The day was finally upon us as the WWE Universe focused on both the Barclays and Manhattan Center for an event too big for one building. The 25th Anniversary of Raw’s celebration was set to be a night full of unforgettable moments and a few possible surprises.
You never know what WWE will throw at us on the heels of everything going on in the WWE Universe and beyond to the real world. The Cruiserweight Title might be a focus of some reworking on the way to the Royal Rumble due to Enzo Amore’s very recent suspension.
There were a ton of celebrities in the pro wrestling world ready to appear and nothing was off the table. But one thing was for sure that it was sure to be a packed show.
So let’s get right to it as the Raw 25 delivers in every way. It really should because it was said this Raw would be bigger than the Raw After WrestleMania.
The Manhattan Center was electric and you could feel it through the television. Jim Ross and Jerry “The King” Lawler were on fire and hadn’t lost a step. It was almost impossible not to get goosebumps right off the bat just seeing those two work together once again.
Meanwhile, in the Barclays Center, the announce team was back at ringside for one night only and the place was jumping.
Shane and Stephanie McMahon were already in the ring. They invited us to the 25th anniversary of Raw like true babyface children of a billionaire. Shane thanked everyone who has ever stepped in between the ropes and the production crew then he thanked the fans.
Then Stephanie McMahon said they have one person to really thank for all of this and she really laid on the praise before introducing Vince McMahon to a thunderous pop from the crowd.
The McMahon Family hugged in the ring and soaked in the moment while the crowd sang Vince’s theme song loudly. “Thank you Vince” chants broke out and Vince said tonight he’s gonna “smell the roses” since he doesn’t get to stop very often and do that.
But before he could leave, Steph and Shane presented Vince with a plaque they got from a Go-Fund-Me account. The plaque had “RAW 25” on it and they made a very big deal out of a very small plaque.
Vince said it feels a little cheap and Steph said the Go-Fund-Me didn’t get much. McMahon said, “it’s cheap but we’re in Brooklyn.” Then McMahon asks if that’s all he gets. Vince started making fun of the crowd and everyone ate it up.
Then Vince said he’s got one person to thank and it’s him as the crowd broke into an “assh-le” chant. Then Stone Cold Steve Austin’s music broke out and he came down to the ring. He looked great too.
McMahon told the crowd not to encourage him as he tried to explain things to Austin about how things have changed. He said Austin looked great but Mother Nature hasn’t been too kind to him. McMahon said he’s got heart problems and a murmur that won’t go away and he lives in a retirement community now. He’s a senior citizen but Shane’s in his prime. Shane-O wanted nothing to do with it.
Then Austin shook Shane’s hand and raised his arm. They walked around the ring and then Austin gave Shane a Stone Cold Stunner. McMahon got two beers and Austin stood back up to look Vince in the eyes.
“One more time” chants broke out as Vince said he doesn’t think Shane could take another time. McMahon and Austin had a beer in the ring and hugged a couple of times while Austin’s music played. But as Vince was walking away, the music stopped Vince turned around to toast with Austin one more time before Austin gave another Stunner to the boss.
Then Austin drank a ton of beer in the ring. Shane got a beer and stood back up. Stone Cold toasted with Shane and gave him another Stunner. Happy Raw 25! The ring is covered in beer from the very beginning!
Asuka, Bayley, Mickie James, and Sasha Banks vs Sonya Deville, Mandy Rose, Alicia Fox, and Nia Jax
Paige was at ringside during this match which still such a shame. There was a brawl before the bell and Asuka suffered some damage but she fought on. Asuka applied some stiff kicks to Sonya Deville and she powdered out of the ring and Paige consoled her for a bit.
Then Mandy Rose got the tag and took some abuse from the Empress Of Tomorrow. Asuka laid a knee into Rose’s face and tagged in Banks. The two hit a double suplex into her corner and she tagged in Nia Jax. She took advantage over Sasha and tagged in Rose who later tagged in Rose and then Alicia Fox finally got the tag.
Banks and Fox wrestled around for a bit until Banks was laid out by a boot from Alicia. A brawl soon broke out at ringside and Banks caught Alicia with a Bank Statement.
Winners: Mickie James, Asuka, Bayley, and Sasha Banks via submission
During their celebration, Asuka laid waste to everyone tossing them all over the top rope. Asuka’s music played as she danced in the ring.
