written by Adam King
WWF RAW IS WAR
Monday, April 24th, 2000
Live from the Entertainment & Sports Arena in Raleigh, NC
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: Eddie Guerrero (4/03/2000)
WWF Hardcore Champion: Crash Holly (4/13/2000)
WWF Women’s Champion: Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley (3/30/2000)
WWF Light Heavyweight Champion: Scotty 2 Hotty (4/17/2000)
~ Raw comes on the air and goes right to the intro with Jim Ross and Jerry “The King” Lawler welcoming us.
Kurt Angle vs. Rikishi Phatu
Angle gets on the mic saying fans may wonder why he’s concentrating on the Big Show and not winning gold. Angle says he dislikes and doesn’t appreciate a big @$$ which is what Rikishi has and what he feels Show is. Angle also says nobody would have to put up with Rikishi’s rump had his parents practiced abstinence. Angle rushes at Rikishi getting in the first shows but Rikishi shoves him away and hammers him with rights. Rikishi whips Angle but lowers the head and Angle goes for a suplex but can’t get Rikishi off his feet and Rikishi counters with his own suplex. Rikishi whips Angle and Angle goes for a Sunset Flip but can’t get him over. Rikishi goes for the sit-down splash but Angle quickly avoids it and manages to hit a belly-to-belly suplex. Angle works Rikishi over in a corner and caps off with a pair of running clotheslines but they have no effect and Rikishi comes out with his own clothesline. Rikishi whips Angle in a corner and goes the running butt splash but Angle throws the referee in Rikishi’s way causing him to take the hit and the referee calls for the bell. (1:23) Another potentially decent match cut down for no reason. The Big Show suddenly runs in and plants Angle with a sidewalk slam allowing Rikishi to give Angle the Stink face. Show goes out and chases Angle from the ring then goes back in and has a stare down with Rikishi. Show gives Rikishi a pair of shades and leaves the ring while Rikishi commences with the dance. Amazingly the crowd was really in these three minutes. *½
~ Outside we see the DX Express pulling into the parking lot with the Helmsleys and Shane McMahon filing out as we go to commercial.
~ Back from break we get a pre-taped promo from a scantily-clad Trish Stratus addressed to Bubba Ray Dudley. Trish goes through the different types of tables then describes why she likes tables so much.
~ Out in the arena Triple H, Stephanie and Shane McMahon come out to the ring to give us our long promo segment. Shane gets on the mic first and says Vince McMahon will arrive momentarily but first he has something to get off his chest. Shane turns to Triple H and apologizes for his actions last week, saying he knew he’d never hit Linda with the Pedigree and that he loves the McMahon family as much as he does. Shane calls Triple H the best brother-in-law ever, that he never had a big brother and that he loves him and the two of them hug share a tearful embrace. Stephanie takes the mic and continues the mushy stuff by apologizing to both of them for hurting them with her actions. Barf. Triple H then takes the mic and says he may owe the fans an apology for some of his actions as of late in the WWF. Triple H asks if striking Chris Jericho’s big win from the record books and humiliating and firing Earl Hebner on television was unfair. Triple H also asks if it was fair to make The Rock compete in a lumberjack match so close to losing his title match at Backlash? Triple H calls himself a fair guy and starts talking about tonight when Chris Jericho comes out to the stage to respond on the mic. Jericho says Triple H should be apologizing for boring the fans with his long, tedious interviews week after week before asking him to see the fans don’t care. Jericho then tells Triple H if he really wants to be fair he should grant him a rematch for the WWF Championship tonight. Triple H asks Jericho why he should reward him after all the derogatory things he said about his delicate “little flower”. Jericho responds by saying Stephanie lost her flower a long time ago and calls her a filthy, dirty, brutal bottom-feeder. Shane takes the mic saying he’s tired of both Jericho and The Rock constantly disparaging Stephanie with their remarks and decides to book a special tag match for tonight, with Jericho teaming with The Rock against Triple H and himself. Triple H agrees with the match and denies Jericho his title shot while Stephanie taunts Jericho at ringside by dangling the title belt in his face. However Jericho is able to snatch the belt out of Stephanie’s hands and starts walking up the ramp with it. Triple H heads out to get his belt but Jericho waffles him in the face with it and tosses it on his prone body. I know, Jericho laying out Triple H? Unheard of.
