Shane and Stephanie start us off, Shane does most of the gladhanding, mostly because Stephanie would get booed thanking everyone for supporting Raw and being there throughout the years. Stephanie brings out Vince, and OUT COMES STONE COLD! Vince tries to weasel out of being stunned but he and Shane are stunned. Steph just fucked off. Beer bash.
This was the best possible way to start off this night and the people loved it, so good segment
This starts with a weird brawl between the two teams which peeters out and ends in a stand off. The bell rings Asuka and Sonya start, Asuka immediately starts hitting some of her signature offense, burying the MMA chick, who to her credit looks like she's attempting to block. Asuka is still in the ring when we come back, killing Mandy Rose. Frequent tag outs, Sasha dropkicks Nia's injured knee, Nia hoofs Sasha for a chokeslam, but she kicks out at 2. Mandy tags in and stomps Sasha, Sonya throws some shitty punches and tags out to Alicia, who hits a Northern Lights suplex! Chin locks and more chin locks to Sasha by Alicia. Corey brings up that the largest people in Rumbles are targets, to counter Cole's "who will ever eliminate Nia" point. We come back from yet another commercial and there's a brawl on the outside after the heels try to stop Sasha from flying. Sasha makes Alicia tap to the bank statement. Post match Asuka throws the other babyfaces over the top rope. Good way to establish a favorite.
6.75/``10. Great match once we got away from the shitty brawl at the beginning
Kurt Angle segment: good.
Kurt tells a ref to take extra precautions to make sure Kane, Braun and Brock being in the ring together doesn't ruin the 25th anniversary of Raw with their schenanigans. A miscellaneous cast of legends show up, Brawler, Harvey Wippleman, Brother Love (!) Coach (!!) and Teddy Long (complete with baller ass slide into the room and entrance music) everyone is having fun hanging out. The Boogeyman shows up,. which somehow prompts a record scratch. Boogey offers worms to everyone. Teddy and Coach are the only ones selling how gross this is. It suddenly seems to dawn on Kurt how gross this is. who pulls a little face , but seems to shrug it off.
We throw to the Manhattan Center where Jerry Lawler brings up "puppies" when talking about the women's match. This sets back the women's division 25 years. In my notes I wrote "we might as well bring back Kelly Kelly" in jest, which turned out to be me putting my foot in my mouth later. Anyway we get the standard Taker highlight package set to country music, which featured way more of his Raw #1 match with Damien than I ever expected to see. They brought the HHH/Taker Mania sign staredown in the build to WM27 to modern times with the Roman/Taker/Mania sign staredown..
Undertaker promo (awful) : Finkel does the ring announcing for the Manhattajn Center. There's an ICOPRO banner as well. We also get footage of a girl crying happily in the crowd .Taker cuts a vague threatening promo about all the legends he's destroyed and everyone currently available should beware. A very bad Taker promo
APA plays cards (great) : APA and Rhyno/Slater are playing cards in the APA office. APA is pwning them at cards until Ted Dibiase shows up and throws a shit ton of money down.
GM parade (meh): Johnny Ace and Eric Bischoff show up and my life is complete. Regal is also there. Daniel Bryan comes out and does the Yes chant with the other three. Was cool to see D-Bry do the YES chant with his mentor and his father and law. Bischoff also looks like he's having a good time. This is interrupted by Miz and the Miztourage, the former of whom stares down Daniel. This leads to the IC Title match.
Roman throws Miz around at the start Uppercut by Roman which knocks Roman silly. Bo blocks a Drive By and gets uppercutted. Roman is distracted by Curtis, Miz tries a baseball slide. but gets thrown around by Roman more, ultimately Roman is distracted by Curtis and Miz knocks Roman off the apron as we go to commercial. Roman immediately starts his comeback. It is impossible to judge TV matches, never doing this again you owe me Big Red Machine. Roman does his clotheslines in the corner, he's too talented for doing a move that looks so fake. Eventually we get a drive by for Miz, beforehand Roman just points threateningly at Curtis who backs off and I laughed. The Miz gets a nearfall on a rope assisted schoolboy. Roman blocks the Yes kicks, sit out powerbomb for a two. The Miztourage pull Miz out. Three way drive by! Miz gets some more momentum, but Roman hits a sloppy superman punch which Miz sells expertly. Miztourage gets thrown out. Roman gets distracted superman punching the Miztourage, and gets the skull crushing finale which he kicks out of at 2. Roman fights his way out of the Skullcrush finale , only to run into an exposed turnbuckle, which we didn't see get exposed which I thought was cool, a Skullcrush and NEW Champion
7/10 great match that picked up in the closing moments
APA plays more cards (meh): The Usos, Jeff Hardy and MVP have shown up. Not the best of use of MVP or Jeff
The Peep Show with Jason Jordan and Seth Rollins (great) : I'm glad Christian is getting his own spotlight, they're going to need a legendary interview segment some day when Edge is too busy TV acting, Seth pops the crowd with a cheap pop. As soon as Jason starts talking people start booing. They cut to people in the crowd booing. Jason's tried to start his promo four times and gets booed, and he just soldier's on. He whines about people saying Kurt sucks, but also thanks the fans for their support. He tries to get people to applaud Kurt for putting this together. The Bar show up. Typical heel fare, all the Legends want to get the autographs of the Bar. The legends also think they're getting the championships at the Rumble. Cesaro says Jason sucks and everyone pops. They try to start a You Suck chant which works. Seth tries to calm Jason down by Jason snaps and jumps the bar, and Seth follows. Jason holds open Seth for the Skykiller Knee but Seth hits Jordan instead. Jason looks sad and The Bar looks satisfied.
