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WWE Raw 1000: Ranking the Legends' Appearances on the Show

Nick HouserCorrespondent IIDecember 29, 2016

WWE Raw 1000: Ranking the Legends' Appearances on the Show

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    The 1000th episode of Monday Night Raw flooded the memory banks with appearance after appearance by some of the greatest WWE superstars in the Raw era.

    While many had brief cameos, others closed out the milestone event leaving lasting questions.

    Regardless of their role, it was awesome.

    But who had the biggest impact?

    Who among the superstars raised our eyebrows, knocked our socks off and left us wanting more?

    Here's each legend's appearance, ranked by significance and intrigue.

Jim Duggan/Roddy Piper/Mae Young

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    The angle of the scene featuring these three legends wasn't half bad. In fact, it was brilliant.

    AJ claims she isn't nearly as crazy as her fellow locker room peers.

    She opens the door and sees Jim Duggan yell his patented "Hey-Ohhh!" This is followed by Roddy Piper playing jump rope with R-Truth and Little Jimmy.

    Fine.

    But when Mae Young showed up with a grown up hand, I lost it.

    It was dumb. It was lame.

    I found myself repeating over and over again, "why, why, why?"

Slick

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    I have to be honest, I had a hard time remembering Slick. Blame my age.

    But he played his role well.

    Slick officiated the Daniel Bryan and AJ wedding with charisma and spirit.

    You couldn't have asked for a better job.

Howard Finkel

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    The former ring announcer's job was short, sweet and to the point—he came out to introduce two competitors.

    No one does the job quite like Howard Finkel.

    I'd say he nailed it.

Dude Love

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    Mick Foley is a happy-go-lucky guy.

    He's a hardcore legend and a goofball all in one, so I imagine embarrassing himself doesn't occur often.

    Mankind might have been a pretty odd character, but Dude Love takes the cake.

    I still don't know why Foley continues to go back to this.

    At any rate, of all the versions of Foley that could have made an appearance, it was Dude Love of course. And what better for the Dude to do than dance with Brodus Clay?

    I'd have preferred Mankind, Cactus Jack or Foley as his normal self (in that order).

Bret Hart

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    On the one hand, it's sad that the best there is, the best there was and the best there ever will be was reduced to introducing wrestlers for a match.

    On the other hand, it was all too fitting for Hart to announce the men competing for the Intercontinental title.

    Furthermore, he was able to introduce his fellow Canadian Christian.

    Then he disappeared.

Trish Stratus

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    It was sort of a shameless plug for yoga in my opinion, but nonetheless, a Trish Stratus sighting is a Trish Stratus sighting.

    There's no complaints here.

    The best part of it was that it was actually somewhat entertaining.

    Although, I was waiting for Stephanie McMahon to appear and slap Stratus for having her hands all over Stephanie's man.

Jim Ross

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    Michael Cole said it best, "it wouldn't be Monday Night Raw without good ol' JR."

    During the match, Ross delivered many of his classic lines including "slobberknocker."

    Unfortunately, he only called one match.

    Raw needs more JR.

Vince McMahon

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    I'm counting Vince McMahon as a legend because he truly is a legend of the business of professional wrestling.

    I was expecting DX to kick things off, McMahon did instead. Surprise number one.

    It felt right having the chairman open the show. He gave a nice, spirited kick off without initially hogging any spotlight. I was impressed.

    Later in the show though (in typical McMahon fashion) he inserted himself into the AJ and Daniel Bryan wedding. He also affected the GM situation too.

    McMahon's insertion into the angle felt unnecessary. It was a move that only Vince McMahon himself could make to ensure he had an impact somehow.

    Personally, I would have preferred a wrestler to interrupt the wedding.

Stephanie McMahon

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    I expected Stephanie McMahon in the scene with Trish Stratus. When it didn't happen, I forgot all about her.

    So it was a wild and unexpected turn of events when she arrived on scene to verbally challenge Paul Heyman.

    And boy did she ever.

    First, she stuck it to Heyman. Then, she beat him down. Best of all, she looked fantastic doing it.

    Stephanie has definitely aged well.

Lita, APA and Heath Slater's Opponents

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    So Heath Slater openly challenges anyone to a no disqualification match. My mind started racing with anticipation.

    Lita—albeit not my first choice—was a pleasant surprise.

    She—like Stephanie McMahon—looked smoking hot, more good-looking than I remember. With the backflip perfectly executed, I'd say she's still got it.

    Of course, Lita had guests of her own.

    She announced she hired the APA for the night. Now, when the music sounded, I figured it'd just be Ron Simmons.

    The WWE Universe got a treat with Bradshaw included.

    The legends who've appeared on recent Raw episodes to take on Slater returned once more to gang up on Slater and in the end he received a brutal clothesline from hell from JBL (which he actually sold wonderfully).

    The cherry on top was Simmons' catchphrase line at the end.

    Doink, DDP, APA, Lita, Bob Backlund, Sycho Sid and more—all in one ring.

The Undertaker

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    There were pros and cons with The Undertaker's return.

    The major con is that he returned on a historic night to beat down a bunch of jobbers. Actually, that's the only con.

    The major pro is that he returned to battle side by side with Kane.

    The reunion was an excellent stroll down memory lane.

    But now there are questions.

    Will there be something there in the future?

    Even if this was a one time thing, a return for the 1000th episode of Raw to double choke-slam and double Tombstone Pile-drive opponents side by side with Kane was the perfect spot.

D-Generation X

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    The spot opened up with Vince McMahon introducing DX—that was disappointing.

    We heard all week DX would be right at 8 p.m. so I was pumped to hear their theme song just go off without warning. The introduction slowed them a bit.

    When Shawn Michaels and Triple H arrived, the question of who will appear seemed to be answered.

    Luckily, it wasn't.

    I think the majority of the WWE Universe was delighted to see Road Dogg Jesse James, Bad Ass Billy Gunn and X-Pac make an appearance as well.

    It wouldn't have been the same without them.

    Damien Sandow was the perfect man to interrupt, I only wish we could have seen the Bronco Buster and the Fameasser.

    My only beef with the segment was the Michaels and Gunn back and forth over who got to say the phrase, "We've got two words for you." It took entirely too long.

    Also, the sole reason DX isn't in the number one spot is because while it was nice to reminisce, that's all it will be—a refresher on a good memory.

    All of them looked old and out of shape.

    The group as a whole won't be featured here on out.

The Rock

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    Don't get me wrong, the DX reunion was more fun. It was also very exciting.

    But The Rock had more impact on this particular show.

    He showed up with purpose.

    He had a major announcement.

    He got involved in the main event.

    All of these things help The Rock leap over DX to be the best legend appearance on the 1000th episode of Raw.

    Fans knew DX would kick things off. They had no idea when The Rock would arrive.

    His return to St. Louis came at a most unexpected time. He then proceeded to destroy Daniel Bryan verbally and physically.

    During the same segment he dropped a knowledge bomb that he would fight the WWE Champion at Royal Rumble (how he deserves to be No. 1 contender for an event seven PPVs away I'm not sure).

    It's undeniable that The Rock received some of the biggest pop of the night too (yes, I concede DX and Undertaker were up there).

    The Rock was instrumental.

    The rest were just for show.

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