Bingo’s Breakdown: My Favourite ever RAW moments




Greetings jabronis,

As anticipation builds for the 1000th RAW episode, I’m jumping on the bandwagon and presenting a list of my most memorable RAW moments through the years … because sharing opinions is fun.

I’ve been a WWE fan for over 20 years, and can cast my mind pretty far back without the aid of hallucinogenic drugs. So, for the purpose of this column, I have done absolutely zero research. That is to say, I didn’t want to watch old videos and DVDs or voyage through YouTube to recall events that may have escaped from my memory banks, as that would somewhat render the word “memorable” an outright lie in the title of this piece.

Instead, I’ve relied solely on my memory (okay… I used Google to check the dates. Please don’t tell on me) to recall the RAW TV moments that have been most memorable to me over the years. And, in no particular order, here they reside…

Chris Jericho debut – August 9th 1999

I’ll admit I didn’t know too much about Chris Jericho until he arrived in WWE. I was never an avid follower of WCW, but I had chums who informed me that he was a major talent and I’d heard all the rumours that the countdown that plagued RAW for weeks pertained to him…

He certainly lived up to the hype – and his arrival on the scene was as memorable as they come. The Rock just happened to be in the ring as the weeks long timer hit zero, and Jericho made his way out for a verbal showdown with The Great One.

What happened next was maybe the funniest exchange I’ve ever seen on RAW. After Jericho cut a long promo about being “the saviour of WWE”, The Rock’s delayed response, whilst his face boiled with anger, was:“After 3 boring minutes… The Rock says know your role and shut your mouth!”

The live crowd went insane.

The Rock then proceeded to ask Jericho what his name is. “I told you…” replied Jericho before being cut off with: “IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT YOUR NAME IS” … And a legendary catchphrase was born.

I went around for weeks afterwards repeating that same joke, interrupting my pals as they tried to answer the question I’d just posed to them. I imagine it must have been a period that I lost a lot of friends.



The 123 Kid pins Razor Ramon – May 17th 1993

I was 11 years old and still sitting on the fence as to whether professional wrestling was a work or not in the spring of ‘93… And this result had me convinced that there’s no way it could have been fictional! Because, if it wasn’t real, no way would a top star like Razor Ramon be scripted to lose to a jobber like The 123 Kid!

The story was told so brilliantly on television. The 123 Kid earned the surprise victory with a moonsault (a move rarely seen at the time) that caught Razor Ramon off-guard and earned him a fluke pinfall victory. Of course, Razor was livid and totally no-sold the loss. Fantastic performances from everyone all around – the commentators included (Vince and Bobby Heenan) – made this a story that all my chums and me were talking about on the playground in the days that followed. An upset of this magnitude was difficult to digest in the era!

We also all tried to perform moonsaults off the side of the swimming pool in the aftermath of this result… But we stopped when someone got kneed in the face and filled their pulverised nose filled the pool with blood. Remember kids, don’t try this at home.



DX reunites – 19th June, 2006

For years, the question danced around Internet wrestling forums: “Will DX ever reunite?”.  Their answer – a resounding “YES” – came on this night in Rochester when the TitanTron lit up with DX’s signature entrance video, and a neon green light illuminated the entrance ramp.

Clad in signature black and green, and strutting out to a flurry of pyrotechnics, smoke and spotlights, HHH and Shawn Michaels took to the ring and celebrated the long overdue return of WWE’s most celebrated bad boys. And even if you tired of the cock jokes after the first thousand or so, and even if HHH and HBK were in reality company guys that were a million miles away from being rebels – there was no denying the greatness of this moment.



Kurt Angle’s suicide dive – June 11th, 2001

As anyone who read my Money in the Bank column last week will know – I love a good stunt-fest now and again… And there is no finer stunt I can recall on RAW than Kurt Angle’s missed moonsault (aimed at Chris Benoit) from the very top of a steel cage.

I honestly must have watched this bump even more times than Mankind’s dive off the Hell in a Cell structure. Angle’s crash to the mat is sickening – he literally bounces back off the mat on impact. At what velocity does someone need to hit a surface that hard to bounce back off it again? It’s scary to watch.

No wonder so many wrestlers retire with dodgy knees. I bet Kurt Angle has done the “missed moonsault” spot hundreds of times in his career (although only once or twice from this height). I even witnessed him doing it at a house show once when there weren’t even any TV cameras to show off to! That’s dedication to your art. I shudder to think what an X-ray of his patella bones might look like. I imagine there to be a lot of dust where his kneecaps used to be.



The Rock and Sock connection wins gold – September 20th, 1999

The Rock and Sock connection always remind me of a time when it was just plain awesome to be a wrestling fan. The WWE was white hot and every single worker on the roster – from the undercarders to the main eventers – seemed to be incredibly over. The company certainly didn’t struggle to makes stars in the Attitude Era in the same way it does today.

