Written by Adam King
WWF RAW IS WAR
Monday, April 3rd, 2000
Live from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA
List of WWF Champions at the time:
WWF World Heavyweight Champion: Triple H (1/03/2000)
WWF Intercontinental Champion: Chris Benoit (4/02/2000)
WWF World Tag Team Champions: Edge & Christian (4/02/2000)
WWF European Champion: Chris Jericho (4/02/2000)
WWF Hardcore Champion: Hardcore Holly (4/02/2000)
WWF Women’s Champion: Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley (3/30/2000)
WWF Light Heavyweight Champion: Dean Malenko (3/13/2000)
~ Raw comes on the air and goes right to the intro without any clips or stills from last night’s pay-per-view. After that Jim Ross and Jerry “The King” Lawler welcoming us to the show
~ Things kick off with Shane McMahon making his way to the ring and grabbing the mic to start the opening promo. Shane starts off by apologizing to Vince McMahon, saying he’s proud of him for his great accomplishment last night. Shane says after what Vince did he was so proud to carry the McMahon name and loves his father very much. Shane says he wants to continue what Vince started by challenging The Rock to a one-on-one match tonight! At that point the Helmsleys make their way out to the ring with Triple H still possessing the WWF Championship and Stephanie still hurting from Rock’s attack last night. Stephanie gets on the mic and says she’s still in pain after sustaining the Rock Bottom and the People’s Elbow and admits she slapped Rock feeling he deserved it but she didn’t deserve the assault because she’s a woman. Triple H takes the mic and reminds Shane that Rock put his hands on his wife so he wants some payback by facing him in a match tonight. However Triple H says it won’t be for the WWF Championship because he already proved The Rock is not in his league. Triple H tells Shane this a personal issue and dares Rock to accept his challenge, promising to hurt Rock tonight the same way Rock hurt Stephanie.
Vince McMahon makes his way out to the ring instead and hugs Stephanie …. Then turns and shake Triple H’s hand (!) before walking over and hugging Shane as well (!!). Yep, Vince is reconciling with the very children who tried to force him out of business over the past weeks. We’re hitting the reset button, everyone. Anyway Vince gets on the mic and says they have a problem because the match he had in mind was himself taking on The Rock. Vince says everyone wants an explanation of why he turned against Rock at WrestleMania but feels he doesn’t answer to the fans so he’s not inclined to offer one. (Translation: “we don’t have an explanation to give because we haven’t quite worked one out yet”.) Vince then calls Rock egocentric and narcissistic just like all the Los Angeles fans for having various cosmetic operations. Vince then talks about all the bottom feeders out there wanting some Hollywood agent to make them a star in entertainment. Vince says he shattered Rock’s dream at WrestleMania and thus everyone’s dreams of stardom is doomed as well. Vince promises whoever faces Rock tonight will drive him out of the WWF into a more suitable job of waiting tables. Not exactly what we were hoping for after last night’s heel turn.
~ JR and Lawler then run down some of tonight’s matches which include The Big Show taking on Rikishi. Plus Hardcore Holly will defend his newly-won Hardcore title against his own cousin Crash Holly, Chris Jericho will defend his newly-won European Title against Eddie Guerrero, and Chris Benoit will defend his newly-won Intercontinental Title against Tazz.
~ Backstage a limo pulls and The Rock climbs out, probably unaware of the McMahons challenging him tonight.
~ Back from break we get an exterior shot of the Staples Center as JR buzzes about which of the McMahons Rock will face in the main event.
