I decided not to write anything before the show started, because I really didn't know what was going to go down on this 1,000th episode of RAW. While there was a few disappointments for me, I really enjoyed this 1,000th episode of RAW. Some people online had stated that there wouldn't be a lot of good matches on this show, but I knew that from the start and was actually shocked that anyone expected that there would be any really great matches on the show. We should be happy with the wonderful three hour show the WWE gave us, rather than dwelling on the little things we didn't get.
Okay, I take that back about one thing. I'm really bummed that Stone Cold Steve Austin was not live on the 1,000th episode of RAW, but we couldn't have everything. Beyond that, I'm pretty impressed with what the WWE gave us last night. Hopefully the ratings reflect this milestone, and the three hour shows that follow each week are worth expanding the show. I have to admit that I'm quite worried about what is to come from the three hours or RAW each week from here on out.
Video > A
Perfect way to start the show. I have to go back and watch this video a couple more times because they really jammed a lot of iconic moments into such a short clip.
In Ring Segment > A
VKM took the high road by not getting involved in any storyline. A truly classy moment from the Chairman.
I will admit that I was a bit shocked when only HBK and Trip came out the ring. Gesus and I had both predicted that the rest of DX, specifically the rest of the male members of DX, would be on this 1,000th episode of RAW. As soon as HBK said there was something missing, I knew that the rest of the guys would be coming out, but it was even better that they came out in the military Jeep from one of their most iconic moments. X-Pac, Road Dogg and Billy Gunn all looked really good especially X-Pac and all he's gone through recently. The five of them worked this segment as if they'd been doing it all along. None of them missed a beat, and it was great to them all back together. I thought it was obvious that there was no way Chyna would be brought in for this show due to her history with Trip, Steph, X-Pac and that she's been working the porn industry lately. She doesn't fit into the PG image that the WWE has been trying to portray lately. This segment proved that DX would be fun and edgy while still staying within their PG parameters. They could not have done that with Chyna there.
I loved the banter between HBK and Gunn. They made me laugh aloud as I was typing away. The other thing about this segment that I absolutely loved was Damien Sandow. I really thought that DX would be picking on VKM, as he's been the brunt of their jokes for so many years, but I'm glad they didn't. That they took this opening segment to push one of the newer Superstars really impressed me. DX has messed with a lot of people over the years, and they could have spent their time with any of them, but that they used Sandow shows me that they believe in him and think he's worthy of working the ring with DX. I knew he was, but this cements to me that Sandow is someone to really watch.
6 Man Tag Match > C-
This was Jericho 360th match on RAW. He's second only to Trip, or so Cole said and I'm not sure how much I believed Cole in this match. Cole mistakenly referred to Sin Cara as Rey at least twice during this match. While once I might be able to forgive, but twice? For the man who likes to think of himself as the voice of the WWE, he sure screwed the pooch on this one! What upset me even more was that this was the only match that JR called. He should have been out there all night and called the whole show. I'll try to let it go and be happy that we got JR for at least a little bit, but it will be hard.
I have to say that this wasn't an overly impressive match, but they sure pushed the issues between Ziggler and Jericho further. Actually, that was about the only thing good in this match. I wasn't expecting much for the wrestling, but this wouldn't have passed muster on a regular episode of RAW. It was a way to get all these guys on the show, and I love how JR talked Sheamus up the way he did, but I'm just not impressed with the ring work here. (There wasn't a time on this match because it started in the middle of the commercial break.)
Winners – Sheamus & Rey & Sin Cara
Announce Segment > D-
I loath Charlie Sheen! This isn't something new, I have never liked the man, but it's been just recently that he really gave us reason to be truly disgusted by him. I had hoped that with Sheen closing down his Twitter account that we wouldn't be stuck dealing with him during this episode of RAW, but alas, VKM obviously decided that we needed Sheen for some unexplainable reason.
