WWF Raw Is War 4.30.2001
WWF RAW IS WAR
Monday, April 30th, 2001
Live from the Bradley Center in Milwaukee, WI
List of WWF Champions at the time:
● WWF World Heavyweight Champion: Stone Cold Steve Austin (4/01/2001)
● WWF Intercontinental Champion: Triple H (4/16/2001)
● WWF World Tag Team Champions: Steve Austin & Triple H (4/29/2001)
● WWF European Champion: Matt Hardy (4/26/2001)
● WWF Hardcore Champion: Rhyno (4/19/2001)
● WWF Women’s Champion: Chyna (4/01/2001)
● WWF Light Heavyweight Champion: Jerry Lynn (4/29/2001)
~ Raw comes on the air and goes right to the intro with Jim Ross and Paul Heyman welcoming us to the show, coming on the heels of an extreme and controversal Backlash. Tonight Chyna takes on Trish Stratus while Steve Austin, still the WWF Champion and now one-half of the Tag Team Champs, defends his WWF Title against the wounded monster Kane.
~ Thingks kick off with Kurt Angle coming to the ring, fresh off his overtime loss to Chris Benoit in the ultimate submission match. Angle gets on the mic and claims last night Chris Benoit showed a different side of himself, that he’s a cheater. Angle says when he loses a match he takes it like a man and moves on but asks Benoit how he can live with himself after the way he won. Angle demonstrates by showing a clip on the TitanTron of the match’s closing seconds when he put the Anklelock on Benoit with the score tied 3-3 and once the buzzer sounded as time ran out Benoit slapped the mat. Angle says Benoit tapped out after the buzzer with the score tied yet the referee called for sudden-death overtime, and the IOC rules state overtime is to begn immediately after the buzzer so he’s the rightful winner. Pretty much the exact same thing that happened to Bret Hart at Wrestlemania XII. Anyway Angle says regardless of the tragedy it doesn’t change the fact that he will forever be an Olympic gold medalist, and once the medal was placed around his neck he became an immortal which Benoit will never understand. Not surprisingly Benoit comes out to the ring to perhaps try and understand it. Angle tells Benoit he’ll never have experienced winning gold medals and that Benoit may steal the match but he has none of his accomplishments and nothing will ever change that. Benoit grabs the mic and says Angle did become a legend with the medals and was the very best in the world, but regardless of his accomplishiments last night still goes down as a win for him and nothing will change it. Angle senses he lost the debate so he takes Benoit down and the two start grappling with each other on the mat. Angle goes for the Olympic Slam but Benoit lands on his feet and takes Angle down then goes for the Crossface. Angle rolls out of it but Benoit hits a pair of German suplexs then dumps him over the ropes with a third German. Angle is down on the floor while Benoit grabs Angle’s medals and departing the ring with them in hand. Yes, we’re going to stretch this feud out for another month, with the medals as the catalyst. Let’s just keep these two fighting each other instead of moving them to the next level.
~ Back from break we get a replay of Chris Benoit taking out Kurt Angle and stealing his medals. We also get footage of Angle coming to and quickly discovering his medals are missing during the break. We then cut backstage to find Angle storming through the hallway in search of Benoit and the medals when he comes across Michael Cole and Tazz conversing and asks them where Benoit is. Angle then storms off, after which Cole asks Tazz if they should tell Angle that Benoit left the building but Tazz says to let Angle keep looking.
