The 8 Ball 08.28.13: Top 8 Raw Moments
Posted by David McGregor on 08.28.2013
From the near-match between Steve Austin and Vince McMahon and Eric Bischoff being named General Manager to Vince's "Bret Screwed Bret" speech, Shane McMahon buying WCW and more, 411's David McGregor counts down the top 8 WWE Raw moments of all time!
Hello and welcome to another edition of the 8 Ball for the wrestling section of 411 Mania! I am your host David McGregor, London is slowly killing me and I am constantly exhausted!
This week I am going to look at the Top 8 Greatest Moments in Raw History! This is the second time I am writing all of this again, why Microsoft Word took the night off from recovery mode I don't know! But it has been a while to lets get right to it.
Top 8 Raw Moments
8th Place – Bischoff appointed Raw GM – 2002
I never thought I would see the day Eric Bischoff stood in the WWE ring, the man from WCW who used to pray for WWE's demise literally stood in a WWE ring after being appointed the new Raw GM. There have been a lot of shocks in Raw's history, but Eric Bischoff being the GM has to be one of the very best. I cant remember how well known it was that Bischoff would be the GM but for me it was the most satisfying reveal of all time. This was a true surprise and one that had a ton of potential for places to go, and it definitely ended up one of the best choices for a GM.
I only wish that they had gotten him and loads of others during the Invasion angle, instead of reintroducing them into WWE TV later on.
7th Place – Bret Screwed Bret - 1997
There are times when you know you are watching something special unfold on TV, and you know whatever it is will be replayed and talked about for years to come. This exact thing happened in 1997, just one week after the events of the Montreal Screwjob had transpired. Vince McMahon sat down for an interview with Jim Ross, and uttered the words that would be heard again and again for years to come. "Bret Hart screwed Bret Hart", it was a perfect saying that launched the Mr McMahon character into one of the most compelling parts of Monday Night Raw.
The saying became synonymous with agreeing with Vince on what happened in Montreal. But the actual interview in which it stems from is one of the best moments of the whole ordeal; it was the first time Vince McMahon was speaking about one of the biggest moments in wrestling history. And it was like the official unveiling of the Mr McMahon character to the world. One of the biggest moments to every grace Raw, and will be remembered for a long time.
6th Place – Beer Truck/ Zamboni/ Monstertruck
Stone Cold Steve Austin has done a lot of crazy stuff with vehicles and everything has been must see television. But I couldn't put all of these moments on the list each, or this would be all about Steve Austin. Therefore I am grouping them together into one large entry. But that doesn't mean that these moments aren't some of the greatest parts of wrestling TV history.
The beer truck is constantly considered one of the greatest moments in WWE history, and for good reason. It is one of those insane Attitude Era moments that just defied belief. And it was some of the funniest acting any superstar or McMahon has ever done, outwith a Hulk Hogan film.
I have always loved the Zamboni moment from Raw, it is one of those defining moments from Raw between McMahon and Austin for me. I have no idea why but Austin jumping on McMahon is definitely the image I picture when thinking back on that amazing feud.
Austin was absolutely the ultimate star of Raw, the things he did and the reactions he got were second to no one. And when you try to make a list like this you see how fantastic the man was, and why he will always be remembered.
5th Place – Vince McMahon's Limo Explodes - 2007
I have never been more surprised at wrestling in my entire life, than when Vince McMahons limo exploded and supposedly killed off the Mr McMahon character. I believe it was a fantastic storyline, slightly tacky but that isn't an avenue Vince hasn't been down before. I loved the way the angle was going, with the FBI and other investigating the explosion. And the Chris Benoit went and screwed it all up by being a raging psychopath. It still annoys me to this day that we never got a proper pay off of the angle, because it was so amazingly done for the brief time it was there. But then again I have always been a lover of the McMahon family. And definitely feel they add to the product.
But even without an ending, this was still one of the finest and most surprising moments in WWE history. I don't think anything will ever top my surprise when the flames were shooting out that limo, it just screamed massive angle. I only wish we could have got to see what it turned out like.
