WWF Raw Is War 6.11.2001
WWF RAW IS WAR
Monday, June 11th, 2001
Live from the Richmond Colliseum in Richmond, VA
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: Jeff Hardy (6/07/2001)
~ Raw comes on the air and goes right to the intro with Jim Ross and Paul Heyman welcoming us to the show. Tonight the Dudley clan take on the Holly cousins one more time and maybe we’ll see that kiss between Spike and Molly. Plus two more King of the Ring qualifiers, and maybe we’ll even get a main event booked for the supercard as well.
~ But things kick off with Commissioner William Regal coming to the ring for our opener. Regal gtes on the mic and asks where sportsmanship and decency has gone after what happened in the Tag Title match on Smackdown, which he feels is forever tainted after Chris Benoit pulled Steve Austin’s tights to get the pin. After showing the footage on the TitanTron Regal chastises Benoit for performing such foul disgusting tatics and promoting nudity as well. Regal threatens to step down as Commissioner but feels sportsmanship and good manner will pervail in the end so he won’t. Regal mentions Chris Jericho also showed unsportmanlike conduct last week by putting him in the Walls of Jericho and decides to punish him with a handicap match against Rhyno and The Big Show tonight. Regal then books Benoit against Kurt Angle and makes it a special event by putting it in a steel cage. Regal mentions King of the Ring coming up but says he’s in a bind about what main event to book and while Benoit and Jericho hold wins over Austin, he feels neither of them are worthy for a WWF Title shot. Regal says tomfoolery may have gone on with other Commissioners’ tenures but says he won’t stand for it.
At that point Mick Foley, probably the aforementioned ‘other Commissioner’, makes his way out to the ring to offer a rebuttal on the mic. Foley says he wishes he listened to Regal’s words of wisdom in the past because his tenure as Commissioner was plagued with nonstop acts of tomfoolery whct begats more tomfoolery. Regal demands Foley get to the point and Foley says he’s here in Richmond to announce a very special guest but Regal stops him and reminds him that he’s in charge. Regal decides to summon security to throw Foley out again and demands his guest wait outside with the other deadbeats … just as Linda McMahon makes her way out. Oops. Regal immediately starts kissing up to Linda who asks him to dispense with the pleasantries and get to business. Linda says she’s been spending time with her lawyers and thinking about the main event for King of the Ring and respectfully disagrees with Regal’s opinions about Benoit and Jericho. Linda feels both men are worthy for title shots and suggests Austin defend the WWF Championship against Benoit and Jericho in individual matches, that he would face Benoit in the first match and if successful would face Jericho next. Regal asks Linda to reconsider her idea feeling Austin wrestling two matches in one night wouldn’t be fair and Linda agrees, saying if Benoit won the title then Jericho wouldn’t get his shot at the WWF Championship. Linda says she was about to forget the idea when Foley called her about something Austin said on Smackdown and shows a clip of Austin boasting that he couled beat Benoit and Jericho at the same time. Linda takes Austin’s suggestion by booking him, Benoit and Jericho in a triple threat match for the title, that way Austin gets what he wants and Benoit and Jericho both get what they want as well. Linda also suggests that Vince would be happy knowing she and her lawyers got what they wanted as well then asks Regal if he agrees wiht it and Regal is essentially forced to book the match to make her happy. Foley then mentions Regal referring to Linda as a deadbeat and Linda flashes him a look before they depart. Well that’s 15 minutes I’ll never get back. Plus if Linda wanted to be fair to Benoit and Jericho why didn’t she get their matches for the show changed while she was at it?
~Back from break Edge is conversing with Rhyno who feels he’s plotting to take his Hardcore Title despite Edge’s assurances. Christian walks up accusing them of acting smug because they’ve qualified for King of the Ring and he hasn’t, plus he has to beat Kane for his spot in the tournament. Edge tells Christian not to worry since he’ll be in his corner but Christian mentions what good it did him last week and storms off.
