WWF Raw Is War 2.26.2001
WWF RAW IS WAR
Monday, February 26th, 2001
Live from the America West Arena in Phoenix, AZ
List of WWF Champions at the time:
● WWF World Heavyweight Champion: The Rock (2/25/2001)
● WWF Intercontinental Champion: Chris Jericho (1/21/2001)
● WWF World Tag Team Champions: The Dudley Boyz (1/21/2001)
● WWF European Champion: Test (1/22/2001)
● WWF Hardcore Champion: The Big Show (2/25/2001)
● WWF Women’s Champion: Ivory (11/02/2000)
● WWF Light Heavyweight Champion: Dean Malenko (4/27/2000)
~ Raw comes on the air with stills of The Rock’s WWF Championship win over Kurt Angle from the pay-per-view. Jim Ross and Jerry “The King” Lawler welcome us to the show and tonight we’ll have the fallout from No Way Out (as well as start the road to Wrestlemania). Also tonight William Regal teams with Stephanie McMahon to take on Vince McMahon and Trish Stratus.
~ And of course things kick off with the new WWF Champion making his way to the ring to celebrate his victory. Rock gets on the mic and does his “Finally..” bit then says how he’s finally standing in the People’s ring as champion. Rock then talks about his battle with Kurt Angle last night and how Angle showed him two sides of his personality. Rock says Angle showed a vicious side of himself, kicking out of the People’s Elbow and nearly snapping his ankle. Rock says Angle then showed the other side of his personality once it was over when he cried about losing the title. Rock also tells Angle that if he wants to whine and complain then why not come out to the ring and do it to his face. However instead of Angle it’s Steve Austin who comes out and the Wrestlemania opponents have a tense staredown. Austin gets on the mic and congradulates Rock, saying Angle can cry all he wants but in his view the better man won. Austin then tells that Rock if he’s going to Wrestlemania as the WWF Champion then he has some adivce: stay healty. Austin turns to leave the ring having said what he wanted to says but Rock stops him and they’re back to locking eyes. Rock tells Austin that he appreciates the advice but he has his own advice for him in the form of two words: get ready. The two continue their staredown before parting ways and the build to Wrestlemania has officially begun, folks.
~ Backstage William Regal is pacing in the parking garage when Stephanie McMahon runs up asking why he’s out there. Regal says he’s hoping to talk with Vince and sort out last night’s misunderstanding so their match can be called off. Stephanie rants on how much she fears her father who’s dead set on having this match then urges Regal to get dressed. Regal feels that he can still talk Vince out of this nonsense but Stephanie feels Regal is only wasting his time.
~ Back from break we find Regal still waiting in the parking lot for Vince so he can try and reason with him.
~ Backstage we find Chris Benoit and the other Radicalz watching a replay of last night’s Intercontinental title match. Perry Saturn asks Benoit if he’s spoken with Eddie Guerrero since the match and Benoit tells him that he hasn’t. Dean Malenko then asks if Eddie knows about their match tonight and Benoit doesn’t care whether or not he does. Eddie finally comes in the room and Benoit gets in his face with Eddie threatening to finish what they started last night. Saturn tries to keep his two comrades separated while Eddie complains about Benoit letting a title come between them. Eddie then suggests they should find out right now if Benoit really is the best technical wrestler and Benoit is all for it. Malenko tries reasoning with both guys saying they fought for the same thing last night and it was every man for himself. Benoit then informs Eddie of their match tonight and asks if they can take care of business or should they go at it now. Saturn and Malenko ask Eddie to be reasonable and Eddie touches fists with Benoit to show that he’s still on his side. The two then head out for the match but still share an uneasy glare, as if their issues aren’t quite resolved yet.
