Written by: Bob Colling
World Wrestling Entertainment presents RAW
From: Ames, IA
Prior to the opening match, Bradshaw grabs a microphone to cut a promo. Bradshaw calls the Un-Americans bastards. Bradshaw wants to make something clear and says they are not here to win the tag titles for themselves. They are in the heartland of America and thinks this is a perfect time to bring the titles home.
Opening Contest: WWE Tag Team Champions Lance Storm & Christian vs. Kane & Bradshaw: All four men are brawling in the ring until Storm is met with a double shoulder block. Storm and Bradshaw legally start the match with Bradshaw hitting an elbow drop after a slam. Bradshaw shoulder blocks Storm to the floor and hits a suplex back into the ring from the apron for a near fall. Kane tags in and decks Storm with a few right hands. Christian tags in and helps Storm briefly. Kane comes off the ropes with a double clothesline. Kane drops Christian with a right hand and rams Christian into the corner. Bradshaw tags in and drops Christian with a back suplex for a near fall. Storm decks Bradshaw allowing Christian to backdrop Bradshaw, but Bradshaw comes back with a big boot. Kane tags in and lifts Christian into the air before dropping Christian to the mat and missing an elbow drop. Kane tosses Christian into Storm on the top rope. Kane plants Christian with a side slam for a near fall. Kane misses a splash in the corner. Storm pulls Kane into the post groin first. Christian keeps control with stomps in the corner.
Kane is double teamed on the floor while the referee is distracted by Bradshaw. Kane tries to fight out of the corner, but Christian drops Kane throat first over the top rope. Kane plants Storm with a tilt a whirl slam. Kane tags in Bradshaw and Christian enters. Bradshaw elbows Christian and catches Storm in midair. Bradshaw boots Christian and tosses Storm with a fallaway slam. Bradshaw powerbombs Christian and nearly wins, but Storm breaks the cover. Storm superkicks Bradshaw and baseball slides Kane. Bradshaw kicks out at two. Christian tries for the Un-Prettier, but Bradshaw hits a snap powerslam for a two count. Storm hits a springboard clothesline on Bradshaw, but Kane comes off the top to clothesline Storm. Storm kicks Kane and accidentally missile dropkicks the referee. Kane chokeslams Storm, but Test enters and nails Kane with a big boot. Bradshaw decks Test with the Clothesline From Hell. William Regal nails Bradshaw with brass knuckles. The referee wakes up and Christian pins Bradshaw. (***. The crowd was hot for this and I really like a Bradshaw/Kane tag team. It looks like Regal is goin to be associated with the group and that’s fine with me. I enjoyed the action here as both teams worked hard and this was a really good way to start the show with quality action.)
RAW General Manager Eric Bischoff is in the ring to cut a promo. Bischoff says that the superstars were upset with how Triple H was given the World Championship. Bischoff reveals that some wrestlers will have a chance to do something about it. There will be a four way elimination match to determine the number one contender. Chris Jericho, Jeff Hardy, Big Show and WWE Intercontinental Champion Rob Van Dam will be competing for a shot against Triple H at Unforgiven. Bischoff wants to talk about the entertainment aspect. Bischoff mentions the Billy & Chuck ceremony and doesn’t buy it as a legit thing. The New York Times had an article regarding the ceremony. Bischoff holds the New York Post writing about it and mentions ESPN commenting on it. Bischoff is going to one up Stephanie on RAW. Bischoff announces HLA. That stands for Hot, Lesbian, Action. The crowd digs that announcement and Jerry Lawler freaks out.
Backstage, Terri interviews Chris Jericho. Jericho takes a bite out of an apple and sits the apple on Terri while talking. Jericho is not happy about Triple H being given the title. Jericho recalls being the first Undisputed Champion. Jericho continues to spit the apple onto Terri throughout the interview. Jericho is determined to get the belt back.
