Written by: Adam King
WWF RAW IS WAR
Monday, July 3rd, 2000
Live from the TD Waterhouse Center in Orlando, FL
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: Steve Blackman (6/29/2000)
● WWF Women’s Champion: Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley (3/30/2000)
● WWF Light Heavyweight Champion: Dean Malenko (4/27/2000)
~ Raw comes on the air with the Helmsleys walking somewhere but Triple H seems to be bothered by something. Triple H eventually asks Stephanie about letting Chris Jericho kiss her at King of the Ring but Stephanie says Jericho forced himself on her. Triple H then runs into Commissioner Mick Foley and demands a shot at the WWF Championship and a match with Jericho as well. Foley claims he was going to book that match last week but he’s still miffed about getting beaten down four months ago. Foley does offers Triple H his match with Jericho but feels that big of match should be saved for Fully Loaded. As far as the WWF Title goes, Foley reminds Triple H that he had his shot to be #1 contender last week but blew it. Foley does decide to give Triple H a title shot tonight, only it’s against Rikishi for the Intercontinential Title. Triple H reluctantly takes that match saying that as far as he’s concerned, Rikishi is Jericho.
~ After that we get to the intro with Jim Ross and Jerry “The King” Lawler welcoming us to the show. Tonight in addition to the IC Title match, The Undertaker & Kane challenge Edge & Christian for the tag team titles. But I thought The Acolytes were the #1 contenders and due to have the next title shot. What happened with them?
- WWF European Title: Eddie Guerrero © (w/Chyna) vs. Chris Benoit
Eddie starts off with a hammerlock when Benoit fights out and whips him but Eddie hits a shoulderblock. Eddie comes off the ropes and hits a huricanrana then goes for a whip but Benoit drops him onto the ropes. Benoit hammers away on Eddie and goes for a whip but Eddie reverses it and hits a tilt-o-whirl backbreaker followed by a vertical suplex for a two count. Eddie goes for a suplex but Benoit floats over him and suplexes him on the top rope. Eddie falls out to the floor but Benoit rams him into the apron before rolling him back in the ring. Benoit whips Eddie into a knee to the chest then whips him again into a corner and hits a press slam that gets a near fall. Benoit follows up with a gutbuster and a European forearm then whips Eddie when Eddie comes back with a Frankensteiner for a two count. Benoit clotheslines Eddie and whips him then goes for a hiptoss but Eddie counters with a bodyscissors into a rollup for a two count. Benoit chops Eddie in a corner then whips him into the opposite corner and charges at him but eats an elbow. Eddie hops to the middle rope and hits a rolling bulldog then drives Benoit into a corner and gets in his shots. Eddie goes for a tornado DDT but Benoit shoves Eddie away then drops him face-first onto the turnbuckles. Benoit grabs Eddie’s European title belt and readies a swing when Chyna comes in and decks Benoit for a DQ. (4:17) A good match that was unfortunately cut short. **½
Eddie comes back and nails Benoit with a dropkick but that knocks him right into Chyna, wiping her out. Eddie checks on Chyna but Benoit grabs the belt and waffles him with it. Benoit then turns and slaps the Crossface on Chyna! A swarm of referees pull Benoit off Chyna and Benoit heads up the ramp while grinning at his handiwork. That Crossface on Chyna gave Benoit some massive heat, which would come in handy later.
~ Back from break we get a replay of Benoit taking out Eddie and Chyna and lovin’ it as JR cries about it. We then find Chyna getting checked out by the EMTs backstage while Eddie kicks stuff around in frustration.
