Home > WWF > WWF Raw Is War 6.04.2001

WWF Raw Is War 6.04.2001

Monday, June 4th, 2001

Live from the Target Center in Minneapolis, MN

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: Chris Benoit & Chris Jericho (5/21/2001)
WWF European Champion: Matt Hardy (4/26/2001)
WWF Hardcore Champion: Rhyno (5/28/2001)
WWF Light Heavyweight Champion: Jerry Lynn (4/29/2001)

~ Raw comes on the air with highlights the Steve Austin/Chris Benoit match on Smackdown. Jim Ross and Paul Heyman then welcome us to the show and announce the King of the Ring tournament finally kicks off tonight with two unique qualifying matches. And the Undertaker will be in the house to finally address the whole stalker issue. But first, we kick things off with a title match.

  • WWF INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE: Kane © vs. Christian (w/Edge)

Edge wasn’t able to wrest the IC belt from Kane so Christian is hoping to succeed where his partner failed. Before the match kicks off Christian gets on the mic and says he feels sorry for the Minnesota fans who only have freaks to cheer for, that it’s depressing how their greatest sports hero is a fat, overrated weevil named Kirby Puckett while the IC Champion has been burned more times than Kevin Garnett in the playoffs. Finished with the cheap heat Christian gets in the first shots and goes for a whip but Kane shrugs off the blow and throws him to the mat. Kane pounds on Christian in a corner then whips him into the other corner and hits a clothesline. Kane climbs to the top rope when Christian cuts him off then goes up himself but Kane shoves him down and onnects the flying clothesline. Kane covers Christian but Edge distracts the referee to making the count. Kane drops Christian with a right hand then comes off the ropes but Edge grabs his ankle from the floor so Kane goes out after him. However Christian nails Kane from behind and trips him into the ringsteps then rolls in the ring and distracts the referee while Edge works Kane over. Christian brings Kane ono the apron but Kane snaps his neck on the top rope. Kane slides in the ring and connects with a boot but misses an elbowdrop and Christian dropkicks him in the face for a two count. Christian gets in a shot but Kane answers with a right hand then whips him and hits a one-armed powerslam. Kane whips Christian again and hits a backdrop then charges at him in a corner but Christian sidesteps him. Christian climbs to the top rope but Kane throws him to the mat. Kane grabs Christian by the throat looking for a chokeslam but Edge gets his attention from the apron. So Kane brings Edge in and chokeslams him when Christian pulls Kane out to the floor. The two battle outside the ring … when a siren goes off and the letters ‘WCW’ flash on the TitanTron. Suddenly WCW’s Hugh Morrus runs in the ring then climbs to the top and ‘hits’ the No Laughing Matter on Edge. (Acutally he almost missed Edge and barely makes contact. Way to blow your debut, Hugh.) Morrus escapes through the crowd while Kane, Christian and the referee all make their way back in the ring. Christian sets Kane up for the Unprettier but Kane shoves him away and hits a massive powerbomb for the pin. (4:10) We then get a quick shot of Shane McMahon celebrating this latest intrusion in the production truck. Match was just there and all about the run-in but Morrus blowing that moonsault probably ruined any chance of a push (that is if the politics…well, we’ll get there eventually). *

~ Vince McMahon is then seen walking somewhere backstage with a foul mood on his face. Is he heading to the truck, or the ring? Maybe we’ll find out in a moment as we go to commercial.

~ Back from break Vince makes his way to the ring and looks ot share a few words with us on the mic. Vince starts off by saying how Shane McMahon is trying to be a disruptive force in the WWF but that it won’t happen. Vince then says how Chris Benoit gave him a number of injuries on Smackdown because of his vicious chair attack which proves Benoit is an animal, which is also the way Steve Austin treated him in their match. Vince brags that Austin has now beaten Benoit with his own submission hold and has even beaten him in his hometown but feels Benoit is sadistic for giving him 10 suplexes and because of that will he never get another WWF Title shot. Vince feels Benoit needs to learn more respect for the WWF Champion by booking him against The Big Show tonight. At that point Mick Foley makes his way out with his new book to a great ovation and Vince is not happy to see him. Foley grabs a mic and first says he out here to thank the fans for making his new book Foley Is Good a #1 bestseller while Vince chastises him of coming out just to plug his book. Foley also brings up his spread in People magainze then shows off his bookmark which happens to be another of the contracts he singed with Linda McMahon last December, although he is running out of them. Foley feels Vince is thinking Linda is stretching things out to get a big divorce settlement then announces the contract he has now gives him the power to make the main event of any Raw of his choosing. Foley decides on this Raw and books Austin in another WWF Championship defense, this time against Chris Jericho, with Chris Benoit and Vince both barred from ringside. However Vince tells Foley he isn’t going to fall for this again, that he consulted with his attorneys about the contracts and points out the contract was signed in Connecticut, thus it’s only valid in Connecticut and won’t work in Minnesota. Vince tells Foley to hit the bricks but Foley says he figured Vince would say that so he brought along a special guest then proceeds to bring out said guest … the governor of Minnesota, Jesse “The Body” Ventura!