- WWF EUROPEAN TITLE: Matt Hardy © (w/Jeff Hardy) vs. Edge (w/Christian)
Spekaing of “let’s just keep these two fighting each other”, at the pay-per-view Christian fell short in his bid for the European Title so Edge is taking his shot at the belt. BTW, Howard Finkel is acting as ring announcer for this show. Both men lockup to start and Edge goes into a hammerlock but Matt elbows of it and trips him with a drop toehold. Matt goes for a whip, Edge reverses it but lowers the head and Matt hits a neckbreaker. Edge gets in his shots when Matt regains control then whips him into a corner and hits a clothesline. Matt whips Edge the other away and eats a boot then Edge climbs to the top rope but Matt cuts him off. Matt then goes up looking for a superplex but Edge blocks it and crotches Matt on the top rope. Matt tumbles to the floor as Edge goes out before him and repeatedly rams him into the barricade before throwing him back in the ring. Edge sets Matt on the top rope and goes up, Matt fights him off then goes for a moonsault but misses it and Edge rolls him up for a near fall. Matt starts to fight back and whips Edge into a corner then charges but Edge flapjacks him onto the turnbuckle. Edge climbs to the top rope and connects with a flying crossbody but Matt rolls through it on top for a two count. Edge goes for a neckbreaker but Matt counters into a DDT and both men are down. Matt is up first and connects with a clothesline for a two count then rams Edge repeatedly into a turnbuckle and slams him. Matt hops to the middle rope and connects with the guillotine legdrop but Christian hops on the apron to distract the referee from counting the pin. Jeff comes over to take care of Christian but that leaves Matt distracted enough for Edge to hit the spear. Edge covers Matt when when Jeff suddenly rolls Christian in the ring and that breaks up the count. Edge starts asking Christian why he did that and they argue when Matt shoves Edge right into Christian. Matt quickly follows up with the Twist of Fate and grabs the pin to retain. (4:22) Good match there and the crowd was into both sides. **½
~ Just as we go to commercial, JR announces tonight Vince McMahon will deliver a “State of the WWF” address, and he may just have the two guys holding all the gold along for the ride.
~ Back from break Johnathan Coachman visits Commissioner William Regal in his office, with Regal bringing up Chris Jericho’s disgraceful act of putting his hands on the Duchess of Queensbury last night before annoucing he’s going to take Jericho out of his element by booking him against Rhyno for the Hardcore Title. Regal dismisses Coach as Trish Stratus comes in and Regal talks with her about her match with Chyna tonight, that it may be a non-title match but if Trish should upset Chyna he might give her an actual title match. Regal suggests Trish may even get in a move or two and Trish fires back with a remark about Regal’s manhood. Just wait until Trish becomes a serious wrestler, you’ll see, Regal.
- Spike Dudley (w/The Dudley Boyz) vs. X-Pac (w/Albert & Justin Credible)
X-Pac didn’t like getting put through a table last night, even though his team won the six-man tag, so he wants some revenge with Spike stepping up to the plate for his clan. Both men lockup to start and X-Pac shoves Spike to the mat before they lockup again and X-Pac goes into a headlock. Spiek manages to shoves X-Pac off but eats a shoulderblock then X-Pac comes off the ropes but runs into an amrdrag. Spike slaps on an armwringer when X-Pac whips him but Spike comes back with a headscissors. Spike hits the count-along punches in a corner until X-Pac hits an Atomic Drop followed by a spinkick. Spike tries to fight back and goes for a whip when X-Pac reverses it and drops Spike to the mat then comes off the ropes with a legdrop for a two count. X-Pac applies a chinlock, Spike fights out of it and comes off the ropes but X-Pac slaps on a sleeper. Spike shoves X-Pac off and gets in his own sleeper but X-Pac counters it with a back suplex. X-Pac then arrogantly covers Spike when Spike reverses into his own cover but only gets a two count. X-Pac whips Spike but Spike hits a battering ram in the chest and follows up with a dropkick. Spike goes for a whip, X-Pac reverses but Spike manages to hit a Frankensteiner for a near fall. X-Pac rakes Spike’s face then whips him into a corner and shoulderblocks him down to the mat. X-Pac goes for a Bronco Buster but Spike moves out of the wat and X-Pac straddles the turnbuckle. Spike climbs to the top rope and hits the double stomp to the chest. Albert hops on the apron and Bubba Ray pulls him off as Spike goes for the Dudley Dawg but X-Pac shrugs him off and follows up with the X-Factor to get the win. What a shock. (3:21) Unremarkable match and it features X-Pac getting an undeserved win. X-Pac celebrates with his pals while Bubba screams that this is not over. Yes, no feuds seeming willing to end anymore. *½
~ Outside a limo pulls up and Stephanie McMahon comes out out if, sporting a bruise on her face. Michael Cole comes up to ask Stephanie about her face and Stephanie mentions Kane kicking her last night but promises her father will make sure Kane pays for it. Stephanie mentions Test also interfering in her family’s business and asks where he can be found because she has a message for him then departs as we go to commercial.
