Written by: Bob Colling
World Wrestling Entertainment presents RAW
From: Denver, CO
Eric Bischoff starts the show sitting in the ring with the lights darkened. Bischoff talks about his appearance on Smackdown where he ruined the ceremony between Billy and Chuck. Bischoff is back on RAW, but didn’t come alone. Bischoff has brought Rico with him. Rico walks out of the darkness to say hello. Bischoff is going to reward Rico with a match tonight against Ric Flair. Rico is excited to wrestle Flair tonight. Bischoff has a special evening planned for tonight and brings up Triple H and Rob Van Dam fighting at Unforgiven. Bischoff announces that both men will be defending their championships tonight. If any championships change hands then he’ll deal with it later. Bischoff doesn’t want to have boring television and will leave that to Stephanie and Smackdown.
RAW World Champion Triple H makes his way down to the ring to cut a promo. HHH says he’s heard the same thing everywhere he’s gone. HHH points to a fan and says he’s heard “RVD” over and over again. HHH says people think he’s going to lose to Rob Van Dam. HHH explains that he’s not afraid of RVD. HHH doesn’t see RVD as being championship material. HHH believes that RVD got lucky with one frog splash to become number one contender. HHH considers himself the greatest champion ever. HHH doesn’t think RVD stands a chance in the ring with him. HHH considers the chanting for RVD to be disrespect and reminds the fans just who he is.
WWE Intercontinental Champion Rob Van Dam makes his way out to cut HHH off. RVD thinks that HHH is seriously stressed out and asks if HHH can feel the tension on his body. RVD says that anger is a negative energy and HHH needs to get rid of that. RVD wonders if HHH is angry because RVD can do some cool moves. RVD puts himself over as being amazing. HHH admits that he is angry and it’s a gift that he’s been given. HHH says that anger is why he’s the champion. The anger is why he sellouts arenas and pay per views. RVD tells HHH nobody is trying to take away his accomplishments. RVD tells HHH that he’s proven he can spit some water. RVD is mocking HHH for spitting water during his entrance. HHH is not amused by this. RVD tells HHH that doing that certainly takes talent and fake claps for the champion. HHH fake laughs and can see why the fans love RVD. HHH says that RVD is just like the fans and that he’s a gross under achiever. HHH tells RVD that he’s not going to amount to anything in this business. HHH assures RVD that he’ll never be a World Champion. RVD has found the source of HHH’s anger and that’s because HHH isn’t getting cheers. RVD doesn’t want HHH to take it personally that people are chanting for their favorite wrestler, RVD. HHH tries to kick RVD, but RVD blocks it and hits a step over heel kick. RVD walks off as HHH holds his face.
Earlier in the day, there were a lot of women protesting outside the arena.
Opening Contest: Ric Flair vs. Rico: Flair starts off by doing a strut to taunt Rico. Flair trips Rico to the mat, but doesn’t followup. Flair takes Rico down to the mat with a snapmare followed by a knee drop and a headlock takeover. Rico shoulder blocks Flair, but Flair comes back with a hip toss and another headlock. Rico hammers away on Flair followed by a kick and a mule kick. Rico rams Flair into the corner and delivers a few kicks in the corner for a two count. Rico backdrops Flair coming out of the corner. Rico clotheslines Flair in the corner, but is met with a back elbow. Flair chops Rico several times and a back elbow to drop Rico. Flair stomps on Rico to keep control of the contest. Rico grabs a chair, but Flair steps on the chair. Flair brings Rico into the ring from the apron with a suplex for a two count. Flair chops Rico several times in the corner. The referee is decked on accident by Flair. Rico nails Flair with a spin kick and pins Flair! (*1/2. The match was actually rather boring and that tends to happen when Flair is leading the offense and carrying the match. Rico winning is a huge upset. I’m stunned that Flair would lose cleanly to Rico on RAW. I could get behind a Rico push, though. He was impressive on Smackdown.)
Backstage, Terri interviews Booker T. Booker is wrestling Test tonight. Booker hated taking tests when he was a kid. Booker speaks some French after Terri was surprised Booker took it. Booker recalls being pissed about failing a test and going to summer school. He’s going to pass this test tonight. He’s not taking the test with a number two pencil, but rather a number five, like the times he’s been champion.
Outside the arena, women are still protesting and they are fighting for women’s rights.
