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WWF RAW 7/10/2000

Written by: Adam King

WWF RAW IS WAR
Monday, July 10th, 2000

Live from the San Jose Arena in San Jose, CA

List of WWF Champions at the time:
●  WWF World Heavyweight Champion: The Rock (6/25/2000)
●  WWF Intercontinental Champion: Val Venis (7/06/2000)
●  WWF World Tag Team Champions: Edge & Christian (6/25/2000)
●  WWF European Champion: Eddie Guerrero (4/03/2000)
●  WWF Hardcore Champion: Steve Blackman (6/29/2000)
●  WWF Women’s Champion: Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley (3/30/2000)
●  WWF Light Heavyweight Champion: Dean Malenko (4/27/2000)

~ Raw comes on the air and goes right to the intro with Jim Ross and Jerry “The King” Lawler welcoming us. JR mentions Commissioner Mick Foley is not here tonight because he’s out on a promotional tour of southeast Asia so he feels this could be one of the most out-of-control nights ever.

~ Things kick off with Shane McMahon and Chris Benoit making their way to the ring for our opening talkathon. Shane gets on the mic saying he’s been asked about his relationship with Benoit, who he declares the next WWF Champion. Shane says he and Benoit are good friends and that he’s lately grown to admire Benoit for being goal-oriented, cold hearted and ruthless as well as an equal-oppertunity offender. Shane then clips from last week of Benoit attacking Eddie Guerrero, Chyna and The Rock on the TitanTron to illustrate his point. Shane claims Rock has been ducking Benoit ever since suffering the Crossface and used him (Shane) as an excuse to run away from Benoit while he put Chyna in the Crossface once again on Smackdown. Shane then says he’s proud to call Benoit is friend and Benoit takes the mic and returns those thoughts. Benoit says The Rock is no friend of his because he doesn’t have friends who hide behind women’s skirts and won’t admit he’s the best technical wrestler. Benoit dares Rock to prove him wrong by facing him tonight but says he doesn’t have to put the WWF Title up. However Benoit tells Rock if (or when) he beats him, he wants a one-on-one championship match at Fully Loaded. Benoit mentions Mick Foley isn’t here to make the match since he’s over in Asia but does hope he gets dysentary. Eventually Rock comes out to the stage with a mic to offer a rebuttal and makes fun of Benoit for running his mouth. Rock tells Benoit he has no problem proving him wrong about a lot of things and accepts his challenge for tonight before telling him and Shane to “just bring it”. Rock departs when Eddie Guerrero and Chyna come out brandishing chairs and Benoit and Shane quickly bail from the ring but not before Eddie connects with a shot on Shane’s back.

~ JR and Lawler then run down more of tonight’s show which includes Chris Jericho battling Road Dogg one-on-one, Lita facing Trish Stratus in a street fight, Val Venis defending the Intercontinential Title against Kane and Rikishi and Edge & Christian defending the tag team titles as well. Looks like the Acolytes are finally getting their title shot.

  • The Hardy Boyz (w/Lita) vs. Too Cool vs. T & A (w/Trish Stratus)Elimination Match