- Kane vs. Christian (w/Edge) – King of the Ring Qualifying Match
So even though we already saw this match the previous week, here it is again only it’s for a KOTR spot instead of Kane’s Intercontinental Title. Kane pounds on Christian to start then whips him into a corner and hits a chokebomb. Kane comes off the ropes but misses an elbowdrop and Christian hits a seated clothesline. Christian hammers Kane and goes for a whip but Kane counters it into a short-arm clothesline then whips Christian and hits a tilt-o-whirl slam. Kane whips Christian into a corner but eats an elbow, Christian gets in some shots but Kane shoves him into the corner then hits a big boot. Kane climbs to the top rope and hits the flying clothesline then covers but Edge pulls Kane off. Christian goes for the Unprettier, Kane counters and sets Christian on his shoulders, Christian slips off and comes off the ropes but runs right into Kane’s hand for the choke. Before Kane can hits the chokeslam Edge hops on the apron and gets Kane’s attention. Christian charges at Kane but Kane sidesteps and Christian knocks Edge off the apron. Edge hops onto the apron and distracts the referee while Kane hits the chokeslam on Christian. Suddenly Albert runs in and plants Kane with the Baldobomb then runs back out. Christian then manages to drape and arm over Kane and gets the upset three to advance in the tournament. (2:14) Christian was totally dominated there and only advanced after a run-in from Albert, which continued his unwanted push. DUD
~ Backstage Steve Austin and Debra arrive at the building when they bump into Mick Foley and Linda McMahon, who Austin accuses of making his life miserable just like Vince’s. Austin rants that Linda no business being here and needs to go scrub some pots and pans but Foley steps in front as Linda climbs into her limo. Foley says he can’t stop Austin from treating Debra like trash but can demand he treat Linda with respect. Austin countines to yell at Linda in the limo for taking Vince’s money but Linda just rolls her window up. Foley then informs Austin of his title defense at King of the Ring mentioning that Regal also ratified it. Foley then climbs into the limo as well with Austin going after him but the limo drives off before he can get him.
~ Back from break we get an exterior shot of the Richmond Colliseum followed by clips of Mick Foley on The Tonight Show last Friday, just because he can’t plug that new book of his enough.
- The Hardy Boyz vs. X-Pac & Justin Credible
The Hardys are each sporting a singles title after Jeff’s Light Heavyweight Title win on Smackdown. Plus the bookers probably realized everyone was wondering where Eddie Guerrero disappeared to and finally decided to officially write him out, with JR explaining he injured his knee after being tossed out of the ring by Albert two weeks ago and will be out for “the forseeable future” taking care of “several issues”. X-Pac lunges at Lita before locking up with Matt Hardy to start and Matt gets a headlock, X-Pac shoves him off but eats a shoulderblock. Matt comes off the ropes when X-Pac leapfrogs over him and goes through his moves but misses the spinkick and Matt hits the takedown clothesline. Matt slaps on an armwringer and goes for a whip but X-Pac reverses and tosses him out through the ropes. X-Pac draws Jeff in to distract the referee while Credible suprkicks Matt on the floor before tossing him back in the ring for a two count. Credible tags in and gets in his shots then caps off with a powerbomb for a near fall. X-Pac tags in and kicks Matt down in a corner then goes for the Bronco Buster but Matt avoids it. Credible comes in with a baseball slide but misses that and Matt manages to make the tag to Jeff. Jeff clotheslines Credible then takes X-Pac down and hits the double legdrop. Jeff whips Credible into a corner and Credible nearly flips over the ropes but flips back in just as Matt helps Jeff hit the Poetry in Motion. X-Pac goes for a whip but Matt reverses him into a corner and Jeff hits the Poetry in Motion on him. Matt slams X-Pac as Jeff climbs to the top rope but Credible straddles him on the turnbuckle. Matt pops Credible through the ropes while Lita climbs to the top and hits X-Pac with a hurcanarana. Jeff recovers on the top rope and connects with the Swanton Bomb for the victory. (3:18) Pretty much the same stuff we’ve already seen from these two teams. However you just know X-Factor isn’t leaving without getting their heat back and sure enough Credible DDTs Matt on the floor while X-Pac brings a chair in and whacks Jeff with it. *½
~ Backstage William Regal is conversing with Tajiri on how to be a WWF superstar when Steve Austin bursts in threatening to hurt Regal for booking the triple threat at King of the Ring. Regal says he had no choice, that Linda wanted to book him in two separate matches against Benoit and Jericho, but Austin feels he has two guys at the same time because there’s a conspiracy to get the WWF Championship off him. Regal then suggests they wouldn’t be having this problem if Vince McMahon would sort out his marital problems but Austin isn’t buying it. Tajiri tries to interject but Austin decks him with a right hand and beats him down as we go to commercial.
