WWF Raw Is War 6.18.2001
WWF RAW IS WAR
Monday, June 18th, 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: Test (6/14/2001)
● WWF Light Heavyweight Champion: Jeff Hardy (6/07/2001)
~ Raw comes on the air with highlights of the Steve Austin/Spike/Molly saga on Smackdown, with minimal involvement from Austin’s King of the Ring challengers. Jim Ross and Paul Heyman welcome us and remind us that we’re just six days away from King of the Ring, and as such the four quarterinal matches for the KOTR tournament will all take place tonight. Also tonight The Dudley Boyz will challenge Chris Benoit & Chris Jericho for the Tag Team Championships. Yet we see a graphic showing a six-man tag with Benoit, Jericho and Spike against the Dudleys and Steve Austin? And on top of that the graphic is quickly pulled, as if we weren’t supposed to see that. Whoopsies?
~ Things kick off with … Spike Dudley making his way to the ring with Molly? Spike gets the opening promo? Is this Raw getting off to a surreal start or what. Anyway Spike gets on the mic and talks on how he faced Steve Austin for the WWF Championship on Smackdown and how he would have been content with that one shining moment if Austin hadn’t tried to hit Molly with a chair. Spike says he’s going to do something he never though he would and starts calling Austin out to face him again. Before long Austin does come out and after his turnbuckle posing gets on the mic and asks Spike who he thinks he is, with Spike answering him. Austin says he’s not about to let some two-dollar punk challenge him to a title match but Spike tells him he just did. Austin just chuckles and points out how unfair that match would be then starts to leave when Spike asks the crowd if they want to see the title match. The crowd says yes but Austin tells him it won’t happen. Austin does give Spike props for showing a lot of gumption and backbone in calling him out when nobody else in the back would be brave enough, but nonetheless, Molly is still a bimbo. Spike demands Austin takes it back and Molly tries to keep Spike back then turns and slaps Austin right in the face! Austin ponders this and seems rather amused then tells Spike that he isn’t getting a title shot but has earned his respect. Austin even offers a handshake and the crowd warns Spike that it may be a trap but Spike accepts it without incident. Austin also decides to offer Molly a handshake and Molly moves in … only for Austin to take her out with the Stunner! Austin departs the ring while Spike tends to his fallen girlfriend then glares out at Austin as he heads up the ramp.
~ Back from break we get footage of Austin walking somewhere during the break and running into the Dudley Boyz, with the two sides sharing a look. However Austin just walks by without incident and the Dudleys didn’t even seem too mad.
~ We then find Molly getting checked out by the trainer with Spike looking on when the Dudleys meet up with him. Bubba praises Spike for sticking up for his girlfriend, for himself and for what was right against the WWF Champion. Bubba then feels that something’s wrong here when Spike got a title shot and they had zero shots in a year-and-a-half. Uh, I’m sure Bubba had a shot at Kurt Angle’s title back in December and blew it, so what’s he complaining about? Anyway Spike yells at his half-brothers for not carrying about Molly or him and D’Von asks what he’ll do about it. The Dudleys walk off feeling they have their answer but Spike says he’ll do something about it and storms off. Gee, I wonder if he’s going to somehow get the tag title match changed to a six-man tag. That’s my guess, anyway.
~ Speaking of which, we now get a graphic showing that Benoit/Jericho vs. Dudleys tag title match is our main event. Like we’re really going to believe that.