The Hardys go right after Test and Albert as the Too Cool guys watch while Lita chases Trish around the ring. Eventually Scotty 2 Hotty and Grandmaster Sexay join in and work over Albert while Matt and Jeff suplex Test. The Hardys clothesline Test over the ropes while Scotty and Sexay whip Albert and drill him with a double DDT then Scotty covers Albert who powers out of the cover. Scotty gets in his shots and goes for a whip, Albert reverses and presses Scotty up and Scotty slips out but Albert clotheslines him in the back of the head. Albert comes off the ropes going for a splash but misses it and Scotty busts a move before hitting an elbowdrop. Sexay tags in and nails Albert with a clothesline but Albert doesn’t go down. Sexay hits a second clothesline and Albert still stays on his feet so Sexay comes off the ropes for a third clothesline but this time runs into a boot. Test tags in and clubs Sexay in the back then whips him into a corner and charges but eats a boot. Sexay hops to the middle rope and nails Test with a tornado DDT. Test staggers into the Hardys’ corner where Sexay and Matt take turns getting their shots on Test but Test decks Matt and the referee counts it as a tag. Matt has words with Test when Sexay comes up and suplexes Matt from behind then whips him into a corner. Sexay goes for a splash but Matt sidesteps it then hops to the middle rope and hits the guillotine legdrop for two. Mat tags Jeff and whips Sexay into a corner then drops to the mat allowing Jeff to connect with the Poetry in Motion. Sexay fights back and applies a headlock when Jeff shoves him into the ropes but Sexay hits a shoulderblock. Sexay then comes off the ropes and slides under Jeff before going for a back suplex but Jeff flips out of it. Jeff comes off the ropes and goes for a crossboy but the two of them end up knocking heads and are both down. Sexay is up first and throws Jeff through the ropes when Test tags himself in. Test drops Jeff onto the barricade before throwing him back in then tags in Albert and the two whip Jeff into a corner. Test whips Albert into Jeff then nails him with a boot that gives Albert a two count. Test tags back in and pounds Jeff down in a corner then slams Jeff to the mat. Test climbs to the middle rope and leaps off but Jeff gets his feet up to block him. Jeff ducks a clothesline and lunges at Matt to tag him and Matt tees off on Test and caps off with a discus right. Matt goes for a whip, Test reverses him into a corner but eats an elbow and Matt hits a flying clothesline. Test sets Matt up for the pump-handle slam but Matt flaots over him and shoves him into Scotty on the apron. Matt nails Test with the Twist of Fate then tags in Jeff who climbs to the top rope and hits the Swanton Bomb. However Albert nails Matt then plants Jeff with a chokebomb and rolls Test on him to get the first elimination. (6:00)

Trish celebrates the Hardy’s loss when Lita knocks her down and starts to catfight with her on the floor. However Albert comes over and pulls Lita off Trish by the hair then holds her while Trish clotheslines her down. Matt comes off the apron and Albert catches him in a bearhug when Jeff leaps over the ropes hitting a pescado. In the ring Test knocks Sexay through the ropes when Scotty comes off the ropes and nails Test with the bulldog. Scotty then goes for the Worm when Tazz suddenly runs in the ring and chokes him out with the Tazzmission. Tazz then departs while Test climbs to the top rope and connects with the flying elbowdrop for the victory. (7:13) Tazz walks out without saying another word as Test celebreates with Trish and Albert. Decent match but I don’t see why the Hardys had to job to T&A yet again. Plus the crowd wasn’t into it much, though they did pop for the Worm and got mad when they were denied it. **

~ Backstage the Helmsleys and the DX duo are griping about Mick Foley ruining their lives even 10,000 miles away. Triple H complains about Road Dogg having a match with Chris Jericho tonight when he wants Jericho for himself. X-Pac also brings up Foley threatening to cancel Triple H’s pay-per-view match with Jericho if they attack him pre-match. Triple H then warns Road Dogg to take care of Jericho or else he will not want to come back to the dressing room. Road Dogg doesn’t appreciate his buddy threatening him and X-Pac tries to calm Road Dogg down as they head out.

~ Back from break we get a replay of Tazz’s latest random run-in taking place during the elimination match. Backstage Kevin Kelly tries to grab a interview with Tazz about his recent actions but Tazz backs him against a wall and tells Kevin that he may want answers but he’s not getting any before walkng off.

