Written by: Bob Colling
World Wrestling Entertainment presents RAW
From: Milwaukee, WI
RAW General Manager Eric Bischoff makes his way out to the ring and has a briefcase with him. Bischoff talks about WWE Undisputed Champion Brock Lesnar jumping ship to Smackdown to be an exclusive talent. Bischoff believes that RAW fans deserve a champion of their own. Bischoff says that everyone knows who the real number one contender is and Bischoff thinks that man is Triple H since HHH defeated Undertaker last week on RAW. Undertaker proved that he’s a big fish in a small pond by jumping to Smackdown. Bischoff introduces Triple H to join the segment.
Triple H enters the ring and shakes Bischoff’s hand. HHH says the reason that Brock Lesnar left RAW was because of him. HHH doesn’t think that Brock Lesnar deserves to be in the same breath as him. Once Lesnar knew he’d defend against HHH he’d have to wrestle him and he ran away. HHH believes that Lesnar doesn’t have any balls. Bischoff agrees with HHH and puts him over big time. Bischoff says that HHH’s accolades are about to become even bigger. Bischoff opens the briefcase and has the former WCW World Championship. Bischoff awards the WWE World Championship to Triple H. HHH poses with the championship and says that everyone knows that nobody deserves to be champion more than him. HHH thinks that Bischoff is a better judge of talent than his ex-wife.
Ric Flair makes his way out to join the segment and confront the new champion. Flair agrees that if Lesnar didn’t want to wrestle on RAW then that title is disputed. Flair also thinks that RAW deserves to have its own championship. Flair has no problem with HHH being the man. Flair mentions that he held the title sixteen times while HHH held the title once. Flair notes that nobody ever held the title over to him. Flair always earned the title in the ring. Flair suggests that HHH earn the title by wrestling him tonight. Bischoff agrees with Flair. Bischoff makes the match between Flair and HHH tonight on RAW. HHH gets in Flair’s face and says it would be an honor. Flair wants to shake hands, but HHH doesn’t do it and proceeds to cheap shot Flair before leaving the ring.
Backstage, Triple H shakes hands with Stevie Richards and Johnny Stamboli. HHH bumps into Bubba Dudley and Bubba says he has a problem. HHH knows that everyone is going to have the same look when he enters the locker room. HHH is use to jealous looks as it’s an everyday thing for him. HHH tells Bubba to stand in line for his shot at the championship. Bubba grabs HHH by the arm and says that Bubba has a look of hunger to be the best in the business. Bubba wants to be champion someday. Bubba says the belt is their salvation. Bubba promises to smack HHH’s smirk off his face and one day he’ll be champion.
Earlier tonight, Christopher Nowinski cut a promo saying that later tonight he’s going to burst through Molly’s hymen after Bubba and Trish burst through a table. He actually said that.
Opening Contest: Bubba Dudley & Trish Stratus vs. Christopher Nowinski & WWE Women’s Champion Molly Holly in a tables match: Both members need to go through a table in order to win the match. Bubba and Nowinski start the match with Bubba delivering a shoulder block and an elbow drop. Bubba controls Nowinski with a headlock before hitting a clothesline. Bubba comes out of the corner with a spear. Nowinski kicks Bubba and connects with a dropkick. Bubba kicks Nowinski and tries to powerbomb Molly, but she avoids it. Bubba twirls Molly and pulls her pants down to reveal her panties. Trish enters and kicks Molly. Trish exposes her thong wearing ass to taunt Molly. Nowinski pulls Trish down from the apron. Molly lifts Trish up by her hair and down to the mat followed by slamming Trish face first on the mat. Molly comes off the ropes with a swinging neckbreaker. Nowinski yanks Trish down by her hair. Stratus stops Molly with a neckbreaker. Nowinski and Bubba tag into the match. Bubba delivers a few clotheslines and a backdrop to Nowinski. Bubba drops Nowinski with a flapjack and pulls Molly into the ring. Trish spears Molly and Molly is splashed in the corner with Nowinski. That leads to Nowinski falling down onto Molly’s groin area before being sent to the floor. Bubba elbow strikes Molly and slams Nowinski leading to the What’s Up by Trish off the top rope. Bubba and Trish set a table up in the ring, but Nowinski clotheslines Bubba. Molly hits the Molly Go Round off the top onto Trish. Molly lays Trish on a table outside the ring. Molly goes to the top rope, but Bubba shoves Molly into the ring. Nowinski yanks Bubba off onto the apron. Nowinski misses a splash off the top and crashes through the table. Molly pulls Trish into the ring and Trish hits a head scissors off the ropes. Bubba powerbombs Molly through the table to win the match. (*1/2. I really don’t know why they continue to have these matches under normal tag rules to start off. It should have just been a tornado match from the start. Nowinski did fairly well in there with a couple of big spots. His angle with Molly just continues to get worse by each passing week.)
