WWF Raw Is War 3.12.2001
WWF RAW IS WAR
Monday, March 12th, 2001
Live from the Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA
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 Hardy Boyz (3/05/2001)
● 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 a recap of the Steve Austin/Rock/Debra saga over the past week. After the intro Jim Ross welcomes us to the show along with Paul Heyman as we continue the road to Wrestlemania. Tonight The Undertaker challenges The Big Show for the Hardcore Title. But we also get a shot of Kurt Angle anxiously waiting for someone in the parking garage.
- WWF WORLD TAG TEAM TITLES: The Hardy Boyz © (w/Lita) vs. X-Pac & Justin Credible
Heyman actually mentions Credible is a multi-time ECW Tag Team champion but doesn’t mention his partner. Mainly because he’s still working for the other guys (at least for two more weeks). X-Pac pounds away on Jeff Hardy to start and and whips him into a corner but Jeff lifts himself over X-Pac then dropkicks him from behind. Matt tags in and both Hardys whip X-Pac then hit a double elbow and follow up with their combo move for a two. Matt gets an armwringer but X-Pac rakes the face. Credible tags in but runs into an armdrag and Matt whips him into a corner and hits a gutwrench suplex for two. Matt goes for a whip, Credible reverses and X-Pac nails him from behind but Matt pops him off the apron. Credible pops Jeff off the apron then knocks Matt through the ropes and the referee tries to keep Jeff back while Credible goes out and helps X-Pac crotch Matt into the ringpost. X-Pac throws Matt back in the ring then tags in legally and helps Credible double-team Matt in their corner. X-Pac kicks Matt down in another corner and follows up with the Bronco Buster. Credible tags back in and goes for a baseball slide but Matt dodges it and Credible ends up crotching himself on the post. Jeff tags back in as X-Pac comes in but Jeff ducks a double clothesline and dropkick both men with each foot. Jeff goes for a whip, X-Pac reverses into a corner but Jeff runs up the ropes and hits the Whisper in the Wind. The Hardys whip Credible into a corner, Matt drops to the mat and Jeff connects with the Poetry in Motion. X-Pac comes up and nails Jeff from behind and whips him but lowers the head and Jeff kicks him in the face. Jeff comes off the ropes but X-Pac tosses him under the ropes and Jeff ends up colliding with Lita on the floor. Matt tosses X-Pac through the ropes then hits the Twist of Fate on Credible while Jeff climbs to the top rope. Jeff connects with the Swanton Bomb and covers Credible when … Albert pulls Jeff out of the ring? Huh?! Albert presses Jeff up and tosses him over the barricade to the floor as the referee calls for the bell. (3:19) Albert goes in the ring and Matt hammers away at him and X-Pac but Albert lays him out with the chokebomb then poses with his new pals. Match was decent but Albert joining these guys made no sense at all and resulted in one of the lamest stables ever. **
~ Backstage Kurt Angle greets an arriving limo and out comes the new WWF Commissioner, William Regal. Angle asks Regal where he was since the show already started but Regal tells him he has to go address the people. Angle then asks Regal to give him his WWF Championship rematch with The Rock tonight, feeling he deserves it. Regal tells Angle he’ll consider it then quickly heads out as Angle tells Regal to make a name for himself.
~ Back from break we get an exterior shot of the Staples Center and find Dennis Hopper in the crowd tonight.
~ Backstage the three Radicalz are meeting together about what they should do about Chris Benoit tonight as Eddie Guerrero mentions the four of them came into the WWF together. Eddie calls Benoit a traitor for leaving them then suggests to Dean Malenko and Perry Saturn they take Benoit out and the two push their ideas on what to do. Eddie and Malenko walk off while Saturn is left behind and easy prey for Benoit to launch a sneak attack on him. Benoit drives Saturn through a sheetrock wall then slaps on the Crossface and Saturn starts tapping like mad. Benoit then leaves Saturn laying but not before he says “one down, two to go” and grins at him.
