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Raw 1000 Review
It’s crazy to think that I saw the first episode of Raw, the 100th, the 250th, the 500th, and now the 1000th. It has been a long time since 1993 and things have changed massively. This also marked the beginning of 3-hours weekly Raw episodes and a new era in sports entertainment.
I wouldn’t call one-time returning stars, including The Rock, a new era in sports entertainment. I don’t believe anything ground breaking happened tonight but what we got was a damn good Raw. At least, if you look at the past couple of years, it was a damn good Raw. We had three hours of matches, segments, and returns. Some returns were surprising, while others you knew would be there (Jim Duggan). What I want to do is go from segment to segment and talk a bit about each before giving my score of the show. Raw 1000 was very monumental but did it live up to the hype and expectation?
The WWE must have big plans for Damien Sandow in the making. His huge involvement in the Money in the Bank ladder matach was a big move forward for him. Now, he interrupts one of the biggest reunions in wrestling history. This was the first time we saw Triple H, Shawn Michaels, Road Dogg, Billy Gunn, and Sean Waltman in the same ring in a long time. The reunion itself was really good. It was usual DX antics with Shawn making fun of himself in good light. It was fun to watch and started the show off with a great memory. Sandow’s inclusion was surprising but he played it off like a veteran. His not-so-subtle wonderment about what DX was hurdling about was amusing and his line about Triple H being rude made me chuckle. I may actually watch Smackdown if Sandow is featured big like this every week.
One thing to say about this segment was the missing link — Chyna. No I’m not making a joke there, I’m saying Chyna was a big member of DX and her presence would have made a huge difference in this segment. I understand though why she didn’t come, or was invited. Chyna doesn’t exactly have the best relationship with the McMahons and Triple H. Also, her career choice is probably something they don’t want to get involved with. Although you may be saying to yourselves that past Divas have been porn actresses before, none of them are active or were hired/returned during Linda’s political campaign. Still, it would have been really nice to see her in the ring with the gang once more.
Was I the only one who thought Road Dogg and Billy Gunn could get right back into the Tag division?
Just something real quick here, I was excited to see JR come out but I was sad to see him leave. He should have been an all night presence. Even if he believes his time is done and the current booth make-up is good, this was a big occasion and it would have been a big treat to fans and the wrestlers watching backstage to hear JR call Raw 1000.
Rey, Sin Cara, Sheamus vs. Del Rio, Jericho, Ziggler
This wasn’t used to its full potential. Teaming Rey and Sin Cara up got me really hyped for the match as I’ve been wanting to see what they two could concoct together. I haven’t been a fan of Sheamus since he left his dominating heel role and Del Rio has been stale and dry since his loss to Edge at ‘Mania a couple years back. I was very interested to see more of Jericho and Ziggler and with Jericho teasing something huge at Raw 1000, I was left disappointed in the match, outcome, and no advancement of storylines aside from a punch from Ziggler. The punch would have meant something more if Sheamus didn’t come right up and knock Ziggler off his feet. They constantly show some great strides from Ziggler just to have him brought back down to size almost immediately.
Also, is Rey still hurt? Or was he just making a quick appearance to finalize his contract’s requirements?
Backstage with AJ, Layla, and the Legends
I knew as soon as AJ said “this whole place is unstable” that the door would open and I would see Jim Duggan. I did not leave disappointed. I really felt like I was watching WrestleMania with the amount of Legend run-ins tonight. Still, it was slightly humorous and featured in a good slot. It didn’t take away from the show overall. I wasn’t digging Layla in this segment which is weird since I’m usually am.
Brodus Clay vs. Jack Swagger
Every time Jack Swagger has no entrance and jobs, a young up-and-comer loses his opportunity. Okay well that may be a bit harsh but I really don’t understand the infatuation with burying Swagger so badly. The guy is a damn good wrestler and carried the title very well. Sigh, this match has longer intros than actual wrestling. It was a complete waste of time and I was sorry to see Mick Foley reduced to just a dancing segment. Don’t get me wrong, it was fun to see Dude Love again but if Foley was going to be on the show it should have been with The Rock. A quick backstage segment with those two would have had people flipping over the channel thanks to tweets, Facebook updates, and phone calls/texts instantly. “Rock and Mankind on Raw!!”
Backstage with Triple H & Trish
This… I had a feeling where they were going with this but they failed. As soon as I saw Trips and Trish talking about yoga, I just knew this was going to be a reincarnation of when Steph caught him teaching Trish a submission. Yet, all we get is DX coming in and looking awkward. It would have been absolutely hilarious if Steph walked in and saw those two but in the reverse of the original segment. I could hear Steph now, “you have kids now you low-life!” Such a missed opportunity. Instead, we get what I said above finishing with X-Pac looking reallllly awkward with Trish and her looking like she would rather be back in Canada. Do us a favor Trish, lace up the boots and get back in the Diva’s division. They need you.
There will never be another wedding that completes without a hitch in wrestling. Only Macho Man and Miss Elizabeth got that honor and their reception was ruined by a snake! Weddings are sacred events. Don’t put them in a ring. You’ll have a monster come through the ring and chokeslam the preacher.
Seriously though, I knew something was going to happen during this segment but I was very surprised at what occurred. I don’t think anyone saw this coming. When Vince pronounced AJ the new GM of Raw, I just looked at the screen, smiled, and pointed my finger at Vince. You sly son of a bitch. This is going to be interesting and I really hope this is the end of the AJ-Bryan angle. Let AJ ease into the new GM role and ride it to the moon.
