Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Raw 1000 review

Your Good Buddy Condor chronicles his (surprisingly) underwhelming experience watching the 1000th episode of Monday Night Raw.

Well, kids, we've done it.  We climbed the top of Mount Everest with only a Granola bar and half a bottle of frozen Gatorade left, frozen in every extremity known on our bodies (and a few I personally didn't know I had), but overall triumphant in our quest: WWE, congratulations, you have successfully produced 1000 episodes of Monday Night Raw.  Not even the Simpsons, an animated television show that we have all known existed since seemingly the Cretaceous Period, could have prayed for or even imagined coming close to this historic mark.  Not even its redheaded (and slightly more talented, IMO) stepchild that airs on Friday nights on the SyFy network (whatever the hell that's supposed to mean) has as many episodes under its belt. Ever since that lonely January evening on the top floor of the "toilet" (Mean Gene's words, not mine) known as the Manhattan Center in New York City in 1993, Vince McMahon and company have been pumping out episode after episode of groundbreaking moments, high-octane professional wrestling action (well, about as high octane as you could get without adding the letters "E", "C", "F", and "W"), and overall more drama than your average soap opera.  Except this soap opera featured dudes in tights, a walking zombie whose caretaker held an urn (who turned into a biker around the year 2000 and lasted till about 2003 before going back to the dark side), pro wrestling's first ever flamboyantly gay character since "Adorable" Adrian Adonis, an unmarketable WCW character that ended up grossing more money for himself and the company than anyone in history....the list just goes on, and on, and ON, folks.  Countless matches, countless wrestlers (deceased, past, present, and most definitely future), and countless moments that made you take a step back and go "wow, I did not just see that".  But you did, hoss.  More than likely, you actually did.

Yeah, it's definitely a black-tie affair, a big deal, if you will.  This is actually the first night since the dread Monday Night Wars that Raw will start going to 3 hours regularly instead of two.  And now that I think about it, only WCW Monday Nitro was as bold to pull a stunt like that.  Raw has had 3 hour shows in the past, but definitely not regularly, so it'll be interesting to see what we, as a wrestling audience, have to look forward to as we pay homage to the past and pave the way for the future (I sincerely hope, anyway, we all know WWE's track record of taking sure-fire success situations and flushing them down the toilet).

So, without another moment's hesitation, Your Good Buddy Condor is happy to present:

The Comprehensive Review of Monday Night Raw #1000!

Obviously we're heading in a different direction, as we don't get the classic stock footage from old to new like we have been for the past several years.  Instead, it's all futuristic and stuff, from what I remember.  Then the video package begins, and it chronicles basically the passage of time from 1993 all the way up to 2012.  The music in the background...I don't very much care for it, but it may appeal to the mainstream fans, so I'm not going to be an internet troll and judge negatively.  Some of the more notable moments I recognized and marked out to (some of which I never got to watch live):
--the Zamboni incident (missed)
--Mark Henry sharing a bed with Mae Young (thank Christ I missed THAT boat)
--Bob Barker sharing the stage of Monday Night Raw (back during the whole guest host scenario that happened week after week for many months, but one that I'm still bummed I missed)
--Donald Trump slapping the taste out of Vince McMahon's mouth
--TYSON AND AUSTIN!!!! TYSON AND AUSTIN!!!!(missed...dammit)
--Stephanie McMahon screaming with rage at Triple H for ruining their renewing-of-wedding-vows ceremony (something that will forever be imbedded in my skull for the rest of my existence, fueling the occasional nightmare)
--Mick Foley upending the Rock right after Tony Schiavone snidely remarked "eh, that'll put some butts in seats" (missed...perhaps you'll notice a trend...)
--Golddust doing his tourrette's syndrome gimmick
--Jim Ross attempting to dance in the middle of the ring (thank Christ I missed THAT boat, too)
--Randy Orton being tossed out of his own house through a window by Triple H (coupled with the worst acting I've ever heard from a woman in my life, she sounded like a car alarm instead of a human screaming)
--AJ kissing CM Punk right before sending him and Daniel Bryan careening through a table (a moment that had happened two weeks before MITB, right around when I started watching the product again)
--Kane chasing Shane McMahon into a limo through the sunroof, only for Shane O Mac to send said limo crashing into the underside of a trailer
--Chris Jericho's very first appearance on WWF television, on Raw no less (really pissed I missed this)
--Christian making an impassioned plea to Chris Jericho about his shrinkage problem ("The little General is making his retreat!"  Ah, memories...)
--John Cena vs K-Fed (shudder...)
--Bret screwed Bret (missed, and didn't understand what was going on during that time until I became smart to the business)
--Shawn losing his smile (missed, and again didn't understand what was going on during that time until I became smart to the business)
--Edge being forced to retire after WrestleMania 27 due to his fragile neck (something I didn't see live, but I was nevertheless shocked.  He was one of the greatest in the WWE modern era, and his heel work post tag-team...supremely awesome)
--Ric Flair's final farewell (well, final goodbye from the WWE, before he decided to go to TNA and bury his career HIMSELF as opposed to having other people do it to him way back in WCW...)
--Triple H making a statement about how Eddie Guererro would be proud and would have wanted the show to go on...