Kurt Angle was in his office when Jonathan Coachman came in followed by the Brooklyn Brawler and Harvey Wippleman. Then Teddy Long jumped in and started dancing. There was another knock on the door and in came Brother Love. The place went ballistic for Bruce Prichard who stole the segment. Then there was another knock on the door and The Boogeyman showed up eating worms because that’s what he does.
The Undertaker returns next…
Back At The Manhattan Center
Jerry Lawler and Jim Ross were at ringside where they belong as Good ‘ole JR hyped The Undertaker. They went to a video package for The Undertaker so the crowd in the Manhattan Center got to watch something else on a screen.
Then The Undertaker’s gong went off inside the Manhattan Center as a “holy sh-t” chant broke out. The Dead Man walked through the curtain without smoke or a huge video screen behind him. He looked great in a leather trenchcoat with a hood and his hair was long again dyed black.
He really does have a different look every time he comes back.
Taker stood in the ring while people chanted for him. He said it all began on “this sacred ground of evil 25 years ago.” He’s been digging holes for 25 years and any person who stepped on the dark side got buried. He has ripped legends off their pedestals and thrown them in the cold, dark earth.
Taker listed a few people he’s defeated like Stone Cold, Mick Foley, and Kane. Then he declared himself retired as people chanted “one more match.” Then after saying “for all of those who have fallen it is truly time to rest in peace” he stood in the ring and soaked up the adoration and that was that.
Meanwhile, Back At The Barclays Center
The APA, Heath Slater, and Rhyno were backstage playing cards and smoking cigars. Heath lost a big hand and as JBL took his money he said he’s got kids and Bradshaw said, “yeah and their daddy’s broke.
Suddenly a wad of money was thrown on the table and The Million Dollar Man was standing there complete with Million Dollar Belt on to join the table.
Parade Of General Managers
John Laurinaitis, William Regal, and Eric Bischoff came out to say hello. Then Daniel Bryan came out and got a huge “yet” chant going. Micahel Cole had to say Daniel Bryan made a name for himself as a “performer.”
Then The Miz and Miztourage came out to get in D-Bry’s face before making their way to the ring.
The Miz vs Roman Reigns (Intercontinental Title Match)
Roman beat The Miz around the ring for a bit and tried to run around for a drive-by but The Miztourage got in the way. The Miz slid out of the ring and Roman punched him. Axel distracted Reigns on the apron and Miz kicked him onto the floor. Then Roman took a bump into the steel ring steps.
But Reigns would soon amp himself up and take control of the match with some clotheslines. Roman took his time, cocked his fist, and acted like he was going for a Superman Punch but The Miz rolled out of the ring. Reigns jumped outside and hit The Miz, but once they got inside Reigns took a ring post to the shoulder and The Miz scored a near fall with his foot on the top rope.
The Miz started hitting his It Kicks until Roman grabbed him and hit a sitdown powerbomb. The A-Lister rolled outside and the Miztourage gathered around him. Reigns hit a drive-by on both Axel and Dallas while The Miz removed the middle turnbuckle for some reason. Then Reigns took them both out by throwing both Bo and Curtis over and through things. The Miz jumped him but took a Superman Punch for a near fall once they got back inside.
Bo distracted Roman while he was amping himself up for the spear and then The Miztourage was ejected from ringside. While The Miz complained to the referee, Roman rolled him up for a two count. Roman was distracted once again by a departing Miztourage and The Miz hit a Skull Crushing Finale.
1-2- kick out!
Roman powered out of another Skull Crushing Finale with some elbows but then Roman went for another Spear but The Miz moved and Roman’s head hit the middle turnbuckle which was exposed because The Miz was taking off the padding while Roman was giving his cronies a drive-by.
The Miz hit a Skull Crushing Finale and 1-2-3 that was all it took.
Winner and NEW Intercontinental Champion: The Miz
Meanwhile, at the APA poker game. Jeff Hardy joined the game as well as The Usos while JBL said they made a lot of money off their Hall Of Fame daddy.
Christian was in the ring for a good ole’ fashioned Peep Show. He said he missed the WWE Universe and we missed them. Then he introduced Seth Rollins and Jason Jordan.
The crowd wouldn’t let JJ start talking because they just kept booing him as he tried to put over the fact he was at Raw 25, even when he was trying to thank the crowd. Then he congratulated his dad, Kurt Angle. It was quite brutal because nobody had any love for Jordan.
