WWF Raw Is War 3.05.2001
WWF RAW IS WAR
Monday, March 5th, 2001
Live from the MCI Center in Washington, DC
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 and goes right to the intro with Jim Ross welcoming us to the show. However the camera then pans back to reveal JR’s broadcast partner is … ECW Owner Paul Heyman!! Heyman (sporting an ECW cap) explains the Kat was fired last Tuesday and Jerry Lawler walked out with her but where there’s chaos there’s oppertunity and with the King gone he’s come to Raw to get extreme.
~ Things kick off with Triple H and Stephanie McMahon coming to the ring a week after his big win at No Way Out. Triple H gets on the mic and says it’s hard to be humble when he’s so good and no one can appreciate that fact, but after destroying Austin last week it’s especially difficult not to shove it down everyone’s throats. Triple H says he’s out to right a wrong after taking some days off and watching Raw on his big screen TV specifically Rock saying his match with Austin will pit the WWF’s two best wrestlers against each other. Triple H takes offense to that remark, claiming he’s been beating Rock up since the day he arrived in the WWF plus he beat Austin at No Way Out not once but twice in back-to-back falls, proving he was the better man. Triple H wants to finish what he should have taken care of long ago and says Wrestlemania will be the meeting of the two best wrestlers but he himself will be one of them because he’s going to remove one of those competitors tonight. Triple H calls Austin out to face him in the ring and Austin does appear and charges in the ring going right to work on Triple H and even getting the advantage. Kurt Angle runs in behind him and Austin tries to fight both men but eventually gets overwhelmed by the numbers. The Rock then comes out to even the odds and works over Angle allowng Austin to come back against Triple H. Rock knocks Angle over the ropes with the Smackdown and Austin clotheslines Triple H over as well. Both men head out to the floor to continue the fight and leave their respective opponents laying.
~ Back from break Kurt Angle is still at ringside fuming at William Regal who tries to calm him down. Regal soon goes in the ring and gets on the mic telling Angle he has an announcement from Vince McMahon, that he’ll get his shot at revenge tonight by teaming with Triple H against Austin and Rock. Angle doesn’t seem satisfied with that match and continues to storm around ringside.
~ The Too Cool guys then make their way out to the ring for our opening match against X-Pac and Justin Credible. However Angle still hasn’t left ringside when he suddenly goes in the ring and attacks Scotty 2 Hotty from behind. Angle turns and tosses Grandmaster Sexay out through the ropes then goes out and tosses him into the ringsteps. Angle heads back in the ring and Scotty tries to fight back but Angle beats him down and slaps on the Anklelock. Scotty starts tapping like mad to no avail and the referee pulls Angle off him but his foot is twisted at an odd angle. Angle then walks off while a number of EMT’s try to help Scotty out of the ring as we go to commercial.
~ Back from break we get footage of Scotty 2 Hotty being stretchered out of the arena during the break. Nobody knew at the time that was the end of Too Cool, since by the time Scotty came back his partner wouldn’t be there anymore.
~ JR and Heyman then mention a meeting Vince McMahon had with the Radicalz earlier today as we get footage of it. Bascially Vince told the group they could choose one of their members to get an Intercontinental Title match tonight. Dean Malenko is the first to volunteer but Perry Saturn protests reminding Malenko that he already has a title. Chris Benoit tries to calm things down saying the man to face Chris Jericho should be the man who’s truly earned it. Eddie Guerrero tells Benoit to take the shot since he’s their leader but Malenko and Saturn both feel differently. Benoit feels Eddie deserves the shot saying how he can get payback on Jericho for putting him out for two months. Benoit also reminds Eddie how he showed his true colors on Smackdown and feels he truly deserves the title shot. Eddie takes Benoit’s words to heart and accepts the title shot and the two touch fists in a show of support.
