Written by Adam King
WWF RAW IS WAR
Monday, January 17th, 2000
Live from the New Haven Coliseum in New Haven, CT
List of WWF Champions at the time:
WWF World Heavyweight Champion: Triple H (1/03/2000)
WWF Intercontinental Co-Champions: Chris Jericho & Chyna (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 with the Martin Luther King tribute they showed in previous years. We then get an announcement that tonight will have an update on Stone Cold Steve Austin’s spinal surgery. After that we get a recap of Mankind’s transformation into Cactus Jack on Smackdown before the intro. Finally Jim Ross welcomes us to the show along with Jerry “The King” Lawler.
~ Things kick off with Cactus Jack coming out to the ring to a good ovation and getting on the mic. Cactus starts off by congratulating Triple H for doing something he thought couldn’t be done: make Mankind mad. Cactus asks why Triple H would do that when Mankind was friendly, funny and downright huggable. Cactus tells Triple H that deep down inside Mankind’s soul was a sick person waiting to be woken up and when Triple H cracked him in the head with the ring bell last week that woke him up. Cactus adds he liked feeling his blood running down his face because it reminded him who he really was. Cactus tells Triple H he should remember Cactus Jack and even has a reminder for him. Cactus turns to the TitanTron and shows his WWF “debut” against Triple H from Raw in September 1997 in Madison Square Garden, saying that hardcore match was a little inking of what he’s going to do to him in the street fight. Cactus mentions he took a lot of beatings lately and no normal man should be walking around after that punishment, but he’s not a normal man and therein lies the secret. Cactus says he spent last year worrying about not being the man he used to be, yet the fans forgave him. Cactus says Mankind will one day return to make everyone laugh but there will be no laughter this Sunday. He’ll be better than the man he used to be and regrets nothing that made him who he is. Cactus adds once he suits up at the Royal Rumble it’s a change in mindset that says he will not be denied. Cactus says he can’t wait for his WWF Championship title shot and wants a piece of Triple H right away so he throws out a challenge to face him.
Triple H does come out to the stage and gets on his own mic saying he’s thought about nothing else but Cactus for four days. Triple H mentions their street fight for the WWF Championship, saying that match was made under duress, but regardless it shall be them pulling out all the stops for the title. Triple H then tells Cactus as sadistic as he his, he will reach down and be that much more twisted and evil. Triple H says he has a secret to share: as sadistic as Cactus is, Mick Foley hates his guts and may even be afraid of him. Triple H explains that every time Cactus his crippled and maimed someone, Mick Foley dies a little inside. Triple H says unlike Foley, when he gets that sick and sadistic he loves every second of it. Triple H tells Cactus what he’s bringing to the Rumble will be more than he can handle so he should be afraid. Cactus tells Triple H that’s real good but again challenges him to go at it right now. Triple H accepts the challenge and starts down but stops, saying he wants to invite a few more guests. On that note the New Age Outlaws and X-Pac make their way out and Cactus tries to meet all of them at ringside but the DX’ers swarm all over him and throw him back in the ring for a 4-on-1 beat down. The Rock comes out to make the save but the Big Show follows him and pulls him out of the ring. Show head butts Rock down and throws him into the ring post, sending him over the barricade. Show then climbs in and starts attacking the DX’ers with head butts while Cactus fights with Triple H. The Acolytes then join the fray and everyone quickly clears the ring of Triple H and company. Show and the Acolytes brawl with the other DX’ers through the crowd while Cactus is left standing in the ring.
~ Back from break we get a replay of DX’s attempted beat down of Cactus Jack and everyone else getting involved.