~ Back from break JR reminds us of the remaining action to come tonight as we get footage of Kane’s injured and bruised arm getting taped up earlier today.
~ Backstage Edge is complaining to Chrstian about the way he lost out at winning the European Title, with Christian saying he was ripped off in his match last night at Backlash but he’s not whining about it. Kurt Angle then bursts on the scene still looking for his gold medals and asks E&C where Chris Benoit ran off to, with Christian explaining that he and Edge are talking about a match. Angle tells his pals not to be so selfish about losing, that people lose matches all the time but he just lost his medals. Christian suggests Benoit maybe left the building but Angle feels he wouldn’t be seen in public with his medals then accuses E&C of covering for Benoit because he’s a fellow Canadian. Edge takes exception to that and tells Angle they neither know nor care where his medals are and Angle storms off.
~ Elsewhere we find the Acolytes engaged in a card game and cleaning out their opponent’s money as the camera pans over to reveal Crash Holly who seems to be really pounding the beers and showing it. I’m guessing Crash is a little upset about losing the Light Heavyweight Title last night during the Backlash pre-show.
~ Back in the arena JR and Heyman show stills from last night’s Shane McMahon/Big Show match including Test’s involvment. JR says Show and Shane are both absent due to being under medical evaluation.
~ Backstage Test is talking on his cell phone when Stephanie walks up and after he mentions her bruised face, Stephanie tells Test he got involved in family business and Test expresses his gratitude that he didn’t marry her long ago. Stephanie informs Test that Vince has booked him against Triple H who’s been ordered to destroy him for good and Test says he’s looking forward to playing this game and walks off to get ready with Stephanie sneering at him.
~ Chris Jericho is shown heading to the ring for his Hardcore title shot as we go to commercial.
~ Back from break Crash continues to pour down the beers while losing his money to the Acolytes and pouting so Faarooq tells Crash to quit being a sore loser. That prompts Crash to rant about losing his Light Heavyweight title when Hardcore Holly walks up and chews his cousin out for getting drunk, saying this is not the way to win his title back. The Acolytes invite Hardcore to have a beer but Hardcore instead challenges them to face himself and Crash in the ring. Bradshaw tries to explain it’s just a card game but Hardcore responds by throwing a beer into Bradshaw’s face while daring the two to meet them in the ring if they have the guts. After the Hollys depart Bradshaw and Faarooq decide they do have the guts after all and storm off as well.
- WWF HARDCORE TITLE: Rhyno © vs. Chris Jericho
Commissioner William Regal comes out and joins the announcers for commentary, and to remind us his feud with Jericho continues on. Funny how Heyman loves to remind everyone of Rhyno being the last ECW Champion but never mentions Jericho’s time in the bingo hall promotion. Rhyno pounds on Jericho has he climbs in the ring and goes for a whip, Jericho reverses it but lowers the head and Rhyno kicks the face. Jericho backdrops Rhyno over the ropes but Rhyno climbs on the apron and rams Jericho into the ringpost then starts throwing weapons in the ring. Rhyno then grabs a stop sign on the apron but Jericho knocks it into his face with the springboard dropkick. Jericho goes out and rams Rhyno into the barricade then throws him into the ringsteps. Jericho grabs a chair but turns to Regal looking to nail him but Rhyno makes the save. Rhyno rams Jericho into the barricade then goes for a spear but Jericho sidesteps it and Rhyno crashes into the barricade. Jericho whacks Rhyno with a trash lid as both men roll back in the ring then whips Rhyno with a leather strap. Jericho wedges a trash can in a corner between the ropes but Rhyno pounds on him in another corner. Rhyno goes for a whip, Jericho reverses him into a corner and goes for the bulldog but Rhyno ducks it and throws Jericho into the trash can in a corner for a two count. Rhyno grabs the can himself and climbs to the top rope with it in hand but Jericho whacks the can into Rhyno’s face with a chair. Jericho nails Rhyno with a lid then goes up and hits a huricanrana onto a pair of chairs. Edge suddenly runs out and Jericho knocks him back off to the floor with the lid but Christian comes out and sprays Jericho with the fire extinguisher. The blinded Jericho turns right into the Goar from Rhyno and that gets the three. (3:53) Okay match, though mostly the standard hardcore fare. **
After E&C help Rhyno to the back, Regal goes in the ring and grabs a trash can looking to get his licks in but Jericho cuts him off then grabs the trash can and whacks Regal with it. Jericho wears Regal out with it repeatedly and continues his assault as the referees come out to hold Jericho back.