A moment of your time, if I may...

Eddie Guererro was, as you may have guessed from my last rant on the Not-Voldemort Tribute Show, one of the very finest professional wrestlers the world has even known.  While some of you may not share my opinion of the man, and may even find some negative criticism of his work, I understand that he wasn't perfect.  That having been said, he was (and still is, to this day) one of my biggest inspirations when it comes to professional wrestling.  If it's for no other reason, it was because of his work ethic.  Night in and night out, show after show, gig after gig, this man wrestled with the passion and desire that would solidify his career as one of the greatest of all time.  He wasn't just the definition of a wrestler, to me, he was wrestling, much more than Hulk Hogan ever was, ever is today, and EVER WILL BE.  Rest in Peace, Eddie.  Viva la raza.

OK, where were we?  Oh, right, opening package, which has gone on for quite some time...

--The bedpan incident with Austin and Vince in the hospital (in East Lansing, no less)
--CM Punk cashing in his MITB contract to upend Edge for the World Heavyweight Championship ( 8D (emoticon for smiling widely whilst wearing sunglasses, enticing the belief that this was most awesome))
--Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels hugging in the middle of the ring, burying the hatchet forever (missed, but prior research lets me know that it was during the New Monday Night Wars with Tits-N-Ass...)
--Shawn Michaels imitating Hulk Hogan
--And finally, before this article becomes about as long as War and Peace (which it still might by the time this is over)...Shane McMahon informing his father that "I now own WCW!"

Ho boy...another moment of your time, if I may, please...

This, THIS, was the moment in time that we, as collective wrestling fans, needed to realize that something was very, very wrong when it came to Vince McMahon purchasing WCW and thus opening the floodgates to finally have WWF vs. WCW.  Though most fans of the day knew that what was going on in the ring in both companies was staged, scripted, and predetermined, the raw hatred that Vince McMahon and Eric Bischoff shared against each other was very, VERY real, and the rivalry between the two companies was as real as it got back during the Monday Night Wars.  The dirt sheets always had to have some article talking about what would happen if a huge star from WCW like Goldberg ever got into the ring against a huge star from the WWF like The Rock or Stone Cold.  Hell, Goldberg and Steve Austin looked almost exactly the same, but their personalities on screen were very different.  Vince could have spent 75% of the family treasury just to get the big guns and have WCW completely wash over the WWF, and I mean the top stars, not the curtain jerkers and the midcarders.  What happened during the InVasion was so horrible, so bad for the business, that it only took about six months -- SIX MONTHS -- to render anything revolving around the Monday Night War rivalry dead, buried, and irrelevant.  These two companies had feuded and competed against each other for over FIVE YEARS, and yet it took just six months for it all to unravel.

So yeah, as we wash that taste out of our mouths, and the opening pyro kicks off, I'm still keeping that travesty in mind as we watch Raw 1000 unfold before our very eyes, praying for the kind of transcendent event that we can all point back to and say "wow, this was when wrestling became fun again."  Then again, wrestling has been fun for quite a lot of people and I've just missed out on the great action.  This is my perspective here, and it is your duty, as a sane thinking person, to ensure you do not get it in your head that this is the end-all, be-all opinion to have.  I implore you to come up with negative criticism as long as it is steeped in triangular logic, i.e. A is B because of C.  Plus, I need feedback on my blogs to make sure I'm entertaining you and not making you fall asleep as you frantically finish off that term paper that's due tomorrow morning.

So, Vince McMahon is the very first person to come out on stage and to the ring when Raw 1000 goes live. Although I think the proceedings are a bit against what was advertised, it is still an appropriate enough moment.  Say what you will about Vince McMahon, especially if you're the type to believe that his ego is so big he crushes competetive, compelling wrestling promotions by just wiggling his eyebrows, but without him, we would not enjoy the product as we see it today.  It certainly would not be a form of entertainment that lasted 1000 episodes, nor would it have been seen in (and in some cases, broadcasted from) multiple countries throughout the world.  Vince says thank you to the fans, does the classic "Welcome to Monday Night Raw" that sends nostalgic shivers through my spine, even if I never actually saw the first episode live on TV (had to do it through DVDs), and then, without a further moment's delay, Vince actually delivers on USA's promise and brings out DX....6 minutes past 8 PM.

