Posted by Ilyass Garara
As 2013 has just kicked off, we are on the verge of celebrating the 20th anniversary of Monday Night RAW! The January 14th episode will obviously mark yet another achievement by the WWE in weekly television that we must pay tribute to, and what a better way to do so than recall some memorable moments! Let’s not waste any more time, here it comes!
The Historic Match: Stone Cold, The Rock & Vince McMahon vs The Undertaker, Triple H & Shane McMahon (w/ special guest referee: Shawn Michaels)
Talk about an epic main event! This match headlined the May 10th, 1999 episode of RAW, which scored the highest rating in the history of the WWE and maybe of all pro wrestling shows. This 6-Man Tag Team match showcased the intense rivalry between the newly merged Corporate Ministry, which was led by The Undertaker and Shane McMahon, and the Union, which was led by Vince McMahon. The Union also included former members of the Corporation that were mistreated by Shane McMahon after taking the reigns from his father. The match was arranged by a returning Commissioner Shawn Michaels who also put himself as the special guest referee. (Watch the announcement here)
The match itself was more of a brawl and did not feature any unforgettable technical wrestling maneuvers. However, the fact that 5 of the most iconic wrestlers were being put in the same match in such a huge rivalry was more than enough to drive every fan crazy. Just listen to the reaction of the crowd, we don’t hear anything close to that nowadays!
The Historic Segment: ECW invades RAW in June 2005
In 2005, by the time WWE announced that an ECW revival was taking place in the ECW One Night Stand PPV, fans were rabidly anticipating the event. However, despite several Extreme Rules matches being booked on RAW, some die-hards grew sick and tired of WWE’s “lack of promotion” for the event in a matter of days. Patience is usually a virtue though, because the WWE certainly didn’t drop the ball on this one and chose to build it up with an ECW invasion angle as a response to Bischoff’s disrespect. Yes, it may be a replay of 1997 and 2001, but this one seemed to involve much more emotion and portrayed the ECW extremists as passionate wrestlers who would always stand up and show pride in defending their legacy.
Following the fight that broke out, a similar situation occurred on Smackdown and resulted in the WWE’s anti-ECW clan to attend the ECW PPV. Led by Eric Bischoff and JBL, the WWE group faced the ECW locker room in a major brawl after the main-event in which ECW came out victorious. Stone Cold Steve Austin appeared and stunned Bischoff to close the show.
The Lost Tapes: The Rock and The Hurricane storyline
Let’s face it, ask anybody about funny memories from RAW and you would easily hear about the legendary disses made by The Rock with the “It doesn’t matter” types of catchphrases. Unfortunately, not many remember his short-lived feud with The Hurricane in 2003. In fact, after coming back as one of the cockiest heels ever, The Rock needed a face to feud with before his WrestleMania XIX rivalry with Steve Austin. After their first meeting (see link above), the two get a backstage face-off a week after they both got eliminated from a Battle Royal for the World Heavyweight Championship’s #1 contender spot.
Although their story seemed of secondary importance, the two made TV gold out of it. Say what you want, this is way more entertaining than any attempt at giving the (un)Great Khali a comedy segment. Just look at The Rock looking legitimately astonished by The Hurricane “flying away”, such details are what make a segment feel unique! The storyline involving the two resulted in one match only that you can watch here.
That’s it for tonight! Come back next Monday for another RAW Flashback, so make sure you tune in twice a week for new entries while we wait for the January 14th episode.
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