Raw Reaction: Recapping and Grading the Historic Raw 1000

Riley Kontek@@BigRIlesMMAFeatured ColumnistJuly 24, 2012

Raw Reaction: Recapping and Grading the Historic Raw 1000

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    History has been made as the 1000th episode of Raw has taken place. With much anticipation and promotion, how was the historic event? 

    Among the many things on the agenda, who did we get as a new general manager? Did AJ and Daniel Bryan's wedding go through as planned? Were there any title changes? What legends showed up?

    Let's take a look and grade the night on a whole.

DX Reunion

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    All I can say is, the best thing of the opening montage was hearing Yamaguchi-san say "I choppy choppy your pee-pee!" The montage was amazing, by the way.

    Technically, Mr. McMahon kicked off the show, not DX. I was hoping that X-Pac, Road Dogg and Billy Gunn would come out with Shawn Michaels and Triple H. Unfortunately, that was not the case.

    Well, it didn't take long for the two to get the rest of the group out there and I immediately jumped out of my seat. Yes, I almost destroyed my laptop in joy.

    In the jeep, Road Dogg, Billy Gunn and X-Pac appeared and earned a huge pop! 

    Giving Road Dogg the mic was an absolute dynamite move. Watching X-Pac do the crotch chop was a sight for sore eyes. Triple H ripping on Shawn Michaels about losing his smile and Playgirl had me cracking up.

    Damien Sandow then interrupted the party. His promo was great, but the ensuing assault was epic.

    Sweet Chin Music, a Pedigree and a "suck it" later, and the segment was up. It was brilliant bringing out Sandow as well. 

    This is the type of stuff that made wrestling so fun back in the day. 

    Grade: A+

Six-Man Tag Team Match

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    Off the commercial, Jim Ross came out followed by Rey Mysterio. This was definitely an amazing thing.

    It turned out to be a six-man tag match with Mysterio, Sin Cara and Sheamus taking on Chris Jericho, Dolph Ziggler and Alberto del Rio. This booking is extremely odd, as Jericho and Ziggler are seemingly at odds.

    And it was kind of infuriating they started the match during the commercial. Some things never change, eh?

    Sin Cara got beat down most of the match, but then Sheamus took over while the luchadors took the others out. 

    Ziggler then cheap-shotted Jericho, making the booking make sense. This allowed Sheamus to nail the Brogue Kick for the win. Nice match.

    Maybe this will lead to Mysterio and Sin Cara tagging full time to go after the championship. Well, probably not, but one can wish, right?

    Grade: A-


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    It must be noted, this on-air Tout promotion needs to stop. It is a waste of time and annoying.

    Jerry Lawler and Michael Cole then skyped Charlie Sheen, which was interesting. He made his typical party comments about being in DX and being like Sheamus because he's Irish.

    We then got a recap of the Daniel Bryan-AJ proposal last week. This kind of stuff is pointless for the landmark 1,000th episode, wasting valuable time. 

    Back in the locker room, AJ was talking to Layla about the wedding and being mentally unstable. We saw "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan, "Rowdy" Roddy Piper with R Truth, and Mae Young with her "hand" son she had with Mark Henry.

    The ending with Mae Young had me cracking up, but the rest was pretty unnecessary. 

    Grade: C- (a generous C- at that)

Brodus Clay vs. Jack Swagger, Dancing with Dude Love

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    Wow, a shameless plug for Sonic. Not only that, but a squash match between Brodus Clay and Jack Swagger was next. This show is going downhill quickly.

    I take that back. Brodus Clay just introduced Dude Love. What a great way to include Mick Foley on the show, it was such a surpriser. 

    The match was 10 seconds and it was over. Although the match was short, it was more about Foley than anything, who gave Swagger the mandible claw. Again, seeing Dude Love was fun.

    Then, Triple H was talking to Trish Stratus! Wow she looked great. DX reappeared to interrupt their "yoga" session. It was funny, but it featured a really awkward moment with X-Pac.

    Grade: B+

The Wedding

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    Jerry Lawler introduced the pastor who was wedding AJ and Bryan, Slick! What a great surprise, even though nobody knew who he was.

    Both came out and Slick started the ceremony. Slick was cracking me up, it was classic.

    The crowd was hot for the segment. Just as the end was coming to a near, AJ said she was saying yes to someone else, which kind of makes no sense. Apparently, someone else made a proposal earlier in the night.

    Vince McMahon appeared and announced the new general manager of Raw. It was AJ! Wow, did not see that coming in a million years.

    AJ then left Bryan at the alter, concluding an...interesting...segment. Not a lot of what happened made sense. Couldn't she marry Bryan and be general manager? Confusion lingers, my friends.

    Grade: C

The Rock Returns

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    Daniel Bryan was still in the ring freaking out until CM Punk came out. Punk was ripping on Bryan and Bryan responded by calling himself the greatest WWE superstar of all time.

    The Rock then came out. It was a classic Rock promo which gave me chills up my spine. There isn't a man in the WWE right now that can cut a promo like The Rock.

    We then found out that The Rock will wrestle for the WWE title at the Royal Rumble against whoever has the belt. That is a huge announcement! Even more than that, he severely burned Bryan bad. He followed it up with a Rock Bottom on Bryan to finish the segment. Wow.

    Grade: A+

Christian vs. the Miz

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    Bret Hart came out to the ring to be the ring announcer next, which I expected to be an alumni battle royale.

