Written By: Bob Colling
World Wrestling Federation presents RAW
From: San Jose, CA
A video highlighting last weeks conflict between Austin and Stephanie is shown. The video continues by showing Austin stalking Stephanie on Smackdown. Vince McMahon returned on Smackdown and announced that Austin would wrestle against Kane and Undertaker and if Austin won he would face Kurt Angle on RAW for the WWF World Championship. Austin stunned McMahon and McMahon announced himself as the special referee. Austin was able to pin Undertaker and will wrestle Kurt Angle on RAW!
RAW opening video
Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler are on commentary. Ross hypes up the Austin vs. Angle main event taking place on the show.
Vince McMahon music hits and the owner of WWE power walks to the ring. McMahon tells the fans he has a new years resolution of the fans if they don’t have one. McMahon suggests they respect authority. McMahon introduces footage of the Rock not respecting authority as Rock attacked two referees on Smackdown. McMahon says the Rock will respect authority tonight. McMahon announces that the Rock will wrestle Kane and Rikishi in a handicap match. McMahon knows it isn’t a fair match so Stephanie will award the Rock two partners for the Rock. McMahon says the two partners will be selected from a list. The Rock will have two referees as his partners! McMahon turns his attention to Steve Austin. McMahon knows the fans are wondering why he would count the three for Austin. McMahon says this is a new year and that he is a new man. McMahon’s new years resolution is to be tough but fair. McMahon wonders if he and Austin can get along why can’t politicians get along and their be peace in the Middle East. McMahon believes in leadership by example. Steve Austin’s music hits and Austin cuts McMahon off by heading down to the ring. Austin asks what kind of leadership or example is McMahon talking about. Austin doesn’t trust McMahon and is going to stick to his motto of DTA. Austin isn’t buying into what McMahon is telling him. Austin tells McMahon to stay out of his life and he will allow McMahon to live his. Austin proclaims he will kick Angle’s ass and become the champion. WWF World Champion Kurt Angle makes his way out to the arena to cut off Austin. Angle says he is impressed with Austin calling McMahon a jackass and thinking he can beat Angle. Angle asks if Austin was always a great talker back in 1996 while Austin had strap matches with Savio Vega while Angle was bringing respect to the USA. Angle brings up Armageddon where Angle defeated five other WWF wrestlers including Steve Austin in a Hell in the Cell match to retain the title. Angle isn’t going to allow Austin to take his title and insults Austin by calling him a redneck. Austin flips off Angle and asks the fans if they want to see Angle get his ass kicked and they all scream Hell Yeah! Austin gets a couple of beers but is nailed by Angle from behind with the WWF World Championship! Austin doesn’t really sell it and stares at Angle as the champion heads to the backstage area.
Video from Smackdown where the Hardy Boys saved Chris Jericho from being attacked by the Radicals.
Opening Contest: Hardy Boys/Chris Jericho defeated Perry Saturn/WWF Lightweight Champion Dean Malenko/WWF Intercontinental Champion Chris Benoit: All six men brawl on the floor until Matt and Malenko enter the ring. Matt works on Malenko with right hands until Saturn attacks Matt from behind. Matt collides with Saturn connecting with a clothesline. Jeff tags in and Saturn is suplexed by both Hardy’s. Jeff jumps off Matt’s back to splash Saturn in the corner. Benoit comes in and clotheslines Jeff. High angle back suplex by Benoit on Jeff for a two count. Saturn enters and back elbows Jeff with Benoit. Saturn drops Jeff with a swinging neck breaker for a near fall. Saturn with a few knee lifts and drives Jeff down to the mat with a brain buster! Benoit tags back in and works on Jeff with a few boots and a neck breaker for a near fall. Saturn tags in again and gets a few right hands in and rams Jeff chest first into the turnbuckles. Jeff shoves Saturn off the middle rope and connects with the Swanton Bomb! Benoit and Jericho get tagged in and Jericho hammers away on Benoit. Jericho comes off the ropes with a spinning heel kick and nails Malenko and Saturn as well. Saturn takes Jericho over with a exploder suplex as Jericho knocked Terri off the apron. Jericho backslides Benoit as everyone else brawls on the floor and gets the three on the champ! **½
After the match, Dean Malenko dumps concession food onto Lita! Lita had yanked Malenko off the apron after the match.
