Written by: Bob Colling
World Wrestling Federation presents RAW
From: Detroit, MI
Opening Contest: WWF Intercontinental Champion William Regal & Dudley Boys vs. Rob Van Dam & Hardy Boys: RVD takes Regal out with a cross body over the top to the floor and they start the match off in the ring. RVD gets a near fall after a standing senton splash. Jeff gets tagged in and hammers away on Bubba. Jeff dropkicks a table into D-Von on the floor. Dudley’s hit the What’s Up on Jeff. Jeff hits the Whisper in the Wind on D-Von. Matt and Regal get the tags and Matt cleans house. Poetry in Motion on Regal and the Side Effect for a two count. 3D on Jeff but Matt hits the Twist of Fate on D-Von. Bubba with the Bubba Bomb but RVD hits a kick off the top. RVD spin kicks Regal and hits the Five Star Frog Splash for the win! (**. A fine way to kick off the show. RVD continues to get the best of Regal every time they compete in the ring. Can’t complain since RVD is crazy over with the fans at this point.)
There was a meeting at the WWF headquarters with the board of directors. Vince McMahon was there and claimed the company was in a state of emergency. McMahon believes the board will choose who should be the owner of the company and will prove that Flair isn’t mentally capable of running the company. Vince believes either him or Flair must have absolute power of the company.
Kurt Angle comes out and talks about how he was screwed out of the WrestleMania X8 main event because of Kane. Thus, Angle will be wrestling Kane at WrestleMania! Booker T comes out and appears to turn babyface by saying that Angle need stop calling the fans stupid because they are brain dead! Edge comes out and shows Booker’s horrible appearance on the Weakest Link. Booker ends up accepting a match with Edge at Mania! Angle tries to do a spinarooni, but does it poorly. Eventually, Kurt and Booker challenge Edge to a tag match with a partner of his choosing, tonight!
Backstage, Stephanie McMahon tells Triple H that their dog Lucy is staying with her until the divorce is final. After HHH leaves, Stephanie says that she is going to introduce Lucy to Chris Jericho.
Second Contest: Rikishi vs. Test: Test delivers a running clothesline in the corner a couple of times and pummels Rikishi in the corner. Rikishi went for a belly to belly suplex but lets go to deliver a superkick. Rikishi followed up with a Samoan Drop and hits a sit down splash! Rikishi splashes Test in the corner and that sets up for the stink face! Here comes Mr. Perfect, who is tossed into the ring only to be punched to the floor. Test runs up from behind to deliver a big boot for the win. (DUD. Well, the crowd was dead for the match. A quick match and it appears that Test/Perfect have an alliance, which doesn’t seem like a bad idea to me.)
Backstage, Lucy is with Stephanie and Jericho. Lucy ends up pooping on the floor and Jericho is demanded to talk the dog for a walk. They go outside where Jericho leaves the dog tied up to a car door handle and renters the arena.
Backstage, DDP is motivating Christian when Billy and Chuck enter the room. Billy notes that Christian hasn’t won a match in ages. Christian issues a challenge for tonight.
Back to the meeting with the board of directors, McMahon show a clip when Flair hit a fan.
Third Contest: WWF Hardcore Champion Goldust vs. Al Snow: Goldust tossed a trash can from the ring to the floor, but missed Snow. A trash can lid shot from Goldust in the ring did not miss. Snow avoids the Shattered Dreams and uses a fire extinguisher or the champ. Snow gets the pin after the Snow Plow on a trash can to win the title! (1/2*. A cool finish, but way too quick of a match to accomplish anything of much entertainment.)
Outside, Jericho is on the phone with Stephanie telling the champ to get air fresheners. Jericho gets in the limo and the driver backs up saying he hit something. We end up hearing Lucy whining (which is a horrible recording). Triple H runs over and demands the driver get help for his dog.
Fourth Contest: Kurt Angle & Booker T vs. Edge & Big Show: Booker and Show kick off the match with Show dropping Booker with a short arm clothesline. Show is double teamed briefly but comes off the ropes to hit a leaping double clothesline! Show press slams Angle to control the bout. Kurt chop blocks Show after shoving him into the corner and gets the ankle lock on Show only to be kicked over the top to the floor. Booker is sent to the floor as well. Edge stands on Show’s shoulders to take the heels out with a cross body on the floor! Edge drives Angle face first down to the canvas for a two count. Booker drops Edge throat first across the top to help Angle while the referee was distracted. Edge drops Booker with a spinning heel kick. Angle and Show get tags in and Show takes care of business. Show goes for a double choke slam but the heels try to counter with a double suplex but Show takes them both over with a suplex of his own. Angle backdrops Edge to the floor over the top. Show tries for the choke slam on Angle but Booker hits a leaping side kick. Edge spears Booker and Angle hits the Angle Slam on Show! Angle locks in the ankle lock and gets the submission win! Edge was brawling with Booker on the floor. (**3/4. Some good action that didn’t have any rest periods. A huge win for the heels heading into Mania, too. I was really surprised that Show tapped out. I can’t remember the last time Show tapped out, ever. He must have been deep in the doghouse.)
