WWF Raw Is War 5.21.2001
WWF RAW IS WAR
Monday, May 21st, 2001
Live from the Compaq Center in San Jose, CA
List of WWF Champions at the time:
● WWF World Heavyweight Champion: Stone Cold Steve Austin (4/01/2001)
● WWF Intercontinental Champion: Kane (5/20/2001)
● 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 Light Heavyweight Champion: Jerry Lynn (4/29/2001)
~ Raw comes on the air and we skip the intro and pyro and go right to the arena with Steve Austin making his way to the ring, still the WWF Champion after surviving The Undertaker’s brutal battle at Judgment Day. Jim Ross and Paul Heyman quickly welcome us to the show and agree Austin is a very lucky man to escape with the title last night. Austin does his posing and gets in a fan’s face before getting on the mic and bragging that he’s still WWF Champion, even demanding the fans look at his belt which he feels shows that no one in the WWF can stop him. Austin calls himself a fighting champion and talks on beating Undertaker, who will not get any more rematches. Austin then reminds us of his name and what title he holds before demanding all the fans show him the proper respect. Austin repeats that no one can stop him … when the Y2J countdown fires up and Chris Jericho comes out to the stage, Austin a little surprised he would dare interupt him. Jericho gets on the mic and asks Austin to please shut up then brings up the the two months of theories and speculation of why Austin sold his soul to Vince McMahon before saying he himself could care less why he did what he did. Jericho feels Austin is an angry vengeful ja****s who became an even bigger s(*bleep*) than Stephanie McMahon before proclaiming that he and Chris Benoit are going to beat the Two-Man Power Trip for the tag team titles tonight to make them two time losers, and neither man will ever be the same again. Jericho rushes the ring and Austin pounces on him but Jericho gets the advantage and wails on him in a corner. However Triple H runs in to make it 2-on-1 against Jericho when Chris Benoit also runs in the ring to turn the tide. Austin and Triple H bail out to the floor and the referees try to hold them back as Benoit and Jericho stand tall as we have a tag team title match tonight.
~ Back from break Austin and Triple H are complaing to Vince McMahon, Austin saying he doesn’t deserve Jericho jumping his interview time while Triple H gripes about Benoit attacking him when they do what they want. Vince asks them to calm down and forget about last night so they can concentrate about defending the belts tonight.
~ Elsewhere Kurt Angle arrives at the building and proudly displays his gold medals to a bunch of backstage workers.
- WWF HARDCORE TITLE: Rhyno © vs. The Big Show
I guess we call this 2/3 of a rematch from last night, plus will the outcome be different without Test involved? Show is out first followed by Rhyno who first decides to throw some plunder in the ring. Show soon gets tired of waiting for Rhyno so he heads out and pounds on him. Rhyno quickly fights back and goes for a whip but Show counters with a short-arm clothesline then clubs him and suplexes him on the ramp. Show throws Rhyno into the barricade repeatedly then hits a massive chop. Show yells at Rhyno then charges at him but Rhyno sidesteps and Show runs his shoulder into the ringpost. Rhyno grabs a handicap sign and whacks Show in his hurt arm then kicks at it and rams it into the barricade. Rhyno goes over to throw more weapons in the ring when Show clubs him in the back but uses his bad arm. Show rolls Rhyno in the ring but Rhyno attacks him as he comes in and works over his arm with a handicap sign. Rhyno cracks Show in the head with the sign then continues attacking the bad arm and wraps it around the ropes. Show comes back with headbutt then grabs Rhyno with his bad arm for a chokeslam but Rhyno fights out of it. Rhyno waffles Show repeatedly with a trash lid and goes for the Gore but Show holds up a chair to block him. Both men get to their feet when Rhyno throws a trash can at Show who catches it, just like at the pay-per-view. However Show throws it back to Rhyno and boots him down, showing that he’s not falling for this trick again. Show then chokeslams Rhyno onto another can (with his bad arm) then covers and gets the three for the title. (4:58) Yes, Rhyno survives a tough battle against two men at the pay-per-view only to job the title to Show the next night. Just a ‘there’ match and Show’s poor psychology didn’t help since he shurged off Rhyno’s arm work. *
~ Back from break we get a reminder of The Rock, The Hardys and Lita being featured in Rolling Stone magazine.
~ Backstage Kurt Angle talks to some backstage guy about his Olympic medal celebration re-enactment later tonight, feeling the fans in this “second-class” city will finally have something they can talk about for generations to come. Angle also says that just talking about his big moment is giving him goosebumps as he departs.
