January 11, 1993: I was still living with my grandmother, back in Irving, TX. I was engaged to the absolute wrong person (that ended, thankfully, a few months later). I was working at a leading electronics store. That night, I got off work after a long day of dealing with techno-geeks and annoying lookie-lous who wouldn’t buy a soda if they were free. I closed the door on my converted garage apartment and flipped on the USA Network. Something new and exciting came spilling out of that 27″ screen.
I won’t lie and say that I’ve seen every episode of Raw, in the last 20 years, but I’ve seen most of them. Raw is War/Monday Night Raw/Raw has always been filled with surprises and over-the-top entertainment. Let’s start the third decade of the “Monday Night Tradition”…
Tonight’s show came from Houston, TX. I wish it had been the Manhattan Center (where the old show was broadcast).
The show opened with a mix of the various openings for the past 20 years.Sweet.
Vince McMahon, as he did 2 decades ago, came out to start the party. He still has that strength in his voice. Vince said Raw has always been about entertainment. 4 Billion viewers have watched Raw, over the years. Vince said they got those numbers because he was a genius and the fans were incredible. Vince ran downt he night’s card. John Cena will face Dolph Ziggler, in a steel cage. The Rock will be doing another “Rock Concert”.
Big Show came out to confront Vince. Show was actually in a sharp suit. Show apologized for interrupting the party, but everyone will have to wait. Show wanted to talk about the travesty that befell him on Smackdown. Vince put Big Show in his place, quickly. Vince noticed that Show has lost some weight…as in the World title belt. Vince wanted the truck to roll the footage of Show’s loss. Alberto Del Rio trapped Big Show under the announce table. That allowed Del Rio to win the Last Man Standing Match. I loved that match. Show grumbled about being put in that kind of match. Show went off on the crowd for booing him. Show said Booker T was jealous of him. Show said his no-cut contract makes him superior to everyone in the U.S.. Show called himself the “most precious commodity” in the WWE. Show wanted the belt stripped from Del Rio.
Ricardo Rodriguez came out and did an awesome intro for Del Rio. Del Rio strolled out from the back. No fancy car? Bummer. Del Rio accused Show of being so small. Del Rio called Big Show “The World’s Biggest Crying like Baby”. Del Rio said he was ready to fight Big Show, on this very show. Big Show said no as the crowd chanted “Si”. Show said he isn’t prepared to fight for the World title. Del Rio said “Show some Cajones…Perro”. E-Mail me if you want or need translation. Smile.
Show said he wouldn’t waste his rematch. He said he would fight, when he wanted to. Show wanted his rematch at the Royal Rumble. Show said he would knock out Del Rio and take back the strap. Del Rio called Big Show a “Fat Jack-ass” in Spanish. Show was ticked that the crowd liked the insult. Del Rio said he and Ricardo had a present for Big Show. Show warned Ricardo that if he threw water on him, Show would break Ricardo in half. It was red, white and green confetti. Show and Del Rio got into it. Hurancanrana by Del Rio and a Step-Up Enziguri. Vince called out Alberto’s name. Big Show stormed to the back.
Michael Cole, Jerry Lawler and JBL were the announce team. They discussed the upcoming show.
Raw Flashback: Bob Barker as the Guest Host. Chris Jericho got into it with Barker. Barker also laid out Chavo Guerrero, Jr. Why isn’t Barker in the Hall of Fame? They put Drew Carey in and Price is Right has sucked since Barker retired.
Wade Barrett vs Randy Orton
The beautiful Lilian Garcia was the ring announcer, as it should be. I met her, just under three years ago, in California. Her beauty is 100 times stronger, in person.
The two circled each other and went into a Collar and Elbow. The went to the corner. Another Collar and Elbow led to a corner. Wade with a shot and kicks. Whip by Wade was reversed. Thesz Press by Orton. Wade went to the floor and Orton followed. Orton bounced Wade’s head off the announce table. European Uppercut and Back Drop Suplex, onto the barrier, by Orton. Orton Stomp by The Viper. La Bandera Clothesline by Orton. This is episode number 1,025 of Raw and it was time for a commercial break.
Wade with a Rear Chin Lock on Orton. (And, of course, my phone rings…I won’t answer it, tonight…Bite me.). Orton started to fight back but Wade with a Big Boot for two. Knee Strikes by Wade and a Running Boot. 1-2-no. Rear Chin Lock by Wade. Side Drop Suplex by Orton. The two started throwing fists, hard and heavy. Orton exploded out of the corner with a Clothesline. Snap Powerslam by Orton. Wade snapped Orton’s neck over the rope. Twisted Sister Backbreaker by Orton. Rope Assisted DDT! Orton went into his Speacial Place. Wade blocked the RKO and threw Orton into the corner. Bull Hammer Elbow.
