Written by: Bob Colling
World Wrestling Entertainment presents RAW
From: Oakland, CA
Highlights from last week are shown that focus on Booker T getting kicked out of the New World Order.
Opening Contest: WWE Intercontinental Champion Rob Van Dam vs. X-Pac in the Quarter-Finals of the King of the Ring Tournament: Pac arm drags RVD at the start and taunts the fans. Pac takes RVD down to the canvas and slaps the back of his head before again playing to the crowd. RVD kicks Pac several times knocking him down with a spin kick. RVD monkey flips Pac across the ring and clotheslines Pac over the top to the floor. RVD comes off the apron to hit a moonsault on the floor. RVD baseball slides Pac off the apron and puts Pac across the railing. RVD leaps off the apron hitting a spin kick onto Pac. RVD rolls into the ring and plays to the crowd. Pac tries to somersault into the ring but hits the canvas and is nearly pinned. Pac counters a leapfrog with a power bomb followed by a spin kick for a two count. Pac controls RVD by wrenching on his neck to maintain control of the match. Pac sends RVD to the floor and hits a somersault dive to the outside! Pac rolls RVD into the ring and delivers several kicks. Pac misses the bronco buster hitting the bottom turnbuckle! RVD clotheslines Pac and connects with a step over heel kick. Pac tried for the X-Factor but RVD did a split to avoid it. RVD hits the rolling thunder for a near fall. RVD boots Pac in the corner and heads to the top but is kicked off and hits the railing! Booker T comes out and plants Pac with the Book End! The referee was checking on RVD on the floor. This allows RVD to hit the Five Star Frog Splash for the win. (**1/2. If there wasn’t the interference, although it makes sense, I would have gone higher. I enjoyed the match as these are two guys who are very capable due to their similar styles.)
Backstage, X-Pac is pissed that Booker T screwed him over. Kevin Nash tells Pac that they have a plan to take care of this.
Vince McMahon comes out and confirms that Steve Austin is no longer with the WWE. McMahon says that Austin has a lot of explaining to do if Austin wants to return. Vince believes that Austin owes an apology to every wrestler, and every fan. McMahon thanks Austin for building the WWE and thanks Austin for the memories. McMahon opens a beer, takes a drink and places it in the middle of the ring before leaving.
Last night on Heat, Raven and Jeff Hardy wrestled until Hardy got himself disqualified by choking Raven with a camera cord.
Second Contest: Raven vs. Jeff Hardy: WWE Undisputed Champion The Undertaker comes out to watch the match. Hardy gets slapped but takes Raven down with a head scissors and clothesline. Hardy clotheslines Raven over the top to the floor where Hardy runs the guard railing to clothesline Raven. Raven sends Hardy to the floor and hit a side Russian leg sweep against the railing. Raven rolls Hardy into the ring and delivers a knee drop to the back of Jeff’s head into the canvas from the middle rope. Raven sends Hardy into the corner chest first followed by a clothesline. Jeff hits a jawbreaker and kicks Raven. Hardy connects with a spinning heel kick and a clothesline. Raven misses a dropkick and Hardy hits a double leg drop to the midsection for a two count. Raven avoids Hardy in the corner and is sent face first into the corner. Raven crotches Hardy on the top rope looking for a superplex. Hardy slams Raven off and hits the Swanton Bomb for the win. (**. I like how Jeff is being presented as a bigger deal and the rub of working with Undertaker seems to already having an impact on his perceived role in the company. This was a fine, short match.)
Backstage, Goldust is with Booker T and says he is going to serve in Booker’s royal court. Booker reminds Goldust he hasn’t won the tournament. Booker says he will upstage the NWO.
Backstage, Coach interviews Molly Holly regarding Trish Stratus. Molly was offended by Trish’s joke about her butt, but Trish was offended when Molly won last week. She’s going to beat Trish tonight too. Coach cracks a joke about Molly not being the butt of the joke anymore, and Molly slaps him for it.
