Parts Unknown: Speculating About Raw’s 1,000th Episode

Brad Milner — Contributor — @ BylineBeat

(Panama City, Florida) In case you haven’t heard, Monday Night Raw will broadcast its 1,000th episode next week. No other weekly episodic show, as Michael Cole would say, has come close to achieving such a feat. A show that started in small confines has blossomed, defined a generation and set the standard in sports entertainment.

This Raw also is the first in a permanent switch to three hours. The debate as to whether that’s a good or a bad idea can wait a while, but you can be sure this historic edition will be filled with intrigue and surprises.

The Degeneration-X reunion starts the show. It’s been advertised as Triple H and Shawn Michaels, but many are hoping the entire D-X crew will reunite for this special night. Perhaps the festivities will be interrupted by Brock Lesnar, who will be on hand to answer HHH’s SummerSlam challenge.

Scores of other former stars will in attendance, including The Rock. John Cena also will cash in his Money in the Bank contract and face CM Punk for the WWE Championship. And the night won’t be complete without the wedding of Daniel Bryan and AJ, a ceremony sure to go wrong.

Here are some thoughts and speculation as to what might happen next week:

The Rock and the WWE Title picture: The Rock tweeted to the millions … and millions … of his fans that his desire to win another WWE Title is still alive. If The Rock is to win another championship or at least be in the mix I think it will come at a later date.

That said, he may stick his nose in Cena’s business and cost him the title (more on that in a second), but I’m siding with other sentiments that he will announce something down the road. The biggest draw is WrestleMania and what better way to put the focus on the event than by inserting himself into a match with title implications, the Royal Rumble.

A win at the Royal Rumble paves the way for a title shot at Mania. A loss in the Royal Rumble could set up another epic match at Mania. In any case, I don’t see Rocky putting in the time now to have another run at the title, especially with a heavy movie schedule.

Then again, I’m presuming he has more movies to work on or finish (see: G.I. Joe reshoots), but I’m no expert. If he’s free then there could be another possibility…

Cena vs. Punk: The gaggle of Cena haters were even more hateful when he won Money in the Bank in his first foray into the match. They all expect Cena to beat Punk as well. You may be wrong.

Cena is the company’s top star and he’s big on setting the mark and making history. It’s been repeated a thousand times how every person to cash in Money in the Bank went on to beat the champion. There will eventually be a Money in the Bank winner who won’t prevail and Cena looks to be the first.

There simply is too much going on around this match for Cena to win cleanly. The Big Show will likely stick his nose in or maybe The Rock. Something odd will happen and I see Cena falling in this one.

There could be two really compelling things that could happen here and given the fact this is WWE we’re talking about neither will occur, but here goes anyways.

The first is The Rock costs Cena the title to set up a Triple Threat Match at SummerSlam. The second is a CM Punk heel turn, complete with Lesnar interference. Think about it, Punk is a “Paul Heyman Guy” and what better way to protect a champion, who believes he’s being slighted, than to put an enforcer such as Lesnar by his side?

Then again Cena may just win. Stay tuned!

Wrestling weddings never end well: With the exception of the Macho Man and Elizabeth, it’s never a good thing to schedule a wedding in wrestling. It’s also never a good thing to schedule a wedding when the bride, AJ, shows feelings for every wrestler with a pair of legs and a pulse.

Bryan proposed this week and AJ accepted. She also gave The Miz a look like she wouldn’t mind him pushing her against a wall and having his way with her. Add a pissed off Eve, who has been pinned by AJ twice, and you have the makings for a combustible set of nuptials.

This also has the possibility of AJ leaving Bryan at the altar. Or she may marry Hornswoggle instead. That’s a crazy chick for you though, right?

The Heath Slater finale: The One Man Band has been decimated by former Raw superstars in recent weeks, save his lone win against Doink. This is the 1,000th episode so the end of this storyline needs to be someone big. My money’s on the Undertaker.


Editor’s Note: Brad Milner’s ‘Parts Unknown’ column will appear weekly on Byline Beat every Wednesday afternoon.