The highly anticipated 1,000th episode of Monday Night Raw was one for the record books and did not disappoint. As I readied the supply of snacks for my dad and I, I began to wonder what the broadcast would be like. Who would I see? What would happen with the legends? How would a three-hour long broadcast go over? These were questions that I’m sure every fan had that night.
This night wasn’t about looking towards the past so much as it was looking towards the future. Achieving what the WWE has is something that is historic, and probably unfathomable when Raw first premiered in January of 1993. There were stars from all over the wrestling timeline and it gave a grander feeling to what had been accomplished and what will be done in the future. My personal favorites to see were Bret Hart and the Undertaker, but I’m not writing this to play favorites. It was a strong start to a permanent three-hour expansion. Having McMahon come out and open the show was great as he should be very proud of what he, and his company, have accomplished in the television and wrestling world.
I think the three-hour format will bode very well for the WWE in the coming months, I was engaged and interested the entire show. It had a good balance of promos and matches, integrating the legends where possible. Monday Night Raw was exciting for the fans and those involved and had a feeling of grandeur, comparable to that surrounding Wrestlemania. It was just exciting, I can’t think of any other way to describe it. The opening segment with degeneration X was reminiscent of the shows from the Attitude Era. They just looked like they were having so much fun together, the crowd saw that and fed off of their energy. Seeing them beat up Damien Sandow was also exciting because I don’t like him, he reminds me too much of Rick Martel (who I also didn’t care too much for). The use of the legends throughout the show was great, they didn’t over saturate the show but they weren’t underutilized either.
The meat and potatoes of the show, other than the legends of course, was the wedding and championship match. Weddings in wrestling never end well. In the words of Kanye and Jay-Z, it gets cray. It was typical with the dress and flowers but then things took a turn, she left him to become General Manager of Monday Night Raw. A.J. as GM? I never saw it coming. I do think that it could work, as long as the shows don’t end up being the A.J. Lee Variety Hour. Every decision made has to be very calculated and not seem like they’re just made with no thought. I would have liked to have seen one of the legends become the General Manager but I’m not working for the creative department, sometimes I wish I was. It will be interesting to see how the character of Daniel Bryan will develop after suffering yet another disappointment in front of millions of people. Hopefully he will expand to more than a guy who shouts the word ‘Yes!’ while wearing a ridiculous jacket. Daniel Bryan is a wealth of talent and it shouldn’t be squandered.
The other hot button on the show was John Cena cashing in his Money In The Bank briefcase against Punk. It was the first time ever that a briefcase was cashed in and a title wasn’t won. A crushing blow on, what should have been, a shining moment for John Cena. The Big Show interrupted and ruined whatever chance Cena had of winning but it wasn’t that moment that shocked people, it was what Punk did. He turned heel and it really added to his character. He isn’t completely a villain but is someone with and edge. I am hoping that we get more pipe bomb promos and him being the voice of the voiceless. It was the most shocking moment of the night and will definitely be something that draws viewers in next week.
What does a Punk turn mean for the WWE? A whole lot of awesome, that’s what.