Raw 10th Anniversary Special: Shame On WWE For This

Raw 10th Anniversary
Date: January 14, 2003
Location: The World, New York City, New York
Hosts: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler

This is a very different kind of show in that there’s nothing original on it. It’s basically an awards show/retrospective of the first ten years of Monday Night Raw with people coming back and talking about memories. This show is remembered very badly for a variety of reasons we’ll get into here. I’m not sure how well the reviewing here can go but it’s worth a shot. Let’s get to it.

Since there’s nothing to rate, this is going to be me recapping everything and giving my take on it as it happens. You’ll get the idea.

The opening video is a mashup of all the old intros to WWF programing in the last ten years. Nice touch.

Highlight package of the first year of Raw which I really need to get to someday. This transitions into a video on the entire ten years with a big focus on the Attitude Era. Yeah if you’re looking for ANYTHING from 1994-1996, you’re in the wrong place. The video is set to Bawitaba by Kid Rock to really hammer in the annoyance factor.

JR and King welcome us to the show. We’re going to get a top ten moments in Raw history. Oh this is going to be GOOD.

Our first award is Diva of the Decade presented by Shawn Michaels. Before we get to the award we get through the storyline stuff with Shawn talking about being the #1 entrance in the Rumble. Shawn makes fat jokes about Bertha Faye (killed herself about a year and a half before this) and Bull Nakano who most fans likely don’t remember.

The nominees are Sable (should win), Sunny (not a bad choice), Trish Stratus (Fine in modern times, absurd in 2003), Lita (not even the best Diva in 2003) and Chyna (not happening but there’s a minor case for her). The winner: Trish Stratus. You know, the chick who hasn’t even been around for three years at this point, hasn’t even wrestled for two years, and hasn’t been any good for a year.

Sable closed out Raw in 1998 on multiple occasions but Trish wins, presumably because she’s here. Her dress is barely there which helps a bit, but this is going to be a mess for the next two hours. Moolah is in the audience and looks asleep. Trish also thanks Fit Finlay who did some great things with the Divas. He hadn’t done them yet but I don’t think anyone cares about stuff like common sense tonight.

The #10 moment is This Is Your Life Rock. That should be WAY higher, as in like top three at worst.

Shane McMahon presents the Don’t Try This At Home award, which is for the biggest bump. The crowd keeps cutting him off until we get to the nominees: Big Show chokeslamming Undertaker through the ring, Jeff Hardy in TLC 3 (no specific bump), the Dudleyz powerbombing Mae Young off the stage through a table, (that was awesome but not memorable) or Kurt Angle missing the moonsault off the cage to Benoit.

Angle wins, in another bad decision. It’s not as bad as the previous one but the winner should have been something like the Outlaws shoving Foley and Funk off the stage in the dumpster. It’s memorable, it was big and it set up future stuff. Big Show was on his way up to the podium when Angle’s name was announced. Angle, Haas and Benjamin celebrate and hold up an American flag but get played off by the music before Kurt gets too far into a speech about high school.

Stacy introduces the list of bad gimmicks from over the years, which is too long to list. Think of almost any stupid gimmick from the 1990s and it’s here. Here’s the thing though: a lot of them (IRS for example) were fine gimmicks that lasted for YEARS but now they’re stupid? WWF didn’t mind putting them on PPV and asking us to pay for them, but now they’re silly? Yeah stuff like T.L. Hopper was dumb, but Doink for example was a great idea.

Moment #9 is Austin crushing Rock’s Lincoln with a monster truck. Stacy calls it a moment that changed wrestling forever. I haven’t thought of this moment in years so I think she’s wrong on that one.

Booker T presents the Tell Me I Didn’t Just See That award which speaks for itself. The nominees are the Three Faces of Foley in a sitdown interview at the same time (cool but Roddy Piper basically did the same thing back in the mid 80s with a mirror), Bischoff and Vince hugging (that’s fine), Bart Gunn wins the Brawl For All (the idea of that winning an award is hilarious), Kane being able to control fire (that’s kind of amusing when you take a step back and think about what he’s doing) and Austin riding a Zamboni to the ring to attack Vince.

