Written by: Adam King
WWF RAW IS WAR
Monday, December 18th, 2000
Live from the BI-LO Center in Greenville, SC
List of WWF Champions at the time:
● WWF World Heavyweight Champion: Kurt Angle (10/22/2000)
● WWF Intercontinental Champion: Chris Benoit (12/10/2000)
● WWF World Tag Team Champions: Edge & Christian (12/10/2000)
● WWF European Champion: William Regal (12/04/2000)
● WWF Hardcore Champion: Steve Blackman (9/24/2000)
● WWF Women’s Champion: Ivory (11/02/2000)
● WWF Light Heavyweight Champion: Dean Malenko (4/27/2000)
~ Raw comes on the air with highlights of Vince McMahon’s evil emotional rampage onSmackdown. Jim Ross then welcomes us to the show along with Jerry “The King” Lawler as they run down tonight’s card, which includes Steve Austin taking on William Regal, Jeff Hardy challenging Chris Benoit for the Intercontinential Title and Jacquline teaming with the Acolytes take on T&A and Trish Stratus.
~ Things kick off with Vince McMahon hobbling to the ring on his cane without the Stooges around. Vince gets on the mic and says things have changed in his life since last Thursday. Vince mentions hearing of his wife Linda being rushed to the hospital in the closing moments of Smackdown then claims his reaction to the news was misinterpreted. Vince says he was actually saddened by the news but admits he laughed when he should have cried. Vince says it wasn’t the appropriate response as a corprate citizen but accues the fans of laughing when they should be crying at times as well. Vince takes some of the blame for Linda’s breakdown but feels Mick Foley should also take the blame, that he wouldn’t have asked for a divorce had Foley not pushed him at Madison Square Garden. Vince also feels he wouldn’t have said everything about Linda he did had Stephanie not provoked him and that Linda should also take the blame for her breakdown for being so fragile and weak. Vince says his explanations aren’t good enough so he decides to try to make things right. Vince says he temporarily stopped the divorce proceedings until Linda is in better health. Vince then shows a photo presentaion of his family in happier times on the TitanTron. Once the slideshow finishes Stephanie McMahon makes her way out with a sour look on her face. Stpehanie gets on the mic and says she called Vince disgusting last week but now that description doesn’t fit. Stephanie tells Vince the way he treated Linda is degrading and that she’s proud to be like her. Vince responds by telling Stephanie more about his night with Linda in the backseat of his car. Vince says he didn’t want to marry Linda but had to because Shane would have been a b******. Suddenly Kurt Angle comes out to the ring and joins the discussion saying he can’t watch this go down. Angle talks about one family member being cruel to the other but says he’s ashamed of Stephanie for talking to Vince that way saying children should treat their parents with respect. Angle says if he did that to his father he would have been kicked out of the house and wouldn’t have won his medals.
Now Mick Foley comes out to the ring to offer his two cents, as if this segment isn’t long enough at 18 minutes. Foley takes the mic but kicks Vince’s cane away calling his injury as real as the sentement behind that video earlier. Foley tells Vince that referring him as garbage is insulting to actual garbage and calls him scum for talking to Stephanie that way. Foley talks about Vince driving Linda to a breakdown but Angle feels it’s a load of bunk, that Linda broke down because of Vince taking the Stunner, Rock Bottom, Last Ride and Mandible Claw. Angle also asks Foley how many times his kids watched him get beaten up and annihilated half to death and if he was Foley’s wife he’d divorce him. Foley makes fun of Angle wanting to be his wife before saying he wouldn’t marrry a whining, backstabbing crybaby with a receding hairline like Angle. Foley then tells Angle that instead of being his wife he will defend the WWF Championship tonight but Angle brushes it off, pointing out all the matches he’s been in and survived with his title intact. Foley mentions there’s one person on the active roster Angle hasn’t faced in the ring and calls him a tough guy and a former WWF Champion…Vince McMahon! Vince and Angle are shocked as Foley departs the ring and this segments finally ends after 23 minutes. Yes, we wasted a quarter of the show just for Vince’s ego and to set up a match that has an obvious result. Or does it?
~ Back from break we get a replay of Mick Foley ordering Angle to defend the title against Vince tonight. We then get a shot of Stephanie storming out of the building into a limo and driving off.
