20 years (and three nights, technically!) a “revolution” began that changed professional wrestling and television forever. It has been on a roller coaster of ups and downs, but through it all, has lasted more than any other weekly television event.
Surprise hirings, surprise firings, drafts, unexpected returns and debuts, monumental and controversial storylines, friendships formed and disbanded, heartbreaking tribute shows and classy retirements, fantastic matches, and major championship changes have all lead up to tonight, the 20th Anniversary of Monday Night Raw!
Monday Night Raw for January 14th, 2013 – “20 Years On…”
Introduction Segment: Video Promo and Welcoming
All of the opening videos from Raws air, then we are welcomed by Michael Cole to the 20th Anniversary of Monday Night Raw.
Segment #1: Arena Promo
The man who started it all is in the ring, as Justin Roberts asks us to welcome the Chairman of the WWE, Mr. Vince McMahon. He gives thanks to all for making Raw what it has become (in particular the 4 billion fans who have tuned in each and every week) and of course, himself for being a “genius.”
He then announces that tonight, we have The Rock Concert to look forward to, as well as a rematch between Dolph Ziggler and John Cena, this time (as Vince points to the ceiling) in a steel cage!
Just as Mr. McMahon was finishing, former World Heavyweight Champion The Big Show walks out. He demands that Vince fix the “travesty” that was the match costing him the World Title.
Footage is shown of Alberto Del Rio winning the championship, and then Show goes on a tirade. He claims that Smackdown General Manager Booker T. is jealous of him because he has an “iron-clad no cut contract.” Big then suggests that Mr. McMahon strips Del Rio of the title.
The new champion’s music hits and Ricardo Rodriguez announces the jubilant Del Rio. He calls Show a “crying baby” for losing and picking on Rodriguez. He challenges Show to a rematch too, but Big declines. (Del Rio is really getting over as a face – big pop when he comes out, and chants of “si” which is Spanish for “yes.”)
Show claims, much like Smackdown, he is not prepared, but Alberto refutes this, saying that Big Show is already big enough, he doesn’t need to be prepared.
Show still denies, saying that he will fight him when he wants too, and that is at the Royal Rumble. The 7-Footer declares that everyone will be talking when he knocks Del Rio out and takes back the World Heavyweight Championship.
Del Rio then insults Show in Spanish, calling him a “fat jackass,” and gives him a present. Rodriguez chucks a bucket of confetti on Show, and as the giant goes to hit him, Alberto intercepts and takes him down with a hurricanrana and enziguri. He shakes hands with Mr. McMahon as Big how walks off steamed.
Ringside, Cole introduces us to Jerry “The King” Lawler and John Bradshaw Layfield as the commentary team, then goes over some of the lineup.
Segment #2: Raw Recap
Highlights from September 7, 2009, when “Price Is Right” host Bob Barker hosted Raw.
Match #1: Single – Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett VS. Randy Orton (Non-Title)
Collar/elbow tie-up to begin this contest, then Randy comes off the ropes with a Lou Thesz press. On the outside, he slams Barrett’s head against the announce table, and rolls him back in the ring for a quick near-fall. After a few stomps, Orton clotheslines Wade to the floor for a break.
Back live, the I.C. Champion has Orton clamped in a grounding rear chinlock, then gets a two-count following a big-boot. Randy counters another rear chinlock with a back body drop, then begins to fire up.
He nails a couple clotheslines and a powerslam, but gets hanged on the rope by Wade. Orton ducks again and drives Barrett down with a backbreaker and the slingshot DDT. Orton measures, but the champion shoves off out of the R.K.O.
Wade is gearing up and nails Orton with the “Brawl-Hammer” elbow for the clean victory!
Winner via Pinfall: Intercontinental Champion Wade Barrett
Segment #3: Backstage Promo
Divas Champion Eve Torres is walking backstage when Smackdown General Manager informs her, courtesy of Raw Managing Supervisor Vickie Guerrero, that if she tries to get counted-out or disqualified, she will be stripped of her title.
She tries to “seduce” his mind, but to no avail as Booker and Teddy Long just laugh at her, until Long gets slapped and Eve walks away.