Oh well, can't complain too much.  Sadly, I'm simply reminded of DX's resurrection in 2006, when they pretty much feuded with Vince, Shane, and the Spirit Squad.  Hey, remember those guys?  One of those former male cheerleaders is now carrying a powder blue metal briefcase that allows him to have a World Heavyweight Championship match whenever he chooses within the next year.  Shawn and Trips do their normal routine, joking about how something might be missing and how said something might be their underwear, before they get down to brass tacks and unleash our first surprise for the evening...

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, children of all ages, introducing the former 5-time, Tag Team, Champions of the WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORLD, The Road Dogg Jesse James, and Bad Ass Billy Gunn, The New Age Outlaws!  Oh, and Waltman's with them, too.  Still, damn nice surprise, seeing as they even came in driving what may be the very same Jeep (complete with hilariously large cannon) that DX used to invade the Norfolk Scope.  Wow, what a flashback!  And the crowd was LOUD when Road Dogg went into the legendary introduction.  I mean, this crowd is absolutely nuclear right now.  Then Kip and Shawn have a bit of a disagreement on the part where they go "got two words for ya" (and Shawn sounds like he's either battling the flu or trying to do his best Marlon Brando impersonation, cause his voice is horase as all get out), they decide to do it together, but on 3, and seemingly on cue...

HALLELUJAH!  Damien Sandow comes out, with the robe and everything, looking absolutely impeccable.  The first time I saw this man, I was at Hooters in Flint, MI, for Money in the Bank, and I was hanging out with my wrestler friends, and a few of them started clapping respectfully, as if the man was a godsend and an extreme talent that was sorely needed.  And granted, when I saw him wrestle in that match that night, he was impressive.  But as he started to cut a promo that is full of large words and viscous disdain, I now understand why the applause was necessary during MITB...the man is a genius, and will probably be a new force to be reckoned with in the WWE.  You know, it would be just fantastic if Damien were to get a bit of a rub from the guys that revolutionized the industry, pass the torch, if you will.  After all, this is part of the future of the company, and Vince and Co. would be remiss to have this fine fresh wrestler fall victim to five guys that were hot once upon a time but had their time in the sun...

Come on, now.  Two of the five guys in the ring at this point and time are two of the master backstage politicians of this present time, and while one of them lost his smile, the other lost his mind in 2003.  To the group's credit, they didn't just straight up pounce on him, but...yeah, Sweet Chin Music into a Pedigree, and Sandow is out like a light.  Billy Gunn ends up getting what he wanted after all, and closes out the catchphrase to a thunderous ovation.  While I kind of wished Sandow would have wrestled against one of the guys, or even better, had a quick 10-man match, in the long run, this might have been the best way to handle the segment.

Next up, we have a 6-man tag pitting Rey Mysterio, Sin Cara, and World Champion Sheamus taking on the tandem of Chris Jericho, SmackDown's Mr. Money in the Bank Dolph Ziggler, and Alberto Del Rio.  And someone thought it was a good idea to spend a full segment on each wrestler's separate entrance, then go to commercial.  That someone should be brained with a skillet, Cactus Jack style, but maybe that's just me.  The match actually started during the commercial break, and what we saw of the match on TV was so quick that those of us accustomed to having the match build over time were left scratching our heads.  I know that the spotfest to get to the point where Sheamus kick's Jericho's head off to get the pin (therefore making Jericho count the lights once again...maybe he is losing his touch) was abnormally fast, almost as if someone was trying to make sure all the skits got in tonight.  Again, we're trying to focus on wrestling here in the present and the future, so the hell with your skits.

Case in point: AJ is in the back getting ready for her big wedding with Daniel Bryan (and she's as gorgeous as ever, but as we've seen with the Diva Search, beautiful women have, over time, been reduced to being so annoying you'd rather see someone homely looking that can actually wrestle).  Layla comes up behind her and says...something, I don't have a clue what.  Because, you see folks, right around this time, my girlfriend called me, and I put the show on mute so I could talk to her.  I also started to walk around my apartment so that I wouldn't get too distracted.  Even as I sit here typing this, I can tell you with certainty that I did not miss anything of any importance.  I did, however, notice the following:

--Hacksaw Jim Duggan shouting "HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" just outside AJ's door, paying homage to a ridiculous angle in which Duggan would make fun of Lita (then Edge's valet after she cheated on Matt Hardy in real life) by feeding the straight line and then bellowing "HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!", implying that Lita was a woman of ill repute

--R-Truth and Roddy Piper playing jump-rope with R-Truth's invisible friend (I have no idea what that gimmick's all about, nor do I care to know)

--And last and most disgustingly of all, Mae Young (who is still alive after all this time) standing next to a doofus stuffed inside a giant foam hand costume.

