Written by: Bob Colling
World Wrestling Entertainment presents RAW
From: Norfolk, VA
The Undertaker opens the show making his way down to the ring to cut a promo. Taker will be wrestling Test at SummerSlam this Sunday. Taker is not one to make his political opinions public. Taker doesn’t take no shit from anyone, just like his country. Taker is proud to be an American. Taker says only in America can he be himself. The people accept people for who they are. Taker can do and say whatever he wants as long as he can back it up with his fists. Taker knows there was a lot of men and women who fought and died for his freedom. Taker has a lot of respect for those people. Taker has a big problem with people who come into America to take advantage of those freedoms. Taker is talking about people who aren’t citizens. He’s talking about the Un-Americans., especially Test. Taker is not afraid to pledge that at SummerSlam he will make an example out of Test. Taker will show Test what happens when you screw with America. Taker may not be the American Boy, but he is the American Badass. Taker’s music hits but it’s Test on his own motorcycle to taunt Taker. The American flag is upside down on the back of the bike.
Test enters the ring and snatches the microphone from Taker. Test thought that America was the only thing that sucked for a long time. However, Test no realizes that Taker sucks too. Of course, Taker fires away on Test with right hands until Lance Storm and Christian attack Taker. Booker T and Goldust slide into the ring to make the save. The Un-Americans bail to the floor and taunt the faces. Booker gets on the microphone and says they aren’t through. Booker thinks SummerSlam should start tonight and issues a challenge for a six man tag tonight. The challenge is accepted.
Erich Bischoff makes his way out to the stage to reveal why there’s a ring full of wrestlers. Bischoff says that the 24/7 rule has been eliminated. Terri is in the ring because everyone in the ring has been a former Hardcore Champion. Whomever is the champion after six minutes will be the final champion. Just stay away from the tarp.
Opening Contest: Hardcore Battle Royal: Terri ran out of the ring to avoid being involved in the match. The only Hardcore Champion that I’m aware of that’s not in this is Raven because he’s regulated to Heat. Bradshaw nails Dreamer with a clothesline to win the title, but he’s mugged by everyone else in the match. Bradshaw grabs a cooking sheet to hit various wrestlers with it and plays to the crowd. Bradshaw has the kitchen sink and hit Richards with it. Dreamer chokes Crash on the apron with a rope while Richards superkicked Bradshaw and Crash hits a splash off the apron to pin Bradshaw. Hardy hits Crash with a broom off the railing to get a near fall. Stamboli slams Hardy to the mat and gets shoved off the top by Bubba landing on the railing. Hardy leaps off of Bubba’s back onto Stamboli. Crash tosses Spike over the top to the floor. Bubba kicks Crash and hits a powerbomb through the table. Bubba jabs Dreamer a few times, but Dreamer whacks Bubba with a kendo stick and pins Crash to win the title. Bradshaw plants Dreamer with a powerbomb and clotheslines Richards. Bubba hits a Bubba Bomb on Dreamer, but Bradshaw stops the pin. Bradshaw sits Dreamer on the top turnbuckle, but Bubba low blows Bradshaw to hit a powerbomb. Bubba hooks Dreamer for a superplex and hits it for a near fall. Bubba whacks Dreamer with a kendo stick and gets hit by Bradshaw with a sheet. Dreamer is able to survive the match and walks out the WWE Hardcore Champion. After the match, Kane’s vignette airs teasing his return. (*1/2. It’s just your typical hardcore stuff. I will say that I was not expecting Tommy Dreamer to prevail here. I really thought Jeff Hardy would win the title.)
Backstage, Stacy Keibler is in Eric Bischoff’s office with Trish Stratus. Stacy thinks that Bischoff is going to give her a title shot. Stacy tells Trish that she helped Bischoff screw over Stephanie, but Trish thinks that Keibler wants to sleep with Bischoff. Stacy taunts Stratus for barking like a dog previously. Bischoff enters the scene and says that nobody really cares about women’s wrestling and wants to give the fans sex appeal. They will have a bra and panties match in the mud. That match is coming up next.