Backstage, Coach is with Triple H for an interview. Coach assumes that HHH wouldn’t want to wrestle Rob Van Dam since he was pinned recently. HHH asks if this is where he is supposed to be scared. HHH isn’t scared. HHH reminds Coach that he’s the champion and it doesn’t matter who he faces at the PPV. Bubba enters the scene and wants HHH to focus on his opponent tonight Spike Dudley. Bubba wonders if HHH doesn’t have the balls to wrestle him tonight. HHH is going to get in the ring even when he doesn’t have to. HHH heard a Dudley issued a challenge and figured it was the most competitive one. HHH thinks Bubba is the lucky one. Bubba has to wrestle Steven Richards tonight and when he’s done he’ll get HHH. Steven Richards decks Bubba from behind and knocks Bubba into the wall.
Backstage, Trish and Terri are walking when they see a locker room strictly for lesbians.
Second Contest: Bubba Dudley vs. Steven Richards: Bubba clotheslines Richards from behind during his entrance for the cheap advantage. Bubba rams Richards into the corner and delivers several strikes. Bubba backdrops Richards coming out of the corner. Bubba takes Richards over with a snap suplex and a few elbow drops. Bubba delivers a forearm drop for a two count. Bubba puts Richards in the tree of woe and delivers a few chops to the chest. Bubba rams Richards into the corner, but Richards eye rakes Bubba and delivers a clothesline. Richards sends Bubba hard into the corner followed by stomps. Richards delivers a swinging neckbreaker for a near fall. Richards chops Bubba in the corner a few times and keeps control with stomps. Bubba almost wins with a sunset flip and they collide on a clothesline. They trade strikes with Bubba getting the advantage. Richards kicks Bubba, but Bubba comes back with a German suplex. Bubba clotheslines Richards and follows up with a hip toss. Bubba takes Richards over with a snap suplex for a near fall. Richards knee strikes Bubba, but Bubba drops Richards throat first over the top rope. Bubba jabs Richards several times followed by an elbow strike. Bubba goes to grab a table, but Richards nails Bubba with a superkick for a two count. Bubba spears Richards and nearly wins the match. Bubba kicks Richards in the corner and tries for a middle rope Bubba Bomb. Richards superkicks Bubba again, but Bubba counters a hurricanrana attempt with a middle rope powerbomb for the win. (**. It’s a competitive match and one of Bubba’s better singles matches. I didn’t mind it and the hot crowd is making even lesser interesting matches passable.)
Third Contest: Trish Stratus & Terri vs. Stacy Keibler & Victoria: Terri goes right after Keibler and they roll to the floor. Stratus pulls Terri off and Victoria nails Stratus with a kick to the face. Terri clotheslines Victoria and decks Keibler off the apron. Victoria gains control with a scoop slam on Terri followed by an elbow drop for a two count. Terri is sent into Keibler’s boot on the apron. Keibler tags in and Terri fights both women off for a moment. Keibler chokes Terri in the corner. Keibler slaps Terri and delivers a scoop slam. Victoria hits a slingshot somersault leg drop for a two count. Victoria sends Terri into the ropes, but Terri loses her footing and falls down. Victoria has Terri over her shoulder locking in a backbreaker. Terri breaks free and slaps Keibler. Terri almost pins Victoria with a rollup. Victoria slams Terri and misses a top rope moonsault. Stratus gets tagged in and Trish backdrops Victoria followed by clotheslines and a swinging neckbreaker for a near fall. Stratus takes Victoria off the top turnbuckle with a hurricanrana. Victoria drops Stratus over the top rope followed by a spinebuster for a two count. Keibler tags in and kicks Stratus in the midsection. Keibler spin kicks Stratus and nearly wins the match. Victoria tries to help, but Stratus fights them both off. Terri is tagged in and Terri leaps off the top to hit a crossbody on Keibler for the clean win. (*. At least there was some level of a story to justify the feud. Plus, this prevents Victoria from taking a pin loss as she has potential to shine on RAW.)
