written by Adam King
WWF RAW IS WAR
Monday, February 28th, 2000
Live from Madison Square Garden in New York, NY
List of WWF Champions at the time:
WWF World Heavyweight Champion: Triple H (1/03/2000)
WWF Intercontinental Champion: Kurt Angle (2/27/2000)
WWF World Tag Team Champions: The Dudley Boyz (2/27/2000)
WWF European Champion: Kurt Angle (2/10/2000)
WWF Hardcore Champion: Crash Holly (2/24/2000)
WWF Women’s Champion: Jacqueline (2/03/2000)
WWF Light Heavyweight Champion: Essa Rios (2/13/2000)
~ Raw comes on the air and goes right to the intro with Jim Ross and Jerry “The King” Lawler welcoming us to the show.
~ Things kick off with The Helmsleys making their way to the ring but looking a little subdued for some reason. Triple H gets on the mic and says he should be basking in the glow of his victory last night but can’t seem to do it after he and Mick Foley just about destroyed each other, just like they did a month ago in this very arena. Triple H says Foley earned his respect the way the fans respect him and Stephanie is in shock at his attitude. Triple H says he put together a video package as a tribute to Foley’s career and has it shown on the TitanTron. The package starts off with some decent highlights of Mankind and Dude Love shown as sensitive music is playing. But then the DX theme kicks in and we’re treated to a video montage of the embarrassing moments in Foley’s career. Once the video finishes the Helmsleys laugh at their joke with Triple H saying the WWF will never be the same without Mick Foley , in fact it will be a million times better. Stephanie gets on the mic and says Foley can now be a fat, smelly retired loser thanks to the WWF Champion. Let me just say the heat for the Helmsleys is off the charts after that video; the crowd is rabid for blood.
Triple H and Stephanie embrace when Shane McMahon makes his way out to the ring along with the Big Show. Shane gets on the mic and says Stephanie may have driven Vince out of the WWF but he’s been biding his time waiting for the right time to return as well as the right individual to support. Shane says it’s not Triple H who has his own agenda and it’s not the self-righteous prima donna called The Rock. Shane says he’s aligned himself with a real champion in the Big Show who he says can snap a man’s back in two. The two sides then have a stare down when The Rock comes out to the stage to join the discussion with his own mic. Rock starts off by congratulating the quartet in the ring for being the biggest group of a******s he’s ever seen. Rock admits Show did beat him last night but guarantees he will still somehow go to Wrestlemania and be WWF Champion. Triple H responds by telling Rock this is an ‘A’ to ‘B’ conversation so he suggests he should ‘C’ his way out of it. Triple H further says the conversation involves the WWF Champion and #1 contender and doesn’t concern also-rans. Triple H tells Rock he had his chance last night but blew it so now he must start over at the bottom of the ladder then decides to get that ball rolling by booking him in a one-on-one match against … the Brooklyn Brawler. Triple H even imitates Rock’s catchphrase as Shane tells Rock he has no chance of ever headlining Wrestlemania.
~ Backstage The Hardys barge into the Acolytes’ office and demand an explanation for attacking them last night but Bradshaw and Faarooq tell them off. So the Hardys challenge them to a match tonight but that gets scoffed at. Matt and Jeff then decide tip over the poker table and take off with the Acolytes storming off after them.
~ Back from break we get a replay of the Hardys getting the Acolytes’ attention earlier to set up our opening match.
The Hardy Boyz vs. The Acolytes
As the Acolytes approach the ring Matt leaps over the ropes with a pescado but gets caught by them. Jeff then leaps over the ropes with his own plancha and that knocks the whole pile down on the floor. Matt knocks Bradshaw off the apron while Jeff trips up Faarooq and the Hardys hit their double leg drop. The Hardys come off the ropes but Bradshaw trips Jeff from the floor while Matt runs right into a spin buster form Faarooq. Bradshaw goes in the ring and helps Faarooq whip Matt into a double shoulder block then clubs him in the back. Bradshaw whips Matt into a boot and hits an elbow drop that gets a two count. Bradshaw sets Matt on the top rope but Matt manages to fight back and hit a tornado DDT. Matt makes the tag to Jeff but Bradshaw bowls Jeff over. Bradshaw whips Jeff but Jeff comes back with a flying forearm then goes for his own whip. Bradshaw reverses that and Jeff goes for a cross body but Bradshaw catches him and hits the fall away slam. Faarooq tags back in and covers Jeff for a two count then goes to scoop Jeff up but Jeff counters with a roll up for a near fall. Faarooq clotheslines Jeff then rams him into Bradshaw’s boot and pounds on him before tagging Bradshaw in. Bradshaw whips Jeff into a shoulder block then gets in a few shots on Matt and continues his beating on Jeff. Faarooq tags back in and sets up for the Dominator but Jeff slips out of it and drives Faarooq into the mat. Jeff starts crawling to his corner but Bradshaw tags in and knocks Matt off the apron to prevent any tags. Bradshaw then whips Jeff into a corner but Jeff runs up the ropes and back flips over Bradshaw while Matt makes a blind tag. Faarooq tosses Jeff through the ropes but Matt surprises Bradshaw with the Twist of Fate and gets the pin. (3:58) Okay match but the finish was a little too out of left field. **
~ Backstage we find Kurt Angle boring some backstage guy to death over which of his two title belts weighs more.
