WWF Raw Is War 3.26.2001
WWF RAW IS WAR
Monday, March 26th, 2001
Live from the Gund Arena in Cleveland, OH
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 (3/19/2001)
● WWF European Champion: Test (1/22/2001)
● WWF Hardcore Champion: Raven (3/19/2001)
● WWF Women’s Champion: Ivory (11/02/2000)
● WWF Light Heavyweight Champion: Crash Holly (3/18/2001)
If you remember the wrestling world was changed forever on March 23, 2001, when the WWF purchased World Championship Wrestling. Vince McMahon finally conquered his last great competitor, the promotion that nearly drove him into the abyss was now under his thumb, and was now the undisputed king of wrestling. So on this day, while WCW’s Nitro aired for the final time on TNT, here’s what happened on TNN.
~ Raw comes on the air and we see a pair of monitors set up, one showing Raw and the other showing WCW’s Nitro. The camera pans over to Vince McMahon who brags about buying his competiton and owning the WWF and WCW before saying he has the ability to address both the WWF and WCW fans and wrestlers about what this means. Vince announces there will be a special simulcast later “at the right time” and he will be the one man to make history. Vince then points out Jeff Jarrett on the WCW monitor and mentions how he always spells his name “J-E-double-F” but after tonight Jarrett will have to spell his name “G-double-O-double-N-E”: Goonne! Over a decade later and I still remember how surreal it was watching Vince talk about WCW on his WWF show.
~ We then go to the intro with Jim Ross and Paul Heyman welcoming us to this historical edition of Raw. Heyman reiterates that the wrestling war is finally over and feels that tonight will be Vince’s victory party. Also tonight Steve Austin and The Rock will somehow team up against The Undertaker and Kane.
~ Things kick off with Kurt Angle making his way to the ring and gets on the mic to give us our opening talkathon. Angle first talks about the big news that everyone is buzzing about: that he doesn’t have a match for Wrestlemania. Angle calls it a disgrace how the Gobbledygooker has an opponent but he, a former WWF Champion, doesn’t. Angle says he’s an gold medalist and the world’s best wrestler and will keep complaining until he has an opponent. However Angle gets interupted when Chris Benoit comes out to the stage. Could this be Angle’s opponent, maybe? Benoit gets on the mic and says he has good news for Angle, he doesn’t have a Wrestlemania opponent just like him, but he also some bad news for Angle as well, that he doesn’t have a Wrestlemania opponent just like him. As Benoit climbs in the ring he says he’s annoyed by Angle’s complainging but more annoyed at his claims to be the best wrestler in the world and if he had a little bit of Angle’s time he could make him tap out in nothing flat. Angle takes offense to that and claims he carried Benoit last week then asks if Canada even has an Olympic team. Angle feels Benoit made a challenge for Wrestlemania and accepts but claims there’s no way he’ll tap to the Crossface. Angle also tells Benoit that he can make him squeal in seconds and if he feels different he should prove him wrong. The two start throwing punches when Benoit goes for the Crossface but Angle counters and goes for the Anklelock. However Benoit rolls it over and this time manages to get Angle locked in the Crossface and Angle starts tapping out. Edge & Christian suddenly run in and attack Benoit to make the save and Edge nails him with the Edge-o-matic. Christian nails Benoit with the Slop Drop on his knee and the two help Angle to the back while Benoit is down. Well, it’s nice that Angle and Benoit finally get on Wrestlemania, but did they have to wait until six days before the supercard?
~ Backstage Trish Status is sitting with Vince who’s talking to Stephanie on the phone while watching Buff Bagwell and Lex Luger on the WCW monitor, saying Buff has been stuffed and the Lex Express is out of gas. Only thing is Luger and Bagwell weren’t actually shown on Nitro in any form. Come to think of it, neither was Jarrett. Vince tells Stephanie to enjoy her vacation with Triple H then invites them to see the main event as well as the simulcast. Vince hangs up and Trish feeds him a strawberry with whipped cream on it as we go to commercial.
~ Back from break we find Debra leaving Steve Austin’s dressing room when Michael Cole asks for a quick interview, wondering if Austin and Rock can co-exist in the mian event, but Debra just blows him off.