Your Winner: Wade Barrett
Grade: B (85%)
Raw will finally announce who is going into the Hall of Fame. Of course, WWE has already updated their Hall of Fame section on the website and announced it to the world, last week. Just in case you didn’t hear, I’ll hold off talking about my old neighbor, back home in the Dallas suburbs.
Eve sauntered, backstage. She came up on Booker T and Teddy Long. Eve would have a special stipulation in her match against Kaitlyn. If Eve gets counted out or disqualified, she will lose the belt to Kaitlyn. Eve flirted like crazy with Booker and Teddy. Booker got the giggles at her flirtations. Booker and Teddy couldn’t believe she tried that. Eve slapped Terry in the face. Booker wondered if Teddy was ok.
It was time for Team Hell No’s four month check-up evaluation. Daniel Bryan said neither he nor Kane wanted to be there. Daniel suggested they tell Dr. Shelby what he wanted to hear. Shelby came in and asked for a group hug. He asked Daniel and Kane to sit down. Daniel said they were ready to leave. Shelby had a question for each guy. To Daniel: What is your favorite things about Kane? Daniel talked about being tall, a good dancer and being able to set things on fire by lowering his arms. Kane was asked the same about Daniel. Kane thought Daniel had a great beard and was agile, in the ring. Kane said Daniel wasn’t afraid to admit that he wears women’s clothes. Shelby brought in Cody Rhodes and Damien Sandow for exposure therapy. Sandow, of course, had to correct Shelby and spout techno-babble. Shelby wanted Daniel and Kane to find their Happy Place. Shelby and Sandow got into it. Rhodes jumped in the middle of things. Sandow brought up Dr. Phil and Shelby freaked out. He told Daniel and Kane to “get ‘em”. Kane said they were now in a Happy Place. Too Funny.
Kane vs Damien Sandow
Team Hell No will defend against Team Rhodes Scholars, at Royal Rumble. Kane flipped Sandow in the ring and punched away. Running Corner Clotheslines by Kane. 2 count by Kane. Kane went up to the rop but Sandow bailed out. Kane came out and they fought on the floor. Kane rolled Sandow back in the ring. Sandow attacked Kane as he entered the ring. Side Russian Leg Sweepinto Elbow Drops. Flying Kneedrop into the Elbow of Distain. Sandow flew off the top ropes into…Goozle. Chokeslam!
Your Winner: Kane
Grade: B (84%)
Saturday Morning Slam is moving to a new time, starting on Saturday. Cool. Now I can set Green Lantern, Young Justice AND Sat Morning Slam to DVR. God, I’m such a nerd.
Michael Cole sent it back to the opening segment ith Alberto Del Rio, Big Show and Ricardo Rodriguez.
The first inductee of the WWE Hall of Fame, Class of 2013, is…Mick Foley! Mrs. Foley’s Baby Boy strolled out in a Cactus Jack shirt. He got a standing ovation. “Foley” chant rang out. Foley did the typcial Foley Pop. The Shield suddenly showed up! What the Hell? Everyone told Foley to take off but he urged them to come on and try something. Foley was joined by Ryback. Ryback rushed the ring and went after the rogue group. Ryback cleared house, big time. He really took the fight to Roman. Randy Orton also joined the party. Sheamus was the next to arrive. Sheamus took the fight to the group. Sheamus and Orton and Ryback went to town. Ambrose got blasted with the Shell Shocked. The Shield retreated.
Josh Mathews was with Ryback, in the ring. Ryback said The Shield vwas protecting C.M. Punk. He said he didn’t care about conspiracy theories and such. Ryback said he could not rest until he gave back to The Shield what they took from him. “Feed Me Shield!”
The announcers sent it to a rundown of some of the best Gimmicks of the past 20 years. I remember almost all of these. Yes, Naked Mideon and Lumberjack Regal!
Hmmm…We are in Houston. Could there be one or two more Houstonians going into the Hall? I can hope.