~ Backstage Jeff Hardy is getting ready for his match as Matt pumps him up nearby, telling him to think about everything the Radicalz did to them and Lita. Matt tells Jeff if he beats Chris Benoit he takes his title and his pride and Jeff promises to show him what Jeff Hardy is all about as he departs.
- WWF Intercontinential Title: Chris Benoit © vs. Jeff Hardy
Jeff got a sudden, surprising pin over Benoit on Smackdown so here’s the result. JR mentions that Matt Hardy and the other Radicalz are barred from ringside for this match to leave it one-on-one. Benoit gets in the first shots whips Jeff but Jeff slides under the ropes. Benoit goes out after Jeff but Jeff climbs back in and hits a dropkick through the ropes then slings himself over the ropes into a plancha. Jeff throws Benoit back in the ring then climbs onto the apron but Benoit knocks him off. Benoit goes out and throws Jeff into the barricade then hits a back suplex and follows up with a snap suplex for a two count. Benoit works Jeff over with chops and a headbutt then whips Jeff into the a corner and hits a German suplex. Benoit holds on for a second German suplex then holds on for a third suplex. Benoit climbs to the top rope and connects with the diving headbutt but only gets a two count! Benoit goes for another suplex but Jeff turns in midair and falls on top of Benoit for a near fall. Jeff hits an inverted enzuigiri then goes for a whip, Benoit reverses but Jeff runs up the turnbuckles and hits the Whisper in the Wind for a two count. Jeff goes for the Twist of Fate but Benoit blocks it and flips Jeff in front of him then slaps on the Crossface and Jeff taps out just like that! (3:38)Benoit eventually releases the hold and poses over Jeff’s fallen body. Solid match that could have been a great one but they just had to cram everything into three minutes because of the long opening segment. **
~ Backstage Vince McMahon and Kurt Angle are talking in Vince’s office about the match with Angle claiming that Foley has gone to far trying to make the two of them fight each other. However Vince starts warming up to the idea of winning the title again, feeling what better way to humiliate Foley than to become two-time WWF Champion. Angle start to get nervous and leaves a smiling Vince as we go to commercial.
~ Back from break we get an exterior shot of the Bi-LO Center as the announcers buzz about the title match.
~ Backstage Edge and Christian are talking about Perfect Strangers when Kurt Angle comes by ranting that Vince actually wants his title. Angle tells E&C that Mick Foley likes them despite the crazy stuff he puts them through so he asks E&C to convince Foley to call the match off. E&C agree to talk to Foley for Angle by sucking up to him then walk off.
~ Out in the arena JR and Lawler talk about the neck injury Chyna suffered at the hands of the Right to Censor last week. After showing a clip of the spike pildriver the announcers next show footage of Chyna getting an MRI at a hospital with JR saying nobody knows when, or even if Chyna will be back in action.
~ Elsewhere backstage Michael Cole interviews Billy Gunn about teaming with the Dudleys against the RTC. Billy says tonight he and then Dudleys will get revenge and that one of the RTC’s members is going down tonight. Does anyone find it weird how Billy is teaming with the Dudleys after they put him on the shelf for most of the year back at No Way Out? Oh, we’re forgetting all that stuff now. My mistake.
~ Still elsewhere Mick Foley is in his office when Edge and Christian come in playing his theme on their kazoos. Edge tells Foley that his book “Christmas Chaos” is great but can’t name his favorite part when asked. Edge asks Foley to cancel Angle’s match against Vince tonight feeling Vince has been getting beaten up lately while Christian claims there are many people upset at Vince getting a title shot ahead of them. Foley refuses to cancel the match and says he’d rather hear E&C on their kazoos. E&C then feel Foley looks at them as a couple of jokes and Edge even flips his card table over. Foley tells E&C if they want to be taken seriously they can defend their Tag Team titles tonight but Edge feels he and Christian have beaten every tag team a million times. Foley says they haven’t beaten this team as he books Edge and Christian against the team of … The Undertaker and The Rock! E&C depart with shocked looks as Foley tells them to inform Angle his match is still on. I’m pretty sure E&C do hold a win over Rock and Taker from back in September, but again we’re not supposed to remember that far back.
