written by Adam King
WWF RAW IS WAR
Monday, May 22nd, 2000
Live from the Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, IN
List of WWF Champions at the time:
WWF World Heavyweight Champion: Triple H (5/21/2000)
WWF Intercontinental Champion: Chris Benoit (5/08/2000)
WWF World Tag Team Champions: Edge & Christian (4/02/2000)
WWF European Champion: Eddie Guerrero (4/03/2000)
WWF Hardcore Champion: Gerald Brisco (5/18/2000)
WWF Women’s Champion: Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley (3/30/2000)
WWF Light Heavyweight Champion: Dean Malenko (4/27/2000)
~ 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 a jubilant Vince McMahon making his way to the ring and getting on the mic for our gabfest. Vince says Judgment Day is a day where the world ends and everyone is rewarded or punished for the way they lived then claims the Regime must be living their lives properly because it was judged last night and was justly rewarded. Vince adds after the show the Regime had the biggest celebration party ever so the crew might be late arriving tonight. Vince brings up Road Dogg & X-Pac defeating the Dudleys at their own game and Shane McMahon beating Big Show single-handedly before bragging about how proud he is of Triple H for recapturing the WWF Championship, proving he is The Game. Vince claims Rock tried to enlist The Undertaker feeling he needed the help but Triple H still pervailed despite the odds. Vince mentions Taker walked out on his contract some months ago so if he shows up here the marshalls will arrest him. Vince then claims Rock may not show up at all, that he may not be willing to appear before everyone a defeated man. Vince says if Rock does show up he’ll have to face Road Dogg, X-Pac, Shane and Triple H in a 4-on-1 handicap match. Vince finishes by saying last night they took the title from Rock, and tonight they’ll take what’s left.
~ JR and Lawler then discuss the controversal ending to the Iron Man Match as stills are shown of Taker’s interference. JR feels Shawn Michaels saw Taker chokeslamming Triple H before time expired and that’s what led to the DQ call but Lawler says Michaels missed the chokeslam and DQ’ed Rock because of the Tombstone after the time expired.
~ We then find Vince McMahon strutting his way backstage, only he doesn’t see The Rock coming up behind him. Rock spins Vince around and starts pounding away on him then throws him into a garage door. Rock whacks Vince with a baking pan then grabs a trash can lid and thinks on how to use it as Vince begs him off but decides to use the can itself instead and brains Vince. Rock brings Vince over to where his limo is parked and rams him into the trunk before tossing him in the limo and instructing the driver to haul him out of the building. Vince peers through the window to protest but Rock clocks him with a trash can lid before the limo can drive off.
~ Back from break we get an exterior shot of the arena before a replay is shown of Rock beating down Vince. We then get a shot of Rock pacing around in the parking lot, perhaps waiting for the rest of the Regime to arrive.