Backstage, several referees are with Stephanie McMahon. McMahon says she needs to people to team up with the Rock. Jack Doan and Teddy Long are not happy about this. McMahon tells the referees they need to respect authority and decides to put Teddy Long and Jack Doan as the Rock’s partners.
During a commercial, the Hardy Boys left Lita to get cleaned up but Malenko snuck into the women’s locker room.
Backstage, Kevin Kelly is standing with the Rock. The Rock cuts Kelly off from interviewing him and listens to the crowd chant his name. Rock with his catchphrase. Rock is thinking about the Royal Rumble and doesn’t care who he has to wrestle at Wrestle Mania. Rock tells Austin that if Austin were to win the championship later on Austin would have a date with the Rock. Rock talks about Stephanie McMahon and calls here a slut. Rock will never be impressed by Stephanie McMahon. The Rock is sure he is going to win the Rumble and go to Wrestle Mania. Rock finishes off with his catchphrase.
Backstage, Dean Malenko is peaking on Lita. Malenko enters the shower and Lita covers up. The Hardy’s return and attack Malenko in the women’s locker room. Jeff traps Malenko’s leg in a table and allows Matt to his Malenko on the knee with the chair!
JR and King talk about Ivory breaking Chyna’s neck. Michael Cole recently had a interview with Chyna. Chyna says that she isn’t 100% but she is getting there. Chyna doesn’t know when she will get back in the ring. Chyna says the doctors have told her to not wrestle again and that he got lucky. Chyna is going to watch Billy Gunn take care of Val Venis and hops Billy gets his hands on Ivory.
Backstage, Billy Gunn talks to Coach about his upcoming match. Gunn says he is going to make Val Venis feel just as helpless as Chyna feels!
Second Contest: Billy Gunn defeated Val Venis in a lumberjack match: Gunn charges the ring and is met with right hands from Venis. Venis clotheslines Gunn and sends Gunn to the RTC members. Gunn fights them off and clotheslines Venis over the top to the floor. Gunn tosses Venis over to the APA and Venis is double teamed. Gunn with a jackhammer on Venis and knocks the RTC guys off the apron. Venis is able to drive Gunn down with a spine buster. Venis sends Gunn into the corner a few times and snap suplex Gunn for a near fall. Gunn goes for a cobra clutch slam but Venis gets out of it. Gunn is able to connect with a tilt a whirl slam but doesn’t cover Venis. Gunn with a few jabs and clotheslines Venis. Gunn splashes Venis in the corner and goes for the pile driver but Venis bails to the floor and heads up the ramp but is stopped by the APA. Gunn chokes Venis as Ivory is rolled into the ring by the APA. Gunn hit’s the cobra clutch slam on Venis and gets the three. *
After the match, all the lumberjacks brawl in the ring. The baby faces prevail.
Backstage, Edge and Christian talk to Kurt Angle and wish Angle good luck against Steve Austin. Edge and Christian say they have big plans in store for the Dudley Boys.
Backstage, Kane shoves Jack Doan and Teddy Long into a wall.
Third Contest: The Rock/Teddy Long/Jack Doan defeated Rikishi/Kane in a handicap match by disqualification: Long and Rikishi start off the contest. Long begs Rikishi to not hurt him but Rikishi uses his backside to drop Long in the corner. Rikishi delivers the stink face and Long rolls over to his corner to tag in the Rock. Rock with a leaping clothesline to knock Rikishi down and hammers away on Kane. Rock drives Kane face first into the mat and rams his opponents into each other. Kane stops Rock’s momentum with a vicious clothesline. Rikishi stomps away on Rock but Rock ducks a clothesline and DDT’s Rikishi! Rock knocks Kane off the apron and the referees stomp Rikishi as Rock distracts the referee! Rock with a spine buster on Rikishi and goes for the People’s Elbow! Rock is cut off by Kane who choke slams Rock! Rikishi goes for the cover but Rock kicks out at two. Rock with a series of right hands but is stopped by throat thrust from Rikishi. Rikishi clotheslines Rock in the corner and goes for the stink face. Rock avoids it by low blowing Rikishi and charges out of the corner with a clothesline. Kane gets the tag but Rock hammers away on Kane. Kane catches Rock coming off the ropes but Rock wiggles out and connects with a Samoan Drop. Rock goes for the Rock Bottom but Rikishi super kicks Rock! Kane goes to the floor to grab a chair but Jack Doan grabs the chair. Tim White the referee for the match is shoved and calls for the bell. *½
After the match, Jack Doan is choke slammed and Long is splashed by Rikishi in the corner. Rock is worked on by Kane and Rikishi until the Undertaker runs down and saves Rock. Taker choke slams Kane and Rock is able to Rock Bottom Rikishi! Rock and Taker stand tall.
