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Monday Night RAW 15th Anniversary -Dec 10, 2007
by Scrooge mcSuck

For 15 years, Monday Night Raw, Raw is War, the War Zone, Raw, and Monday Night Raw has been the staple of programming for the World Wrestling Federation of Entertainment. With over 750 episodes broadcasted over the years, countless historic moments and matches have taken place during the 8-11 slot every Monday night. From the first night in the Manhattan Center to the last week in Hoboken, NJ, Raw has been everywhere and back countless times. Now it’s time to celebrate a historic mark… 15 years of excellence… well, 14 years and 11 months. The actual anniversary would be January 11th, 2008, but I guess they needed to slack off for the week and not develop any storylines.

- The opening montage of Monday Night Raw openings is so fucking cool. They even dusted off the crappy one where they had a ring outdoors and Shawn dancing on the roof and pretending to jump from that into the ring onto Kama (OK, they didn’t show that, but it was a focal point of that opening). Memories…

- The show opens with the taking of the McMahon Family Portrait. For those not keeping up with the times, that would be Vince, Stephanie (looking hot again), Shane… No Linda, and of course, and Hornswoggle, the Little Bastard. Literally. Yeah, I can rip into this faster than a bear through a halibut, but it’s been entertaining for the most part, so I’ll let it slide. Vince gives us a “welcome to Monday Night Raw” for old times sake. Vince actually introduces Shane as the former Hardcore and European Champion. Triple H interrupts the taking of the photo, of course, and he’s wearing a Shao Khan shirt? Oh, that’s his new King of Kings shirt. Trips’ gets in Vince’s face about people he’s loved in the past. Introducing first, Melina. Representing the past, the original diva, SUNNY! And she’s looking bangable again. The fun continues, as Mae Young is out to represent more current divas. McMahon claims it was at Moolah’s funeral. His line about “dusting the cobwebs off” freaks Shane out enough to make him take a walk (“There goes the money.”) Stephanie at least learned to make facial reactions since we last saw her on television. Now Trips brings out anyone that Vince was “loving” that he confused as women… the list includes, Pat Patterson (“that doesn’t surprise me”), Gerald Brisco, BASTION BOOGER, Big Dick Johnson, Abe “Knuckleball” Schwartz (“who the hell are you?”), and Howard Finkel. They come out to Vince’s version of “Stand Back.” Trips reaction to Abe is “I guess the Brooklyn Brawler was busy tonight.” Then Stephanie and Trips make out in front of Vince to embarrass him (“I’ll see you at home… I mean your brothers a gnome!”). Just because this segment CAN’T AND SHAN’T END, the Godfather and a lot of ho’s come to the ring for a celebration (“King, I think I see your next ex-wife!”). It’s time to climb aboard the HO TRAIN! And with that, it finally ends… and damn this was an entertaining segment. It was worthless in the long run, but the nostalgia meter exploded several times over.

- WWE Intercontinental Title; Ladder Match:
Jeff Hardy © vs. Carlito:

Well, I guess we have to have actual matches. No idea why Carlito is getting a title shot. Didn’t he job to Hornswoggle, like, 6 times in the last two months? And when did Jeff win the title again? Keeping track of all these things makes me glad I don’t watch on a regular basis, anymore. Carlito looks quite smaller than I remember. I guess he found a new diet that doesn’t include sticking things in his butt cheek. Because we’re going to be strapped for time, we cut the bullshit and Carlito quickly grabs a ladder. Jeff tries a baseball slide, but Carlito avoids it and bashes Jeff in the face. Carlito… climbs… slowly, but Jeff pulls him off. Carlito blocks a twist of fate and takes Jeff down with a clothesline. Carlito sets him up in the corner, but Hardy tosses the ladder back in Carlito’s face. Hardy misses a slingshot attempt with the ladder, and the action spills outside again. Carlito sets the ladder up against the security wall, and sure enough, he’s knocked off the apron and lands across it moments later. Cool spot, but I saw that coming a mile away. Jeff sets up another ladder in the ring and proceeds to climb, but Carlito spring boards back into the ring, onto the ladder, and takes Jeff off with a super-sunset-flip. Got to give Carlito props for that little bit of athleticism. [Commercial] We return with Hardy in control. Hardy to the top rope, and he leap frogs the ladder and misses a leg drop. Carlito goes to work on the leg of Hardy, then smashes it in between the ladder. Carlito with another ladder, and he slams that on top of the ladder wrapped around Hardy’s leg. Ladder Stacking Time™! Carlito slams Hardy on top of the stack, but it looks like Carlito missed the target a bit. Jeff stops Carlito’s climbing, but gets poked in the eyes for his effort. Carlito goes back to work on the left knee of Hardy, keeping him from climbing at a normal pace. I smell a ladder spot, and sure enough, Hardy back drops Carlito onto a ladder set up in the corner. Senton Bomb connects, but Hardy over-shot it a bit. Carlito stops another climb, and gives Hardy the Back Stabber across a ladder. That’s not going to feel good in the morning. Climbing again, but this time Hardy shoves Carlito off onto the ropes, and claims the championship for the victory at 10:13. Good enough match. Not to downgrade the efforts here, but if you’ve seen one ladder match, you’ve seen them all by now, and there’s nothing new that can really grab my attention and say it was out-standing.

