Written by: Bob Colling
World Wrestling Entertainment presents RAW
From: Anaheim, CA
Opening Contest: WWE Women’s Champion Trish Stratus vs. Victoria vs. Molly Holly: Trish and Victoria start trading strikes during Molly’s entrance. Trish is yanked down to the mat by Molly. Trish dumps Victoria to the apron, but Molly slams Trish allowing Victoria to hit a slingshot somersault leg drop. Trish nearly pins Victoria with a rollup. Victoria backslides Trish for a two count and argues with Molly. Victoria sends Trish into the corner allowing Molly to hit a handspring elbow. Victoria delivers a strike in the corner. Trish clotheslines both women and drops Victoria with a neckbreaker. Trish nails Molly with a kick to the face and sends Victoria into the corner. Trish head scissors Victoria off the middle rope. Trish tries for a bulldog, but Molly dumps Trish to the floor. Victoria nearly pins Molly after a kick to the head. Victoria plants Molly with a vertical suplex and goes to the top missing a moonsault. Trish almost pins Molly, and Molly almost counters, but is sent into Victoria. Trish is able to get a rollup on Molly to win the match. (**. Not a bad match to start the show as it’s clear the crowd is pumped for the show and starting with a match is a good change of pace. Victoria came across really good here and I’m interested in seeing her compete against Trish in a singles match. Considering Molly took the pin, I’m thinking that’s the direction they will go in.)
Backstage, Booker T and Goldust are hanging out. They are going to show a new scary film they are in. It’s called Stank Wars, Rikishi’s ass strikes back. They are showing footage from Unforgiven last night when Rikishi appeared in drag and ended up sticking his ass into Bischoff’s face. Goldust brought the fellow wrestlers a portrait and it has Rikishu’s ass where Bischoff’s face would be. Rico appears and he says he’s going to snitch.
Backstage, Bischoff shakes hands with a mystery person and welcomes him to RAW. Rico enters the scene and asks why he is here. Bischoff is pissed that Rico wasn’t there for him last night. Bischoff questions Rico’s loyalty to him. Rico tells Bischoff about Booker and Goldut showing footage of what happened last night. Bischoff is determined to take care of that right now.
Eric Bischoff makes his way down to the ring for a promo. Bischoff is not happy because of what happened last night and says he’s not in the mood. Bischoff goes over what happened in recent weeks between RAW and Smackdown. Bischoff notes that nobody on RAW helped him last night and he’s not happy they are laughing at him. Bischoff reveals that Vince McMahon has put a freeze on contracts and wrestlers can only switch brands if there is a trade. Bischoff was able to make a few deals and notes that if you’re on RAW then you belong to him. Bischoff calls out Booker T to join him in the ring. Eventually, Booker T makes his way out and he’s laughing about the situation involving Bischoff. Bischoff asks if Booker thought what happened to him last night was funny. Booker says that he does and doesn’t want the blame for Rikishi using Bischoff’s face as toilet paper. Booker does apologize and asks if HLA still stands for Hot Lesbian Action or Hot Lumpy Ass. Booker says that Bischoff’s breath is heinous like a fat man’s anus. Bischoff does not appreciate the laughter and tells Booker to show him some respect. Jamal and Rosey attempt to attack Booker from behind, but they get knocked to the floor. Rico slides into the ring and misses a spin kick. Booker plants Rico with a spinebuster. Jamal and Rosey return to the ring and Jamal plants Booker with a Samoan Drop. Goldust gets in the ring and makes the save for Booker. Goldust comes off the ropes to deliver a double clothesline, but Rico grabs Goldust’s by the ankles and Jamal delivers a superkick. Rosey connects with a full nelson slam. Rico and Three Minute Warning stand tall to end the segment.
Backstage, Eric Bischoff is quite happy with Rico and Three Minute Warning. Bischoff says that Booker and Goldust will be in singles action tonight. Rico will be wrestling Booker T tonight. WWE Intercontinental Champion Chris Jericho enters the scene and he’s not happy with Goldust insulting his group, Fozzy. Bischoff gives Jericho a match against Goldust with the titl on the line. Jericho didn’t want to put the title on the line, but it’s official.
Second Contest: Jeff Hardy vs. Big Show: Hardy attacks Show on the floor with strikes, but Show drops Hardy to the floor face first. Hardy dives onto Show with a suicide dive to stagger Show. Show press slams Hardy on the floor. The bell officially sounds when they enter the ring. Show drops Hardy gut first over the top rope followed by a knee drop to the ribs. Show casually steps onto Hardy. Hardy avoids an elbow drop and connects with a dropkick. Hardy comes off the top with a Swanton for a two count. Show kicks Hardy away in the corner. Hardy misses a crossbody off the ropes and bounces off of Show. Show chops Hardy in the corner a few times. Show connects with a backbreaker followed by a leg drop. Show comes off the ropes with a big boot to keep control of the contest. Hardy leaps off the middle rope after being rolled into the corner. Show catches Hardy with a chokeslam to win the match. (*. I’m assuming they are no longer invested in Hardy and are looking to push Show for the 10th time in three years. Show can be a viable top heel if they stick to a plan with him. However, that often times to be a hard thing to accomplish.)
