Written by: Adam King
WWF RAW IS WAR
Monday, June 26th, 2000
Live from the Centrum in Worcester, MA
List of WWF Champions at the time:
● WWF World Heavyweight Champion: The Rock (6/25/2000)
● WWF Intercontinental Champion: Rikishi (6/22/2000)
● WWF World Tag Team Champions: Edge & Christian (6/25/2000)
● WWF European Champion: Eddie Guerrero (4/03/2000)
● WWF Hardcore Champion: Crash Holly (6/25/2000)
● 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. JR says we’ll have the new WWF Champion on the show tonight as well as the coronation of “King” Kurt Angle.
~ And wouldn’t you know it, things kick off with the now 5-time WWF Champion The Rock making his way to the ring. Rock gets on the mic and starts off with “Finally…” then says all the games are over because he is champion once again. Rock says Vince McMahon can still be thankful for owing the WWF, a nice house and the best implant money can buy, but after last night he (Rock) owns the WWF Title and he owns Vince as well. Rock figures Vince will not take this lying down and is no doubt waiting to come out and run his mouth off at him so he tells Vince to bring it while proclaiming the McMahon-Helmsley Era is over and that his era has just begun. Vince does make his way to the ring and asks for the mic to give us his response and Rock cautiously hands it over. Vince starts off by humbly congradulating Rock on regaining the title before wishing him good luck in his new era. Vince explains his tone by claiming that he had an epiphany while laying opn his back in the ring at the pay-per-view. Vince says he realized Linda made decisions he hated and was kind to his adversaires because she loves him and trying to get his attention. Vince pledges from now on Linda will get all the attention she wants. Vince also figures what Linda wants is another baby so he says he’s heading home to be Linda’s genetic jackahmmer. Vince then offers Rock a hand of friendship as a way to let bygones be bygones and Rock shakes it as the crowd boos. Vince starts to walk away but Rock refuses to let go of his hand saying he has a few parting words before he leaves. Rock tells Vince he may still own the WWF but he always be a (*bleep*) before planting him with the Rock Bottom as a farewell present and posing for the crowd.
~ We then find a limo pulling up with WWF spokesman Shawn Michaels climbing out of it as we go to commercial.
~ Back from break we find Stephanie walking with Vince who tells her he’s leaving while heading to his limo. Stephanie begs Vince to stay, pointing out that Triple H has not arrived yet while Shane is in a hospital injured. Vince asks Stephanie to tell Triple H he’s sorry then climbs in his limo and drives off into the night.
- WWF Intercontinential Title: Rikishi © vs. Chris Benoit
Yes, this is the third time in five days these two have locked up. JR claimbs Rikishi (who has his shoulder taped-up) requested this return title match despite the punishment his shoulder took last night and on Smackdown. Sounds like Benoit is winning the title back tonight, right? Both men waste little time going at it when Rikishi gets the advantage and tosses Benoit through the ropes then throws him into the steps. Rikishi tsses Benoit back in then hits several right hands and a superkick. Benoit comes back with a dropkick to the bicep then trips Rikishi with a drop toehold and dropkicks his injured shoulder. Benoit attacks Rikishi’s hurt shoulder then hits several forearms to the head but Rikishi shrugs his blows off. Benoit goes for a Sunset Flip but can’t get Rikishi over and Rikishi hits a sitdown splash that gets a two count. Rikishi struggles with his bad arm but manages to to drag Benoit to a corner setting him up for a Banzai Drop. Rikishi starst climbing the ropes … when Tazz runs out with a chair in hand, making his return from being injured last month. Now you’d think Tazz would go after Benoit, the man who put him on the shelf. Instead Tazz whacks Rikishi with the chair prompting a DQ from the referee. (2:27) Tazz then deaprts while leaving the chair behind allowing Benoit to get ahold of it and lay Rikishi out with it. Benoit then climbs to the top rope and connects with the diving headbutt on the injured shoulder for good measure. As far as Tazz goes, either he deliberately hit Rikishi with the chair just to screw Benoit out of the title or we just saw a heel turn. *
~ Backstage we find another limo pulling into the building and a moody-looking Triple H climbing out of it as Stephanie, Road Dogg and X-Pac greet him. Stephanie delivers Vince’s message but Triple H just walks off without saying a word. Road Dogg then offers to talk with Triple H while Stephanie tells X-Pac they’ll have to handle Chris Jericho themselves.
