World Wrestling Entertainment presents RAW
From: Philadelphia, PA
The show starts with a video package explaining what happened on Smackdown between The Undertaker and Kurt Angle where they wrestled to a draw. Vince McMahon appears on the screen and says that since Undertaker defended the title two times last week he’s getting the night off. Taker will be welcoming the Rock back to the WWE at Smackdown. McMahon announces that at WWE Vengeance it will be the Undertaker defending the WWE Undisputed Championship against Kurt Angle and the Rock!
Booker T makes his way down to the ring to share some thoughts. Booker talks about how the NWO promised to take him out over what he did to X-Pac. Booker isn’t worried about the NWO. Booker is going to make a promise tonight and that he’s not going to whine like Pac. Booker wants the fight in the ring and not in the parking lot or backstage area. Booker knows he might get his ass kicked, but you have to bring some to get some. Booker quoted his father a few times, but it came across a little awkward. Eddie Guerrero makes his way out to answer the challenge. Guerrero wants to know who Booker is calling a sucker. Guerrero thinks that Booker is the sucker. Guerrero says that the Dudley’s cheated him out of a win last week. Guerrero said he’s going to take his frustration out on someone this week. That is going to be Booker T.
Opening Contest: Eddie Guerrero vs. Booker T: They trade right hands to start the match as Booker hit a backdrop and a series of right hands. Booker heel kicks Guerrero followed by strikes and chops. Booker knee lifts Guerrero and tries for the scissors kick, but Guerrero dropkicks Booker on the knee and gets control with stomps in the corner. Guerrero almost wins with an inside cradle. Guerrero drops Booker with a elbow strike and almost wins with his feet on the ropes. Guerrero pummels Booker with right hands, but Booker counters. Guerrero takes Booker down to the mat with a few shots to the knee. Booker heel kicks Guerrero, but is selling the knee injury. Guerrero hits a vertical suplex for a near fall. Guerrero takes Booker down with a back suplex and a rolling neckbreaker to a seated Booker for a two count. Booker avoids Guerrero in the corner and gets a rollup on Guerrero to win the match. After the match, Booker superkicks Guerrero to the floor and looks to do his breakdance, but Chris Benoit attacks! Goldust slides into the ring to make the save and he’s beaten up too. Bubba and Spike come out with chairs to whack Benoit over the back with it. (*1/4. That entire segment between Booker and Eddie just came across really awkward and didn’t help them look like big time stars by any means. The action didn’t get out of first gear and the aftermath wasn’t all that exciting.)
A vignette promoting Rey Mysterio Jr. is shown.
Backstage, Goldust talks with Booker and asks for his hand so they can dance. Booker doesn’t like that and tells Goldust that the NWO is going to get them sooner or later tonight. Goldust says that he’s going down in a blaze of glory if the NWO is coming for him. Booker T attacks a guy working for the arena and Booker realizes it. Booker takes a pretzel before leaving the vendor.
Backstage, Coach is with Jackie Gayda and Trish Stratus. Trish thinks that Molly Holly got what she got coming to her last week. Jackie thinks that Stratus is jealous of her. Gayda thinks it’s because she’s taller and has a great body. Gayda thinks Trish is jealous of her exposure on Tough Enough. Chris Nowinski enters the scene and notes that he’s from Tough Enough. Nowinski insults Stratus for dressing like she’s coming from a 7-year old’s birthday party. Stratus wants to settle this in a mixed tag match. Nowinski isn’t worried about her getting a partner. Stratus reveals the partner will be Bradshaw and that shuts Nowinski up real quick.
Backstage, Goldust is dressed as Ben Franklin and talks to Bubba and Spike. Goldust thinks they should join forces with them to take care of the NWO. Bubba says they went out there earlier to beat up Benoit and Guerrero. They don’t like Booker and Goldust. Bubba tells Goldust they aren’t going to fight the NWO.
Second Contest: Bubba Dudley vs. Chris Benoit: Benoit goes after Bubba with right hands and sends Bubba hard into the corner. Benoit forearms Bubba to the mat and continues with a snap suplex. Benoit rams Bubba into the corner and delivers several stomps. Bubba counters with strikes of his own in the corner. Bubba plants Benoit with a back suplex. Bubba slams Benoit and goes to the middle rope, but Benoit stops Bubba. Benoit hooks Bubba, but is shoved off. Bubba misses a senton splash off the middle rope. Benoit takes Bubba over with a German suplex. Benoit decks Bubba with a clothesline for another near fall. Bubba ducks a clothesline to hit a release German suplex. Bubba side slams Benoit leading to another near fall. Bubba manages to hit the Bubba Bomb, but Guerrero rolls Spike into the referee. Benoit takes Bubba down to the mat with the Crossface and manages to get a submission. Guerrero gets a few shots in on Bubba after Spike was sent into the ring steps. Guerrero and Benoit continue to beat the Dudley’s down. Booker and Goldust slide into the ring to make the save. (*1/2. A decent match with the right outcome for Benoit to get a singles win to build him back up in viewers eyes.)