~ JR then switches gears and mentions Eddie Guerrero passing his GED test last week and having his prom on Sunday. We cut to the back and find Eddie trying out a greet jacket and tuxedo t-shirt as Chyna dresses behind a screen. Once Chyna see it she tells Eddie it makes him look like a Gumby reject and orders him to find something else. JR also mentions that same night Eddie also has a European Title defense with Essa Rios as Backlash.
~ Back from break we get a recap with Chris Jericho’s latest encounter with the Helmselys and Shane earlier. We then get footage of Chris Benoit assaulting Jericho backstage with his Intercontinental belt during the break and saying “Here’s another championship you’ll never get”. Last night on Heat these two had a confrontation leading to an IC title match being agreed upon and JR says that match will take place at Backlash.
WWF Intercontinental Title: Chris Benoit © vs. Road Dogg
Road Dogg is on his own tonight; JR explains X-Pac’s family had a recent tragedy so he’s not here. Road Dogg does his spiel on the mic but mentions Dennis “Mideon” Knight who was suffering from a serious illness at the time. Once both men are out Edge & Christian appear and join the announcers for commentary for some reason. Christian says once Road Dogg has the advantage he and Edge are going to interfere and cost him the match and Edge adds that wrestling circles call that a “run-in”. Interesting. Both men lockup to start and jockey for position in a corner and Benoit gets the first shots and stomps Road Dogg down. Road Dogg jabs the eyes to get the advantage then applies a headlock. Benoit goes to shove Road Dogg off when Road Dogg counters it into a whip but Benoit rolls under a boot and hits a Dragon leg whip. Benoit dropkicks Road Dogg through the ropes as Tori makes her way out to ringside. Benoit goes out and rams Road Dogg into the announce table then throws him back in. Benoit goes for a whip; Road Dogg reverses him into a corner but eats a boot. Benoit comes out but misses a clothesline and Road Dogg hits the juke ‘n jive punches but Benoit ducks the big right. Benoit goes for a German suplex but Road Dogg fights out of it and drops Benoit with a right hand then hits the shake, rattle ‘n knee drop for two. Benoit pulls Road Dogg by the tights through the ropes then goes out and rams him into the barricade repeatedly. Benoit goes for a suplex but Road Dogg counters and suplexes him on the barricade. Road Dogg heads back in the ring when E&C decide this is a good time for their run-in and Christian starts to head in the ring but Tori stops him. The referee tries to keep Christian out of the ring but Edge comes in behind his back and spears Road Dogg. Benoit climbs to the top rope and connects with the diving head butt to secure the pin. (3:13) E&C promises a run-in and they delivered. Solid match for what it was. Benoit then departs while E&C attack Road Dogg and whip him into a combo sidewalk slam/neck breaker. Tori comes in to help Road Dogg but Edge kisses her before Christian plants her with the Slop Drop. **
~ Backstage Kurt Angle visits the Acolytes’ office which has a ‘under construction’ sign hanging from the doorway. Angle offers to pay them to beat up The Big Show but Bradshaw and Faarooq make jokes at Angle’s expense. Bradshaw explains they only take money to protect people and Angle agrees and starts to head out to fetch his wallet. However Angle first decides to suggest the Acolytes might want to cut down on their drinking, smoking and gambling habits. Naturally Angle’s advice rubs them the wrong way so Bradshaw and Faarooq chase him out of the office and throw beer cans at him.
~ Back from break The Big Bossman and Bull Buchanan are conversing with Stephanie when Kurt Angle walks by talking about his problems with The Big Show. Angle then asks Bossman if he would like to beat Show up for him and Bossman brings up how he pulled Show’s deceased father out of the grave and drove his casket around the cemetery. Bossman seems up for the job and Stephanie decides to book Show against him and Buchanan in a handicap match. Angle is jubilant for the favor and thanks Stephanie who gets all gooey-eyed in response.