~ Back from break Steve Blackman is warming up with his kendo stick when Trish Stratus walks up, offering to be in his corner for his King of the Ring match against Perry Saturn. Blackman asks Trish if she isn’t doing this just for the chance to get another piece of Terri Runnels. Trish then asks Blackman about him watching the bra and panties match and Blackman is speechless. Blackman says he was watching for the wrestling moves and Trish chuckles about it before departing. Why is this angle even still going on?
~ Elsewhere backstage Chris Benoit and Chris Jericho converse about their title shot at the pay-per-view. Jericho says it’s the three of them then offers Benoit the first title shot once he wins the WWF Championship. Benoit reminds Jericho he’s in the match as well before he offers him a shot once he wins the title. Jericho also suggests it could come down to the two of them and tells Benoit he won’t hold back against him. Benoit says no matter what happens Steve Austin is due for some payback for everything he’s put them through.
~ Still elsewhere Spike Dudley is talking to Molly Holly, wanting to give her what he promised on Smackdown. You mean in the four days between shows they haven’t tried to kiss once? Anyway Spike expresses his anguish at the six-person tag match and Molly wishes her cousins out let her live her life. Spike says their families can fight each other but promises not to fight her and nothing will come between them. Spike and Molly move in to kiss but Bubba Ray appears with D’Von and pulls Spike away at the last minute. Bubba reminds Spike they have a match and walk off while D’Von promises Molly that he’ll bring the table.
~ Yet again elsewhere Steve Austin is chewing Vince McMahon out for Linda booking him in the triple threat, because we just can’t have enough backstage segments. Austin claims there’s a conspiracy in the WWF against him and he’s holding Vince responsible. Vince says he knows nothing about it and starts to walk off but Austin grabs him by his jacket and pulls him back. Austin warns Vince not to walk away from him and the two have a tense staredown before Austin … hugs Vince? The camera pans around to reveal a blank expression on Austin’s face as we go to commercial. Ooooookay! This is definitely getting into a whole another area.
~ This week’s classic KOTR moment is Kurt Angle beating Chris Jericho in 2000 with Stephanie McMahon’s help. They are really reaching for classic KOTR moments, aren’t they?
- Chris Jericho vs. Rhyno & The Big Show – Handicap Match
Sadly this is a no-win scenario for Jericho since there’s no way he can win this match with any sort of credability. Rhyno charges in first and Jericho attacks him while Show makes his entrance. Rhyno goes for a whip, Jericho reverses him into a corner then comes off the ropes with the bulldog. Jericho suplxes Rhyno then hits the springboard dropkick on Show to keep him out of the ring. Jericho whips Rhyno and hits an elbow then connects with the Lionsault and covers him but Show pulls Jericho out to the floor before the three hits. Show hits a knee to the chest then throws Jericho into the ringsteps and hits a short-arm clothesline. Show pressslams Jericho over the ropes back in the ring and Rhyno follows up with a clothesline. Rhyno stomps Jericho down in a corner then whips him into the opposite corner and hits the running shoulderblock. Show tags in and whips Jericho then hits a boot followed by an elbowdrop. Show puts one foot on Jericho’s chest and the referee starts counting but Show steps on Jericho telling the referee he doesn’t count until he says. Rhyno tags in and whips Jericho but lowers the head and Jericho kicks the face and hits an enzuigiri. Jericho goes for a whip, Rhyno reverses it but Jericho hits the flying forearm and decks Show on the apron. Jericho hammers Rhyno in a corner but Show comes in and nails Jericho from behind with a double sledge. Show and Rhyno take turns getting in their shots before Show whips Jericho into the opposite corner. Show whips Rhyno into Jericho but Jericho sidesteps it then Show goes for a splash but misses Jericho and nails Rhyno by accident. Show grabs Jericho by the throat but Jericho kicks him before the belt and tosses Rhyno over the ropes. Jericho climbs to the top rope and connects with a missile dropkick then puts Show in the Walls of Jericho. Rhyno comes back in and Jericho puts him in the Walls of Jericho but Show stops that with the chokeslam. However Rhyno Gores Show for some reason then covers Jericho to take the pinfall for himself. (4:13) Yep, Jericho got dominated by two monsters and jobbed cleanly to a midcard guy. This is supposed to get him ready for his pay-per-view title shot? DUD
~ Backstage Shane McMahon is searching aroound for something when he bumps into Kane and tells him what a shame it was the way Albert interfered in his match and Kane promises Albert will pay. Shane then thanks Kane for saving him from Undertaker then suggests he might know who’s stalking Taker’s wife, which gets Kane interested. Shane says he knows someone who alywas interferes with marriages, pointing out how Kurt Angle interfered in Triple H’s marriage with Stephanie so maybe he’s the one Taker wants since he feels Angle’s goody-two-shoes image may be too good. Shane walks off with Kane pondering those words and I bet Kane is going to pass this information along to Taker, leading to a predictable segment. You’d figure Taker would quickly catch on that these ‘leads’ are just for people’s own agendas and not because they actually want to help him.