Backstage Segment > B+
At least Layla got some TV time, she is the Divas Champ and all. I found Duggan a bit boring, and that's saying something for him, but R-Truth and Piper playing jump rope with Little Jimmy had me snorting with laughter. Actually, both Layla and AJ handled that wonderfully. And I guess I really shouldn't be shocked that they did what they did, but they went there. I know that too many people, especially the newer fans, the ones who didn't watch wrestling even ten years ago, didn't have a clue what was going on with Mae Young and her dear son the human hand. I thought the man playing the son of Mae Young and Mark Henry was lovely, but I guess he got his coloring from his mother as he looked nothing like Henry. Actually, he said he was all grown up, but Young and Henry had their 'relationship' in 2000. Their dear child would only be eleven, twelve at the absolute most. So while I have to give the WWE props for revisiting this horrible storyline in a funny and creative way, they messed up on the dear child's age, and I imagine very few actually had a clue what it was all about.
Funkasaurus vs Swagger > D
If my timing was correct, this match was shorter than Bryan and Sheamus at WrestleMania. I read what Richard said about why Swagger is getting so abused lately, and I think it's total bull. When you have a child who does wrong, you need to reprimand them right off the bat. If you wait days, weeks, even months before punishing a child, the meaning of the lesson doesn't really mean anything. While Swagger is not a child, waiting so long to slap him down as hard as they are makes less than no sense to me. I don't see why it's going down like this, but much about how things are handled in the WWE confuse me.
I don't want to move on without commenting on seeing Dude Love come out to support Funkasaurus. It's been a very long time since we've seen Foley as Dude Love, so it was great to see him out there, even for just a short time. It was more of a slap to Swagger that he ate the psychedelic Socko, but it felt like a bit of a slap that Foley was only out as Dude Love. When Foley first came out, I told Stacy that we would have to be seeing the three faces of Foley, but we didn't and the 1,000th episode of RAW was that much less for not having Foley come out as his other alter egos. It would have been a wonderful way to set up Ambrose, but sadly it looks as though Trip didn't want to see that go down. It's the fans and Ambrose who suffered for that.
Winner – Funkasaurus (0:16)
Backstage Segment > A-
As soon as I realized it was Trish backstage with Trip – her dark hair threw me a bit, though it has since she stepped away from the blonde – I could see where this segment was going. Honestly, I really expected to see Trip bent over with Trish behind him and Steph walking in, but DX worked just as well, though I wish they had actually been in the exact opposite spots they were in when Trip was teaching Trish how to lock on a hammer lock, and then how to get out of the hold. As far as I've been able to glean, that happened on August 25, 2001.
Okay, so they held Steph back for later in the show, and I can forgive that after how well Trish sold being creeped out by X-Pac. Her reaction was so good that I almost had to wonder if she might actually be creeped out by him. But after all that, this was another one of those moments that so many fans didn't understand what it really meant. If you didn't know the backstory, then you sure wouldn't have a clue why that segment meant anything.
Backstage Segment > B
Bryan backstage talking to men in white jackets made me wonder what he had planned for the wedding, or after it. At that moment I thought Bryan was going to marry AJ, then have her committed. Wouldn't be the first time a wife was committed in the WWE.
Wedding > B+
Slick was good, but no one in the arena seemed to know who he was, so his schtick flopped in a big way. This went on a bit too long, but that's to be expected for WWE weddings. What I did expect was a huge swerve, but that was a swerve I didn't see coming! We've all been wanting a RAW GM to be named, but I never thought it would be AJ. I love how she reacted to Bryan, between gathering up her wedding dress (mermaid cut was perfect for that), the skipping around Bryan, her sneakers, then on stage getting the love of the fans while chanting Bryan's stolen "YES!" "YES!" "YES!" And hilarity ensues!
In Ring Segment > A
Bryan, Punk and Rock all worked this segment beautifully. I don't know as Bryan will ever live down this Oompa Loompa thing. I didn't think the 'goat face' thing would go away and it was brought back by Sheen last night as well. Rock, as always, was great on mic. He brought it hard and served it up well. I always forget just how good he is while he's gone, only to be thrown back into those extraordinary moments when he returns.
Bryan worked with Rock better thank I'd have expected. I'm not saying that Bryan is bad on mic, but he is very different from Rocky. Different era, works at a different flow, though I should have expected it as Bryan works so well with Jericho recently. And then there's Punk. While his mic work was as good as ever, it was his facial expressions and reactions to Bryan and Rock talking that about that really tied this segment together.
