These girls with muscles may inspire more than the muscular men out there.Read article
If you’ve ever done some channel surfing on Monday nights, chances are you’ve run into an episode of WWE’s Monday Night Raw. After two-and-a-half decades of live sports entertainment for millions of viewers, the iconic show is a veritable institution—and for its 25th anniversary, Muscle & Fitness attended the milestone episode to provide a first-hand account of the festivities. Here’s a recap of what you’ll want to keep watching over and over again.
Raw 25 started with a rare appearance from Vince McMahon, WWE’s infamous chairman and CEO. While McMahon ridiculed the crowd as usual, fans got a big surprise—an entrance from “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, who was welcomed to the arena with massive applause. As any Raw fan would hope and expect, Austin did the two things he’s become most famous for: chugging beer in the ring and delivering a Stone Cold Stunner to McMahon. Hardcore fans of the Attitude Era couldn’t really ask for anything more.
The Miz clearly hasn’t been happy about Roman Reigns’ victory in the Intercontinental Championship—and he finally got to put his money where his mouth is by facing Reigns for the belt. While the two had a brutal back-and-forth, The Miz eventually won out thanks to distractions from his teammates, the Miztourage.
Throughout the night, RAW 25 ran a series of backstage scenes with a veritable who’s-who of famous WWE Hall of Famers and superstars, including Teddy Long, Ted DiBiase, and the Acolytes Protection Agency. However, three moments stood out among the rest.
In the first, Alexa Bliss went face-to-face with Smackdown’s Charlotte Flair—and her dad, the legendary Ric Flair, made a surprise appearance to defend his daughter:
In the second, Elias came face-to-face with another famous guitarist, Chris Jericho, who made sure to put Elias on “The List”:
Finally, AJ Styles was interviewed by the beloved, longtime WWE announcer “Mean” Gene Oakerlund, with AJ even doing his best Randy Savage for good measure:
Few moments at Raw 25 were more anticipated than The Undertaker’s long-awaited return. “The Deadman” is a WWE mainstay, having appeared on the very first episode of Raw. After losing to Roman Reigns, many wondered if The Undertaker’s match at WrestleMania 33 would be his last.
‘Taker’s appearance provided more questions than answers, however. His speech appeared to be deliberately vague, with some fans wondering if he had subtly confirmed his retirement. Is the heavily rumored match with John Cena at WrestleMania 34 simply a pipe dream? Right now, all we can do is wait and see.
“The Face That Runs the Place” isn’t one to miss out on a major WWE event, as he crashed Elias’ one-man concert at The Barclays Center. Unfortunately, Cena was caught off guard by Elias, and ended up getting smashed by Elias’ guitar. Chances are, this isn’t the last we’ll see of this feud.
While much of the show was focused on nostalgia, it also provided plenty of set up for WWE’s next big event: The Royal Rumble. While Sasha Banks got the winning pin during the 4-on-4 women’s tag team match, Asuka came out on top by betraying her teammates, cementing her as the favorite to win the first-ever women-only Royal Rumble match.
Former WWE superstar Christian returned to do an episode of his talk show “Peep Show” with Seth Rollins and Jason Jordan, only to get interrupted by The Bar (Cesaro and Sheamus). Rollins accidentally knocked into Jordan during The Bar’s assault, increasing tension between the two in the lead up to their Tag-Team Championship defense on Sunday.
And, of course, an episode of Raw wouldn’t be complete without Braun Strowman destroying something. This time he threw Brock Lesnar into an announcer’s table, making it clear he fully intends to win the Universal Championship Belt.
Austin wasn’t the only Attitude Era star to return on Raw 25. In the Manhattan Center, Triple H and Shawn Michaels reunited with their D-Generation X teammates The New Age Outlaws and X-Pac alongside WWE legend Razor Ramon. Finn Balor and his “Balor Club” teammates also joined the festivities, joining in on a ceremonial cheer with their famous “Too Sweet!” hand gesture. When The Revival tried to crash the party, both the Balor Club and DX quickly put them in their place.
Ultimately, Raw 25 was what many expected it to be: A celebration of the past and a look into the future. While Monday Night Raw might not be on cable TV in 25 years, we’re sure it’ll survive by doing what it does best: entertaining.