~ Back from break Commissioner Regal heads out to the ring and gets on the mic to make his first official address. Regal welcomes everyone to the first night of the Regal regime and makes a vow to work tirelessly for the fans. Regal also claims that he will not tolerate brown-nosers and suck-ups and wants to make decisions purely on his own. Regal announces that his first official act is to grant Kurt Angle his WWF Championship rematch with The Rock tonight. Regal decides to make an acronym with his name and starts by telling us ‘R’ is for ‘respect’ and ‘E’ is for ‘Education’ but just as he’s about to get to ‘G’ Chris Jericho comes out to the stage and gets on the mic telling Regal to shut up. Jericho says he wanted to congradulate Regal just as he congradulated him on his very first night in the WWF, calling up a clip on the TitanTron of him spoiling Regal’s in-ring lesson on etiquette last September. Regal yells at Jericho for him besmirching him like this prompting Jericho to point out the shiner Al Snow gave him. Jericho threatens to constantly embarass and humiliate Regal if he acts as Vince McMahon’s two-faced puppet and warns Regal to do an upstanding job with his new position. Jericho makes his own acronym with his Y2J initials then departs and Regal doesn’t seem pleased with this interuption as we go to commercial.
- Christian vs. D’Von Dudley
JR says the winner of this match will get a tag team title shot for his respective team next Monday on Raw. Plus Christian cost the Dudleys the tag titles twice last week so D’Von is hungry for revenge. Christian meets D’Von on the ramp but D’Von gets the advantage and tosses him in the ring to start us off. Christian attacks D’Von as he slides in and chokes away at him in a corner and the referee forces him to break it. D’Von starts fighting back and comes off the ropes with a clothesline then whips him and hits a powerslam. D’Von peppers Christian in a corner and Christian bails out to the floor then pulls D’Von out there as well. D’Von rams Christian into the apron then charges at him but Christian tosses him face-first into the ringpost. Christian tosses D’Von back in the ring then slams him and lays the boots to him when D’Von fights back again. D’Von goes for a kick but Christian spins him around then hits a Slop Drop right on his knee for a two count. Christian chokes D’Von on the mat then goes for a whip, D’Von reverses him into a corner but eats a boot. Christian climbs to the top rope but D’Von causes him to straddle the buckle then goes up and hits a superplex. D’Von goes for a whip, Christian reverses but D’Von hits a forearm then whips him and hits the jumping elbow. D’Von then sets up for his version of the Curtain Call but Christian fights out of it and rolls him up for a near fall. D’Von goes for a whip and sends Christian into the referee but Christian stops himself before running into him. D’Von then goes for a running clothesline but Christian ducks it and the referee ends up taking the hit instead. Christian nails D’Von with the Slop Drop then goes out and brings a chair in the ring while the referee is down. Christian readies a swing for D’Von when Bubba Ray Dudley runs in behind him and takes the chair away. Christian takes a shot at Bubba but he blocks it with the chair then helps D’Von take him out with the 3D. Bubba quickly flees the ring while D’Von covers Christian and the referee revive to count the pin. (5:03) Bubba tells Christian that was payback as the Dudleys will get their rematch with the Hardys next week. Okay though unspectacular match since D’Von isn’t known for his singles prowess and this means we’re going to get a third Hardys/Dudleys match. Or are we? **
~ Backstage we find a limo pulling into the garage with Vince McMahon and Trish Stratus climbing out of it. Vince tells Trish that since they’re in Hollywood, they should go and perform a live sex scene in the middle of the ring. Trish says she’s all for it and the two make their way in the building as we go to commercial.
~ Back form break Eddie Guerrero is griping to Dean Malenko about Chris Benoit beating them as their own game. Malenko (carrying a pipe) assures Eddie that they’re smarter than Benoit and will take him out before he gets them. Malenko passes through a door looking to use his pipe but it’s slammed shut by Benoit who’s been waiting for him. Benoit punks Malenko out from behind then grabs the pipe and beats him down with it while Eddie is locked outside. Benoit soon allows Eddie into the room and Eddie finds Malenko laid out while Benoit tells him that it’s time and leaves.