Um.......folks, yet another moment of your time, if I may...

I wasn't around to see the angle that led up to this moment in history, but I am certainly not disappointed that I missed it.  Basically, Mae Young slept with Mark Henry (back when he was known as "Sexual Chocolate" and was a bit of a horn-dog), and she got pregnant and gave birth to a hand.  Now said hand was apparently grown up and attended RAW's 1000th episode with his extremely geriatric mother.

Now, I know we're not supposed to take stuff like this seriously.  We're supposed to laugh and then just carry on with our lives.  "Ahaha, it's Hand, he's grown up, OK, let's see the next match."  But, kids, you see...I'm the kind of guy that sees that and wonders out loud "Who the flaming hell thought this was a good idea?!"  WWE is in the PG era now, and when this angle first started, the WWF at the time was anything but PG.  So, even if this was supposed to be a one-off laugh at a cornball wrestling angle in the past, it's still disgusting, because this was during the time where the product wasn't for kids at all.  Having your kids see this guy in the hand-suit and then having them ask you, "Daddy, what's that about?" is all the image you need to envision in your mind to see where I'm going with this rant, which has now ended.  OK...

We then segue to Brunette Trish Stratus (and it took me a few seconds to recognize her, seeing as she was blonde the whole time I've ever seen her on TV), working with Triple H on his yoga.  Of course, as he keeps bending down to touch his toes, he keeps pulling his hamstring (or his quad, if you follow the two times he's blown his quads in the ring, both incidents being unfortunate).  The second time, Trish actually goes behind to encourage Trips, making it look for all the world like she was about to dry-hump him, when the rest of DX comes in.  OK, this was done better when Trips was actually teaching Trish how to hike a football, when Stephanie walked in on the two of them, and Hunter had this zoinks, Scoob look on his face as the great misunderstanding seemed to take place.
And now, the moment we've all been dreading, the one segment that might get more airtime than any other segment on the show, and definitely more than any actual wrestling: it is finally time for AJ and Daniel Bryan to tie the knot.  But like every wedding, we need a priest to make the ceremony binding (at least on a religious level, but that's a whole 'nother topic), and who do they choose to send out to begin the proceedings?

Sure e-fucking-nough, the Doctor of Style himself comes shuffling out of the back, and they even have the titantron from his old days, big lips and all.  This was definitely a genius move, and a genuine mark-out moment for me.  Shame I never got to see his antics with Kamala teaching him how to bowl.  Dude could cut a promo just about as well as anyone in the business back in the day, and he was even the first African American pro wrestling manager, so there's a little history as well.

Time for some social media shenanigans: fans were asked to tweet either #ajido or #ajidont, and the fans were against AJ marrying Daniel Bryan.  Unfortunately, I think if they added the following choice, the numbers would have spoken for themselves much more clearly: #ajidontcare.

Lawler-isms of the night: "I've been married so many times I've got rice marks on my face.", and my personal favorite, "Love is grand, but divorce is 100 grand."

Daniel Bryan's out next, looking dapper in his white tuxedo, doing the "YES! YES! YES!" all the way down the ramp.

I know I've done this far too many times already but, kids, YET ANOTHER moment of your time, if you'd indulge me.  I promise, this shan't take long...

What?  In the blue hell?  Is this gimmick about?  Can anyone please explain why the word "YES!" is such an integral part of Bryan's gimmick?  Is it because it's a large part of AJ's gimmick?  What the hell is this all about?

OK, back to the wedding..."March of the Bride" actually plays over the organ, which is classy, and I have to admit, AJ is looking like an angel clipped her wings and decided to land on Earth.  I get why she's such a hit with the guys these days.

OK, I said at one point that this would probably be the longest skit in recorded history, but...yeah, this is officially the longest skit in recorded history.  And I swear to God above as my witness, if the crowd chants "What!" one more time, I'm gonna go postal.  That catchphrase was old back in the year of our lord two thousand and TWO, yet the audience still uses it to this day!  Ugh, enough.

