If there’s anything WWE loves to do, it’s self-promote and tell you how many Twitter followers they have or how their ratings are better then all other networks combined. Well they get yet another chance with the RAW 20th Anniversary Special tonight, so you can be sure they’ll be bringing back all kinds of stars. Guys like HBK, Undertaker and Koko B Ware were around for the first RAW, so will they come back? At least Creative will have a legitimate excuse to pack filler segments and 2 minutes squash matches now.
Del Rio: Well that was certainly an unexpected victory for ADR on Smackdown. For one, rarely do World titles change hands on TV and for another Del Rio is in the first stages of his face turn. A possible reason they put the title on him right now is to give that turn more momentum. They botched the start with him running over Santa so Alberto needed that little extra push to get him over with the Universe. Hopefully he can have a decent run with the title and crowds have been responding to him, even up to the point of him running into the audience to celebrate his win. Giving the opening segment tonight to him and Show might be an indication of that, as well as the crowd reviving the ‘Si!’ chant. I have a feeling he’ll hold it until Ziggler cashes in MITB sometime before Mania or during the event, which sets up the WHC match for that show.
Foley: The Hardcore Legend being the first inductee into the 2013 Hall of Fame class is an honor that is long overdue. Everyone knows Foley has put his body on the line on numerous occasions, being tossed off HIAC by Undertaker being the most famous, so this is the least WWE can do for him. He’s provided some of the most shocking moments in wrestling. Just like a baseball player deciding which hat he’ll wear at his induction, the biggest mystery regarding Foley’s induction is which of his personas will he appear. Mankind is his most famous, but Cactus Jack and Dude Love have their spots in company lore. His acceptance speech will not be complete without an appearance from Mr Socko.
Highlights: In a show that was partially dedicated to replaying the highlights of RAW’s 20 year history, it only seems appropriate to mention those of this show. They include Wade Barrett getting a clean victory over Randy Orton, Eve slapping Teddy backstage, Punk beating Brodus Clay be bringing back the Anaconda Vice, Ric Flair playing the Really game with Miz on MizTV, Antonio Cesaro’s ensuing promo, Cody Rhodes combing his mustache before his match with Daniel Bryan, AJ talking about WWE weddings while Big E just stood there
Divas: Kaitlyn finally triumphing Eve to become the Divas champ is quite the surprise and would leave one to wonder what prompted the change. However, reports are surfacing that Eve is leaving the company, thus prompting the change. If turns out to be true, it would yet another blow for the division. Eve was doing well in her heel role and was one of the more talented in-ring performers among the women. You’d think this would be huge, but then again WWE doesn’t really care about the Divas division anyways. While Kaitlyn will probably do an admirable job as champ, until they start pushing women like the criminally-underused Natalya, who is the only legitimate female wrestler they have, then no one will really care.
Ratings: The Rock returning to WWE last week certainly gave RAW and Smackdown a ratings boost and that’s followed up with past stars being brought back for the RAW’s 20th anniversary. The show’s ratings have never been good in the recent past and using part-time stars to get their best ratings speaks to a larger problem with the product. Being the unquestioned king of wrestling promotions has made them complacent. One of the reasons the Attitude Era was so great was because WWE was forced to innovate and push the envelope due to stiff competition from WCW. They don’t have any challengers, so they can pretty much do the same thing with occasional surprises, but at least they don’t have a motorcycle gang angle, right?
Lowlights: This being WWE there were plenty of lowlights in addition to the highlights mentioned above. Among them were the fact that RAW is still 3 hours, Show insulting Latinos to get heat, Shield doing yet another beat down before the odds were evened, Clay trying to be all tough and serious in a backstage interview, the general awkwardness of MizTV, Bryan beating Cody in just over a minute when both easily could have put a good 10-15 minute match, Cena overcoming the odds yet again and beating Ziggler in a Steel Cage despite interference from Big E, plus the goofiness of the Rock concert. At least a Punk-Rock brawl at the end had the show go out on a somewhat high note.