Written by: Bob Colling
World Wrestling Entertainment presents RAW
From: Cleveland, OH
RAW starts off with the locker room on the apron. Vince McMahon makes his way down to the ring to address the roster. McMahon says that he is a successful man and he’s going to share the secret to everyone tonight. McMahon has one quality that makes his successful and that is “Ruthless Aggression” and mentions that he took on every promoter and kicked their asses. McMahon took on the United States of America in court and kick her ass, too. McMahon kicked WCW’s ass after it took awhile. He did all of this because of ruthless aggression. McMahon wants to know which one of the people on the apron have ruthless aggression. McMahon said that in Bradshaw’s face as the fans are chanting for Rob Van Dam. McMahon want to know who has the ruthless aggression to become a success in this industry. We’re going to find out tonight. McMahon mentions that one person is not standing out here because they have ruthless aggression and that is Brock Lesnar. Lesnar won the KOTR last night and McMahon mentions that Lesnar didn’t care how he won. McMahon thinks Lesnar won because he has ruthless aggression and he asks if that bothers Rob Van Dam because it should.
McMahon mentions that Bubba Dudley interfered in the Ric Flair vs. Eddie Guerrero match to help Flair win and thus he’ll wrestle Guerrero tonight. McMahon turns to Jeff Hardy and he gets a good pop from the crowd. McMahon says that Hardy has been buzzing about the Undertaker for weeks and now they’’ll wrestle tonight, but Matt Hardy is banned and it’s non-title. McMahon wants to know who amongst them wants to be come the next superstar and legend. McMahon says if none of them want it then he doesn’t want any of them. McMahon goes to leave..
New World Order music hits to join the segment. Shawn Michaels has a microphone and says they can’t apologize enough to be late to the party. Michaels says they are the definition of ruthless aggression. Michaels says they are being honest when he says McMahon doesn’t have any bigger or better superstars than the New World Order. Michaels extends their services to McMahon to get rid of the trash in the ring. Nash grabs the microphone to continue the promo. Nash says if they have a problem that they headline some WrestleMania’s and give them a shout. Booker T take the microphone from Vince McMahon and Booker says the NWO isn’t stars, but rather they just blow. Goldust enters the ring and says that nobody is tighter than himself and Booker T. Goldust says they are practically married, but Booker dismisses that. Booker challenges any member of the NWO to a match tonight. McMahon says it won’t be Booker vs. Shawn Michaels because Michaels is an icon in this business. McMahon also says it won’t be Kevin Nash because he’s injured. McMahon mentions that Nash could be joining the unemployment line with his buddy Scott Hall if he doesn’t live up to expectations. Booker tells McMahon is going to take it. McMahon tells Booker it will be a tag match. Booker and Goldust against Big Show and X-Pac. McMahon bans Michaels and Nash from ringside. Booker says he can dig that, sucka to end the segment.
Opening Contest: WWE European Champion William Regal & Christopher Nowinski vs. WWE Hardcore Champion Bradshaw & Spike Dudley: The camera misses Spike hitting a dive on Regal and Nowinski as Lawler was showing the Harvard yearbook. Bradshaw plants Nowinski with a DDT for a two count. Bradshaw hammers away on Nowinski in the corner. Bradshaw catches Nowinski on a crossbody to hit a fallaway slam. Spike tags in and forearms Nowinski but is sent through the ropes to the floor. Regal tosses Spike into the ropes from the floor to help his partner. Nowinski stomps on Spike before hitting a backbreaker for a near fall. Regal delivers a double knee strike and a knee drop for a two count. Nowinski returns to the match, but Spike fights out of the corner and tags in Bradshaw. Bradshaw cleans house with strikes and a elbow to drop Regal. Bradshaw big boots Regal and decks Nowinski. Spike tries for the Acid Drop, but Regal tosses Spike to the floor. Bradshaw clotheslines Regal, but Nowinski comes up from behind and pins Bradshaw with a rollup. (*. That was a bit bizarre choice for booking. Having McMahon seemingly call out Bradshaw as part of the opening segment only to have him lose to Nowinski is a bit baffling. The crowd was mostly dead for this as the WWE appears to be behind Nowinski getting a push.)
