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NBA Draft Thread

Figured I'd toss this up; the draft order locks in less than a couple hours, after which teams can only trade the rights to players they drafted, not the picks themselves.

Dunno if Bayless ever posted his full mock he said he was going to do or if he was too busy receiving empty legal threats from old creeps, but I'll do my lottery mock (assuming no trades, because I'm too lazy to go down that rabbit hole) and offer a few thoughts after the jump. I hate making predictions, so consider this partly what I think will happen, and partly what makes sense.

Also, please do check out Andrew Riche's excellent, much more in-depth draft preview over at Place To Be Nation.

http://placetobenation.com/2014-nba-draft-preview/

1. Cleveland- Jabari Parker, F, Duke

Are the Cavs going to select a fat, 6'8" forward who's a supposed offensive machine that couldn't even guard anyone in college for a second straight year No. 1 overall?  Even though the owner and management again can't agree on the pick? Even though Parker showed up to his workout and tanked it, and weight 255 pounds? Looks that way.

Fun!

Could still very will be Wiggins here, and if they trade out of the spot to a team that isn't concerned with winning in '14-15, I still wouldn't be shocked to see Embiid go No. 1. Injuries aside, he's clearly the best prospect.

Since Jabari is considered the "sure thing" with the lower ceiling, I'd like to talk about that for a moment. Why are we so sure of what he is and less sure of what Wiggins might be? Why are we sure Jabari won't be a fat, lazy dickhead? Because that's the vibe I'm starting to get.

2. Milwaukee- Andrew Wiggins, G/F, Kansas

I'm definitely a pro-Wiggins guy. The analytics don't love him, but I think there's a lot of random, static noise in using analytics to project a guy from college to the NBA. I think the Paul George comparisons are right on. I don't buy the "he has no killer instinct!" argument, because that's bromide-laced bullshit from people who can't think of anything real to make their point. I think producing as much as he did in Bill Self's rigid set offense, while having shitty point guards not getting him the ball, was pretty fucking impressive, personally.

3. Philly-  Joel Embiid, C, Kansas

Embiid's injury hurts Philly the most, as they're forced to choose between a perceived non-elite prospect or take another injured big who might basically have to redshirt. Sweet tank job, Philly! Still, it might not be what they wanted but if Noel/Embiid stay relatively healthy it might be years before anyone makes a layup against the 76ers.

4. Orlando- Dante Exum, G, Australia

Victor Oladipo isn't a true PG. Exum might not be, either, but these two should make an ideal pairing. I have little else to say here, because like everyone else, what I actually am sure of about Exum is...lacking. Am I sure he isn't an Evan Turner clone? No, I'm not.

5. Utah- Noah Vonleh, F, Indiana

Personally, I'd group him with Wiggins/Exum/Parker/Embiid as one of the truly elite prospects in this draft. He fits with Favors and Kanter (or makes at least one of them expendable) as a potential stretch 4, but one who can also rebound and defend the rim at an elite level. If he'd switched spots with Parker or Randle last year no one would question his production. Vonleh played with guards who couldn't get him the ball and played for a dipshit coach that has no clue of how to get his best players the ball. After Oladipo and Zeller last year, Vonleh would make Tom Crean's third top five pick in two years that averaged less than 10 FGA a game. Tom Crean is just terrible. I love it. I hope he stays at Indiana forever.

6. Boston- Marcus Smart, G, Oklahoma State

Either an ideal replacement for Rondo as a similarly-styled, though much larger, player. Or a fit next to him, as he can guard bigger wings.

7. LA Lakers- Julius Randle, F, Kentucky

Randle would be a much better prospect in a previous era, one in which power forwards were asked to do more traditional low block-type stuff. Now, the ideal is a guy who can stretch the floor offensively and play outside-in, but also be long enough to defend the rim at the other end. That's why I think Vonleh is a significantly better prospect. But Randle has a relentless motor and is one of the three or four best rebounders in the draft (along with Embiid, Vonleh and Jarnell Stokes). I think he's a really good role player, not the Zach Randolph clone some have incorrectly labeled him as.

8. Sacramento- Aaron Gordon, F, Arizona

Could go as high as No. 5 to Utah. Gordon's gotten a lot of Shawn Marion comparisons, but Marion averaged 20+ points a game in his prime. Can't see Gordon scoring like that, but the defensive versatility and everything else? Yeah, I see it. His versatility and ability to play away from the basket on both ends is a really good fit with a true, low-post center in Demarcus Cousins.