~ Back from break Michael Cole interviews Rhyno backstage about his actions during the match, asking why he Gored Big Show. Rhyno says he’s now beaten Chris Jericho three straight times so he should be in line for the first title shot should Jericho win the WWF Championship at the pay-per-view.
~ Elsewhere Chris Jericho is in the trainer’s room getting checked out for a concussion when Steve Austin runs in the room and starts viciosuly beating Jericho down. Because the bookers haven’t buried Jericho enough apparently.
~ Out in the arena Kurt Angle comes out to the ring because this show hasn’t grinded to a halt enough. Angle gets on the mic and says it makes him sick to be in Richmond since it was the captial of the Confederacy, that the fans’ ancestors screwed up but fought real battles while the fans just re-enact the battles they lost. Angle says he’s going to have his own reenactment tonight by beating ‘that cheater’ Chris Benoit one more time in the cage and feels cheaters never prosper. Angle says unlike Benoit he’s a hero worshipped by millions and his honest ways made him the first WWF wrestler inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. Angle shows footage of his induction ceremony on the TitanTron before demanding the fans show him respect. Angle says he’s above the average man, very close to being a real life superhero who can take down any person, and it will be those superhero qualities which will enable him to be first two-time King of the Ring winner. Angle says once he’s done with the tournament he’ll have more than enough left to teach Shane McMahon a lesson then suggests Shane’s in the building planning a sneak attack and calls him out to face him like a man. Not surprising the Undertaker comes out instead for our predictable beatdown and Angle tries to explain that he has no beef with Taker but Taker tells Angle if he knows anything on who’s stalking his wife to start talking while he can. Angle says he has better things to do than to stalk Sara and mentions he doesn’t even find her attractive, but that gaffe causes Taker to drop Angle with a right hand and lay him out with the Last Ride. Taker stands over the fallen angle when the mysterious stalker once again cuts in with a tape on the TitanTron. The stalker says he’s at Taker’s home but Sara isn’t around and wants to know where Taker has hidden her. The stalker then enters a hotel room saying he knows Sara is here and doesn’t like Taker keeping her from him. The stalker says he’s getting tired of Taker’s games and warns him that wherever Sara is there he’ll be, even showing a message for Sara on the mirror saying he knows where she is before the tape cuts out. Back in the arena Taker dashes up the ramp to the back while Angle tries to get to his feet in the ring but Shane runs in from the crowd and plants Angle with his own Olympic Slam then escapes back through the crowd before security can catch him. No WCW guy debuting this week?
~ Back from break we get footage of The Rock appearing at the MTV Video Music awards and comments from various celebrities about the Rock’s performance.
- Perry Saturn (w/Dean Malenko & Terri) vs. Steve Blackman (w/Trish) – King of the Ring Qualifying Match
I swear this show is dying before our eyes. Anyway Saturn is suffering from his recent head trauma that’s made him a little loopy. Once everyone is out Saturn seems more interested in grappling with the referee instead of his actual opponent. Saturn suddenly rolls Blackman up for a two count but Blackman comes back with a clothesline. Blackman whips Saturn into a corner and dropkicks him from behind. Blackm goes for a whip, Saturn reverses it and hits a clothesline then follows up with a neckbreaker for a two count. Both men exchange chops but Saturn knees Blackman and hits a Northern Lights suplex for a near fall. Saturn whips Blackman but lowers the head and Blackman kicks the face and chops him down. Blackman hits a thrust kick then whips Saturn and plants him with a spinebuster. Terri hops on the apron when Trish chases her around the ring but Terri hides behind Malenko. Blackman comes off the ropes but Saturn rolls him with an Oklahoma Roll but that only gets two. Blackman whips Saturn and swats him to the mat then does the splits for an uppercut. Blackman hits a belly-to-belly suplex when Malenko hops on the apron and Blackman swings at him but Saturn hot shots Blackman on the ropes then hits the moss-covered gredunza for the pin. (2:03) Yeah, whatever. It’s not like anyone cared about either man anyway. DUD
Terri celebrates Saturn winning a tournament spot when Trish takes her down and they go at it. Malenko brings a kendo stick in the ring ready to break it up but Blackman grabs it from him then whacks Saturn in his already-injured head.
