The 1000th episode of Monday Night Raw had been touted (pun intended) for months as must-see TV and I have to say the show overall mostly delivered. The show sped by the Heartbreak Hotel, whipped around Piper’s Pit and drove us all straight down memory lane by packing the show with non-stop cameos from past greats and set-up the rest of the wrestling calendar with multiple twists and (heel)turns.
Instead of doing a normal paragraph by paragraph review and to spare you from taking an Undertaker entrance-like break to read this, I broke out my review into “HITS” and “BOTCHES.” HITS are parts of the show I liked and BOTCHES are parts I didn’t like. Easy right?
I’ll also round out the review a complete list of all the WWE legends that showed up.
Let’s jump right in!
HIT: Lack of Nickelback
Right off the bat the show starts off great with a highlight clip showing great moments from RAW’s past. Even better than that though is NO MORE NICKELBACK. Yep, they ditched the cock rock from Nickelback. Now I’m not sure if that Outasight song was just the song for Raw 1000 or if it’s there permanently but anything but Nickelback is a HIT in my book. Anybody know what that heavier rock song they were playing in the background throughout the night was? I definitely wouldn’t mind if that was the official RAW song from here on out.
HIT: Mr. McMahon starts the show
Even though DX was promised to open the show I don’t see how you can’t start the show with Mr. McMahon and/or Stone Cold (more on this later).
BOTCH: Give me more Vince!
Other than this opening and one other announcement later this is all we saw of Vince. It would have been nice to maybe have him and JR do some announcing together. I guess I could give a HIT for Vince dialing down the ego for the biggest Raw ever.
HIT: DX reuniting*
I don’t care how weird it is to see 40+ year old guys chop their crotches and how creepy Sean Waltman/X-Pac/Syxx/1-2-3 Kid/whatever still is (see Trish Stratus segment later) it was damn cool to see the band back together. You can tell they were actually having fun in the ring together and the back and forth was cheesy but funny. The “lose your smile” and “playgirl” lines were classic.
*No one even remembers Tori was in DX and RIP Rick Rude but where was Chyna? Was she too busy making another porno?
BOTCH: The Bad *BLEEP* Billy Gunn
Really? At first it sounded like Road Dogg said “Bad Man” Billy Gunn but I think he may have been bleeped out. Hell, or heck, his own stable mate was able to say the A-word later on.
HIT: Good Ol JR in a goatee
It didn’t take long to get the greatest wrestling announcer/commentator of all-time on the show and seeing him in a goatee was somehow awesome.
BOTCH: JR we hardly knew ye
Yep. That 6 six-man tag at the beginning of the night was it for JR. You would think having him ringside during the main event would be a no-brainer but that didn’t come to fruition.
BOTCH: Be sure to comment on this blog via Tout/Skype/YouTube/Myspace/ICQ/Carrier Pigeon
I totally get the importance of social media, but the WWE is going over the top with it. The entire show felt like a Facebook status update.
BOTCH: Even when we’re not watching a commercial we’re watching a commercial
There was a Sonic server that skated up to the announce table. Yep.
HIT: Stratusfaction Guaranteed
It’s always a good thing when you have the greatest of anything on screen and having the greatest Diva ever Trish back giving yoga lessons to Trips was nice.
BOTCH: Waltman, you are one creepy dude
Well that segment went from fun to creepy faster than Kane’s title reigns. X-pac, just because the cameras are rolling doesn’t mean you can play off your creepiness as Kayfabe. We all know your creep factor is off the charts.
HIT: The Jive Soul Bro returns!
Not going to lie. I’ve never enjoyed any of the WWE weddings but Slick coming out as the reverend was a pleasant surprise. Plus it gives me an excuse to post this:
BOTCH: Bryan/Lee Wedding
I love AJ. I love Daniel Bryan. The buildup to the wedding, the payoff of the Punk-Kane-Bryan storyline and the wedding payoff was all terrible though. AJ as GM? I’m skeptical even though we get to see more of AJ. It’s like creative couldn’t think of any other way to keep AJ on screen and just threw this together. I hope I’m wrong.
HIT: AJ cracking up
I’m not sure if AJ was breaking her crazy chick character but I thought her cracking up during Slick’s reading was awesome and cute.
HIT: AJ rocking the Chuck Taylors underneath her extra-medium kids size wedding dress
HIT: CM Punk, Bryan and The Rock in the same ring
If you would have told me a few years ago that these 3 would be in the same ring I would have assumed it was for Rock to squash both of the indie greats. My how far those 2 have come and I thought Bryan stole the show from the other 2 with his delivery and tirade.
HIT: Rock facing the champ at the Royal Rumble
The clean-shaven (is that where JR got his goatee?) and seemingly slimmed down Rock shocked all those that were paying attention (see below) and announced he was going to face the champ at the next Royal Rumble. Hey, at least they cut down his build-up from a year to 6 months
Also, if the prerequisite to getting a title shot is beating John Cena when does Lord Tensai get his title shot? Wrestlemania?
BOTCH: Maybe the crowd really meant it when they were saying “WHAT!”
