I received the following from World Wrestling Entertainment as part of their promotion of the 15th Anniversary of RAW which airs on December 10, 2007 on the USA Network. This marks only the second time that I have used someone elses work on the site. The reason I have done this is because the list is highly entertaining and it is interesting to see how the WWE ranks their own moments.
1. Raw Beats Nitro For Good - 3/26/01If you tuned in to WCW Monday Nitro on this night, you saw Shane McMahon standing in the center of a WCW ring. On Raw, Mr. McMahon stood glowing in front of a Cleveland crowd, bragging about his much-publicized purchase of WCW. But, when The Chairman signaled for the TV feed’s switch to Nitro, he was met with a familiar face—son Shane McMahon, who revealed an unfamiliar truth. The name on the contract to purchase WCW was, in fact, McMahon, but the first name was not Vince. Instead, Shane-O Mac sidestepped The Chairman and bought WCW right out from under him. While not directly a victory for Mr. McMahon, this night was a victory for World Wrestling Entertainment.
2. The Beginning Of A Legacy - 1/11/93
Make no mistake; on this night at New York City’s Manhattan Center, sports-entertainment as it exists today was born. Unlike anything that had ever preceded it in the world of wrestling, Raw combined a large, rowdy crowd with worldwide television exposure, and WWE fans were treated to an experience that was “uncut, uncooked, and uncensored.” The kickoff episode featured appearances from future WWE Legends like the Undertaker
and HBK, along with hosts Vince McMahon, Randy “Macho Man” Savage
and, uh, “Ramblin’ ” Rob Bartlett. OK, so nobody’s perfect.
3. “Bret Screwed Bret.” - 11/17/97
A week after the most controversial night in sports-entertainment history
, the 1997 Survivor Series, the wrestling world was abuzz with debate over the main event, in which Bret “Hit Man” Hart was unceremoniously “screwed” out of his WWE Championship. Based on knowledge of Hart’s imminent departure to WCW and rumors regarding his refusal to give up his much-deserved title, fans took sides. Some stood by the Hitman, claiming he was disrespected and deceived. Mr. McMahon, however, did not. He stood by his actions, denouncing all critics, stating instead that “Bret screwed Bret.”
4. This Is Your Life, Rock - 9/27/99
After attacking The Rock
a night earlier at Unforgiven, Mankind tried to apologize with a rockin’ birthday party for The People’s Champ. During one of the most entertaining segments in WWE history, Foley dropped balloons and confetti throughout the arena, and invited The Great One’s high school sweetheart, home-ec teacher and football coach to the show. By the end, The Demented One presented The Rock with a “Rock ‘N’ Sock Connection!” jacket and his very own “Rocko” sock, and introduced Yurple the Clown to sing “Happy Birthday.” Unfortunately, as The Rock would harshly remind Mankind, his birthday is in May, not September.
5. Mr. Mcmahon Embraces Bischoff - 7/15/02In one of the most shocking Raw moments of all time, Mr. McMahon appeared onstage, hand-in-hand with the devil himself—Eric Bischoff. In this completely surreal moment, The Chairman announced that the former president of WCW would be the new General Manager and face of Raw. In front of a perplexed WWE crowd (and Superstar locker room) Bischoff entered the ring to cut his first WWE interview. In spite of being Vince’s former rival, Bischoff commended Mr. McMahon on beating WCW and the duo ended the freak show with an uncomfortable embrace.
6. DX Invades WCW - 4/27/98
Megaphone in hand, D-Generation X
invaded Norfolk, VA, to prove they were the future of sports-entertainment. In the midst of a ratings battle between WWE and WCW, DX showed up outside WCW Nitro donning fatigues and chanting, “WCW Sucks!” It didn’t take long for WCW to order security to bar DX from the premises. Weeks later, DX returned, but this time they entered WCW Headquarters in Atlanta. A herd of security descended on them in an attempt to stop the break-in. But when the guards arrived, instead of halting DX, they asked for autographs. To signify victory, DX threw crotch-chops, and told WCW those painfully familiar “two words.”
7. “That’ll Put A Lot Of Butts In The Seats.” - 1/4/99
So said one snarky WCW announcer regarding the outcome of a pre-taped Raw telecast, in which Mankind
won his first WWE Championship from The Rock. While designed to prevent viewers from flipping the dial, WCW’s miscue did exactly the opposite, prompting several hundred thousand viewers to switch from Nitro to Raw. Soon after viewers who switched to Raw actually switched back to Nitro, suggesting that WCW’s tactic was totally unnecessary. As for butts in the seats? WCW hasn’t seen one since they went out of business in 2001.
8. Iron Vs. Stone - 1/19/98
Coming off a win at the Royal Rumble the night before, Stone Cold
was ready to raise all sorts of hell. Standing in his way was not only Mr. McMahon, but also former heavyweight boxing champ Mike Tyson. The Chairman deemed Mr. Tyson “the baddest man on the planet.” This didn’t sit well with Stone Cold—he retaliated with a two-handed, middle finger salute. Iron Mike, never one to back down, instigated a shoving match that culminated in Tyson serving as the guest referee at Austin’s title shot at WrestleMania XIV. Oddly enough, Tyson turned against his supposed colleague, Shawn Michaels, and helped Austin win the WWE Championship.
9. Pillman’s Packing Heat - 11/4/96
As the Hollywood Blondes in WCW, Brian Pillman
and Steve Austin were the best of buds. But after a broken ankle (courtesy of the Rattlesnake) sidelined Flyin’ Brian, that friendship was over. And thus began a feud that culminated when Austin paid a visit to Pillman’s home. Luckily, a camera crew was there to witness Pillman pull a piece. The screen faded to black, explosive noises were reported, and Austin was dragged away, while Pillman waved the gun at him, threatening to do him in for good. Raw is known for pushing the envelope, but this unsettling moment was one of the few times even we can admit that things went too far.
10. The Original Wedding Crasher - 11/29/99As the high-class wedding of Test and Stephanie McMahon was about to begin, Mr. McMahon (who had banned all DX members from attending), asked the crowd if anyone wished to object. All seemed well, because, honestly, who would dare object to a McMahon wedding? Enter: Triple H. The Cerebral Assassin appeared and unveiled a film that showed himself kidnapping Stephanie from her bachelorette party, drugging The Chairman’s daughter and marrying her while she was unconscious. The shocking abduction proved to be a ruse, and the McMahon-Helmsley era began, kicking off a roll that has yet to slow down for Triple H.