Backstage, Ric Flair chats with Jeff Hardy and puts him over for his effort last week. Flair encourages Hardy for his WWE European Championship match tonight with William Regal. Steven Richards mock claps for Flair and says that he hasn’t looked all that legendary in recent memory. Richards says Flair’s run is over and he’s done taking his spotlight. Flair issues a challenge to Richards for a match tonight. Richards decks Flair with a right hand and walks off.
Third Contest: WWE Hardcore Champion Bradshaw & Trish Stratus vs. Chris Nowinski & Jackie Gayda: Nowinski is ready for a three point stance and drops the floor to avoid Bradshaw. Stratus arm drags Gayda to start the match and follows up with forearms. Stratus takes Gayda down with a whiplash for a two count. Gayda chokes Trish on the mat after falling down and does the same over the bottom rope. Nowinski misses a couple of elbow drops and Bradshaw delivers a big boot. Bradshaw catches Nowinski with a fallaway slam. Gayda returns to the match and jumps on Bradshaw’s back, but is taken to the mat. Stratus puts a headlock on Gayda while Bradshaw chases Nowinski through the crowd. Gayda clotheslines Stratus in the corner and chokes Stratus. Stratus shoves Gayda off the middle rope and delivers a boot. Stratus misses a middle rope bulldog fo the win. (DUD. That was way too sloppy and the crowd was not enjoying this at all.)
Backstage, Benoit tells Guerrero that the Dudley’s are going to pay. The NWO walk into the scene and Benoit asks what they want. X-Pac and Big Show tell Benoit to take it easy and they taunt them. Kevin Nash cools things off and tells them that there’s strength in numbers. Shawn Michaels tells them to listen to what Nash has to say tonight.
The New World Order makes their way down to the ring to cut a promo. Shawn Michaels says that Triple H was with them at King of the Ring and shows footage of them hugging at the event. Michaels says they have extended an offer to HHH to comeback where he belongs. Michaels talks about how the Kliq use to run the show and they have not heard a reply from HHH to this point. They are a forgiving family and they will not be ignored. Michaels says that HHH needs them more than they need him. Michaels is giving HHH two weeks to give them a reply. Michaels says that the Kliq is just like the NWO in that they are 4-Life. Kevin Nash gets the microphone to share some words. Nash has been injured and watching everyone else compete. Nash is in his gear and has been medically cleared to wrestle. Nash has a lot of aggression and emotion inside. Nash wants some physical contact tonight. Nash suggests a ten man tag against Booker, Goldust, Bubba, Spike and a partner of their choice. Nash will have Benoit and Guerrero join their team with Michaels not wrestling. Nash knows that HHH isn’t going to turn his back on family. Nash notes that if HHH does then what he does to Booker tonight is what he’ll do to Triple H.
Fourth Contest: Ric Flair vs. Steven Richards: Richards starts off with a shoulder block and tries for a right hand in the corner, but Flair counters with several strikes and chops of his own. Flair plays to the crowd as Richards sits in the corner. Flair continues to work over Richards with right hands in the corner followed by stomps. Flair dumps Richards through the ropes to the floor. Flair continues with strikes around ringside. Richards backdrops Flair and delivers a few chops. Richards misses a dropkick as Flair held onto the ropes. Flair connects with an elbow drop. Richards hooks Flair for a suplex, but Flair counters with a few right hands. Flair hits a back suplex and locks in the figure four to win by submission. (1/2*. It’s bizarre to have Flair in a match with Richards of all people, but that was likely because of the show taking place in Philadelphia. This was just a showcase for Flair.)
Paul Heyman and Brock Lesnar make their way down to the ring to cut a promo. Heyman says that Vengeance will feature a match between Lesnar and Rob Van Dam for the WWE Intercontinental Championship. Heyman says that Lesnar will destroy Rob Van Dam and walkout as the champion. Heyman takes credit for making Rob Van Dam and for creating RVD. Heyman says that exploited various ECW wrestlers for the Philadelphia fans and their thirst for blood. Heyman says these fans called him a genius. He was able to sign Lesnar. Heyman is cutoff by Tommy Dreamer, who has a kendo stick. Dreamer says that everyone in ECW busted their ass because they love this business and the fans. Dreamer notes that he was the Innovator of Violence before he ate weird things and wants a fight with Lesnar. Dreamer hits Lesnar on the legs from the floor with the kendo stick. Dreamer hits Lesnar in the ribs and over the head to send Lesnar to the floor. Dreamer grabs a few chairs tossing them into the ring. Dreamer whacks Lesnar over the back with a kendo stick. Heyman attacks Dreamer from behind, but that fails. Dreamer looks to powerbomb Heyman onto two chairs, but Lesnar clotheslines Dreamer. Lesnar hits the F5 on the floor. RVD appears and kicks Heyman and dropkicks Lesnar off the apron followed by a slingshot crossbody to the floor. RVD grabs another chair and climbs to the top rope managing to kick the chair into Heyman’s face from across the ring!