- Tazz vs. Val Venis – Lumberjack Match
Tazz chokes Steve Richards out on Smackdown so Val is defending the Right To Censor’s honor or something like that. The lumberjacks for this match include the rest of the RTC as well as The Acolytes and Jacqueline. In addition Tazz will also team with the Acolytes against the RTC at Wrestlemania in a six-man tag. Tazz attacks Val as he climbs in the ring then goes for a whip but Val reverses and plants him with a spinebuster. Val chokes Tazz on the middle rope then distracts the referee whle The Goodfather gets in a shot from the floor. Val goes for the ropes but Jackie trips him to get his attention while Tazz comes up and slaps on the Tazzmission. However Ivory hops on the apron and distracts the referee while Richards comes in and Stevenkicks Tazz. The Acolytes and RTC’ers start fighting on the floor while Val climbs to the top rope but misses the Moneyshot. Tazz then plants Val with a Northern Lights Tazplex and it’s over! (0:52) Well that was quick. Seriously, they squeezed an entire match into less than a minute. Tazz stands tall in the ring with the Acolytes while the RTC retreat with Richards calling this unacceptable. DUD
~ Backstage William Regal is sitting with Trish and Vince as he points out Road Warrior Animal on the WCW monitor and wonders how he feels about the new WCW owner before asking Regal about his tuneup match for Sunday. Regal expresses his confidence as he heads out and Vince wishes him luck then starts getting intimate with Trish. If you’re wondering Animal wasn’t shown on Nitro either. Is he even watching a live feed or just some old clips?
~ Tonight’s Wrestlemania moment is Pete Rose taking a chokeslam from Kane and stinkface from Rikishi last year.
~ Back from break we find … Doink the Clown entertaining the fans as JR mentions Sunday’s “legends” battle royal. In a funny momnet Heyman scoffs at that notion and asks JR to tell it like it is, that the participants are all gimmicks.
~ William Regal makes his way out for his tune up match but first decides to take some time on the mic. Regal says the cure for insomia is sleep but he won’t rest until he beats Chris Jericho for the Intercontinental Title. Regal says he’s going to prepare for his match by challening a member of a prestigious fighting family: The Hollys.
- William Regal vs. Crash Holly © (w/Molly Holly) – Non-Title Match
BTW Crash is the Light Heavyweight Champion, having beaten Dean Malenko for the belt 8 days ago on Heat. Crash gets on the mic to accept Regal’s challenge then hands Molly his belt but Regal nails him from behind. Crash tumbles through the ropes then brings Molly in the hard way, indicating she is to be his opponent tonight. Regal trips Molly and waves to the fans then rubs her face into the mat before putting her in the Regal Stretch. Molly is tapping out when Crash comes in to break it up but Regal pounds him then puts him in the Regal Stretch. Crash starts slapping the mat when Doink(!) charges in the ring for the save and pounds away on Regal. (0:28) Another nothing match. I guess the WWF figured with everyone watching the final Nitro they don’t have to try as hard in the first hour. NR
Doink goes for a whip, Regal reverses it but Doink hits a flying foream then puts him in a Liontamer. Regal is tapping out as the referees break it up when Doink removes his wig to show it is indeed Chris Jericho. Jericho glares out at Regal who’s backing up the ramp and happy at being besmirched by him once again.
~ Backstage Vince and Trish see Dustin Rhodes on the WCW monitor as Vince mentions how he used to be Goldust. Vince mentions Goldust once wanted breast implants … then looks at Trish’s chest and loses his train of thought. BTW Rhodes wasn’t on Nitro either. Interesting how Vince isn’t making fun of anyone that actually is on Nitro. At least not yet.
~ Back from break we get a replay of William Regal’s tune-up match ending with an ambush by Chris Jeri-Doink. Backstage Johnathan Coachman interviews Regal about Jericho getting one on him but Regal doesn’t find it funny and tells him to inform Jericho that he has a non-title match tonight … against The Big Show.
~ Backstage Kurt Angle is stewing in the lockerroom when Edge & Christian walk up and tell him Team ECK lives because they got Regal to sign a six-man tag match for tonight putting them against the Hardys and Chris Benoit. Angle gets excited about the match then claims that he wasn’t tapping out earlier, he was really reaching for the ropes and E&C tell Angle they believe him. They then offer to introduce him to their old friend who’s a fan of his and bring in Rhyno. Rhyno tells Angle it’s a honor to meet him and that any friend of E&C’s is a friend that he’s willing to bleed for. Christian calms Rhyno down and Angle says he’s not sure of his integrity or intelligence but his intensity is there.
~ Out in the arena JR and Heyman hype Sunday’s Austin/Rock title match before showing the updated hype video. That’s then followed by highlights of the face-to-face interview on Smackdown. You know, to kill even more time. They really are phoning it in until the big simulcast.
