The Greatest RAW Moments Part 2
Just recently celebrating 30 years of Monday Night Raw was an outstanding achievement for WWE. Many WWE superstars have made their mark on the show throughout the years, including Stone Cold Steve Austin, The Rock, Hulk Hogan, Ric Flair, Edge, Lita, Trish Stratus, The Dudley Boyz, The Hardy Boyz, Batista, Triple H, Shawn Michaels, John Cena, Randy Orton, CM Punk, Brock Lesnar, Bobby Lashley, Bianca Belair, Roman Reigns, Seth Rollins, and countless others. Superb storytelling has made for many memorable moments. Let’s discuss some of the greatest moments of Monday Night Raw.
Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair, and Sasha Banks Debuting Appearance 2015
WWE Divas Champion Nikki Bella was on top of the world. The Bella Army was in full force as their champion has successfully defended her title several times.
Just when Nikki Bella thought nobody could touch her, the three biggest stars of NXT at the time, Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair, and Sasha Banks were about to change the game in the women’s division. With AJ Lee and Paige already inspiring change in the women’s division, Lynch, Flair, and Banks were ready to light the torch.
Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair aligned themselves with Paige to form PCB which became the dominant faction in the women’s division. Meanwhile, Sasha Banks joined forces with Naomi and Tamina Snuka to form Team BAD, another solid women’s faction. Everyone soaked in this moment as they knew history was taking place. This moment was the start of a new era in women’s wrestling. Becky Lynch, Charlotte Flair, Sasha Banks, and Paige officially became the four horsewomen of professional wrestling.
The Nexus Invades Raw 2010
Wrestling would be a boring product if not for disruptors of the norm. Many disruptors have changed the landscape of professional wrestling. None of them can compare to The Nexus, led by Wade Barrett, who took WWE by storm when they invaded Monday Night Raw in 2010.
Total destruction and havoc took place as these NXT rookies were looking to make a statement. In one of the most shocking moments of Monday Night Raw, The Nexus interrupted the main event between John Cena and CM Punk, taking both of them out. The distraught look on Cena’s face before being pummeled by The Nexus said it all. The entire arena was speechless. Things were about to get real between The Nexus and the Raw superstars as this moment marked the beginning of an epic feud. This was by far one of the most powerful takeovers in WWE history.
ECW Invades Raw 2005
In a revamped version of ECW in 2005, things were about to get shaken up on Monday Night Raw. Raw General Manager Eric Bischoff, who greatly despised ECW, called out the ECW talent in this episode. It didn’t take long for ECW to respond.
Paul Heyman and The Dudley Boyz made their way through the side entrance ready for a fight. The crowd went insane. Just as Bischoff thought his crusaders had the upper hand, several ECW superstars entered from the stands including Tommy Dreamer, The Sandman, Rhyno, and many others. Heyman boldly told Bischoff “We never ever ever back down from a fight.” And they did not back down one bit. Chaos ensued in the ring with ECW and Raw talent beating the daylights out of each other. ECW won that battle, sparking a war between the two brands. Unsettled scores of the past made for an unforgettable moment in this episode of Monday Night Raw.
CM Punk Cashes in Money in the Bank on Edge 2008
A year earlier, Edge began his run as the World Heavyweight Champion by cashing in his Money in the Bank contract on a beaten up Undertaker on Friday Night Smackdown. Little did Edge know that it would backfire on him a year later on Monday Night Raw.
With World Heavyweight Champion Edge feuding with Batista, Monday Night Raw was already off to a hot start as Batista took out Edge early. As if things couldn’t have been any worse for Edge, here comes CM Punk. With the Money in the Bank briefcase in hand, CM Punk was ready to cash in on a helpless Edge, and the crowd went nuts. Cashing in the briefcase was a success as CM Punk won the World Heavyweight Championship, his first major championship in WWE.
Nobody expected CM Punk to cash in his money in the bank to become a top champion, given that WWE creative never wanted him to succeed to begin with. Proving WWE creative wrong was what made this moment so special. It was a true underdog moment for the ages.
DX Impersonates McMahon Family 2006
Monday Night Raw has had its fair share of comical moments. DX’s impersonation of the McMahon family ranks at the top as Triple H and Shawn Michaels were determined to make fools out of Vince and Shane McMahon.
