The 25th Anniversary episode of WWE RAW aired live from New York City from the Manhattan Center Grand Ballroom, and the Barclays Center on January 22nd, 2018. It was the final episode of RAW before the Royal Rumble this Sunday. Here are 9 takeaways from the show:

Vince & Shane McMahon Fell Victim To The Stunner

Jim Ross and Jerry “The King” Lawler kicked off the show fromt he Manhattan Center and sent things over to the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn where Cole, Graves and Booker T were the announce team.

RAW Commissioner Stephanie McMahon and SmackDown Commissioner Shane McMahon were in the ring and Stephanie welcomed the crowd to the 25th anniversary of RAW. Shane thanked every Superstar that has stepped into the ring over the past 25 years. Shane thanked the production crew and the rest of the employees at WWE. Shane then thanked the crowd and the WWE Universe for making RAW the success that it has become. A montage of RAW’s greatest moments over the past 25 years was shown.

Stephanie McMahon introduced Vince McMahon and Vince swaggered down the entrance ramp and joined Shane and Stephanie in the ring. The three hugged and then Vince grabbed a microphone. The crowd chanted “thank you Vince!”. Vince said tonight he was going to smell the roses and started to exit the ring. Shane and Stephanie stopped him and told Vince that they had a surprise for him. They presented Vince with a plaque for 25 years of Monday Night RAW that they bought with money from a GoFundMe.

Vince wasn’t impressed and stated that the plaque felt cheap and added “then again we are in Brooklyn”. Vince proceeded to insult the crowd and the crowd responded with an “a**hole!” chant. Vince said that the only person he needed to thank was himself because he is responsible for all of this.

Stone Cold Steve Austin interrupted and the crowd erupted. Austin raised the double birds in the corners of the ring as Vince watched on with a concerned look on his face. The “what?!” chant made an appearance as Vince McMahon announced that he is a member of AARP now and has heart problems. Vince added that he has arthritis and also lives in a retirement community now. Vince stated that times have changed and he is now a senior citizen. Vince added that Shane McMahon is in his prime.

Shane and Austin shook hands and then Austin hit him with a Stunner. Vince grabbed a couple of beers ringside and handed one to Austin. Vince took a tiny sip of beer and hugged Austin in the ring. Austin’s music played and Vince started to exit the ring. Stone Cold’s music then stopped and the two took another sip of beer. Austin then flipped off Vince McMahon and hit him with a Stunner.

Shane McMahon got up and Austin handed him a beer. Shane took a swig and Austin delivered another Stunner to Shane that sent his beer flying all over the ring.

Asuka Sent A Message Heading Into The Royal Rumble

Absolution (Sonya Deville & Mandy Rose), Nia Jax & Alicia Fox faced Mickie James, Sasha Banks, Bayley and Asuka in an 8-woman tag match. Paige was ringside for the match. Asuka controlled the match early as RAW went to a commercial break.

When RAW returned, Nia Jax was in control and had Sasha Banks trapped in the corner. Alicia Fox tagged in and hit Banks with a Northern Lights Suplex for a two count. Fox applied a Chin Lock in the middle of the ring as Bayley, Asuka and Mickie pleaded for a tag.

Fox slammed Banks to the canvas as RAW went to another break. Banks was still trapped in the corner when RAW returned. A brawl between the two teams broke out outside the ring and it distracted Alicia Fox. Sasha quickly took advantage of it and locked Fox in the Bank Statement for the pinfall victory.

After the match, Asuka pushed Mickie James over the top rope.  Asuka then booted Bayley and Sasha and threw them both over the top rope. WWE’s first-ever women’s Royal Rumble will go down this Sunday and Asuka has to be considered one of the favorites to win the match.

The Undertaker Returned To RAW

Footage was shown of The Undertaker on the very first episode of RAW. Howard Finkel then introduced The Undertaker at the Manhattan Center and The Undertaker made his way down to the ring to “holy sh*t!” chants.

The Undertaker stated that the carnage began on this sacred ground of evil 25 years ago. The Undertaker added that Stone Cold, Mick Foley and Kane all answered to the reaper and that they all tried and failed. The Undertaker added that is now time for all those that have fallen, it is truly time to rest in peace. The Undertaker’s music hit as King and Jim Ross wondered if what he just said was a warning.

It was great to see The Undertaker back on WWE RAW. This promo left everyone with a lot of questions. Hopefully we get to see The Undertaker again in the near future.