9. Charlotte- Doug McDermott, F, Creighton

A lot of chatter about the Bulls packaging the Nos. 16 and 19 picks to move up somewhere and take him. I like Dougie McBuckets and think his ability to score translates to the NBA, but I hope they don't trade two top 20 picks for him. Anyway, McDermott is a perfect fit here and I think the noise about Charlotte looking elsewhere (after a lot of strong talk about this pairing for some time) is just that: noise. Charlotte needs shooting, and Michael Jordan has talked a lot of big talk about upgrading their roster to truly compete next year, which isn't far-fetched for a team in the East that did win 43 games last year. A rookie who totally fills a specific need and can contribute right away should be the pick here, though Nik Stauskas or Gary Harris would also make sense. I'd even consider Rodney Hood this high.

10. Philly- Gary Harris, G Michigan State

A positional need and, in my opinion, the best available player. A two-guard on the smallish side is less of a concern next to a 6'6" PG like MCW who's a dynamic defender. Played through nagging injuries and never showed his full potential at Michigan State, but he's a complete guard with All-Star potential.

11. Denver- Nik Stauskas, G Michigan

Harris and Stauskas have been attached at the hip so far in their careers; same position, same HS class, one at UM and one at MSU, 1-2 for '14 Big Ten POY, and both mentioned in the same potential spots in the same draft. They might as well go back-to-back here.

12. Orlando- Adrian Payne, F, Michigan State

I've heard nothing tying him to this spot, or even that he'll go quite this high. So this is kind of a wild-card pick. But Orlando's needed a big who can shoot from outside ever since Ryan Anderson left. Payne's not that ridiculous of a shooter, but he's pretty good and is a well-rounded power forward and not just a "stretch 4" specialist.

13. Minnesota- Elfrid Payton, G, UL-Lafayette

If they're trading Love, they might as well tear it down and replace Ricky Rubio too. Even if they keep Rubio, both of these two have the length to defend either backcourt spot. Payton's not a shooter, but he is a scorer/shot-creator and could work next to Rubio.

14. Phoenix- James Young, G/F, Kentucky

One of my favorite players in the draft. A big wing who can shoot fills a glaring need here.

Comments

  1. June 2005 in St. Louis. Cena debuts on RAW, ECW invades to wrap up the show, and on a personal note-The best dark main event I've seen in all of the 86 T.V. tapings I've been too-Triple H and Batista in a 20-minute bloodbath.

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  2. Tough one, so much that I'm going to have to choose my 2 favorites.
    Since they were a week within each other, I have to choose the 2008 WWE Draft mainly because it was the one draft with the real shocker factors. By that I mean the guys that switched brands. Hardy, HHH, Umaga, and Kennedy all going to Smackdown, and then how Rey, Batista, and Punk went to Raw. It also then lead to later in the night when Vince got "injured", causing the next week, and the rest of the summer, to become total anarchy.

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  3. And then every year, they seem to top the previous year.

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  4. 1/4/99 easily for me. Also love the night after Survivor Series 2001, the night ECW formed in July 2001, May 93 with Kid/Razor and Shawn/Marty and April 97 with the street fight between Austin and Bret that ended with Pillman making his return. Also, the gun episode as Jobber mentioned below.

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  5. The post-Wrestlemania 14 Raw was pretty amazing. Dan Severn and Kaientai debuted. The Rock turned on Farooq and claimed leadership of the NOD. X-Pac returned and later the Outlaws joined DX solidifying the new line-up. Austin Stunned McMahon. The show genuinely established a new direction for the company. Sadly, today's post-'Mania Raws just let us know which rematches we get to look forward to.

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  6. Crikey Mate Down Under AussieJune 26, 2014 at 11:16 AM

    Raw after 28, the Lesnar comeback was deafening, and a genuine organic hijacking of the show by thousands of us international fans that were pissed to travel around the world and see Bryan lose in 18 seconds or whatever it was.

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  7. Sshh, don't tell anybody. I had some random guy killed and put into the greenhouse.

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  8. The Christmas Raw where slaughter made Hunter and Shawn fight for the European championship. Great comedy match.

    The episode where Austin threw the IC title off the bridge was great too.

    Heenan trying to weasel his way in to the arena for one of the early Raw shows was memorable too.

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  9. 4/28/97, the 'Pillman Prays' episode. Absolute anarchy culminating with Jim Neidhart's surprise return, leading to a wheelchair-bound Bret Hart whacking Austin off the ramp with a crutch.

