Welcome, cats and kittens, to yet another installment of the blog that is always incisive and ever divisive, Cewsh Reviews! We have a special treat for you tonight, as we have gathered today to review an episode of Monday Night Raw for only the third time in Cewsh Reviews history. But why tonight, you ask? Because it’s the 1,000th time the show has come on, and 1,000 is, like, a really big number and stuff. But tonight isn’t just about reaching a symmetrical number in the history of WWE programming. It’s also being branded as a new beginning for WWE and a night to enjoy the twin spectacles of nostalgia and whatever you would call nostalgia for things that will happen in the future. Possibly Futalgia, though that sounds like a kind of Athlete’s Foot. Joining me on this journey through time, is our very own Professor of Wrestling History and full time Doctor Who enthusiast MichaelC, and our special guest making his return to Cewsh Reviews, Psycho! So you can tell for tonight’s special review, we’ll be doing it up proper, and although you can’t tell, we’re all wearing tuxedos and pretty dresses and are gesturing wildly with out top hats and monocles for the show to get on with it already.
Psycho: It feels nice to be back in my special chair reserved for me at Cewsh Reviews. It’s been getting a tad dusty, anyway. Why have I returned this time, though? To recount my epic experience at the 1000th episode of Monday Night RAW. No big deal or anything.
MichaelC: I started watching RAW when I was 12. I just turned 26. This means I have seen WWF/E programming for over half my life. Will this show ever let us go?
Mrs. C: No.
MichaelC: Thought as much. My first RAW match ever was D’lo Brown v Owen Hart in a Steel City Street Fight. Jeff Jarrett interfered and, only knowing wrestling from the Warzone game, I assumed it was Bret Hart. If anything, my wrestling knowledge has probably regressed since then.
I should probably put a disclaimer at this point and mention I love anniversary shows. A RAW reunion is just like a Doctor Who multi-Doctor story. You get to see all the old Doctors and companions (or champions), and some fans moan there isn’t much plot (or wrestling) on that episode, but you love the nostalgia (nostalgia) instead. Hey, that analogy worked far better than I thought it would!
Anyone could show up. Do you think Bradshaw will?
MichaelC: We start with a montage of great moments over the years, and so many of them bring back memories. Many daft moments too, some of them remembered more fondly than others. They underplay some of it, but it gets across RAW as being the moment where big things happened, big moments. And Muppets. Scarily I remember almost all of them.
Cewsh: Oh, some other guys are here too, but you’ve probably never heard of them.
D-Generation X open our little shindig here, with Shawn Michaels and Triple H coming out and doing their DX thing on full blast. It’s really a great thing to see them together having fun and it’s the perfect way to kick off this show, since it combines nostalgia, fun, and something people might text their friends and tell them to turn on and watch. But Shawn Michaels and Triple H aren’t enough for this party, oh no. To the delight of the audience, Triple H calls for the rest of DX to make their presence known, and out come Road Dogg, Billy Gunn and X-Pac to a huge ovation from the crowd. They make their way into the ring and lots of hugs are had and jokes are told. Billy Gunn and Shawn Michaels do a delightful bit about which one of them get’s to say “We’ve got two words for ya” since they both have before, and overall its just a fun time with two generations of DX melding well and Shawn Michaels not looking out of place, despite the fact that I’m not sure I’ve ever seen him in the ring with any of these other guys ever before.
But while this whole dealy is enjoyable, CLEARLY some star power is needed, so out from the back comes Damien Sandow. He tells everyone that they are intellectually superior, and that they are wrong to enjoy DX, and then tells DX that while he knows they can murderize him, that it would just make him a martyr and more powerful in the end. This is a complex situation, one that DX takes very seriously, so they huddle up to develop a plan.
Their planning apparently went something like this:
HHH: So we’re beating him up right?
HBK: I don’t know, he said we’d make him a martyr.
X-Pac: That’s dumb, we don’t even have any vodka.
Dogg: No not…nevermind.Let’s just have Hunter distract him and then kick his ass.
HHH: Why do we need a distraction if there are five of us already?
Gunn: Can I hit my crotch now?
HHH: Oh for fuck’s sake, fine.