Second Contest: Booker T vs. Test: Booker hammers away on Test to start the match. Booker forearms Test and continues with strikes against the ropes. Test completely botches a side slam attempt. Test proceeds to hit the side slam correctly. Test elbows Booker a few times in the corner followed by stomps. Booker battles back with strikes, but Test cuts him off. Test delivers a clothesline in the corner to drop Booker to the mat. Test tries for a cover, but Booker kicks out. Booker knee lifts Test several times, but runs into an elbow strike for a near fall. Booker comes off the ropes to nail Test with a leaping clothesline. Booker fights back with right hands and chops. Booker connects with a spinning heel kick. Test knee lifts Booker and they mess up a spinebuster attempt. Booker leg drops Test to keep control. Booker kicks Test but misses a heel kick. Booker connects with a leaping sidekick and plays to the crowd. Booker does the spinarooni. Test avoids a scissors kick and tries for a pumphandle slam, but Booker lands on the apron. Booker scissors kicks Test over the top rope. Booker hits a missile dropkick, but Test kicks out at two. Booker avoids a clothesline, but Test plants Booker with the pumphandle slam for a near fall. Test tries for a powerbomb, but Booker counters with a hurricanrana. Test misses a big boot and Booker gets a rollup out of the corner to win the match. (*. The action was just too sloppy for me. Test messed up several times and it hurt the flow of the match. I think it’s just a matter of time before Booker is elevated into the main event scene.)
Backstage, Terri walks up to Ric Flair to discuss his loss to Rico earlier. Flair asks Terri what she thinks he’s thinking about. Triple H enters the scene and is sure that Flair is embarrassed. HHH says that he looked up to Flair at one point and now can’t believe that Flair lost that match. HHH thinks that Flair has lost his guts. HHH suggests that Flair retire if he’s going to be like this. HHH calls Flair pathetic. Flair gets heated and says that HHH is pathetic for carrying the championship while not earning it. HHH knows what Flair is capable of and has a smile on his face to end the segment.
Outside the arena, Coach is talking with the women protesting. Rebecca represents IOW and says they have seen women get treated horribly. They want to talk to Eric Bischoff tonight.
Third Contest: WWE Tag Team Champions Lance Storm & Christian vs. Bubba Dudley & Spike Dudley: Storm and Bubba start the tag title match with Bubba hitting a snap suplex after getting out of a headlock. Storm kicks Bubba and misses a clothesline allowing Bubba to hit a back suplex. Bubba sits Storm on the top turnbuckle and puts Storm in the tree of woe. Bubba clotheslines Christian off the apron and tags in Spike to deliver an axe handle. Spike comes off the ropes with a bulldog and a forearm. Spike atomic drops Storm followed by another clothesline, but Christian stops the cover. Storm sends Spike chest first into the corner. Christian stomps on Spike and chokes Spike for a few moments. Storm sets a table up on the floor, but Bubba runs over to try and stop him. The referee cuts Bubba off and Spike is double teamed in the ring. Storm slams Spike for a two count. Christian tags back in and kicks Spike in the ribs and chokes Spike over the middle rope. Storm forearms Spike on the apron a few times. Christian drives Spike down with a gut buster for a two count. Storm tags into the match and stomps on Spike followed by a knee lift. Spike head scissors Storm and tries to tag in Bubba. Bubba gets the hot tag and decks Storm, but the referee didn’t see the tag. Christian and Storm beat on Spike to keep control of the contest. Spike forearms Christian, but is met with a kick and a reverse DDT turned into a backbreaker for a two count.
Christian takes Spike down with a snapmare and delivers a strike to the back. Spike elbows Christian and almost wins with an inside cradle. Storm knee lifts Spike a few times and locks in a modified abdominal stretch. Spike fights out of the corner and kicks Storm away to tag in Bubba. Bubba cleans house with a series of clotheslines and a side slam on Christian. Bubba flapjacks Storm and splashes Christian in the corner. Storm accidentally decks Christian. Bubba slams Christian and signals for Spike to come off the top rope to hit the diving headbutt. Bubba wants to get a table and Spike headbutts Storm. Bubba jabs Storm several times followed by an elbow strike. Bubba spears Christian for a two count as Storm pulls Bubba to the floor and hits a superkick. Spike tries for the Dudley Dog on Christian, but is tossed over the top through a table on the floor by the champs! Bubba returns and clotheslines Storm followed by a Bubba Bomb to Christian, but the referee is checking on Spike. Several referees come out to check on Spike. Bubba backdrops Storm to the floor, but Christian gets a rollup on Bubba to win the match and retain the titles. (**1/2. I enjoyed the match as Bubba was in the best spot he’s been in for the past several months. Bubba and Spike are a great team with Bubba getting a great crowd reaction when he got the hot tag. I thought the action here was solid and Spike taking the table spot on the floor was an effective spot. The finish was a little lackluster, but the overall match was good enough for me.)