IC Title Match – Christian (C) vs Miz > B
I have to say that I thought they would use this match to reintroduce someone we didn't expect. I guess they did do that in some ways. Miz's return was very recent, and we had to expect that he would be getting a push as he did make that movie. The ring work was solid, but I wouldn't expect anything less from either of these guys. Hopefully this sets off a feud between these two as it could work well for both of them. I was a bit bummed that Christian lost the Title, but I have to admit it's nice to see Miz being a Triple Crown winner, and his bit on the mic after he won was fantastic!
Winner – Miz (7:38)
Announce Segment > D-
The last thing we needed on this 1,000th episode of RAW, or any RAW, is Charlie Sheen! To have the likes of him picking on Bryan is just horrid! Rock can do it and it works beautifully because Rock has proven himself and can back it up. More of TPTB in the WWE thinking that they need more mainstream talent on the shows. Sorry, but Sheen is the type of talent that a PG WWE doesn't want.
In Ring Segment > A
I was thrilled when Steph joined her husband in the ring! This Steph is a far cry from the Steph who used to come bouncing down to the ring in tank tops and tight pants after she had her boobs done. This Steph seemed to glide, almost float, even though her heels were slimmer and higher than they had been back in the day. That black dress hugged every curve, but wasn't at all trashy. She was elegant and sexy, much more the classy wife, mother and businesswoman she has grown into over the past couple years off WWE TV. I know she didn't like to be see when she'd gained weight due to pregnancy, but in that dress Steph didn't have any extra pounds on her, and that dress would not have forgiven if there had been any extra poundage. She looked pulchritudinous in a way I have never seen her before. But then her McMahon showed through beautifully. Steph is very much her father's daughter, and not just in what a determined and learned businesswoman she is, but also how she handles herself in the ring. The way she twisted Heyman around her little finger, making him do exactly what she wanted him to do, working him over in a way he didn't see until she had him in her trap. Even more like VKM was she when she tackled Heyman and beat on him for speaking badly about her children. Like father like daughter. I must admit that I enjoyed Trip's reaction to Steph's attack, and that he let her keep beating on Heyman until Brock's music hit and he got her from the ring and out of harm's way.
I thought that Brock and Trip did a solid job of making their impending match at SummerSlam look viable. Neither got too much of the upper hand, even though Trip was able to come off a bit better this time by clotheslining Brock from the ring. Last time they were in the ring together Brock 'broke' Trip's arm, so it evens out. The thing that did shock me was Brock yelling at Trip to 'F*** off!' Yes, they both are imposing figures with their shirts off, but Brock openly cussing the way he did was a real shocker to me. I understand them wanting to push Brock as the MMA fighter, the bad boy, the rebel who doesn't play by the PG rules, but I thought that was a bit much.
Video > B
I really liked the video about the feud between Austin and VKM. It's a feud that I'd love to revisit, really watch all the segments from the start to the end of it, but Stacy thinks I'm a glutton for stuff like this. I also said I'd like to re-watch every old RAW and Nitro in order through the Monday Night War. I know I could do it a couple episodes a week over the course of a number of years, but actually having every episode complete and in order would be quite difficult as the WWE will never release them in such a way. I had hoped this was the lead up to Austin on the 1,000th episode of RAW, but we couldn't have everything.
No DQ, No Countout Match - A
Slater has really sold this storyline, and I hope that he's not dropped into oblivion after this. I'll admit that I was shocked when Lita came out to the ring, but floored at how great she looks! Lita has never been the best on mic, but she did well here. Though I have to say not as well as she did in the ring. I know she only hit the twist of fate and her moonsault, but she looked great hitting those moves. It's not like she's been working the ring all the way along, so she really impressed me.
It was also great to see the rest of the legends come out for this, but for me is was APA that got me riled up. I will fully admit that I yelled, "F*** yeah!" when I realized who Lita had 'hired' as muscle for her match. Okay, I yelled it a couple times, and luckily didn't wake up our youngest, Sam. I'll have to remember not to do that when I re-watch RAW with her. But it was great to see JBL hit his clothesline from hell, and that they didn't censor the name of the move! I'm more than ready for JBL to come back, and I'll even struggle through the fact that he won't be growing out his hair again.
