Written by: Bob Colling
World Wrestling Federation presents RAW
From: State College, PA
Linda McMahon opens the show telling us that the results of the draft will take effect next week on RAW. Triple H, Chris Jericho and Stephanie are not eligible to be drafted. She also notes that Steve Austin is a free agent and can sign with either RAW or Smackdown.
Opening Contest: Mr. Perfect vs. Tazz: Perfect attacks Tazz before the bell and hits a dropkick. Tazz pummels Perfect in the corner for a brief period. Tazz clotheslines Perfect and hits a suplex. Perfect connects with the Perfect Plex, but Tazz gets his arm on the bottom rope. Tazz blocks a clothesline in the corner and locks in the Tazz Mission to win the match! (1/2*. The fans were quiet for this one as it was an odd matchup to begin with. These two are lost in the shuffle.) After the match, Tazz lets Perfect know he is just another victim and plays to the crowd.
Backstage, we see Ric Flair and Vince McMahon in their war rooms preparing for the draft.
Vince McMahon comes out to the stage to reveal his first pick. Vince picks The Rock! Naturally, the Rock comes out and confronts Vince, who tells Rock he has three rules. First, Rock can’t put his hands on Vince. Second, Rock can’t talk about shoving anything up anybody’s candy ass. Lastly, Rock can’t use the phrase “it doesn’t matter.” Vince tells Rock that he made Hogan and he made the Rock. Rock prevents Vince from leaving and tells Vince he is leaving RAW where he has plenty of memories. Rock tells the boss that the people made the Rock. Rock gets the fans to chant that Vince is an asshole. Vince leaves and Rock does his “IF YA SMELL WHAT THE ROKC IS COOKIN” to end the segment.
Ric Flair comes out to the stage for his first pick. To the shock of everyone, Flair actually picks the Undertaker for RAW! Taker is seen backstage not happy about the pick.
Backstage, Kurt Angle is mad at Vince for not picking him first. Taker enters and demands that Vince fixes the situation, which Vince promises he will.
Second Contest: Edge & Diamond Dallas Page vs. Booker T & Christian: Edge and Booker kick off the match trading right hands with Edge getting the better of the exchange. Christian distracts Edge so Booker can deliver a side kick. Christian tags in and hits a power slam for a near fall. Edge stops Christian with a spine buster. Booker and DDP get tags into the bout with DDP taking care of business. DDP knocks Christian off the apron and nearly hits the cutter on Booker. Christian drops DDP throat first across the top rope, but DDP is able to hit the diamond cutter on Booker for a near fall as Christian breaks up the pin. Christian plants DDP with the Un-Prettier. Edge brawls with Christian on the floor. Booker puts DDP away with the scissors kick for the win. (*. A quick match that had some decent action. I kind of thought that DDP as going to pin Booker, but the right outcome took place.)
Backstage, Vince picks Kurt Angle as his second pick, which makes Angle happy. Kurt hugs Vince and tells him he loves the boss, but gets back to the point that he should have been picked first.
On the stage, Flair reveals that he has picked the New World Order!
Backstage, Vince is pissed off about that pick, but Angle whispers a name in Vince’s ear. McMahon proceeds to pick the injured Chris Benoit to Smackdown!
Backstage, the New World Order is bullying Ric Flair saying they listen to only Vince. Their tune changes when Flair reveals he picks Kane to RAW!
Third Contest: Trish Stratus vs. Ivory: Early on, both women get some offense in with Trish getting more offense hitting a leaping cross body for a near fall. Ivory delivers a jaw breaker and punches Trish a few times. Trish back drops Ivory and hammers away on Ivory. Trish misses a twisting cross body from the middle rope and Ivory controls the bout. Trish hits a hurricanrana from the top rope and plants Ivory with a springboard bulldog for the win. (1/2*. Another quick match, but the action was fine for what it was.)
On the stage, Vince picks Hulk Hogan to Smackdown and mocks Hogan before leaving. He was greeted with “you’re an asshole” chant. Flair comes out for his next pick, and chooses WWF Intercontinental Champion Rob Van Dam!
Backstage, Vince is again pissed off that Flair has the Intercontinental Championship on RAW. Kurt Angle suggests he wrestle RVD tonight and win the belt to bring it Smackdown. McMahon signs off on the match and says that maybe Angle should have been his first pick.
Backstage, The Rock and Hulk Hogan meet up and boost each other up a little bit. They challenge the New World Order to a match right now!
On the stage, Vince McMahon picks the WWF World Tag Team Champions Billy and Chuck for Smackdown.
Fourth Contest: Hulk Hogan & The Rock vs. Kevin Nash, Scott Hall & X-Pac: Hogan and Pac kick off the handicap match with Hogan quickly tossing Pac over the top to the floor. Hall tags into the bout to try his luck. Hogan shoves Hall down to the canvas as well. Hall tosses a toothpick at Hogan and tags in Nash. Nash uses his power advantage to toss Hogan down to the mat. Nash delivers a few right hands but Hogan fights back with several to knock Nash off his feet. Hogan clotheslines Big Sexy in the corner. Nash counters a back drop attempt with a forearm strike and tags in Pac. Hall tags in and hammers away on Hogan. They collide in the middle of the ring with a double clothesline spot. Rock tags in to pummel Nash with right hands and hits a leaping clothesline. Hall enters to be met with a DDT. Pac knocks Rock down but Rocky punches Pac over the top to the floor. Rock hits the Rock Bottom on Nash and Hogan wants the tag.