- Kurt Angle vs. Jeff Hardy – King of the Ring Quarterfinal Match
The winners of all the quarterfinal matches move on to the pay-per-view brackets, with either The Big Show or Christian meeting the winner of this match in the next round. And of course Angle has that street fight with Shane McMahon as well, lest we forget. Plus Jeff’s Light Heavyweight Title is not on the line. Both men lockup and Jeff gets a headlock, Angle shoves him away but Jeff comes back with a shoulderblock. Jeff comes off the ropes but Angle catches him with a belly-to-belly suplex and follows up with a German suplex. Angle chopblocks Jeff’s knee then whips him but Jeff slides under the ropes to the floor and Angle goes after him. Jeff slides back in and hits a dropkick through the ropes then runs across the barricade and hits a clothesline. Jeff tosses Angle back in the ring and covers him for a two count then goes for a whip but Angle reverses. Jeff grabs Angle with a waistlock but Angle elbows him away and plants him with another German suplex. Angle goes for the Olympic Slam but Jeff lands on his feet and gets in his shots then goes for another whip. Angle reverses it but this time Jeff fakes him out and hits a boot then grabs the legs and hits the double legdrop. Jeff hits a jawbreaker then climbs to the top rope looking for the Swanton Bomb but Angle rolls out of his range. Jeff hops back down and Angle hits a clothesline then climbs to the top and goes for a moonsault but misses it. Jeff climbs to the top again and hits the Swanton Bomb then covers Angle but Angle gets his foot on the rope. Jeff sets Angle back up and climbs to the top once again but Angle yanks Jeff back to the mat by the leg. Angle then slaps on the Anklelock and Jeff is forced to give it up, sending Angle into the semifinal round. (3:18) That guarantees Angle will have double, maybe even triple duty at the pay-per-view. Short but still a solid match. **
~ Backstage Debra watches as Austin pacing aroung the room, saying he needs someone he can talk to who will listen. Debra suggests she could help him but Austin scoffs at his wife, saying he needs a confidant who will understand him. Debra tells Austin she understands him but Austin asks what could she possibly know about being WWF Champion? Debra mentions she was Women’s Champion once before and Austin laughs out loud, then stops and walks off.
~ Back from break William Regal is praising Tajiri for his performance in the King of the Ring tournament thus far. Austin comes in and Regal tells him that Spike has requested a match but assures him he won’t have to defend the title. Regal says that he’s going to push the Tag Title match to Smackdown and instead book a six-man tag match, Spike teaming with Chris Benoit and Chris Jericho against Austin and the Dudleys. Wow, what a coincedence! Austin says he’s fine with that but what he really came in for is he needs someone to confide in. Regal is ready to be that person for Austin but Austin says he didn’t mean him, he was actually talking about Tajiri. Regal is confused as Austin asks for a few minutes alone with Tajiri and Regal does comply and leaves the office.
~ We now get a fairly-long promo about Tough Enough which will finally debut on Thursday following Smackdown. Michael Cole then interviews Tazz who announces he’s hosting a preview of the show tomorrow at WWF New York. Hardcore Holly suddenly walks up and tells Tazz that he used to be “tough enough” but now he’s just a commentator. Tazz suggests Hardcore should worry about his cousin but Hardcore says Molly wouldn’t listen so she’s on her own. Hardcore then dares Tazz to show just how tough enough he is against him in the ring and Tazz agrees.
~ We cut over to WWF New York and find some kid playing a crane game and not having luck at snagging a prize. The disappointed kid backs away, right into Kane, who produces a quarter and decides to try his luck at the game. Kane doesn’t fare any better so he decides to just smash the glass and give the kid a handful of prizes. Okay then.
~ Back at the arena JR and Heyman mention the Undertaker is not here tonight as he’s staying at home with his wife. That of course leads to a recap of this stalker business as we get a montage of the various videos about Sara. Hardcore Holly then makes his way to the ring for the next match … when another video cuts in on the TitanTron. Sure enough it’s the Black Scorpion who says he’s in Tampa tonight but yesterday he was with Undertaker and Sara. This time he’s apparently hiding in a garage watching Taker and Sara climb into a truck to drive off somewhere. Taker asks Sara to get her father’s skilsaw and Sara walks near the stalker but Taker decides to return it next week. Taker and Sara then depart while the stalker announces that there will be no more diguising his voice or hiding his face. The stalker says tonight, he will reveal himself in the ring and the world will find out who he is and why he’s here. So they’re blowing this thing off instead of waiting for the pay-per-view? Works for me.