~ Backstage we find William Regal in his office which has a desk, and old rotary phone and a picture of the Queen. Johnathan Coachman comes in for an interview and Regal decides to book Chris Jericho in a non-title match tonight. Coach asks about Jericho’s opponent and Regal says Jericho will face all four members of The Right To Censor. Coach points out that it’s a handicap match but Regal feels it’s just the spirit of good competiton then dismisses him. Regal’s definintely following the WWF rulebook which says commissioners have to always stack the deck against the babyfaces.
~ Elsewhere Michael Cole interviews Kurt Angle about his WWF Championship rematch with The Rock tonight. Angle says he was WWF Champion for five months and for him not to get his rematch is a oversight and a crime. Angle says he’s going to take back what belongs to him tonight and as a bonus he’ll even break Rock’s ankle as well. Angle also calls Debra a nice looking lady but if she gets in his way he may have to take matters into his own hands.
- Chris Benoit vs. Eddie Guerrero
Yep, they decided to blow this feud off here instead of having the final battle at Wrestlemania. Eddie tries to get in a kick but Benoit hits a Dragon legwhip to start us off and follows up with a clothesline. Benoit stomps Eddie down in a corner but misses a chop and Eddie gets in his shots then goes for a whip. Benoit reverses it and hits a tilt-o-whirl backbreaker but misses another chop and Eddie takes control again. Benoit whips Eddie into a corner but eats an elbow and Eddie goes for a tornado DDT but Benoit flings him off. Eddie then grabs Benoit with a waistlock but Benoit switches behind him and plants him with a German suplex. Benoit holds on for a second German but Eddie holds on the ropes to prevent it then fights back with chops. Eddie goes for a whip but Benoit reverses it and presses Eddie up then drops him and whips him into a corner. Benoit presses Eddie up and Eddie counters with an armdrag but Benoit tosses him over his head onto the ropes. Benoit works Eddie over with chops then whips him and hits a knee to the chest followed by some more chops. Benoit whips Eddie but this time Eddie comes back with a Frankensteiner and unloads on him with right hands. Eddie goes for a suplex but Benoit floats over then suplexes him over the ropes and Eddie is down on the floor. Benoit then dives through the ropes for a plancha but Eddie sidesteps it then swats Benoit down to the floor. Eddie stomps away at Benoit before tossing him back in the ring and hitting a side suplex that gets a two count. Eddie whips Benoit and hits an elbow for another two then snapmares him and hits a rolling neck snap for a two. Eddie whips Benoit and slaps on a sleeperhold but Benoit slips out of it and suplxes Eddie onto the ropes. Both men exchange punches with Benoit getting the advantage then he whips Eddie and connects with an elbow. Benoit whips Eddie into a corner and hits him with a German suplex then holds on for a second German suplex. Benoit still holds on and hits a third German suplex then climbs to the top rope and hits the diving headbutt. However Benoit hurts himself and both men are down when Benoit drapes an arm over Eddie but only gets two. Benoit grabs Eddie for another German suplex but Eddie fights out of it and drills Benoit with the brainbuster. Eddie holds on and hits another brainbuster then climbs to the top rope and goes for the Frogsplash but misses it. Benoit pounds on Eddie who rolls him into a La Magistral but Benoit rolls out of it and slaps on the Crossface! Eddie tries to hold on but is eventually forced to tap out and Benoit gets the win. (8:24) Pretty sweet match there and both guys did a great job in the ring. Still they should have saved it for Wrestlemania, or have Eddie cheat to win so Benoit can demand a rematch at the pay-per-view. Instead Benoit gets his clean win to end this feud and that leaves nothing for these two for the supercard. Great match but a wasted oppertunity. ***½
~ Vince and Trish are shown heading to the ring to remind us this is the WWF as we go to commercial.