The Hardy Boyz vs. T & A (w/Trish Stratus)
Trish comes out with a mic and makes fun of the girls liking the Hardys’ rainbow hair and high-flying moves. Trish says the girls may like the Hardys but she doesn’t before promising her men will take care of the boys. Matt and Jeff go right to work on T & A and double-team Test in a corner before doing the same to Albert. The Hardys whip Albert into a double-elbow then hit their combo move before Matt leaves Jeff to take over. However Test get the advantage with a boot and stomps Jeff in a corner. Test whips Jeff into the other corner and charges but Jeff trips him into the turnbuckles with a drop toehold. Jeff tags Matt in and takes Test down while Matt climbs to the middle rope and the Hardys hit the combo legdrops for a two count. Matt goes for a whip, Test reverses and Trish grabs Matt’s leg allowing Albert to clothesline him from the apron. Test tags Albert in and the two whip Matt into a double 360 flapjack before Albert takes over on Matt. Albert whips Matt and hits a shoulderblock then sets Matt up for a powerbomb but Matt is able to slip out of it. Matt sets Albert up for the Twist of Fate but Albert drives him into a corner to prevent it then hits a giant swing, getting himself dizzy in the process. Test gets the tag and clotheslines Matt before tagging Albert back in and the two whip Matt for the double flapjack again. This time Matt lands on his feet and comes back with a DDT on both guys. Jeff gets the tag then springs off the top rope and connects with a corkscrew moonsault on Test and Albert. Jeff dropkicks Albert to the floor then goes to whip Test who reverses it but Jeff hits Albert with a baseball slide. Test charges at Matt but gets backdropped over the ropes while Jeff slings himself into a plancha on Albert. Matt nails Test with his own pescado on the floor. Trish tries to get involved but Matt shoves her down so Trish shoves Matt into the steps and ringpost. In the ring Albert whips Jeff into a corner and goes for the Avalanche. However Jeff sidesteps it causing Albert to knock his head into the post. Jeff climbs to the top rope and connects with the Swanton Bomb and covers Albert but Trish distracts the referee from making the count. Test climbs to the top himself and hits Jeff with the flying elbowdrop then puts Albert on top for the pin. (3:56) Pretty solid match from these guys. **
~ Backstage we find The Rock still waiting patiently for the Regime to arrive as we go to commercial.
~ Back form break we get a preview of Chyna appearing on the 1-hour season finalie of 3rd Rock from the Sun. We also get a quick shot of racecar drivers Robbie Buhl, Billy Boat and Eddie Cheever Jr. in the crowd tonight since it is Indianapolis.
WWF European Title: Eddie Guerrero © (w/Chyna) vs. D’Lo Brown
It seems weird that D’Lo is getting a title shot when we’ve barely seen him over the past few weeks. Both men lockup to start and D’Lo gets an armwringer but Eddie flips out of it into his own arm wringer. D’Lo counters into a headlock and Eddie shoves him into the ropes but D’Lo comes back with a shoulderblock. D’Lo comes off the ropes and Eddie leapfrogs over him then comes off the ropes himself but runs into a heelkick. D’Lo whips Eddie and hits him with a sidewalk slam then gives him some words before slamming him to the mat. D’Lo springs off the middle rope into a moonsault but misses and Eddie comes back with a European uppercut. Eddie goes for a whip, D’Lo reverses it and lifts him up but Eddie dropkicks him away. Eddie whips D’Lo into a corner and charges at him but D’Lo tosses him over his head onto the turnbuckles. D’Lo hits the Sky Hi powerbomb but then looks out to the stage and sees The Godfather and friends making his way down the ramp. That distraction allows Eddie to recover and hit a Frankensteiner and hook the leg for the pin. (2:26) Nice match but it really needed and deserved more time. The Godfather charges in after the match but D’Lo greets him with several shots. D’Lo goes for a whip but the Godfather reverses D’Lo into a corner and hits the Ho Train followed by the Death Valley Driver. Sad part is I don’t think they ever had a proper blow-off to this feud. **
~ Backstage a limo pulls into the parking lot and Gerald Brisco comes out to greet Road Dogg, X-Pac and Tori and warn them about what The Rock’s been up to. Road Dogg and the others just brush Brisco off but don’t notice Rock creeping up behind them. Rock lays out Road Dogg and X-Pac with a metal bar then tosses the two of them into a semi-trailer and gets in a few more shots before closing the trailer door.
~ Back from break we get a replay of The Rock taking out two of his scheduled opponents for the hanidcap match. Lawler reports Rock may have jammed the lock on the trailer door so Road Dogg and X-Pac may not make the match.