~ Back from break Hardcore is still in the ring as Tazz comes out and if there’s no other interuptions here we go.
- Tazz vs. Hardcore Holly
Hardcore pounces on Tazz to start and hits the dropkick then drapes him on the rope and kicks the chest. Hardcore slams Tazz then climbs to the top rope and connects with the Alabama Jam but only gets a two count. Tazz comes back with a t-bone Tazplex and a clothesline then goes for a whip but Hardcore hits a slam for two. Hardcore kicks away at Tazz in a corner and goes for a whip but Tazz reverses him into the opposite corner. Hardcore is able to lift himself up with the ropes but Tazz doesn’t go for it and slaps on the Tazzmission. Hardcore tries to reach the ropes but Tazz adds in a bodyscissors and Hardcore is put out of commission. (1:46) Okay but don’t really know what the point was. *½
~ Backstage Tajiri listens to Steve Austin as he gripes about a powerful man such as Vince McMahon letting a woman, that being his wife Linda, ruin his life, with Tajiri replying in Japanese. Austin says that he’d never let a woman make his every day decisions for him and Tajiri mumbles some more Japanese. Austin mentions he doesn’t deserve this treatment because he’s the WWF Champion and everyone knows it, then even lets Tajiri touch the belt. Austin asks Tajiri for what he feels the soultion is and Tajiri gives his answer in Japanese. Austin calls Tajiri a wise man and thanks him for lifting the weight off his shoulders then exchanges bows. William Regal comes in telling Tajiri he’s up next and they leave Austin alone.
~ Back from break Edge is apologizing to Christian for shoving him down after they lost their match on Smackdown. Edge then chastises Christian for hitting him with his move and Christian asks when the spear became “his” move? Edge next mentions the possibly of them facing each other in the KOTR final and Christian is on board with that, but feels Edge may have an easier time while he has to face a 7-foot 500-pound monster. E&C continue to tease tention when Kurt Angle steps in and calls it pointless to see his two best friends at odds, and besides, it’s not like they have a chance since he’s two matches away from repeating as King of the Ring. E&C don’t seem to appreciate that and walk off while Angle feels he can win the KOTR and deal with Shane as well.
- Rhyno vs. Tajiri (w/William Regal) – King of the Ring Quarterfinal Match
Network allies collide! The winner of this match moves on to face either Edge or Perry Saturn at the pay-per-view. Rhyno gets in the first shots and goes for a powerbomb but Tajiri lands on his feet and hits a Frankensteiner. Rhyno rolls out to the floor but Tajiri hits a baseball slide then springs off the ropes with an Asai moonsault. Tajiri throws Rhyno back in the ring and goes for a whip but Rhyno reverses it and plants him with a spinebuster. Rhyno whips Tajiri but Tajiri does a handspring off the ropes and bounces back, hitting Rhyno with an elbow. Rhyno scopps Tajiri on his shoulders and goes for a TKO but Tajiri slips off and gets a Sunset Flip for a two. Tajiri hits a stiff kick then puts Rhyno in a modified Abdominal Strech which Heyman says is called the Octopus. Rhyno backs up to the ropes with Tajiri on hia back but Tajiri grabs Rhyno around the ropes with the Tarantula. Tajiri breaks it before the five count and readies for the buzzsaw kick but Rhyno ducks it and powerbombs him. Rhyno readies to hit the Gore and charges for it but Tajiri cuts him off with a stiff kick right to the head! Ouch! Tajiri gets ready to cover Rhyno when Regal suggests he climb up to the top rope instead and Tajiri complies. Tajiri leaps off but Rhyno is up and cuts him down with a Gore to advance to the semis. (2:51) Fun match that makes you wish they had gone a couple more minutes. **
~ Back form break William Regal is chewing Tajiri out for blowing his big chance in the King of the Ring tournamen and making a fool of him after he brought him into the WWF then sends him out of his sight.