Hogan tags in to hit the leg drop on Nash for a near fall thanks to Pac breaking up the pin. The New World Order is working over Rock and Hogan until KANE comes down and cleans house to make the save! Kane goes to choke slam Hall but Pac hits him with a chair, only to have the chair kicked in his face. Kane drives Hall down with the choke slam! The New World Order wins by disqualification. (*. A got a little bit of time but the action wasn’t overly entertaining this time around. I believe this is when Nash tore his triceps as he was holding his arm afterward.)
Backstage, Vince and Flair go back and forth on picks. Flair picks Booker T, and Vince picks Edge! Flair comes back with Big Show and Vince picks Rikishi! Flair wonders if we will see Rikishi put his fat ass in Vince’s face! They have a brief struggle until Arn Anderson holds Flair back.
Fifth Contest: WWF World Tag Team Champion Billy vs. Jeff Hardy: Billy hammers away on Jeff in the corner and delivers a few stomps to gain the upper hand. Billy misses a splash in the corner and Jeff hits a clothesline and a double leg drop to the lower midsection. Hardy plants Billy with a tornado DDT and heads to the top where he kicks Chuck off the apron and misses the Swanton Bomb. Matt is attacking Chuck on the floor. Lita hits a hurricanrana on Rico from the apron. Jeff rolls Billy up and wins the match. (1/2*. Another quick match. Nothing offensive.)
Backstage, Ric Flair says he wants the most destructive team in WWF history and picks Bubba Ray. Vince decides to piss Flair off and picks D-Von Dudley! We see the Dudley Boys embrace and go their separate ways.
Sixth Contest: WWF European Champion William Regal vs. Rikishi: The match doesn’t happen as Lesnar attacks Rikishi during Regal’s entrance. Lesnar hits the F-5! The fans are sold on Lesnar.
At WWF New York, WWF Women’s Champion Jazz rips on the divas.
On the stage, Vince decides to pick Brock Lesnar, but Ric Flair tells Vince it’s not his turn to pick. So, Flair picks Lesnar! Vince instead picks Mark Henry. Ric picks WWF European Champion William Regal! Vince chooses WWF Hardcore Champion Maven! Flair lastly picks Lita! McMahon warns Flair to not get in his business this week on Smackdown.
Seventh Contest: WWF Intercontinental Champion Rob Van Dam vs. Kurt Angle: Kurt hits a German suplex before the bell sounds for a near fall. Angle runs into a super kick and RVD gets a two count. Angle hits an overhead belly to belly suplex. Kurt avoids a kick and hits two more German suplexs. RVD delivers a kick in the corner and hits the rolling thunder for a two count! RVD drops Angle with a spin kick and heads to the top rope. Angle bails to the floor and grabs the championship. RVD sends Angle face first into the ring steps. RVD heads to the top rope and accidentally kicks the referee as Angle pulled the ref in the way. Angle hits the Angle Slam and the referee calls for the bell. Angle had the ankle lock on RVD. After the match, Edge runs down and attacks Angle hitting an overhead belly to belly suplex. Angle avoids a spear and hits a German suplex. Kurt tries for the Angle Slam but Edge gets out and hits the spear. All the referees come out to break up the brawling. (*. The trend of quick matches continues. They had some good action despite the limited time.)
Backstage, Stephanie McMahon tells Michael Cole that she will become the first ever woman WWF World Champion.
Main Event: WWF Undisputed Champion Triple H vs. Stephanie McMahon vs. Chris Jericho: HHH backdrops Jericho early on. Jericho fights back with chops and clotheslines HHH to the floor. Stephanie wants Jericho to pin her, but HHH breaks up the cover. Stephanie tries to run away but HHH grabs her for a Pedigree, but Jericho makes the save. HHH kicks Jericho into Stephanie and tosses Jericho into the ring steps. Jericho gets caught on a dropkick attempt and HHH catapults Jericho into Stephanie, who falls face first into Jericho’s groin. Jericho gets out of a back suplex attempt and kicks HHH’s left knee. Jericho focuses his attack on that leg along with Stephanie. Jericho gets slapped by Stephanie and he shoves her down! They regain focus and Jericho hits a running bulldog but misses a springboard moonsualt!
Stephanie tries to pin Jericho but only gets a near fall. Jericho blocks a slap and locks in the Walls of Jericho but HHH breaks up the hold. Jericho decks Stephanie after missing HHH. HHH has Stephanie all alone in the ring. HHH sets up for the Pedigree but Jericho hits a missile dropkick for a two count. Jericho gets a title belt and a steel chair. The referee takes the chair away so Jericho gets the belt and HHH hits Jericho with the other belt! Both men are down! Stephanie goes for the cover on both men but can’t get a three count! HHH clothesline Stephanie but Jericho gets the Walls of Jericho on the champ! Stephanie jumps on Jericho’s back. HHH hits the Pedigree on Jericho but Stephanie breaks up the pin.
Jericho rolls to the floor and HHH has Stephanie! HHH plants Stephanie with a spine buster and wins the match! Stephanie is gone from the WWF! (*1/2. An alright match and they told a fine story. There just wasn’t enough here to make it believeable that HHH would lose the strap. They milked the HHH/Jericho stuff for as much as they could.) After the match, Stephanie tries to hang onto the ropes or ring post and even goes under the ring but she is escorted away. HHH has a microphone and sings the “Na Na Na Hey Hey Hey Goodbye” to his ex-wife.
It’s a memorable show not for anything in-ring wise but rather because it’s the first ever draft in wrestling history. The matches, at least most of them, didn’t go over three minutes because the draft took up a good portion of the segments. I’ll give the show a thumbs up just because it’s a unique show.
Thanks for reading.