Kurt Angle, Edge & Christian vs. Rikishi & Too Cool
Oh look, another rematch from the previous night’s pay-per-view on free TV. Angle comes out with a Reggie Miller jersery and gets on the mic saying the New York Knicks are going down … in the NBA Finals after they first get past the Pacers. Christian (wearing an Indiana college jersey) takes over the mic and says basketball in Indiana is famous for choking, whether it’s the Pacers in the NBA playoffs or Bob Knight choking his players. Edge unveils their 5-second pose tonight, The Big Choke, where he chokes Christian while wearing a familiar sweater. Team ECK head out to meet their opponents on the ramp and all six men go at it and brawl their way to ringside. Rikishi and Christian climb in the ring and Christian goes for a whip but Rikishi reverses it into a Samoan Drop. Scotty 2 Hotty tosses Angle in the ring and Rikishi hammers away on him but Angle rakes the eyes to get the advantage. Angle then tries to scoop Rikish up but ends up hurting his back while Rikishi has no problem getting his slam off. Rikishi whips Angle into a corner and hits the running butt splash just as the Too Cool guys toss Edge in the ring. Edge begs Rikishi off when Scotty and Grandmaster Sexay hit a double Atomic Drop from behind and follow up with a double DDT. Scotty hits Edge with a butt bump in a corner followed by Sexay’s bump and Rikishi caps it off with the stinkface. Scotty and Sexay cliothesline Edge over the ropes when Christian comes in but runs into a double flapjack. Scotty sets Christian up with a suplex while Sexay climbs to the top rope and connects with the Hip Hop Drop. Sexay covers Christian but Angle whips Rikishi into the ringsteps then heads back in and barely makes the save. Angle sets Sexay up for a suplex but Scotty interupts it with a bulldog. Scotty readies himself to deliver the Worm but Edge clocks him in mod-move with one of the tag title belts and Angle rolls him up for the pin. (2:50) So they had the give the heels their win back, making you wonder why didn’t they just go over at the pay-per-view in the first place. **
~ Backstage we find The Rock still on the hunt for his next victim as we go to commercial.
~ Back from break we get a look at Linda McMahon and Kane on the cover of Business Week.
~ Backstage another limo pulls up and Shane McMahon excitedly climbs out of it and jogs into the building. Gerald Brisco tries to tell Shane what’s been going down tonight but Shane just brushes him off like the others.
~ Back in the arena Shane is now making his way to the ring no dobut to brag about his big victory at the pay-per-view. Shane gets on the mic and makes fun of beating The Big Show and putting him in the hospital, even narrating a series of stills shown on the TitanTron. Shane demands everyone now refer to him as “Shane, The Giant Killer” then claims that the same thing would happen if Show miraculously walked out and climbed in the ring tonight. Shane’s entrance starts playing him out but is quickly cut off by The Rock’s music as Rock makes his way to the ring. Shane tells Rock this thing doesn’t cocern him but Rock drops him with a right hand and stomps him out to the floor. Rock then tosses Shane over the barricade and brawls with him through the crowd and out an exit tunnel. I guess that takes care of Shane.
~ Back from break we get a replay of Rock eliminating the third of his opponents tonight, which only leaves Triple H…
WWF Intercontinential Title: Chris Benoit © vs. Val Venis
On Smackdown Val challenged the winner of the pay-per-view match to a title shot tonight so here we are. Benoit comes out with a brace still on his knee while Val forgoes the intro for the ladies, showing he’s serious tonight. Both men lockup to start and Benoit gets the advantage with chops but Val stops that with a knee to the chest and Val gets in his own chops. Val whips Benoit who rolls under a clothesline but Val gets in a kick to the chest. Val whips Benoit again and connects with an elbow that gets a two count then works Benoit over in a corner. Val whips Benoit into the opposite corner and hits a back suplex for a near fall. Val whips Benoit once again and this time Benoit bails out to the floor to regroup but Val goes out and clotheslines him. Val throws Benoit back