The Miz Won The Intercontinental Championship

Former RAW GM’s were brought down to the entrance ramp. John Laurinaitis, William Regal and Eric Bischoff came down to the entrance ramp. SmackDown GM Daniel Bryan joined them on the entrance ramp and waved to the crowd. The Miz’s music hit and The Miz got right in Bryan’s face. The Miz then made his way down to the ring for his match against Roman Reigns for the Intercontinental Championship.

Reigns threw The Miz across the ring to start off the match. Axel and Bo Dallas were ringside for the match and were already pacing around the ring. The Miz tried to roll out of the ring to avoid Reigns but Roman brought him back to the ring and leveled him with a right hand.

Roman got out of the ring and punched Bo Dallas in the face. The Miz missed with a Dropkick through the ropes and Reigns connected with another right hand. Curtis Axel distracted Reigns and The Miz capitalized by throwing Roman into the steel steps as RAW went to a break.

When RAW returned, Reigns was back in control and connected with a Clothesline to Miz in the ring. Reigns followed it up with 10 strikes in the corner and a big boot that knocked Miz to the mat. Roman charged at Miz in the corner but Miz got out of the way and Reigns crashed into the ring post. The Miz went for a cover while using the ropes for leverage but Reigns was still able to kick out at two.

The Miz hit a couple of kicks but Reigns caught him and connected with a Powerbomb for a two count. Reigns connected with a Drive By on both Axel and Dallas outside the ring. Roman launched Dallas into the ring post and then threw Axel over the barricade. The Miz attacked Reigns from behind and brought him back into the ring.

The Miz went for the Skull Crushing Finale but Reigns countered into a Superman Punch for a two count. Reigns set up for the Spear in the corner but Bo Dallas grabbed Roman. The Miz connected with a Clothesline but the referee tossed The Miztourage from ringside.

Dallas and Axel stayed on the ring apron and Roman hit them both with a Superman Punch. The Miz snuck up behind Reigns and planted him with the Skull Crushing Finale for a two count. The Miz couldn’t believe that Roman Reigns was able to kick out.

Reigns went for the Spear but The Miz got out of the way and Roman hit face-first into an exposed turnbuckle. The Miz then hit another Skull Crushing Finale for the plnfall victory to become the new Intercontinental Champion. The replay showed that The Miz took off the padding from the turnbuckle while Reigns was beating down Dallas and Axel outside the ring. I’m guessing Roman Reigns will find himself in the Universal Championship picture in the next few weeks.

Seth Rollins Accidentally Struck Jason Jordan

Christian returned to RAW for an episode of the Peep Show. Christian stated that he knows a little something about tag teams and introduced RAW Tag Team Champions Seth Rollins and Jason Jordan as his guests.

Jason Jordan was immediately interrupted by the crowd and they booed him out of the building every time that he tried to talk. Jordan thanked the crowd for their support and then thanked his dad, Kurt Angle, for assembling all the talent that is here tonight.

Jordan asked the crowd to stand up and give his father a big round of applause. Sheamus and Cesaro interrupted and came down to the entrance ramp. Sheamus said that all the legends that had cameos tonight were just here to get their pictures and autographs because they are The Bar.

Sheamus and Cesaro got into the ring and Cesaro stated that Jason Jordan sucks. Cesaro led a “you suck!” chant directed at Jordan. Jason had enough and attacked Sheamus and Cesaro. Jordan held Cesaro up in the ring and Rollins tried to him him with a knee. Cesaro got out of the way and Rollins accidentally kneed Jordan in the face.

Jordan and Rollins will defend their RAW Tag Team Championships against Sheamus and Cesaro this Sunday at the Royal Rumble PPV. It doesn’t look like Rollins and Jordan will be able to stay on the same page and keep their titles for long.

Bray Wyatt Easily Defeated Matt Hardy

Bray Wyatt (via Instagram @WWE)

Matt Hardy and Bray Wyatt faced off in the Manhattan Center. Bray went for the Sister Abigail early but Matt Hardy blocked it. Hardy connected with a kick to the midsection and followed it up with a Russian Leg Sweep. The crowd chanted “delete!” as Matt Hardy missed with a Clothesline. Bray Wyatt leveled Matt with a ridiculous shoulder tackle as RAW went to break.

When RAW returned, Hardy slammed Wyatt’s head off the top rope a bunch of times. Matt followed it up with a Side Slam for a two count. Matt went for the Twist of Fate but Wyatt blocked it and hit the Sister Abigail for the pinfall victory.

This feud has been a total disappointment. The match tonight only lasted a couple of minutes and felt meaningless. I was really excited to see “Woken” Matt Hardy in WWE but have been very underwhelmed so far.

