WWF Raw Is War 7.09.2001
WWF RAW IS WAR
Monday, July 9th, 2001
Live from the Phillips Arena in Atlanta, GA
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: Billy Kidman (7/05/2001)
~ Raw comes on the air with highlights of the latest in the WWF/WCW war (such as it is) on Smackdown. Jim Ross and Paul Heyman then welcome us to the show which is being broadcast from WCW’s former capital city and mention we’ll have the first interpromtional match tonight, pitting The Undertaker against WCW’s Lance Storm and Mike Awesome in a handicap match. Looks like the bookers finally realized WCW vs. WCW matches weren’t the way to go with this angle. Also Shane McMahon takes on Diamond Dallas Page in a street fight, and in fact that match is right now.
- Shane McMahon vs. Diamond Dallas Page – Street Fight
Shane suffered a separated shoulder after DDP led some of his own roster to attack him so he’s dealing with his insolent employee in his own way. Shane comes out first with a kendo stick in hand… but instead of DDP it’s The Undertaker coming out with Sara. Taker grabs a mic and tells Shane that he has a score to settle with DDP so he asks him to step aside. Shane obliges as DDP comes out to the ring with a chair and instead of the advertised match we now bait-and-switch into…
- The Undertaker vs. Diamond Dallas Page – Street Fight
So even though Taker already has a match scheduled later he’s not passing up this chance to get him a piece of DDP. Taker is ready to go but DDP swings the chair at the ropes trying to keep him at bay in the ring. Eventually Taker gets tired of waiting for DDP to come in so he goes out after him who’s ready with the chair. DDP also notices Shane behind him with the kendo stick and realizes he’s surrounded so he heads in the ring. DDP attacks Taker as he slides in and hammers away at him but Taker grabs him and throws him into a corner. Taker peppers DDP with jabs then whips him into another corner and hits a clothesline then whips him again. Taker grabs DDP for a chokeslam but Shane runs in and nails Taker with the kendo stick. (*gasp*) A “shocking swerve”! Shane works Taker over with the stick until Taker blocks a shot and decks him then pounds him in a corner. Taker throws Shane across the ring then sets up for the Last Ride but DDP hits him with the chair for the save. DDP jabs Taker with the chair and clocks him in the head then he and Shane proceed to double-team him.
So to recap, DDP attacked Shane on Smackdown, yet here they immediately reconcile and attack Taker, making you wonder why did DDP even attack Shane in the first place if they were going to still be on the same side. There is just no logical way to explain this, almost as if Vince Russo was booking this.
Anyway Sara comes in with the stick and whacks Shane but DDP spins her around and hits her with a Diamond Cutter. Taker covers up Sara but the damage is done as DDP and Shane leave the ring and celebrate their plan. The EMTs come out and place Sara on a stretcher while JR is totally overracting to this development.
We then cut backstage to find Shane and DDP still celebrating their successful trap when they come across Taker’s motorcycle. Shane gives DDP the rest of the night off for a job well done and even tells him to take Taker’s bike out for a spin. DDP mounts up and after some difficulty gets the bike started and rides off as we go to commercial.
~ Back from break Sara is loaded into the ambulance with Undertaker walking beside her and swearing revenge. Taker then climbs into the ambulance with Sara as it drives off. What about the handicap match they advertised at the top of the show?