Backstage, Christopher Nowinski is in a makeshift classroom and wants to have a debate with Tommy Dreamer, if he has the guts. Nowinski says you don’t mess with a Harvard graduate. After a commercial break, Dreamer arrives. However, Nowinski attacks Dreamer with a kendo stick. Dreamer fights back and sends Nowinski into the wall a few times. Dreamer drops a bookcase over Nowinski’s back. Dreamer puts Nowinski’s head through the ceiling a couple of times. Nowinski spears Dreamer through the bookcase and delivers several strikes. Dreamer low blows Nowinski and breaks a board over Nowinski’s head. Dreamer breaks his kendo stick over Nowinski’s head to end the segment.
Jim Ross is in the ring to introduce the newest member of the RAW roster, and it was noticeable that Lilian Garcia was pissed off by that. Ross introduces Randy Orton as the newest member of RAW coming from Smackdown.
Third Contest: Randy Orton vs. Steven Richards: Richards knee lifts Orton followed by strikes on the mat. Orton hip tosses Richards followed by a scoop slam. Orton connects with a standing dropkick for a two count. Orton hammers away on Richards in the corner but misses a splash. Richards plants Orton with a back suplex. Richards keeps control with elbow drops on the mat. Richards knee lifts Orton several times in the corner. Orton avoids Richards in the corner and nearly wins with a rollup. Richards clotheslines Orton and stomps on Orton. Richards side slams Orton for a two count. Richards forearms Orton a few times and keeps control with a snapmare. Richards puts a full nelson on Orton, but doesn’t get a submission. Orton elbows free and nearly pins Richards with a rollup. Richards tries for a neckbreaker, but Orton counters with a back suplex. Orton decks Richards with a clothesline and a backdrop. Orton forearm smashes Richards and hits a headlock backbreaker for a near fall. Richards plants Orton with a jumping DDT for a near fall. Orton hits a snap powerslam for another two count. Richards nails Orton with a superkick for a near fall. Richards gets frustrated by the failure to pin Orton. Orton knee lifts Richards in the corner and goes to the top rope hitting a crossbody for the win. (*1/2. It’s not a bad match, but I’m not sure having Orton debut on RAW against Richards in a competitive match is the right choice. They could have cut time from this and had Orton prevail in a more dominating fashion. Richards did his best to make Orton look as good as he could considering Orton is quite green.)
Backstage, Ric Flair is walking towards the ring.
Lilian Garcia introduces the Union Underground, who sing the RAW theme song live. Stacy Keibler is on the aisle dancing to the music along with Terri and Jacqueline.
Ric Flair makes his way out to the ring to likely address his actions from last night when he turned on Rob Van Dam costing RVD the main event against Triple H for the RAW World Championship. Flair says that HHH made him realize something. Flair recalls HHH saying that he had lost his passion, guts and instinct. Flair agrees with HHH when HHH said he was pathetic. Flair cared more about what the fans thought than what he was doing. Flair was trying to be a mentor for people who didn’t want it. Flair knows that HHH idolized him and HHH is the RAW World Champion. Flair says it is his job to take HHH to another level. Flair says they are going to ride as high as HHH wants to go. Flair is going to teach HHH how to style and profile. Flair will teach HHH how to be the World Champion for however long he wants to be. We see RVD arriving with his ribs taped and he’s tossing stuff in the hallway. Flair taunts RVD in the ring, but RVD is walking towards the ring. Flair suggests RVD not come into the ring, but HHH runs up from behind and attacks RVD. HHH sends RVD into the ring steps and rolls RVD into the ring. Flair stomps on RVD working over the ribs. HHH gets on a microphone and says that RVD can’t win. Bubba Ray Dudley runs to the ring and makes the save for RVD. HHH decks Bubba with a clothesline. Flair and HHH double team Bubba sending Bubba to the floor. Flair kicks RVD in the ribs. Bubba returns to the ring with a chair causing the heels to bail to the floor.
Backstage, Coach tries to catchup with Bubba Dudley. Bubba is tired of hearing and seeing HHH saying this is not the HHH and Ric Flair show. This is RAW and is a show for the fans. Bubba will be damned if he has to sit through another speech. RVD enters the scene and wants to team up to kick their asses, which Bubba agrees. Bischoff enters the scene and dismisses the idea that the show is for the fans, but instead is his show. Bischoff is the man who calls the shots and nobody else. Bischoff makes a tag team match official for tonight.