Triple H’s impersonation of Vince McMahon was classic from the cocky walk to the notorious scowl, topped off with the gray wig. Shawn Michaels’ did not disappoint with the Shane McMahon impersonation as he began dancing around the ring, acting like a fool. Everyone was amused by the phenomenal entertainment.
Needless to say, Vince and Shane McMahon were embarrassed by this display. To make matters worse, DX launches a load of manure from the ceiling onto the McMahons. In an exhilarating rivalry between DX and the McMahons, this moment stands out big-time, bringing laughter to everyone.
Batista Turns on Evolution 2005
Triple H, Ric Flair, Randy Orton, and Batista put together was greatness personified. Being the dynasty that Evolution was, no one expected Batista to turn on the group so dramatically. Batista’s career really took off after his epic face turn on Evolution.
WrestleMania 21 was approaching, and Batista had an important decision to make on whether he would face JBL and John Cena in a triple threat match for the WWE Championship or Triple H for the World Heavyweight Championship. Evolution fully expected Batista to challenge JBL and John Cena. They were sadly mistaken. Once Batista gave Evolution the thumbs down, a new chapter was about to begin in Batista’s career. By Batista-bombing Triple H through the table, it became official.
Electricity was felt throughout the entire fanbase. Not only was this one of the greatest face turns in WWE history, but it was also a highlight of the ruthless aggression era.
ECW Invades Raw 1997
ECW was the next big thing in wrestling. Professional wrestling in the 90s was changing rapidly due to the hardcore nature of ECW. Of course the competitive product came with criticism from WWE. When ECW decided to invade Monday Night Raw for the first time in 1997, the animosity between these two promotions grew even bigger.
Several ECW talent stormed the invasion including Tommy Dreamer, The Sandman, Sabu, Rob Van Dam, Mikey Whipwreck, Tazz, The Dudley Boyz, and others. What really sticks out about this invasion is the heated debate between Paul Heyman and Jerry Lawler. It’s no secret that Lawler despised ECW, trashing them on the mic. But Paul Heyman owned Lawler on the mic as he ruthlessly defended his prestigious company.
ECW made their presence felt with this invasion. By having something to prove to the whole world, ECW made this a trailblazing moment.
CM Punk Pipebomb
CM Punk has been a game-changer in the wrestling industry. The biggest career altering moment in his career was on Monday Night Raw in 2011 when he gave the notorious pipebomb.
Because CM Punk brought something different to the table than the typical male superstar, WWE creative never wanted him to succeed. Legitimately fed up with WWE creative, CM Punk was looking to make a statement. He put the entire WWE on notice with his fiery promo on the McMahons, Triple H, and WWE creative which became known as the infamous ‘pipebomb’.
CM Punk was instantly over after the pipebomb. Already being a popular superstar, the pipebomb inspired everyone to get behind him as his time was past due. WWE finally realized CM Punk’s value to the company by letting him have a well-deserved WWE Championship run.
This bold move by CM Punk was the ultimate spark in his career. If not for the pipebomb, his career likely would have gone straight down the toilet. CM Punk is a rare gem on the mic which makes this moment legendary.
Stone Cold Cement Truck
Of the many laughable moments of Monday Night Raw, Stone Cold pouring cement into Vince McMahon’s Corvette definitely ranks at the top.
Stone Cold and Vince McMahon had one of the most heated rivalries in WWE. With Vince McMahon as the ruthless boss and Stone Cold as the rebel, the cement truck was a hilarious rebelling stunt against Vince McMahon. Everyone was stunned at Stone Cold driving the cement truck into the arena. To top it off with it being poured into Vince McMahon’s Corvette with windows breaking and being destroyed was the icing on the cake. Vince’s reaction to it was priceless.
Looking back on the historic feud between Stone Cold and Vince McMahon, this moment is a tremendous highlight.
Vince McMahon Limo Explosion
Controversy was taken to a whole other level on this episode. Not only were WWE fans buzzing about it, the entire world was clamoring over it as well.
In 2007, Vince McMahon was the biggest heel in WWE. The week before this moment, Vince McMahon announced Vince McMahon Appreciation Night to take place. Of course being the bad guy, this drew major heat as nobody was feeling appreciative of McMahon. A strange twist came with the limo involved. As Vince McMahon was heading to his limo, there was already an eerie feeling with McMahon constantly looking over his shoulder. Then, as soon as McMahon stepped into the limo, it bursted straight into flames. At first, many began to wonder whether this moment was a work or reality, given that it was played out so well. It was definitely an Academy Award winning performance!