Segment #4: Anger Management Lockerroom Promo
Tag-Team Champions “Team Hell-No,” Kane and Daniel Bryan, are discussing their upcoming session with Dr. Shelby. They both agree to lie and tell the good doctor what he wants to hear, so they can get on with this.
They shake on it, which Dr. walks in on and is pleased to see. He questions them on their favorite things about each other, with Bryan citing Kane’s tall, ability to set things on fire, and being a good dance.
Kane reciprocates with Daniel’s agility in the ring, his great beard, and being not afraid to wear women’s clothing!
Dr. Shelby loves the progress, but has one more surprise in store. He asks for “them” to come in, and in come “The Rhodes Scholars,” Damien Sandow and Cody Rhodes.
Dr. Shelby has Cody and Damien antagonize the Tag Champs, so Kane and Daniel can “find their happy place” and “wash angry the anger.” This backfires however, and with their verbal skills, “The Rhodes Scholars” end up ticking off the good Doctor!
He orders his patients to attack and after sending them out of the room, they all chant “yes, yes, yes!”
Match #2: Single – Tag-Team Champion Kane (with Tag-Team Champion partner Daniel Bryan) VS. Damien Sandow (with Tag-Team partner Cody Rhodes)
Kane and Bryan made their entrances prior to the ads. (It is announced that “Team Hell-No” will defend their titles against “The Rhodes Scholars” at the Royal Rumble).
Sandow tries to back off out of the ring first, but Kane chucks him inside quickly. The Big Red Machine whips Sandow into the corners and chases with clotheslines, then puts him down with a sidewalk slam. As he ascends the top rope, Damien gets out of the ring.
Sandow cuts Kane off climbing back in the ring and drops some elbows and a knee on him. He dives off the second rope right into a Chokeslam for the 1 – 2 – 3 by Kane!
Winner via Pinfall: Tag-Team Champion Kane (with Tag-Team Champion partner Daniel Bryan)
Up next, the first inductee for the 2013 Hall-Of-Fame is announced and we will hear from them!
Segment #5: Arena Promo
As expected (and absolutely well-deserved) the first inductee to the Hall-Of-Fame for 2013 is …. Mick Foley! Mrs. Foley’s Baby Boy takes the microphone and wastes no time in getting the cheap pop. However, before he can continue, “The Shield” interrupt.
Roman Reigns, Dean Ambrose, and Seth Rollins march through the crowd and surround Mick. Before they can get their hands on them, “Feed Me More” blares the speakers and out comes Ryback.
He attempts to dismantle the trio, but they soon gain up, until Randy Orton and Sheamus run out to help even the fight. Ambrose is dropped with The Shell-Shock, then “The Shield” retreat up the ramp.
Josh Matthews then interviews Ryback. He states that “The Shield” have always allowed Punk to escape and walk away with the WWE Championship. He declares that he will not and cannot rest until he gives “The Shield” their due. Ryback then leads a chant of “feed me Shield.”
Segment #6: Raw Recap
A video of some of the most “outrageous” gimmicks in Raw history are highlighted.
Up next, is the Divas Title bout!
Match #3: Single for the Divas Championship – Kaitlyn (Challenger) VS. Eve Torres (Champion)
Lockup between the two women, which Eve turns into a side headlock. Kaitlyn gets out of it with a takedown, then corners her and punches away. Eve counters with a kick to the head and cover for two!
Eve bounces off the ropes with a somersault flip, then rolls out of the corner, off the top rope, with a grounding headlock/leglock. (Best way I could describe that “different” move). Kaitlyn makes the effort to grasp the bottom rope to break the hold.
Kaitlyn is gaining momentum with clotheslines, then drops her with the reverse DDT for a near-fall! Eve turns her around with the twirling neckbreaker, 1 – 2 – Kaitlyn kicks out! She reverses into the gut-wrench knee drop, but Eve rolls out of the ring.
Kaitlyn goes after, but gets hurled into the corner barricade. Eve think she has taken the her out, but Kaitlyn sneaks back in and rushes her with a harsh spear for the victory!