~ Back from break we get a replay of Triple H arriving in a foul mood with JR suggesting he could explode at anytime.
- Chris Jericho vs. X-Pac (w/Stephanie McMahon)
Tori is not with X-Pac tonight as JR explains Tori suffered a severely seperated shoulder after the Dudleys finally put her through a table last night and will be out of commission for a while. Jericho gets on the mic to do his intro then says people are asking why he kissed Stephanie at the pay-per-view. Jericho compares it to the fascination one feels for roadkill then says he never wants to kiss roadkill ever again. Jericho also brings up “Kirk Angel” becoming King of the Ring with the help of the queen dirty bottom-feeder herself. Both men lockup to start and Jericho applies a headlock when X-Pac shoves him away but eats a shoulderblock. Jericho comes off the ropes and X-Pac goes for a leapfrog but Jericho catches him into a powerslam for a two count. Jericho whips X-Pac into a corner and charges but X-Pac sidesteps and Jericho runs his shoulder into the post. X-Pac lays the boots to Jericho who then fights back and goes for a whip when X-Pac reverses him into a corner. X-Pac charges at him and eats a boot but Jericho runs into a spinkick. X-Pac chokes Jericho in a corner with his boot and goes for the Bronco Buster but Jericho dodges it and X-Pac ends up straddling the turnbuckles. Jericho whips X-Pac and connects with a flying forearm followed by the bulldog off the ropes for a two count. Jericho goes for a whip but X-Pac reverses it and Stephanie grabs Jericho’s ankle to get his attention. X-Pac moves in but Jericho catches him with an elbow then heads out and threatens to kiss Stephanie again. Before that happens Road Dogg suddenly appears to come to Stephanie’s aid but Jericho is able to fight him off. X-Pac goes for a baseball slide but misses Jericho and nails Road Dogg. Jericho tosses X-Pac back in the ring and X-Pac attacks Jericho as he comes in then whips him. Jericho comes back and plants X-Pac with a powerbomb then holds on for the 2nd powerbomb. Jericho hits the Lionsault but Stephanie distracts the referee from counting while Road Dogg comes in and saves it with an axehande. X-Pac then grabs the pin, beating Jericho yet again! (2:45) After the match the DX’ers double-team Jericho then hold him for Stephanie to get in a slap to the face. An okay match but Jericho should have finally gotten one back on X-Pac. Instead DX continues their run despite not being over anymore. **
~ Backstage Kurt Angle excitedly shines up his KOTR crown for his coronation, then points out he’s talking to himself.
~ Elsewhere Trish Stratus leads Val Venis to the ring while saying if he wants gold then do what he did last night.
~ Still elsewhere Eddie Guerrero and Chyna are making their way to the ring while cracking jokes along the way.
~ Back from break we got a shot at WWF New York as the Godfather and a number of ecourts arrive in a limo. This is where they started having a different WWF wrestler visiting the fans at WWF NY during the broadcasts.
~ Back in the arena we see the throne set up on the stage that will be used for Kurt Angle’s coronation later tonight.
