Commentators: Michael Cole, JBL & Jerry Lawler
Championship’s roll call: WWE Champion: CM Punk… World Champion: Alberto Del Rio… Intercontinental Champion: Wade Barrett… United States Champion: Antonio Cesaro… Tag Team Champions: Team Hell No… NXT Champion: Big E Langston… Diva’s Champion: Eve Torres
The twentieth anniversary of Raw!
The opening is a montage of all of the different openings of Raw featuring all of the different superstars and themes as well.
The show starts off proper with Mr. McMahon already in the ring; He says “Monday Night Raw” in his Vince voice. Vince quotes Neilson’s ratings who say there have been over four billion viewers of Raw over the past twenty years. The one reason is… that he is a certifiable iconic genius and the fans. He goes over the matches for the night including the Rock Concert and John Cena and Dolph Ziggler in a cage. Here comes the Big Show, who is probably pretty grumpy, since losing the World Championship to Alberto Del Rio. Show tells us that the celebration has to wait because the travesty that happened to him must be addressed. McMahon tells Show he does not like being told what to do, be or interrupted, or being called “Vince.” Vince says that Show has lost weight; Show tells him he’s been cutting the carbs. Vince is referring to the gold missing from his waist. Vince wants to show the footage to his chagrin… ROLL THE FOOTAGE, MONKEYS! Vince… “Mr. McMahon, dammit!” Show goes on his Latino hero tirade and feels that Booker T jealous. He says that, due to his ironclad contract, is above Booker T and everyone else. Show thinks that ADR should be stripes of his title. Del Rio comes out (to Ricardo Rodriguez’s announcement). Del Rio has added green and red to his ring gear; wearing white, red and green really amping up the Mexican colors. ADR calls him a crybaby and instead of complaining to Mr. McMahon, do something about it. Del Rio suggests a title match tonight but Show says… no? Show says that he is not prepared because he is in his tailor-made suit. ADR tells the perro to grow some cojones. Show is going to fight when he wants to fight him… at the Royal Rumble. He says everyone will be talking about Show because he’s going to knock him out and take the title back. He calls him a “fat jackass” in Spanish and then translates it for him. They have a surprise for him… in a bucket with the Mexican flag on it. He tosses it at show and it’s full of green, white and red confetti. A fight breaks out and Del Rio gets the advantage with a hurracanrana and savate kick sending Show to the floor. 4/10 The “official” babyface breakout title announcement and also books the World title match for the Rumble.
A Twentieth Anniversary of Raw highlight of Raw from the Price is Raw with Bob Barker from September 9, 2009 is shown. Barker embarrasses Chris Jericho and Chavo Guerrero.
“Apex Predator” Randy Orton vs. Wade Barrett: They lock up in the corner and lock up again in the opposite corner; referee breaks it up. Orton fires back with a Thesz Press; Barrett slides to the floor with Orton in tow but he gets the advantage over Orton with a boot. Orton blocks an announce table shot and Barrett meets the table. Randy then hits a back suplex into the ring barricade and then back into the ring for a nearfall. The Orton stomping follows as does a clothesline to the floor as we head to break. We return with Barrett hitting a kneelift. During the break, Wade savate kicked Orton off the apron. Barrett entangles him in a chinlock. Orton comes back with a kick to counter a backdrop; Barrett fires back with a big boot. Barrett traps him in the ropes and lays into him with knees and another big boot. Back to the chinlock for Barrett. Orton counters, or creates separation, with a backdrop suplex. They exchange blows and Orton fires up with clotheslines and a powerslam. Barrett slips to the floor but charges back in and misses a clothesline; Randy capitalizes with a stretch backbreaker. Barrett tries to escape again but Orton catches him with a Viper DDT. Orton fires up but Barrett counters the RKO and posts Randy’s shoulder. Barrett scores with the Bull Hammer to get the surprising clean pinfall on Randy Orton. 6/10 Match was semi-entertaining, a little boring at times but the ending made up for it. A CLEAN pinfall off of Orton for Barrett is huge for his career; the right guy went over, this will elevate Barrett back into the elite in the WWE, and takes the IC title with him.