  • Chris Jericho vs. Road Dogg

Road Dogg makes his way to the ring first but for once decides not to do his pre-match speil on the mic. Instead Road Dogg jumps Jericho on the stage during his entrance and Jericho brawls with him down the ramp then tosses him in the ring to officially start the match. Jericho stomps on Road Dogg and nails him with a chop then goes for a whip and Road Dogg reverses it but Jericho ducks a clothesline and hits his own clothesline. Jericho stomps Road Dogg out to the apron then knocks him out to the floor with the springboard dropkick. Jericho goes after Road Dogg and goes for a whip but Road Dogg counters with a flapjack onto the ringsteps. Road Dogg clotheslines Jericho before tossing him in the ring then kicks him down in a corner and chokes him. Road Dogg continues working over Jericho as we see of The Helmsleys and X-Pac watching this from the back. Jericho starts fighting back and goes for a whip but Road Dogg reverses it and hits a knee to the chest for two. Road Dogg applies a modified chinlock and Jericho fights out of it then comes off the ropes and rolls Road Dogg up for a near fall. Road Dogg comes back with a clothesline then chokes Jericho on the middle rope. Road Dogg slams Jericho to the mat and hits a pair of elbowdrops before taking some time to taunt the fans. Road Dogg whips Jericho but Jericho hits a flying forearm then comes off the ropes with the bulldog for a two count. Jericho then takes Road Dogg down looking for the Walls of Jericho but Road Dogg kicks him off into a corner. Road Dogg eats a boot and Jericho comes out but Road Dogg comes back with the juke ‘n jive punches and hits the big right. Road Dogg climbs to the top rope and goes for a moonsault (!) but misses it. Road Dogg is down as Jericho quickly connects with the Lionsault for the surprisingly clean win! (5:15) Another decent match. Backstage Triple H is furious that Road Dogg failed and starts throwing stuff around in his lockeroom, which can’t be good news for him. **½

~ Backstage The Undertaker is riding around on his motorcycle and nearly runs down a bunch of backstage guys.

~ Back from break we get a replay of Jericho getting the win over Road Dogg and Triple H’s subsequent reaction. We then find Road Dogg trying to explain his loss to Stephanie and X-Pac saying he normally doesn’t do moonsaults when Triple H barges into the room and chews out Road Dogg for not taking care of Jericho. Triple H shoves Road Dogg down and Road Dogg gets back in his face prompting X-Pac to step in-between his DX mates trying to play peacemaker. X-Pac tells his buds that they’re on the same side but Tiple H says he used the think that then departs.

~ Out in the arena Undertaker rides out to the ring on his motorcycle even though he’s supposedly not scheduled tonight. Of course that doesn’t stop Taker from getting on the mic and cutting a promo about people who do too much talking. Taker brings up Kurt Angle claming to be an ‘American Hero’ before calling him just a punk who’s afraid of a fight. Taker mentions that Angle prevented him and Kane from winning the Tag Team Titles last week and that Angle also spilled milk and food on his brand new morotcycle on Smackdown and dinn’t even clean it up. Taker tells Angle if he has a beef with him, he’s not hard to find and he will not let him hide behind some lame apology. Taker feels it’s time he and Angle finally do battle tonight and promises to make him feel an old-school-style beating. Angle then makes his way out to the stage without his crown and sceptre and gets on the mic to offer his rebuttal. Angle apologizes for ruining Taker’s tag title shot and motorbike and even tells him, as they say on the streets, “my bad”. Angle says he has no problem fighting Taker but feels they really don’t have to fight. Angle adds if they do, a match of that magnitude shouldn’t be wasted in San Jose but should happen at Fully Loaded. Angle then suggests the fans may not want to even see the two of them go at it, calling it un-American before suggesting the fans don’t like Taker’s current image. Angle tells Taker he has a present to help him clean it up and heads to back … then emerges riding a white motor scooter while wearing goggles and a star-spangled helmet! Taker is not amused as Angle revs up the scooter’s tiny engine and rides it around the ring like Taker does on his ride. Eventually Taker has enough of this and promises to kick Angle’s teeth down his throat before starting out after him. Angle tries to escape but his scooter stalls at the top of the ramp so Angle abandons it and runs to the back on foot. Taker rides his own bike up the ramp but stops on the stage and shoves Angle’s scooter off the stage to the floor. Funny stuff but still was another long 20-minute talking segment that only set up a match for the pay-per-view and nothing else.