The man himslef making his way down the ramp to a good pop and Vince doesn’t look real happy to see him. I sure Ventura feels he same way after being associated with the XFL. Ventura gets on the mic and tells Vince how he couldn’t be controlled by him when he worked for him and can’t be controlled now, and whether Vince likes it or not there are people more powerful than him and he just happens to be one of them. Ventura uses his power as the highest elected official to officially mandate the Austin/Jericho match will take place and even signs Foley’s contract to make it official, telling Vince there’s nothing he can do about it. Don’t know how an elected U.S. official has the power to make a match on a wrestling card but whatever. Ventura finishes by telling Foley to have a nice day and exchanges words with Vince before departing the ring. Foley says he has another surpise at the end of the night and departs while Vince is fuming at being outsmarted. While it’s always cool to see Ventura, this segment showed the problems the WWF was having as they’re once again hotshotting a potential King of the Ring main event for no reason. Also notice Jericho never came out to add in his two cents, amking if wonder if this segment was even about him at all.

~ Back from break the Austins are arriving at the bulding, with Steve probably not aware of his title defense. Austin makes Debra carry his bag and Debra complains it’s too heavy for her but to no avail.

  • Matt Hardy (w/Lita) vs. Jeff HardyKing of the Ring Qualifying Match

So this year’s KOTR (which only has 16 entrants this year) begins with the Hardy brothers facing each other. Thing is you’ll notice they hever reference what happened between Matt, Lita and Eddie Guerrero on Smackdown, and in fact Eddie’s name is never brought up. Both Hardys feel each other out before locking up and breaking when Jeff rolls Matt up for a quick two count, Matt hits a legsweep and gets his own quick count and we have a stalemate. Matt goes into a headlock and Jeff shoves him away but Matt hits a shoulderblock. Matt gets another headlock, Jeff shoves him off again when Matt goes into a whip but Jeff comes back with a Sunset Flip for a near fall. Jeff hits an armdrag into an armbar, Matt shoves Jeff into a corner but Jeff comes out and floats over him. Matt then sets Jeff for the Twist of Fat but Jeff shoves Matt off into a corner then hits a shoulderblock. Jeff whips Matt into the opposite corner and Matt backdrops him over the ropes but Jeff lands on his feet and pulls Matt down. Jeff climbs to the top rope when he slips off but is able to land on his feet on the apron. Jeff tries climbing to the top again and this time is able to connects with the Whisper in the Wind for a two count. Jeff comes off the ropes when Matt slaps on a sleeper but Jeff shoves him off and tosses him out through the ropes. Jeff goes out and runs across the barricade for the clothelsine but Matt ducks it and Jeff splats on the floor. Matt charges and Jeff backdrops him onto the apron but Matt bounces off the ropes and hits Jeff with a DDT. Matt throws Jeff back in the ring then hops to the middle rope and miss the guilltine legdrop but lands on his feet. Matt goes for a suplex but Jeff counters with a jawbreaker then hits the double legdrop. Jeff climbs to the top rope for the Swanton Bomb but Matt bumps his leg causing Jeff to straddle the turnbuckle. Matt goes up after Jeff and Jeff shoves him off then goes for the Swanton but Matt gets the knees up to block it. Matt goes for the Twist of Fate but Jeff coutners it into a backslide and gets the three. (3:55) So Jeff becomes the first to advance to the next round. Not bad but pretty much a ‘feh’ match. It just seems surprising how the Hardys had many great matches with anyone else but could never have that same great match against each other.