- Todd Grisham (he’s still employed) brings out Shawn Michaels. He wrestled on the 1st ever Monday Night Raw. He defended the Intercontinental title against… uh, someone he doesn’t remember (Max Moon, for you nerds). They hype up Armageddon and his match with Mr. Kennedy, but tonight, Kennedy has to fight the REAL Marty Jannetty, tonight! So, uh, he’s hired again? Jesus Christ, he’s trying to give even more distance for the record for most times fired by the same employer. What’s he up to, 14 times now? Oh, and HBK steals Kennedy’s bit, making me hate him more.

- Raw Flashbacks! Stone Cold is crucified! HBK turns on Hogan! Bubba Ray powerbombs Mae Young! 1-2-3 Kid pins Ramon! Cactus Jack elbow drop into a dumpster and it’s pushed off the stage! Austin vs. Tyson! Cena FU’s K-Fed! Donald Trump drops the money! A lot of kissing action! Val Venis pee-pee-chopping! Kane unmasks! Kane goes insane! FEEL HIS PAIN!!!! Rock chair shot on Shamrock! Victoria chair shots Trish! Jeff Hardy chair shots Brock Lesnar! Stacy throws Trish into mud! Eric Bischoff debuts! Sable in a bikini! People thrown off bridges! Shane McMahon buys WCW! Vince’s limo explodes!

- Rob Van Dam vs. Santino Marella (w/ Maria):
Wow, Maria is looking hotter than ever… and when did they pair her up with Marella? Marella issues an open challenge, pissed off at the Fact that everyone is focused on the has-beens. RVD makes his “return”, hopefully not for one night only. Last time I saw Marella, he was a scrub out of the crowd winning a title from Umaga in Italy. RVD gets in Marella’s grill, and kicks him in the face. RVD with the Five-Star Frog Splash and about 20 seconds of spotlight hogging (God, I missed it), and that’s enough for the three count at roughly 40-seconds. Well, this was the best way to use RVD, anyway. Hit his spots, pose, then leave. Obviously, I won’t be rating matches, and I don’t think this deserves a “it was a squash, so who cares.” Whoops.

- “The Original Members” of Evolution reunite! Wait, original? Weren’t there only four members? Ric Flair, Triple H, and Batista all come out sharing hugs and kisses, but Randy Orton refuses. He reminds us why he hates them, showing a clip from 8/16/04 where Triple H gave the thumbs down to Orton, and then beating the ever loving piss out of him. Orton says he would rather be remembered as part of Rated RKO, and thus brings out everyone’s favorite Rated R Superstar, Edge. Got to love Edge. I’m an Edge-Head! This sets up a tag team match…

- Triple H, Batista, Ric Flair vs. Randy Orton, Edge, Umaga:
We’re joined in progress for this one. Apparently, Flair is doing an angle where he must retire if he loses a match, but that doesn’t include tag team matches. That’s pretty lame, but you’ve got to milk the angle as long as possible, right? And when did Umaga get so many damn tattoos? Flair snapmares Orton out of the corner, and now Edge tags into the match. Lockup into the corner, and Edge hammers away. Flair comes back with chops. Edge with a back drop and clothesline before tagging Umaga in. Umaga with a VULCAN NECK PINCH OF DOOM! Flair continues to play the Senior Citizen in Peril. Batista gets the hot tag and works over Orton. It’s Champion vs. Champion! Batista tosses Edge into the ring and takes him down with the sidewalk slam. Triple H hammers away on Orton, and Batista on Edge. Double Irish whip and Spinebusters. IN STEREO! Umaga with a double clothesline to the Roid Connection, then he tosses the referee for the disqualification at 4:02. Flair goes to work on Umaga, but that’s no sold. Golden Spike is teased, but Batista saves Flair. Umaga gets his ass whooped by the three good guys for good measure. It’s low blow, spear, pedigree, and you can guess who does what. We hear Evolution’s theme one more time, just for shits and giggles.