~ Out in the arena Undertaker’s music fires up even though JR said Taker was at home with his wife tonight. But inseatd of Taker it’s some figure in back who rides a motorcycle to the ring, ready to reveal himself to the world. The stalker stands in the ring as we await to see who it is then unmasks himself and it’s .. Diamond Dallas Page?! Yep, it is DDP who actually gets a huge pop from the crowd even though he did an evil thing in stalking Taker’s wife. Anyway DDP does the Diamond Cutter sign before getting on the mic and telling Taker how we never saw it coming. DDP says he did this because wanted to make an impact and the best way was to go after the biggest dog in the yard. DDP mentions how Taker always called the ring his yard and never showed weakness, that is until a few weeks ago when he threatened to make Austin famous if he ever thought about messing with his family. DDP says Austin is already famous but when Taker said that, he didn’t sound like a deadman but was very much alive. DDP says Taker claims to be fearless, yet he’s been locking the doors and windows and even stayed home with Sara. DDP says if anyone truly deserves to be famous it’s him and is going to use Taker to get to the top of the business. DDP says that whether he needs a ticker or not, he will be at King of the Ring and dares Taker to make him famous. Security finally comes out but DDP heads over the barricade into the crowd then gives one more Diamond Cutter sign.
Now this was an up-then-down moment. On one hand it was cool to finally see a big-name WCW guy on WWF TV calling out a big-name WWF guy, which is what wrestling fans had been waiting for since the WCW purchase. But then they tried to justify it and possibly tie it into the upcoming Invasion and DDP’s long-winded promo kind of petered out. Plus we’ve seen what it actually led to but we’ll get there soon enough.
- Edge (w/Christian) vs. Perry Saturn (w/Terri) – King of the Ring Quarterfinal Match
Two men have advanced with two more to go. Incidentally Saturn is suffering from even more head trauma after that mishap from the double date on Smackdown. Saturn gets in the first shots then whips Edge and hits an elbow then whips him into a corner. Saturn charges and Edge gets his feet up to block it but Saturn slides under them to the floor then trips him and even decks Christian. Saturn climbs back in the ring but Edge greets him with a sledge then hits the Edge-o-matic and gets a near fall. Edge unloads on Saturn with rights when Saturn fights back but Edge whips him and hits a clothesline for a two. And not surprisingly JR and Heyman are pretty much ignoring this match to talk about Undertaker/DDP. Edge whips Saturn hard into a corner when Saturn fights back again then whips him but Edge kicks the face. Edge connects with a clothesline then whips Saturn but Saturn comes back with a crucifix that gets a near fall. Edge slams Saturn then climbs to the top rope and leaps off but Saturn kicks him and hits a belly-to-belly suplex. Saturn connects with a pair of cltoheslines then scoops Edge up and rams him upside-down into the turnbuckles. Saturn climbs to the top rope and connects with a crossbody but Edge rolls through it on top for a near fall. Edge goes for a whip when Saturn hits the three-handled grendunza but Christian pulls Edge out from under him. Christian gets Saturn’s attention while Edge goes for the spear when Saturn dodges it but Edge stops himself. Saturn then goes for a superkick and Edge dodges it but Christian takes the shot and gets knocked off the apron. Edge comes back and drills Saturn with the Impailer then gets the three to punch his ticket to the next round. (1:49) Okay but no one really expected Saturn to win. So far we have Angle, Rhyno and now Edge in the semis. Seems like the odds just tilted in Christian’s favor for his match, doesn’t it? *½
~ Outside a limo pulls up and Vince McMahon finally arrives, after two-thirds of the show is already done. The Brooklyn Brawler greets him but Vince mentions how he went through the ringer with Linda’s divorce attorneys. Vince then asks where Steve Austin might be found and Brawler directs him to his office as we go to commercial.