Eve Torress vs Kaitlyn
Divas Title Match
If Eve gets DQd or counted out, she loses the title. Kaitlyn is a home town girl. 85% of fans feel Eve is scared of Kaitlyn. Charles Robinson was the Zebra-in-charge. The two locked up and battled for postition. Side Headlock by Eve. Arm Drag by Kaitlyn and Eve hit the floor. Eve tripped Kaitlyn. Kaitlyn got blasted by an Enziguri. Eve mounted Kaitlyn and punched away. Clothesline by Eve for a two. Flipping Senton onto Kaitlyn. Eve kicked at Kaitlyn’s ribs. Eve went to the top rope and held Kaitlyn up by the neck. Modified Victory Roll off the ropes, by Eve, into a Head Scissors Submission Hold. Kaitlyn reached the ropes. School Girl, by Kaitlyn, for a two. Shoulder Tackle and Clotheslines by Kaitlyn. Kaitlyn with the Slop Drop, for two. Eve kicked Kaitlyn in the face. Eve of Destruction! 1–2–Kick Out! Kaitlyn with the Gut Buster. Eve rolled out of the ring. Kaitlyn went to get the champ. The two fought on the floor. Eve threw Kaitlyn into the barrier. Eve was hoping for a count out. She didn’t realize Kaitlyn was in the ring. Spear! 1—2—3!
Your Winner (and New Divas Champion): Kailyn
Grade: B (84%)
One of the better women’s matches.
Josh Mathews interviewed Brodus Clay. They talked about C.M. Punk’s comments about Clay, last week. Clay said Punk needed to keep Clay’s name outta Punk’s mouth. Clay was ready to unload on the Master of the Pipe Bomb.
20 years ago, I had Baby Cat and Frood watching wrestling with me. They have both passed over to the other side. 2 decades later, I sit here with Buster and his daughter, Pepiluiz (Peppy Louise). I saw the two cats and then noticed that Princess, our Pitbull, had joined the party. All is right in the world.
It was time for the Donald Trump vs Vince McMahon Hair vs Hair match challenge. At the signing, Trump shoved McMahon over the table and onto his butt.
Brodus Clay vs C.M. Punk
Clay did that silly Gangham dance. Punk then came out with “Walrus” Paul Heyman. Punk was at day 421 of his current title reign. Punk has completely shaved his head, again. Punk with a shot and some kicks. Clay moved Punk to the corner and punched Clay also Steam Rollered Punk. Punk went to the floor. The ref tried to hold Clay back, but it didn’t help. Clay flipped Punk in the ropes and pounded away. Scoop Slam and Elbow Drops by Clay. Whip by Clay but Punk got his boots up. Springboard Flying Forearm by Punk. Punk punched the skull of the Funkasaurus. Punk mocked Clay’s dancing.
Funk Neckbreakr by Punk. Rear Chin Lock by Punk. Clay got up and nailed the Trapped Leg T-Bone Suplex. Running Clotheslines by Clay. Punk dodged a charge and kicked the knee. Punk went to the top and called for the Savage Elbow. He connectged and then slapped on the Anaconda Vise. Clay tapped out.
Your Winner: C.M. Punk
Grade: B (83%)
Punk took the microphone and said he came there to do what he does, every Monday night. Punk said Rock was coming out, later, to do whatever. Punk said the fans were entitled to their opinions. Punk was more into facts, like making a 400 pound man tap out. Punk said it was a Fact that Rock would not take the belt from him, in two weeks.
The announcers sent it to the best “Vehicular Moments”. Of course, they had the Santa Crash from a couple weeks back. I loved the Edge does Nature Boy thing and Eric Bischoff being thrown in the trash truck.
Mick talked with his kids, on the phone. He was interrupted by The Rock. Mick offered a handshake. The Rock said he was there…for a Hug. Foley got into a “Finally” thing that led to Rock joining him for the Rock and Sock Connection being reborn. Vickie Guerrero came up and said they were being too loud. She told them to shut up. Vickie demanded quiet. Foley couldn’t believe that Rock didn’t cut loose on Vickie. Rock said to listen to the Rock Concert, as there is a time for everything…
Sheamus vs 3MB
The Rock Band all jumped Sheamus. They took turns pounding on Sheamus. Sheamus really didn’t get much of a start. Every time Sheamus showed a little offense, the numbers game would take over. Senton Roll, driving Drew into Mahal. Heath made the save. Triple Stomp Down on the Celtic Warrior. They tried to flip Sheamus over but Sheamus fought back. Heath directed traffic. Mahal went to fly off the ropes but Sheamus caused him to fall. Drew was then thrown over the ropes.
Jinday Mahal — Eliminated
Drew McInture — Eliminated
Sheamus missed the Brogue Kick. Sheamus tried to pull Heath over the ropes but Mahal and McIntyre attacked. They pulled Sheamus to the floor.
Your Winners: Heath Slater, Drew McIntyre and Jindar Mahal.
Grade: C (74%)
Sheamus took the fight to 3MB, after the match. Sheamus Brogue Kicked Heath and Drew. Heath had been on Drew’s shoulders, at the time.