in the ring and stomps him down and chokes him with the boot. Val whips Benoit but Benoit reverses him hard into a corner and follows up a snap suplex that gets a two count. Benoit plants Val with a back suplex that also gets a near fall but Val pulls Benoit through the ropes by the tights. Val goes out and hits Benoit with chops then drops him on the barricade. Val goes for a whip but Benoit reverses him into the steps then rams him into the barrier and tosses him back in. Benoit pounds on Val when Val comes back by kicking at the bad knee but Benoit trips him into the turnbuckles. Benoit whips Val but lowers the head and Val kicks the face then whips Benoit into a corner but eats a boot. Benoit comes out and runs right into a powerslam but both men are down and Val can’t cover him immediately. Both men exchange punches and Val gets the advantage then comes off the ropes and hits a shoulderblock. Val follows up with an elbowdrop and a kneedrop that gets a two count. Val tosses Benoit across the ring and clotheslines him in a corner then plants him with the Blue Thunderbomb but that only gets a two count. Val hooks Benoit’s arms and goes for a butterfly suplex but Benoit blocks it and comes back with a clothesline. Benoit stomps Val in the head then comes off the ropes but Val catches him with a spinebuster. Val then climbs to the top rope but Benoit pulls the referee into the ropes causing Val to straddle the turnbuckle. Benoit climbs to the top rope himself and hits Val with a superplex and both men are down on the mat again. Suddenly Hardcore Holly comes in with a chair in hand and whacks Benoit with it to end this one. (6:43) A good match nearly ruined by a bad finish. Hardcore turns and nails Val with the chair then leaves both of them laying, showing he isn’t playing favorites. Hardcore heads up the ramp when Chris Jericho’s entrance starts playing and Hardcore stands ready with the chair. Instead Jericho comes up from behind with his own chair and blasts Hardcore with it, leaving him laying as well. ***
~ Backstage we find Gerald Brisco waiting for the Helmlseys to arrive, hoping he gets to them before The Rock does.
~ Back from break we get an announcement that Kid Rock will perform on Raw next week.
The Dudley Boyz vs. The Big Bossman & Bull Buchanan
Bubba Ray and Buchanan lockup to start then break before locking up again. Bubba goes into a headlock, Buchanan shoves Bubba into the ropes but Bubba comes back with a shoulderblock. Bubba comes off the ropes and Buchanan goes for a hiptoss but Bubba blocks it and hits a back suplex. Bubba whips Buchanan into a backdrop then draws Bossman in and clotheslines him down. Bubba slams Buchanan to the mat and sets him up for D’Von who climbs to the top rope and hits the headbutt to the groin. D’Von takes over on Buchanan without a tag and goes for a whip but Buchanan reverses it while Bossman makes a blind tag and nails D’Von with a boot. Bossman works D’Von over in a corner and chokes him but D’Von starts fighting back. D’Von goes for a whip but Bossman reverses him into a corner and splashes him then hits an uppercut. D’Von rallys again and goes for the ropes but ends up tumbling out to the floor after Buchanan pulls down the bottom rope. Bossman and Buchanan both slide out to the floor and double-team D’Von before tossing him back in the ring. Buchanan covers D’von without a tag for a near fall then whips him and hits an axe kick. Buchanan slams D’Von and chokes him on the ropes before tagging Bossman and whipping D’Von into a double shoulderblock. Bossman hits a forearm to the back followed by a kneelift then whips D’von and plants him with a spinebuster. However Bubba comes in and saves it which prompts Buchanan to also come in and toss Bubba over the ropes. Buchanan goes out to duke it out with Bubba on the floor while Bossman whips D’Von and connects with a boot. D’von suddenly whips Bossman when Bubba makes it back in and the Dudleys hit the 3D for the pin. (5:08) That was way too long and only saved by the Dudleys being so over at this point. The crowd is a bit disappointed they didn’t get any tables broken, though. *
~ Backstage Gerald Brisco is still pacing around in the parking lot waiting in the for the Helmsleys to arrive. Say, where is Pat Patterson, anyway?