Second Contest: Trish Stratus vs. Stacy Keibler in a bra and panties match mud wrestling match: Keibler tosses Stratus into the mud off the aisle and Trish is covered in mud already. Stratus manages to toss Keibler into the mud. Keibler grabs the referee, Charles Robinson, and he’s pulled into the mud as well. They slap each other and Keibler tries to drown Stratus in the mud. Stratus chops Keibler out of the mud ring and wins the match with a rollup. (DUD. This is the kind of stuff that sets women’s wrestling backwards.) After the match, Stratus shoves Keibler and Howard Finkel into the mud. Keibler slaps Fink and splashes him several times with the mud.
Backstage, WWE Undisputed Champion The Rock arrives to the arena and is given a package by someone. Rock asks what the package is and makes a few jokes asking if it’s Twinkies or viagra. Rock hits on the woman. Rock opens the package and there’s a few pictures. The pictures consist of a bloody Hulk Hogan from Smackdown.
Triple H makes his way out with a clipboard. HHH says that nine times out of ten whatever happens in the ring stays in the ring. It’s just business for him. However, this time it is going to be different. His match with Shawn Michaels is personal. HHH wants to wrestle Michaels at SummerSlam, but Michaels has to take care of some business to let that happen. HHH has not gotten a signature from Michaels on the contract. HHH explains that the paper holds him harmless. The paper says that when HHH cripples Michaels in the ring that he’s not responsible for it. HHH can have his way with Michaels at SummerSlam, and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. HHH says he’ll take care of Michaels personally if he signs the contract. HHH knows that Brock Lesnar will be watching the match. HHH knows that Lesnar is watching the show on television on the edge of his seat. HHH promotes his match with the Rock tonight in the main event. HHH says that the title may not be on the line, but Rock’s ass is. HHH reveals that Eric Bischoff has made the match a no disqualification match. HHH is going to send Michaels a message through a beating of the Rock. HHH will leave just enough for Lesnar so that Rock can show up to SummerSlam. HHH is going to be waiting for Lesnar next week on RAW. HHH wants both Lesnar and Michaels to watch the match tonight. HHH suggests that Michaels doesn’t allow his wife or kid watch the match.
Chris Jericho’s music hits and Jericho makes his way out. Jericho asks how it feels to get cutoff. HHH admits it’s not great, but probably not as bad as getting your ass kicked at WrestleMania. Jericho mock laughs at that insult by HHH. Jericho tells HHH they have a lot in common. They share a lot of hate towards each other. Jericho says they are both wrestling washed up wrestlers in Michaels and Flair. Jericho says he has a lot more talent than HHH and he’s going to prove it when his band plays tonight on RAW. The crowd chants that Fozzy sucks. Jericho has a much easier opponent in Ric Flair at SummerSlam. Jericho calls Flair a sixteen time loser and himself the king of the world. Flair comes out from behind and puts a trash can over Jericho! Flair says that Jericho talks trash better than him giving that a literal meaning and walks off.
Third Contest: Undertaker, Booker T & Goldust vs. WWE Tag Team Champions Lance Storm, Christian & Test: They brawl during Un-Americans entrance leading to Taker and Christian starting the match off in the ring. Taker pummels Christian with right hands in the corner. Taker drives Christian down to the mat with a tilt a whirl slam for a two count as Test broke the cover. Booker tags in and forearms Christian followed by a flapjack for a two count. Christian knee lifts Booker and tags in Storm. Booker hip tosses Storm followed by a spin kick and decks Test off the apron. Storm sends Booker over the top to the floor and Test sends Booker into the ring steps shoulder first. Storm mounts Booker with right hands. Test keeps control of the contest before tagging in Christian. Christian takes Booker down to the mat to deliver more right hands. Christian continues to beat on Booker and tags in Test. Test rams Booker into the corner and delivers a clothesline in the corner. Booker stops Test with a back elbow in the corner, but Test plants Booker with a full nelson slam for a near fall as Taker broke the cover. Booker elbows free and chops Test a few times. Test knee lifts Booker and tries for a pump handle slam, but Booker counters with a leaping side kick.