  • WWF Intercontinential Title: Val Venis © vs. Kane vs. Rikishi

I guess this was set up by Val beating Rikishi for the title on Smackdown and nailing Kane with the belt in a later match. Incidentally Val also has a shorter haristyle that he’d use for the rest of his WWF run. Rikishi goes out to meet Val in the aisle and throws him into the ringsteps before tossing him in the ring. Kane gets in his shots on Val then whips him and connects with a big boot before clotheslining him in a corner. Rikishi follows up with the running butt splash on Val then starts going at it with Kane and superkicks him down. Rikishi then sees Val down in a corner and moves in to deliver the stinkface but Kane sits up and interupts him and those two exchange shots. Kane gets the advantage but Rikishi comes back and hits a Samoan Drop. Rikishi hits the massive legdrop on Kane and whips him but lowers the head and Kane rams him into the mat. Kane clotheslines Rikishi when Val chops Kane in his knee then stomps away at it as Rikishi rolls to the floor. Val goes out and throws Rikishi into the steps then rolls back in where Kane greets him with a clothesline. Val works Kane over in a corner and goes for a whip but Kane reverses him hard into the opposite corner. Kane scoops Val on his shoulder when Val slips out then whips Kane and hits a clothesline but it has no effect. Val comes off the ropes and ducks under a boot then dropkicks Kane’s hurt knee and continues kicking at it. Kane comes back with a press slam onto the ropes then climbs to the top rope and hits the flying clothesline. Kane covers Val but Rikishi makes it back in the ring and breaks up the pin with a legdrop on Kane’s head. Rikishi whips Val and Val hits a DDT but it has no effect as Rikishi pops right back up and superkicks him. Rikishi clotheslines Kane and charges at Val in a corner but misses and runs his shoulder into the turnbuckles. Val hits Rikishi with a Russian legsweep then climbs to the top rope but Kane cuts him off with an uppercut. Kane decks Val off the turnbuckles and out to the floor when Rikishi nails him with the running butt splash. Rikishi drops Kane with a right hand then climbs the ropes looking for the Banzai Drop but Val breaks it up. Kane knocks Val back off the apron then turns back toward Rikishi and goes for a whip but Rikishi reverses it. Kane grabs Rikishi by the throat but Rikishi headbutts out of the chokeslam and clotheslines him over the ropes. Kane lands on his feet and snaps Rikishi’s neck on the ropes but Val comes over and DDT’s him into the floor. Val brings his IC belt in the ring and takes a swing wth it but misses and Rikishi drops Val with a right hand. Rikishi grabs the belt himself but the referee takes it away so Rikishi plants Val with a belly-to-belly suplex. Rikishi then hits Val with another running butt splash in a corner and this time is able to hit the stinkface on him. Val is reeling but grabs his belt again and clocks Rikishi in the head with it, drawing a DQ to end this. (5:31) Kane comes back in and plants Val with a chokeslam but it’s still after the fact as Val keeps the title. An okay match with a cop-out ending, since they can’t end the Val/Riksihi feud just yet. **

~ Backstage Stephanie finds Triple H in the mens’ room and tries to calm him down, promising to make things right. However Triple H has a huge smile on his face as he tells Stephanie that he has an idea that’s foolproof. I wonder what it is.

~ Back from break we get a clip of The Kat visiting WWF New York earlier today.