- WWF European Title: Eddie Guerrero © (w/Chyna) vs. Val Venis (w/Trish Stratus)
This is a rematch from the previous night’s King of the Ring tournament, only now it’s for Eddie’s belt. Both men lockup to start and jockey for position around the ring then break when Eddie gets in the first shots. Eddie goes for a whip, Val reverses into a corner and Eddie lifts himself up with the ropes. Val catches Eddie on the shoulder but Eddie slips out and shoves Val into a corner. Eddie goes for a suplex but Val flips out and hits a forearm to the back then hits a back suplex. Val whips Eddie and hits a hiptoss that takes both of them over the ropes. Val drops Eddie onto the barricade then distracts the referee while Trish comes over and gets in a kick on Eddie. Chyna scares Trish away while Val rolls Eddie back in the ring and hammers away on him. Eddie starts fighting back and goes for a whip but Val reverses him into a corner and clotheslines him then does the same in the other corner. Val follows up with a Blue Thunderbomb for a two count but Eddie comes back again with a series of headbutts. Eddie locks knuckles with Val then runs up the ropes and hits a huricanrana. Eddie shoulderblocks Val in a corner then goes for a whip and Val reverses it when Eddie slides under him and both men end up colliding in mid-air. Both men are down when Trish draws Chyna in to distract the referee while Trish drapes Val’s arm over Eddie. Chyna throws Trish down when the referee counts the pin but Chyna breaks it up to save Eddie’s title with a DQ. (2:56) This one didn’t have the chance to really go anywhere. *½
Chyna turns back and sets Trish up for a powerbomb but Val nails Chyna for the save. Val grabs Chyna by the hair when Eddie comes to hold rescue and holds Val from behind while Chyna gets in a few slaps to the face. Eddie and Chyna drill Val with a double DDT and Chyna grabs Trish again and this time gets the powerbomb.
~ Backstage Kurt Angle, dressed in his robe and crown, starts running some royal nicknames by some backstage guy then walks off as JR announces “King Kurt’s” coronation is coming up next.
~ Back from break we see the throne on the stage again just as Shawn Michaels makes his way out for some reason. Michaels first takes a moment to dance on the throne then shoves it off the stage, smashing it into pieces on the floor. Well that wasn’t very nice. Michaels then prances to the ring and gets on the mic claiming he has business to take care of before the coronation. Michaels says as WWF spokesman, he has an announcement about the next #1 contender to the WWF Championship and almost on cue the Helmsleys make their way out to the ring with Triple H shaking Michaels’ hand. Triple H takes the mic and reminds Michaels of their friendship then suggests Michaels was pained at what he saw last night at the pay-per-view, that he was robbed in the main event because he’s no longer the WWF Champion but was never beaten. Triple H figures Michaels is out here to proclaim him the #1 contender while promising The Rock’s days are numbered. Michaels tells Triple H he agrees and would give him a title shot … if he hadn’t resigned as commissioner some time ago. Michaels adds he can’t make those type of decisions anymore and if he could he would happily give Triple H a shot. Michaels says he knows someone who can make that call and brings out the new WWF Commissioner … Mick Foley!
The Helmsleys are in shock as Foley makes his way to the ring with a new haircut and a ‘COMMISSIONER’ t-shirt. Foley takes the mic and thanks the fans for their welcome then asks Triple H if he looks more powerful than before. Foley mentions it was Linda McMahon who bestowed him with this power after a very successful business meeting and with Vince heading home, that means he’s running the show and able to make the decisions. Foley says he can even make sure we don’t have to listen to anymore boring 20-minute Triple H promos ever again. Triple H tries to keep from exploding as he threatens to beat Foley down if he doesn’t get named the #1 contender. Foley tells Triple H threatening him will do no good and besides, everyone is tired of seeing Triple H beating Foley up.
Now Kurt Angle makes his way out with his crown, robe and sceptre in hand becasue this segment’s not long enough and gets on the mic, not happy about his coronation being preempted. Angle then gives his thoughts saying he should be named the #1 contender since he beat three guys last night while Triple H lost his match. Angle also mentions becoming royalty after winning Olympic gold as well as both the European and Intercontinential belts. Foley tells Angle he makes some good points and did a tremondous job before making fun of him dressing up as a king. Foley decides to solve the problem tonight here in Worcester by booking Triple H and Angle in a triple-threat match for the title shot, saying if one of them scores the win he’ll face The Rock for the WWF Title this Thursday on Smackdown. However Foley says Rock will also be the third person in tonight’s match and should he get the win then neither man gets a shot. Foley tells both men “Have a nice day!” and depart while Triple H cheap-shots Angle and tosses him over the ropes.
~ Backstage we find Dean Malenko shooting pool while Terri Runnels and four other ladies look on with interest. Terri reminds Malenko of facing Jerry Lawler while complaing about having to disrobe when she doesn’t want to. Malenko doesn’t seem too interested in her thoughts, until changes when Terri offers Malenko a private showing later should he win the match. That causes Malenko to drop his pool cue and Malenko asks the ladies to watch it while he departs to get ready for the match. We also get a shot of Jerry Lawler leaving the announce table to prepare himself as we go to commercial.