The Hardy Boyz vs. Crash & Hardcore Holly
JR announces The Holly cousins, Tazz and Perry Saturn will fight in a four-way Hardcore Title match at Backlash. JR also says he heard Hardcore has promised Crash he wouldn’t attack him for his Hardcore Title tonight. Hardcore pounds on Matt to start and Matt fights back and comes off the ropes but runs into a power slam. Hardcore clubs Matt in the back and whips him into an elbow then whips him into a corner but eats an elbow himself. Matt boots Hardcore down then hops up to the middle rope and hits the guillotine leg drop for a two count. Matt goes for a whip, Hardcore reverses it but lowers the head and Matt kicks the face but eats a clothesline. Crash tags in and whips Matt into an elbow for a near fall then slams him to the mat. Crash climbs to the top rope and leaps off but Matt gets the foot up to block him then crawls to his corner and makes the hot tag to Jeff. Hardcore also tags in but Jeff nails him with a forearm and an elbow then stomps him down in a corner. The Hardy’s whip Hardcore into a corner and Matt drops to the mat allowing Jeff to hit the Poetry in Motion. Crash breaks up the cover so Matt throws Crash through the ropes in response then suplexes Hardcore. Jeff climbs to the top rope looking for the Swanton Bomb but Crash grabs a trash can lid and whacks Jeff with it. Jeff falls back onto the mat and Hardcore follows up with the dropkick and gets the surprise pin. (2:38) Decent match. The Hardy’s plead their case to the referee in vain while the Holly cousins start to head to the back. **
The Hardy’s then decide they’re not done quite yet so they attack Crash on the ramp then bring him back in the ring and double-team him. JR points out the referee is still here so this must be a Hardcore title match. The Hardy’s go for a suplex but Crash flips out of it and backdrops Matt over the ropes as Hardcore looks on. Perry Saturn rushes by Hardcore into the ring just as Jeff connects with a spilt-legged moonsault on Crash. Jeff covers Crash but Saturn breaks it up and tosses Jeff through the ropes then turns and suplexes Crash. Now Tazz makes his way out and knocks Hardcore over on his way to the ring and breaks up Saturn’s cover. Hardcore joins in on the action while Jeff climbs to the top rope and connects with the Swanton Bomb on Crash. However Matt slips back in the ring and covers Crash to snag the three count and the title for himself! Matt then grabs the belt and he and Jeff excuse themselves while the rest continue to fight it out in the ring.
~ Backstage we check in on Eddie Guerrero and Chyna as they model more dress clothes for their prom.
~ Back from break we get another provocative video message from Trish Stratus on how to polish a table.
The Big Show vs. The Big Bossman & Bull Buchanan – Handicap Match
Show tries to take it to both men to start but Bossman and Buchanan come back and double-team him. Both men whip Show and hit a double boot then slide out to the floor and trip Show up by both legs. Both men come back in the ring and continue their assault but Show comes back and shoves Bossman away. Show head butts both men and tosses Buchanan over the ropes but Buchanan skins the cat back in the ring. Show grabs Buchanan by the throat for a choke slam but Bossman is able to break it up then goes for a whip but Show reverses it and grabs Bossman by the throat. Buchanan breaks that up and both men whip Show but Show comes back with a double clothesline. Show grabs both men by their necks but before he can hit a double choke slam Kurt Angle runs in and low blows Show bringing this match to an end. (1:22) Angle then manages to hit the Olympic Slam on Show and allows Bossman and Buchanan to work Show over. However the Acolytes rush out to the ring and clear out Bossman and Buchanan then chase them to the back. DUD
~ We then see limo pulling up to the building and Vince McMahon climbing out of it as we go to commercial.
~ Back from break we get another video from Trish Stratus talking about the importance of table legs.
