The SmarK DVD Rant for RAW 100: The Top 100 Moments In RAW History

“Hey, another DVD about how RAW used to be awesome TV!  Let’s buy it!”

– No one, ever.

So yeah, basically it appears they wanted to release RAW 1000 on DVD and needed another five hours of content to pad out a 3-disc set.  So here’s their countdown of the 100 greatest moments of the show.  Annoyingly, the clips are presented in video package style with talking heads done in character, rather than just showing them.

Disc One

100.  Undertaker returns in February 2011, and has a staredown with HHH as they look dramatically at the Wrestlemania sign.

99.  Santino and Kozlov have a tea party for Sheamus.

98.  Evolution kicks out Randy Orton.  This ended up a giant waste, of course.

97.  Undertaker accepts Kane’s challenge for Wrestlemania 14.

96.  Goldust molests Ahmed Johnson on a stretcher by giving him mouth-to-mouth.

95.  Sheamus puts Mark Cuban through a table in 2009.  Really?  This was more memorable than Evolution kicking out Orton?  I barely even know who Cuban is.

94.  Shelton Benjamin and Trish Stratus parody the NFL’s locker room skit.   Luckily Alex Riley is able to talk us through this one.  It was a great way to “get back at the NFL” apparently and show them that WWE can do anything better. Well, except draw ratings on Monday nights, apparently.

93.  DX does their version of Vince and Shane.  Should have been higher.

92. Howard Finkel takes on Harvey Wippleman in a tuxedo match.

91.  Seth Green guest hosts RAW.  His talking head appears to have been shot on the same night he did the show.

90.  Gene Snitsky punts a baby.

89.  Shawn Michaels turns on Hulk Hogan.

88.  Vince McMahon trains for the Royal Rumble.  This another instance where they have to have someone (Stephanie in this case) tell us that it’s hilarious rather than just showing the damn clips.

87.  Edge beats Matt Hardy in a ladder match to send him to Smackdown.  What a weird feud this was.

86.  Vince debuts his newly bald head after the Trump match.

85.  The Rock delivers a eulogy for Steve Austin and reveals the stolen Rattlesnake belt.  This should have been WAY higher, and it was edited to nothing as well.  And did we need Jerry Lawler narrating what we could see on screen?  It’s not Dexter.

84.  Santino upsets Umaga for the IC title in Italy.

83.  DX celebrates Vince’s birthday in 2009.  And because it’s 2009, the punchline is Big Dick Johnson.  Yeah.

82.  Marty Jannetty beats Shawn Michaels for the IC title in 1993.

81.  Edge retires and vacates the World title.

80.  HHH fires Shawn Michaels and introduces X-Pac.  Really?  This far down the list?  Sean Waltman pops up here and he’s looking ROUGH.

79. Hugh Jackman punches Dolph Ziggler.  And again, Jackman’s talking head is literally shot the same night he did the show.

78.  MUSICAL CHAIRS.  This is an all-time guilty pleasure one for me, as Eugene is guest GM and books musical chairs to get a title shot.  Flair shoving Stacy Keibler out of the way to get a chair is classic, and they even do a funny dramatic music cue for the finale between Jericho and Tomko.

77.  Big Show debuts and immediately jobs to Steve Austin.  CLEANLY.  God bless Vince Russo.  Big Show narrates and talks about how he hadn’t “earned the right to beat Steve Austin.”  There’s the WWE mentality in a nutshell for you.  In fact they shouldn’t have gotten within 100 feet of each other in the first place until they could headline a PPV.

76.  John Cena and Shawn Michaels do a “one hour” (40 minutes actually) match in England.  Cena is barely even breathing heavy.

75.  Mr. Perfect beats Ric Flair in a loser-leaves-town match.  STEVE LOMBARDI finally pops up as a talking head, and damn if he still doesn’t look the same as he did in the 90s.

74.  DX reunites!  For the first time in 2002, for those who have lost track of all the times.  And HHH of course turns on Shawn, setting up Shawn’s comeback match.