WWF Hardcore Title: The Big Bossman © vs. Test
I believe this is the first time Bossman has actually defended his title in almost two months. As Bossman comes out they show his partnership with Albert breaking down on Smackdown. Test comes out next but his entrance gets interrupted by the orange glow. Bossman goes to meet Test at ringside with the nightstick but Test throws him into the ring post then grabs the nightstick and straddles Bossman on it. Both men go over the barricade and brawl their way under the seats where Bossman wears Test out with a stick. Eventually the two emerge through a tunnel to the backstage area and Bossman rams Test into a wall. Bossman pops Test with brass knuckles and throws him into a timecard board, busting Test’s nose again. Bossman throws Test into a restroom and Test rams him into the stalls but comments on the smell. That allows Bossman to fight back and the two battle into a storage room. Bossman throws Test into a wooden crate then tries choking him with a garage door for a two count. Test fights back and chokes Bossman with his own wrist tape as the two make their way back to ringside. Bossman regains the advantage and nails Test with a trash can, knocking him back over the barricade. Bossman then turns and catches Prince Albert coming out, nailing him with the can. Bossman rolls Test in the ring and covers him with his feet on the ropes but only gets a two count. Bossman grabs the nightstick when Albert comes in and pops Bossman and the two of them start going at it. Test grabs the nightstick and clocks Bossman with it then takes Albert out with it as well. Test finally climbs to the top and hits the flying elbow with the nightstick that gets the three and the title. (4:15) Nothing much outside the usual spots but they finally got the title off Bossman who was doing next to nothing with it. Incidentally this would end the Bossman’s last title reign of any kind. *
~ Backstage Triple H and the rest of DX try to regroup from their thwarted ambush earlier tonight with Stephanie tells them this isn’t last week and that everyone will respect them. Triple H decides to make some matches and first tells the Outlaws they have The Rock and The Big Show, that is if they don’t fight each other first. Triple H then tells X-Pac they will team up against the Acolytes and X-Pac protests until The Helmsleys ask X-Pac to trust them.
~ Backstage we find Terri getting ready in front of a mirror as we go to commercial.
~ Back from break we get a replay of Test winning the Hardcore Title from the Big Bossman. Jonathan Coachman then interviews Bossman from backstage about the loss and Bossman says Prince Albert stuck his nose in his business and nobody does that then vows revenge against him tonight and storms off.
The Godfather & D’Lo Brown (w/ladies) vs. Edge & Christian
By this time D’Lo was now fully dressed like The Godfather. JR also reminds us of Edge’s engagement to Val Venis’s sister. D’Lo locks up with Christian to start and gets in the first shots then whips Christian into a corner but Christian lifts himself up and over D’Lo. Christian then whips D’Lo into the opposite corner and goes for a clothesline but D’Lo blocks it while Christian blocks a neck breaker. Christian whips D’Lo and hits a hip toss followed by a dropkick then tags in Edge. Edge goes for a whip and D’Lo reverses it but Edge hits a spinning heel kick. Edge hits a clothesline then goes for a whip but D’Lo counters with a knee. Godfather tags in and whips Edge and Edge blocks a hip toss but Godfather clotheslines him down. Godfather stomps Edge down then whips him into a boot and hits a pair of elbow drops for a near fall. Godfather shoves Edge into his corner and tags in D’Lo for some double-teaming. D’Lo pops Edge then whips him but Edge comes back with a Thesz press for a two count. Godfather tags back in and slams Edge to the mat then climbs to the middle rope and goes for a big splash but Edge gets the knees up to block it. Both men tag their partners and Christian hits an Atomic Drop on D’Lo then comes off the ropes with a clothesline for a two count. Christian whips D’Lo into a backdrop and Godfather comes in but Edge pounds on him. E&C whip Godfather and Edge hits a spear when one of the Godfather’s ladies hops on the apron. Christian goes for a whip but D’Lo reverses and sends him into that lady, knocking her to the floor. Edge goes over the check on her while D’Lo whips Christian but Christian dropkicks him away. Christian looks over to his corner for a tag but doesn’t find Edge there then turns back but D’Lo hits the Sky High for the win. (3:52) Solid match for the most part. Godfather and D’Lo celebrate while Edge realizes what just happened. Godfather then gets on the mic and shows they’re not player haters by offering E&C their ladies. Edge tries to protest saying he’s engaged but the ladies don’t care as they lead him up the ramp while Christian is left in the ring giving Edge a funny look. I still don’t believe this went anywhere, though. **
~ We find Michael Cole in San Antonio about to file his report on Steve Austin’s surgery later tonight.
~ We then cut back and find Bossman beating down Albert in a hallway and ramming him into several objects. Bossman then shoves Albert into a dressing room, where Tori just happens to be, and Albert tries to run away knowing what usually happens when Tori’s around, just like the rest of us.
