Raw Report – Raw Celebrates 20 Years
Raw begins with a mash up of all the openings that Raw has seen over the past 20 years. This was fantastically nostalgic and each opening brought me back instantly to a different period of my own life…how sad.
It’s the 20th anniversary of Raw from Houston TX, and the show opens with none other than Vince McMahon, already in the ring, sparing us the power walk.
McMahon hypes up the shows past and present, summing it up to “Entertainment”. He announces that 4 billion viewers have seen Raw because he’s a certifiable genius. He thanks the fans as well. He announces Dolph Ziggler vs. John Cena tonight inside a steel cage as well as a Rock concert with The Rock.
The Big Show comes down to the ring, dressed in a suit, seemingly disgruntled about losing his World title last week. He tells Vince that Raw is going to have to wait. McMahon tells Show that he doesn’t like being interrupted or being called by his first name. McMahon tells Show that he’s lost weight; but he’s referring to the title that he no longer carries. McMahon plays a recap of the last man standing match that Show lost to Del Rio on Smackdown. Big Show claims that he wasn’t prepared for that match, and Booker T was trying to make Del Rio a hero to the Latino’s (no that was Vince). He suggests that Vince strips Del Rio of the title.
Ricardo comes out and Introduces Del Rio (which makes for one very long winded interruption) Del Rio comes out without the car, wearing the title. He tells Big Show that he comes off very small despite being a giant. He calls him the world’s largest cry baby. He challenges Big Show to a title match tonight. Big Show says no (well that’s backwards). Show talks about not being prepared. Del Rio reminds Show that he’s bigger and stronger than him anyway, and asks him to show some balls. Show declines and says that he will invoke his rematch clause at the Royal Rumble. Del Rio calls him a fat jack ass (in Spanish so it’s classy) Ricardo presents Show with a gift, which is a bucket of confetti. He tosses it on Show, which angers the giant. Del Rio steps in to protect Ricardo, hitting a hurricanrana and an inziguiri on Show. McMahon praises Del Rio as Show retreats in anger.
A walk down memory lane highlights Bob Barker hosting Raw and having run in’s with Chris Jericho and Chavo Guerrero.
MATCH # 1 RANDY ORTON vs. WADE BARRETT
Orton hits a Thesz press and gets the upper hand early on. He takes the fight to the outside and drops Barrett onto the barricade before bringing him back in the ring for a Garvin stomp. Barrett reverses the draping DDT with a kick and follows up with a headlock. He continues with some big boots and kicks to the head. The two go toe to toe and Orton hits a scoop slam, backbreaker, and DDT. Barrett counters the RKO sending Orton into the ring post. He hits a bull hammer and gets a clean pin!
Winner – Wade Barrett
Booker T alongside Teddy Long informs Eve that if she gets disqualified or counted out in her title match later, she will lose the title to Kaitlyn. Eve dolls up to Booker as she tries to find a way to work something else out. Booker and Teddy laugh at her pathetic attempt, and Eve slaps Teddy.
Earlier today was the anger management evaluation. Bryan and Kane scheme to lie to the doc to get out of the meeting as soon as possible. They reluctantly join Shelby for a group hug. Bryan is asked about his favorite part about Kane. Bryan says that he likes that Kane is tall, can set things on fire by lowering his hands, and he’s a good dancer. Kane says that Daniel is very agile in the ring, and he’s got a great beard, and he’s not afraid to admit that he sometimes wears women’s clothing. Shelby has a surprise for the patients. He brings in Team Rhodes Scholars who are to purposely antagonize them to see if they can control their anger. Sandow corrects Shelby on the roots of the therapy, and he passively lets it go. Cody gets more antagonizing with Shelby as he calls him a quack and they point out his lack of progress. They say that Kane and Bryan might get better therapy from Dr. Phil. This sets Shelby off, who explodes and instructs Hell No to attack the heels. All three find their happy place together and chant “Yes” in unison.
