Monday Night Raw 15th Anniversary Special
Monday Night Raw
Date: December 10, 2007
Location: Harbor Yard Arena, Bridgeport, Connecticut
Commentators: Jim Ross, Jerry Lawler
Another request here as WWE celebrates the fifteenth anniversary of Raw, somehow holding it a month before the fifteen year mark but whatever. This is a nostalgia show with some wrestling thrown in, which is my kind of Raw. This is one of the few shows I’ve been requested to do that I distinctly remember watching. Let’s get to it.
This is a three hour show by the way.
The opening video is a montage of all of the openings the show has had over the years. I can’t wait to get to some of those older shows. I’m 99% sure the theme was To Be Loved by Papa Roach at this point. And I’m right.
Here’s Vince to open things up. Oh and his kids are with him. Steph always looked great in business suits. The one thing you can never take away from Vince: when you hear him talking about his product, you can hear the indisputable love that he has for it. This man loves what he does and there’s no arguing it. Tonight there’s going to be a McMahon family portrait. Except for Linda because she isn’t here.
Vince introduces his kids as former Hardcore/European/Women’s Champions. The photographer comes in but here’s Hornswoggle to be in the portrait also. He basically humps Vince’s leg so Vince instructs Shane to get him off Vince’s leg. Vince says there’s no question that his kids are waiting for him to die. He says he loves his taller kids and kind of loves Horny. They get ready to take the picture, and here’s HHH.
HHH says the people are smart and he should be part of the family. It’s almost like he could be Vince’s son. “Sup Steph?” This is about a family portrait, and family is about those you love. Or have loved. Now in Vince’s case, that could mean a lot of people. HHH brings out some of the people that Vince has loved. Representing the current crop of Divas that he’s “loved”: Melina. Vince says he didn’t sleep with her. “Whatever Clinton.” Representing the past: Sunny. Not bad. Horny hugs her and guess what his face goes between.
Up next: the current Diva……MAE YOUNG??? After they finally control her, Vince has to try to explain these things. Vince says it was at Moolah’s funeral and he was very drunk. “I mean….I dusted the cobwebs off and….” That’s enough for Shane. HHH: “There goes the money.” Vince tries to explain it to Stephanie and says he was thinking of her mom at the time. The look on Steph’s face here cracked me up.
Oh but HHH isn’t done. These are the weird ones. He calls out any WWE employee that has been mistaken for a woman that Vince has attempted to love. Vince looks terrified. Here they come, of course to Stand Back. We have…..THE FINK??? Also Big Dick Johnson, Bastian Booger, Patterson and Brisco (I’m not going anywhere near that one) and Abe Knuckleball Schwartz (baseball character whose identity I’ll reveal in a second).
HHH goes over the people that came down here. Patterson doesn’t surprise him. When he gets to Schwartz, “I guess the Brooklyn Brawler was busy tonight.” Stephanie sums up Vince as well as anything else can: “Dad, you’ve got serious problems.” But now it’s her turn to embarrass the family. She kisses HHH and Vince’s eyes bug out. HHH is like yeah, she went there. “Alright Steph. See you at home. Uh….uh….I mean your brother’s a gnome!” Vince in his Mr. McMahon evil voice: “I HATE YOU!”
Horny is sad and HHH says he wishes there was someone that could make it all better with the sound of his music. Cue THE GODFATHER as Horny gets to ride the Ho Train! JR: “Even Patterson looks happy!” This is what I love about anniversary shows: you get stuff like this that you only get like once every five years, and I’m not even a Godfather fan. This was one of the funniest opening segments I can ever remember. Just great.
Later tonight, Vince is going to announce the greatest star in Raw history. If you don’t know who that is, go read a book or something.
Intercontinental Title: Carlito vs. Jeff Hardy
Jeff is defending. Oh and this is a ladder match. Jeff has a match with HHH on Sunday for the #1 contender spot. This is a go home show apparently. Carlito immediately goes for a ladder and blasts Jeff in the face with it. Jeff counters a climbing attempt with a Twist attempt but Carlito takes him down with a clothesline. Carlito charges but Jeff throws the ladder at him to shift control again.