One of the biggest highlights for many of The Attitude era was the mish-mash tag team of The Rock and Mankind. The tag team was born from Mankind’s obsession with The Rock’s stardom and catchphrases. I recall an hilarious backstage promo when The Rock delivered the catchphrase “The millions and millions of The Rock fans are chanting his name!” and as the noise of the crowd chanting “Rocky” creeped in, the camera panned slightly to the side to reveal that Mankind was standing directly behind The Rock also joining in the chant! Mankind was the biggest Rock fan! Hilarious.

The crowning moment for the pair for me was the very first night they went out as a tag team. Mankind begged The Rock to let him be his tag partner against the towersome duo of The Undertaker and The Big Show, and The Rock reluctantly accepted. Before RAW went off the air that night, Mankind and The Rock had won the tag titles via a double People’s Elbow and a wonderful chapter in wrestling history had opened.

Incidentally, I always though the Mankind hosted “This Is Your Life” segement for The Rock was a bit rubbish. It was Just The Rock shouting his catchphrases at a bunch of terrible actors. I know it did well for WWE ratings wise but it saddens me so that this is The Rock/Mankind moment that we’re reminded of most frequently. There’s loooooads of better ones.



Edge and Christian are Los Conquistadores – October 2000

Edge and Christian just pip The New Age Outlaws and LOD as my favourite tag team of all team. Their goofed up, heel surf characters were funny as Hell and their feud(s) with The Hardy Boys and The Dudleys produced some simply legendary matches. It was an absolute pleasure to watch both guys gradually evolve into world champions over the years.

(Side note: My favourite Christian quote ever is this: “Hardy Boyz… Boyz with a “z” … Is that supposed to scare us or something?”)

Whislt their skits with Commissioner Foley were fantastic (kazoos anyone?), the best Edge and Christian moment (or it was more of a period I guess) for me came in October of 2000 when they lost a match that stipulated that they couldn’t challenge for the tag titles again for as long as The Hardy Boyz were the champs. So, in order to breach this circumstance, they disguised themselves as WWF masked 80s jobber tag team Los Conquistadores. Genius!

The crowning moment for Los Conquistadores came for me when they were invited to sit at the commentary desk during a Hardy Boyz match. Edge and Christian constantly responded to Jerry Lawler’s questions with “Si”, and about three quarters of the way through the match, Edge inexplicably blurted out  “Essa Rios”! A golden moment to match those awesome golden outfits.

As “Los Conquistadores”, Edge and Chritsian even won the tag titles back from The Hardy Boyz on PPV… but they dropped them back the very next night on RAW when The Hardys too disguised themselves in the golden Japanese spandex. What a tale.


Ric Flair co-owner – November 26th, 2001

Following the hugely disappointing Invasion angle, it seemed that WWE has wrung the WCW dry for all that it was worth. But there was one major surprise left in store.

It was one of those oh-so-rare occurrences in modern wrestling that WWE managed to hide from The Internet Community, so when Ric Flair made his way through the curtains as the RAW co-owner (having bought Shane and Steph’s shares in the storyline), fans across the world popped in unison.

The story built to a PPV clash with Vince McMahon and the crowd reactions to Flair’s work throughout the feud were deafening. So Flair, who originally wasn’t even going to be used by the company in a wrestling role, went on to have a fantastic and age-defying 6 year run with the company that further cemented his legendary status.

Many point to Eric Bischoff joining RAW as the new GM as being more of a shocker… And maybe they’re right. But, as a long term wrestling fan, Flair will always mean infinitely more to me than Bischoff. And
that’s why his unveiling is more memorable to me.



Milk-a-mania… What? – August 20th, 2001

I adored the whole “What?” era of the Steve Austin character, and often delve into YouTube to watch his famous rundown of Tazz and Hugh Morris, as well as some of the excellent video packages that WWE put together. But it’s the milk truck moment with Kurt Angle that is most firmly lodged in my memory during this period.

As Steve Austin and his band of “invaders” stood in the middle of the ring, Kurt Angle took it upon himself to interrupt proceedings and drive a milk truck down to the ring area. In a moment that fantastically echoed what Austin himself had done with a beer truck years earlier, Kurt Angle brandished a hose and drenched the inhabitants of the ring with a powerful jetstream of milk. He then sat atop the truck and downed cartons of milk – again mocking Austin and the way he downs his beers. It was a truly legendary RAW segment.

And you think this moment would have been the same without JR commentating? Hell no it wouldn’t. The term “Milk-a-mania” is firmly etched in wrestling annals.



Shane trains Vince – November 1st, 1999

This was bought up by Stephanie McMahon on an episode of RAW recently – and I thoroughly admire her taste.

In preperation for his match against Stone Cold Steve Austin, Shane ran his father through a series of bizarre Rocky-inspired training sessions – such as catching live chickens and chasing a truck in the heavy snow.

Admittedly, it doesn’t sound overly captivating to read – but Shane’s incredible enthusiasm and pep-talks along with Vince’s determination that has him nearly foaming at the mouth made it insanely entertaining.

Vince was so ridiculously and freakishly bulked up back then – and this was a guy who was well over 50 years old! The 2001 Vince makes David Otunga look like Michael Cole in comparison.



Shelton Benjamin vs HBK – February 5th, 2005

It’s a match that, despite being pretty great, is remembered for one move alone… But, good God, what a move.

