WWF Raw Is War 7.02.2001
WWF RAW IS WAR
Monday, July 2nd, 2001
Live from the TacomaDome in Tacoma, WA
List of WWF & WCW Champions at the time:
● WWF World Heavyweight Champion: Stone Cold Steve Austin (4/01/2001)
● WWF Intercontinental Champion: Albert (6/28/2001)
● WWF World Tag Team Champions: The Dudley Boyz (6/21/2001)
● WWF European Champion: Matt Hardy (4/26/2001)
● WWF Hardcore Champion: Mike Awesome (6/25/2001)
● WWF Light Heavyweight Champion: X-Pac (6/25/2001)
● WCW World Heavyweight Champion: Booker T (3/26/2001)
● WCW U.S. Heavyweight Champion: Booker T (3/18/2001)
● WCW World Tag Team Champions: Chuck Palumbo & Sean O’Haire (1/14/2001)
● WCW Cruiserweight Champion: Shane Helms (3/18/2001)
~ Raw comes on the air with highlights of WCW’s invasion over the past week leading to the pay-per-view announcement. Jim Ross then welcomes us to the show along with Paul Heyman and promises that history will be made tonight as WCW wrestlers will compete on WWF television for the first time ever.
~ Things kick off with Vince McMahon heading to the ring because he has to lead every show off with one of his promos nowadays. Vince starts off by saying how July 22nd, 2001 will supposedly be the greatest day in sports-entertainment history, because while it’s the WWF again WCW, there’s going to be an annihilation instead of an invasion. Vince says that comparing the WWF to WCW is like comparing Washigton D.C. to the state of Washington, that the decisions of the free world are made in DC while Washington state only has bad weather and apples. Vince also compares Booker T to Steve Austin, calling Booker a cheat with no integrity and Austin a man among men. Vince begins to make a guarantee when Kurt Angle comes out? I guess we’ll never know what the guarantee was. Angle takes a mic and apologizes for interupting Vince but his words were so moving that he just couldn’t help it. Angle agrees that Booker has no intensity and intelligence and even shows clips of his run-ins over the past week, pointing out how Booker has made Austin look like a fool. Naturally that brings Austin out to the ring for a rebuttal and Angle stops Austin before his posing and vows to make sure that Booker never attacks him or Vince ever again. Austin scoffs at Angle acting like the big bodyguard in the WWF while claiming he’s the problem instead of Booker T. Austin says he and Vince are a team and don’t want him around, plus everyone and Vince thinks Angle is a j*****s. Austin asks Vince to tell Angle this fact to his face but Angle says he’s a hero while Austin insists he’s a j*****s. And the two argue back and forth until Vince interups and tells them if they want to beat each up, go right ahead. Austin and Angle look ready to do just that … until Angle suddenly turns and hugs Vince, shocking the chairman. Austin isn’t happy about that and looks ready to pound Angle but then hugs Vince, and Vince is shocked even more as Austin and Angle start trading shoves.
At that point Shane McMahon comes out on the stage to get this segment back on track and points out how the Olympic Hero and the WWF Champion are trading hugs, asking if this is Sesame Street. Shane then starts talking about Invasion, admitting that his WCW guys are underdogs but that’s the way they like it. Shane then challenges Vince to put five WWF Superstars against five WCW Superstars in the first-ever Inagural Brawl. Shane next informs Vince that he has the power to name the main event on tonight’s show, leaving us wondering how did that happen? Anway Shane proceeds to announce that tonight Booker T will defend his WCW Championship against Buff Bagwell. Shane also reminds Vince that Linda is watching with her attorney and might be upset if Steve Austin gets involved. Shane wraps up by saying R-A-W becomes W-C-W and departs while Ausitn, Angle and Vince are still arguing.
Now you can already see two problems with this setup. First of all, why is the WWF allowing a WCW Championship match to headline their flagship program? For years the WWF has trained their fans to think WCW was inferior in every way, shape or form, plus the whole allure of the Invasion was seeing WWF guys battling WCW guys in the ring. Yet the bookers expected the die-hard WWF followers to simply accept a WCW match on Raw, between two WCW guys, let alone in the main event slot.