MATCH # 2 KANE vs. DAMIEN SANDOW
Kane hits some corner splashes and a side slam. Sandow hits a leg sweep and the elbow of distain. Kane catches Sandow coming off the top rope and hits a choke slam for a fairly easy win.
Winner – Kane
Next up is the not so surprising announcement of Mick Foley as the first inductee into the 2013 Hall of Fame class. Foley gets a standing ovation as he gets his cheap pop. Quickly he is interrupted by The Shield. Cole does a great job highlighting the urgency of their arrival. They surround Foley but are thwarted by Ryback who comes out for a fight. Ryback takes them all on, holding his own briefly before the numbers add up. Orton and Sheamus eventually come out to even the odds and they single out Ambrose who takes a shellshock. I see a WM29 6 man tag in their future.
Ryback tells Josh Mathews that The Shield have helped Punk escape every title match he’s had with Punk. He says that he cannot rest until he takes from the Shield what was taken from him. He chants “feed me Shield”. I like Ryback much more when he’s not in a main event singles picture.
Next is a recap of 20 years of comedy on Raw. Everyone from Bastion Booger, the Goon, Mantar, Boogyman, naked Mideon, the lumberjack Regal, to stuttering Golddust are featured.
MATCH # 3 EVE vs. KAITLYN
Kaitlyn takes Eve down and causes her to retreat out of the ring. She cannot get counted out or she will lose the title. Eve hits a summersault splash and hangs Kaitlyn off the top rope. She applies a head scissors submission. Kaitlyn gets to the rope for a break and attempts to steal one with a roll up. She takes Eve down with a clothesline and hits a drop for a near fall. Eve hits her neck breaker but Kaitlyn kicks out. Kaitlyn hits a gut buster and Eve spills outside the ring. Eve tosses Kaitlyn over the guardrail and heads back into the ring. Kaitlyn sneaks back in the ring without Eve even knowing she got up from over the rail. She surprises Eve and hits a spear to win the title.
Winner – Kaitlyn (New Diva’s Champion)
Brodus clay takes a serious turn as he tells Josh Mathews that in response to CM Punk’s remarks regarding him being resorted to dancing and having fun, that he does it because he wants to and not because he has to. He tells Punk that his pipe bomb is about to blow up in his face.
Raw recaps the 2007 feud between Vince McMahon and Donald Trump.
MATCH # 4 BRODUS CLAY vs. CM PUNK
Punk sticks and moves, but Brodus catches him and starts beating him in the corner. Clay hits some elbow drops but gets taken down with a knee and a flying clothesline. Punk mocks Brodus’ dancing which draws some cheers from the crowd. Clay catches Punks kicks and hits a T-Bone suplex and some tackles. He misses a splash which allows Punk to hit an elbow off the top and an anaconda vice for the submission win.
Winner – CM Punk
Punk mocks Brodus some more with some dancing. He grabs a microphone and says that he came out her to do what he does every Monday night. He says that the people are entitled to their opinions as to whether or not he’s more entertaining than the Rock. But he points out the facts that he holds the most important title, he just made a 400lb man tap out, and the Rock will not leave the Royal Rumble with his title. He says that these aren’t opinions, they’re facts.
Next is a retrospective of the best vehicular moments in Raw history. The beer truck, along with many other Austin moments are highlighted with various limos of McMahon’s being destroyed. Who could forget when Vince was blown to bits in his Limo?
In the Back, Foley is on the phone only to be interrupted by the Great One. Foley offers a handshake and Rock teases Foley about not shaking his hand and gives him a hug instead. Foley keeps feeding the word “Finally” to the Rock, and gets Rocky to do his catchphrase. Vickie interrupts the Rock and Sock reunion and asks the two of them to shut up so she can work. She tells Foley that WWE should have followed MLB and inducted no one. Rock lays off Vickie for now, and tells Foley to trust him. Foley responds with a great line, “you did Rock Bottom me last year” to which Rock replies, “nobody remembers that”. Rock tells Foley to enjoy the Rock concert later tonight.