- The Dudley Boyz & “The One” Billy Gunn vs. Bull Buchanan, The Goodfather & Val Venis (w/Steven Richards & Ivory)
Billy still looking to avenge Chyna’s injury, plus Val tried to convert then ambush the Dudleys last night on Heat disgusied as Santa Claus. Billy and the Dudleys go out to meet the RTC on the apron and brawl with them to ringside before Buchanan and D’Von make their way in the ring to officially start the match. Buchanan whips D’Von and D’Von hits a flying clothesline then goes for a whip but Buchanan reverses and hits a boot. Goodfather tags in and whips D’Von but D’Von comes back with a crossbody for a near fall. Bubba Ray tags in and goes for a whip but Goodfather reverses and hits a backdrop followed by a clothesline. Goodfather whips Bubba into a corner and goes for the Ho Train but Bubba cuts him down with a clothesline. Bubba decks the other RTC’ers on the apron then slams Goodfather and sets him up while D’Von climbs to the top and connects with the “Wassup” headbutt. Bubba sends D’Von out for a table but Val Venis starts brawling with D’Von on the floor. Richards comes in looking for a Steviekick when Bubba ducks it and grabs him by the neck but Ivory comes in and low blows Bubba from behind to make the save. Buchanan tags in and hammers Bubba then he and Val double-team him in their corner. Buchanan whips Bubba but misses a clothesline and both men clothesline each other. Both men crawl to their corners and Buchanan tags in Val while Bubba makes the tag Billy. Billy hits a pair of clotheslines then whips Val and hits a backdrop. Billy pops the otter RTC’ers on the apron then whips Val and hits a tilt-o-whirl slam. Billy covers Val but the other RTC’ers break up the pin and all six men pour in and start going at it before the Dudleys, Buchanan and Goodfather spill out to the floor leaving Billy and Val in the ring. Billy then sets Val up for a piledriver looking to get his payback but Ivory hops on the apron and grabs Billy by the hair to break it up. Billy brings Ivory in the ring and sets her up for a piledriver but Richards superkicks Billy and Val plants him with a Fisherman’s suplex for the three. (4:02) At least the crowd was into this. *
~ Backstage Edge and Christian are heading to the ring with depressed looks. Kurt Angle walks up trying to apologize and pump his pals up but E&C just keep on walking.
~ The Undertaker is shown meeting up with The Rock and both head out as we go to commercial.
~ Back from break Vince is getting ready for the match when Kurt Angle comes in. To angle’s show Vince tells him he loves this match since him becoming WWF Champion would drive Mick Foley over the edge just like Linda. Vince then suggests to Angle that he take a few shots then go down for the quick 1-2-3 but Angle balks and tells Vince he’s not laying down and giving him his title. Vince tries to remind Angle he’s in the WWF and that he brought him into the company but Angle fires back by telling Vince he has billions of dollars but doesn’t have gold medals. Angle tells Vince he’s not getting his title and storms off. Wow, seems like they’re really going to tear at each other (wink, wink).
- WWF World Tag Team Titles: Edge & Christian © vs. The Rock & The Undertaker
You’re probably thinking there’s going to be some sort of run-in to save the titles, but keep reading. Christian attacks Rock from behind to start and pounds on him in a corner but Rock reverses positions and gets in his shots. Rock goes for a whip and Christian reverses him into the opposite corner but Rock comes out with a clothesline. Rock hits a back suplex for a two count but Christian comes back and tags in Edge. Edge goes for a whip, Rock reverses but lowers the head. Edge kicks the face then comes off the ropes but runs into a powerslam for a near fall. Rock rams Edge into Taker’s boot then tags him in and Taker hammers away on Edge in a corner. Taker whips Edge into the opposite corner and hits a clothesline then whips him the other way and charges but this time eats an elbow. Edge hops to the middle rope and leaps off but Taker catches him in a choke when Christian comes in to make the save but gets knocked down. Taker continues assaulting Edge in a corner but Edge slips out from there and gets in his own shots. Taker grabs Edge by the throat and throws him back into the corner for more punishment when Christian comes by but Taker throws him into Edge and tees off on him as well. Taker whips Christian into a corner then pops Edge before hitting Christian with a sidewalk slam. Edge clotheslines Taker and whips him but lowers the head and Taker hits a DDT. Rock tags in and gets in some shots then goes for a whip but Edge reverses it as Christian waits to attack Rock. Isntead Rock stops himself and pops Christian off the apron but Rock turns back just as Edge spears him.