~ Elsewhere backstage we find the Acolytes in their office engaged in a card game when Terri Runnels comes in asking why they aren’t warming up for thier match with the Radicalz. Bradshaw says they don’t like it warm and Terri agrees it is hot in here so she pour beer all over herself which gets Bradshaw and Faarooq excited. Not surprisinly it’s a setup as Dean Malenko and Perry Saturn suddenly jump the Acolytes and leave them laying.
~ Still elsewhere we see Steve Austin heading into his lockerroom only to discover that Debra isn’t there. Could we have a mystery on our hands?
~ Yet again elsewhere we find Spike Dudley and Molly Holly sitting on an anvil case together and talking, with Molly apogizing for her cousins getting involved in Tag Team Turmoil last night causing Spike’s brothers to get eliminated. Molly also mentions Crash and Hardcore are facing Bubba and D’Von tonight and claims she had nothing to do with it but Spike tells Molly not to feel bad since the Hollys and Dudleys are both fighters and they can’t stop them from fighting. Spike then tells Molly he has a good luck present for her as he gives her a pair of taped-up Dudley frames. Molly smiles and thanks Spike as he tells her to wear them with pride and heads out as we go to commercial.
- The Acolytes vs. Dean Malenko & Perry Saturn (w/Terri Runnels)
These two team met in the Tag Team Turmoil match at the pay-per-view, with the Acolytes dispatching the Radicalz in quick fashion, but I guess Malenko and Saturn wanted another shot so here we go. The Acolytes meet the Radicalz on the floor and get in their shots before Faarooq throws Malenko in the ring. Faarooq whips Malenko into a corner and Malenko lifts himself with the ropes over him. Malenko gets a waistlock but Faarooq fights out and Bradshaw helps him with a double powerbomb then covers but Saturn makes the save. Bradshaw clotheslines Saturn over the ropes then helps Faarooq whip Malenko and hit a double sboulderblock. Bradshaw takes over on Malenko without a tag and hits him with a delayed vertical suplex that gets a two count. Bradshaw works Malenko over in a corner then whips him into the other corner and charges but eats a boot. Malernko hops to the middle rope and leaps off when Bradshaw catches him looking for the fallaway slam but Saturn interupts Bradshaw with a superkick, causing Malenko to fall top of him for a near fall. Saturn tags in and draws Faarooq in to distract the referee while he and Malenko double-team Bradshaw. Saturn whips Bradshaw into a corner and goes for a crossbody but Bradshaw catches him. Malenko comes in and Bradshaw nails him with a big boot but then trips over him dropping Saturn to the mat. Bradshaw manages to tag in Faarooq to take over and Faarooq slams Saturn and gets a two count. Faarooq goes for the Dominator but Saturn slips out of it and shoves Faarooq into a right hand from Malenko. Saturn follows up with a belly-to-belly suplex then draws Bradshaw in to distract the refere for more double-teaming. Malenko chokes Faarooq then lets Saturn choke him from the floor before hitting a kneelift. Malenko goes for a whip, Faarooq reverses him into a corner and charges but eats an elbow. Malenko comes out but runs into a powerslam and Faarooq is able to crawl over and make the tag to Bradshaw. Saturn also gets the tag but Bradshaw cuts him down with a shoulderblock then whips him and hits an elbow. Bradshaw whips Saturn into a corner and clotheslines him then hits a suplex and decks Malenko off the apron. Terri hops on the apron and opens her robe (if you’re wondering Terri’s back was to the camera so we didn’t see anything) but Bradshaw just ignores her as he whips Saturn and hits a boot. Bradshaw covers Saturn but Malenko makes back it in to save it so Bradshaw knocks him through the ropes. Saturn knocks Bradshaw out through the ropes but Faarooq cones back and plants Saturn with a spinebuster. Bradshaw makes back in the ring then helps Faarooq plant Saturn with a double powerbomb right on his head. The Acolytes nail Saturn with a second double powerbomb and Saturn is out as Bradshaw grabs the pin. (5:36) The Acolytes walk off with the victory while Malenko and Terri tend to Saturn who still isn’t moving. *
~ Backstage William Regal is talking with some guy when Steve Austin walks up asking him if he’s seen his wife. Regal hesitates then mentions the Undertaker is in the building and hopes that Taker hasn’t abducted Debra. Austin changes expressions as if he hadn’t thought of this until now and takes off to continue his search.