Test manages to tag in Christian and Goldust tags in. Goldust cleans house with strikes and an atomic drop to Christian followed by a bulldog. Goldust snap slams Storm before hammering away on Christian in the corner. Goldust sets Christian up for the kick to the nuts in the corner. Storm slides in and gets clotheslined to the floor by Taker. Goldust gets a running start and delivers the kick to the nuts. Test nails Goldust with a big boot, but Taker comes back with right hands and snake eyes. Taker drops Test with a big boot of his own. Taker grabs Storm hitting the chokeslam. Test pulls Taker to the floor and delivers a few right hands. They begin to brawl up the aisle. Booker saves Goldust on a pin attempt by Christian. Booker scissors kicks Storm to the floor. Christian hits a reverse DDT on Booker. Goldust tries for a reverse DDT on Christian, but decks Storm. Christian hits Goldust with one of the tag titles to win the match. (**1/4. I thought it was a fine match, but the crowd felt like it was rather flat. The finish wasn’t a surprise as the Un-Americans continue to win matches in cheap fashion. I think I would have had Test pin Taker here to really add some steam to their SummerSlam match. I’m not sure anyone really buys into Test in a match against Taker.)
A video package promoting the Rock’s training is shown.
Backstage, Eric Bischoff is talking with Rob Van Dam about how important the WWE Intercontinental Championship is and RVD has a chance to regain it from Chris Benoit at SummerSlam. Big Show enters the scene and wants to know why RVD is getting a title shot and not him. RVD thinks it’s because Show is a tool. Show wants to wrestle RVD tonight with the winner wrestling Benoit at SummerSlam. Bischoff says he can’t do that and RVD is the man who has the rematch clause. Bischoff doesn’t want RVD to compete tonight. RVD chimes in and says that he’s fine with wrestling tonight and could use a match tonight to loosen up. Bischoff says there are no title shots on the line and wants the match to be clean so that RVD is healthy for SummerSlam. Show says it’s a big problem as he walks off.
Backstage, Ric Flair says that his announcement from a few weeks ago has been put on hold because Chris Jericho hit him with a chair. Flair is totally focus on Jericho for SummerSlam. Jericho enters the scene to hit Flair with a trash can. Flair had clearly looked off to the side to prepare for the shot. Flair has been busted wide open as Jericho continues to beat on Flair. Jericho tosses a referee down and stomps on a bloodied Flair.
Fourth Contest: Big Show vs. Rob Van Dam: RVD kicks Show on the knee a few times. Show misses a right hand in the corner and RVD dropkicks Show on the knee. RVD leaps off the top to deliver another kick to Show. RVD tries for a monkey flip, but Show drops RVD over the top rope. Show follows RVD to the floor but misses a knee strike and hits the ring steps. RVD leaps off the apron to hit a spinning leg drop. Show sends RVD into the railing and rams RVD back first into the ring post. Show grabs the ring steps and tosses them into the ring. Show grabs RVD for a chokeslam, but RVD fights free. RVD shoulder rams Show, but Show hits the chokeslam. Show picks up the ring steps and Bischoff comes out telling Show to stop. Bischoff wants to know what he’s doing. Bischoff says three minutes and that means one thing. Jamal and Rosey are in the ring and attack Show. Show is met with a double shoulder block and elbow drop. Rosey puts the ring steps over Show’s legs and Jamal hits a top rope splash to leave Show laying in the middle of the ring. (1/2*. The match isn’t a big deal, but I like that Jamal and Rosey are really just enforcers for Bischoff and will attack anyone.)
Backstage, WWE Undisputed Champion the Rock is interviewed by Coach. Rock asks if he’s supposed to be afraid because it’s no disqualification. Rock knows that they’ve beaten each other and talks about the fact they’ve gone far back. Rock mocks HHH for when he was a baby having a full diaper. Rock talks about different eras of time and Rock continues to insult HHH. Rock promises to whip HHH’s ass all over Norfolk. Coach doesn’t want to break Rock’s concentration and introduces a video tape of Paul Heyman. Rock doesn’t want to see Heyman laying naked on the beach watching Lesnar’s working out. It’s just a hype video of Lesnar beating various wrestlers. Coach says that Lesnar and Heyman are rumored to be somewhere in the arena. Rock doesn’t deal with gossip. Rock says that Lesnar will be known as the next big bitch. Rock tells Lesnar to just bring it and tells Coach to leave so that Rock can finish off with his catchphrase to end the segment.