Edge and Christian doule-team Rock until Taker shoves the referee out of the way then chases Christian out to the floor. Egde chokes Rock on the mat then whips him and E&C hit a double slam before Christian covers for a two count. Christian lays the boots to Rock and whips him into an elbow then applies a chinlock. Rock manages to fight out of it and get in some shots then goes for a whip but Christian reverses and connects with a spinning heel kick. Edge tags in and taunts Taker as he sets Rock up but Rock counters into a Rock Bottom. Both men crawl to their corners and Edge tags in Christian while Rock tags in Taker. Taker pummels Christian and whips him into a corner and Christian staggers out into a powerslam. Taker catches Edge with a right hand and throws him over the ropes where Rock goes after him. The refere heads out to try and restore order while Taker grabs Christian’s arm and walks the top rope before clubbing him in the back and clotheslining him over the ropes. Rock rams Edge into the announce table but as Edge bounces back he accidentally knocks into the referee putting him out. Rock goes for a whip but Edge reverses him into the ringpost. Taker rolls Christian back in the ring and clotheslines him then plants him with the Last Ride! Taker covers Christian but the referee is still recovering on the floor and can’t count it. Edge brings one of the tag belts in the ring and waffles Taker with it then Christian covers him as the referee comes back in…but Taker powers out of the cover! Edge tags in and puts Taker in a sleeper to prevent a tag but Taker throws himself backward to break the hold and makes the tag to Rock. Rock wails away on Edge then whips him and hits a Samoan Drop. Rock works over Christian and caps it off with the Smackdown. Edge goes for a spear but Rock catches him into a spinebuster! Rock then drops the People’s Elbow on Edge and gets the 1..2..3 and we have new champions! (8:40) Yep, Rock and Taker both win their fourth tag titles. Good match with the crowd totally into it but there was no reason for Edge & Christian to drop the titles like that. I have a feeling this was done just to further the show’s main angle which reminds me of the booking style of another famous Vince. **½
~ Back from break we get a replay of Rock and Taker’s tag title win. That leads into a discussion about Lugz boots for some reason.
~ Backstage Mick Foley is in his office with Debra when Vince McMahon comes in mocking him for welding his commissioner’s power and putting him in a match with Angle. Vince says he’s going to beat Angle down and become the WWF Champion then decides to thank Foely for the match … by slapping him across the cheek! Vince walks off and Foley calmly dares Vince to ‘thank him’ later as we go to commercial.
~ Back from break we find Vince admiring his physique in a mirror.
- Chris Jericho vs. Perry Saturn (w/Terri Runnels)
JR mentions Saturn’s buddy Eddie Guerrero is on the shelf for a while with a lower back injury and torn hamstring after suffering the Walls of Jericho on Smackdown. Both men lockup to start and Saturn hits a knee to the midsection then whips Jericho comes back with chops. Jericho goes for a whip, Saturn reverses but lowers the head and Jericho kicks the face. Jericho goes for the ropes but Terri grabs his ankle from the floor allowing Saturn to hit a superkick. Saturn hits several knees to the face and follows up with a full nelson suplex. Saturn works Jericho over in a corner and Jericho starts to fight back but Saturn stops that with a knee to the chest. Saturn whips Jericho but Jericho connects with a flying forearm. Jericho goes for a whip, Saturn reverses and Jericho springs off the ropes into … I guess some sort of moonsaut that was botched. Jericho whips Saturn into a corner and comes off the ropes for the bulldog but Saturn flatens him with a clothesline for a two count. Saturn goes for the Death Valley Driver but Jericho slips out if it and into the Walls of Jericho. Saturn tries to reach the ropes but can’t and is forced to tap out. (2:19) This one never seemed to get on track. *½
Jericho refuses to release the hold until Terri comes in and pulls him off by the hair so Jericho turns toward Terri and takes her down before putting her in the Walls of Jericho. Chris Benoit and Dean Malenko run in the ring and Jericho is able to fight them off until Benoit nails him from behind. Saturn drills Jericho with the Death Valley Driver and Malenko puts him in the Texas Cloverleaf while Benoit climbs to the top and hits the diving headbutt.
