Written by: Bob Colling
World Wrestling Entertainment presents RAW
From: Greensboro, NC
RAW starts with a video package highlighting the Shawn Michaels/Triple H segments where they were going to reform DX. However, Triple H ended up turning on Michaels by hitting the pedigree.
RAW GM Eric Bischoff makes his way down to the ring and is greeted with boos. Bischoff introduces the new members of RAW from Smackdown. Bischoff brings out the Un-Americans. WWE Tag Team Champions Lance Storm and Christian along with Test make their way down to the ring. Test has the flag upside down. Storm thanks Bischoff for giving them the freedom to speak their minds. Storm says the flag upside is usually a sign of distress, but now it’s a sign for the upside values that Americans have. Storm trashes the fans for looking up to celebrities and icons. Storm brings up Elvis, Marilyn Monroe and Babe Ruth for their disgusting habits. Storm says they are all disgraceful for their actions. Christian chimes in as the fans are chanting USA loudly. Christian says the fans are cold and ignorant. Christian doesn’t understand how fans can name every Britney Spears song but not the Bill of Rights. Storm credits Bischoff for taking advantage of things and made a name for himself.
Shawn Michaels makes his way out to the stage to join the segment. Michaels wants Triple H. Michaels doesn’t know if HHH has the night off or if he shot himself after “listening to these pinheads.” Michaels is going to invoke his right to kick HHH’s ass all over the building. Bischoff assures Michaels that HHH will speak to him directly when he shows up. Test chimes in and calls Michaels a has been and to leave. Michaels knows they are upset because he kicked Bret Hart’s ass, but they need to learn to live with it. Storm says they didn’t come to RAW to be spectators. They are going to make an impact tonight.
Backstage, Eric Bischoff wishes Eddie Guerrero luck for tonight. A security guy comes over to inform a woman in a limo has arrived. Bischoff tells him to tell Stephanie that he’s finishing this once and for all. He’s assuming it’s Stephanie.
Opening Contest: Eddie Guerrero vs. Booker T: Eddie cheap shots Booker in the corner with a few right hands. Booker comes back with a flapjack and a spin kick for a two count. Booker scoop slams Guerrero followed by a back elbow for a two count. Guerrero ducks a heel kick and tries for a suplex. Guerrero delivers a strike to the ribs and plants Booker with a back suplex. Guerrero shoulder rams Booker in the corner several times to maintain control of the match. Guerrero keeps a chin lock on Booker. Guerrero keeps a chin lock on Booker, but switches to delivering a few shots to the back. Guerrero delivers a forearm to Booker’s ribs in the corner. Guerrero takes off the top turnbuckle pad. Well, Guerrero tries to. Booker battles back with a backdrop and clothesline. Booker hits a leaping side kick for a two count. Booker chops Guerrero several times against the ropes. Guerrero takes Booker over with a hurricanrana. Guerrero finally exposes the top turnbuckle and works over Booker in the corner with right hands. Booker avoids the turnbuckle and drops Guerrero face first onto the exposed buckle. Booker connects with the scissors kick to win the match. (**. The scissors kick was impressive because Guerrero didn’t even bend down to make it easier for Booker. The action was solid enough, but they weren’t given a lot of time by any means.)
Backstage, Eric Bischoff opens the limo and it’s Fabulous Moolah and Mae Young. Bischoff is disgusted and walks off.
Backstage, Shawn Michaels is looking for Triple H. Booker T tells Michaels he saw him get his ass get hit with a pedigree. Booker is holding a grudge regarding the NWO. Michaels tells Booker that it was business and not personal. Booker suggests that is an invite for an ass whopping.
WWE Women’s Champion Molly Holly grabs a microphone saying that William Regal has pulled a muscle and can’t compete in the rematch. Molly has gotten a suitable replacement and that replacement is the Big Show.