Strangely enough, nobody seems to come out when Slick gives the supposed cue by finding out if there's anyone that wants to speak up or forever hold their peace, and startlingly, both parties say yes.  But anyone that has watched a wedding skit on WWF/WWE television knows by heart that a wedding under said circumstances never goes off without a hitch, and the hitch goes off right when Slick goes to pronounce them man and wife.  And that's when AJ drops the bombshell that she received a proposal from another man, and that man is..............Vince McMahon?!?!  And then he goes on to say that it's not a wedding proposal, but a business proposal?  Oh, right, we're supposed to find out who the new Raw GM is tonight!  Well, this is an odd time for such an announcement, but the entire IWC and even the WWE universe have been on pins and needles trying to figure out who was behind the emails, who screwed Jerry Lawler out of his victory at WrestleMania 27, and who has overall been responsible for those annoying ass dings.  Well, wonder no more as...........

AJ IS THE FUCKING GM?!?!?!?!?!?!!?!?!?!?!?  ARE YOU PEOPLE EVEN SERIOUS RIGHT NOW?!?!  To paraphrase the great Jim Cornette, FUCK THIS COMPANY!  A crazy girl in control of the company?  She was the one behind the emails?  And even if they don't mention that whole angle, still, who the fuck thought this was a good idea?!?!?!

OK, it was probably done for shock value, since no one ever thought this was going to happen, and this is a hell of a twist, but still, come the fuck on!  Maybe it's because we have to establish the future and not look to the past with options such as William Regal, or even Stone Cold, but...FUCK!  AJ?!?!?!  What is she gonna do, make the wrestlers do finger paintings?  Fire people that don't pay attention to her?  Do a skit where she's the bachelor on the WWE dating game and has Daniel Bryan, CM Punk, and Jameson (yes, the nerd, Jameson) vying for her affections, only for her to turn them all down and leap into Kane's arms again?  I need to stop typing right now, lest I give Laryngitis and the hack writing team ideas.

Daniel Bryan sure as hell can't believe it, as his only response to this whole thing is to repeatedly shout "NO!" at the top of his lungs, while AJ screams "YES!" at the top of hers at the top of the ramp.  This goes on for two minutes too long, and we go to break as D-Bry goes apeshit and destroys everything in sight like a petulant child that got a PlayStation instead of an Xbox for Christmas.

We're back from break, and D-Bry is still in the ring, which causes WWE Champ CM Punk to come out.  Seeing as he has a title match later tonight against John Cena, pausing to taunt Daniel Bryan for his getting ditched at the altar may not be the wisest of decisions, especially if the dude decided to take out his frustrations on Punk.  After all, he's still smarting from that MITB loss, but apparently, that doesn't matter, as Bryan Danielson, one of Ring of Honor's most dominant wrestlers and the wet dream for internet geeks the world over, has apparently been reduced to an angry emo whiner who claims to be the greatest WWE superstar of all time (and draws it out slowly and rage-y).  This, of course, prompts the arrival of the Brahma Bull, The REAL People's Champion (sorry, Tito Ortiz), and, more importantly, The Human Catchphrase Machine, The Rock.  Johnson has noticeable goosebumps standing at the top of that ramp before striding down like only he can, as well he should.  This crowd, despite having just been served the single biggest turd disguised as a "payoff" ever, is still going bananas for Rocky.

Rocky then tells Bryan that he doesn't get to say who the greatest of all time is, but rather, the people do, and they respond with "Randy Savage!"  Oh, wait, I'm sorry, they do a Rocky chant.  It's not incorrect, but still, the people could have been very creative on deciding amongst themselves who the greatest of all time really was.  It would have been chaotic, to say the least.  Anyway, since the people have cleared that up, FINALLY, THE ROCK HAS COME BACK TO ST. LOOOOOOOOUUUUUUUUUUUUUISSSSS-AH!  I have to admit, every single time he does this, I still get goosebumps.  The Rock is here for one reason, and one reason only: the WWE Championship.  And he makes this an unspoken point when he divulges the fact that he won his very first WWF title in St. Louis (he didn't actually use the initials, I did, because fuck pandas).  Long story short (not that this blog entry isn't long enough already), after making fun of Bryan's beard and likening him to a certain Baggins from the Lord of the Rings (no, not Bilbo), Rocky inserts himself into the #1 contender's spot for the Royal Rumble.  Whoever is the WWE champion will defend the title against The Rock.

OK, this opens the door to several potential matchups, but still, this is a bit of a dick move, in my opinion.  Rocky, if you were so adamant about the WWE championship, then you would have done what every fan you left behind while you were in Hollywood has wanted you to do: get back in the ring full-time and, I don't know, earn your way to the WWE championship.  Of course, we real wrestling fans should not expect as much from the WWE anymore, but still, the hope is there.  Anyway, Rocky rock-bottoms Daniel Bryan to a huge pop, then walks to the back eyeballing CM Punk.  You know what might have worked here?  Oh, I don't know, a Daniel Bryan/Rocky match?!  What does the second W in WWE stand for again?

