When the WWE wants to pimp an event, they do so with the ferocity of a Stone Cold Stunner. The 1,000th edition of Raw has a pay-per-view hype surrounding it as if it were SummerSlam, the Survivor Series or the Royal Rumble. You’ll have to excuse the WWE for basically doing the Vince McMahon walk because broadcasting Raw from January of ’93 to the present is one hell of an accomplishment.
Raw is the WWE’s premiere show, and it will go to great lengths to make the broadcast as memorable as possible. If you were a fan of pro wrestling in the 90′s during the “Monday Night Wars,” you remember just how big of a threat WCW was to Vince’s then WWF. Before Shawn Michaels & Triple H formed DX, WCW was killing the WWF in the ratings on a weekly basis thanks to the nWo and a roster littered with Vince’s former employees. Before Stone Cold Steve Austin burst onto the scene as the biggest star in the history of the business & The Rock electrified on the mic, there was a genuine feeling that WCW was set to overtake the WWF as the cream of the professional wrestling crop.
But as the older stars in WCW broke down and their characters became as stale as a Mike Martz playbook, the WWF took off with the “Attitude Era.” They took back the ratings war and Vince was left to pick up the remains of WCW and buy it for a measly $7 million in 2001.
From that point on, the WWE was the undisputed king of pro wrestling and Raw was thee show to watch. Getting to 1,000 episodes is an insane thought for any show in any format on any network. Even without a serious threat (sorry, but TNA does nothing for old school fans like myself) to it’s dynasty, the WWE is still keeping fans interested despite the monotonous run of John Cena. That alone is an amazing feat when you take into account just how fucking boring Cena’s act has become.
For Raw 1000, all of the stars will be out. DX will kick off the show with a reunion that will bring back memories from when the duo transformed Monday night’s in ’97-’98. There isn’t much that Michaels and Triple H can do beyond this segment, but seeing HBK super kick and HHH pedigree some clown who wants to ruin the moment will be welcomed.
Triple H won’t be done with his night, however. Brock Lesnar is set to return and accept his challenge at SummerSlam. What I love about having guys like Lesnar and The Rock back in spurts, is how they can promote their matches like big time boxing fights. People hate Cena (hence the “We’ve Cena ‘Nuff” signs) because he is driven down our throats without a choice. Triple H is still a main event caliber star (see his classic vs The Undertaker at ‘Mania this year) to build the hype when Lesnar isn’t around. That match will be the highlight of the WWE’s 2nd biggest pay-per-view event.
The Rock will take a break from whatever straight to DVD movie he’s making to cut a promo that will undoubtedly leave the fans craving for more. The night after ‘Mania, he told an insane Miami crowd that he… “Don’t need no revampin’…The Rock’s gonna be… WWE Champion.” The Rock teases fans unlike anyone else, so he’ll give you a trailer of his plans to once again win the title. The early guess is that he’ll win the Royal Rumble and challenge Brock Lesnar for the title at WrestleMania 29 in New York. How cool would that be?
Speaking of the WWE Championship, CM Punk will face Mr. Money in the Bank, John Cena as Jorts himself will cash in his title opportunity. I can’t see them letting Cena win cleanly and decisively over Punk since they’ve built Punk up over the past 8 months, but you never know when it comes to Vince’s bitch. The guess is Punk retains the title somehow with some interference from the Big Show.
And wouldn’t you know it, we’ll have ourselves a wedding at Raw 1000. After kicking her to the curb like a one night stand chick, Daniel Bryan proposed to AJ last week and have apparently rekindled their on-screen love. As you know, I’ve loved the AJ crazy chicks angle, so the hope is that this wedding doesn’t go through the motions like when Randy “Macho Man” Savage married Elizabeth at SummerSlam ’91 (although, Jake “The Snake” Roberts planting a king cobra snake in a gift box at the reception was fantastic). I’d prefer someone to intervene like when Triple H ruined Stephanie and Test’s wedding in ’99.
How great was that clip by the way? You have to love the “Attitude Era” because where else can kidnapping and rape be accepted on TV? They’ve taken the AJ angle too far to have her just marry Bryan without some sort of run-in. That, or have AJ kick Bryan in the balls right before she’s supposed to say I do. If this thing goes off without a glitch, it will be the second straight summer that the WWE has botched it’s best angle (Triple H ruining and burying the CM Punk story line still pisses me off).
Raw 1000 will provide story lines leading into SummerSlam and beyond, as well as give fans throwback memories that commemorate 19 years of Raw overtaking our Monday night’s. This show won’t just be about the stars, it’s about all of the people that bust their ass to produce Raw every week and keep us engaged. Having Michaels and perhaps The Undertaker join The Rock will be a nice tip of the cap to the “Attitude Era” and a reminder that if it wasn’t for them transcending the business (along with Stone Cold), there’s a great chance Raw would never approach 1,000 episodes.