~ Out in the arena Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley comes out the ring because we need yet another talking segment. Stephanie gets on the mic and says she has a propsition for Chris Jericho. Stephanie feels Jericho doesn’t mean all the things he said about her. Stephanie mentions their kiss at King of the Ring and claims she liked it and doesn’t care what Triple H thinks about it. Stephanie says she wants to be friends and invites Jericho to come out to the ring so they can relive their encounter. Jericho then appears on the TitanTron and tells Stephanie he’s thought of nothing else ever since the night he kissed her so he accepts Stephanie’s invitiation and says he’s on his way out, promising the biggest smooch she has ever gotten. Jericho’s music and video plays when Triple H and the DX’ers come out for an ambush but Jericho doesn’t appear. Jericho then reappears on the TitanTron and tells the Helmsleys that was the most pathetic plan he’s ever seen, that the amubush was as panfully obvious as Stephanie being a filthy bottom-feeder as well as stinky roadkill. Jericho then asks Triple H why is it he got more action from Stephanie than in the 10 months they’ve been married. Jericho says Triple H may be ‘The Game’ but he’s now ‘The Hunter’ and Triple H vows revenge at Fully Loaded. That was a pretty dumb plan by Triple H. Maybe a little too dumb…

~ Backstage Kevin Kelly interviews Edge and Christian on their tag title defense against the Acolytes tonight and Edge calls Mick Foley throwing them to the wolves henious. Christian suddenly claims he’s come down with the sniffles then acts stuffed up as he says he and Edge don’t want to deprive the fans of anything less than 100%. So Christian suggests Edge faces one of the Acolytes in a singles match, non-title of course, and Edge seems to agree by says “singles matches rule!”. Christian concurs with a high-five, forgetting to act sick for a second. So the Acoltyes’ tag title shot is postponed yet again which brings up the question of how E&C can even change the match without the proper authority.

~ Back from break we get more footage of Mick Foley visiting Asia, which even Lawler agrees is unncessary.

~ Backstage X-Pac argues with Triple H that their plan was stupid and tempers begin to flare when they exchange shoves. Triple H suggests the two of them face off in a match tonight and X-Pac accepts, saying he isn’t the Brooklyn Brawler. Road Dogg tries in vain to call his DX buddies down before deciding he wants none of this and walks off.

  • Edge (w/Chrisitan) vs. Bradshaw (w/Faarooq)

I’m still wondering how Christian having the sniffles automatically gets them out of defending their tag titles. Edge attacks Bradshaw as he climbs in and goes for a whip but Bradshaw reverses it and hits a shoulderblock. Bradshaw whips Edge and hits a boot then clotheslines him over the ropes. Edge decides he’s had enough and starts to take a walk but Faarooq cuts off his escape while Bradshaw suplexes him back in the ring. Bradshaw pounds away on Edge in a corner then whips him into the opposite corner. Bradshaw goes for a powerbomb when Edge floats over him into a Sunset Flip but can’t get Bradshaw over and Bradshaw grabs him and hits a chokebomb. Bradshaw hits a elbowdrop for a two count then whips Edge into a corner and charges at him but eats a boot. Edge drills Bradshaw with a DDT then climbs to the top rope and connects with a missile dropkick for a near fall. Both men exchange shots and Edge goes for a crossbody but Bradshaw catches him and hits the fallaway slam. Bradshaw whips Edge into a corner and clotheslines him. Bradshaw sets Edge on the top rope and climbs up after him going for a superplex when Christian distracts him from the apron, allowing Edge to shove him down. Faarooq pulls Christian off the apron while Edge leaps off the top but Bradshaw catches him into a powerslam. Bradshaw then covers Edge but the referee is too busy arguing with Faarooq on the floor to count the pin. Christian brings the ring bell in and readies a swing but Bradshaw cuts him off with the Clothesline from Hades. However Edge grabs the bell and clocks Bradshaw in the head with it then grabs the pin. (3:01) This match just wasn’t ‘there’ in my view plus the crowd was pretty dead for it. *

~ Backstage The Hardys get Lita pumped up as she makes her way out for the street fight.

~ Elsewhere backstage, Test, Albert and Val Venis try to get Trish Stratus psyched up for that same match. Trish is ready to go until Albert mentions that the three of them have been banned by Mick Foley from ringside. Trish’s men manage to get her fired up again and she takes off, after which her men admit they feel she has no chance.