Backstage, Christopher Nowinski is talking with William Regal asking why he’d end being his mentor to join the Un-Americans. Regal tells Nowinski he’s not joining anything because he’s always been an Un-American. Nowinski talks about HLA and is slapped by Regal. Regal calls Nowinski an embarrassment. Regal suggests Nowinski act like a Harvard graduate.
Christopher Nowinski makes his way down to the ring. Nowinski says that Iowa State is actually being greeted by a Harvard graduate for the first time ever. Nowinski pokes fun of Iowa State being one yard shy recently. Nowinski insults Iowa for having a lot of dirt roads. Nowinski says that Harvard had a lot of chants where it was basically Iowa people working for them. Tommy Dreamer makes his way out and has a kendo stick. Dreamer wants to beat up Nowinski with his cane. Dreamer slides into the ring and plants Nowinski with a spinebuster and a swinging neckbreaker. Nowinski bails to the floor and gets a kendo stick. Nowinski whacks Dreamer over the back a few times. Dreamer hits a side Russian leg sweep on the floor and hits Nowinski with the kendo stick. Dreamer hits Nowinski several times over the back. Dreamer exposes Nowinski’s back and delivers a shot to the back. Nowinski bails to the floor and runs away.
Backstage, Spike Dudley is walking when the lesbians wish Spike good luck with his match.
Fourth Contest: RAW World Champion Triple H vs. Spike Dudley: HHH wants to shake hands and Spike accepts. HHH doesn’t cheap shot Spike, shockingly. HHH backs Spike into the corner and turns his back to Spike. HHH yanks Spike down by his hair and stares at Dudley. Spike gets wrist control on HHH for a moment, but HHH counters. Spike gets a two count with a rollup. HHH aggressively backs Spike into the corner, but just smiles and slaps Spike. Spike responds with a slap and runs to the floor. Spike ducks a clothesline and forearms HHH a few times followed by a dropkick to send the champ to the floor. HHH pulls Spike to the floor and sends Spike into the barricade. HHH rolls Spike back into the ring, but Spike delivers a headbutt and a swinging neckbreaker for a near fall. HHH boots Spike charging the ropes. HHH pummels Spike with right hands on the mat and choked Spike to keep control. HHH connects with a backbreaker. HHH drives Spike down with another backbreaker. Spike head scissors HHH and sends HHH to the floor. Spike takes HHH out with a crossbody on the floor. Spike heads to the top rope hitting a sit down splash for a near fall. Spike goes to the top rope and is met with a clothesline in midair. HHH plants Spike with the Pedigree. HHH doesn’t go for the cover and instead picks Spike up and shoves the referee. Spike low blows HHH and hits the Acid Drop! Spike has the cover, but HHH puts his boot on the bottom rope. Spike is sent into the corner chest first and HHH locks in a sleeper hold. Spike staggers around and HHH is able to win the match by forcing Spike to pass out. (**. It’s a fine underdog match, but I feel like HHH may have gave Spike a little too much offense. The crowd responded well to Spike and his near wins, but I’m not sure if having a guy, who was handed the belt, nearly lose to a guy so low on the card is a good look for your champion. Regardless, it was a fine match and held my interest.) After the match, HHH stomps on Spike’s head until Bubba slides into the ring and confronts HHH.
Backstage, Coach is with Jeff Hardy for an interview. Hardy has dreamt of this moment and hopes he’s close to realizing his dream. Hardy doesn’t feel 100% and confronts Eric Bischoff. Bischoff says last week was a case of bad communication and says Hardy doesn’t need to thank him. Hardy says that he deserves to be in the match. Hardy promises to show Bischoff the real meaning of extreme he pulls what he did with 3MW again.
Backstage, Big Show laughs at Jericho suggesting that they team together and is talking to Johnny Stamboli about it. Stamboli thinks that Show should listen to Jericho. Show grabs Stamboli by the neck and shoves him away.
