written by Adam King
WWF RAW IS WAR
Monday, January 3rd, 2000
Live from the American Airlines Arena in Miami, FL
List of WWF Champions at the time:
WWF World Heavyweight Champion: The Big Show (11/14/1999)
WWF Intercontinental Champion: HELD UP (12/30/1999)
WWF World Tag Team Champions: The New Age Outlaws (11/08/1999)
WWF European Champion: Val Venis (12/12/1999)
WWF Hardcore Champion: The Big Bossman (10/14/1999)
WWF Women’s Champion: The Kat (12/12/1999)
~ Raw comes on the air and goes right to the live crowd without the intro or opening. Jim Ross welcomes us the show along with Jerry “The King” Lawler.
~ Things kick off with The Rock coming out to the ring, getting a huge ovation from his hometown crowd as JR mentions Rock’s book “The Rock Says” will be released on Wednesday. Rock gets on the mic and says “Finally, The Rock has come back…” but pauses before he says “home”. Rock says Miami is also home of the Dolphins and Ziggy Marley (who’s shown in the crowd tonight) then proceeds to introduce them to his family..his millions of fans. Rock talks about how on this in the year 3000, historians are going to ask what sound encompassed this millenium and the answer will be the fans chanting his name. Rock then makes a New Year’s Resolution to once again become WWF Champion someday. Rock also brings up Mick Foley being fired last week, calling the way it went down monkey crap. Rock then calls out Triple H, daring him to go one-on-one with him before going into his usual phrases.
Sure enough the Helmsleys come out to the stage as the screens next to the TitanTron once again change to photos of the couple. Triple H gets on the mic and tells Rock an old lady he passed by in the back wants her jacket back. Triple H then says he’d be happy to beat Rock up and embarrass him in front of his family but he’s already booked to face The Big Show for the WWF Championship tonight. Triple H mentions he also made a New Year’s Resolution to become WWF Champion again but tells Rock they still have room in the show for him and even have a match in mind. Triple H brings up how Rock won last week’s “Pink Slip on a Pole” match that got Foley fired before booking him in the first-ever handicap “You’re Fired” match. Triple H explains that Rock has three opponents and if he loses, he’s gone. Triple H also makes things fair by threatening to fire anybody who interferes in the match. Rock asks who his opponents are, but when Triple H answers Rock cuts him off with his “It doesn’t matter” line, prompting Triple H to comment on how the Rock has the fans reacting on cue, comparing him to Pavlov. Triple H then decides to give Rock a preview of what’s to come tonight by bringing out his opponents. On cue X-Pac and the New Age Outlaws charge out to the ring and attack Rock, beating him down and leaving him laying as Triple H approaches the ring. Triple H stands over the fallen Rock and repeats his warning that if he messes with them, he’ll get beaten and then he’ll get fired.
~ Back from break we get a replay of The Rock getting beaten down by DX.
The Dudley Boyz vs. Too Cool (w/Rikishi Phatu)
On Smackdown the Mean Street Posse helped the Dudleys beat down the Acolytes and before this match gets underway the Posse come out to the stage. D’Von Dudley starts off with some shots on Grandmaster Sexay and goes for a whip but Sexay slides under D’Von and hits a forward legsweep not unlike the Stroke. Scotty 2 Hotty tags in and both men whip D’Von into a double-elbow followed by a double elbowdrop. D’Von rakes Scotty’s face and goes for a whip but Scotty reverses him into a corner. Scotty comes off the ropes with the bulldog and follows up with the Worm. Scotty goes for a whip but D’Von reverses and Hot Shots him on the top rope. Bubba Ray tags in and pounds on Scotty then whips him into a backdrop. D’Von tags in and the Dudleys whip Scotty into a double shoulderblock. D’Von whips Scotty into a corner and charges but eats a boot. Scotty hops to the middle rope and connects with a clothesline before both men tag their partners. Sexay hits dropkicks on both Dudleys who whip him into the ropes for a double backdrop but Sexay manages to counter into a DDT on both men! At that point The Posse decide to get involved and starts assaulting Rikishi on the outside. The Acolytes suddenly come out and chase the Posse to the back. In the ring Bubba powerbombs Sexay and sets him up while D’Von climbs up to the top rope looking for the headbutt to the groin. Before D’Von can hit it Scotty trips him, causing him to straddle the turnbuckle. Rikishi then comes in and superkicks Bubba but that draws a DQ for his partners. (3:17) The Too Cool guys whip D’Von into Rikishi who plants him with a sitdown piledriver after which the three of them then engage in their post match dance. Nothing to really see here, plus the Dudleys haven’t quite gotten over yet, but they will soon enough. *½
~ Backstage Michael Cole interviews the Acolytes on why they got involved in the match. Bradshaw yells at Cole that they’re trying to finish what they started while Faarooq says they could beat up the Posse with one arm tied behind their back.
