Top 25 best moments from 'Monday Night Raw'

Who doesn’t remember the time Mike Tyson shoved Stone Cold Steve Austin on Monday Night Raw? (Courtesy of WWE.com)
Who doesn’t remember the time Mike Tyson shoved Stone Cold Steve Austin on Monday Night Raw? (Courtesy of WWE.com)

Between the five contributors of this list, it’s a safe bet that we’ve seen every episode of “Monday Night Raw” since the first episode in 1993. And despite that, trying to pick the top 25 moments from a show that’s closing in on 1,300 episodes wasn’t easy. The individual lists were vastly different except for one common theme: our love for the “Attitude Era.”

25. Vince McMahon trains for the 1999 Royal Rumble
Yet another classic Vince McMahon segment. WWE fans were blessed with seeing a different side of the McMahons in this iconic Rocky-esque montage of Shane McMahon training his father, Vinny Mac, for his No. 2 spot in the 1999 Royal Rumble, which Vince went on to win. It solidified The Chairman’s persona as an elitist buffoon, as he chased his own limousine and even chickens in the snow for “cardio.”  (Lucy Tobias)

24. 1-2-3 Kid beats Razor Ramon
It was like clockwork on a weekly basis. The jobber would lose to the established wrestler. But for one night on “Monday Night Raw” in 1993, the jobber would get the last laugh as The Kid upset Razor Ramon. After getting rag-dolled in the ring for the majority of the match, The Kid scored the pin, eventually leading to a new nickname of the 1-2-3 Kid and providing the first of many Holy [expletive] moments over a 25-year span. (Marcus Vanderberg)

23. Vince McMahon’s limousine blows up
After the bizarre self-appointed Mr. McMahon Appreciation Night, the filming of this segment was pure gold. The cameras followed The Chairman as he left the ring after the “celebration” and slowly left the arena, pausing for dramatic effect at every turn down the hall. After the TV villain entered his limousine and shut the door, the WWE universe was left shook as the limousine completely blew up and burst into flames. As a fan watching this moment, one had to pause to recover from the absurdity of the situation, followed by belly laughter. This was a poignant event that highlighted the importance of cinematography and storytelling in sports entertainment. (Lucy Tobias)

22. Stone Cold throws the Intercontinental Championship belt into a river
A week after Austin forfeited the Intercontinental Championship to The Rock on “Raw,” the Texas Rattlesnake revealed what special plans he had for his former championship belt. As The Rock and the Nation of Domination took the ring, Austin was nowhere to be found. Suddenly, Austin appeared on the Titantron from a bridge outside the arena, holding the very same championship belt he gave to The Rock a week before. Austin then proceeded to toss swimming gear into the river before finally hurling the Intercontinental Championship belt into the depths below. More important than The Rock-Stone Cold feud was what Austin forfeiting the belt meant. He would be moving forward with a new rivalry, this time with Shawn Michaels for the WWE Championship, which would culminate in their iconic match at WrestleMania XIV. (Anthony Sulla-Heffinger)

21. Braun Strowman flips ambulance with Roman Reigns inside
Braun Strowman and Roman Reigns’ feud was by far one of the best of 2017. As the year’s breakout superstar, Braun was the monster we all needed. His sheer power was awesome (sorry Miz). He was the WWE Universe’s agent of retaliation against Reigns, one of the WWE’s most polarizing superstars ever after he retired The Undertaker at WrestleMania 33. As a WWE fan, It felt like justice to witness Roman Reigns’ physical destruction in the most extreme way imaginable, courtesy of Braun Strowman, the new fan favorite. (Lucy Tobias)

20. Stone Cold stuns Vince McMahon
Steve Austin delivered the first of many Stunners to Vince McMahon in 1997 during the early stages of the Mr. McMahon character and the start of the Austin-Mr. McMahon rivalry. You couldn’t have asked for a better crowd than the one at Madison Square Garden that night or a better play-by-play call than the one from Jim Ross, who made you believe that Austin was actually headed to jail for his assault on the WWE boss. (Marcus Vanderberg)

19. Mankind attacks Jim Ross
In a tremendous bit of work from both Mick Foley and Jim Ross, Mankind sat down with Good Ol’ J.R. for an interview about what made the mad man tick. Mankind took offense at some of Ross’ questions, delivering a monologue about how he felt pain just like everybody else and eventually breaking, dragging Ross to the ground in a Mandible Claw. (Chris Wilson)

18. Shawn Michaels’ retirement speech
Nobody actually thought Shawn Michaels was done with professional wrestling when he left the WWE after “losing his smile” on “Monday Night Raw” in 1997, but there was no doubting his retirement speech the night after WrestleMania XXVI in 2010. If you ever want to see a wrestling fan from the “Attitude Era” generation get a little choked up, put on Michaels’ speech. (Marcus Vanderberg)

