Written by: Bob Colling
World Wrestling Entertainment presents RAW
From: Detroit, MI
The show opens with a casket at ringside with two guys standing next to it before going to the opening video package for RAW.
RAW World Champion Triple H makes his way down to the ring to cut a promo. HHH wants to give a personal message Kane and tells him to make sure that the trunk of a car doesn’t have a child safety lock that allowed him to escape before Kane drove off. HHH says that people were offended by the video last week and that they wouldn’t watch the show again. HHH agrees that what Kane did to Katie Vick was disgusting. HHH has asked Kate Vick to be here tonight to get her opinion. HHH introduces his special guest, Kate Vick. HHH goes to the floor and opens the casket at ringside. A doll dressed up as a cheerleader is inside the casket. HHH makes several dead jokes and rolls Vick into the ring. HHH sits in the middle of the ring with Katie on his lap while sitting on a chair. HHH voices Vick for the segment. Vick says that video was offensive because Kane has a burnt little weiner. HHH mocks Kane for coming up short in winning the championship. HHH doesn’t care if anyone was offended by the video. HHH says he will do whatever he wants whenever he wants.
The Hurricane makes his way out to confront HHH. Hurricane remains at the top of the ramp. Hurricane says that HHH is in a good mood. HHH calls Hurricane a comic book freak and says nothing happened to him last week. Hurricane acquired footage from a local hospital where HHH was in the operating room. It’s a joke video of a guy on a table with HHH’s cardboard face on him and he’s getting stuff pulled out of his ass. The items include a sledgehammer, cloths, hand, squirrel, gear shift, steering wheel, and HHH mannequin head. HHH did not like this, at all. HHH attacks the Vick doll and hits the doll with a steel chair. HHH tosses the doll over the top to the floor. HHH rams the doll into the ring steps several times.
Kane’s music hits and Kane makes his way down to the ring. Kane tackles HHH and delivers right hands in the middle of the ring. Security slides into the ring, but Kane tosses them away and delivers right hands. HHH pummels Kane with right hands as Eric Bischoff comes down with referees. Several wrestlers enter the ring to keep them apart. Bischoff gets in the ring and says this is it. Bischoff says they are going to wrestle tonight and it will be a casket match. HHH is not a fan of that stipulation, but Kane likes it.
Backstage, Trish Stratus is on the phone and she’s saying she’ll be okay. The camera is hidden behind a door or something. Stratus takes her pants off and we see her in her lingerie.
Opening Contest: Rob Van Dam & Tommy Dreamer vs. Lance Storm & William Regal: RVD and Storm kickoff the tag match with the fans heavily behind RVD. Storm delivers a few strikes and kicks RVD, but is met with a spin kick for a two count. RVD flips Regal into the match and works over Regal with shoulder rams in the corner. RVD almost wins following a crossbody and hits Storm with a step-over heel kick. Regal tosses RVD with a full nelson suplex for a two count. Storm keeps control on RVD with strikes for a two count. Storm controls RVD on the mat with an arm bar. RVD elbows free from Storm and hits a springboard kick off the middle rope. RVD kicks Regal away and tags in Dreamer. Dreamer hammers away on both men and backdrops Storm before hitting a spinebuster on Regal. Dreamer clotheslines Storm coming off the top as Dreamer attempted a DDT to Regal. RVD kicks Regal and helps Dreamer clothesline Storm to the floor. RVD misses a dive to the floor and hits the railing chest first. Storm has the Canadian flag and hits Dreamer from behind off the top rope. Regal covers Dreamer to win the match. (*1/2. The finish was lame as I would have pinned Dreamer cleanly since he’s not involved in anything important. Regal and Storm need some rehab after a rough summer where they lost a lot of steam.)
Backstage, Eric Bischoff is telling Rico and 3 Minute Warning that he wants action and no excuses. Bischoff has an announcement for Survivor Series tonight. Bischoff says they made him look bad by not getting the job done against Big Show. Bischoff will look like a fool if Big Show wins the title from Brock Lesnar. Bischoff is tired of being disrespected. Bischoff is pissed that Spike Dudley would disrespect him to his face. Bischoff threatens that their three minutes could be up if they don’t get it done.
Backstage, Stacy Keilber met with Test to come up with ideas for something. Keibler has the best idea for Test. Keibler lists how various wrestlers have nicknames for their fans. Test doesn’t have any nicknames and Keibler says that Test has “testicles” for his fans. Test thinks she is joking. Keibler says that his testicles are going to be huge.
Prior to the scheduled tag title match, Rico and 3MW attack Bubba and Spike Dudley. Rico spin kicks Bubba and Rosey splashes Spike. Spike is driven down with a double swinging slam by 3MW.