Backstage, Coach is with the WWE Tag Team Champions Lance Storm and Christian to promote their non-title match against Kane. Christian laughs at Coach talking about pride because he’s an American. Christian doesn’t think that Kane has any pride. Christian blames Kane for ruining their flag burning. They are going to ruin Kane tonight. Storm says they aren’t the bad guys as they are just trying to make them better. Storm asks how other countries feel about Americans celebrating Labor Day when they are lazy people. Test enters the scene saying they’ll finish what they started.
Backstage, Eric Bischoff is with Stacy Keibler and Terri. Bischoff tells them they will be involved in a lingerie pillow fight. Terri says she’d rather interview people, but Bischoff says he’s having the match. The ladies reveal their lingerie briefly. Bischoff puts over both women and thinks the match will be great. Keibler insults Terri by saying “at least my pillows are natural.”
Backstage, Ric Flair is getting ready when Chris Jericho enters the room. Jericho is pissed that Flair will get the first title shot tonight against Triple H. Flair reminds Jericho that he made Jericho submit to the figure four at SummerSlam. Jericho hopes that Flair wins tonight because one of these days they’ll have a rematch. Jericho would become the champion after kicking Flair’s ass.
Second Contest: William Regal vs. Booker T: Regal knee lifts and uppercuts Booker to kickoff the match. Booker fights back with strikes against the ropes. Booker clotheslines Regal followed by forearms and a scoop slam. Booker mounts Regal with right hands. Regal forearms Booker followed by a forearm shot against the ropes. Booker misses a leaping side kick and lands over the top rope. Regal knocks Booker to the floor with a running knee strike. Regal knee lifts Booker to maintain control. Booker gets a rollup out of the corner for a two count. Booker kicks Regal on the jaw for a two count. Regal connects with a neckbreaker for a near fall. Regal uppercuts Booker a few times to maintain control of the contest. Regal forearms Booker, but Booker hits the scissors kick after a knee lift for the win. (*1/2. They didn’t get a lot of time, but they kept a good pace and I feel like they were able to put a lot into the match.) After the match, Booker grabs a microphone and says it’s not over until the fans get what they paid for. Booker does the spinarooni.
Shawn Michaels joins the show by satelitte and is sitting in a wheelchair in San Antonio. Michaels says that he has feeling in his legs, but his mobility is limited. Michaels is going to remain in the wheelchair until his mobility returns fully. Lawler asks if it was worth it for Michaels return to the ring. Michaels has had eight days to think about it. Michaels talks about all the things that went through his mind and says it was good enough the fans and thus it was worth it for him to compete at SummerSlam. Michaels notes that HHH hitting him with a sledgehammer after the match is why he’s in the wheelchair. Michaels thinks that HHH should know the kind of guy Michaels is. Michaels thinks that HHH has forgotten the kind of guy he is. Michaels tells HHH to not hunt something you can’t kill. Michaels says that what goes around comes around and holds a sledgehammer to end the segment.