73.  CM Punk cashes in the briefcase on Edge.  That reign didn’t go so well for him, as he was treated like a midcarder behind John Cena.  Luckily, things got better for him…now he has a DVD.

72.  Stephanie fakes a pregnancy and HHH leaves her at the altar.  So Stephanie has to do a narration, in character, about how she faked this pregnancy, while simultaneously representing the person married to HHH in real life.  This is making my head hurt.

71. Bret Hart engages Steve Austin in a street fight during the thick of the Hart Foundation angle, and Austin hijacks an ambulance to write Bret out with a knee injury for a while.  This should have been WAAAAY higher, since it was instrumental in turning business around for the entire promotion.

70.  Big Show brawls with Floyd Mayweather.  I was literally not paying any attention to the product at this point and only kind of came back to watch Wrestlemania.

69.  Randy Orton brawls with Kofi Kingston in MSG, which gets Kofi hugely over, and then Orton buries Kofi afterwards and kills his push.

68. Hornswoggle is revealed as Vince’s son.  They changed their mind pretty quickly on this one.

67.  Jericho throws Shawn Michaels into the ridiculously expensive Jeritron 5000, kicking off their awesome feud.

66.  Steve Austin dumps cement into Vince’s Corvette.

65.  Donald Trump interrupts Vince’s promo and drops money on the fans.

64.  Shawn Michaels says goodbye after retiring.

63.  The Rock makes fun of Toronto.  “Oh yay!  He said Toronto!  That’s where we live!”  Rock takes away their singalong privileges for booing him.  This was masterful.

62.  Bob Barker hosts RAW.

61.  IT’S ME, AUSTIN!  IT WAS ME ALL ALONG!  Jim Ross has to say this storyline was “very compelling” with a straight face.   I wish they would have intercut with Eric Bischoff over on Nitro giving away the payoff in advance.

60.  Steve Austin throws the IC title off a bridge.  Way too low.

59.  The New Age Outlaws throw Cactus Jack and Terry Funk into a dumpster and then toss it off the stage.  In typical Russo fashion, the babyfaces were back by the END OF THE SHOW.  We are blessed with a Billy Gunn talking head here.

58.  Miz cashes in on Randy Orton to begin our national nightmare.  Miz’s narration still sounds like he’s reading off a cue card, even while talking about how it was the greatest moment of his life.

57.  The USA v. Canada flag match in Halifax.  Not sure why they never came back to the Maritimes again after this for TV, because the crowd was incredibly hot.

56.  Ric Flair retires with dignity.  And then mortgages that dignity afterwards for no reason I can fathom.

55.  Lita v. Trish Stratus main events RAW with a great match in 2004.

54.  Chris Jericho is screwed out of the World title by HHH in 2000.  Jericho’s talking head is out of character, thank god.

53.  Dude Love makes his debut and helps Steve Austin win the tag titles.  I never got Austin’s reasoning in shunning Mankind and then letting Dude get a pass as his partner, but this was pretty great anyway.

52.  Kevin Federline beats John Cena.  Yeah, this was the time when Cena was champion for over a year and didn’t do jobs, and he puts over fucking K-Fed.  And of course it went nowhere. Cena of course calls him a good guy in his commentary.

51. Goldberg debuts and lays out the Rock.

Disc Two

50.  Brock returns in 2012.  Grown men were losing their minds over this guy.  And then he lost.

49.  Evolution forms in 2003.  This wasn’t that memorable.

48.  DX reunites!  Again!  The 2012 one this time.

47.  Shaq attacks the Big Show.  Again, went nowhere.

46.  Mankind attacks Jim Ross during an interview in 1997, thus turning him into a star and setting up the debut of Dude Love.

45.  The Rock challenges John Cena to a match one year away.

44.  Bret Hart flips out on Vince McMahon and cuts an angry bitter promo.   This was MONSTER, kicking off the Attitude Era and this should have been in the top 10, at LEAST.  This gave us the 7 second delay on USA, evil Bret, Vince as an onscreen presence…just so much brilliance.