~ Back from break we get footage of Mick Foley appearing on Live with Regis and Kelly earlier today. How much longer is he going to pimp that new book of his?
- WWF EUROPEAN TITLE: Matt Hardy © (w/Lita) vs. Albert
Albert came ever so close to unseating Kane as Intercontinental Champion on Samckdown and he’s hoping to rebound by going after Matt’s title. Matt starts with a waistlock then goes into a headlock but Albert shoves him into a corner and pummels him. The referee orders Albert to back off and Albert has words with the referee, allowing Matt to fight back. Matt comes off the ropes but Albert stops him with a bodyblock then goes for a body splash but misses it. Matt kicks at Albert’s knee then drapes it over the ropes and kicks at the knee but Ablert shoves him away. Matt dropkicks’s Albert’s knee then goes for the Figure Four but Albert kicks him away through the ropes. Albert goes out and shoves Matt into the barricade then hits a knee to the face and tosses him in the ring. Albert covers Matt for a near fall then whips him into a corner and goes for the Avalanche but Matt sidesteps. Matt hops to the middle rope and leaps off, Albert catches him and presses him up but his knee gives out. Matt falls on top for a near fall then hits a discus punch and drills him with a DDT for another two count. Matt then sets Albert up for the Twist of Fate but Albert powers out of it then whips him into a corner. Matt manages to stop himself before running into the referee but Albert cloitheslines him for a two count. Albert slingshots Matt into the ropes then chokes him on the mat as the referee warns him to break the hold. Albert doesn’t listen as the referee makes the five count then calls for the disqualification. (2:56) Of course we can’t have Albert simply job to Matt, he’s in the middle of his big push if you didn’t know. *
Albert continues choking Matt out when Lita comes in get the hold broken but Albert goes after her instead. Matt is up when Albert grabs him in the double choke but Lita hits a low blow and Matt hits the Twist of Fate. X-Pac and Justin Credible then run in and nail Matt with the double superkick when Jeff runs in as well. The X-Factor guys double-team Jeff then whip him but Jeff comes back with a dropkick on X-Pac and Credible. Jeff works Credible over in a corner while Lita climbs to the top rope and takes X-Pac with with a huricanrana. Jeff whips Credible into a corner and goes for a splash but misses it while Albert hits him with the Avalance. Albert rams Jeff into a double superkick from his pals then plants Matt with the Baldobomb for good measure. This feud just refuses to end, doesn’t it.
~ Backstage Steve Austin is shining up his championship belt when Vince walks in asking how he’s feeing physically and emotionally. Austin says he’s in great shape and focused when Vince asks him what he was thinking with the hug, with Austin not understanding his issue. Vince next mentions Austin’s petiton on Smackdown, feeling Linda wouldn’t have canceled the triple threat match no matter how many signatures it had, and Austin feels Linda would have listened to them but Vince says Linda isn’t rational since she’s after his money. Vince also brings up Austin defending the title against Spike so close to the pay-per-view without even consulting him and Austin says Spike p****d him off and he makes his own decisions. Vince then asks why Austin is in a six-man match tongiht against the two men challenging him for the title on Sunday but Austin tells Vince he’s sick of him, sick of Linda and sick of his divorce. Austin decides to follow Tajiri’s suggestion and tells Vince he can have him or he can have Linda but he can’t have them both. Austin demands Vince make up his mind then storms out of the room leaving Vince to wonder what just happened here as we go to commercial.
~ Back from break we get footage showing Vince leaving in his limo during the break. Huh, short night for Mr. McMahon.
~ Backstage Spike meets with his partners for the main event and thanks them for coming to Molly’s rescue Thursday. However Chris Benoit doesn’t seem to appreciate it and tells Spike that he and Jericho didn’t come out to help him. Benoit chastises Spike for thinking this is about him and feels that he doesn’t even belong in the same ring with them. Benoit then claims that he’s Stone Cold Steve Austin and all three crack up laughing as Spike breathes a sigh of relief.