17. Stone Cold fills Vince McMahon’s Corvette with cement
This moment never gets old! It’s no secret that Stone Cold Steve Austin is the icon of the “Attitude Era”; women wanted to be with him, men wanted to be him and kids (like me at the time) wanted him to be their fun dad. One of the things I love about this moment is Vince McMahon watching the entire thing on a monitor, the (literal and emotional) build up of the cement slowly filling up the car, and of course, the grand window-popping finale. You definitely couldn’t “fake” that moment! (Lucy Tobias)

16. Daniel Bryan occupies ‘Raw’
The WWE universe had enough of their darling Daniel Bryan being spurned and made their presence felt. With fan frustration still brewing from Batista’s Royal Rumble victory and Bryan not even participating, the “B+ player” forced his way into the WrestleMania title picture with the help of rabid fans who would “Occupy Raw.” Bryan and the rowdy “Yes!” movement refused to let “Raw” continue until The Authority acquiesced to his demands. The site was one to behold as fans flooded the ring and it all would eventually lead to one of the most memorable WrestleMania moments in WWE history. (Andreas Hale)

15. Kurt Angle soaks The Alliance with a milk truck
One of the rare Kurt Angle babyface runs was matched against Stone Cold’s paranoid champion in a highly entertaining feud and segment. As Austin Appreciation Night rolled along in the ring with tributes and gifts, Angle’s music interrupted and he rolled a milk truck out to ringside, turning a milk hose – is that a thing?) – onto Austin and the rest of his admirers in the ring. Some will call it a ripoff of Austin’s beer truck moment, but we prefer to consider it a tribute. (Chris Wilson)

14. Ric Flair’s retirement speech
In perhaps one of the most classy and genuine “retirements” in WWE history, Ric Flair’s moment where he bid the WWE universe farewell was masterfully handled and elicited true emotion from both fans and Flair. A modest speech was followed by Triple H and a slew of guests from Flair’s past paying tribute to the world champion. It was a touching moment that drew real tears from Flair and those who watched as the chant of “Thank you Ric” filled up the arena. (Andreas Hale)

13. Stone Cold assaults Vince McMahon with a bed pan
The Stone Cold Steve Austin and Vince McMahon rivalry may have singlehandedly rescued the WWE in its ongoing war with WCW. From the debut of Mick Foley’s Mr. Socko to Austin unveiling himself as a doctor in disguise, it was one of the funniest moments in an Austin-McMahon rivalry that was chock full of side splitting interactions. And who can forget the sound of the bed pan clanging off of McMahon’s skull? (Andreas Hale)

12. Test’s wedding to Stephanie McMahon
The peak of the late Andrew Martin’s career, Test and Stephanie McMahon were set to wed in the most romantic place imaginable: the middle of the ring during the main event segment on “Raw.” Things were going swimmingly until Triple H came out and revealed that he had drugged Stephanie and married her in a drive-thru wedding venue in Las Vegas. The start of the Triple H/Stephanie McMahon relationship that has helped define the WWE for nearly two decades. (Chris Wilson)

11. Pillman’s Got a Gun
Despite spending less than two years in WWE before his tragic death, Brian Pillman took part in one of the most memorable – and controversial – angles in “Monday Night Raw” history. Pillman, who had spent time with Stone Cold Steve Austin as part of the Hollywood Blonds tag team in WCW, started a feud when Pillman came to WWE in 1996. After weeks of feuding, Pillman was seen alongside his wife, Melanie, in their home as Stone Cold Steve Austin planned to pay them a visit. During an interview with broadcaster Kevin Kelly, Pillman pulled out a pistol and threatened his former friend. After being attacked by Pillman’s friends, Austin eventually broke into the home and Pillman again brandished the firearm. The cameras cut in and out before Austin was eventually dragged out of the home screaming “shoot me” at Pillman. The segment was one of the first that truly pushed the envelope in what wrestling fans now define as the WWE’s “Attitude Era.” (Anthony Sulla-Heffinger)

10. “Bret Screwed Bret”
If there was one good thing to come from the Montreal Screwjob, it was the development of the Mr. McMahon character. Less than 24 hours after getting slugged in the jaw and spat on by an irate Bret Hart, McMahon went on the offensive following the infamous Survivor Series ending, pointing the finger at his former WWF champion who was leaving the company for rival World Championship Wrestling. For 1997, the two-part interview with Jim Ross had the sense of realism that was often lacking with the product up until that point. (Marcus Vanderberg)

9. Shane McMahon buys WCW
The “Monday Night War” was finally over, with WWE and Vince McMahon emerging victorious over Ted Turner and WCW. On the final broadcast of “WCW Monday Nitro,” which had gone up against WWE’s “Monday Night Raw” for five-plus years, WCW’s greatest stars put on a show in Panama City, Florida, while McMahon gloated about his victory on “Raw” in Ohio. In the final segment of both shows, Vince threatened to fire all of WCW’s talent, putting the full Mr. McMahon character on display. As Vince strutted around the ring celebrating, another McMahon’s music hit and Shane made his way to the ring in Panama City, announcing to his father that he had in fact bought WCW, raising the stakes for the match between father and son six days later at WrestleMania X-Seven. (Anthony Sulla-Heffinger)