43.  Vader debuts and attacks Gorilla Monsoon.  Vader himself does the talking head here!

42.  Jeff Hardy does the swanton off the Titantron onto Randy Orton.  Jeff’s explanation:  They were changing the set for the HD switch, so he figured he should do something stupid while he had the chance.

41.  Steve Austin storms the arena in a Zamboni.

40.  Kaientai choppy choppy Val Venis’ pee-pee.  You’d think they’d want to forget the stupid and racist stuff like this.  True story:  The actual “chopping” segment was edited out in Canada.

39.  Mike Tyson joins DX.

38.  Batista quits the WWE, from a wheelchair and wearing a sling.

37.  BRET SCREWED BRET.  How is this not like #3?  Vince Russo takes credit for coming up with this.  I honestly think we need a WWE produced Vince Russo DVD where he can go through the history of the company taking credit for everything.

36.  D-X forms.  For the first time in 1997.  This changed the entire BUSINESS.  The first time they did that entrance it was a bullet in the head of the “New Generation” crap, and again should be at least in the top 10.

35.  The Nexus debut, get hugely over, and then were nothing again by the end of the summer.

34.  Edge and Lita have a live sex celebration.  Edge reveals that he was more worried about shrinkage in a cold hockey arena than anything else.

33.  Vince McMahon faces Steve Austin in the main event of the show that FINALLY beat Nitro in the ratings.  This aspect is not mentioned at all for some reason.

32.  The Rock challenges Hollywood Hogan and Hogan tries to run him over with a truck.  Thankfully they omit that second part.

31.  Steve Austin stuns Vince McMahon. They could just do an entire 1997 RAW set with this stuff now that they don’t have to blur it anymore.  People in MSG were jumping up and down in their seats with excitement at this.

30.  DX invades WCW.  Again, way too low.

29.  Monday Night RAW debuts.  You’d think this would have been higher.  Oddly, the package uses recycled footage with the WWF portions blurred out.

28.  Mae Young gets powerbombed through a table by the Dudley Boyz.  Way too high.

27.  The ECW guys debut as part of the Invasion, kicking off a million crappy rebooking scenarios here on the blog years later.  I’m still amazed how many ways this was botched in the very first night.

26.  The Rock returns in 2011.  This was barely even a “moment”, as the footage shown was entirely unrelated appearances.

25.  Vince McMahon is in the hospital and gets attended by Mr. Socko and Yurple the Clown before Steve Austin attacks and rapes him with a catheter.

24.  Bret Hart returns in 2010.  We’re really casting aside from quality stuff in favor of trying to make the current era not look like crap here, I’ve gotta say.

23.  HHH returns in 2002, suddenly 50 pounds of muscle heavier and really digging the jean jacket over leather jacket look.

22.  Jeff Hardy challenges Undertaker for the Undisputed title in a ladder match.  I’ve just never been a fan of this match , probably because Undertaker was still months away from reinventing himself as a worker.

21.  Kurt Angle gives the Alliance a milk bath.

20.  1-2-3 Kid upsets Razor Ramon.  Tyson Kidd says he was at home in Calgary watching RAW, which would have been quite the trick since we didn’t get it in Canada in any form until 1996.  Maybe he had a C-band satellite dish, I dunno.

19.  Dave Batista turns on HHH and pays off the angle exactly the way that the Orton one didn’t. The booking here was a masterpiece, building up through the show with Batista slowly clueing into HHH’s plan throughout the show.  And then he destroyed HHH, won the title cleanly at Wrestlemania, and made millions of dollars.

18.  Mankind beats Rock for the World title, and they of course add Tony Schiavone’s snide remark on Nitro.  They show nothing of the match, of course.

17.  Eric Bischoff debuts as RAW GM, hugs Vince McMahon, and basically burns millions of dollars right there, in this very ring!  They could have done so, SO much with this and instead they did nothing.