    Instead, it was the Intercontinental title match between Christian and The Miz. This match was a nice changeup, as I figured it would be yet another battle between Christian and Cody Rhodes.

    It's amazing after all these years, Christian is one of the most popular wrestlers in the WWE.

    The match was a good pace and did justice to the Intercontinental title. I couldn't believe it, The Miz won the Intercontinental over Christian. Christian sold the knee well all match.

    Grade: A 

    They then checked in with Charlie Sheen again. These check-ups have done nothing.

Triple H and Brock Lesnar

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    Triple H came out and called out Brock Lesnar to answer his challenge for SummerSlam. Paul Heyman emerged first, without Lesnar, telling him that Lesnar's answer was no.

    After some back and forth, Stephanie McMahon appeared! This made it way more interesting.

    Stephanie put on a pretty good "shoot" if you ask me. She tore into Heyman pretty good. This was a great way to push the Triple H-Lesnar feud into overdrive.

    Heyman finally accepted the challenge after Stephanie's epic promo. I didn't think she had it in her, but she did an amazing job. She then assaulted Heyman until Lesnar finally came out.

    A brawl broke out with some great back-and-forth action. It ended with Lesnar being clotheslined out of the ring, which adds an interesting moment to the feud.

    Grade: A 

    *Just a side note, did anybody else notice Lesnar used the "F" word on a PG show? Good thing they have a delay or that could have been a dream come true for the FCC.

More Filler

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    They then showed some poll on a dream match the fans wanted to see. It was basically a plug for WWE '13.

    They then showed a clip of the pivotal Stone Cold-Mr. McMahon rivalry during the Attitude Era.

    With that, they went back to commercial. Blah!

    Grade: D-

Heath Slater vs. the Legends

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    Santino Marella and Hornswoggle were out promoting a new toy for the WWE. But, Howard Finkel is in the ring, which means the legends battle royale was next!

    Maybe not, as Heath Slater came out for his match with a legend. Get out of town, it's Lita who is taking on the challenge against Slater! Good Lord, she is still insanely hot. No way, she hired the APA as protection! Bradshaw and Faarooq have reunited and I flipped out!

    Then, all of the legends who faced Slater in the past weeks came out and put Slater back in the ring for Lita after he tried to run away. Lita hit Slater with the Twist of Fate, Bradshaw nailed the Clothesline from Hell and Lita won the match with her patented moonsault.

    Of course, Faarooq...I mean Ron Simmons, got his patented "Damn!" line in. Animal, Rikishi, Vader, Sgt. Slaughter, DDP, Roddy Piper, Sycho Sid, Bob Backlund and Doink the Clown all stood tall in the ring with Lita and the APA. 

    I still wish it would have been a legend's battle royale.

    Grade: A

Filler X3

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    We then had an interview with the 100,000,000th social media follower. Who cares about that, honestly?

    Then Fozzy—hold for a second while I vomit again—walked us through catch phrases from the last 1,000 episodes of Raw. 

    Backstage, Zack Ryder and John Cena were talking to "Mean" Gene Okerlund. Then The Rock showed up to talk to Cena about a potential showdown at the Rumble. 

    There has been way too much filler for this special. I wanted a legends battle royale, dammit!

    Grade: C

The Undertaker Returns

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    Kane entered for a match, but was interrupted by Jinder Mahal, Drew McIntyre, Hunico, Camacho, Tyler Reks and Curt Hawkins. They said they were not given an opportunity, so they would make their own. 

    As they were going to attack Kane, Undertaker's gong went off and in he came to Kane's aid. They destroyed the jobbers.

    The best part was that they double-choke slammed Hunico and Hawkins, and followed it up with a double tombstone on the aforementioned two.

    They then posed, with Undertaker rolling his eyes back while Kane raised the fire from the turnbuckles. Great moment for an all-time great and one of his biggest rivals/tag-team member.

    Grade: A

    Is it wrong to say that I am really sick of seeing and hearing about the WWE's Be-a-Star campaign? Hopefully when Linda McMahon's senate run comes to an end, so can those promotions.

CM Punk vs. John Cena

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    Go away, Charlie Sheen!

    The early going of the match was really slow. It also doesn't help that the audience, as per most of the night, was dead for a good part of the match. Punk mocking Cena with the "you can't see me" made me smile, almost as much as Lawler calling Cena Superman.

    The referee became incapacitated when he should have won. Of course, the Big Show interfered with a spear and a WMD. CM Punk just looked on from the corner, which may indicate a heel turn. Maybe not, but it would make sense if they are going to feud.

    Cena kicking out of the WMD solidified why so many people dislike Cena. Call me out if you're mad if you want, but it's true. 

    The Big Show came back and caused a disqualification to end the match. After CM Punk turned his back on Cena, The Rock came out in Cena's relief to beat down the Big Show. Then Punk lit The Rock up with a clothesline in the middle of a People's Elbow. He finished him with a GTS, much to the dismay of fans.

    The heel turn has begun people. This is perfect for Punk, whose character had plateaued. What a way to end the show.

    Grade: A


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    The show was great, but I will quickly run through what disappointed me. 

    First, the show still had a regular feel to it with all the social media promotion and shameless advertising. In addition to that, there was no Stone Cold, too much Charlie Sheen, not enough Jim Ross, no legend's battle royale, too much filler and not enough Trish Stratus.

    I think my expectations were too high.

    Other than that, the show was great. There were so many good memories from the past superstars. I personally went nuts over the APA, Lita and DX. 

    Yeah, I'm an Attitude Era guy. 

    Grade: A