~ Back from break Kurt Angle talks with Edge & Christian about how his Olympic celebration will reek of awesomness then suggests it could be even more special if Christian stands on the silver platform and Edge on the bronze. E&C turn him down and Angle figures his pals are letting the spotlight be on just him if he’s standing up there alone. Angle thanks them for the idea and heads off with E&C agreeing that Angle is a very “special” guy.
- WWF EUROPEAN TITLE: Matt Hardy © (w/Jeff & Lita) vs. X-Pac (w/Albert & Justin Credible)
Another match resulting from Tag Team Turmoil, this time X-Pac wanting Matt’s gold after pinning him in their stage at the pay-per-view. Both men lockup to start and X-Pac gets an armdrag then kips up and poses before lockup up with Matt again. X-Pac goes into a headlock and Matt shoves him away but X-Pac hits a shoulderblock then comes off the ropes. Matt trips him with a drop toehold and hits an Atomic Drop then connects with a clothesline for a two count. Matt gets his own headlock and X-Pac shoves him away but Matt hits a shoulderblock then comes off the ropes. X-Pac leapfrogs over Matt and blocks a hiptoss then goes through his moves but Matt clotheslines him down. Matt applies an armwringer then goes for a whip but X-Pac reverses it and Credible trips Matt from the floor. X-Pac hits a spinkick then tosses Matt through the ropes and Credible helps him crotch Matt on the ringpost. Albert then press slams Matt over the ropes back in the ring and X-Pac covers him but only gets a two count. X-Pac applies a chinlock and Matt fights out then whips him but X-Pac comes back with a flipping clothesline. X-Pac kicks Matt down in a corner and chokes him with his boot then follows it up with the Bronco Buster. X-Pac poses on the turnbuckles then goes for a footdrop but Matt catches it and spins him into a discus punch. X-Pac whips Matt then sets him up for the X-Factor but Matt takes him down and catapults him into a corner. Matt rams X-Pac’s head into the buckles and slams him then hops to the middle rope and hits the guilltoine. Matt goes for the Twist of Fate when X-Pac counters with a backslide with his feet on the ropes but get two. Matt comes off the ropes but X-Pac tosses him out through the other side and Credible stomps away on him. Jeff nails Credible to make the save then leaps off the steps but Albert catches him and rams him into the post. X-Pac leaps off the apron with a shot on Matt when Lita jumps on his back but X-Pac slings her off to the floor. X-Pac rolls Matt back in the ring when Eddie Guerrero runs out and blindsides X-Pac then tosses him in as well. X-Pac yells at Eddie then turns back but Matt drills him with the Twist of Fate to retain. (6:00) Matt celebrates his title defense with Lita and Jeff while Eddie walks off, seemingly satisfied at his handiwork. Solid enough match for television. **½
~ Backstage Perry Saturn is being checked out by the EMTs as Dean Malenko and Terri try to communicate with him, but all Saturn does is stare into open space while saying “You’re welcome” over and over. Yest, this is the beginning of the ‘loopy Saturn’ angle, which I’m guessing resulted from Saturn legit manhandling a referee during a Jakked taping.
~ Kurt Angle is then shown heading to the ring for his big Olympic reenactment ceremony which we can assume is next as we go to commercial.
Back from break Kurt Angle makes his way to the ring where flags and a medals platform have been set up for him. Angle gets on the mic and talks about this being his night then promises to be brief since time is precious in the WWF. Angle pulls out a scroll and reads about a hero being superior to the common man that’s worshiped and looked up to, and the fans may not have many heroes in their lives so he’s presenting himself as a genuine true-to-life hero. Angle says winning gold medals is one thing but having them stolen and getting them back in a grueling match is epic so he’s going to commemorate his grand achievement by recreating his Olympic winnning victory ceremony. Angle then takes his place on the top platform as the Olympic theme plays and confetti starts falling from the ceiling. Angle fights back the tears as the song concludes … just before Shane McMahon comes out to the ring? Huh? Angle is not happy with this intrusion as Shane gets on the mic saying he was in the building and wanted to stop by. Shane promises to get to the point and mentions Angle’s three I’s then says he has his own three letters: WCW. Shane says he wanted to address the rumors and says WCW will be starting up soon, sooner than anyone thinks. Angle yells at Shane for interupting his big ceremony but Shane decides to tell everyone what WCW stands for. Shane says the first ‘W’ stand for World, then talks about the different worlds and how they have many moons. Shane says the ‘C’ stands for Championship which Angle doesn’t have and can also stand for coyote and cookie. Angle continues to complain about this lack of respect, wanting to know what Shane is talking about, but Shane is determined to help him understand what WCW is. Shane climbs onto the platform while saying the other ‘W’ stands for Wrestling but can also stand for ‘wussy’. Angle finally has enough of this and throws Shane off the top platform into a sea of confetti with the Olympic Slam! Angle then slaps the Anklelock on Shane and Shane taps the mat before Angle releases it and leaves him laying. Weird segment as Shane had no real reason to come out and it just seemed to go on and on with no real point. Grated we know where it would eventually lead, but still.