16.  Shawn Michaels loses his smile.  Seriously?  This bullshit was a “great” moment?   Isn’t 15 years of perspective enough for them to finally admit that he was lying about the whole thing without having the dramatic shots of crying fans and tinkly piano music?

15.  Sable wears a potato sack so that Marc Mero can humiliate her, and then reveals a bikini underneath.  That’s an odd choice for this high up the list.

14.  Mr. McMahon Appreciation Night, which starts the annual tradition of Vince writing himself out of the show.  So yeah, his limo blows up, and then Chris Benoit went and ruined that awesome storyline twist by killing his family and necessitating Vince’s return to TV early.  Some people are so selfish.

13.  Brian Pillman defends his home with a gun.  This gives us a rare appearance from Kerwin Silfies, the inspiration for Kerwin White.  RAW was nearly cancelled over this.

12.  HHH interrupts the wedding of Test and Stephanie, turning himself into the biggest heel IN THIS BUSINESS in the process.

11.  Kane unmasks after losing a match to HHH.

10.  Shawn Michaels challenges Undertaker to a Wrestlemania rematch and puts his career on the line.  Top 10? Really?

9.  RAW and Nitro simulcast and Shane buys WCW.

8.  The Rock Concert in 2003.  This was great, but no way was this bigger than Shane buying WCW. I know the point here is to continue sucking up to the Rock, and I can’t blame them, but C’MON.

7.  DX parodies the Nation.  Obviously this was gonna be here.

6.  John Cena is drafted to RAW in 2005 and never leaves.  Given no one remembers this, I really don’t think you can call it one of the greatest moments.

5.  CM Punk drops a PIPE BOMB.  The promo so awesome it got me to start recapping RAW again. It’s cut down to nothing, of course.

4.  Mike Tyson confronts Steve Austin, which signaled the death knell for WCW’s ratings dominance.  We were going CRAZY watching this at the time.

3.  Chris Jericho debuts.  This was literally cut to 30 seconds.

2.  This Is Your Life, Rock.  Again, cut to 30 seconds.

1.  Beer Bath.  Duh.

So you there go.  Same lazy recycled footage we’ve all seen a million times, same talking heads recycled from other DVDs.  Who do they think they are, me?  This would have been a thousand times better if they had cut it down to 50 and shown everything in full.

Bonus Moments: 

–          Rock throws the Smoking Skull belt off a bridge, and Austin with it.

–          WCW debuts on RAW with Booker T and Buff Bagwell stinking up the joint.

–          Heath Slater recaps his quest to become the legend killer. Pretty funny.

–          Jeremy Piven hosts RAW in the low point of the celebrity GM era.  This is where the “SummerFest” running joke comes from, by the way.  Kind of funny hearing them treat one of the worst episodes in the history of the show like some sort of triumphant moment.

–          Sheamus wins King of the Ring.  Are they just ribbing us with these?

–          Shawn Michaels returns to Montreal during his 2005 heel run and mercilessly trashes the city, giving us an awesome moment where he fakes them out with Bret’s music.

What?  Three hours celebrating when RAW didn’t suck isn’t ENOUGH for you?  You want ANOTHER three hours of content that no one particularly wants to see again?  Well check it out!

Disc Three

Yes, it’s the entire RAW 1000 episode, now lovingly preserved in digital format FOREVER.  And in the same spirit of recycling that this set presents, here’s my original rant for the show.

The SmarK RAW Supershow Rant – 07.23.12

Live from St. Louis, MO

Your hosts are Michael Cole & Jerry Lawler & Jim Ross (for one match)

Nice montage to start, featuring RAW wackiness and notable retirements.   I think maybe if they paid respect to their past like that more often, rather than mocking themselves or intentionally forgetting their own history, these kind of self-congratulatory shows would seem less obnoxious.