Here is your winner… Wade Barrett via Bull Hammer pinfall
Eve Torres is meandering about the backstage area but bumps into Booker T and Teddy Long; they have spoken with Vickie Guerrero and they all agree to waive the DQ/countout rule for her title match. She tries to come onto Booker but he laughs at her. She slaps Teddy in retaliation.
Earlier today, Team Hell No prepare for their meeting with Dr. Shelby; they both agree to lie to Shelby to get out of this quicker. Shelby shows up for a group hug as they begin. Bryan says they’ve beaten the anger issues so can they leave. Shelby has a follow up question for each of them. He asks Daniel what he likes most about Kane. He’s tall, can light things on fire by lowering his arms, and he’s a good dancer. He then asks Kane about Bryan; he’s agile, has a great beard, and is not ashamed to admit he wears women’s clothing. The doctor tells them they’re free to go but just one more thing… he brings in Team Rhodes Scholars to start some exposure therapy. Sandow, of course, corrects him to the proper name and mentions that Ivan Pavlov invented it. You’re welcome. He is going to have the Scholars antagonize them and let the anger wash away and find their happy place. Cody and Sandow harass Shelby, call him a quack, and piss him off. They compare him to Dr. Phil which causes Shelby to snap and DEMANDS Kane and Bryan beat up the Scholars. Kane calls this a happy place and they begin to all scream “yes.”
Kane (w/Daniel Bryan) vs. Damien Sandow (w/Cody Rhodes): Sandow runs away at the bell so Rhodes drags him back into the ring and hits corner clotheslines and a sideslam, for two. Kane to the top but Damien retreats again. Kane meets him on the floor and hits an uppercut; Sandow catches him with a boot upon reentry and pounds Kane down and hits sledges and a knee drop. The Cubito Aequet follows for two. Damien tries to come off the second rope but Kane catches him in a chokeslam for the pinfall. 2.5/10 Kane squash match; the prior segment was FAR MORE entertaining than this.
Here is your winner… Kane via chokeslam pinfall
They introduce the first inductee into the WWE Hall of Fame, Class of 2013… Mick Foley! He heads to the ring and grabs a mic (to probably get interrupted by CM Punk). He thanks the fans, right here… in Houston, Texas! Oh, wait The Shield decides to interrupt, which is a bit different. Foley calls them on as they head into the ring. Ryback comes out for the block. He charges in and holds his own pretty well but gets quickly overwhelmed. Here’s Randy Orton to the ring but they take over on him. Sheamus charges in as well and we have a huge brawl. Ambrose gets caught alone in the ring and eats Shell Shocked. After all of that and a commercial break, Josh Matthews meets Ryback in the ring to interview him; he says that everywhere CM Punk is the Shield are to help him retain the title. He cannot rest until he gives back to the Shield what they have taken from him… “Feed me Shield!” 4/10 Well that was a lot of storyline stuck into one segment. Mick just got an entrance and a cheap pop and a MUCH deserved induction into the Hall of Fame. I swear Punk was going to show up and rip apart Foley with The Rock in the building it would have been a good continuum to that situation. This also continues the top babyfaces not in the title picture versus the Shield storyline; I smell a possible six-man tag, perhaps for WrestleMania.
We look at outrageous gimmicks in the history of Raw: Goldust with his stuttering, Man Mountain Rock, the Goon, Duke Droese, Beaver Cleavage, Bastion Booger, Gillberg, Max Moon, the Boogieman all get shout outs along with others too numerous to mention… well, NAKED Mideon was also mentioned! We also see the “Real Man’s Man” Stephen Regal too. So awesome!