- Chris Benoit & Eddie Guerrero vs. X-Pac & Justin Credible
Odd choice for the first match, heels vs. heels. Eddie starts off against Credible and gets in the first shots but Credible soon fights back and gets the advantage. Credible stomps Eddie down in a corner then pulls him off the ropes with a London Bridge that gets a two count. Credible goes for a whip, Eddie reverses it but Credible comes back with a DDT then stomps him in the chest. Eddie rakes Credible’s face and hits a gutwrench suplex when Benoit asks for a tag and Eddie seems reluctant. Benoit still gets the tag and whips Credible but Credible comes back with a Northen Lights suplex for a two. Credible hits a sledge then tags X-Pac and the two double-team Benoit with Eddie not coming to Benoit’s aid. X-Pac takes over and hits some chops when Benoit starts to fight back then nails him with a shoulderblock. Benoit comes off the ropes and X-Pac goes through his moves when Benoit pulls him down into the Crossface. Credible breaks it up then the referee orders him out but Eddie comes in without a tag and pounds on X-Pac. Eddie hits a suplex that gets a two count then tags Benoit in and both guys whip X-Pac and hit a double elbow. Benoit hits a snap suplex then tags Eddie and slams X-Pac while Eddie slings himself into a hilo for a near fall. X-Pac starts to fight back and whips Eddie who rolls under his leapfrog but X-Pac nails him with the spinkick. X-Pac sets Eddie in a corner and goes for a Bronco Buster when Eddie dodges it but X-Pac lands on his feet. Eddie hits X-Pac with a tilt-o-whril backbreaker then whips him but lowers the head and X-Pac kicks the face. X-Pac decks Benoit when Eddie whips him but Credible comes in and helps X-Pac hit a double superkick. X-Pac covers Eddie but Benoit makes the save then drags Eddie over to his corner so he can make the hot tag. Benoit takes it to both guys and hits X-Pac with a shoulderblock then suplxes Credible right onto his partner. Benoit plants Credible with a German suplex then holds on for a second German followed by a third German. Benoit then climbs to the top rope and goes for the diving headbutt but X-Pac moves Credible out of the way. Benoit is reeling when X-Pac rolls him in a La Magistral and holds him down for the three count. (4:50) Decent enough match from these guys. X-Pac and Credible depart victorious while Benoit takes his frustration out on Eddie with a hateful stare. **
~ We next get highlights of last night’s Stephanie/Trish match with William Regal helping Stephanie get the win. We then see a black stretch limo pulling into the garage with Vince McMahon climbing out … along with Trish Stratus. William Regal walks up and asks to talk with Vince about their problems so they can settle their issues like gentlemen. Vince reminds Regal how he said he knew what to do last night so he (Vince) knows what he’s going to do tonight. Vince tells Regal the match is on then he and Trish depart arm-in-arm leaving Regal shaking his head in frustration.
~ Back from break we find the now-former WWF Champion Kurt Angle walking down the hallway somewhere. Johnathan Coachman comes up asking Angle about losing the title but Angle just walks by without saying a word.
- Lita (w/Matt Hardy) vs. Molly Holly (w/Crash Holly) – #1 Contender’s Match
Both ladies lockup to start and Molly gets a headlock, Lita shoves her into the ropes but eats a shoulderblock. Lita then applies her own a headlock when Molly fights out if it and wrenches the arm but Lita flips out of it. Lita goes for a whip, Molly reverses it but Lita comes back with a headscissors. Lita goes for another whip, Molly reverses her into a corner but Lita lifts herself over Molly with the ropes then rolls her up for a two count. Lita sets Molly up for a suplex but Molly blocks it then counters into a rollup but that only gets a near fall. Molly hits a monkey flip then distracts the referee but Matt makes sure Crash doesn’t think about interfering. Lita climbs onto Molly’s shoulders and gets a victory roll for a near fall then Molly hits a Japanese armdrag. Molly follows up with a vertical suplex then climbs to the top rope but Lita is up and throws her to the mat. Lita dropkicks Molly out through the ropes and Matt walks over to her on the floor but Crash shoves him aside. Crash helps Molly back in the ring but Matt doesn’t appreciate being shoved and the two argue with each other. In the ring Lita charges but Molly backdrops her over the ropes and she ends up taking Matt out on the floor. Crash rolls Lita in the ring but Matt punks Crash out for putting his hands on his woman and the two duke it out. The referee goes out to break it up while Raven’s ninja woman runs in the ring and nails Molly with a DDT. Lita is up and sees Molly down (but not the run-in) so she climbs to the top and hits the moonsault for the pin. (2:56) Another okayish match, though the ending was a little overbooked. **
~ Backstage we find Vince and Trish gameplaning their match with Vince mixing up a bucket of slop with a mop he says he’s going to use in the match. Kurt Angle barges in and demands a rematch with The Rock tonight, telling Vince that he doesn’t care whether the title is on the line or not, he just wants to get Rock in the ring again. Vince tells Angle he’ll take it under advisement but he has his own match to worry about and sends him on his way.