Backstage, WWE World Champion Triple H is walking as his title defense is next.
Third Contest: WWE World Heavyweight Champion Triple H vs. Ric Flair: HHH backs Flair into a corner, but cleanly backs away. Flair takes HHH down to the mat and does a strut to taunt HHH. Flair takes HHH down with a drop toe hold, but HHH counters with a hammerlock. Flair gets control with a hammerlock, but HHH back elbows Flair in the corner. Flair nails HHH with a chop and HHH bailed to the floor briefly. HHH shoulder blocks Flair and runs into a hip toss by Flair. Flair keeps control with a wrist lock. Flair keeps control on HHH with a wrist lock on the mat, but doesn’t get a submission. Flair chops HHH to keep control of the left arm. HHH decks Flair to the mat with a right hand. Flair works over HHH with a few right hands. HHH plants Flair with a spinebuster and pummels Flair with right hands on the mat. HHH keeps working over Flair in the corner with boots to the midsection. Flair is sent into the corner and flips over the ropes to the floor. HHH suplexs Flair into the ring from the apron for a two count. HHH elbows Flair into the corner, but Flair fights back with a chop. HHH kicks Flair in the midsection and locks in a sleeper hold. Flair counters with a back suplex to break free from the hold. Flair misses a knee drop. HHH delivers a few elbow drops to the left knee of Flair. HHH taunts the crowd and Flair by strutting knowing that he has control of the contest.
HHH yanks on the leg a few times and goes for the figure four, but Flair counters with an inside cradle for a two count. Flair gets another two count with a backslide, but HHH decks Flair with a clothesline. Flair delivers a few chops in the corner to fight back, but HHH delivers a knee to the midsection. Flair chops HHH coming out of the corner and continues to drop HHH with several chops to the chest. HHH elbows Flair, but is sent into the corner and flies over the top to the floor. HHH drops Flair over the top rope throat first and rolls back into the ring. Flair drives HHH down with a knee breaker and locks in the figure four in the middle of the ring. Flair chops HHH coming out of the corner. HHH kicks Flair into the corner and the referee went to the floor to avoid contact. HHH low blows Flair and hits the Pedigree to win the match. (*1/2. Flair’s offense is really repetitive and it doesn’t add a lot to matches at this point. HHH going over and doing so by pin was a relief as I didn’t want a DQ or another lackluster finish. I don’t mind using a low blow to win because he is a heel and that’s just going to add to his heat.) After the match, Jericho enters the ring and attacks Flair. Jericho puts the Walls of Jericho on Flair in the middle of the ring. HHH is smirking on the aisle when Rob Van Dam runs by HHH to make the save hitting Jericho with right hands in the corner. HHH enters the ring and RVD hits a spinning heel kick to send HHH to the floor. RVD plays to the crowd.
Backstage, Eric Bischoff tells Big Show that he needs to trust him. Show is not happy about Rosey and Jamal attacking him two weeks. Show is also pissed that he wasn’t given the World Championship. Show wants to be the number one contender. Bischoff says that Show will have to earn the spot. Bischoff dares Show to earn it in his match against Tommy Dreamer. Bischoff gets a phone call and is surprised to hear that someone is leaving RAW to go to Smackdown to be with a family member. Bischoff is not happy about this development.