~ Back from break Kurt Angle comes out to the ring for a match against a surprise opponent as JR mentions Angle will also face a mystery opponent at the Royal Rumble. Backstage the Helmsleys are watching on a monitor, with Triple H telling Stephanie he has a surprise for her. Suddenly Tori bursts in stammering about Albert and Stephanie wastes no time making Albert vs. Kane tonight. Back in the ring Angle gets on the mic and talks about his mystery opponent tonight saying he’s confident he’ll come out on top because he knows everyone like the back of his hand and he also has his three ‘I’s. Angle’s opponent turns out to be … Steve Blackman, and Stephanie is not happy with this in the back. Triple H smiles, feeling surely this is where Angle’s unbeaten streak will finally end.
Kurt Angle vs. Steve Blackman
Angle works Blackman over in a corner to start then goes for a whip but misses a clothesline. Blackman hits a kick followed by a shot to the throat then boots Angle down. Blackman goes for a whip, Angle reverses it, Blackman slides under him but misses a roundhouse kick and Angle hits a belly-to-belly suplex. Angle hammers Blackman in a corner and chokes him with his boot. Angle goes for a slam, Blackman fights him off and comes off the ropes but both men clothesline each other. Both men exchange punches and Blackman ducks a right hand and comes off the ropes with a shoulder block. Blackman clotheslines Angle over the ropes to the floor then goes out and hits a chop. Blackman goes for a whip but Angle reverses and sends Blackman into the ring post. Angle gets the referee’s attention when The British Bulldog (!) runs out to ringside. I had forgotten The British Bulldog was still in the WWF in early 2000. The Bulldog grabs Blackman’s kendo stick and lays Blackman out with it on the apron. Blackman stumbles back in the ring and Angle covers for the three to continue the streak. (2:18) Nothing of real note here other than Bulldog reminding everyone he’s still around. Angle celebrates the win as Bulldog looks on from the floor while Stephanie gloats backstage about Angle still being undefeated with Triple H less than thrilled. *½
~ Backstage Jonathan Coachman interviews The Big Show about teaming with The Rock again. Show starts off by reminding us he doesn’t like The Rock and that what happened on Smackdown was the result of Rock calling everyone a jabroni. Show says it was personal against the Rock and nothing against the fans who he still respects. Show says he wants a good rapport with the fans and hopes they understand his issue with the Rock. Show again promises to win the Royal Rumble and regain his WWF Championship at Wrestlemania. Show says tonight he’s going to take care of the Outlaws and tells Rock to stay out of his way. It’s a shame that the fans at the time felt if you’re against Rock for any reason you must be a heel.
~ Back from break Jerry Lawler and most of the WWF women have gathered in the ring. JR announces there will be a “Miss Royal Rumble” swimsuit competition at the pay-per-view and begins to asks each of the women their thoughts on the competition. Terri says she’s going to top her recent Raw magazine spread by showing less is more. The Kat says she doesn’t need any strategy, bringing up her win at Armageddon. Ivory calls everyone perverts and says there’s no way she’ll participate in such a contest. Jackie and Luna tell Ivory if they all have to do it so does she before they attack her. Everyone starts going at it as the referees try to restore order when Mae Young comes out to the ring. Mae says she’s going to give everyone what they want and starts to disrobe, much to everyone’s dismay. Fortunately Mark Henry, Harvey Whippleman and the Fabulous Moolah quickly come out to cover Mae up. JR wraps up the segment by saying “Buyer Beware.” I shudder to think what that means.
~ The Acolytes and DX are shown walking to the ring for the tag match as we go to commercial.
