Written by: Adam King
WWF RAW IS WAR
Monday, October 23rd, 2000
Live from the Hartford Civic Center in Hartford, CT
List of WWF Champions at the time:
● WWF World Heavyweight Champion: Kurt Angle (10/22/2000)
● WWF Intercontinental Champion: Eddie Guerrero (9/04/2000)
● WWF World Tag Team Champions: “Los Conquistadors” (10/22/2000)
● WWF European Champion: William Regal (10/16/2000)
● WWF Hardcore Champion: Steve Blackman (9/24/2000)
● WWF Women’s Champion: Lita (8/21/2000)
● WWF Light Heavyweight Champion: Dean Malenko (4/27/2000)
~ Raw comes on the air noting the passing of former WWF Champion Rodney Anoai, aka Yokozuna (1966-2000).
~ After the intro Jim Ross welcomes us to the show along with Jerry “The King” Lawler and announces the new WWF Champion will be in the house tonight. Plus they mention Steve Austin is currently in jail in Albany after trying to run Rikishi down in a car. So wrestling logic says plan on seeing him before the show’s out.
~ Things kick off with Rikishi making his way to the ring amid a chorus of boos for our opening gabfest. Rikishi gets on the mic and says everyone though Austin was going to make a big comeback last night but Austin isn’t going to be here tonight because he’s in jail trying to make bail. Rikishi adds he pressed charges against Austin after he tried to run him over last night while another crime was committed when The Rock lost his WWF Championship. Rikishi claims he wasn’t out to screw Rock out of his title but to help and support him and while ‘they’ lost the battle last night he promises to help Rock regain his belt. Rikishi then asks Rock to come out and listen to what he has to say and right on cue the now-former WWF Champion makes his way to the ring. Rikishi tells Rock he’s sorry for costing him the WWF Title last night when Rock takes the mic and admits he and Rikishi have done a lot together over the years but as far his apology is concerned, he wants nothing more to do with him. Rikishi continues to state his case saying he knows Rock is upset but Rock insists he doesn’t need his help to get his title back. Rikishi even tells Rock he’s hurting his feelings and Rock scoffs at that before telling him what to do with his feelings. Rikishi even threatens to tell the world something and Rock responds in his usual way. Rikishi finally tells Rock that he’s still going to be there for him no matter what and Rock says understands Rikishi’s sentiments … before laying him out with a Rock Bottom! Rock then leaves the ring having turned his back to his now-former friend. Incidentally the interview opener only lasted 13 minutes this week.
~ JR and Lawler then lay out some of tonight’s card which includes Chris Benoit taking on Road Dogg, Los Conquistadores defend their newly-won Tag Team Titles against Edge & Christian, and Lita defending the Women’s Title against Trish Stratus in a Bra & Panties match.
~ We cut to the back and find Commissioner Mick Foley discussing the match with Lita and Trish, asking Lita why she accepted the stipulation. Lita says she is willing to do whatever to get a piece of Trish and Foley is only too happy to book the match while banning T&A and the Hardy Boyz from ringside.
~ We find a camera in the parking garage waiting for the arrivial of the new WWF Champion and Stephanie McMahon.
~ Back from break we get a replay of Rock responding to Rikishi’s apologies with a Rock Bottom.
- WWF Women’s Title: Lita © vs. Trish Stratus – Bra & Panties Match
Lita clotheslines Trish down to start and tees off on her then charges at her in a corner but eats a boot. Trish shoves Lita down and the ladies go back and forth before Trish rips off Lita’s top and chokes her with it. Lita reverses position and chokes Trish out before throwing her to the mat then goes for a whip. Trish reverses it but Lita counters with a huricanrana and removes Trish’s top. Trish comes back with a suplex and goes for a bulldog but Lita counters with a back suplex. Lita climbs to the top rope and connects with the moonsault before finishing off Trish for the win. (2:09) Not much I can really say about this. Hard to believe these two would actually go on to have good wrestling matches a few years from here. *
Lita celebrates her win but gets cut off when the Right to Censor make their way out to the stage. Steven Richards gets on the mic and says the WWF should be ashamed about the match they just saw then chastises the ladies for participating in the match and the fans for cheering them on. Richards says Lita and Trish don’t belong in the WWF but feels one woman does then introduces the newest member of the Right to Censor, Ivory! Ivory then comes out to the stage dressed as a 19th century schoolmarm and takes the mic saying she has seen the light thanks to the RTC. Ivory claims women everywhere have been jaded into believing what men want to see then tells Lita and Trish how they’ve been stripped of their pride. Ivory also claims the WWF has not been responsible enough in censoring such activites then finishes up by speaking for women everywhere by saying NO MORE! Ivory then takes her place among the RTC as Lita and Trish watch in disbelief.
