The 25th anniversary of Raw emanated from two venues in New York City, The Barclays Center in Brooklyn and the arena where Raw aired its first episode in 1993, The Manhattan Center. The expectations for the show was high since this was the go-home show for Royal Rumble slated to take place this coming Sunday. Also, the WWE had announced the returns of some legends in what fans predicted to be a blockbuster show.
However, the show did not live up to the expectations of fans all over the world as immediately the show ended many fans went to social media to vent out their frustrations in what they thought would be a great show. There were a few high moments including the opening segment that included Vince McMahon, Shane and Stone Cold. In addition, The Jericho and Elias backstage segment was also fun to watch not to forget the Intercontinental Championship match between Miz and Roman Reigns. Other than that, the show was a lacklustre one, to say the least.
Here are 5 reasons why the 25th anniversary of Raw was a disappointment
#5 No Rock and Hulk Hogan
Hulk Hogan is the most recognized wrestling star worldwide and the most popular wrestler of the 1980s who enjoyed considerable mainstream popularity between 1984 and 1993 as a face in the World Wrestling Federation (WWF, now WWE). The Rock, on the other hand, was the first third-generation wrestler in the company's history and was on the forefront alongside Stone Cold in helping the WWE achieve immense success during the Attitude Era.
Even though these two legends were not confirmed for the 25th anniversary of Raw, many believed they would make surprise appearances following their contributions towards the success of the WWE. An appearance by either of them would have spiced up what was otherwise a lacklustre milestone show. The Rock's crazy schedule is most likely the reason why he never showed up whereas Hogan's absence could be as a result of his questionable relationship with the WWE following the sex tape and racist remarks that got him fired from the company.
#4 Poor use of female legends
The Bella Twins, Torrie Wilson, Lilian Garcia, Maryse, Kelly Kelly, Jacqueline, Michelle McCool, Terri Runnels, Maria Kanellis and Trish Stratus made their return to the WWE at the 25th anniversary of Raw and only got to be introduced one at a time to the TitanTron area. Considering what some of these women have accomplished, it felt pretty awkward to just introduce them to the TitanTron area and leave it at that. An in-ring battle royale would have made much more sense as a way of paying tribute to the women who paved the way for the Sasha Banks and Alexa Bliss of today.
It was good seeing women like Kelly Kelly who have not been inside a WWE ring for years still looking great. The fans would have appreciated seeing these women in the ring, either in segments with the current women wrestlers or in some sort of confrontation among'st themselves.
#3 Zero build up to the Royal Rumble match
The Royal Rumble is arguably the most exciting show of the year in the WWE calendar. This year's event will emanate from Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It will be the 30th anniversary of the event and will officially kick off the road to Wrestlemania 34. The 25th anniversary of Raw was the go-home show for the much anticipated Royal Rumble event this Sunday.
Usually, the Raw before the Royal Rumble is always action packed with some battle royale matches here and there just to give a preview of what to expect at the pay-per-view show. However, this edition of Raw was quite different in that there was no much anticipation built towards the Royal Rumble. Many would have expected to see one or two superstars and even legends declare their entry into the Royal Rumble match. Also, A Royal Rumble preview via a legends battle Royale would have been an awesome treat and build up towards the Royal Rumble match that will take place in Philadelphia Pennsylvania.
#2 Lack of action at The Manhattan Center
The 25th anniversary of Raw emanated from The Manhattan Center and Barclays Center in New York. However, it is at The Manhatten Center that the fans voiced their opinion on what they thought about the show. Multiple reports from Twitter indicate that the Manhattan Center's audience turned sour on RAW's 25th Anniversary.
There wasn't much action at The Manhattan Center. This caused the crowd to become dead, with fans chanting "bullsh*t" and "we want refunds."There were two cruiserweight matches that took place at the historic venue and were not shown on television. When the second match ended in a no contest, the crowd finally lost their patience. Reports indicate some of the fans calmed down after the Woken Matt vs. Bray Wyatt match, but they were not happy about watching most of the action on a giant screen. It is unfortunate that The WWE ignored their old historic venue. For over two hours of Raw, only around ten minutes was at The Manhattan Center.
#1 Underwhelming return of "The Dead Man"
Speculations were rife that The Undertaker was going to confront John Cena for one final dance at the grandest stage upon his return at the 25th anniversary of Raw. The fans were looking forward to a big return for the Dead Man. He made his return to The Manhattan Center with neither smoke nor his usual special effects. This was indeed a sign of bad things to come as what followed was even more awkward.
He went on to declare to all those who had fallen to him that it was truly time they rested in peace. This was one of the most bizarre promos The Undertaker has ever done. Expectations were that he would either choose the occasion to announce his retirement or issue a challenge, instead, he said a few words that basically meant nothing. His promo made no sense and just left the fans in a confused state of mind regarding the direction the WWE is going with this.