Fourth Contest: WWE Intercontinental Champion Chris Jericho vs. Goldust: The fans let Jericho know that Fozzy sucks. Jericho backs Goldust into a corner, but is met with a slap to the face. Goldust hip tosses Jericho followed by a butt strike. Jericho eye rakes Goldust to gain control followed by right hands and chops against the ropes. Goldust blocks a dropkick and catapults Jericho chest first into the corner. Goldust atomic drops Jericho, but Jericho sends Goldust into the corner and clotheslines Goldust from behind. Jericho chokes Goldust over the middle rope. Jericho connects with a neckbreaker and taunts the crowd. Jericho keeps Goldust on the mat with a neck vice and switches to a chin lock. Goldust fires back with right hands and avoids a dropkick nearly winning with a rollup. Jericho clotheslines Goldust and delivers a few stomps on the mat. Jericho drops Goldust chest first over the top rope. Jericho chokes Goldust over the middle rope and splashes onto Goldust’s back. Jericho continues to work over Goldust in the corner and runs into an elbow. Jericho hits a sleeper hold slam for a two count despite his feet on the ropes. Goldust and Jericho trade right hands in the middle of the ring. Goldust decks Jericho with a clothesline. Goldust connects with another clothesline and slams Jericho to the mat for a near fall. Goldust drops to the mat and uppercuts Jericho. Goldust tries for a lifting reverse DDT, but Jericho counters only to run into a powerslam for a near fall. Goldust counters a bulldog by sending Jericho into the corner groin first. Goldust sets Jericho up for the Shattered Dreams in the corner. Goldust plays to the crowd and Jericho puts the referee in the way. Jericho hits a middle rope kick and locks in the Walls of Jericho to win the match by submission. (**1/4. A decent TV match for the championship. I really enjoy Goldust in an underdog role and he manages to rally the crowd behind him really well. It’s a good win for Jericho, who needs the momentum in my opinion.)
It’s revealed that Kane’s mystery partner is the Hurricane, who jumped ship from Smackdown. An interesting choice there.
Fifth Contest: WWE Tag Team Champions Lance Storm & Christian vs. Kane & The Hurricane: Hurricane starts off with Christian delivering right hands and a leaping clothesline. Hurricane hits a middle rope blockbuster and knocks Storm off his feet. Kane tags in and side slams Storm after punching Christian. Kane slams Christian onto Storm and tags in Hurricane to hit a botch crossbody onto the champs. Regal trips Hurricane and gets knocked down. Christian baseball slides Hurricane allowing Hurricane to be double teamed on the floor. Christian stomps on Hurricane and chokes Hurricane briefly. Storm tags in and elbows Hurricane for a two count. Christian tags back in and kicks Hurricane to maintain control. Christian delivers a backbreaker for a two count on Hurricane. Christian keeps Hurricane on the mat with a headlock. Christian delivers a backbreaker for a two count. Hurricane fights back with right hands and avoids a back suplex. Hurricane connects with a neckbreaker/elbow drop combo causing both men be down. Kane and Storm are tagged in with Kane cleaning house. Kane backdrops Storm and knocks Regal off the apron. Christian is caught in a chokeslam, but Storm makes the save. Kane clotheslines the champs and goes to the top rope. Kane hits a flying clothesline on Storm. Regal nails Kane with a championship as Test got on the apron to cause a distraction. Storm has the cover, but Kane kicks out at two. Test argues with the referee on the floor and several referees come out to escort Un-Americans to the floor. Christian stomps on Kane, but Hurricane hits a hurricanrana off the top. Hurricane tries to chokeslam Storm, but Christian makes the save. Storm heel kicks Christian on accident. Kane and Hurricane hit double chokeslam and Kane pins Storm to win the tag titles. (**. I find this to be a little bizarre booking. This really felt like the final match for the Un-Americans, and I think it might be the right decision to move on from the group. Hurricane and Kane could be a fun tag team and they worked well for their first outing. I’m hopeful that Kane will be the next challenger to HHH, though.)
Backstage, Terri chats with Hurricane. Hurricane is thrilled to be a champion. Terri asks why Kane chose Hurricane to be his partner. Hurricane thinks they are a perfect match because they wear masks, use the chokeslam and have the best bodies. Hurricane has been looking for a sidekick for a while. Kane enters the scene and tells Terri that he chose Hurricane because he’s a freak just like him. Kane says that freaks are cool. Kane plants a kiss on Terri and walks off to celebrate.
Backstage, Coach is with the Un-Americans. Christian says the tag titles were stolen from them. Regal chimes in and says he and Test are to blame. Regal says it is time to regroup and come back from this setback stronger than ever. Christian kicks Coach out of the locker room.
