skysports.com counts down the top 10 moments in Raw's history
Last Updated: 26/07/12 4:02pm
WWE's flagship show, Monday Night Raw, celebrated its record-breaking 1,000th episode on July 23.
D-Generation X members Triple H and Shawn Michaels; The Rock; and Brock Lesnar were all in attendance, while there was also a WWE Title match between CM Punk and John Cena.
The three-hour extravagana was unforgettable but there were also plenty of memorable moments during Raw's previous 999 editions.
Lets skysports.com guide you through 10 of them...
Monday Night Raw's first episode - Jan 11, 1993
Raw's rise to prominence began in New York City, home to many of WWE's most historic events dating back to the early 1960s. The premiere edition, which took place at the Grand Ballroom of the Manhattan Center, lasted one hour and broke new ground as it was the first WWE TV show to be broadcast live, unlike previous shows that were taped with voiced over commentary.
D-Generation X begins to form - Aug 11, 1997
By the summer of 1997, the New World Order had already become a phenomenon both in WCW and mainstream media. And on the heels of the nWo's surge in popularity, WCW had consistently beaten WWE in the ratings during the Monday Night Wars. WWE needed an answer to the nWo to take back control of the Monday night live television head-to-head battle and found it during the Attitude Era.
Stone Cold stuns Mr. McMahon for the first time - Sept 22, 1997
You'd be hard-pressed to pick a single Superstar who more epitomised the word "raw" than Stone Cold Steve Austin. The Texas Rattlesnake's reckless, in-your-face escapades flew in the face of multiple authority figures on Raw, but it was his ongoing conflict with WWE Chairman Mr. McMahon that became must-see television week after week.
Mr. McMahon proclaims "Bret screwed Bret" - Nov 17, 1997
Mr. McMahon has never been afraid to fire back at his critics, and his controversial response following the infamous Montreal Screwjob was no exception. It was at Survivor Series 1997 that the Chairman executed a secret plan without Bret "Hit Man" Hart's knowledge to unceremoniously strip him of the WWE Championship by calling for the bell to ring while Shawn Michaels locked Hart in the Sharpshooter. Even though Hart had not submitted, The Heartbreak Kid was declared the winner, infuriating the departing Hit Man and leaving the WWE Universe clamoring for an explanation.
Mike Tyson and Stone Cold Steve Austin brawl - Jan 19, 1998
What happens when "iron" collides with "Stone"? Raw viewers found out first-hand: sparks fly! Fresh off a monumental victory at the Royal Rumble, Austin engaged in a fiery face-to-face encounter with former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson. Mr. McMahon introduced Tyson by his moniker, "The Baddest Man on the Planet," which ticked off the man known as the toughest S.O.B. in WWE.
Nitro ends as Shane McMahon buys WCW - March 26, 2001
Viewers tuning in to the final episode of WCW Monday Nitro were greeted by a surprising face: Shane McMahon. Even more surprising was Shane's announcement that his was the name listed on the contract to purchase WCW, effectively bypassing his father to buy out WWE's biggest competitor.
First Brand Extension Draft takes place - March 25, 2002
Up until this point, Raw and SmackDown existed only as staples in WWE programming, not as distinct brands. But the landscape totally changed with the first-ever WWE Draft, where Superstars were selected to represent either Raw or SmackDown by then-WWE co-owners Ric Flair and Mr. McMahon.
John Cena is drafted to Raw - June 6, 2005
There arguably wasn't a bigger No. 1 pick in the history of the WWE Draft than John Cena. When Chris Jericho introduced the WWE Champion on his Highlight Reel talk show, the Cenation leader was greeted with a thunderous ovation from the crowd, officially ushering him in as the new face of WWE's flagship programme.
Three-hour Viewer's Choice Raw - June 7, 2010
As Raw has evolved, so too has the level of interactivity that permeates through every episode. One of the most innovative features was the Viewer's Choice option that provided a unique twist for the WWE Universe. Everything from match stipulations to opponent selections was voted on WWE.com, an exciting opportunity that truly put the General Manager's power in the hands of the people. Some of the most creative match stipulations included a Body Slam Challenge and a Divas Battle Royal.
First-ever Raw SuperShow - Aug 29, 2011
For the better part of nine years, interaction between the Superstars of Raw and SmackDown was mostly reserved for rare inter-promotional matches at the now-defunct Bragging Rights pay-per-view, or bouts that had ramifications for the once-annual WWE draft. With this edition of Raw, however, came a new blurring of the lines between the red and blue brands. No longer could the WWE Universe only see the Superstars of SmackDown on Friday nights. Finally, after years of pent-up demand, the two deep rosters were effectively combined once a week for the benefit of WWE's flagship programme.
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