As Shelton Benjamin leapt majestically from the centre of the top ring rope , he’s met in the centre of the ring by HBK’s right boot smashing him in the face. There’s no recovering from that – a 3 count was as sure as sure can be.

In an instant, a classic YouTube video was born.



Mankind wins the title … and The Monday Night Wars – January 4th, 1999

“That’ll put the butts on the seats” said one sarcastic WCW announcer as he spoiled the outcome of the pre-taped RAW that was happening on another channel, in which Mankind won his first WWE Championship from The Rock. How right he turned out to be!

While designed to prevent viewers from flipping the channel, WCW’s miscue did exactly the opposite, prompting several hundred thousand viewers to switch from Nitro to RAW… And Nitro never beat RAW in the ratings again.

Mick Foleys utter, euphoric delight at winning the title is incredibly infectious to watch. As he’s paraded around the ring by DX (who assisted in the victory) and the fans and JR go wild with celebration, it’s impossible not to smile. An ultimate feel good moment for someone who totally deserved it.



CM Punk’s pipe bomb – June 27th, 2011

One of only 2 incidents from the last 5 years that makes my list… That’s a strong indicator of how much WWE RAW’s quality has declined since the PG era. Ho-hum

For a brief period last year, this “pipe bomb” pretty much changed the direction of the whole company, and wrestling became cool again. Unfortunately, just a few weeks afterwards, it was largely forgotten about and CM Punk become another company guy. In-ring action aside, I’ve been pretty disappointed with Mr Straight Edge’s actions and promos over the last few months.

Be that as it may, it doesn’t change what an incredible, kayfabe-destroying instance this promo was. The moment Punk speaks of Vince’s death and badmouths HHH and Steph is genuine goosebump-inducing stuff. And the analysis of John Cena is impossibly on the nose. An unforgettable moment for all the right reasons.



Owen Hart tribute – May 24th, 1999

It might seem a little vulgar at first to include something so tragic amongst my “favourite moments” – but I loved this episode of RAW for abandoning kayfabe and allowing the on-air talent and friends of Owen to earnestly outpour their emotions in the aftermath.

It was a classy move by Vince McMahon and, along with the Eddie Guerrero tribute and post 9/11 shows (that were both Smackdown), showed that despite being an egotistical maniac, the guy undoubtedly has a giant, compassionate heart.

Watching the very real tears of Jeff Jarrett, HHH, Mark Henry, Road Dogg and the rest provided a haunting but touching farewell to the wonderful Owen Hart, and I’m not ashamed to admit that it bought me to tears as well.

Steve Austin’s final tribute to the The King of Harts – a toast and a single beer can left in the ring as an image of Owen displayed on the TitanTron – was the most poignant thing I’ve ever witnessed on RAW.



Shane owns WCW – March 26th, 2001

If you tuned in to WCW Nitro on this night, you saw Shane McMahon standing in the centre of a WCW ring.

Meanwhile, on Raw, Vince stood gloating in front of a Cleveland crowd, bragging about his much-publicised purchase of WCW. But, when The Chairman signalled for the TV feed’s switch to Nitro, he was met with a familiar face – his 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 his father and bought WCW right out from under him.

Seeing the Nitro studio on RAW was one of the most surreal things I’ve ever witnessed in WWE. And that’s saying something.



HBK and Bret Hart embrace – January 4th, 2010

The moment that could never happen happened. And it happened live on RAW. Many thought we’d never see Bret Hart on WWE TV again… and if that moment were to ever come, he certainly wouldn’t be embracing Shawn Michaels!

After many years of badmouthing one another in the media (Okay, it was mostly Bret doing the bad-mouthing… but rightly so) and a long storied relationship that any wrestling fan with half a brain in aware of, The Heartbreak Kid and The Hitman aired their frustrations, expressed their apologies and made their peace in the middle of the RAW ring.

Just two guys with microphones, completely unscripted, speaking their hearts and minds. Gripping television to the max.



Chris Jericho pins HHH – April 17th, 2000

Chris Jericho pinning HHH at the start of this RAW is possibly my most memorable mark out moment. This was during HHH’s spell of complete dominance, where he would often go months without losing a match… So to lose to Chris Jericho, who I absolutely adored at the time, and to drop the title simultaneously in a non-PPV match was huge. It would be akin to someone like Kofi Kingston pinning John Cena clean for the title in today’s era.

Of course, as the episode progressed, HHH played the politics game, got the decision reversed and went home happy with the belt back in his possession. But that doesn’t change how memorable this moment was for me initially. A massively entertaining mid-carder has pinned the unpinnable HHH for the world title… And for an hour or so, I was convinced that the impossible had been achieved.



This was a way more difficult to write then I intended (but still fun!) and I’ve had to emit several moments to keep the word count down on this column … Steve Austin and Kurt Angle battling for Vince’s attentions by playing guitar sadly just failed to make the cut.

I hope you’ve had some nostalgic frolics reading this, jabronis. Please add some of your own favourite memories below and maybe it will bring a little bit of happiness into your life and mine.

Over and out.

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