- WWF INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE: Chris Jericho © vs. Eddie Guerrero
So finally we our first match after nearly a quarter of the show was devoted to non-wrestling segments. Chris Benoit comes out to join the announcers for commentary but doesn’t really say anything to them. Both men lockup to start and Jericho grabs a waistlock but Eddie switches it but Jericho switches back. Eddie elbows Jericho away then comes off the ropes but Jericho leapfrogs over him and hits an armdrag. Jericho goes into an armbar then wrenches the arm and Eddie flips out of it but Jericho clotheslines him. Jericho hits a headlock takeover and Eddie counters with the headscissors but Jericho flips over into a pin. Eddie bridges up out of the pin then goes into a backslide for a two count and Jericho chops him in a corner. Jericho kicks Eddie down and the referee forces a break allowing Eddie to dropkick Jericho in the knee. Eddie puts Jericho in a Gory Special but Jericho flips out of it and puts Eddie in his own Gory Special. Eddie is able to free himself on Jericho’s shoulders but Jericho end up dropping him face-first onto the mat. Jericho comes off the ropes with a forearm then whips Eddie into a hiptoss and follows up with the bulldog. Jericho goes for the Lionsault but misses and Eddie rolls up up for a two count and chops him in a corner. Eddie goes for a whip, Jericho reverses him into the opposite corner and charges at him but eats an elbow. Eddie comes out of the corner and Jericho tosses him onto the turnbuckles but takes out the referee as well. Jericho sets Eddie on the top rope then goes up looking for a superplex but Eddie fights him off to the mat. Eddie then goes for the Frogsplash but misses it and both men are down as Benoit decides to get involved. Benoit climbs to the top rope and goes for the diving headbutt but nails Eddie with it instead of Jericho. Benoit then departs the ring as Jericho covers Eddie and gets the three to retain. (4:08) Decent match but I’ve seen better from these guys. Jericho is dumbfounded that his rival would help him out like that but nonetheless takes his belt. Malenko and Saturn come out and confront Benoit on the ramp before going in the ring to help Eddie. Looks like trouble brewing among the Radicalz. **
~ Backstage The Hardys are plotting their strategy for their upcoming tag title match when Lita walks up to them and wishes them luck. Lita starts to depart for her match but Matt insists he and Jeff accompany her. Jeff is a little hesitant but Matt tells him they can talk about strategy later and they head out as we go to commercial.
~ Back from break we get footage of Al Snow and his midgets earlier today campaigning for WWF Commissioner.
- WWF WOMEN’S TITLE: Ivory © (w/Steve Richards & Val Venis) vs. Lita (w/The Hardys)
So Lita wins her #1 contender’s match last week yet is getting her title match now instead of at Wrestlemania. Both ladies lockup to start and Ivory forces her into a corner then throws her by the hair across the ring. Ivory whips Lita into a corner but Lita springs off the ropes over Ivory and rolls her up for a two count. Lita goes for a whip, Ivory reverses it but Lita clotheslines her down then fires away with a series of rights. Lita hits a Russian legsweep for a two count then goes for a Twist of Fate but Ivory drives her into a corner. Ivory hammers Lita with shoulderblocks then whips her and plants her with a sidewalk slam for a two count. Ivory chokes Lita on the middle rope then charges at her but Lita backdrops Ivory over the ropes. Lita then climbs to the top rope and connects with a flying crossbody as the RTC’ers and Hardys go at it. Matt dukes it out with Richards near the announce table while Jeff tosses Val into the ringsteps. Jeff runs along the barricade looking for a clothesline but Val ducks it and Jeff wipes Lita out instead. Val attacks Jeff while Ivory rolls Lita back in the ring and hits a neckbreaker for the pin. (3:01) The Hardys go in to help Lita up but Matt chews Jeff out for costing her the match. Not much of a match, plus with Lita losing that doesn’t leave anybody to challenge Ivory for the title. *
~ Backstage Kevin Kelly interviews Kurt Angle on why he attacked Scotty 2 Hotty earlier. Angle says when Scotty was in the Anklelock begging for mercy he heard a snap so he knows his ankle is broken and it felt great because that sent a message to everyone in the WWF that he’s done being the whipping boy. Angle says he’s tired of being embarrased and humiliated every week when he’s the best and deserves respect. Angle accuses Too Cool of coming out and mocking him with his dancing, saying they can celebrate at the hospital. Angle says to get the ambulance ready because Steve Austin, The Rock and even Triple H might be joining him. Angle finishes by saying he’s tired of this and isn’t going to take it anymore.
~ The Undertaker and Kane are shown heading to the ring for the next match as we go to commercial.
~ The Wrestlemania countdown shows there are only 27 days left. Let the excitement start building, people!