Second Contest: WWE Women’s Champion Molly Holly & Big Show vs. Bubba Ray Dudley & Trish Stratus: Molly attacks Stratus with a clothesline and a snap suplex for a two count. Stratus arm drags Molly followed by a clothesline. Molly yanks Stratus down by her hair and Show tags into the match. Show misses an elbow drop. Bubba enters and chops away on Show against the ropes. Show works over the left arm of Bubba with strikes. Show pulls on Bubba’s arm before dropping Bubba to the mat. Show tosses Bubba across the ring by his arm. Show sends Bubba back first into the corner. Show misses a boot in the corner, but elbows Bubba away. Bubba hip tosses Molly and Stratus nails Molly with the Chick Kick for a two count. Molly elbows Stratus in the corner, but Stratus takes Molly off the middle rope with a hurricanrana for a two count. Show pulls Stratus by her hair from the apron. Bubba slams Molly and Stratus gets crotched by Show on the top rope. Molly takes Stratus off the top with a superplex for a near fall. Bubba nails Show with the ring steps. Molly misses a somersault dive off the top. Bubba has Molly on his shoulders allowing Stratus to it a clothesline off the top rope for the win. (**1/2. I thought that was actually a fun match as they kept the pace non-stop.The crowd responded very well to the action, as well.) After the match, Show shoves Stratus down and chokeslams Bubba before grabbing a table from under the ring. Stratus tries to use a chair, but Show blocks that. Bubba whacks Show over the back with the chair to save Trish from going through the table and they bail to the floor.
Backstage, Shawn Michaels is looking for Triple H. Big Show asks if Michaels saw what just happened to him. Show says maybe he should make Michaels have time for him when Michaels walked away.
Backstage, Ric Flair chats with Jeff Hardy saying that Jeff doesn’t need to risk his career for ratings. Eric Bischoff enters the scene and says that Jeff Hardy taking in Bradshaw in a hardcore match is great television. Hardy says he’ll be fine because he’s home. Bischoff wants to know what Flair’s big announcement is. Flair doesn’t tell Bischoff and says he’ll tell everyone tonight after his match. Moolah and Mae enter the scene with Mae trying to kiss Bischoff. Moolah wants to promote her book and Bischoff is willing to allow her to promote her book. Bischoff tells Mae to do something about her breath.
Third Contest: WWE Hardcore Champion Bradshaw vs. Jeff Hardy: Bradshaw works over Hardy in the corner with strikes and a slam to start the contest. Hardy nearly wins with an inside cradle, but Bradshaw delivers a clubbing blow. Bradshaw tosses Hardy with a fallaway slam. Bradshaw sends Hardy into the ring steps shoulder first. Bradshaw tosses ring steps into the ring. Bradshaw whacks Hardy over the back with a trash can before rolling Hardy into the ring. Hardy drops Bradshaw with a trash can shot for a two count. Hardy runs into a big boot by Bradshaw. Bradshaw stands on the ring steps setting Hardy up for a powerbomb. Hardy counters with a backdrop. Hardy goes under the ring and slides a ladder into the ring. Hardy hits Bradshaw over the back before setting the ladder up in the corner. Bradshaw stops Hardy with a ring steps shot to the head. Hardy connects with the Whisper In The Wind. Bradshaw whacks Hardy with a trash can lid and shoves the referee. Hardy delivers a trash can lid shot to drop Bradshaw. Hardy climbs the ladder, but Bradshaw climbs the other side. Hardy knocks Bradshaw off with more trash can lid shots. Hardy leaps off the ladder to hit the Swanton Bomb for the win! After the match, Johnny Stamboli plants Hardy with a spinebuster to win the title. Bradshaw decks Stamboli with a lariat, but Tommy Dreamer hits Bradshaw with a kendo stick and pins Stamboli to win the title. Dreamer bails through the crowd to escape with the belt. (**. A fine hardcore match, but this is a complete waste of Jeff Hardy. They tried to seemingly elevate him with the Taker feud, but now he’s doing hardcore stuff and losing to Stamboli? They’ve dropped the ball with Hardy.)
Backstage, William Regal is with the Un-Americans. Regal forgets about his muscle pull and says that he’s recovering before walking off. Chris Benoit walks out of the locker room and tells Christian he doesn’t need luck. Benoit promises to win the WWE Intercontinental Championship tonight.
Fourth Contest: WWE Intercontinental Champion Rob Van Dam vs. Chris Benoit: Early on, neither man can get a clear advantage in the opening moments. RVD spin kicks Benoit, but Benoit goes to the corner to regroup. RVD taunts Benoit, but is met with a few strikes. RVD elbows Benoit in the corner and hits a middle rope crossbody for a two count. RVD sends Benoit to the floor with a dropkick. RVD dives over the top to take Benoit out with a dive on the floor. RVD rolls Benoit into the ring and hits a slingshot leg drop from the apron for a near fall. Benoit dropkicks RVD as the champ was doing a split. Benoit drives RVD down with a shoulder breaker. Benoit sends RVD shoulder first into the ring post. Benoit maintains control with strikes to the shoulder and delivers a leg drop. RVD arm drags Benoit, but Benoit hit a hammerlock northern lights suplex for a near fall. Benoit sends RVD into the corner shoulder first. Benoit plants RVD with a back suplex for a two count. RVD almost wins with a body scissors rollup. Benoit stops RVD with a dragon screw leg whip for a near fall.