Tons Of Legends Returned For RAW’s 25th Anniversary 

In addition to the returning legends already mentioned, The Bella Twins, Maryse, Kelly Kelly, Lilian Gargia, Jacqueline, Torrie Wilson, Michelle McCool, Terri Runnels, Maria Kanellis and Trish Stratus came down to the entrance ramp to a great reaction from the crowd as WWE celebrated some of the greatest female wrestlers of the past.

Ric Flair had a cameo as Charlotte confronted Alexa Bliss backstage.

Kurt Angle was interrupted by a few legends and Jonathan Coachman backstage.

Chris Jericho confronted Elias backstage. Jericho called Elias a stupid idiot and added his name to the list.

A poker game was played throughout the show with several legends including APA, MVP, Ted DiBiase and other Superstars. Heath Slater routinely got his ass kicked during the game and lost a lot of cash. DiBiase wound up winning after it was revealed that Heath Slater was cheating.

Slater’s actions during the poker game led to a match between Slater & Rhyno versus Apollo Crews & Titus O’Neil. The Dudley Boyz interrupted and beatdown Heath Slater.

Mark Henry ran into The Godfather backstage.

“Mean” Gene Okerlund had a promo with WWE Champion AJ Styles backstage. Styles vowed to retain his WWE Championship against Owens & Zayn this Sunday at the Royal Rumble.

DX reunited at the Manhattan Center. Shawn Michaels tried to tell his favorite moments from his time with DX but Triple H kept stopping him because Michaels’ stories were inappropriate. Triple H stated that this is the place where RAW started 25 years ago and pumped up the crowd. Triple H mentioned Rick Rude and Chyna and said that DX would ever the hell they wanted to back in the day.

Triple H reflected on driving a tank to WCW and starting a war. Triple H asked the crowd if they were ready and the New Age Outlaws came down to the ring. X-Pac then came down to the ring and joined the rest of the DX members. X-Pac stated they cant have a 25th anniversary celebration without Razor Ramon. Razor came down the entrance ramp as RAW went to a break.

Ramon cut a brief promo and said that 25th anniversary of RAW was too sweet. The Balor Club interrupted and came down to the ring. They all then posed in the ring and were again interrupted by The Revival. Dawson and Wilder then wrestled Gallows & Anderson. The match was very quick and Gallows & Anderson picked up the victory.

After the match, members of DX took turns hitting their finishing moves on The Revival.

The crowd was unusually quiet during this segment and that was due to the fact that very little happened at the Manhattan Center throughout the night. The crowd became restless and voiced their displeasure.

That apparently didn’t bother JR or Lawler too much, as they were caught struggling to stay awake throughout the night.

Elias Beatdown John Cena

Elias came down to the ring to perform a song. Jimmy Fallon was in the front row as Elias performed a song insulting WWE legends. John Cena interrupted and made his way down to the ring as the crowd sang “John Cena sucks!”. Elias told Cena to shut his damn mouth and the crowd erupted. Elias claimed that the crowd came to hear him and that Cena ruined it. Cena got in Elias’ face and dared him to do something about it. Elias stated that he doesn’t take orders from him or these Brooklyn scumbags.

Elias charged at Cena but John was ready and leveled him with a shoulder tackle. Cena followed it up with the Five Knuckle Shuffle and went for the Attitude Adjustment but Elias hit him with a low blow. Elias grabbed his guitar from ringside and bashed Cena in the back with it. Elias then planted Cena with the Drift Away and stood over him in the ring.

Both John Cena and Elias will be in the Royal Rumble this Sunday. I doubt Elias will win it, but it looks like WWE sees something special in Elias. The crowd finds him entertaining and he is one of the only Superstars on the roster that can draw a reaction from them regularly.

Braun Strowman Slammed Lesnar Through The Announce Table

Photo Credit: WWE.com

RAW GM Kurt Angle came down to the ring with a bunch of legends and WWE Superstars. Angle introduced Braun Strowman first and then Kane followed. The Superstars got in the ring to keep Kane and Strowman away from each other.

Paul Heyman came down to the entrance ramp and announced that Brock Lesnar wasn’t here for nostalgia, instead he was here for a fight. Everyone got out of the ring besides Strowman and Kane. Braun leveled Kane and hopped out of the ring. Lesnar hit Strowman with a massive Clothesline and then delivered an F5 to Kane in the ring. Strowman got back into the ring and threw Lesnar over the top rope.

Strowman launched Lesnar into the barricade and cleared off the announce table. Braun planted Lesnar with a Running Powerslam through the table and then posed in the ring. Strowman now heads into the Triple Threat match for the Universal Championship at the Royal Rumble with a ton of momentum.