~ Back from break Vince is in his wrestling gear when Stephanie comes in wanting to talk with him about the match. Stephanie says she’s fine getting in the ring with Trish but wants to know what if it comes down to the two of them. Vince says William Regal should have thought about that before saying he knew what it was that he (Vince) wanted. Vince then tells Stephanie if it is the two of them in the ring then she knows that happens as he points to the bucket.
~ Elsewhere Regal knocks on Trish’s door and once she peeks out Regal asks her to put in a good word with Vince. Trish instead blows Regal off after what he did to her last night then slams the door in his face and Regal walks off.
~ We then cut over to WWF New York and find some of the New York/New Jersey Hitman as well as Al Snow who’s still campaigning to become the new WWF Commissioner even as Lawler tells him he has to be appointed. Snow responds by saying that Vince may be a jerk but he still listens to the fans so he’s been trying to get their support. Snow feels he’ll become commissioner with enough fan support and promises more midgets and fewer British people and that he won’t stop until Mick Foley is reinstated in the WWF.
~ The Dudleys are shown making their way to the ring for a big tag title defense as we go to commercial.
~ Back from break The Big Show barges in Vince’s office and demands a WWF Title match with The Rock tonight. Vince responds by telling Show that he deserves to be suspended after he interfered in the main event last night. Vince decides to punish Show by booking him against both Rock and Kurt Angle for his newly-won Hardcore Title. Seriously?
- WWF WORLD TAG TEAM TITLES: The Dudley Boyz © vs. Rikishi & Haku
So Rikishi and Haku interfere in the title match last night and they get a tag title shot themselves the next night as a result? Okay then. Once both teams are in the ring The Undertaker and Kane make a not-so-surprising appearence on the stage. All four men turn their attention to the stage but it looks like the brothers are just going to watch things, for now. Anyway D’Von locks up with Haku to start and Haku gets in the first shots but D’Von quickly fights back. D’Von comes off the ropes and connects with a flying shouldertackle but Haku pops right up and slams D’Von. Rikishi tags in and D’Von wails away on him then comes off the ropes and connects with a flying clothesline. Bubba Ray tags in and gets in his shots but Rikishi hits him with a thrust shot to the throat to get the advantage. Rikishi whips Bubba into a corner but eats a boot and Bubba hops to the middle rope and hits a clothesline. D’Von tags in and helps Bubba hit a double flapjack for a two count as Taker and Kane continue to look on. D’Von hammers Rikishi then goes for a whip but Rikishi reverses into a corner and hits a belly-to-belly suplex. Haku tags in and wails away on D’Von in a corner then caps it off with a headbutt followed by a back suplex. Haku hits a backbreaker then tags Rikishi in and the two hit a double chop before Rikishi takes over on D’Von. Rikishi stomps D’Von down in a corner then tags Haku back in and this time the two hit a double headbutt. Haku hits an elbow to D’Von head and slams him then comes off the ropes but misses with an elbowdrop. Rikishi gets the tag but so does Bubba who comes in with a series of clotheslines followed by a hard right. Haku comes in but runs into a backdrop and Bubba clotheslines him over the ropes but Rikishi superkicks him. Rikishi goes for the sitdown splash but misses and Bubba sets him up while D’Von climbs to the top rope and hits the “Wassup” headbutt. Haku tries to clothesline D’Von and misses him but takes out the referee. The Dudleys nail Haku with a double neckbreaker but Rikishi is in and superkicks Bubba through the ropes. D’Von covers Haku but Rikishi saves it with the massive legdrop then hits the running butt splash in a corner. Rikishi climbs up the ropes and hits D’Von with the Banzai Drop but the referee is still out and can’t count the pin. Taker and Kane take this chance for a run-in and Taker hammers Rikishi in the ring while Kane goes after Haku. Taker clotheslines Rikishi and sends him rolling out to the floor then catches Haku coming in with right hands. Kane comes in and chokeslams Haku then D’Von covers him and the referee revives to count the three. (6:37) The Dudleys barely gets a chance to celebrate when Taker and Kane go in and chokeslam them both at once. The Dudleys should have been able to get a quality win by themselves, but not only did they need help but got taken out by the guys who helped them as well, just so Taker and Kane would get all the heat from this match. *
~ Backstage Michael Cole interviews The Rock about being booked in a three-way match for the Hardcore Title. Rock makes fun of Cole dressing like a 14-year-old girl then points out how his shirt says “It Doesn’t Matter”.