~ Back from break X-Pac is preparing for his big match when Road Dogg comes in trying to talk some sense into him. X-Pac insists that Triple H is getting beaten down tonight even as Road Dogg pleads with his pal that he’ll regret it. X-Pac stands steadfast so Road Dogg tells his DX comrade that he’s not sticking around for this.

  • Lita vs. Trish StratusStreet Fight

Lita is looking for revenge after Trish tried to choke her out wiht her sweater last night on Heat. Lita rushes the ring and stops Trish from bailing out to the floor then throws her across the ring by the hair. Lita tees off on Trish before suplexing her then climbs to the top rope and connects with a moonsault already. Instead of making the cover, Lita asks the fans if they want her to disrobe Trish and the fans give their approval. Lita starts tearing off Trish’s shirt but before she gets too far the sirens start blaring, signaling you-know-who. Sure enough Steven Richards comes out and pulls Trish out of the ring then covers her up with a white robe and takes her up the ramp to the back, getting her counted out as Lita looks on stunned. (1:31) Richards then comes back out to the stage and gets on the mic saying the fans don’t know what’s good for them so he took the responsiblity to censor this “totally unacceptable display” and declares the match over. Now this angle is getting more than a little annoying. DUD

~ Backstage Road Dogg tries talking Triple H out of the match but Triple H warns his friend not to question him again, that X-Pac is getting beaten down. Road Dogg tells him he’ll regret it and that he will not be a part of this then leaves while Triple H gets himself ready as we go to commercial.

~ Back from break we get footage of the XFL’s latest press conference announcing San Jose as the next member.

~ We then get clips of Road Dogg leaving the building during the break, not wanting to see his friends fight. Yep, he sure left.

  • Triple H (w/Stephanie McMahon) vs. X-Pac

It looks like DX is finally imploding. So why am I thinking of Vince Russo all of a sudden? The two have a staredown before exchanging shoves to start us off and X-Pac is able to get in the first shots. X-Pac goes for a whip, Triple H reverses but X-Pac hits a clothesline and has some words for his opponent. Triple H responds to that with a right hand and lays the boots to X-Pac before throwing him through the ropes. Triple H goes after him but X-Pac fights back and rams him into the announce table before tossing him back in. Triple H hits several knees to the chest and goes for a whip, X-Pac reverses it but Triple H hits the facebuster. Triple H stomps X-Pac down in a corner while trash talking him when X-Pac fights back. X-Pac goes for a whip but Triple H reverses and hits the high knee. Triple H goes for his own whip but X-Pac reverses it and hits the spinkick. X-Pac kicks Triple H down in a corner and goes for the Bronco Buster but Triple H dodges it and X-Pac straddles the turnbuckle. X-Pac is reeling when Triple H charges but X-Pac throws him over the ropes and Triple H is down on the floor. Suddenly Chris Jericho comes out to looking to get a piece of Triple H when X-Pac points out to the stage. Jericho looks over and sure enough Road Dogg is coming out with a sledgehammer in hand. Yep, it’s a “shocking swerve”! The DX’ers immediately spring their trap and Jericho suffers a 3-on-1 beatdown. (~3:20) Seriously, who didn’t see this coming? Even the crowd knew where this was going to lead because it was that obvious. NR

The DX’ers toss Jericho back in the ring and X-Pac nails him with the X-Factor while Triple H hits the Pedigree. Road Dogg and X-Pac hold Jericho up while Triple H grabs the sledgehammer and nails Jericho in the chest with it before Stephanie slaps Jericho for good measure. Jericho is bleeding from the mouth as the DX’ers pose but then decide they’re not done yet and Triple H nails Jericho in the head with the sledgehammer, busting him open. Triple H tees off on the open cut as the referees try to come and break this up but Road Dogg and X-Pac keep them from coming to Jericho’s aid. The DX’ers finally finish their beating and pose over Jericho’s fallen carcass before leaving the ring and Jericho then gets loaded onto a stretcher as we go to commercial. I guess they figured Jericho was looking a little too strong against Triple H and they needed to give him his heat back.

