Written by: Bob Colling
World Wrestling Entertainment presents RAW
From: Houston, TX
RAW General Manager Eric Bischoff is in the ring to start the program. Lita is in the ring, as well. Bischoff tells fans to hold off on checking out the football game tonight. Bischoff promotes three championship matches taking place tonight. Trish Stratus, Chris Jericho and Triple H will all be defending their titles. Bischoff announces a World Champion vs. Intercontinental Champion match where the winner takes all. Bischoff wants one show with one champion. Bischoff turns his attention to Lita. Bischoff reminds us that Lita was asked a question on WWE.com and she was asked what show was better, RAW or Smackdown. Lita said that it was Smackdown and noted it wasn’t about the talent. Bischoff calls Lita a bitch. Bischoff says that Lita is worthless since she broke her neck. Lita chimes in and says that maybe if Bischoff had respect for the people that risk their lives for him that they’d respect Bischoff. Bischoff doesn’t care about Lita’s opinion. Bischoff tells Lita he’s going to give her three minutes, which brings out Jamal and Rosey. Rico is with them, as well. However, Jeff Hardy slides into the ring and makes the save only to be superkicked by Jamal to the floor. Booker T and Goldust enter the ring and make the save. That leads us into the first match of the evening.
Opening Contest: Three Minute Warning vs. Booker T & Goldust: All four men are in the ring trading strikes with Booker getting knocked to the floor. Goldust kicks and punches both men. Booker hits a leaping side kick to both men. Rosey is left in the ring and double teamed after Jamal was sent to the floor. Goldust tags in and hits a jumping butt strike for a two count as Jamal makes the save. Goldust is driven down with a double flapjack. Jamal pummels Goldust with right hands on the mat. Goldust tries to fight back, but a knee lift by Jamal stops Goldust. Goldust tries to fight out of the corner, but Rosey is tagged in and keeps control of the contest. Rosey throat strikes Goldust followed by a leg drop for a two count. Goldust fights back on Jamal, but can’t make the tag. Rosey tags in and tries for a slam, but Goldust counters with a neckbreaker. Goldust crawls towards his corner and tags in Booker. Jamal is tagged in, but Booker hammers away on Jamal. Booker spin kicks Jamal and spin kicks Rosey as well. Jamal cuts Booker off, but is met with a forearm smash. Booker nearly pins Jamal. Jamal knee lifts Booker, but is met with a leaping side kick for a two count. Rosey accidentally splashes Jamal. Booker does the spinarooni. Jamal staggers and Booker hits the scissors kick, but Rosey is able to break the pin (but was late). Rosey backdrops Goldust to the floor where Rico delivers a kick. Booker double clotheslines Rosey and Jamal. Booker knocks Rico off the apron, but is slammed by Rosey. Jamal hits a top rope big splash for the win. (**. The closing minutes were a little clunky and Rosey missing the pin breakup kind of annoyed the crowd. I’m fine with 3MW winning the match as they appear in line for a tag team push, as they should be. Booker and Goldust are good enough to absorb these kinds of loses, but you’ve got to be careful that you don’t beat them too many times in a short period of time.)
Backstage, Coach is with Rico and 3MW asking them what their goal is. Rico wants to lead them to the tag team championships and be dominate. Rosey says that nobody will get in their way. Jamal chimes in and says they will make people feel the three minute warning if they try to get in their way.
Backstage, Christian confronts Lance Storm for losing the tag titles last week. Storm wishes he had a partner that didn’t scream when he got chokeslammed by Hurricane. Christian says he’s a superhero. Test and William Regal enter the scene with Regal wanting Storm to focus on his match with Randy Orton tonight.