~ Elsewhere a furious Crash Holly storms into the Acolytes’ lockerroom and rambles on how they failed to protect him on Smackdown so he demands a refund citing breach of contract. Bradshaw and Faarooq stare at Crash dumbfounded before deciding to offer him a lollipop instead of his money back. Crash slams it down on the table threatening to take his anger out on both of them but the Acolytes just laugh it off. However Crash takes a can and pours beer all over Bradshaw’s head then departs. Bradshaw is now sufficiently angered and takes off after Crash while Faarooq asks him to remember Crash is just a boy.
~ Back from break Gerald Brisco calls Triple H on his cell phone and tries to warn him abut The Rock but the connection breaks up so he throws his phone down to the floor.
Crash Holly vs. Bradshaw – Hardcore Match
Crash brings a shopping cart full of plunder to the ring then attacks Bradshaw as he slides in and breaks a 2×4 over his back. Crash whips Bradshaw but lowers the head and Bradshaw clubs Crash in the back, ending his offense for the match. Bradshaw smacks Crash with a 2×4 piece then hammers him with a trash can and lid. Bradshaw chops Crash down before bringing him out of the ring and throwing him into the timekeeper’s table. Bradshaw grabs a chair and cracks Crash with it then tosses him back in the ring and continues his assault. Bradshaw hits a series of forearms to the face followed by an elbowdrop then caps it off with a powerbomb. Bradshaw then lifts Crash up again for a second powerbomb when Crash slips out of it but Bradshaw nails Crash with the Clothesline from Hades and it’s emphatically over. (2:01) Hope you enjoy your serving of squash. DUD
~ Backstage yet another limo pulls into the building and Triple H and Stephanie finally make their appearence this evening. Gerald Brisco comes out to tell The Helmsleys what The Rock’s been up to and they actually decide to listen to him.
~ Back from break Gerald Brisco continues getting the Helmsleys caught up as they head into their dressing room. After learning everything The Rock did to the Regime Triple H says if Rock’s looking for him he’s not hard to find. Triple H then decides to find Rock himself and everyone heads out … just as Rock emerges from a nearby dark corner.
~ Back in the arena JR and Lawler again talk about the ending of the Iron Man match as they show stills. We then get a taped interview Michael Cole had with Shawn Michaels last night after the show for his thoughts on the controversy which resulted in his best friend Triple H winning the title. Michaels says he’s a human being and called the match down the middle the best he could but apparently that isn’t good enough for everyone. Cole then brings up the rest of the Regime interfering in the last few seconds of the match with the score tied at 5-5. Michaels says after he got knocked out of the ring he saw Undertaker interfering on Rock’s behalf so there’s the DQ. Michaels then says he’s sick and tired of people always coming down on him every time he’s asked to do a job. Make your own jokes, people. Michaels adds he’s been in the WWF longer than any other wrestler on the roster yet he still can’t make anyone happy. Michaels finishes by saying he called the match the way he saw it and if everyone doesn’t like it, that’s just too bad.
~ Backstage Essa Rios is having fun with The Godfather and his women before they head out for the next match. Rios walks through a door with a lady on each arm but Lita appears and doesn’t seem too happy by her man straying. Rios just shurgs it off and Lita acts cool with it but still has a scowl on her face as we go to commercial.
The Godfather (w/the ladies) & Essa Rios (w/Lita) vs. Dean Malenko & Perry Saturn
Lita is still not happy with Rios’ antics earlier while Maleno and Saturn seem to be having their own issues. Godfather does his thing on the mic then turns and offers Malenko one of his women to take the night off. Malenko tells Godfather he wants two women and departs the ring with them leaving Saturn to fend for himself. Saturn nails Rios from behind to start us off and pounds him down in a corner then hits an Exploder suplex. Saturn goes for a whip, Rios reverses it but lowers the head and Saturn hits a kneelift followed by a clothesline. Saturn whips Rios again but this time Rios comes back with a spinnning heel kick. Godfather tags in and whips Saturn into an elbow then whips him again and clotheslines him down. Godfather follows up with a running legdrop and connects with the Ho Train in a corner. Rios tags in and climbs to the top rope for a moonsault but Lita shoves Rios’ legs dropping him on the turnbuckle. Saturn then drills Rios with a brainbuster to score the pin. (1:32) Lita walks back up the ramp satisfied as what she did and it looks like a Lita/Rios split is in the works, which would lead to big things for one of them. DUD
~ Backstage we find the Helmsleys and Gerald Brisco searching various rooms for The Rock as we go to comemrcial.
