If Raw 1,000 will be the benchmark of the three-hour era of WWE Raw, I look forward to the next 1,000 episodes.
After all the hype and importance placed on the 1,000th episode of Raw, the show delivered and then some. Between excellent legend returns, well-hyped matches and
A scene you wouldn’t expect ended the show: CM Punk standing tall over a fallen
Another key theme throughout Raw were the opportunities WWE took to poke fun at itself, from "revealing" Mean Gene Okerlund as the mastermind behind GTV ("G" for Gene and Okerlund with the great line, "I wasn't even working here at the time!"), to Mae Young's hand making an appearance "all grown up," to DX (all of DX, including the New Age Outlaws and X-Pac) throwing jabs at each other throughout their comedic opening segment, to Triple H and Trish Stratus re-enacting their backstage innuendo. The delivery was seamless and well received.
The show saw many changes from what we are used to from Raw, including a new signature and a look back at the first 999 episodes of Raw. Kudos to the WWE video production team members, who often don't get as much credit as they deserve and are faceless, nameless soldiers in the WWE empire.
Many news items were revealed during the episode. Daniel Bryan and AJ’s wedding went awry (shocking!) as
Triple H and Brock Lesnar has been confirmed for Summerslam, with excellent mic work from Paul Heyman, Triple H and a returning Stephanie McMahon. It was very simple, effective storytelling with a physical altercation between Triple H and Brock Lesnar to get the WWE Universe thoroughly invested in a match that's just a few weeks away in Los Angeles.
The Rock returned and confirmed an upcoming match, likely his next – facing the WWE champion at the 2013
Rey Mysterio, Sin Cara and World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus defeated
Bret Hart was one of two guest ring announcers on Raw 1,000, as he announced the Intercontinental title match between Christian and The Miz, who upset the champ and claimed the gold. Much like with Christian, I look forward to The Miz as champ, but feel the big key to success for the title is consistent title defenses.
The last opponent for Heath Slater turned out to be Lita, who hired the APA (Bradshaw and Faarooq) as protection. All the previous legends Slater faced forced him back into the ring to face the music, which was swift. Lita looked to be in great shape and appeared to be having a great time. It will be interesting to see what comes next for Slater, who has been prominent throughout this whole legend returns scenario.
Kane and Undertaker cleaned house on Jinder Mahal, Tyler Reks/Curt Hawkins, Hunico/Camacho and Drew McIntyre. As I mentioned before, it was compelling and a welcome surprise to see a superstar like Undertaker share a ring with younger talent. No matter what the situation is and the outcome, this makes members of the WWE Universe say their names and it can be built upon.
In the main event John Cena won the bout by DQ after the Big Show interfered, making Cena the first man to not claim the WWE title upon cashing in his Money in the Bank briefcase (despite not losing his match). One big hook for Raw 1,001 is CM Punk’s first words after that iconic last image of Raw 1,000. I compare his blank stare in the ring to Shawn Michaels after he superkicked
One big complaint among the WWE Universe is the absence of
Overall, there are many compelling items leading us to Raw 1,001, and I remain optimistic about the three-hour era of Raw. Let's see what I say in two-to-three weeks.
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