Raw

WWF Monday Night Raw (January 11, 1993)

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Welcome everyone to Monday Night Raw! This is a review of the very first episode of Monday Night Raw. Why? Because WWE had it up on YouTube in its entirety and I, for some unknown reason, decided to watch it. Let’s get to reviewing!

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Sheamus vs. Cody Rhodes vs. Kofi Kingston vs. Mark Henry vs. MVP vs. R-Truth vs. Randy Orton vs. Ted DiBiase Jr. (WWE Raw November 23, 2009)

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The year is 2009 and we’re deep in the Guest Host Era of Raw. The week of Thanksgiving 2009, that host was former pro-grappler/announcer/governor, Jesse “The Body” Ventura. While a lot of the guest hosts were stupid as fuck, this one was actually alright, since Jesse Ventura had worked for the company for years and actually knew about wrestling.

The main event of the night was an Eight Man “Breakout” Battle Royal with the winner getting a shot at the World Heavyweight or WWE Championship. Jesse Ventura would call the action but before he got down to business, he brought out his old broadcast partner…the corpse of Gorilla Monsoon! Wait, no, he brought out Vince McMahon cosplaying as Bob Backlund.

Stone Cold Steve Austin (WWF Monday Night Raw December 22, 1997)

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In 1997, there was no one Steve Austin would not give the stunner to, up to and including Santa Claus.

Dean Ambrose vs. Bray Wyatt (WWE Raw December 22, 2014)

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To celebrate Christmas Dean Ambrose and Bray Wyatt face each other in a “Miracle on 34th Street Fight.”

Tommy Dreamer vs. Devon Dudley (WWF Raw February 24, 1997)

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2001 was not the first ECW invasion of the WWE. Back on February 24, 1997, Paul Heyman and his merry band of hardcore heroes invaded Monday Night Raw in the very place it was born: the Manhattan Center.

Several ECW matches took place over the course of the evening with the penultimate match of the night featuring Tommy Dreamer going up against Devon Dudley. Dreamer picked up the win only for Bubba Ray Dudley to jump in post-match. This caused The Sandman to come out and make the save.

Moments later, Paul Heyman, who had been doing commentary during the ECW got fed up with Jerry Lawler’s shitty dad boner jokes and charged him only to be restrained by ECW wrestlers thus bringing an end to one of the weirdest nights in the history of Monday Night Raw.

So why was this allowed to happen? Why did Vince McMahon allow a rival wrestling promotion to have matches on his television program? To start with, the WWF was touring Europe (the European Championship would make its debut the following week) and the majority of the roster was somewhere in Germany when this episode aired so at the simplest level there was just a need for bodies to fill TV time.

Beyond that the WWE was losing badly in the ratings to WCW and Vince McMahon was willing to try almost anything to get back on top. WCW had become the top rated wrestling promotion with a fake invasion story line so why not see how a “real” invasion did? The short answer is, it didn’t work out very well, mostly because of ego and backstage politics, but that didn’t stop Vince and Company from trying it again later in 1997.

The second time around, however, the replaced the hot, up and coming promotion that represented the future of wrestling (ECW) with one that represent wrestling’s past and, at that point, was basically dead (NWA). Suffice it to say it was an abysmal failure.

Kane vs. Mankind (WWF Raw Is War August 24, 1998)

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Attitude Era Checklist:
☑ Chairshots to the head.
☑ Thumbtacks
☑ A Stone Cold Steve Austin Run In
☑ Jim Ross yelling, “FOR GOD SAKE! MICK FOLEY’S A HUMAN BEING!”
☑ Tag Team Champions That Hate Each Other
☑ Vince McMahon Involvement
☑ A No DQ Match Ending In A No Contest

Yup, this sure is an Attitude Era Monday Night Raw match…