RAW 25 kicks off with the unmistakable sirens of old school RAW before WWE Hall of Famers Jim Ross & Jerry “The King” Lawler welcome everyone to the 25th anniversary of RAW from the Manhattan Center in New York City, NY. The Hall of Fame commentators then transition us to the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, NY where Michael Cole, Corey Graves, & Booker T are back at the ringside announce position with RAW Commissioner Stephanie McMahon and her brother and SmackDown LIVE Commissioner Shane McMahon sharing the ring to kick off RAW 25! After Stephanie welcomes everyone to the 25th anniversary of RAW, Shane gives thanks to every Superstar and every employee who has been a part of RAW for the past 25 years. Shane then thanks fans both old and new for making Monday Night RAW the success that it is. Shane then throws to a special introduction video chronicling the biggest and most unforgettable moments in the history of Monday Night RAW.
From the rise of RAW to unforgettable moments like 1-2-3 Kid beating Razor Ramon, the debut of Chris Jericho, Seth Rollins betraying his Shield brothers, Goldberg’s WWE debut, Shane McMahon appearing on WCW Nitro, Stone Cold Steve Austin delivering the Stunner to Vince McMahon, The Miz cashing in to win the WWE Title, the arrival of the nWo, Paige upsetting AJ Lee to win the Divas Title, Mankind winning the WWE Title for the first time, the emotional retirements of Edge, Daniel Bryan, and Ric Flair as well as the last public appearance of The Ultimate Warrior, CM Punk’s “pipe bomb”, the confrontation between Stone Cold and Mike Tyson, Vince McMahon’s limo explosion, Dolph Ziggler cashing in to win the World Heavyweight Title, the shocking return of Shane McMahon, the Yes Movement, Bret Hart and Shawn Michaels hugging in the middle of the ring, the return of The Rock, the Divas Revolution, Stone Cold giving The Corporation a beer bath, and countless other moments that have made Monday Night RAW the premier show in WWE for the last 25 years.
After the epic tribute video, Stephanie McMahon thanks the fans for being a part of RAW these past 25 years says that they are just getting started before saying that there’s a special individual who they need to truly thank for all of this. Stephanie says that there is “one person” who has made all of this possible and none of them would be there without him. Stephanie then introduces her and Shane’s father, the Chairman and CEO of WWE and the creator of Monday Night RAW Vince McMahon as Mr. McMahon receives a thunderous ovation from the crown in Brooklyn. Vince says that he’s not usually one to stop and “smell the roses” but he’s going to take a moment to do that right now. Vince then does just that before saying goodbye but Shane & Stephanie would have a surprise for their father. The McMahon children then present the Chairman with a commemorative plaque in honor of 25 years of Monday Night RAW, having been paid for by Shane & Stephanie as well as the fans in attendance. However, Mr. McMahon is not impressed, saying the plaque looks “cheap” before berating the Brooklyn crowd. Vince then says that there’s only one person he needs to thank is himself, saying that he didn’t need anyone but himself to make RAW a success and there is not one person who has ever helped him.
Vince’s tirade would pave the way for a huge return as, for the first time in nearly two years, the glass would break to signify the arrival of WWE Hall of Famer Stone Cold Steve Austin! Austin then makes a beeline down to the ring to confront two of his biggest rivals over the years Vince & Shane McMahon. Fearful of receiving a Stunner from the WWE Hall of Famer, Vince explains that he’s a “senior citizen” now before throwing his son under the bus by saying that Shane is in his “prime”. Shane tries to plead with Austin to avoid the Stunner with Austin raising the hand of Shane before delivering a Stunner to Shane McMahon! Vince is then quick to grab a couple of beers to try and make peace with Stone Cold, with Austin and McMahon sharing a beer before hugging each other. Austin then raises the hand of his biggest rival, hugging the Chairman one more time before giving Vince the legendary Austin middle finger salute and dropping Vince with a Stunner! Shane McMahon then groggily makes his way to his feet just in time to receive another Stunner from the WWE Hall of Famer! Stone Cold then has a beer bash in the ring, saluting the fans in the Barclays Center.
