On Monday July 23, 2012, WWE will be celebrating a milestone. WWE will be celebrating its 1000th episode of its flagship show, Monday Night Raw. The show will be emanating from St. Louis, MO, which is the hometown of on of the company’s biggest stars, Randy Orton who won’t be on the show due to his serving a 60 day suspension. Even though Orton won’t be on the show, the rest of the big stars from both Raw and Smackdown will.
Fans at the show and on TV will be treated to wrestlers, such as John Cena, CM Punk, Christian, A.J Lee, Daniel Bryan, Sheamus, Rey Mysterio, and many others. There also supposed to be Raw stars from the past on the show such as DX starring Shawn Michaels, and Triple H, Bret Hart, and The Rock.
In the 999 previous episodes of Raw, there have been plenty of great moments, and plenty of not so great moments. There were those that made you laugh, such as just about anything that DX did. There were those that were surprising, such as the upset by the 1-2-3 Kid over Razor Ramon. There were those that were just revolting, such as Mae Young giving birth to a hand. Of course, there were those moments that made fans cry, such as HBK announcing his retirement, and even more sad, because of it being so unexpected, Edge announcing his sudden retirement.
Moments, and memories have helped make Raw a great show, and I know other bloggers have made their picks for their top five Raw Moments, but I wanted to give my two cents. I started watching wrestling seriously in September, 1998. However, thanks to plenty of video, and research, and YouTube, I did appreciate a lot of the angles done before 1998. I picked these memorable moments based on whether I could watch them over and over, whether the angle was good, and did the angle go anywhere. In other words, was the angle important at all? Did someone get over, or whatever.
So, here are my Top Five Raw Moments:
5. Bret Hart cuts promo to turn heel on American fans (3/24/97)
At Wrestlemania 13 Bret Hart beat Stone Cold Steve Austin in the “I Quit” match, even though Austin technically never gave up. The next night on Raw, Bret cuts a promo whining, and complaining about how the American people like violence, and have no respect for anyone. Bret then started in on the American fans, and said that the fans of Canada, and Europe were much better. Bret said he was going to leave America. HBK, who was supposedly injured with a knee injury came down to the ring after about 15 minutes, and told Bret he was aware of his faults, and such. He gave Bret the lecture on how in America people can do what they want to, and he told Bret if he wanted out of America, Bret could “Love it or leave it.” He also called Bret, “Mark Man.” Bret then put HBK in the Sharpshooter where he hangs outside.
I picked this moment because it highlighted the real life feud between HBK and Bret Hart that went back a ways. It also helped to lay the groundwork for the Montreal Screwjob some months later. This promo by Bret also set up that excellent angle where he was hated in America, but loved everywhere else, and also set up the New Hart Foundation as a faction which included Owen Hart, Jim Neidhart, Davey Boy, Bret Hart, and Brian Pillman. The faction would eventually have feuds with a new faction down the line called D Generation X which included Shawn Michaels, Hunter Hearst Helmsley, Chyna, and Rick Roode.
Part 1: http://youtu.be/KvnRFOunIew
Part 2: http://youtu.be/vI1dt3q-XUQ
4. Stone Cold Steve Austin Ruins The Corporation’s Party with a Beer Bath (3/22/99)
The background to this moment is that leading up to WrestleMania 15, between then GM Shawn Michaels, the Rock (C), and the McMahons, WWE Champion Challenger Stone Conld Steve Austin has been jumping through hoops. After all, Vince McMahon became the winner of the Royal Rumble that year, and Austin had to win a match against the debuting Paul Wight (Big Show) at St. Valentine’s Day Massacre to become the Rock’s challenger. Since Mania 14, Austin, and Vince had been having the boss vs employee feud, and had plenty of moments, such as where Vince is in the hospital, and Austin attacked him. There was another one where Austin poured concrete into Vince’s fancy car. I could name plenty. I picked this particular one, because it culminated Austin’s frustration with the obstacles the Corporation put in front of him, and it is so memorable. It happened in March of 1999, and it was the go home Raw for Mania 15, but fans still remember it.
3. This is Your Life Segment between The Rock and Mick Foley (9/27/99)
Now, who does NOT remember the famous segment in 1999 called “This Is Your Life,” between the happy go lucky Mick Foley, and his reluctant partner, The Rock, where Foley throws a birthday party for the Rock? The Rock, and Foley had a fierce rivalry, but eventually became tag team partners. In this segment, Foley throws this party, and brings back people from the Rock’s past. This had to be one of the most funniest segments I have seen. The Rock delivers this great line to his ex girlfriend, “You cut the Rock off at second base.” Of course, everyone knows that the people in Rock’s “life” are not the real people. Triple H, who is feuding with the Rock comes in and spoils everything. I picked this because even though Rock is tagging with Foley, he still doesn’t trust him, and he is still feuding with HHH.
2. Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels reconcile (1/04/10)
As many wrestling fans know, Hart, and Michaels had disliked each other for years. When I say “disliked,” I am being kind. Both had played politics backstage, and spewed a lot of hate towards each other backstage, and in the press. One of the main bones of contention is HBK’s attitude in the backstage area, and the other was the infamous Montreal Screwjob at Survivor Series on 11/9/97. In recent years, the two had decided to reconcile. The two made a DVD together with Jim Ross conducting the interview.
On January 4, 2010, on Monday Night Raw, Bret Hart, and Shawn Michaels were in the same ring at the same time. I was in attendance. The show was at the Nutter Center in Dayton, Ohio. I was pretty ill, and missed the large majority of the show, but I did see this first segment. Glad I did. The two cut promos, and then embraced. It was an amazing thing to see two wrestlers who had so much hate for one another get together, and talk stuff out, and embrace. The two had so much bad history together, that I thought it would never happen, but it did, right in front of my eyes. It was a great moment.
Part 1: http://youtu.be/bX6Kehd-wdc
Part 2: http://youtu.be/cHzbd_AHXIw
1. Edge and Lita’s Live S#x Celebration (1/09/06)
Some of the politics behind all this was that there was a portion of the WWE powers that be who felt that Edge was a “glorified tag team wrestler,” and would not be WWE Champion material. Even Michael Hayes said that even though he “loved Adam,” he didn’t think that New Year’s Revolution was the time for him to cash the briefcase in, but he admitted he “was wrong.” The only people who “thought it would work, ” were then Champion John Cena, and Vince McMahon. Of course, both were right as a top star was created, and fans were treated to a man I think was a hell of a wrestler, and a great all around performer in the ring.
Part 1: The Promo before: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8xErR6BLAA&feature=related
Source: “You Think You Know Him: The Story of Edge” DVD
Terri Bey currently blogs for CamelClutchBlog.com about Wrestling, NFL, and other sports/pop culture related subjects. Her work has appeared in BleacherReport and for F4WOnline.com. Terri can be found here at Facebook- http://www.facebook.com/TerriBey and at Twitter- http://www.twitter.com/missedgehead
[amazon_link id=”B000VXWK8Q” target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]WWE: The Best of RAW 15th Anniversary DVD[/amazon_link]
[amazon_link id=”B0082SIF18″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]WWE: Money in the Bank 2012 DVD[/amazon_link]