RVD nails Benoit with a step over heel kick and both men are down. They trade strikes until Benoit is dropped over the top turnbuckle and RVD hits a kick off the ropes. RVD comes off the ropes to hit the rolling thunder for a near fall. RVD avoids the Crossface and spin kicks Benoit. RVD goes to the top rope and hits the Five Star Frog Splash despite Benoit rolling away from it. Benoit locks in the Crossface in the middle of the ring. RVD reaches the ropes to break the hold. RVD leg sweeps Benoit for a two count. Benoit counters into the Crossface again. RVD fights out with elbow strikes, but Benoit gets a rollup with his feet on the ropes to win the match. (**. It felt like these two didn’t click very well and it was a little clunky. It didn’t feel as if they got out of first gear, but I’m interested in seeing them get more time to produce a higher quality match.)
Backstage, Shawn Michaels tells a security guy to let Triple H know that he’s looking for him.
Eric Bischoff introduces Fabulous Moolah and Mae Young to allow Moolah to promote her book. Bischoff tells Moolah that she has three minutes to talk about whatever she wants. Moolah proceeds to go through her life story, but Bischoff isn’t interested. Moolah calls Cyndi Lauper a bitch. Mae wants Moolah to talk about Hank Williams and they begin to argue. Bischoff says they aren’t entertaining him. Three Minute Warning enter the ring as Rosey tosses Mae to the mat and Jamal splashes Moolah in the corner. Mae tries to fight back, but is slammed to the mat by Rosey. Jamal climbs to the top rope and splashes Mae. The fans cheered for that.
Mae Young is getting stretchered out after taking a top rope splash by Jamal. Eric Bischoff is in the ring and says he knew they’d make a big splash on RAW. Bischoff did that to prove a point. Bischoff says that things happen on RAW. Bischoff just has to snap his fingers for things to happen. The Undertaker makes his way down to the ring to confront Bischoff. Taker asks if he heard correctly that Bischoff just needs to snap his fingers to make things happen. Taker suggests that Bischoff snap his fingers to see what happens. Christopher Nowinski comes out and says that Taker is a bully and Bischoff doesn’t need to take this. Nowinski wants Bischoff to make Taker to apologize to him for attacking him last week. Bischoff gives Nowinski a match against Undertaker tonight. Nowinski tells Bischoff that nobody tells Taker what to do. Taker agrees and says he’s not going to wrestle Nowinski because Bischoff wants him to. Taker will do it because he likes to fight. Taker decks Nowinski.
Fifth Contest: The Undertaker vs. Christopher Nowinski: Taker clotheslines Nowinski in the corner. Taker runs into an elbow, but ducks a strike. Nowinski avoids a chokeslam and clotheslines Taker. Nowinski continues with a dropkick for a near fall. Taker stops Nowinski with a big boot. Taker walks the ropes to deliver Old School. Taker plays to the crowd before hitting the Last Ride for the win. (1/2*. Just an extended squash for Taker, which is fine.)
The Un-Americans make their way down to the ring. Taker is triple teamed in the corner. Test elbows Taker several times followed by stomps in the corner. Taker fights back with elbows to Test, but is mauled by Storm and Christian. Test nails Taker with a running big boot. Christian and Storm try for a con chair to, but they are too worried about hurting Taker so they had to do it a second time and it looked bad. Test stands over Taker waving the upside down American flag.
Backstage, the Un-Americans are talking about their night not being over with as they one more piece of business to take care of.