WWF European Title: Chris Jericho © (w/Chyna) vs. Eddie Guerrero
Before the match Eddie gets on the mic and claims Chyna is craving his Latino Heat after last night then promises to make all his ancestors in Spain proud of him by winning the European Title. Both men exchange shots to start and Eddie gets the advantage and pounds away on Jericho in a corner. Eddie whips Jericho into the other corner and charges but Jericho tosses him over his head onto the turnbuckle and connects with a clothesline. Jericho chops Eddie into the ropes then whips him and drops him to the mat. Jericho goes for a power bomb when Eddie floats over him into a Sunset Flip but Jericho rolls out of it. Eddie hits a clothesline and dropkicks Jericho in the head then poses for Chyna before hitting a snap mare and rubbing his boot into Jericho’s face. Eddie whips Jericho into a heel kick then whips him again into a sleeper hold. Jericho fights out and comes off the ropes but runs into an abdominal stretch and Eddie goes back to the sleeper but Jericho counters it with a back suplex. Eddie jabs Jericho’s eyes to stop the rally and tosses him through the ropes then goes out to the floor and rams Jericho into the ring steps as … we accidentally cut to the back? Oops! Back to the match both men exchange chops and Jericho starts chasing after Eddie but Eddie jabs him in the eye again and snap mares him to the floor. Eddie hits a knee drop to the face before throwing Jericho back in the ring and hitting a vertical suplex then winks at Chyna. Eddie climbs to the top rope looking for the Frog splash and leaps off when Jericho rolls out of the way. Eddie rolls out of it only to run right into a power slam. Jericho goes for a whip, Eddie reverses but Jericho comes back with the bulldog off the ropes for a two count. Jericho whips Eddie but lowers the head and Eddie kicks the face but Jericho trips him right into the referee, knocking him through the ropes. Jericho power bombs Eddie then holds on for the second power bomb and follows up with the Lionsault. Jericho covers Eddie but the referee is still out and can’t make the count and Chyna unsuccessfully tries to revive the referee so she goes in the ring and makes a fast three count for Jericho. Chyna the raises Jericho’s hand as if he’s won the match… only to turn and drill him with a DDT?! Chyna then rolls Eddie onto Jericho and rolls the referee back in to count the 1…2…3! Eddie wins!! (5:39) Eddie wins his first WWF belt ending Jericho’s European Title reign after just one day. Chyna then presents Eddie with the title and Eddie is confused by this at first but then the two embrace. So Chyna pinned Eddie at the pay-per-view yet turns on Jericho to align with that same person? Other than the confusing heel turn, still a pretty good match. ***
~ Back from break Stephanie is showing off her new Women’s Title to Vince McMahon who says he’s proud of her. Stephanie then tries to convince Vince to let Triple H face The Rock tonight, letting him get revenge for last night and telling Vince that protecting her isn’t his job anymore. Vince says he’ll think about it.
Road Dogg & X-Pac (w/Tori) vs. T & A (w/Trish Stratus)
No, I don’t know who the heels are in this match. Once the DX’ers hit the ring Road Dogg does his rhyming on the mic insulting Trish’s posterior. Albert and X-Pac start off and Albert gives X-Pac some words only for X-Pac to spray water in his face and get in the first shots. X-Pac goes for a whip but Albert reverses it and hits a press slam. Albert clubs X-Pac in the back and goes for a whip but X-Pac reverses it and Road Dogg gets in some shots from the apron. X-Pac follows up with the spin kick but Albert powers out of the cover. Road Dogg tags in to take over and goes for a whip, Albert reverses it and Road Dogg hits the juke ‘n jive shots but misses the big right and Albert connects with a bicycle kick. Test tags in and helps Albert whip Road Dogg into a corner then whips Albert into an Avalanche on Road Dogg and Albert throws Road Dogg right into a big boot from Test but X-Pac breaks up the pin. Test whips Road Dogg but lowers the head and Road Dogg kicks the face but Test comes back with the full nelson slam. Test and goes for the big boot but misses Road Dogg and straddles himself on the ropes. X-Pac spin kicks Test back in the ring then tags in and chops him in a corner but Test starts fighting back. X-Pac goes for a whip, Test reverses him into the opposite corner and charges but X-Pac sidesteps him. X-Pac goes for another spin kick but Test catches him into a slam. Test goes for the pump-handle slam but X-Pac floats over him and hits a suplex then tags Road Dogg in and Road Dogg straddles Test into the ropes. Road Dogg pops Albert off the apron and hits the shake, rattle ‘n knee drop on Test but Albert breaks up the pin. X-Pac comes in and works over Albert while Test whips Road Dogg into a boot. Test goes for a power bomb but Road Dogg backdrops Test over the ropes. Albert grabs X-Pac but Road Dogg low blows him and X-Pac quickly follows up with the X-Factor on Albert allowing Road Dogg to grab the pin. (3:35) This may sound weird but I actually thought this was a decent match. **½
~ Backstage Kurt Angle is complaining to Howard Finkel about losing both his titles last night without being pinned, calling it a conspiracy against him. Finkel explains the rules stated the champion did not have to be pinned to lose the title so because of that Angle is no longer a champion. Angle seems to accept the explanation and walks off but quickly comes back and slaps Finkel in the cross face chicken wing while screaming he’s a champion.
~ Back from break Shane barges into Vince McMahon’s office accusing Stephanie of manipulating him like always. Shane tells Vince that he wants to be the one to take on The Rock and Vince promises to work it out somehow.
