Written by: Bob Colling
World Wrestling Entertainment presents RAW
From: Atlanta, GA
Ric Flair starts the show and talks about losing to Steve Austin with the stipulations and wanted to take it like a man. Instead of Austin, Vince McMahon comes out and says he knows he’s not supposed to be on RAW. McMahon believes that Flair has put RAW in the toilet. Flair asks what they should do to change the status of RAW. McMahon can’t stand Flair having 1/2 of the WWE and suggests they have a no holds barred match for 100% ownership. Flair accepts for tonight!
Earlier in the day, the New World Order are chatting. Shawn Michaels is having private time in the bathroom and Big Show needs to use the toilet since he had Mexican food. Booker T likes Shawn’s music and proceeds to do a Booker T version of the song.
Opening Contest: Tommy Dreamer, Shawn Stasiak & Spike Dudley vs. X-Pac, Booker T & Big Show: Pac and Dudley start the match with Pac hitting a power bomb quickly in the match and continues to work over Spike with kicks in the corner. Pac goes for the bronco buster, which he connects with. Spike comes back with a few forearm shots and a head scissors takedown before tagging in Stasiak. Pac spin kicks Stasiak and tags in Big Show who runs over Shawn with a clothesline and a hip toss across the ring. Show drives Stasiak down with a vertical suplex. Backstage, we see Kevin Nash and Shawn Michaels watching but they close the door. Dreamer gets tagged in with a bucket as does Booker T. Dreamer pretends to barf and instead plants Booker with a DDT for a two count. All six men are in the ring as Show tosses Spike over the top onto Stasiak. Booker takes care of Dreamer with a leaping side kick for the win. (*1/2. This was just a squash for the New World Order.) After the match, Booker gets a microphone and does the spinarooni.
Backstage, Booker T is celebrating the victory when Goldust appears from out of nowhere and pleads with Booker to quit the NWO because of Shawn Michaels. Goldust tells Booker that Shawn doesn’t like “their kind.”
Backstage, Terri conducts an interview with Molly Holly. Terri asks about Molly’s problems with Trish Stratus, but Molly says she has a problem with Terri and her layout in the WWE Diva calendar. Trish Stratus enters the scene and tells Molly she has a big butt. Molly calls Trish a disgrace and says the champion should be pure like her. This eventually leads to a match tonight where if Molly wins then she gets a title shot, but if she loses then she has to wrestle in a thong!
Backstage, Ric Flair is talking with Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit assuring them that everything is going to be okay tonight.
Second Contest: WWE European Champion William Regal vs. WWE Hardcore Champion Bradshaw: Bradshaw backs Regal into a corner but breaks away. Bradshaw gets taken down to the canvas but Bradshaw gets up and flips Regal over. Bradshaw hammers away on Regal with a few strikes. Bradshaw continues with an elbow drop for a two count and more strikes. Regal stops Bradshaw with a running knee lift for a two count. Regal hammers away on Bradshaw in the corner. Bradshaw fights back with right hands and delivers a clothesline in the corner. Regal big boots Bradshaw to avoid a splash and drives Bradshaw down with a neck breaker for a two count. Regal locks in a cobra clutch but Bradshaw fights his way out only to run into an elbow strike. Bradshaw tosses Regal with a fallaway slam. Bradshaw clotheslines Regal in the corner and clubs Regal over the back before hitting a DDT for a two count. Bradshaw big boots Regal but we see Chris Nowinski get on the apron causing a distraction. Regal decks Bradshaw with brass knuckles and wins the match. (**. Some decent brawling going on here and the appearance by Chris Nowinski seemingly aligning himself with Regal is a good fit, I think.)
Third Contest: WWE Women’s Champion Trish Stratus vs. Molly Holly in a non-title match: Molly drops Trish throat first across the top rope from the apron and works over Trish with strikes. Trish had tried to get the cheap advantage. Trish clotheslines Molly and hit a dropkick. Molly yanks Trish down by her hair to stop her momentum. Molly slams Trish face first onto the canvas and delivers a few stomps. Molly handspring back elbows Trish in the corner for a two count. Molly continues to work over Trish with stomps against the ropes. Trish connects with a neck breaker to stop Molly’s offense. Trish nails Molly with forearm strikes and attempts a bulldog but Molly counters with a back suplex. Molly goes to the top rope hitting a crazy somersault dive and pins Trish! (**. Holy smokes that finisher by Molly was quite impressive and played into the angle of her using her backside. Molly is quite underrated.) After the match, Moly chokes Trish with some underwear.