- More Raw Flashbacks! Austin gives Vince a beer bath! Kane steals Lita’s ambulance, leaving the doors open! Austin rides a 4-wheeler onto Vince’s limo! Hogan lays the smack down on the Rock’s crippled ass! Vince rams DX’s limo! Shane destroys a limo with Kane inside (thanks for reminding me of this feud)! DX destroys Vince’s limo! Austin runs over the Rock’s new car with a monster truck! Vince dumps Bischoff into a garbage truck! Austin loads up Vince’s car with cement! Kurt Angle gives a Milk bath (“Milk-a-mania is running wild!”) to the Alliance! Edge’s Ric Flair/DUI/Road Rage imitation on 11/23/05! Hurricane and Mighty Molly destroy APA’s offices! Austin drives a zamboni into the arena!

- Hornswoggle harasses… MOLLY HOLLY! YES! And she’s still looking bangable! Here comes Mickie James for whatever reason. And here’s William Regal to stop the shenanigans (“you’ll go blind!”). Regal makes a match between Swoggy and the Great Khali for the next segment, and there’s no Finlay to help Hornswoggle this time. What’s a leprechaun to do!?

- Hornswoggle vs. The Great Khali (w/ Ranjin Singh):
Before I get to the match, I’d like to point out that they never introduce Khali’s translater/counter part, and even Wikipedia.com doesn’t have a page on him. He’s still cooler looking than Daivari, I guess. This is a rematch from Survivor Series, but Finlay isn’t around to save Hornswoggle this time. If I were booking, I’d do a Midget Match between Hornswoggle and Dink the Clown, if he were still alive. Hell, just get any midget and dress him up. They do the same for Doink. Khali has no ass, for those who care. The bell sounds, and Hornswoggle tries to avoid Khali with his “speed.” Khali grabs a hold of him… and IT’S HULK HOGAN TO MAKE THE SAVE! HULKAMANIA IS RUNNING WILD! But he’s in New World Order colors? Oh well, it’ll do. Hogan and Khali go face-to-face. Khali tries a Hassan-Chop, but Hogan blocks! Khali boots Hogan and hammers away on him…. But he’s HULKING UP! Hogan with a series of roundhouse rights, and that’s all he needs to send Khali packing. Afterwards, Hogan kisses McMahon’s ass and promotes the NEW American Gladiators, then does his pose down with Hornswoggle. Well, a Hogan Nostalgia Appearance™ never hurt anyone.

- More Raw Flashbacks! D-Generation X Hi-Jinks! The stuff from 1997-98 is gold, the 2006-07 stuff is intolerable garbage. The constant harassment of Sgt. Slaughter and Michael Cole was some of the funniest stuff they did. As far as the NAO/X-Pac days of the stable, the Nation of Domination parody was classic, and was the right way to do a parody, unlike the shit WCW did with the nWo/Four Horsemen (the Arn Anderson thing).

- Raw Flashback! Vince is in the hospital, and Mankind pays him a visit… with MR. SOCKO! Steve Austin shows up dressed a doctor and beats the crap out of McMahon, knocking him over the head with a bead pan, then apparently “violating him.”

- 15th Anniversary 15-Man Battle Royale:
(Participants: Al Snow (w/ Head), Bart Gunn (dressed as a Smoking Gunn), Doink The Clown, Repo Man, Steve Blackman, Pete Gas from the Mean Street Posse, Mr. Bob Backlund, The Goon, Skinner, Irwin R. Schyster, Flash Funk, Gangrel™, Scotty 2 Hotty, Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart, Sgt. Slaughter, and Gillberg)