~ Back from break we get a replay of the new Commissioner making tonight’s main event for a title shot.
~ We then find The Kat rumaging through a trunk of full clothes when Lawler comes in asking what she’s doing. Kat says she doesn’t want to suffer the humiliation of being exposed to the world aftrer what happened in December. Lawler tries to assure Kat the last thing he wants is to see her naked again while holding back a laugh at the same time. Kat then tells Lawler if he wins the match she might be willing to give him that Bronco Buster he’s been waiting for.
- Jerry “The King” Lawler (w/The Kat) vs. Dean Malenko (w/Terri Runnels) – Over The Top, Off With The Top Match
The idea is each time one man throws the other over the ropes their partner standing on the stage must remove an item of clothing and the first woman to have to completely disrobe loses. So how does the WWF pull this off on basic cable without a bait-and-switch? Let’s find out. Both men lockup to start and Malenko looks to toss Lawler over the ropes already but Lawler fights him off. Lawler whips Malneko and both men counter hiptosses but Lawler is able to hiptoss Malenko over the ropes and as a result Terri removes her top. Lawler enjoys it but that allows Malenko to dropkick him over the ropes and now Kat is forces to shed her top. Lawler heads back in and Malenko stomps away on him in a corner then whips hin into another corner and goes for a monkey flip but Lalwer dumps him over to the floor. Terri complies by removing her belt but the referee tells her that’s not enough so she’s forced to shed her pants. Lawler continues working over Malenko then slams him to the mat before tossing him over the ropes again. However Malenko lands on the apron and hiptosses Lawler over the ropes making Kat also lose her trousers. Malenko whips Lawler into a heelkick then whips him again but lowers the head and Lawler starts fighting back. Malenko hammers Lawler into the ropes and charges at him but Lawler backdrops him over the ropes for the win. (3:18) Not much of a match since it was about both guys going over the ropes. Terri must remove the rest of her clothing and actually starts to do so but Stevie Richards runs out in a suit and tie and covers Terri up with a cardboard ‘CENSORED’ sign before dragging her off the stage to the back. Yes, folks, that angle is about to come to pass. *
~ Backstage Edge & Christian are standing outside The Rock’s door wondering why he gets his own lockerroom when the two-time tag team champions don’t. Commissioner Mick Foley walks up and E&C gripe about having to dress with the rest of the boys like cattle. Foley responds by bringing up how he never had his own dressing room and he was a three-time WWF Champion. E&C point out that Foley never changed his clothes anyway, that he wrestled in whatever he wore to the arena. Foley assures E&C he’ll put his mind to it then makes a Wizard of Oz reference and walks off with E&C dumbfounded.
~ Back from break Lawler has rejoined the announce table and complains to JR about not seeing Terri after winning the match.
~ Backstage we find Edge and Christian sitting in leather recliners and enjoying themselves while watching a big TV. E&C give props to Mick Foley for giving them the respect they deserve while saying this reeks of awesomeness. The two then start craving sodas and decide to have the Commissioner fetch them some drinks because sodas rule.
~ Out in the arena The Hardys, Too Cool, Test & Albert and the Acolytes hit the ring for a tag team battle royal. However these four teams decide to go at it now even before the rest of the participants can make their entrances. It quickly boils down to T&A and the Acolytes duking it out in the ring as the referees try to restore order.
~ While this is going on we cut to the back and find Edge & Christian enjoying watching the chaos on their TV when Commissioner Mick Foley then comes in asking if he came through for them. E&C put in a request for soda and Foley says it’ll be a pleasure then leaves while wishing them luck in their match tonight. E&C don’t understand until Foley explains he’s booked them in a non-title match against The Undertaker and Kane. Foley then walks off chanting “So-Da! So-Da!” and E&C are not happy with this as we go to commercial.