~ We then cut over to find Triple H and Stephanie watching the preceding interview on a monitor. Stephanie feels that’s a great idea and decides to make it an official match with Triple H’s approval. Steve Blackman then comes in and Triple H addresses someone telling him not to interfere in Kurt Angle’s matches. Triple H threatens to fire Blackman if he hits Kane with a kendo stick tonight and Blackman walks off. Stephanie doesn’t understand until Triple H reveals Kurt Angle is Kane’s opponent tonight. Triple H reveals his second New Year’s resolution is to end Angle’s unbeaten streak and Stephanie doesn’t seem too happy as we go to commercial.
Kane (w/Tori) vs. Kurt Angle
Before the match they show clips of Tori’s strange behavior over the past week. Angle comes out with a mic and talks about people saying this could be the end of his streak but he feels he’s the favorite in this match because has all three of his I’s and Kane doesn’t. Kane goes out to meet Angle in the aisle and pounds on him before Angle rolls in the ring. Angle attacks Kane as he climbs in and goes for a whip but Kane reverses it and hits a big boot. Kane throws Angle into a corner and hammers him before whipping him into the opposite corner. Kane charges but eats a boot and Angle comes out but runs into a clothesline. Kane throws Angle over the ropes then goes out and drops Angle onto the barricade. Kane throws Angle back in the ring then climbs to the top and connects with a flying clothesline. Angle ducks a clothesline and hits the count-along punches in a corner until Kane shoves him off. Kane misses an elbowdrop and Angle dropkicks Kane’s knee. Angle climbs to the top and leaps off but Kane catches him into a chokeslam. Kane scoops Angle up for the Tombstone when Steve Blackman runs in brandishing his kendo stick. Blackman hesitates, then cracks Angle in the head with the stick, causing a DQ in favor of Angle, thus continuing his undefeated streak. (2:28) Again nothing much going on here. I don’t know if they ever explained why Blackman was always helping Angle, though. *½
~ Backstage the Helmsleys are watching on a monitor and Stephanie delights that Angle is still unbeaten. Triple H accuses Stephanie of having a conversation with Blackman after he just did but Stephanie feigns innocence. Stephanie then mentions that she has something planned for the Intercontinental Title as we go to commercial.
~ Stephanie comes out to the ring with a trio of referees, one of which is carrying the Intercontinental Title belt. On Smackdown last Thrusday Chris Jericho defended the IC belt against Chyna but the match ended in a double-pin so Stephanie gets on the mic and talks about the dilemma of Jericho and Chyna both having claim to the Intercontinental Title. Stephanie first shows the ending to the Jericho/Chyna match then asks Jim Korderas for his opinion on who won the match. Korderas says Chyna did and Stephanie asks Chyna to come out and Chyna appears with The Kat in tow. Stephanie then asks Chad Patton who feels Jericho won the match and Jericho also comes out to the ring. Jericho and Chyna both plead their case before Stephanie says she’s made a decision, claiming business is being done as it has never been done before in the WWF. Thus Stephanie announces that Jericho and Chyna are BOTH the Intercontinental Champion. Stephanie explains they will co-hold the belt and each will take turns defending it but should one of them lose, they both lose the championship. Naturally Jericho and Chyna are not happy about this as Stephanie suggests they get along. Just then Hardcore Holly comes out to the stage with Crash gets on the mic saying he doesn’t care who the champion is and demands a title shot right now. Stephanie allows the match and Chyna gets the nod to defend the belt.