~ Backstage Michael Cole interviews Los Conquistadores on thier title defense tonight, asking how they’re going to defend their tag titles against Edge & Christian. As if on cue E&C suddenly appear saying this should prove they’re not the same guys as the Conquistaors and Edge even slaps hands with one of the Conquistadors, showing flesh on flesh. Edge then declares the interview over and sends Cole and the cameraman on their way.
~ Back from commercial the camera in the garage is still waiting for the arrivial of Kurt Angle and Stephanie.
~ Out in the arena Chris Benoit comes out to the ring for the next match but first decides to get on the mic. Benoit says he’s seen diffferent ways to achieve success during his stay in the WWF and noticed that talent and sheer will are useless and being the best technical wrestler means nothing. Benoit says success in the WWF isn’t gauged by wrestling ability and his match with Triple H last night proves it. Benoit feels Triple H didn’t beat him since he had help from Stephanie so in his eyes he didn’t prove him wrong. Benoit promises that things will be different starting tonight and that his time is now.
- Chris Benoit vs. Road Dogg
For whatever reason Road Dogg is still wearing his DX colors. Dude, DX is dead, accept it. Both men exchange punches to start and Benoit gets the advantage and works Road Dogg over in a corner. Benoit goes for a whip, Road Dogg reverses it and hits a Russian legsweep followed by a headlock takeover. Benoit fights out of it and rams Road Dogg into a turnbuckle then hits a backbreaker for a two count. Benoit hits a back suplex then climbs to the top rope and goes for the diving headbutt but misses it. Road Dogg fights back and goes for a whip, Benoit reverses but Road Dogg hits the juke ‘n’ jive punches. As Road Dogg goes for the big right, out comes … Dean Malenko? I almost forgot about him! Malenko gets Road Dogg’s attention and Road Dogg takes a swing at him but misses, allowing Benoit to quickly slap on the Crossface and forcing a tap out. (2:07) Funny moment as Lillian Garcia announces the winner as Chris ‘Jericho’. Regardless Benoit refuses to release the hold at first but eventually does and slaps hands with Malenko, perhaps signlaing their alliance is back on. *½
~ Backstage Michael Cole interviews Rikishi on why he’s still in the building when no one wants him there, especially The Rock. Rikishi says this is family business and he’s going to be here all night, whether anyone likes it or not.
~ Back from break the camera in the garage still waits for Kurt Angle’s arrival.
~ Elsewhere Johnathan Coachman interviews Triple H about his match with Chris Benoit last night. Triple H says Benoit has been doing a lot of talking the past few weeks about his era being over and being the best technical wrestler in the world. Triple H admits Benoit is indeed the best wrestler he’s ever been in the ring with yet once the bell rang at No Mercy, he proved Benoit wrong. Coach also brings up Stephanie helping Kurt Angle beat The Rock for the WWF Championship and Triple H responds by saying his wife is his business and that he warned Angle about anything happening to her. Triple H mentions that Angle put Stephanie in harm’s way last night so he’s going to hurt him then warns The Rock if he touches her again, he’ll take him out as well.
~ Still photos are shown of the Steve Austin/Rikishi match from the pay-per-view.
~ We then cut to the Acolytes’ office and find Crash talking to Bradshaw and Faarooq over the phone, promising to mind the store while they recover from their terrible beating last night. Crash tries to light up a cigar when Test & Albert barge in so Crash offers some protection. Instead T&A just make fun of Crash before running him out of the office and taking over.
