Written by: Bob Colling
World Wrestling Entertainment presents RAW
From: Manchester, NH
Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman open the show making their way down to the ring. Heyman says that everyone thinks this will be the summer of Rob Van Dam and not his client, Lesnar. Heyman doesn’t think RVD has the ruthless aggression. Heyman believes that Lesnar will become the Undisputed Champion at SummerSlam. Heyman puts over Lesnar for having intelligence. Heyman says that Lesnar has been inspired by people like Kurt Angle. Heyman knows that Lesnar can beat any man. Lesnar calls out any veteran to come out and wrestle Lesnar tonight. Ric Flair answers the challenge and tells Heyman that he hasn’t forgotten about Lesnar costing him the ownership of WWE. Flair says that Lesnar is going to find out why he’s the dirtiest player in the game. Lesnar grabs the microphone and says that Flair is in the wrong place, wrong year with the wrong guy.
Opening Contest: Ric Flair vs. Brock Lesnar: Lesnar starts off with a shoulder block to drop Flair to the mat. Lesnar shoves Flair down towards the corner. Flair chops Lesnar in the corner and does a strut. Lesnar backs Flair into a corner and Flair continues to deliver chops. Flair staggers Lesnar with more chops. Lesnar stops Flair with a powerslam, but misses an elbow drop. Flair bails to the floor and drops Lesnar over the top rope, but Lesnar isn’t affected by it. Flair delivers a knee drop for a two count. Lesnar decks Flair with a clothesline and stomps away on Flair. Lesnar clotheslines Flair in the corner and Flair flops to the mat. Lesnar drives Flair down with a backbreaker two times causing Flair to roll to the floor to regroup. Heyman is distracting the referee while Flair sends Lesnar into the ring post. Lesnar sends Flair into the corner and misses a spear hitting the ring post shoulder first. Flair continues with more chops. Lesnar locks in a bearhug, but Flair doesn’t submit.
Flair breaks free and chops Lesnar along with right hands. Lesnar misses a clothesline, but plants Flair with a spinebuster. Flair is begging off, but lures Lesnar in to deliver a low blow and a mule kick to the groin. Flair takes Lesnar down with a back suplex for a two count as Lesnar powered out. Flair chop blocks Lesnar and goes for the figure four. Flair has the figure four locked in, but Lesnar reaches the the ropes quickly. Flair decks Heyman off the apron and that allows Lesnar to hit the F5 for the win. (*1/2. Flair is a very limited wrestler compared to Lesnar and his offense wasn’t all that appealing. Lesnar going over continues his mega rise and I’m all for it.)
Backstage, Coach is telling Jackie Gayda that he thought she’d win. Gayda says she’s disappointed that Torrie won the golden thong award. Gayda notes that Molly Holly lost their tag match last week. Molly comes over and insults Gayda telling her that she should pay attention to a role model like her. Gayda says she at least looks good in her underwear. Molly attacks Gayda and they fight towards the ringside area. Gayda avoids a pipe shot and sends Molly into the stage. Gayda misses with a pipe shot. Molly chokes Gayda with the pipe by the entrance way. Molly takes Gayda over with a snap suplex on the floor before they get into the ring. Molly delivers a backbreaker and heads to the top rope. Molly hits a missile dropkick. Molly slaps Gayda and leaves the ring happy with what she’s done. Trish Stratus runs down and attacks Molly. Trish pulls down Molly’s pants to reveal granny panties. Trish leaves the ring taunting Molly’s appearance.
Backstage, Terri interviews Chris Nowinski regarding his match with Bradshaw. Nowinski doesn’t want the WWE Hardcore Championship and the stress associated. Nowinski challenged Bradshaw to a regular match. Nowinski wants the most dangerous weapon to be intelligence instead of a weapon.
Second Contest: WWE Hardcore Champion Bradshaw vs. Christopher Nowinski in a non-title match: Bradshaw wastes no time with a big boot to start the match. Bradshaw shoulder blocks Nowinski and goes under the ring to throw in a few weapons, which are not legal in the match. Bradshaw has his cowbell, but the referee takes it away. Bradshaw big boots Nowinski and tries to use a weapon, but the referee takes it away. Nowinski nails Bradshaw with the cowbell and wins the match in short order. (1/2*. I’m not really understanding the booking of Bradshaw. Bradshaw has shown to have crowd support and beating him in short fashion is not going to help maintain that.)
Backstage, Rob Van Dam is looking for Brock Lesnar, but instead finds William Regal. Regal tells RVD that if arrived on time that he’d know that Lesnar already wrestled. Regal calls RVD for being rude barging into peoples locker rooms. RVD says he’s going to have to find someone to fight tonight and he challenges Regal for a match tonight.
Backstage, Terri interviews Jeff Hardy about being the underdog. Hardy says this isn’t a regular match and that he doesn’t have to pin or submit Taker. It’s about climbing and he starts to climb stuff. Hardy mentions he’s been in a ton of ladder matches and Taker hasn’t been in any. Hardy is living for the moment.