Backstage, Paul Heyman tells the New World Order to stay out of Brock Lesnar’s match with Booker T tonight. That leads to Shawn Michaels staring down Lesnar, but Kevin Nash then stepping up and getting in Brock’s face.
Third Contest: Chris Nowinski vs. Spike Dudley: Nowinski is dressed up in dress clothes for his match with Spike. Spike pulls Nowinski’s shirt over his head and beats on him. Dudley stomps on Chris in the corner. Nowinski sends Dudley to the floor and takes off his clothes to reveal his actual tights. Nowinski sends Dudley into the ring steps shoulder first. Nowinski rolls Dudley back into the ring and hits a back breaker for a two count. Nowinski chokes Dudley over the middle rope to maintain control. Nowinski cuts off Dudley with a clothesline for a near fall. Nowinski works over Spike in the corner with strikes and tosses Spike into the corner causing Spike to crash to the canvas for a two count. Nowinski puts Dudley on the top rope but Spike punches Chris off and hits a double stomp! Dudley comes off the ropes and head butts Chris in the midsection followed by forearm shots. William Regal distracts Spike to allow Nowinski to hit a full nelson bomb for the win. (*1/2. Nowinski is certainly green but the action was decent enough and it wasn’t overly long or anything.) After the match, Regal and Nowinski stomp on Dudley until Bradshaw runs down for the save hitting Regal with a clothesline.
Ric Flair comes out to the ring and cuts a promo about losing his top star last week and then losing 50% ownership of the company. He isn’t going to walk out like Steve Austin did. Flair wants one last run int he WWE and says he’ll prove Brock Lesnar that he is the dirtiest player in the game. Eddie Guerrero comes out after Steve Austin’s music originally hit just to swerve the fans. Guerrero mentions that he had a match with Steve Austin at the KOTR but now that Austin has left, there goes his opportunity and he’s blaming Flair for that. Guerrero calls Flair a worthless piece of crap. Chris Benoit makes his way out and stands up for Flair putting over how long Flair has been in the company. Flair is getting riled up with Guerrero and says he might take Austin’s spot at the pay per view to fight Guerrero. Guerrero accepts the challenge and Benoit says that his opportunity was stolen by Flair, too. Benoit had waited a long time to get revenge on Austin for breaking his neck last year and now he’s gone. Flair has had enough of this and attacks both Guerrero and Benoit. The numbers get to Flair and eventually Guerrero put the figure four on Flair for a significant amount of time before leaving.
Backstage, Chris Nowinski is talking with Vince McMahon and is going over his accomplishments. However, McMahon gets a phone call and is told that the man is on the way. He’s assuming it’s Steve Austin and he tells the cameraman to document everything.
Last night on Heat, Crash Holly challenged D’Lo Brown, who was on commentary, and lost.
Fourth Contest: WWE Women’s Champion Trish Stratus & D’Lo Brown vs. Molly Holly & Crash Holly: Crash and Brown start the match with Brown hitting a flapjack and a leg drop for a two count. Molly tags in and wants a piece of D’Lo but Trish enters and hammers away on Molly. Trish comes off the ropes to hit a clothesline and forearm shots. Trish drops Molly with a kick to the head for a two count. Molly whips Trish down by her hair and slams Trish down by her hair. Molly rubs Trish’s face into the canvas and delivers an elbow drop. Molly hits a back breaker before going to the top and misses a somersault dive. Brown is ready for the tag on the apron as Crash gets tagged in. Brown gets tagged in and grabs Crash, who sells it as a punch. Brown heel kicks Crash and plants Crash with a side slam for a two count. Trish spears Molly and they roll to the floor. D’Lo plants Crash with a sit out power bomb for the win. (*1/2. A decent match, but Crash seemed a bit off here. The crowd didn’t seem to care about the dudes and were more interested in Molly/Trish, which has been getting promotion on TV.) After the match, Molly yanks Trish off the apron and Trish hits the announcers table face first.
