**UPDATED – 6:00EST** Below are some confirmed and rumored names + segments for tonight’s 1,000th episode of RAW. This is a recap of all the 1,000th RAW news we’ve posted over the past week. This is what we know so far and we’ll be updating this post leading into the show tonight:
* The show begins at 8EST and will be three-hours weekly (8-11EST) starting next week.
* WWE Title Match: CM Punk vs. John Cena.
* Intercontinental Title Match: Christian vs. ???
* DX Reunion: This will open the show at 8EST.
* Sean Waltman (X-Pac) appeared on the Cowhead show on Friday and hinted that he will be at RAW on Monday night. Waltman said, “I can’t foresee a DX reunion without X-Pac.” WWE has been contacting numerous former talents this week so it’s possible he’ll be there. He had been tweeting in recent weeks that WWE had not contacted him. All signs are now pointing to a “full” DX reunion with Triple H, Shawn Michaels, The Road Dogg, Billy Gunn and X-Pac all appearing. That is not confirmed just yet but it is looking more and more likely. Chyna will not be appearing for obvious reasons.
* During a recent interview with The Miami Herald, Jerry Lawler was speaking abut the origin of the “puppies” line he had used for years. While doing so, he may have announced another surprise return for Monday’s 1,000th RAW… “I actually got to give credit to a guy who I think will be returning on the 1,000th episode. It was a member of DX, Road Dogg (Jesse) James. I believe he was talking to Sable at the time. DX was in the ring, and Sable was in the ring, and somehow I believe Road Dogg said, ‘Hey, show us your puppies.’ It kind of floated by. No big deal at that point and time, but then I started using the word a couple of weeks later, and it just stuck.”
* Brock Lesnar returns and will confirm his match with Triple H at SummerSlam. Paul Heyman will be there with Lesnar.
* The Rock returns to WWE to address his quest for the WWE Title. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is rumored to be contemplating competing in a match or two before WrestleMania XXIX on April 7, 2013 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey. An announcement could come as soon as Monday.
* There have been rumors for months that WWE was going to be doing a big summer angle that would get people talking. There is a lot of speculation that the angle will be kicked off Monday night, likely at the end of the show. There aren’t many details going around at this time, as those within the company have been keeping tight lipped.
* Daniel Bryan and AJ will have a wedding.
* The announcement of a new permanent RAW General Manager.
* WWE Legends Bret Hart, Mick Foley and Roddy Piper are all confirmed to return.
* Roddy Piper posted the following, discussing whether or not he will appear at the 1,000th RAW… “If I go to Raw’s 1000th episode I’m not doing lame work. Let me roll Vince. I’ll show them why Raw’s the longest running show!” As noted above, Piper is confirmed for next week’s show.
* Local Advertisements in St. Louis are promoting Bret Hart to appear at Monday’s 1,000th RAW. Hart was advertised a few weeks ago, but then there was no follow up. The new local ads that started to run this week pushed Hart as appearing. As noted above, Hart is confirmed for next week’s show.
* Vince and Stephanie McMahon will appear on the show. Shane McMahon is said to be a long shot and Linda McMahon probably won’t happen because of her ongoing Senate campaign trying to distance her from the WWE product. There will also be the usual “2nd tier” legends appearing as well.
* WWE Hall of Famer Jim Ross discussed Monday’s RAW 1,000 show on the Sports Illustrated Hot Clicks Podcast, and what he would like to contribute to the show: “It’s kind of like a baseball player going to the All Star game in Kansas City. I’m just kind of waiting to see what the manager puts on the lineup card. I know I’m on the roster, I know I’m figured to do something, I’m just waiting to see where my name is penciled in. With an old guy like me who’s been around the horn — been weathered — there’s nothing that can be assigned that I probably haven’t already done. In a perfect world I’d love to call a match, but that’s not my call. But I’m ready to play, whatever they want me to do, I’m ready to roll.”