Foley wins….and isn’t here because he left in 2001. So not only do they pick the wrong one (Vince vs. Bischoff should have won given the nominees) but they pick a guy who isn’t even there? Goldust comes up to present the award with Booker, because a guy painted gold and wearing a smoking jacket and making penis jokes isn’t a ridiculous gimmick at all but an Indian like Tatanka is. Bischoff, actually here tonight, calls Foley overrated and talks about the amount of time he has to turn Raw around without getting fired.

Ric Flair presents the role call of dead wrestlers: Andre the Giant (never appeared on Raw and died less than two weeks after it debuted), Joey Marella (referee and Gorilla Monsoon’s adopted son), Brian Pillman, Rick Rude, Owen Hart, Gorilla Monsoon (they picked a shot of him near death when he looked nothing like he did in his glory days), Yokozuna, British Bulldog….and that’s it. I guess we had to protect Shawn by not pointing out that the woman he made a joke about died. There are others who were left out, presumably because the company didn’t care enough about them.

Jericho presents the Gimme The Mic award in a weird looking leather suit. “I’m wearing it on a tip from Hollywood fashion plate Classy Freddie Blassie.” Ok points for a good reference. The nominees are Austin, DX, Angle (a stretch but ok), Foley, Vince (better than people give him credit for) and Rock. Jericho isn’t nominated? Oh wait he’s a heel right now so we can’t like him, even though Angle was nomianted.

Rock wins, FINALLY getting an award right. Naturally Rock is on a movie set so he has to do this via satellite, as a surprise. The crowd however is too New York and too drunk to be impressed, so they boo him out of the building. Rock says FINALLY but he’s not even in New York. The fans clearly aren’t pleased at all with this. Rock talks about Jericho debuting when Rock was in the ring so Jericho can turn the microphone sideways among other things.

It wasn’t Jericho who won that award but rather a guy with a bunch of nicknames. Rock tells Jericho to get off the stage as a light Rocky sucks chant begins. He wants to talk to Kurt Angle and spends nearly a minute talking about a match with Angle at some point in the past. He calls Team Angle Team Suck Squad.

Now it’s time for Stephanie to be called a “Make a wish and blow out the candles NOT THE POOL BOY” slut. Rock makes fun of Goldust and Booker T for reviewing Scorpion King before calling Goldie a sick freak. The fans are completely turning on Rock now and the boring chants are getting louder and louder. He’ll be back soon and says a lot of catchphrases to FINALLY end this. Rock bombed here as he went on too long and the satellite thing was just stupid.

Moment #8 is Shane on Nitro, ending the Monday Night Wars once and for all. Again, this should have been higher.

After Fink brings us back in from commercial (he had to appear somewhere), here are Cole and Tazz to present the Shut Up and Kiss Me award. This is the best on screen duo with nominees of Mark Henry and Mae Young (you knew this was coming), Chyna and Eddie Guerrero (decent pick), Lita and Matt Hardy (better pick. Their first kiss was an awesome moment), Mr. McMahon and William Regal for Regal joining the Club (you knew some of Vince’s, ahem, interesting choices would be on here) and HHH and Stephanie. If you don’t know who is winning this one you don’t get WWE.

They don’t like each other too much right now but Stephanie accuses Rock of wanting to win this award with her. Stephanie recaps her on screen history with HHH and it really is funny how much happened with her. HHH wants to have a kiss for old times’ sake. He tells her to close her eyes so he can take down his pants and bend over. Stephanie slaps it and HHH walks out without pulling them up. This was what it was.

Moment #7 is the debut of Mr. Socko and Austin disguised as the doctor to beat up Vince. The greatness of the bed pan shot to the head is canceled out by Vince being anally raped with an IV.

Gene Okerlund and Pat Patterson (should have been Heenan) present Network Difficulties for controversial programming. The nominees are Mae Young giving birth to a hand (didn’t we just cover this five minutes ago?), Stone Cold Stunning Santa, 3 Minute Warning attacking the Hot Lesbians (actually pushing the envelope a bit) and Pillman’s Got A Gun.