One distraction, one Sweet Chin Music, one Pedigree and one awesome off the cuff joke by Triple H about being the only one with hair left later, and we’re done here. Many crotches were chopped, many nostalgias were nostalgiaed, and everybody had a good time. It wouldn’t be going too far to say that this was one of the more heart warming segments in wrestling in recent memory, as a lot of history and nastiness were put aside to make this possible, and everyone there seemed genuinely happy to be having fun with the others. And there’s really nothing better than to see a bunch of wrestlers genuinely happy in the ring.
MichaelC: DX seem to split folk. They split our household. I think they’re reasonably amusing, and Mrs. C thinks they are hilarious. Certainly, I’ll forgive any rubbishness in 2006 for the episode of RAW when Shawn and Trips took over the airplane, and Vince went into complete Doctor Draco school of comic villainy. Your readers will get Kim Possible injokes, right, Cewsh?
Cewsh: I think our readers can handle it. I referenced the goalie from Mighty Ducks 4 on here once and somebody not only got it, but corrected my spelling of their name.
MichaelC: Shawn immediately refers to the group having once had more people, and out come the New Age Outlaws and X-Pac! Now, Billy Gunn might be on record as being my 2nd least favorite wrestler of all time (he got over taken recently by Alberto Del Rio), but I was a complete mark for Road Dogg and X-Pac as a kid, and its so lovely to see them back. They all look good too. Pac looks the worst for wear, but given some of the demons he’s fought over the last decade, he looks better than most for it, if a little medicated.
Then Damien Sandow shows up. Now I know this man best off the Five Minute Smackdowns on youtube, and the last PPV. Apart from channelling a Poffo remarkably well, he also has a good sense of comic timing. His attempt to enter the DX huddle amused me, and his sell of the Sweet Chin Music was on its way to being a thing of beauty before he stopped to take a Pedigree. Colour me impressed, he might last longer than Dean Douglas.
Psycho: The Degeneration X Reunion was better than I had hoped, seeing that every original member(exluding the dead and female ones) were present. Road Dogg and Billy Gunn hadn’t surprised me, but X-Pac caught me off-guard, and you better believe I screamed my lungs out harder here than anywhere else on the show excluding Ziggler’s appearance (X-Pac and Ziggler mark, right here, if you didn’t already know). It was nostalgic, heart-warming, and it got Sandow involved with a legend of a faction, even if he was only crushed afterward. This is probably the ONLY segment of the show that gave me what I had hoped and expected.
Cewsh: Here we have one of those matches featuring a bunch of people that have no real reason to be teaming up. Usually this involves 3 different feuds intersecting, but this one is odd because all three of the babyfaces are actively feuding with Alberto Del Rio and Jericho and Ziggler are feuding with each other. Also, this match features the commentary stylings of one Mr. Jim Ross, who wanders in off the street and is so much better than everyone else in his limited time speaking that it’s goddamned embarrassing.
There really isn’t any great story to tell you about this match. It’s your classic 8 minute television speed match, where everybody gets in their spots and the top babyface wins out in the end. The only spice to it was the fact that a) Ziggler attacks Jericho out of nowhere for no good reason and b) Sheamus is really great at hurting people. Oh, and Sin Cara actually got on a major show, after months of getting less screen time than Pauly Shore does these days.
Psycho: The 6-man tag was very…typical. I knew this was coming once I realized every one was coming out for what I call a “Big Fuck-Off Tag Match.” These matches serve their purpose, I suppose, but what really ticks me off is when these are put on shows to make time for novelty segments. I know there was little time and they wanted to get everyone on at once, but it’s hard to get into these matches some times because it’s focused on giving everyone a chance to do some of their regular moves and very softly push feuds. Perhaps a standard 2-on-2 would have been a better choice?
I did freak out for Ziggler, prompted the first “Let’s Go Ziggler chant,” and got him to stare in our direction as a response, whether he acknowledged us specifically or not.
MichaelC: We have a six man tag. It was fun. Jericho appears to be a face again, and will presumably be putting over Dolph at a Summery show in the near future. Before Jericho says night night to wrestling, can we get a Sheamus/Jericho singles match, please? Those two have met 3 times briefly, and just mesh so well together.