Fourth Contest: WWE Tag Team Champions Lance Storm & Christian vs. Kane in a non-title handicap match: Storm and Christian go after Kane upon Kane’s entrance into the ring. Storm and Christian stomp on Kane, but Kane comes back with a double clothesline and strikes. Kane clotheslines Storm in the corner and press slams Christian into Storm. Kane rams Christian into the corner followed by strikes and elbows. Kane lifts Christian up by the neck and drops Christian to the mat. Storm grabs Kane by the boot, but begs off on the floor. Christian decks Kane from behind to help his partner. Christian drop toe holds Kane face first onto the ring steps. Kane is rolled back into the ring and worked over by Christian. Christian backs Kane into a corner and delivers a few more strikes to the ribs. Kane fights out of the corner with strikes and tries for a chokeslam on Christian, but Storm hits a springboard clothesline. Christian manages a two count on a pin attempt. Storm keeps Kane on the mat with a couple of elbow drops and chokes Kane on the mat. Christian continues to hammer away on Kane with right hands. Kane tries for a snake eyes, but Christian sends Kane into the corner. Kane avoids the Un-Prettier and hits an electric chair slam leading to both men being down on the mat. Storm gets tagged in as Kane sits up. Kane drops Storm with a series of right hands. Kane backdrops Storm and big boots Christian. Kane tosses Christian to the floor before hitting a side slam on Storm for a two count. Kane heads to the top rope hitting a flying clothesline on Storm, but Christian makes the save on the cover. Storm eye rakes Kane and deliver a heel kick after Christian dropped Kane throat first over the top rope. Storm accidentally superkicks Christian and Kane plants Storm with a chokeslam for the win. After the match, Test enters the ring and drops Kane with a big boot. Test is going to light the flag on fire, but Bradshaw slides into the ring and attacks the Un-Americans. Kane gets up and helps Bradshaw fight them off. (*1/4. I enjoyed the handicap match and the aftermath. The action had a good pace and really good energy to it. I was surprised by how well it came across on TV. Everyone looked good and I can get behind a Bradshaw/Kane duo to combat the Un-Americans.)
Fifth Contest: Tommy Dreamer vs. Big Show: Show knee lifts Dreamer in the corner and sends Dreamer hard back first into the corner. Show plants Dreamer with a vertical suplex and comes off the ropes to deliver a leg drop. Show hip tosses Dreamer across the ring. Show comes off the ropes to big boot Dreamer and tries for a cocky cover, but Dreamer kicks out. Show clotheslines Dreamer in the corner and briefly puts a bearhug on Dreamer before dropping Dreamer to the mat. Show connects with a back suplex, but Dreamer put his boot on the bottom rope. Show sends Dreamer over the top to the floor. Show chops Dreamer against the railing and sends Dreamer into the ring steps. Show grabs a steel chair, but doesn’t use it. Dreamer whacks Show over the back and over the head a few times with the chair to knock Show out. The referee has disqualified Dreamer. Dreamer delivers an elbow drop with the chair and leaves Show laying. (*1/2. I think Dreamer being a hardcore psycho could be a good direction for the character. The crowd certainly enjoyed it.)
Backstage, Eric Bischoff is walking when Triple H comes up and demands Rob Van Dam tonight for getting involved in his business. Bischoff can’t put HHH in a match because RVD has a match with Jericho tonight. HHH wants RVD tonight if he’s the true franchise guy. Chris Jericho enters the scene and he’s upset about his WWE IC Championship match being scratched. Bischoff announces that it will be HHH teaming with Jericho to take on Rob Van Dam and Ric Flair in the main event.
Eric Bischoff comes out before the next match and says there is not going to be a match tonight. Bischoff has a reliable source saying that someone is going to leave RAW for Smackdown due to a family issue, and thinks it is Jeff Hardy. Bischoff would have liked a notice. Bischoff would have liked at least a three minute notice. That leads to Jamal and Rosey entering the ring and destroying Jeff Hardy. Jamal goes to the top rope and Bischoff says this is what happens when you decide to leave RAW for Smackdown. Jamal hits a top rope splash. Crash Holly grabs the microphone and tells Bischoff that he’s the guy leaving RAW for Smackdown. Bischoff has a look of regret of having Hardy destroyed.
