Former WWE superstar Terri Runnels was one of the legendary female wrestlers to be honored at the 25th anniversary of Monday Night RAW. On her Cigars, Scars and Superstars podcast, Runnels discussed some things that happened behind the scenes at the show.
RAW 25 was shot in two locations, the Barclays Center and the Manhattan Center, which was the home of the first-ever broadcast of Monday Night RAW. There were only a few matches and segments at the Manhattan Center, which drew the ire of the crowd. Runnels revealed that she was disappointed in the presentation even though she understood the necessity for two locations.
"I was very disappointed [with Raw 25]. I really was," Runnels said. "First of all, I was proud to be there and proud to be with my WWE family again; that was wonderful, but pretty much after that, it was kind of like, 'Wow, really?' I thought that [two locations] was a great idea because there's no way that you can fit capacity crowd that would want to see it in that tiny Manhattan Center location. In order to have it at the Manhattan Center you would have to have it at some other place. I heard from friends that were at the Manhattan Center felt that they got jipped because they only had a few matches and it was dead in between."
The female wrestling legends were featured in only one segment that night in which they were simply introduced to the crowd in the Barclays Center. Even though she's aware of how the WWE had to balance the 25th anniversary with the go-home show before the Royal Rumble, Runnels admitted she was disappointed the female superstars didn't get more shine on the show.
"I think I am disappointed. I don't feel like I was disrespected, but I just think that they had; this is my guess, but I believe they had a monster of a show to try to do and figure out," she said. "This many talents coming into Raw that is normally not there like past legends, and I just think it ended up being a time thing; 'We don't know what else to do, let's just have them come out and wave.' I don't know, it was just disappointing because I loved my WWE family and all of that and it was just disappointing. It was a let down."
Runnels said none of the other female superstars were angry while they were at the show. She did, however, reveal that the conditions they were preparing in while they were backstage were less than ideal.
"Nobody was pissed off. It was a ball of fun in our dressing room, but I had to tell you, that was another interesting thing," she said. "We were put in a basketball court; we were blocked off with black curtains, and there was another area where male legends were blocked off as well. Next to that they were filming all day the APA vignettes so because of that the overhead lights couldn't be on. We were trying to be ready in almost pitch black dark. They brought one little light and shun it over but it was still dark over there. We kept asking if we can please get lights and how much longer the vignettes were done and they're like, if we don't get them done we have to get them done live so we may not be able to put the lights on at all. I couldn't see to get in my suitcase; I couldn't find stuff, it was dark. We did not have a mirror. I asked for a folding mirror; they actually gave me that, but there was no running water to wash our hands close by. That was very interesting."
Runnels left the WWE in 2004 after a successful run as a manager and valet to multiple superstars. She said the big difference now within the company is the environment is more buttoned-up than it was in the past.
"It is very different now. It's just very corporate. The word that comes to my mind is that there is a bit of antiseptic feeling," she said. "I would that maybe in terms of the whole sexual harassment; there's so many things like Wrestlers Court and hazing that used to go on very rapidly in our business, but in a lot of ways that fun is taken out."
If you use any of the quotes in this article, please credit Cigars, Scars and Superstars with Terri Runnels with an H/T to Wrestling Inc. for the transcription.
Peter Bahi contributed to this article.