~ Backstage Johnatahan Coachman interviews Debra, asking her about the mindsets of both Austin and Rock. Debra tells Coach that now is not a good time and walks off…after which a voice says “out” and the tape stops! Don’t tell me the WWF has also inherited WCW’s production goofs.
~ Elsewhere we see Vince getting suited up, telling Trish that the time has come to address the WCW fans and stars. Vince asks Trish for a little bit of luck and Trish indulges him with a great big kiss as we go to commercial.
~ Back from break Vince struts his way to the ring ready to deliver his big historic simulcast on both Raw and Nitro. However the Ric Flair/Sting match is still going so Vince accuses Lillian Garcia of not showing him the proper respect and demands she give him another introduction when he gives her the cue (after Nitro’s last match wraps up). Vince heads up the ramp and after Sting has pinned Flair, Vince comes back down with Lillian re-introducing him. Vince gets on the mic and stars off by bragging about how there’s only one man who can make history like this tonight. Vince mentions this broadcast is being seen for the first time on both TNN and TNT (which he mistakenly calls “TNN”). As Vince mentions this we cut over to Nitro in Panama City and see the WCW fans watching Vince on the video wall. Vince brags about buying his competiton and claimbs that Time Warner was practically begging him to purchase WCW because they couldn’t get anyone else to purchase WCW since no one knows what to do with it. However Vince reveals that the deal isn’t quite finalized, that he got Time Warner to first agree to a small condition. Vince says Time Warner has signed the contract to sell but he’s waiting until Wrestlemania to sign the deal himself and wants Ted Turner himself to come down the aisle and deliver the contract to him in the ring. Vince next talks about people wanting to know how he somehow defeated Ted Turner and his big media conglomerate. Vince says the only way he could really compete with a billionaire like Ted Turner was to become a billionaire himself. Vince also feels that while some may say he had a little help, in his view he put WCW out of business all by himself. Vince says after he signs the contract he’ll invite Turner to sit at ringside and watch what he does to his own son Shane because you have to grab your competiton and squeeze the life out of it, like he’ll do to Shane at Wrestlemania. Vince also mentions that he’ll be accompanied by Stephanie, Trish Stratus and his invalid wheelchair-bound wife Linda.
Vince then switches gears and asks the fans what he should do with WCW, asking if he should just put it on the shelf. Vince says he could watch the old WCW tapes, laughing at Hulk Hogan and how WCW thought they could beat him. Vince then suggests that insead of shutting it down he could turn WCW around, since the WWF knows how to do that. Vince then wonders who should be part of the ‘new’ WCW and asks the fans for their input on some possible signings. Vince wants to name some of WCW’s stars and asks the fans to choose either a thumbs up or a thumbs down for them. Vince starts off with Hulk Hogan wich gets a mixed reaction from the crowd while Lex Luger gets a negative reaction. Vince mentions Booker T which gets a positive one, followed by positive reactions for Buff Bagwell and Scott Steiner. Vince asks about Sting and the crowd cheers, then Vince mentions Goldberg and the fans really pop big for that name. Vince then talks about deciding to come before the fans in Cleveland instead of flying down to the “redneck Riviera” because had he done that he would have lined up every WCW wrestler to tell them to their face “YOU’RE FIRED!” Vince says that’s exactly what’s going to happen because he’s putting WCW on the shelf. Vince says he’s buried WCW and will bury anyone in the world who dares to try and compete with Vince McMahon.
Suddenly the Corporation theme fires up as Vince see Shane McMahon on the TitanTron and readies to greet him. However it turns out that Shane isn’t in Cleveland at all, rather he’s in Panama City on Nitro, entering the WCW ring! Vince is shocked as Shane gets on the mic and tells Vince about how his ego has gotten the better of him once again then mentions what Vince said earier about finalizing the deal at Wrestlemania before saying the deal is finalized. Shane says the name on the contract does say ‘McMahon’ only it reads ‘Shane McMahon’, meaning he’s bought WCW! Shane promises WCW will beat the WWF again like it did before and also will kick Vince’s @** at Wrestlemania. Shane then walks off while Vince stands in the WWF ring devistated at being cheated out of his ultimate conquest.
Now here you can see how Vince was already burying WCW long before the Invasion started. Not only was the entire segment about Vince stroking his ego for 12 minutes, but the last guy to stand in a WCW ring was Shane, Vince’s son and a WWF guy. At the very least Ric Flair (who cut that great promo at the beginnning of Nitro) could have gotten the last word for WCW and properly set the stage for a potential interpromtional war. But let’s not get too ahead of ourselves.