- The Undertaker & Kane vs. Rikishi & Haku
Taker and Kane meet their opponents on the ramp and Kane dukes it out with Rikishi on the stage while Taker brings Haku down to ringside. Haku whips Taker into the barricade and follows up with a headbutt while Kane tosses Rikishi into the steps. Haku throws Taker in the ring to officially start the match and works him over in a corner then hits another headbutt. Taker fights back but Haku whips him and hits a dropkick(!) and Rikishi gets in a headbutt. Taker again starts fighting back but Haku counters that with a back suplex then comes off the ropes with a headbutt for a two count. Haku clubs Taker in the back then Taker comes back and rams him into a turnbuckle but that has no effect. Taker whips Haku into the opposite corner and charges but eats an elbow and Haku hammers him with chops. Rikishi tags in and headbutts Taker then tags Haku in and both men whip Taker into a double clothesline. Rikishi follows up with the massive legdrop and Haku covers Taker but Kane comes in and breaks up the pin. Haku whips Taker but lowers the head and Taker hits a DDT but Rikishi breaks up the pin and pops Kane. Rikishi whips Taker into a corner and connects with the running butt splash but Kane clotheslines him down. Kane clotheslines Haku and hits a boot on Rikishi and Rikishi rolls out to the floor with Kane behind him. In the ring Haku turns toward Taker but Taker plants him with a chokeslam and puts this one away. (3:49) Pretty decisive win for the brothers, especially since Kane never legally tagged in, so that’s about it for this feud. DUD
~ Backstage a car is shown arriving at the parking garage and Trish Stratus steps out of it when Michael Cole comes up interviewing her about being humilated by the McMahons last week. Trish says she has a few things to say on that subject but decides to do it in the ring as we go to commercial.
~ Back from break Trish Stratus makes her way out to the ring and gets on the mic to set the record straight. Trish says last week she experienced the most humilation experience of her life but refuses to hide from it and even shows footage of the incident on the TitanTron. Trish says she’s been thinking of what to say to Vince McMahon and calls him out to the ring to hear what she has to say to his face. Vince does make his way out in response and as he grabs the mic Trish right looks at him in the face and says that she has two words for him …. “I’m sorry!!” Trish suddenly breaks down in tears telling Vince she’s sorry and that she deserved everything he did to her last week. However Vince doubts her sincerity, asking if she’s sorry just because she’s not getting all the expensive gifts anymore. Vince asks Trish if she’s as sorry as his wife Linda and decides to make her prove just how sorry she really is. Vince tells Trish if she wants to win back his loyalty then she must get down on all fours and crawl like a dog and Trish actually complies. Vince then makes her bark “I’m sorry” like a dog and Trish goes along with that as well. Vince then tells Trish that’s not good enough and to prove she’s really sorry she must disrobe in front of everyone. One by one Trish removes her garments until Vince decides that’s enough for him and covers her up with his coat. Vince tells Trish he does believe she’s sorry and Trish says she’ll degrade herself to any lenghts to prove it to him. Vince then says everyone in D.C. works for the goverment and comes close to prostituting themselves like Trish. I honesty don’t have to words to describe the previous 12 non-wrestling minutes we just saw other than extremely uncomfortable. I mean yes, it does lead to a satisfying payoff but the trouble is getting there.
~ A cool promo is then shown hyping the Steve Austin/Rock match set to Limp Bizkit’s “My Way”. I think you’ve all seen it a few times but it’s still cool.
~ Back from break we get a replay of Vince humbling Trish in the ring just a few minutes ago.
- WWF WORLD TAG TEAM TITLES: The Dudley Boyz © vs. The Hardy Boyz
Can the Hardys get over their disagreement earlier and win the titles? Matt and Bubba start off and Matt turns to say something to Jeff allowing Bubba to nail him from behind. Matt goes for a whip, Bubba reverses him into a corner but Matt kicks him and gets a Sunset Flip for a two. Bubba comes back with a clothesline then goes to whip him but doesn’t see Jeff making a blind tag. Jeff climbs to the top rope when Matt goes for the ropes but accidentally causes Jeff to straddle the turnbuckle. Matt chews Jeff out for that mistake but Bubba clotheslines both of them then starts working over Jeff and whips him, hitting a backdrop. Bubba stomps Jeff then taunts Matt to tag him before throwing Jeff away from the corner. D’Von tags in and whips Jeff into the jumping elbow then lays the boots to him and hammers him in a corner. D’Von goes for a whip, Jeff reverses him into the opposite corner and charges at him but D’von sidesteps it. Jeff lands on his feet on the middle rope but D’Von cuts him off and hits a neckbreaker for a two count. D’Von tags Bubba back in and Bubba whips Jeff into a corner and Jeff lifts himself up with the ropes. Bubba catches Jeff on his shoulders but Jeff counters with the headscissors and Matt