WWE Divas Championship Eve Torres vs. Kaitlyn DQ/countout rule waived: Perhaps we will FINALLY end this championship chase; she’s really hamming it up to the crowd with a “Don’t Mess with Texas” shirt on, oh, wait it’s her hometown of Houston. They lockup and Eve grabs a side headlock; Kaitlyn frees herself with an armlock toss. Eve heads to the floor and thinks countout but remembers the rule change. She now hides in the ropes and is able to take over on the overaggressive Kaitlyn with a kick to the shin. Eve stomps and kicks away. She hits the flipping splash for two; after that she applies the lifting chinlock for a four count (so as not to get disqualified). Torres busts out a nice rolling figure-four neck scissors. Kaitlyn shimmies over to the ropes. Eve almost grabs them and then suddenly realizes that she is the one with the offensive maneuver on so she pulls away; Kaitlyn is able to grab the rope predicating a break. Kaitlyn sneaks in a schoolgirl for two; she fires up with clotheslines and a leaping shoulder tackle. Kaitlyn hits the reverse DDT for two. Torres kicks her way back and hits the twister neckbreaker and… only gets two. She gets mad and rips apart her Texas T-shirt but Kaitlyn hoists her up for the fireman’s carry gutbuster. Eve rolls to the floor so Kaitlyn, who does not use the advantage she was given with the rule change, goes out after her and promptly gets tossed into the barricade. She almost loses by countout but she makes it back in. Eve does not realize it and tells the referee to count and turns right into a spear for three and FINALLY wins the title. 3/10 Well thank God that storyline is over, not that anyone cares about who is diva’s champ anyway. The match was not half bad (for a divas match).
Here is your winner AND NEW Diva’s champion… Kaitlyn via spear CM Punk made about him. Clay shucks and jives because he wants to; he threatens to blow up the pipe bomb in his face.
March 12, 2007: the contract signing for the Battle of the Billionaires, where Donald Trump shoves Mr. McMahon over the table.
“Funkasaurus” Brodus Clay (w/The Funkadactyls) vs. CM Punk (w/Paul Heyman): This is a unique matchup. Punk has shaved his head. This match was brought about because of some comments Punk made with a pipe bomb. Clay is mad and no-sells some kicks to the shin and pounds in the corner. Punk retreats and confers with Heyman. Brodus brings Punk back in the hardway and pounds away in the corner; he slams him and drops a series of elbows. He tries a charge in the corner but Punk counters with a boot and hits a springboard clothesline. He takes over with kicks and a neckbreaker; he mocks Clay with a Dude Love type taunt. Fans chant for “CM Punk” as he applies a neck crank. He starts kicking away but that pisses Clay off who hits the My Bad Suplex; he follows that up with clotheslines to the champ. He hits the charging rhino head-butt; he misses the Funky Avalanche and Punk capitalizes kicking the knee. Punk to the top for the Macho Man Elbow and slaps on the Anaconda Vise for the tapout to remind us that move is still in his arsenal. 5/10 Quickie squash for Punk to close the door on that extremely brief feud (as in one week). After that Punk wants to talk…
CM Punk says that The Rock will do his shtick later and it may be more entertaining than he, but that is our opinion, he deals with facts. The fact is he just made a four hundred pound monster, Brodus Clay, tap out. The WWE title is the most important title in the world and he has had it for 421 days. Fact. No one’s opinion will matter at the Rumble because he is leaving the champion. Fact. He’s the best in the world, that’s not an opinion, it’s a fact. 5/10 Short and sweet to counter the “Rock Concert” later in the evening.
The Beer bath is sown as is Lita’s ride on the “highway to hell” courtesy of Kane. Various people getting hit by cars and limos are shown as we go through famous vehicular incidents from Raw, such as the cement corvette incident, Steve Austin on the Zamboni and the monster truck (over The Rock’s Cadillac). Kofi Kingston destroying Randy Orton’s car and Cryme Tyme assisting John Cena destroy JBL’s limo.