Anyway now that the big moment has passed and WCW has finally breathed its last, we still have an hour of Raw to go.
~ Back from break we get a replay of Shane’s announcement that he’s stolen WCW right from under Vince’s nose. We then find Vince yelling to his lawyers over the phone about letting this happen and ruining his big moment.
- The Hardy Boyz (w/Lita) & Chris Benoit vs. Kurt Angle, Edge & Christian
Your standard six-man tag pay-per-view preview here with a match that was just made for Sunday and 2/3 of TLC II. Benoit and the Hardys meet Team ECK on the ramp and Matt Hardy tosses Edge in the ring to start us off. Matt goes for a whip, Edge reverses but Matt hits the takedown clothesline then tags Jeff in for a double-team. The Hardys follow up with a double suplex and Jeff takes over then whips Edge but Edge slides out to the floor. Jeff chases after Edge on the floor but Edge slides back in the ring while Christian throws Jeff into the barricade. Christian tosses Jeff back in the ring and Edge stomps away on him then tags Angle in to take over on Jeff. Angle hits a suplex before tagging Christian in and Christian decks Matt on the apron but Jeff hits a mule kick. Benoit gets the tag and takes it to both E&C with clotheslines then turns and plants Edge with a German suplex. Benoit holds on for a second German but Angle comes in to break it up and all six men are going at it now. The Hardys whip Angle into a corner and Matt drops into position while Jeff nails Angle with Poetry in Motion. Benoit gets Angle down into the Crossface but Christian breaks it up. So Benoit tries to put Christian in the Crossface, Christian blocks it and goes for a Slop Drop but Benoit counters and does get the crossface, forcing Christian to tap! (2:23) Not even three minutes with the talent involved. It’s starting to look like we’re not going to get any good matches tonight. *½
Angle pounds on Benoit but Benoit clotheslines him over the ropes then dives through with a pescado on him. Meanwhile in the ring Matt nails Edge with the Twist of Fate but Rhyno runs out and nails Matt with the Gore. Lita then goes in the ring to tend to Matt but Rhyno comes back in and takes Lita out with the Gore as well! Rhyno helps E&C to the back while Matt and Lita are left laying. Say, how come we didn’t see the Dudleys?
~ Back from break JR and Heyman recap the vicious assault Undertaker suffered at the hands of Triple H on Thursday. Backstage Kevin Kelly interviews Taker and Kane about the main event but brings up Triple H getting the night off. Taker calls Triple H smart for doing that and feels he can take all the nights off he wants because he’s a patient man. Taker also says Triple H can hide behind Vince, Stephanie and the cops but can’t hide from facing him in six days. Taker removes his hat to show the 16 stiches he recieved to his head, saying tasting his own blood made him hungry and the only thing that’ll stasify his hunger is seeing his soupbones covered in Triple H’s blood on Sunday. Taker then says as far as Austin and Rock tonight goes, he can respect the fact that those two have their own issues but if they aren’t on the same page, neither man may make it to Wrestlemania.
- Test © vs. X-Pac (w/Albert) – Non-Title Match
Once both men are out, Lillian announces a special referee has been appointed and out comes Eddie Guerrero. X-Pac gets in the first shots and goes for a whip but Test reverses it and nails him with a tilt-o-whirl slam. Test covers X-Pac but Eddie counts a slow two and Test isn’t happy as Eddie reminds him he’s the referee. Test turns and goes for a boot on X-Pac but X-Pac dodges it and Test gets his leg caught on the top rope. X-Pac nails Test with a spinkick then follows up with a legdrop and Eddie tries a fast count but only gets two. Test fights back and whips X-Pac into a corner then presses him up but Eddie kicks the back of Test’s knee. That coauses Test to collapse with X-Pac falling on top of him and Eddie tries another fast count that gets two. Test whips X-Pac but X-Pac comes back with a spinning heel kick for a two then kicks him down in a corner. X-Pac then goes for the Bronco Buster but Test comes out with a clothesline then whips X-Pac into a corner. Test charges then X-Pac sidesteps him and goes for a heelkick but Test catches him and slams him to the mat. Test covers and Eddie drops into position … but then complains about his back which keeps him from counting. Test gets in Eddie’s face agian and Eddie slaps him so Test decks Eddie and sends him tumbling over the ropes. Test turns back to his opponent but eats a spinkick from X-Pac who has Albert hand him the European belt. X-Pac climbs to the top rope and leaps off with the belt but Test decks him then hits the pump-handle slam. Test covers X-Pac as another referee comes in to count btu Eddie pulls him out to the floor before the three. Eddie argues with the referee while X-Pac sets Test up for the X-Factor but Test tosses him into a corner. Test goes for the count-along punches but X-Pac nails him below the belt while Albert comes in behind and plants Test with the Baldobomd. Albert leaves while X-Pac covers and Eddie counts the three for him. (3:37) Predictable match that the crowd wasn’t in to. Maybe they were spent after the big interview and the six-man tag. After the bell Eddie works Test over with a number of right hands before saying he’ll see him at Wrestlemania. *
~ Backstage we find Steve Austin making coffee when Michael Cole asks for his thoughts on teaming with The Rock. Instead Austin just glares at Cole without saying a word then walks off shaking his head as we go to commercial.