Triple H & X-Pac (w/Stephanie McMahon) vs. The Acolytes
Once again Stephanie joins the announcers for her annoying commentary. The DX’ers attack the Acolytes as they slide in the ring but Faarooq and Bradshaw get the upper hand. Faarooq throws X-Pac through the ropes to the floor while Bradshaw whips Triple H into a boot then clotheslines him over the ropes to the floor. Bradshaw goes out and rams Triple H into the ring steps and brawls with him into the crowd. X-Pac and Faarooq are going at it on the other side but X-Pac rams Faarooq into the steps. Triple H and Bradshaw make their way back to ringside and Triple H rams Bradshaw into the apron but Bradshaw comes back and rams Triple H into the guardrail. In the ring X-Pac chokes Faarooq with his shirt and stomps him down in a corner while Bradshaw slams Triple H onto the stage. X-Pac goes for a Bronco Buster but Bradshaw makes it back in and cuts him off. The Acolytes double-team X-Pac just like he was worried about as Triple H makes his way back to the ring. Faarooq whips X-Pac into a corner and charges but X-Pac sidesteps him and kicks him down in the corner. X-Pac whips Faarooq and goes through his moves but Faarooq stops that with a clothesline. Faarooq rams X-Pac into Bradshaw’s boot before tagging him in and Bradshaw whips X-Pac into a corner but X-Pac sidesteps him and kicks him down as well. X-Pac goes for a whip, Bradshaw reverses and X-Pac goes for the spinning heel kick but Bradshaw catches him and sets him on the top rope. Bradshaw goes for a superplex but Triple H breaks it up and Bradshaw falls to the mat. X-Pac dives off with a cross body but Bradshaw catches him into the fall away slam. Bradshaw goes for the Clothesline from Hades but X-Pac ducks it and hits a spin kick. Triple H and Faarooq both tag in and Faarooq pounds on Triple H then whips him but lowers the head and Triple H hits the Face buster. Triple H comes off the ropes but runs into a spine buster. X-Pac comes in but so does Bradshaw who hits the Clothesline from Hades. The Outlaws suddenly run into the ring and there’s the bell from the referee. (3:57) The Acolytes try to hold their own but soon suffer a 4-on-2 beat down. The Outlaws each grab their tag title bets and whack an Acolyte with them. Billy Gunn then drives Bradshaw into one of the belts with the Rocker Dropper while Road Dogg places his belt over Faarooq’s face and hits the shake, rattle ‘n knee drop on it. Triple H caps off with a knee drop to Bradshaw’s groin and DX leaves the Acolytes laying, just like they always seem to do. **
~ We now get the report Michael Cole filed about Steve Austin’s surgery from San Antonio earlier today. Cole reports Austin’s surgery was successful and that his surgeon, Dr. Lloyd Youngblood, says everything went well. Youngblood comes in and reports the problem was bone spurs that were pressing on his spinal cord. Youngblood says the procedure took 2½ to 3 hours due to Austin’s muscular condition but Austin was stable was the whole time and was able to walk around after the surgery. Youngblood is optimistic that Austin can return to the ring, saying it could take 3-12 months.
~ We then find the Rock, who seems to have been watching the report with great interest. JR says we’ll hear from The Rock later on as we go to commercial.
~ Back from break we get a shot of DX congratulating themselves on a job well done as we get a replay of them laying out the Acolytes. Triple H says he’s glad Austin’s surgery went well but he’ll end up like the Acolytes if he comes back. Road Dogg adds The Rock and Big Show can’t co-exist but they can get beaten by the Outlaws.
~ Elsewhere Kevin Kelly interviews The Rock on the main event tonight. Rock starts with his “Finally…” bit then congratulates Steve Austin on his successful neck surgery. Rock says Austin is now free to go hunting, to go fishing, and to return to the WWF to beat people up. Kevin then asks Rock about his issues with the Big Show, especially with calling him a jabronie. Rock says Show isn’t a jabronie; instead he’s a big 500-pound pile of monkey stuff. Rock says he did call Show a jabronie along with twenty others, even spelling it out for him. Rock guarantees he’s going to win the Royal Rumble and go on to Wrestlemania. Rock mentions they’re teaming up again tonight, saying he doesn’t need or want Show as a partner. Rock then pokes fun at Show before wrapping up with his “If ya smell…” finish.
~ Back from break we find Chris Jericho preparing for an Intercontinental Title defense later. JR mentions Jericho, Chyna and Hardcore Holly will square off for the IC Title at the Royal Rumble after Hardcore challenged Jericho and Chyna the previous night on Heat since he had pinfalls over both co-champions. Thus JR and Lawler question why Jericho is defending the title tonight.