Backstage, Eric Bischoff says that people are looking forward to the match with RVD tonight. The camera reveals Chris Jericho who says he’s going to redeem himself tonight against RVD. Security approaches Bischoff to tell him about the women protesting. Bischoff wants the women to be let into the arena and he’ll meet with them. Bischoff has a few minutes and laughs.
Backstage, Spike is on a stretcher and Bubba is trying to keep Spike calm. Triple H walks over and laughs at Spike before walking off.
Fourth Contest: WWE Intercontinental Champion Rob Van Dam vs. Chris Jericho: Jericho shoulder blocks RVD, but RVD hits a spinning heel kick followed by right hands. RVD misses a kick, but spin kicks Jericho to the mat. Jericho forearms RVD and delivers a few strikes. Jericho back suplexs RVD to the mat and continues with chops. RVD catches Jericho and catapults Jericho into the corner. RVD nails Jericho with a dropkick in midair. RVD dropkicks Jericho and delivers a slingshot leg drop over the apron. RVD shoulder rams Jericho followed by a kick on the apron. RVD heads to the top, but is crotched after Jericho sent the referee into the ropes. Jericho strikes RVD on the turnbuckle and hooks RVD with a double under hook hitting a suplex off the top to the mat. Jericho kicks RVD several times on the mat followed by stomps. Jericho drives RVD down with a backbreaker and taunts the crowd. Jericho delivers another backbreaker and keeps RVD over his knee. Jericho hammers away on RVD in the corner. RVD boots Jericho in the corner and gets a rollup for a two count.
Jericho dropkicks RVD to regain control of the contest. Jericho works over RVD’s back by pressing his knee into RVD’s back. RVD kicks Jericho followed by right hands. RVD dropkicks Jericho as Jericho charged the corner. RVD kicks Jericho and delivers more strikes in the corner. RVD monkey flips Jericho out of the corner followed by a heel kick and the rolling thunder! RVD goes for the cover, but Jericho kicks out at two. Jericho avoids a kick and tries for the Walls of Jericho, but RVD counters with a rollup for a two count. RVD runs into a boot in the corner, but nails Jericho with a step over heel kick. RVD heads to the top rope, but Triple H runs down and RVD takes HHH out with a crossbody. HHH didn’t catch RVD at all on that one. RVD hammers away on HHH. Jericho misses a baseball slide and is met with a kick. RVD goes to the top and delivers a kick to Jericho. RVD hits a split legged moonsault for a near fall. HHH is on the apron and Jericho is sent into HHH causing HHH to flip into the corner. RVD knocks HHH to the floor and Jericho locks in the Walls of Jericho! RVD is stuck in the middle of the ring and HHH is taunting RVD to submit. RVD is forced to submit and we have a new champion. (**1/4. They got some time and I’m not surprised by HHH getting involved to cost RVD the match. I’m a little surprised they didn’t want to have a champion vs. champion kind of build for the Unforgiven match, but putting the title on Jericho builds him back up a bit and can also make the PPV stronger with an IC title match. I liked this more than I expected to.) After the match, HHH pulls RVD up by his hair and sets up for a Pedigree. HHH plants RVD with a pedigree to leave RVD laying.
Backstage, the women protesting enter Bischoff’s office and they wait to have a discussion with him.
Backstage, Chris Jericho is celebrating his title win and runs into Bischoff. Jericho wants redemption and wants to wrestle Ric Flair at Unforgiven. Bischoff makes the match. Jericho is thrilled.
Backstage, William Regal talks with the Un-Americans and says that Americans hide behind a mask just like Kane does because they are ashamed. Regal says he’ll teach them a lesson tonight.
Fifth Contest: William Regal vs. Kane: Regal clotheslines Kane to the floor early on, but is caught coming off the apron and press slammed into the ring. Regal drops Kane throat first over the ropes and keeps control rolling Kane into the ring for a two count. Regal continues to work over Kane with strikes against the ropes. Regal uppercuts Kane a few times and takes Kane down to the mat with a drop toe hold. Regal delivers a knee strike and a few left hand strikes. Kane fights back with right hands and a backdrop. Kane big boots Regal and delivers a clothesline in the corner a few times. Kane side slams Regal and heads to the top rope. Kane leaps off hitting a clothesline. Regal reaches into his tights when Test comes in to cause a DQ. Test accidentally big boots Regal. Kane is attacked by the Un-Americans, but Bubba Dudley slides into the ring to make the save. Booker T and Goldust slide into the ring to even the odds. Kane chokeslams Lance Storm as the heels bail to the floor. (1/2*. The crowd was mostly dead for this and the action was standard stuff for the most part. I’m wondering if people don’t buy into Regal in a heel singles role. It looks like Bubba is taking Bradshaw’s spot in this feud, too.) After the match, Booker T gets a microphone to cut a promo. Booker says that the Un-Americans have no heart and no guts. Booker challenges the Un-Americans to an eight man tag at Unforgiven and the match is accepted.