Then again, the WWF might have been able to get away with said main event if Booker T was defending against another WCW big name, such as Goldberg or Ric Flair or Sting. You know, the WCW guys the WWF fans would actually be interested in seeing at WWF events. Instead they go with Buff Bagwell? The historic first WCW match on WWF television and they chose Bagwell, who’s never been a main eventer and who the Hardys once said represented all that was wrong with the old WCW. Already you can see how this idea fell flat on its face and we’re not even at the match yet.
~ Backstage the Acolytes are reviewing a tape of the closing moments from Smackdown, trying to figure out how Booker T could have possibly got in the building after they had everything covered. Faarooq points out how Shane thanked someone for the tip over the phone and Bradshaw suggests the same person allowed Chuck Palumbo and Sean O’Haire into WWF New York to ambush them last night. The Acolytes conclude there must be a mole in the WWF ranks so they head off to go mole-hunting. I just suddenly thought of Tod Gordon and I don’t know why.
- WWF INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE: Albert © vs. The Undertaker (w/Sara)
I know, Taker challenging for the IC Title? Granted it makes some sense after Diamond Dallas Page helped Albert beat Kane for the title on Smackdown, but it never seemed right to see Taker go for this belt. Even Heyman is wondering why Taker requested this match, though the answer (and ending) is that obvious. Taker and Albert stand nose to nose at the start, until Albert shoves Taker and hammers away at him in a corner. Albert whips Taker into the other corner but Taker plants him with a side suplex and hits several elbowdrops. Taker whips Albert into a corner and connects with a clothesline then does the same thing in the other corner. Taker whips Albert back across the ring and charges at him but Albert grabs him with a bear hug. Taker escapes the hold with an ear clap and comes off the ropes but runs into a bicycle kick for a two count. Albert hammers Taker in a corner then whips him into the opposite corner and charges but eats an elbow. Taker comes off the ropes and hits a flying clothesline then grabs him by the throat and hits the chokeslam. Taker goes for the Last Ride when, big surprise, DDP runs in and nails Taker with a chair to draw a DQ. (2:46) Bleh. DUD
DDP lays Taker out with a Diamond Cutter then heads back up the ramp but not before he gives Sara a look. Sara then shoves DDP and dares him to fight her and DDP humors her, not noticing Kane coming up behind. Kane pummels DDP and Sara gets in a kick below the belt before Kane throws him in the ring for Taker. Albert attacks Taker for behind allowing DDP to escape but Taker and Kane quickly send Albert packing. Yeah, let’s make DDP look like an even bigger wuss. Plus shouldn’t Albert have helped Taker take DDP out instead, you know, showing WWF unity or something?
~ Back from break Torrie Wilson is walking somewher when she bumps into Howard Finkle who introduces herself and shakes her hand nonstop as she asks where Vince’s office is and Howard happily points it out to her.
- Crash Holly (w/Jacqueline) vs. Molly Holly (w/Spike Dudley) – Intergender Match
Molly and Spike got the better of Crash and Jackie on Smackdown so Crash wants to take on his cousin one-on-one. And you might remember Crash had an argument following the match but the two have apparently made up as they shake hands and Crash holds the ropes open for Jackie. Crash and Molly move in to to lockup but Crash shoves her to the mat and stomps on her then lunges at Spike. Molly comes back a huricanrana followed by a dropkick then rolls him up in a victory roll for a near fall. Crash hits a knee to the chest and throws Molly back to the mat but Molly comes back with a pair of chops. Jackie pulls Molly out of the ring when Crash goes for a plancha but ends up tangled in the ropes instead and not surprisingly the crowd is getting on Crash for that botched move. Both climb back in the ring and Molly greets Crash with a double sledge but Crash clotheslines her in return. Crash grabs Molly by the hair while taunting Spike then hits a delayed suplex and decks Spike off the apron. Spike tries to come in but the referee keeps him at bay while Jackie comes in and sets Molly on the top rope. Jackie points Molly out to Crash and offers a high ten and Crash moves in but Jackie snaps his neck on the rope. I guess there’s still issues after all. Molly follows up with the Molly-Go-Round on Crash and gets the pin! (2:04) This actually wasn’t too bad. Spike and Molly celebrate while Jackie tries to apologize to Crash but lays him out with a tornado DDT instead. *½
~ Backstage Debra looks on as Vince tries to tell Austin and Angle how they have to get along but Austin says he’d get along better if Angle left, prompting another argument from the two that Vince breaks up. Torrie Wilson then comes in and after the greetings she asks Vince if they can finish their discussion on a contract. Vince says now is a good time so Austin suggests that Angle and Debra leave while he and Vince talk to Torrie. Vince instead decides to step out so he doesn’t embarass anybody and Austin hugs him before he can leave. After Vince and Torrie depart Austin says Vince can’t talk business with Angle around, and Angle takes offense. Angle then suggests Vince left because of Debra and Austin seems to agree with him.