~ Elsewhere Chris Jericho is telling a crew member about Fozzy’s latest CD and Jericho mentions they’re going to play on Sunday Night Heat while he gets to co-host. Jericho turns but bumps into Kane, accidentally spilling hot coffee on him. Jericho tries to apologize for burning him but Kane snaps and flips over the beverage table. Yes, folks, it’s that.
- WWF European Title: William Regal © vs. Chris Jericho
Gee, I wonder if Kane is going to get involved in this match. Before the match Regal gets on the mic and calls the Hartford fans uncivilized since Connecticut produces more handguns that kill more people than any other state. Jericho comes out and starts a rebuttal but decides Regal’s not worth it and rushes the ring. Incidentally Jericho’s arm is injured from the cage match last night. Jericho chops away on Regal then whips him and hits a spinning heel kick followed by a clothesline. Jericho whips Regal into a corner and charges but Regal throws him into the ringpost and hits a Blue Thunderbomb for a two count. Regal hits several knees to the face and sets up a Tigerbomb, Jericho counters it and goes for a suplex but Regal counters that into a takedown by the arm. Regal whips Jericho but lowers the head and Jericho kicks him in the face. Jericho comes off the ropes but runs into a clothesline and Regal lands some kicks. Jericho counters with a legwhip and goes for a whip, Regal reverses but Jericho hits a forearm. Jericho comes off the ropes but Regal blocks a clothesline, hititng Jericho’s hurt arm. Regal goes for the inverted neckbreaker but Jericho counters with a mule kick below the belt. Jericho hits the bulldog followed by the Lionsault when sure enough Kane comes out to the ring. Kane shoves Regal aside and goes right for Jericho, chokeslamming him for the DQ. (2:10) Kane stands over the fallen Jericho and sets off his pyro before leaving him laying. I don’t get why Kane had to ruin what was going to be a good match. Jericho said he was sorry. **
~ Backstage T&A have set up shop in the Acolytes’ office, thinking up acronyms for their new protection agency. Albert wants a beer but Test makes him drink a Diet Pepsi instead.
~ Out in the garage a limo pulls up and out comes Stephanie and Kurt Angle who shows off the title belt around his waist. Stephanie and Angle head in the building while photographers snap pictures of them as we go to commercial.
~ Back from break Stephanie comes out to the stage and proudly introduces Kurt Angle who heads to the ring as balloons and confetti fall from the ceiling. Angle gets on the mic and speaks about what makes a successful year before recapping his first year in the WWF. Angle shows a clip on the TitanTron of him winning the European Title, claiming tourisim in Europe went up 38%. Angle then shows himself winning the Intercontinential Title a short time later in this very city which made him the first Euro-Continential Champion in WWF history, other than D’Lo Brown. Apparently they’ve ‘forgotten’ about Jeff Jarrett holding both belts as well. Next Angle shows his King of the Ring Tournament win saying that moment boosted sales of crowns and scepters. However Angle says his biggest moment was when he captured the WWF title last night, capping off the most amazing 12 months in WWF history. Angle then starts to read a poem he wrote but only gets a few lines when Mick Foley comes out to to interupt. Foley gets on the mic and assures Angle that he’s not out there to ruin is celebration but to add to it. Foley tells Angle he knows what it’s like to stand in the ring as the WWF Champion for the very first time and that he’s in awe at what Angle has accomplished in just his first year. Foley then says that something was missing last night; he received no congradulatory hug from Stephaine. Thus Foley offers to give Angle one himself and Angle accepts so Foley embraces him. Foley then surprises Angle by telling him he will have his first title defense tonight, in a triple threat match against The Rock and Triple H! Foley departs the ring, while Angle and Stephanie are naturally upset at having their parade rained on. This segment went a little too long at 15 minutes, especially since we already had a long talking segment to start the show.
~ Back from break Chyna is looking for Eddie Guerrero backstage but instead finds Mandy and Victoria. The two ladies try to explain what happened between them and Eddie but Chyna says it’s not necessary since they did her a favor in showing was a dirty rat he is. Chyna says wants to thank them then closes the door and we hears sounds of a scuffle behind it. Soon Chyna leaves the room and we see the two ladies left in a heap. I believe that’s the last we see of Mandy and Victoria (before she gets her more memorable gimmick two years later).