~ Backstage Steve Austin heads back into his lockerroom only to find Debra there just fine and drinking coffee so he frantically asks where she was. Debra says she had to go to the other side of the building to get coffee as Austin tells Debra about his meeting with Regal and claims he was worried that the Undertaker might have gotten her. Almost on cue Taker barges in the room and gets in Debra’s face asking if she’s scared and reducing her to tears. Taker then turns and stands nose-to-nose with Austin while telling him their issue isn’t over until he says it’s over. Taker tells Austin this isn’t about the WWF Title anymore after he made this personal by bringing his family into this after all his warnings. Taker says Austin knows he beat him down last night then warns Austin to again leave his family out of this or he might show him just what it’s like to step on someone’s family. Taker asks Austin if he has a problem then heads out while Austin tells Debra that’s why he’s concerned about her. Austin then claims he would have whipped Taker had Debra not been there and didn’t want to put her in jeopardy.
~ Back from break we find a pair of security guys escorting Shane McMahon out of the building despite his protests. For someone that owns part of the company shouldn’t he have a say in this?
- The Dudley Boyz (w/Spike Dudley) vs. Crash & Hardcore Holly (w/Molly Holly)
Again another match as a result of Tag Team Turmoil; the Hollys got the Dudleys eliminated so Bubba Ray and D’Von want a piece of revenge. The Dudleys attack the Hollys as they come in and Bubba pairs off with Crash while D’Von beats on Hardcore. Hardcore starts fighting back against D’Von so Bubba comes to his aid and tosses Hardcore through the ropes. The Dudleys whip Crash and Bubba hits a tilt-o-whirl slam while D’Von follows up with a legdrop. Bubba chops Crash in a corner then tags D’Von to take over but Crash comes back with a front facelock. Hardcore tags in and gets in his shots then goes for a whip but D’Von reverses it and hits the jumping elbow. D’Von then looks over to see Spike and Molly exchanging frames on the floor and asks him what he’s doing, allowing Hardcore to drape him on the top rope and kick him in the chest. Hardcore grabs the legs and stomps D’Von in the chest then slams him and tags Crash in to get in his shots. Crash whips D’Von and hits a clothesline that gets a near fall then covers him again and gets the same result. D’Von fights back but Crash rakes the face then tags in Hardcore and Hardcore helps out with a double-team. Hardcore whips D’Von and connects with the dropkick then poses before covering him and Bubba breaks it up. Hardcore hits a snap suplex for a near fall and D’Von again fights back but Hardcore stops it with some chops. Hardcore chokes D’Von on the middle rope then tags in Crash and Crash whips D’Von and hits a DDT for two. D’Von comes back with a Curtain Call then Crash tags Hardcore while D’Von makes the hot tag to Bubba. Bubba clotheslines Hardcore and slings Crash back in the ring then whips Hardcore and hits a backdrop. Bubba whips Crash when Crash kicks the face then climbs onto Bubba’s shoulders but Bubba is back to his feet as D’Von climbs to the top rope and nails Crash with the Dudleyville Device. Bubba slams Hardcore and sets him up while D’Von climbs to the top again and connects with the “Wassup” headbutt. Bubba sends D’Von out for a table and D’Von has one in hand when Molly begs him not to slide it in the ring. Spike gets Molly out of harm’s away and argues with D’Von when Crash dropkicks the table into both of them. Hardcore DDTs Bubba and Crash grabs the ringbell but Molly takes it from him while telling him not to use it. However Hardcore snatches the bell from Molly and cracks Bubba in the head with it and that gets the pin. (5:35) Crash and Hardcore then thank Molly for her “help” even though Molly isn’t too happy with what happened. Decent enough match. **
~ Backstage Vince McMahon apologizes on behalf of his family to Kurt Angle for Shane ruining his ceremony an assures him he’s had Shane thrown out. Angle asks Vince if he’s mad with him putting Shane in the Anklelock but Vince is mad because Angle didn’t break Shane’s ankle and demands to hear the ankle pop at the next oppertunity. Vince mentions Angle getting his gold back and decides to reward him with an oppertunity at more gold tonight by giving him an Intercontinental Title match with Kane and Angle accepts, with some hesitation.