~ Out in the arena Commissioner Mick Foley heads to the ring for our long promo segment. Foley gets on the mic talks about a new WWF champion crowned and the Regime breaking up in just his first week as commissioner, which he calls the greatest job in the world. Foley then mentions that he often has to make some unpopular decisions and claims he’s been forced to ban the Worm which draws some boos before he assures the fans he’s just kidding. Foley talks about finding a new #1 contender tonight after Triple H and Kurt Angle messed things up for him last week, feeling the possiblities are wide open here in Orlando. At that point The Rock decides to make his way out to the ring to offer his thoughts on the subject. Rock takes the mic and mentions the history he and Foley share before welcoming him back and shaking his hand. Foley then congradulates Rock on becoming a five-time WWF Champion and asks how it feels to be on par with the legends. Rock tries to answer but Foley cuts him off with “It doesn’t matter!” and celebrates finally getting one over on him and even runs a lap around the ring as the crowd pops. Rock can’t help but crack a smile at his former partner’s goofy antics then reminds him on what he said about using his catchphrases. Rock then gets back to business and asks Foley why he’s deliberating about a new #1 contender when he can just name someone since he is in charge. Before they can dwell on it, Shane McMahon comes out to the stage still reeling from the King of the Ring chokeslam. Shane gets on the mic and says a normal man wouldn’t be standing before everyone with all the injuries he’s suffered but he’s not normal, especially since he was his class valedictorian and water polo team captain in college. Shane says he’s fed up with his power-drunk mother and crazed egomaniac father constantly embarassing themesleves then decides to take a stand against Foley’s rise to power by declaring his Independence Day just like his forefathers. Shane also claims he should be the one to guide the WWF into the next millenium by naming the #1 contender himself. Foley tells Shane he could barely hear him with the crowd it sounded like he wanted to name himself #1 contender. Shane denies saying that but Foley and Rock don’t listen and go along with Shane being the Rock’s next title challenger. Foley even tries to convince Shane by praising his intestinal fortitude for taking the massive chokeslam at the pay-per-view. Foley then decides that Rock is ready for a fight so he names Shane the next contender and books a title match tonight. Rock finishes by following George Washington’s example and not tell a lie, promising to beat Shane up all over Orlando.
- WWF Intercontinential Title: Rikishi © vs. Triple H (w/Stephanie McMahon)
Weird to see Triple H wrestle this early in the show and not in the main event, wouldn’t you say? Stephanie distracts Rikishi from the floor allowing Triple H to jump him from behind and get in the first shots. Triple H goes for a whip but Rikishi reverses him into a corner and hits a backdrop. Rikishi gets in his damage then whips Triple H into a corner and charges but eats a knee. Triple H comes out with a clothesline then whips Rikishi and hits the high knee for a two count. Triple H shoulderblocks Rikishi repeatedly in a corner and tosses him through the ropes then heads out when Rikishi fights back and rams Triple H into the apron before both men roll back in. Rikishi whips Triple H when Triple H comes back and sets up for the Pedigree but has trouble locking the move in and Rikishi is able to counter it with a backdrop. Rikishi goes for the sitdown splash but Triple H avoids it then comes off the ropes and clotheslines Rikishi down. Triple H follows that up with the kneedrop to the face for a near fall then unloads on Rikishi with right hands. Triple H then goes for a whip and Rikishi reverses it but lowers the head. Triple H comes back with a DDT but Rikishi pops right up unfazed and nails Triple H with a superkick followed by a Samoan Drop. Rikishi clotheslines Triple H over the ropes then goes out after him and the two exchange shots on the floor. Rikishi knocks Triple H down then slips back in the ring but apparently doesn’t make it before the 10 count and we have a double countout. (4:30) Not much here, especially compared to their great match on Smackdown in January, but it had its moments. *½
Triple H wonders what just happened when Chris Jericho comes down the ramp and shoves him into the steps before tossing him back in the ring. Triple H yells back at Jericho when Rikishi squashes him from behind with the butt charge. Triple H then slumps to the mat and Rikishi gives him the stinkface as Stephanie watches with a horrified look. Stephanie helps Triple H back up the ramp while Too Cool come out and join Rikishi for the post-match dance.
~ Back from break we get a replay of Chris Jericho coming out and causing Triple H to suffer another stinkface. We then cut back to Mick Foley’s office just as Triple H comes in ranting about Jericho while trashing Foley’s desk. Foley decides to sooth Triple H’s anger by booking Jericho in a handicap match against Road Dogg and X-Pac tonight but warns Triple H not to interfere or else his match with Jericho at Fully Loaded is canceled. Triple H seems satisfied by the match and feels he can wait for the pay-per-view while his DX pals take Jericho apart.
