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RAW 25 Live Coverage, Results & Reactions

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Join us live, right here, beginning at 8 p.m. ET or coverage of tonight’s 2WWE is running two separate shows—one from The Manhattan Center and one from Barclays—with the best of both being broadcast live on the USA Network. You can also follows us @FightBoothPW for more #RAW25 fun.

We start where it all began, live at the Manhattan Center with Jerry Lawler and Jim Ross. Then we quickly move over to the Barclays Center where Michael Cole, Corey Graves and Booker T are ringside.

Shane and Stephanie McMahon are in the ring to welcome us to Monday Night RAW inside of Barclays. Shane offers his thanks to all of the Superstars who have stepped into the ring on behalf of the McMahon family.

He also thanks all of the camera and production men then goes on to thank the fans. That incredible video package that WWE released yesterday now begins playing on the Titantron.

Stephanie takes over. She says we have one truly special person to thank for all of this. The one person who made all of this possible. That man is Vincent Kennedy McMahon. Vince gets a huge, well deserved ovation. Shane and Steph give Vince a nice family hug. The crowd chants “Thank You Vince”.

Vince attempts to leave the ring but his kids make him stick around for a surprise. They present him with a commemorative plaque to celebrate his achievement of 25 years of Monday Night RAW. Vince is not too impressed. He says “It feels a little cheap, but then again we are here in Brooklyn.” Vince attacks the crowd for raising funds through a GoFundMe account to award him with the plaque. Vince goes full on heel here. The crowd begins chanting “A**hole”. Vince claims that he’s the only person in the world that he needs to thank. He didn’t need his family or any of the fans to get where he is today. Glass shatters. Out comes Steve Austin. The crowd goes absolutely bananas.

Vince tells Austin that he looks great, but Mother Nature has not been too kind to him. He’s a member of AARP now. He has a heart murmur that won’t go away and his bones are brittle; he’s now a senior citizen. But Shane is in his prime. Austin shakes Shane’s hand as Vince attempts to get him stunned. Austin stuns Shane. Vince grabs a couple of cans of Miller Lite. “I don’t blame ya,” Vince says. “He had it coming.” They toast, hug and do some chugging as Austin’s music plays. Then, suddenly, Austin’s music stops. Vince turns around. They start drinking again. Austin throws up the double birds and stuns Vince.

This was an amazing way to start the show. They honestly couldn’t of done it any better. Shane comes back to his feet, grabs a Miller and toasts Austin in a “We’re cool right?” moment. Austin stuns Shane again.

It’s time for our first match of the night.

8-Woman Tag Team Match
Absolution (Sonya Deville and Mandy Rose w/ Paige) Alicia Fox and Nia Jax vs. Bayley, Mickie James, Sasha Banks and Asuka

All hell breaks lose right away after Nia just mauls Asuka. The ref attempts to get things under control. He’s successful. Deville and Asuka are legal first. Asuka gets the advantage to start. She hammers Deville with some stiff kicks that force Deville to roll out of the ring and consult Paige. Time for commercial.

We are back from commerical and all of sudden it’s Mandy Rose taking punishment from Asuka. Asuka tags Banks and we get a double team suplex on Rose. Rose tags Nia. Nia is rag dolling Banks now. Nia tags in Rose. She gets some work in and tags Deville. Deville does the same and tags in Alica. And, here it comes, the best Northern Lights Suplex in the game. Fox continues to work over Banks with a headlock before Banks gets some separation. Banks then eats a boot to the face from Foxy. Banks is able to back Fox into a corner but Fox dumps Sasha by her hair. Time for a commercial.

And we’re back. Banks is able to pick up the victory for her team by hitting a Bank Statement just moments after we return.

Final Result: Sasha Banks, Bayley, Mickie James and Asuka defeat Absolution, Nia Jax and Alicia Fox

The winners begin celebrating until Asuka dumps Mickie over the top. We get our annual Michael Cole, “Just like Sunday,” spot as the girls continue to brawl and do Royal Rumble things. Cole makes more mention of how this could all happen on Sunday at the Rumble.

We join Kurt Angle in his office. Jonathan Coachman greets Kurt, followed by Harvey Wippleman, The Brooklyn Brawler and Teddy Long. They start dancing with Teddy and we get a knock at the door. It’s Brother Love! We get another knock, it’s the Boogeyman. He takes the worms out of his mouth and places them in Coachman’s hand. Fun little segment. It got a half dozen guest appearances out of the way in about a minute. Would’ve loved to have seen something better for Brother Love. Hopefully we get the return of the Brother Love Show sometime in the future.