~ Backstage Vince is oiling up his biceps when Trish Stratus comes into his dressing room saying she admired what he did out there, especially to Mick Foley. Trish says she loves a man who takes charge and Vince says that’s what he does well. Trish wishes Vince luck in his match and Vince does the same for her. Could we be looking at the next Mrs. McMahon right there, folks?
~ Steve Austin (or rather his shadow) is shown arriving at the bulding as we go to commercial.
~ Back from break we find the Acolytes have reclaimed their office from Test & Albert with Bradshaw complaining on how long it took to get all the hair and perfume out of their office. Bradshaw then tells someone off camera this is a one-shot deal because they don’t need a woman to back them up. Bradshaw tells the person to take care of Trish as the camera then pulls back to reveal Jacqueline who demands a light and a beer. Jackie tells the Acolytes to worry about themselves and that she’ll take care of Trish.
- Stone Cold Steve Austin vs. William Regal © – Non-Title Match
Seems like the result is a no-brainer right? Of course they’re not going to ackowledge these two as former WCW Tag Team Champions (for a day). After Regal comes out first he gets on the mic and talks about Austin being a threat in the WWF with his appalling rampage and promises to make an example of him. Regal demands Austin come out when Austin charges in the ring and goes right to work on Regal. Austin rams Regal repeatedly into the turnbuckle and whips him and hits the Thesz Press. Austin unloads on Regal with right hands and caps off with an elbowdrop for a two count. Austin hits a series of kicks and follows up with a suplex for another two count. Austin chokes Regal on the middle rope and straddles him then jabs Regal in the eye and hits a clothesline for another near fall. Regal throws Austin through the ropes then goes out but Austin rams him into the announce table. Austin applies a headlock but Regal shoves him off into the ringpost then throws him into the post a second time before tossing him back in the ring. Regal lays the boots to Austin and chokes him on the mat. Regal whips Austin but lowers the head and Austin kicks the face and hits a clothesline for a near fall. Regal trips Austin with a drop toehold then hammers him in a corner with European forearms. Regal goes for a whip, Ausitn reverses him into a corner but Regal stops himself. Austin pummels Regal in a corner and shoves the referee away but Regal kicks him below the belt. Regal covers Austin while grinding the elbow but only gets a two count and covers him two more times but doesn’t get the three. Austin wails away on Regal in a corner and stomps him down before flipping him off. Austin whips Regal and goes for a Stunner but Regal shoves him right into the referee. Regal hits the inverted neckbreaker and covers but the referee is still out and can’t count it. Regal brings his European belt in the ring and readies a swing but Austin catches him with the Stunner. Austin takes the belt himself and gets ready to use it when the referee comes to and, seeing Austin holding the belt, calls for the bell thinking Austin used it and gives the DQ decision to Regal. (4:32) Wow, Regal beats Austin. Sort of. Solid match but too short with a lame finish. **
Austin argues his case with the referee but eventually takes him out with a Stunner. Regal takes his belt and departs but Austin grabs his beer and throws a can at him. Austin then pours another can of beer over the fallen referee as we go to commercial.
~ Back from break we get a replay of Austin Stunning the referee after being falsely DQ’ed.
~ Backstage Edge and Christian are reeling from their title loss when Kurt Angle comes in assuring his pals they’ll get their belts back. Angle then asks them to focus on him retaining his title but Edge takes exception to this, accusing Angle of always thinking of himself. Christian adds if Angle wasn’t so selfish all the time they wouldn’t be in this situation then E&C walk out on Angle as he tries to explain himself.
- T & A and Trish Stratus vs. The Acolytes & Jacqueline – Intergender Match
The Acolytes go at it with T&A to start then spill out to the floor leaving the ladies to go at it in the ring. Jackie spears Trish and goes for a whip but Trish reverses it and Test trips her from the floor. Trish lays the boots to Jackie and rams her into the mat repeatedly. Trish whips Jackie into a corner and scoos her up but Jackie floats over her and gets an O’Connor roll for a two count. Jackie whips Trish but Trish kicks her in the chest and comes off the ropes with a bulldog for a two count. Jackie reaches for a tag and Trish tries to stop it but Jackie manages to tag in Faarooq. The referee doesn’t allow the tag since he missed it but the Acolytes knock T&A off the apron anyway and the men again brawl on the floor. In the ring Trish whips Jackie and lowers the head but Jackie leapfrogs over her and hits a floatover DDT that gets the three. (1:47) The ladies went the distance and the men never legally tagged into the match.DUD
~ Backstage Mick Foley and Debra are talking when Kurt Angle comes in and again begs Foley to call off the match. Angle feels Vince has something that will cost him his title plus he’ll be beating up the owner of the company and doesn’t want Vince among his enemies. Foley says he called his wife who’s excited about the match and fears she’ll divorce him if he calls it off. Angle tells Foley he won’t forget this before walking off and Foley responds in kind as we go to commercial.
