RAW 1000 is tonight. That’s right, RAW, everyone’s favourite Monday Night show turns 1000. Over the past 1000 episodes a lot has changed; from the wrestlers in the ring to the general managers who book the matches (kayfabe!) even down to the various managers, commentators and ring announcers that surround the ring each and every Monday.
There have been a lot to choose from, but I’ve picked out my favourites from each ‘category’, even down to my favourite set and logo as well as the more obvious choices.
With 999 episodes of RAW in the past, there are a vast amount of wrestlers to pick from that can be classified as ‘Best of RAW’ but I’ve kept it short and sweet so it’s both easy to read and you actually get to watch RAW 1000:
- Shawn Michaels – Defending his Intercontinental Championship on the very first RAW in 1993 does not immediately qualify Shawn Michaels to be classed as Best of RAW. It’s what he did afterwards- super kicking Marty Jannety through the barber shop window, winning multiple championships, being a part of the infamous D-Generation X and becoming Mr. WrestleMania all mean that HBK should be best of RAW. We will see Shawn tonight at the 1000th RAW in a DX reunion.
- The Undertaker – Taker also appeared on the inaugural RAW, but again it’s what he went on to become that solidifies him as a RAW legend, despite spending most of his career on SmackDown. The Undertaker is a WrestleMania icon, and could maybe grace RAW with his presence on the 1000th show.
- Stone Cold Steve Austin – Stone Cold was the man during the Attitude Era. He was the icon of many, and the antagonist of even more. Steve Austin will forever be synonymous with a particular era in wrestling, along with this man…
- The Rock – Again synonymous with the Attitude Era, The Rock remains a childhood favourite for many fans today. He’s returning at the 1000th RAW, so expect some big news.
- John Cena – Arguably one of the most loved and hated guys today, John Cena has been a staple of RAW since he was drafted to the brand in 2005. He remains the company guy to this day, but will he be the first to lose his Money in The Bank championship match tonight on RAW 1000?
BEST AUTHORITY FIGURES
Managers, general managers, owners or whoever else can play a pivotal role on RAW as well as the wrestlers. There have certainly been some standouts:
- The McMahons – Vince, Linda, Stephanie and Shane have all appeared on Monday Night RAW at some point or another, and it’s only right that they be considered the best of RAW. After all, this is all Vince’s idea…
- Eric Bischoff – Long time General Manager and general annoyance Eric Bischoff sure did have some good ideas as General Manager back in the early 2000’s…
- Vickie Guerrero – Vickie has been an amazing manager for wrestlers on RAW. She has managed Hall of Famer Edge for starters. She currently manages Dolph Ziggler, who is sure to move on to big things going forward on RAW.
BEST RING ANNOUNCERS
Ring announcers have one job- convert all the relevant match information in a clear yet unique way. The following two have done this:
- Howard Finkel – The legend of ring announcing in the WWE, The Fink announced a good 9 years of RAW episodes and continues to be a fan favourite when he returns to guest announce. He should be back for RAW 1000 tonight.
- Justin Roberts – Current ring announcer Justin Roberts continues to be the constant professional when announcing Monday Night RAW.Long may it continue…
Commentators have a very important job,but it’s hard to look past a certain iconic duo in this one.
- Jim Ross & Jerry Lawler – Good Ol’ JR and The King have become legendary after announcing RAW to perfection for many years together.JR has since been replaced by Michael Cole but rumours are rife that JR will be returning to call at least a match or two tonight on the 1000th episode of RAW.
The set of RAW may not mean too much to most people, but to me it’s a very cool part of the show.
- 1997-2002 RAW TitanTron set – This set was the debut of the now infamous TitanTron. It was big and dominant and introduced all of the stars of the Attitude Era.
- It’s hard to look past the sleek design of the current RAW logo, but the original from all the way back in 1993, the year of my birth, still looks as gritty and definitive as it did back then. Awesome.