My favourite top 10 RAW moments
Monday Night RAW is about to celebrate it’s 25th anniversary and it’s still my favourite show on TV, it was when I first watched it as a 5 year old kid and it still is as a 28 year old dude. There’s nothing quite like it, it’s sports and entertainment all in one, soap opera, drama, fights and comedy skits all rolled into one amazing show. I’ve got to watch a lot the top RAW moments since it was on air and since we’re celebrating it’s 25th anniversary today, I thought I’d share my favourite moments of WWE’s flagship show.
#10 – Shawn Michaels vs John Cena
I’ll start with perhaps the greatest match on RAW. It was a 50+ minute match in London between one of my all time favourites, Shawn Michaels against John Cena, someone I’m not that fond of but these two made one hell of a show during their match. It shows how good Cena really is and how amazing HBK had always been in the ring.
#9 – D-X mocks The Nation
Well Degeneration-X sure made me laugh during their run in WWE and I didn’t know which one to pick. The original duo of Shawn Michaels and Hunter Hearst Hemsley had a lot of funny moments (most of which involving Sgt Slaughter) and also the second version of the group invading WCW but them mocking the Nation of Domination has to be my favourite. It was just too damn funny.
#8 – Bret Hart vs Steve Austin in a Street Fight
I’m a huge Bret Hart fan and while he was awesome as the hero, I was also a huge fan of him during his heel run. He somehow managed to make the American crowd look like the bad guys and I kinda agreed with the things Bret was saying about America, most of which were true even in today’s time. It was pure gold. Steve Austin was the perfect anti-hero and he did grow on me because of his fueds with Hart and Michaels but this bit was brilliantly done.
#7 – The Rock meets The Hurricane
I can bet you this wouldn’t be in anyone’s top 10 but it sure is in my list. The 3 promos and the match these guys had were just too good, it made me a fan of the Rock who I wasn’t that fond of at first. And I always liked the Hurricane who could do the comedic bits but also put in some good matches. Their promos are easily one of my all time favourite things I’ve seen on RAW, one of the best comedic bits in my view.
#6 – The Festival of Friendship
I would love to put this entry on this list (no pun intended) as Chris Jericho’s entire run from middle of 2016 to April of 2017. For a while there was nothing good on RAW until Chris Jericho showed up again and he had possibly the best run of his career. Not only was he still good in the ring but he was easily the best guy on the microphone. Every night was a highlight from Jericho and everything he did was pure gold. “The Gift of Jericho, DRINK IT IN MAAAANNNN“! “You’re gonna get….IT“. “Stupid idiots“. “The List of Jericho“. “You just made the List!”
Chris Jericho is easily one of my all time favourite wrestlers and the fact that he’s still going today makes me happy. He just keeps getting better and better. But this promo for the Festival of Friendship was pure gold too, the moment Jericho lifts up the new list just as he asked Kevin Owens, “why is my name on this?”, that is one of the best dramatic moments you’ll ever see in any TV show.
#5 – Undertaker vs Jeff Hardy in a Ladder Match for the WWE Championship
Although I did say Michaels vs Cena was the best match I’ve seen on RAW, this ladder match between the Undertaker and Jeff Hardy may be my favourite I’ve seen on RAW. It was the age old story of David vs Goliath, the biggest dog versus the ultimate underdog. The whole match was amazing, seeing Jeff trying to find a way to beat the evil Deadman Inc. who kept trying to shut him down. Also, this version of Biker Undertaker was my favourite.
#4 – CM Punk’s Pipebomb
So let me get this straight, I was already a CM Punk guy before this promo happened. I jumped on the bandwagon during his amazing yet underappreciated run with the Straightedge Society. Finally there was something who I could look up to because he believed in the same things I did, live our lives the right way with no alcohol, no drugs and no smoking. Since then I was a fan of his.
And then he did this. He spoke from the heart of about many things, from his run to being snubbed for part timers and guys who were not getting their dues. He was speaking out for us real fans about the things that were hurting WWE. It was one of those moments where I really did think….did he go off-script here? One of the best promos you’ll ever see in WWE.
#3 – Chris Jericho’s Debut
So during this time in 1999, I wasn’t that interested in WWF. Bret Hart was gone and Shawn Michaels had retired so I didn’t really have anyone to cheer on for. I did watch WCW too during that time, and I had become a fan of this Canadian fella called Chris Jericho. Suddenly he wasn’t on TV too. So imagine my surprise when he finally showed up on WWF. Finally I had someone to cheer on for in WWF again. One of the best debuts in all of WWE.
#2 – Bret Hart shoves Vince McMahon
People had always wondered when did the Attitude Era really start and for me it’s quite obvious, at this very moment. All of a sudden a good guy in Bret Hart starts swearing like crazy and pushing THE authority guy in Vince McMahon. I had never seen anything like that before and it shocked me. This was the start of Bret’s great heel run and he sure was speaking the truth of what was going on. This was brilliantly done.
#1 – Shawn Michaels owns Montreal
How can not put this as #1? I’m a Bret Hart guy and I was also a Shawn Michaels guy but this was just absolutely fantastic. The best promo work I’ve ever seen by anyone in any wrestling company. It does help that it was done by Shawn Michaels in a rare heel run and RAW being in Montreal, the place of the controversial Survivor Series match. But the way HBK played the crowd from singing their anthem, making fun of them, teasing a Bret Hart return, and then teasing a Hulk Hogan run-in and refuse to leave when the fans wanted him to go. You’ll never hear anyone get booed out of the building like this. Even the Bret Hart pop was one of the loudest I ever heard. The was easily the best thing I’ve seen on RAW. Well played Shawn Michaels. And that’s why they call him the Heartbreak Kid. The Showstopper. The Icon.
Here’s to RAW for 25 great years and more to come. I hope I’m still watching RAW when it comes to it’s 50th anniversary. There’s a good chance I will.