Backstage, Terri is with the WWE Intercontinental Champion Chris Jericho. Terri asks if Jericho is worried about facing Kane tonight. Jericho says he’s going to beat Kane tonight and then go right into the main event at No Mercy. Jericho calls Terri an ass clown. Jericho says that Kane’s chances of winning are as real as Terri’s chest. Gregory Helms, ace reporter, enters the scene and asks what is up with Jericho thinking he can win tonight. Jericho says that freaks are not cool and they are losers. Jericho believes he’s cool and is a rockstar. Kane enters the picture and Jericho walks off. Terri reminds Kane that he kissed her and she kisses Kane this week. Kane tells Gregory that chicks dig the mask.
Second Contest: Randy Orton vs. Lance Storm: Storm starts off with few strikes to Orton’s back. Orton nails Storm with a forearm strike and uppercuts. Orton delivers a headlock backbreaker as we see Christian watching the match backstage. Storm heel kicks Orton coming off the ropes for a two count. Storm hammers away on Orton in the corner. Storm clotheslines Orton in the corner and keeps a chicken wing on Orton, but doesn’t get a submission. Orton elbows Storm and comes off the top to hit a crossbody for a near fall. Storm delivers a jawbreaker, but misses a superkick. Storm tries for the half Boston Crab, but Orton nearly wins with an inside cradle. Orton rolls through a rollup and has a handful of tights for the win. (1/2*. The crowd doesn’t care and nor do I. It’s amazing how quickly the Un-Americans have fallen off in short order.) After the match, Christian grabs JR’s hat and asks if Lance Storm or himself should feel like bigger losers since Storm lost again and he’s wearing a cowboy hat. Orton backdrops Storm over the top to the floor. Christian suggests that Storm stand outside the ring while he beats Orton right now. Orton accepts the challenge.
Third Contest: Randy Orton vs. Christian: Orton ducks a clothesline to dropkick Christian. Christian drops Orton gut first over the top rope and knocks Orton off the apron onto the railing gut first. Christian tries for a cover, but Orton kicks out at two. Christian knee lifts Orton followed by more strikes to the back. Orton backdrops Christian coming out of the corner. Christian tries for a reverse DDT, but Orton fights out and nearly wins following a snap powerslam. Christian connects with a reverse DDT for a two count. Orton drops Christian throat first over the top rope. Orton misses a top rope crossbody and crashes to the mat. Christian taunts Storm and goes for the Un-Prettier, but Orton counters with the Overdrive for the win. (1/2*. The wins are good for Orton, but the matches weren’t all that great. The crowd was dead for it for the most part. This has to be the end of the Un-Americans as a viable group.) After the match, Orton returns JR’s hat at the commentary table.
Backstage, Eric Bischoff tells Jeff Hardy to never stick his nose into his business ever again. Bischoff books Hardy into a match against Big Show tonight. Bischoff says that he’s been hearing about Matt-Attitude and wants Hardy to impress him. Ric Flair enters the scene and says that Hardy wouldn’t listen to him. Flair asks that RVD isn’t going to wrestle him tonight. Bischoff asks about the SD talent and needs results. Flair promises results.
Fourth Contest: Big Show vs. Jeff Hardy: Hardy goes to the aisle and is met with a big boot. Hardy tries to knock Show off the apron but settles for a few dropkicks and kicks in the ring. Show decks Hardy with a short arm clothesline. Show tosses Hardy across the ring and chops Hardy a few times. Show tosses Hardy across the ring followed by a headbutt. Show scoop slams Hardy followed by a leg drop and steps on Hardy. Show clotheslines Hardy in the corner and chokes Hardy in the corner briefly. Show tosses Hardy across the ring and press slams Hardy gut first to the mat. Hardy delivers a jawbreaker to stagger Show. Show tosses Hardy over the top rope to the floor. Show chops Hardy against the railing but misses a clothesline and hits the ring post. Show has a chair, but Hardy kicks the chair into Show’s face and Show falls into the crowd. Jacqueline makes a count and Hardy wins the match by count-out. After the match, Show is livid and gets in the ring, but Hardy already bailed. (*. I’m liking the intensity that Show is showing, but I didn’t care of the match for the most part.)