~ Steve Austin, Triple H and Vince McMahon are shown heading to the ring which means promo time is up next as we go to commercial.
~ Back from break Vince and Stephanie McMahon come out to the ring for their “State of the WWF” address. Vince gets on the mic first and says he’s infinitely proud of Steve Austin and Triple H for being different from the fans, that while the fans are afraid of failure, Austin and Triple H reach out for the brass ring and don’t let go. Vince adds Austin and Triple H don’t live by the fans’ standards, they’re leaders who make their own rules. Vince calls Backlash a proud night for his crew but does mention two blemishes that occured, the first of which is Shane McMahon upsetting The Big Show with Test’s help. Vince says Triple H will make Test pay for that and he hopes Triple H will do to Test what Show should have done to Shane had not Test got involved. Vince then talks about the other blemish by showing Kane booting Stephanie in the face on the TitanTron before claiming he’s not a vindictive man and decided to give Kane a shot at Austin who wanted to defend his title. Vince asks the fans to show some decency as Stephanie takes the mic and brings out Austin and Triple H, who come out to Vince’s theme. Surely that’ll make the fans boo Austin. Once the duo join the McMahons in the ring they prouldy show off their WWF, IC and Tag Team Title belts.
However Vince’s party gets rained on when Linda McMahon appears on the TitanTron from WWF New York, telling Vince how glad she is he’s enjoying himself in his professional life since his private life is a mess. Linda mentions their divorce attorneys are scheduled to meet Friday and they’re looking forward to it, but she might be willing to temporaily halt the proceedings provided that certain events occur tonight. Linda strongly suggests Kane ve given the night off since he’s not in physical condition to compete, and since Austin’s so eager to defend the WWF Title tonight, she suggests The Undertaker get the shot. Linda then allows Vince to get back to his party as Austin and Triple H bicker at Vince about this development.
~ Back from break Steve Austin is still complaining to Vince McMahon, saying he doesn’t like how his upcoming divorce with Linda is starting to affect business. Austin also says it’s not fair he has to defend the title against The Undertaker after winning the tag titles just last night. Vince tells Austin his hands are tied yet promises to think of something, with Austin saying he’d better, and fast.