~ Backstage Steve Austin is shining up his title belt with Debra looking on as Vince McMahon comes in the room to inform him of his next title defense tonight. Austin balks, saying his back is killing him after Smackdown but Vince explains how Linda has their divorce going and that Mick Foley used one of the contracts she signed with him. Vince also mentions that Foley has a suprise planned but tries to assure Austin that they’ll get through this somehow. Austin tells Vince his divorce is starting to affect him so he suggests he just give Linda half the fortune to shut her up. Austin feels that Vince can live with $500 million dollars and if he can’t do that then he’s planning on living too long. Vince tells Austin that Linda doesn’t deserve half of his money and Austin starts to agree until Debra gives him a look, causing Austin to say “never mind”. Austin tells Vince to settle his issuss with Linda because it’s affecting him and he doesn’t deserve it.

~ Back from break Mick Foley is walking backstage when he come across a pouting Trish Stratus. Trish explains Terri challenged her to a bra and panties match but doesn’t feel that’s the best way to settle things. Foley responds by talking about how Alexander Hamiltion was killed in a duel with Aaron Burr for some reason and if both men had settled things in a bra and panties match instead, then Hamilton would be alive today. Foley tells Trish how she has a duty as an American to excerise the freedoms their founding fathers fought for, prompting Trish to remind Foley that she’s Canadian but Foley mentions that Canada is part of North America.

~ Elsewhere backstage Tajiri is pouring tea for Commissioner William Regal who complains it’s two degrees cold when Kurt Angle bursts into the room. Regal decides to have Tajiri go and fetch some more tea while Angle asks Regal about Shane McMahon, who Regal says has accepted his challenge for a match at King of the Ring. Angle then surprises Regal by asking to be in the KOTR tournament to defend his crowd as well in addition to beating Shane. Regal is hesitant but Angle insists he can do both, mentioning his recent induction into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. Angle then demands a one-on-one match with Spike Dudley tonight for interfering in his business on Smackdown and Regal says the Holly and Dudleys are booked in a match but decides to add Angle and Spike to make it a six-man, with Angle teaming with the Hollys. Angle remembers breaking Hardcore’s arm and laughing about it as well as threatening Molly and smashing Crash in the head with a chair but he forgives them.

~ Still elsewhere the Dudleys and Spike are watching this on a monitor and Spike seems thrilled about being partners with his brothers tonight but D’Von informs him they didn’t have a choice, and even if they did they definetely would not have picked him as their partner. Bubba then tells Spike how he’s cost them enough matches already and that he better not screw this up for them, that he better keep his mind on the match and not something else, or someone else.

~ Out in the arena JR and Heyman recap how the Dudleys powerbombed Molly Holly through Spike and a table on Raw. After showing clips we cut over to WWF New York and find Molly there as JR asks her about Spike’s message last Thursday. Molly says she hopes to be back very soon then thanks Spike for the flowers he sent her and that she likes him. Back at the arena Spike has seen Molly’s message and gets all fluttery as we go to commercial.

~ Back from break we get a sneak peek as Mick Foley’s upcoming spread in “People” magazine that he touched on in the earlier promo segment.

  • The Dudley Boyz & Spike Dudley vs. Kurt Angle, Crash & Hardcore Holly

So Angle is teaming with the Hollys despite his past history with their clan. Hardcore looks ready to start for his team against D’Von when Angle demands that he start but Hardcore refuses. Spike then asks D’Von to tag him in and D’Von obliges while Angle again asks Hardcore to let him face Spike. Spike looks ready to go when he decks Angle on the apron then quickly scuries to his corner and tags in D’Von. Hardcore pounds on D’Von and whips him but D’Von hits a flying clothesline. D’Von goes for his own whip but Hardcore reverses it and hits the dropkick. Hardcore goes for a whip but D’Von counters that into a powerslam for a two. Spike gets the tag and bites Hardcore in the face but Hardcore tosses him across the ring and clotheslines him. Hardcore drapes Spike on the ropes and hits the kick to the chest that sends him flying out to the floor. Bubba goes out to check on Spike but the referee holds him back while Crash tosses Spike back in the ring. Crash tags in and hits Spike with a forearm then lays the boots to him. Hardcore tags in for a double-team then hits a suplex followed by a backbreaker for a two count. Angle is getting impatient for a tag while Crash tags in and snapmares Spike then grabs his arms and hammers away at Spike’s back with some knees. Crash applies a facelock and Spike inches toward his corner then makes the tag to Bubba. Unfortunately Hardcore distracted the referee from seeing it and the ref orders Bubba back to the apron. Crash snapmares Spike again and goes to tag Hardcore back in but Angle has waited long enough and intercepts the tag for himself. Angle runs right into an armdrag and Spike trips him with a drop toehold then hits a dropkick. Spike goes for the Dudley Dawg but Angle shoves him into a corner and Hardcore nails him from the apron. Angle plants Spike with a German suplex then stomps him down in a corner. Angle sets Spike on the top rope then goes up looking for a superplex but Spike fights him off and hits the double stomp then makes the hot tag to Bubba. Hardcore also gets his tag but Bubba pounds him and hits a backdrop then follows it up with the Bubbabomb. Crash tries to come in but Bubba plants him with a Samoan Drop and tosses him back out through the ropes. Bubba then sets Hardcore on his shoulders while D’Von climbs to the top rope and hits the Dudleyville Device. The referee tries to get D’Von back to the corner when Angle comes up and hits Bubba with a German suplex. Angle climbs to the top rope and goes for a moonsault but misses it. Bubba slams Angle then sets him up as D’Von climbs to the top again and connects with the “Wassup” headbutt. Bubba sends D’Von to fetch a table but Crash is in and pounces on D’Von. Crash goes for a whip but D’Von reverses it and the Dudleys hit the 3D. Hardcore pulls D’Von out of the ring while Angle plants Bubba with the Olympic Slam and grabs the pin. (7:16) Pretty fun six-man there. Angle wants to celebrate the win with his teammate but Hardcore just shoves him away. **½