So Rock makes a huge announcement and the crowd didn’t react at all? Start paying attention to the show instead of trying to use a catchphrase at every turn.
HIT: Bret Hart giving a shout out to Mr. Perfect
HIT: Hart not even giving the time of day to Miz
The only thing that would have topped the Hitman’s delivery of “Miz” would have been if he actually said “Meh”.
BOTCH: Don’t worry, you can lose for like an entire year, come back and win the IC title
Seriously. I actually like the Miz and the crowd had a surprisingly loud pop when he won the title but didn’t he just go like 0-for-the-last-year?
HIT: Miz’s DDT was diiiiirrty
I wish I could find a gif of the DDT he laid on Christian but it was a thing of beauty. I thought Christian would explode and actual peeps would come out.
EDIT: I found the following YouTube clip of the sick DDT.
HIT: HHH not rocking the suit
I was ready to tweet a million jokes about Triple H going from a “degenerate” to a “suit” in about an hour but nope. He was still rocking the camo jorts to confront Heyman and Brock.
HIT: Paul Heyman. He never fails to deliver. No matter what Stephanie says.
HIT: Damn Steph. Where’d you get those body parts?
HIT: HHH-Lesnar Brawl
I’m not even lying when I say that mini-fight between Trips and Brock was more action-filled and intense than the Bane-Batman fights. My point is moot if Steph is the one to slay Lesnar. (see what I did there?)
HIT: Homemade Jericho coat
I’m not a fan of Tout but shut up and take my money with that homemade Jericho coat.
HIT: Brawlin’ Buddies are back!
I seriously thought I quantum leaped to when I was a kid when Santino and ‘swoggle came out with the new Brawlin’ Buddies. I didn’t even know they were back.
HIT/BOTCH: Lita and the One Man Band
I have to give this a half and half rating here. Lita was my favorite diva in terms of in-ring performance and seeing all the old-timers block off the runway was great. However, with the rumors flying about Stone Cold’s possible return anything but hearing the glass shatter was going to be a let down for me.
HIT: Sean Mooney – because even though I don’t remember who he is the IWC told me to like him
HIT: Mean Gene TV?
Zack Ryder trying to explain Mean Gene was behind G TV was great and I thought WWE Creative was going to run with this and tie up that loose end like they did the anonymous GM storyline.
HIT: TAKER RETURNS
Knowing how much time was left I knew Taker was going to comeback when Kane came out. After they squashed the jobber squad (where was Al Snow?) I thought they were going to go all Double Dragon on us and fight each other. They didn’t but it was still great to see Taker on free TV.
BOTCH: Sheen go away
I can see Sheen being a great Heel Manager but his segments on the show were straight up terrible and provided nothing but retweets off of Twitter. I have no idea what I think of a possible Sheen/Bryan Summerslam match though. Actually I do. Don’t semi-bury Bryan like this!
HIT: Cena carrying around the dented suitcase instead of replacing it
BOTCH: Mas Divas Por Favor!
As soon as Cena and Punk walked out I came to a sad realization. Where were all the PUPPIES?! You can’t pay homage to RAW without showcasing some of your best divas. Damn PG Era.
HIT: In typical RAW fashion the show overruns its “allotted” time slot.
BOTCH: Wait. Isn’t this supposed to be a big time match?
This was supposed to be an epic match between the current era’s two biggest starts and it didn’t feel like that at all. Between Cena’s lack of execution and the lame crowd this match disappointed.
HIT: Guy chanting TNA! TNA! TNA!
It was probably Shane Douglas forgetting which 3 letters he should be chanting.
HIT: Punk Heel Turn
Punk has gone stale for my taste for a good majority of his rain and turning him heel is just the kickstart he needed in my opinion. Especially after that AJ/Bryan storyline. Plus, he did more for his feud with the Rock in a matter of minutes than Cena did for an entire year. I can’t wait to see where they go with this.
BOTCH: Rock takes his acting seriously
Rock. Calm down man. You’re not going to win an Oscar/Emmy for acting like you’re having a seizure when you take any sort of bump. I do wonder however. If CM Punk makes Rock goes to sleep, who leaves money under his pillow? I kid. I kid.
MAJOR BOTCH: NO STONE COLD
It’s a travesty that RAW’s biggest star (sorry Rock) wasn’t in attendance to celebrate the shows past. Without Stone Cold who knows if the WWE is even around today. There better be a good damn reason why he wasn’t there. I don’t want to hear he was filming Expendables 8 or anything like that.
I forgot to add Mae Young’s Hand-son and Bryan rocking the white mic even after his wedding was ruined to my Hit list.
Complete list of WWE Legend Cameos at RAW 1000:
Vince and Stephanie McMahon
Jim Ross Triple H
The New Age Outlaws – Billy Gunn & Road Dogg
Sean “X-Pac” Waltman
Roddy Pipper Jim Duggan
Mae Young and “The Hand”
Mick Foley/Dude Love
Bret “the Hitman” Hart
APA – Bradshaw & Farooq
Doink the Clown
“Road Warrior” Animal