even gets in a shot. Bubba plants Jeff with the Bubbabomb for a two count then drops him with a right. Bubba hops to the middle rope but Matt distracts the referee while Jeff punches Bubba below the belt then goes up and hits a Frankensteiner for a two count. Bubba tags in D’Von while Jeff makes the hot tag to Matt and Matt unloads on D’Von and caps off with the discus punch. Matt comes off the ropes with a neckbreaker then works Bubba over and goes for a whip, Bubba reverses but Matt comes back with a flying clothesline. Matt follows up with a DDT after which both Hardys whip D’Von into a corner and Matt drops down to the mat while Jeff connects with the Poetry in Motion. Matt nails D’Von with the takedown clothesline and covers but Bubba makes the save. Bubba and Matt go at it and Bubba tosses him through the ropes to the floor while Jeff climbs to the top rope and goes for the Swanton Bomb on D’Von but misses. Bubba slams Jeff instead and sets him up while D’Von climbs to the top rope and connects with the “Wassup” headbutt. Bubba nails Matt with a forearm then sends D’Von out for a table and D’Von heads out to the floor when Christian comes out and whacks D’Von from behind with a chair. Christian throws D’Von back in the ring and Bubba goes out after him while Matt hits D’Von with the Twist of Fate and gets the three for the titles! (5:36) Thanks to Christian the Hardys finally win their fourth tag titles. Lita comes out and celebrates with the new champs on the stage while Bubba glares at them. Okay match but not on the level of their earlier meetings. **
~ Backstage Vince McMahon is meeting with William Regal who gives him props for the way he handled Trish when Al Snow barges in the room with his midgets and mentions the people wanting him as Commissioner. Vince tells Snow he’ll consider it … as long as he competes in a Hardcore Title match with The Big Show tonight.
~ This week’s classic Wrestlemania moment is the Ladder Match from Wrestlemania X in 1994.
~ Back from break we get an exterior shot of the MCI Center as we get the graphic for the main event.
~ Backstage Trish Stratus is reeling from her humilty when Stephanie McMahon walks up with a smile on her face and praises her for finally realizing her place in the food chain. Stephanie puts in a request for a special coffee and Trish departs for a coffee house but not before Stephanie reminds her who the dominant female in the WWF is.
~ Out in the arena JR and Heyman buzz about the new tag champs as they show a replay of Christian’s interference. We then see Christian calling Edge collect backstage saying their plan to get the tag titles back is so underway.
~ Elsewhere Vince McMahon is talking to William Regal again when Debra comes into the room this time. Debra tells Vince she wants to resign as Lt. Commissioner and go back to managing, if it’s okay with him. Vince reminds Debra of her marriage to Steve Austin and wants to first makes sure her husband is cool with it. Debra feels Austin will be fine with her managing again and Vince asks her to check with him just to be sure.
~ The Big Show is shown heading to the ring for his title defense as we go to commercial.
~ Back from break Steve Austin is preparing for his match when Debra comes in the lockerroom and mentions she talked to Vince McMahon earlier about going back to managing. This gets Austin upset and he says he has no problem with her managing but wants to talk about it more after his match.
- WWF HARDCORE TITLE: The Big Show © vs. Al Snow
Snow comes out first but grabs a stick from under the ring and goes to lay in wait by the ramp. Show then comes out next (wearing the title belt around his bicep!) when Snow attacks him with the stick but Snow no-sells it and breaks the stick. Snow rakes Show’s face and tries unloading on him with right hands then tries to whip him into the steps but Show won’t budge and pulls Snow into a clothesline instead. Show throws Snow into the steps then follows up with a headbutt and rips his shirt before chopping him. Show tosses Snow into the barricade and Snow is able to grab a chair but Show punches it into his face, sending him over the barricade into the crowd. Show goes out and tosses Snow back over to ringside. Show grabs the chair and charges at Snow with it but Snow sidesteps and Show rams himself into the ringpost. Snow grabs a trash can lid and hammers Show with it then takes a camera and nails Show with it as well. Snow tosses a series of chairs in the ring when Show throws the steps in and starts climbing back in. Show grabs Snow by the face and tosses him across the ring then hoists the steps up but Snow grabs a chair and whacks the steps knocking them into Show’s face. Snow covers for the upset but only gets a two count. Snow sets up four pairs of chairs in a line for something but Show press slams him right onto the chairs! Show then follows up with the Final Cut and the pin is academic at this point. (4:55) Like Snow really had a chance. Not a totally bad match and it had some nice bumps. *
~ Backstage Vince asks Debra about Steve Austin feeling about her managing and Debra says he’s cool with it. Vince then tells Debra he has the perfect oppertunity for her if she’s interested and Debra says she’s in.