- Crash & Hardcore Holly vs. The Acolytes
The Hollys are out first and Hardcore is ready to go but Crash hasn’t had time to sober up and stumbles into the ring. The Acolytes come out and Hardcore pounds on Bradshaw while Faarooq simply tosses Crash over the ropes. Hardcore whips Bradshaw but lowers the head and Bradshaw clubs the back and the Acolytes double-team him and before hitting a double shoulderblock. Bradshaw follows up with a series of neckbreakers for a two count as Crash pulls himself onto the apron and giggles at the action. Bradshaw whips Hardcore who goes for a crossbody but Bradshaw catches him into the fallaway slam. Crash is ready for a tag as Hardcore manages to kick Bradshaw over the ropes to the floor and catches Faarooq with a hiptoss but Bradshaw is back in and boots Hardcore. The Acolytes stomp Hardcore then whip him and plant him with a double spinebuster. Bradshaw tosses Hardcore through the ropes then rams him into the ringsteps as Faarooq holds them up. Crash leaps off the apron but Bradshaw catches him, sets him on the barricade and shoves him to the floor. Faarooq throws Hardcore back in the ring and beats on him but Hardcore comes back with an electic chair. Bradshaw tags in and hits a shouldertackle then sets up for a powerbomb when Crash tries to make the save but Bradshaw shrughs it off and decks him. Hardcore backdrops Bradshaw and hits a forearm then drapes him on the top rope and kicks him in the chest. Hardcore whips Bradshaw and hits the dropkick then Farrooq goes for the Dominator but Hardcore floats over him and drills him with a DDT. Crash climbs to the top rope and goes for a missle dropkick but hits Hardcore by mistake, enabling Bradshaw to hit the Clothesline from Hades for the three. (3:52) Pretty much a squash, though Crash’s acting brought a few chuckles. DUD
After the Acolytes depart the ring Crash woozily tries to fight out what happened and goes to hug Hardcore but gets a right hand instead. Hardcore walks out with Crash trailing behind him but Hardcore pops Crash again down the ramp. Hardcore then tosses Crash back in the ring and plants him with a double-underhook powerbomb then leaves him laying after shoing shomw tough love. Almost the same thing Kevin Nash did to Scott Hall at Halloween Havoc ’98.
~ Backstage Test is shown preparing for his match with Triple H. Elsewhere backstage Vince addresses the Helmsleys saying thing’s haven’t gone the way they hoped so Triple H has to set the standard by destroying Test. Triple H assures Vince it’s as good as done then walks off as Vince demands the total annihilation of Test as we go to commercial.
~ Back from break we cut back to WWF New York and get a look at the rowdy crowd inside as JR hypes the new main event.
~ Backstage Lillian Garcia interviews The Undertaker on getting a title shot against Steve Austin tonight. Taker says last night Austin and Triple H had a great gameplan about attacking Kane’s bad arm and it worked, then asks what the two are feeling knowing it took both of them, Stephanie and Vince to beat a one-armed man. Taker feels Austin and Triple H should be scared because Kane will be looking for revenge once his arm heals. Taker says Austin must come face-to-face with him tonight and deep down inside Austin knows he can’t beat him one-on-one. Uh, didn’t Austin beat Taker at SummerSlam 1998? Or the night after the 1999 King of the Ring? Anyway Taker says his shirt, which reads ‘Try Me – I’ll Make You Famous’, represents his code and way of life and what it means is if anyone messes with him or his family he will hurt them.
- Triple H © (w/Stephanie McMahon) vs. Test – Non-Title Match
JR mentions the Helmsleys will be this week’s guest hosts on Sunday Night Heat. Once again here’s a chance to bring someone new into the mix, and since babyfaces usually win non-title matches the outcome is easy, right? Well, Triple H pounces on Test as he climbs in the ring then rams him into a turnbuckle and stomps him down. Triple H goes for a whip, Test reverses him into the other corner and charges but eats an elbow. Triple H comes out but Test hits a tilt-o-whril slam then clotheslines Triple H over the ropes. Test goes out after him but Triple H grabs a chair and whacks Test with it ending this match quickly. (0:52) So much for that. NR
After the bell Triple H contines to wear Test out with the chair then rams him into the ringpost and tees off on him. Triple H throws Test into the ringsteps then moves part of the steps near the announce table and uses them to powerbomb Test through the table. Looks like Test isn’t going to be a factor against the Two-Man Power Trip. Kane suddnely comes out to the ring and gets a piece of Triple H who quickly flees the scene, with Kane chasing him to the back while Test is left in a heap as we go to commercial.
~ Back from break we get a replay of Triple H powerbombing Test through the announce table as well as footage of Test being helped to the back by the referees during the break. Backstage Vince congradulates Triple H on destroying Test but asks what to do about Kane. Triple H says he’s tired of Kane and the Undertaker getting involved in their business again and again but the game is just getting started and after tonight Kane won’t be sticking his nose in their affairs anymore.
~ Out in the arena JR and Heyman survey ther wrecked table as they mention Test has been taken to the hospital. JR also mentions Kurt Angle has finally realized Chris Benoit is not here and has left the building. The announcers then show footage of The Rock at the premiere of The Mummy Returns from the previous day. Strange Vince would let them show any footage of The Rock after he suspended him, but whatever.