~ Back from break we get an exterior shot of the Tacomadome. That’s followed by a recap of Chuck Palumbo and Sean O’Haire’s appearence on Smackdown to emphasize how a bunch of WWF scrubs can beat down WCW’s Tag Team Champs.
~ Backstage Christian is admiring his reflection in Edge’s King of the Ring trophy when Edge asks what he’s doing. Christian feels that if the KOTR brackets were different and he faced Angle in the finals, he’d be the King of the Ring, but Edge tells Christian the fact remains that he is the King of the Ring. Christian claims that he’s happy for Edge and that’s why he wants to win the Light Heavyweight Title, so they’d both have singles sccomplishments. Edge promises to be in his corner and Christian walks off but then takes Edge’s trophy, promising to get it polished up.
~ Elsewhere Commissioner William Regal is warning Tajiri to look out for the Worm when he faces Scotty 2 Hotty. The Dudleys then come in and demand to know why they’re in a match with Chris Jericho when they’re the tag champs. Regal brings up the rumors of Jericho jumping to WCW if he won the WWF Championship at King of the Ring so he punishing him and tries to use Winston Churchill as a example but the Dudleys aren’t interested. So Regal just tells them to put Jericho through a table, and Bubba says all he had to do was ask and they head out.
~ Elsewhere Bradshaw and Faarooq are meeting with Hardcore Holly who insists he’s not the mole they’re seeking, that he helped beat down Palumbo and O’Haire and chased Booker T and jumped on the limo as well. The Acolytes assure Hardcore they’re not blaming him and also that they appreciate his long service to the WWF. Bradshaw says there’s someone letting WCW guys into WWF buildings and they’re going to somehow find this stooge. Hardcore suggests they think about who wasn’t there at the time and the Acolytes figure he may be on to something.
~ Still elsehwere Vince and Torrie are apprenlty holding a business meeting in a shower (fully clothed, of course) as Torrie asks Vince if they could get together this weekend so she can show how badly she wants to be in the WWF. Torrie tells Vince she will do anything to get to the top in the WWF and the two of them start to get intimate, just as Austin pops in and points out they’re talking about contracts in a shower. Vince tries to explain how “sometimes there’s no other place to do business besides the shower.” Okay. Austin tells Vince he has no problem with that but feels they need to talk Invasion since it’s all he’s thinking about. Vince says that sometimes deliberations have to take a life unto themselves and Austin assures him he understands. Austin leaves to get coffee but Vince suggests he and Torrie find a more private place to meet and they head out.