Winner and NEW Divas Champion via Pinfall: Kaitlyn
Segment #7: Backstage Promo
Josh Matthews interviews Brodus Clay regarding WWE Champion C.M. Punk’s “shuck and jive” comments from his speech last week. Clay says he does that because he wants to and that Punk’s “pipe bomb is about to blow up in his face.”
Match #4: “The Funkasaurus” Brodus Clay (with “The Funkettes” Naomi and Cameron) VS. WWE Champion C.M. Punk (with Paul Heyman) (Non-Title)
Punk jukes around and tries to punch and kick, but Brodus overpowers quickly. He hammers away on the WWE Champion in the corner, then drops a few elbows on the body. Punk counters a run with two boots, then springboards off the ropes with a flying forearm. The “Second-City Saint” manages to bring Clay down with a neckbreaker, then mocks Brodus with a “dance.”
Punk clasps a grounding chinlock on, which Brodus powers out of. He counters a kick into an overhead t-bone suplex and runs at C.M. with clotheslines and a head butt!
However, Punk moves away from a corner splash and kicks Clay down again, then flies off the top rope with an elbow and locks on the Anaconda Vice for the sudden tap-out!
Winner via Submission: WWE Champion C.M Punk (with Paul Heyman)
Post-match, C.M, takes the microphone and tells us that he came out here to do what he does every Monday night, while The Rock will come out and do whatever he does.
Everyone has their opinions, but Punk says that no one can dispute facts. Those such as making a 400-pound monster tap out, a fact that the most important title in the world belongs to him for 421 days.
Punk declares that, because he is the best in the world, The Rock will not leave the Royal Rumble with the WWE Title!
Segment #8: Raw Recap
Footage of “famous rides” in Raw such as the beer truck, numerous ambulances, limousines and regular cars destroyed.
Segment #9: Backstage Promo
Mick Foley is on his cell-phone when The Rock walks in. He gives his old friend a hug and congrats on the Hall-Of-Fame, and gives him props before Vickie walks in and demands them to “shut up!” (They were being too loud, apparently.)
The Rock does not take the opportunity to put her down, as he just simply states “enjoy ‘The Rock Concert.’”
Match #5: Over-The-Top-Rope Challenge: Sheamus VS. “3.M.B.” (Heath Slater, Jinder Mahal, and Drew McIntyre)
(Sheamus made his entrance prior to the break). Sheamus dominates early, then gets the same treatment. Jinder and Drew are eliminated, and as Sheamus goes for the Brogue Kick, Slater moves and the Irishman gets hung up on the ropes and triple-teamed and pulled over.
Winners via Over-The-Top-Rope Elimination: “3.M.B.” (Heath Slater, Jinder Mahal, and Drew McIntyre)
Post-match, Sheamus Brogue Kicks all three members as they celebrated their upset.
Segment #10: Lockerroom Promo
John Cena is asked about his Steel Cage match with Dolph Ziggler and recaps the history of wrestlers in Raw. Cena then looks to the future and says he is going to stare down Ziggler, telling him that, much like the World Wrestling FEDERATION did 10 1/2 years ago, he will “get the ‘F’ out!”
Segment #11: Arena Promo
“The Awesome One” The Miz is out and announces that a Hall-Of-Famer will be the special guest on “MizTV.” A hint Miz does give, shouting “whoooo” and strutting down the ramp.
Miz brings out the “only two-time Hall-Of-Famer in WWE History,” the “Nature Boy” Ric Flair! The man himself struts to the ring as only he can, then takes a seat on Miz’s couch.
Miz asks Flair what is favourite moment from Raw is, and he recalls the night he retired following Wrestlemania XXIV, when he faced Hall-Of-Famer Shawn Michaels in a retirement match.
Ric his happy to be here and struts around, then engages a “whoo-off” with The Miz, then clips of the oratory skills of superstars on Raw is aired.
The Miz says that those catchphrases were awesome, and coaxes Ric into one great missing one: “the limousine-riding, jet-flying, kiss-stealing, wheeling-dealing, son of a gun…”
Before he can continue, United States Champion Antonio Cesaro interjects. He says that he does not need to rely on catchphrases crutches, but does give them props for embodying America.
