Posted by James Tee
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: Kurt Angle vs Shawn Michaels (30 minute Iron Man match)
On the October 3rd, 2005 episode of Monday Night RAW, the WWE celebrated a homecoming to Dallas, Texas with a 3-hour special. This match between the Olympic Hero and HBK was a short revival of their WrestleMania 21 rivalry that lasted several months later. The bout in itself was of PPV caliber and should probably have been the main event instead of Cena’s WWE Championship defense against Eric Bischoff.
The rivalry between Shawn Michaels and Kurt Angle would have been the undisputed 2005 feud of the year had it been given more segments to build up their great matches. It all started during the Royal Rumble where Michaels eliminated Angle only for him to come back to the ring and eliminate HBK as well. Angle then assaulted Michaels at ringside and put him in the Ankle Lock. The two most significant highlights of the feud included the WrestleMania 21 match that Angle won by submission and their rematch at Vengeance which was won by HBK.
These ones come straight out of the Attitude Era golden box and showcase D-Generation X at its best. The first impersonation took place during their great feud with a heel stable known as The Corporation. Led by the McMahons (Vince & Shane), superstars such as The Rock, Ken Shamrock, Big Bossman, Shawn Michaels and others united in order to protect the benefits of the then-WWF against rebels like DX and Steve Austin. Following this parody, members of The Corporation came out to retaliate on the mic’ and The Rock concluded with an epic jab at WCW’s “older” main-eventers.
DX had already done a similar segment during an earlier feud with Nation of Domination, which was originally a heel African-American stable led by Faarooq (Ron Simmons) and included a young Rock, D-Lo Brown, Mark Henry, Kama Mustapha (aka The Goodfather). Later on, as The Rock took control and chased Faarooq, the group lost focus on ethnicity and was joined by Owen Hart. Speaking of Owen, he was parodied by Jason Sensation, a “young wrestling fan” and comedian who imitates the voice of several wrestlers (watch his video here).
The Lost Tapes: HBK Sells Hogan Out
2005 again! After his epic encounter with Kurt Angle at WrestleMania 21, Shawn Michaels gets involved in a feud with Muhammad Hassan and Daivari where Hulk Hogan comes back. Fast forward to July 4th, the team is celebrating a tag team victory when Shawn Michaels hits the Hulkster with a Sweet Chin Music. The challenge is made, the dream match is set for SummerSlam.
Meanwhile, backstage, Hulk Hogan had been granted creative control for the match, which means that he was free to choose the outcome. Obviously, his gigantic ego opted for a clean victory over a heel HBK who, before Hogan’s decision, had proposed a face vs face match. Michaels, who is as much of a legend in terms of backstage politics, still could not get the job done. Ever heard “The HeartBreak Kid doesn’t lay down for anybody!”? Well, Vince McMahon punched that line down his throat that time and made it clear that the match was going to end with a Leg Drop. As a result, an angry Michaels turns the feud into a series of hilarious worked shoots (best one linked above) that culminate in a circus match at SummerSlam, overselling Hogan’s attacks to the extreme. The following night on RAW, HBK delivered yet another legendary worked shoot to bury the feud.
That ends today’s edition. On a side note, as much as I want to see The Rock tonight, I still hope that WWE does not focus too much on the main event scene and gives enough time to build some mid-card feuds leading to the Royal Rumble and, later on, to WrestleMania. I’m especially curious to see whether The Shield will have anything to do with CM Punk vs The Rock or if they will keep attacking Ryback. With that said, remember that another edition of RAW Flashback will be posted tomorrow night with a surprise worked shoot segment that we no longer witness nowadays.
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