Hey guys it’s Dave Scott here for some Monday night debauchery! The last few weeks have been quite slow in the WWE Universe, there is nothing too major to report about recently. We are just on the backlash of a pretty average No Way Out PPV and last weeks Raw wasn’t the most exciting thing in the world. Apart from Heath Slater obviously.
On the other hand TNA seem to be upping their game recently and people seem to be turning their heads over to the alternative option of Impact over the last few weeks. As wrestling fans I think we can all agree that it would be a great thing if TNA was able to compete with WWE as it would definitely cause WWE to up their game.
This week though I’m going to talk about how Raw is approaching its landmark 1000th episode. I have been a wrestling fan since I can remember. I started watching in the early nineties when I was about four years old and twenty one years later I am still here watching. Though I did go through small patches where I didn’t watch the product as much in 95-96 and 02-03.
When Raw first came around I was pretty young and I didn’t really realise the importance of it and what effect it was having on the wrestling world. I was a kid so I didn’t really know what was going on all the time with the wrestling and I just mainly wanted to see Hulk Hogan, Ultimate Warrior or Bret Hart beat guys up.
Now fast forward to the 1997 Royal Rumble. I can remember so clearly at 9 years old accidentally turning over to Sky Sports and catching a re-run of the Royal Rumble when I was sitting in my room (my parents got me a cable box in my room so I didn’t interrupt their TV viewing!) and just instantly noticing a difference in how things were done. There were guys there that I knew like The Undertaker, Bret Hart, Psycho Sid and Shawn Michaels, but their was a new breed of superstars right in front of my eyes that instantly grabbed my attention. There were guys like Austin, Mankind, Vader and Hunter Hearst Helmsley that were just showing me a new side to what I once knew.
I watched a couple of Raw’s in between the Royal Rumble and Wrestlemania, but it was not until Wrestlemania 13 (which I still believe to be the best Wrestlemania ever for just how much it changed the wrestling world) I realised how amazing wrestling had become. As the majority of you will know Wrestlemania 13 had an epic match between Austin and Bret, which literally changed everything. You had Bret Hart who was always the nicest of the nice guys turning heel and Austin who was the opposite turning into a good guy. This one moment alone led to Raw becoming one of the best shows on TV and it led to WWE being able to take over WCW in the ratings.
After Wrestlemania everything just went into overdrive on Raw. You had the formation of The Hart Foundation, which was possibly the greatest stable ever in my mind. They had great rivalries with LOD, Austin, Shawn Michaels and who could forget the legendary Patriot! Then from this you had the formation of DX who helped along with Austin to push WWE right into the Attitude era.
The Hart Foundation always makes me think about where the greatness started on Raw for me. While they were together The Undertaker was involved in perhaps one of the greatest uses of long term booking with the Kane storyline. This storyline started in April of that year and went all the way through to the following year. This was such a slow burning feud and because of the slow build to it and the time they took on it, I believe that is exactly why Kane’s character has managed to stay relevant all these years later. Kane was exactly what a monster should be in wrestling. Completely unstoppable and genuinely quite scary (well I was 10 so I had a right to be scared). They had Kane destroy Vader and Mankind who were both legitimate bad asses, this had me questioning whether Undertaker could defeat this monster! Maybe WWE should look back at their own history to learn how to book a monster!
Going on from here we had guys like The Rock and Triple H starting to make a name for themselves. We had DX and The New Age Outlaws come together to give great TV for the time they were together. Whilst a guy like The Rock was taking over the roster we had guys like Edge and Christian and The Hardy’s dominating the tag team division, which gave for a great midcard. Throughout these years everything to me just seemed to be amazing in wrestling, probably to do with a lack of internet and me being a kid and not caring what happened backstage.
This period is exactly why Raw and the WWE itself will be a huge part of my life. It gave me so much entertainment that I will never ever forget throughout that time span. I’m not trying to say by any means I am no longer entertained, because I am, if I wasn’t I would turn it off like I have before. What I’m saying from this column is that every single wrestling fan will have their favourite things from Raw which we could all talk about until the cows come home and this whole timespan is mine.
So for the next couple of weeks while we build up to the 1000th episode of Raw I’m going to have Raw themed columns. I’ve got four columns between now and then so I’m going to have columns on my top five factions in Raw history, my five most memorable matches on Raw, my top five cringe worthy moments on Raw and finally the ten most influential stars in Raw history.
So I hope that you guys all stay tuned for that!
So if your going to be watching Raw tonight or even want to chat about it afterwards give me a follow on Twitter – @DaveFCIC
I’m usually tweeting throughout Raw and during any PPV’s and I’m always up for some banter!
But that is me for this week guys! Hope you all enjoy Raw tonight. Post your comments below!