Backstage, Booker T can’t believe that Goldust is dressed as Darth Vader. Goldust has another marvelous plan for tonight. Booker plays with the lightsaber.
Backstage, Eddie Guerrero is with Vince McMahon. McMahon has made an exception for Eddie Guerrero to be on RAW and knows that Guerrero has ruthless aggression. Chris Benoit enters the scene and is making his in-ring return tonight. Benoit promises to pay Vince back ten fold tonight.
Third Contest: WWE Intercontinental Champion Rob Van Dam vs. WWE European Champion William Regal in a non-title match: Regal starts off with an elbow drop after a shoulder block and uppercuts RVD. Regal counters a step over heel kick with a half nelson suplex. Regal tosses RVD into the ropes from the floor followed by a forearm shot. Regal drops RVD with a running boot to the head for a near fall. Regal knee strikes RVD several times. Regal knee drops RVD for another two count. RVD has an inside cradle for a two count. Regal locks in a headlock on the mat, but doesn’t get a submission. RVD monkey flips Regal followed by right hands. RVD hits a springboard crossbody for a two count. RVD nails Regal with a kick to the jaw and a rolling thunder for a two count. Regal tries for a double under hook, but RVD hits a backdrop. RVD leaps off the top to hit the frog splash for the win. (*. A lifeless crowd for the most part as it seems like Regal isn’t at the same level of importance that he was earlier in the year.) After the match, RVD cuts a promo and wants to settle their differences tonight. Heyman and Lesnar appear without music. Heyman says that he’s always liked RVD having guts. Heyman says that Lesnar isn’t going down to the ring tonight. Heyman suggests Lesnar wrestles RVD in three weeks at Vengeance if RVD has the guts. RVD accepts.
Fourth Contest: Bubba Ray & Spike Dudley vs. Eddie Guerrero & Chris Benoit: Spike and Guerrero kickoff the tag match. Guerrero takes Spike down to the mat and boot scrapes him followed by right hands. Guerrero plants Spike with a back suplex. Spike atomic drops Guerrero and a dropkick. Spike nearly wins after a neckbreaker. Bubba tags into the match and jabs Guerrero in the corner several times. Guerrero dropkicks Bubba but is met with a splash in the corner. Bubba monkey flips Guerrero and delivers a scoop slam. Guerrero gets away and tags in Benoit. Bubba backs Benoit into the corner and delivers a few chops. Benoit ducks and stomps away on Bubba. Benoit sends Bubba hard back first into the corner. Benoit nails Bubba with a short arm clothesline for a near fall. Bubba side slams Benoit for another two count. Benoit tosses Bubba with a German suplex. Bubba drops Benoit with a neckbreaker and Spike enters for a two count. Spike almost wins with a rollup on Benoit. Benoit chops Spike and delivers a backbreaker for a near fall.
Bubba accidentally distracts the referee while Guerrero and Benoit double team Spike. Guerrero forearms Spike against the ropes. Spike is double teamed in the corner by Benoit and Guerrero. Benoit hits a back suplex on Spike. Benoit sends Spike shoulder first into the ring post. Spike is sent shoulder first into the ring post. Guerrero accidentally dropkicks Benoit off the apron. Spike hits the Dudley Dog on Guerrero! Bubba tags in and clotheslines Guerrero. Bubba plants Guerrero with a powerbomb, but Benoit makes the save. Bubba hits a back suplex on Benoit. Bubba elbow strikes Guerrero and drops Benoit over the top rope. Bubba slams Guerrero and Spike comes off the top to hit a diving headbutt. Spike sets a table up on the floor, but Benoit stops him. Guerrero takes Bubba over with a hurricanrana and heads to the top rope missing a frog splash. Bubba clotheslines Benoit off the apron and drops Guerrero with the Bubba Bomb for the clean win. After the match, Benoit tosses Bubba with a German suplex. Benoit tosses Spike off the middle rope through a table on the floor. Benoit puts the Crossface on Bubba. Guerrero frog splashes Bubba on the lower back. (**. A surprising outcome to have Guerrero and Benoit lose cleanly. The aftermath likely means there’s more to come and likely tables to be involved.)
A brief video package promoting Rey Mysterio coming to the WWE airs.
Backstage, Goldust is walking around as Darth Vader. He walks into Big Show, who calls him a freak. Show isn’t happy with what Goldust said to him last week. Show reminds Goldust that his father is dead. Goldust hits Show with his lightsaber and Kevin Nash decks Goldust. Show tosses Goldust into some equipment and Nash hits Goldust with a pole a few times. Nash tells Show thats’s one down and one more to go. Nash threatens to kick Show’s ass if he doesn’t get the job done tonight.
A video package highlighting Jeff Hardy competing in ladder matches is shown.
Backstage, Terri interviews WWE Undisputed Champion the Undertaker. Taker wants to talk about Kurt Angle. Taker says he’s not Hulk Hogan and he won’t tap out. Taker thinks Angle should think of another game plan. Taker will then move on to the Rock and make him regret getting involved in his business. Taker walks off after Terri mentioned that he hadn’t wrestled in a ladder match before.