A vignette promoting Batista coming to RAW is shown.
Prior to the next match, Test says hello to all his testicles with the encouragement of Stacy Keibler. Goldust had a good laugh at that.
Second Contest: Goldust vs. Test: Goldust ducks a clothesline and atomic drops Test followed by a clothesline. Test sends the referee into the ropes to crotch Goldust on the top rope. Goldust fights back with right hands, but Test delivers a knee lift. Goldust gets out of a pump handle to deliver a butt strike and a clothesline. Goldust boots Test in the corner and hits a middle rope bulldog for a two count. Goldust sets Test up in the corner for a kick to the groin. Test begs off allowing Keibler to get in the ring. Goldust blocks a slap and kisses Keibler. Goldust sets her up in the corner, as well. Goldust tries to kick Keibler first, but the referee steps in the way. Test misses a big boot and is clotheslined by Goldust. Keilber manages to low blow Goldust after shoving the referee and Test delivers a big boot to win the match. (*. I do like the partnership between Test and Keibler. However, Test having help to win here isn’t going to elevate him. Goldust can eat a pin cleanly and the fans will continue to support him.)
Backstage, Bubba Dudley confronts Eric Bischoff over 3MW getting involved earlier and attacking Spike. Bischoff tries to settle Bubba down and claims he didn’t send them out there. Bischoff says that Bubba will have to find another tag partner for tonight. Bubba confirms that he can pick anybody else and Bischoff confirms it.
Scott Steiner is on his way to WWE, but which brand will he sign with RAW or Smackdown?
RNN Breaking News with Randy Orton appearing with his arm in a sling. Orton is not happy that there was no mention of him last week. Orton will provide an update on occasion to keep everyone updated. Orton looks forward to returning to compete for the fans. Orton asks for emails from WWE fans.
Backstage, Coach is with Kane saying that the casket match tonight is non-title. Kane says this isn’t about the title but rather about putting HHH in an air tight casket. What he does to HHH tonight will not be an accident.
Prior to the next match, it is revealed that Bubba got Jeff Hardy to be his tag partner. Needless to say, the pop wasn’t the greatest.
Third Contest: RAW Tag Team Champions Chris Jericho & Christian vs. Bubba Dudley & Jeff Hardy: Christian and Hardy kickoff the title match with Christian delivering a few right hands. Hardy takes Christian down and delivers a double leg drop. Hardy tags in Bubba to keep control with jabs and chops in the corner. Bubba splashes Christian in the corner and continues with jabs. Bubba forearms Christian to the mat and continues with right hands. Jericho trips Bubba from the floor allowing Christian to maintain the advantage. Jericho legally enters and connects with a neckbreaker followed by a sliding dropkick on the mat. Jericho jumps onto Bubba’s back over the middle rope. Christian tags into the match and the champs backdrop Bubba leading to a near fall. Christian knee lifts Bubba, but Bubba hits a flapjack to regain control. Hardy tags in and knocks Jericho off the apron followed by punches to Christian. Christian stops Hardy with a knee lift, but Hardy avoids the Un-Prettier and nearly wins with a leg drop. Hardy accidentally hits the referee with a flying forearm. Jericho missile dropkicks Bubba from the top after Hardy was sent to the floor. Christian has grabbed two chairs and the champs look to hit Bubba with the chairs. Bubba ducks the chair shots and clotheslines the champs.
Hardy hits Whisper in the Wind on Christian in the corner. Bubba catapults Jericho over the top onto Christian outside the ring. Hardy leaps off of Bubba’s back to dive onto the champs on the floor! Rosey gets decked off the apron and Hardy takes Jamal out on the floor. Bubba goes to the top rope and hits a crossbody onto 3MW and Jericho on the floor! The show goes to commercial.
