Written by: Bob Colling
World Wrestling Entertainment presents RAW
From: Edmonton, Alberta
Chris Benoit makes his surprise return in front of his hometown crowd. Benoit notes that he was drafted to Smackdown but he had to appear in front of his hometown fans. He says there is a good reason to be here, but the WWE Intercontinental Champion Eddie Guerrero cuts him off. Guerrero claims that Benoit was always jealous of him and says he was the most talented member of the Radicals. Eddie thinks that Benoit was always trying to hold him back. Benoit says that he can’t take Guerrero out tonight, but Rob Van Dam sure can. Ric Flair makes his way down and asks if the fans want to see Benoit vs. Guerrero tonight and the crowd responds with cheers. Flair says that’s just too bad. Flair says that Austin and Debra are late due a family emergency. Flair proclaims that Austin has been benched and Benoit can’t wrestle here since he is a Smackdown wrestler. Guerrero tells Benoit to get out of his ring and is decked by Benoit as a result. Benoit is escorted out of the arena by security.
Backstage, Molly tells Williams Regal that she once dated Spike and is nervous about getting in the ring with him. Molly says that Spike was a pervert when they dated.
Opening Contest: WWE Women’s Champion Trish Stratus & Spike Dudley vs. WWE European Champion William Regal & Molly: Both the champions are defending in the match. Spike goes right after Regal hitting a forearm shot a couple of dropkicks. Spike heads to the top rope and splashes onto Regal for a near fall. Spike comes off the ropes hitting a cross body and a head scissors managing a two count. Regal goes to the corner and tags in Molly, who slaps her ex-boyfriend Spike. Trish gets tagged in and goes after Molly with forearm shots and kicks in the corner. Trish comes out of the corner with a clothesline. Trish almost wins with a kick to the head. Regal yanks Trish to the canvas from the apron and a running knee strike while the referee was dealing with Spike. Molly keeps control of the match lifting Trish up by her hair and slamming her to the mat. Trish comes out of nowhere with a backslide to get the win. (1/2*. That was a quick one, but not enough to really judge.) After the match, Regal and Molly hit their opponents with brass knuckles.
Backstage, Steven Richards says that Jazz is recovering from knee surgery and says that she is so cute and cuddly. Jacqueline enters and kicks Richards in the knee and nails Richards with the microphone. She tries to pin Richards for the WWE Hardcore Championship but Shawn Stasiak enters and tries to get the pin. Big Bossman comes in and goes for the cover but Richards kicks out. Terri decides to pin Richards to win the championship but it is very brief as Richards is able to roll her up to regain the championship.
Backstage, Kevin Nash says that this is the new era of the New World Order and that everyone has a match tonight. If you lose the match, you’re out of the group. Booker doesn’t the like music and Nash says he will have a remix version.
Second Contest: The Hardy Boys vs. Booker T & X-Pac: Matt and X-Pac kick off the match with Pac taking Matt down to the mat with an arm drag. Matt almost wins with a rollup. Pac works over Matt with several kicks in the corner but runs into a boot. Matt leaps off the middle rope connecting with a leg drop for a near fall. Booker gets the tag but Matt keeps control tagging in Jeff. Booker is double teamed but kicks out on the cover attempt. Jeff hits the Whisper In The Wind but Pac breaks up the cover. Matt enters but Booker drops him throat first across the top rope and Pac gets a near fall with a spin kick. Matt ducks a double clothesline to hit a clothesline of his own and Jeff tags in to dropkick both men. Poetry In Motion to take out Booker in the corner. The same goes for the Pac. Booker stops Jeff with a standing side kick and hits the scissors kick but Pac tagged himself in. Pac hits the X-Factor and pins Jeff. (**. There was some fine action throughout the match. These four would probably have stellar matches with more time.) After the match, Booker wants to give what the fans came to see and that’s the spinarooni. Booker embraces Pac so they are on good terms.
Backstage, Paul Heyman is looking for Trish Stratus and opens her locker room only to find Bubba Dudley who beats on Heyman and tells him to stay away from Trish.
Tommy Dreamer comes out and says he is just a normal guy. He goes to the fans and eats a hot dog that fell on the floor. WWE Undisputed Champion The Undertaker comes out and suggests that Dreamer leaves. Taker eventually offers a title shot and Dreamer says he’d love that, but Taker says too bad. Taker says that Tommy and everyone else don’t deserve a title shot. Taker brings out a cup of tobacco spit for Dreamer to drink. Dreamer says that’s too gross and Taker threatens Dreamer. Tommy drinks the cup and says it is very good. Taker attacks Dreamer putting a chair over his head and sending Dreamer into the ring post to end the segment.
Backstage, Brock Lesnar gets a pep talk from Paul Heyman.
Third Contest: Brock Lesnar vs. Bubba Ray Dudley: Lesnar works over Dudley to start the match sending him hard into the corner. Bubba fights back with chops but Lesnar bails to the floor to regroup. Bubba follows to the floor and brawls with Lesnar sending Brock into the ring steps. Bubba delivers an elbow shot and a swinging neck breaker for a two count. Lesnar gets out of a full nelson and clubs away on Dudley. Lesnar controls Bubba with a bear hug but Bubba fights his way out only to run into an overhead belly to belly suplex for a near fall. Bubba battles back with a German suplex of his own. Bubba drops Lesnar with a flapjack and a clothesline. Bubba nearly wins following a side slam. Bubba hits the Bubba Bomb but Paul Heyman gets on the apron to distract the referee. Brock accidentally splashes Heyman in the corner and is nearly pinned after a suplex. Heyman trips Bubba and that allows the F5 to be hit and Lesnar wins the match. (**. I was surprised by the amount of offense that Bubba was given considering how dominate Lesnar has been since his arrival. It was a good little match, though.)