In the back, Mick Foley tells his kids that he was not scared in the ring when he’s interrupted by The Rock. Mick offers his hand to shake and the Rock teases him as only he can and then offers a hug. Rocky congratulates him for making it into the Hall of Fame. They share a FINALLY… the Rock ‘n’ Sock Connection has come back to Houston. The Rock cuts a loud promo and is interrupted by Vickie Guerrero who tells them to shut up. She gets in the Rock’s face and asks him if he has anything to day. Rocky says “no.” She leaves and Mick is puzzled. He tells him to wait for the Rock Concert.
Sheamus vs. 3MB over the top rope challenge: The three of them gang up on Sheamus but they’re not The Shield so he is able to fend them all off. They regain their control and almost get him over the top. Slater and Mahal take over but it is short lived as Sheamus floors Jinder and Finlay Rolls McIntyre on top of him. He gets Drew over but not out; 3MB blindsides him and Horseman Stomps him in the ropes. They finally get the big Irishman down but cannot get him over the top; they keep swarming him. Slater and McIntyre hold Sheamus for Mahal to leap off the second rope but he stops to air sitar too long and gets knocked off and ELIMINATED. There goes Drew, he’s ELIMINATED. Slater is alone and eats a bodyslam. He bounds off the ropes so Sheamus tries a Brogue Kick… and MISSES? He winds up on the apron and Heath tries to knock him off; Sheamus powers him onto the apron but the rest of 3MB are still at ringside and pull Sheamus off to ELIMINATE him and give 3MB a SHOCKING victory. Post-match, 3MB over celebrates; Drew hoists Heath up on his shoulders so Sheamus pulls Mahal to the floor and Brogue Kicks Slater off McIntyre’s shoulders and then flattens Drew with one as well. 4/10 Hey 3MB got a HUGE win over Sheamus; I know it was three-on-one but still, I penciled Sheamus in for the victory there. This is here for two reasons, to give the 3MB a win over Sheamus where he did not have to be pinned and to remind everyone of the rules of the Rumble… it’s been TWENTY-SIX YEARS, I think we got it. I like 3MB and I’m glad they actually won this.
John Cena is in his locker room; Josh Matthews wants to talk recent past (regarding Big E Langston) but John wants to honor the past. He cuts one of his silly Cena promos where he namedrops Braden Walker and Papa Shango. He then gets serious and says that Dolph Ziggler will be like the World Wrestling Federation did about ten years ago… and get the “F” out.
The Miz comes out to pimp the upcoming MizTV (after the commercial) he hits that his guest will be… wooooooo! After the commercial, Miz mentions the prior Raw talk shows such as the Cutting Edge, Piper’s Pit, and the Highlight Reel; Jerry Lawler sneaks in a “what about the King’s Court?” He brings out Ric Flair. Lots of wooing follows. They actually sit on the chairs; Miz goes over his Raw history (including his classic with Mr. Perfect and playing musical chairs) and asks him which his biggest moment was. Ric says after his retirement match versus Shawn Michaels. He wants to talk future though and mentions Ryback beating up The Shield. Miz gets into a “really?” war until Flair does the Naich Dance. Miz teases heeling it up but then asks him to do it again. We then get a woo off between the two of them. Miz shows a highlight package of all famous taglines used on Raw. It’s a very well put together video package, that I cannot fully describe, it details pretty much every classic catchphrase on Raw. He gets Ric to hit his classic tagline but they are interrupted by Antonio Cesaro who is in United States gear and an American flag. He calls Flair and Miz a nutshell of America; especially Flair, who made ten million but spent twenty… thirty million, brother… thirty million dollars trying to maintain the illusion of past greatness. Just like America, as great as Ric once was, he has nothing to show for it. He flashes the Four Horseman signal and says it now stands for his four ex-wives. Miz offers to “pay Ric’s bar tab tonight” and challenges Cesaro. Antonio, like a good heel, refuses, so Flair chops him into a Skull-Crushing Finale. Flair is about to put on the figure-four leglock but he offers it to Miz who “slaps it on” Cesaro. Flair drops an elbow as Cesaro crawls out of the ring. After he leaves, Flair and Miz trade elbow dropping Miz’s suit jacket. 6/10 Some of that promo was priceless and awesome (especially the elbow dropping the jackets part). We continue the Cesaro/Miz feud via Flair and it’s not a bad way to get him on the show, honor him (and other great taglines), and get in a storyline as well. Well booked use of Flair using him for a midcard storyline in lieu of a main event one.
