By Jason Powell, Prowrestling.net Editor (@prowrestlingnet)
WWE Raw 25 Pre-Show on WWE Network and social media
Live from Brooklyn, New York at Barclays Center and New York, New York at Manhattan Center
-The pre-show opened with that mom rocker Nickelback song where they tried really hard to be badass. Renee Young, Peter Rosenberg, and David Otunga hosted the show from the Kickoff Show desk on the floor of Barclays Center.
-Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler checked in from the much livelier Manhattan Center. The iconic duo were standing at ringside and spoke about the anniversary and memories conjured up by being inside the venue. Lawler recalled insulted Stu and Helen Hart in the balcony of Manhattan Center. Fans chanted “25” as Ross noted that fans were paying $800 tickets on the secondary market.
-After the Young team talked, Charly Caruso interviewed “The APA” Bradshaw (JBL) and Ron Simmons backstage. They spoke about the celebrities who paid them protection money over the years. Bradshaw suggested opening up the APA service for one night. They acted like they lost the key to their office and had Caruso watch the office for them.
-Classic footage aired from Raw on January 11, 1993 Bobby Heenan dressed as a woman attempting to get into Raw before Sean Mooney removed his wig.
-Sam Roberts stood in front of screaming fans and looked back on some of his favorite Raw moments. Roberts hyped some of the bigger names for the show and questioned what would happen with all of them appearing on Raw. Roberts said it would be uncut, uncooked, and uncensored. He set up footage from September 28, 1998 of Steve Austin driving the zamboni to ringside.
-The focus shifted to the Intercontinental Title match between Roman Reigns and The Miz. A Reigns interview from last week aired as he spoke about how he was meant to reign and how his family member Yokozuna was on Raw back in the day. Footage shot today showed The Miz and Maryse walking while Miz said he would win the Royal Rumble and the Intercontinental Title.
-Young set up classic footage of Mick Foley beating The Rock to win the WWE Championship on the January 4, 1999 Raw. They cut away from Steve Austin hitting The Rock with a chair to the head.
-Footage aired from July 15, 2002 when Vince McMahon introduced Eric Bischoff and hugged him on the stage.
-Bischoff joined the Young-led pre-show team. He said it’s been nearly ten years since he was with WWE, but things like the passion and excitement never change. He said he was grateful to be there. Bischoff looked back on the 2002 introduction. He said it was surreal because they kept him isolated before the segment. He recalled seeing the looks on the faces of people backstage and wishes he could relive it again and again. Bischoff said that despite coming from “enemy territory” he felt at home fairly quickly. He recalled that the first thing he did was meet with Undertaker and then things went well.
-A Bayley selfie video aired. Trish Stratus joined her in the shot. Bayley spoke about how she grew up watching Trish and Lita, while Trish spoke of how she enjoys watching Bayley today.
-A flashback focussed on Trish vs. Lita from the December 6, 2004 edition of Raw. WWE continues to glorify Lita’s face bump on the suicide dive.
Powell’s POV: That’s the moment that should have been the true women’s revolution/evolution moment. Instead, it took the company over two decades to truly get behind the concept of women’s wrestling.
-Ross and Lawler checked in and set up a flashback to Undertaker’s earlier appearances on Raw. Afterward, the fans were chanting ECW. One of the fans behind Ross and Lawler was dressed in Heenan-like drag. Funny. Lawler indicated that DX would be in Manhattan, and said Steve Austin would be at Barclays.
-The Young team questioned what Undertaker’s appearance would mean. They gushed over Undertaker. Rosenberg said Austin is the attitude of Raw, while Taker is the spirit of Raw.
-New Day checked in and recalled becoming the longest reigning tag champions in WWE history. They also acknowledged Kofi Kingston’s ten-year anniversary as a main roster wrestler.
-Young read a Bret Hart social media post in which he said he was sorry that he could not attend the Raw 25 event. They also read a tweet from Vince McMahon about Raw 25.
-The next flashback video was from August 9, 1999 and the debut of Chris Jericho.
-Roberts set up a flashback video from April 27, 1998 featuring DX invading WCW Nitro.
-Classic footage aired of Seth Rollins turning on Roman Reigns and Dean Ambrose.
-Young and company discussed the WWE Universal Championship match at the Royal Rumble. Young hyped that Brock Lesnar, Braun Strowman, and Kane would all appear on Raw.
-Young set up footage of New Day and Jimmy Fallon facing Triple H and Stephanie McMahon in a lip synch battle on The Tonight Show. The stipulation was that if Hunter and Steph won then Fallon had to go to Raw 25. Hunter chose “Seek & Destroy” by Metallica, but Steph’s pick of a song from “Moana” won. Steph started the song, then dragged out Hunter, who comically sang his part as well. Fallon said he would be at Raw 25.
-Stephanie McMahon and then Shane McMahon made their entrances for Raw as the Young-led panel attempted to talk.
Join me for live coverage of Raw in a separate story on the main page.