Monday, December 10, 2007

My Top 10 Favorite Raw Moments

Well folks, tonight's the night. This has been built up for quite a while and I admit that I'm actually looking forward to watching RAW tonight. I'm sure this is one the WWE will be going all out for, and many surprise appearances will be in store. WWE.com has been counting down RAW's greatest moments of the last 15 years. I'd like to share my favorites with you…

10. Intercontinental Title Battle Royal
This was the 20 Man Battle Royal for the vacant Intercontinental Title from 1993. While Bobby Heenan's Bastion Booger jokes would have been reason enough to rank this #10, this would be the shot in the arm of the singles career of Razor Ramon (aka Scott Hall.) He and Rick Martel would co-win this and meet next week for the title with Razor coming out on top. That win was the first of several Intercontinental Title reigns for "Da Bad Guy," and while Scott Hall is nothing short of sad nowadays, he was one of WWE's major players in the early years of the Raw era.

9. ECW Invades (Part 1)
This may not seem like that big of a deal now with ECW as a 3rd Brand, but tuning into Raw during the attitude era and seeing Paul Heyman was a pretty big deal at the time. ECW was invited to show up and give WWE fans a taste of extreme, as ECW stars wrestled each other in 3 matches of the Raw telecast. It was pretty surreal seeing The BWO, Little Guido, Taz, Mikey Whipreck, Tommy Dreamer, and D-Von Dudley on Monday night programming. The highlight of this, of course, was Sabu appearing and jumping off of the RAW letters in the entrance way onto Team Taz. I, for one, was very excited to find out that this angle will be a featured as of the 15th Anniversary Best of Raw DVD coming out later this month.

8. Edge's Birthday
One of my favorite backstage segments EVER… Edge, Christian, Kurt Angle, and Triple H sitting around in a locker room celebrating Edge's birthday. What made this so awesome? Theme music played via kazoo by Christian with Edge covering the vocals. This continued on for a few more weeks with the Canadian duo paying homage to Chris Benoit and Crash Holly using this method. For this initial segment, however, these four played off of each other perfectly, and was one of the early stages of developing Edge & Christian's personalities.

7. Replay of Hart/Smith from In Your House
My memory isn't kicking as to when this actually occurred, but it was sometime between the night after and two weeks after the December 95 In Your House Pay Per View. It was pretty awesome of them to do this, as they aired the WWE Championship Match between Bret Hart and The British Bulldog in its entirety. It doesn't hurt that the match was pretty damn good, too.

6. Mike Awesome wins Hardcore Title
The Hardcore Title, held by Rhyno, was under 24/7 Rules at the time. Rhyno is shown walking backstage when all of a sudden he gets blindsided by Mike Awesome who promptly pins him to win the Hardcore Title. Why was this so important? Mike Awesome was a member of the WCW roster. This Again, my memory isn't the best but I think he laid Rhyno out with a chair then put him through a table. Regardless, this is what kicked off the WCW Invasion, and while that failed in the end, this moment was at least pretty intriguing.

5. DX Parodies The Nation
One of the all time classics. Jason Sensation playing Owen Hart, Triple H as the Crock, and X Pac as Mizark Henry were all very humorous. While this opened up a can of worms to let them think they could recreate the awesomeness of this by doing impersonations of the Corporation and more recently The McMahons again, this was something that I remembered and people were talking about for a very long time.

4. ECW Invades (Part 2)
This almost would have ranked higher on my list had it not turned into "The Alliance" by the end of the show, but the night that Tommy Dreamer and Rob Van Dam debuted on Raw was pretty sweet. Kane & Chris Jericho were facing Lance Storm and Mike Awesome of WCW when they attacked. Members of the Raw roster (The Dudleys, Tazz, Justin Credible, Rhyno, and Raven) came to make the save, only to realize that they were all former ECW wrestlers and lay the boots to Jericho & Kane while Paul Heyman reveals it all as an ECW Invasion. For me, this was one of the most unbelievable moments I had witnessed in wrestling. They were sitting on a gold mine with this, but somehow they managed to screw things up royally. Just like they did again in 2006...

3. Lita & Trish Main Event Raw
These last 3 are kind of feel good moments for me. Lita and Trish Stratus had countless battles between one another and at this point were capable of putting together a pretty kick ass match. The bookers had a pretty good feeling that they would and let them go out there and close out the show in December 2004. The feel good moment stemming from this is the faith in these two to run with the ball. They delivered, and while Lita fucked up her neck in the process, she beat Trish to regain the Womens Title. While Lita winning the title initally from Stephanie McMahon in the Main Event of Raw in 2000 felt pretty good too, this felt a little more special headlining the show considering there was no one in the match named McMahon.

2. Eddie Guererro Tribute
While his death was a tragedy, the Raw where they paid tribute to Eddie was a special night. Seeing Raw stars vs Smackdown stars was a treat, as was Chris Benoit going over cleanly on Triple H. The match that stood out, however, was Shawn Michaels vs Rey Mysterio. They had a great match, and Shawn did the selfless thing by putting Rey over clean. To me, that win helped legitimize Mysterio as being able to hang with Main Eventers on his way to winning The Royal Rumble and eventually the World Title.

1. Mick Foley wins World Title
This was the ultimate feel good moment, as nobody saw it coming, or at least until they posted it on Wwe/f.com and Eric Bischoff blurted it out on Nitro. Foley had already gotten screwed over by the Rock at Survivor Series and Rock Bottom, and got screwed one more time this night by Shane McMahon in a match against Triple H. Frustrated, Foley did the only thing he could... hold Shane McMahon hostage in order to get one more rematch with Rock later that night. After some help from DX, the unthinkable happened, and Mrs. Foley's baby boy was the WWE Champion. Contrary to what Bischoff believed, it did in fact put some asses in seats, and some viewers on the TV.

A lot has happened in the last 15 years, but Monday Night Raw is still around, and will most likely be around another 15 years from now. I'm looking forward to seeing what they end up doing for this, to see will become of the Evolution Reunion, to see if Carlito will win the Intercontinental Title as part of the agreement for him to stick around, to see the return of Sunny, to see what will most likely be the second coming of the Gimmick Battle Royal… WWE can easily bounce back from Thursday's ratings loss with a good number here. There's enough hype surrounding Raw tonight. Here's to hoping they deliver, and here's to hoping for one more feel good moment for Monday Night RAW...


Dash Bennett said...

I would be amiss if I didn't mention the Rockers Reunion against La Resistance from a few years back. I was reminded of that and its awesomeness last night...

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