~ Back from break Vince and Trish come out the ring since we can’t have a WWF show without Vince feeding his ego. Vince takes the mic first and compares Trish to all the Hollywood starlets out there who’d do anything for stardom then demonstrates his point by recaping the things he made Trish do on Raw while showing clips on the TitanTron. Vince reminds Trish how he didn’t force her to do any of that and Trish says she’d degrade herself for the right cause. Vince then says that Hollywood likes to hide behind a camera while the WWF does everything live in front of the fans. Vince mentions how he brought Linda out in a wheelchair on Smackdown and got intimate with Trish in front of her since Linda could see and here what was going on. Vince claims Linda is sitting in front a television right now then announces he and Trish are going to enact a Hollywood sex scene in the ring. Vince has Trish lie down on the mat then then lies beside her when Trish whipsers something in Vince’s ear and Vince tells her that’s a good idea. Vince says Trish has a wonderful idea but it’s too good for the public so they’re going to finish their scene backstage. Vince says he and Trish are going to go enjoy themselves backstage when the Corporation theme fires up again. Vince demands his music be cut since he’s not finished but then looks out to the stage and sees …Shane McMahon!! Shane makes his way out to the ring to a big crowd pop and doesn’t seem too pleased with his father’s recent actions. Vince tells Shane they haven’t talked much in some time then tries to calm him down and offers a fatherly handshake. Shane refuses it so Vince asks for a hug … and Shane punches him with a right hand and pounds away on him instead! William Regal runs in and pulls Shane off so Shane spears him while Vince and Trish make their escape to the back. Shane pounds on Regal then chases after Vince to the back with Regal gathering himself and follwing after him. We cut backstage and see Vince and Trish sprinting to their limo and climbing in then peeling out into the night. Another lenghty segment but it’s nice to finally see someone stand up to Vince, kicking this angle toward the payoff.
~ Back from break we get a replay of Shane McMahon making his WWF return and attacking Vince.
- Chris Jericho © vs. The Right To Censor (w/Ivory) – Non-Title 4-on-1 Handicap Match
The participants file out to the ring as we get a shot of William Regal watching the action from his office. Jericho starts against Bull Buchanan and gets the first shots then hammers him with kicks and chops in a corner. Jericho goes for a whip but Buchanan reverses him into a corner and hits a clothesline then gets in his offense. Buchanan whips Jericho and Jericho hitd a forearm then goes for a whip. Buchanan reverses him into a corner and charges but eats a boot and Jericho hops to the middle rope and connects with a missle dropkick. Jericho follows up with the bulldog then hits the Lionsault and covers but Goodfather comes in to make the save. Val Venis tags in but runs into a drop toehold then Jericho whips him and hits a butterfly backbreaker for a two. Jericho hits some chops and goes for a whip but Val reverses it and Richards gets in a shot from the apron. Jericho decks Richards but Goodfahter and Buchanan are in to double-team him while Val distracts the referee. Val whips Jericho and hits a knee to the chest then does it again and hits a Russian legsweep for a near fall. Goodfather tags in and hits a back suplex for two then tags Buchanan in and the two whip Jericho into a corner. Goodfather whips Buchanan for a splash but Jericho dodges him and clotheslines Goodfather then hits a heelkick. However Richards comes in and nails Jericho with a Stevenkick. Goodfather holds Jericho for his partner and Buchanan takes a swing but misses Jericho and nails Goodfather. Goodfather shoves Buchanan in response then starts to leave the ring with Buchanan going after him and Richards tries to keep them separated. In the ring Val hits Jericho with a neckbreaker but Jericho comes back and puts him in the Walls of Jericho. Before Val can submit Buchanan comes in but Jericho cuts him off then puts him in the Walls of Jericho as well. Goodfather is in but Jericho puts him in the Walls of Jericho then goes over and decks Richards off the apron. However Val comes back with a clothesline on Jericho then hits the Blue Thunderbomb and gets the pin. (4:40) The RTC celebrate but still show signs of dissention while we see Regal with a satisfied smile on his face. They tried to make it seem like Jericho had a chance but since he’s not The Rock or Austin evryone knew he wasn’t winning. *
~ Backstage Kurt Angle is preparing when Steve Ausitn barges in and accuses him of having a problem with his wife. Austin warns Angle nothing better happenen to Debra out there and Angle claims he doesn’t have any issues with her. Austin leaves but Angle tells him that after he wins the title tonight, he’ll see him at Wrestlemania as WWF Champion.