Backstage, Coach is with WWE Undisputed Champion The Rock. Coach asks if Rock can make a serious impact against Ric Flair. Rock stops Coach from finishing the question. Rock says it is good to be interviewed by someone normal like Coach compared to the other guys. Rock tells Coach he’s a standup guy aside from the one night with the cows. Coach doesn’t know what Rock is talking about. Coach won’t let it go as he has no idea what he’s talking about. Rock says that he knows what Coach likes to do with a cow in Kansas after a few drinks. Rock says that Coach likes to stick microphones up a cows butt. Coach tells Rock it was just one night after he was drunk. Rock tells Coach he was just joking and calls Coach a sick freak. Rock jokes that there’s a cow off screen and shoves Coach out of the scene. Rock cuts a promo on Brock Lesnar saying he’ll play a game with Lesnar and that game is to just bring it. Rock will bring the ass whopping for Lesnar. Rock turns his attention to wrestling Ric Flair for the first time ever. Rock has only one word to describe the match and lets out a wooo. Rock has been waiting for this moment his whole life. Rock does a strut before finishing his catchphrase.
Triple H makes his way down to the ring, which means that security guy didn’t do his job. HHH knows that Michaels is in the parking lot waiting for him, but he doesn’t settle his problems in the parking lot. HHH settles his problem by hitting a pedigree on Michaels last week. HHH says he did it because Michaels couldn’t do one thing for him after all he had done for Michaels. HHH says it was his idea for Michaels to be his manager. HHH knew he’d be unstoppable with Michaels by his side, but Michaels couldn’t lower himself to a manager role. HHH believes that the game has passed Michaels by. HHH is the showstopper and he’s the icon. HHH proclaims that Michaels career in the ring is over. HHH thinks it’s funny to suggest that Michaels could hang with him in the ring. HHH says that last week was a cold reality for Michaels because Michaels time is through. HHH thinks Michaels only has his pride left and that will hurt him. HHH tells Michaels that he can listen to his pride and come to the ring and try to fight him. Or, Michaels can put his pride aside and accept his role as HHH’s manager. HHH is told by a ringside crew guy something and HHH runs backstage. HHH heads to the parking lot and finds a bloodied Shawn Michaels on the ground. Michaels has been sent head first into a car window. HHH is looking around and demands someone get some help for Michaels.
In the parking lot, Michaels is put on a stretcher as the locker room is looking on. Eric Bischoff enters the scene and can’t believe what he’s seeing. Bischoff says that must mean that HHH isn’t friends with Michaels. HHH Denys doing it by telling Bischoff “F*** you” before walking off.
Main Event: WWE Undisputed Champion The Rock vs. Ric Flair in a non-title match: Flair controls Rock with a headlock for a moment, but Rock takes Flair down with arm drags and a backdrop. Rock shoulder blocks Flair, but Flair takes Rock over with a few arm drags leading to the Rock bailing to the floor to regroup. Rock backs Flair into a corner to deliver a right hand and chops. Flair counters with chops in the corner. Flair clotheslines Rock over the top to the floor. Flair follows to the floor and continues to chop Rock. Flair drives Rock down with a knee breaker. Rock counters a figure four by kicking Flair away and clotheslines Flair. The crowd is booing Rock. Rock continues to chop Flair in the corner. Flair stumbles out of the corner and Rock struggles to hit a spinebuster. Rock runs the ropes and tries for the People’s Elbow, but Flair tries for a figure four. Rock avoids it and locks in the sharpshooter. Flair manages to reach the ropes to break the hold. Rock pulls Flair down by his legs and is met with an eye rake. Flair chops Rock and locks in the figure four in the middle fo the ring.
Rock reaches the ropes to break the hold and Flair goes back to chopping Rock in the corner. Rock battles back with right hands, but Flair blocks a right to chop Rock. Rock kips up as Flair as strutting and Rock hits the Rock Bottom to win the match. (*1/2. They were rather limited in what they can do as it was mostly strikes and chops. The crowd was hot for the action, but I don’t think anyone thought Flair was going to prevail here.) After the match, Rock remains in the ring and shakes Flair’s hand to show respect.
Ric Flair begins to make his announcement, but Chris Jericho’s music hits to cut him off. Jericho appears in the ring from behind and whacks Flair with a steel chair over the head. Jericho gets a microphone and says that the only announcement that matters is that RAW IS JERICHO!
The in-ring was mostly average this week, but they did a really good job with angles. Three Minute Warning looked great in destroying Mae and Moolah. Jericho already needed a change of scenery from Smackdown and gives RAW more heels that they needed. Un-Americans targeting Taker is a good move and is probably another push attempt for Test. The Michaels/HHH angle advances and leaves fans questioning what happened. So, I enjoyed the episode for the strong angles this week.
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.