~ Backstage Edge is happily conversing with Rhyno about one of them going to the finals in the King of the Ring. Rhyno mentions he has three victories over Chris Jericho so if Jerihco wins the title then he should be #1 contendor. Edge then wonders if beating Rhyno would make him #1 contendor instead and Rhyno doesn’t seem to appreciate that. Before the two can argue any further Christian walks up and doesn’t like their “King of the Ring semifinalists” club. Christian says how Rhyno beat a guy in only his second match and Edge beat someone who eats mustard and crayons while he had to beat Kane and now he has to beat Big Show so he feels there’s a conspiracy. Edge assures Christian he’ll be in his corner, and unlike some people when he goes to spear someone he gets it right. Rhyno points out that should Christian win he has to then face Kurt Angle, who says how he’s going to repeat this year. Rhyno mockingly says how they don’t have a chance against Angle so why even bother and the three of them walk off. What’s with all this tension, guys?
- The Big Show vs. Christian – King of the Ring Quarterfinal Match
Christian’s three pals all advanced, can he complete the Team RECK sweep? Kurt Angle makes his way out to join the commentary and scout his potential opponents in the semifinal round. Chrstian tries to jump Show from behind to start but Show shoves him down then hits the giant chop in a corner. Show throws Christian scross the ring then goes for the ropes but Edge tries to grab his ankle from the floor. Show pulls Edge onto the apron and clubs him in the chest then goes out and press slams Edge on the barrier. Christian hits Show with a baseball slide but Show shrugs it off and press slams him over the ropes in the ring. Show goes for an Avalanche in a corner, Christian sidesteps it and wails on Show but his blows have no effect. Christian goes up for the count-along punches but Show grabs him and just lets him drop then hits a headbutt. Show walks across Christian’s chest and kicks him in the ribs which sends Christian rolling out to the floor. Show goes after Christian when Angle tells Show “King of the Ring, you’re mine” so Show pie-faces him down. Show tosses Christian back in the ring when Angle tries to go after him but the referee tries to keep him out. Show grabs Christian for the chokeslam but Edge saves Christian with a chair while the referee is distracted. Edge whacks Show’s knee with the chair then Christian grabs a second chair and E&C hit the Conchairto. Christian then covers Show as the referee counts 1..2..3 and Christian wins the last semifinal spot. (2:19) And thus we have our all-heel KOTR semis as we pretty much expected. *
~ JR hypes the six-man main event as we now get the graphic we wasn’t supposed to see at the beginning of the show. I wonder if somebody got fired for that gaffe.
- Chris Benoit, Chris Jericho & Spike Dudley vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin & The Dudley Boyz
The participants make their way to the ring with Jericho sporting a new computerized-style TitanTron video. Bubba and Jericho start for their teams and lockup then jockey for position when Jericho goes into a headlock but Bubba shoves Jericho away and stops him with a shoulderblock. Bubba gets in the first shots and whips Jericho who fights back. Jericho goes for a whip, Bubba reverses him into a corner and goes for a splash but misses it and Jericho hits an armdrag followed by a clothesline. Jericho takes a swipe at Austin but Austin backs off the apron while Bubba hot shots Jericho on the ropes. D’Von tags in and the Dudleys whip Jericho and hit a double flapjack. D’Von lays the boots to Jericho and whips him but Jericho kicks the face and follows up with an enzuigiri. Benoit tags in and D’Von hammers away at him but Benoit whips D’Von and connects with a knee to the chest. Benoit goes for a whip, D’Von reverses him into a corner but eats a boot and Benoit hits a German suplex. Beoit chops D’Von down then tags in Spike who climbs to the top rope and hits D’Von with the double stomp. Spike dares Austin to come after him before hitting D’Von with a huricanrana. D’Von whips Spike into a corner but eats a boot, Spike climbs to the middle