While Royal Rumbles and WrestleManias roll around every single year, Raw's big anniversary shows are few and far between. That's why this past Monday night was cause for celebration and also why so many Superstars from the flagship show's past returned for the event. The celebrations were a perfect mix of nostalgia and ongoing angles spread across the Barclays Center and the Manhattan Center, and that potent mix certainly made for some pretty big moments on what was Raw's 25th birthday.
At the Manhattan Center on Monday night the build between Bray Wyatt and Woken Matt Hardy went from zero to 100. The two have barely been in the same ring together then all of a sudden, without so much as a warning or an announcement, the two of them were having a match together. A pretty poor one too, but who can blame them considering the tools they've been given to work with? The only real high point of the match was The Eater of Worlds delivering his patented Sister Abigial, and that's only because it's a great finishing move. In reality there are likely very few fans that wanted to see The Woken One defeated so easily.
Roman Reigns is one of those Superstars who doesn't have many moves to his name, but the few he does have he makes sure he does extremely well. A lot of wrestlers have used the spear as their finisher over the years, but thanks to The Big Dog's size and power he has made the move his own and it is devastating every single time he hits it. Another move he has mastered is the drive-by and we saw him utilize it a couple of times during his Intercontinental Title match on Monday night. Once on The Miz but more impressively on the on-looking two members of The Miztourage, and yes we do mean both at the same time. It still wasn't enough to win poor Roman the match though.
It wouldn't have been a special night on Raw without Elias performing a song poking fun at some of the WWE Superstars who have made the flagship show great for the last 25 years. Even being added to The List by Chris Jericho right before he came to the ring didn't throw him off his game. What did hinder The Drifter a little though was being interrupted by John Cena. A riled up Elias eventually got Big Match John to shut up, but when challenged to a match by the 16 time World Champion he didn't seem too keen. Once Cena's back was turned though out came the guitar and Elias smashed it to smithereens across The Franchise Player's back.
Despite everything that happened throughout the night on Monday, all the stars that made comebacks, all the nostalgia, the announcers kept reminding us that Kane, Brock Lesnar and Braun Strowman were all in the same building. When the time finally came for the three men to come to the ring Kurt Angle had it surrounded by Superstars, but unsurprisingly that didn't stop the ensuing chaos. As The Beast marched to the ring it felt as if he was about to get his own back for the attack he suffered at the hands of Strowman that landed him in the back of an ambulance. Long story short, he did not. Once again it was The Monster Among Men standing tall come the end of the segment, leaving Lesnar laying after powerslamming him through an announce table. Oh and Kane got F5-d pretty much straight away but he is basically cannon fodder at this point, right?
Two of the men who made Raw absolutely can't miss during the Attitude Era were Stone Cold and Vince McMahon. The rivalry between the two was the stuff of legend and makes up a fair few of the top moments in Raw's 25 year history. That's why it was only fitting that the segment to open Raw's 25th anniversary show involved the pair of them. It was almost as if we were back in 1997. Austin was flipping people off, chugging beers, and of course doling out Stone Cold Stunners. Was Mr. McMahon going to get one though? He is 72 years old, and has brittle bones (apparently). Of course he was! No matter how old the boss gets he can still take an ass kicking. What a way to kick off Raw!
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