Raw starts out with a fantastic retrospective video package of some of the highlights in the past 999 episodes. There are too many to name, but this video is definitely worth a look. And to be fair, despite frequent complaining about long and drawn out angles, this highlight package really does show that RAW has been responsible for some amazing moments in television.
I am even more excited to see what’s in store!
The show fittingly starts out with Vince McMahon himself. Vince thanks the crowd and the crowd thanks him back. He delivers his classic “welcome to Monday night Raw” and brings out DX.
HBK and HHH come to the ring, glow sticks and all. Shawn says that although he’s feeling the DX thing, something is missing. After checking to see if he has all his gratuitous merch and underwear intact, HHH says, “Didn’t there used to be more of us?”
This prompts the return of Road Dogg, Billy Gunn, and X – Pac. They come out in the infamous tank and matching army garb to a very nice ovation. The five men do a crotch chop, and it looks like we are going to have ourselves a good old fashioned iron man promo segment.
Road Dogg does his shtick introducing the new age outlaws. HHH does his “are you ready” bit, whilst cracking some bald jokes and putting over Raw 1000. Shawn and Billy bicker over who gets to do the next part, until HHH intervenes and warns that Shawn could lose his smile and pose for playgirl again. The guys decide to do it together. But after trying to sort out the timing, out comes the savior of the unwashed masses, Damien Sandow.
Sandow puts down DX, saying that they are representative of society, being common sophomoric degenerates. Shawn agrees and says he’ll pray for forgiveness, again. Sandow recognizes that DX could destroy him, but if they did, he would be a martyr for all intellects. DX huddles and they quickly decide without warning to attack Sandow with a super kick and pedigree. DX finishes off with two words.
It sure was smart to not have X Pac say a word.
Next out is good old JR, sporting a goatee. It looks like he will be on commentary for the show. Cole seems to be on his best baby faced behavior tonight.
MATCH # 1 REY MYSTERIO & SIN CARA & SHEAMUS vs. DEL RIO & JERICHO & ZIGGLER
The match is joined in progress after a break (DX went long, so they need to cut out the wrestling) Jericho goes for his classic one foot near fall. Del Rio comes in next and works over Sin Cara. Sin Cara hits a swinging DDT and tags in Sheamus who spears Jericho, and hits the Irish curse. Mysterio takes Del Rio to the outside and Sin Cara gets taken out by Ziggler. Sheamus fights off Jericho in the ring, and Ziggler actually hits Jericho with a cheap shot. Sheamus hit’s Jericho with the brogue kick for the pin.
Winners – Mysterio, Sin Cara, Sheamus.
The big story here is the subtle turn of Jericho and his feud with Ziggler.
In the back, AJ is talking to Layla about her wedding. She tries to talk AJ out of it, but AJ points out that the entire Raw landscape is more unstable than her. She opens the door to reveal Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Roddy Piper and R Truth playing with little Jimmy, and Mae Young with her teenage son…THE HAND! I kid you not. Oddly enough, I loved this.
MATCH # 2 BRODUS CLAY vs. JACK SWAGGER
How did Jack make it onto this card? Oh well, Brodus does his dancing. Brodus brings out his brother from another mother, Dude Love!
Brodus hits a suplex and a splash in 10 seconds. Him and Dude dance, and Dude hit’s Swagger with Mr. Socko (I know, It’s confusing)
Winner – Brodus Clay
In the back, Trish Stratus shows HHH some Yoga moves. DX comes in and teases Hunter for stretching (why?) Afterward Trish and X – Pac have an awkward moment together.
Daniel Bryan is seen talking to some white coats…looks like he might be having AJ committed.
Next up is the Wedding of AJ and Daniel Bryan. The reverend is none other than Slick! Slickster brings out the groom first, who’s decked out in a nice white suit. AJ comes out wearing a traditional wedding dress, and looking pretty great. Slick mumbles through the boring stuff, and he starts getting carried away with his part. He asks for anyone who would like to object. The crowd chants “NO!”