- Jeff Hardy (w/Lita) vs. Val Venis (w/Trish Stratus)
Jeff gets in the first shots then whips Val and Val kicks the face but Jeff comes back and hits a dropkick. Jeff charges at Val who drops him on the top rope then charges at Jeff but gets backdropped over the ropes. Jeff leaps over the ropes and connects with a somersault plancha on Val. Jeff goes for a whip but Val reverses it and Jeff hops onto the barricade but slips off. So Jeff leaps off the corner of the barrier and hits a flying bodyblock on Val. Val drops Jeff face-first onto the steps then rolls back in the ring and suplexes Jeff back in for a two count. Val stomps Jeff down in a corner and chokes him with his boot then whips Jeff and connects with an elbow. Val follows up with an elbowdrop and a klneedrop then wails away on Jeff before covering him for a near fall. Val applies a modified bodyscissors around the arms but Jeff is able to roll Val back onto his shoulders for a two count. Val hooks Jeff’s arms and gets in some kneelifts before hitting a butterfuly suplex that gets another near fall. Jeff starts to fight back when Val rakes has face but Jeff comes off the ropes and runs into a sleeperhold. Jeff shoves Val into the ropes and slaps on his own sleeper but Val counters it with a Blue Thunderbomb for two. Val slams Jeff then hops to the middle rope but misses with an elbowdrop. Jeff charges at Val who backdrops him over the ropes but Jeff lands on his feet and pulls Val down by the hair. Jeff then springs off the top rope into a moonsault and covers but Val is able to get his foot on the middle rope. Jeff whips Val into a corner then charges and eats an elbow. However Jeff recovers and hits an inverted Twist of Fate then climbs to the top rope and nails the Swanton Bomb. Jeff covers Val but Trish distracts the referee from making the count so Lita pulls Trish off the apron and they fight on the floor. Tazz suddenly appears in the ring and chokes Jeff out with the Tazzmission then departs while Val climbs to the top rope and connnects with the Moneyshot for the three count. (6:00) Good, solid action but they need to explain Tazz’s random run-ins sometime soon. **½
~ We cut to WWF New York where Terri Runnels is entertaining the crowd which includes Mayor Rudolph Gulianni.
~ Road Dogg & X-Pac are heading to the ring talking about defending the Helmsleys’ honor as we go to commercial.
~ Back from break we find Mick Foley putting his office back in order while pricking his finger on his cactus. Pat Patterson comes in and tries to convince Foley to scratch the title match since Shane is still too hurt to compete. Foley refuses to listen and says the match will happen then bangs his gavel but ends up hitting Patterson’s thumb.
- Chris Jericho vs. Road Dogg & X-Pac – Handicap Match
Sigh, so once again we get this match, and now we count the minutes before X-Pac pins Jericho yet again. The DX’ers file out to the ring first with Road Dogg doing his rhyming thing on the mic before Jericho appears. However Mick Foley then comes out to the stage and gets on the mic saying he promised Triple H a handicap match but never told him which side was going to be handicapped. Foley says instead of 2-on-1 the match is going to be 3-on-2 and brings out Jericho’s partners … the Acolytes.
- Chris Jericho & The Acolytes vs. Road Dogg & X-Pac – 3-on-2 Handicap Match
Ah, so Foley’s trying to turn the tables and make DX experience exactly what they put everyone else through. Nice. The DX’ers try to double-team Jericho before the Acolytes come out but Bradshaw and Faarooq put a stop to it. Bradshaw whips Road Dogg and hits a boot while Faarooq tosses X-Pac through the ropes. Faarooq goes out and rams X-Pac into the steps while Bradshaw works over Road Dogg nearby before they toss them both back in. Jericho greets both DX’ers with right hands then grabs X-Pac with an armwringer before going for a whip. X-Pac reverses it and Jericho hits a shoulderblock then comes off the ropes but X-Pac leapfrogs over him. X-Pac then comes off the ropes but runs into a spinning heel kick. Jericho chops X-Pac before tagging in Bradshaw and Bradshaw whips X-Pac into a shoulderblock and pounds on him. Bradshaw whips X-Pac into a corner but eats a boot and X-Pac hops to the middle rope and leaps off but Bradshaw catches him then boots Road Dogg down before hitting the fallaway slam. Faarooq tags in for some double-teaming before taking over on Road Dogg. Faaoorq goes for the Dominator when Road Dogg slips out of it but Faarooq clothelsines him down in response. X-Pac comes back in and nails Faarooq with the spinkick enabling Road Dogg to get the advantage for DX. Road Dogg stomps Faarooq down in the DX corner then distracts the referee while X-Pac gets in some shots. X-Pac tags in and goes for a whip but Faarooq reverses him into a corner and powerslams him. Faarooq then crawls to his corner looking to tag in Bradshaw but Jericho takes it instead wanting to get in there. Jericho hammers away on X-Pac and whips him but misses a clothesline and Road Dogg nails him from behind. Road Dogg holds Jericho as X-Pac moves in but Jericho ducks and X-Pac knocks Road Dogg off the apron. Jericho goes for a whip and X-Pac reverses but Jericho hit a flying forearm followed by the bulldog for two. Jericho hits a chop then whips X-Pac into a corner and charges but X-Pac is able to sidestep him. X-Pac then goes for the X-Factor but Jericho counters it with a takedown the puts him in the Walls of Jericho. Road Dogg makes it in and breaks it up but Bradshaw comes in and nails Road Dogg with the Clothesline from Hades. X-Pac drapes Jericho in a corner and looks for the Brinco Buster but Faarooq interupts it with a spinebuster. X-Pac is down as Jericho follows up with the Lionsault and gets the 1..2..3! Jericho finally pins X-Pac! (3:54) Granted it was a handicap match to maybe save face but Jericho finally gets one back on X-Pac. Pretty fun match all around and for once DX doesn’t get an undeserved win. We then cut to the back and find Triple H blowing a fuse and throwing around everything that isn’t nailed down. **½
~ Back from break we find Triple H still fuming at Jericho’s win as he and Stephanie climb into a limo and drive off. Well that was a short night for him.