Jerry Lawler enters the ring for the first ever lingerie pillow fight between Stacy Keibler and Terri. I’m not considering this a match as it’s more of a segment without an official referee. Keibler puts an alarm clock in a pillow, but misses a shot and Terri dropkicked Keibler leading to a bronco buster in the corner. Terri gets a pin on Stacy on the bed to win the pillow fight. Keibler knocks Terri out with the pillow that had the alarm clock in it. Stacy goes under the ring to grab a bucket and dumps a liquid on Terri. Stacy essentially tar and feathers Terri.
Main Event: WWE World Heavyweight Champion Triple H & Chris Jericho vs. WWE Intercontinental Champion Rob Van Dam & Ric Flair: HHH and Jericho double team RVD before Flair can make his entrance. Flair runs down without and music and goes after HHH in the corner with strikes before sending HHH to the floor. RVD and Flair send Jericho into the ropes to hit a double backdrop. RVD kicks Jericho followed by more strikes. Jericho ducks a clothesline, but RVD connects with a spin kick. RVD monkey flips Jericho out of the corner and hits a standing moonsault for a two count. RVD misses a spin kick and Jericho delivers a kick to the head for a two count. Jericho chokes RVD in the corner to maintain control of the contest. RVD goes to the apron and hits a slingshot leg drop to the back of Jericho’s head. Flair tags in and works over Jericho in the corner with chops. HHH strikes Flair from the apron and Jericho decks Flair to the mat. HHH tags into the match and pummels Flair with right hands. Flair fires back with chops, but HHH cuts Flair off quickly. Jericho chokes Flair over the middle rope to maintain control of the contest. Jericho misses a splash hitting the middle rope. HHH gets tagged in and RVD gets the hot tag. RVD kicks HHH a few times on the knee and delivers a spinning heel kick to the face. RVD sends Jericho to the floor. RVD elbows HHH in the corner and hits a top rope kick to the face. RVD is tripped by Jericho on the floor. Jericho whacks RVD with a chair from the floor, but RVD kicks out of the cover attempt by HHH.
HHH sends RVD to the floor and Flair tries to get involved with a chair in the ring. The referee stops Flair from using the chair. HHH tries for another pin on RVD, but can’t keep RVD down long enough on the cover. Jericho drives RVD down to the mat with a vertical suplex. RVD hammers away on Jericho and delivers a shoulder ram in the corner. Jericho goes for the Walls of Jericho and has it locked in. Flair enters and chops Jericho to break the hold. HHH tags back into the contest and elbow drops RVD to prevent a tag to Flair. HHH keeps a front face lock on RVD, but lets go and decks Flair on the apron. Flair enters the ring and chops both Jericho and HHH. Flair is sent to the floor by HHH with a clothesline. RVD elbows HHH a few times, but HHH delivers a strike to the back. RVD connects with a step over heel kick. RVD hits the rolling thunder for a two count. HHH kicks RVD in the gut and tries for the Pedigree, but RVD counters with a backdrop. RVD heel kicks HHH and goes to the top, but Jericho shoves RVD off. Flair and Jericho trade strikes briefly. Jericho hits the Lionsault on RVD, but HHH can’t get a three count. Flair puts the figure four on Jericho outside the ring! HHH has grabbed the championship, but RVD kicks the belt into HHH’s face. RVD goes to the top rope hitting the Five Star Frog Splash to pin HHH! (**. A formula tag match, but a solid one at that. RVD getting a pin on HHH likely means he’s going to be the number one contender. It should also mean he’s going to lose the IC Championship in the coming weeks. I like that HHH got the title handed to him at the start of the show and he’s losing at the end. It makes sense for the story that HHH was handed the belt and now he’s got to show he deserves it.)
This RAW felt like a reset for the brand as they now have their own champion in Triple H. The second hour was a strong way to end the program compared to the first hour. I think RAW’s weakness is a lack of interest in the undercard. They have a few viable main event guys that are carrying the show. I’m intrigued by a HHH/RVD feud, but there’s no way RVD is going to be champion since HHH just became the top heel champion for the brand. I’m going to give this a slight thumbs up largely because of the strong second hour of programming.
Thanks for reading.