With the first ever Women’s Royal Rumble Match coming up this Sunday at the Royal Rumble, the opening match of the night would be an 8-Woman Tag Match as the team of Asuka, Sasha Banks, Bayley, & Mickie James would face the team of Nia Jax, Alicia Fox, and Absolution’s Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville, with Paige in their corner. The match would completely break down in the end, leaving Sasha Banks and Alicia Fox alone in the ring with “The Boss” locking in the Bank Statement, making Alicia tap out to pick up the win for her team. After the match, the victorious team would celebrate before Asuka decides to make a statement by tipping Mickie James over the top rope to the outside! “The Empress of Tomorrow” then attacks Bayley, tossing Bayley over the top rope to the outside before doing the same to Sasha Banks! Asuka then stands tall in the ring in what could be a sign of things to come this Sunday at the Royal Rumble.
After Kurt Angle greets Jonathan Coachman, Harvey Wippleman, The Brooklyn Brawler, Theodore Long, and Brother Love in his office only for the reunion to be interrupted by The Boogeyman, who plops some worms down in Jonathan Coachman’s hand, we would go back to Jim Ross & Jerry “The King” Lawler in the Manhattan Center as the Hall of Famers introduce a special video package paying tribute to “The Phenom” himself, The Undertaker.
For the first time in over twenty years, the gong would sound in the Manhattan Center as the one and only “Phenom” The Undertaker would make his first WWE appearance since his loss to Roman Reigns at last year’s WrestleMania. The Undertaker says that, for twenty-five years, he’s been “digging holes” and anyone who has stepped in his way has gotten “buried”. The Undertaker then says that he has taken legends and “ripped” them off of their pedestals and buried them in the earth. The Undertaker continues, saying that Stone Cold Steve Austin “answered to the reaper” as did Mick Foley and even his own “flesh and blood” Kane, saying that they “all tried” but they “all failed”. The Undertaker then says that, now, on this sacred ground, for all of those who have fallen, it is truly time for them to “rest in peace”.
After “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase joins The APA’s card game with Heath Slater & Rhyno backstage, RAW 25 would pay tribute to some of the most legendary General Managers in history as John Laurinaitis, William Regal, and Eric Bischoff come out to the stage before SmackDown LIVE General Manager Daniel Bryan comes out, leading a “yes” chant with Laurinaitis, Regal, and Bischoff. The moment is then interrupted by The Miz & The Miztourage as The Miz comes face-to-face with his longtime rival, Daniel Bryan, before The Miz & The Miztourage makes his way to the ring for The Miz’s Intercontinental Title rematch.
The prestigious Intercontinental Championship would then be defended on a historic night as Roman Reigns would defend the Intercontinental Championship against seven-time former champion The Miz, with The Miztourage in his corner. Throughout the match, Roman Reigns would have to contend with The Miztourage on the outside with Roman repeatedly taking out Bo Dallas & Curtis Axel. At one point in the match, The Miz would try to capitalize with the Skull Crushing Finale, but Roman Reigns would counter, scoring with the Superman Punch. The champion then sizes The Miz up for the Spear, but Bo Dallas grabs the leg of Roman Reigns, which would allow The Miz to take advantage. Unfortunately for The Miztourage, the referee spots the interference and ejects The Miztourage from ringside.
This would lead to an argument between The Miz and the referee which would nearly cost the challenger. Despite being ejected by the referee, The Miztourage would get on the ring apron, getting taken out with a Superman Punch from Roman Reigns. However, this gives The Miz his opening as The Miz connects with the Skull Crushing Finale, but Roman kicks out! The Miz then goes for another Skull Crushing Finale but Roman fights out, sending The Miz into the corner. Reigns then charges at The Miz but the challenger moves out of the way and Roman goes head-first into the exposed steel of the middle turnbuckle before The Miz hits a second Skull Crushing Finale, pinning Roman Reigns to win his eighth Intercontinental Championship! The Miz then clutches the Intercontinental Title belt proudly as The Miztourage joins the celebration.