John Cena was interviewed, backstage. Josh brought up Big E. Langston. Cena rambled on with tons of names, from the past. Cena said it was time to focus on the Recent Future. Cena reminded everyone about “Getting the F Out”, 10 years back.
Miz came out in a super sharp suit. MizTV was ready to interview a WWE Hall of Famer. Miz gave a hint. “Woooooo!” Miz with the Flair Strut.
MIz mentioned the Highlight Reel, the Cutting Edge and Piper’s Pit. Miz said his guest was the only 2 time Hall of Famer in history…the “Nature Boy” Ric Flair! Woooooo! Flair showed off both of his Hall of Fame rings. Flair was “Stylin and Profilin”. Lawler joked that Flair still had more ex-wives than Hall of Fame rings. Miz talked about all the things that Flair has done on Raw. Miz asked Flair what his favorite moment was. Flair said the Raw after he retired was the biggest night of his life. Flair wanted to talk about the future. Flair really looked great. Flair talked about Ryback taking down The Shield. Flair went into Woo Mode. Miz said Falir was…Pretty Awesome! They got into a Woo-a-Thon and Strut-Off. Miz said that was a magical moment for him.
Miz sent it to a Special Style video package.
Back to the present and Miz said there was a missing catch phrase. Miz and Flair joked away and Flair said he wasn’t going to get in trouble, again. He broke into old Flair promo…
Out came Antonio Cesaro. Really? Cesaro felt a catch phrase is a crutch, which he didn’t need. “U.S.A.” chant broke out. Cesaro ridiculed Flair for his outrageous spending. Cesaro said Flair has nothing to show for his years in the ring, except a bar tab that he couldn’t pay. Cesaro di the Horsemen symbol, which he said now stood for Flair’s four ex-wives. Miz was ready to deliver a receipt. Cesaro started to leave but Flair with the Flair Chops and Miz with the Skull Crushing Finale on the US Champ. Figure Four Leglock was threatened by Flair but Flair asked Miz to apply it. Miz slapped on the Figure Four! Flair had a fun meltdown. Also Sprach Zarathustra broke loose from the speakers. Miz and Flair did the Elbow Drops. I love it.
Another Flashback saw the arrival of Mike Tyson, in 1998. Tyson got flipped off by “Stone Cold” Steve Austin.
Daniel Bryan vs Cody Rhodes
Cody was trimming his mustache. Jeez. Cody rushed Daniel to the corner. There is breaking news about Eve, coming up. Cody attacked Daniel’s knee. Face Drop Suplex. Lawler and Cole made fun of Cody’s mustache. Cody stomped Daniel’s chest. Yes/No/Maybe Lock by Daniel, out of nowhere. Tap out. Wow.
Your Winner: Daniel Bryan
Grade: B (84%)
Michael Cole said Eve had gone to WWE Active, after her loss. Eve claimed that she was the victim. Eve quit the WWE! Good, one less Barbie Doll in the mix.
There will be a special Fiesta on Friday Night Smackdown to celebrate Alberto Del Rio’s new World title reign.
A.J. Lee and Big E. Langston sent it to video packages about love on Raw and marriage ceremonies gone wrong. A.J. had a meltdown, after seeing herself getting the job as General Manager, only to lose it because of John Cena. Dolph came in and said he has been preparing for tonight’s match, his whole life.
Jim Ross made his return to Monday Night Raw. He got a huge pop. Michael Cole said he invited JR to join the team for the Steel Cage Match. Cple stepped out, in favor of JR.
John Cena vs Dolph Ziggler
Steel Cage Match
Cena did a mini-rap as he came from the back. ZZTop was at rignside to watch this one. Dolph tried to make a quick escape but Cena with a leg pull and Rear Chin Lock. Cena blocked the door. Ziggler climbed the cage but Cena pulled him down and punched away. Fisherman’s Suplex by Cena for two. Rear Chin Lock by Cena. Shoulder Tackle by Cena into a classic Universal. Ziggler punched away at Cena’s skull. Ziggler threw Cena into the cage. Corner Splash and Neckbarekers by Ziggler. Cena reversed the Neckbreaker. Close Quarters Neckbreaker by Ziggler. Ziggler with a hard punch. Cena blocked the Zig Zag and sent Ziggler into the cage. Ziggler tried to climb out but Cena pulled him down. Cena tried to escape the cage but Ziggler held him and pulled him back. They fought on the top rope. Cena fell off the ropes but then tripped Ziggler, who crotched the top rope. Break time.
