Posted by James Tee
We are less than 2 hours before the 20th anniversary of Monday Night RAW kicks off, and here is the last part of our preview.
Historic Match: Putting butts in the seats? – Mankind vs The Rock (WWF Championship)
Basically, every current WWE follower knows the “official” story behind this match, but let’s skim through again. During the Monday Night wars, WCW Nitro used to air live whereas WWF RAW was taped. In order to keep the viewers into their program, WCW used to spoil the taping results for WWF RAW, but that week was special because of the title match. As a result, 600.000 viewers immediately changed the channel to watch the title change and, from that day, the WWF beat WCW’s ratings every week. WWE always touts this story and mocks how Tony Schiavone (WCW commentator) claimed the spoilers would “put some butts in the seats”, but what they never state is that their website WWF.com had spoiled the title change first. This situation does sound a little like Alberto Del Rio’s win on Smackdown, which WWE.com spoiled following the tapings on Tuesday, but hey, the WWE owns the videotape library, so they can re-write history as much as they want to.
I chose this segment as a way to show how the WWE could incorporate comical segments into serious main-event feuds. It was a win-win situation for the wrestlers (bigger pops), the fans (funny catchphrases) and most of all the WWE (interest in the storyline). Unfortunately, we rarely see that nowadays, as most of the rivalries involve two serious
wrestlers superstars trying to be the better man… and then there is Sheamus; as much as I love his in-ring work and efforts, him being a face just doesn’t do it for me (but that’s a whole different topic). On the other hand, we now get some non-sense, often cheesy, comedy segments with no specific purpose besides giving the viewer an entr’acte between two more important segments/matches.
All criticism aside, this nice segment took place before SummerSlam 2001 where several WWF wrestlers were engaged in feuds with members of the Alliance (WCW & ECW). Chris Jericho was set to face Rhyno while The Rock was scheduled for a title match against WCW Champion Booker T. Of course, the show was rated TV-14 but, unlike TNA, the funny part was definitely not made of random curse words as some current PG fans claim. Yes, PG programming can still be entertaining if booked right, but TV-14 does not limit what the wrestlers/creative can say/write.
The Lost Tapes: Katie Vick – possibly the worst storyline ever
Here is a “lost tape” that is right where it belongs. I will not even try to describe this, the link provided above shows how it started. All I will say is that a subsequent segment featured (kayfabe) necrophilia. Case closed.
Your bi-weekly edition of WWE RAW Flashback is over. I hope that you were able to recall or discover some great moments from different aspects of pro wrestling ahead of the 20th birthday of Monday Night RAW. If you had fun reading these articles, make sure you also tune in every week for other columns from the Pro Wrestling Culture Cloud (PW2C) such as Pro Wrestling Goes Mainstream where you can watch the appearances of several wrestlers outside the ring, and Calling the Moves where you get to know several rare facts about different moves and attacks. In the meanwhile, enjoy the celebration tomorrow night and long live pro wrestling!
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