~ Back from break we see XFL announcer Dick Butkus in the crowd as we go to some hightlights of XFL action. JR then begs the fans to contact their local news media outlets and demand the XFL get the coverage it deserves. That was just so sad seeing how desparate the WWF was getting with the XFL, trying in vain to save a sinking ship.
- WWF HARDCORE TITLE: The Big Show © vs. The Undertaker
Show hits the ring first as we cut backstage and find Taker looking to ride to the ring on his motorcycle. Taker starts his bike up when Triple H punks him out from behind and ends up knocking the cameraman over. We then see Taker’s leg is caught under his overturned bike and Triple H takes out the guys trying to help him. Triple H then sets a chair over Taker’s neck and taunts him on always talking about making people famous. Triple H says he’s already famous for crippling people and threatens to take Taker out if he messes with him. Triple H starts to leave with the chair in hand but Taker dares him to finish the job while he has the chance. Triple H decides to do just that and readies the chair but Kane runs into the scene and chases Triple H away. Kane then tries to get the bike of Taker’s leg but Show comes in and throws Kane into a closed garage door. Show beats on Kane then chokeslams him through a table and both Kane and Taker are left laying.
~ Back from break we get a replay of the segment we just saw in full just in case we missed anything.
~ We cut over to WWF New York and find the Acolytes and Jacqueline enjoying some drinks and food with the fans.
~ Backstage Steve Austin meets up with The Rock and mentions the conversation he had with Kurt Angle earlier. Austin warns Rock that if anything happens to Debra he’s not only beating Angle up but he’ll whip his rear end as well. Rock tells Austin he should be concerned since it’s his wife but doesn’t want to hear about his supposed responsiblities. Rock says his only concern is talking care of Angle while Austin’s main concern should be getting ready for their match.
~ Back from break JR talks about Chyna returning to in-ring action and wanting to challenge Ivory to a match. The previous night on Heat Ivory accepted Chyna’s challenge to a Women’s title rematch at Wrestlemania. JR announces the match has been made official but has some concerns about Chyna wrestling with a hurt neck. So just like that we have our second match made for the card.
- WWF EUROPEAN TITLE: Test © vs. Raven
Also the previous night on Heat Molly Holly finally unmasked Raven’s ninja woman as Tori. And then she was never seen or mentioned again outside of Tough Enough. I guess they wanted to sweep that angle under the rug by having the reveal on Heat instead of the main shows. Test pounds away on Raven to start and hits a powerslam then knocks him through the ropes with an elbow. Test goes out after him when Raven pulls him into the ringpost then hits a Russian legsweep into the barricade. Raven rolls Test back in the ring and gets in his offense then whips him into a corner and hits a clothesline. Raven hits a running bulldog for a two then applies a chinlock but Test rams him into a corner to break it. Raven takes Test down by the legs but Test kicks him into the buckles then hits a tilt-o-whirl slam for a two. Test whips Raven but lowers the head and Raven kicks the face but Test comes back with the Full Nelson slam. Test connects with a pair of clotheslines and sets him up for the pump-handle slam but Raven floats over him. Raven comes off the ropes but Test nails him with the big boot and this one is over. (2:46) Anyboy feel like adding some squash to your diet? *
~ Kurt Angle is shown heading to the ring along with The Rock and Debra which means main event time is next. We also get a shot of Steve Austin pacing in the back which might lead to something as we go to commercial.
~ Tonight’s classic Wrestlemania moment is The Undertaker defeating Diesel with the Tombstone at Wrestlemania XII. For some reason this reminds me of those “Where the Big Boys Play” videos WCW showed on Saturday Night in 1996.