- Tazz & Raven vs. Too Cool
Tazz and Raven eliminated Too Cool from the Table Invitational last night so here’s thier shot at revenge. Raven locks up with Scotty 2 Hotty to start and shoulderblocks him in a corner then whips him into the opposite corner and charges but eats a boot. Scotty ducks a clothesline and connects with a crescent kick then tags in Grandmaster Sexay who hits a missile dropkick from the middle rope. Raven throws Sexay into his corner before tagging in Tazz and Sexay tries to fight out of it. but Tazz powerslams him for a two count. Sexay goes for a whip and Tazz reverses it but Sexay dropkicks Raven through the ropes. Tazz comes back with a belly-to-belly Tazplex then stomps him down before tagging Raven back in. Both men ram Sexay repeatedly into the corner then Raven whips Sexay into a corner and hits a clothesline followed by a running bulldog for a two count. Tazz tags in and beats Sexay down then whips him and hits a clothesline. Raven tags back in and whips Sexay before hitting a discus punch for a two count. Tazz tags in again and he and Raven double-team Sexay before tagging Raven back in. Raven snapmares Sexay then climbs to the top rope and leaps off but Sexay gets his feet up to block it. Sexay crawls toward his corner when Tazz tags in and tries to prevent a tag but Sexay hits an enzuigiri and tags in Scotty. Scotty goes for a whip, Tazz reverses but Scotty ducks a clothesline and hits a superkick. Raven breaks up the pin and all four men start going at it. Raven goes to whip Scotty who reverses him into a corner and comes off the ropes with the bulldog. Scotty sets up for the Worm but Tazz prevents it with a clothesline. Tazz holds Scotty while Raven takes a swing but Scotty ducks and Tazz takes the shot by accident. Scotty suplxes Raven while Sexay climbs to the top rope and connects with the Hip Hop Drop. Scotty covers Raven but the referee is busy getting Sexay out of the ring and Tazz pulls him off. Scotty whips Tazz into a corner and hits another bulldog then again goes for the Worm but Raven intercepts him with the Evenflow DDT and Tazz covers for the win. (4:37) Okay stuff there. **
~ Backstage Edge & Christian are in their lockerroom with Edge remarking about his name begin on his boots and Christian asking which sunglasses to wear for their entrance tonight. Pete Gas (he’s still around?) then comes in and tells Edge that Commissioner Foley wants to see them. Edge offers to take the meeting himself and departs while Christian is left with his sunglasses. Pete wants to help Christian pick out his shades but Christian sends him off.
~ Back from break Edge goes back to his lockerroom unable to find Foley in his office but does find Christian laid out on a broken table. Christian claims the Dudleys jumped him and that his shoulder is injured so they have to cancel their title match. Edge instead offers to battle the Conquistadors by himself and promises the tag titles are coming home before he walks off, leaving his broken partner behind. The plot thickens…
- B. A. Billy Gunn (w/Chyna) vs. Val Venis (w/Steven Richards)
Last night Val pinned Chyna in the tag match with Eddie Guerrero’s help so Billy’s looking for some payback. Before the match Eddie comes out to the stage to watch the match and Chyna wants a piece of him but Billy asks her to let him handle it. However Val jumps Billy on the floor before rolling him in the ring and working him over in a corner. Val goes for a whip, Billy reverses him into the opposite corner and eats an elbow but comes back with a powerslam for a two count. Billy goes for a whip but Val reverses and hits an elbow followed by an elbowdrop and a kneedrop for a two count. Val whips Billy but lowers the head and Billy hits a Sunset Flip for a two count. Val hits a series of forearms and comes off the ropes, Billy slaps on a sleeperhold but Val manages to counter into a Blue Thunderbomb but only gets a two count. Val goes for a whip, Billy reverses and both men clothesline each other. Billy gets in some shots then whips Val into a backdrop then whips Val again into a corner and hits a splash followed by a jackhammer. Billy sets up for the Rocker Dropper when Richards grabs his foot from the floor so Billy brings him in the ring. Val nails Billy from behind then Richards helps him whip Billy but Billy ducks a double clothesline and hits a clothesline on both men. Billy rams Richards into Val then hits the Rocker Dropper on Val to put this match away.(3:30) Harmless for the most part. Billy and Chyna celebrate while Eddie walks away disappointed. *½
~ Backstage Stephanie is talking to Triple H about being torn between him and Angle. Stephanie says she should be with Angle since he’s the champ but Triple H takes offense to it. Stephanie tells Triple H she wants to be in his corner both physically and emotionally if he’d allow it but Triple H again refuses to allow Stephanie in his corner, claiming he’s concerned with her safety.