Can I also say, for the record, that Rey v Sin Cara needs to be held back to WrestleMania. As the only company ever able to hold that dream match now, they’d be fools not to do it at the big show.
Cewsh: Man, he has not aged well at all from then.
MichaelC: Charlie Sheen does a valiant job preventing his crib notes showing up on screen. He comes across as someone who hadn’t a clue what was going on, but improving to try and prevent it showing. Ah well, still better than Jeremy Piven.
MichaelC: AJ gets ready for her wedding, boring the womens champion, Layla, who is just happy to get a spot on the show. I’m sure Cody Rhodes is jealous. Hacksaw randomly walks past her locker room, then Roddy Piper. WWE locker room areas come across as dens of insanity based on backstage skits. Then a talking hand appears, introducing itself as Mae Young’s son. And I lost half the gulp of Irn Bru I was having at that moment. Continuity, what a strange bedfellow you are.
Psycho: The backstage segments were humorous, and to be honest I was not asking for anything other than comical nods to the past with the backstage segments. That is something to be expected from these shows, and I can appreciate their worth, even if they are over-used for the less-important specials they increasingly run. Besides…how do you not at least let a snicker escape when they actually brought “The Hand” back. You know what Hand I’m talking about.
Cewsh: If you have not seen this show already, I want to make sure you have a clear idea of the insanity that occurs when AJ and Layla look outside of the locker room they’re in. The very first thing they see is Hacksaw Jim Duggan wandering by by some reason. Then they look to the left to find this:
That would be R-Truth and Roddy Piper playing jump rope with R-Truth’s imaginary friend Little Jimmy. Let’s ignore for a second the premise that this is something that people would do. Instead, let’s all collectively take a second to imagine the conversation that had to have taken place between these two that led to Piper agreeing that playing jump rope in the middle of the hallway with an imaginary little boy sounded like fun. The real crime here, is that we were robbed of THAT. And then after a second, Truth gets visibly irritated with Piper’s failure to provide an adequate jump rope experience to an imaginary child and wanders off. As you do.
Then, we pan back to the right and see Mae Young, who is a natural fixture on shows like this. And with her is THE HAND THAT SHE GAVE BIRTH TO BACK IN 2000! DO YOU UNDERSTAND HOW BATSHIT INSANE AND COMPLETELY WONDERFUL THAT IS AT THE SAME TIME?!
The only way this segment could have been any better is if they had bumped into Mark Henry and made things totally awkward. But beyond that, this is unchecked joy. I would commit several felonies to get the job as the guy who gets to write things for legends to be doing in the backstage area for no reason, because nothing tickles me more than seeing Hall of Famers who have no actual reason to be at the show at all, whiling the time away playing beach volleyball in the parking lot with a leprechaun and the Gobbeldy Gooker. Sign me up for that job immediately. I’m begging you.
MichaelC: Jack Swagger lost to Brodus Clay in 3 seconds. Never mind getting in the next Rumble, will Jack even be there at this rate?
Dude Love shows up. That was nice, he’s the least used of the Faces of Foley. It is sad to see Mick Foley’s knees in such bad shape though. Incidentally, Mick Foley with no knees and no style, still dances better than me and Brodus Clay. True story.
Psycho: While I find it lovely for any opportunity to see Mick Foley especially his near-abandoned Dude Love persona, this was hardly even an opportunity. Why even bring out Jack Swagger if the only reason this occurred was to have Brodus and Dude Love dance together? Oh, right, we had to see a Socko…hey, idea….why didn’t Dude Love snap into a different personality and do that to Brodus? Wouldn’t that be more entertaining? I also believe most people would still cheer his actions, especially if he ended it with one of his classic quips(most likely, “Have a Nice Day!”). It felt mo
Cewsh: I eagerly await the day when Clay himself is getting squashed quickly by newcomers. The sooner the better.
MichaelC: Trish Stratus is backstage with Triple H. No one recognizes her. They riff off a RAW segment from eleven years ago no one but Mrs. C remembers, (Cewsh Note: The one where Stephanie catches Triple H bending Trish over). X-Pac then tries to chat her up, seemingly.