The Undertaker is up next as we move from Barclays to The Manhattan Center.

Lawler tells Ross that he’s waiting on the arrival of some “Puppies,” to which Ross responds by telling him to calm down. We are then greeted with a lovely Undertaker video package to prepare us or The Dead Man’s arrival. The Gong hits. The crowd chants “Holy Sh*t”.

This entrance has such an old school feel too it. From the lower third nameplate to the lights staying on as he arrives to the way the announcer introduces him. It looks exactly like it looked 25 years ago. They should definitely make this the next setting for a Old School RAW.

“The carnage began on this sacred ground of evil 25 years ago,” The Undertaker says. He continues to spew awesomely morbid and cryptic things into the mic. “Stone Cold answered to the reaper, Mick Foley answered to the reaper, my own flesh and blood, Kane, had to answer to the reaper. They all tried, they all failed. And now, on this sacred ground, I declare, for all of those who have fallen, that it is truly time you rest in peace.”

Taker’s music plays and he takes the center of the ring. “Was that a warning,” JR says. Lawler doesn’t know how to take it.

After a commercial break we head back to the Barclays Center for a Intercontinental Championship Match between current champ, Roman Reigns, and The Miz.

We join a friendly game of cards between APA, Heath Slater and Rhyno. There’s a knock on the door and huge wad of cash is thrown on the table. The Million Dollar Man Ted DiBiase has arrived. We get to hear his trademark laugh as he sits at the table with his Million Dollar belt over his shoulder.

JoJo announces that some of the greatest GM’s in the history of Monday Night RAW are aout to come out. John Laurinaitis comes out in a hideous suit. He’s followed by current NXT boss William Regal and then Eric Bischoff. “Special Guest” and current SmackDown Live GM Daniel Bryan is out next.

The Miz is introduced for his upcoming title match with Roman Reigns. Flanked by The Miztourage, he gets right into the face of Bryan before heading to the ring.

Intercontinental Championship Match
Roman Reigns (c) vs. The Miz w/ Bo Dallas and Curtis Axel

Reigns is out next to a chorus of boos from the fans in attendance. Miz takes control of the match after a distraction from The Miztourage. He runs Reigns into the steel steps before we head to our first commercial break.

Reigns cocks and loads the Superman Punch but Miz escapes. Miz eats a Drive-By on the outside. Reigns runs into the ring post after The Miz side steps him. The Miz unloads some Daniel Bryan shoot kicks on Reigns. Reigns catches the final one and hits a Sitout Powerbomb. Double Drive-By on The Miztourage by Reigns to attempt to take them out of the equation. Reigns continues to do damage to Axel and Dallas when Miz takes advantage and tosses him back into the ring. Reigns counters a Skull Crushing Finale. He hits a Superman Punch and attempts a pin. Miz kicks out at two. Dallas and Axel have now been thrown out of the match after more tomfoolery.

Reigns rolls Miz up as he argues with the ref. Dallas and Axel are still able to distract Reigns from the ramp way. Miz hits a clean Skull Crushing Finale but Reigns kicks out at two. The Miz attempts another SCF but Reigns gets out of it. Reigns goes face first into the corner and goes head first into the second turnbuckle, but hits the steel post. We learn that The Miz took the turnbuckle off earlier in the match when the referee was distracted by the Miztourage. Miz hits a Skull Crushing Finale on a dazed Reigns and gets the pinfall. The Miz is a 8-time Intercontinental Champion.

Final Result: The Miz defeats Roman Reigns (c) to become the new Intercontinental Champion

We head back to the card game backstage where Jeff Hardy, MVP and The Usos have joined in on things. Christian is now in the middle of the ring for a Peep Show at The Barclays. The poor fans inside of The Manhattan Center are getting the shaft so far tonight. All they’ve gotten so far is a Dark Cruiserweight Match and a promo from The Undertaker.

RAW tag team champions Seth Rollins and Jason Jordan are introduced as Christian’s guests. Jordan is quick to interrupt Rollins and the crowd lets him have it. They continue to let him have it. Sheamus and Cesaro interrupt Jordan as he asks the fans to give his kayfabe father a round of applause for putting together such a great show.