The Mike Tyson, Mr. McMahon and Steve Austin incident before WrestleMania which was pre-Austin versus McMahon is shown.
Daniel Bryan (w/Kane) vs. Cody Rhodes (w/Cody Rhodes): Rhodes works the leg in the corner and stomps away on it. He focuses on the knee which Bryan tweaked last week; he slams him for two. Rhodes hits a knee drop and celebrates. Michael Cole throws out a frightening stat: when Raw went on the air in 1993, Bryan was twelve years old and Cody was eight! Bryan sneaks in the No Lock out of nowhere for the quick tapout. 3/10 Whoa, that was quick; Bryan gets a win though via tapout nonetheless.
Here is your winner… Daniel Bryan via No Lock submission
Eve Torres cuts a promo to Matt Striker on WWE Active and QUITS the WWE.
AJ Lee and Big E Langston cut in and AJ introduces the highlight package for all of the failed weddings. June 26, 2005 is the Edge/Lita wedding where Kane tombstones the priest. After that the Stephanie McMahon/Triple H wedding renewal where they officially broke up the McMahon-Helmsley faction. AJ goes onto another but Langston introduces the AJ/Daniel Bryan wedding from Raw1000 where Lee took over as the GM. After the highlight, she starts to cry and says that she lost everything… because of John Cena. She consoles herself in Dolph Ziggler’s arm, who promises to prove to the world and Cena that he is too damn good. He says he’ll win and steal the show of twenty years.
Jim Ross gets an entrance to commentate the main event (wrestling match). Michael Cole leaves the announce position. JBL should have left as well to give Jerry Lawler and JR the solo calls.
John Cena vs. Dolph Ziggler (w/AJ Lee & Big E Langston) steel cage, pinfall, submissions, and escape rules: Dolph goes for the door at the bell and Cena catches him in a side headlock. Cena then blocks the door so Dolph tries to go over the top; John cuts him off and hits a fisherman’s release suplex, for two. Cena applies a chinlock. Cena releases and steamrolls Dolph with a shoulderblock; they run the ropes and Ziggler leapfrogs into a dropkick. Dolph gets two. He opens up pounding Cena down and tosses him into the “unforgiving steel cage.” Ziggler hits a pair of Rude Awakening neckbreakers; he goes for a third, even adding a Rick Rude hip swivel, but Cena counters and nearly plants him with an AA. John misses a clothesline but Dolph hits a Bareback for two more. Dolph tries something (I think dropkick) but it is countered into a catapult; Ziggler uses his athleticism avoid disaster and scales the cage to try to escape. Cena cuts him off at the pass and knocks him into the cage, propelling him to the mat below. Cena tries to escape but Dolph counters and they battle on the top rope; Cena falls and then bounces off the ropes to crotch Ziggler and stop his momentum out of the cage. Back from commercial, Cena is climbing; Dolph meets him there and they battle on top of the cage. The words “precarious” is thrown around. They fight back down, standing on the top rope, and Dolph busts out a standing dropkick from there. During the break, Cena almost climbed to the floor but Big E blocked it but holding Cena’s foot up so he could not drop down. Dolph launches Cena into the cage. JBL mentions that this is Dolph’s first steel cage match. My memory ain’t that good but he’s been in the WWE for SEVEN years and this is his first cage match; I feel he may be right because cages haven’t been used that much in recent memory, especially in the PG Era. Dolph punches away and tries to toss Cena again but it’s blocked and comeback mode begins; Proto-bomb and Five-Knuckle Shuffle connect. He hoists Dolph up for the AA but Ziggler momentums himself into the cage so he can climb, while on John’s shoulders. Cena pulls him off, showing a little crack, and tosses Ziggler into the steel for a classic oversell. He counters the AA with a quick superkick for a very close nearfall. Dolph crawls to the door and almost gets out but Cena catches him; Langston