Cewsh: Hey, X-Pac has been with Chyna, Tori and Ryan Shamrock. He’s just trying to collect all of the Attitude Era valets.
MichaelC: Ah, a wrestling wedding. They never go badly. Our special guest reverend is Slick, who the crowd don’t remember, but I was cheering loudly enough to make up for them. He seems delighted to be here though. I was expecting Kane to show up. Instead Vince does, that’s almost as good. Not quite as good as Bradshaw, mind you.
Cewsh: I get the impression that you like Bradshaw.
Now if you haven’t been following WWE recently and are wondering why these two people are getting married, the simple answer is that Daniel Bryan broke up with AJ 3 months ago and caused a psychotic break in AJ. Then a now totally erractic and unpredictable AJ brought total chaos to CM Punk and Daniel Bryan, and in the midst of all of it, proposed to Punk. When she got turned down, Bryan proposed to her, and she eventually accepted. So there you go ladies, if you want him to put a ring on it, just ruin his work life for a few months.
The truth behind it all is that, naturally, Bryan only wants to marry her so he can have her institutionalized and taken out of his life altogether. Fortunately, the OTHER truth behind it all is that AJ isn’t even remotely as crazy as she seems and already knows everything. So you can sort of guess that it doesn’t take long for these nuptials to go astray. Our minister Slick asks them each if they’ll marry each other and they both say yes. But AJ jumps in and says that she didn’t mean yes to marrying Daniel. She was saying yes to someone else. At which point Vince McMahon comes walking out to a completely baffled ovation.
MichaelC: The moment where everyone in that audience thinks AJ is marrying Vince McMahon is priceless. Of course, she’s become the RAW GM instead. Mrs. C was absolutely delighted by this result.
And hey, a woman gets one over on a guy on RAW by out smarting him and getting comeuppance for mistreatment. That doesn’t happen very often.
Psycho: I never expected Bryan and AJ would succeed in getting married, but I had hoped something more interesting would have come out of it. As ridiculous and silly as it would play out, Vince coming out to ACTUALLY propose to AJ would be monumental and would have held more impact than, “Oh, AJ’s GM and she’s not marrying you. Deuces.” AJ as GM seems like a random, odd, and unpredictable decision. I won’t judge it because there is potential for it to be compelling, but it’s a temporary decision that won’t last longer than 6 months, if even 3. All this drama and build to this episode of RAW which would reveal the new GM…ends with a temporary option?
The marriage which could have been a part of one of WWE’s greatest storylines ever was nothing more than a launching pad for a temporary resolution to a somewhat big angle deciding the new SUPREME GM OF WWE?!? This just screams “Lack of Focus,” and hinders the option of AJ getting back into wrestling anytime soon (which is more of a personal complaint).
Cewsh: So Daniel Bryan refuses to leave the ring after his failed attempt to become a married man, and CM Punk comes out to console him. Unfortunately CM Punk is CM Punk, so his consolation sounds a lot more like open mockery, and somehow this doesn’t seem to make Daniel Bryan feel better. Finally bryan blows his stack and starts screaming about how he’s the greatest superstar in Raw history. Which, for those of you new to the literary world, is what we call foreshadowing.
Out comes the Rock and the vicious dressing down of Daniel Bryan begins in earnest, as Punk kind of stands off to the side and watches.
The Rock demolishes Bryan, much to the bearded man’s dismay, and then tells CM Punk that at the Royal Rumble, the Rock will have a championship match against whoever happens to be champion at the time. Punk isn’t overly impressed by this, and they have a staredown that makes the crowd audibly start buzzing. Of course Daniel Bryan isn’t happy about being the one who is ignored now, and he gets up in the Rock’s face. And as you well know, if you get up in the Rock’s face while he’s cutting a promo, it can really only have one outcome.
This was a terrific segment, that really made it look like Rock and Punk were even more on the same level than Cena and Rock were, and made Bryan look like someone important as well in a few short minutes. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be clearing my calender for every Sunday in January, just in case.