He calls The Miz a “failed reality TV star” and insinuates that Ric made ten million dollars, and spent twenty million dollars. Cesaro says that the only thing Ric stands for is a bar tab he can’t pay, and that the Four Horseman hand sign really symbolizes his four ex-wives. (Great line!)
The Miz stands up for Flair, and as Antonio tries to walk away, Flair chops him and Miz drops him with the “Skull Krushing Finale.” Flair then goes for the figure-four submission, but “passes the torch” as Cole calls it, and lets The Miz lock on the famous hold.
Segment #12: Raw Recap
The infamous promo between “Stone Cold” Steve Austin and “Iron” Mike Tyson from January 19, 1998 is aired.
Match #6: Single – Cody Rhodes (with Tag-Team partner Damien Sandow) VS. Tag-Team Champion Daniel Bryan (with Tag-Team Champion partner Kane)
The two circle around until Cody focusses on Bryan’s injured knee. Rhodes stops to pose and Bryan catches him in the “Yes Lock” Crossface submission for the quick tap-out!
Winner via Pinfall: Tag-Team Champion Daniel Bryan (with Tag-Team Champion partner Kane)
Segment #13: Video Promo
Eve Torres is disgruntled with her loss of the Divas Championship, so she decides to quit!
Segment #14: Backstage Promo
A.J., with Big E. Langston recalls the disastrous “weddings” in Raw history like Lita and Edge from June 26, 2005, and Stephanie and Triple H from February 11, 2002.
Langston cites his favorite, the ceremony of Daniel Bryan and herself, from Raw 1000 on July 23, 2012. A.J. then cries at the pain that moment caused her, and Dolph Ziggler walks in.
He says that John Cena will pay for all the pain he has caused, both in and out of the ring. And when he beats Cena tonight, it will be the greatest performance in the history of Monday Night Raw! “Show, Off!”
The “voice of the WWE,” “Good Ole J.R.” Jim Ross comes out and is set to be helping commentate on tonight’s main event, which is up next!
Match #7: Steel Cage Single – “Mr. Money In The Bank/The Showoff” Dolph Ziggler (with A.J. and Big E. Langston) VS. John Cena
Immediately, Ziggler tries to escape but Cena catches him and rolls him back. Dolph tries again but John pulls him down and snap suplexes him. Cena clasps on a side headlock and delivers a shoulder block, but gets a picture-perfect dropkick to the face by Dolph. “The Showoff” now aggressive with repeated elbows, and throws him to the steel cage.
Cena counters a neckbreaker into an Attitude Adjustment, but Ziggler wiggles out of that into a jawbreaker. 1 – 2 – Cena kicks out! Dolph tries another dropkick but is caught and sling-shotted into the steel mesh wall.
However, Dolph uses this as an advantage and begins to climb, but gets pulled down again. Cena now ascends, but Dolph cut him off quickly too. They trade punches and headbutts, standing on the top rope, and Cena drops to the canvas but still crotches “The Showoff.”
Back live, Cena is struggling to climb the cage, and Ziggler chases again. Both men are atop the cage, and Cena is punches down and hangs onto the top on the inside. Ziggler hits another great dropkick using the top rope and both hit the canvas. Ziggler covers but only gets two!
Cena gets some momentum now, with his usual moves of shoulder blocks, spin-out slam, and the “5-Knuckle Shuffle” fistdrop. As he goes for another A.A., Ziggler grabs the steel wall, but Cena still pulls him off (and almost his trunks, much to the cheers of ladies!)
Dolph gets out of a third A.A. attempt and nails the superkick! 1 – 2 – Cena with the shoulder up! “Mr. Money In The Bank” crawls to the door and ends up in a tug-of-war between Langston and Cena.
The former “Dr. Of Thug-A-Nomics” gets the better and locks in the S.T.F. Dolph reverses that into a sleeper, wearing down Cena, who does get to his feet and begins to climb the corner part of the cage, with Ziggler on his back!
Cena ends up collapsing and both men are down. Ziggler is going back to the wall as Cena is going for the door. Dolph realizes this and latches on to Cena, who kicks him off. As he goes to walk out, Langston slams the door on his head, and Dolph tries to capitalize with a cover, but Cena still kicks out.