~ Back from break JR says how memorable this night has been while Heyman laments about Shane outsmarting Vince.
~ Now Mick Foley is making his way to the ring! The crowd pops while Heyman reminds us that he was fired. Foley gets on the mic and talks about why he’s here while throwing in a plug for his upcoming book, “Foley Is Good”. Foley says Wrestlemania wouldn’t be Wrestlemania without him so he’s gotten himself involved in one of the matches. However Foley gets interupted when Vince McMahon comes down the ramp saying how he’s not in the mood for this. Vince reminds Foley that he fired him and threatens to have the cops arrest him for trespassing if he doesn’t leave now. Foley feels Vince is telling him that he can’t be a part of Wrestlemania and begs to differ then offers an explanation. Foley reminds Vince how in June 2000 he left the WWF to be a genetic jackhammer and was pretty much unsucessful while during that time he was WWF Commissioner and brought an era of fun and prosperity to the WWF. Foley then mentions how Vince came back to power in the beginning of December and fired him three weeks later. Foley says he knew what Vince had in mind and met with his wife Linda before she was forced into a sanitarium then cues up a video on the TitanTron showing him meeting with Linda (and is dated December 5th, 2000). The Foley on the screen talks about Vince making his return “last night” and feels that he might not want him around. Foley says he may not be commissioner by the time Vince sees this but he still wants the WWF run in a fair manner so he’s about to embark on a long signing session with Linda who has a stack of documents ready to be signed. Back to live action Vince is fuming as Foley tells him those documents are legal and that his life is about to change a lot. Foley pulls out one of the contracts which states that he gets to referee any match at Wrestlemania of his choosing. Foley tells Vince he’s going to exercise that right and the match he has chosen to officiate is his street fight with Shane. Foley wraps up by telling Vince to have a nice day and Vince is livid at being outsmarted for the second time tonight. Now this just reeked of a Vince Russo idea, Foley suddenly appearing with contracts allowing him to do stuff. The problem is this just seemed too much “out of nowhere” and Foley felt like an unnecessary addition to the Vince/Shane match. Granted it did make some sense but they could have at least built up to it and unveil Foley as a surprise referee on the pay-per-view.
~ Chris Jericho and The Big Show are both shown making their way to the ring for the next match as we go to comercial.
~ Back from break we get a replay of Mick Foley magically getting added to the Vince/Shane match at the pay-per-view. We then find Vince in his office and being so angry at his dream night becoming a nightmare that he’s left speechless.
- Chris Jericho © vs. The Big Show – Non-Title Match
Jericho is out first then Show comes out when Jericho nails him with the springboard dropkick on the apron. Jericho then heads out and dives off the apron but Shaw catches him then rams him back-first into the ringpost. Show tosses Jericho in the ring and whips him hard into a corner then stands on his chest and walks over him. Show climbs to the secord rope and looks to hit the Vader splash but misses it and Jericho tries to fight back. Jericho dropkicks Show’s head then comes off the ropes for the bulldog but Show shoves him away to the mat. Show sets Jericho up for the Final Cut but Jericho kicks him below the belt to secape then hits an axehandle. Jericho nails Show with a flying forearm that sends both men over the ropes then kicks him and hits a chop. However Show comes back with a giant chop before pressing Jericho over the ropes and back in the ring. Show starts to head in himself when Kane suddenly comes out and pounces on him then rams him into the steps. Kane throws Show in the ring when Raven then comes out brandishing a trash lid and works Kane over with it. Jericho nails Show with the Lionsault and covers him but the referee is too busy with the brawl on the floor. Naturally that also allows William Regal to come in and take Jericho out with the inverted neckbreaker. Regal departs while Show finishes Jericho off with the chokeslam and that’s it for this one. (2:42) Nothin’ doin’ with this match, either. DUD
Show celebrates when Kane comes in with a chair and whacks him, causing Show to tumble out over the ropes. Raven is in and jumps on Kane’s back with a sleeper but Kane shurgs him off and hits him with a chokeslam. Kane then heads after Show with the chair in hand while Raven is left laying in the ring.