~ Back from break The Rock makes his way to the ring and I guess we’re getting more promo time instead of a main event. Rock gets on the mic and says Triple H brought it to him at the pay-per-view in the form of the rest of the DX Regime. Rock says after he battled Triple H for an hour, Triple H may have walked out WWF Champion but he didn’t truly beat him. Rock advises Triple H to enjoy the WWF Title while he can before making a promise to become champion once again. Rock also addresses The Undertaker’s return during the match saying Taker did the right thing but at the wrong time. Rock then laughs at Vince’s plan to finish him off by throwing him in a handicap match after he went an hour last night, mentioning how he eliminated Vince, Road Dogg, X-Pac and Shane earlier, which of course leaves himself and Triple H. Rock says he could have beaten Triple H in the dressing room but decided to wait now that it’s down to one-on-one. Rock calls Triple H out and sure enough the Helmsleys appear on the stage with Triple H holding the title belt up high. Triple H gets on the mic and gives Rock his props for going the entire 60 minutes, saying they both lit the world on fire. Triple H then tells Rock when the dust settled he was the one who took home the title because Rock couldn’t hang. Triple H says on their judgment day last night Rock was punished and he was rewarded because he is that darn good. Rock dares Triple H to “just bring it” and Triple H slowly makes his way in the ring as the crowd gets all excited. Once Triple H climbs in the two start exchanging shots but Rock gets the advantage and hits the Smackdown on him. Rock whips Triple H into a corner and clotheslines him down when Road Dogg and X-Pac suddenly run in. Rock is able to fight the three DX’ers off when Shane makes his way in but Rock is able to knock him down as well. Gerald Brisco then helps Vince in the ring when Rock grabs him for a Rock Bottom but Vince falls over to the mat so Rock tries again and hits Vince with a proper Rock Bottom. However Rock starts getting overwhelmed by the numbers against him and Triple H tees off on Rock while the DX’ers bring the ringsteps in the ring looking to finally finish Rock off for good.
At that point the Judgment Day promo pops up again and The Undertaker appears on the stage on his motorcycle as his Kid Rock theme plays. Taker walks down the ramp as the The Regime stands ready then charges up one at a time but Taker dispatches them and drops Vince with a right hand. Taker then hops on his bike and rolls down the ramp teasing running over Vince but the DX’ers pull him away to safety. Taker rides around the ring and chases the DX’ers to the back leaving Rock and Triple H still fighting in the ring. Triple H has Rock down and sets him up for a Pedigree onto the steps but Rock is able to counter with a backdrop. Rock clotheslines Triple H over the ropes then goes out and rams him into the bell on the timekeeper’s table. Rock turns and clears off the announce table but Triple H clocks him with the bell then brings him onto the table. Triple H sets up for a Pedigree through the table but Rock low blows him then Rock Bottoms him through the table. Triple H is out as Rock heads in the ring while pulling off his shirt but has trouble getting his fist through the sleeve. After cutting away for a second Rock now has the shirt off and stands tall in the ring as we fade to black.
Conclusion: Not a bad show this time but it seemed “just there” coming off an excellent pay-per-view. The in-ring action wasn’t much and there wasn’t anything that started the build to King of the Ring but it was still mostly entertaining with a good Benoit/Val match. The last segment, however, was well done as the crowd was alive for Rock and Triple H battling again and Undertaker throwing his hat into the war against the DXWo, which helped freshen up that storyline. So I’d have to call this a thmbs in the middle show with a hot finish.