WWF Intercontinental Title: Chyna © (w/The Kat) vs. Hardcore Holly (w/Crash)
Jericho joins the announcers for commentary and complains about this travesty of justice. Hardcore locks up with Chyna and forces her into a corner but Chyna fires back with a series of forearms. Chyna whips Hardcore into a corner and hit the handspring elbow followed by a DDT for a two count. Chyna goes for a whip, Hardcore reverses but Chyna hits a shoulderblock. Chyna goes for another whip but Hardcore reverses and hits a dropkick. Hardcore goes for a whip, Chyna reverses and scoops Hardcore up but Hardcore floats over her and goes for an O’Connor roll when Chyna holds onto the ropes. Hardcore clotheslines Chyna over the ropes as Jericho yells at her to not spoil this for him. Chyna shoulderblocks Hardcore through the ropes and goes for a sloppy Sunset Flip back into the ring. Hardcore sits down on Chyna’s shoulders but the Kat is distracting the referee from making the count. Suddenly Jericho grabs the IC Title belt and waffles Hardcore in the head with it enabling Chyna to roll Hardcore into a pin for the three. (1:58) Chyna gets her hand raised as Jericho takes off with the title belt but Chyna follows after him. In the ring Crash makes fun of Hardcore for losing so Hardcore kicks him down and beats on him in the crowd. Not a good match with Chyna being her usual sloppy self. *
~ Backstage Triple H complements Stephanie on her decision when The Big Bossman and Prince Albert come in. Triple H tells them tonight they have a handicap match with Test and his two partners. Bossman says it doesn’t matter who’s teaming with Test before saying they do what they do best. Stephanie then wishes Triple H luck in his title match with the Big Show.
~ They next show highlights of the Triple H/Big Show rivalry from Raw and Smackdown last week. Backstage Michael Cole tries to grab a quick interview with Show but Show scares him away and walks off.
WWF World Heavyweight Title: The Big Show © vs. Triple H
Triple H comes out with Stephanie and the rest of DX but tells them to stay back on the stage. Triple H does his pose on the apron but Show pulls him into the ring to start the match. Show stomps Triple H in a corner and hits a giant chop and Triple H tries to escape but Show throws him back in the corner for more stomping. Show goes for another chop but Triple H slips out and gets in his shots when Show counters with a headbutt. Show goes for a whip but lowers the head and Triple H kicks him in the face but Show shrugs it off and hits another headbutt. Show elbows Triple H in the back of the head then slams him to the mat and follows up with an elbow drop for a two count. Triple H backs away then tries to fight back and goes for a whip but Show reverses and slings Triple H over the ropes. Show goes out to the floor and headbutts Triple H then clubs him in the back. Show scoops Triple H onto his shoulders but Triple H slips out and shoves Show over the barricade. Triple H rams Show into the barricade but Show throws him over the barricade to ringside. Show goes for a whip but Triple H reverses and sends Show into the ringsteps. Triple H leaps off the apron with an axe handle that knocks Show across the announce table then tees off on Show and rams him into the table and into the ringbell. Triple H shoves Show back in the ring and goes for a whip, Show reverses but lowers the head and Triple H hits the facebuster. Triple H comes off the ropes with a high knee but Show powers out of the cover.
Triple H tees off on Show but his blows have no effect and Show hits a headbutt. Show whips Triple H and hits a sidewalk slam but only gets a two count. Show whips Triple H into a powerslam for another near fall then hits the chokeslam and covers but Triple H gets his foot on the rope. Show climbs to the second rope and goes for an elbowdrop but misses and Triple H sets up for the Pedigree but Show counters with a backdrop. X-Pac starts coming down to ringside and the referee stops him but takes his eyes off the match. Show grabs Triple H by the throat but Triple H counters with a low blow followed by the Pedigree! Triple H covers and gets the 1..2..3 for the win and his third WWF Championship. (7:08) And thus ends Show’s unmemorable WWF title reign. Stephanie and the others come into the ring to congratulate the now-three time WWF Champion and as they celebrate fireworks go off while green and black balloons and confetti fall from the ceiling. Watchable match with Triple H doing some good bumping for Show though everyone knew Triple H was taking the title back here. **
~ Back from break we get a replay of Triple H’s title win and celebration.