They to the ladder bridge from the ring to the apron and it spears Jeff against the railing. Jeff knocks Carlito off the apron into the ladder with a crash. Here’s a fresh ladder and Hardy climbs but Carlito pulls a Shelton and springboards onto the ladder. A sunset bomb kills Jeff and both guys are down as we take a break. Back with Jeff missing the jump over the ladder legdrop.
Carlito works on the leg and moves the ladder to the middle of the ring. He crushes the leg between the ladder and brings in a second one. After slamming Jeff onto a ladder it’s time to climb but since it’s a ladder match, Carlito climbs slowly and Jeff pops up for a save. A chop block slows Jeff down but Carlito gets backdropped into the ladder. Swanton kind of almost hits so Jeff loads up a ladder for a Twist but Carlito counters into a Backstabber, which means just slamming his back into the ladder. They both climb, Jeff knocks him off and wins. Quick ending.
Rating: B-. This was perfectly fine. It’s not exactly a classic or anything, but considering this was a totally free ladder match, it’s really hard to complain. Both guys know how to use the ladders so this was a solid effort and a good way to get the crowd into the wrestling part of the show. Solid stuff.
Shawn says he was on the first Raw and he has no idea who he defended the IC Title against on the first Raw. He does however remember last week where there was a bunch of Shawn imposters and a Marty Jannetty imposter. Tonight, Kennedy gets the real Marty, who pops up for a second. Shawn makes fun of Kennedy’s catchphrase.
Here are some shocking moments, only some of which are shocking, such as 1-2-3 Kid beating Razor and the Tyson thing. Cena FU-ing Kevin Federline, not so much. There’s a kiss montage too. Plus some chair shots, fire, Val Venis and various other things. It ends with Vince being blown up. Honestly when he went out to the limo, I said that the limo was going to blow up.
Santino and his way too hot for him girlfriend Christy issues an open challenge.
Santino Marella vs. Rob Van Dam
40 seconds, Five Star ends it. This was a legit surprise. Other than a one off appearance in the 09 Rumble, he hasn’t been seen in WWE since that I can remember.
Evolution is having a reunion tonight. We get a video of their highlights.
Actually it’s right now. Here’s Flair, then HHH, Batista and finally Orton. Orton is the only heel here so he doesn’t want in. Batista is Smackdown Champion at this point. Orton is Raw Champion. He says Evolution wants to ride his coattails, and the last time he was in there he got beaten up. We get a clip of it too. Orton wants to be remembered as part of Rated RKO, and he brings out Edge. Flair wants to fight so Orton brings out Umaga and let’s have a six man.
Rated RKO/Umaga vs. Evolution
JR calls this the ultimate tag team explosion. Not quite but whatever. Joined in progress after a break with Flair coming in to face the freshly in Edge. Flair is in the whole “lose and you’re fired” period, but they’ve amended it to say that it’s only a singles loss that counts. Off to Umaga for a nerve hold and it’s Orton in again. Flair avoids a dropkick and there’s a tag to Batista. Everything breaks down and Edge takes a Bossman Slam. HHH and Batista hit stereo spinebusters on Rated RKO. Umaga comes in and shoves the referee for a DQ.
Rating: D+. This was nothing of note but it wasn’t supposed to be. The wrestling here isn’t the point and it would be a mistake to treat it as one. This was about a quick Evolution reunion when most of them were still popular so it’s hard to complain about it. It’s not like 2003 where they were ALL you saw on Raw.
Rated RKO runs so Umaga gets beaten down.
More flashbacks, this time mainly involving cars and vehicles. To give you an idea of how bad the tenth anniversary was, the Austin beer truck thing was rated the #1 moment in the history of Raw. Let that sink in for a moment.
Horny bothers various women in the back like I think Molly (looking GOOD) and Mickie (looking GREAT). Regal comes in to save them so tonight it’s Horny vs. Khali. Oh and Finlay isn’t here tonight.