Backstage, Stephanie freaks out on Jericho for running the dog over.
Fifth Contest: WWF World Tag Team Champion Billy vs. Christian: Christian comes out with DDP, using DDP’s music as well. Chuck distracts Christian so Billy can get the early advantage. Billy drives Christian down to the canvas with a tilt a whirl side slam, which was nicely done. Billy hits a Jackhammer but can’t hit the Fameasser. Christian goes to the floor and freaks out. DDP comes over and calms Christian down. Chuck runs over and clotheslines Christian on the floor. Billy hits the Fameasser but DDP hits the Diamond Cutter with the referee distracted. Christian covers and wins the match. (1/4*. Another really fast match, but the perhaps here is to advance the storyline between Christian and DDP.) After the match, Christian freaks out for finally winning. Christian ends up planting DDP with a reverse DDT and hammers away on DDP. Christian follows up with the Un-Prettier and tells DDP that he is a winner!
Back to the meeting, Linda McMahon tells Vince and Flair that they have a lot of thinking to do.
Sixth Contest: WWF Women’s Champion Jazz & Stacy Keibler vs. Lita & Trish Stratus: JR tells us that Lucy has a broken leg. Anyway, Jazz tosses Trish around to start the match. Lita nearly pins Jazz after a tilt a whirl. Jazz drops Lita across the top rope and drops Lita face first down to the canvas. Stacy misses a spin kick and Lita nearly gets a pin but Jazz breaks the pin up. Lita tosses Stacy to the floor and Jazz is double teamed with a flapjack. Trish misses a kick and hits Lita on accident. Jazz rolls Lita up for the win. (1/2*. Well, this sets up tension between Lita and Trish heading into Mania. The match sucked, by the way.)
Stephanie McMahon comes out and apologizes to HHH for what happened to Lucy. HHH comes out and attempts the Pedigree, but Jericho runs down and attacks HHH with a sledgehammer. Jericho is working over HHH’s surgically repaired leg. Jericho and Stephanie leave only for Jericho to attack HHH on top of the ramp. HHH ends up leaving in an ambulance.
Back to the meeting, Linda reveals that they have decided to give Vince McMahon control of the company, though they will have the right to review the decision after Mania. Vince likes the decision while Flair apologizes for embarrassing the McMahon family. Flair tells them he must defend his family’s name and he will defeat the Undertaker at WrestleMania at any cost!
Backstage, the New World Order talks about their matches at WrestleMania. Hogan looks forward to be the only icon in wrestling. Hall is going to skin the rattlesnake alive. Nash notes that tonight it is the first time the New World Order wrestles in a WWF ring.
Main Event: the Rock & Steve Austin vs. Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash & Scott Hall in a handicap match: Hall and Rock start the main event trading right hands. Rock drives Hall face first into the canvas and punches Nash and Hogan on the apron. Nash cheap shots Rock from the apron and Hall delivers a clothesline for a two count. Here comes Nash to legally work over Rocky. Nash hits a side slam but Rocky kicks out at two. Nash drops Rock face first across the top turnbuckle and Hall clotheslines Rock from the apron. Hogan tags in and gets a huge ovation. Hogan clotheslines Rock and hammers away on the Great One. Hogan kept control with a back suplex and Hall comes back in to hammer away on Rock. Rock fights out of the corner but can’t make the tag. Nash misses an elbow drop and Austin gets the hot tag. Austin mounts Nash while delivering right hands. Hall walks into a spine buster from Austin. Austin hits a double clothesline on the Outsiders. Nash stops Austin with a big boot and Hall tags back into the bout. Hall takes Austin over with a fall away slam for a two count. Nash works over Austin with elbows until Austin fights back with right hands. Hall drops Austin with a short arm clothesline for a two count and here comes Hogan, again. Hogan scoop slams Austin and chokes Stone Cold. Hall choke slams Austin but can’t keep Austin down long enough. Hall signals for the Edge. Austin counters with a backdrop and tries for a Stunner but Hall shoves him away to hit a clothesline. Rocky and Nash get tagged into the match with Rocky hitting a leaping clothesline on Nash and a DDT on Hall. Nash stops Rock with a clothesline and Hogan gets tagged in. Rock pops up but Nash decks Rock from behind. Austin brawls with Hall and Nash on the floor. Hogan hits the big boot and the leg drop to get the clean win in the middle of the ring! After the match, Austin attacks Hogan but he is beaten down as well. Hall hits the Stunner on Austin and the New World Order stands tall to end the show. (**. I was not expecting Hogan to pin Rock clean, but it was great. The match wasn’t great as it was really just average, but the fans ate up everything Hogan had to offer. It’s evident that the fans have no interest in booing Hogan.)
The Jericho/HHH stuff was ridiculous. I can’t believe they did an animal cruelty angle for the main event feud heading into Mania. Aside from the tag match involving Angle/Booker/Edge/Show, and the opening six man, the match quality wasn’t there. Some feuds were able to get some last minute buildup, so it wasn’t an overall bad episode. I’d consider it an average week for RAW.
Thanks for reading.