In the ring with CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, and The Rock
This wasn’t a bad segment. It was just missing CM Punk being good on the mic. I really thought Punk didn’t really care for this part of the show. He wasn’t his normal self spitting out great liners and being overall exciting. Daniel Bryan was right on the bat and offered up his best talking performance yet. The Rock was… The Rock. I don’t expect him to be bad but I don’t expect him to wow me all the time. We has his moments, not as much as the last 90’s and early 2000’s but he has his moments.
I’m not surprised to hear The Rock get an automatic title match. I kinda thought they would go that direction with his busy schedule but this just goes to prove that I can’t see him as champion. A champion needs to be at every Raw every week. He needs to wrestle at least 3 times a month and be seen, heard, and involved. The Rock can’t do that. He won’t do that. He’ll get a movie offer and do that and them come back to say hi. That’s all you should expect from The Rock at this point. I’m not trying to bash the guy. I love watching The Rock. I truly do wish he was on every week or at least once a month with a month thrown in there. I already can’t stand that The Undertaker wrestles one or two times a year. I don’t want another guy to be the same way.
Oh, and why was Big Show in that Twitter poll? Where was Daniel Bryan’s choice, since you know, he was in the ring during the segment…
Christian vs. The Miz for the IC Title
Seeing Bret Hart is always cool. The guy just needs to dye his hair. When he looks old, he looks really old. It’s sort of off-putting, too. I’ve watched the guy since I was a kid. Seeing him like that just irks me. Eh, maybe it’s just me.
Anywho, this match was pretty good. I’m just wondering why they took it off of Christian so quickly. Though if I think about it, Christian just feels like he has been phoning it in ever since his recent return. I like The Miz as a major player, though. I thought his jobbing was stupid and served no purpose. He should be top card or main event. His US title run and WWE Champion reign were both very good and he gets heat so easily. He can be a great villain and I’m excited to see what he does with the IC title.
In the ring with Triple H and Heyman
I’m a big Heyman fan but his BROCK… LESSSSNAR promos are very cheesy. He’s always been one for the theatrics with his words but something about this just seems off. I’m not sure if he’s just way too into Brock Lesnar or just trying to see profound. The first comment involving Trips children and he smacks the mic out of Paul’s hand seemed pretty legit. I know it wasn’t but the way they pulled that off seemed very out of character and I got into it. The chemistry between Paul and Trips almost made me forget about Brock Lesnar which is a good thing these days.
Brock is cool and he can be a dominating heel but right now he’s got MMA blood. He hasn’t fully detached from that world and it really shows. He no shows strikes and still hits like a tank. You can tell he forgets which ring he is stepping into. Think back to the short fight against Cena the second Raw after WrestleMania when Cena’s lip was busted open. The first punch by Lesnar did it but he quickly remembered “oh crap, this isn’t UFC” and went right behind the head to not hurt Cena anymore. He’s still doing that. He doesn’t pull punches and he aims to hurt. I don’t think he’s doing it consciously. It’s just in his blood right now. He’s primed for a UFC fight and it has hurt his acting and wrestling ability.
I can’t say I’m actually excited about this match at Summer Slam but I am hoping for some more mic talk between Trips and Heyman. It was nice to see Steph again, who is looking absolutely amazing. I want to see her back in a GM role, which was my favorite iteration of her McMahon character.
Heath Slater vs. Lita
Yep. That’s right. First off, Lita is going to get the same comment I made about Trish. Lace the boots up and help the Diva division. You two look like you’re in better shape than ever and could really whip the division back into shape and give it some credible again with your wrestling. Seriously, Lita looked amazing tonight and her backflip was executed perfectly.
That said, Heath Slater is going to have one hell of a time being taken seriously when WWE figures he’s proven his dedication after a few more Legend squashes. Everyone will think back to when he was trounced by Vader or beaten by Lita.
Oh, and Bradshaw? We missed you. Please come back and play King Heel again.
In the ring with Kane and the low carders
This was shocking. I honestly wasn’t expecting The Undertaker to return tonight. Still, did they have to beat up the low carders who already don’t get opportunities or any real matches outside of squashes? Kane and Taker tore up a nice section of the roster that has so much potential. I hear that a night in the ring with The Undertaker will set your career forward at least on year. This was not one of those instances.
CM Punk vs. John Cena for the WWE Title
Slow start but overall, not a half bad match. Cena has good flow with Punk but their matches just seem a bit underwhelming ever since their classic at Money in the Bank. It’s almost like they have gotten into a routine with each other. It isn’t like Bryan vs. Punk where every match will entertain and excite you in a new way every time. I just feel like whenever you give the audience the same show over and over again with little to no advancement, it’s time to find another opponent.
Big Show interfering wasn’t a big surprise. I couldn’t see Cena winning the title and having that outcome be anything but bad for business. Punk is on a role right now with the crowd in his hand and his reign lasting so long. That’s also why I found it interesting and smart to turn him heel. No matter the reasons for the turn, Punk will get the most heat (aside from the adult fans) and be able to continue his reign as a top heel. You know you’ve hit the jackpot when you have a credible champion who can be heel or face and no matter which side he’s on take the crowd with him and remain on the top tier of reactions nightly.
Raw 1000 is a really good Raw. That’s all I can say about it. The hype was too much and the call for a “new era” never happened. Look forward to the same product every weeks with a new set and pop-up plates. Oh, and plenty of Touts. Don’t forget the Touts. Have you Touted yet? I hear Touting is pretty easy to do. You can hashtag on Tout just like Twitter. You should participate in our Twitter poll.
Ugh… I can’t wait for this social media craze to just die already.
Score: 7.5 out of 10