Hornswoggle vs. Great Khali
Since murder isn’t exactly PG, Hulk Hogan returns (in black to promote his new show American Gladiators) and saves him. It’s nostalgia abounding as Hogan beats up the monster (but doesn’t slam him) and runs him off. Khali got some shots in to make things interesting at least. I’m an old Hulkamaniac at heart so this has to make me smile a little. Hogan praises WWE and plugs American Gladiators, which I actually liked. This was fine.
More Flashbacks: D-X’s Greatest Hits. Ok they deserve their own segment, but this is old and new when only the old are needed.
Mr. Socko debuts. Austin pops up as a nurse and beats up Vince in the hospital bed. Austin anally raping Vince with an IV is kind of awesome.
15th Anniversary Battle Royal
THE FINK does the intros. We’ve got Al Snow, Bart Gunn (man, where did they drag him out of?), DOINK THE CLOWN, Repo Man, Steve Blackman (in far better shape than he ever was when he was a regular), Pete Gas of the Mean Street Posse, BOB FREAKING BACKLUND (58 years old here and looking to be in better shape than most of the roster), Gangrel, Goon, Skinner, IRS, Flash Funk, Scotty 2 Hotty, Jim Neidhart, Sgt. Slaughter and Gillberg, who gets a full entrance with guards and pyro sticks and canned chants. That’s AWESOME. This is supposed to be a 15 man battle royal but there are 16 in it. Eh who cares?
Gillberg is ganged up on and tossed immediately. Backlund is out quickly and the point of this isn’t who wins but is just for fun. A Head shot by Snow puts Doink out. Same for Gangrel. HEAD CHEESE EXPLODES!!! Skinner is called a fabulous one (haha) and there go Bart, Flash and Blackman. Repo Man puts Goon out and Skinner puts Repo out. Final Four are Slaughter, IRS, Skinner and Scotty. IRS gets his briefcase but gets it knocked into his face so we can see the Worm. Skinner puts Scotty out but walks into the Cobra Clutch. Slaughter dumps Skinner but IRS dumps Slaughter in the same ending from X7’s Gimmick Battle Royal.
BUT WAIT! Here’s Ted DiBiase, who is officially in the battle royal also. However, he says that IRS has his price so IRS dives over the top, making DiBiase the winner! And that my friends, is why Ted DiBiase is better than your favorite heel. We even get the evil laugh! The match isn’t worth rating because that’s not the point. The ending made me smile a lot though.
Here’s a Flashback series on slaps. Linda slapping Steph is still great. As is Stephanie slapping Debra, but only because her chest looked GREAT in that blue halter top.
Here’s Eric Bischoff who starts to cry. Oh wait he’s lying and he’s tired of seeing the same stuff year after year. He reinvented wrestling and Vince stole his ideas. Eric demands applause so here’s the freshly returned Jericho to SAVE US. Yeah I know the joke is played already. Eric brings up the firing of Jericho about two years ago here on Raw. Jericho will never forget that but Jericho needed it because he was burned out. He’ll win on Sunday and he makes fun of Bischoff’s haircut. Eric makes fun of SAVE US and says Jericho should just forfeit. Jericho rhymes a bit and lays Bischoff out. Orton runs in and gets put in the Walls.
Raw Tag Titles: Hardcore Holly/Cody Rhodes vs. Lance Cade/Trevor Murdoch
Dusty is out here too so you know this is going to be a title change. Cody’s team is challenging. Cade and Cody start us off as Dusty is at home talking a lot. He really was good at what he did and the one biggest thing about him: you can never say he was boring. He paid attention and had insight about EVERYTHING. Cody is very much a rookie here and after he gets beaten up for awhile it’s a double tag and Holly cleans house. Everything breaks down and the Alabama Slam gives Rhodes and Holly the titles. Dusty comes in to celebrate with them.
Flashbacks of celebrities in Raw history.
Flashbacks of the Divas. Man there are some good looking women on Raw’s history.