* As most of you know by now, WWE’s flagship program RAW will celebrate its 1000th episode this coming Monday. During her near seven-year run, Trish Stratus participated in 160 matches-the most of any female-and created many memorable moments along the way. The legendary grappler is recalling the memories on her official website, TrishStratus.com, as she ranks her top five moments and top five matches. The quintessential Diva also offers an inside look with comments on each one of these Stratusfy-ing appearances. She ranks her match against Lita on the Dec. 6, 2004 episode of RAW, the first time in history that the Divas were solely featured in the show’s main event, as her top match. She says of the bout, “What an amazing feeling for Lita and I to be given the trust and confidence to close out our flagship show in the main event of Monday Night Raw. Plus, a true testament to the hard work of the women’s division as a whole.”
* We can confirm that both Lita and Trish Stratus have been contacted to appear at the 1,000th WWE RAW event. UPDATE: Despite being contacted to appear, former WWE Women’s Champion Trish Stratus is not expected to appear on RAW tonight. She was contacted but had other commitments.
* For those who may have missed it, WWE will debut a new RAW logo on tonight’s landmark edition of RAW recognizing 1,000 episodes.
* Former WWE Superstar MVP has stated that he will not be on hand for tonight’s RAW. He did, however, offer his regards: “Congratulations to WWE for RAW 1000. Huge accomplishment. Personally, I’m a Smack Down guy. Started there. Finished there. Go BLUE!”
* Chris Jericho posted a video on Tout, which you can watch at this link. In the video, Jericho stated the following… “You won’t believe the special guests that are here tonight. It’s a who’s who of the history of this show.”
* Both Stephanie McMahon and Jim Ross will be in St. Louis, Missouri next Monday, the site of that day’s unprecedented 1000th RAW episode. The WWE Hall of Famer appeared Wednesday on KREF Sports Talk 1400 The Ref and confirmed he would be on the show. He added he has no idea what his role will be. McMahon, who participated in a Twitter chat Tuesday and hinted but did not confirm an appearance on Raw, will be in the area that day for a ‘be a STAR’ anti-bullying at the Boys & Girls Club of Greater St. Louis’ Herbert Hoover location (2901 N. Grand Ave.). She will be joined World Heavyweight Champion Sheamus, The Miz, Eve and American Idol finalist James Durbin.
* We can now exclusively confirm that The Undertaker will be appearing on Monday 1,000th RAW event. This will be the Phenom’s first appearance since WrestleMania. His role on the show will be unclear, but he will be live at the show in St. Louis.
* WWE’s creative committee is rumored to be leaning towards CM Punk retaining the WWE Championship next Monday on RAW when John Cena is supposed to cash in his Money in the Bank contract. According to sources, there is a lot of talk within the organization that Cena will be the first person to not win a title directly after cashing in the briefcase. The feeling is that Cena is the one guy that can handle losing the cash in. They also could have The Big Show or The Rock cost Cena the match, which keeps Punk as champion and sidetracks Cena into another feud. There was also talk at RAW this week that there would be a major angle between John Cena and CM Punk next week where somehow Cena would keep his Money in the Bank briefcase. It’s almost guaranteed that this will change numerous times before RAW next week so take this with a grain of salt for now. Triple H recently directed that title reigns should be longer in order to build the importance of the belts. As you know by now, both CM Punk and Sheamus retained their titles at Money in the Bank. We noted that Cena’s Money in the Bank win was made within the last few weeks. At one point, he was going to be given the pay-per-view off.
* WWE has apparently put together a list of names they are expecting to appear on the show, but want to keep several names unadvertised. They have told these names to do “anything and everything” to keep the surprises secret including saying publicly that they will be somewhere else the night of the 1000th RAW.
* Tatanka, “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, DDP, Steve Blackman, “Mean” Gene Okerlund, Vader, Doink the Clown, Bob Backlund and Sid Vicious have all also teased appearances, appeared recently, or been contacted by WWE about appearing. Expect a ton of former WWE talents to appear in addition to these names.
* Any talents who are under contract with TNA (Hulk Hogan, Eric Bischoff, Kurt Angle, etc.) will obviously NOT be appearing at the event.
* Ric Flair will likely not appear due to the ongoing TNA vs. WWE lawsuit. WWE isn’t going to risk taking any chances with TNA talents.