~ William Regal and a nervous-looking Stephanie McMahon are shown heading to the ring for the mixed tag match. We also see Vince and Trish making their way to the ring with the bucket of slop as we go to commercial.
- Vince McMahon & Trish Stratus vs. William Regal & Stephanie McMahon – Intergender Match
Once everyone is out Trish offers to start the match for their team and even gets a good luck kiss from Vince. Trish takes Stephanie down by the legs and wails away at her then throws her across the ring by the hair twice. Trish goes for a running bulldog but Stephanie shoves her into a corner then hits a suplex for a two count. Stephanie nails Trish with a DDT for another two then works Trish over in a corner with forearms and kicks. Stephanie whips Trish but Trish comes back with a clothesline then crawls over and makes the tag to Vince. Stephanie turns to see her father advancing on her and the crowd is getting the creeps at what could happen. Stephanie looks for a tag but Regal just hops off the apron refusing to go in so she tries begging Vince off. However Vince gets on the mic telling Stephanie how he gets what he wants as Regal brings the slop bucket in. Vince says what he wants is the same thing that Regal wants and Trish wants as Trish gets excited in the corner. Vince tells Trish if she wants it then come in and get it…before he yanks her in the ring the hard way? Huh? Vince then tells the referee that this match is over and threatens to fire him if he doesn’t leave the ring. (3:31) Trish doesn’t understand until Stephanie slaps her and Regal takes her out with the inverted neckbreaker! It’s a “shocking swerve”. Vince then tells Stephanie to grab the mop and Stephanie rubs a mop full of slop in Trish’s face. Vince then mocks Trish for thinking she was “Daddy’s little girl” when she was really “Daddy’s little plaything” and like all toys he soon got bored of playing with her. Vince declares that “Playtime’s over!” before he dumps the entire bucket of slop all over Trish’s head and she’s left retching in a puddle of filth. Don’t know what to say about this segment except it would begin Trish’s long run as a babyface. NR
~ Back from break we get a replay of Vince deciding he’s done playing with Trish and the resulting events. Michael Cole then tries to interview the humiliated Trish but she just blows him off and walks away while crying. Geez, Cole.
- WWF LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE: Dean Malenko © vs. Taka Michinoku (w/Sho Funaki)
Wow, the Light Heavyweight title lives! Now that Malenko’s angle with Lita is finished it’s back to trying to get this division rolling again. Taka comes out with Funaki and some woman and gets on the mic telling Malenko he isn’t the only ladies man then brags about having a girlfriend of his own that’s hot and voluptuous but most importantly, she’s also evil. The woman then takes over the mic and gives a dubbed “Indeed!” before shoving Funaki aside and kissing Taka.
