WWE Monday Night Raw: The 10 Most Emotional Moments in the Show's History
Raw has witnessed championship changes, seen stars at their best, worst and injured and countless memorable moments.
Then are the select few Raws where the show is an emotional evening because of recent events. These types of shows are rare, but they are remembered as sad and dark times for the WWE. With the 1,000th episode of Raw quickly approaching, these unfortunate events do occur. It’s a business, and like any other one, there are sad moments. With wrestling, there’s always the risk aspect.
Here are the 10 most emotional moments in the history of WWE Monday Night Raw.
The Final WCW That Aired Partially on WWE Raw
The Monday night wars were over, as Vince McMahon appeared simultaneously at the start of WCW Nitro and WWE Raw to state that he purchased his competition.
By the end of the show, it was revealed that McMahon’s son had actually purchased the company. It didn’t matter, as wrestling fans were watching history be made. The WWE was the No. 1 company to stay. It should also be noted that the future of WCW was not made public.
The night marked the end to the only wrestling company to give the WWE a run for their money.
Edge Announces His Sudden Retirement
It seemed like a normal edition of Raw, until Edge stated that he was forced to retire and relinquish his World Heavyweight Championship.
It all seemed like a storyline, but Edge’s emotions made one think this was legit. After the announcement, he was welcomed by the wrestlers in the back with a standing ovation. It was real, and at 37-years-old his career was done.
The audience was shocked, as one of the most popular entertainers had to hang up his wrestling boots far too early.
Shawn Michaels' Farewell Speech
Shawn Michaels lost the night before at WrestleMania 26 and, per the stipulation of the match, had to retire.
Michaels said he didn’t really know what he was going to say, but thanked several key people along the way. He thanked his best friend, Triple H, for never leaving his side when times were tough, which Michaels admitted he had plenty of. He would go on to thank Vince McMahon and Bret Hart for dealing with him during these low moments in his career.
Michaels will be remembered as one of the greatest wrestlers of the WWE despite his earlier years when he was disliked by the roster.
Ric Flair's Farewell Speech
There are a select few wrestlers who have the prestige that Ric Flair carries with him.
He is, for many, the greatest of all-time after wrestling nearly every big name in the wrestling business all over the planet. His farewell was filled with the return of legends from his past and the current roster, all coming to pay their respect for what he gave to the business.
To witness the WWE roster come out and thank Flair for everything he had done is how many want to remember Flair’s retirement.
Tribute to the Troops
There is not one Tribute to the Troops that stands out, as every one was equally as important as the last.
For the WWE to go overseas to Afghanistan and Iraq, in the middle of a war, and put a show on for the troops was classy. When we’re at home enjoying the holiday, the troops are out there protecting our freedom. The WWE could have simply thanked them, but chose to show their gratitude with what they do best: entertain.
As great of an act this is by the WWE, hopefully, they won’t have to return this year under similar conditions.
Shaw Michaels and Bret Hart Bury the Hatchet
The Montreal Screwjob will forever be remembered as one of the most controversial moments in wrestling history.
Bret Hart was double-crossed after all the years he put into the business by his boss Vince McMahon and enemy Shawn Michaels. It would be 13 years until Hart would be in a WWE ring again. He called out Michaels, and the two hugged out their differences, seemingly ending the years of hatred.
As Hart forgave Michaels, it was a surreal moment, since some were never sure if Hart would return to the WWE.
Brian Pillman's Widow Speaks About Her Husband’s Death
Brian Pillman had died only days prior, and there wasn’t a reason as to how this could happen.
It’s not often that a wrestler dies when under contract to the WWE, but Pillman was the first major name that would. WWE owner Vince McMahon conducted an interview with Pillman’s wife, turned widow, to address the death via satellite. The interview showed a widow still in grieving and left many wondering if it needed to air on TV.
In the end, the interview is one of the saddest moments to ever occur on Raw.
Chris Benoit Memorial
Never had a live Raw audience been told to go home, as the show was cancelled for that evening, but that’s what happened when the WWE paid tribute to Chris Benoit and his family.
As the show approached the third hour, it became clear that the final days of Benoit’s life were filled with evil rage. The WWE didn’t know this at a time and were simply paying their respect to Benoit, as he was one of the best technical wrestlers ever.
This black stain could not have been avoided by the WWE, and at the time of the memorial show, it only seemed fitting.
Eddie Guerrero Tribute Show
It was a sad weekend as Raw approached with the news that Eddie Guerrero had died.
The show opened with the entire roster standing as one next to a low-rider car in remembrance to Guerrero. They were honoring their fallen friend who overcame his demons to win the WWE Championship just two years prior.
The sadness continued for weeks, and the WWE tried to get back to business. Even in death, Guerrero was a star.
Raw Is Owen
The night prior, Owen Hart had died in a WWE stunt that went wrong.
It’s been 13 years, and it’s still a Raw that fans and spectators remember because it was a first. The WWE had never stopped their ongoing storylines for a wrestler. The show would become the highest-viewed Raw in history, with a 7.2 rating. To witness these enormous wrestlers, who are made to look unstoppable, weep openly showed the importance of this Raw.
It wasn’t about storylines on this night. It was a chance for the WWE to pay their respect to Hart and his family for all he gave to the wrestling business.
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