The Bar mercifully interrupted him so Sheamus could tell them that they are The Bar. Cesaro said, “it is not your dad who sucks, you suck.” Then everyone started chanting at JJ and they meant it.
Jason attacked them and Sheamus went outside. Seth Rollins hit a dive on Sheamus and returned to the ring to take on Cesaro who wrapped up Jason. Rollins came off the top rope and accidentally hit his own partner with a flying elbow.
Then The Bar exited looking very pleased with themselves.
Alexa Bliss was asked if she thought she’d be the champ at Mania, then Charlotte came in and said to be the woman you gotta beat the woman. Ric Flair entered to put over Charlotte in a great way before saying “woo!”
Back at the APA poker game a lot of people have joined the game at this point as Natalya wins a big hand and Dana Brooke says she’s crunched the numbers and Heath Slater has lost a lot of money.
Back To The Manhattan Center
Bray Wyatt vs Matt Hardy
Bray Wyatt made his way to the ring and he looked amazing in the ring at the Manhattan Center. People were very happy to see Woken Matt Hardy… then again they were just glad to see any kind of real action at this point.
Wyatt went for a Sister Abigail right from the beginning but it didn’t work, Matt fought back and pulled off a Russian leg sweep and an elbow off the middle rope. The crowd broke out into huge “delete” chants as Wyatt took him down with a tackle.
Matt tried to rally but Bray wouldn’t take the bulldog. Wyatt avoided a Twist Of Fate and shoved Matt Hardy into the ropes, then he hit a Sister Abigail and that’s all she wrote.
Winner: Bray Wyatt via pinfall
Back To The Barclays Center
They introduced a bunch of past women including The Bella Twins, Maryse, Kelly Kelly, Lilian Garcia, Jacqueline, Torrie Wilson, Michelle McCool, Terri Runnels, Maria Kanellis, and Trish Stratus. Both Maria and Maryse were pregnant and Trish got a huge ovation. Everyone waved hello and then they left.
Elias was walking with himself when he rounded the corner and Chris Jericho was standing there wearing his New Japan t-shirt. Huge “Y2J” chants broke out as he commented about Elias’ scarves.
Jericho asked if he could use Elias’ guitar and he said no. Then Y2J pulled up his own guitar and strummed a couple chords while calling him a stupid idiot and saying Elias made the list.
Walk With Elias
The Drifter was in the ring and everyone was loving him even when he told them to shut their mouths. He said the legends there tonight need to hear this song as people chanted “stupid idiot” at him.
Elias pointed out Jimmy Fallon who was at ringside having a great time. “Hey Jimmy, let me show you how it’s done,” Elias said.
Then Elias started singing a song about all legends including how Taker is a decrepit old man and he should but a ticket to Elias and sit in the stands. He also said “Rocky still sucks.”
He said John Cena’s like Brooklyn because he has no balls. Then Cena came out to answer that. Cena said he and Brooklyn have balls because “there they are right there” as he pointed to a beach ball in the crowd. Then someone took the ball and the camera showed it.
People started chanting assh-le at the security guard and Cena said, “that’s right! Big Apple! Gotta keep it PG.”
Elias told Cena to shut up and he’s ruined the fact people came to see him then Cena took off his shirt and told Elias to “do something about it.”
“That’s not how it works, John” Elias said. He said he doesn’t take orders from him or the Brooklyn scumbags. Elias tired to jump Cena, but John was ready for him and hit a 5 Knuckle Shuffle but Elias got out of the AA and hit a Chyna-style low blow.
Elias got his guitar and broke it over Cena’s back. Sooo John Cena’s WrestleMania opponent is Elias? Neat. Yeah. That’s bigger than the WWE Championship if it’s true.
Then Elias hit a Drift Away to leave Big Match John laying on the mat.
Meanwhile, at the APA poker game, The New Day has joined the party and Heath Slater can’t even win with a full house because he was caught cheating. JBL calmed everyone down and told them to take it to the ring. The Million Dollar Man had a Royal Flush and won all the chips (and one pancake).
“Damn,” Ron Simmons said.
Mark Henry was walking backstage and spotted the Godfather. The two took a little trip down memory lane and Henry started getting a little chummy with The Godfather’s girl when he revealed she was his wife. Then they walked off leaving Henry looking shocked.
Titus Worldwide vs Heath Slater and Rhyno
Titus and Rhyno started off the match but O’Neil quickly tagged Crews in. Slater got a tag to work on Apollo for a minute.