Winner – Lita (1:55)
Backstage Segment > B-
I was really worried that when the camera panned back to Mooney that Sheen would be standing there. And then there's Mooney, sorry, but he really fell flat for me. I would have rather seen Coach back there with Bryan.
Announce Segment > D
Nothing against Alex Guerrero, but WWE didn't need to push him the way they did. It was nice that he got tickets, but beyond that, this was a waste of time.
Video > B
When I first saw Fozzie, I was hoping he'd be cut in by Jericho. Who better than the lead singer of Fozzy to cut in on Fozzie? Anyway, it was nice to see these catchphrases as they flew by, and I am looking forward to watching it again, but I have to say that they needed Jericho talking on this show! Jericho was in this segment a number of times, only matched by Rocky, possibly Foley, and SCSA. They ended this in the best way possible, with Austin!
Backstage Segment > B+
I feel horrible admitting this, but I don't remember GTV at all! I guess I'll need to go do some research on this. Anyway, it was nice to see Mean Gene Okerland, and that Ryder got his show bonus, but what got me in this segment was Rocky. He has this history with Cena, we know that, but it was the tone in Rocky's voice that touched me. He really seemed to care about facing Cena again, but then again, he is a good actor. It was just the tone of his voice that touched me.
Kane vs No One! > A
I was really wondering what they were going to do with Kane when he came out. Then, when the mid-card massacre crew came out to attack him, I was a bit worried, but then we all heard that wonderful noise!
Is there a more beautiful and iconic sound in the WWE? Okay, we know there's Foley's car crash, and there's Austin's glass shattering, and Rock's music, and then there's HBK's music... okay, there's a lot sounds that bring the fans to their feet, but none like the GONG!
I have been hoping for one of two things for the past year or so. I wanted either the Brothers of Destruction back together, or them feud to a WrestleMania match. I read, quite a number of years ago, that Kane was approached about ending his brother's streak and refused. Even going into WrestleMania and knowing that Kane would be losing, I'd be fine with that. I'd much rather see the Brothers of Destruction go full circle than see Taker face Brock at WrestleMania. Beyond all that, I really enjoyed seeing Taker come out and work the ring, even briefly, with his brother. I'd love to see more of the Brothers of Destruction together, but I guess that depends on the time Taker wants to put in right now. I also have to say that I'm glad that Hunico, Camacho, Drew, Hawkins, Reks and Mahal made it onto the 1,000th episode of RAW. Hopefully it will push them further in their quest to get out of mid-card purgatory. And, even though it's not a great book, if you haven't read Journey into Darkness: An Unauthorized History of Kane, you should check it out, even if only to read how badly the history of the Brothers of Destruction have been changed up for each new storyline.
Video > A
I know people love to bash the WWE for the B.A. Star program, but I have to say that I like how Steph and these wrestlers are going into schools to talk to the kids. If they get through to one kid at each school they visit, then they have done something very important. We've seen videos of Sheamus in schools, but this is the first time I've seen Miz in one of these videos and I was blown away! He's supposed to be a heel (or is he?) right now, but he comes across so wonderfully to the kids. I was very, very impressed with Miz.
Announce Segment > F-
"NO!" "NO!" "NO!" I absolutely, positively, do NOT want to see Bryan lower himself to dealing with Charlie Sheen in any way, shape, or form. It's not only a slap in the face to Bryan to put him in a position like this, but it's also a kick to the slats. Bryan has proven over and over that he deserves to be at the top of the pecking order, a main event guy through and through, but it looks like he's going to be stuck working with Sheen! With AJ as the new RAW GM, I absolutely see her making a match, or something, at SummerSlam between Bryan and Sheen. I guess I could turn this around and say that the WWE usually puts their better workers, the ones they really trust (Big Show, Jericho, Cena) who are put into the spots with mainstream stars. I don't really classify Sheen as a star, but you know what I'm going with this.
MITB Contract WWE Championship Match – CM Punk (C) vs John Cena > A-
I can't say that the wrestling in this match was the best, but I felt that Punk pushed Cena in different directions than he normally goes, and because of that I was very impressed. Punk might be the #2 guy on the roster, but he made the #1 guy look better than he normally does, and that says something about Punk. The interesting moves, different holds, and the way they worked together was captivating, something I very rarely say about Cena.