WWF Intercontinental Title: Chris Benoit © vs. Tazz
Isn’t it cool how the Radicals have been in the WWF for just two months yet three of the four members are already holding gold? Both men lockup to start and Benoit forces Tazz into a corner but Tazz punches his way out of it when Benoit rakes the face. Benoit goes for a whip, Tazz reverses it but Benoit comes back with a shoulder block. Benoit comes off the ropes and slides under Tazz but Tazz hits a belly-to-belly Tazplex right on Benoit’s head. Tazz hammers Benoit and whips him but Benoit hits another shoulder block followed by a snap suplex for a two count. Benoit tosses Tazz through the ropes then goes out and whips Tazz into the barricade and exchanges chops with him. Benoit rolls Tazz back in the ring and slams him to the mat and hits an elbow drop and Tazz starts to fight back. Benoit takes him down by the legs and puts him in the Sharpshooter but let’s go of it for whatever reason. Benoit whips Tazz into a corner but eats a boot and Tazz comes out but runs into a drop toehold. Benoit wails on Tazz’s neck and whips him into a corner then goes for a German suplex but Tazz slips out and slaps on the Tazzmission! Benoit starts to fade and looks ready to submit just as Perry Saturn runs out and climbs to the top rope. Before Saturn can do anything Tazz throws Benoit into the ropes causing Saturn to straddle the turnbuckle. Tazz climbs up and hits a belly-to-belly superplex then clotheslines Saturn over the ropes to the floor. Tazz turns back to Benoit but Benoit plants him with a bridge suplex for the three to retain. (3:21) Good match but really needed a few more minutes. Benoit and Saturn start heading for the lock room but Tazz catches Saturn on the ramp with the Tazzmission. Benoit goes back and beats Tazz off Saturn but Tazz is back up and continues attacking Saturn to the back. **½
~ Backstage we find Rikishi talking with Too Cool but we get a low-angle shot for some reason as we go to commercial.
~ Back from break Shane McMahon praises The Big Show’s efforts at the pay-per-view despite being the first man eliminated. Show tells Shane he’s still there for him but he’s decided to have fun and explore what Hollywood has to offer him before he heads off. Shane seems confused by this but still wishes Show luck.
~ Out in the arena Michael Cole brings Edge & Christian out to the ring for their first interview as tag team champions but Edge decides to take the mic from Cole and dismiss him. Edge puts over he and Christian winning a fantastic match and the two of them repeatedly say they were great last night before admitting they needed great opponents. E&C ask the Hardy’s to come out and once Matt and Jeff Hardy appear on the stage Edge tells them to cheer up since they did a great job last night while Christian says there’s no shame in coming in second or third. The Hardy’s start heading down the ramp but before they climb in the ring the Dudley’s also come out. The Hardy’s turn and stare back at the Dudley’s when E&C waffle both Hardy’s from behind with the title bets. The Dudley’s pass them and go right after the champs before tossing E&C back in the ring. Bubba clotheslines Christian over the ropes then he and D’Von hit Edge with the 3D. The Hardy’s climb in and duke it out with the Dudley’s while Edge and Christina grab their belts and depart. A swarm of referees try to break up the brawl in the ring as we go to commercial. This would begin Edge and Christian’s transformation into the heels we all know and love, though it would take a while to get there.
~ Back from break we get a replay of the Hardy’s/Dudley’s/Edge & Christian brawl.
~ We then find Eddie Guerrero and Chyna talking Spanish as they climb into a low rider and drive off.
The Big Show vs. Rikishi Phatu (w/Too Cool)
Rikishi gets in the first shots and whips Show into a corner then charges at him but eats a boot. Show comes out with a clothesline then moonwalks for some reason before doing his version of the Worm. Show tries to finish it with an elbow drop but Rikishi has more than enough time to move out of the way. Rikishi comes back with a Samoan Drop then hits the running butt splash in a corner and gives Rikishi the stink face. Rikishi super kicks Show near the ropes when Sexay snaps Snow’s neck into them causing a DQ, even through Rikishi was in control. (1:17) Rikishi super kicks Show back down and Scotty decides to come in and show how to properly do the Worm. The three of them to commence with the post-match dance as Show watches from the stage with interest. NR
~ We then get a shot of The Rock’s door signaling an interview with him is near as we go to commercial.
~ Back form break Vince is with Shane and the Helmsleys suggesting they draw straws to see who faces The Rock. Triple H picks first and Shane allows Vince to go second but Shane ends up with the short straw and gets the match. Shane gets excited and walks off but after he departs Vince and Triple H admit they really didn’t want to face Rock.