- Scotty 2 Hotty vs. Tajiri (w/William Regal)
Tajiri wants revenge after Scotty pinned him in the tag team match on Smackdown and you could say this is the beginning of Scotty’s singles run since his partner is long-since fired. Tajiri starts off with a headlock and Scotty shoves him away but Tajiri comes back with a shoulderblock. Tajiri comes off the ropes and Scotty leapfrogs over him but Tajiri catches a kick and flips him backward. Scotty comes back with a suplex then hits several elbowdrops for a two count and whips Tajiri into a corner. Scotty charges at Tajiri who backdrops him over the ropes but Scotty lands on his feet on the apron. Tajiri nails Scotty with a crescent kick on the apron and Scotty rolls back in but Tajiri hits a chop in a corner. Tajiri goes for a whip, Scotty reverses him into a corner and charges but Tajiri hooks him in the Tarantula. Scotty whips Tajiri and Tajiri tries to go for a huricanrana but Scotty counters it into a powerbomb. Both men are up and exchange chops when Scotty gets the advantage before he connects with a superkick. Tajiri rolls out to the floor for a breather but Scotty nails him with a baseball slide and rolls him back in the ring. Scotty shoulderblocks Tajiri through the ropes then rolls over him back in the ring and drills him with the bulldog. Regal gets the referee’s attention while Scotty goes for the Worm but this time Tajiri is ready for it and sprays him with the green mist. Scotty is blinded as Tajiri connects with the buzzsaw kick to the head and that gets the three, much to Regal’s approval. (2:50) Match was okay but way too short. *
~ Backstage Vince and Torrie attempt another meeting, this time in a mop closet that Vince dubs Shangri-La. Couldn’t Vince just get a hotel room or something outside the arena? Oh, but we wouldn’t have wacky skits with everyone popping in. Vince and Torrie again start getting intimate but this time Kurt Angle pops in and asks why they’re in a mop closet. Angle shows off his medals to Torrie and Torrie leaves while Vince glares at Angle before departing as well. Angle feels Torrie likes him as we go to commercial.
~ Back from break, Booker T is trying to use a vending machine when Test walks up and the two introduce themselves. Booker tells Test how Shane has talked a lot about him and asks if he might ever consider competing for WCW. Test says it all depends on the competition and the money and even suggests he might someday challenge Booker for his title. Test then wishes Booker luck in his match before departing.
- Chris Jericho vs. The Dudley Boyz – Handicap Match
The Dudleys waste no time beating Jericho down in a corner as Earl Hebner tries in vain to break it up. The Dudleys whip Jericho into a corner and D’Von whips Bubba Ray into Jericho but Jericho sidesteps him then nails D’Von with a forearm and Bubba with a heelkick. Jericho clotheslines D’Von over the ropes when Bubba whips him but lowers the head and Jericho kicks the face. Bubba hot shots Jericho on the top rope and clotheslines him then sets him up while D’Von climbs to the top rope and hits the “Wassup” headbutt. Hebner repremands Bubba who shoves him so Hebner shoves Bubba, sending him into a rollup from Jericho. D’Von breaks it up then whips Jericho and hits a jumping elbow before tagging Bubba back in to take over. Bubba pummels Jericho then tags D’Von and the Dudleys whip Jericho and hit a double flapjack for a two count. Bubba pummels Jericho then hops to the middle rope as D’Von goes to hand Jericho over for a superbomb. However Jericho flips out of it and shoves D’Von into Bubba, causing him to headbutt Bubba below the belt. Jericho bulldogs D’Von and throws Bubba off the ropes to the mat then exchanges punches with D’Von. Jericho whips D’Von and hits an elbow followed by a clothesline then nails Bubba with the springboard dropkick. Jericho puts D’Von in the Walls of Jericho but Bubba pulls Hebner out of the ring just before D’Von taps out. Bubba goes in and nails Jericho from behind to break the hold then goes out and slides a table in the ring. Suddenly Spike Dudley runs in and nails Bubba then drives him right on top of D’Von with the Dudley Dawg. Spike quickly slips back out as Jericho nails D’Von with the Lionsault and manages to get the three. (4:55) I guess they figured a run-in was needed to keep the tag champs from losing any credablity, not to mention continuing Spike’s issues with his half-brothers, but it just seemed unnecessary since Jericho was pretty much able to handle the Dudleys by himself. **
~ Backstage we find Vince and Torrie’s latest attempt at a business meeting, only this time they’re in a restroom. Once again they try to get intimate but a toilet flushes in a nearby stall and Perry Saturn comes out with his mop. So Vince and Torrie head out but not before Vince glares back at Saturn who simply replies “You’re welcome”. Can someone tell me what these skits have to do with the whole WCW Invasion thing? Anyone? Or do we have the wrong idea on what the main angle is?
~ Back from break we get footage of Chris Benoit’s neck surgery done which was done by Dr. Mark Youngblood. Youngblood describes the damage to the next followed by the procedure, which took three hours and went well. Youngblood then talks about the next few months, bascially saying Benoit will be out of for a year.