Backstage, Arn Anderson asks Vince McMahon what he is thinking risking his business to defeat Ric Flair in a wrestling match. McMahon says he always takes risks and Arn took one coming in here. Vince slaps Anderson. Anderson leaves but tells McMahon that he will have an early retirement tonight.
Fourth Contest: WWE Intercontinental Champion Rob Van Dam vs. Eddie Guerrero in a King of the Ring Qualifying Match: Guerrero backs RVD into the corner and tries to deliver a right hand but RVD avoids it and arm drags Guerrero a couple of times. Guerrero has a head scissors but RVD counters with a rollup for a near fall. Guerrero controls RVD on the canvas with a leg lock. Guerrero takes RVD down to the canvas and has an STF locked in until RVD reaches the ropes quickly. RVD spin kicks Guerrero but Eddie comes back with right hands. Guerrero rams RVD into the corner and continues with a few forearms strikes. RVD monkey flips Guerrero across the ring and flies over the top to the floor as Eddie avoided him. On the floor, Eddie gets sent into the apron and RVD scoop slams Guerrero on the floor. RVD comes off the apron hitting a frog splash! RVD hits a suplex and nearly wins back in the ring. RVD works over Guerrero with strikes and stomps in the corner. Guerrero elbows RVD and connects with a running clothesline followed by several stomps. Eddie hammers away on RVD in the corner as the fans let Eddie know what they think of him. Guerrero stops RVD with a back elbow and gets a two count. Guerrero gets an arm bar on RVD but can’t get a submission on the champ. RVD reaches the ropes to break the hold but Guerrero continues to work over RVD with stomps. Guerrero drives RVD down with a back suplex for a two count. RVD takes Guerrero over with a snap power slam. RVD goes to the top rope but gets crotched by Eddie. Guerrero sets RVD up and hits a superplex! RVD takes Eddie down with a rolling fireman’s carry and a moonsault off the middle rope for a two count. RVD monkey flips Eddie out of the corner but misses a moonsualt. Eddie nearly wins with a quick dropkick. Eddie goes a hurricanrana but RVD rolls through and pins Guerrero with a rollup. After the match, Eddie tried to attack RVD but missed him. (**. A rather average match that didn’t have too much excitement. They seemed to play up that Guerrero had his shoulder up but a replay clearly showed that wasn’t the case.)
Backstage, Coach tries to talk to Shawn Michaels, but Michaels avoids him.
WWE Undisputed Champion The Undertaker comes out and talks about being the champion and people need to understand that. He talks about Triple H and how there is blood in the water now. Taker is going to kick HHH’s face off his head at the King of the Ring pay per view. Undertaker also calls about Jeff Hardy for kicking him into a puddle of vomit. Matt Hardy comes out with a ladder and says that Taker disrespected him last week. Jeff Hardy comes in from the crowd but fails at a sneak attack. Taker tries to power bomb Matt Hardy, but Jeff chop blocks Taker’s leg. Jeff eventually sets up a ladder and hits a leg drop onto Undertaker!
Backstage, Terri asks William Regal about his relationship with Chris Nowinski. Regal puts over Nowinski for graduating from Harvard and Nowinski notes all the things he accomplished while at the school. Jeff Hardy comes into the picture and says “plank remains unfilled”, before jumping into a car and driving away. Nowinski comments that Hardy has no class.
