The 5 Best Main Events In WWE Raw History (& The 5 Worst)

Monday Night Raw has been going for nearly 27 years now, and fans have been treated to so many memorable main event matches throughout the years.

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But on the other hand, some superb episodes of Raw ended on extremely sour notes. That is, the main event matches were downright terrible - and we wish we could find a way to erase them from our memories forever.

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10 Best: Steve Austin & The Rock vs. nWo (2002)

via WWE.com

The New World Order (Hulk Hogan, Scott Hall, and Kevin Nash) went up against 'Stone Cold' Steve Austin and The Rock on the Mar. 11, 2020 episode of Raw. This was a preview of two hyped up WrestleMania X8 - Austin vs. Hall and Rock vs. Hogan.

This was a dream match for wrestling fans, and we finally got to see a glimpse of Hogan vs. the two biggest faces in WWE at the time. This match had remarkable pace throughout, and it ended with Hogan pinning The Rock for a victory. It was a tremendous buildup that took place just six days before WrestleMania in Toronto.

9 Worst: Roman Reigns vs. Sheamus (2016)

via WWE.com

Sheamus used his Money in the Bank cash-in at Survivor Series 2015 to take the WWE World Heavyweight Championship away from Roman Reigns. However, The Big Dog regained the title in a short time - and it led to a series of numerous rematches for Sheamus.

The two met again for the title on the Jan. 4, 2016 episode of Raw - with Vince McMahon as the special guest referee - and he was trying to help Sheamus win the match. Reigns retaliated by hitting Vince with a Superman Punch, thus eliminating the cheating official.

Reigns attacked Vince's replacement official, and a third referee came in to properly count his pinfall on Sheamus, thus retaining the title. It was a lackluster match with a very strange and unnecessary ending.

8 Best: Owen Hart vs. British Bulldog (1997)

via WWE.com

Owen Hart and The British Bulldog (brothers-in-law), formed a tag team and won numerous championships together. But when the two eventually disbanded and were pitted against one another, we were treated to one of the best feuds of the Attitude Era.

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These two stars closed out the Mar. 3, 1997 episode of Raw Is War in Berlin, Germany. This match marked the finals of a tournament to determine the inaugural European Champion. The British Bulldog emerged victorious, but the main story was just how phenomenal the in-ring work was in this bout. Simply remarkable in every aspect.

7 Worst: Kevin Owens & Chris Jericho vs. Roman Reigns (2017)

via YouTube

"Best Friends" Chris Jericho and Kevin Owens closed out the Jan. 9, 2017 episode of Raw in a 2-on-1 handicap match against Roman Reigns, the United States Champion. The Big Dog was forced to defend his title, and sure enough, Jericho and Owens put him away with relative ease.

With that, Jericho had won the United States title to become a Grand Slam Champion. This was simply a boring and questionable way to accomplish the feat, however. Everybody knew what the result would be, and the 2-on-1 stipulation just made it even worse.

This was also a time when Reigns was still being pushed as the top face, and WWE was clearly hoping he'd gain some sympathy from losing this match. Too bad that the fans were really behind Owens and Jericho in this one.

6 Best: Trish Stratus vs. Lita (2004)

via RondaRousey.com

Trish Stratus and Lita are close friends in real life, but their on-screen rivalry is widely regarded as the greatest ever for the WWE women's division. The two made history on Dec. 6, 2004 by taking part in the first-ever women's main event match on Raw - with the Women's Championship on the line.

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In what may have been the greatest match in both their careers, Lita came away with a victory to capture the title - thus ending Trish's 176-day reign. The two Hall of Famers made history their night, and the excellent all-around work in the ring was just icing on the cake.

5 Worst: Booker T vs. Buff Bagwell (2001)

via YouTube

Booker T and Buff Bagwell were among the more notable WCW superstars who came over to WWE after Vince McMahon bought the company out in 2001. WWE then rushed into things by placing Booker T and Bagwell in the main event of the July 2, 2001 episode of Raw - with the WCW World Heavyweight Championship on the line.

Legendary announcer Jim Ross may have said it best when he said the "match stands out for all the wrong reasons." Booker T himself admitted that Bagwell "wasn’t prepared for that stage." It was poor pacing, and it was too soon for WWE to throw a pair of WCW stars into the main event right away.

4 Best: Mankind vs. The Rock (1999)

via GiveMeSport.com

Jan. 4, 1999 was the day where the wrestling world changed forever. WCW self-destructed when Hulk Hogan and Kevin Nash took part in the infamous "Fingerpoke of Doom" incident. Not only that, but WCW announcer Tony Schiavone told viewers that Mankind was about to defeat The Rock to become the new WWF Champion, trying to convince wrestling fans to stick to WCW.

Well, hundreds of thousands of fans actually flipped over to see Mankind's historic victory, and Raw won the war that night. It turned out to be a true game-changer for the career of Mankind/Mick Foley. He was now asserted as a main-eventer.

And WWE wouldn't look back from here. They ran away in the ratings war as WCW fell apart entirely. Had Foley not won this match against The Rock, would we even be watching Raw today?

3 Worst: Team Lakers vs. Team Nuggets (2009)

via WWE.com

The May 25, 2009 episode of Raw saw Team Lakers (John Cena, MVP, Mr. Kennedy, Batista and Jerry 'The King' Lawler) go up against Team Nuggets (all three members of The Legacy, Big Show and The Miz).

The reason was simple: This took place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, and the Lakers were facing the Nuggets in the Western Conference Final of the NBA playoffs at the time!

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So what a great idea to have WWE superstars simply wear NBA jerseys to take part in what was a cheesy and rather dull match. Ah well, at least the fans at the Staples Center probably loved it.

2 Best: John Cena vs. Shawn Michaels (2007)

via WhatCulture.com

This is widely regarded as one of the absolute greatest matches in the history of professional wrestling. It was a bonus that fans all over got to witness it on Monday Night Raw (the Apr. 23, 2007 episode). Weeks earlier, Cena defeated Michaels in the main event of WrestleMania 23 to retain his WWE Championship.

Fans in London, England got to witness a match for the ages. These two legends went back and forth for an hour, and Michaels pulled off the surprising pinfall victory over the WWE champion. Keep in mind this was during a time where Cena almost NEVER lost.

The two superstars laid it all out in the middle of the ring, and we were fortunate to witness a true main event match. It's impossible to envision WWE ever putting on a better main event bout on Raw than this one.

1 Worst: John Cena vs. Michael Cole (2012)

via YouTube

Nothing against long-time WWE announcer Michael Cole, but it's never been that entertaining to watch him in the ring. Then again, it's not his fault that WWE put Cole in all of those matches, to begin with.

For some strange and unknown reason, WWE placed Cole and the company's top star in the main event on the June 4, 2012 episode of Raw. This match was as boring and lackluster as you'd imagine. Cena humiliated Cole and easily put him away in a No Disqualification match.

Yeah, this isn't how any wrestling fan wants to see an episode of Raw close, but thanks for trying, WWE.

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