* The company didn’t promote Charlie Sheen as Social Media Ambassador, suggesting he will not be involved due to the fact that he quit Twitter.
* Goldberg shot down rumors that he will be at RAW next week for the 1,000th episode. When asked over Twitter by a fan, he posted: It’s not true!! RT @mrpops96: @Goldberg there are videos and rumours suggesting that you will be at Raw 1000 is it true?
* Kelly Kelly returns to WWE this week after being granted time off the road in late May. She tweeted Sunday, “On the road again. Can’t wait to see everyone at the #raw1000.” Kelly, who had been on the road on a weekly basis since joining WWE in 2006, was reportedly granted a break to spend time with her family and boyfriend. She last competed on television on the May 21 Raw SuperShow, losing to Beth Phoenix.
* The Ultimate Warrior recently addressed rumors that he would be appearing at the 1,000th RAW. On Twitter, a fan posted the following message to Warrior… hey did you hear everyone thinks you will be at #RAW1000 Warrior responded with the following… I’ve never done what everyone else thinks. Never. Not once. As of last week, there were no plans to feature The Ultimate Warrior on the show. Of course, plans can change but he is not expected to appear as of this writing.
* Former WWE announcer Todd Grisham has stated that he will not be attending the 1,000th episode of RAW. The Coach will also not be at the 1,000th RAW event.
* During a Q&A session at Comic-Con last week, Dave Batista commented on a potential WWE return. Here is what he had to say… I’m not against going back. It’s just definitely not going to be this year.
* Curt Hawkins and Tyler Reks have been tweeting all day about wanting to get a match on the 1,000th RAW event. The duo is asking fans to tweet about it. They have re-tweeted many responses from their followers as well.
* Tonight’s 1,000th RAW in St. Louis, MO is a legit sellout.
* Stephanie McMahon, Jim Ross, Bret Hart, Rikishi, Sean “X-Pac” Waltman and Kelly Kelly have all stated that they are either in St. Louis or on their way to St. Louis for the 1,000th RAW.
* The latest on Wade Barrett’s WWE return is that he’ll be back following the SummerSlam pay-per-view. There was a rumor that he’d be appearing at the 1,000th RAW event but that doesn’t look to be happening now. Sources report that WWE creative already has a plan in place for him when he returns.
* Evan Bourne announced via Twitter that he won’t be on the 1,000th RAW tomorrow night, which is from his hometown in St. Louis. Bourne posted the following: Sorry friends! I won’t be in STL for the epic #raw1000 but when I DO work my way back on Raw, it will also be epic!
* Randy Orton will not be at the 1,000th RAW from his hometown of St. Lois due to his current Wellness Policy suspension. He’ll be able to return at the end of the month.
* Diamond Dallas Page is being promoted as a guest on the St. Louis’ FOX affiliate morning show tomorrow. That means he’s in St. Louis for RAW so expect him to appear live.
* While not confirmed by WWE, it is expected that both Steve Austin and Edge will be at the show tonight.
* Roddy Piper confirmed on his Twitter that he will be at RAW tonight.
* Vader, who like DDP appeared in a segment on RAW in the past several weeks leading up to Monday, is currently in St. Louis and expected to appear at the 1,000th RAW event.
* The Baltimore Sun has an interview up with Jerry Lawler who says that “there are almost 30 superstars from these past 1,000 episodes that are going to be coming back and joining us for the 1,000th show.”
* The Undertaker and wife Michelle McCool are currently on a flight to St. Louis, which is where the 1,000th RAW is taking place. The two are married in real-life. WWE is reportedly trying to pull out all the stops for the show and word is that a “shocking name” may appear on the show.
* Look for some sort of Legends Battle Royal tonight on RAW. There were also plans to have a major Legends “beatdown” on Heath Slater. Basically, all the Legends will hit their finishers on Slater after he cuts a promo bashing them. We’ll have more on this later today.
* As a reminder once again, WWE will host a special RAW Pre-Show that will stream live on WWE.com and on WWE’s official YouTube channel, FanNation (YouTube.com/WWEFanNation).