By the way, the social media shenanigans are in full force tonight, as fans are asked to choose between three of these potential matchups: Rock vs Punk (the most likely scenario), Rock vs. Big Show (the FUCK?!), and Rock/Cena II (an admittedly decent choice, especially compared to the second option).

Well, even the nitwits putting on this show finally figured out that, by gum, this can't be a wrestling show without some, you know, wrestling, as the Intercontinental Title is now set to be defended by Christian against an as of yet undetermined opponent.  The kicker about this match is that the special guest ring announcer is arguably the very best technical wrestler and Intercontinental Champion of all time, right next to Ricky Steamboat, Eddie Guererro and Not-Voldemort, Bret "the Hitman" Hart.  For a moment, I wanted to believe that Bret Hart was actually going to challenge for the title, but he actually brings out The Miz, which, judging by what we've seen so far, actually isn't all that horrible, and does promise, in fact, an honestly good WRESTLING match.  And I am somewhat vindicated, as this was by far the best thing on the show.  Again, kind of wished Bret Hart was the one to step up to the plate, but good job by the Miz in securing the title.  Not sure how winning the Intercontinental Title would be more important than the WWE title, but this is nonetheless huge.  Great match, and great moment.  Also, some people are going to bitch about Miz being champ as opposed to Christian, but the way I see it, it's a good way to move forward, which is something the rest of the company could learn how to do.

After the next set of commercials, we're back in the ring ushering Der Game out to the ring, rocking the Motorhead music as always.  He's still got his DX shirt on, but he's looking all business right now.  So he can be an aloof, sophmoric jerk one minute and then a bad-ass COO the next?  That's Triple H booking for ya.  Anyways, Trips calls out Brock Lesnar, and here comes the pain...but "the pain" bears a painstaking resemblance to the former owner of ECW, Paul Heyman, and in fact, that's who is indeed walking down the ramp.  Brock is in the building, but Heyman gives Trips his answer to the challenge: no.  I don't think even Tyson Tomko could have pulled that off any better.

Trips threatens to go looking for Brock, and Heyman advises (in that classic smartass voice) that it wouldn't be best for business.  Trips tries to goad Brock out by calling him a coward, and this prompts Heyman to retort that not only is he acting like a child, but that 1) he teaches his children not do to it, and 2), more importantly, he wonders out loud if that's what Hunter teaches his kids to do. 

This starts a very, very long and very, very uncomfortable angle regarding an apparent unspoken rule: it's totally OK to bring kids into the match between Trips and Brock, just as long as it isn't the Levesque kids.  Because by the time this whole thing gets to the tipping point, Stephanie McMahon comes out (admittedly and absolutely smokin', I might add), and eventually gets Heyman to crack by calling him a pathetic parasite and slapping him dead in the face.  Paul actually makes a fairly good point when he says that Stephanie, "Daddy's Little Girl", always seems to get what she wants.  This young woman was born from the seed of the man that made a monopoly of himself by borrowing ECW's ideas and then burying WCW six feet under with the InVasion angle, so if anyone taught Nipple H about how to get what she wants, look no further than Der Furher himself, Vincent Kennedy McMahon. 

On a side note, if they actually bring the kids, the physical kids, into this'll be worse than the Benoit Tribute Show.  Keep it between the wrestlers, WWE.  I'm warning you.  Oh, who am I kidding?  Bet the house and the farm on this: Aroura Rose Levesuqe will make her television debut on Monday Night Raw between now and SummerSlam, and she'll either 1) get pummeled in some way by Brock Lesnar, or 2) be the second child to be the focal point in a "child-on-a-pole" match.  There is nothing good that can come of this unless they keep the focus away from the kids and onto the actual participants in the match.  But good taste has seldom been a forte within the WWE, so when Steph's little girl is shown in the public light, remember: you read it here first, Condors.

Anyways, after Steph starts whaling on Heyman (after bringing up the Levesuqe kids AGAIN!), here comes the pain, for real this time.  Except instead of gunning for the ring right away, he poses on the ramp, then starts stomping to the ring.  Ah, this business is so funny sometimes.  The melee thankfully stays between Hunter and Brock, and the latter is summarily dumped from the ring.  Again, I stress, keep this feud between Lesnar and Hunter and leave the kids out of it.  But they won't.  Ugh.