~ Back from break Kurt Angle makes his way to the ring for the main event followed by Triple H and Stephanie. However before their opponents make their entrances Vince McMahon comes out to the ring and gets on the mic. Vince brings Debra out to the ring mentioning she’s back in the managing field and has a golden oppertunity. Vince mentions he didn’t say who she gets to manage and announces Debra will now be managing … The Rock! Debra is shocked and the rest snicker at the news as we go to commercial.
~ Before we go on let me just mention that one of the commercials during the break was an XFL ad which announced that they’ll be going into the cheerleaders’ lockerroom at halftime fo this week’s game. The promo even admits this is a desparate attempt to increase their ratings. At least they were honest about it. Of course that segment would be much ado about nothing.
- Stone Cold Steve Austin & The Rock (w/Debra) vs. Kurt Angle & Triple H (w/Stephanie McMahon)
Rock comes out first and has words with Vince before Austin comes out and angrily grabs Vince by the coat. However this allows Triple H to attack Austin from behind to start this off then Triple H stomps him down. Triple H whips Austin into a corner but Austin comes out with a clothesline as Vince departs to the back. Austin stomps Triple H down in a corner then hits the count along punches. Austin whips Triple H but lowers the head and Triple H kicks Austin’s face. Angle tags in but runs into a right hand and Austin pops Triple H off the apron then whips Angle and hits a spinebuster. Rock tags in and hammers away at Angle as Debra applauds him. Rock goes for a whip, Angle reverses it but Rock comes off the ropes with a flying forearm and gets in a shot. Rock whips Angle into a corner then charges at him and eats an elbow but comes back with a Samoan Drop for a two count. Angle rakes Rock’s face and knees him in the chest then tags Triple H in and Triple H stomps him down. Rock exchanges shots with Triple H then goes for a whip but Triple H reverses it and hits the high knee. Triple H turns and pops Austin off the apron but Rock comes back with a right hand and Austin demands a tag so Rock obliges. Austin whips Triple H and hits the Lou Thesz Press then hammers away on him with the rights and follows up with the elbowdrop. Austin goes out to the floor and wraps Triple H’s leg into the ringpost then goes back in and chopblocks Triple H in the knee. Austin goes for the Stunner but Triple H shoves him off and Austin bumps into Angle knocking him off the apron. Triple H low blows Austin and Rock tries to come in but Earl Hebner holds him back while Triple H and Angle double-team Austin.
Angle takes over on Austin without a tag and drapes him on the apron then elbows him in the chest. Angle beats on Austin in his corner and Austin starts to fight out of it but Angle hits a belly-to-belly suplex. Angle continues to work Austin over and Austin again fights back and goes for a suplex but Angle counters into his own suplex for a near fall. Triple H tags in and goes for a whip, Austin reverses Triple H into a corner but Triple H hits a neckbreaker for a two count. Triple H tees off on Austin and hits a kneedrop to the face for a near fall then whips him and slaps on a sleeperhold. Austin manages to counter with a back suplex but Triple H tags in Angle and Angle whips Austin into a corner. Angle charges but Austin drops him onto the tunbuckles then crawls to his corner and makes the hot tag to Rock. Rock hammers away on Angle and caps off with a DDT and Triple H comes in but Rock unloads on him as well. Rock knocks Triple H over the ropes with the Smackdown then turns and hits the Rock Bottom on Angle. Rock covers Angle but Triple H breaks up the pin prompting Austin to knock Triple H back through the ropes. Austin goes out after Triple H on the floor while in the ring Angle mamages to slap the Anklelock on Rock. Austin makes it back in and breaks it up with a boot while Debra hops on the apron and distracts Hebner. Austin lays out Angle with the Stunner and covers him but Hebner is too tied up with Debra to make the count. Austin goes to ask Debra what’s the deal when Rock covers Angle and Hebner sees this and counts the three. (8:36) Austin sees this and doesn’t seem happy with Rock grabbing the pin even though Rock was the legal man. Solid enough main event, though notice how Angle did the job and not Triple H. **½
Rock celebrates the win and Debra applauds him while Austin just watches this go down in disbelief. Austin and Debra then start aruging with each other as Raw goes off the air.
Conclusion: Slighty better show than the previous week but still a little lacking at times as the bookers were trying to figure how Wrestlemania will shake out. There wasn’t much actual wrestling action other than the main event but there were plenty of talking and sports entertainment segments, especially the uncomfortable Vince/Trish segment. Heyman did an okay job in his first night on commentary but would get better down the line. However the Rock/Austin build certainly took a twist with Debra’s addition, and while it does make some sense it also seems a little unnecessary. So while not a great episode its not a bad one either and was pretty eventful with a title change. Thumbs in the middle for this one.