~ Back from break Kurt Angle hits the ring as JR mentions an open challenge Angle made for his European Title. Angle gets on the mic and says he’s not like Darryl Strawberry because all he’s addicted to is winning championships. Angle dares anyone to accept his bid for a European title match tonight and who should answer it but … Rikishi!
WWF European Title: Kurt Angle © vs. Rikishi Phatu
Rikishi gets in the first shots and drops Angle with a right hand then slams him to the mat and hits the leg drop. Angle crawls into a corner and Rikishi readies for the stink face but Angle prevents that with a chop block to his bad ankle. Angle hits another chop block and starts fighting back then comes off the ropes but runs right into a Samoan Drop. Rikishi follows up with the running butt splash in a corner and Angle slumps down and now gets the stink face. Angle rolls out to the floor reeling then decides that’s enough so he grabs his belts and starts walking off as the referee counts him out. (1:31) Angle grabs a mic and says the fans didn’t come here to see that when Chris Jericho comes out with Chyna and has words with Angle on the mic before attacking him. Jericho throws Angle back in the ring and Rikishi drills him with the sit-down piled river then drags him to a corner and follows up with the Banzai Drop. The Radicalz then charge in and go after Rikishi before bringing Jericho and Chyna in as well. Now Too Cool comes out to make the save and helps the three of them clear the Radicals out. Angle and the Radicalz retreat up the ramp and Too Cool keeps Rikishi from leaving so they can do the dance. The trio also invites Jericho and Chyna to join in as well and all five don shades and commence with the dance. The dancing was funny and the crowd really got into it but overall a pretty nothing segment. DUD
~ Back form break we get a replay of everyone getting involved in what was the European Title match. Backstage Michael Cole interviews Chris Jericho and Chyna about losing the Intercontinental Title last night when the Radicals appear on the scene while being held back by referees. Perry Saturn gets in Jericho’s face challenging him in a match tonight and Chyna accepts on Jericho’s behalf.
Edge & Christian vs. Al Snow (w/Head) & Steve Blackman
As E&C come out to the ring Terri Runnels makes her way out and joins the announcers for commentary then explains she turned on the Hardys last night because they only visited her in the hospital twice a week after everything she gave them. Snow then shows off an new TitanTron video he made for Blackman which is mainly shots of the stone-faced Blackman set to a barely-legal version of “Personality”. Naturally Blackman doesn’t appreciate it but nonetheless he and Snow go right to work on E&C with Blackman tossing Christian through the ropes. Snow hammers Edge in a corner then whips him into the opposite corner and charges at him but eats a boot. Edge hops to the middle rope and connects with a flying shoulder tackle then tags Christian in and both men whip Snow into a corner. Edge drops to the mat while Christian launches off him into the cross body. Christian goes for a whip and Snow reverses it but Christian counters into a Russian leg sweep for a two count. Christian goes for a whip but doesn’t see Blackman’s blind tag and Snow reverses it and hits a drop toehold. Snow and Blackman double-team Christian and Blackman follows up with a snap suplex and a head butt then gets upset by the “Head Cheese” chants from the crowd. Blackman climbs to the middle rope and hits an elbow drop for a two count. Blackman tags Snow in and snaps Christian’s neck on the ropes and Snow hits a bridge suplex for a near fall. Snow slams Christian to the mat and climbs to the top rope but Christian straddles him on the turnbuckle. Both men crawl to the corners and tag in their partners but Edge comes in with a dropkick on Blackman then follows up with a spinning heel kick. Edge catches Snow with a right hand and drills Blackman with a DDT but Snow breaks up the pin. Christian tosses Snow through the ropes then goes out to fight it out on the floor. Edge readies for a spear but Snow trips him from the floor and Blackman is able to connect with the pump kick. At that point Terri pulls a giant cheese hat out of a bag and slips it on getting Blackman’s attention. Christian climbs to the top rope and dropkicks Blackman right into a spear from Edge for the pin. (3:23) Decent enough match but not much else. Terri then walks off satisfied with her work while Edge and Christian don’t know what to make of it. **
~ Backstage we find the Rock pondering his fate as we go to commercial.