Vince McMahon welcomes us to the show, and brings out D-Generation X, complete with Shawn, HHH, Billy Gunn, Road Dogg and X-Pac.  Which would actually make the first time ever that all five of them have appeared as D-X.  Billy Gunn is very smart to show up in shape since I’m assuming he’s going to be looking for a job.  Road Dogg does his spiel, HHH does his, Billy Gunn and Shawn argue over who gets to do the “two words” bit, everyone has a grand old time.  Especially X-Pac, who looks like he drank a fifth of SOMETHING before the show.  Eh, it’s a celebration, who can blame him?  Damien Sandow interrupts, railing against sophomoric and degenerate behavior.  D-X talks it over (“You need to wait over there.”  “That’s very rude!”) and then Sandow gets destroyed.  This was all good fun, although my wife (who didn’t know the D-X guys) pointed out that really it’s kind of an unfair set of choices if your only options are being down with them or sucking it.  What if neither one appeals to you?

Rey Mysterio, Sin Cara & Sheamus v. Alberto Del Rio, Chris Jericho & Dolph Ziggler

I suspect the intros will run longer than the match.  JIP after a break with Ziggler working on Sin Cara, and Jericho going to a chinlock.  Cara gets a rollup for two, but Jericho dropkicks him down again and gets the ARROGANT COVER~! for two.  ADR works on the back and goes to a rear chinlock, but it’s hot tag Sheamus and he destroys Jericho with the usual.  Rey disposes of ADR and Sheamus tries to finish Jericho with White Noise, but Jericho reverses out.  Sheamus blocks the codebreaker, but Ziggler nails Jericho and Sheamus finishes with the kick at 4:12.  This was fine.  **

Charlie Sheen joins us live via a webcam from 1997, apparently.

Meanwhile, AJ defends her mental instability by pointing out the wackiness happening in the hallway, including the grown-up hand delivered by Mae Young.  That’s a pretty obscure reference these days, actually.

Jack Swagger v. Brodus Clay

I’m going to refrain from comment on the announcers getting Sonic drinks delivered to them, because we don’t have Sonic in Canada anyway.  Poor Swagger gets the Curt Hawkins non-entrance.  Even Dude Love gets an entrance!  Swagger attacks, and he’s done at 0:11.  Remember when he was World champion?

Meanwhile, Trish Stratus teaches HHH some yoga tips, and it’s gets awkward.

Meanwhile, Daniel Bryan confers backstage with guys in white coats.  This is never mentioned again.

Wedding time!  And who else to conduct the ceremony but REVEREND SLICK!  His delivery is of course brilliant here, especially when no one objects and he’s amazed because that’s never happened at a wrestling wedding before.  But indeed, Vince McMahon interrupts, because he already offered AJ his own proposal…a business proposal to be the new GM of RAW.  I’m pretty sure that won’t help me be less sick of AJ.  And after the break, Bryan destroys the set and CM Punk comes out to rub it in.  Daniel feels that he’s the greatest WWE superstar of all-time, and that brings out the Rock.  Bryan cuts off Rock’s spiel, and you just don’t do that.  Rock announces that he’s getting a title shot at Royal Rumble, and Punk is just fine with that.  NO!  I want my dream of Punk Rock ripping up the tag team ranks to live!  Bryan feels he’ll be the champion, but Rock calls him the offspring of a homeless lumberjack and an Oompaloompa and finishes with a Rock Bottom.  How can you not love that?

Bret Hart joins us as guest ring announcer for some reason.  Why not?

Intercontinental title:  Christian v. The Miz

Bret’s total no-selling of the Miz’s intro makes the whole thing worthwhile by itself.  Christian quickly gets a missile dropkick and tosses Miz, and we take a break.  Back with Christian making the comeback and getting a cross-body for two.  Sunset flip gets two.  Miz boots him down for two.  Christian gets a tornado DDT for two.  Miz blocks the spear with a DDT for two.  Blind charge misses and Christian tries the Killswitch, but the knee gives out and Miz wins the title with the SCF at 5:25.  Zero chemistry from these two, but Christian was doing nothing with the belt anyway.  *1/2  Miz is now very close to winning a double grand slam, which is kind of scary.