- WWF World Tag Team Titles: Edge & Christian © vs. The Undertaker & Kane
These two teams split thier singles matches on Smackdown, but then again the brothers did squash E&C last week so let’s see how this goes. Christian gets on the mic first and mentions Mick Foley scraping the bowels of suckitude for making this match then says he and Edge may be Canadian but they still want to wish Taker and Kane a happy 4th of July. Edge takes the mic to unveil their new 5-second pose praising Taker and Kane and even wears a Kane mask during it. Edge takes the mic to unveil their new 5-second pose praising Taker and Kane and even wears a Kane mask. Once the brothers come out Taker wastes no time going to work on Edge and whips him into a corner then charges at him but eats a boot. Edge throws Taker into the corner to get his shots then hits the count-along punches but Taker shoves him off. Taker goes for an elbowdrop but misses it and Edge comes off the ropes with a neckbreaker for a near fall. Taker clotheslines Edge down for his own two count and Edge fights back then goes for a whip but Taker reverses and hits a tilt-o-whirl powerslam. Christian makes the save but Taker pulls him down by the hair then hits an elbowdrop. E&C double-team Taker and Christian takes over without a tag then goes for a whip and Taker reverses it. Christian kicks the face but runs right into a big boot. Kane tags in and clotheslines Christian then whips him into a corner and plants him with a sidewalk slam. Edge comes in but Kane backdrops him then nails Christian with a boot and clotheslines Edge. Kane grabs Christian by the throat when Edge breaks it up then E&C whip Kane but eat a double clothesline. Kane tags Taker in and follows Edge out to the floor. Taker grabs Christian looking for a chokeslam but before he can hit it Kurt Angle comes in and nails Taker in the knee with his sceptre drawing a DQ. (2:24) Taker and Kane get the win but not the belts and Taker is not happy Angle bailed out his friends. Kane brings Edge back in and chokeslams him while Taker cuts off Christian’s escape and hits his new powerbomb which JR says is called the ‘Last Ride’. Seriously, why are the tag team champs being made to look like chumps against the brothers? DUD
~ Back from break we get clips of another XFL press conference, this one announcing Orlando’s entry into the league. We also get a look at Tom Veit, the general manager of said Orlando XFL team, sitting in the crowd tonight.
~ Next we get a replay of Undertaker and Kane almost winning the tag team titles until Kurt Angle ruined things. Backstage Michael Cole interviews Angle, asking what he was thinking angering Taker by costing him the titles. Angle acts surprised by this, saying he was just trying to help his friends and didn’t mean to offend Taker like that. Angle tries to apologize to Taker claiming he didn’t mean to make him angry and would never do that as a main of integrity. But you can imagine Taker isn’t going to let this slide.
~ Out in the arena Dean Malenko heads to the ring a day after having his infamous match with Jacqueline on Heat. Malekno gets on the mic and calls his encounter last night possibly the lowest point of his career. Hard to argue that. Malenko then addesses Jacqueline saying he doesn’t wrestle against women, but rather he wrestles with women. Malenko decides to redeem himself tonight by throwing out an open challenge to anyone for his Light Heavyweight title, not caring who it is. Crash Holly then makes his way out and we have ourselves a match.