Jillian is here to plug her Christmas album, and for the life of me that became a hit in England. She starts a VERY slow rendition of the 12 Days of Christmas but here’s Trish to break that up. Trish says the album is really bad. Violence is teased but Lita comes out looking nice and thick instead of the freaky rail she used to be. She gets in Trish’s face but they take out Jillian because she won’t shut up. I said this back then and I’ll say it now: Trish vs. Lita is one of the best rivalries ever and seeing them staring each other down again was awesome.
Another flashback, this one on “comedy”. Your mileage may vary here, but stuff like Bang 3:16, Edge and Christian doing whatever and Angle/Austin are always great. Things that aren’t so great: the midgets and impressions. Also the Kevin Federline stuff. This is the third appearance of that on this show (yet Cena isn’t here).
HOWEVER, there is one bit on here that I watch when I’m feeling blue. Rock had just won I think his fifth title. Foley asked him how it felt to be champion again. Rock: “Well Mick….” Foley: “IT DOESN’T MATTER HOW IT FEELS!” Foley then takes a lap around the ring, pumping his fist and chanting his own name. Even Rock cracks up. Look it up. Youtube Mick Foley Gets The Rock. It’s great.
More comedy, again hit and miss.
Another Flashback, this one on weddings, including Lita and Kane. Lita is in the back and runs into Kane. They have one of my favorite Raw lines ever. Kane: “So uh….you seen any good movies lately?” It’s so awkward that it’s hilarious and Ron Simmons comes up to cap it off perfectly.
We run down the Armageddon card.
Mr. Kennedy vs. Marty Jannetty
Kennedy was feuding with Shawn so he brought Jannetty in to get an idea of what Shawn would be like. Marty looks awful. He takes Kennedy down and the fans don’t seem that interested. Kennedy goes after the knee and hooks a half crab. A dragon screw leg whip gets two. Marty comes back with an enziguri and some rights. Kennedy walks into a Rocker Dropper but Marty goes up instead of covering. He gets taken down but grabs a sunset flip for two. Mic Check (doesn’t have a name yet) ends this.
Rating: C-. Eh this was what it was. It wasn’t going to be anything of note and I really don’t get why they bring Jannetty out every few years for this. I mean, Shawn has other friends over the years and the Rockers hadn’t teamed together regularly in what, fifteen years at this point? It doesn’t quite add up.
Shawn comes out for the save but gets caught so here’s HHH for the other save. HHH hands Shawn a DX shirt and it’s another reunion.
Here’s Vince to announce the biggest star in Raw history. And of course it’s him. He goes into an acceptance speech but Mankind comes out to protest. Now I’ve heard rumors that this wasn’t really him. He’s in the mask and doesn’t talk so who knows. Vince says Foley can leave so he gets the Claw. Mankind poses and here’s Taker. He chokeslams Vince then disappears.
And here’s Austin. It just wouldn’t be an anniversary without him. Austin does his usual schtick and gets a few beers. Vince is more or less dead in the ring. Austin lays down next to him and then scoots away because it was making him feel dirty. One of the beers pours out so Austin gets up and picks Vince up. After the toast, of course Vince gets a Stunner. Austin declares the greatest superstars of Raw to be the fans and brings out the locker room for a beer bash. Punk of course has a Pepsi. Regal, a recovering alcoholic, has a Coke. Vince finally wakes up so Austin punches him for old times’ sake to end this.
Overall Rating: B. This was a very entertaining show that I had a very good time with. If you were around for the Attitude Era and liked it, you’ll like this show. The wrestling was pretty limited here (although the ladder match was good) but if you were watching it for that, you missed the point entirely. This was a very fun show and I really enjoyed it. Check it out.
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The date ? October 3rd, 2005.
Alright. I put it on there in the middle so it won’t be as long. A few weeks or so.
KB, would you ever consider doing the RAW Homecoming 3 hour show ? It might have been the most built up Raw in WWE history, as we had the return of HHH, Angle vs HBK in a forgotten ironman match, Cena vs Bischoff, and appearances by Hulk Hogan and Steve Austin.
I certainly remember it fondly in my mind, and I was hoping you could review it sometime in the near future, when you get some free time of course.
Give me the date of it and I’ll add it to my schedule. it might take me a few weeks/months to get to it though.