“It is not your Dad who sucks. You suck,” Cesaro with the quote of the night. The crowd agrees. Rollins and Jordan attack The Bar but Rollins nails Jordan on accident with a knee from the top rope. Trouble in paradise continues for the RAW tag champs as we head into their title rematch at the Royal Rumble.

We join Charly Caruso backstage with RAW Women’s Champ Alexa Bliss. Bliss maintains that she’s not just a champion, she’s a goddess. SmackDown Live Women’s Champ Charlotte Flair is here. She interrupts the interview and introduces her father, The legendary Nature Boy, Ric Flair, to drop some knowledge on Alexa. The Flair’s “Woo” as Ric smiles directly into the camera. Cute moment before a commercial break.

Back to the card game. Titus Worldwide and Natalya have joined in.

We head back to The Manhattan Center where Bray Wyatt makes his trademark ominous entrance, lamp in hand. Here’s comes Matt Hardy. We’re going to have a match.

Singles Match
Bray Wyatt vs. Matt Hardy

We get more on commentary from Ross and Lawler over just a few minutes than we get from the regular crew, sans Graves, in a full broadcast. It just feels good to listen to these two do work. They add so much, especially Ross and it’s effortless.

The end sees Wyatt hit Sister Abigail on Hardy for the victory.

Final Result: Bray Wyatt defeats Matt Hardy

We head back to Brooklyn where some of the greatest female superstars from the past are introduced.

The Bella Twins, Maryse, Kelly Kelly, Lilian Garcia, Jacqueline, Torrie Wilson, Michelle McCool, Terri Runnels, Maria Kanellis and Trish Stratus are all introduced. As expected, Stratus gets the biggest pop of the group.

We come back from commercial where we join Elias backstage. He runs into Chris Jericho (sporting his NJPW ‘Alpha Club’ t-shirt). Jericho tells Elias that he has a song for him. Elias doesn’t want to hear it. Jericho brought his own guitar for the occasion. He sings Elias a song about being a stupid idiot and proceeds to put him on the list. Fun moment, missed opportunity by not getting more out of Jericho while you have him.

We now join Elias where he takes his stool in the center of the ring. He introduces himself, does some guitar work and asks the crowd if they’d like to walk with him. What a kind man.

“It’s crazy, it took them 25 years to find me. I gotta say, they finally got it right. Of course the WWE I’m talking about is the WWE that stands for,” the crowd replies, “Walk With Elias.” Watch out now.

Elias tells the audience to silence their cellphones, hold their applause and shut their mouths while he plays. Elias’ segments continue to be the best parts of these shows. The crowd starts chanting “Stupid Idiot,” which causes Elias to threaten to leave. Elias says he cannot possibly leave due to Jimmy Fallon being in the front row. The crowd pans over to Jimmy. Elias sings a song that buries legends such as HBK, The Undertaker, Jericho and The Rock. Elias then proceeds to sing about John Cena being like Brooklyn and having no balls— out comes Cena.

Cena acknowledges the beach balls in the stands. Elias re enters the ring to tell Cena to shut his damn mouth. He says that no one wants to hear him. They came to hear Elias and Cena has ruined it. Cena tells him to do something about it as he takes off his shirt. “That’s not how it works John,” Elias replies. He doesn’t take orders from John or the “Brooklyn Scumbags”. Elias waits for Cena to turn his back and goes after him. But Cena is wise too it. He hits some shoulder tackles and a five knuckle shuffle. Elias escapes the Attitude Adjustment and nails Cena with a low blow. Elias grabs his guitar and wallops him with it. Elias hits the Drift Away on Cena and exits stage left.

Back to that card game backstage. The New Day has joined and JBL is going all in. The New Day is apparently playing with pancakes while everyone else is playing with chips. Heath has a full house, Dana Brooke calls him out for cheating, Titus goes nuts and JBL kicks them out. DiBiase has a royal flush and gets his trademark laugh in again. He collects the pot as Simmons stands up and says, wait for it, wait for it, “DAMN.” I feel like this game is officially over.

Back from commercial we see Mark Henry wandering the halls. He runs into The Godfather and his wife, Olivia.

Titus Worldwide is out next to take on former SmackDown Live tag champs, Heath Slater and Rhyno.

Tag Team Match
Titus Worldwide (Titus O’Neil and Apollo Crews w/ Dana Brooke) vs. Heath Slater and Rhyno

Cole is playing up how Slater lost a bunch of money and got caught cheating in the aforementioned card game backstage. Meanwhile, at The Manhattan Center:

Back from commercial we see that the referee has lost control of the match. Out come the Dudley Boyz. They clear the ring before sending Slater back in to be the fall guy. The crowd tells Devon to get the tables. Slater eats a 3D through the table and everyone celebrates while Slater lies dead.