MichaelC: Bryan is still in the ring snapping when CM Punk comes out. They chat for a bit, then The Rock comes out too! Gosh, he’s actually going to interact with folk! The Rock seemed like a man who didn’t have half an hour to kill for once, and so ran through his promo. Exchanged a bit with Bryan and Punk. Both men’s profiles raise as a result of interaction with a “bigger name”. And now, we’re only going to get Cena v Rock, or Punk v Rock or Daniel bloody Bryan vs The Rock at the Royal Rumble. The last two, which have seeds – one more than the other, but this is an economical show, and Rock is an economical asset just now, they only use him when they want him – and bloody hell, I’d love to see them.
Incidentally, including ads, Daniel Bryan got over 40 minutes of RAW time. I bet there’s at least one hundred people online claiming this buries him.
Also, someone voted for Rock vs. Show at the Rumble, you know. Sad person.
Psycho: Bryan’s overreaction (the best parts not even getting on TV) to the rejection were priceless, and the whole segment with Punk and The Rock was gold. This was the only other part of the show I could fully put myself behind, even if it was preceded by the confusion that was the wedding.
MichaelC: Bret Hart gets to play at being Howard Finkel, and mentions Mr Perfect. What a great chap.
Cewsh: Bret Hart comes out and introduces our next match, featuring CAPTAIN CHARISMA CHRISTIAN and….theMiz. The fans seem surprised and very pleased to see Miz here, and he and Christian proceed to have a very nice television title match, with Miz working on Christian’s leg and both men putting in numerous counters of just about everything. Finally, Miz catches a break and Christian falls right into the Skull Crushing Finale, netting Miz the win and his first championship in almost a year.
If you look at this show as being the kick off to a new era in WWE, and the company clearly wants us to, some clear statements have been made on this show. They see a future in AJ as a personality, they’re putting heavy emphasis on Punk and Bryan, and they’re ready to give the Miz another shot at making it to the top. To say that I am pleased with all of those developments doesn’t begin to cover it. They’re off to a damn good start to this new era thingy.
Psycho: Seeing Miz get the shot at the Intercontinental Title was exciting. It’s a belt that has slowly been getting back more prestige, yet is in need of someone important to hold it. Miz is someone who made a big splash in the WWE after becoming WWE Champion, but fell off when he had no more room in the main event(mostly thanks to CM Punk, Daniel Bryan, Sheamus, Big Show, and Mark Henry). Fresh off a brief hiatus, Miz is back looking reinvigorated, and WWE has gone through with the notion of putting him in the midcard division. It’s not a demotion: it’s giving him more space to shine while simultaneously adding some value to the strap, as well as making a perfect heel to make crowd-favorite faces out of anyone. Look at Daniel Bryan and Alex Riley, though they didn’t follow up well with Riley…The match itself felt just above average, but the finish was spectacular, and made Miz look great.
MichaelC: It was nice to see Bret still had disdain for The Miz though. I mean, Bret’s even forgiven Shawn Michaels AND Bruce Hart. The Miz must have really irked him on RAW.
I was hoping we’d Bradshaw show up here. That’d have been good.
Cewsh: Goddamn it Michael, Bradshaw isn’t coming. He’s NEVER coming. He has gobs of money and other things to do and there’s no way he’s going to come back to do some random thing on an anniversary show for no reason. IT’S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN.
MichaelC: Triple H argues with Paul Heyman. Stephanie comes out and looks generally awesome, then beats up Heyman. Can’t complain with any of this so far. Then Brock comes out, but Triple H gets the last laugh on this night. Just as well, given Brock, you know, broke his arm and all. And is likely going to kill him at Summerslam.
Psycho: This segment garners conflicting reactions from me. On one hand, it was amazing to see Stephanie and Paul Heyman in front of my eyes again after so many years, but the whole thing felt rushed….really, until Steph came out, everything was going pretty good…and how Stephanie attacking Paul all of a sudden coaxes him into making the match seems silly, especially when he realized what she did afterward(wouldn’t he just say, “Never mind, I was angry, we never signed a contract,” or something to that effect?). We got the expected answer, and now we have what is hopefully an enthralling SummerSlam match…but the segment was exactly what was expected, which in retrospect, wasn’t very much to start with. If they had not promoted “Brock’s Decision” and made it an on the spur segment, maybe it would have been more electric.