~ Backstage Debra tries to calm a distraught Austin down with some vegetables, offering a carrot, but Austin turns it down. Debra then tries offering broccoli with the same result as Austin says what he wants is to not have to face Chris Benoit and Chris Jericho at King of the Ring because he doesn’t deserve it. Austin then goes wacko on the vegetable platter before throwing it against a wall.
~ Elsewhere backstage the Holly cousins are limbering up when Molly Holly comes up asking them not to hurt Spike, feeling Crash and Hardcore don’t know how she feels about him, they scoff at what Molly thinks she feels. Molly insists Spike is nice and intelligent and tough and again asks them not to hurt him on account of her. Hardcore tells Molly the only way Spike will surivie their match is if she’s the one who pins him in the ring.
~ Still elsewhere William Regal is surveying the wreckage in his office when Terri and Dean Malenko come in saying Perry Satun has take quite a few shots to the head and has gone nuts as a result. Terri asks Regal to let them have Smackdown off since they have a double-date set up to take pressure off him and Regal grants the reques. Saturn comes in mumbling about British people fighting dragons to not get firey then caps off with “You’re welcome” repeatedly while Malenko tells Regal this is what he has to live with. I wonder if that was a shoot.
- The Dudley Boyz & Spike Dudley vs. Crash & Hardcore Holly and Molly Holly
So once against these two clans are going at it for hopefully the final time because this feud was played out by now and needed to conclude. Of course the announcers constantly mention that Spike and Molly may have to fight each other. Bubba Ray and D’Von make Spike start the match against Crash who slams him then tags Molly in. Molly tries to help Spike up and Spike rears back but stops when he sees her and the two hesistate to lock up even as their respective corners scream at them. Eventually Hardcore reaches in and pulls Spike down by the hair before tagging himself in then stomps away at him and hits a double-underhook slam. Crash tags in and slams Spike then climbs to the top rope but Spike straddles him on the turnbuckle. Spike crawls to his corner and manages to tag in D’Von who hammers Crash with a series of forearms. D’Von whips Crash and hits the jumping elbow followed by a powerslam then covers but Hardcore makes the save. D’Von tosses Crash out through the ropes while Bubba comes in and slams Hardcore then sets him up while D’Von climbs to the top rope and hits the “Wassup” headbutt. Bubba glances at Molly before he and D’Von go out to the floor and pull a table from under the ring. D’Von sets the table up on the floor while Bubba grabs Molly but Molly manages to get free from him. Crash pounces on D’Von as he climbs back in and goes for a whip but D’Von reverses it and the Dudleys hit the 3D for the pin. (3:56) Nothing match and they didn’t even do anything with the overhyped Spike/Molly confrontation. At least this match finally put this issue to bed. DUD
After the bell Hardcore clotheslines both Dudleys then lays D’Von out with the Alabama Slam and goes after Bubba on the apron. However both men fall off and end up going through the table, and with Bubba, Crash, Hardcore and D’Von down that leaves Spike and Molly alone in the ring. The two move in and finally manage to get that kiss with each other. At least the crowd popped for the kiss so I guess the angle wasn’t a total loss.
~ Back from break we get a shot of the cage slowly being lowered to the ring which means the main event is coming up.
~ However we first get a special look at Triple H’s rehabilitation from the quad injury, with chief physical therapist Kevin Wilk saying Triple H is ahead of schedule and wants to push himself. Triple H says if it takes six months he’ll take it but if it will only take three he’ll be back. Triple H says people will run their mouths while he’s gone but when he comes back things will change.
~ We then cut to WWF New York to find Test there as JR gets a quick interview. Test gives Shane props on his Olympic Slam then says if the rumors about WCW are true, he just may want a piece of the action.
~ We next get a recap of Steve Austin’s verbal and physcial assaults tonight just to kill even more time, because someone may have actually missed them. Maybe we’ll finally get to the match after the last commerciak break.