- WWF Light Heavyweight Title: Dean Malenko © vs. Crash Holly
Malenko hammers away on Crash as he slides in the ring then whips him and hits a knee to the chest. Malenko goes for a whip, Crash reverses him into a corner and Malneko lifts himself up but Crash fakes him out. Crash works Malenko over then goes for a whip, Malenko reverses into a corner and charges but eats a boot. Crash goes for a clothesline and Malenko blocks it but both men end up hitting each other with a neckbreaker. Crash goes for a Sunset Flip and Malneko sits on the shoulders but Crash counters by hooking the legs for two. Malenko then goes for the Texas Cloverleaf when Crash counters that with a rollup that gets him a near fall. Crash whips Malenko into a corner and eats a boot but Malenko runs into a powerslam for another two count. Crash climbs to the top rope and leaps off but Malenko catches him and goes for the Texas Cloverleap again. Crash grabs the ropes for the break and Malenko goes for a powerbomb but Crash coutners with a huricanrana. Crash gets in some forearms to the face then whips Malenko but lowers the head and Malenko kicks the face. Crash goes for another huricanrana but Malenko catches him into a powerbomb and that’s enough for the pin. (2:01) Okay for what it was but really needed a few more minutes to truly be something. Malenko celebrates when Ivory comes in and distracts Malenko allowing Jacqueline to nail him from behind. Ivory and Jackie take turns getting in shots then both ladies whip Malenko and hit him with a double suplex. **
~ Backstage Gerald Brisco visits Mick Foley in his office begging him to call off Shane McMahon’s match as well while describing Shane as the “King of Sting” and the “Giant Killer”, prompting Foley to laugh heartily at both claims. Foley and Brisco engage in a little Looney Toons bit before Foley tells Brisco the match is on.
~ Kurt Angle is shown heading to the ring with his crown and scepter in hand as we go to commercial.
~ Back from break Kurt Angle makes his way to the ring for the next match but first decides to get on the mic and warns all NBA free agents to stay away from Orlando because the fans stink or the arena stinks. Angle then mentions his match with Hardcore Holly on Smackdown, claiming he had no intentions of breaking his arm but he’s glad he did after the way Hardcore disrespected him and his crown. Angle also warns Commissioner Foley to give him a worthy opponent tonight because he won’t be disrespected again. On that note out comes … the Brooklyn Brawler?! Angle isn’t happy with this and complains that his opponent hasn’t won since the Carter Administration. Mick Foley then comes out to the ramp with a mic and admits the Brawler isn’t good enough competition for Angle so that’s why the Brawler is Angle’s tag team partner. Foley then brings out their opponents … the Dudley Boyz.
- The Dudley Boyz vs. Kurt Angle & The Brooklyn Brawler
Angle starts off against D’Von Dudley and gets in the first shots then whips him and leapfrogs over him but D’Von stops himself and whips Angle into a shoudlertackle as we see Undertaker watching from the back. D’Von whips Angle and hits a jumping elbow but Angle comes back and plants him with a belly-to-belly suplex. Angle tags Brawler in and Brawler does hits some chops then whips D’Von and knocks him down with a clothesline. Brawler whips D’Von but lowers the head and D’Von kicks the face then follows up with a flying forearm. Bubba tags in and helps D’Von whip Brawler into a double clothesline then hits an elbowdrop for a two count. Brawler rakes Bubba’s face then staggers back to his corner when Angle tags himself in and has words with him. Angle then proceeds to run right into a powerslam from Bubba for a two count. Bubba chops Angle in a corner then goes for a whip and Angle reverses Bubba into the opposite corner then goes for a monkey flip but Bubba shoves him to the mat. Angle starts fighting back and whips Bubba then hits a German suplex and tags Brawler in to take over on him. Brawler gets some offense in and shoulderblocks Bubba in a conrer then whips him into the opposite corner but eats a boot. Bubba comes out with a clothesline and gets in a shot on Angle then sets Brawler up while D’Von climbs to the top rope and connects with the headbutt to the groin. Bubba then dares Angle to come in and face him, even allowing Brawler to crawl to his corner to make the tag. Brawler reaches out but Angle short-arms him then hops off the apron deciding he’s not having this anymore and walks out on his partner. Angle then watches while the Dudleys nail Brawler with a 3D for the pin. (3:50) Nothing really notable here. Angle heads to the back while the Dudleys decide they’re not quite done yet and slide a table in the ring. Bubba hops to the middle rope as D’Von passes Brawler to him and Bubba superbombs him through the table. *
~ Back from break we get a replay of Kurt Angle abandoning the Brooklyn Brawler and condemning him to a table.