- WWF WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE: The Rock © (w/Debra) vs. Kurt Angle
So here we are, Angle getting his rematch after losing the title to Rock at No Way Out. Both men have a staredown to start when Rock gets in the first shots then takes Angle down by the legs. Rock then puts Angle in the Sharpshooter already but Angle is able to grab the bottom rope for the break. Rock drills Angle with a DDT that gets a two count and Angle bails out to the floor to try and catch his breath. Rock chases Angle down on the ramp and hits a clothesline then grabs his leg and punches him below the belt. Rock goes for a whip when Angle reverses him into the barricade but Rock catches him with a clothesline. Angle fights back then grabs a chair and jabs him with it while Earl Hebner is busy with Debra for some reason. Angle stomps away on Rock when Rock tries to rally but Angle kicks his ribs then drops him on the barricade. Angle continues kicking away at Rock’s ribs then throws him in the ring but Rock again starts fighting back. Rock comes off the ropes but Angle nails him with a knee to the chest then hits a suplex that gets a two count. Angle kicks Rock down and chokes him with his boot when Hebner orders him back so Angle does it again. Rock again fights back and comes off the ropes but Angle catches him with an overhead belly-to-belly suplex. Angle plants Rock with another belly-to-belly suplex then hits a third belly-to-belly but only gets a two count.
Angle pounds away on Rock and charges at him but Rock tosses him over the ropes then goes out after him. Angle drops Rock onto the announce table and clubs him in the chest before throwiong him back in the ring. Angle slams Rock then climbs to the top rope and goes for the moonsault but misses it and both men are down. Both men are up when Angle plants Rock with the Olympic Slam but can’t cover immediately and only gets two. Angle then grabs Rock in a bear hug and Rock tries to hold on but begins to fade and Hebner checks the arm. Rock’s arm drops once, it drops twice, but Rock manages to keep it up the third time and fight out of the hold. Rock hits Angle with the Rock Bottom but he’s too hurt to make the immediate cover and only gets a near fall. Both men struggle to their feet but Rock wails on Angle then knocks him over the ropes with the Smackdown. Rock goes out and rolls Angle back in the ring but Angle accidentally clips Hebner in the leg for our ref bump. Angle pounds Rock as he rolls in but Rock plants him with a spinebuster then delivers the People’s Elbow. Rock covers Angle but Hebner’s knee is bothering him as he moves into position to count it and only gets two. Rock isn’t happy with that and lets Hebner know it then turns back when Angle slaps him in the Anklelock! Rock tries not to submit as he inches toward the bottom rope and grabs it but Angle refuses to release the hold. Hebner demands Angle let go but Angle is so determined to break Rock’s ankle that he doesn’t listen to him. Rock even starts tapping with his left hand while still holding the rope with his right but Angle still won’t let go. Finally Hebner calls for the bell having DQ’ed Angle for not releasing the hold when ordered so Rock retains. (12:38) Bleh ending to what was another good match between these two guys. ***½
Debra climbs in the ring to talk some sense into Angle so Angle trips her then puts her in the Anklelock! Naturally Steve Austin runs in and pounds away on Angle then stomps him down and tosses him over the ropes. Rock tries to get to his feet but Austin doesn’t bother checking on Debra and takes Rock out with the Stunner! The crowd actually pops for that as Austin leaves the ring while Debra again stays behind and tends to Rock as we fade to black.
Conclusion: Pretty good episode of Raw this time around. Both hours were anchored by two great matches and the rest of the in-ring action was on the decent side, and we also got some nice angle advancement including Shane’s return. There are some issues that keep this show from being great, such as blowing off the Benoit/Eddie feud before the pay-per-view, the second hour which seemed like it was coasting, the ending to the main event and Debra still sticking out like a sore thumb in the Rock/Austin build. It also seemed like the bookers still couldn’t figure out the rest of the card, even with just three weeks before the big event. Not to mention the XFL stuff was emarassing. But overall a good editon of Raw to check out.