8. The Shield implodes
To date, this is one of the most shocking and heartbreaking tag team betrayals, right behind the barber shop incident with Shawn Michaels and Marty Jannetty. When Triple H came down to the ring preaching about “Plan A” and “Plan B,” the WWE universe knew something was up. The devastation of Seth Rollins’ double-crossing of Dean Ambrose and Roman Reigns had the same effect on WWE fans as those steel chairs coming down had on them. Despite reuniting in 2017, The Shield has never, and will never, be the same again. (Lucy Tobias)

7. Stone Cold gives The Corporation a beer bath
On the “Monday Night Raw” prior to WrestleMania XV, Stone Cold had one of the most iconic moments of his career. As The Corporation, made up of Vince McMahon, Shane McMahon and The Rock, discussed how The Rock would retain the WWE title at the company’s biggest event of the year, Austin stunned the crowd by diving a Coors Light truck down the ramp and right up to the ring. What’s lost in the chaos of the scene was how great of a promo Austin cut before he doused The Corporation in beer, setting the stage for a monumental match at WrestleMania just six days later. (Anthony Sulla-Heffinger)

6. Mick Foley wins the WWE title
With all due respect to my colleagues here, Mankind’s championship victory should be first on this and every other list. “Raw” was pre-taped and on the live Nitro broadcast they announced they spoiled this result, assuming people would laugh at the idea of Mrs. Foley’s baby boy winning the gold. Instead, hundreds of thousands of viewers switched over to experience one of the biggest pops you’ll ever hear (Stone Cold’s surprise entrance to interfere) and to see Foley beat The Rock with Vince, Shane, and a small army of “Attitude Era” standouts at ringside. (Chris Wilson)

5. Stone Cold Steve Austin confronts Mike Tyson
There was no bigger star in the world of boxing in 1998 than Mike Tyson. And there was no bigger star in the squared circle than “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. Only in the world of wrestling could you get away with running down “The Baddest Man on the Planet” on the microphone and flipping him two middle fingers and not lose an ear in the process. We never did see Tyson take part in a wrestling match, but he held his own as an outside enforcer at WrestleMania XIV. (Marcus Vanderberg)

4. CM Punk’s Pipe Bomb
The June 27, 2011 edition of “Raw” wasn’t expected to be anything special. At the time CM Punk was an exceptional, but far from mainstream talent. That all changed when Phil Brooks sat crosslegged while wearing a Stone Cold Steve Austin shirt and delivered what would be known as the “pipe bomb.” A searing five minute diatribe that broke the fourth wall and verbally decimated the WWE while citing how the company misused his talent. Social media exploded and mainstream publications penned thought pieces and debating whether this was a “shoot” or a “work.” Whether it was all planned or unplanned, it was game changer for Punk and the entire wrestling world. (Andreas Hale)

3. Chris Jericho’s WWE Debut
In the midst of the Monday Night Wars, the WWE acquired the services of Chris Jericho. At the time, it didn’t seem like much, but when Jericho debuted on August 9, 1999, it would serve as arguably the greatest debut in WWE history. Using a “Countdown to the New Millennium” clock to heighten the buzz, Y2J exploded on the scene and right in the middle of a promo from The Rock and exchanged words with arguably the WWE’s biggest star. No debut has come close since and Jericho remains as one of the biggest stars on the roster nearly two decades later. (Andreas Hale)

2. DX Invades WCW
With “Raw” in Hampton, Virginia, and “WCW Monday Nitro” just down the road in Norfolk, the WWE attempted to gain some momentum in the Monday Night Wars. They dispatched D-Generation X – Triple H, Chyna, X-Pac and the New Age Outlaws – to the Scope Arena. Dressed in fatigues and riding in a green jeep with a fake rocket launcher on it, DX mingled with the waiting crowd and shouted at their competition on a bullhorn, veering from standard operating procedure with acknowledgement that the competition actually existed. (Chris Wilson)

1. This is Your Life
Nearly 10 months after winning the WWE title for the first time in his career, Mankind teamed up with The Rock to put together arguably the greatest segment in the history of “Monday Night Raw.” One night after the two competed in the main event at the Unforgiven pay-per-view, Mankind hoped to make amends with his former tag-team partner, throwing him a birthday celebration, and reuniting the “Rock ‘N’ Sock Connection.” As Mankind marched out characters from The Rock’s past, the audience was treated to almost every single tagline that made The Rock a legendary WWE star. The segment, which lasted well over 20 minutes, was reportedly panned by Vince McMahon, but after learning that it was the highest-rated segment in the history of “Raw,” McMahon changed his tune. In 2017, the WWE tried to dip into the well again, having Alexa Bliss throw a similar celebration for Bayley, but it was not met with the same reaction from fans, solidifying just how special the original moment was in WWE history. (Anthony Sulla-Heffinger)

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