Coach is in the crowd talking to former Philadelphia 76ers President Pat Croce. They are promoting on a new show called Slamball on the new TNN. This was basketball but with trampolines. It debuts August 3rd. Croce hypes up the show where there’s no fouls and just a fifteen second time clock.
Fifth Contest: WWE European Champion William Regal vs. Jeff Hardy: Hardy hammers away on Regal and hits a middle rope crossbody for a two count. Hardy hits the Whisper in the Wind for a two count. Hardy leg drops Regal, but Regal pulls Hardy through the ropes to the floor. Regal sends Hardy into the ring steps face first and back first into the apron and ropes. Regal rams Hardy chest first over the apron. Regal powerbombs Hardy for a near fall. Hardy nearly wins with a sunset flip from the apron. Regal drops Hardy with a neckbreaker for a near fall. Regal knee strikes Hardy followed by a running knee strike leading to a near fall. Regal elbows Hardy leading to a near fall. Hardy hits a crossbody for a two count. Regal dumps Hardy through the ropes to the floor. Regal is dropkicked into the turnbuckle and Hardy delivers a neckbreaker. Hardy leaps off the top to hit the Swanton Bomb for the win. (*. Coming off his matches with the Undertaker you’d think Hardy would be in line for a push. Well, winning the European Championship doesn’t make that a reality because the title means nothing. Hardy just continues to be in the middle of the pack but now he has a worthless title attached to him.)
Backstage, Coach talks to William Regal about the loss. Regal is crying and drops to his knees. Chris Nowinski comes over and consoles Regal telling him he’ll be okay.
Backstage, Bubba and Spike are talking to someone off camera. Bubba says they’ve been through a lot at the bingo hall. Bubba says they had to find the most extreme partner they knew and that was WWE Intercontinental Champion Rob Van Dam. RVD does a fist bump to accept that. He doesn’t say a word.
Main Event: WWE Intercontinental Champion Rob Van Dam, Booker T, Goldust, Bubba Dudley & Spike Dudley vs. Kevin Nash, X-Pac, Big Show, Chris Benoit & Eddie Guerrero: Pac and RVD start the match with Pac getting control with a headlock. RVD monkey flips Pac coming off the ropes and connects with a step over heel kick. RVD gets a two count following a standing moonsault. Goldust atomic drops Pac followed by a clothesline. Goldust hammers away on Pac in the corner. Goldust snap powerslams Pac and Bubba tags in to slam Pac followed by elbow drops. Bubba has the cover, but Pac kicks out at two. Spike comes off the top to axe handle Pac. Spike head scissors Pac, but Pac stops Spike with a back suplex. Benoit tags into the match and knee lifts Dudley. Benoit drives Spike down to the mat with a front suplex. Guerrero hits a slingshot senton from the apron and elbows Spike in the chest. Spike dropkicks Guerrero and tags in RVD.
RVD monkey flips Guerrero out of the corner, but Benoit tags in and plants RVD with a back suplex. Benoit slams RVD and tags in Show. Show sends RVD across the ring with a hip toss. Show lifts RVD up and hits a delayed vertical suplex. Pac returns to the match and delivers a few knee drops. Pac chops RVD against the ropes and hits a spinning kick. RVD superkicks Pac followed by a slam and goes to the top rope, but Shawn Michaels crotches RVD to the mat. RVD floats over Pac’s back to hit another kick. Bubba tags in and cleans house with right hands. Bubba tries to clothesline Show a few times and gets held by Michaels. RVD yanks Michaels off the apron. Show hits a back suplex on Bubba. Michaels runs away from RVD and Lesnar clotheslines RVD on the ramp. Lesnar hits the F5 on the ramp!
Show is hammering away on Bubba in the corner and delivers a scoop slam. Benoit tags into the match and stomps on Bubba. Benoit sends Bubba chest first into the corner followed by stomps. Bubba goes hard into the corner back first and Guerrero tags into the match. Bubba backdrops Guerrero and tags in Booker. Booker is fired up and clotheslines everyone. Booker heel kicks Pac and tries for a scissors kick, but Nash decks Booker from the apron. Nash big boots Booker and goes to the opposite corner, but hurts his leg and is screaming in agony. Everyone is brawling in the ring as this point. Michaels is in the ring and superkicks Booker. Big Show plants Booker with the chokeslam to win the match. (**1/2. It’s a fine main event, but the injury to Kevin Nash is poor timing and is likely throwing a wrench into the plans for the NWO. I’m fine with the heels getting the win since RVD was taken out of the match and it builds to the faces getting their eventual blowoff in the future. They kept a fine pace and with everyone tagging in and out it felt like the match flew by.)
Shawn Michaels says that Triple H is looking at his future. At Vengeance HHH will either stand tall with the NWO or he will be face down just like everyone else.
I wasn’t a fan of this weeks RAW as most of the show felt like subpar wrestling with some lackluster segments. RAW is heavy on storyline while Smackdown is more of a focus on in-ring action. This weeks RAW gets a thumbs down from me.
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.