Mae and Mark win in an even dumber pick than Trish. This was a HUGE deal which almost got Raw thrown off the air but we’ll go with the stupid comedy moment instead. It’s mainly the winner because Austin isn’t here at the moment.

Moment #6 is the Nation parody. It’s funny but this should have been last on the list. Also every moment so far has been from the Attitude Era.

Here’s Brock in a suit to present Superstar of the Decade. It’s REALLY weird to see Brock as a smiling face. The nominees are Mick Foley (with the debut of Socko shown for the second time), The Rock (BOOED), Bret Hart (BIG pop for that and a we want Bret chant), HHH, Austin and Undertaker (the only guy around for the whole decade). Austin wins as you would expect and as he likely should have. Vince says Austin isn’t here and laughs at fans who thought he would be. Dang I really want to watch this show now. I might get insulted for cheering for someone. HHH and Flair walk out because HHH didn’t win.

Moment #5 is Austin vs. Tyson. There’s a case for this being #1 as it basically launched them back into the Monday Night Wars and was a big reason why they started winning a few months later.

Time for Match of the Decade. Oh this should be fun. The nominees are TLC IV (I wouldn’t remember that if it wasn’t for the nomination earlier), HHH vs. Cactus Jack in a street fight (a forgotten classic that belongs on this list), Undertaker vs. Jeff Hardy in the ladder match (Just no. Period.) and Austin beating Kane to win back the world title (this is idiotic. Austin beat Undertaker for the title in 1999 and it drew nearly 11 million people, a record which still stands today I believe).

TLC wins and I’m not going to bother talking about the acceptance speech. Instead, here’s a real list of nominees for best matches in Raw’s first ten years off the top of my head:

Jannetty vs. Michaels for the Intercontinental Title

HHH vs. Cactus Jack

Owen Hart vs. British Bulldog for the first European Title

Austin/HHH vs. Benoit/Jericho for the tag titles

Austin vs. Angle for the WWF Title in 2001

Any of those are better than the rest of the nominees combined. TLC was NOTHING but most of the people in it are there so it wins an award. That sums up the entire problem with this show.

Moment #4 is DX invading WCW. I’ve got nothing here. This was awesome.

Moment #3 is Rock challenging Hogan for Wrestlemania 18. This still gives me chills but it has no business being this high on the list.

Moment #2 is Raw Is Owen. Leave it to WWE for turning something like someone’s death into a way to pat themselves on the back. Pay no attention to Jeff Jarrett having to perform in a comedy match five minutes after watching his friend plummet to his death.

Moment #1 is the Austin beer bath of the Corporation. Yeah, seriously. Allegedly these were selected by fans but WWE fans are smarter than this. Edge presents it and brings the rest of the roster to the stage for a bow to end the show.

Overall Rating: S. For shame on them. This is RIDICULOUS with the top ten moments list being either out of order, stupid, or nothing of note. The awards made my head hurt and I knew what was coming. This show wasn’t a celebration of Raw. It was a cheap ratings ploy to talk about the Attitude Era and have zero effort put into it at all. Look at the specials today and you’ll see a ton of nostalgia packages and highlight videos which talk about various things you haven’t thought of in years and can smile at later. This was horrible and insulting to my intelligence as a Raw fan rather than anything fun. Shame on WWE for this.

Here’s the Rumble if you’re interested:

http://kbwrestlingreviews.com/2013/01/16/royal-rumble-count-up-2013-redo-2003-best-of-both-worlds-and-a-boring-rumble/

Remember to follow me on Twitter @kbreviews and pick up my new book of Complete 2001 Monday Night Raw Reviews at Amazon for just $4 at:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00E8HXYM2

And check out my Amazon author page with wrestling books for just $4 at:

http://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Hall/e/B00E6282W6

4 comments

  1. MikeCheyne says:

    The beer bath thing I think was still ranked Number One on the Top 100 Raw moments set they released around the time of Episode 1,000.

  2. Wayne says:

    SMH, I did watch this show when it aired, and it’s time I’ll never get back. My God this was NOT good.

  3. deanerandterry says:

    Yeah this was bad. That was never more apparent than when HMV was giving it away for free because they couldn’t sell it.

  4. Mystery Man says:

    You don’t like Kid Rock?