~ Back from break we cut to WWF New York where we find Lita putting on a lingerie show. We also get a shot of Dean Malenko watching Lita on a monitor.
~ Backstage Michael Cole meets up with Vince McMahon to get some quick comments from him. Vince mentions what he said earlier about making things right personally and professionally and also talks about this being the holiday season and just walks off. Kids, whenever Vince talks about ‘making things right’ what usually happens?
~ Kurt Angle is shown walking to the ring with a sour look on his face. We also see Mick Foley and Debra settling in to watch the match as we go to commercial.
~ Back from break they start showing clips from previous Royal Rumbles to hype this year’s event. This week’s clip is Jake Roberts clearing the ring with his snake in 1996.
~ Out in the arena Lillian Garcia starts introducing the main event when Mick Foley comes out and takes the mic, asking Lillian to allow him to act as guest ring announcer. Foley introduces Angle as a gold medalist with a receding hairline who wants to be his wife. Foley then refers to Vince as a horrible father with a net worth containing more zeores than an Angle family reunion.
- WWF World Heavyweight Title: Kurt Angle © vs. Vince McMahon
They’ve built this match up all night but we’ve seen this type of setup before many times and what usually happens in this case? Anyway Foley joins the announcers for commentary while Vince joins Angle in the ring and they stand nose-to-nose. Vince turns and has words with Foley then Angle has words with Foley when Vince takes him down from behind. Vince jumps around and slides out to the floor holding up two fingers. Vince gets on the mic and talks about being a former state amateur champion and scoring two points against the Olympic Gold Medalist. Vince says it wasn’t easy .. before turning and nailing Foley with the mic! Yep, we definitely should have seen this coming. Angle then goes out and helps Vince beat on Foley then throws him in the ring. Foley comes back with some right hands as Vince comes in with a chair but Foley beats him down in a corner. Angle nails Foley from behind but Foley kicks Anlge below the belt then pulls out Mr. Socko and locks the Mandible Claw on Vince. However Angle nails Foley in the back with the chair and all three men are down. Edge and Christian then come out next brandishing chairs and whack Foley with the Con-Chair-To.
But wait, Stephanie McMahon runs out to the ring with some papers in hand and gets on the mic asking everyone to stop beating Foley because she has something that could change his life. Stephanie says she has some papers from the Board of Directors that could change the WWF as well. Stephanie announce Linda has been deemed mentally incompetent for her duties as CEO of the WWF and as a result full authority of the CEO’s office has been granted to … Vince McMahon! Stephanie congradulates Vince saying it’s official and the two embrace! Yes, it’s a shocking swerve! Vince happily tells Linda business is business and that Mr. McMahon is back in control! Vince says with the power invested in him he informs Foley his services are no longer required then tells him in his face “YOU’RE FIRED!” Foley lunges at Vince but Angle cuts him off with a chair shot and stands over his bleeing carcass. Vince shakes everyone’s hand and they all leave Foley beaten, blooded and humilated in the ring. However once Vince is on the ramp he turns back and tells Foley “Merry Christmas” as we go off the air.
Conclusion: For the third straight show it was all about Vince McMahon. The opening quarter hour centered around Vince and throughout the show they built toward a main event also involving Vince. But this episode also reminded me of the other famous Vince (that being V. Russo) as it had that “booked on the fly” feel. There is some nice in-ring action but the matches were mostly on the short side while the only real good bout had a title change just for the heck of it. Plus the main event was not only an obvious swerve but was quickly followed by a “shocking swerve” after teasing Stephanie’s face turn. So I won’t flunk this show totally but I’m still going to have to go thumbs slighty down here.