I recently started watching the early episodes of Monday Night RAW on WWE Network, mostly for the Nostalgia. I was reminded the first iteration of Monday Night RAW was an hour long. The second hour was added during The Attitude Era (1996 to 2000). The third hour was permanently added after RAW’s 1,000th episode a few years back.
To say RAW’s 25th Anniversary Episode was Wrestlemania-level big goes without saying. It WAS held in two venues at the same time, after all.
WWE’s decision to not have a jumbotron or screen in The Manhattan Center pissed off those in attendance. There were two quick Dark Matches from 205 Live held during commercial breaks at The Barclays Center, which was the main venue. They were not aired due to time constraints. That plus the lack of eyes on the main venue and the above–Lawler and JR caught napping during events in the main venue–pissed off the house crowd in attendence at The Manhattan Center to the point they chanted “Bullshit!” and “Refund!”.
WWE has yet to comment on the above snapshot, among other stuff around the 2-venue issues.
The Deadman’s cryptic message left everyone scratching their heads: Was he officially announcing his retirement or announcing a comeback?
In my opinion, neither. He just cut a promo and left things ambiguous as usual.
The Miz won the Intercontinental Championship for the first time at RAW 1000. Winning his 8th on the 25th Anniversary Episode was pretty obvious once it was announced. His wife Maryse, who is currently pregnant made an appearance at the top of the ramp alongside other former WWE Superstars and Divas (some hall of famers).
She was joined by one other pregnant superstar: Smackdown’s Maria Kanellis, who is due in March. If her name last name sounds familiar, she is the wife of fellow Smackdown Superstar Mike Kanellis. The timing kinda sucked for the pair since they were clearly being built up for a sustained feud at the time. Mike hasn’t been used much since the pregnancy was announced either compared to The Miz.
Michelle McCool, who is The Undertaker’s wife (which the commentators obviously knew but left out) also appeared as did most of the women from the Attitude Era onward. Noticably absent were Mickie James, who was involved in a match earlier in the night and Lita, who couldn’t attend due to a scheduling conflict. Paige, who was ringside for the match involving the other members of Absolution was absent as well.
Well, you can’t have a party and NOT invite Stone Cold Steve Austin ^_^
What’s better than Stunning one McMahon? Stunning two!
Austin wasn’t done there, either:
…LOL there’s a reason WWE pulled the plug on his podcast!
Stone Cold does what he wants when he wants and to hell with what anyone else thinks about it. That’s how he rolls.
Of course, Austin WAS right: The McMahon vs. Austin Feud was Vince’s Final Option to turn things around in The Monday Night Wars. It worked. The idea of someone beating their boss’s ass AND getting away with it every week? OH HELL YEAH!
The Austin vs. McMahon feud is still viewed today as the greatest feud in Wrestling History because of all the little details. Once fans were hooked, everything else took off. It was the catalyst that ultimately won The Monday Night Wars with WWE.
…Vince’s Plan B was the XFL but we know how that turned out. LOL.
RAW Women’s Champion Alexa Bliss and Smackdown Women’s Champion Charlotte Flair appeared together for the first time since their match at Survivor Series:
A new Flair for a new generation ^_^
Of course, this was not the only crossover promo featuring Smackdown talent. Shane was involved with the promo invoving Austin, Vince and Stephanie after all. Smackdown WWE Champion AJ Styles also did a promo with Mean Gene as well.
Then there was the massive poker game that originally began with The APA, Heath Slater and Rhyno:
Smackdown’s Natalya, The Usos and The New Day make an appearance along with WWE Hall of Famer “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase as well as Jeff Hardy (recovering from Injury) and Titus Worldwide. The promo ran throughout the episode, ending in a match between Titus Worldwide, Slater + Rhyno. Said match was interrupted by The Dudley Boyz, who raised some hell at Slater’s expense.
Of course, the night ended the same way it began: With a BANG.
There was clearly some missteps and botches but overall, you gotta give props for the effort. I do think it would have been better if they made it month-long instead of one episode. Guess we’ll have to wait and see how things go with the 30th Anniversary Episode and the 2,000th Episode!