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  10. The Triple H/Steph drive thru wedding episode was good.
    Triple H taking leadership of DX was memorable, as well as when DX went to the WCW arena in the jeep.

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  11. 7/21/97 in Halifax, NS.

    - The Bret/McMahon hockey fight
    - Shawn turning the heel up to ten with "And I... will BE... the SPECIAL... referEE!"
    - A molten hot crowd, cheering the hell out of the Hart Foundation, and not buying Brian Walsh's sucking up by carrying a mini Canadian flag.
    - The flag match main event with Brian Pillman's run-in.

    Just amazing.

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  12. That's in my top five. My favourite bit is Bulldog's celebration when Owen wins the IC Title from Rocky Maivia.

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  13. The night after Breakdown.

    - Zamboni 3:16
    - Vince gets his ankle broken
    - Rock pins Undertaker

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  14. CruelConnectionNumber2June 26, 2014 at 11:39 AM

    RVD and Dreamer hop the rail and ECW returns to punk out Jericho and the coffee-fearing monster Kane in 2001.

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  15. CruelConnectionNumber2June 26, 2014 at 11:40 AM

    Doesn't matter how it ended, it took the Invasion from "This kinda sucks" to "HOLY SHIT ECW WTF??? OMG THIS IS AMAZING"

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  16. I forgot all about that episode. Holy crap, was the crowd jacked. Did someone spike the Pepsi fountain?

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  17. I loved the RAW that was Main Evented by Jericho/Benoit vs HHH/Austin for the Tag Titles. I remember being a little down on the product at that point after WM X7, and that match brought me back.

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  18. Probably Raw is Owen

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  19. If you publish my thoughts about my favorite Raw, I will sue your ass off and fuck your dog.

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  20. The RAW where Austin and McMahon were going to wrestle. From the start where they said they would--through Vince's training with the stooges--to the hand behind the back deal--to them brilliantly not giving it away on free tv. That was prime.

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  21. We don't want that to happen.

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  22. That's probably mine as well. Love that show.

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  23. Best Raw for me? One of the very early ones. It has Marty entering through the crowd, challenging Shawn, and winning the I-C title, plus the famous Kid/Ramon upset. Basically, the night Raw became RAW.

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  24. Buying WCW comes to mind because I had been working a lot that weekend and didn't know about the purchase in advance.

    ECW joins the invasion was such a big moment in the moment.

    Also the Cena HBK raw match because it was done so well in the ..holy shit they are still going...they are really going to do this giant long PPV quality match.

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  25. That was awesome..till HHH tore his quad and became the dude he was for the next couple years.

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  26. You're going to sue his donkey and fuck his bitch?

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  27. Austin stunned McMahon for the first time, Foley introduced Cactus Jack into the WWF for the street fight with Triple H...

    It's on the Network. Just watch it.

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  28. I know someone else mentioned it, but I think I'd have to go with the episode from March '97 where Bret unleashed that profanity-laced tirade against Vince about being screwed.

    It was literally the first Raw that just made me say "...whoa."

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  29. Yes. Or sue his dog and fuck his donkey. Any combination is possible.

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  30. The one right after WM29. That was a lunatic crowd.

    Side note: Poor Sheamus. Every time the crowd completely goes crazy and off the reservation he always seems to be prominently involved. Almost never his fault and he never knows what to do. Highly entertaining.

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  31. Mister_E_PuttingPedalsToMedalsJune 26, 2014 at 1:53 PM

    The one where Pillman prayed.

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  32. I like how also any time guys like Sheamus, Orton, and Cena get crapped on by the crowd, they put on a good to decent match during it.

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  33. Keep telling yourself that.

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  34. With one exception - which I'll get to in a moment - the RAWs I went to are the only RAWs I remember as whole shows, as opposed to liking this segment or that segment and not really remembering the rest of the show. The two I went to were the post-KOTR '01 episode at MSG, which really didn't offer much besides Edge's "Billy Bitchcakes" promo, and the July '02 RAW in Manchester, NH, which was wonderful.

    The main event was Jeff Hardy and Undertaker in the ladder match, which was a great piece of storytelling using the Hardy highspots for reasons that made sense (the opening with Jeff messing with UT's bike as a distraction is a particular favorite). The opening segment with Flair answering Brock's open challenge was also excellent. It was a lot like the main in that you knew Brock was going over, but Flair did enough to sow seeds of doubt and make it really entertaining (the "Flair uppercut" and the mule kick behind the ref's back were particularly memorable). I don't remember every segment in between - I remember Benoit's return match tagging with Eddy, and a Nowinski-Bradshaw match - but the show was entertaining from beginning to end.