- WWF LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE: X-Pac © vs. Christian (w/Edge)
This stems from E&C’s tag team win over X-Pac and Billy Gunn on Smackdown, even though Edge was the one who pinned X-Pac. The participants file out and Christian actually lets Edge carry the KOTR trophy down to ringside for once. Both men lockup to start and X-Pac gets a hammerlock but Christian fights out of it and hits a shoulderblock. Christian comes off the ropes, X-Pac leapfrogs him and goes through his moves but Chrisitan clotheslines him. Christian applies an armwringer, X-Pac goes for a whip but Christian reverses and hits a powerslam for a two. Christian whips X-Pac but X-Pac hits a spinkick then has words with Edge as he stomps Chrisitan down. X-Pac hits a running legdrop for a two then applies a chinlock and Christian fights out but eats a spinkick for two. X-Pac kicks Christian down and goes for the Bronco Bouser but Christian is up and nails him with a heel kick. Christian fights back and goes for a whip, X-Pac reverses but misses the spinkick and Christian hits a gutbuster. Edge knocks Credible off the apron as X-Pac goes for a whip but Chrstian reverses him right into Edge! Christian follows up with the Slop Drop and covers X-Pac when Credible tries to bring the LH belt in the ring. Edge grabs the belt and clocks Credible with it and the referee tries to get him out, missing Christian’s pinfall. Finally Christian walks over to asks Edge why he’s in the ring but that allows X-Pac to grab the belt himself. Christian turns around as X-Pac waffles him with the title belt then covers and gets the cheap three to retain. (3:34) This match just didn’t do anything for me. X-Pac celebrates on the floor while Edge is unhappy with what just went down. How does Christian feel? *
~ Backstage The Acolytes discuss their possible mole, mentioning how Test wasn’t present when they beat up Chuck Palubmo & Sean O’Haire and was also absent when they chased Booker T out of the Garden, so this means Test has to be the traitor. Faarooq says Test better hope they’re wrong for his sake as they ask referee Jack Doan where they can find him. Doan says Test is getting ready for his match with Rhyno but mentions he saw him meeting with Booker T earlier. After hearing that the Acolytes decide to have an emergency mole meeting and walks off while Doan shakes his head.
~ Back from break we cut over to WWF New York and find Tazz sitting there with a foul mood on his face. Clips are shown of Tazz’s confrontation with Steve Austin on Smackdown and his subsequent beating.
- Rhyno vs. Test
JR informs us the winner of this match gets to face Mike Awesome for the Hardcore Title at Invasion, though you can almost sense what’s going to happen based on the scene before the commercial break. Rhyno pounces on Test as he climbs in the ring then whips him into a corner and charges but eats an elbow. Test eats a clothesline as we see the Acolytes leading their army of scrubs down the ramp. Rhyno whips Test into a corner and shoulderblocks him but Test hits the Full Nelson slam for a near fall. The scrubs then surround the ring as Test sets Rhyno up for the pump-handle slam but Rhyno floats over him. Rhyno comes off the ropes but eats a big boot as Hardcore Holly and Bull Buchanan get the referee’s attention. Faarooq hops on the apron and yells at Test before Bradshaw nails him with the Clothesline from Hades. Test staggers as Rhyno hits the Gore and gets the pin and the title shot at Invasion. (2:15) Immediately after the match the scrubs pour in and beat down Test with the Acolytes capping off with a double powerbomb. DUD
- Matt Hardy & Lita (w/Jeff Hardy) vs. The Big Show & Trish Stratus – Intergender Match
I guess the bookers remembered Show and Trish still have issues with Matt and Lita from last week’s European Title match. The thing is you’d think the Hardys would be more concerned with Chuck Palumbo and Sean O’Haire jumping them on Smackdown, ruining their chances at winning the Tag Team Titles, and would be calling them out. Instead they pretty much ignore that to concentrate on this angle no one cares about.