~ Back form break we get a look at the New York skyline and an exterior shot of Madison Square Garden.
The Rock vs. The Brooklyn Brawler
Rock meets Brawler on the ramp and pounds on him before tossing him into the ring to start the match. Brawler attacks Rock as he climbs in and works him over but Rock comes back and hits the Smackdown then quickly hits the Rock Bottom and that is all. (0:30) As if there was any doubt. NR
After the match Rock gets back on the mic and calls Triple H real cute for booking him against the Brawler and says he doesn’t feel like going back to his hotel room. Rock calls Triple H out to face him tonight and Triple H does appear with Stephanie trying to hold him back. However Shane and Big Show come out and stop them and Shane gets on the mic saying he’s seen this happen too many times and tells Triple H not to get goaded into putting his title on the line. Shane says Triple H won’t be defending his title tonight but will do so at Wrestlemania against The Big Show and Rock responds by saying if Wrestlemania is headlined by Triple H vs. The Big Show it will “absolutely suck”. After a huddle Stephanie offers Rock his last chance by facing Triple H and Show in a handicap match tonight and says if Rock can pin either man he’ll get his WWF Championship match at Wrestlemania back. However Triple H emphasizes if Rock fails to pin either himself or Show then there will be no more chances. Rock asks Triple H to confirm if it’s really his last chance but that sets him up for his “It doesn’t matter…” bit. Rock accepts the match and finishes by showing Triple H how his catchphrase is really done.
Chris Jericho (w/Chyna) vs. Perry Saturn (w/Dean Malenko)
Chyna is not participating in this match so why does she gets her own entrance to shoot off her bazooka? Both men exchange shots to start and Saturn gets the advantage and whips Jericho but eats a clothesline. Jericho wails on Saturn and chops him then goes for a whip but Saturn counters with an exploder suplex. Saturn hammers Jericho with shoulder blocks in a corner then slams him to the mat and hits a leg drop for two. Saturn chops Jericho in a corner and whips him into the opposite corner then charges at him but eats a boot. Jericho comes out but runs into a clothesline and Saturn goes for a whip but Jericho reverses him into a corner and follows up with the bulldog. Jericho whips Saturn, Saturn ducks a shot and goes for a Frankensteiner but Jericho counters it into a power bomb and holds on for a second power bomb. Jericho looks for the Lionsault but Malenko parts the ropes and Jericho slips through them to the floor where Malenko works him over. Chyna goes over but Malenko catches her with a clothesline and rolls her in the ring for whatever reason. Malenko distracts the referee while Saturn suplexes Chyna when Jericho pulls Malenko off the apron and clotheslines him. Jericho rolls back in the ring where Saturn works him over with a series of knee lifts. Saturn sets Jericho up for a suplex when Chyna comes in and breaks it up with a low blow. Jericho boots Saturn down then connects with the Lionsault to put this one away. (3:02) Started out like a good match but then took some hits from the interference. **½
~ Backstage we find the DX crew telling Billy Gunn why he can’t compete tonight after injuring his arm last night. Road Dogg tells Billy that X-Pac is replacing him in their tag team title rematch and asks him not take it so personally since it’s still DX bringing the titles back home. Billy feels he can still go despite his arm being in a sling when Triple H walks up to clear this up. Triple H mentions Edge & Christian are the #1 contenders but Road Dogg and X-Pac are getting the title shot regardless. Billy takes offense to that and responds by telling Triple H that even with one bad arm he’s still twice the wrestler he is. At that point Triple H drops Billy with a right hand and he, Road Dogg and X-Pac proceed to beat him down and throw him out the door, kicking him out of D-Generation X. And that would be the last we’d see of Billy Gunn for the next seven months.
~ Back from break we get a replay of Billy Gunn getting triple-teamed by his comrades and kicked out of DX.
