all time." The WWE locker room emptied to applaud Bret from the stage (including Lance Storm, who happened to be there saying hello to friends). Hopefully, this trend continues in the future, where we see these kind of special moments, which were in the past reserved for private occasion, broadcast to the WWE Universe, who will consume all things WWE and appreciate seeing these events.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW FROM RAW

- The Shield beat Daniel/Bryan and Kane in a superb 20-plus minute match. Time and time again The Shield are proving themselves to be a hot commodity in WWE.

- Bray Wyatt, Luke Harper and Erik Rowan had a vignette on Raw. I couldn't be more excited to see these guys debut on the main stage soon.

- Paul Heyman and Jericho had great interaction, leading to Heyman accepting Jericho vs CM Punk in Chicago at WWE Payback. The funny part was that CM Punk tweeted a picture of the baseball game he was watching during this segment, where Heyman said Punk was watching at home.

- Curits Axel defeated John Cena by countout ... using some of his dad Mr. Perfect's moves in the process (yes, even a PerfectPlex!). Earlier, Cena confirmed that his match vs Ryback will be "3 stages of Hell" -- lumberjack match, tables match, ambulance match. 

- We saw the birth of "Daniel Bryan face", moments after Bret Hart gave him props in a backstage segment.

THE REST:

- Alberto Del Rio beat Big E Langston. Big E is still a rather large dude.

- Dean Ambrose defeated Kofi Kingston to retain the US title

- Fandango beat Wade Barrett with Miz as guest ref

- Tons of Funk and Khali beat 3MB. Earlier, 3MB interrupted Natalya's birthday party and threw a cake in Hornswoggle's face

- The Bellas beat Kaitlyn/Natalya

- Sheamus and Randy Orton beat the Rhodes Scholars

Follow Arda on Twitter @arda_ocal