Test & ?????? vs. The Big Bossman & Prince Albert – Handicap Match
As Test comes out they show what he has gone through at the hands of DX the past weeks. Test’s partners are announced as … The Fabulous Moolah and Mae Young. Naturally Test is not happy that he’s been screwed once again by Stephanie and Triple H as Moolah and Young come out with Mark Henry and Harvey Wippleman in tow. Bossman and Albert attack Test before the bell and whip him into a corner. Albert whips Bossman into Test but Test sidesteps it and clotheslines Albert. Test beats Bossman down in a corner and Mae manages to hit the Bronco Buster. Albert nails Test from behind and pulls Mae off while Bossman goes out and knocks down Moolah. Albert then holds Test while Bossman unloads on him, knocking off Test’s faceguard. Albert whips Test and holds him up while Bossman splashes him from behind. Test tries to fight back and hammers Albert in a corner. Bossman goes for a splash but Test moves and Bossman hits his partner. Test charges at Albert and runs into a boot, and Albert comes out but runs into a powerslam. Test climbs to the top rope but Bossman knocks him off with his nightstick and Albert then connects with a bicycle kick that gets the pin. (1:42) Total nothing of a match. Mark Henry runs in and pounds on Albert but Bossman takes him out with the nightstick. Harvey Wippleman then comes in but Albert dispatches him with ease. Test does manage to clothesline both men to send them out of the ring. DUD
~ Back from break we find DX still celebrating Triple H’s title win in their dressing room. Elsewhere The Big Show is shown leaving the arena without saying a word. JR says there will be another day for Show and this is only the beginning. Actually “another day” wouldn’t occur for Show for almost three years.
The Acolytes vs. The Mean Street Posse
I should mention the only match announced for the Royal Rumble so far is these guys getting a tag title shot. Bradshaw and Faarooq come out each with an arm tied behind their back when the Posse jumps them on the ramp. Faarooq manages to ram Pete Gas into the ringsteps while Rodney and Joey Abs roll Bradshaw into the ring. Bradshaw manages to fight off both Posse members when the Dudleys run in and that’s it for this match. (0:31) Bradshaw tries to fight everyone off when Bubba Ray nails him with a chair. Faarooq comes in but D’Von takes him out with a pipe and the Acolyes suffer a 5-on-2 beatdown. Bubba slams Faarooq to the mat and sets him up while D’Von comes off the top with the headbutt to the groin. The Dudleys then depart while the Posse whips the Acolytes with their leather belts. NR
~ We cut back to the DX celebration and find Stephanie wearing Triple H’s belt while The Outlaws, having seen the previous match, suggests the Dudleys get a bonus for their work.
~ Back from break Howard Finkel comes out to the stage and introduces a film DX produced called “Have a Bad Day”. Triple H plays an unemployment worker (H. Sacks) who interviews someone playing Mankind about what he can do. (“Mankind” was portrayed by Mideon, who does an almost-dead on impression) “Mankind” says he can jump off a cage into a table and take 37 chair shots to the head without any damage. Sacks tells “Mankind” he’s horrible and that Triple H did everyone a favor by getting rid of him. Sacks also tells “Mankind” he isn’t hardcore anymore, that he’s become a muppet for having a sock on his hand. “Mankind” begs for a job but Sacks orders him to leave before he beats him up as bad as Triple H did. Very funny segment.