Bryan tells AJ that despite their ups and downs, he will always love her. He puts the ring on AJ and answers “Yes!” to the Rev. AJ answers “Yes!” immediately. But then she cuts off Slick and says that she wasn’t saying yes to Daniel, she was saying yes to someone else. She says there was another man who proposed to her earlier tonight. Out comes Vince McMahon!
McMahon says that it’s a business proposal, and not personal. He announces AJ as the new GM of Monday night Raw. AJ skips around Bryan and leaves without marrying Daniel.
AJ is the new GM of Raw, and Bryan is furious. He tears apart the wedding set.
After the break, Daniel Bryan is still throwing a tantrum in the ring. Out comes CM Punk. Punk rubs in the fact that he got stood up, and says it couldn’t have happened to a nicer guy. Punk calls himself the best in the world. Bryan says he’s not even the best in the ring. Bryan says that he’s the greatest WWE superstar of all time. Out comes The Rock!
Rock tells Bryan that it’s up to the fans who the greatest of all time is. Rock fires up the crowd, but he’s quickly interrupted by Bryan. Rock returns the favour and says that he won his first Title in St. Louis. He says that he’s here to talk about the WWE Championchip. Rock makes a huge announcement that he will get a WWE title match at the Royal Rumble (looks like Rock will get to drop the Title at Mania) Punk informs Rock that he will be champion at that time, and he will defeat John Cena tonight.
Bryan chimes in with a resounding NO! He says that some way, somehow he will be Champion, and the face of the WWE. Rock cracks some jokes about Bryan looking like a troll, and he wishes Punk good luck in his match. He hit’s Bryan with a Rock Bottom and stares at Punk as he heads up the ramp.
Next out is Bret Hart! He comes out to introduce the next match. Bret says that one of the best moments of his carrier was winning his first I.C. Title against Mr. Perfect. He brings out Christian, and then his opponent, The Miz.
MATCH # 3 CHRISTIAN vs. THE MIZ for the I.C. Title
Christian takes Miz to the outside and leaps off the top onto Miz on the floor. After hurting his knee, Christian gets tossed into the steps. He manages to hit a cross body for two. Miz continues his attack on the knee, but Christian hits a DDT from the corner. After three reversals, Miz manages to escape the kill switch and hit the Skull Crushing Finale for a clean win.
Winner – The Miz
Miz is the new I.C. Champion!
Cole and Lawler check in with Charlie Sheen. Sheen puts over The Rock and says that Daniel Bryan has some Anger Management issues.
HHH comes back out for what must be the 3000th time in Raw history. After a recap of the feud between him and Lesnar, Trips calls out Brock for an answer to his challenge. Paul Heyman comes out instead. Paul confirms that Brock is here tonight. He answers on behalf of Lesnar. The answer is still no. Hunter calls Lesnar a coward, and says that Lesnar is scared. Heyman calls Hunters tactics childish. Heyman starts taking shots at Hunters children, and basically says that he doesn’t know how to raise them. This brings out Stephanie McMahon!
Stephanie looks pissed. Heyman is playing this so brilliantly. She tells Heyman that the lawsuits are just his own attempt to mask his failures as a business man (I.e.: ECW, WCW) She says that Heyman is nowhere near the visionary that her father is, and says that Paul’s children must be ashamed that their father is nothing more than a parasite. And then she slaps Heyman. Heyman eventually caves and grants Hunter the match at Summerslam. Stephanie attacks Paul further (with some weak looking strikes) and here comes the pain!
Brock Lesnar comes out and spears HHH into the corner. Hunter fights back with some shots and the two continue to brawl. HHH sends Brock over the top rope and watches him and Heyman retreat up the ramp.
Santino comes out with Hornswoggle and they hand out some “Brawlin Buddies”.