Backstage, Stephanie is complaining to Vince about the Undertaker ruining her plans. Vince books a match on Smackdown which will see Rikishi vs. Kane vs. the Undertaker vs. the Rock! The winner will earn the #30 spot in the Royal Rumble match.
Before the next match, Raven cuts a promo on Steve Blackman. Raven talks about crushing Al Snow’s skull with a cinderblock.
Fourth Contest: WWF Hardcore Champion Raven defeated Steve Blackman/Hardcore Holly to retain the title: Raven uses a trash can on Blackman but Blackman sends Raven into the trash can in the corner. Blackman nails Raven with a trash can lid a few times and goes to get his sticks. Blackman with several shots to the legs and back suplex Raven. Hardcore Holly shows up with a referee and shoves Blackman off the top rope. Holly nails Raven several times with two trash can lids. Blackman kicks a trash can into Holly’s face and Raven knocks Blackman down so he can pin Holly to retain the title. DUD
After the match, Raven is beaten down by Holly who suplexed Raven on the entrance ramp but manages to get away as Holly and Blackman trade right hands. Raven runs into a car where someone was waiting for him!
Backstage, Edge and Christian tell someone to wait backstage until they call them out. They are really happy about their plan for the Dudley Boys.
Taka and Funaki are at WWF New York and Taka puts over the food at the food joint. Funaki just says “indeed” as usual.
WWF World Tag Team Champions Edge and Christian make their way down to the ring with a table. Christian talks about their upcoming tag team title match against the Dudley’s at the Royal Rumble in two weeks. Christian knows the Dudley’s love tables and they smell horrible. They are also cheered by a bunch of freaks! Edge says that they have a better understanding of their opponents. Edge says they took a trip to Dudleyville! Edge introduces the Dudley Boys parents! The parents come down and have brought baby pictures with them. The pictures are pretty funny and the parents do their best catchphrase attempt. Christian asks the parents if their kids are going to get their butts kicked. The real Dudley’s Boys run down to the ring and the champions bail up the ramp. The Dudley’s 3-D the fake father and the fake mother begs off. Bubba scoop slams the mother and they connect with the What’s Up! D-Von grabs the mother and allows Bubba to power bomb her off the middle rope through the table!
Backstage, Stephanie tells her father she can’t wait for the tag team title match. Vince McMahon asks Stephanie to get him some coffee. Stephanie leaves to get her father some new coffee. Vince takes off his coat and waits for someone to come in, apparently. After a commercial, Vince is waiting and asks what is taking someone so long. His daughter Stephanie comes back and Trish steps into the scene. Stephanie isn’t happy about this and wants to put Torrie into a handicap match with Albert against Test. Vince allows it and Stephanie says “I heard you are used to, two on one”. Trish storms out.
A few fans give their predictions for the Angle vs. Austin main event.
Backstage, Vince McMahon is looking for someone.
Fifth Contest: Albert/Trish Stratus defeated Test in a handicap match: Test clotheslines Albert to start the match and follows up with right hands. Test comes off the ropes but runs right into Albert. Albert slams Test down and gets a near fall. Trish slaps Test from the apron and Test grabs his former manger. Albert splashes Test in the corner and goes for a backdrop but Test counters a tornado DDT. Test avoids a splash in the corner and hammers away on Albert. Test gets out of a gorilla press and back suplex Albert. Test grabs Trish again and tosses Trish into the ring. Test goes for the pump handle slam on Trish but she escapes. Test big boots Albert and goes towards Trish again. William Regal walks down with a battered face and checks on Trish. Test grabs Regal but Regal drops Test throat first across the top rope and Albert connects with the Albert Bomb to win the match. ½*
Backstage, Stephanie yells at Vince for having William Regal help Trish.
A video promoting the main event and what lead up to it is shown.