~ Trish Stratus is shown warming up for her match which is next as we go to commercial.
- Chyna © vs. Trish Stratus – Non-Title Match
Can Trish get an upset win and a title shot? Trish starts off by going for a shoulderblock but just bounces off Chyna, which just answered that question. Chyna scoops Trish up when Trish slips out and tries to ram Chyna into a turnbuckle but Chyna just shoves her into the corner. Chyna stomps Trish down and whips her into the opposite corner then hits a press slam and finishes Trish off with a powerbomb to complete the squash. (1:24) Chyna’s burial of the Women’s divison continues. It’s a shame Chyna never faced Trish when she became a real wrestler. DUD
After the match Chyna gets on the mic and says the other WWF women aren’t any competiton for her so from now on she won’t just be pinning her opponents but will be spanking them as well. Just then Lita comes out to the stage, representing the last woman in the division Chyna hasn’t yet buried. Lita gets on the mic and calls Chyna an inspiration to her, that she respects Chyna but also respect the Women’s title and wants to give her competiton. Chyna invites Lita to come get her spaking but Lita insists she’s serious in challenging her for the title, so Chyna accepts and tells Lita to name the time and place, though she end up with a spanking anyway. Just an awkward exchange there between the two ladies who were never known for their mic work at the time.
~ The Undertaker is shown preparing for the main event which is next as we go to commercial.
- WWF WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE: Stone Cold Steve Austin © vs. The Undertaker
Taker rides out to the ring on his motorcycle and anxiously waits for his opponent to come out. Austin’s music starts playing but he doesn’t come out, before we cut to the back and find Austin and Triple H beating Kane down with various objects. Taker dashes to the back to help Kane and once he arrives he throws Triple H into a garage door. Austin and Taker start brawling and Taker gets the advanatge then brings him out to the arena and pops him down the ramp with a right hand. Austin goes to ram Taker into his cycle but Taker blocks it and rams Austin into the barricade then tosses him in the ring to officially start the match. Austin attacks Taker as he climbs in and stomps away at him in a corner then chokes him. Austin goes goes for a whip, Taker reverses it and Ausitn goes for the Stunner but Taker shoves Austin off and connects with a big boot for a two count. Triple H runs in the ring with his sledgehamer in hand but Taker catches him with a right hand and sends him over the ropes. Austin then hits a low blow and that’s it for this match. (0:59) Yep, our main event didn’t even crack the 1 minute mark, almost as if it was Nitro or something. NR
Triple H climbs back in the ring then grabs his sledgehammer and nails Taker in the back of the head. Kane limps out trying to make the save but Austin grabs a chair and cuts Kane off with a shot. Austin hammers Kane’s bad arm with the chair then wraps the chair around Kane’s arm and stomps on it. Taker tries to help out Kane but Austin whacks Taker and Kane with the chair repeatedly and both brothers are left laying. Austin and Triple H stand tall and JR laments who if anyone can stop this, but we’re not getting the answer tonight as Raw fades to black.
Conclusion: Pretty dull edition of Raw that continued the WWF’s post-boom slide. The first hour had some okay action but the second hour was pretty much a wash with almost every match a squash and way too much talking. Plus the ending made it clear that nobody could stand up to Austin and Triple H’s awesome power, not even the Brothers of Destruction, giving viewers little incentinve to tune in. The WWF desperately needed a new major babyface to challenge the two-man nWo and the ending left a perfect opening for someone new to step up. Sadly while the WWF had plenty of options, most of them (Benoit, Angle, Jericho) were stuck in never-ending feuds while others (the Hardys, Edge & Christian) were dumped back to the midcard to stay after flirting with the main event level and still others (Test) were cut down before even getting a chance, leaving The Undertaker and Kane to keep the spots for themselves even though they weren’t cutting it. It’s still stunning to see the WWF go from one extreme to another but that’s what happens with a monopoly. Thumbs down for this show.