Al Snow (w/Head) vs. Jeff Hardy (w/Matt Hardy & Terri Runnels) – Steel Cage Match
Now the DX Empire was trying to eliminate the Hardys and Snow stepped forward to do the job but failed to beat Jeff on Smackdown so this is the rematch. Snow comes out and nails Matt with Head as he heads in the ring. Snow then hammers Jeff through the ropes and slams the cage door into his head. Snow pulls Jeff down to the floor then grabs a chair and clobbers Jeff with it. Snow throws Jeff into the cage then grabs Terri and throws her in as well. Snow brings a chair into the ring and prevents Terri from escaping before pulling out a chain and locking the cage door shut trapping Terri in with Snow and Jeff. Jeff gets in some shots on Snow then goes for a whip and Snow reverses him into a corner but Jeff runs up the turnbuckles and connects with a moonsault. Jeff grabs the legs and hits a double legdrop in the chest then tries to help Terri out of the cage but can’t get the door open.
Snow nails Jeff from behind and stomps him down to the mat then tries to undo a turnbuckle pad, pausing to beat on Jeff some more. Snow goes for a whip, Jeff reverses him into a corner and charges but Snow catches him and drops him on the turnbuckle. Show throws Jeff into the cage and slams him to the mat then tries to wedge Jeff’s leg in the chair just like on Smackdown. However Terri manages to stop Snow by raking his back so Snow takes the chair and stares at Terri. Snow suddenly turns and whacks the cage Matt was trying to climb, nailing him in his hands. Jeff dropkicks the chair into Snow’s face then starts climbing up to the top. Jeff almost makes it over but Snow cuts him off and bulldogs him to the mat. Snow hits an overhead slam then jabs him with the chair repeatedly and throws him into the cage. Matt tries to climb the cage again but his hands are shot and he can’t get up there. Snow lays the boots to Jeff and whips him but Jeff ducks a clothesline and hits a spinning heel kick. Jeff starts fighting back and whips Snow into a backdrop then starts climbing the cage again. Snow stops Jeff and hammers him against the cage then scoops him up and lawndarts him into the cage. Snow scoops Jeff up again but Jeff slips out and shoves Snow into the cage. Snow is on all fours when Jeff springboards off him and up and out of the cage for the win. (6:46) Okay but unspectacular. Unfortunately Terri is now left alone at the mercy of Snow in the cage. Terri tries to climb out of the cage but Snow cuts off her escape. However Matt manages to climb into the cage and whacks Snow with the chair. The referees finally get the door unlocked and Matt helps Terri out of the cage while Snow is left frustrated and vowing that this isn’t over. *½
~ Howard Finkel then comes back out to the stage and introduces Part 2 of “Have a Bad Day”. This time we find Triple H as Dr. H. Lo of “W.C. Fields Childrens Hospital”. “Mankind” comes by and wants to entertain the children but Dr. Lo calls him a fat loser and refuses to let him in. Dr. Lo says “Mankind” can go entertain the kids if he has Triple H with him, otherwise he has to leave. “Mankind” takes offense until Dr. Lo chases him off with his kung fu, telling him not to come back without Triple H. Again very funny stuff.
~ Back from break we get a shot of “Mankind” by himself waiting to autograph his latest book, “I’ve Been Fired”.
~ They then show a replay of the Rock getting beaten down by DX earlier. We then cut backstage to find Gerald Briscoe and Pat Patterson expressing their concerns to Rock while telling him they’ll miss him when he’s fired. Rock takes exception to their comments and promises he isn’t going anywhere.
~ Elsewhere The Helmsleys are getting X-Pac and the Outlaws fired up about their match. Triple H reminds them of their objectives: beat the Rock down and get him fired.
~ In the arena Howard Finkel is back out on the stage to introduce Part 3 of “Have a Bad Day”. This time we find “Mankind” at the book signing we saw earlier with no one else in sight. Triple H (as B. Dalton) walks up and points out that no one has gotten a copy of his book. B. Dalton goes so far to say that “Mankind” has even caused his own people to leave. “Mankind” can’t explain why his new book is bombing when his first one “Have a Nice Day” did so well. Dalton explains this book doesn’t the McMahon-Helmsley promotional machine behind it and “Mankind” reluctantly agrees, saying he though the people would still love him despite being fired. Dalton tells “Mankind” he’s not very bright and he smells bad before firing him. “Mankind” pulls out a sock and looks for the Mandible Claw but Dalton throws him against the wall. “Mankind” is left laying while saying “Have a nice day.”