Both men lockup and Taka gets a headlock, Malenko shoves him into the ropes but Taka hits a shoulderblock. Taka comes off the ropes when Malenko goes for a waistlock but Taka manages to sling him through the ropes. Taka distracts the referee while Funaki goes for a whip but Malenko counters it into a short-arm clothesline. So Taka leaps onto the top rope then nails Malenko with a flying crossbody before climbing back in the ring. Funaki throws Malneko back in and Taka dropkicks him in the face then gets him in a backslide for a two count. Malenko stomps away at Taka then whips him into a corner and goes for a back suplex but Taka flips out of it. Malenko goes for another whip and Taka reverses him into a corner but Malenko stops himself then decks Taka. Malenko then goes for the Texas Cloverleaf when Taka counters into a rollup but that only gets a near fall. Malenko nails Taka with a clothesline then whips him into a corner and follows up with another clothesline. Malenko whips Taka into the other corner and goes for another clothesline but this time eats a double boot. Taka hops on Malenko’s shoulder but Malenko shrugs him off then sets him on the top rope and clubs his back. Malenko goes up and Taka manages to fight him off but Malenko turns and cuts Taka off before he can leap off. Malenko goes up again and this time hits a superplex but Taka manages to hook the legs and gets a two count. Taka hits a superkick then goes for the Michinoku Driver but Malenko fights out of it then goes for a suplex. Taka floats over Malenko and this time hits the Michinoku Driver but can’t cover immediately and only gets two. Taka hits a chop and goes for a whip, Malenko reverses him into a corner but Taka hops onto the middle rope. Taka then goes for a flying Thesz Press but Malenko rolls through it into the Texas Cloverleaf and Taka taps. (2:51) Okay match but too short to really get into. **
~ Backstage Kevin Kelly interviews Kurt Angle for his thoughts on the three-way Hardcore Title match later. Angle says he loves the match because he doesn’t feel like playing by the rules and here he can do whatever he wants. Angle says he doesn’t care if he impressed The Rock because everyone knows he should still be WWF Champion. Angle also yells at Big show for meddling in his match and feels he should first master simple things like walking upright. Angle says he may not walk into Wrestlemania as champion but he’ll make sure Rock doesn’t walk anywhere, period.
~ Back from break they’re going to start showing classic Wrestlemania moments until the big card and tonight’s classic moment is Shawn Michaels’ zipline entrance before his Iron Man match at Wrestlemania XII.
~ We then see a white van pulling up in the garage and out climbs the Right To Censor along with new member The Kat, who’s dressed up like Ivory with a similar hairstyle and is crying as the entire group starts heading somewhere.
- WWF INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE: Chris Jericho © vs. Raven
Raven is out first and gets on the mic bragging about cementing himself as the greatest Hardcore champ ever then asks the fans to think about their favorite Raven hardcore moment. However Jericho’s intro cuts Raven off and Jericho gets on the mic suggesting his own favorite Raven moments then tells him to shut up because it’s go time. Jericho rushes the ring but Raven greets him with a dropkick on the apron then throws him in the ring himself. Raven lays the boots to Jerico then whips him but lowers the head and Jericho rolls him up for a two count. Jericho nails Raven with some chops then whips him and hits a hiptoss before kicking away at him in a corner. Jericho goes for a whip, Raven reverses him into a corner and clotheslines him then hits a running bulldog for two. Raven whips Jericho into a corner then comes off the ropes but misses a shot and Jericho hits a flying forearm. Jericho follows up with a bulldog for a near fall then whips Raven into a corner and charges but eats a boot. Jericho gets Raven in an O’Connor roll when Raven reverses it into a rollup and grabs the tights but gets two. Jericho takes Raven down and goes for the Walls of Jericho as we see the ninja woman is here again with a 2×4. The referee keeps the ninja from coming in the ring when Molly Holly comes out but the ninja kicks her away. Jericho then lets go of Raven then heads over to confront the woman himself but Raven is up and nails him. Raven sets up for a DDT when the ninja suddenly swings the 2×4 but she misses Jericho and nails Raven instead. Jericho knocks the ninja off the apron then hits Raven with the Lionsault and grabs the pin to retain. (3:00) Remeber that good match these two had at Halloween Havoc ’98? This was nothing like that. *½
The ninja comes in with the broken board in hand but Molly takes her down. Molly then tries to remove her mask again and manages to reveal some dark blonde hair but Raven pulls the ninja to safety before her face is uncovered.
