A week after Psycho Sid returned to Monday Night Raw as the latest returning legend to destroy Heath Slater, the rumors for this week's Raw fingered everyone from Doink the Clown to Diamond Dallas Page to appear.
Apparently WWE got a two-for-one deal, as first it was Doink who appeared to confront Slater after "The One Man Band" declared that after the numerous embarrassments over the last few weeks that he was indeed "not a clown!"
I know from my living room, a collective series of expletives vocally displayed my opinion of Doink being the surprise legend of the week; mostly because it wasn't a surprise, and it hasn't been a surprise over the last ten plus years where Doink has had the occasional WWE pop in.
Even the crowd seemed to be let down with Doink's entrance, especially following the "out of left field" appearances of Vader and Sid the past few weeks.
But to WWE's credit, they actually let Slater go over on Doink, which was clearly the biggest surprise up to that point. Slater even looked shocked at the finish, bordering on the Big Show's tears at Wrestlemania.
Alright, that's clearly an exaggeration, but you get the point.
But before everyone could exit to the restroom, there was that familiar voice over.
And there he was at the entrance way: Diamond Dallas Page, the people's champion—in many eyes, the real people's champion.
As Page hit the ring in a black t-shirt and jeans, he raised the all-too-familiar diamond sign with both hands like it was 1998.
And the crowd was totally with him.
Where Vader and Sid received their share of nostalgic pops, nothing compared to the quickly escalated and deafening chants of "DDP" that filled the arena.
The interaction with Slater was short. Page feigned a friendly handshake with Slater, only to pull him into a perfectly executed Diamond Cutter that again brought huge pops from the crowd.
True, it wasn't a match we got out of Page, but even just an appearance was a fitting tribute to one of the biggest WCW stars of the late 90's.
Granted, Page did come into the WWE as part of the acquisition of WCW in 2001, but it was a terribly squandered mid-card relegation he received that saw him sink to the lows of stalking The Undertaker's wife.
As a star in WCW, Page became a star in wrestling at age 42, as the jeans wearing, crowd entering, blue collar hero during the era of the NWO's takeover. In the end, Page was a three-time World Champion in WCW and even put Bill Goldberg through one of his best matches during the era of the streak.
Page might have been on the other side of the Monday Night War, but his inclusion into the buildup to the 1000th Raw was even more a fitting tribute to that entire era of wrestling that so many harken back to in the PG driven era of WWE programming.
Although it was a tremendous save from the Doink debacle, the only thing that was lacking was hearing the terribly lame WWE theme Page had to walk down to the ring to. Then again, I'm sure Vince McMahon would rather avoid having to pay for that cover of "Smells Like Teen Spirit."
Self high five, Vince?