rope and leaps off but D’Von clotheslines him. Bubba screams for D’Von to tag him in but Austin takes the tag instead and starts pounding away on Spike. Austin grinds his knee brace in Spike’s face and whips him then goes for a suplex but Spike flips out of it and shoves Austin into his corner where Benoit and Jericho both get in a shot. Spike gets in a flurry of rights then whips Austin looking for a dropkick but Austin fakes him out then follows it up with an elbowdrop. Austin scoops Spike up when Spike counters and manages to get Austin in a Sunset Flip but only gets two. Austin clotheslines Spike and smacks him around while Bubba and D’Von each pull a table from under the ring. However Austin tells his partners he doesn’t appove the tables when Spike rolls him up from behind for a two. Ausitn makes an angry tag to Bubba and Bubba slaps Spike in the face then whips him and hits a backdrop as the crowd is chanting “We Want Tables!” even though the Dudleys are heels tonight. Bubba slams Spike by his hair and Spike comes back with a headbutt to the chest. Spike climbs on Bubba’s shoulders looking for a victory roll but Bubba blocks it while D’Von climbs to the top and hits the “Wassup” headbutt. D’Von takes over without a tag and lays the boots to Spike then whips him and connects with a jumping elbow. Bubba tags back in and chokes Spike on the ropes then hops to the middle rope but misses the senton as usual. Both men start crawling toward their corners and Bubba tags in Ausitn while Spike makes the hot tag to Benoit.
Benoit exchanges right hands with Austin and gets the advantage then whps him and nails him with an elbow. Bubba comes in but Benoit catches him and hits with a German suplex then hammers awat at Austin in a corner. Jericho climbs to the top rope and nails Bubba with a missle dropkick then D’Von whips him but eats a forearm. D’Von rolls out to the apron when Jericho hits a springboards shoulerblock, sending him through a table. Benoit stomps Austin in a corner and chokes him with the boot while Spike hits Bubba with the Dudley Dawg. Benoit goes for a whip, Austin reverses but Benoit comes back with a German suplex and hits a second German and a third German suplex. Benoit climbs to the top rope and goes for the headbutt but misses! Both men are back up and exchnaging shots when Benoit gets a waistlock but Austin kicks him below the belt. Ausitn decks Jericho off the apron and unloads on Benoti with rights then grabs the legs and stomps the chest. Spike is in and sets Austin up for the Dudley Dawg but Austin tosses him over the ropes through the other table. Austin pounds on Benoit when Earl Henber pulls him off so Austin shoves Hebner through the ropes. Austin brings a chair in the ring and readies a swing at Benoit but Jericho makes it in and takes the chair. Jericho hammers away at Austin before Benoit whips Austin into Jericho who then takes him down by the legs and puts him in the Walls of Jericho. Benoit adds in a Crossface and Austin starts tapping out! Hebner first makes sure Austin’s submitting and Austin is indeed giving it up so Hebner rings the bell! (12:30) Don’t know if a double submission is quite legal, but I guess Hebner was willing to overlook it. Good main event and Benoit and Jericho finally get a strong win, forcing Austin to submit to their finishers. Doesn’t quite fix all the damage the two suffered but for once they looked like they were on Austin’s level. ***
Conclusion: Good edition of Raw this time around, though it didn’t do as good of job as it should have to promote the pay-per-view. The matches were mostly okay while the main event was pretty good and actually made Benoit and Jericho legit threats to possibly unseat Austin, at least for one night. And the Austin stuff was pretty funny, though it again took up a little too much of the show. Plus a big debut occured in DDP, though his push would run into a brick wall known as WWF politics. And there wasn’t much by this time you start to get the feeling that the WWF really wanted to get King of the Ring out of the way so they could get going on the InVasion. Still a decent episode to check out, even if much of what was going on would become meaningless in a short time.