Backstage, Triple H enters Eric Bischoff’s office. Shawn Michaels has signed the contract giving HHH the release that he wanted. Bischoff tells HHH that he’s showing his ass in this one. Bischoff asks who HHH thinks is responsible if something happens to HBK or HHH. Bischoff is not going to sanction the match. HHH tells Bischoff that it will happen regardless and they will witness the most brutal match they’ve ever seen. HHH says it will be an image that lives in everyone’s mind forever.
It’s time for the Fozzy concert. Jericho sings a song, but Ric Flair comes out with a guitar to chase Jericho to the ring. Flair is still bleeding and Flair proceeds to ruin the equipment. Jericho is freaking out in the ring as Flair destroys everything. Flair slides into the ring and Jericho bails to escape through the crowd.
Backstage, the Rock’s phone rings, but Rock ignores the phone call.
Brock Lesnar and Paul Heyman are making their way through the crowd to sit at ringside. Heyman is on the phone and was the man calling Rock. Heyman proceeds to leave a voicemail saying that they are with the people to watch the match against Triple H. Eric Bischoff comes out with security and promises to throw them out of the arena if they get involved with the main event.
Main Event: WWE Undisputed Champion The Rock vs. Triple H in a non-title, no disqualification match: They start off with a stare down in the middle of the ring. HHH puts his hand in Rock’s face and tells him to bring it on. Rock hammers away on HHH in the corner and delivers a clothesline followed by more right hands. Rock sends HHH into the corner and HHH flips over the ropes to the floor. Rock waits on the floor to hit a running clothesline. HHH drops Rock chest first over the guard railing a few times. HHH rolls Rock back into the ring. Rock stops HHH with right hands, but HHH delivers a knee lift to stop Rock coming off the ropes. HHH knee drops Rock and delivers a forearm strike over the apron. HHH knee lifts Rock a couple of times followed by a shoulder ram in the corner. HHH delivers a strike to the ribs to stop Rock once again. HHH locks in an abdominal stretch and uses the ropes for leverage. Rock hip tosses free and continues to punch HHH in the corner. HHH eye rakes Rock and they collide on stereo clothesline attempts in the middle of the ring.
Rock staggers HHH with a few more right hands to drop HHH to the mat. Rock tosses HHH with an overhead belly to belly suplex for a two count. HHH eye rakes Rock, but Rock plants HHH with a spinebuster and tries for the People’s Elbow. Rock hits the elbow, but can’t follow up quickly for a pin attempt. Rock slowly makes the cover, but HHH kicks out at two. HHH begs off in the corner, but stops Rock with a low blow. HHH tosses Rock through the ropes to the floor. HHH nails Rock with the ring steps in the face. HHH has grabbed a sledgehammer and tosses the referee to the floor. Brock Lesnar has gotten up from his seat. HHH waits for Rock, but Shawn Michaels slides into the ring and decks Lesnar off the apron. HHH clotheslines Michaels! Rock stops HHH from attempting the pedigree. HHH delivers a facebuster. Lesnar gets in the ring and Michaels superkicks Lesnar over the top to the floor! Lesnar bails to the crowd. Rock plants HHH with the Rock Bottom! Rock taunts Lesnar from the middle rope. Rock leaves the ring and goes after Lesnar in the crowd. Michaels dives over the top rope onto HHH and security. Michaels and HHH brawl on the aisle as security tries to keep them apart. The show goes off the air with Michaels staring down HHH down the aisle. (**1/4. The match wasn’t anything special as they did their signature spots for the most part, but that aftermath was awesome and added quite a bit of interest to the feuds. I’d love to see a Lesnar vs. Michaels match. That would be tons of fun.)
I think they added enough attention to the Flair/Jericho and Test/Taker feuds to make them feel warranted on the PPV in six days. Prior to this week the build for those had been a little weak, but much better after this episode. The show as a whole was average, but the aftermath of the main event left the show with a lot of heat and interest for the PPV.
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.