~ Back from break footage is shown of the XFL Cheerleader tryouts which were held in Las Vegas. I bet Jerry Lawler really had a blast there.
- WWF World Tag Team Titles: Los Conquistadores © vs. Edge & Christian
Edge is fighting this match on his own since Christian was taken out earlier, or so it would seem. Edge gets on the mic and claims the Dudleys took Christian out then promises to heroically take on the Conquistadors single-handedly and bring home the gold. However once the gold men come out they’re suddenly the same height unlike earlier and Edge is puzzled, as if he’s thinking something’s not right. Edge locks up with one of the Conquistadors and applies a headlock, the gold man shoves Edge into the ropes but Edge hits a shoulderblock and the man flops around the ring. Edge hits a drop toehold and the masked man flops around again, and Edge starts looking confident. Edge scoops the Conquistador up but the masked man counters into a roll-up for a two count. Edge yells at the masked man before shoving him and the man begs for forgiveness. Edge whips him into the ropes and hits a clothesline then covers him but the man kicks out again and Edge asks what is he doing, as if he knows him. The second Conquistador tags in, Edge misses a clothesline and the masked men double-team him. The Conquistadors whip Edge into a corner and one of them drops to the mat while the other lauches off him into the Poetry in Montion, just like the Hardys. At this point the crowd realizes just who’s under the masks. The first Conquistador lays Edge out a Twist of Fate while the second climbs to the top and connects with a Swantion Bomb. The second man then covers Edge for the three count and the champs … retain? (1:43) Can’t really rate this since this was all about the angle. NR
The masked men take the belts and walk up to the stage with them when Christian suddenly comes out to the ring and asks Edge what went wrong. The Conquistadors then stop at the stage and unmask to reveal the Hardy Boyz! Edge & Christian are dumbfounded until Mick Foley comes out to the stage and gets on the mic asking how the Hardys could be the Conquistadors when they wrestled them last night. Foley then shows the answer from the earlier Edge & Christian segment with the Conquistadors. After the cameraman was kicked out of the room, the camera was left behind running and it recorded Edge & Christian talking about wearing the masks when they won the titles last night and planning on having two jobbers ‘defend’ the belts against them tonight. Foley reminds E&C they violated his mandate banning them from any more title shots against the Hardys. However Foley calls their ruse creative so he’s allowing their title victory last night to stand but at the same time he’s allowing tonight’s title change to stand as well. So just like that, the “Conquista-Hardys” are three-time Tag Champions and that be the end of that angle. Even though we already knew the punchline.
~ Backstage Rikishi finds Michael Cole and has him deliver a message to The Rock that he’s going to help him regain the title tonight then sends him on his way as we go to commercial.
~ Back from break JR and Lawler announce the WWF is holding a live event at Wall Street Wednesday at Noon. We then cut to WWF New York and find Tiger Ali-Singh and Lo Down enjoying a meal there, beginning their association that never went anywhere.
~ In the arena Triple H and The Rock make their way to the ring for the main event. Kurt Angle’s music then starts playing but Angle doesn’t come out. We cut to the back and find Stephanie convincing Angle to make the fans wait as we go to commercial.