Backstage, The APA’s card game continues to grow with Jeff Hardy, MVP and SmackDown Tag Team Champions The Usos joining in on the fun. Meanwhile, in the ring, RAW 25 would feature the return of The Peep Show as “Captain Charisma” Christian returns to host his talk show segment. The accomplished tag team competitor then introduces his guests, the reigning RAW Tag Team Champions Seth Rollins & Jason Jordan. Taking a seat on The Peep Show, Seth Rollins is immediately interrupted by his tag team partner as Jason Jordan struggles to speak through the boos from the Brooklyn crowd, thanking the fans for their “continued support” before thanking his father, Kurt Angle, for assembling all of the talent for RAW 25.
Jason then tries to get the crowd to applaud Kurt Angle before the challengers for the RAW Tag Team Titles at the Royal Rumble, Cesaro & Sheamus interrupt. Sheamus says that all the Superstars and legends at RAW 25 have been lining up to get their autographs before Cesaro & Sheamus enter the ring. Cesaro then tells Jason Jordan that it’s not Jason’s dad who sucks, telling Jason “you suck”. Jason Jordan responds to this by attacking Cesaro, sparking a brawl between the two teams. After Seth Rollins dives to the outside to take out Sheamus, Jason Jordan would hold Cesaro in place for Seth Rollins but, when Rollins comes off of the top rope, Cesaro moves out of the way and Rollins inadvertently takes his own tag team partner out with a knee to the face! Seth then tends to his fallen tag team partner as dissension is apparent among the champions heading into the Royal Rumble.
Back at the Manhattan Center, two unusual Superstars would collide on RAW 25 as “Woken” Matt Hardy would go one-on-one with “The Eater of Worlds” Bray Wyatt. In the end, it was Bray Wyatt hitting Matt Hardy with Sister Abigail, pinning Matt for the win.
The Barclays Center would then be home to the return of some legendary female Superstars as The Bella Twins, mother-to-be Maryse, Kelly Kelly, Lilian Garcia, WWE Hall of Famer Jacqueline, Torrie Wilson, Michelle McCool, Terri Runnels, mother-to-be Maria Kanellis, and WWE Hall of Famer Trish Stratus all take a bow on the RAW 25 stage as Brooklyn shows their appreciation for some of the trailblazers in WWE’s women’s division.
Backstage, Elias runs into a fellow scarf-wearing musician in the form of the legendary Chris Jericho, who plays his own song for Elias, calling Elias a “stupid idiot” before putting Elias and his scarves on The List of Jericho!
In the ring, Elias would have a special RAW 25 performance, pointing out Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon in the front row before running down several legends. Elias then sings about John Cena, singing that Cena has “no balls”. This would bring out sixteen-time former World Champion John Cena as the free agent as Elias is quick to confront Cena, saying that Cena “ruined” his performance. Cena then tells Elias to “do something about it” but Elias says that he doesn’t take orders from Cena and he doesn’t take orders from the “scumbags” in Brooklyn. Elias then tries to cheap-shot Cena, but Cena gets the better of Elias before Elias is able to avoid the Attitude Adjustment before delivering a low blow to John Cena. Elias then grabs his guitar, smashing it over the back of John Cena before hitting the sixteen-time former World Champion with the Drift Away. Elias then leaves the ring with a smile on his face, having laid waste to John Cena in the middle of the ring.
After Mark Henry runs into his old friend, The Godfather, and The Godfather’s wife Olivia backstage, Titus Worldwide, with Dana Brooke in their corner, would face Heath Slater & Rhyno in tag team action on RAW 25. The match would eventually break down with the referee ruling the match a No Contest. However, this would pave the way for the return of The Dudley Boyz as Bubba Ray & D-Von make their way down to the ring with Titus Worldwide and Heath Slater & Rhyno making a quick exit. In an effort to toughen up Heath Slater, Rhyno and Titus Worldwide decide to throw Heath into the ring where Bubba Ray & D-Von would hit some of their big moves on Slater before putting Slater through a table with the 3-D! The Dudley Boyz then stand tall in the ring, raising the hands of Rhyno and Titus Worldwide.