It’s the Sequel for the Gimmick Battle Royal! Quick notes on some people… Doink gets no reaction and looks really lame, Repo Man looks old, Blackman looks like he always does, Bob Backlund was a cool surprise, Gangrel is the man, and Gillberg’s entrance still cracks my shit up, including the piped chants. Everyone gangs up and tosses out Gillberg in about 15-seconds. Skinner dumps out Backlund, who seems to be screaming at ringside. Snow gives Doink head to eliminate him. Gangrel gets head as well, and he’s gone as well. Funk takes out Snow with an enziguri. Blackman tosses out Pete Gas, with some help from Gunn. Bart Gunn is gone too, thanks to Blackman, then Funk and Blackman take each other out. Repo Man sends the Goon over and out. Neidhart back drops Repo Man out of the match. Skinner tosses Neidhart, who’s busy talking smack to Skinner. The final four is IRS, Slaughter, Scotty, and Skinner. I wonder who’s going to win… IRS tries using his briefcase, but accidentally gets bonked himself, allowing Scotty 2 give us the Worm for ONE LAST TIME! Scotty is dumped by Skinner, Skinner is dumped by Slaughter, and I.R.S. dumps Slaughter… but wait! TED DIBIASE COMES OUT TO PAY OFF I.R.S.! I.R.S. accepts the bribe, jumps over the top rope for the elimination, giving the victory to the Million Dollar Man, Ted Dibiase! Post-Match, Dibiase gets on the microphone for one good laugh. Total junk, but it was fun, and dare I say, better than the gimmick battle royal at WrestleMania X-Seven in terms of “gimmick power.”

- Raw Flashbacks Part VII! A hell of a lot of slapping is going on, and most of it includes McMahon’s and Trish Stratus. Basically a lot of women, Shawn Michaels, and K-Fed. Edge slapping the taste of Cena’s father’s mouth is still pretty awesome.

- Eric Bischoff returns to television now, to run down the fans and taking credit for everything good in wrestling. Probably the worst segment of the night, as it drags on, and worse, it’s pointless. The 2nd Coming of Chris Jericho comes out to get verbal, but he’s still not getting me hyped up with his mic’ work. It’s the same stuff he’s always been doing. You’d think after two years, he’d find something fresh. Anyway, he kicks Bischoff’s butt, then brawls with Armageddon opponent Randy Orton, for good measure.

- World Tag Team Championship Match:
Lance Cade & Trevor Murdoch © vs. Hardcore Holly & Cody Rhodes:

Dusty Rhodes is on commentary for this match. Okay, please explain this to me. Why is Cody Rhodes a wrestler, why is Hardcore Holly on Raw, why is Hardcore Holly employed still, and why are these two a tag team challenging for the titles? Rhodes needs a bigger pair of tights, too. They’re like a size too small. Cade and Rhodes start the match out. Rhodes doesn’t look like he belongs in a wrestling ring. Pretty lame match, as the champions work over Rhodes for most of the match. Okay, the entire match, but I need to fill up space here with random rambling. Holly gets the REALLY mild tag, and he takes care of bith-ness. Heel miscommunication happens, and Holly plants Murdoch with the Alabama Slam for the three count and titles at 2:33. And this makes Dusty Rhodes mark out… okay, it actually doesn’t. He seems rather bored at ringside. Well, I guess Hardcore Holly deserved another title reign, even if it’s for one week.

- Raw Flashbacks Even More! They’re all over the world! And there’s a hell of a lot of celebrities! Remember when Ben Stiller was on Raw? Or how about Rob Reiner? LeBron James? ZZ Top? Lawrence Taylor? William Shatner? ZZ Top? Toby Keith? ZZ Top? Shaquille O’Neal? ZZ Top? I think we all get the point. ZZ Top seems to show up once a month at a WWE show.

- Raw Flashbacks More So! It’s the divas of the WWF through the years. From Sunny, to Sable, to Trish, to Lita, to the current crop of non-wrestling loser chicks! I’m sorry, but for every woman like a Trish or Molly Holly, there’s about 67 Kelly Kelly’s and Maria’s. Yes, they’re hot, but they have no business in the wrestling ring.

- Jillian Hall is in the ring to do her stupid pop singer wanna-be chick, and my God, is it hard to listen to this crap. No one can be this bad intentionally, but she’s just so way over the top with it. Thankfully, Trish Stratus returns FOR ONE NIGHT ONLY to interrupt the proceedings, and talks her usual smack. Trish seems to have lost a bit of weight, except in her bra of course. I’d still bang her like a screen door during hurricane season, though. Then, because the fans DEMAND IT, Lita comes out too, and I’m actually excited to see her, too .They beat up on poor Jillian in a mutual respect for good music.

- MORE Raw Flashbacks! Rikishi stink faces Stephanie! McMahon 3:16 Says I Just Pissed My Pants! Trips and Trish 69’ing! Big Show and Val in the bathroom! Rock and Hurricane confrontations! Jericho urinates in Regal’s tea! Eugene! Edge and Christian kazoo’ing Triple H’s theme music! Pat Patterson Posedown (“He’s single, fella’s”)! Vince as Flair! Midgets! Midgets! More Midgets! Stephanie’s boob transplant! We don’t need no stinkin’ badges! It doesn’t matter how it makes you feel! Trish’s boobs! Mark Henry getting down! Vince getting caught! The Rock easing up! Mark Henry and Sammy! Goldust’s Lumberjack Song! Mae Young’s Baby Hand! Goldust’s Stuttering! Austin and the Rock! DAMN! What!? Ho! Snap into a slim jim! Catch that chicken! I did it, wooo! Mr. Socko!