~ Out in the arena Vince McMahon makes his way out to the ring to give us our second long talking segment. Vince gets on the mic and talks about being in Europe on business last week but seeing his family’s actions in the ring. Vince mentions Linda announcing Steve Austin being in the Rock’s corner at Backlash which enraged the rest of his clan. Vince also mentions Stephanie looking to slap Linda for her decision only for Linda to knock her own daughter down. Vince then brings up Triple H looking to Pedigree Linda only for Shane to knock him down with Stephanie in between. Vince asks what is wrong with his family, feeling that he’s the only level-headed member of the McMahon group. Vince says Triple H may have only wanted to scare Linda but still warns him to never put his hands on his wife again. Vince says Triple H will have to find another partner for the tag match since Shane has been assigned to other duties. I bet we can guess what those “other duties” just might be, especially if it involves the main event later. Vince the addresses The Rock asking if he really thinks Austin is going to deliver him to the promised land this Sunday. Vince tells Rock he may want to rethink that idea and instead be thinking more of the history he and Austin share. Vince decides to refresh everyone’s memory of an incident last year and has a “Stone Cold Strikes” clip shown on the TitanTron Of Austin running over Rock’s brand new Lincoln during the mock funeral in April 1999. Vince says Rock wasn’t cheering that night and vowed to get even with Steve Austin for that incident no matter what. Vince suggests Rock may have succeed in getting his revenge when Austin was ran over by a car at the Survivor Series by pointing out it was Rock’s rental car that was used. Vince does say Rock wasn’t the one behind the wheel but still points out how The Rock was the one guy to benefit the most from Austin being put on the shelf. Vince says with Austin out healing from his neck injury Rock was able to take his spot at the top and reap the rewards. Vince asks Rock if he can really trust Austin to be in his corner since Austin always says D.T.A: Don’t Trust Anyone. Vince finishes up by suggesting Austin may not strike him or Triple H at Backlash but may in fact strike The Rock.
~ Back from break we find Eddie and Chyna admiring their clothes in a mirror with Eddie finally wearing a tuxedo. Chyna suddenly remembers Eddie has a match coming up in 10 minutes so the two of them change behind a screen.
The Godfather(w/the ladies) & Al Snow (w/the ladies) vs. D’Lo Brown & Steve Blackman
On Smackdown D’Lo turned on Godfather while on Heat last night Blackman finally got tired of Snow’s silliness and broke up their partnership. Snow comes out dressed in his own pimp wear while Godfather gets on the mic and does his thing on the mic. D’Lo pounds on Snow to start and whips him into a heel kick. D’Lo works Snow over and whips him into a corner but Snow slides to stop himself and hits a huricanrana. Snow whips D’Lo into a corner and connects with a clothesline. Godfather tags in but D’Lo backs away from him and tags in Blackman and Godfather whips Blackman into an elbow. Godfather comes off the ropes but misses an elbow and Blackman works him over with kicks and hits a dropkick. Blackman goes for a whip and Godfather reverses it but Blackman comes back with a flying shoulder block. Blackman hits a backbreaker then tags D’Lo in and D’Lo slams Godfather to the mat and hits the shaky leg drop. D’Lo whips Godfather but lowers the head and Godfather kicks the face and nails him with a jumping clothesline. Snow gets the tag and backdrops D’Lo then hammers Blackman with clotheslines and all four men are going at it. Godfather knocks Blackman through the ropes and goes out after him while Snow works D’Lo over in a corner. Snow goes for a whip but D’Lo counters into the Sky High and gets the three for his team. (2:32) Nothing really offensive. The ladies come in to console Godfather and Snow but Snow grabs Godfather’s hat and wants to dance instead. Snow tells the ladies to dance with him but Godfather takes exception to that and drops Show with a right hand and tosses him through the ropes. Snow then grabs Head and starts yelling at it. **
~ Back from break we get another ‘Stone Cold Strikes’ clip, this one of the zamboni incident in September 1998.
~ We next get a rainy exterior shot of the building as JR gives a shout out to Vinny’s Steakhouse and Tavern. We even get a shot of the restaurant’s proprietor, Dusty Anderson, who’s in the crowd tonight.
~ We get one more video from Trish Stratus as she tells Bubba Ray Dudley how lying on tables gets her excited. Trish then says if Bubba plays his cards right there might be a table for two at Backlash then blows him a kiss.