4th Place – Shane Buys WCW – 2001
Even just for the fact of the simulcast this would have been on the list. But this was the episode in which the WWE bought WCW, and then Shane McMahon is unveiled as the one who has become the WCW owner. This was one monumental episode of Raw!
Back in March 2001 the Monday Night Wars was officially over when WCW was sold to Vince McMahon. And at the very end of the show Raw was broadcast live on TNN and TNT, which was truly one of those things you thought you would never see. I don't think anyone thought they would see the day that Ted Turner allowed the sale of WCW to Vince McMahon. And yet it was unfolding in front of the entire audience live and at home, we were watching history unfold on Raw. Shane McMahon walking out into a WCW ring, ugly turtle neck sweater and all, was one of those surreal moments in TV. This was the end of 5 years of war, and was a ground breaking way to end it.
3rd Place – Mike Tyson and Steve Austin – 1998
There are a few points in wrestling history that really make a difference. Diesel becoming champion for a year doesn't really matter all that much now, but the baddest man on the planet Mike Tyson walking into a WWE ring is still vital to the WWE's success in the Monday Night Wars. Tyson was a mega star at this time, and here he was stepping into a WWE ring and interacting with the hottest WWE star since Hulk Hogan. It was a true legendary moment, and when they both started scrapping it seemed completely legitimate. It was the perfect angle that would lead to Tyson being in Shawn Michaels corner at Wrestlemania 14.
Eric Bischoff has said that everything the WWE did to try and stay afloat was always laughed off, but the moment he heard that Tyson had agreed to work with Vince for Wrestlemania he was furious and entirely jealous. Even the competition realised just how great a signing like this really was. And even in hindsight we can say this was one of the driving forces in WWE returning to the number 1 spot in 1998. Two white-hot acts making history in the middle of a Raw ring, definitely one of those perfect wrestling moments.
2nd Place – The WWE Draft – 2002 to 2011
I absolutely loved the draft, it was some of the best and most anticipated events each and every year in the WWE. From the beginning of the brand extension to the pointlessness of the last one in 2011, mostly because most stars worked both Raw and Smackdown now, the draft lottery proved one of the most entertaining and captivating ideas the WWE has ever had. For 9 years the WWE got every possible outcome out of the draft, sadly to the point that it was just irrelevant by 2011. But during the important days of 2002 to 2008, the draft was used to really shake things up in the WWE. No one will ever forget the first pick of the 2005 draft lottery, with John Cena coming thundering down to the ring screaming and shouting. And he hasn't left that important position ever since.
But as the Draft became a yearly occurrence the appeal wore off ever so slightly, but I would be lying if I said I wasn't looking forward to it each and every year. Even with the brand extension all but dead, if it were brought back tomorrow I would still watch and love it. It is just one of those ideas that were perfect at the time. For 9 years the WWE had a go to event each year, one that was historic and revitalised WWE programming.
1st Place – Austin v McMahon - 1998
I am counting this as a moment simply because the match never really starts. And because of that, for me, this is the most important moment in the whole of Raw's history. This was the moment the WWE finally beat WCW in the ratings, after 80 or so weeks playing second fiddle to Nitro Raw became the most watched show on cable. And it was all thanks to the prospect of finally seeing Mr McMahon fight Stone Cold Steve Austin. The angle was hotter than hot at this moment so anything involving the characters was highly anticipated, but a match between the two was off the charts!
And yet it never happened, it was the classic bait and switch. Dude Love came out and became the next challenger for Austin's WWE Title. In a way it was perfect, as it extended the desire to see McMahon get his ass kicked and gave Austin a new challenger and stepping-stone to Mr McMahon. But just the possibility of McMahon and Austin in the ring together was enough to finally end the 80 week run of Nitro dominance, and that is more important than anything. As if that didn't occur then the WWE would never have managed to win the Monday Night Wars and Raw would be an after thought right now.