~ Backstage The Rock bumps into some floor director and asks for directions to Steve Austin’s dressing room. Once the guy points him in the direction Rock does his “it doesn’t matter!” bit to him for no real reason.
~ Back from break we cut over to WWF New York and there we find the Dudley Boyz as JR asks about Spike’s condition after getting injured on Smackdown. D’Von says Spike is hurt but recovering and it’ll take more than Rhyno Goring him through a table to keep him down. Bubba then talks about the TLC match in six days and proclaims they’re going to be keeping the titles in Dudleyville.
~ Bakcstage Steve Austin is talking with Debra when The Rock walks up wanting a moment of Austin’s time. Rock tells Austin they don’t want to team up but as long as they don’t mess with each other they can coexist tonight. Austin tells Rock he’s cool with that but once the match is finished all bets are off and Rock concurs with him.
~ The Undertaker and Kane are shown heading to the ring which means main event time is next as we go to commercial.
- Stone Cold Steve Austin & The Rock (w/Debra) vs. The Undertaker & Kane
Once everyone comes out Rock stares Austin down but that allows Kane to punk him out and get things started. Kane pounds away on Rock in a corner then whips him but Rock ducks a clothesline and hits a flying forearm. Rock sets Kane up for a Rock Bottom already then Taker comes in but Rock lets go of Kane to fight him off. However Kane clotheslines Rock then whips him and connects with a boot then chokes away at him on the mat. Kane chokes Rock on the ropes then tags Taker in and Taker pounds on Rock but Rock starts to fight back. Rock whips Taker but Taker comes back with a flying clothesline that gets a two count then tags Kane back in. Kane whips Rock when Rock again tries to rally but Kane stops that with a right hand then lays the boots to him. Kane comes off the ropes but Rock catches him with a spinebuster then rolls over and makes the tag to Austin. Taker also gets his tag and exchanges punches with Austin then gets the advantage with a knee to the chest. Taker whips Austin but lowers the head and Austin kicks the face then decks Kane but eats a Taker clothesline. Taker whips Austin into a corner and hits a clothesline while Rock goes out and tries to pull Kane off the apron. Kane and Rock duke it out on the floor while Ausitn whips Taker and hits the Thesz Press and unloads on him. Austin goes for the follow-up elbowdrop but Kane nails him from behind and Taker follows up with a big boot. Rock and Kane are fighting it out on the floor again when Taker scoops Austin up but Austin slips out of there. Austin goes for the Stunner but Taker shows him right into Rock on the apron then hits him with the chokeslam. Taker sets Austin up for the Last Ride but Triple H runs in with a chair in hand and whacks Taker in the back. Kane decks Triple H on the floor while Austin covers the fallen Taker and grabs the pin for his team. (4:46) Okay match but never had the chance to really go anywhere. Main events really need to be longer than five minutes. **
Taker is not happy with Triple H and glares out at him as he backs up the apron but doesn’t go after him. Austin gets some beer tossed his way and celebrates the win when Rock takes him out with his own Stunner! Rock then calls for some beer to be tossed his way and cracks one open before setting it besides Austin’s head. Rock heads up the ramp but takes a moment to toast his fallen Wrestlemania opponent as we fade to black.
Conclusion: I’m going to have to take a different angle with this edition of Raw because under normal circumstances I’d call this a poor episode or a typical PPV hype show. However I can’t do that in this case since this show marked the end of the wrestling wars. There was almost no wrestling in the first hour as it was almost all hype for Wrestlemaina in six days and build toward the big simulcast at the top of the first hour. In fact there was only less than two minutes of actual in-ring action during that time. Once that was done with we got more irrelevant matches in the weak second hour as well as more sport-entertainment segments plugging the pay-per-view. There’s really nothing to see here other than the simulcast and I’m sure longtime WCW fans really appreciated Vince constantly putting himself over at the expense of their beloved promotion. Still an important show that represented a historical night so let’s just leave it at that.