MATCH # 5 SHEAMUS vs. 3MB (over the top rope challenge)
Sheamus weathers the early storm and hits a rolling fireman’s carry with one jabroni over another. The trio come back and set Sheamus up for Jinder to come off the top but the great white breaks free and dumps Mahal out of the ring. He tosses McIntyre out quickly after and misses a Brogue kick on Slater, sending him partially over the apron. The discarded members assist Slater in dropping Sheamus and they get the win!
Winners – 3MB
After the match McIntyre hoists Slater up on his shoulders, but Sheamus knocks him to his knees and brogue kicks Slater right off.
In the Back, John Cena ignores Josh’s questions about Big E Langston to talk about some of Raw’s mainstays over the past 20 years. He talks about facing Ziggler in the distant future and doing to him what WWF did 10 years ago…getting the F out (does this mean he wants to win by escaping the cage?)
Miz gives a hint about who his legendary guest will be…he struts and shouts “Whooo!” I’m guessing Duke the Dumpster Droese.
Miz puts over some of the classic talk shows in Raw history, and he brings out Ric Flair. Miz talks about Flair having a TLC match and starting Evolution on Raw. Flair says that the Monday Night Raw when he retired was the biggest night of his life. Flair and Miz trade “really’s” and Flair incoherently struts with Miz much to everyone’s delight (almost everyone). Miz plays a video collage of various catch phrases from the past and present. I don’t think anything will ever beat “Shut the hell up” but Snitsky’s, “It wasn’t my fault” comes close. Miz tries to feed Flair his catch phrase, but Antonio Cesaro interrupts.
Cesaro comes out with his American flag. He says that the two men in the ring embody America. One is a failed reality show contestant and the other is a 16 time champion who made 10 Million and spent 20 Million in an attempt to maintain an illusion of greatness. Flair corrects him “30 Million brother”. Miz steps in and Flair chops Cesaro before feeding him into a skull crushing finale. Flair gives Miz the honours of applying a figure four and proceeds to deliver several elbow drops to his coat…even with the Flair rub I don’t think Miz is completely over as a face yet.
A recap from 1998 relives Mike Tyson and Steve Austin’s classic confrontation. As great as this is, we all know what happened…it’s played at every retrospective. Can we see some forgotten angles maybe?
MATCH # 6 DANIEL BRYAN vs. CODY RHODES
Cody has a mirror that he uses while he combs his moustache before the match…awesome.
Cody hits a vertical suplex. He seems to be in control but Bryan catches him out of nowhere and applies the “yes” lock for a quick win.
Winner – Daniel Bryan
Eve quit WWE during the break…so, how about that moustache on Cody?!
AJ addresses the fans from the backstage set. She talks about past romances on Raw. She recaps Edge & Lita who were interrupted by Kane, who tombstoned the priest. She recaps the wedding of HHH and Stephanie (not the drunken Vegas one) where Hunter dumped her and pedigreed Vince. Langston interrupts AJ’s wedding moments with his own favorite moment when AJ left Daniel at the alter to become GM of Raw. AJ tells Big E that that was the best moment of her life, and she lost everything because of John Cena. Dolph Ziggler comes into frame and tells Cena that he will prove to the world inside a steel cage that he’s just too damn good. He promises to put on the greatest show stealing performance in 20 years.
JR comes out to do commentary for the cage match.