The Manhattan Center would then be home to the reunion of the most legendary group of troublemakers in WWE history, D-Generation X. “The Game” Triple H and WWE Hall of Famer Shawn Michaels would make their way to the ring. After Triple H stops Shawn Michaels from telling some of the more controversial stories from the past 25 years, Triple H says that the fans “lit the spark” and, 25 years later, they are there because of them. Triple H then says that, twenty years ago, he and Shawn Michaels started something special, saying that they would come to the ring with the likes of “Ravishing” Rick Rude and “The Ninth Wonder of the World” Chyna and say whatever they wanted. Triple H then says that DX will be a the “forefront” of WWE for the next twenty-five years before bringing out The New Age Outlaws as Road Dogg & Billy Gunn join Triple H & Shawn Michaels in the ring.
After Road Dogg’s trademark introduction, the final piece of the reunion puzzle comes down to the ring as X-Pac joins his longtime friends in the ring. X-Pac says that he knows that this is a DX reunion but they can’t celebrate the 25th anniversary of RAW without this guy, bringing out Scott Hall! Scott Hall says that you can’t have a 25th anniversary of RAW celebration without “The Bad Guy”, saying that RAW 25 has been “too sweet”. The reunion is then interrupted by The Balor Club as Finn Balor, Luke Gallows, & Karl Anderson confront DX and Scott Hall in the ring before the two factions “too sweet” each other in the middle of the ring!
With Finn Balor, D-Generation X, and Scott Hall watching from ringside, Balor Club’s Gallows & Anderson would face The Revival in tag team action on RAW 25. In a short match, it was Gallows & Anderson hitting the Magic Killer on Dash Wilder with Karl Anderson pinning Dash for the win. After the match, Scott Dawson would decide to pick a fight with the legends and would pay the price for it. First, Scott Hall would throw his trademark toothpick in the face of Dawson before X-Pac hits Scott Dawson with the X-Factor. Then, Road Dogg hits a few of his shuck-and-jive punches before Billy Gunn follows it up with the Fame Asser! Dash Wilder then tries to come to the aid of his tag team partner but eats a super kick from Shawn Michaels and a Pedigree from Triple H. Finn Balor then puts the finishing touches on the beatdown with the Coup de Grace to Dash Wilder. DX and Scott Hall the stand tall with Balor Club, having beaten some respect into The Revival.
With a monstrous confrontation between Universal Champion Brock Lesnar, Braun Strowman, and Kane set to take place ahead of their Triple Threat Match for the Universal Title at the Royal Rumble this Sunday, RAW General Manager Kurt Angle would make his way to the ring with plenty of backup as The APA, William Regal, Christian, Goldust, Curt Hawkins, Eric Bischoff, Brother Love, Jonathan Coachman, Harvey Wippleman, The Brooklyn Brawler, The Godfather, The Boogeyman, The New Day, The Usos, The Miztourage, Heath Slater & Rhyno, Cesaro & Sheamus, Elias, MVP, Titus Worldwide, and “The Million Dollar Man” Ted DiBiase all surround the ring. Kurt first introduces “The Monster Among Men” Braun Strowman before bringing out “The Big Red Machine” Kane with a group of Superstars also entering the ring to try and keep them apart. This brings Paul Heyman out, who introduces his client, Universal Champion Brock Lesnar.
Ready for a fight, Brock is chomping at the bit on the stage before, in the ring, Braun takes down Kane before hopping out of the ring but Brock bulldozes Braun with a big clothesline to “The Monster Among Men”. The Universal Champion then enters the ring, dropping Kane with the F-5! Braun then comes back into the ring, sending “The Beast” to the outside before tossing Brock into the barricade. Braun then exposes the announce table at ringside before Strowman picks Brock up and puts the Universal Champion through the announce table with a thunderous running powerslam! “The Monster Among Men” then stands tall in the ring, having demolished his Royal Rumble opposition en route to a volatile Triple Threat Match for the Universal Title this Sunday.
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