I knew that there was no way this match was going to end cleanly. There's just been too much going on with Punk, Cena and Big Show, and the way they've been pushing that no one has ever cashed in a MITB contract and not walk away with the Title, so it was obvious that something would be happening with this match. We all knew that Big Show had feelings and grudges involved with this match, even though he wasn't scheduled to be involved. Everyone sold the end of this match beautifully! Between Big Show's attack, Cena being knocked out, and Punk struggling with his conscience, they all worked it. Physically, body language, facial expressions, these guys are always fantastic, but they stepped it up to PPV extraordinary. After Cena kicked out I thought that was about it for Punk, but Big Show took care of that. So Cena did win the match, as he was the one attacked, but he didn't win the WWE Title and that made him the first not to become Champ after cashing in. I have to agree with what Richard said today, the only person who could have gotten away with that at this point is Cena. For it to happen to anyone else, there would have been a huge outcry over it.
Winner – Cena via DQ (11:26)
In Ring Segment > A+
They started the 1,000th episode of RAW in the perfect way and ended it in the perfect way. I will admit I was a bit shocked when Punk didn't step up for Cena when Big Show was pummeling him. I was as shocked as everyone else when Rocky ran down to the ring to help defend Cena. I will admit I thought it was a bit silly when there has been no one able to stand up to Big Show, but Rocky hits the ring, after only working a couple matches in so many years, and he's able to get the upper hand on Big Show, but then again, he is Rocky!
That clothesline from Punk on the Rock made my jaw drop! Honestly, it was staring me in the face and I didn't see it. Talking to Gesus earlier I commented on how Punk's heel turn was so simple, graceful, elegant and organic. Punk went from that open and smiling look on his face to that squinty, guarded, and pissed look. It wasn't a split-second change, but his face slowly changed over a couple seconds. Punk proved his worth to the company in those couple seconds. Very few could have executed a change like that so fluidly. Even though we've seen what he's capable of, he really impressed the heck out of me there.
Even though Punk is of a very different type of wrestler than Rocky, they obviously shared numerous goals, otherwise they wouldn't both be main eventers in the WWE and Champs (former and present). You can't tell me that it didn't give Punk a thrill to turn heel on Rocky's arse with a clothesline, then give Rocky his finisher! Okay, so the Rock kind of oversold the GTS, but he is of a different era, so I didn't think too much of it.
I have to say that I agree with the Twitter fans who voted that they wanted to see Rock face Punk. My prediction – which I stated aloud to Stacy as the 1,000th episode of RAW went off the air – is that Rock will face Punk at the Royal Rumble and win the Title, then carry it to WrestleMania and lose it to Cena. The only problem with that is that I don't want to see Cena win the Royal Rumble, but maybe the Royal Rumble winner will go on to challenge for the WHC at WrestleMania. This would extend Punk's Title reign, something I think should happen as he's a great Champ and deserves to retain for a good long time; turning heel will only broaden his range for his continuing Title reign.
I have to admit I was a bit bummed that I was going to be spending the evening of my birthday typing like crazy about RAW, but if I hadn't been doing that, I would have been watching RAW and and twitching because I should have been writing. But then I watched the 1,000th episode of RAW and I was thrilled. That was a great way to spend my thirty-something birthday. I honestly loved the 1,000th episode of RAW and can't wait for the 2,000th episode of RAW! Maybe I'll be there live for that one. I was at the 900th.
Okay, now for the things that bummed me out. I really wish Stone Cold Steve Austin was on the 1,000th episode of RAW last night, but I understand why he wasn't. I also wish we'd had more of Jericho than him in that tag match. He's such a great talker and has added so much to RAW over the years that I feel he should have had more of a part in the 1,000th episode of RAW. Being a huge Regal fan, I was hoping to see him live on the show. He was in the opening video dressed as a showgirl, but that's not enough Regal for me. The last person that I really wanted to see on the 1,000th episode of RAW was Edge. I read that he'd been in town and seen having lunch with his childhood friend Christian. I was looking forward to seeing him, but I guess I'll have to wait for the next big WWE event.