We then are shown a video package highlighting the one feud that seems to transcend everything that has happened to the wrestling business, the one feud that will be remembered when we're crusty old farts bitching about how Dean Ambrose never got his shot (and whoever else becomes a darling in the indies, if the indies even last that long).  And that feud is Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. Vincent Kennedy McMahon.  While remembering this feud is all kinds of awesome, only one half of this feud has confirmed his presence in the building tonight, and that's Vince.  The whole night, I thought to myself, "Where the hell is Stone Cold?  He practically personified Monday Night Raw.  The WWF would have been nothing without him!"

Well, kids, I was stemming and stewing about it until I happened to come across a blog posted by none other than the Texas Rattlesnake himself.  I have to say, having read it, it was a great move on his part to explain why he was unable to attend Raw 1000, and, in fact, refused to do so.  It was because he had much-needed surgery on his knee, and if he would have shown up, he would have done so on crutches.  Now stop and think about that, my friends, and especially my Condors from YouTube, if you happen to read this: imagine hearing the glass break, and the roof being blown off the place as the crowd comes out of their seats...only to see their hero, their god, Steve Austin, hobbling to the ring on crutches.  The man that gave countless Stunners to countless enemies (and allies, for that matter), and opened up case after case of whoop-ass for several years running...hobbling to the ring on crutches.  That image would most likely have done more damage than good to the overall mood of Raw 1000, emphatically telling us that, while these men were great at one time, the fact was, they were getting old, and it was showing.  Austin should be commended for his decision to turf himself from Raw's biggest show for his consciousness for the business that he still loves, and anyone that's still pissy about it after reading about this tidbit...kindly fuck off.  Thank you.

We're back from another commercial break, and several articles are shown as Cole and Lawler talk about the publicity Raw 1000 has...waitaminute...there's one image of a guy in orange tights doing what suspiciously looks like a diving headbutt.  That's not Not-Voldemort, is it?  Cause for that split-second, I could have sworn that's what it looked like.  Not really able to go back and prove it,, anyone that did catch that and even thought it was him...bad, bad timing by WWE.

Anyways, we have another special guest ring announcer, and it's The Fink!  Even when introducing Heath Slater, he made it sound like a really important match, which, trust me, it's not.  Not even the One Man Band can save us now.  I've still got that sour taste in my mouth about Heyman bringing up Hunter's kids too many times.  Anyways, Heath Slater once again vows that his luck is going to turn around, and he issues an open challenge to any legend in the back for a no disqualification match.  The man who decides to answer the challenge...isn't actualyl a man, but rather, it's Lita.  Never mind losing to an old man last week in the form of Road Warrior Animal (who really looked like a shell of his former self, and I was a bit saddened to see it), if the One Man Band can't even upend a woman (an admittedly very skilled and talented woman, who looks as hot as ever), there's no telling where his career will end up from here.

Of course, Lita admits she brought some protection.  No, not that kind of protection, ya pervs.  This is protection that comes in three letters: APA.  Farooq and Bradshaw come out to the ring in the old APA gear for the first time in at least a decade to a thunderous ovation.  Great to see JBL again, even though it would have been even more awesome if he showed up with the horned limo.  Long story short, even Slater figures out that this isn't going his way, and he tries to high-tail it, but he runs into all of the legends that he lost to (except for Doink, who he supposedly beat, thanks Michael Cole), and he's forced back into the ring.  Twist of Fate, Clothesline from Hell, Moonsault, 1, 2, 3, this one's done.  All the legends stand over Slater's broken body, and Ron Simmons does the long pause before going "DAMN!"  Cool moment seeing Vader, Sid, DDP, Animal, and the others.

A feud between Daniel Bryan and Charlie Sheen?  Please, don't be so stupid.  And Sean Mooney still sucks.  There's not much else I can add to that segment.  Instead, I'll use this space to add two more things I seem to have forgotten while creating this super-long blog, making it even more super long: first, Santino Marella and Hornswoggle came down to the ring and started handing "Brawler Buddies" to the kids in the audience.  Normally I'd scoff at that, but I used to have an Ultimate Warrior Wrestling Buddy when I was little, and that thing ruled.  However, mine didn't talk, as these Brawler Buddies did.  Secondly, we had ourselves yet another dose of The Funkasaurus, Brodus Clay, going against Jack Swagger, but before the match started, Brodus Clay brought out one more surprise, and I marked hard when he came out.  Want a hint?  Here goes:

There's only one cat that can bring peace to the War Zone, and that's...DUDE LOVE!