COOHHH returns, but this time he’s ANGRY HHH instead of WACKY HHH.  Paul Heyman comes out to give Brock’s answer:  No.  And then he crosses the line by talking about HHH’s family, which brings out Stephanie for her cameo, looking hotter as she ages.  She points out that Heyman is just hiding his failures (WCW, ECW) and his children are ashamed to be fathered by a parasite.  This finally makes him snap and accept the challenge for Summerslam, but then he talks shit about the kids again and Steph attacks him.  This finally brings out Brock for the attack on HHH, but of course HHH stands tall and clotheslines him out of the ring.  And then Sheamus runs in and hits the Brogue Kick!  No, sorry, I made that one up.

Heath Slater v. Lita

Man, botox is a hell of a drug.  I was betting on Steve Austin, but obviously that didn’t happen due to knee surgery.  CM Punk is a lucky, lucky, guy.  And just for fun, Lita has hired the APA for protection.  Slater makes a run for it, but all his former “victims” chase him back in for a JBL lariat and Litasault to finish.  Ron Simmons of course has only one comment on the situation.

SEAN MOONEY makes an unlikely cameo to interview Daniel Bryan.  Mooney was a terrible play by play guy but he’s 1000 times better than the goofs they have doing backstage interviews now, they should keep him around again.  Bryan threatens Charlie Sheen for some reason.

Meanwhile, Zack Ryder reveals that GTV was all the plan of GENE OKERLUND.  I KNEW IT!  Sadly, before John Cena can debate this point any further, the Rock arrives and chases Zack off.

Kane v. Six Geeks

The Jinder Mahal-led job squad threatens to attack Kane, but Undertaker makes his return.  The idiots helpfully wait for him to do his full entrance, and then the members of the undead pulverize them.  Remember last year when Kane was bald and Undertaker had the long greasy hair?  The crowd chants “this is awesome”.  Have some standards, St. Louis!

WWE title:  CM Punk v. John Cena

They battle to a STALEMATE to start and it goes nowhere for the first few minutes until Cena pounds away in the corner and grabs an ANGRY HEADLOCK.  They slug it out and Punk gets the running knee, but Cena turns it into the backdrop suplex.  Five-knuckle shuffle is blocked by a Punk kick, but the ref is bumped and Cena gets the FU to no avail.  This brings out Big Show for a spear on Cena and KO punch, but Punk continues to be a pussy babyface and won’t just pin him.  Punk revives the ref, but he’s CONFLICTED by shades of grey.  Not fifty of them, luckily, because otherwise this would be TV-MA.  Finally Punk gets two and then tries for the GTS, but Cena reverses him into the STF, and Big Show runs in for the DQ at 11:01.  Really?  That’s the finish they came up with for their big 1000th show?  The usual ref bump and DQ screwjob?  Show puts the beatdown on Cena, but Rock makes the save…and PUNK TURNS ON HIM.  About damn time.  I think it’s great that they had to use Rock for Punk’s heel turn, because NO ONE WOULD BOO HIM if he turned on Cena.

The (Original) Pulse

This was better than the wretched RAW X in 2002, so by that standard I was happy.  There was some nostalgia, people had fun, I was entertained mostly.  Plus now I can watch Punk again without feeling disgusted by what a nutless wuss he’s turned into.  Three hours is just WAY too long for these shows, though.  I’m glad all their build paid off with a monster rating, and I just hope that RAW 1001 and beyond don’t crash and burn again.  Oh, and of course they’ll have to start hyping RAW 20 pretty soon, because that’s only 6 months away now too.

The (Overall) Pulse:

There’s already multiple “Best of RAW” collections previously released, albeit not in painstakingly crafted numerical order like this one.  I’d pick one of those up instead.

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