- WWF WORLD TAG TEAM TITLES: The Dudley Boyz © vs. The Acolytes
JR informs us Spike Dudley broke his leg during the tag title match on Smackdown and will be out of action for a time. The Dudleys go right to work on their challengers but Bradshaw and Faarooq fight back as they pair off. Bradshaw whips D’Von and hits an elbow then clohteslines him over the ropes and heads out to the corner. Bubba hammers Faarooq and hits a chop then whips him and hits an elbow followed by an elbowdrop for two. Bubba goes for a whip but Faarooq reverses it and hits a clothesline followed by a powerslam for a near fall. Bradshaw tags in and helps Faarooq whip Bubba and hit a double shoulderblock then hits some elbowdrops. Bradshaw whips Bubba and hits a boot then goes for another whip but Bubba reverses it and D’Von nails him. Bradshaw takes a swing at D’Von but misses when Bubba drives Bradshaw into his corner for a double-team. D’Von gets the tag and whips Bradshaw then connects with a jumping elbow and goes for another whip. Bradshaw reverses it and D’Von goes for a crossbody but Bradshaw catches him and hits the fallaway slam. I should mention the announcers are pretty much ignoring this match and talking alot about Sara. Bradshaw clubs D’Von in the back and sets him up for a powerbomb but Bubba comes in to make the save. Bradshaw tries to fight both men but the Dudley’s plant him with a double-neckbreaker that gets a near fall. D’Von tees off on Bradshaw then tags Bubba to take over and Bubba works him over in a corner with chops. Bubba climbs up and hits the count-along punches but Bradshaw powerbombs him and both men are down. Bubba tags in D’Von while Bradshaw tags in Faarooq who whips D’Von and plants him with a spinebuster. Faarooq covers D’Von as Bubba tries to make the save with an elbowdrop but misses Faarooq and hits D’Von. Bradshaw helps Faarooq whip D’Von and hit a double shoulderblock but Bubba knocks him through the ropes. Faarooq whips D’Von as the crowd is calling for a “3D” but D’Von doesn’t reverse it and fakes him out. Bubba slams Faarooq then sets him up while D’Von climbs to the top rope and hits the “Wassup” headbutt. Bubba goes out and grabs a table when Spike Dudley hobbles down and breaks his crutch over Bubba’s back. Spike then yells back at D’Von distracting him enough for Bradshaw to hit him with the Clothesline from Hades for the pin, giving the Acolytes their third tag team titles. (5:09) The Acolytes celebrate with the belts while the disappointed Dudleys slam the crutch on the ramp. Pretty ‘feh’ match, plus it semeed the Acolytes were only given the titles since they were being set up to feud with WCW’s Tag Team Champs and the bookers needed to ‘equalize’ it or something (kind of how Bastisa and Rey Mysterio won the Smackdown Tag Titles in 2005 just because they were feuding with The Big Show and Kane, Raw’s Tag Champs). *
~ Backstage Vince McMahon is with Steve Austin and Debra ranting on everything that’s happened so far tonight. Or rather Vince is saying stuff with Austin constantly repeating his words and body movements which gets him a look. Vince also calls Shane a bad apple who’s consumed with power and Debra mentions the apple falling from the tree. Kurt Angle then barges in the room still wearing the child’s cowboy hat as well as carrying a bunch of gift boxes. Angle mentions how Ausitn gave him the cowboy hat last week so he has presents for Austin and Vince this week. Angle hands each one a box and keeps one for himself as Austin and Vince open them to find … toy sheriff’s badges. Austin and Vince are both left speechless by their gifts while Angle opens his box and pulls out a large gold badge. Austin tells Angle how he didn’t get Debra anything so he gives his badge over to her much to Angle’s chagrin. Austin then starts yelling at Angle for his pathetic present, even quoting ‘the line’ from Treasure of Sierra Madre. Austin also tells Angle that he looks stupid with the small hat which, he informs him, was a joke gift before he tosses it away. Austin reminds Angle how he said he would take Booker T out and snap his ankle but he got beat up instead so he suggests Angle redeem himself by challenging Booker to a match for his WCW Championship tonight. Angle takes Austin’s advice to heart and storms out of the room to do just that as we go to break.
~ Back from break Kane is shown arriving to the arena, probably not aware of what happened to Undertaker earlier.
- WWF INTERCONTINENTAL TITLE: Albert © (w/X-Pac) vs. Rhyno
Another night, another title defense for Albert against another guy way more over than him. Incidentally X-Pac is out with Albert but Justin Credible is nowhere to be found. Maybe it has someting to do with last night’s Heat that X-Factor hosted, where X-Pac and Albert put over how they both have titles (while Credible doesn’t) and wouldn’t even let Credible speak during the interview segment. Anyway Albert and Rhyno stand nose-to-nose when Rhyno shoves Albert but X-Pac smacks the back of Rhyno’s head. So Rhyno grabs X-Pac by the hair but that allows Albert to nail him from behind and get in the first shots. Albert whips Rhyno but lowers the head and Rhyno clubs his back and gets in his offense until Albert stops it. Albert whips Rhyno into a corner and charges at him but Rhyno sidesteps it and stomps him down in the corner. Rhyno connects with a running boot and the referee checks on Albert but X-Pac is in and superkicks Rhyno. X-Pac then slips back out to the floor while Albert quickly covers Rhyno but Rhyno powers out of the pin. Albert whips Rhyno hard into a corner and slingshots him into the bottom rope but Rhyno starts fighting back. Albert stops that rally with a headbutt then comes off the ropes but Rhyno plants him with a spinebuster. Rhyno whips Albert into a corner and connects with a running shoulderblock then follows up with a suplex. Rhyno climbs to the top rope and connects with a flying splash then covers Albert …but only gets a near fall. Rhyno then goes for the Gore but misses Albert and Albert goes for the Baldobomb but Rhyno fights out of it. Rhyno turns and catches X-Pac coming with a Gore but Albert nails him with the bicycle kick and grabs the pin. (3:10) First Kane, then Edge, and now Rhyno, Albert’s heatless title reign continues with another undeserved clean win. *
~ Backstage Booker T is limbering up when Kurt Angle comes in and offers to formally introduce himself before chastising him for cheapshotting him last week. Angle then demands a one-on-one match for the WCW Title tonight and Booker accepts the challenge then asks “Mr. Cowboy” where the cute hat he was wearing is at. Angle responds by telling Booker “Yippie-kay-yay, Mother Hubbard”. Seriously, that’s what he said.