Cena almost got out of the ring but Dolph caught him. They fought on the top of the cage. Cena almost fell and Dolph started down the other side. Cena pulled Ziggler back over the top. Huge Dropkick off the top rope by Ziggler. That was cool. Big E kept Cena from leaving, during the break. Dolph threw Cena into the cage wall. Cena blocked another Cage Wall Rush. Cena went Vintage on Dolph. Five Knuckle Shuffle. Cena wanted the AA but Dolph grabbed the cage. Cena threw Dolph into the cage. Superkick by Dolph for a two. Dolph tried to escape the cage, and almost made it. Cena had the legs. It ended up a Tug of War between Cena nad Langston. Cena won the contest. Kokina Clutch by Ziggler. Cena rolled over and stood up. Cena started to climb te ropes, with Dolph on his back. Cena fell off the top turnbuckle, which broke the Sleeper. Ziggler started to scale the cage but Cena almost went out the door. Cena kicked Ziggler off him. Langston was very close to the cage door. Langston pulled a Terry Gordy and slammed the door into Cena’s face. Cena kicked out of the pin attempt. Cena went over the top and kicked the cage door into Dolph’s face. Langston was there with a chair to prevent Cena from coming down. Zig Zag by Dolph but he only got a two.
Dolph started to ciimb but Cena had the ankle. Cena threw Dolph back down into the ring. Dolph ran the ropes and planted Cena with a Super-DDT. 1-2-no. A.J. was having a meltdown. Love them crazy chicks. A.J. climbed the outside of the cage. Langston got in and battled with Lanston. Dolph blasted Langston with the Money in the Bank briefcase. Attitude Adjustment!
Your Winner: John Cena
Grade: A (94% — Best Moment/Match of the Night!)
I have to admit, I am SERIOUSLY disappointed in this anniversary show. They are in Houston…and no TAKER! I heard hard rumors that Madusa/Alundra Blayze was going to be there. Not a single performer from the original Raw on the show? Shawn Michaels is there, by way of Tweets? Flair is brought out and he wasn’t even in the WWE when the first Raw aired. Neither was Foley. They were both in WCW, back then. No Stone Cold, Dusty Rhodes, Ron Simmons, Bret Hart, or even Max Moon (Paul Diamond). Shame on you, WWE. Hell, we didn’t even get Mae Young.
The Rock came out to do his singing thing. Will I make it through this before the Benadryl kicks in? Actually, if it’s like the rest of the night, I should have left the bottle closed. Rock said it was an honor to close out this special night. Rock talked about his memories. Rock talked about his debut on Raw, as the goofy Rocky Maivia. My daughter was passing my office and broke out laughing at the photo. Rock said that was proof that you could overcome anything. Rock said it was time for the return of the Rock Concert. The Rock sang the first song, to the tune of the Heartbreak Hotel. The song was sung to Paul Heyman. Rock was at the top of his form.
Rock got his guitar and got ready to play and sing another one. Rock pointed out Dusty Hill from ZZTop. Trivia: The only member of ZZTop without the trademark beard is…Frank Beard.
Rock said his favorite curve on a woman is her smile. Rock said there was a special woman that Rock wanted to sing to. Several girls shouted for themselves and a few yelled “Cookie Puss”. Rock asked Vickie Guerrero to come out for the song. She slowly strolled out. Rock broke out an Eric Clapton-like tune to Vickie. It was a take on “You look wonderful tonight.” It was really a nasty shot at Vickie. I still think she’s pretty. Vickie screamed at Rock as the crowd sang with Rock about how horrible she looked. Vickie had a Heck of a time keeping a straight face.
Rock then switched gears and wanted to call out someone. “Cookie Puss” rang out. Rock asked for Punk to join him, in the ring. Punk and Heyman finally showed up. Punk brandished his WWE title belt, high over his head. Rock said he wanted to share the Facts with Punk. Rock understood that Punk has been non-stop for 421 days. He accused Heyman of having “Twinkie T*ts”. That crap with trend, in moments. Rock told Punk that Punk was not God. Rock said, in 13 days, Rock was going to beat Punk for the WWE title. Punk gave the belt to Heyman. Punk and Rock got into a Hell of a fight, on the floor. The refs rushed down to try and keep them apart. The refs couldn’t hold the two men apart. More officials rushed out to try and keept hem apart. YAWWWWWNNNNNN!
Final Grade: C+ (69%)
Not quite a fail, but darn close. This night should have been ultra-special but it was just another, very boring episode of Raw. The cage match was decent but the other matches were dull as a plastic spoon. Ric Flair and MIz were passable but could have been so much better. Mick Foley deserved a better induction spot than another reason to trot out Aces and Eights, Mark II.
Well, the Benadryl is really kicking in and the sleepies are coming on strong. Thank you all for joining me for tonight’s show. See you all, on Thursday, for the Bully Ray/Brooke Hogan wedding.