Jericho has an abdominal stretch on Hardy, but Hardy breaks free with a hip toss. Hardy almost wins with a rollup, but Jericho regains control with the Walls of Jericho attempt. Hardy almost sneaks a win with an inside cradle. Jericho kicks Hardy on the mat and taunts Bubba. Christian stomps on Hardy and delivers a backbreaker. Christian keeps a front face lock on Hardy to maintain the advantage. Bubba gets tagged in, but Jericho distracted the referee to prevent the tag. Hardy misses a clothesline and Jericho hits a sleeper hold drop for a two count. Jericho decks Bubba off the apron to the floor. Jericho continues with chops in the corner. Hardy leaps off the middle rope to connect with a sloppy crossbody attempt. Hardy kicks Jericho away and tags in Bubba. Bubba clotheslines Jericho several times followed by a Samoan Drop and backdrops Christian. Bubba tries for the Bubba Bomb, but Jericho breaks free. Bubba plants Jericho with a side slam for a near fall. Hardy goes to the top hitting the What’s Up with his legs on Jericho. Bubba gets a table, but Christian dropkicks the table into Bubba’s face. Jericho accidentally knocks Christian off the top and Hardy almost pins Jericho with a rollup. Hardy hits a twisting dive off the top and almost pins Jericho again. Bubba spears Christian after Christian missed a title strike on Hardy. Bubba is distracted by 3MW having Spike Dudley on the ramp upside down. Bubba leaves Hardy in the ring. Hardy hits a neckbreaker on Jericho and goes to the top rope. Christian is kicked off the apron by Hardy. Jericho is shoved off the middle rope and Hardy hits the Swanton Bomb, but Christian pulls the referee out. Hardy dropkicks Christian, but Jericho hits Hardy with the title belt followed by the Lionsault for the three count. (**1/2. I enjoyed the match as they had several close calls for a title change. The angle involvement with 3MW was fine, as well. Hardy being the partner was initially a letdown, but I think the crowd warmed up to it as the match went on. A fine TV title match this week.)
Backstage, Coach is with RAW World Champion Triple H. HHH says he’s scared of Kane tonight. HHH says the last time Kane was in a coffin, Kane got aroused and took advantage of Katie Vick. HHH hopes that it doesn’t happen tonight, as well. HHH says that he’s interested in kicking Kane’s ass and nothing more. Coach brings up Shawn Michaels, who is fully recovered. HHH reminds Coach of the sledgehammer shots at SummerSlam. HHH says that Michaels is a lot of hot air. There’s a phone ringing and HHH enters his locker room. There’s another hidden camera in the locker room and HHH has a conversation with Ric Flair. HHH is wondering where Flair is at. HHH demands Flair pay the pilot some extra money to get there despite poor weather. HHH sounds a lot more worried than he was with Coach.
Earlier tonight, Al Snow caught up with Christopher Nowinski, who was playing chess with a guy named Rick. Nowinski proceeds to cheat at chess. Snow says that he stood up for Nowinski and stayed loyal to Nowinski. Nowinski doesn’t appear interested in what Snow has to say. Snow isn’t proud of Nowinski’s behavior. Snow still tries to protect Nowinski and says that he’s been proven that he made the right decision to have Maven win Tough Enough. Nowinski tells Snow that he’d be a success whether there was Tough Enough or not. Nowinski believes he can beat anyone tonight. Nowinski wants Snow to be at ringside to witness it personally.
RAW General Manager Eric Bischoff makes his way down to the ring for a promo. Bischoff notes that Scott Steiner is coming to WWE and he’s excited for it. Bischoff believes that Steiner will be making his way to RAW. Bischoff got an interesting assortment of talent in the trade for Big Show to Smackdown. Bischoff says they will be coming soon to the brand. Bischoff says the most innovative ideas come to him and brings up the cameras. Bischoff reveals that he’s behind the secret cameras. Bischoff calls it FUTV and doesn’t care if anyone has a problem with it. Bischoff brings up the Elimination Chamber debuting at Survivor Series. Bischoff is going to tell us about it next week on RAW. There will be six RAW superstars involved in the match. There will be elements of Survivor Series, Royal Rumble and his favorite War Games. The RAW World Championship will be on the line. Triple H, Chris Jericho, Booker T, Rob Van Dam, Kane, and Shawn Michaels! Bischoff knows that Michaels is probably wondering how he’ll get his revenge. Bischoff says that Michaels will get revenge on his terms at the Elimination Chamber. Bischoff will give Michaels one week to decide.
Booker T’s music hits and Booker confronts Bischoff. Booker is excited to be in the Elimination Chamber match. Booker tells Bischoff to shut his trap and leave the ring. Bischoff isn’t pleased, but he backs off. Booker calls out Christopher Nowinski for a singles match.
Fourth Contest: Booker T vs. Christopher Nowinski: They start off trading right hands with Booker getting the advantage. Booker elbows Nowinski to the mat and delivers a few strikes against the ropes. Nowinski bails to the floor and shoves Snow. Booker hip tosses Nowinski into the ring from the apron and connects with a few clotheslines for a two count. Nowinski delivers a few shoulder rams in the corner, but is met with an elbow. Nowinski drops Booker over the top rope and plants Booker with a spinebuster for a two count. Nowinski hammers away on Booker and taunts Snow. Nowinski connects with a slam for a near fall. Nowinski keeps control on the mat with a headlock, but Booker elbows free followed by right hands. Nowinski runs into a spinebuster. Booker chops Nowinski followed by a spin kick. Booker misses a clothesline, but forearms Nowinski followed by a leaping kick for a near fall. Nowinski eye rakes Booker, but Booker hits a spin kick causing Nowinski to bail tot he floor. Nowinski punches Snow causing Snow to get in the ring and attacks Nowinski. That leads to a disqualification and Nowinski wins. Booker drops Snow to the mat and Booker backdrops Nowinski. Booker hits the scissors kick on Nowinski. Booker clotheslines Nowinski to the floor. (*. The crowd doesn’t care about Nowinski and they don’t care about this feud with Snow. I tend to agree with them on both accounts. This was a waste of Booker T on this episode.)