Jeff Hardy (w/Matt Hardy & Terri Runnels) vs. Bubba Ray Dudley (w/D’Von Dudley)
Bubba rushes the ring and goes right to work on Jeff then whips him into a corner but Jeff runs up the turnbuckles and hits an early Whisper in the Wind. Jeff applies a headlock and manages to turn it into a tornado bulldog for a two count. Bubba bails to the floor to regroup but Jeff launches himself over the ropes and hits a plancha on Bubba. Jeff chokes Bubba with his shirt then rolls him back in the ring and goes for a whip. Bubba reverses but lowers the head and Jeff kicks the face. Jeff comes off the ropes and goes for a huricanrana but Bubba counters with a power bomb. Bubba chops Jeff in a corner then whips him into a backdrop and pops him with a right hand. Bubba then whips Jeff into a corner but Jeff lifts himself up and hits the head scissors. Jeff comes off the ropes but runs right into a full nelson bomb when Terri hops onto the apron. D’Von pulls Terri off prompting Matt to attack D’Von and whip him into the steps. Matt charges at D’Von but gets dropped on the barricade. Bubba slams Jeff to the mat then hops to the middle rope but misses a senton. Jeff hits a neck breaker then climbs to the top and hits a senton bomb for the pin. (2:46) However D’Von comes in and stomps down Jeff then whips him into a 3D and Matt comes in but gets hit with the 3D as well. Bubba then slides a table into the ring and the Dudleys set the table up and place Jeff onto it while Bubba hops to the middle rope. D’Von hands Matt over to Bubba and Bubba super bombs Matt through Jeff and the table! Bubba then goes into a trance before he and D’Von leave the Hardys laying in the ring. Solid match and the Dudleys are almost there in terms of overness. **
~ Backstage Hardcore Holly is talking to Crash about Jericho’s Intercontinental title defense against Rikishi. Hardcore can’t figure out why Jericho is defending the title when he has the three-way match at the pay-per-view. Hardcore then asks why he’s talking with Crash when he doesn’t know anything.
~ Elsewhere Chyna asks The Kat the same question about Jericho defending the title tonight. Chyna feels Jericho is going to lose the title for both of them and Kat feels Rikishi will destroy him. Chyna says Jericho’s ego is getting as large as Rikishi’s rear end.
~ Speaking of which we get a shot of Rikishi hitting the Banzai Drop on Rodney last night on Heat as we go to commercial.
~ Back from break JR and Lawler hype the Halftime Heat special that will be shown during halftime of the Super Bowl on January 30th.
WWF Intercontinental Title: Chris Jericho © vs. Rikishi Phatu
Rikishi comes out to the stage with Too Cool but sends them back to the locker-room. Jericho comes out with a mic and addresses Chyna and Hardcore’s questions on why he’s doing this, saying that’s what honorable and legendary champions do and that he’s the undisputed champion. Jericho offers to show Rikishi some of his patented dance moves but decides to destroy him instead. Rikishi gets in the first shots then whips Jericho into a corner but eats a double boot. Jericho hops to the middle rope and connects with a missile dropkick. Jericho comes off the ropes but runs into a Samoan Drop and rolls out to the floor. Rikishi goes out and rams Jericho into the ring steps twice then rolls him back in the ring. Rikishi starts to head back in himself when Jericho nails him with a springboard dropkick. Jericho slings himself over the ropes into a pescado but Rikishi catches him and rams him into the ring post. Rikishi rolls Jericho back in and slams him to the mat then hits a big leg drop for a two count. Rikishi whips Jericho into the ropes but misses a clothesline and Jericho goes for a forearm but Rikishi ducks and Jericho accidentally takes out the referee. Rikishi plants Jericho with a belly-to-belly suplex then goes to set him up for the Banzai Drop. Hardcore Holly runs into the ring with Crash but Rikishi takes them both out with Samoan Drops. Jericho goes for a whip but Rikishi reverses and connects with a super kick. Rikishi scoops Jericho up for the sit-down piledriver when Chyna runs in and low blows him. Chyna berates Jericho for putting the title on the line when Rikishi clotheslines both of them. Rikishi then plants Chyna with a belly-to-belly suplex and sets her up for the Banzai Drop then starts climbing up when Hardcore nails him with a chair, drawing a DQ to save his title shot. (3:26) Fun match until it disintegrated. The Kat pulls Chyna out of the ring while Hardcore hammers Rikishi with the chair. Too Cool runs out to make the save, passing by Jericho who just walks out with the title belt. Rikishi’s pals take care of the Hollys and even whip Hardcore into the chair. Scotty 2 Hotty and Grandmaster Sexay then whip Crash into Rikishi’s sit-down piledriver. Too Cool and Rikishi commence with their post match dance even though Rikishi didn’t win the title. *½
~ We get a replay of Bossman attacking Albert earlier and setting him up for a match with Kane. JR mentions that match is next as we go to commercial.