Eddie Guerrero © (w/Chyna) vs. Val Venis – Non-Title Match
Eddie somehow convinces Val to check out Chyna before he blindsides him and gets in the first shots. Eddie whips Val and hits a heel kick then slams him to the mat and slings himself over the ropes into a hilo. Eddie goes for a suplex but Val counters into a brain buster then stomps on Eddie. Val goes for his own suplex but Eddie floats over and rolls Val up for a two count. Eddie hits a clothesline followed by an elbow drop for another near fall. Eddie whips Val into a corner and charges but eats a boot and Val comes out of the corner with a clothesline. Val whips Eddie and connects with an elbow then hits an elbow drop and a knee drop but only gets a two count. Val whips Eddie again and Eddie slides under him but Val comes back with a Fisherman’s suplex for a near fall. Val whips Eddie and goes for a backdrop but Eddie counters that into a Frankensteiner that gets a two count. Eddie goes for a whip, Val reverses and Eddie grabs a waist lock but Val switches into his own waist lock. Eddie sends Val through the ropes and Chyna gets in a forearm on the floor before throwing Val back in the ring. We then see Essa Rios and Lita making their way out and Lita gets in Chyna’s face but gets shoved to the floor. Essa then charges at Chyna but Chyna tosses him over his head and Rios crashes face-first into the apron. Chyna sets Rios up for something but Lita climbs to the top rope and takes out Chyna with a flying cross body. In the ring Eddie must have been distracted by this as we see Val whip him and plant him with a spine buster. Val then climbs to the top rope and connects with the Money shot on Eddie for the somewhat clean pin. (3:41) Good match although the stuff on the outside did detract from it. After the bell Val departs while Rios and Lita head in the ring looking to get themselves a piece of Eddie. Chyna then makes her way back in the ring and Rios and Lita quickly clear out and make their escape. **½
Edge & Christian © vs. The Dudley Boyz – Non-Title Match
Edge works on D’Von to start then applies a headlock but D’Von shoves him off into the ropes and Edge hits a shoulder block. Edge comes off the ropes and leapfrogs over D’Von then goes for a hip toss but D’Von blocks it and whips Edge into a corner then hits a forearm. Christian tags in but runs into a drop toehold then Bubba tags in and hammers away on Christian with rights. Bubba whips Christian into a backdrop and follows up with a clothesline while talking trash to him and Edge. Bubba power slams Christian then draws Edge in to distract the referee while setting Christian up for D’Von who climbs to the top rope and hits the head butt to the groin. D’Von takes over on Christian without a tag and whips Christian into the jumping elbow. Bubba tags in and chops Christian in a corner then whips Christian into the opposite corner just as Test and Albert bring Trish out to the stage on a table. Bubba plants Christian with the full nelson bomb then looks out at Trish and ends up mesmerized by her again, allowing Christian to come up and drill Bubba with the Slop Drop from behind for a two count. Edge tags in and whips Bubba into a corner then Christian drops to the mat and Edge hits the flying cross body. Edge hits a clothesline then draws D’Von in again and E&C double-team Bubba behind the referee’s back. Christian tags in and E&C whip Bubba but Bubba kicks Christian’s face and hits Edge with a Diamond Cutter. D’Von gets the tag and takes it to both E&C then backdrops Edge and hits Christian with the Curtain Call for a near fall. Bubba whips Edge into a corner and charges at him but Edge sidesteps him. Christian drops to the mat and Edge goes for another cross body but Bubba cuts him off with a shoulder tackle. Christian makes the save the Dudley’s hit him with a double neck breaker and Christian rolls out to the floor. The Dudley’s whip Edge looking for the 3D but Trish gets Bubba’s attention and Bubba leaves D’Von hanging allowing Christian to come to Edge’s aid. Edge then spears D’Von and gets the three. (4:36) Trish and her charges depart while Bubba quickly realizes what just happened and is not happy about it. **
~ Backstage we get a look at the Rock’s door suggesting an interview is forthcoming as we go to commercial.
~ Back from break Michael Cole interviews The Rock about Vince’s claims that he can’t trust Steve Austin on Sunday. Rock cuts Cole off and starts with the usual then says he’s looking forward to tonight’s tag match with Chris Jericho. Rock then says maybe he and Austin can’t trust each other but claims they both know they can’t ever trust the McMahons. Rock says he knows Austin wouldn’t be in his corner to screw him out of the title just as Vince did at Wrestlemania and if Austin had something to say to him then he would be man enough to say it to his face. Rock also denies he had it easy saying he’s clawed his way up, earning the right to be called the People’s Champion. Rock promises to lay the Smackdown on Triple H in six days and be WWF Champion then finishes with the rest.