Cewsh: I want to take a minute to refer to something about this segment that really made it come off as special to me. It’s sort of a small detail, so it may have easily been missed, but for me it makes the difference between a thrown together angle that doesn’t mean much, and a dramatic feud that has a lot of meat on it. That difference can be summed up in this picture:
That picture is from the very moment that Brock Lesnar’s music hit and he walked onto the stage, ready to kill. And what makes this segment different from your run of the mill thing, is the fear on the faces of Triple H and Stephanie McMahon. Perhaps the single most important thing that you can do to get a guy over is to express genuine fear when they walk out and are coming for you. Its such a simple step that often seems to be completely ignored, but it marks the difference between Heath Slater coming out to face you, and your worst nightmare on his way to greet you. Here, Triple H, who has been established for a decade now as one of the toughest and most fearless men in wrestling, IMMEDIATELY looks afraid for his wife’s safety in light of what is coming. Stephanie, for her part, just got done verbally eviscerating and physically exacerbating a guy not 5 seconds before, but she looks like she has seen her life pass in front of her eyes and hurries out of the ring as fast as she can. Because Brock Lesnar is DANGEROUS, and everyone here knows he is.
Selling it in this way isn’t just great booking, it’s great performing. And its little things like this that construct an atmosphere of danger and legitamcy around a guy like Brock Lesnar in addition to what was there already. It’s the right way to get this done, and it sold me more on this feud than a dozen promo videos and a contract signing ever could.
MichaelC: And in the ring, now playing the role of Howard Finkel: Howard Finkel! He announces Heath Slater, who challenges any legend to a No DQ match.
Cewsh: What the shit? LITA?! And holy fuck, she actually looks even better than she did before she left.
MichaelC: Now given Lita once went toe to toe with Terry Funk in a Hardcore match, Slater might be a bit overmatched here. But Lita brought protection….
Hang on, I know that music.
Cewsh: Oh no.
Cewsh: You have got to be shitting me.
MichaelC: Yes! Yes! Yes! It’s Bradshaw! Oh and Faarooq too. It’s good to see the Acolytes back.
Slater decides to run away from the best Attitude era tag team (slight bias) and greatest womens wrestler of this millennium in WWE, but then runs into a brick wall.
A brick wall called: HOLY SHIT! VADER! SID! BACKLUND! ANIMAL! DDP! RIKISHI! RODDY PIPER!
Slater gets the Twist of Fate, and then has his head torn off by the best clothesline this side of Stan Hansen.
One moonsault later, and Lita wins.
I think this might count as the greatest RAW segment of all time. It’d be hard to beat that condensed amount of awesomeness in one place.
Cewsh: Well as much as I hate being proved wrong, I can’t find anything that isn’t thoroughly lovable about this. It didn’t last long enough for any of the legends to really do anything, (barring a Clothesline From Hell that made Heath Slater stand up on his neck for solid 5 seconds,) but Lita was the clear feature, everybody had a good time, and Heath Slater got his head kicked in by all my favorite old codgers. It might be possibly to make a more fan servicey segment of television, but you’d be hard pressed to accomplish it.
Psycho: Seeing the APA was heart-stopping, really. Felt very unexpected, and while it was all part of a segment to crush my man Slater, he still has received more exposure over the last two months than some of the internet darlings. Lita’s return was highly welcome, but I was a little upset that Slater’s epic loss had to come to a female over any other choice. Not that there’s a problem with a man losing to a woman, I had just hoped Slater could get something that would be a little less “publicly humiliating” as his blow-off. It’s a harmless action, really, so it’s no big deal, just something that I had noticed. Also, I came to this RAW hoping for a Vader match, or at least a more prominent Vader appearance…I did not get this, so I was a rather sour mark at this point.
MichaelC: Lita is great. When she debuted, the womens championship was fought in matches between The Kat and Harvey Whippleman. Through a non stop agenda of fighting the men, taking bumps guys wouldn’t (powerbombs on the bloody floor, that made an entire arena gasp, for example), being possibly the only woman in WWE history to blade, and generally working her ass off kept women relevant in the WWF when they had all but given up on them. Without her, there’d be no Trish, no Beth, no AJ Lee. In a world where Koko B Ware is a Hall of Famer, she’s a cert.