- Tag Team #1 Contenders’ Battle Royal
It’s standard tag team battle royal rules here and the winner gets a tag team title match on Smackdown. Our teams include the Hardys, Acolytes, T&A, Too Cool, Dudleys, Kaientai and Perry Saturn & D’Lo Brown. The first elimination occurs 30 seconds in when the Dudleys toss Taka Mickinoku and Funaki over the ropes. The Hardys try but fail to eliminate Faarooq while Saturn dumps D’Von over the rope to take out the Dudleys. The Kaientai guys double-team D’Von until Bubba breaks it up and the Dudleys nail Taka with a 3D on the floor. Test almost gets Grandmaster Sexay over but Sexay rakes the face while the Acolytes double-team Matt Hardy. Test goes after Bradshaw while Scotty 2 Hotty dumps Jeff over the ropes but Jeff skins the cat back in the ring. Scotty tries to dump Jeff again but Matt shoves him over and Jeff slings him to the floor to take out Too Cool. Albert comes up and knocks Matt over and the Hardys are gone leaving T&A, D’Lo & Saturn and the Acolytes. Test & Albert double-team Bradshaw while D’Lo and Saturn go after Faarooq with D’Lo hitting a heel kick. T&A prop Bradshaw in a corner then Test whips Albert into an Avalanche on him before connecting with a boot. Test and Albert then dump Bradshaw over the ropes but he lands on the apron with one foot touching the floor. Bradshaw slides back in the ring while backdropping Test over the ropes but Test lands on the apron as well. T&A both whip Bradshaw but lower their heads and Bradshaw kicks Test’s face and clotheslines Albert down. Test goes for a big boot but Bradsahw dodges it and Test catches himself on the ropes then falls to the floor. D’Lo and Saturn whip Faarooq but Bradshaw tackles Saturn while Faarooq plants D’Lo with a spinebuster. D’Lo rolls out to the floor but Faarooq press slams Saturn over the ropes onto D’Lo for the final elimination. (3:54) So it’s going to be the Acolytes challenging for the belts this Thursday. If Edge & Christian even survive tonight, that is. **
~ Back from break we get footage of a USA Today photo shoot The Rock had with New York Met Mike Piazza.
~ We then get a exterior shot of the building before we go to footage of Saturday’s Madison Square Garden card. If you’re wondering these are pretty much the same set of clips they showed on the pay-per-view last night. We then check back at WWF New York and find the Godfather and friends having a dance party on the stage.
~ Backstage Mick Foley delivers Edge & Chrstian their sodas but E&C refuse to fight Undertaker and Kane tonight. Foley reminds E&C he’s the commissioner and warns them if they don’t do the match they’ll be stripped of the titles.
~ Undertaker and Kane are shown heading to the ring with Taker offering some of his chew and Kane declining.
- The Undertaker & Kane vs. Edge & Christian © – Non-Title Match
Christian gets on the mic saying this match is unfair and anyone who cheers for Mick Foley is as stupid as he is. Edge takes the mic and refuses to offer the fans a 5-second pose out of protest for how unfair this match is. The brothers go right to work on E&C and Taker tosses Edge over the ropes then goes after him on the floor. In the ring Kane whips Christian and hits a clothesline followed by a press slam. Kane pummels Christian in a corner then whips him into the opposite corner and charges but eats a boot. Christian gets in some offense as Taker tosses Edge back in and Christian launches off Edge for the crossbody but Kane catches him in a choke. Edge tries to make the save but Taker grabs him and the brothers hit simulatenous chokeslams on the champs. Kane then tosses Christian over the ropes while Taker covers Edge and that’s all for this one. (1:30) So E&C start their second title reign by getting squashed. Anybody know why? DUD
~ The Rock, Kurt Angle and the Helmsleys are all shown heading to the ring for the main event as we go to commercial.
~ Back from break we get footage of Jerry Tolliver and the WWF racing team winning some sort of drag race over the weekend.