~ Back from break the Dudleys are trying to recover from the match with D’Von screaming about Molly Holly. Spike tries to explain that Molly didn’t mean to cost them the match but D’Von says he saw it with his own eyes. D’Von tells Spike he and Bubba have been here longer and know who to trust and that the Hollys cannot be trusted. Spike continues to insist it was an accident when Bubba steps in and tells Spike he knows what has to happen now. Spike realzies it and asks Bubba to recosider but Bubba stands pat and says Molly is going through a table.
~ Elsehwere Matt Hardy is also recovering and holding his shoulder with Jeff and Lita standing nearby when Eddie Guerrero comes in and asks about the shoulder. Eddie tells Matt he did a good job in his title defense, so good that he should stay in the back while he and Jeff take on Edge & Christian. Matt asks Jeff if he’s cool with that but Eddie takes offense and asks what else he has to do to prove himself to them. Jeff calms Eddie down saying it’s cool and Eddie promises to always be there for them then invites Lita to join them. Lita says she can handle it and she and Jeff touch fists with Matt but they break it before Eddie can join them.
~ Still elsewhere we find Chris Benoit and Chris Jericho talking stratgey for their tag title match later.
~ Again elsewhere Steve Austin and Triple H are having their own stragety session about the main event. Triple H points out how their tag belts say ‘team’ on them then talks about the little mishap they had last night, that Austin still has both his belts while he lost the Intercontinental Title because of Austin’s mistake. Triple H also points ou he’s the reason Austin still has the WWF Championship since he doesn’t make mistakes. Austin reminds Triple H his name and feels he doesn’t deserve to be talked to like that before an important match. Triple H responds by telling Austin to prove it and heads out as we go to commercial.
~ Back from break we cut over to WWF New York and find Steve Richards about to deliver an announcement. Richards starts to talk about the future of the Right To Censor but Heyman interupts and tells him nobody cares then continues to rag on Richards as we cut back and we never do get to hear what the annoucement was.
- Eddie Guerrero & Jeff Hardy (w/Lita) vs. Edge & Christian
Eddie and Edge start off for their teams and Eddie gets in the first shots then whips Edge and hits a heelkick. Eddie goes out to the apron and slings himself into a hilo on Edge before tagging Jeff in to take over on him. Jeff goes for a whip, Edge reverses but Jeff comes back with a dropkick that knocks Edge through the ropes. Jeff slings himself over the ropes as Edge slides back in the ring but Jeff lands on the apron and decks Edge. Christian goes over and pulls Jeff off the apron and throws him into the barricade then tosses him back in. Edge hits a backbreaker for a two count then tags Christian in and Christian whips Jeff into a powerslam. Jeff crawls toward his corner for a tag but Chrstian pulls him away and hammers him in his corner with forearms. Eddie tries to come in but the referee gets him back out, allowing Edge to get in his own shots from the apron. Edge tags in and applies a chinlock over his knee and Jeff fights out of it but Edge regains the advantage. Edge scoops Jeff up when Jeff floats over him and hits a jawbreaker then goes and makes the tag to Eddie. Christian also gets the tag but Eddie greets him with several right hands then turns his attention to Edge. Eddie goes for a whip, Edge reverses when Eddie comes back with a headscissors but Christian pounds on him. Jeff nails Christian from behind and helps Eddie with a double-team then both men whip him into a corner. Eddie clotheslines Christian then drops to the mat and convinces Jeff to use him to hit the Poetry in Motion. Eddie slaps hands with Jeff then shoves him out of the way as Edge comes in and nails him with a spear. Jeff wails away on Edge and the referee tries to get him to the corner as Christian sets Eddie on the top rope. Edge sets Christian on his shoudlers as they go for the stack superplex but Lita trips Edge from the floor and pulls him into the ringpost. Eddie then hits Christian with a super Sunset Flip off the top rope and gets the pin. (4:18) Lita and Jeff celebrate their big win and even slap hands with Eddie in appreciation for his help. Another solid tag match there. **½
~ Kane is shown backstage preparing for his first Intercontinental Title defense as we go to commercial.