Anyway Show pounds on Matt to start us off then throws him into the opposite corner and follows up with a press slam. Trish gets the tag and kicks Matt’s ribs but Matt trips her with a legsweep. Lita asks for a tag and gets it and the ladies exchange words until Trish slaps Lita, so Lita responds with a right hand followed by an armdrag. Lita throws Trish across the ring then climbs to the top rope but Show comes in and stand in Lita’s way. Lita goes for a huricanrana anyway and Show catches her looking for a powerbimb but Matt dropkicks his knee. Matt and Lita double-team Show who starts to get back to his feet but Matt dropkicks him through the ropes. Lita goes for the ropes but Show trips her from the floor so Matt goes out after him but he eats a clothesline. Jeff then runs across the barricade and goes for a flying bodypress but Show nails him in mid-air as well. Both Hardys are down while in the ring Trish drills Lita the running bulldog but it only gets a two count. Trish goes for another bulldog but Lita shoves her into the buckles and Trish gets her leg caught in the ropes. The referee tries to free Trish while Lita taunts her but Show comes up from behind and grabs her by the throat. Show grabs Matt by the throat as well but he and Lita kick him below the belt and drill him with a double DDT. Matt kicks Show out of the ring and Trish tries to bail but Lita stops her and hits her with a Twist of Fate, although Trish botches it by dropping down just before Lita can actually do the move. Lita climbs to the top rope and “connects” with a moonsault that almost completely misses but still gets the three. (3:20) Incredibly sloppy match. Show climbs back in the ring and clears out the Hardys and Lita then yells at Trish for losing the match. However Jeff climbs to the top rope and nails Show with a missile dropkick, allowing Trish to get away. *
~ Backstage we find Vince still trying to “talk a deal” with Torrie, since that’s the focus of tonight’s show apparently. Vince tells Torrie that they’ve had so many interuptions tonight that maybe they should wait until the show is over. Wow, what an idea. Torrie then says she knows a place they haven’t thought of which might work and Vince is eager as she leads him there.
~ Elsewhere Shane McMahon is walking when he runs into Buff Bagwell and wishes him luck on this historic night. Buff says he doesn’t need luck because he relies on skill and feels tonight he’s going to be the new WCW Champion. Shane again wishes Buff luck as we go to commercial.
~ Back from break we find The Acolytes holding a party with all the WWF scrubs celebrating Test’s beating. Bradshaw prouldly says they killed them a mole and plugged a leak but warns their troops to keep their eyes open as Sgt. Slaughter comes in. Bradshaw brags about their mole hunt but Slaughter tells them Test isn’t the one; while they were chasing Booker T, Test was with him at his post hearing about his alley fight. Slaughter also says Test didn’t have his cell phone with him so it can’t be him and the Acolytes are disappointed. And obviously everyone is left wondering who the mole is if it’s not Test. Dunh-dunh-dunh!
~ Out in the arena Jim Ross and Paul Heyman comment on this before turning the rest of the show over to WCW, telling us to enjoy the broadcast as they reomve their headsets and depart the announce table.
~ As we make the big switch WCW logos are everywhere, even replacing the WWF logo at the corner of the screen. Some pyro then goes off before Shane McMahon makes his way to the ring as we even get a new set of chyron. Shane gets on the mic and welcomes everyone to WCW as he brings out the pariticipants in this experiment, Stacy Kiebler as the ring announcer and Scott Hudson and Arn Anderson as the color commentators. And now I’m a little concerned as it looks like the upper seats are suddenly blacked out for some reason. Hmm. Shane hands the mic to Stacy who introduces Nick Patrick as the referee for this match, drawing a chorus of boos, though I don’t think it’s because of the referee. Stacy is then about to announce the match when William Regal suddenly comes out to the stage along with Tajiri. Regal gets on the mic saying knows there’s supposed to be a WCW match but Shane doesn’t have to be a part of it. On that note Regal brings out a security force he asks to escort Shane out of the building and back to his hotel. Shane tell Regal he doesn’t have a problem with it because unlike Vince, he doesn’t need to be in the spotlight. Shane also says WCW will be about the wrestlers and doesn’t need to revole around him. We’ll see, Shane, we’ll see. Shane leaves the ring and heads to the back with the security guys without offering any resistance. Arn and Hudson take their position and comment on this situation then hype the main event as we go to commercial, accidentally referring to it as a ‘WWF Championship’ match. Oops.