~ Back from break we get replays of DX beating down Chris Jericho, as if the carnage wasn’t enough the first time. We then see Jericho being loaded into an ambulance and getting taked away as Triple H and the other gloat nearby. The DX crew then congradulate themselves on a job well done with X-Pac saying the beating he took was worth it.

~ We cut back to WWF New York and find The Kat dancing on a bar with the fans. Moving right along….

~ Backstage Shane McMchon gets Chris Benoit pumped up for the main event as they make their way to the ring. We then see The Rock also heading out to the ring as we go to commercial, making this a nothing segment.

  • The Rock © vs. Chris Benoit (w/Shane McMahon)Non-Title Match

So if Benoit wins this match tonight he will face The Rock again at Fully Loaded, this time for the title. That said are they really going have a clean finish since this match is also going to headline the pay-per-view? Not to mention there’s also very little television time left in the show at this point. After Shane and Benoit come out, Rock does his entrance and stares down at Benoit on the floor. Shane gets Rock’s attention allowing Benoit to sneak up from behind Rock catches him and unloads on him. Rock whips Benoit and connects with an elbow but Benoit starts fighting back. Benoit goes for his own whip but Rock reverses and hits a powerslam for two. Rock whips Benoit into a corner and charges but eats an elbow and Benoit plants Rock with a back suplex. Benoit stomps Rock down and hits a Northern Lights suplex for a two count. Benoit works Rock over in a corner with chops and kicks then caps off with a snap suplex that gets a near fall. Benoit hammers Rock in a corner when Rock reverses positions and gets in his shots then hits the Smackdown. Rock goes for a whip but Benoit reverses and hits a German suplex then holds on for a second German suplex. Benoit goes for a third German but Rock fights out and nails him with a belly-to-belly suplex for a two count. Rock then goes for a whip, Benoit reverses it but Rock comes back and hits a DDT that gets another near fall. Benoit hammers Rock with more chops and comes off the ropes but Rock catches him and hits the spinebuster. Shane then pulls Earl Hebner out of the ring and decks him before opening his jacket to reveal a striped shirt and heading in ring to take over the officiating. However Rock isn’t having that and chases Shane around the ring then follows him back in but Benoit cuts Rock down with a clothesline and locks in the Crossface. Rock tries to inch his way toward the ropes and takes a swing at the rope but misses and his hand hits the mat. Shane suddenly calls for the bell then gets on the mic claiming Rock tapped out so he declares Benoit the winner. Benoit keeps the hold on briefly before releasing it and Shane raises his hand before the two of them depart having secured their title shot. That is until Hebner announces he’s reversing the decision due to Shane’s inteference and has DQ’ed Benoit, so that mean’s no title shot after all. (3:55) So not only do we get yet another Montreal finish but also a Dusty finish, all in the same match. What we got was okay but you had a feeling they were really saving it for the pay-per-view. **

Shane and Benoit storm back in the ring and back Hebner into a corner where Benoit starts kicking him down. Rock is back up and punks Shane out then stomps away at Benoit as other referess come out to break it up. Rock takes one of the referees out with a Rock Bottom but has trouble standing and collapses to the mat, perhaps selling the effects of the Crossface, while Shane and Benoit walk off disappointed. Benoit may have been denied his title shot tonight but this issue seems far from over as Raw goes off the air.

Conclusion: I’d have to call this a pretty blah episode. Most of the first hour was talking but there were a couple of decent matches found among the promo segments. However the show seemed to just run out of steam in the second hour with the last three matches all having predicatble (non-)finishes. In fact out of the seven matches only one had a clean finish. So overall there isn’t much here other than the main pay-per-view angles being advanced. Add in a crowd that was flat through most of the show and you’ve got a below-average two hours. Out of control night, JR? Hardly.

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