Backstage, Big Show finds X-Pac laid out on a broken table and Show leaves heated.
Fifth Contest: Big Show vs. Booker T: Booker goes right after Show with right hands, but is chopped in the corner and tossed across the ring. Booker ducks a clothesline and hammers away on Show with right hands. Show nails Booker with a short arm clothesline. Show drives Booker down to the mat with a vertical suplex for a near fall. Show locks in a bearhug, but doesn’t get a submission. Booker fights out with right hands and ducks a clothesline. Booker nails Show with a heel kick. Show hits a side slam for a two count. Booker dumps Show over the top to the floor. Show sends Booker into the railing chest first. Show grabs the ring steps and Booker kicks Show having the steps land on top of him. Booker rolls into the ring as Show is laid out. Booker wins the match by count out. (1/2*. Another finish to advance issues instead of settling them and I’m fine with that.)
Backstage, Shawn Michaels and Kevin Nash are on their way to the ring as we go to commercial.
Big Show is standing in the ring with Kevin Nash and Shawn Michaels. Nash punches Show on the jaw and Show is heated. Show responds with a punch, but Michaels gets between them to cool them down. Michaels says they are focused on beating up Booker T and they know it was him that took out X-Pac. Michaels promises to take Booker out next week. Michaels has a big announcement to make. Michaels talks about how the NWO is a family. Michaels says one of their members is injured but he’s not talking about X-Pac. Michaels says in the near future we will see X-Pac, Big Show, Kevin Nash, Shawn Michaels joined by the newest member of the New World Order… Triple H! Michaels wants Show and Nash to makeup. They shake hands, but Michaels nails Big Show with a superkick.
Backstage, Vince McMahon praises the Undertaker for showing ruthless aggression for the better part of a decade. McMahon tells Taker that he has the Rock at Vengeance whether he’s champion or not. Taker doesn’t like that and Vince reassures Taker that he’s confident he’ll win.
Backstage, Matt Hardy enters the room and brings in Lita to wish Jeff luck. Lita is wearing a neck brace having suffered a broken neck doing stunt work.
Jeff Hardy messes with Taker’s bike on the floor leading to…
Main Event: WWE Undisputed Champion The Undertaker vs. Jeff Hardy in a ladder match: Hardy dropkicks the ladder into Taker’s face and hits a slingshot crossbody. Hardy whacks Taker with a chair shot over the head. Taker blocks a ladder strike, but clotheslines Hardy on the floor. Taker hammers away on Hardy against the railing. Hardy sends Taker into the ladder against the apron. Hardy leaps off the steps to splash the ladder onto Taker. Taker is able to sling the ladder Into Hardy’s face and pushes the ladder into Hardy’s ribs. Taker nails Hardy off the apron with a ladder shot. Taker could climb and get his title, but instead goes to the floor and grabs Hardy. Taker drops Hardy over the announcers table. Taker jabs a chair into Hardy’s ribs. Taker keeps control by kicking Hardy in the midsection. Taker rams Hardy face first onto the ladder. Hardy fights back with wild right hands, but a right hand by Taker stops that momentum.
Taker has Hardy sandwiched on the ladder and delivers a leg drop on the apron. Taker splashes Hardy in the corner and sets the ladder up in the corner. Taker misses a splash in the corner hitting the ladder. Hardy hits the whisper in the wind. Taker boots Hardy through the ropes to the floor. Hardy low blows Taker. Hardy springboards off the ladder to take Taker out with a somersault dive. Hardy sets a ladder up and climbs towards the title. Taker stops Hardy and tries for the Last Ride, but Hardy takes Taker over with a hurricanrana. Hardy begins to climb again, but Taker returns and whacks Hardy over the back with a chair. Taker yanks Hardy off the ladder. Taker jabs Hardy in the ribs with the chair. Taker tries for Last Ride, but Hardy whacks Taker with the chair. Hardy smashes Taker over the head and begins to climb again. Hardy is hit two times over the back with a chair. Taker chokeslams Hardy off the top of the ladder to the mat. Taker retrieves the title to win the match. (***. Hardy had a few spurts of offense and the crowd was invested in Hardy winning the match. Hardy losing easily last week hurt the match this week, in my opinion. It’s a fun match with Taker giving Hardy enough to make it competitive.) After the match, Taker hits a Last Ride and leaves ringside.
Jeff Hardy gets on the microphone and says that Taker hasn’t broken him and that he’s still standing. Taker returns to the ring and has Hardy against the ropes ready to punch him. However, Taker stops and raises Hardy’s arm before walking off. Taker just showed Hardy respect to end the program.
An average episode of RAW this week as there were a few questionable decisions. I suppose they are questionable only because they need to do these things to get more talent over otherwise programming gets repetitive and stale. There’s really not a major angle on RAW to get invested in as everything feels basic. I’m not interested in Triple H possibly being in the NWO. I’ll give it two weeks before Hardy wins an undercard title instead of being elevated into the upper midcard.
Thanks for reading.