Now they trade, and Ziggler tries the door again as John descends the cage. Ziggler’s head is slammed, and he is just about to drop until Langston swings a chair to motivate him back in the ring.
Ziggler hits the Zig-Zag! 1 – 2 – Cena kicks out, as he does following a DDT off the top rope from Dolph. (Which really should’ve been it!)
A.J. is pissed off, slamming her hands against the cage and tearing off the commentator’s table cover. She now begins to climb in the cage. As this is happening, Big E. enters the ring but gets nailed by mistake with the briefcase from Ziggler.
Cena then catches Dolph and finishes this main-event off with the Attitude Adjustment and victory!
Winner via Pinfall: John Cena
Segment #15: Arena Promo – “The Rock Concert”
The Rock is out now and ready to perform once again for all of us! First, he remembers all his time on Monday Night Raw, and shows us a picture from his 1996 debut, as “The Blue Chipper” Rocky Maivia.
He makes fun of himself and says “that picture, right there, goes to show, that if you put your mind to it, you can overcome anything!”
(For this, I will summarize what The Rock sings about)
In the tune of “The Heartbreak Hotel,” The Rock makes fun of Paul Heyman. He then sings about a special woman, and brings Vickie Guerrero out. She does oblige, but with a scowl on her face. He sings an Eric Clapton parody, making fun of her style.
The Rock now takes the microphone off and talks about “kicking ass.” He calls out WWE Champion C.M. Punk for a man-to-man conversation. He and Paul Heyman do oblige and stand on the stage.
The Rock cites some facts, such as the 421-day title reign, and while C.M. Punk may not be God (as he alleged last week), Rock says “as God is my witness, in 13 days I will beat you for the WWE Title.”
The “Straightedge Superstar” whispers into Heyman’s ear and then rushes down to attack The Rock. The roll around and punch each other as numerous referees and agents try to separate them. Their brawl closes the show.
End Of Raw.
Reporter’s Rumblings – By Moe Tapp
Wow, what an average show! Seriously, was it just me, or was there really no “spark” to this big edition? The only true highlights were the actual highlights of Raws past. Otherwise, this just felt like another episode of Monday Night Raw. Onto the analysis:
Excellence: Opening promo with The Big Show and Alberto Del Rio. I thought that Big Show’s calmer, more “diplomatic” demeanor was a nice change of pace from his usual “angry giant” tirades. Also, Del Rio is getting over huge as a babyface. Good for him, I like the turn too – fresh!
Barrett/Orton was just some nice classic wrestling and good for the I.C. Champ to go over and continue his re-push. As always, “Team Hell-No’s” segments with Dr. Shelby made me laugh.
Kaitlyn capturing the Divas Championship will now hopefully put some new blood into the title picture (along with Eve leaving). Hello, Paige from NXT? Nice touch of continuity with the reason Brodus Clay faced off against WWE Champion C.M. Punk.
Loved the Ric Flair/Miz segments – just looked like Miz was in awe of the legend and that Ric was back to having a good ole’ time!
Bogus: My three major complaints:
1 – Mick Foley’s Hall-Of-Fame announcement really fell “flat.” Don’t get me wrong, super happy he’s in and he deserves it infinitely, but I guess with the leaked NY Post story, they couldn’t surprise us and just went, “well, here he is.”
2 – Dolph Ziggler losing again to “super Cena.” I honestly though that Ziggler would get the win this time, and they could have one more match at Royal Rumble (2/3 falls?) just to cap off their feud. The only saving grace is for Dolph to finally say next week (paraphrasing), “screw you Cena, I’m done and moving on to the Heavyweight Championship).
3 – Again, just no surprises, major returns/cameos (don’t count Ric Flair because he just appeared a couple of weeks ago), and no real “celebration” of 20 years. I know they packed a lot into the 1000 Raw, but seriously, they could’ve at least tried to match it (no pun intended) with an anniversary show. Heck, the 10-year stand-alone ceremony in 2003 was way better and more memorable than this version.
So, I guess next week, as with this one, is just back to normal. As always, until then, Be Excellent Wrestling-Online Readers and Wrestling Fans!