- Chris Benoit vs. Kurt Angle – Cage Match
Pinfalls, submissions, or escaping will win this cage match. Steve Austin comes out to join the annoucers for commentary and gets in JR’s face with some words of warning. Angle takes Benoit down to start and follows up with a pair of overhead belly-to-belly suplexes then goes for a third suplex but Benoit tries to counter it into the Crossface. Angle blocks it and tosses Benoit into the cage then works him over in a corner but Benoit reverses positions and hits some chops. Benoit goes for a whip, Angle reverses him into the opposite corner and charges but eats a boot and Benoit lands more chops. Benoit whips Angle into the corner again but Angle tosses him into one of the support beams then scoops him up and rams him into the wall. Benoit comes back with chops and hits a snap suplex then holds on for a second snap suplex but Angle fights off a third and hits a gutwrench suplex. Angle follows up with another gutwrench suplex and a third suplex before climbing up the wall and Benoit tries to stop him but Angle kicks Benoit away. Beniot goes up after Angle who tries to fight him off but Benoit grabs him in a waistlock and hits a German suplex from the top rope! Benoit starts climbing up the cage but Angle is back up and shvoes Benoit off the top rope to the mat then follows up with a flying elbowdrop. Angle rakes Benoit’s face and goes for a whip but Benoit reverses it and tosses Angle into the cage repeatedly. Benoit starts climbing the wall but Angle stops him with a low blow and Benoit falls to the mat where Angle hits the Olympic Slam. Angle climbs up the cage and reaches the top but then goes for a moonsault back in and misses it!!
Benoit is up first and whips Angle into a knee to the chest twice then whips Angle a third time but Angle reverses it and rams Benoit into the wall. Angle scoops Benoit onto his shoulder and lawn darts him into the cage. Angle scoops Benoit up again but Benoit slips out and shoves Angle into the wall then hits a German suplex. Benoit holds on for a second German suplex and a thrid then goes for four but Angle fights out of it. However Benoit regains control and hits a fourth German suplex followed by a fifth and sixth German. Benoit starts heading for the door when Angle lunges at him but Benoit sidesteps it and Angle hits the door. Benoit then hits a seventh German suplex and holds on for an eighth and ninth German suplex. Benoit climbs up the cage and reaches the top but Austin leaves the broadcast table then grabs a chair and keeps Benoit from escaping. Benoit looks back at Angle so he goes for the diving headbutt off the top of the cage and connects!! This should have been the finish right here, with Benoit grabbing the pin for the victory, but instead the match continues.
Both men are down as Austin demands they get up and eventually Benoit manages to get to his feet. Benoit heads for the door but Austin shoves the referee out of the way and holds the door shut so Benoit kicks it open into Austin’s face. Benoit crawls through it when Angle slaps on the Anklelock but Benoit counters with an enzuigiri. Benoit crawls for the door when Ausitn slams it into Benoit’s head, knocking him out as Angle climbs up and over the cage wall then touches down on the floor for the win. (14:30) Up until the hokey ending this was a great cage match; it had the usual great action from these two with some cool spots and got plenty of time. But the finish almost ruins it since there was no reason for Benoit to take the loss. Angle had nothing to gain here, while Benoit needed the win a lot more to build some momentum for his big title match. Instead Benoit ends up with no credability going into the big showdown. ***½
Benoit is still down when Austin heads in the ring with the chair and viciously dismantles Benoit with it, yet no one comes out to make the save for him. Austin heads up the ramp but looks back at his handiwork and Benoit is out cold as we fade to black.
Conclusion: The cage match almost saves what would have otherwise been a mediocre to poor show. Most of the in-ring action was nothing of note and the show was plagued with dull promo spots and a few boring angles that just seemed to go on with no end in sight. The biggest problem is once again Benoit and Jericho just weren’t being allowed to look like they could compete on Austin’s level; after losing to Austin in singles matches they needed wins to help build them up, especially since they haven’t had any big wins since the Tag Title match. Instead both Chrises job on this program needlessly when I always though the idea was to make your title challengers look strong going into the big showdown. And there was just a little too much emphasis on Austin, as his heel turn seemed to take an eye-raising turn. Just seemed like the WWF didn’t have any real direction going into King of the Ring, which of course would be rendered moot anyway with the Invasion on the horizon. Seeing as how the cage match can be found on the Chris Benoit DVD set (those of you that still have it), there’s no real reason to seek this episode out.