Sixth Contest: Booker T vs. Rico: Booker hammers away on Rico in the corner to start the match. Rico battles back with strikes, but a heel kick by Booker stops the momentum. Booker mounts Rico with right hands and plays to the crowd. Rico works over Booker with strikes in the corner. Rico kicks Booker several times in the corner and knocks Booker to the mat for a two count. Rico knee lifts Booker against the ropes a few times. Rico comes off the ropes and is met with an elbow and a leaping clothesline. Rico pokes Booker in the eyes and is met with a leaping heel kick. Booker proceeds to do the spinarooni. Booker connects with the scissors kick for the clean win. (*. You would never have thought that Rico won a singles match over Flair in recent weeks by the way he got absolutely dominated here. Booker is clearly in line for some big things, but this could have been a little more competitive.) After the match, Jamal and Rosey attempt to attack Booker. Booker fights them off with heel kicks. Rico nails Booker with a spin kick. Jamal and Rosey hit a flapjack to lay out Booker. Jamal heads to the top rope and hits a big splash on Booker. Goldust slides into the ring and Jamal superkicks Rosey on accident. Rico tries to attack Goldust, but that fails. Goldust clotheslines Rico coming off the ropes. Goldust delivers Shattered Dreams to Rico in the corner. Jamal superkicks Goldust from behind. Rosey slams Goldust and Jamal leaps off the top to hit another splash. Goldust and Booker are left laying to end the segment.
Backstage, Eric Bischoff meets up with Goldust and Booker T, who are being helped by officials. Bischoff announces that RAW is going to Houston next week. Bischoff books a tag match where Booker and Goldust will wrestle Three Minute Warning. Booker says that Bischoff is what he eats and that’s an asshole.
Backstage, Bubba and RVD are talking about the main event. RVD is sure that he wants to compete tonight. RVD is very passionate about getting in the ring with Flair and HHH. RVD says that HHH and Flair took his IC Championship and his shot at the RAW World Championship. RVD has nothing left to lose and doesn’t care that he’s hurt.
Main Event: RAW World Champion Triple H & Ric Flair vs. Rob Van Dam & Bubba Ray Dudley: HHH attacks Bubba from behind to start the main event. HHH controls Bubba with strikes in the corner. Bubba backdrops HHH followed by a clothesline and decks Flair off the apron. Bubba wants a piece of Flair, but HHH remains in the ring. Bubba shoulder blocks HHH and taunts the champ leading to Flair being tagged in. Bubba shoulder blocks Flair and delivers a strike. RVD tags in, but Flair backs off and HHH tags into the match. Bubba remains in the match and HHH hammers away on Bubba in the corner. Flair chops Bubba in the corner a few times to gain control, but Bubba counters with chops of his own. Flair flips in the corner, but doesn’t land on the apron. Bubba backdrops Flair and tags in RVD. RVD forearms Flair followed by a spinning heel kick. RVD forearms Flair in the corner and delivers a shoulder ram. RVD monkey flips Flair out of the corner and leaps off the top to nail Flair with a kick. RVD spin kicks HHH and hits the rolling thunder. Flair eye rakes RVD allowing HHH to deliver a clothesline. HHH crotches RVD on the top rope and is elbowed off by RVD. RVD misses a split legged moonsault. RVD drops HHH with a spin kick and Bubba gets tagged in as does Flair. Bubba cleans house with strikes. Bubba backdrops Flair and plants HHH with a Samoan Drop. Bubba side slams Flair for a two count. Bubba delivers a double clothesline.
Bubba jabs both Flair and HHH before delivering double elbow strikes. Bubba clotheslines HHH to the floor and slams Flair. RVD leaps off the top to leg drop Flair on the groin. RVD tells Bubba to get the tables. RVD baseball slides HHH on the floor as a table is brought into the ring. Flair is laid onto the table and RVD climbs to the top rope. HHH shoves RVD off the top onto the railing. HHH drops Bubba throat first over the top allowing Flair to get a rollup on Bubba for the win. After the match, Bubba attacks both men. Flair chop blocks Bubba to help HHH. Flair sends Bubba to the floor. HHH brings RVD back into the ring. HHH has the sledgehammer. HHH is stopped by a low blow from Bubba. Bubba sends Flair to the floor. Bubba tries to powerbomb HHH through the table, but misses the table. RVD lays HHH onto the table and RVD leaps off the top to leg drop HHH through the table as the referee stopped Flair from using a sledgehammer. HHH is left laid out with Flair checking on him to end the show.
The definition of an average show this week for RAW. There’s nothing awful, but there’s just not a lot of stuff here to hold my interest or that came across as entertaining. RVD is done as a main event act on RAW and it was quite clear by the crowd reaction they’ve given up on him for now. The money appears to be on either Booker or Kane to be the next threat to HHH, both of which I’d be fine with. Bubba’s botch with the table at the end of the show was cringeworthy and probably screwed himself over. This show didn’t add to my excitement for next week.
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.