Fifth Contest: Brock Lesnar vs. Bubba Ray Dudley in a King of the Ring Qualifying Match: Lesnar works over Bubba in the corner with shoulder rams and sends Bubba hard back first into the corner across the ring. Bubba splashes Lesnar in the corner and hit a swinging neck breaker. Bubba already wants to go for a table and goes under the ring but Paul Heyman hits Bubba and goes over the announcers table to avoid Bubba. Lesnar tosses Bubba with an overhead belly to belly suplex on the floor. Lesnar sends Bubba chest first into the corner and controls Bubba with a bear hug. Bubba gets out of the bear hug but Lesnar takes him over with a suplex. Lesnar hits another overhead suplex for a two count. Lesnar misses a spear in the corner and Bubba hit a release German suplex! Bubba kicks Lesnar and plants Lesnar with a flapjack. Bubba jabs Lesnar several times and hit another German suplex for a two count. Bubba hit a middle rope denton splash but Paul Heyman got involved. Heyman runs into the ring after Bubba gave chase. Bubba spears Lesnar and confronts Heyman who misses a right hand. Lesnar saves Heyman and finishes Bubba off with the F5 or the win. (**1/4. I’ve enjoyed Bubba’s singles run on RAW thus far and this was a solid match with the young Brock Lesnar. Lesnar already has that superstar feel to him. An enjoyable match.)
Backstage, Paul Heyman tells Vince McMahon that he hopes that McMahon wins back full control of the company and to think about the next big thing afterward.
Shawn Michaels come out for a segment. Michaels says years ago when the WWE was full of garbage men he was the only real thing in the company. Michaels recalls WrestleMania 14 when the ball was passed to Steve Austin and how Austin has no problem stealing his spotlight. Michaels blames the fans for the sudden change of direction. Michaels claims that HBK is dead because the fans killed him. Michaels credits one person for always having his back and that’s Kevin Nash. Nash and the rest of the New World Order come out to join the segment. Michaels puts over Nash for being the leader of the strongest group ever. Michaels puts over Show for standing out, X-Pac for being the most talented performer in the business today, and starts to think before nailing Booker T with the microphone. Michaels says that Booker T tried to steal the spotlight of the NWO and nobody will steal the spotlight from the NWO again. The group leaves Booker in the ring laying, officially out of the group.
Main Event: Vince McMahon vs. Ric Flair in a no holds barred match for complete ownership of the WWE: Flair chops McMahon on the floor several times and rams Vince into the guard railing face first. Vince stops Flair with an eye rake and hammers away on Flair. McMahon decks Flair but Flair tries to clothesline Vince over the railing into the crowd. Flair manages to do so and they brawl into the crowd. Flair scoop slams McMahon on the concrete floor and pulls on McMahon’s face. They head back towards ringside where Flair sends Vince back into the ring. McMahon is begging off but is chopped anyway by Flair. McMahon stops Flair with an eye rake and a scoop slam. McMahon rolls to the floor and grabs the ring bell. Vince whacks Flair right in the face with the ring bell. Flair falls to the floor and has been busted wide open. McMahon focuses on the cut pummeling Flair with right hands. Vince sends Flair into the ring post. Vince hammers away on Flair some more on the announcers table. Vince chokes Flair with camera cords and rams Flair ingot he ring steps a few times. Vince delivers a kick to Flair’s face before they return to the ring. Vince hammers away on Flair some more causing Flair to flop on his face. Vince tries for a cover after a few jabs but can’t get a three count. Flair gets momentum with chops and strikes in the corner. Vince decks Flair with a running clothesline as Flair came out of the corner. Vince hits another clothesline for a two count. Vince low blows Flair and Flair drops to the canvas where Vince gets a two count. Vince goes to the floor and gets a steel chair. Flair avoids a chair shot in the corner by kicking McMahon and whacks Vince over the back with a chair. Flair chops McMahon in the corner and drags Vince to the canvas to jump down on McMahon’s knee. Arn Anderson has come down to ringside to root on Flair. Flair delivers a low blow to drop Vince to the canvas. Flair goes for the figure four and has the hold locked in. Arn Anderson is in the ring taunting Vince. Brock Lesnar rolls into the ring and Anderson decides to bail from the ring. Lesnar elbow drops Flair and hits the F5! Anderson walks backstage seemingly ditching Flair. McMahon crawls over and pins Flair to regain 100% of his company. (**1/2. As expected, it was mostly just a brawl and the finish makes it likely that Brock will be McMahon’s new favorite wrestler to favor in the company. Should be interesting to see where Flair goes now as just an in-ring competitor.)
I’m glad that Booker T is no longer in the NWO as he is far batter off being a babyface. There was some decent wrestling going on this week, though nothing overly memorable or entertaining. It felt like an average RAW.
Thanks for reading.