This moment was so controversial that Mick Foley was irate with Vince McMahon over this stunt. Rohit Nath of Sportskeeda mentioned that the two got into a shouting match over it as Mick Foley found the story offensive to people who were facing death.
Shortly after the explosion, the Chris Benoit murder/suicide occurred which sparked more criticism. The storyline ended after the Benoit incident.
Though it was such a controversial moment, some of the best acting took place. Vince McMahon deserves an Academy Award for this performance!
Battle of the Billionaires Contract Signing
Contract signings always have a tendency to go awry in WWE. Vince McMahon and Donald Trump were looking to prove their superiority in a Hair vs. Hair match at WrestleMania 23.
With Bobby Lashley representing Trump and Umaga representing McMahon, it was going to be an all-out brawl. Both Trump and McMahon had the utmost confidence in their representatives. Everyone involved in this story was present at the contract signing which made for an intense moment. Then, to cap it off, the Texas Rattlesnake Stone Cold Steve Austin showed up, announcing himself as the special guest referee for the match. After a long absence from WWE, everyone was thrilled with Stone Cold’s return.
Considering the superb storytelling in the rivalry and the other elements involved, this contract signing was one of the most entertaining moments of Monday Night Raw.
Brock Lesnar’s Debut in 2002
It was time to shake things up in WWE. What better way to do so than the debut of the Next Big Thing, Brock Lesnar? Being a once-in-a-lifetime athlete, the entire WWE was put on notice when Brock Lesnar made his unexpected debut in the main event between Al Snow and Maven for the Hardcore Championship.
Al Snow and Maven became irrelevant when Brock Lesnar hit the scene. When Brock Lesnar made his appearance, Jim Ross on commentary noted that Lesnar was the hottest free agent in pro wrestling. Ross was on point as Lesnar is a rare specimen. As if Lesnar’s presence wasn’t enough, having Paul Heyman by his side made him even more of a dangerous threat with Heyman’s brilliance and scheming ways.
Brock Lesnar’s debut was a game-changer in WWE. Nobody expected a monster athlete to wreak havoc like Lesnar did on Raw. WWE has seen some terrific debuts but this one was like no other. Not only is this one of the most riveting debuts in WWE history, but it is also one of the most defining moments of the Attitude Era.
Stone Cold Beer Truck
Breaking every rule in place was Stone Cold’s specialty. In his rivalry with Vince McMahon, Stone Cold was constantly finding new ways to retaliate against McMahon’s relentless authority. Known for post-match celebrations with beer in hand, the beer truck was the ultimate stunt for Stone Cold.
Vince McMahon, Shane McMahon, and WWE Champion The Rock were in the ring celebrating when Stone Cold entered the arena with the beer truck. Interrupting The Rock by spraying beer all over the ring was the perfect way for Stone Cold to get the upper hand before their big match at WrestleMania 15. The McMahons and The Rock were absolutely stunned. Of the many hilarious antics of Stone Cold, this one will forever be treasured.
Stone Cold/Mike Tyson Brawl
Mike Tyson was the hottest boxer at the time, and many were excited for his special guest appearance on Monday Night Raw in 1998. Though Tyson has beaten down a lot of opponents, it still didn’t stop Stone Cold from confronting him in the ring.
Stone Cold was not afraid of anyone including Mike Tyson. Needless to say, Stone Cold was not impressed with Tyson in the ring and let him know about it quickly. Tyson responded by shoving Stone Cold, leading to a brawl. Electricity filled the air in that moment with the entire fanbase soaking in the moment. Still to this day, it is one of the best guest appearances in WWE history because of the animosity Stone Cold had towards Mike Tyson.
Stone Cold Stuns Vince McMahon For the First Time
Fed up with Vince McMahon’s abuse of power, Stone Cold was looking to shake up things by standing up to his boss in an unconventional way. The way Stone Cold stood up to McMahon is how everyone dreams of standing up to an arrogant boss.
Something special was taking place in this confrontation that led to the best rivalry in sports entertainment. Stone Cold’s rebellious character was coming together perfectly. It was time for his rise to the top, and rebelling against Vince McMahon was entertainment that would last for decades. As if Stone Cold cursing McMahon wasn’t funny enough, the crowd erupted when he stunned McMahon for the very first time.
Kicking off the Attitude Era with a Stone Cold Stunner to Vince McMahon was an innovative move that forever changed the wrestling industry.