Outside, The Coach finds Raven sitting and asks if Raven knows anything about the family emergency. Raven says that Austin is a troubled soul and wishes he could help him.
Fourth Contest: Big Show vs. Bradshaw: Bradshaw quickly takes Show down with a running chop block and hammers away on Show. Show gets up and delivers a few head butts to stop Bradshaw. Show tosses Bradshaw around with a hip toss out of the corner. Show scoop slams Bradshaw followed by some more head butts. Bradshaw gets a boot up in the corner a couple of times. Bradshaw staggers Show with a big boot and the clothesline from hell but Show doesn’t go down. Show grabs Bradshaw and hits the chokeslam for the win. (*. Well, that was kind of disappointing that Show would have such an easy time with Bradshaw, who seemed have some momentum on his side. This was a decisive outcome.)
Backstage, Booker and X-Pac are celebrating when Goldust comes in wearing an NWO shirt. Booker says that Goldust is looking like a freaky Oreo cookie.
At The World there is an arm wrestling contest involving the tough enough contestants. Jake beat Kenny while Linda beat Jackie.
Backstage, Rob Van Dam hypes up his upcoming ladder match with Eddie Guerrero.
Fifth Contest: Crash Holly vs. Goldust: Goldust has his face paint dedicated to the NWO, as well. Goldust works over Holly with strikes but Holly nearly wins with a rollup. Goldust sets Holly up for the Curtain Call and wins the match. (1/2*. That was just a squash match. The crowd didn’t care and poor Crash Holly means nothing nowadays.) After the match, Kevin Nash comes down to the ring to confront Goldust. Nash grabs Holly and delivers a big boot. Goldust bails to the floor and doesn’t interact with Goldust.
Backstage, Eddie Guerrero tells Ric Flair that he is nervous about getting hurt and Steve Austin showing up. Flair tells him that he has it under control.
Main Event: WWE Intercontinental Champion Eddie Guerrero vs. Rob Van Dam in a ladder match: They kick off the match trading strikes and counter each other in the opening moment until RVD sends Guerrero to the floor with a spinning heel kick. Guerrero avoids a slingshot cross body but is sent into the ring post. RVD puts Guerrero over the apron and hits a spinning heel kick across the back. Guerrero sends RVD face first into the ladder and clubs away on RVD some more on the floor. Guerrero continues his offense with a snap suplex on the floor. Guerrero drops the ladder onto RVD and slams the ladder into RVD’s head. Guerrero drops RVD with a back elbow show back in the ring and taunts the fans. Guerrero wraps RVD’s leg around the ring post and grabs a steel chair. Guerrero whacks RVD’s leg with the chair. Guerrero drives RVD down with a back suplex. Eddie hammers away on RVD in the corner with a flurry of right hands. RVD monkey flips Guerrero out of the corner, but Eddie plants RVD with a quick power bomb. Guerrero goes under the ring and grabs another ladder. RVD dropkicks the ladder into Eddie’s face and hits a moonsault off the apron onto Guerrero.
Chris Benoit appears in the crowd and is walking towards the ring. Benoit shows a security guy that he has a ticket and is shown his seat. Guerrero continues to work over RVD with the ladder. Guerrero sets the ladder up and begins to climb towards the championship, RVD leaps off the top and dropkicks the ladder to cause Guerrero to fall down. RVD hits a tilt a whirl back breaker and a rolling thunder splash onto the ladder. Both men are climbing the ladder with Eddie smashing RVD’s face into the ladder hitting a sunset flip power bomb off the ladder! Guerrero goes to climb the ladder and a fan enters the ring pushing the ladder, and is promptly taken care of by security and Guerrero. Guerrero runs over RVD with a quick clothesline. Guerrero hits a senton splash off the top of the ladder! Guerrero has a chair and whacks RVD over the back a few times with it. RVD stomps on Guerrero in the corner and dropkicks the chair into Guerrero’s face. RVD hits a spinning leg drop and a split legged moonsault onto the ladder on Guerrero! RVD tries to climb the ladder but Guerrero stops him hitting a snap suplex into the ladder. Eddie hammers away on RVD in the corner but is sent hard back first into the ladder. RVD is put on the top turnbuckle and misses a leaping kick. RVD monkey flips Guerrero onto the ladder in the corner! RVD hits the rolling thunder on the ladder onto Guerrero. Guerrero stops RVD as he set up the ladder. RVD kicks a chair into Eddie’s face. RVD sets the ladder up in the corner and climbs to the top looking to leap off but the ladder gives way and RVD crashes to the mat. RVD stops Guerrero on the top and knocks Guerrero off the top to the guard railing chest first. RVD climbs the ladder and yanks down the championship to win the match. (***1/4. I’d imagine this got rave reviews when it occurred, but it’s not some kind of classic match to me. There are several good spots for sure, but nothing overly awesome or anything.) After the match, Guerrero attacked RVD until Steve Austin runs into the ring and gets his hands on Guerrero stomping on the former champion. Ric Flar enters as does Arn Anderson but they are taken out. Chris Benoit jumps the railing and gets in the ring seemingly having Austin’s back after the ring was cleared. Benoit attacks Austin from behind and stomps on Austin. Guerrero gets on the top rope and hits the frog splash on Austin!
Chris Benoit’s return certainly helps RAW this week as the aftermath to a good main event was nicely done and it was exciting. There is some decent wrestling on the program, which is an improvement from the previous weeks for RAW.
Thanks for reading.
31-year old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Longtime fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls and Minnesota Vikings. Avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on the old school wrestling.