Cewsh: So alright, here’s how this went down. Kane came down to the ring for a match, conceivably against Jinder Mahal. However Hunico, Camacho, Tyler Rekks, Curt Hawkins, and Drew McIntyre also come down with him, and Mahal says that for 999 episodes they’ve been overlooked and that tonight they’ll get their revenge. Now, either he means that jobbers IN GENERAL have been overlooked all that time, (in which case, how awesome would it have been for his posse to be Funaki, Barry Horowitz, and the Brooklyn Brawler?) or that he personally has been overlooked throughout the entire history of Raw, which would be a stretch since he was 7 when it debuted.
Regardless, they surround they ring in a very Nexus like way, and just when I think they’ve going to pay homage to Nexus, they decide to pay homage to something a taaaaaaaad bit more fondly remembered by fans.
MichaelC: At this point, we see one of the best things in the history of dumb heels, as the six jobbers audibly go “There’s only 2 of them!”
This might come as a shock, but the Undertaker and Kane swiftly kill the jobbers. Then celebrate.
Psycho: Undertaker’s Return and the Reunion of the Brothers of Destruction. Something one might see as a more momentous event, but….it was just a cheap way of giving the fans what they wanted: a Taker return. This was cool to see, and I cheered it as a long-time fan of both of these men, but it was all just a pointless squash…that maybe could have been condensed with the Slater match? Why not have Taker be the one to put down Slater? THAT would have felt huge. Lita could have been involved in some awesome segment with Trish(even if just backstage), or even could have had Taker as part of the “protection.”
I guess they wanted Taker’s bit separate from the reunion of all those legends, but I don’t think it would have felt much different.
Cewsh:Let’s ignore the match here, because despite sky high expectations on my part, it turned out to be 10 minutes of doing nothing very much and waiting around for the finish to come. So let’s fast forward to that. John Cena is dominating CM Punk, and looks to be heavily in control of the match when suddenly the Big Show appears doing his ninja giant thing, and knocks Cena the fuck out. Punk tries to take advantage, but Cena won’t stay down, and somehow manages to lock Punk back in the STF. Show then comes back AGAIN and this time just flat out makes this a disqualification finish by beating the tar out of John Cena while CM Punk sits back and watches. Punk seems conflicted about whether or not to help Cena, but clearly hasn’t made a decision when the Rock’s music hits and he comes sprinting down to the ring. Rock batters Show and scoops him with a Spinebuster. He goes for the People’s Elbow for emphasis, but a funny thing happens on the way to the people…
Punk comes springing out of nowhere and blasts Rock with a clothesline before promptly picking him up and putting him to sleep before standing over his motionless body with a grim expression on his face.
So is CM Punk a heel? Will it definitely be him and Rock at the Rumble? If so, what the hell do they do from here until January? All good questions, and none of them really have answers even 2 weeks later. But while I don’t know that, I do know this. I AM BUYING THE FUCK OUT OF THAT PAY PER VIEW YES.
Psycho: Finally, the main event…this was the one moment that my joy hinged upon. I desperately wanted Punk to win, win clean, or in the least have Cena turn dirty if he wins. Despite my fears, I expected a really good match no matter the outcome…what happened was the unthinkable. I was ultimately given the result I(and almost all of the IWC) wanted, but was short-changed of what I had felt was set in stone. The wave of what I felt were pointless segments in between the best parts of RAW 1000 took up so much time that Punk/Cena was reduced to nothing more than a less-than-typical RAW main event, buffered with nothing but a rushed hustle to get out all of each other’s signature moves.
When the bell had rung on a non-clean ending(which, by the way, Punk technically did not even win) that was the cause of Big Show(not anyone else more interesting at the time), this was my decision to walk out. I did not care anymore. The last thing that I had hoped could go right, or at least EXPECTED did not. The match was wasteful, and was used as a launching pad for what looks to be a Punk/Rock feud. This is where I confused myself even more, because I had been hoping for a feud between Punk and Rock before a potential Punk and Austin feud. The reason why was because The Rock felt like the perfect opponent for Punk to be a face AND be his usual, entertaining, occasionally pipe-bombing self. That is what Punk needed to hold onto his current place without backlash from certain fans. If there’s any truth to the rumors of Punk and Austin, then Punk should continue an exciting face routine until his “shocking” turn to start up his program with Stone Cold.