* Sean “X-Pac” Waltman posted the following on Twitter today… Since everyone is saying they’re on their way to St. Louis. I might as well go too. Since when did I need an invitation? “DX” is scheduled to open the show and with X-Pac coming in, Billy Gunn reportedly confirmed and The Road Dogg already working for WWE, we could be in for a much larger DX reunion.
* Madusa, who captured the WWE Women’s Championship as Alundra Blayze, says she will not be on hand for tonight’s historic 1000th episode of Raw due to “prior engagements.” “Good luck, congrats and many blessings to all that have a wonderful and historical time at WWE 1000 epic night! Don’t forget to watch….. Your one and only …..STILL WWE’s/WWF’s champion! Just to set it straight… I will not be there. Prior engagements,” she wrote on Facebook. As noted earlier, Shane Helms, formerly known as The Hurricane, also confirmed that he will not be on the show due to his contractual status with another wrestling organization.
* Sid Vicious spoke to Memphisport.com about his son Frank not telling other Big Brother houseguests who his dad is and possibly appearing on tonight’s historic RAW episode celebrating 1,000 episodes.
* Popular rock band Green Day is in St. Louis and staying at the WWE hotel. At this time it has not been confirmed if they are performing on tonight’s show or if they are there as guests of the WWE.
* Road Warrior Animal has been telling his Twitter followers to petition WWE for him to appear at next week’s 1,000th RAW event. UPDATE: He is now confirmed for the event.
* There have also been rumors that Steve Austin is in St. Louis, but they have not been confirmed. He was contacted to appear.
* The Rock arrived earlier this morning and is backstage at the event.
* WWE Hall of Famer Ron Simmons has been spotted in St. Louis, Missouri.
* Paul Bearer teased an appearance on tonight’s landmark edition of RAW with the following Twitter message: “What a wonderful tune…. “Meet me in Saint Louis.” The legendary manager last appeared on RAW on the April 23 show as part of Kane’s ongoing feud with Randy Orton. He was kidnapped by Orton and then stuck in a storage freezer while strapped to a wheelchair. Kane later came for Bearer, only to roll him back into the freezer and say, “I’m saving you…from me.”
* Kenn Doane, who appeared as Kenny and Kenny Dykstra for WWE, tweeted a similar tease: “St. Louis is nice this time of year.”
* When asked by a fan on Twitter if he would be attending tonight’s 1,000th episode of WWE RAW, Shane Helms stated the following… “I’m under contract with another company. Sorry.” Helms is currently under contract to Lucha Libre USA. He will also be at the Gathering of the Juggalo event, facing Matt Hardy and John Morrison in a three-way match.
* As noted earlier here on the website, Wade Barrett is expected to return to WWE TV this summer, likely after SummerSlam. WWE apparently has a creative plan set for Barrett’s return.
* Bill Goldberg was asked by a fan on Twitter if he was contacted to appear at tonight’s 1,000th RAW event. He replied with the following: No.. so fans can’t blame me He then re-tweeted a fan who said: I must say I’m disappointed they didn’t invite you Bill. Probably still sour that you helped Nitro kick Raw’s ass.
* Speaking of Road Warrior Animal, after competing at Tuesday’s SmackDown taping in San Diego, California, he stopped by the 100.3 KFAN-FM studios for Extreme Pro Wrestling Radio to discuss this coming Monday’s historic 1000th episode of RAW and confirmed his and other former WWE Superstars’ involvement on the program. The WWE Hall of Famer may have spoiled the payoff of Heath Slater’s returning RAW legend angle while addressing rumors of “Stone Cold” Steve Austin’s involvement with the program—who has not been announced to appear by WWE but is expected to be there. When asked whether The Rattlesnake will encounter Slater on the show, Animal responded, “Austin will definitely give him the stunner, ya know thats coming! Fans get ready, you’re gonna see a stunner!” Animal, who appeared on RAW in 1997 and 1998, also confirmed that he will be on hand for the festivities: “I will be making an appearance…people will see that my spikes from SmackDown were excellently repainted! Yeah, I’ll be there all painted up, with bells on boys! If it happens it happens, I’m ready!” On what else to expect for the unprecedented show, he said, “It’s gonna be star studded, on my flight alone is me, DDP and Bret “Hitman” Hart!”