~ Back from break JR announces that live auditions for Tough Enough will be held Wednesday at WWF New York. We then see the seat next to JR is vacant as he explains that Lawler is teaming with the Acolytes against RTC next.
~ Backstage Johanthan Coachman interviews Steven Richards, accusing him of abducting Kat against her will. Richards stops him saying that “Stacy” was aware of the situation and was also instrumental in fighting the good fight. Richards suggests that Stacy isn’t really being held against her will but maybe she is trying to change for the better. Kat protests this until Ivory cuts her off while Richards feels that Stacy is in a better place, with the Right To Censor. Coach asks about facing Lawler and the Acolytes but Richards feels with truth on their side, nothing can beat them.
~ Elsewhere we find Kurt Angle warming up for the main event by twisting his body into some unusual angles. We find Big Show also warming up, only he’s beating up a locker that has ‘ANGLE’ and ‘ROCKY’ written on it.
~ Back from break Tazz makes his way out looking to take Lawler’s place on commentary just like he did last night as we get highlights of Saturday’s XFL action. The game was a forgettable 13-0 win for the NY/NJ Hitmen over the Chicago Enforcers that’s mainly known for the feud that “erupted” between hitmen coach Rusty Tillman and Jesse Ventura, how they talked trash about each other during the game and their famed heated confrontation afterward. At this point you could tell the WWF was panicking at the falling XFL ratings and was resorting to angles to bring the viewers in, which didn’t work.
- Jerry “The King” Lawler & The Acolytes vs. The Goodfather, Val Venis & Bull Buchanan (w/Steve Richards, Ivory & Kat)
Everyone files out to the ring and and Lawler just shakes his head at the sight of Kat dressed like them. Bradshaw and Faarooq battle Goodfather and Buchanan on the floor while Lawler fights with Val in the ring. Lawler clotheslines Val over the ropes then goes after him on the floor while Richards joins the commentary. Everyone makes they way in the ring and the Acolytes double-team Buchanan with Lawler joining in as well. Faarooq soon takes over on Buchanan and whips him into a corner but Buchanan comes back with a clothesline. Goodfather tags in and helps Buchanan whip Faarooq into a shoulderblock then slams him and hits a elbowdrop. Bradshaw comes in but the referee orders him back out allowing Val and Goodfather to double-team Faarooq. Goodfather chokes Faarooq with his boot then whips him into a corner and charges at him but eats an elbow. Faarooq comes out with a shoulderblock then crawls over to his corner and makes the tag to Bradshaw. Buchanan also gets the tag but Bradshaw whips him and hits an elbow then whips him again and hits a boot. Buchanan regains control and tags Val then Val gets in his shots and comes off the ropes but eats a big boot. Bradshaw whips Val who comes back with a crossbody but Bradshaw catches him and hits the fallaway slam. Meanwhile Kat pounces on Ivory on the floor and chokes away at her until Richards heads over to pull her off. Meanwhile the match goes on as Faarooq and Bradshaw clothesine Goodfahter and Buchanan over the ropes. Bradshaw nails Val with the Clothesline from Hades then both Acolytes whip Val and hit a double spinebuster. However while this is going on Richards, Buchanan and Goodfather are dragging Kat away from ringside. Lawler gets the tag then hops to the middle rope and nails Val with the fistdrop for the pin. (3:27) About what you’d expect. Lawler and the Acoltyes then watch Kat disappear from view, instead of maybe, you know, going after them. And that would be the last we’d ever see of The Kat as she was fired the following day while Lawler would then quit the WWF in a show of solidarity with her, making this his last appearence for eight months. DUD
~ The Rock is shown making his way to the ring which means main event time is here as we go to commercial.