Instead, they went with the shortcut of possibly turning Punk heel. Punk’s best work is as a heel, and almost any wrestling fan knows this. However, they went with this option of boasting Punk as an anti-hero, and while sticking with it, they seemed to somehow neuter him a bit. While still a funny guy, Punk had not done anything momentous outside of having really good matches. He was not doing anything “Austin-like.” Now, if he’s not turning full heel, and this is just their way of giving him his attitude back…then this was a perfect finish to an otherwise OK RAW. If he’s going heel…it’s still a good ending, but feels like another example of WWE rushing what could be better tasted as a drawn-out process. Give Punk his balls back, then turn him heel months later, a bit after he’s conquered Rocky.
MichaelC: Punk v Cena?
Good News – Cena lost.
Bad News – Big Show is still in the main event.
Good News – Money in the Bank is not a 100% thing any more.
The big talking point is the finish, when Punk took out Rock and sent him to sleep. (Heh, Ziggler takes selling out of The Rock’s playbook.) Now, people are immediately going “HEEL TURN!” But before conclusions are jumped to, I’d like to remind you of Shawn turning on Cena in 2007 and Batista turning on Undertaker, neither of which became heel turns. Main eventers like to do this to each other, to create tension. Punk even got cheers for taking out Rock, a move not seen since the days of Steve Austin. Wait and see how Punk addresses it in weeks to come.
Cewsh: I had fun watching this show. There were some segments that missed, but for the most part it was a fun nostalgia ride, and pretty much just a 3 hour scoop of fan service with a sense of lightheartedness to most of it, and a compelling conclusion. I’ll never ask much more than that from a television show, (I hold paid events to a much higher standard as you well know,) and as far as I’m concerned, this new era launch was a complete success. Aside from, you know, leaving women’s wrestling off entirely and making it clear that that has no significance to their relaunch. You know, that whole fucking thing.
Psycho: For the most part, RAW 1000 was a case of most of the segments being good or entertaining on their own. As a full package, however, everything felt rather lacking. Perhaps I am being too harsh. Maybe I hyped myself for more than was promised. Maybe I expected that for one time WWE could give us even a glimmer of a perfect show. There’s a strong chance that I really was hoping for something more special since I was going to be there live. I say that because I almost feel like if I had watched the episode on TV without spending any money, I would not be viewing it so harshly.
The kicker is that I actually left this RAW feeling more upset and disappointed than I have ever felt after leaving the arena. I was at the time so frustrated that I left my seat and waited in the lobby for my companions while I fumed over the events. Was RAW on a whole that bad? I would say no, but the potential they had to make something special beyond nostalgia and one main event moment was not quite fulfilled.
As the week passed, my judgments have softened, especially from my initial reaction, but I still stand by the idea that as a live show that I paid $143 dollars for(about $100-120 value tickets), it was utterly disappointing. It’s a strange feeling, as I am usually very positive about WWE’s “less-than-stellar” shows, but this episode for some reason struck me a blow of disappointment. Of course, we can not know how much it was all worth until next week.
Well that’ll do it for us this time, boys and girls. We hope you enjoyed a look back at the 1,000 episode of a show your parents told you was too childish to watch damn near 20 years ago. Next week we have…wait…do you hear a rumbling sound? It sounds like something enormous is rushing this way! Is it a buffalo stampede? A Decepticon attack? Did Rhino hear there was a sale on donuts? Oh dear god, no. It’s…it’s…
OPTIMASH PRIME. The official herald of the Cewsh Reviews Super Mega Ultra Technicolor Dream Card has come. And that can only mean one thing. The third installment of the card that rules the yard, the show that makes Keanu say “Whoa”, the event that needs no introduction and yet gets three anyway, CRSMUTDC3. Dig it.
So gather yourselves for the biggest review night of the year and we’ll see about renting tuxes for the evening. In the meantime, be sure to keep right on reading, and always be good to one another.