Backstage, Booker T walks up to WWE Intercontinental Champion Chris Jericho and doesn’t appreciate being called a loser. Jericho puts himself over and suggests Booker show him some respect. Booker threatens Jericho that he’ll star in an ass kicking by him. Jericho tells Booker that he’s lucky that he’s got a match tonight.
Prior to the next match, Bubba says that the table in the corner is reserved for HHH. Bubba spray painted ‘HHH” onto the table and promises that HHH will go through the table. Bubba will rise up to be more than a great tag team wrestler. Bubba says tonight is about every guy in the back that has been forced to play the game. It’s about the fans never getting something handed to them. Bubba says tonight is about him beating HHH and earning the right to be called the new World Champion.
Fifth Contest: RAW World Champion Triple H vs. Bubba Ray Dudley: Dudley backs HHH into a corner, but wants the champ in the middle of the ring. They counter each other in the corner until HHH delivers a few knee lifts and right hands. Bubba battles back with strikes and a chop in the corner. Bubba backdrops HHH out of the corner followed by a clothesline over the top to the floor. Bubba pulls HHH to the apron and hip tosses HHH into the ring. HHH knee lifts Bubba but misses a clothesline. Bubba comes off the ropes to spear HHH followed by right hands. HHH sends Bubba through the ropes to the floor. Bubba decks HHH on the floor, but HHH manages to send Bubba into the ring steps shoulder first. Ric Flair gets several cheap shots in while the referee is distracted. HHH chokes Bubba on the mat to keep control and gets a two count. HHH stomps Bubba in the corner to maintain control. Bubba misses a wild strike and HHH connects with a neckbreaker for a two count. Bubba kicks HHH, but is met with a sleeper hold. HHH keeps the hold locked in, but Bubba reaches the ropes. Bubba breaks free again with a side suplex. HHH kicks Bubba in the corner, but Bubba tosses HHH with a German suplex.
Bubba battles back with forearm strikes to stagger HHH. Bubba jabs HHH a few times and hits a Samoan Drop. Bubba pummels HHH in the corner. HHH misses an atomic drop and Bubba plants HHH with a DDT for a two count. HHH drops Bubba over his knee, but runs into a side slam. Bubba almost gets a three count on a cover. Flair goes to the top rope and is slammed off by Bubba. Bubba hits the Bubba Bomb, but the referee is distracting the referee. Bubba jabs HHH several times followed by an elbow strike. Bubba knocks Flair off the apron, but HHH tries for the Pedigree only for Bubba to backdrop free. HHH backdrops Bubba and spikes Bubba with the Pedigree to win the match. (*3/4. I think I bought Spike Dudley more as a challenger to HHH than I did Bubba. If this was the opportunity for Bubba to standout as a possible singles guy, I don’t think it achieved the desired result at all. I would have avoided the usage of Flair because there’s no reason to protect Bubba. A lackluster title defense for HHH, but he doesn’t have many strong options to work against right now.)
Backstage, Victoria attacks WWE Women’s Champion Trish Stratus! Victoria ripped off Trish’s top and continued to attack the champion with right hands and kicks. Victoria tells Trish that she will win the championship tonight.
Sixth Contest: WWE Women’s Champion Trish Stratus vs. Victoria: Trish takes Victoria down with a Thez Press on the aisle for quick advantage. Victoria knee lifts Stratus, but Stratus comes back with a clothesline off the ropes and a couple of kicks to the head to knock Victoria to the floor. Trish misses a dive off the apron and hits the guard railing. Victoria hits a somersault leg drop from the apron into the ring for a near fall. Victoria kicks Stratus several times in the ribs. Victoria chokes Stratus over the ropes and delivers a slap to the face. Stratus nearly wins with a rollup out of the corner. Victoria had the ropes for leverage for a two count. Victoria slams Stratus and attempts a moonsault, but Stratus got her knees up. Stratus hits a swinging neckbreaker for a near fall. Stratus forearms Victoria several times followed by kicks in the corner. Victoria back elbows Stratus in the corner, but Stratus hits a head scissors off the top for a near fall. Stratus kicks Victoria through the ropes to the floor. Victoria gets a chair and is kicked by Stratus. Victoria whacks Stratus over the head with the chair and loses the match by disqualification. (*1/2. I’m glad there wasn’t a finish here because they can have a PPV match to conclude the issues. Victoria has been a breath of fresh air for the women’s division since her debut. I’m looking forward to a longer match between the two.)