~ Out in the arena The Big Show is back in the ring and gets on the mic talking about being known as a great athlete and an unstoppable monster. However Show says there’s more to him than choke slams and such then brings up his appearance on Saturday Night Live, claiming everyone knows he’s a funny, entertaining guy. Show says sometimes he feels like fighting but other times he feels like dancing and decides to show it tonight. Show asks the production truck to cue up some music and starts busting some moves as the crowd gets into it. I guess this qualifies as a face turn.
~ Backstage Michael Cole interviews The Rock about facing Shane McMahon tonight and Vince’s actions last night. Rock brings up Vince’s great decisions such as expanding the WWF, creating WrestleMania and getting an implant. Rock then says Vince made the worst decision of his life when he hit him with the chair twice when he was down. Rock guarantees he’s going to beat Shane up then promises to somehow become WWF Champion again before finishing with the usual.
~ Back from break the Too Cool guys talk about Big Show’s dancing. Grandmaster Sexay saying he stunk while Scotty 2 Hotty tells him that Show wasn’t that bad. Sexay is unconvinced and continues to make fun of Show’s actions.
WWF Hardcore Title: Hardcore Holly © vs. Crash Holly
As Crash comes out JR mentions the title changed hands 10 times in the battle royal last night. Crash attacks Hardcore as he climbs in the ring then grabs the title belt and waffles him with it. Crash heads to the floor looking for weapons then brings in a cookie sheet and whacks Hardcore in the face for a two count. Crash goes for a whip but Hardcore reverses it and drops Crash onto the sheet. Hardcore goes out for his own plunder and brings in a push broom then breaks the handle on Crash’s back and works him over with the broken handle. Hardcore goes back out to the floor and grabs a fire extinguisher as Crash goes for a baseball slide but misses Hardcore and Hardcore sprays him with the extinguisher for a near fall on the floor. Hardcore tosses Crash back in the ring then brings in a chair and readies it but Crash cuts him off. Crash gets in his shots and sets the chair up when Hardcore comes back with goes for a suplex onto the chair. However Crash floats over Hardcore and manages to hit a front suplex onto the chair but only gets a two count. Crash clotheslines Hardcore over the ropes to the floor then grabs the ring bell and readies it but Hardcore cuts him off by smashing a glass candy jar in his face. Suddenly The Acolytes make their way out for some reason and Bradshaw nails Hardcore with his Clothesline from Hades. Bradshaw throws Hardcore in the ring then he and Faarooq whip Hardcore into a double spine buster. Crash covers Hardcore and gets the three to regain the belt! (3:02) Yep, this proves last night’s finish was botched. The now four-time champion takes the belt and thanks the Acolytes as JR suspects Crash paid for their help. Crash starts heading up the ramp but the Mean Street Posse ambush him on the stage and try to pin him there. However the Posse quickly fights among themselves again while Crash is able to make his escape. Didn’t Crash call off the 24/7 rule on Smackdown or was that a temporary thing? *½
~ Backstage Shane McMahon is suiting up for his match against The Rock when Triple H comes in offering advice. Triple H tries to come up with something Shane can use to his advantage but realizes nothing will really help him. So all Triple H does is tell Shane to be careful out there and walks off as we go to commercial.
~ Back from break Grandmaster Sexay is packing up his gear when The Big Show appears asking if his dancing was that bad and Sexay says it wasn’t bad but it wasn’t good. So Show drops Sexay with a right hand and splashes him through a table! Show then grabs Sexay’s hat and shades and heads out to meet his agent leaving Sexay writhing in pain. So much for honest criticism.
Kurt Angle vs. Val Venis
Val gets on the mic to greet the ladies but gets interrupted by Angle’s music as he comes out with a mic. Angle calls last night the WWF’s darkest day because he lost both his titles and wasn’t even pinned once then claims as a result he’s gotten calls from parents who said kids were too depressed to go to school today. Angle then says he’s gone from holding two belts to wrestling a porn star and doesn’t want to taint his body so he pulls out a pair of sanitary gloves. Angle tries to slip them on but before he can finish Val jumps him from behind to start the match. Val pulls off Angle’s medals and stomps him down in a corner then chokes him with his boot and goes for a whip. Angle reverses it but lowers the head and Val kicks the face then whips Angle into an elbow. Val follows up with an elbow drop and a knee drop off the ropes for a two cunt then hits a chop. Angle ducks a short-arm clothesline and goes for an O’Connor roll but Val grabs the ropes to prevent it. Angle comes back with a clothesline but Val pops right up and hits his own clothesline then chops Angle and clotheslines him over the ropes to the floor. Val leaps off the apron but Angle belts him in the chest and whips him into the ring steps. Angle heads back in the ring and pulls Val onto the apron but Val hits a neck breaker into the ropes then rolls back in the ring. Angle hits a DDT that gets a two count then elbows Val in the back twice and whips him hard into a corner. Angle follows up with a snap suplex then whips Val but misses a clothesline and Val hits a neck breaker. Angle tries to splash Val in a corner but eats a boot and Val whips Angle into a corner and hits a clothesline. Val does the same thing in the opposite corner then hits a butterfly suplex but that only gets a two count. Val goes for the Fisherman’s suplex but hurts his back and Angle takes advantage and sets him on the top rope. Angle goes up for a superplex but Val fights Angle off to the mat. Val then goes for the Money shot but misses it and Angle quickly slaps on the cross face chicken wing forcing Val to give it up. (4:15) Another good match tonight. **½
~ Backstage Shane is stretching for the match when Vince McMahon comes in and assures his son he has his back. Shane thanks Vince and hugs him while complaining about Triple H’s “advice” as we go to commercial.
