Skip to main content

Celebrating 1000 Episodes of Raw

Last night was the 1,000th episode of Monday Night Raw. The weekly wrestling program is the only television show in history to ever reach the 1,000 plateau, and is also the longest running weekly episodic television program (channeling my inner Michael Cole) in history. Despite the always fearful-of-admitting-to-watching-wrestling society we live in, the feat is unprecedented. It becomes especially remarkable once you take into account the facts of producing shows year-round, and of course, for the betterment of the last eleven years, doing it live. Despite the skeptics, Raw deserves all of the praise from the entertainment world for it's feat as it continues to do so with mass appeal and top-5 ratings each week.

However, with all of that said, Monday Night Raw for yours truly is a program that runs parallel with my life. From the very first show, as a lover of Pro Wrestling (not just WWE, but the industry as a whole), Monday Night Raw was the destination television show, and remains so for me. From 1993 in the Manhattan Center, to the Monday Night Wars,  to the very present, Raw has always been there along the way from my elementary years, through the teenage years, through college, and even now as a married man. 

It's what I do. It's very much a part of who I am. 

As I've mentioned before in the Pondering 10 list: Favorite TV Shows of All-Time, Monday Night Raw is a staple and cornerstone in my life. Every Monday, no matter what, Raw is always an option. 

As as the show celebrated 1,000 shows with a pretty eventful and nostalgic show, I'm happy to see something that has been a part of my childhood and growth, continue on, unlike most things which have eventually faded out. Sure, the names have changed, the production has changed, and in someways, the audience has as well, but the show remains - every Monday Night, bringing Pro Wrestling to those that aren't ashamed, and even those that are in the closet about their fandom. 

As many wrestling fans have been doing recently, I could leave you with a list or some commentary on my favorite Raw moments, but I won't out of fear of going on too long and boring you, or out of sheer fear of leaving a moment off the list, as there have been so many. 

However, what I will do, is give my review of last night's show in vintage (there I go again with the Michael Cole influence) Dome Pondering wrestling review format - several rhetorical questions. 

  • How cool was the return of all of the Degeneration X members?
  • However, hasn't the DX shtick with middle-aged men doing campy comedy run its course? 
  • And doesn't Damien Sandow remind you of the old grappler, The Genius? 
  • For the best play-by-play man in the history of the business, is that the only match he gets to call tonight? 
  • And isn't that the first disappointment of the night? 
  • How great was the Mae Young hand-birth followup? 
  • And shouldn't Mark Henry care to see his baby boy? 
  • Between Sonic, Skype, and all the forms of social media, how corporate has the WWE become? 
  • And how long before we start seeing ads on wrestler's trunks? 
  • What the heck happened to Jack Swagger?
  • Isn't always good to see slick, even though 90% of the crowd had no idea who he was? 
  • And man, doesn't that make you miss guys like the Big Bossman and Akeem? 
  • What exactly are the qualifications to become Raw GM? AJ, really? 
  • Aren't we all still looking forward to what craziness she will come up with? 
  • And even at his age, isn't Vince McMahon the the greatest Raw superstar of all-time? 
  • Besides Macho Man and Elizabeth, has there been a wrestling wedding that ended well? 
  • No matter what he does, doesn't The Rock on your TV screen just evoke energy? 
  • How awesome and rare of a talent is Dwayne Johnson? 
  • Oddly enough, didn't Daniel Bryan's work outshine everyone in that segment? 
  • What has The Rock done to get a title shot? 
  • Bret Hart is still my main man. Not a question, I know. Just thought I'd add that. 
  • How odd is having Charlie Sheen as a social media ambassador for a PG product? 
  • How bad-ass does Brock Lesnar look? 
  • And Stephanie McMahon, yeah...shouldn't she just stay off TV? 
  • How sick are you of Tout? 
  • Man, wasn't the McMahon/Austin feud awesome?
  • Shouldn't they have had Howard "The Fink" Finkel announce the intercontin...err, excuse me, the INNNNNNNTER-CONTINENTAL CHAMMMMMMMMPIONSHIP?
  • Don't you miss hearing Fink announce a new champ? (And NEEEEWWWWWWWW....)
  • How awesome was it to see Lita? And the APA? And the clothesline from hell? 
  • However, with all of the nostalgia and past wrestlers around, haven't you noticed how loosely the term legend is used? 
  • Rikishi? Legend? Really? 
  • How great has Heath Slater been in this role the past couple of weeks? 
  • Sean Mooney?! How deep in the database did the WWE office go?
  • And aren't you glad they did? 
  • For years, why have announcers said when a wrestler's theme music hits, "can it be"? Shouldn't it be?  
  • And wouldn't it be weird and a total buzz kill if it wasn't? 
  • Now, isn't The Undertaker the definition of legend? 
  • And wouldn't that put to bed the earlier question of the term, legend? 
  • Isn't the spear overdone? (Looking at you Big Show)
  • After months of being cheesy, how awesome is it to see the edgy CM Punk return? 
  • Aren't some guys just natural born heels? 
  • Was nostalgia the main focus of this show or what? 
  • And if it was, why was Stone Cold Steve Austin not present? 
  • Wasn't that the biggest mistake of the night? 
  • Either way, how pumped are you for the next 1000 Raws? 
  • And isn't it scary to think Raw 2000 will be around 2031? 

Recent Favorites

Turning 39 - One Last Go-Around in My 30s

I turn 39 today, and everything I read in regards to such a "milestone" is that it's dealing with the anxiety of turning 40. The big 4-0!  Yet, I sit here punching the keys completely unaware of fears, trepidations, and emotions towards the future. Instead, I find myself immersed in the present - in exactly that, 39. I also find myself slightly looking back on the road to get here - my final year in my 30s.  I look back on my thoughts on turning 30 ( Praying on a Cool Thirty ) and, ironically, I very much vibe and can feel the essence of where I was at the time. At the time, turning thirty meant a whoooooooooooole sort of different expectations and responsibilities. I am in that same place - a center of gratitude for the journey. My 30s have been a ride.  For me, I became a father, and I lost my father. I lost one of my best friends, yet, I gained another in my son - and then a second one just recently. I finished coursework on my second Masters degree, and I also watch

Quick Ponder: Personal Value

Understand your value.  Be careful of where you invest it. 

Exorcising Demons with a Breen "Double Bang!"

These sorts of moments feel like they don't happen to us.  Well, they happen VERY rarely - I'm talking Larry Johnson's 4-point play-rare. Yeah, it's been THAT long.  But watching this New York Knicks team score eight points in less than thirty-five seconds, including a sequence that will forever live in my fandom, sits right with that LJ garden-rocking shot.  I sat on my couch in absolute shock at what I just saw.  "How the hell did they just win that game?!"  It's the kind of moment this fanbase deserves. It's the moment that releases and exorcises some demons that haunt us from the trauma of experiences.  Namely you, Reggie Miller.  I loved it. And the icing on the cake was Mike Breen - Oh, Mike Breen, the loveable man with the most epic voice that has narrated so much of my basketball-loving fandom - with not one, but two signature "Bang!" calls.  I'll never let this one down. Ever.  I'm not sure where this team will wrap up the se