WWF Hardcore Title: Crash Holly © vs. Mark Henry (w/Mae Young)
Crash starts off by grabbing Henry with a waistlock but Henry easily breaks it and pounds on him. Henry whips Crash but Crash bails out to the floor and tries to find something located near the ramp. Henry goes out and tries to ram Crash into the apron but Crash blocks it and pulls him into the ring post. Crash pulls a 2×4 from under the ring and hammers Henry with it then manages to roll him back into the ring. Crash goes for a whip but Henry reverses him into a corner and splashes him then tosses him across the ring. Henry readies Crash for the big splash but Mae comes into the ring and convinces him to let her do it instead. So Henry complies and Mae comes off the ropes with her own splash on Crash but then stars holding her chest. Henry and the referee quickly call for help and The Fabulous Mooolah leads a squad of EMTs out to the ring. Gerald Briscoe and Pat Patterson help get Mae loaded onto a stretcher and I guess that’s the match. (~2:45) Nothing to see here but we’re not done. DUD
~ Back form break we get a replay of Mae Young splashing Crash Holly but hurting herself in the process. We also get footage of Mae being stretchered out during the break as JR announces Mae is now in labor! Seven months early! We then see Mae being wheeled into a room backstage as an EMT tells everyone they won’t make it to the hospital. Folks, I won’t lie to you, it’s that segment coming up.
Tazz vs. Chris Benoit (w/Eddie Guerrero)
Both men lockup to start and Tazz forces Benoit into a corner but Benoit whips Tazz and hits an elbow. Benoit hits a snap suplex followed by an elbow drop for a two count as we get a nice “ECW” chant from the crowd. Benoit goes for a whip, Tazz reverses him into a corner and eats a boot but still hits an overhead Tazplex. Tazz covers Benoit but Eddie distracts referee Tim White from making the count enabling Benoit to come back. Benoit goes for a whip and Tazz counters into a whiplash slam then covers him but again Eddie distracts White. Eddie jabs White in the chest but White shoves Eddie off the apron in response and ejects him from ringside. In the ring Tazz whips Benoit but Benoit fakes him out and pounds him down then hits a German suplex. Benoit holds on for a second German then goes for a third but Tazz counters it and slaps on the Tazzmission. But here comes the Big Bossman and Prince Albert into the ring and there’s another match ruined. (2:02) Even without the run-in still a disappointing match considering who was involved. Tazz tries to fight off Bossman and Albert but Benoit comes up and plants Tazz with a third German suplex. Benoit then leaves Tazz to the wolves but Tazz starts fighting back and even gets the Tazzmission on Bossman. However Albert breaks it up and works over Tazz while Bossman goes out and brings a chair into the ring. Tazz kicks Bossman but Albert hits the choke bomb followed by the torture rack slam right onto the chair. Bossman gets on the mic and badmouths “NYC’s hometown boy” then leaves him with some parting words. And Tazz’s burial continues. *
~ Backstage we find Mae lying on a table as Moolah, Briscoe, Patterson and the others wait the big moment. Mae asks for a cigar before she gives birth and … you know what, I can’t finish recapping this segment so I’ll spare you the details and skip right to the punch line: Mae Young gives birth to a hand! A ****-ing hand! The angle was bad enough but the payoff is beyond horrible. This has to be one of the worst segments ever done on Raw, up there with Katie Vick, the Divas Search and whatever else we we’re trying to purge from our memories.
WWF World Tag Team Titles: The Dudley Boyz © vs. Road Dogg & X-Pac (w/Tori)
The Dudleys come out with their newly won titles and set up a pair of tables on both sides of the ring. The DX’ers rush the ring and pair off with Road Dogg hammering Bubba and D’Von battling X-Pac. X-Pac goes for a whip but D’Von reverses it and hits a forearm that sends X-Pac rolling out to the floor. Bubba goes to whip Road Dogg who reverses it but the Dudleys come back with a double neck breaker. Bubba drops Road Dogg with a right hand and follows up with a suplex then turns and pops X-Pac off the apron. Bubba sets Road Dogg up for the head butt to the groin but D’Von doesn’t climb to the top for some reason so Bubba just punches Road Dogg below the belt. D’Von tags in and whips Road Dogg, hitting the jumping elbow. D’Von snap mares Road Dogg to the mat and applies a head vice but Road Dogg is able to fight out of it. Road Dogg comes off the ropes going for a Sunset Flip and D’Von fights it but gets turned over for a near fall. D’Von clotheslines Road Dogg before Bubba tags in and slams Road Dogg then hits a series of elbow drops for a two count. Bubba chops Road Dogg in a corner and Road Dogg starts chopping him back but Bubba jabs the eye to stop that. Bubba whips Road Dogg but Road Dogg comes back with the juke ‘n jive punches then readies for the big right and nails D’Von with it. That allows Bubba to clothesline Road Dogg down and Bubba whips him into a corner but eats a boot. Road Dogg comes out of there with a clothesline then X-Pac tags in and nails both Dudleys with spin kicks. Bubba nails X-Pac and whips him into a corner and charges but X-Pac sidesteps him then kicks him down and follows that up with the Bronco Buster. At that point Kane decides to make his way out to the ring with Paul Bearer and goes right after X-Pac. X-Pac slips away while Road Dogg tries to head Kane off but ends up getting choke slammed for his troubles. D’Von takes issue with the intrusion and pops Kane but Kane shrugs it off and choke slams D’Von in response. Kane then turns and plants Bubba with a choke slam as well. Kane sees the DX’ers retreating up the ramp and continues to chase after them to the back. (~5:20) Yep, our third non-finish in a row. This was actually shaping up as a decent match too. **
~ Back from break we get another look at the New York skyline.