Alexa Bliss interview: she barely gets into it until it's crashed by Charlotte and Ric, Ric does a typical Ric Flair promo saying that Charlotte will be champion for as long as she wishes. WOOOOO! The Charlotte stuff was great, unfortunately it came at the expense of Alexa Bliss and was sort of pointless
More people play cards: Titus Worldwide shows up, Dana crunches the numbers, Natalya shows up and gets a hand of hearts
We go back to the Manhattan Center for
Bray gets all his cool lights at both buildings and Taker doesn't? I guess Bray is more magical? Although, putting this match at the Manhattan Center maximized the pop they'd get, which is genius. Bray immediately goes to for Sister Abigail. Jerry and Jim speculate what Sister Abigail means. I thought Bray was Sister Abigail. Bray body checks Matt off of a counter for the Twist of Fate. Bray wins with the Sister Abigail.
4/10 didn't like it
Divas parade: The Bellas and Maryse shows up looking good despite being pregnant. EWWWWW KELLY KELLY IS BACK! I JYNXED THIS. Lillian Garcia comes out to her not WWE Originals song which makes me sad. Torrie Wilson got some plastic surgery but looks good. Michelle McCool is here too, but no Layla. Terri Runnells shows up looking like Nicki Minaj. Maria shows up, also looking beautiful despite being pregnant. Trish comes out to a monster pop. I think Trish is coming back at the Rumble because her hair is blond, so she's in "ring shape"
Elias segment (awesome): Elias is walking down a hall in an awesome Johnny Cash t-shirt when he runs into Chris Jericho, complete with an Alpha club shirt. Jericho asks Elias for a guitar as he wants to play him a song. Elias refuses, Jericho produces his own. He gets his catchphrases in, jukes Elias out of being on the list but puts him on the list anyway. This was great
Elias/Cena segment(worst segment of the night) . Elias goes to sing a song, teases leaving a few times, but doesn't. He runs down some legends, as well as Jimmy Fallon who's in the crowd, by saying New York has no balls. Cena comes out and talks about the city having balls, pointing out some beach balls in the crowd. Security takes them away. Fans chant asshole. Cena covers by saying "Yeah the big Apple" They take forever to pan to Elias at ringside. Cena spews inanity out of his mouth until Elias says no one wants to hear him and they all came to hear Elias. Cena invited Elias to fight him, Elias goes to leave, calling Brooklyn scumbags, Cena hits his five moves, Elias wiggles out of an AA and hits a low blow, and then Jarretts him with a guitar and hits the Drift Away. This was an exhausting nearly 10 minute segment.
Back with the APA (meh): Titus WorldWide accuses Heath and Rhyno of cheating at cards. They go to fight but JBL demands they do it in the ring. They oblige
There was a segment with Mark Henry and The Godfather and his girl that I missed
Post match (awesome because Dudleys, bad because of the victim) : The Dudley Boyz show up. Everyone, including Rhyno (?) turns on Slater and feeds him to the Dudleys,. Wazzap, 3D etc.
AJ Styles gets interviewed by Gene Oakerlund: Great: AJ cuts an amazing promo on his Royal Rumble match which begins with "Let me tell you something Mean Gene"
DX Reunion: HBK and HHH come out first, HBK is rocking an amazing "Get Raw" DX #25 shirt that I want. HBK tells starts to tell some X-Rated stories but HHH stops him. Shawn cheap pops the WWE Network, and people boo despite everyone being subscribed to the Network in the building. HHH starts out with his proud papa style speech, and says Raw started WWE's catapult of success, which is probably true. HHH name drops Rick Rude and Chyna as members of DX. HHH implies DX was on the first episode of Raw, he mentions the tank, mentions the Monday Night War, New Age Outlaws come out. Billy looks great. They do their schtick, and brings out X-Pac to the normal DX theme, not his own version . X-Pac is bald except for a man bun a 1-2-3 chant starts and X-Pac looks actually moved to tears. X-Pac brings out Razor Ramon, who's nameplate introduces him as such. He's wearing a jacket with the blood pattern of his old tights which looks super swank. And in the middle of this we go to commercial. Razor gets in a hey yo, and a too sweet which brings out The Balor Club. Balor does his pose near the railing which looks cool if people level with him are doing the pose with him. A nerd in the crowd tries to Too sweet everyone but they just ignore him. This was the highlight of my entire night. There's a DX/Balor Club standoff. Everyone two sweets. Billy goes to do the "If you're not down with that" pose and the Revival come out.
Here's why this isn't nearly as bad as people will inevitably say it is. They didn't start shit with the Legends. Instead we get
The Revival jump Gallows to start picking apart Anderson with quick tags. Gallows gets the hot tag and throws some insane kicks and looks as awesome as I've ever seen him. Gallows and Anderson win clean with the Magic Killer. At least DX didn't play into the finish.
The Legends hit their finishers on The Revival, which end in Coup De Grace from Balor. In terms of getting beat up by Legends this is the best way to get it done. Gallows and Anderson win clean, and Finn gets the last word, and The Revival look as good as they can in this situation .
Kurt Angle and every warm body come out. Legends and current stars alike surround the ring for the Kane/Braun/Lesnar show down,
Kane/Lesnar/Braun show down (awesome) . Braun comes out first then Kane, everyone tries to keep Braun away from Kane. Paul comes out for Brock and says he's ready for a fight. Cue Brock. Braun mows down Kane with a clothesline and beats up Brock, hitting him with a power slam through the announce table with such vigor he nearly powerslams himself.
Overall I enjoyed this episode of Raw. Besides the Cena/Elias segment, everything brought me happiness.