  • Chris Benoit vs. The Big Show

Vince is counting on Big Show to teach Benoit a lesson, let’s see how the Wolverine responds. Heyman actually brings up how both men have been WCW Champion. Benoit tries to get in the first shots but Show shurgs them off and throws him into a corner then hits a knee. Benoit slips out of there and hammers show with kicks and chops then goes for a whip but can’t budge Show who comes back with a giant chop. Show whips Benoit and hits a clothesline then follows it up with a headbutt. Benoit tries to fight back but Show whips him into a corner and clotheslines him then grabs him with a bearhug. Benoit his some headbutts and bites Show’s face to escape then comes off the ropes but runs into a big boot. Show hits a press slam then climbs to the middle rope and goes for an elbwodrop but misses. Benoit hits a dropkick then climbs to the top rope and hits the headbutt but Show catches him in a choke. Show goes for the chokeslam, Benoit counters and goes for the Crossface but Show rolls him on his shoulders. However Benoit rolls back over and manages to lock in the Crossface and Show is eventually forced to tap! (3:44) So in subsequent weeks Benoit has forced Rhyno and Show to tap out for the first time in their careers. Okay match and Benoit did some nice bumping for Show but the finish was pretty cool.

~ Hey, The Undertaker finally remembered he was supposed to be on this show because he’s finally arriving more than an hour into the broadcast.

~ Back from break Undertaker makes his way out to the ring, possibly to address the fans about his wife’s stalker. Taker gets on the mic and starts off by saying someone apparenlty has a death wish and that wish is about come true. Taker mentions someone is stalking his wife and if that person has a problem with him he needs to deal with him. Taker says that he chose the WWF life for himself and has gone out of his way to keep his family out of this business. Taker also says this stuff has gone on long enough and that he’s not in the mood for anymore letters or videotapes. Taker mentions how in the past he’s warned people not to mess with his family and that includes one Steve Austin, but he feels Austin isn’t the one behind it since he knows what happens when anyone messes with his family. Taker does’t know who the sick person is playing this game but he will find him and make him die a thousand deaths. Taker then looks over to the commentary table and mentions that JR was the first one to get the letter and the tape but feels JR probably has nothing to to with. Taker still warns JR he’ll be on his list if there’s something he’s not telling him. Heyman says if it was his old lady but that snark comment prompts Taker to slap Heyman’s ballcap off while saying that’s his wife. JR says Heyman is innocent and that Taker should talk to Vince since he seems to knows about everything going on and Taker decides to do just that. However another tape pops up on the TitanTron, this time showing Sara beside a pool. As Taker watches the Black Scorpion’s voice then cues in asking if Sara’s husband is home or maybe she’s all alone. Sara waters her dogs as the voice says that he’s further away than he looks but could get up close if he wanted to. The voice that says that Sara is heading inside where she thinks she’s safe just before the tape suddenly cuts out. The frustrated Taker glances over at JR then storms to the back with determination as we go to commercial.

~ Tonight’s classic KOTR momonet is Undertaker tossing Mankind off the top of the Hell in a Cell in 1998.