Backstage, Stacy Keibler needs to talk with Eric Bischoff for more air time to beat Trish Stratus in a Babe of the Year challenge. Bischoff ignores that and talks about the RAW Roulette, which will be taking place next week since the show is in Las Vegas. Bischoff says every match will have a stipulation. Keibler will get a shot against Trish Stratus. Bischoff mentions we won’t see anything like that on the NFL. They have made that kind of statement several times on the show.
Backstage, Lance Storm and Christian are arguing when Regal and Test come in and say they will show them what harmony really is.
Backstage, Coach tries to get a word with RAW World Champion Triple H. Ric flair and a woman are in the locker room and calls for HHH. HHH comes out wearing a towel. Coach talks about HHH wrestling the winner of the main event. Another woman asks if HHH is coming back. There’s a second woman waiting for him in the shower. Chris Jericho enters the room and wants to talk with HHH. Jericho says HHH isn’t his favorite person, but wants HHH to use his brain. Jericho thinks that HHH has something to say that may be of interest to HHH. HHH kicks Coach out of the room and Jericho hits on the woman on the couch.
Backstage, Tommy Dreamer and Rob Van Dam head to the ring for their tag match with Dreamer asking RVD if he’s ready. RVD still has his ribs taped, but he’s ready.
Seventh Contest: William Regal & Test vs. Rob Van Dam & Tommy Dreamer: Regal and Dreamer kickoff the tag match. Regal forearms Dreamer in the corner after some mat wrestling. Dreamer backdrops Regal out of the corner and flips Regal over. Test tags in and is met with a drop toe hold. Dreamer tags in RVD, who works over Test’s arm. RVD kicks Test several times and ducks a clothesline to deliver a spinning heel kick for a two count. Test knee lifts RVD and tags in Regal. Regal forearms RVD in the corner a few times. RVD shoulder rams Regal in the corner and tries for a step over kick, but Regal counters with a full nelson suplex. Dreamer tries to get at Regal while Test rams RVD into the apron gut first a few times. Test keeps RVD on the mat with a knee in the back and pulls back RVD’s arm. RVD fights free, but runs into a knee lift. RVD sends Test chest first into the corner. RVD spin kicks Test and tags in Dreamer. Dreamer cleans house with right hands and a spinebuster on Regal. Dreamer elbows Test leading to a swinging neckbreaker on Test after Test accidentally clotheslined Regal. RVD misses a moonsault on Test. Test misses a big boot on Dreamer, but goes for the pump handle slam only for RVD to kick Test allowing Dreamer to pin Test. After the match, the Un-Americans argue with Storm and Christian brawling. Test and Regal trade strikes until Regal dumps Test to the floor. RVD kicks Storm from the top rope sending the Un-Americans to the floor. (*1/2. This is the end of the Un-Americans and I’m fine with it. I thought the group held together a lot longer than just a few months, but I don’t think they were booked very strong to begin with.)
Backstage, Booker T taunts Chris Jericho as Jericho was walking to the ring for the main event.