Apollo kept Slater in a vertical suplex forever before driving him down to the mat. The match soon broke into a brawl and the referee called for the bell
The Dudley Boyz music hit and Bubba and D-Von came down. Suddenly everyone got out of the ring. The four competitors from the tag match stood on the outside of the ring and they all tossed Heath Slater in the ring.
Then Bubba hit a bodyslam and D-Von nailed a headbutt off the top rope while Booker T said, “oh D-Von be careful you’ve put on a couple pounds.”
Then it was time for D-Von to get the table and nobody helped Slater out at all.
Then they hit a 3D through the table which is always great to see.
AJ Styles was interviewed about his title defense at the Royal Rumble and he said he had arranged someone to do this interview with him. Then AJ introduced Mean Gene Okerlund who interviewed Styles backstage like only he could.
Suddenly, AJ Style did a quick Hulk Hogan impression before cutting a promo on Kevin and Sami who he is now calling “Kami” before saying, “love ya, Gene” and leaving.
During a slideshow, before coming back from commercial they showed CM Punk’s pipebomb speech and the crowd popped big time.
Meanwhile In The Manhattan Center
You Better Get Ready
DX was back and everyone was happy to see them in the Manhattan Center. It seemed that everyone in the Manhattan Center had glowsticks as Triple H and HBK came out first.
Michaels ran around the ring and acted like it winded him before saying 25 years, he couldn’t remember 25 minutes ago. Shawn started to tell a couple DX stories but Triple H kept cutting him off saying they can’t tell the stories.
HBK says what bothers him is he used to be the boss of the group, now Triple H is the boss of everything. Michaels plugged the WWE Network and drew some boos and Trips saved it by hyping the importance of the Manhattan Center and the fans.
Hunter said they used to walk to the ring with Rick Rude and Chyna and both names got huge pops. He said they came there because the Manhattan Center is home for Raw and they’ll be at the forefront for the next 25 years.
Triple H said they didn’t come alone. So The New Age Outlaws joined them. X-Pac came out next after Road Dogg got his little speech out. Everyone hugged and then they brought out Scott Hall.
“Hey yo” Hall said and everyone popped. He said you can’t have a party on Raw without the bad guy. He said this Raw 25 is “too sweet” and out came the Balor Club… talk about too sweet.
Balor, Anderson, and Gallows got in the ring with DX and Scott Hall. Then they all had a massive “too sweet” in the middle of the ring.
Suddenly, The Revival came out to break up the party. Gallows took off his jacket in preparation for a fight. DX and Scott Hall got out of the ring as a match started.
The Revival vs Anderson and Gallows
The crowd chanted for Mike Chioda as this match got started. They didn’t have much time for this one though because it started at 10:58 pm.
Dawson and Anderson wrestled around, Gallows got the tag and so did Wilder. Gallows hit kicks on both members of The Revival and then hit a Magic Killer on Wilder to end the match quickly.
Winners: Luke Gallows and Karl Anderson via pinfall
After the match was over everyone hung out in the ring for a bit as Scott Dawson walked over and turned Hall around so he threw a toothpick in his eye. X-Pac hs the X Factor, Road Dogg hit his punches, Billy Gunn hit a Fameasser, HBK hit a Superkick, Triple H nailed a Pedigree… and the Coup De Gras came from Balor to end the segment with a huge too sweet and a “suck it!”
Kurt Angle came out with the APA, William Regal, Eric Bischoff, Christian, Goldust, Brother Love, and all the other legends and members of the locker room to witness the grand finale of the evening.
Everyone surrounded the ring as they prepared for things to go down as Brock Lesnar, Braun Strowman, and Kane were going to be in the same ring.
Strowman was introduced first, then Kane, and then the WWE Universal Champion got his usual introduction from Paul Heyman.
The Superstars around the ring flooded inside the squared circle to keep Braun from getting to Kane. This segment was bound to end poorly if that was their only strategy of keeping them apart.
1,287 episodes of Raw and Brock Lesnar might be one of the most powerful Superstars ever. Strowman clotheslined Kane and headed after Lesnar. Brock headed off Braun and got into to deliver an F5 to Kane.
Then Braun clotheslined Brock over the top rope and launched him into the barricade. He dismantled the announce table and hit a running powerslam through the table and it looked very violent.
As Braun stook over Lesnar, his music hit. Braun Strowman got in the ring to celebrate while Raw 25 went off the air.