- Triple H (w/Stephanie) vs. Kurt Angle vs. The Rock © – Non-Title #1 Contender’s Match
Remember Triple H or Angle must score the pin for the title shot, otherwise Rock doesn’t have to face either of them. Angle makes his way to the ring first wearing his crown, robe and sceptre but decides to do some commentary while Rock and Triple H exchange blows to start. Rock gets the advantage and hits him with the Smackdown when Angle decides to join the match and clotheslines Rock down then works him over with Triple H joining in. Earl Hebner orders Triple H and Angle to back off allowing Rock to come out with a clothesline on both men. Rock rams Angle into Triple H knocking him through the ropes then plants Angle with a tilt-o-whirl slam. Rock covers Angle but Triple H saves it and takes over on him while Angle rolls out to the floor for a breather. Triple H whips Rock and Rock comes back with a neckbreaker but Triple H in turn tosses Rock over the ropes. Triple H then distracts Hebner while Angle works Rock over but Rock rams Angle into the announce table. Triple H leaps off the apron but Rock belts him in the chest. Stephanie comes over and readies a swing with her Women’s title but Rock catches her. Triple H goes for a cheap shot but Rock stops that too. Rock tosses Triple H back in the ring and pops Angle off the apron then hammers away on Triple H in a corner. Rock then goes for a whip but Triple H reverses him right into an overhead belly-to-belly suplex from Angle. Angle lays the boots to Rock then steps back and allows Triple H to get in his shots, capping off with a suplex. Triple H follows up with a kneedrop to Rock’s face when Angle swoops in for a cover but Triple H breaks it up. That allows Rock to stage another rally but Triple H stops that and whips Rock then connects with the high knee. Triple H covers Rock but Angle pulls him off and gets in his shots while Triple H stands back and watches it. Triple H then shoves Angle aside and stomps Rock down in a corner then lets Angle take his turn on Rock. Rock starts fighting back when Angle rakes the face and goes for a whip but Rock reverses and hits an elbow. Triple H then goes to whip Rock but Rock reverses him into a corner and Triple H tumbles over the ropes. Rock turns to Angle and goes for a whip, Angle reverses him into a corner but Rock comes back with an elbow. Rock whips Angle and hits a Samoan Drop then catches Triple H and plants him with a belly-to-belly suplex. Rock whips Triple H but Triple H comes back with the facebuster and Angle follows that with a back suplex. Angle then glares at Triple H before covering Rock but Triple H makes the save with a kick to the netherzone. Triple H then tosses Angle over the ropes when Rock grabs him for a Rock Bottom but Triple H fights out of it. Rock comes back with a DDT for a two count then goes for the ropes when Angle pulls him out to the floor and rams him into the steps. Angle heads back in the ring and starts working Triple H over in a corner but Triple H stops that with a knee to the chest. Angle quickly regains control when Triple H hits a neckbreaker. Triple H covers Angle but Rock pulls Triple H out to the floor then catapults him into the ringpost. Angle brings Rock back in the ring and goes for a whip but Rock reverses and plants him with the spinebuster. Rock then readies for the People’s Elbow but Triple H makes it back in and clotheslines him down. Triple H sets Rock up for the Pedigree but Angle clotheslines Triple H through the ropes to break that move up. Angle turns and nails Rock with the Olympic Slam and covers him but Triple H makes it back in for the save. Triple H nails Angle with the Pedigree and covers him but Chris Jericho runs out and pulls Triple H off Angle. Stephanie hops on the apron but accidentally distracts Hebner while Jericho snaps Triple H’s neck on the ropes. Triple H then staggers right into a Rock Bottom and Rock is able to cover him and score the pin! (8:56) Oh sure, now Rock gets to pin Triple H. Rock celebrates the win then looks out and exchanges words with the Hemlsleys as they walk away in defeat. Believe it or not this would actually be the end of the Rock/Triple H feud that dominated much of the first half of 2000. Not the epic blowoff we would like (or should have gotten) but at least Rock got the last word on his longtime foe. **½
Conclusion: Pretty mediocre show coming off a disappointing pay-per-view. The in-ring action was mostly forgettable outside the main event and there was some odd booking, such as DX continuing their undeserved push, Tazz’s sudden heel turn and the tag team champs getting squashed. But at the same time we saw the return of Mick Foley which would lead to some pretty cool scenes down the line and some other building blocks set. Plus we finally reached the end of the Rock/Triple H feud, and though they wouldn’t have a big final showdown they would at least get to move on to other things for the time being. So overall not the greatest of episodes but does set the table for the second half of 2000.