- WCW WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE: Booker T © vs. Buff Bagwell
So here we are, gang, the first WCW match ever on WWF television. And yet Buff Bagwell is the one to kick this off. Incidentally Booker is identified as “WCW & U.S. Champion” but he only comes out with the world title. Buff pounces on Booker right away and Booker quickly fights back until Buff rakes the eyes to stop that, while I just saw a chunk of the crowd suddenly getting up and leaving. I have a bad feeling about this, folks. Buff goes for a whip and Booker reverses it but Buff comes back with a double-arm DDT for a two count. Buff whips Booker into a corner but eats a boot as the crowd is already chanting “boring”. Not a good sign. More of the crowd departs as Booker nails Buff with a spinkick …. but also trips over him on the way down. Booker whips Buff and hits an elbow for a two count but Buff comes back and flapjacks Booker onto a buckle. Buff hits a neckbreaker and chokes Booker then dances for the crowd as they boo both guys something fierece. Buff hits a snap suplex for a near fall then slaps on a chinlock as the crowd continues to jeer this for good reason. Booker starts to get back to his feet but Buff throws him back down by the hair then puts him in a surfboard. Booker again tries to hold on as the crowd is now chanting “This match sucks!” This is not going well at all! Booker starts to counter it when Buff knees him in the chest but Booker whips him and nails him with a dropkick. Buff gets to his feet first and kicks Booker in the ribs then chokes him on the middle rope and goes for a whip. Booker reverses it and connects with the Harlem Sidekick followed by a pair of clotheslines and a forearm. The crowd continues to show their displeasure as Booker connects with the Axe Kick and does the Spinaroonie. Suddenly Steve Austin and Kurt Angle run in and jump Booker which actually draws cheers from the crowd. Austin and Angle double-team Booker and this forces Nick Patrick to throw the match out, thank goodness. (4:55) Wow, I think it’s safe to say this was NOT the way they wanted to get WCW started on WWF television. The crowd didn’t care because they didn’t come to a WWF show to see two WCW wrestlers go at it in main event. Not that there was much to get excited about; Booker tried his hardest but still had some ring rust from the long layoff, while Buff was just beyond horrible here. It’s not surprising that Buff was almost immediately fired following this abomination. DUD
Austin and Angle continue assaulting Booker when Buff actually joins in on the beating, making it 3-on-1. Austin pulls Booker out to the floor and throws him into the steps then he, Angle and Buff stomp away at him. Austin, Angle and Buff continue to triple-team Booker as they fight their way up the ramp and to the back.
~ We cut to the back and find Vince and Torrie in a laundry room, hopefully to put the capper on this angle. Vince calls Torrie magnificent and she’ll be a big WWF star someday then complements her choice of location. Vince removes his wedding ring but Torrie gets him to take off his jacket and shirt before pulling down his pants. Torrie then convices Vince to close his eyes saying he has a surprise for him and Vince happily complies. However once Vince opens his eyes Torrie has disappeared while he finds Linda McMahon standing before him. Wonk-wonk! Vince tries to explain while covering up but Linda just walks away. Oh, the hilarity!
~ Oh, but we’re still not done with this show as we switch back over to find Austin, Angle and Buff still beating on Booker T because he hasn’t been buried enough yet. The trio throw Booker into a desk and stomp on him before Austin throws Booker through a door out of the building. Buff celebrates with his new friends until Austin and Angle suddenly turn on Buff and that draws more cheers. Austin and Angle throw Buff the door out to join Booker T as the show goes off the air.
Conclusion: Historically bad show. The undercard was filled with boring, pointless matches, while the main event was brutally awful and showed how the Invasion angle was doomed from the start. The main problem was the WWF’s desperation at this time was causing them to compress into three weeks what should have been a long build over several months; WCW vs. WWF was something fans had dreamed about for years and should have gotten a proper build and payoff, with more of the WCW big names signing on along the way. Instead the weak WCW roster the WWF had on hand, the way its two main cogs (Booker and DDP) were both constanly made to look like jokes, and the fact that none of the other WCW heavyweights were coming anytime soon made this battle severly one-sided out of the gate. Not to mention the Invasion itself seemed to take a backseat to Vince’s ego as his segments with Torrie stole the spotlight from what should have been the real focus, giving fans even less reason to care, and it would only get worse. Thumbs down for this show which should only be checked out for its historical significance.