    The only Raw I really remember as a whole show after watching on TV is "Raw is Owen." It's obviously in a very different category than everything else, but I remember X-Pac and one of the Hardys working the enziguiri into their movesets that night as a tribute, Mick going over Billy Gunn with a nice tribute after, Rock dedicating the People's Elbow to Owen in his match with Val Venis, and the Austin beer tribute closing the show. I wouldn't call it a favorite, but it's really the only Raw I remember as a full show.

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  35. Yeah, the buying WCW episode and the ECW/Alliance episode were both memorable, although I don't remember the specifics beyond those segments.

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  36. Kinda more like Bayless saying it.

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  37. Bret Harts heel turn after WM 13 comes to mind...

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  38. ahh the go home for wm 13, classic.. i voted for the raw after wm 13 when really The Hart Foundation was soo awesome that from March - August that was my fav stretch of Raw. (and im an american but I am a huge hart mark and loved him as a heel at the time).

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  39. that ep pisses me off bc it confirms Vince bought WCW to immediately bury it and spit on its legacy. On the Nitro however Flair probably gave his best promo ever which says alot.

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  40. I give him credit for still finishing the match.

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  41. prob Canadas young drinking age helps lol.

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  42. was it the Raw after that one where Cena and Brock opened with the bloody brawl? bc that was fucking awesome and shoulda been what they did for Rock Cenas feud.

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  43. this past year sucked after wm imo. start off with brie bella in the ring was retarded.

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  44. Also the ep with John Cena vs CM Punk in feb 2013. the rest of the show i dont even really remember that much, but that was the best raw match of all time in my book.

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  45. YankeesHoganTripleHFanJune 26, 2014 at 3:10 PM

    I am such a Hogan mark for this one but I have to go with Raw the nights after WM 18. First off I was pretty baked so every cool moment was increased tenfold. Second Hogan's ovation and the Rock encouraging him to rip off the NWO t-shirt was fucking awesome and then later Brock debuted and I just remember being like "what the fuck was that?" Plus I think the stooges did something wacky which caused me to giggle on my bed for like ten minutes. Did I mention the pot was hydro?

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  46. That's the one that ended with Neidhart making his return to lay out Austin, and Bret knocking Austin off the stage with his crutch, right? Yes, that was a terrific one.

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  47. I still don't think the ending to that holds up at all--no, you don't give the match away on TV, but there *had* to be a better way out than that. Still, the lead-up all the way up until Dude's music hit was some of the most compelling wrestling television I've ever seen. When I watched it a few weeks ago the thing that struck me was how awesome Lawler was. He was shamelessly kissing McMahon's ass, of course, but the promo he cut on Austin as Austin is getting his arm tied was fantastic, and showed some genuine fire and intensity instead of being a clown-type heel. I've never thought Lawler was as good as Bobby or Jesse, but that episode at least really indicated how far he's fallen.

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  48. The Bret/Vince fight was INSANE. Ross didn't even sound like he was acting during that. Plus you have cameramen getting knocked down, Owen and Davey Boy kicking the shit out of the Patriot...the WWF just doesn't do "chaos" like that, before or since. Even their attempts at chaos tend to look planned--that looked like a situation that had gone completely out of control.

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  49. PILLMAN'S GOT A GUN

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  50. Pipebomb Raw.

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  51. Glad to see so many '97 RAWs with Hart Foundation/Brian Pillman angles getting mentioned. Incredible stuff.

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  52. Terrible format. I don't want to have to read the comment area more than once. No need to post others answers except to pad your word count and make people scroll.

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  53. Stranger in the AlpsJune 26, 2014 at 4:05 PM

    RAW in Dallas for the 10-man tag between The Rock, Mick Foley, Rikishi and Too Cool against Triple H, X-Pac & The Radicalz. I don't remember anything else on the show, but the corwd heat for that match has pretty much been unmatched on a RAW episode. Brock Lesnar's return in 2012 might possibly duplicate it.

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  54. Uncrusimatic_Buck_NastyJune 26, 2014 at 4:17 PM

    i read this as "suck your ass off"

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  55. I'd say the RAW where Austin and Bret led off with a street fight and Bret was attacked in an ambulance. THAT show, even to the mark in me at the time who had endured the abuse of friends who thought WCW was superior, proved to me that the company was becoming different and would once again regain its position as the #1 wrestling company in North America.

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  56. Mister_E_PuttingPedalsToMedalsJune 26, 2014 at 4:26 PM

    I almost said that one just because I love that match so much, but I can't really remember the episode otherwise, so that was a minus.