Backstage, Vince McMahon talks to Sgt. Slaughter and says he’s going to get rid of guys one at a time that he doesn’t think belong. McMahon mentions Tommy Dreamer and Raven not belonging. They will be wrestling on the program where the loser will not be on RAW ever again. Vince enters his office where Jackie Gayda is waiting for him with a jacket on. Jackie is inspired by McMahon and how aggressive she can be. McMahon knew that Gayda was going to be here but wants her to show that aggression tonight. McMahon makes a tag match where Gayda teams with WWE Women’s Champion Molly Holly taking on Trish Stratus and Linda Miles. Gayda wants competition and is going to win the golden thong awad on Tuesday. Gayda reveals her lingerie and McMahon lets out a WOW. WWE Undisputed Champion the Undertaker enters the room and Gayda quickly leaves the room. Taker hopes that McMahon realizes that he nearly lost the belt last night. Taker isn’t happy with the Rock almost costing him the championship at King of the Ring. Taker wants the Rock and wants him right now. McMahon says that the Rock appearance was a one time deal on RAW. McMahon wants Taker to treat Jeff Hardy as if he’s the Rock tonight. Taker says he’s going to make Jeff Hardy famous tonight.
Backstage, Eddie Guerrero is interviewed by Terri. Guerrero isn’t going to be intimidated by a table. Guerrero is pissed about Bubba’s involvement last night. Guerrero is going to show he’s the brightest star tonight.
Second Contest: Bubba Ray Dudley vs. Eddie Guerrero: Bubba goes right after Guerrero hitting a scoop slam to start the match. Guerrero fights back with right hands and ducks a clothesline. Bubba misses a sit down splash, but catapults Guerrero across the ring. Bubba jabs Guerrero several times and delivers an elbow strike. Bubba signals that he’s going to grab a table. Bubba tries for the Bubba Bomb, but Guerrero counters with a rollup to win the match. (1/2*. I mean, there wasn’t much going on here at all.) After the match, Guerrero attacks Bubba. Guerrero grabs the table from ringside. Guerrero struggles with the table in the ring allowing Bubba to get up and wait. Bubba powerbombs Guerrero through the table. Chris Benoit slides into the ring and puts the Crossface on Bubba! Bubba is tapping out!
Backstage, Goldust is acting like Crocdicle Dundee. Goldust is going into the NWO locker room and says they have to be very quiet since they travel in packs. Big Show is on the couch sleeping. Goldust says these creatures are so big, but they smell awful. X-Pac exits the bathroom and Goldust calls him a bandana wearing grease rat. Big Show mumbles “cheeseburger” to end the segment.
Backstage, Matt Hardy is talking with Jeff Hardy and Jeff says that he’ll be good on his own. Jeff says it’s time they become stars on their own since there aren’t any tag titles on RAW to win.
Backstage, Goldust is running from X-Pac and Booker T whacks Pac with a trash can lid. Booker taunts Pac and they leave him laying.
Third Contest: Raven vs. Tommy Dreamer in a loser leaves RAW match: Security is at ringside to escort the loser. Raven shoulder rams Dreamer in the corner followed by stomps for the early advantage. Raven delivers a clothesline and a running knee lift for a near fall. Raven comes off the middle rope to drive his knee into the back of Dreamer’s head for a two count. Dreamer boots a charging Raven in the corner, but Raven still hits a clothesline. Dreamer sends Raven into the corner chest first and delivers a few right hands. Dreamer powerslams Raven for a two count. Raven boots Dreamer, but Dreamer connects with a neckbreaker for a two count. Dreamer misses a spear in the corner. Dreamer counters a DDT and nearly wins with a DDT of his own. Dreamer tries for a Death Valley Driver, but Raven counters with a reverse DDT for a two count. Dreamer plants Raven with the Death Valley Driver for the win. After the match, Raven is shocked that he lost and Dreamer is shocked that he won. (1/2*. Judging by the crowd reaction you’d be shocked to hear that just five years prior these guys were having crazy wild brawls that ECW fans loved. Obviously their work is watered down and the match here has zero heat attached to it. Raven goes to Heat for the rest of his time. I don’t believe for one second that Dreamer does anything of note on RAW. Raven should have had a bigger run in the WWE.)
Backstage, Paul Heyman tells Brock Lesnar that it’s time to give Lesnar a proper coronation as King of the Ring.
Backstage, Raven is having a temper tantrum as he’s leaving the building following his loss to Tommy Dreamer. Matt Hardy was waiting in the parking lot and rammed Raven into the parking garage door. Matt tosses Raven onto the hood of a car to end the segment.