Yes, Dude F'n Love, Mrs. Foley's Baby Boy, breaks out the Tye Dye once again and struts on down the ramp.  Yes, it's a total squash of Jack Swagger (a former World's Champion), but nonetheless, it's a great moment, especially when Foley -- I mean Dude Love -- grabs a tye dye version of Mr. Socko and applies the Mandible Claw to Swagger.  Can't believe I forgot this one!

Staredown between The Rock and John Cena.  Gotta admit, it gave me chills.  I wouldn't mind seeing these two sqare off at the Royal Rumble, but that's a long damn way away, long enough for Rocky to shoot another crappy straight-to-DVD movie and then get in the ring.  As long as he doesn't injure himself during shooting.  God knows it's hard work walking from the trailer to get a PA to snatch you a latte, extra foamy.

Kane comes out for his match next, but then he is interrupted by Jinder Mahal, and he's got more than a handful of backup in the form of Tyler Reks, Curt Hawkins, Drew McIntyre, and the tag team of Hunico and Camacho.  Right away, the Big Red Machine is outnumbered, but the lights go out, and the gong sounds off.  And, also, there goes the roof.  Again.  Dead Man Walking.  Slowly.  Seriously, the time it took for Undertaker to make it down the ramp, Mahal and the boys could have left Kane for dead and then jumped the guardrail.  Regardless, Undertaker (looking like he could join the Road Warriors) and Kane clean house before staring at each other, the memories washing over everyone (including myself) of how these two powerhouses dominated as a tag team, and tore each other apart as enemies.  Taker bows, Kane sets off his pyro, and soon after, we go to commercial before the big main event.

And so, here we are, at the launch pad to the future.  Everything during the course of the night has been building to this moment, and the future of the company most definitely hangs in the balance.  It's unlikely that the company will die if a huge catastrophe were to envelop the main event, because there's too much money behind it, but if it doesn't deliver, and deliver hard, it'll be same old, same old come Raw 1001, and only the diehards and masochists will stick around.

This article has already reached War and Peace proportions (hell, it's probably reached Starr Report proportions), so I'm making this short and sweet, plus there's something to be said about the finish.  Punk and Cena put on a great match, but, of course, Big Show had to get involved, and, to pay homage to seemingly every RAW since the start of the Monday Night Wars, we had a ref bump precede all of this.  Big Show KO's Cena with the WMD, and Punk is left with a decision: wake the ref up and cover Cena, or wait until he gets up so that he can hit the GTS himself.  He goes for the former choice, but Cena kicks out.  Punk then decides to put Cena into position for the GTS, but Cena reverses into the STF(U).  Punk is trying to reach the ropes, but Big Show breaks it up.

Ladies and gentlemen, the 1000th main event of Monday Night Raw, seemingly to pay homage to the Attitude Era (more likely all that's wrong with it), has ended in a disqualification/run-in ending.  To say that this is disappointing is a bit of an understatement.  More on that in a bit, though, as we still have some action.  Big Show is flattening Cena, and Punk just walks away.  Rocky, of all people, decides to interject on Cena's behalf, and he goes to work on show, planting him with a spinebuster.  People's Elbow time...except when he bounces off the ropes the first time, he is met with a flying forearm smash from Punk.  Then he hits the GTS and looks at the carnage, finally walking away to the catcalls of the crowd.  Once again, CM Punk has turned heel.

OK, although the DQ finish was bullshit, in my opinion, the closing moments of the show do offer a promising light at the end of the tunnel.  Granted, it pretty much guarantees Rock and Punk at the Royal Rumble, so I don't expect Punk to lose the WWE title anytime soon (not that this is a problem or anything, it's just that he should probably defend the title between now and Royal Rumble, seeing as it's, I dunno, six months away).  Then again, there's no telling who The Rock will face, but if Punk's heel turn is of any indication, I sorely hope for the return of the "pipe bomb".  Because I'm dead sure CM Punk has some words for Rocky in regards to simply inserting himself in the main event of the Royal Rumble, just like he did at Wrestlemania 28.

Well, kids, you're all dismissed.  Thank you for taking this extremely long journey with me as we remember Raw 1000, but what little hope came out of the main event may not be enough to dispel the clouds of suck that are more likely than not headed our way.  The Hunter-Brock match may very well be centered around the Levesque kids, the show ended with a DQ, the best match of the night was the Intercontinental title match with The Miz (pissing off some people, but not me), and AJ.....AJ!!!...was named the new General Manager of Raw.  Folks, amazing as it sounds, I left Raw 1000 with a mixed bag, but I can assure you, there is definitely shit in it.  Just don't make me stamp it out if it gets set on fire.  My shoes are priceless.

Until next time, friends...Keep it Condor!

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