- WWF INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE: Kane © vs. Kurt Angle
So here’s Angle’s “reward” for taking Shane McMahon out earlier. Kane gets in the first shots and whips Angle into a corner then hits a clothesline followed by a powerslam. Kane readies to deliver the chokeslam already but Angle avoids it then wrenches Kane’s still-injured arm. Angle applies a armbar on the bad arm then turns it into a cross-armbreaker and Kane tries to gut out the pain. Kane manages to escape the hold but Angle trips him with a drop toehold and slaps on a Fujiwara armbar. Angle drives his knee into the bad arm then drags Kane over and wraps the arm around the ringpost repeatedly. Angle then grabs both arms but Kane pulls him shoulder-first into the ringpost and Angle is down on the floor. Kane goes out and drops Angle with a right then rams him into the steps before throwing him back in the ring. Angle stomps Kane’s bad arm as he climbs in and slaps on a keylock and Kane tries to fight out of the hold. Angle forces Kane back to the mat but Kane gets to his feet and tosses Angle off with a Fireman’s carry. Kane clotheslines Angle then whips him and plants him with a sidewalk slam before climbing to the top rope. Kane hits the flying clothesline then grabs Angle for the chokeslam but Angle kicks the bad arm to escape it. Angle runs into a big boot and Kane clotheslines him over the ropes then the referee keeps Kane in the ring. Shane McMahon suddely runs out and clotheslines Angle from behind then unloads off on him with right hands. Now how did Shane get back in the building after he was escorted out by security earlier? Anyway Shane tosses Angle back in the ring and Kane finishes him with the chokeslam to retain. (5:52) Pretty feh match there and the arm stuff didn’t go anywhere. *½
~ Backstage Chris Benoit talks with Chris Jericho about everything they sacrificed to get to this moment tonight. Benoit mentions how they started in Stu Hart’s Dungeon and wanted to make a name for themselves in wrestling, and that all their time in Japan, Mexico, Europe and everything they put up with “down south” has led to this. Benoit tells Jericho tonight is their night and it’s time to show everyone who they are and what they’re all about. Jericho assures Benoit he has his back then mentions this is their only shot so they need to make it count.
- WWF WORLD TAG TEAM TITLES: Steve Austin & Triple H © (w/Stephanie) vs. Chris Benoit & Chris Jericho
So here we are, Benoit and Jericho’s biggest match to date. Though it’s weird to see Austin enter first, then Triple H, then the challengers. Austin starts off against Jericho and gets in the first shots then whips him but Jericho comes back with a flying forearm then rolls Austin up for a quick one count. Jericho goes for a whip when Austin tosses him over the ropes but Jericho lands on his feet on the apron. Austin has words for Benoit when Jericho climbs to the top rope and connects with a flying elbow to the head. Jericho applies an armwringer but Austin jabs the eyes then knocks him down with a knee to the chest. Triple H gets the tag but Jericho chops him down and Benoit gets in a shot before Jericho hits another chop. Benoit tags in for a quick double-team then gets in his own chop but Triple H jabs the eyes to take control. Austin tags in and works Benoit over in a corner with chops but Benoit reverses position and hits his own chops. Austin then slaps on a headlock and Benoit shoves him away but Austin comes back with a shoulderblock. Austin comes off the ropes but Benoit connects with a knee to the chest then follows it up with a snap suplex. Benoit sets Austin on the top rope and gets in some more shots before going up and hitting a superplex. Benoit covers Austin but Triple H breaks it up prompting Jericho to come in and get his shots on Triple H. Earl Hebner gets Jericho back to the corner while Austin and Triple H double-team Benoit in their corner. Benoit fights out of the corner and knocks Triple H through the ropes then slaps the Crossface on Austin! Austin tries to hold on as Triple H climbs on the apron but Jericho cuts him off with the springboard dropkick. Hebner gets Jericho back to his corner while Triple H brings in a chair and clocks Benoit to make the save. Triple H knocks Jericho off the apron then rolls Austin on top of Benoit for the cover … but only gets two!