Backstage, Jackie Gayda enters the scene with Vince McMahon and tells him that she hasn’t signed a contract with any brand and wants to be a RAW girl. McMahon tells her that there is a Diva lingerie contest and she promises Vince to show just how raw she can be.
Fifth Contest: WWE Undisputed Champion The Undertaker vs. Matt Hardy: Matt runs into the ring and gets a low blow to avoid a choke slam at the start. Matt boots Taker in the corner but runs into a clothesline. Taker leg drops Hardy across the apron. Matt gets out of the Last Ride and plants Taker with a tornado DDT for a two cunt. Taker hits the snake eyes followed by a choke slam. Jeff Hardy runs down and pulls the referee out on the cover. Jeff attacks Taker and Hardy hit a bulldog. Jeff tries to hit the Swanton Bomb but Raven shoves Jeff off the top. Taker avoids the Twist of Fate to big boot Matt. Taker hit the Last Ride on Hardy to win the match. (*1/2. Quick and continuation of the TV feud with Jeff and Taker.) After the match, Raven rolls Jeff into the ring. Raven has some handcuffs and attaches them to the top rope. Taker proceeds to beat on Jeff who is completely defenseless. Raven clubs on Matt and forces him to watch his brother get destroyed by Taker.
Backstage, Undertaker tells Terri that this is what happens when you try and make a name for yourselves at the expense of the Undertaker.
Backstage, Paul Heyman tells Earl Hebner to not allow any interference in the upcoming Booker/Brock match. Hebner stands up for himself and tells Heyman not to tell him how to do his job. Heyman turns around and bumps into Booker T before leaving the area.
Main Event: Brock Lesnar vs. Booker T in the Quarter-Finals of the King of the Ring Tournament: The NWO come down before the match to watch Booker in action. Lesnar works over Booker in the corner with a few shoulder rams. Booker ducks a clothesline and jabs Lesnar followed by chops. Lesnar tosses Booker with an overhead belly to belly suplex. Lesnar clotheslines Booker over the top to the floor and they brawl briefly. Lesnar sends Booker into the ring steps shoulder first. Lesnar rams Booker back first into the apron before returning to the ring. Lesnar shoulder rams Booker several times as Goldust makes his way down to the ring. Paul Heyman yells at him to leave but Goldust isn’t going anywhere. Booker clotheslines Lesnar but Lesnar hits a power slam. Goldust decks Heyman on the floor and Lesnar is angry now. Brock is distracted, which allows Booker to get control with a leaping side kick. Booker hits the scissors kick and does the spinarooni. Booker knocks X-Pac off the apron and punches Big Show off the apron. Lesnar hits the F-5 and wins the match. (*1/2. The interference stuff really protects Booker here and that’s okay with me. I would have preferred a straight up match, but maybe they can save that for another time.) After the match, Big Show plants Goldust with a choke slam.
Backstage, Sgt. Slaughter tells Vince McMahon that Tony Garea has arrived with the man.
Vince McMahon is in the ring and calls out Steve Austin, but is told that it’s not Steve Austin. Instead, here comes THE ROCK! This is basically just Rock cutting a promo on being loyal to the WWE while Steve Austin took the ball and went home. He’s back in the WWE and he’ll appear at the King of the Ring pay per view.
It’s a memorable episode with Austin walking out and the return of the Rock. Ric Flair going back to being a face and feuding with Eddie Guerrero and Chris Benoit is a good direction to go in. I think I prefer Flair as a face in WWE at this point in his career. There was some decent action throughout the show and I like how they mentioned stuff going on with Heat. A better episode than most recent weeks, I thought.
Thanks for reading.
34-year-old currently living in Syracuse, New York. Long-time fan of the New York Mets, Chicago Bulls, and Minnesota Vikings. An avid fan of professional wrestling and write reviews/articles on the product. Usually focusing on old-school wrestling.