~ We then find Triple H, Big Show and the McMahon siblings talking strategy for the handicap match later. Triple H and Show agree The Rock is their common foe so they forge an uneasy alliance for tonight.
~ JR and Lawler then introduce a tribute video for the retired Mick Foley, a serious one this time. It’s an well-done look back at Foley’s career with a montage of clips set to “I Will Remember You”. Granted it had as much impact as the Shawn Michaels “Tell Me A Lie” video but it’s still pretty good regardless.
~ The Rock is shown heading to the ring for his last chance to main-event Wrestlemania as we go to commercial.
~ The Wrestlemania 2000 countdown shows we’re just 5 weeks away. Mark your calendars, folks!
The Rock vs. Triple H (w/Stephanie McMahon) & The Big Show (w/Shane McMahon) – Handicap Match
Remember The Rock must pin either man to get back his spot in the Wrestlemania main event or else he blows his last chance. Show and Triple H argue on who should start and Triple H makes the decision by charging right at Rock but Rock quickly gets the advantage and hits the Smackdown. Triple H rams Rock into a turnbuckle then goes for a whip but Rock reverses him into a corner and connects with an elbow followed by a right hand. Rock whips Triple H who flips over the ropes then goes and pops Show off the apron as well. Rock goes out and rams Triple H into the steps then fights him up the ramp but Show nails Rock from behind. Show brings Rock back to ringside when Rock rams him into the apron but Show rams Rock into the barricade. Show throws Rock back in the ring when Triple H rolls in but Rock comes out of a corner with a forearm. Triple H comes back with a neck breaker then tags Show in and Show hits a backbreaker followed by a leg drop. Triple H tags back in and stomps Rock down in a corner then chokes him as Earl Hebner orders a break but Triple H refuses so Hebner pulls him off Rock. Triple H tags Show back in before hitting a vertical suplex. Show follows up with an elbow drop and a head butt before tagging Triple H in and chopping Rock in a corner. Rock starts fighting back and comes off the ropes but Triple H tosses him over the ropes. Show goes out and knocks Rock back in the ring then Triple H whips Rock into the high knee for a two count. Show tags in and clubs Rock in the back then tags Triple H in but Rock exchanges punches with him and gets the advantage. Rock goes for a whip, Triple H reverses but Rock comes back with a neck breaker. Rock whips Triple H but he lowers the head and Triple H hits the face buster then tags Show in to take over. Show and Triple H get in their shots and Show goes for a clothesline but Rock ducks and Triple H takes the hit. Rock DDT’s Show and all three men are down but Rock and Triple H get to their feet and Rock is quickly on him. Rock goes for a whip, Triple H reverses him into a corner but Rock comes out and hits the spine buster. Rock clotheslines Show over the ropes when Shane gets his attention on the apron so Rock pops him back off. Rock plants Triple H with the Rock Bottom then follows up with the People’s Elbow and actually hits it! Rock covers Triple H but Shane runs in to break up the pin and Hebner is forced to call for the bell. (6:53) Rock gets the DQ win but since he did not get a pin fall victory he fails to get his Wrestlemania championship match back. Rock glares at Shane for costing him his main event spot then turns and catches Triple H with a right hand. However Shane low blows Rock and clotheslines him and Triple H tees off on Rock to continue the assault. Show choke slams Rock then taunts him that he’s going to Wrestlemania and the Rock is going nowhere as Raw fades to black. **½
Conclusion: Well I’d have to say that this was a bad show, not the way to start the build toward the biggest pay-per-view of the year. The first hour wasn’t that bad but then the horrible Mae Young segments just killed the show and you knew nothing was going to make up for it. Also the last four matches all had non-finishes and the main event was nice but couldn’t salvage the program. All it did was ensure that we’re going to spend the next few weeks watching The Rock trying to get his title shot back. So a big thumbs down for this program, and let’s just say the road to Wrestlemania is going to be a very bumpy ride.