Austin is shocked Benoit survived the chairshot and unloads on him with rights then grinds his face into the mat. Austin comes off the ropes with an elbowdrop to the back of neck then chokes Benoit while holding the ropes. Austin then distracts Hebner while Triple H pulls Benoit out to the floor and whips him into the ringsteps. Triple H tosses Benoit back in the ring and Austin covers for a near fall. Triple H tags in to take over and works Benoit over in a corner but Benoit manages to fight out of there. Benoit whips Triple H and lowers the head when Triple H hits the facebuster but he only gets a near fall as well. Austin tags back in and stomps Benoit in the chest then chokes him on the middle rope and hits the straddle. Austin stomps Benoit repeatedly then draws Jericho in to distract Hebner while Triple H comes in without a tag. Triple H shoulderblocks Benoit in a corner then applies an Abdominal strech and grabs Austin’s arm for leverage. Eventually Hebner sees it and kicks Austin’s arm to force a break allowing Benoit to escape with a hiptoss. Benoit comes off the ropes with a shoulderblock then comes off again but Triple H slaps on a sleeperhold. Benoit tries to hold on and starts to fade but manages to keep the arm up and counters into a German suplex. Benoit stars crawling to his corner for a tag and Triple H pulls him away but Benoit nails him with an enzugiri. Benoit then tags in Jericho but Austin distracts Hebner from seeing it and Hebner refuses to allow Jericho in. Triple H throws Benoit through the ropes and Austin rams him into the announce table then wails away on him. Austin throws Benoit back in the ring as Jericho tries to get a piece of him and Triple H hits the Pedigree. Triple H covers Benoit but Hebner is too busy breaking up the fight between Austin and Jericho on the floor. Jericho throws Austin into the steps then climbs to the top rope and hits Triple H with a missle dropkick. Both Triple H and Benoit are down as Jericho heads back to the corner for a tag while Austin does the same. Triple H and Benoit crawl to the corners and Triple H tags Austin while Benoit makes the hot tag to Jericho. Jeircho hits a clothesline and goes for a whip, Austin reverses but Jericho hits another flying forearm. Jericho catches Triple H with an elbow and clotheslines him over the ropes but Austin nails him from behind. Austin whips Jericho for the Lou Thesz Press but Jericho catches him and puts him in the Walls of Jericho. Austin looks ready to tap but Triple H makes it back in to break it up and send Jericho rolling to the floor. Of course many remeber Triple H injuring his leg on that move, more on this in a moment.
Triple H goes after Jericho on the floor and he’s noticeably limping on his left leg as he clears off the table then rolls Jericho onto it. Triple H and looks to finish Jericho with the Pedigree through the table but instead Jericho counters then puts Triple H in the Walls of Jericho on the table! Triple H starts tapping like mad while Hebner tries to remind Jericho this is not falls-count-anywhere. Back in the ring Austin is down as Benoit climbs to the top rope and connects with the diving headbutt. Benoit sees Hebner is still on the floor demands he come back in before Austitn hits Benoit with the Stunner! Austin covers Benoit as Hebner goes in to count 1..2..but Jericho pulls Hebner back out to make the save! Jericho whips Austin and hits the bulldog then goes for the Lionsault but Austin gets the knees up to block it. Austin goes for the Stunner but Jericho shoves him away and hits an elbow then this time hits the Lionsault. Jericho covers Austin but Hebner is down while Triple H hobbles back in the ring with the sledgehammer. Triple H plunges the hammer to make the save but Jericho dodges it and Austin takes the hammer in the chest!! Benoit takes Triple H down while Jericho covers Austin and gets the 1..2..3 for the titles!! (13:55) Jericho and Benoit get the biggest win of their careers and celebrate with the belts as we fade to black. Just an excellent match all around with plenty of action and energy toward the end, and it told a great stroy with the Chrises fighting back from everything Austin and Triple H threw at them and going over strong for once. ****
As a postscript many remember this as the match where Triple H tore his quad muscle from saving Austin from the Walls of Jericho and that injury would put on him on the shelf for the rest of 2001, scuttling any plans for a blowoff between the Two-Man Power Trip. Triple H certainly deserves some props for gutting out the rest of the match, even taking the Liontamer on the announce table.
Conclusion: The WWF finally serves up a good episode of Raw after weeks in the doldrums. Most of the in-ring action was pretty solid but the main event rocked, thanks to having two new guys in the main event scene not named ‘Undertaker’ or ‘Kane’. Things were finally starting to change ever so slightly in the WWF around this time, though a lot of said changes would become moot after a few weeks due to the Invasion. Still a good episode to seek out, especially since the main event will probably never see the light of day on DVD.