Last night marked the 20th anniversary of Monday Night Raw. There was a title match, special guest appearances and even a cage match! So did the 20th Anniversary edition of Monday Night Raw live up to the hype? What was good, bad and just plain strange about Raw, in this writer's opinion?
1) The segment with Vince McMahon, Big Show and newly crowned World Heavyweight Champion Alberto Del Rio was a classic Vince McMahon moment. It's always good to see McMahon make a Raw appearance, and last night's didn't disappoint. Plus, it was way cool to see Del Rio nail a Hurricanrana on Big Show.
2) Wade Barrett got a clean win over Randy Orton via the Bullhammer Elbow. Anyone getting a clean win over Orton is huge, but for Barrett it's particularly good since he will no doubt be a huge wrestler for WWE over the next year. Plus, Barrett's win over Orton could very well be the start of the long needed Orton heel turn.
3) Kaitlyn beating Eve for the Divas Championship was a good move. Granted, since Eve was leaving she would have dropped the title to someone anyway. It's just good it was to the wrestler who has been pinning Eve for weeks now. The coolest part was that Kaitlyn won via a spear. You don't see women wrestlers do that very often.
4) The Rock concert was overall okay. There wasn't anything super good or super terrible about it. However, the way it ended when Rock called Punk out to talk to him was awesome, and signaled what fans can expect to see at the Rumble. The two brawling looked intense, and it was cool to see Fit Finlay and Arn Anderson trying to separate them. Their match at Rumble will be epic.
5) Mick Foley was named the first inductee to the Hall of Fame this year. Not really much to say about that. The man deserves it.
6) The segment with Ric Flair and the Miz was pretty sweet, even if the WWE is trying to make us believe Miz is a good guy by associating him with wrestlers from the past (Brooklyn Brawler, Tommy Dreamer, Flair, etc.). Throwing in Antonio Cesaro, who is undoubtedly one of the best bad guys in the business today, was a great way for Miz to look good, and Cesaro to draw some more hate from the crowd. The best part was Flair letting Miz do the Figure Four. Perhaps Miz has a new finisher for his and Cesaro's inevitable feud.
1) When The Shield interrupted Mick Foley's Hall of Fame induction announcement, there was much potential for them to draw some serious hate from the crowd. Nope though, the scene from a couple weeks ago where Ryback, Sheamus and Orton beat them down and stood tall in the center of the ring had to be replayed. If WWE is going to keep letting the three wrestlers beat down The Shield, they just need to have a triple tag match and get it over with. The fans have no interest in seeing the same thing week after week.
2) John Cena beat Dolph Ziggler, again, in their steel cage match. Not really sure why WWE keeps having Ziggler lose when he is on the cusp of being the World Heavyweight Champion. What's even worse is that even with interference, Ziggler still wasn't able to pick up the win. Not sure how he is supposed to be taken as a serious threat to the title if he keeps racking up the losses.
3) Apart from seeing Ric Flair and the Rock, the show was a bit of a disappointment in terms of special guests or circumstances. It was the 20th anniversary of Raw, and the fans expected to see a bit more. Maybe a brief appearance by HBK, or Triple H, or anything more really. It's understandable that those former wrestlers now have a life outside the ring, but still. It just didn't feel like a special episode.
1) It was really cool to see Doctor Shelby back to give Team Hell No their four-month evaluation, as Hell No's anger management skits were some of the best segments of last year. However, seeing Shelby call on Hell No to attack Rhodes Scholars was a bit weird. Granted, Rhodes Scholars were pestering him, but still. It didn't really fit in with story line, even if it was awesome.
2) Seeing 3MB beat Sheamus in their Over the Top Rope Challenge match was a bit jarring. They cheated, but still. It's not everyday that we see the Celtic Warrior pick up a loss.
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