Kane (w/Paul Bearer) vs. Bull Buchanan (w/The Big Bossman)
Bossman gets Kane’s attention allowing Buchanan to attack him from behind and get in the first shots. Buchanan whips Kane into a corner but Kane comes back with a clothesline and whips him into a boot. Kane whips Buchanan into a corner and Buchanan runs up the ropes … but slips and falls back to the mat. Kane pops Buchanan and whips him into a corner then charges but eats an elbow. Buchanan hits a forearm and climbs to the top rope but Kane sits up and grabs him by the neck. Bossman hops on the apron and Kane knocks him back off and Buchanan leaps off but Kane catches him in a choke slam for the three. (1:15) Even for a minute match it was still sloppy. Bossman comes in and works Kane over with his nightstick then knocks him out to the floor and the two handcuff Kane to one of the ring posts. Bearer tries hitting Buchanan with a chair but it has no effect and Buchanan nails Bearer with a right hand. Buchanan then takes the chair and smashes Kane’s hand with it. DUD
~ The Rock is shown pacing in the back in anticipation for the main event as we go to commercial.
The Rock vs. Shane McMahon
Shortly after Shane comes out to the ring Vince makes his way out and has a word with Earl Hebner. The Rock then rushes the ring while Vince and Shane quickly bail out to the floor. Vince distracts Rock so Shane can jump him but Rock catches Shane and chases him back out to the floor and up the ramp. Rock catches Shane on the stage but Triple H comes out and ambushes Rock, ramming him into the entrance set. Triple H hammers Rock down the ramp before whipping him into the steps and tossing him in the ring to officially start the match. Shane greets Rock with a clothesline then hops to the middle rope and hits an elbow drop but only gets a two count. Rock starts fighting back and goes for a whip but Shane reverses it and Rock tumbles out after Triple H pulls down the top rope. Hebner keeps Triple H from interfering but doesn’t see Vince clotheslining Rock over the announce table. Vince tosses Rock back in and Shane wails away on him then whips him and hits an elbow. Shane drapes Rock on the middle rope and distracts Hebner while Triple H gets in some shots from the floor and snaps Rock’s neck on the top rope. Shane starts skipping around while getting in some jabs then comes off the ropes but runs right into a spine buster. Rock readies himself to hit the People’s Elbow when Vince hops on the apron so Rock knocks Vince off but accidentally takes out Earl Hebner as well. Triple H comes in and lays Rock out with the Pedigree then rolls Shane onto Rock and tries to revive Hebner. Eventually Hebner recovers his senses and crawls over to make the count for Shane but only gets a two count. Triple H gets Hebner’s attention while Vince brings the title belt in as Shane holds Rock for him but Rock fights his way free before he can connect. Rock sends both McMahons scattering and has words with them but Triple H comes in and nails Rock from behind and stomps him down in a corner. Hebner tries to get Triple H off Rock but Triple H shoves him down then goes back to Rock and chokes him. Triple H goes for a whip but Rock counters with a Rock Bottom then covers him as Hebner counts the three? (5:20) Rock then poses with the title belt as if he won the WWF Championship even though 1) it wasn’t a title match and 2) Triple H wasn’t even the scheduled opponent. Anyway Vince and his children look on with exasperation at Rock foiling their plans as we fade to black. **
Conclusion: As the WWF moves on from WrestleMania they start April with a very eventful episode of Raw. There were some good matches on this card and some surprise title changes as well as some fun segments. The main event, however, didn’t really get on track and the ending was really confusing. I guess Rock was sending a message or something. Also we didn’t get the explanation for Vince’s odd heel turns, or Chyna’s for that matter. Still a solid episode or Raw to get us started on the road to Backlash, which will prove to be the exact opposite of March.