Next Monday, WWE will broadcast the 1,000th episode of Monday Night Raw. There have been so many men and women that have contributed to the success of Raw and whenever there’s a “special episode” of Raw, WWE brings out the same old faces to pop a reaction from the crowd. You know the ones I mean, like Hacksaw Jim Duggan, Sgt. Slaughter, Dusty Rhodes, Mae Young and so on.
For the 1,000th episode, I’d like to see them go down a different road. In my opinion, without the stars of the Attitude Era and beyond, there wouldn’t be a WWE today. In no particular order, I’m going to suggest several names from the past that should make a special one-off appearance on the 1,000th episode of Raw.
Before we get this show on the road, this list will not include anyone who has a wrestling contract with WWE, like Undertaker, HHH, Rock and Brock Lesnar. Feel free to leave your own suggestions in the comments section below.
New Age Outlaws
In the late 1990’s, the New Age Outlaws were my favourite team. I’d reached that age where I didn’t care about babyfaces or heels, if someone entertained me, then I liked them. The chemistry that Road Dogg and Billy Gunn had in the ring was, at that point, untouchable. Everything from their in-ring work to their entrance music was unique and they were tremendously charismatic.
As soon as you heard that opening riff and Road Dogg say: “Oh you didn’t know?”, it was clear that business was going to pick up. When they joined D-Generation-X just after WrestleMania 14, it solidified their position as the (then) WWF’s top tag team. We haven’t seen them together on WWE TV for over a decade and I think it’d be a nice touch if they were involved in the 1,000th Raw.
Mick Foley is responsible for two of the most defining moments of the Attitude Era. No matter how old you are, I’m sure that everyone has seen the infamous Hell in a Cell match between Foley and The Undertaker from King of the Ring in 1998. The reaction from the crowd when Foley crashed 20 feet from the top of the cell through the announce table said it all. Holy Sh*t!!
Foley’s insanity (for lack of a better word) provided us with a moment that will go down in wrestling history. From then on, the crowd respected Foley even more than they already did, and he started working his way towards the top of the card. Mick was also involved in what ended up being one of the most defining moments of the Monday Night Wars when he won the WWF title.
The episode where Mick won the title was pre-taped and at the time, WCW Nitro was live every Monday. WCW attempted to take advantage of the situation and their lead announcer Tony Schiavone revealed the ending of the match before it aired and added sarcastically, “That’ll put a lot of butts in the seats.” The move backfired for WCW as WWF won the ratings battle that night and the turnaround in WWF’s fortunes began.
Due to his run with TNA, Foley hasn’t been regularly seen on WWE TV over the last few years and it would be a nice way for WWE to pay tribute to the man who was arguably the catalyst for WWE’s change in fortunes.
Trish Stratus is one of my favourite WWE Divas of all time. Although she only started to appear towards the end of the Attitude Era, she’s widely recognised as one of the best female wrestlers WWE has ever had.
She worked her way up from being the manager of a tag team to becoming the most successful WWE Diva of all time, holding the WWE Women’s Championship a record seven times. Trish is only 36 years old, so she could still go in the ring if she wanted to, but I think an on-camera appearance is the least we can expect from the Canadian. I’m sure the WWE audience would love to be “Stratusfied” by Trish just one more time!
For everything I said about Trish Stratus, you could pretty much say the same about Lita. She started as a valet for Essa Rios and became one of the best female wrestlers in WWE history. There was always something different about Lita though. She was crazy! Some of the spots she took when she was a part of Team Extreme with The Hardys were unbelievable.
Team Extreme were such a good fit because it was three young stars, roughly the same age, who “lived for the moment.” Regardless of the whole Matt Hardy/Edge situation, Lita was always a tremendous worker and her influence on the women’s division during her tenure with the company can’t be underestimated. The crowd have always responded to Lita and it’d be good to see her again. Maybe she could come out with Trish; that’d be pretty sweet.
Batista’s influence on the WWE can’t be dismissed either. I mean his son is currently a member of the roster. What? You don’t know that? His name’s Mason Ryan! Haha. But seriously, Batista came around at a time where WWE was struggling for new main-eventers.
Between 2005 and 2006, WWE elevated three young stars in particular, Batista, Edge and John Cena to the main-event so they could work with seasoned veterans like Shawn Michaels, Eddie Guerrero, HHH and Undertaker. Working with those legends helped the young guys look credible and improve their in-ring work. Batista hasn’t been seen on TV since he quit in 2010, so it’d be nice to see him on the show.
Edge’s career stands up there with the greatest of all time. He won over 30 championships during his run with WWE which stretched all the way from the Attitude Era to the current PG Era. His legacy can’t be questioned and he’s paid the ultimate price for the things he put himself through. Last year, when he was faced with the decision to stop wrestling or end up paralysed, he stopped straight away.
Edge had the uncanny ability to have great matches with anybody. Whether it was someone smaller like Rey Mysterio, someone his own size like Chris Jericho, or bigger men like The Undertaker, Edge made it believable. He’s not under contract with WWE right now, but whenever Edge is on WWE TV, the crowd reacts to him and he’s played just as big a part in the success of Raw as anyone else.
Stone Cold Steve Austin
In 20 years of watching wrestling, I’ve never seen someone have such an effect on the business like Stone Cold Steve Austin did. Simply put, Austin became a mega-star. He broke all kinds of records, whether it was merchandise, PPV buyrates, TV ratings or live event attendances. His Austin 3:16 speech from King of the Ring 1996 was one of the turning points in WWE history.
Without Austin, WWE might not exist today. Towards the end of his career, his in-ring abilities were limited because of the knee and neck injuries he’d sustained over the years, but Austin was still as over as ever. If there’s one superstar that should be a lock for appearing at the 1,000th edition of Raw, it’s Austin. Schedule permitting, he should do what he does best: arrive, raise hell and leave.
So, the list of stars I’d love to see on the 1,000th Raw next week are The New Age Outlaws, Mick Foley, Trish Stratus, Lita, Batista, Edge and Stone Cold Steve Austin. What do you guys think? Will we see any of these or will it be the same old names that get brought out every time that there’s a special show? Either leave a comment below or get in touch with me on Twitter @georgec1982.
I’ll be back with another edition of From Across The Pond next week. Until then, thanks for reading and have a great week.
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