- WWF HARDCORE TITLE: The Big Show © vs. Kurt Angle vs. The Rock
So they’re starting the build to Wrestlemania with their world champion in a Hardcore Title match. Whatever. All three men file out and Rock and Angle have a startedown but Show clotheslines both men to get us started. Show hammers Rock with giant chops then whips him but Rock ducks a clothesline and starts to fight back. Rock has Show down to one knee when Angle comes up and suplexes Rock only to eat a headbutt from Show. Show hits Angle with a giant chop then whips him when Angle tries to rally but Show jus shrugs off his blows. Angle comes off the ropes with a clothesline but Show just absorbs it so Angle tries it again and again no effect. Angle comes off the ropes again when Rock cuts him off with a clothesline but Show clotheslines Rock as well. Rock rolls out to the floor for a breather but Show goes out and rams him into the announce table repeatedly. Show scoops Rock onto his shoulders but Rock slips out and shoves him into both the ringpost and the steps. Angle then goes out and nails Rock from behind before throwing him back in the ring and laying the boots to him. Rock fights back and comes off the ropes then hits a Dragon legwhip and puts Angle in the Sharpshooter. Before Angle can submit Show comes back in and nails Rock from behind to break it up then headbutts Angle. Rock comes off the ropes when Show grabs him looking for a chokeslam but Rock kicks him below the belt. Angle comes up and tries to suplex Show by himself but can’t get him up so he tries wearing him down first. Angle still can’t get Show up so Rock and hooks Show’s other arm and together they manage to suplex Show. Angle starts celebrating as if he did by himself but Rock pounds on him then clotheslines him over the ropes.
Suddenly Steve Blackman runs in with a kendo stick and nails Show then covers but only gets a two count. Rock goes after Angle on the floor while Hardcore Holly comes in and works Show over with some trash lids. Albert runs in and nails Show with a bicycle kick then covers him but Perry Saturn runs in to make the save. Saturn works Albert over in a corner while Billy Gunn runs in with a club that he breaks on Show’s chest. Billy knocks Show over the ropes then goes out after him while Albert squashes Saturn with the Avalanche. Billy rams Show into the barrier as they head near the ramp and Show grabs him but Hardcore breaks it up. The fight heads near the stage when Show throws Hardcore and Blackman into the gardrail then boots Billy. Essa Rios suddenly dives off the stage for a plancha but Show catches him then slams him onto the concrete. Crash Holly tries diving off the stage with the same result when Billy comes up and whacks Show with a chair. Show makes his way to the back with Blackman and Billy as Hardcore sprays everyone with a fire extinguisher. Meanwhile in the ring Albert and Saturn have stopped fighting and are now helping Angle triple-team Rock. We then cut to the back as Show tries to fight off all his challengers while Blackman and Crash duke it out. Billy puts Crash through a table while Show fights off Blakcman then throws Rios into a closed metal door. Show then holds Rios upright against a wall and Hebner decides it’s a cover and counts the pin. (7:58) Garbage match but an entertaining one. *½
Back in the ring Angle, Albert and Saturn are still triple-teaming Rock when Rock starts to fight back and DDTs Angle. Albert whips Rock into a corner then whips Saturn into a splash on him but Rock cuts Saturn down with a clothesline. Albert clotheslines Rock then whips him but Rock comes back with a flying forearm then hits Saturn with a spinebuster. Rock takes Albert out with the Smackdown but Angle trips him with a drop toehold then slaps on the Anklelock. Angle is looking to break Rock’s ankle when Steve Austin slides in for the save and drops Angle with the Stunner then hits Saturn with the Stunner. Rock gets back up behind Austin and readies for a Rock Bottom but before it happens Albert runs in but Rock catches him and he ends up taking the Rock Bottom instead. Austin leaves the ring but stops on the ramp and stares out at Rock who stares back at him as Raw fades to black.
Conclusion: I’d have to say this wasn’t the best way to start the build for the biggest show of the year. The opening match was nice and the main event was entertaining for what it was but the matches just came off as filler for the most part. As far as the angles go we saw the start of Austin/Rock as expected and the beginning of some other intriguing storylines, though how many of them would come to fruition at the pay-per-view is aother thing. And where was Triple H, since he wasn’t even mentioned once on this show? Overall a pretty disappointing follow-up to No Way Out and a weak first step toward the “best Wrestlemania ever”. Thumbs down.