~ Back from break we get footage of Undertaker kicking Vince McMahon’s door in during the break and demanding answers from him. Vince swears that he has nothing to do with the stalker, that he has an ego but not a death wish. Vince tells Taker that he has an idea on who may be behind it, pointing out how Shane rolled the WCW logo from the production truck earlier and may be rolling the tapes as well. Taker warns Vince he better not be lying to him or else he’ll stick the entire WWF where the sun don’t shine.

  • Tazz vs. RhynoKing of the Ring Qualifying Match

I believe this is Tazz’s first match since teaming with the Acolytes at Wrestlemania. Also Rhyno’s Hardcore Title is not on the line, nor is this a hardcore match. Both men stand nose-to-nose to start and Rhyno pie-faces Tazz prompting Tazz to start teeing off on him. Rhyno comes off the ropes but Tazz hits a T-bone Tazplex and a clothesline then boots him through the ropes. Tazz goes out and throws Rhyno into the barricade then tosses him in the ring and grabs him in a waistlock. Rhyno fights out of it and hits a short-arm clothesline then works Tazz over in a corner and spears him. Rhyno snapmares Tazz for a two count then suplexes him for another near fall and hits a pair of headbutts. Tazz fights back when Rhyno stops that then hops to the middle rope and leaps off but Tazz catches him. Tazz hits Rhyno with a Tazplex then nails his own version of the Gore … but that only gets a two count! I guess you can’t beat Rhyno with his own finisher. Tazz goes for a whip, Rhyno reverses him into a corner and goes for another spear but Tazz sidesteps him. Tazz then slaps on the Tazzmission and Rhyno tries backing him into a corner but Tazz keeps the hold on. Tazz leaps on Rhyno’s back but Rhyno throws himself backwards to the mat causing Tazz to break the hold. Rhyno then connects with the Gore and gets the three to advance in the tournament. (3:20) Nothing of much real interest as it was clear Tazz didn’t have much of his ability anymore. *

~ Backstage Debra tries to calm Steve Austin down but Austin is worried about Mick Foley’s surprise for his match. Austin then figures that Debra is still friends with Foley so he suggests that she meet with him and find out about it. Debra heads off to do just that and Austin is left stewing about the surprise as we go to commercial.

~ Back from break we get an exterior shot of the Target Center. We also get clips of Kurt Angle promoting the “Smackdown Your Vote” campaing earleir today. Yep, they’re not waiting until 2004 to get that started again.

~ Backstage Debra is searching for Mick Foley and eventually finds him sitting on the steps drawing on a sock. After they greet each other Debra gives Foley some candy then asks him about his surprise. Foley refused to devulge the information but doesn’t want Debra to go away empty-handed so he gives her a signed copy of his book. Foley then asks Debra where she’ll be in the event he changes his mind and Debra says she’ll be right by the candy.

~ Elsewhere Christian complains to Edge about losing out on the Intercontinental Title earlier because of a run-in while Edge mentions he was attacked at ringside. Christian says how he wanted to accomplish something on his own and after Edge gives him some encouragment Christian decides to enter the KOTR tournament. However Edge seems shocked since he’s also entered the KOTR tournament and both guys don’t know what to do. E&C decide they can both be in it and act happy for each other before heading off in separate directions. Uh-oh.

~ Sitll elsehwere Michael Cole interviews Chris Jericho on his WWF Title match and Jericho asks him to shut up. Jericho says he has many proud accomplishments during his WWF career such as being a three-time IC Champion, but his proudest moment was defeating Triple H for the WWF Championship last year on Raw. Jericho adds the decision was subsequenly reversed but for that brief time he had the greatest feeling in his career and wants that feeling again. Jericho talks on Steve Austin complaing about what he does and doesn’t deserve, saying what Austin really deserves is to lose the WWF Championship and get his rear end handed to him to boot. Jericho says what he deserves is to be WWF Champion and that’s the bottom line because the Jerichaolics say so.

  • Trish Stratus vs. Terri Runnels (w/Perry Saturn)Bra & Panties Match

Pretty much the same stuff you find in every match of this type. However the finish comes when Perry Saturn runs in wearing a robe then opens it to reveal his own bra and panties, distracting Terri enough for Trish to get the win. (2:08) Let’s move along. NR

~ Back from break Lillian Garcia anounces a special troubleshooting referee has been appointed for the main event, and to the surprise of no one Mick Foley comes out to ringisde in the striped shirt. JR feels this is fair while Heyman claims Verne Gagne is rolling over in his grave (even though he’s not dead.)