Backstage, the security guard tells the women that Bischoff wants them to meet him in the ring for a public forum.
Eric Bischoff is in the ring and laughs when saying that women are equal to men in intelligence. Bischoff brings the women out to the ring to have their public forum. The women enter and chant IOW for a few moments. Rebecca gets on the microphone and explains Bischoff what their role is and Bischoff is not interested. Rebecca lists the things that Bischoff has done that is disrespectful to women. Bischoff didn’t realize that they are all lesbians and encourages them to get it on. Bischoff starts an HLA chant for the women. Bischoff doesn’t have fifteen minutes for the women. Bischoff gets kicked in the nuts by one of the women. The woman takes her wig off and it’s Stephanie! Billy and Chuck slide into the ring. Bischoff is on Chuck’s shoulders as Billy comes off the top to hit a bulldog. Jamal and Rosey get in the ring and they splash Billy in the corner. Chuck battles back with a superkick and Billy hits a Fameasser! They proceed to escape through the crowd leaving Bischoff, Rosey and Jamal laying in the ring.
Eric Bischoff, Jamal and Rosey have recovered following a commercial break. Bischoff calls Stephanie a bitch and promises that she’ll pay for this. Bischoff is sure that Stephanie is proud of herself. Bischoff issues a challenge for a Unforgiven in a inter-promotional, but said Intercontinental. Bischoff says that if Billy and Chuck win then he’ll kiss Stephanie’s ass. But, if Jamal and Rosey win then Stephanie must perform some HLA. Bischoff looks forward to hear her response on Smackdown.
Prior to the main event, RVD attacks HHH during his entrance in the ring. They trade strikes on the mat a few times. Eventually, several referees enter the ring to break them apart. RVD gets the championship and decks HHH with it after swinging at the referees. RVD is finally escorted backstage by being carried.
Main Event: RAW World Champion Triple H vs. Jeff Hardy: HHH has been busted wide open due to the championship to the face. Hardy slides into the ring and hammers away on HHH. Hardy forearms HHH and delivers a few strikes in the corner. Hardy hits a crossbody off the middle rope. Hardy dropkicks a seated HHH and heads to the middle rope, but is kicked in midair. Hardy takes HHH down and delivers a leg drop followed by a dropkick. Hardy heads to the top rope, but HHH rolls to the floor. Hardy runs the railing and clotheslines HHH. Hardy hits a sloppy split legged moonsault for a near fall. HHH sends Hardy to the floor. HHH sends Hardy into the ring steps. HHH takes Hardy over with a snap suplex. Hardy stops HHH on the top rope and hits a top rope hurricanrana. Hardy goes for a cover, but HHH kicks out a two. Hardy misses a spear in the corner and HHH puts Hardy on the top rope. Hardy elbows HHH off the middle rope and hits a moonsault. Hardy goes for the cover, but HHH kicks out at two. Hardy tries for the Twist of Fate, but HHH counters only to miss a clothesline and Hardy connects with the Twist of Fate. Hardy goes to the top rope hitting the Swanton Bomb! Hardy goes for the cover, but HHH gets his boot on the bottom rope. HHH locks in a sleeper hold in the middle of the ring to stop Hardy. HHH takes Hardy down to the mat, but Hardy quickly gets up only to fade. The referee checks Hardy and HHH wins the match. (**. Well, Hardy had dominated the majority of the match, but HHH steals the match with his deadly sleeper hold. I felt like they had HHH get attacked before to enhance Hardy’s chances of winning in the viewers eyes. It’s amazing how they failed to push Hardy following his match with Taker back in July. It’s weird to have HHH take a beating most of the match only to prevail with essentially one move.) After the match, RVD hits the frog splash on HHH after a spin kick. RVD holds the championship over his head and taunts HHH to end the show.
It’s the RAW go-home show heading into Unforgiven and I thought it was an average to solid show. The first hour wasn’t all that great, but the second half had some decent TV matches to make it go by quickly. I don’t think RVD has been presented strongly enough to be seen as a true contender to HHH’s title. I think HHH should be feuding with Booker, Kane and others to really make the title seem to be in jeopardy at this point. I think the RAW side for the PPV is far weaker than Smackdown’s, too.
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.