Jim Ross is in the ring with Paul Heyman to do the coronation for Brock Lesnar. Ross says that normally the winner gets a crown and whatnot, but this time the winner will be in the main event at SummerSlam for the WWE Undisputed Championship. Heyman says that it was always his idea to get the winner in the main event at SummerSlam. Heyman introduces Brock Lesnar. Heyman thinks it is time that people realize that Lesnar is the answer to all of McMahon’s questions. Heyman says that nobody has the desire to succeed more than Brock Lesnar. Heyman wants the fans to standup and applaud Lesnar. Rob Van Dam comes in from behind and kicks Lesnar on the jaw two times. RVD leaps off the top to kick Lesnar off the apron to the floor.
Backstage, Heyman is not happy and is talking to Vince McMahon. Heyman is mad that RVD screwed up Lesnar’s coronation. Heyman wants Lesnar to become the WWE Intercontinental Champion tonight and face RVD. Heyman says Lesnar can’t wait to be champion at SummerSlam and should be one tonight. McMahon makes the match.
Fourth Contest: WWE Undisputed Champion The Undertaker vs. Jeff Hardy in a non-title match: Taker starts off with a boot to the gut and sends Hardy shoulder first into the ring post. Taker plants Hardy with a powerslam for a two count. Taker nails Hardy with a boot to the face. Taker tries for a leg drop on the apron, but misses. Hardy hits a slingshot crossbody to the floor. Hardy runs the railing, but is caught and planted with a chokeslam. Taker drives Hardy down with the Last Ride to easily win the match. (1/2*. That didn’t do much for Hardy.)
Jeff Hardy gets on the microphone and says that Taker has kicked his ass time and time again. Hardy isn’t done with Taker. Hardy wants a match next week for the championship. Hardy challenges Taker to a ladder match. Taker accepts the challenge for next week.
Molly Holly says it’s an honor to bring dignity back to the WWE Women’s Championship. Holly suggests that Trish Stratus slept her way to the top. Stratus notes that Holly cheated for the title and defends her work ethic to win the championship.
Fifth Contest: WWE Women’s Champion Molly Holly & Jackie Gayda vs. Trish Stratus & Linda Miles: They start off brawling in the ring with Stratus hitting a backdrop and dropkick. Gayda tags in and is met with an arm drag. Miles tags in and works over the left arm. Miles kicks Holly before tagging in Stratus. Stratus hits an axe handle off the top. Stratus chops Gayda against the ropes before tagging Miles back in. Holly kicks Miles from the apron allowing Gayda to hit a clothesline. Holly keeps Miles on the mat by pulling her mouth. Miles tries to fight back but Holly stops her with a strike and yanks Miles down by her hair. Miles sunset flips Holly for a two count. Holly takes Miles over with a snap suplex and tags Gayda back into the match. Gayda goes to the top rope, but Niles dropkicks Holly. Gayda is crotched on the top and Stratus enters to clothesline Holly. Stratus takes Gayda off the top with a head scissors. Holly dropkicks Stratus and is tagged into the match. Stratus forearms Holly a few times followed by a kick to the face for a near fall. Miles dropkicks Gayda and sends Gayda to the floor. Holly misses a handspring back elbow in the corner. Stratus plants Holly with a springboard bulldog for the win. (*1/4. Miles and Gayda didn’t look awful but obviously they are green. Stratus and Holly did well and I look forward to their rematches.)
Backstage, Coach talks with WWE Intercontinental Champion Rob Van Dam. RVD says he doesn’t need Vince McMahon to motivate him. The fans remind him who he is. Paul Heyman enters the scene and tells RVD that he owes him his success. Lesnar tells Heyman to shut up. Lesnar tells RVD that he’s going to show him the meaning of ruthless aggression.
Backstage, the NWO is walking down the hallway. Kevin Nash wants Big Show and X-Pac to get the job done tonight. Nash will kick their ass if they don’t get it done. That fires up Show and Pac as they head to the ring.
Sixth Contest: X-Pac & Big Show vs. Booker T & Goldust: Booker and Show kickoff the match with Show shoving Booker to the mat. Show chops Booker in the corner and taunts Booker. Booker ducks a right hand and hammers away on Show. Show side slams Booker. Pac tags in and chops Booker followed by right hands. Booker nails Pac with a leaping forearm smash and a standing heel kick. Booker comes off the ropes to knee drop Pac and tags in Goldust. Goldust clotheslines Pac in the corner. Booker holds Pac in the corner allowing Goldust to hit his version of a bronco buster. Goldust atomic drops Pac followed by a clothesline. Pac misses a clothesline and Goldust delivers a butt strike. Goldust avoids a dropkick, but Show clotheslines Goldust from the apron. Show elbows Goldust over the apron and delivers another strike. Show delivers a headbutt and taunts Booker on the apron.