* WWE Senior VP of Digital Operations Jason Hoch says that WWE’s audience will have a say in character and storyline development. Hoch told ESPN.com in an interview that the RawActive social media initiative that starts Monday on RAW will allow the audience to “get a say in what happens next by deciding matches, stipulations, and character development. They can control if a general manager gets fired or who their favorite Superstar’s next opponent will be.”
* Variety has published an article on WWE’s expanded social media presence, with comments from Stephanie McMahon, With the expansion of Raw to three-hours WWE plans to offer fans the chance to influence what occurs during the show through online polls and hashtag voting during the first hour that then play out in the third. “We’re going to use social media in a more enhanced fashion,” besides just promotion, McMahon told Variety. “Our fans will affect some type of content in the show every week.” Doing so “keeps your audience tuned into the broadcast for the entire three hours,” McMahon believes. “What our audience wants is great creative; it’s what any audience wants,” McMahon said. “We need to provide content across every different platform so that our fans can engage across any device they prefer. Every property is struggling with that. As long as you are everywhere, you keep and grow your audience as well.” For those wondering, Vince McMahon and Stephanie McMahon are both expected to appear on RAW tonight. Linda McMahon will not be appearing and Shane McMahon is “highly unlikely”.
* Kelly Kelly announced on Twitter Sunday that she will appear on tonight’s RAW episode following a lengthy hiatus. According to sources, she is not returning full-time as it is merely a special appearance. More soon.
* Jim Ross told the following to ESPN, regarding tonight’s RAW: “I was planning on going no matter what, but to be invited and be part of the show is something special,” Ross told ESPN. “For everyone involved, it’s a celebration of hours of hard work, thousands of miles traveled and sacrificing family time to put on a show every week for this long.”
* We noted earlier today that Kenn “Kenny Dykstra” Doane teased being in St. Louis for the 1,000th RAW event. It is very unlikely that he would be used though, considering his openly critical stance against the company and John Cena. He’s likely in St. Louis for something completely different.
* Former WWE Superstar Goldust confirmed on Twitter that he will not be on hand for tonight’s landmark edition of RAW. He did, however, wish WWE good luck.
* Jim Ross tweeted Monday afternoon: “Backstage feels like being @ an all star game. I’m loving this day. #Raw1000 @ 8/7 central!”
* As noted earlier today, Chris Jericho released a Tout video from the site of tonight’s landmark edition of RAW noting that grappling greats will be on hand for the festivities. “You won’t believe the special guests that are here tonight,” Jericho said. “It’s a who’s who of the history of this show.”
* WWE sent out the following press release today: STAMFORD, Conn., July 23, 2012 – WWE® (NYSE: WWE) today announced Outasight’s chart-topping single “Tonight Is The Night” as the official theme song of its 1000th episode of Monday Night Raw. The song will be integrated into the telecast tonight at 8/7C on USA Network. “Tonight Is The Night” is one of the hottest songs in the country, spending 20 weeks on the Billboard Top 100 chart and 30 weeks on the Billboard Pop songs Top 100 chart. The song has been released as a single and is available digitally on iTunes.com, surpassing platinum selling status. Outasight’s second single, “Now Or Never,” is currently blazing up the pop radio charts and is set to be the soundtrack for Summer 2012. You can hear the theme for tonight-only below:
* WWE Diva AJ Lee was a guest on Mark Madden’s radio show last week to promote tomorrow night’s 1,000th RAW event. The show airs on 105.9 “The X” in Pittsburgh, PA. AJ talked about her recent WWE push and “marriage” to Daniel Bryan on Monday’s RAW. She also talked about her ongoing angle with CM Punk, Kane and Daniel Bryan. She says she’s been a lifelong fan of the business and hints that she may be dating a current WWE superstar: You can listen to the interview below:
We’ll continue to update this post as we hear more. Stay tuned!