- WWF World Heavywieght Title: Kurt Angle © (w/Stephanie) vs. The Rock vs. Triple H
Back from break Triple H and Rock stand nose-to-nose as Angle finally comes out but those two are ignoring the champ as he climbs in the ring. Angle starts to get annoyed and demands some attention so Rock and Triple H respond by nailing him simultaneously to start the match. Rock and Triple H take turns getting into their shots then whip him and hit a double elbow. Rock whips Angle into a corner but Angle comes out and clotheslines Triple H then celebrates before Rock clotheslines him. Rock goes for a whip but Angle reverses him right into Triple H, knocking him through the ropes. Angle hits a clothesline and lays the boots to Rock then works him over in a corner. Angle goes for a whip but Rock reverses and hits a Samoan Drop for a two count. Rock goes for the ropes but tumbles out to the floor after Triple H pulls down the top rope. Triple H goes in and takes over on Angle, stomping him down in a corner. Triple H goes for a whip, Angle reverses him into a corner but Triple H comes out with a neckbreaker for a two count. Triple H whips Angle but Angle ducks a clothesline and hits a German suplex. Angle goes for the ropes but Rock pulls him out of the ring and rams him into the apron. Triple H goes out and he and Rock takes turns ramming Angle into the announce table before Triple H clotheslines Angle over the table. Triple H rolls back in the ring while Rock rams Angle into the timekeeper’s table and tees off on him. Stephanie gets Rock’s attention and Rock starts toward her when Triple H stands in his way so Rock pops him with a right hand. Angle grabs the ringbell and swings it at Rock but misses and nails Triple H. Angle rams Rock into the barricade and into the apron before rolling him back in the ring. Meanwhile Stephanie is calling for help for Triple H who’s still down on the floor.
Angle lays the boots to Rock and goes for a whip but Rock counters into a DDT. Rock covers Angle but Earl Hebner is too busy tending to Triple H on the floor to count. Rock barks at Hebner before turning back into a right hand from Angle. Angle lays the boots to Rock and follows up with a suplex then stomps him down in a corner and chokes him with his boot. Angle continues to work over Rock as the EMTs arrive and place Triple H on a stretcher then wheel him out of the ringside area. Rock starts to fight back and goes for a whip but Angle ducks a clothesline and hits the Olympic Slam. Angle covers Rock but the referees are still busy with Triple H to see it. Hebner finally remeber he’s the referee and slides back in the ring to count .. but only gets two! On the stage Triple H finally comes to and gets off the stretcher then runs back in the ring. Triple H tees off on Angle then whips him and hits the high knee. Triple H clotheslines Rock over the ropes then hits the Pedigree on Angle! Triple H covers and Hebner counts 1…2…but Rock pulls Triple H out of the ring and clotheslines him. Rock goes in and plants Angle with the Rock Bottom but Triple H pulls him off as well. Rock tries to bring Triple H in the ring but Triple H snaps his neck on the top rope. Triple H goes in and whips Rock into the ropes but lowers the head and Rock hits a neckbreaker. Rock goes for a whip but he lowers the head and Triple H hits the facebuster. Triple H sets Rock up for a Pedigree when Angle clocks him with his WWF Championship belt, but for some reason Hebner allows it and also lets Angle hit Rock with the belt. Suddenly Rikishi runs in and attacks Angle and that finally draws a DQ. (8:51) Yep, a DQ after all that instead of, you know, maybe letting Angle get the win in his first title defense. A lame ending to what was a fun main event. ***
Rikishi goes for a whip but Angle bails out of the ring and backs up the ramp as the crowd chants for Steve Austin. Sure enough Austin makes his appearence and charges to the ring, clotheslining Angle along the way. Austin and Rikishi exchange punches but Austin gets the advantage, stomping him down in a corner. Angle comes in and nails Austin from behind while Rikishi makes his escape. Angle goes for a whip but Austin lays him out with the Stunner! Austin has words with Angle before celebrating with his beers as the show goes off the air. So not only does Angle not get the win but Austin steals his heat and gets the last word in. Not a good first night for the new WWF Champion.
Conclusion: I’d have to call this an up-and-down follow-up to the pay-per-view but you can already start to sense a change in the booking philosophy with this show. The in-ring action wasn’t much other than the main event and it seemed the WWF tried a little too hard to finish off some angles and get new ones started for the build toward Survivor Series. Some of the segments were fine but others not so much (i.e. Kane/Jericho). Not to mention Angle’s title reign got off on the wrong foot with this epsiode, especially with Austin swooping in and stealing his thunder at the end. So let’s say thumbs in the middle but this is only the beginning of the rough waters for the WWF.
34-year-old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Long-time fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls, and Minnesota Vikings. An avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on old-school wrestling.