We join Charly backstage with AJ Styles. He sends Charly away and brings in Mean Gene Okerlund to do the interview with him. Styles does a quick Hogan impression before answering Gene’s question about his handicap match with Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn in Philly this coming Sunday.

We head back to The Manhattan Center for some DX. Michaels and Triple H are out first with a ton of glow sticks to toss out to the fans in attendance. Shawn attempts to tell some stories and Trips stops him due to their vulgarity. Trips brings the crowd back to life. He talks about coming to the ring with Rick Rude and Chyna and doing whatever the hell the felt like doing and saying whatever the hell they felt like saying. Trips claims that DX will be at the forefront of RAW for the next 25 years. Out comes The New Age Outlaws. Road Dogg gets the crowd going with his spiel and out comes X-Pac. The crowd chants “1, 2, 3”. X-Pac says that he knows this is a DX reunion but we can’t have a celebration without this guy right here, Scott Hall comes through the curtain. And we cut to a commercial.

We come back to Hall giving us a “Hey Yo”. Scott Hall says that this RAW 25 thing is Too Sweet. Out comes The Balor Club. Too Sweets are exchanged all around and then The Revival’s music hits. Wilder and Dawson enter the ring and they are not here to make friends or kiss feet. They clear the ring and a tag match between The Revival and Gallows and Anderson is made.

Tag Team Match
Gallows and Anderson w/ Finn Balor, Scott Hall and DX vs. The Revival

Dawson and Wilder work over Karl Anderson for the first part of the match. Anderson and Gallows end up hitting The Magic Killer to win after what was a very quick match. It lasted about 3 minutes.

Final Result: Gallows and Anderson defeat The Revival

After the match, Scott Dawson goes after Razor, he ends up eating a toothpick to the eye. X-Pac, Road Dogg, Gunn and Balor all get some and we head back to Barclays where Kurt Angle heads to the ring.

Angle brings out all of the legends and most of the locker room to ensure that some order is kept when Kane, Strowman and Lesnar come out. Strowman comes out first. Kane is out second and your Universal Champion, Brock Lesnar, is out last with his advocate. All hell breaks loose when Heyman introduces Lesnar. Lesnar F5’s Kane but is just obliterated by Stromwan. He’s tossed into the barricade and powerslammed into the announce table. The show goes off the air with Strowman standing tall.

Final Thoughts: Going in, this episode felt like it was going to be the greatest RAW of all-time. Between the long list of guest stars and potential for possible Rumble and Mania angles, I really believed we were in for something special. What we got was a nice little episode of RAW that was entertaining from start too finish but really didn’t come off as advertised.

I think of it like this—if I were a fan tuning back in for the first time in a long time— there was really nothing here that would make me want to become a fan again. No storylines were moved forward aside from Elias and Cena. All of the guest spots were underwhelming aside from the opening segment with Austin. This was as poorly put together as you could get for a show of this importance. Unless there was a disclaimer on the tickets to The Manhattan Center portion of the show that read “you will watch 90 percent of this show on a TV,” then everyone who purchased one should get a full refund.

Maybe this was just another case of me expecting more from WWE on this night, but based on how incredible RAW 1000 turned out, I expected them to raise the bar for this one. It was a great show by RAW standards and that isn’t saying much. It definitely wasn’t one that I’d watch again and I’m guessing, we won’t know until we see the numbers, that the audience drop in the second hour was intense.

Too many guest stars were were grossly misused and no new stars were given the “rub” until the very end with The Revival but we really didn’t get any personality from them like we did from Sandow at RAW 1000. Elias probably looked the best out of any newer superstar on the show if the audience stuck around long enough to see him.

In conclusion, the show felt very rushed—way too rushed for a three hour and fifteen minute show—and was riddled with missed opportunities. It’s definitely worth watching for the nostalgia factor. Just try to enjoy it for what it is.

Best Segments
Opening segment with Austin and The McMahons
Jericho and Elias
Cena and Elias

Best Match
Reigns versus The Miz

Dave has been covering Pro Wrestling and Mixed Martial Arts for various websites since 2010. He currently runs both FightBooth and FightBoothPW with the help of some lovely and talented people.

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