Backstage, Coach is with Booker T for an interview. Coach talks about Regal joining the Un-Americans. Booker says that Regal doesn’t have a clue about what makes this country great. Goldust appears behind Booker wearing a Kane mask. Goldust is acting like he’s Kane, when the real Kane appears and Goldust is terrified. Goldust tries to make conversation, but Bradshaw enters the scene and rallies the troops saying this match is important. Bradshaw suggests they watch some hot lesbian action. Goldust says they wouldn’t dream of doing that, but Kane says he’ll go. Booker is down to go because no other country offers that.
Fifth Contest: Booker T & Goldust vs. Test & William Regal: Test knee lifts Booker and hammers away on Booker in the corner. Booker elbows Test in the corner and delivers a kick to the face after ducking a clothesline. Goldust comes off the middle rope with a strike to Test. Regal tags in and hammers away on Goldust with forearm strikes. Goldust drops down and decks Regal with a strike and clothesline. Regal sends Goldust to the floor where Test is pummeling Goldust on the floor. Booker comes over to help, but Regal gains control with an uppercut and gets a two count. Test tags back in and rams Goldust into the corner followed by elbow strikes and kicks. Regal returns to the match, but Goldust fires back with several strikes. Regal takes Goldust down to the mat and delivers a knee drop. Test rams Goldust into the corner and chokes Goldust briefly. Test delivers a running clothesline in the corner. Test tags in Regal and keeps control with strikes. Regal chokes Goldust over the middle rope and tags in Test. Goldust fights back with strikes, but Test delivers a knee lift. Goldust gets out of a pump handle slam to drop Test with a neckbreaker. Goldust crawls to the corner and tags in Booker. Booker cleans house with clotheslines and right hands. Test misses a clothesline and is clotheslined by Booker. Booker heel kicks Regal for a two count. Goldust tosses Test to the floor. Regal uppercuts Booker, but Booker hits a scissors kick after a knee lift. Booker does the spinarooni. Tesrt misses a big boot and is met with a leaping side kick. Regal knocks Booker out with brass knuckles, but Kane slides into the ring and attacks Regal. Storm and Christian come out as well and the match is thrown out. (*1/2. A basic match, but some decent action and it advances the stable warfare that they are going for.)
Backstage, the lesbians are heading to the ring.
Eric Bischoff is in the ring again and says the ceremony on Smackdown is just a publicity stunt. Bischoff is determined to one up Smackdown and brings out the lesbians. Bischoff hypes up the women kissing each other. Bischoff starts an HLA chant. Jenny says she wants Tanya. Tanya feels the same way about Jenny. Bischoff continues to ask sexual questions and they begin to touch each other on the legs and arms. Bischoff suggests they take off each others tops. Tanya gets her top taken off and Jenny takes her top off, as well. Jenny squeezes and spanks Tanya’s ass. Jerry Lawler is unbearable on commentary. Jenny takes Tanya’s skirt off. Jenny takes her skirt off, too. Bischoff wants them to hug and they do while rubbing each other. Bischoff stops them from kissing in the middle of the ring. Bischoff suggests they take it slow. They proceed to have a slow kiss and they are trying to unhook their bras, but Bischoff stops them. Bischoff says that sex and violence sell. Bischoff thinks that the show has gone on long enough. Jamal and Rosey slide into the ring and Bischoff says the segment has gone three minutes too long. Jamel kicks Jenny in the chest and Rosey has Tanya. Rosey acts like he’s going to press slam her, but instead tosses Tanya into Jamal for a Samoan Drop. The women are laid down in the middle of the ring in the 69 position. Jamal leaps off the top to hit a splash on both women.
Backstage, Ric Flair meets up with Rob Van Dam and puts over RVD’s performance last week. Flair thinks that RVD started something special last week by hitting the frog splash on HHH. Flair knew HHH was over when RVD hit the move. Flair knows that RVD will be the next champion.
