30 Greatest Moments of WWE Monday Night RAW
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For 30 years, WWE Monday Night RAW has been a consistent source of memorable moments for wrestling fans. Some moments continue to have a lasting impact on fans. These fifteen moments were unforgettable for the WWE Monday Night RAW era between 1993 and 2010.
The Greatest RAW Moments Part 1
Mankind Wins The Title on RAW
On January 4th, 1999, Mankind won his first WWE World Championship by defeating the Rock in the main event. The title change was taped at the end of 1998, but the wrestling community still celebrated. It is also known for when Tony Schiavone spoiled the result on WCW Nitro, and hundreds of thousands of viewers switched over to watch history being made. Mankind’s win ended up being one of the moments that permanently catapulted WWE ahead of WCW.
Higher Power Reveal
For most of the first half of 1999, the Undertaker had been tormenting Vince McMahon and the McMahon family. At one point, the Undertaker abducted Stephanie McMahon and was going to marry her on a cross forcefully. However, Steve Austin made the unlikely save for his boss. On the June 7th, 1999 edition of RAW, Vince revealed himself as the Higher Power and had done awful things to his revenge to gain revenge on Steve Austin. Vince had lost his mind.
Radicalz Jump Ship and Appear on RAW
In early 2000, WCW lost four of their best in-ring competitors: Chris Benoit, Eddie Guerrero, Dean Malenko, and Perry Saturn. The group made their WWE TV debut on January 31st, 2000, and quickly added much-needed depth to the roster. However, with the Radicalz jumping ship, WCW lost the best wrestlers they had, and their in-ring quality suffered mightily. Nevertheless, Benoit and Guerrero would go on to win WWE World Championships, while Malenko and Saturn won secondary championships.
This Is Your Life
Mankind hosted the segment bringing in people from the Rock’s past on September 27th, 1999. The comedy segment brought the two wrestlers together after they had been embroiled in a violent feud earlier in the year. This Is Your Life is the highest-rated segment in RAW history, drawing an 8.4 rating.
DX Invades WCW
Since WCW Nitro debuted on September 4th, 1995, WCW has been seen as the more entertaining wrestling company. After a couple of years, WWE started to ramp up its edgy TV content, and on April 27th, 1998, WWE invaded the WCW Nitro broadcast. WWE held RAW in Hampton, VA, while Nitro was in Norfolk, VA. DX drove a ‘tank’ to the arena, and WCW panicked, causing WCW to close the doors and back down from the challenge.
Bret Shoves Vince
On March 17th, 1997, after losing a steel cage match to WWE World Champion, Bret Hart let out his frustrations and shoved Vince McMahon in the middle of the ring. It was the first time in RAW history that Vince McMahon was involved in a physical confrontation. Bret had been the top babyface for the WWE during the 90s. Still, this moment was the beginning of Bret’s attitude change. He eventually became anti-USA in the coming months. Vince would become the most prominent heel character in WWE in just a few months following this encounter.
Mark Henry’s Fake Retirement
Whenever there is a retirement ceremony in wrestling, it never ends well. Whether predictable or a retirement that doesn’t stick, retirements are never smooth, that was the case on June 13th, 2013, when Mark Henry came out on RAW in a salmon suit and announced his retirement. WWE World Champion John Cena joined the segment to show respect and appreciation. Still, Henry shocked the WWE Universe by hitting the World’s Strongest Slam and, instead of retiring, challenged Cena for the championship. Henry ended up winning the title at Night of the Champions 2013. Henry’s acting in the segment was fantastic and made a usually unbelievable kind of announcement believable.
Ric Flair Returns in 2001
Following the closure of WCW in March 2001, several WCW wrestlers invaded the WWE through the summer and fall before losing the Winner Take All match at Survivor Series 2001. The night after Survivor Series on November 19th, 2001, Ric Flair made his shocking return to the company and was revealed as the man that bought Shane and Stephanie McMahon’s stake in the WWE. As a result, Flair and Vince McMahon were co-owners. While Flair not being involved in the Invasion storyline was a disappointment, his return to WWE was memorable.
Vader Attacks Monsoon 96
Vader made his debut for the WWE at the 1996 Royal Rumble event and, the following night, made a big splash. Well, Vader made a big splash on WWE President Gorilla Monsoon. Vader’s attack on Gorilla was a shocking development as non-wrestlers were not actively involved in confrontations during this era. The attack was brutal enough that Roddy Piper replaced Monsoon.
Shawn Michaels Collapses
By November 1995, WWE had yet to adopt the reality-based programming that WCW would soon make popular the following year. However, WWE had an actual storyline before WCW went in that direction when Shawn Michaels collapsed after being kicked by Owen Hart. For several minutes the WWE audience was left speechless as a motionless Shawn Michaels remained on the mat as RAW went off the air. It was one of the more emotional endings to RAW of all time.
Kid Upsets Ramon ’93
The upset heard around the world took place on May 17th, 1993. The Kid pinning Razor Ramon following a moonsault was the first example of anything could happen on WWE RAW. It was also the first star-making performance to take place on RAW.
Bret Hart Returns 2010
The moment that nobody saw happening took place on January 4th, 2010. Bret Hart returned to the WWE for the first time since November 1997 and buried the hatchet with Shawn Michaels to move past the Montreal Screwjob. Bret’s return is also notable for being direct competition with Impact Wrestling attempting to challenge WWE on Mondays. That competition did not last long.
Pillman Brings a Gun on RAW
Brian Pillman having a gun on RAW is one of the most controversial moments in RAW history and perhaps one of the moments that was a precursor to the Attitude era. On November 4th, 1996, Steve Austin broke into Brian Pillman’s home looking for revenge when Pillman pulled out a gun, and a gunshot sounded. The moment nearly cost WWE their programming spot with the USA Network. Vince McMahon also issued a rare apology for the intense angle that may not have been suitable for the targeted audience. Nevertheless, Pillman’s crazed eye look pointing a gun at Austin is a memorable image.
Kane’s Unmasking 2003
Since making his debut in October 1997, the WWE Universe has questioned Kane’s appearance under his mask. Paul Bearer, Kane’s manager, had claimed that Kane disfigured his face in a fire during his childhood. Nobody knew what Kane looked like under the mask, but that changed on June 23rd, 2003. After losing a match to Triple H, Kane was forced to unmask and snapped. The WWE Universe didn’t know what to expect, but Kane’s disfigured face was just black paint, a shaved head, and colored contacts. Despite the lackluster reveal, the moment Kane unmasked was unforgettable.
Bischoff 2002 RAW Debut
Eric Bischoff was the man who almost forced WWE to close back in the mid-1990s. The thought of Bischoff and McMahon ever working together was very unlikely. However, on July 15th, 2002, the wrestling world was shocked when Erich Bischoff made his WWE debut and hugged Vince McMahon live on-air after being announced as the RAW General Manager. Bischoff’s debut was a prime example of expecting the unexpected in the WWE.