~ Outside we find the Helmsleys leaving the bus and heading back in the building for the main event. Triple H expresses his concern that this could be a handicap match and says someone better be watching his back.
~ Back from break Chris Jericho and the Rock both head out to the ring and await their opponents for the main event. Triple H then comes out with Stephanie but gets on the mic announcing there will not be a handicap match tonight and proceeds to bring out his partner, which just happens to be Jericho’s pay-per-view opponent Chris Benoit. Triple H then announces the special guest referee for the match, Shane McMahon. Like we couldn’t see this coming. Triple H isn’t done yet and brings out Vince McMahon to be in his corner tonight just like he will be this Sunday.
The Rock & Chris Jericho vs. Triple H (w/Stephanie & Vince) & Chris Benoit
Benoit starts off with Jericho and gets in the first shots then whips him but Jericho comes back with an elbow. Jericho goes for a whip; Benoit reverses him into a corner and goes for a suplex but Jericho flips out of it. Benoit and Jericho exchange stiff chops but Benoit rakes the face to get the advantage. Benoit goes for a whip, Jericho reverses him into a corner and comes off the ropes with the bulldog and Shane makes a fair two count. Rock tags in and works Benoit over then whips him but Benoit ducks a clothesline and comes back with chops. Benoit hits a head butt and charges at Rock but Rock tosses him over the ropes then dares Triple H to come in. Triple H slowly starts to head in but that allows Benoit to come back in the ring and nail Rock from behind. Triple H tags in and hammers away on Rock in a corner when Rock starts to fight back. Rock goes for a whip but Triple H reverses it and hits the high knee for a fair two count and Triple H yells at Shane for not counting fast. Triple H stomps Rock down in a corner and chokes him with his boot then Benoit tags in but eats a clothesline. Jericho gets the tag and goes for a whip but Benoit reverses it and Triple H nails Jericho from behind. Jericho turns and pops Triple H off the apron but Benoit flapjacks him into the top rope then hits a snap suplex. Triple H tags back in then draws Rock in to distract Shane while Benoit chops away on Jericho in his corner. Triple H stomps Jericho down then hits a vertical suplex and follows up with a knee drop to the face for two. Benoit tags in and Jericho makes a brief rally but Triple H holds Jericho for a chop from Benoit to stop it. Benoit whips Jericho into a running clothesline for a two count then tags Triple H back in to take over. Jericho rams Triple H into the turnbuckles and starts fighting back then whips him but lowers the head and Triple H hits the face buster for a two count. Triple H whips Jericho but Jericho comes back with a flying forearm. Both men crawl to the their corners and Triple H tags Benoit while Shane let Jericho make the hot tag to Rock. Rock hammers Benoit with right hands then brings Triple H in the ring the hard way and hits the Smackdown. Rock drills Triple H with a DDT then turns toward Benoit on the apron but Benoit responds with a head butt. Jericho nails Benoit with the springboard dropkick then goes out and the two of them duke it out on the floor. In the ring Rock hits Triple H with the Rock Bottom and covers but Shane is busy with Stephanie on the apron so Rock goes over and drops Shane with a right hand. Vince comes in the ring but Rock turns and catches him and Vince tries to flee from the ring but Rock cuts off his escape. Benoit comes back in and nails Rock then goes for a whip but Rock counters with the spine buster. Rock readies himself for the People’s Elbow but Vince kicks Rock in the forbidden zone! Triple H hits the Pedigree and the three count is academic. (7:23) Pretty good fast-paced main event. The Regime celebrates its win and walks off with Rock staring after them as we fade to black. ***
Conclusion: Pretty good episode of Raw even for a PPV-hype edition. Most of the matches did a decent job advancing angles for the Backlash undercard, which is getting some good build unlike Wrestlemania. The main event was pretty fun, although this is the third show in a row that saw the DX Regime come out on top. You’d think The Rock and Chris Jericho would be able to get one back on them but that would have to wait until Smackdown. Other than that a good episode.
31-year old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Longtime fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Vikings. Avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on the old school wrestling.