Main Event: WWE Intercontinental Champion Rob Van Dam vs. Big Show vs. Jeff Hardy vs. Chris Jericho in an elimination match to determine the number one contender: All four men going at it in the ring until Hardy sends Jericho to the floor. RVD kicks Show in the corner and Hardy leaps off of RVD’s back, but Show catches Hardy in the corner to dump Hardy to the floor. Show slams RVD and slaps hands with Jericho to double team RVD. Show press slams Jericho off the top, but misses s splash as RVD rolled away. Hardy and Show kick Show. Hardy goes to the top and dropkicks Show. RVD hits a kick off the top rope. Hardy sends RVD to the floor and covers Show for a two count. Hardy heads to the top rope hitting the Swanton, but Show kicks out and sends Hardy to the floor. RVD hits the rolling thunder for a two count. RVD lands on top of the referee. Jericho whacks RVD and Hardy with chair shots. Jericho whacks Show over the back. Show gets the chair and Jericho acts like he’s been hit and the referee disqualifies Show. Show is pissed and chokeslams Jericho. Show grabs Hardy and delivers another chokeslam. Show chokeslams RVD and all three men are laid out. We go to commercial.
Jericho stomps on RVD in the corner and delivers chops against the ropes. Jericho ducks a heel kick and Jericho hits a spinning heel kick of his own. Jericho misses a springboard attack onto the apron and crashes to the floor. RVD hits a somersault dive to the floor onto Jericho. Hardy dropkicks RVD on the floor and Hardy runs the barricade to clothesline both men. Hardy rolls Jericho into the ring and hits a slingshot moonsault for a two count. Hardy misses the Whisper in the Wind. Jericho goes to the top and is kicked by RVD. Hardy and RVD double team Jericho and hit a double superplex. Hardy and RVD hit double springboard heel kicks. RVD kicks Hardy to gain the advantage and hits a rolling fireman’s carry followed by a moonsault for a near fall. Hardy plants RVD with a DDT to counter a hip toss for a two count. Hardy heads to the top rope, but Jericho shoves Hardy off. Jericho hits the Lionsault and pins Hardy.
RVD spin kicks Jericho for a near fall. RVD forearms Jericho, but Jericho stops RVD with a release German suplex for a two count. Jericho presses his knee into RVD’s back, but doesn’t get a submission. RVD fights back with strikes and Jericho misses a spear hitting the post shoulder first. Jericho goes to the corner and takes the turnbuckle pad off. RVD kicks Jericho a few times. Jericho is sent into the exposed buckle and monkey flipped out of the corner. RVD almost wins with a standing moonsault. RVD nails Jericho with a step over heel kick. Jericho blocks the rolling thunder with his knees and almost wins the match. Jericho works over RVD with strikes in the corner. Jericho leaps off the middle rope and is met with a dropkick. RVD hits a split legged moonsault for a near fall. RVD forearms Jericho in the corner and is met with a boot. Jericho bulldogs RVD and lands on his feet on a moonsault attempt. RVD heel kicks Jericho and goes to the top missing the Five Star Frog Splash. Jericho hits the lionsault, but RVD kicks out at two. Jericho tries for the Walls of Jericho, but RVD nearly wins with an inside cradle. They collide in the middle of the ring as we see Triple H making his way out to the aisle. Jericho nearly wins with a rollup and feet on the ropes. RVD blocks a dropkick and sends Jericho face first into the exposed buckle. RVD nails Jericho with a kick tot eh face and hits the Five Star Frog Splash to win the match. After the match, Triple H is not thrilled about RVD winning and has a look of concern. (**1/2. A decent TV main event. The action picked up once Show was eliminated and I’m expecting Show to eventually snap due to the constant screw jobs he’s been dealing with. Triple H showing concern about RVD winning is basic storytelling, but I’m not sure it really makes me feel that RVD is a true contender. I just don’t see RVD beating Triple H. They haven’t done a lot to make it feel as if RVD is on this unstoppable roll to defeat HHH.)
Kudos to the Iowa crowd for being read hot for the action and that alone made this an enjoyable show. The segments all served a purpose and there was some decent action throughout. This was probably one of the better RAWs that I’ve watched since the Draft. They just have to figure out a way to make RVD look like a true threat to HHH’s championship. I’m not there to believe it.
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.