- Wedding Raw Flashbacks! A lot of these things featured Stephanie McMahon. Remember when Triple H interrupted her wedding with Test? Or Kane and Lita’s? Or… oh wait, that gay wedding was on Smackdown. Trish and Lita’s cat fight is pretty hot. Hell, anything with Kane is hot, too… in a total heterosexual way.

- Kane and Lita share a tender, awkward moment, because Kane needed to make an appearance. Kane and Lita talking about the weather sure is entertaining. Ron Simmons comes in for no other reason than to say “Damn!”

- Marty Jannetty vs. Mr. Kennedy:
Damn, this show seems to go on forever when recapping, but it’s hella’ fun to watch again. Last week on Raw, Kennedy brought out a bunch of guys dressed like Diesel, Razor Ramon, Marty Jannetty, and Shawn Michaels, so I guess that is the real logic behind doing this match. Here is where I make a “Shawn won’t even job to himself” comment, as we don’t see any clips of Shawn super kicking his imitator. Jannetty actually has Rocker tights on, but they totally clash with his black boots and tank top look. I doubt this will be as good as his match with Angle leading up to WrestleMania 21. Lockup, and Kennedy applies a wristlock. Jannetty with a drop toe hold, followed by a front facelock. Kennedy escapes, and Jannetty counters out into an armbar. Jannetty with a low dropkick, but Kennedy no-sells and hammers away. Whip to the corner is reversed, and a basement dropkick takes out Jannetty’s knee. Kennedy quickly goes to a half-Boston crab, so I can assume this match is strapped for time. “Let’s Go Marty” chant, I think. Kennedy continues working over the knee of Jannetty. Dragon screw take down by Kennedy for a two count. Kennedy tries again, but Jannetty connects with an enziguri. That looked nasty, since it got Kennedy in the mouth. Jannetty fights back with rights. Irish whip, and Jannetty with a diving back elbow. Jannetty with a suplex for a two count. Mounted punches in the corner (only four), but Kennedy escapes and nails a inverted atomic drop. Jannetty over-sells a clothesline for old times sake, as well. Kennedy fireman carries Jannetty, but Jannetty escapes, and connects with the Rocker Dropper. Jannetty to the top rope, but he takes his sweet time getting there, giving Kennedy time to recover. Kennedy tries his finisher, but Jannetty counters with a sunset flip for a two count. Kennedy hangs Jannetty on the ropes, and a downward spiral is enough for the anti-climatic finish at 4:50. Well, it was okay for what it was. Kennedy works over Jannetty until Michaels makes the save, and thus marks the last we see of Jannetty. Shawn sends Kennedy running, and out comes Triple H for a D-Generation X reunion… again. Oh well.

- Vince McMahon comes back out to introduce the Raw Superstar of the 15 Year Anniversary. He names himself, of course. This brings out Mick Foley, dressed as Mankind (circa 1999), and he gives McMahon some Socko. Then the Undertaker makes an appearance, eating up 10 minutes of air time for his entrance, and chokeslams McMahon to hell. And, of course, Stone Cold Steve Austin returns again to talk tash to Vince’s unconscious body, drink some beers, and give him yet another Stunner. Fun segment even though I seem out of it. Afterwards, the entire Raw roster (and then some) comes out for a celebration, bitches! William Regal sipping a Coca-Cola with his pinkie extended is hilarious. And apparently CM Punk had an open beer… well, maybe it’s non-alcoholic, or maybe he just never drank from it?

Final Thoughts: For the most part, the wrestling was garbage, but who cares? The whole point of the show was nostalgia. You had everything on this show you could want… except the Rock and Bret Hart. You had horrible gimmicks, favorite stars from years past, a battle royal, a ladder match, classic moments through out the night, and plenty of times to remind yourself “how did I manage to sit through this crap” and “damn I’m old, I remember who Abe Schwartz was without the help of Wrestlecrap.com.” Probably the most fun I’ve had watching a wrestling show in years, and I just know I can’t watch another Raw again for about 6 months, because they blew their wad to make this as enjoyable as possible, so it’s all down hill from here.

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