Show scoop slams Goldust and delivers a running boot off the ropes to a seated Goldust. Pac shoulder rams Goldust a few times in the corner and delivers a scoop slam. Pac hits a quick leg drop, but Booker breaks the cover. Goldust almost wins with a backslide. Pac nails Goldust with a spin kick for a two count. Pac works over Goldust in the corner with kicks to the midsection and tags in Show. Show hits a vertical suplex and a leg drop. Show hits a reverse DDT/elbow drop combo for a two count. Show clotheslines Goldust in the corner and tags in Pac. Pac kicks Goldust several times in the corner. Pac misses the bronco buster. Show is tagged in and Booker enters, as well. Show accidentally clotheslines Pac in the corner and is kicked by Booker. Show stops Booker with a clothesline. Booker pops up and heel kicks Show. Booker hits the scissors kick and does his spinarooni. Booker plants Pac with a spinebuster before tagging in Goldust. Show is taken over with a double vertical suplex. Goldust tries for Shattered Dreams on Show in the corner. Show stops a running Goldust and hits the chokeslam for the win. (**1/4. The NWO needed this win and do so in a clean fashion was the right call. I thought the match was solid enough and the crowd responded well.)
Main Event: WWE Intercontinental Champion Rob Van Dam vs. Brock Lesnar: Lesnar shoulder rams RVD several times in the corner for the early advantage. Lesnar clotheslines RVD in the corner. Lesnar hammers away on RVD in the corner and chokes RVD. RVD boots Lesnar in the corner and delivers a kick. RVD shoulder rams Lesnar in the corner. Lesnar tries for a powerbomb, but RVD counters with a hurricanrana. RVD spin kicks Lesnar to the floor and tries for a crossbody to the floor, but is caught. Lesnar rams RVD back first into the ring post. Lesnar catches RVD on a spin kick to slam RVD to the mat for a near fall. Lesnar clotheslines RVD and gets a two count. Lesnar takes RVD over with an overhead suplex. Lesnar continues to work over RVD with a shoulder ram in the corner. RVD runs into an overhead suplex. Lesnar has a cover, but RVD kicks out at two. Lesnar stomps away on RVD and chokes him over the middle rope.
Lesnar delivers a couple of backbreakers and taunts RVD. RVD dropkicks Lesnar on the knee, but Lesnar clotheslines RVD. Lesnar locks in a bearhug. RVD tries to elbow out but Lesnar drops him to the mat for a two count. Lesnar sends RVD into the corner and drives RVD into the corner from a powerslam position. Lesnar is sent chesrt first into the corner and RVD dropkicks Lesnar into the middle turnbuckle. RVD delivers a leg drop and rolling thunder for a two count. RVD hits a handspring moonsault for a near fall. Heyman grabs RVD’s foot, but RVD drop toe holds Lesnar over the middle rope. RVD leaps off the top to kick Lesnar on the jaw. RVD heads to the top rope and Heyman gets on the apron to hold RVD. Lesnar tries for a press slam, but RVD hits a step over heel kick. RVD connects with a split legged moonsault, but Heyman gets in the ring and that causes a disqualification. (**1/2. It’s a decent match with Lesnar looking vulnerable, which has to happen with the IC Champion. Lesnar is getting a mega push and he’s getting over gradually with the crowd.)After the match, Lesnar attacks RVD. Heyman slides a chair into the ring and Lesnar gets the chair kicked into his face. RVD chases after Heyman around ringside. RVD spin kicks Heyman in the ring. RVD heads to the top rope and hits the Five Star Frog Splash on Heyman. Lesnar hits a spinebuster on the floor. Lesnar powerbombs RVD through the announcers table.
It’s the birth of the Ruthless Aggression era officially. It’s memorable for the opening segment, which has happened in some form a few times over the years. Aside from that, there’s nothing new of substance here. A ladder match between Hardy and Taker is interesting, but Hardy just lost in quick fashion. I’m not sure if the crowd would be interested in it. NWO is getting some much needed momentum, but I don’t see them lasting much longer. It’s an average show overall, though.
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.