The Fink announces the next match. Why is he not still full time? He brings out Heath Slater. This has to be good!
Slater says that the past doesn’t matter, and tonight is going to be epic. He wants any legend in a no DQ match. Out comes Lita! Slater laughs it off and accepts her challenge. Lita announces that she hired herself a little protection. This brings out none other than the A.P.A!
MATCH # 4 LITA vs. HEATH SLATER
Slater tries to escape, but every single legend, led by Animal, comes out and stops him from getting away. Lita hits the twist of fate. JBL hits a clothesline from hell and Lita finishes it with a moonsault.
Winner – Lita
After the match, Ron Simmons yells “Damn!” and the legends celebrate in the ring.
In the back, Original announcer Sean Mooney interviews Daniel Bryan. Bryan expresses his anger towards Charlie Sheen and says if he were here he would slap the yes lock on him faster than you can say “Winning!”
Next up is a video package highlighting numerous catch phrases over the years.
Cena and Ryder are trying to solve the mystery of GTV, when The Rock stops by to wish Cena good luck. He tells Cena he would love to face him at the Royal Rumble for the title, if Cena were to have it.
Kane comes out next. He is quickly interrupted by 6 jobbers who claim that it’s their time to take a spot on Raw. They circle Kane ( Jinder Mahal, Hawkins, Reks, McIntyre, Hunico, Camacho) and then the lights go out.
The Undertaker returns! He stares at Kane and then fumbles at removing his hood. The Brothers of Destruction clean house and hit dueling choke slams followed by Tombstone pile drivers. Taker and Kane salute each other and the crowd as they are adorned with chants of “this is awesome!”
MATCH # 5 JOHN CENA vs. CM PUNK for the WWE Title
Cena has cashed in his MITB briefcase. He and Punk start off at a stalemate, trading chances. Punk hits his high knee and then mocks Cena, but Cena counters with a suplex. Punk counters the five knuckle shuffle and signals for the GTS. Cena shoves Punk inadvertently into the ref, and hits the AA. There is no ref to count.
Big Show comes out and hits Cena with a spear. He hits Cena with a KO punch as Punk looks on from the corner. Punk seems conflicted, but he tries to wake up the ref. With an easy pin looming, Punk decides to go for it, but Cena kicks out. Punk tries the GTS, but Cena counters into an STF. Big Show runs in yet again, this time causing the DQ.
Winner – John Cena – via DQ
Show continues his attack on Cena, and Punk does nothing to help. The Rock comes out and hits Show with a Rock Bottom. Punk stops Rock from hitting the peoples elbow and hits Rock with a GTS!
CM Punk has a look in his eyes. He grabs his belt and slowly walks up the ramp, without any remorse as Raw goes off the air.
Wow! I did not see that coming. I wouldn’t say this was a full blown heel turn, but for today’s standards this was pretty good. The entire show was stacked from end to end, with countless cameos and special guests. As a onetime celebration, this was a great show, and one that goes a long way in renewing the faith of a current fan, as well as adding some intrigue going further. The year leading up to Mania is starting to map out, and a heel CM Punk would open the doors for matches with The Rock and maybe Stone Cold. There was just too much going on tonight, and nothing was worth analyzing (except for the closing angle). Next week will be the real challenge for WWE and I for one have been rejuvenated and am ready and willing to see just what is in store for us next!
And finally, here are a few Odds!
Odds that Punks Promos are about to get really good again 1-1
Odds that Mick Foley constantly thinks about ways he can make less and less of an impact each time he appears 1-1
Odds that X- Pac wasn’t invited, but just kinda showed up…like your little brother 1-1
Odds that Mae Young’s son is either an MLB catcher or a Hamburger Helper mascot 1-1
By the way, shouldn’t he be half black?
Over Under on how long AJ lasts as GM 8 weeks
That’s it for this week! Have a great week and I hope to chat with you about all things RAW in this forum!