Main Event: WWF World Champion Kurt Angle fought Steve Austin to a no contest to retain the title: Austin stomps away and hammers away on Angle to start the match in the corner. Austin rams Angle head first into the top turnbuckle a few times and connects with a forearm drop. Austin connects with a vertical suplex and crotches Angle on the top rope. Austin goes for a suplex but Angle blocks it and drops Austin chest first to the mat. Angle stomps away on Austin for a few moments but Austin comes back with a Thez Press and a flurry of right hands. A couple of forearm drops by Austin gets him a two count. Gut wrench suplex by Austin but Angle kicks out at two. Another vertical suplex by Austin but still isn’t able to get a three count. Austin goes for another suplex but Angle gets out of it and connects with a side Russian leg sweep. Angle stomps away on Austin but Austin comes back with a few rights until Angle knees Austin. Angle comes off the ropes with a cross body and gets a near fall. Angle with a quick inside cradle and almost wins the match. Austin sends Angle to the floor and rams Angle head first into the announcers table. Austin sends Angle into the crowd and delivers a few elbow strikes. William Regal comes down with a pipe and tries to hit Austin but Austin sees Regal and whacks Regal with a chair! Austin stomps on Regal and backdrops Angle into the crowd. Austin leaps off the railing to take Angle out with a clothesline! Austin sends Angle face first into the ring post and they get back into the ring where Austin gets a two count. Austin with a flurry of right hands in the mount position and gets a two count. Austin comes off the middle rope but Angle catches Austin connecting with a overhead belly to belly suplex! Angle with a eye rake and delivers a few right hands. Angle blocks the Stunner and takes Austin over with a overhead belly to belly suplex. Angle chokes Austin for a few moments and snap suplex Austin a couple times and gets a near fall. Angle with a back suplex and continues to stomp away on Austin. Another back suplex by Angle but Austin kicks out at two! Gut wrench suplex by Angle but Austin comes back with a scoop slam attempt but can’t get Angle up and Angle gets a two count. Angle gut wrench suplex Austin again and goes for the Olympic Slam but Austin knees out of it. Angle with right hands in the corner but Austin comes out of the corner with right hands of his own. Austin stomps on Angle in the corner for several moments. Spine buster by Austin and leaps off the middle rope connecting with a forearm drop! Austin goes for the Stunner but Angle blocks and goes for Olympic Slam but Austin gets out of that and ducks a clothesline which allows Austin to hit the Stunner! Austin covers but the referee is yanked out by Triple H! HHH looks at Austin from the floor and punches the referee! Austin is pissed! ***
After the match, Austin looks at Angle and tosses the champion to the floor. Austin wants HHH to come down to the ring. HHH removes his jacket and comes toward the ring. HHH enters the ring and they trade right hands! Austin gets the upper hand with right hands and drops HHH in the corner. Austin follows HHH to the floor and they flip over the announcers table! Austin continues hammer away on the Game! HHH gets the steel pipe and nails Austin in the head! Austin has been busted wide open! Austin still comes back with right hands but HHH hits Austin with the pipe two more times! HHH stands over a bloody Austin on the announcers table to close out the show.
End of show
My Take: The opening segment was a fine way to promote the main event between Angle and Austin. I only disliked the fact that Austin didn’t sell the championship shot the back by Angle to close it out. That caused the ending to be a little lackluster, I thought. Also, Vince McMahon is incredible at getting heel heat.
A good six man tag match to start off the show. Considering the talent involved that shouldn’t be a surprised to anyone. Looks like Jericho is going to be involved in a feud with Benoit yet again over the Intercontinental Championship. WWF just can not come up with new stuff for Jericho.
Venis/Gunn wasn’t all that bad, really. Gunn is still doing a good job at being the popular lower mid-card baby face. He hasn’t been this good since his NAO days with Road Dogg. It is rather interesting that the pile driver is being treated as a dangerous move as well. I say that because it is a pretty common move.
The fans popped big time when the referees double teamed Rikishi behind the referees back. That was pretty hilarious. The match wasn’t anything special but more of a way to get the Rock on television I would think.
Enjoyable segment with Edge and Christian. They are doing a great job of being the goofy yet hated heel tag team. I didn’t expect the fake mom to be power bombed from the middle rope through a table. That was just sick! Nice build up to the tag title match at the Rumble.
A good main event and a GREAT aftermath. The tension between Austin and HHH was captured really well and the brief brawl they had was just fantastic. Thank god it wasn’t broken up by security or anything as that would have been weak. A very good ending to the show.
Overall, the opener and the ending of the match make this a decent overall show. I’m looking forward to the build up of Austin/HHH now after that aftermath.
Thanks for reading.