Chris Jericho’s once posited that stealing the show at a WrestleMania was one of his profession’s pinnacles, proudly posturing at the time having just done exactly that with Shawn Michaels in 2003.
He also noted with uncharacteristic contrition towards WWE’s flagship show that legendary Monday Night Raw contests are often able to hold the affection of his audience too. He probably only said that because he’s got a few of those in his locker as well, but he was again ahead of the curve with his rationale.
Even before the advent of the WWE Network, fans were revisiting episodes of Raw thanks to old tapes reborn on home-made DVDs or company-mandated boxsets of the show’s greatest moments. For all of the organisation’s bluster around various questionable longevity records, a 25-year footprint on Network television has left a deep impression on a generation of fans who’ve grown up with Monday Night wrestling as a part of their staple Sports Entertainment diet.
It’s added significant weight to the great matches that occasionally occur. Unblemished by comedy, commercial breaks and controversial conclusions, truly great TV battles do well to stand out from the chaos and carnage of a weekly show. ‘Y2J’ was bang on – those that manage it deserve praise on a ‘Show Of Shows’ scale.