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  57. Mister_E_PuttingPedalsToMedalsJune 26, 2014 at 4:26 PM

    That was really about the best time for Raw ever in my opinion.

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  58. Mister_E_PuttingPedalsToMedalsJune 26, 2014 at 4:27 PM

    The very same.

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  59. Mister_E_PuttingPedalsToMedalsJune 26, 2014 at 4:27 PM

    The Nexus debut was the tits in that regard. Otherwise I agree entirely.

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  60. Maybe this means that you suck ass. You're an ass sucker. You see an ass, you suck it.


    - paraphrased from South Park

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  61. Yeah, that was another good one. WWE got in HUGE heat with USA about that if I remember correctly because USA had no idea Bret was going to go off like that. I also loved the craziness of that cage match where Austin was trying to help Bret so their match would be for the title and the Undertaker was trying to help SId for the same reason.

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  62. As a mark, I hated that Bret turned heel, but looking back, he really owned that role. 1997 heel Bret is really underrated in my opinion because his promos were off the charts.

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  63. Historically, that episode matters because it ended WCW's 82-week winning streak. I watched it for the blog a few months ago and the build during the episode was great.

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  64. Lawler was great in the early stages of the McMahon-Austin feud because he kept taking McMahon's side and getting under Ross's skin. By the summer, though, he had devolved into perv Lawler and that's all he really wanted to talk about.

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  65. The Bret/Vince fight is often forgotten but DAMN that was a great segment. It really just came out of nowhere and watching it even now you are like "WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?!?!?" Vince did a great job selling that segment too with his facial expressions.

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  66. With Heenan, that was the first RAW IIRC.

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  67. I also miss WrestleMania being the end to certain feuds. I like to view post-WM as a yearly reset, but like you say, we get lots of rematches now.

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  68. The Radicalz debut was pretty awesome.


    One of my other favorites was the formation of ECW and then an hour later the formation of the ALLIANCE of ECW and WCW in July 2001. It was quite the shot in the arm for the WWF v. WCW war and if the follow-up had been any better, it would be more warmly remembered.


    Raw is Benoit was a painful one to watch; at the time we had no idea what as going on and at the end of the night more the terrible details were emerging. That was a long and difficult night.

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  69. That ended the streak and was entertaining as all hell to boot.

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  70. Sadly about a week after the Invasion the allure was gone.

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  71. Mister_E_PuttingPedalsToMedalsJune 26, 2014 at 6:04 PM

    97 Bret is probably my favourite wrestling character ever other than Rocky in his prime.

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  72. Austin Beer Bath on Rock and Vince in 99.

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  73. LOVE THAT EPISODE. Shawn's greatest drugged out promo.

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  74. The episode with the main event of DX and The Radicals against Rock, Cactus, and Too Cool & Rikishi. I became one of the biggest marks for Too Cool and Rikishi after that episode. It's crazy how great the buildup to No Way Out and Mania was that year.

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  75. Uhhh that was the following week

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  76. Three words: Austin Appreciation Night

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  77. Jonathan MeisnerJune 26, 2014 at 8:08 PM

    The Bret/Austin stuff, also the Taker/HHH match in the show, where Mankind comes out with a blowtorch to avenge Paul Bearer being burnt by Taker the night before, only for he and Undertaker to brawl up the ramp, and then HHH and Chyna get attacked by Goldust and Marlena from ringside. One of my favorites as well.

    Also, the 10 man tag from Dallas, with Kane returning and running through the McMahon/Helmsley faction.

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  78. Jonathan MeisnerJune 26, 2014 at 8:09 PM

    '97 was phenomenal.

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  79. Jonathan MeisnerJune 26, 2014 at 8:44 PM

    My hood!

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  80. The Immortal Hoke OganJune 26, 2014 at 9:04 PM

    I was thinking of that one too. I was so stoked for the Radicalz to be main eventing right out of the shoot

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  81. The Immortal Hoke OganJune 26, 2014 at 9:04 PM

    The Radicals' debut
    The 10-Man main event Raw
    The Jericho/Benoit vs. Austin/HHH night

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  82. Either the Mankind Wins The Title (That'll put butts on seats) episode, the Austin beer bath right before 'Mania 15 or Kurt Angle's copy with the milk truck. Also, the ep where Austin ripped Stephanie's top off scores very highly!

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  83. This is by far my favorite Raw ever!

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  84. Yeah, and to this day Raw runs on tape delay because of that.

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