City St. Louis, Missouri
|Date July 23, 2012|
Venue Scottrade Center
|Theme song(s) "The Night" by Kromestatik "Tonight is the Night" by Outasight "Earthquake" by Labrinth|
WWE Raw 1000 was a television special that was broadcast live on July 23, 2012, airing on USA Network (in the U.S.) as the 1000th episode of WWE's flagship show Raw.
The episode also started the program's permanent three-hour format, which had been previously reserved only for special episodes. The event was held at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Missouri. The show featured actor Charlie Sheen (via Skype) serving as social media ambassador as well as various Hall of Famers and legends from the past.
The show kicked off with a video package showcasing the history of the show. WWE chairman and chief executive officer Vince McMahon opened the show, thanking the audience both live in the arena and watching at home for making the 1000th episode of Raw possible before introducing D-Generation X (Triple H and Shawn Michaels). Before they did their signature crotch chop, they revealed the other members of DX (X-Pac, Road Dogg, and Billy Gunn) aboard an army jeep. The reunited group was interrupted by Damien Sandow, who objected to the group's crass antics. DX then attacked him with a Sweet Chin Music from Michaels, followed by a Pedigree from Triple H, and the group stripping him down to his trunks. The group then performed some of their signature taunts.
Jim Ross would come out to call the opening match of the night which was a six-man tag team match, featuring World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus, Rey Mysterio, and Sin Cara vs. Alberto Del Rio, Dolph Ziggler, and Chris Jericho. Ziggler attacked his own partner Jericho, leading to a Brogue Kick from Sheamus for the win.
Afterwards, there was a backstage segment with AJ Lee, Layla, Jim Duggan, Roddy Piper, R-Truth, and Mae Young and her son, the Hand.
The next match featured Brodus Clay quickly defeating Jack Swagger. After Clay won, Dude Love performed his signature Mr. Socko on Swagger and danced with Clay and The Funkadactyls (Cameron and Naomi). Backstage, DX interrupted a yoga session between Trish Stratus and Triple H.
Next came the wedding of AJ Lee and Daniel Bryan. Jerry Lawler announced the special minister of the ceremony, Reverend Slick. Before the vows could be completed, AJ revealed she hadn't said "yes" to Bryan, but in fact said it to a business proposal by Mr. McMahon, who made her the new permanent Raw General Manager. Bryan stayed in the ring, venting his frustration out by destroying the wedding props and throwing them out of the ring. CM Punk came out to confront him and Bryan stated that he was the "greatest wrestler of all time" since Punk was "The Best in the World". The Rock made his return (his second appearance on Raw since the night after his match against John Cena at WrestleMania XXVIII). The Rock would insult Bryan and anger him further, and revealed that he would fight for the WWE Championship at the Royal Rumble against whomever the current WWE Champion will be at that time. He then hit Bryan with a Rock Bottom. Lawler and Michael Cole interviews the social media ambassador Charlie Sheen via Skype to talk about Bryan's incident, resulting in Bryan and Sheen himself exchanging insults and challenges for a fight throughout the remainder of the show.
Bret Hart came out next as the special guest ring announcer for the next match, a Intercontinental Championship match between champion Christian and The Miz. The Miz defeated Christian after hitting the Skull Crushing Finale. With the win, The Miz became recognized as a WWE Triple Crown winner.
Triple H then returned to call out Brock Lesnar (who attacked Triple H and broke his arm with the Kimura lock on the April 29, 2012 episode of Raw Supershow), but instead was confronted by Lesnar's Advocate Paul Heyman. Heyman told Triple H that Lesnar would not fight him at SummerSlam. Triple H threatened Heyman, who retaliated by referencing Triple H's children. Triple H's wife Stephanie McMahon came out and claimed that the lawsuits pursued by Heyman were a cover for his failures as a businessman in WCW, ECW, and the WWE, called him a professional parasite, and slapped Heyman, which triggered him to accept the match on behalf of Lesnar. After Heyman again made a remark about her kids, Stephanie physically attacked him until Lesnar came out and attacked Triple H. Both men engaged in a brief fight before Triple H clotheslined Lesnar out of the ring.
Santino Marella and Hornswoggle made brief appearances to hand out collectibles to young fans before Howard Finkel made a special appearance to introduce Heath Slater (who had lost a number of matches with returning legends in the weeks leading up to Raw 1000), who challenged any WWE Legend backstage to a no-disqualification, no count-out match. Lita would answer the challenge, and hired The APA for protection. As Slater tried to escape, all the legends he had previously faced (Bob Backlund, Diamond Dallas Page, Doink the Clown, Rikishi, Road Warrior Animal, Roddy Piper, Sgt. Slaughter, Sycho Sid, and Vader) chased him back into the ring, where he was hit with a Twist of Fate from Lita, setting up a Clothesline From Hell from Bradshaw and a Litasault from Lita for the pinfall.
Kane was then scheduled to face Jinder Mahal in a match, but Curt Hawkins, Tyler Reks, Hunico, Camacho, and Drew McIntyre came out and tried to attack him to vent out their anger at being overlooked by WWE. The Undertaker would then return (making his first appearance since WrestleMania XXVIII) and, alongside Kane, as the Brothers of Destruction, fended off Mahal and his cohorts, punctuated with double Chokeslams and Tombstones.
The main event featured John Cena against CM Punk, with Cena cashing in his Money in the Bank briefcase, which he had won two weeks earlier at the Money in the Bank pay-per-view, for a shot at Punk's WWE Championship. After what had been an even match up, Punk and the ref collided, knocking the referee unconscious to the ground. Big Show then came down to the ring and hit Cena with the Knockout Punch. Punk got the ref back into the ring and - after a moment's hesitation - pinned a seemingly knocked out Cena, but Cena managed to kick out. Cena then reversed Punk's attempted Go to Sleep into the STF. Big Show came back once again and attacked Cena, resulting in a disqualification victory for Cena (Punk retained the title as usually titles do not change after a DQ). The Rock ran down the ramp to save Cena and attacked Big Show, sending him out of the ring, only to get attacked and hit with a Go to Sleep by Punk, turning him heel in the process.
The episode saw record viewer ship on TV and was the highest rated WWE show in 10 years. The show was watched by 6.3 million viewers, the first time it had crossed the 6 million mark since June 2009. It also became the most watched three-hour Raw in history and the most watched program on cable television. It also broke several social media records and was the most talked about entity on social network websites, setting new records for Twitter.
Many fans were upset that Edge and Stone Cold Steve Austin did not appear on the show. Austin would comment on Twitter the next day saying that he couldn't fly out to Raw due to major knee surgery. Despite this, the event has received critical acclaim. The episode was later added as disc 3 on their RAW 100 DVD set which chronicles the top 100 moments in the history of the show.