  • WWF WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE: Stone Cold Steve Austin © vs. Chris Jericho

So just like Benoit, Jericho gets his title shot on a random show instead of possibly at the pay-per-view. Also Vince and Chris Benoit are barred from ringside, but I bet you can already guess who might run-in. Austin makes his way out first then attacks Jericho as he climbs in the ring and stomps him down in a corner. Austin rams Jericho repeatedly into the turnbuckle and chokes him on the middle rope then goes for a whip. Jericho reverses Austin into a corner and hits a pair of dropkick then wails on him with kicks and chops. Jericho whips Ausitn but lowers the head and Austin kicks the face and follows up with a hard right hand. Austin whips Jericho and goes for the Thesz Press but Jericho catches the legs and goes for the Walls of Jericho. Austin inches for the ropes when Jericho pulls him away but Austin tries again and this time grabs the rope. Austin bails out to the floor with Jericho behind him but Austin clotheslines him then throws him back in the ring. Austin has words with Foley then he climbs on the apron when Jericho hits him with the springboard dropkick. Jericho goes back out after Austin and rams him into the barricade but Austin then rams Jericho into the steps. Foley tries to get this match back in the ring but Austin whips Jericho right into Foley, taking both men out. Austin picks Jericho up and tries to whip him but Jericho reverses and tosses Austin knee-first into the steps. Jericho drops Austin onto the barricade then rolls back in the ring before Foley tosses Austin in as well. Jericho stomps away at Austin when Austin rolls back out but Foley tosses him back in the ring a second time. Jericho comes off the ropes with the bulldog then goes for the Lionsault but Austin gets his knees up to block it. Austin whips Jericho and hits a spinebuster and an elbowdrop then rakes Jericho’s face with his kneebrace. Austin stomps Jericho’s hand and knees him in the head then kicks him repeatedly in the ribs and hits a snapmare. Austin pulls Jericho arms while pressing his knee into the back but Jericho doesn’t submit. Jericho manages to reverses the hold but Austin comes back with a mule kick below the belt for a near fall. Austin stomps away at Jericho while yelling at Foley then kicks at him and Earl Hebner keeps Foley on the apron when Jericho nails Austin below the belt. Jericho hits the count-along punches in a corner then goes for a whip, Austin reverses him into a corner but eats an elbow. Jericho hops to the middle rope and connects with a missile dropkick for a two count. Jericho whips Austin into a corner and hits a clothesline then sets him on the top rope and hits a huricanrana. Jericho goes for a whip Austin reverses it and Jericho goes for a forearm but misses Austin and takes out Hebner. Austin exchanges shots then goes for the Stunner but Jericho shoves away and puts him in the Walls of Jericho. Austin tries to hold on when Foley slides in to take over officating and asks Austin if he wants to give it up. Before Austin can answer him, here comes William Regal as we expected and Regal pulls Foley out to the floor then tees off on him. For whatever reason Jericho lets go of Austin then goes out to the floor and starts brawling with Regal. Foley grabs a chair and swings it at Regal but Regal ducks and Jericho gets nailed by the chair by mistake. Austin throws Jericho back in the ring and covers him as Hebner revives to count … but only gets two!! However Austin immediately hits the Stunner on Jericho and does get the three, once again dodging the bullet. (10:56) Good but not great match, not the greatest encounter these two would have. However the ending was excessive and pretty much buried Jericho; the accidental chair shot should have been enough to put Jericho down and would have saved face for him as well as added heat for Austin, but having him kick out and giving a brief ray of hope to the fans only for Austin to immediately squelch that with a Stunner only helped Austin look good and not Jericho. **½

After the match Austin leaves with the belt while Foley tosses Regal in the ring and Jericho puts him in the Walls of Jericho. Regal starts tapping as Foley pulls out Mr. Socko then locks the Mandible Claw on Regal who’s soon put out. You’d figure Jericho would go after Foley for the botched chair shot, but in any case Austin still has the belt in his posession as Raw goes off the air.

Conclusion: Okay show but a slight step down from the previous shows and it was becoming clear the spark from Benoit and Jericho’s tag title win has already burned out. While there was some decent wrestling on the show it was almost all about setting up the angles for King of the Ring, with plenty of silliness thrown in. Seeing Benoit and Jericho jobbing to Austin in consecutive shows, both of which had hotshotted potential pay-per-view main events, makes you wonder if the two were even getting a real push or simply taking The Undertaker and Kane’s places as Austin’s job boys. So thumbs in the middle leaning slighty up here and unfortunatley it wouldn’t get much better for the Chrises down the line.

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