~ Backstage Cactus Jack is trying to convince Big Show to work things out with The Rock, saying he’s had problems with Rock in the past as well but they need to work together against DX. Show politely thanks Cactus for the advice but says he’s not going to have anybody calling him a jabroni.
Kane (w/Tori) vs. Prince Albert
Albert charges in the ring but Kane easily beats him down. Kane goes for a whip and lowers the head and Albert kicks him but Kane no-sells it and hits a clothesline. Kane hammers Albert in a corner then whips him into the opposite corner and charges but eats an elbow. We then get a shot of the Big Bossman watching and enjoying this match from the back as Albert hits an uppercut followed by a bicycle kick but Kane pops right up. Albert clotheslines Kane over ropes but Kane lands on his feet on the floor and snaps Albert’s neck on the top rope. Kane climbs to the top and hits the flying clothesline then follows up with the choke slam despite Albert’s efforts and gets the three in a squash. (1:17) Kane and Tori start to walk off when Albert gets on the mic and accuses Kane of being dominated by a female, just as he is. Huh? DUD
~ Backstage Cactus Jack now tries to convince Rock to make nice with The Big Show. Cactus tells Rock that DX attacks in a pack and he needs to work together with Show to survive. Rock says he will work with Show no problem before he walks off as we go to commercial.
The Rock & The Big Show vs. The New Age Outlaws © – Non-Title Match
The Outlaws come out first and do their usual spiel before The Rock and Show make their entrances. However Rock starts attacking his own partner, knocking him over the ropes with the Smackdown. Rock continues working over Show as the Outlaws calmly watch in their corner. The Outlaws then attack Rock from behind and double-team him as we look over and see X-Pac and the Helmselys watching from the stage. Road Dogg pops Rock with a right hand and Billy snaps his neck on the top rope while Show is standing on the floor with his arms folded watching the proceedings. Billy whips Rock but misses a clothesline and Rock hits a neck breaker for a two count. Billy knocks Rock down and chokes him on the mat as Show applauds Rock. Rock rolls out to the floor and Road Dogg nails him from behind. Billy whips Rock who manages a clothesline on Road Dogg and Rock tees off on Billy. Rock throws Billy into the ring post but Road Dogg rams him into the steps. Road Dogg throws Rock back in the ring and covers him for a two count. Road Dogg hits the juke ‘n’ jive punches but runs into a Rock Bottom. Billy breaks up the pin and tags in while Show still refuses to get on the apron. Billy gets in some shots and hits the Jackhammer but only gets two. Billy goes for a whip but Rock counters into a spine buster and both men are down. Rock comes off the ropes but Billy throws him over the ropes on the other side and Show head butts Rock before throwing him back in the ring. Road Dogg tags in and sets Rock up for a pump handle slam while Billy looks for the Rocker Dropper. However Rock kick Road Dogg below the belt then catches Billy into a slam. Show then pulls Rock out to the floor and slaps him then goes in and takes over on the Outlaws, although I don’t see how this is a legal tag. Show head butts both Outlaws then knocks their heads together. Show whips Road Dogg into a boot then whips Billy into a power slam. Road Dogg grabs a chair and tries to bring it into the ring but the referee stops him. Rock then brings his own chair into the ring and whacks Show in the head with it then rolls back out as Billy covers Show for the three. (6:10) Okay main event but I don’t see why Rock hitting his own partner with a chair still makes him a face. Oh, yeah, because he’s The Rock. The Outlaws celebrate as the Helmsleys and X-Pac applaud their comrades. Rock goes back into the ring and drops the People’s Elbow on Show then glares back at the applauding DX’ers as the show goes off the air. **
Conclusion: Good show this week that did a nice job of fleshing out the Royal Rumble card. The matches were decent and the angles were progressing nicely, though I didn’t like the way Big Show was turned heel without really doing anything wrong, yet Rock can get away with anything in 2000. Anyway, another solid edition of Raw.