Backstage, WWE Women’s Champion Trish Stratus is getting ready for her title match.
Fifth Contest: WWE Women’s Champion Trish Stratus vs. Jacqueline vs. Molly Holly: Stratus goes after Jacqueline with right hands, but Molly stomps on Stratus. Molly is double teamed, but kicks Stratus only to be clotheslined by Jacqueline. Jacqueline almost pins Stratus with a rollup. Jacqueline avoids the Chick Kick and gets a half Boston Crab on Stratus. Molly joins to hook the other leg, but Jacqueline elbows Molly to break the hold. Victoria is watching the match backstage. Molly hits a handspring elbow to Jacqueline. Stratus yanks Molly off the middle rope, but Jacqueline avoids a head scissors and spikes Stratus with a tornado DDT for a two count. Jacqueline almost wins Molly with an inside cradle and a backslide. Molly dropkicks Jacqueline followed by a backbreaker. Molly works over Stratus with strikes to the back. Stratus hits a double bulldog and pins Molly to retain the title. (*. There was virtually zero heat to this one. It felt like complete filler.)
Main Event: RAW World Champion Triple H vs. Kane in a non-title casket match: Kane hammers away on HHH to start the match and connects with a clothesline. Kane clotheslines HHH. Kane hammers away on HHH in the corner followed by stomps. Kane tosses HHH into the corner a few times. Kane slams HHH to the mat and demands the casket be opened. Kane rolls HHH towards the casket, but HHH fights back with right hands. Kane big boots HHH off the apron and HHH lands in the casket, but quickly gets out of it. HHH eye rakes Kane, but Kane connects with a powerslam to maintain control. Kane sends HHH over the top to the floor in the corner. HHH decks Kane with the ring bell at ringside. HHH sends Kane into the ring steps. HHH rolls Kane into the ring and pummels Kane with right hands on the mat. Kane gets to his feet and HHH continues with strikes. Kane fights back with right hands to stagger HHH. Kane runs into a spinebuster from HHH. HHH hammers away on Kane in the corner. HHH stops Kane with a knee lift and a DDT. HHH calls for the casket to open and drags Kane towards the casket. Kane punches HHH to stop his momentum. Kane drops HHH with a right hand on the mat. Kane heads to the top rope and HHH crotches Kane. HHH hammers away on Kane on the top turnbuckle. HHH hits a superplex and again calls for the casket to be opened. HHH rolls Kane towards the casket, but Kane’s legs are sticking out. Kane grabs HHH by the throat, but HHH punches free. Kane ducks a clothesline and tries for a chokeslam, but HHH elbows free.
HHH goes for the Pedigree, but Kane backdrops free. Kane has HHH over his shoulder, but HHH wiggles free and locks in a sleeper hold. Kane drops to his knees, but doesn’t stay down for long and hits a back suplex. HHH gets up first, but Kane sits up and no sells a few strikes. HHH continues with right hands, but there’s no impact. Kane drops HHH with a right hand and a big boot. Kane clotheslines HHH in the corner followed by a side slam. Kane heads to the top rope hitting a flying clothesline. Kane tries for a chokeslam, but HHH low blows Kane and bails to the floor. HHH grabs a steel chair and smashes Kane over the head. HHH nails Kane with another chair shot. The casket is opened and Shawn Michaels comes out of the casket! Michaels nails HHH with a flying forearm! The crowd didn’t realize it for a moment, but they pop for it. Michaels hits the Sweet Chin Music on HHH! Kane sits up and Michaels bails to the floor. Kane grabs HHH and hits a chokeslam. Kane rolls HHH into the casket and shuts it to win the match. After the match, Michaels gets his music played and he plays to the crowd. (*1/2. If the crowd reaction is any indication, I think it’s clear that the singles feud between Kane and HHH is over with. Kane doesn’t get a clean win as he needed help from Michaels. The whole feud has kind of made Kane look like a chump. The Michaels reveal out of the casket didn’t even get a huge pop either. I thought it was a lackluster main event.)
The only bright spot action wise was the tag title match and that was mostly average action. I’m interested in seeing Orton as a heel as I think the video packages are going to help his character growth greatly. I would have expected a bigger reaction for Michaels showing up, but it fell flat to me. RAW continues to struggle to produce compelling television.
Thanks for reading.