grabs Dolph and we get a tug-of-war, which Cena wins, and drags Dolph back into the ring for the STF… but Ziggler reverses into a sleeper hold on the mat. Cena powers up, with Dolph on his back, and tries to climb out of the cage with Ziggler still on his back. Cena falls back off the top rope squashing Ziggler underneath him, breaking the hold. Cena tries to shimmy out of the cage but Dolph cuts him off; he grabs Cena’s leg but gets kicked off. John tries to leave but Langston Chynas the cage into him. Dolph covers but Cena kicks out. Shocking. Ziggler tries to leave through the door as Cena climbs over the top; he kicks the door into Dolph on his way down but Big E blocks Cena’s exit, whacking the cage with a chair a few times. Cena heads back into the ring and falls victim to a Zigzag but Cena, of course, kicks out. Dolph pulls himself up the cage but Cena matches him; they fight up top again and Cena pulls him out. The commentators mention that Langston will not let John leave the cage so he has to win via pinfall; if Dolph loses here it would be bad as he has a “one more way to win over Cena” advantage. John mounts the buckles but Ziggler brings him down with a leaping DDT, for another nearfall. AJ throws a fit on the floor and rips apart the announce table. She begins to climb into the cage, distracting the outside official allowing Langston’s entry to the cage. Cena and Langston fight in the ring so Dolph tries to brain Cena with the MitB case but misses and clocks Big E. Cena hits the AA for the ho-hum victory. 6.5/10 Okay everyone can complain as Super Cena continues to befuddle Dolph Ziggler; the match was actually very good but all of the air was let out of the balloon with Dolph’s loss. The fans are SALIVATING for a Dolph win and still won’t get it, this is making him more over with the fans. The rating would have been higher if Dolph had won; the guy NEEDS a big win sooner or later.
Here is your winner… John Cena via AA pinfall
The Rock closes the show with his “Rock Concert.” Rock shows a clip of himself on his first Raw in his goofy Rocky Maivia tassels gear. That picture proves that people can overcome anything. He opens with Heartbreak Hotel and makes fun of Paul Heyman; including his fat rolls covering his small penis. Dusty Hill from ZZ Top is in the crowd so Rocky gives him a Sharp Dressed Man shout out. He addresses the ladies and mentions his favorite curve, “her smile.” Rock brings out Vickie Guerrero to serenade her. She comes out REALLY slowly and apprehensively. He plays Clapton’s Wonderful Tonight and, of course, starts off nice but eventually turns to “no biatch, you look horrible tonight.” He continues ripping her apart throughout the song is rather clever; even the commentators laugh and I’m not sure if they knew what Rocky had planned. We move onto the serious promo part as he calls out CM Punk. Punk obliges with no music but does have Heyman with him. He shows off the WWE title. Rocky gives Punk his version of the facts: 421 days no one has been able to stop Punk and Heyman has Twinkie tits. He says Punk ain’t God, but as God as Rock’s witness, he will BEAT him for the WWE title. Punk gives the belt to Heyman and charges the Rock. They have a pull-apart brawl until a bunch of referees try to separate them. Even Arn Anderson is out there and can’t keep these two apart. Eventually, they do as the show goes off the air. 6/10 Not bad, the Clapton song was great and the best portion of the concert part; the serious promo part was the best and the pull-apart brawl was a great way to end the show.
OVERALL 5.5/10 Not as much as I was expecting; there were a lot of wrestlers not on the show, which I expected more from. The matches were good but not great; the promos were okay but nothing special. Very pedestrian effort for the twentieth show; last week was much better. Barrett’s win and 3MB’s wins were the highlight for me… oh, and Miz and Flair dropping elbows onto jackets was great too.