MATCH # 7 DOLPH ZIGGLER vs. JOHN CENA
Ziggler teases going toe to toe but he makes a run for the door. Cena catches him and ensures the door is shut. Ziggler tries to scale the cage quickly but Cena catches him and hits a suplex. Ziggler hits a dropkick and attempts a pin. He continues with a splash in the corner and a neck breaker. Ziggler maintains control until Cena launches him into the cage, but Dolph uses the momentum to attempt to climb. Both men fight from the top rope and Cena gets dropped but he hangs Dolph up on the ropes as well. The two men fight from a seated position atop the cage before scaling down to the top rope. Ziggler hits a standing dropkick from the top, knocking Cena off. Cena hits the tackles, side slam and shuffle. Ziggler escapes an AA and scales the cage, but Cena tosses him into the steel. Ziggler comes back with a springboard kick for two. Cena catches Ziggler half way out the door, but Big E tugs on Dolph from the outside. Cena wins the tug of war and applies an STF in the middle of the ring. Ziggler counters into a sleeper hold, but Cena gets to his feet and climbs the cage with Ziggler still on him. Cena falls asleep at the top rope and both men fall to the mat. Ziggler catches Cena trying to escape this time, and Langston slams the door on Cena’s face. Ziggler gets a near fall. Cena quickly climbs over the cage and uses his foot to slam the door in Ziggler’s face. He’s about to escape but Langston is waiting and swinging a steel chair down below so Cena climbs back inside. Ziggler hits a Zig zag for a near fall. Ziggler hits a huge DDT from the top rope. AJ throws a fit as she tears apart the announce table and climbs up to the top of the cage. Langston comes in through the door with the MITB briefcase, Ziggler misses a shot on Cena and takes out Big E by accident, before walking into an AA as AJ watches from atop the cage in horror.
Winner – John Cena
Next up is the Rock Concert. I have no problem with this as a gimmick of his. It’s fun and adds a fresh element to the otherwise serious harsh talk of the usual build up. Okay okay…it’s mostly just for fun.
Rock starts out by making fun of his original attire when he debuted on Raw. He dedicates his rendition of Heartbreak Hotel to someone who “really, really, deserves it” He rips on Paul Heyman, singing about his floppy breasts, and his little penis. Rock says that his favorite curve on a woman is her smile. He invites Vickie Guerrero to come out so he could sing her a song. Vickie somewhat apprehensively comes out to the ramp. Rock parodies Eric Clapton, at first teasing a nice song to Vickie before revealing that “no biotch you look horrible tonight” he sings on that “she dresses like a cheap hooker and abuses her power” that kind of stuff. Actually a nice song and Rock was on key!
The Rock has the crowd at this point. He moves the musical equipment aside and calls out CM Punk. Punk comes out, without playing his music. He hoists his title. Rock runs down some facts, saying that Punk has been unstoppable for 421 days, and his manager has twinkie tits. He tells Punk that he aint god, and at Royal Rumble he will beat him for the WWE title. Punk charges down the ring and the two men brawl. The officials pull them apart as Raw comes to a close.
A very good show tonight in my opinion, with two very good matches in Cena vs. Ziggler as well as Eve vs. Kaitlyn. That’s right; I thought that was a very solid divas match! He build for Rumble followed it’s natural progression and the only concern I have is on the emphasis of the actual Rumble Match. Cena is hands down the favorite to win it, but I’d love a surprise entry from a freshly dethroned CM Punk, or maybe Undertaker, or even Lesnar. I can’t imagine any of the other current entrants having a legit chance of winning, and I think Ryback would be a mistake. I agree with the notion that whoever wins should be in the very last match to face Rock at Wrestlemania in order to restore the significance of winning the Rumble.
And now for some Odds!
Ric Flair vs. Several Armani suit coats in a handicap match at WM? 99-1
Odds that Dr. Phil and Dr. Shelby are involved in a celebrity spot at mania 17-1
Odds that Cookie Puss wouldn’t pay up so Rock moved on to try and Save the Twinkie 45-1
Over under on guys that 3MB collectively eliminate in the Rumble Match 0.5
Odds that as you read this, Miz is currently regretting picking up Flair’s bar tab 1-1
Who should induct Foley? Undertaker 2-1 Rock 2-1 JR 5-1 Terry Funk 11-1 field 3-1
Who is likely to still be around on Raw’s 40th anniversary? Cody Rhodes 20-1 Dean Ambrose 24-1 Seth Rollins 25-1 Michael Cole 15-1 Ric Flair 1-1 Earth 3-1
That’s it for now, write your feedback below and I will respond!