Another wrestling year is nearing completion as 2012 goes the way of Abraham Washington. 2012 gave us Ryback, another Chris Jericho return and 1,000 episodes of Monday Night Raw. 'Tis the season to rank them in order of importance. Stories will be evaluated based on longevity, mainstream coverage and social media influence.
Top 10 of 2012, No. 3: Raw 1000
The WWE has been known to cheaply pop a rating with meaningless three-hour shows. In fact, some may argue that the WWE is currently stuck in a quagmire of meaningless three-hour shows.
However, their most important show to date arguably came on July 23, 2012, when Raw celebrated an unprecedented 1,000 episodes.
After nearly 20 years of programming, Raw 1000 was more than just a special. It was a rite of passage. The show even had its own Wikipedia page, so it surely was legit.
Wrestling personalities from Vince McMahon to CM Punk to Jerry Lawler spoke with media outlets to fondly reflect on the history of WWE's flagship show. Shawn Michaels spoke candidly with a studly, young columnist to share his memories of the institution.
The nostalgia-friendly show did not disappoint either from an entertainment or a ratings point of view. It was the highest-rated Raw in 10 years. The episode featured a well-received DX reunion to kick things off. The Rock interacted with Daniel Bryan and CM Punk during the middle of the second hour in another fun-to-watch segment.
The main event of Raw 1000 befittingly featured a history-making result. John Cena failed to win the WWE championship after cashing in his Money in the Bank briefcase after CM Punk was disqualified. This would mark the first time a Money in the Bank winner failed to win a major championship following a cash-in match.
The headlines didn't end with the anticlimactic finish. CM Punk would go on to turn heel after attacking The Rock. The shocking turn set the stage for a January Royal Rumble main event that is expected to pit Punk against The Rock in a rare pre-WrestleMania dream match.
In a landscape of excess wrestling content, Raw 1000 was a bright spot that reminded wrestling fans why they fell in love. It was a show that infused nostalgia with future programming all while connecting the past and present.