- Test (w/Trish Stratus) vs. The Godfather (w/the ladies)
Test gets in the first shots when Godfather comes back and stomps Test down in a corner before choking him. Godfather whips Test into the opposite corner and charges but eats an elbow. Test follows up with a boot then whips Godfather and hits his own elbow. A siren goes off and Steve Richards comes out with sacks in hand which he slips over the Godfather’s women. Godfather whips Test and hits his own boot then suplexes him before backdropping Test over the ropes. Godfather finally see what’s happening on the floor and reaches out trying to pull a sack away from Richards when Test snaps his neck on the top rope. Test climbs to the top rope and connects with the flying elbowdrop to put this one away. (1:51) Test then departs with the victory while Godfather tries to get the sacks off his entourage. Just there to continue establishing Richards’ new angle. NR
~ Backstage Mick Foley meets with Shane McMahon looking to get him pumped up for his big main event but Shane tries to talk Foley out of it, accusing him of not understanding how he feels with all the injuries he has. Foley tells Shane he understands before ranting about all the injuries he suffered in matches yet each one of them continued to the finish. Foley then walks off and Shane looks rattled, having failed to convince Foley to let him out of the match.
~ Back from break we get a replay of Steven Richards censoring The Godfather’s women in his loss to Test earlier. Kevin Kelly then interviews Richards backstage with Richards saying there’s an acceptable way of presenting yourself. Richards mentions Independece Day and that the U.S. was founded on freedom but asks when does freedom go too far. Richards also says he’s not going to let everyone ride around naked on donkeys and shooting illegal bottle rockets.
~ Elsewhere Steve Blackman admires his new Hardcore Title when he sees Al Snow coming and readies himself. Snow claims he’s not here for Blackman’s title but to congradulate him before suggesting they go their separate ways and Blackman is totally for that. Snow decides to read a poem he wrote that commemorates their adventures together but while he reads Kaientai tries to attack Blackman with a referee. Blackman fights them off when rhe Mean Street Posse then appear but Blackman grabs a kendo stick and beats them while Snow continues to read. Once Snow finished he accuses Blackman with not paying attention then feels there’s no comunication between them. Blackman just walks off wondering why Snow isn’t in a straightjacket while Snow wants to finish reading the poem.
~ We cut back to WWF New York and find Terri still entertaining the crowd. Shane McMahon is then shown making his way to the ring for the match as we go to commercial.
~ Back from break Michael Cole interviews The Rock asking if he’ll show sympathy to the injured Shane McMahon. Rock asks Cole if Shane showed him any sympathy after putting him in handicap matches and everything else he did. Rock feels sorry that Shane is going to walk out of Orlando with his boot stuck where the sun doesn’t shine.
- WWF World Heavyweight Title: The Rock © vs. Shane McMahon
We’re already past the top of the hour by the time Shane limps out to the ring so it’s looking like a pretty short main event. Once Rock comes out Shane gets on the mic telling Rock he doesn’t want to take advantage of his condition then suggests the two of them shouldn’t be fighting each other but should in fact join forces. Shane mentions Vince has lost it, Linda is emboilled with power and Triple H and Stephanie blew their chance. Shane tells Rock the two of them could dominate the WWF together and he’d reign as WWF Champion forever. Rock eventually answers Shane’s proposal with a right hand then whips him and plants him with the spinebuster. Rock readies for the People’s Elbow .. when Chris Benoit comes in and whacks Rock from behind with a chair! (0:10) Benoit continues hitting Rock with the chair repeatedly then lays the boots to him and slaps him in the Crossface. Rock is screaming in pain while Shane gives him a verbal talkdown then slaps his face and gets in his own kicks while keeping Earl Henber at bay. The other referees come in but Shane takes them out. Sgt. Slaguther comes out but Benoit lets go of Rock and takes him out on the apron. Benoit then puts Rock back in the Crossface while Shane grabs a chair and jabs Rock’s other arm repeatedly. Eventually Mick Foley makes his way out when Shane and Benoit finally release Rock and depart from the ring together with Benoit smiling and the Rock staring daggers at him. Looks like we may have our new #1 contender as the show goes off the air.
Conclusion: Looking at this episode of Raw the first hour had some good in-ring action and only one talking segment which could have cut down a little, but the wrestling does taper off in the second hour with some not-so-great matches. However Triple H’s battle with Jericho was advanced nicely and the ball got rolling on two more feuds for Fully Loaded (Rock/Benoit and Angle/Taker), resulting in a cool old guard vs. new blood vibe for the supercard. The way they established Benoit as a force to be reckoned with was especially well done which would help him in his sojurn to the main event. So not the greatest two hours but still a decent stop on the road to Fully Loaded.