~ Back from break Commissioner William Regal is talking on the phone while Tajiri is polishing his suit of armor when Kane barges in the room, causing Tajiri to scamper behind the armor. Regal tells Kane how he just spoke to Sara’s doctors who reported Sara suffered no structural damage to her neck but will be kept at the hospital overnight for observation. Kane then demands to take Undertaker’s place in tonight’s handicap match against Lance Storm and Mike Awesome and Regal gives in to Kane’s demands. Kane lumbers off while Tajiri mentions something in Japanese.
- Jeff Hardy vs. The Big Show
Show and his new pal Billy Gunn got a tag team win over the Hardy Boyz on Smackdown so Jeff’s looking to get a bit of payback. Jeff comes off the ropes to start things off but runs into a clothesline and Show throws him into a corner. Show tosses Jeff over the ropes and heads out after him as we see Trish Stratus making her way down the ramp. Show sets Jeff against the ringpost and charges at him but Jeff dodges it and Show ends up hitting the post. Jeff runs across the barricade and nails Show with a flying bodyblock before Show can climb back in the ring. Jeff climbs to the top rope and connects with a missile dropkick then follows it up with a dropkick to the face. Show grabs Jeff by the throat but Jeff escapes the choke with a dropkick then climbs to the top rope again. Jeff goes for a huricanrana but Show catches him and plants him with a modified flapjack…for the three? (1:41) Yep, the wrong guys are continuing to go over. Show walks off while Trish goes in and helps Jeff back to his feet, then kisses him. DUD
~ Backstage Kurt Angle is touching his toes to get ready for his match (bending over in front of Austin’s face in the process) while Vince pumps him up about how important this match is. Angle gets excited at the possibility of becoming WCW Champion but Austin instead wants to talk about the Inagural Brawl and volunteers to be the captain of Team WWF. However Angle begs to differ, saying if he should win the WCW Title tonight then he should be the team captain. Angle then brings up Gilligan’s Island before he and Austin start arguing on which of them should get to be the Skipper. Basically it’s pretty much the same thing as last week’s segment, only it doesn’t have the same magic and falls flat. Eventually Vince reads our minds and asks them what Gilligan’s Island has to do with tonight and Invasion. Vince then informs Austin and Angle that they’ll both be part of Team WWF and joining them will be The Undertaker. Before Austin can protest, Chris Jericho barges in the room brings up the rumor about him defecting at King of the Ring then assures the group that he’s WWF forever and wants to be on Team WWF. Vince seems intrigued but Austin laughs him out of the room. Rude!
~ Back from break we get an exterior shot of the building and find Jamal Anderson of the Falcons in the crowd tonight. JR then informs us a second match has been signed for Invasion, Lita and Trish Stratus against Torrie Wilson and Stacy Kieber, and that match will also be a tag team bra and panties match. Okay then.
~ We then head over to WWF New York and find Matt Hardy and Lita as JR asks about the bra and panties match and Lita says she’ll accept any challenge. Matt mentions their concern about trusting Trish Stratus and how Lita doesn’t want to team with her but will for one night only and urges her to ‘follow the Lita’. Ugh. Lita then offers Trish a lesson in actions speaking louder than words and proceeds to kiss Matt.
~ Backstage Shane is pumping up Booker T, who has both his world title and the U.S. title with him this time. Shane mentions Atlanta was where WCW was formed and thus all the fans came out to support “their” champion. Well, since we saw Shane turn heel earlier in the show, wouldn’t this make Booker a heel by association?
~ Elsewhere Vince pumps Angle up in similar fashion with Austin repeating everything Vince says again. Vince tells Angle everyone in the WWF is riding his shoulders tonight and stresses that he has to beat Booker. Austin then offers to be in Angle’s corner but Angle disagrees with that idea and brings up the 1996 Olympics. Angle says he won his Gold medals for himself and the U.S. in this very city and did it without anyone in his corner. Angle tells Ausitn and Vince he doesn’t need them and he will become WCW Champion, for himself and his country. Angle heads out while Ausitn and Vince share a look. I wonder if this could possibly be a face turn for Angle.