~ Back in the DX dressing room the Helmsleys are still conversing with the rest of DX about the match. Suddenly The Rock bursts in and gets in some shots on Billy Gunn before throwing Road Dogg against the wall and beating a quick retreat as we go to commercial.
~ Back from break we get a replay of The Rock’s sneak attack on DX.
The Rock vs. X-Pac & The New Age Outlaws – Handicap “You’re Fired” Match
Remember if The Rock loses he’s fired. After Rock does his entrance, Triple H gets on the mic and makes the match no-DQ. Triple H then sics his DX mates on Rock who takes it to all three men. Rock hammers X-Pac in a corner and caps off with a right hand but Billy comes in with a clothesline. Billy stomps Rock out of the ring then goes out and holds Rock for Road Dogg and X-Pac. Billy rams Rock into the announce table and X-Pac follows up with a chop. The DX’ers taker their turns getting their shots in on Rock and Billy goes for a whip but Rock counters into an eblow then throws Road Dogg into the steps. Rock then hammers X-Pac and crotches him into the ringpost. However Billy drops Rock on the apron and the Outlaws lay the boots to him. Billy drops Rock on the barricade then throws Rock back in the ring. Road Dogg hits the juke ‘n jive punches but Rock cuts off the big right with a clothesline. Billy goes for a whip but Rock reverses him into Road Dogg, knocking him off the apron. Rock pops Billy then goes after X-Pac but runs into a spinning heelkick for a two count.
X-Pac lays the boots to Rock, Billy follows up with a kneedrop and Road Dogg chokes Rock with his boot. Billy drapes Rock on the apron and clubs him in the chest twice and Rock rolls out to the floor where Road Dogg comes off the apron with a sledge. Road Dogg goes for a suplex but Rock counters with his own suplex on the floor, however X-Pac responds right away and beats Rock down before hitting a chop. Rock fights back but Billy rams him into the announce table and chokes him with his shin. Road Dogg rolls Rock in the ring and all three triple-team Rock in a corner. The Outlaws whip Rock into a corner but Rock ducks a clothesline and clotheslines Road Dogg. Rock DDT’s Billy, hits X-Pac with a Samoan Drop and plants Road Dogg with a spinebuster. Rock follows up with the People’s Elbow on Road Dogg and covers but Billy pulls the referee out. X-Pac nails Rock with a spinkick and Billy follows up with a Jackhammer then the Outlaws place Rock in a corner allowing X-Pac to hit the Bronco Buster. Road Dogg then tells his mates to hold Rock while he goes out and gets a chair. Suddenly Mick Foley jumps the rail from the crowd and blindsides Road Dogg then brings the chair into the ring and clobbers Billy and X-Pac with it. Triple H runs into the ring but he gets nailed with the chair as well. Foley then takes off back through the crowd as all four DX’ers are down. Rock and Billy get back to the their feet and Billy charges but runs into a Rock Bottom! Rock then covers and gets the 1..2..3 to save his job. (9:16) So not even three people could beat The Rock. Okay though predictable main event that still had a hot finish. Rock leaves the ring as JR screams about Mankind has saving The Rock’s rear end while Triple H is furious that Foley ruined his plans as Raw goes off the air. **½
Conclusion: This was an okay show, a decent way to start out 2000, but a little lacking. The matches themselves were nothing to write home about, plus a lot of the workhorses of the time were MIA, such as Edge, Christian, D’Lo Brown, Val Venis and others. At the same time the main angles were being set up nicely, with The Rock and Mick Foley stepping forward to challenge the DX Empire. Plus the “Have a Bad Day” skits were pretty funny. It’s a shame the Big Show’s title reign had to be killed dead like that without any quality challengers other than Triple H. (And no, the Big Bossman does not count.) All in all a solid episode but things would get way better in a hurry.