The RAW episode on January 22, 2018 will serve as the celebration of Monday Night Raw being on the air for 25 years. That is an incredible achievement regardless of genre. Naturally, while the characters have changed, wrestling’s unique dynamic is able to be retained throughout time. Good vs Evil in a battle of physical strength and speed in combat with some reason for it all happening, will be around in some form as it has been the last 100 years.
On this show, the stars of yesteryear will grace us with their presence, as Stone Cold Steve Austin is set to make a rare appearance along with Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels, Kevin Nash, The Undertaker, Triple H, Kurt Angle, The Dudley Boyz, The New Age Outlaws, Mick Foley…wait a second.
While the first part of that list contains Superstars of the rarer commodity, most of it involved guys who have been woven into the WWE machine as active participants. So forgive me if I’m not exactly super stoked, but I’m tired of celebrating the old days. We got asked to do that at Survivor Series, and we definitely did that at Wrestlemania 33. And it looks like we’re about to start “celebrating” again in 3 months.
This show is coming at a weird time. It looks like The Undertaker may finesse his way into another Wrestlemania Main Event with a “retirement” again in a potential match with John Cena. Triple H is due to begin his annual Wrestlemania rivalry for some convoluted reason they will pull out of thin air. Kurt Angle is a regular fixture on Raw, and in the middle of that, we’re supposed to just say, “YAY MORE GUYS FROM THE 1990’s!”
Now without the old days, obviously the current day wouldn’t be possible. But without the current day, there isn’t a future. It’s a fine balance that WWE has demonstrated they have great difficulty handling. They’ve literally had Goldberg beat the guy who broke The Streak for a 4 Month program and are about to pretend this never happened once Roman Reigns gets his chance to face Brock Lesnar. In many different areas, yearning for the past is a regular thing. In football, it was always rougher in the old days of head to head helmet hits, and “JACKED UP” segments. In the NBA, it’s said the superstars of today couldn’t possibly hold up to the hand checking and physical nature of the 1990’s.
Luckily in those legit sports, the game itself is forced to move on as safety and forward thinking minds figure out ways to make the games more efficient and manufacture offense. And you know, dudes get old and actually retire. Meanwhile, that grumbling gets left to the fans themselves. In WWE, we’re literally stuck with The Attitude Era until further notice, because the company will decide when they’ve had enough, while fans that wish for the real new era to commence get stuck with diminishing performances and the constant narrative of things being better in the old days. Wrestlemania’s will continue to get filled up by ageing legends who were all better 20 years ago. The Old Days are just that, old days.
While The Undertaker will get touted as a huge deal, I find myself drifting toward seeing the guys we actually haven’t seen in a while like Austin, Scott Hall, Ted Dibiase or even The Godfather who will lift me out of my chair the second his music hits as he dances down to the ring with covered up women that would have been wearing something totally different in 1999. In smaller doses, nostalgia is one of the greatest things in the world. Its quick fun, and refreshing when the current times seem like they may be dragging. When it’s overdone it’s called a midlife crisis, or being stuck in the past.
WWE should celebrate 25 years of their flagship television show with the stars that made it such. This is the night to wheel every old timer they can find out to put in segments with today’s stars. I just think it would be more effective if we weren’t so overexposed to the idea of “The Returning Legend.”
The End of an Era happened at Wrestlemania 28, and here we are 5 years removed from what was a stroke of marketing brilliance. Turns out, it wasn’t the end at all. It was the start of another era we never really asked for. Or maybe they actually listened to all those “One More Match” chants. But when will too much of the past become too much?
The nostalgia hasn’t stopped in years, and if you are looking for me to be optimistic about it stopping anytime soon, that isn’t exactly my feeling on it. The more years that go by, the more eligible guys that can do one more run will increase. We’ll be into the early 2000’s guys by the time the 2020’s rolls around, and the same feeling will exist during RAW 30. I’m sure The Undertaker will be starting his WrestleMania feud that night as well, probably against Randy Orton. Triple H and John Cena will be re-doing Wrestlemania 22, and Vince McMahon will still be trying to figure out a way to do The Rock vs Brock Lesnar.
Is Raw 25 giving you a strange feeling?
Who are you most excited to see?
Rich Latta is a writer for LordsofPain.net & host of the One Nation Radio Podcast on www.SocialSuplex.com He appears monthly on Chad Matthews’ podcast The Doc Says after Raw PPVs. GFX by @SirMikeFergus Give him a follow on Twitter, @RichLatta32 or drop him a comment below. If you like hip-hop, check out his music here. www.Soundcloud.com/RichLatta Look Him Up On Youtube As Well.
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