Main Event: WWE Intercontinental Champion Chris Jericho vs. RAW Tag Team Champion Kane: Kane shoves Jericho away a couple of times to start the contest. Jericho slaps Kane, but is met with a right hand and several strikes in the corner. Kane hip tosses Jericho out of the corner. Kane boots Jericho against the ropes, but Jericho bails to the outside to regroup. Kane pulls Jericho to the apron, but Jericho drops Kane over the top rope throat first. Kane stops Jericho on the top with a slam to the mat. Kane works over Jericho in the corner as Ric Flair comes down to ringside. Kane clotheslines Jericho in the corner, but Jericho nearly wins with his feet on the ropes. Jericho beats on Kane with right hands in the corner. Jericho boots Kane in the corner followed by a tilt a whirl slam by Kane. Flair puts Jericho’s boot on the bottom rope. Kane goes to the floor to go after Flair causing Flair to back off. Flair begs off as Jericho delivers a forearm strike and knee strikes against the ropes. Jericho chops Kane against the ropes, but Kane delivers a big boot as Jericho comes off the ropes. Kane press slams Jericho over the top to the floor. Flair checks on Jericho, but the referee ejects Flair. Kane punches Flair several times on the aisle. The show goes to commercial as Kane stomps Flair.
Kane backdrops Jericho and heads to the top rope, but Jericho shoves the referee into the ropes to crotch Kane. Jericho springboards off the ropes to dropkick Kane on the top rope. Jericho hits a superplex and both men are down. Jericho goes for a cover, but Kane powers out. Kane hammers away on Jericho but is kicked. Kane tries for a snake eyes, but Jericho shoves Kane into the corner and dropkicks Kane on the knee followed by a chop block. Jericho leaps off the apron to elbow strike Kane and sends Kane knee first into the ring steps. Jericho focuses his offense on Kane’s knee with elbow drops a spinning toe hold. Kane kicks free and sends Jericho shoulder first into the ring post. Jericho wraps Kane’s leg around the ring post. Jericho locks in a figure four around the ring post, but the referee forces a break of the hold. Jericho hooks Kane on the apron for a suplex, but Kane counters and drops Jericho to the floor with a suplex of his own. Jericho dropkicks Kane on the knee again to maintain control of the contest. Jericho splashes down onto the left knee of Kane. Kane throat thrusts Jericho several times to gain the advantage.
Jericho avoids a big boot and chop blocks Kane to regain momentum. Jericho kicks Kane a few times, but runs into a back suplex. Kane decks Jericho with a few right hands and a kick to the leg. Kane press slams Jericho to the mat gut first. Jericho ducks a strike and runs into a tilt a whirl slam for a two count. Jericho leaps off the middle rope and is met with a boot. Kane tosses Jericho into the ring post over the top turnbuckle. Kane sends Jericho into the ring steps shoulder first. Kane heads to the top hitting a leaping clothesline for a two count. Triple H gets knocked off the apron allowing Jericho to hit a bulldog. Jericho tries for the Lionsault, but Kane grabs Jericho by the throat. Jericho counters the chokeslam and tries for the Walls of Jericho. Kane kicks free and decks Jericho. HHH pulls the ropes down and plants Kane with a spinebuster on the floor. Jericho heads to the top rope hitting a missile dropkick for a near fall. HHH gets on the apron allowing Jericho to grab a chair and hits Kane on the knee. Jericho locks in the Walls of Jericho, but Kane doesn’t submit and reaches the ropes. Kane grabs Jericho by the throat, but is kicked on the mat. Kane boots Jericho to avoid a chair shot. Kane tries for a chokeslam and manages to pin Jericho to win the match and title. (***. A good main event, but an obvious outcome since they weren’t going to have Jericho vs. HHH at No Mercy. I’m all for Kane getting a shot at the title and I feel like a title switch could be a good move. Kane’s connected as a face right now and there’s no denying he’s a top guy on RAW. Since the IC Championship will be gone following the PPV, I can’t get mad about the recent title switches.)
Triple H is on the ramp and holds the World Championship in the air but he’s livid that Kane won the match.
Aside from the main event, I was not all that interested in the in-ring stuff this week. There wasn’t any major angle advancements or developments. HHH vs. Kane as the title match on PPV for RAW is a good choice and I think face Kane will make for a good match with HHH. RAW Roulette next week should be entertaining, but the show needs to find a big angle to carry the program similar to how SD has been carried by Lesnar/Taker and the Smackdown Six.
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.