WWE Superstars do come and go, but the few who stay longer are usually the ones who made a huge impact on their first day. From Kane demolishing his brother in Hell in a Cell, to The Shield obliterating Ryback, every aspiring wrestler dreams of making a grand entrance.
And what better way to announce that you’ve finally arrived at the big leagues than to debut on WWE’s flagship show? RAW has certainly hosted a few unforgettable ones in its 25-year run. FOX Sports Philippines recalls some of the finest examples.
Let’s start with a doozy. Only a few people can outshine The Rock in WWE and one of them is none other than Bill Goldberg himself. On the March 31, 2003 edition of RAW, Goldberg shocked everyone by interrupting The Rock’s farewell concert and spearing ‘The Great One’ in half like he’s nothing. It’s the grandest of grand statements. Not only did it send the message to The Rock that he hasn’t beaten everyone yet, it also sent a message to everyone in the back: Goldberg has arrived, and you’re all NEXT.
Wade Barrett sure knew how to make an entrance, mainly because he didn’t wander into the ring alone. On the June 6, 2010 edition of RAW, Barrett led a group of former NXT competitors (back when it was a different kind of show) to the ring and instructed them to destroy everything — literally everything. They took out John Cena and the masked CM Punk, they destroyed the ring itself, and Daniel Bryan choked ring announcer Justin Roberts for some reason. Their grand scheme obviously paid off as their reign of terror lasted for over a year.
Sasha Banks, Charlotte Flair, and Becky Lynch
Few debuts can kickstart an actual revolution. Case in point; Stephanie McMahon calling up Charlotte Flair, Sasha Banks, and Becky Lynch to the main roster on the July 13, 2015 episode of RAW. While they’re not the pioneers of women’s wrestling, the three women were crucial in breaking the stigma of “divas” in WWE. They eventually stole the show at WrestleMania 32 when the Divas Championship was retired in favor of the newly-minted Women’s Championship. Now that’s a debut worth talking about.
Few men can claim they beat John Cena on their WWE debut (one of them’s Lord Tensai, go figure), but none of them were as nonchalant about it as Kevin Owens. His debut on the May 18, 2015 episode of RAW was historic as well, marking the first time an active NXT Champion crossed over to the main roster. His epic confrontation with Cena led to their equally awesome match at Elimination Chamber where Owens pinned the US Champion clean. If you’re looking for the definition of impact, just drop Kevin Owens a call.
Kevin Owens certainly learned from the best because his former best friend also made his WWE debut in extravagant fashion. On the August 8, 1999 episode of RAW, he ushered in the new millennium as Y2J declared “RAW is Jericho!” to a frenzied crowd (and a bewildered Brahma Bull). In one massive swoop, he successfully established himself as a main event player for years to come, a major upgrade from his Cruiserweight days in WCW. No wonder his debut is widely considered the best ever — it was that damn good.
Photo Credit: WWE website