Tonight's WWE Monday Night Raw is shaping up be a special one, as the show is celebrating a special anniversary, as the program has been on television for 20 years. Going back into history, the first ever Monday Night Raw was held at the Manhattan Center in New York City on January 11, 1993.
- After returning to the company in quest to capture the WWE Championship from CM Punk, The Rock will be hosting an exclusive concert.
- Kaitlyn will earn another shot to defeat Eve for the WWE Divas Championship.
- Team Hell No (Kane and Daniel Bryan) will be reevaluated by Dr. Shelby.
My quick take on tonight's Monday Night Raw:
Last week's Monday Night Raw got off to a good start in the new year after a sluggish 2012 in terms of its creative decisions with WWE's flagship show. With the Royal Rumble set to take place on Sunday, January 27, WWE must continue to push for stronger Monday Night Raw shows. Fortunately, this is where the three-hour programming becomes acceptable to watch.
The Rock's comeback has also helped WWE gain back its spotlight. After week's of sluggish viewership, Monday Night Raw finally broke out of its own shell with over four million viewers on the January 7 edition. With that, WWE is in a good position after last week's solid talking segment with The Rock and Punk to conclude the show.
Tonight's Raw should also help the WWE maintain or grow its viewership because of its special anniversary celebration. WWE may throw in a few surprises by bringing back major names in the wrestling industry to celebrate Raw's unbelievable television achievement.
Look for the WWE to continue its strong start in 2013 by heavily hyping its Royal Rumble pay-per-view event. By staying course with its current product, WWE is setting up for what could be a very well-built WrestleMania season. This must be centered around John Cena's mission to square off with The Rock for the WWE Championship, if Punk were to drop the title at the Royal Rumble. However, WWE selected a good candidate in Dolph Ziggler to feud with Cena in the time being.
WWE Monday Night Raw live show coverage:
Raw is live tonight from the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. The show opens with a video package followed by Vince McMahon.
McMahon welcomes the crowd and pointed that over four billion viewers have watched Raw throughout its years on television. He credits himself and the wrestling fans for making WWE successful. As McMahon is hyping up Raw, the Big Show interrupts and heads to the ring.
The Big Show tells McMahon the anniversary celebration must wait and that they must address what happened on last week's Friday Night Smackdown. A video package is shown of the Big Show losing his World Heavyweight title on Smackdown. The Big Show tells McMahon he was not ready for that sort of match. He continues to push McMahon to address the situation on Smackdown.
After the Big Show's request to take the World Heavyweight title off of Alberto Del Rio, the champion comes out and walks towards the ring. Del Rio makes an offer to challenge the Big Show to a World Heavyweight title match tonight on Raw. The Big Show declines his offer, and suggests they battle it out at the Royal Rumble. Del Rio attacks the Big Show and forces him outside the ring.
Match No. 1: Wade Barrett vs. Randy Orton
Your winner via pin fall: Wade Barrett. Pretty good opening match to Raw. WWE did right by having Barrett come out with the victory to keep his momentum as Intercontinental champion.
Match Rating: 3.5/5.
Backstage, Daniel Bryan and Kane agree to lie to Dr. Shelby during their reevaluation. Dr. Shelby begins to ask questions to Bryan and Kane about what they enjoy about each other. After answering Dr. Shelby's question, Damien Sandow and Cody Rhodes appear. Sandow begins to taunt Dr. Shelby. Quickly afterwards, Dr. Shelby orders Kane and Bryan to attack them.
Match No. 2: Kane vs. Damien Sandow
Your winner via pin fall: Kane. Quicker match that saw Sandow in control early on before Kane delivered a choke slam.
Match Rating: 2.5/5.
Mick Foley is introduced as the first inductee of the 2013 WWE Hall of Fame. Before Foley could speak, The Shield group come out to ringside. Ryback storms to the ring but is quickly taken out by The Shield. Orton and Sheamus follow to save Ryback.
In the ring, WWE announcer Josh Matthews interviews Ryback. Ryback expresses his frustrations with The Shield and will be going after them.
Match No. 3: Kaitlyn vs. Eve Torres for the WWE Divas Championship
Your winner and new Divas champion: Kaitlyn. Finally, Kaitlyn gets her break in the WWE with winning the Divas title. Although Eve had a good run, it was time to switch the belt over to a new champion and that was Kaitlyn.
Match Rating: 3/5.
Match No. 4: Brodus Clay vs. CM Punk
Your winner via submission: CM Punk. Clay looked strong in the early portions of this match but Punk quickly regained back momentum to score the victory. This was simply a power versus technical match. Nothing too much to express about this outcome.
Match Rating: 2/5.
Celebrating in victory, Punk takes the microphone and says that The Rock will not as WWE Champion because he is the best wrestler ever.
Match No. 5: Sheamus vs. 3MB
Your winners: 3MB. After being eliminated over the top rope, Sheamus attacked the group in the ring. Another filler match that ended in a short amount of time.
Match Rating: 2/5.
The Miz comes out to the entrance way and begins to hype about his guest tonight on "Miz TV." He gives away a major hint as to who his guest is as Raw goes to a commercial break.
"Miz TV" on Raw returns as The Miz introduces Ric Flair to the ring. The Miz asks Flair what his favorite moment was on Raw. Flair says his best moment on Raw was the night after Shawn Michaels defeated him in a match that forced "The Nature Boy" to retire from professional wrestling.
However, WWE United States Champion Antonio Cesaro interrupts their segment by coming out to the ring with an American flag. Cesaro tells Flair he is past his greatness. Flair and The Miz attack Cesaro in the middle of the ring as Raw goes into a commercial break.
Match No. 6: Daniel Bryan vs. Cody Rhodes
Your winner via submission: Daniel Bryan. Very quick filler match with hardly any offensive moves on both sides.
Match Rating: 1/5.
Jim Ross is introduced as he walks over to the announcers table to help call the steel cage match between Cena and Ziggler.
Match No. 7: Dolph Ziggler vs. John Cena
Your winner via pin fall: John Cena. Another very impressive and quality match between Cena and Ziggler, this time inside a steel cage. WWE has really done a good job getting Cena off to a fast start in the new year.
Match Rating: 4/5.
The Rock is welcomed to the ring to perform a special concert. He settles in the middle of the ring and begins his concert by poking fun at Punk's manager, Paul Heyman. The Rock grabs his guitar and calls out Vickie Guerrero to the ring. He begins to sing to Guerrero, again making more jokes. The Rock stands up and tells Punk to come to the ring.
Punk and Heyman arrive at the entrance way. The Rock begins to point out facts and tells Punk he will capture the WWE Championship. Punk hands the belt to Heyman, runs towards the ring and begins to brawl with The Rock. WWE referees and officials storm at ringside to break up the brawl as Raw closes.