- WCW WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE: Booker T © vs. Kurt Angle
Discounting the opening segment, this is officially the first time a WWF guy and WCW guy have done battle in the ring. See, WWF, this is what the fans wanted to see when this whole angle started, WCW vs. WWF, not matches between WCW guys nobody cares about. I should also mention it’s JR and Heyman calling the action even though it’s a WCW title match. Everyone files out to the ring and Angle starts arguing with Shane but that allows Booker to nail him from behind. Booker stomps Angle down in a corner and hits some chops then whips him and connects with a spin kick. Booker goes for another whip but Angle reverses it and hits an elbow then clohteslines Booker over the ropes. Angle rams Booker into the announce table but Shane clocks Angle from behind while Nick Patrick ignores it. Booker throws Angle in the ring then climbs to the top rope and connects with a missle dropkick for a two count. Booker snapmares Angle to the mat and hits a kneedrop to the face then hits a chop when Angle fights back. Angle goes for a whip but Booker reverses it and hits a forearm for a two then tosses Angle through the ropes. Booker nails Angle with a flying karate chop then drops him onto the barricade and throws him into the steps. Angle again tries to fight back but Booker stops that with a knee to the chest and tosses him back in the ring. Booker goes for a whip, Angle reverses it and hits a suplex then whips him into a corner but eats a boot. Booker comes out with a spinkick for a near fall then goes for a suplex but Angle counters into his own suplex. Both men exchange punches when Angle whips Booker and hits a clothesline followed by a belly-to-belly suplex. Angle goes for the Olympic Slam, Booker coutners it and nails Angle with the Axe Kick but can’t cover him. Shane urges Booker to cover Angle but Booker gets back to his feet with the Spinaroonie as the crowd boos. Angle is up and nails Booker with a clothesline form behind and both men are down and get back to their feet. Angle gets in the first shots then comes off the ropes but runs into a spinebuster and Booker readies a kick. However Angle catches it then ducks an enzuigiri and goes right into the Anklelock as the crowd cheers him. However Nick Patrick turns to warn Shane not to interfere and just happens to miss Booker slapping the mat. So Angle lets go and asks Patrick what’s up when Booker nails Angle but ends up knocking him into Patrick, seing him through the ropes. Booker goes for a whip but Angle counters it and hits the Olympic Slam. Angle covers Booker but there’s no referee to count the pin. Earl Hebner runs in to count it for him and hits 1…2…but Patrick pulls him out to the floor and heads in while infomring him that he’s the official. Angle then covers Booker again but Patrick seems more interested in jawing with Hebner than counting the pin. Angle gets in Patrick’s face when Hebner comes in and spears Patrick and the two of then fight out to the floor. Angle watches this but Shane slides the title belt in the ring and Booker waffiles Angle in the face with it. Booker covers Angle as another WCW referee, Charles Robinson, comes in and counts the pin for Booker, giving WCW its first win over the WWF. (7:49) Solid enough match, though these two would do better in the coming weeks, but it did its job. Shane celebrates with Booker and the two depart while Hebner and Patrick and are still duking it out. Now this should have closed the show out, but it doesn’t. ***
~ Back from break we get a replay of Booker T defeating Angle with a lot of help and dubious officiating. We then find Angle ranting to Austin and Vince about why they weren’t out there to help him when he needed them. Austin reminds Angle what he said earlier about not needing any help and feels this is why he is going lead Team WWF, because he’s the WWF Champion and that under his lead they’re going to beat WCW at Invasion.
~ Elsewhere Scott Hudson asks Stacy Kiebler and Torrie Wilson for their thoughs on the bra and panties match. Torrie calls making a fool out of Vince McMahon a pleasure and rants about Vince being a dirty old man and such. Stacy adds that she and Torrie will show Lita and Trish why the women of WCW are much more attractive and athletic.
~ Elsewhere again the Acolytes meet with the Dudleys, telling them how they didn’t want to win the titles like that and offering a rematch at anytime, even on Smackdown. Bradshaw also invites the Dudleys out for a friendy beer but Bubba suggests he ask them again at the end of the night and they walk off. Huh.
- Kane vs. Lance Storm & Mike Awesome – Handicap Match
So with Undertaker tending to his wife at the hopsital Kane is fulfilling his brother’s scheduled match. The participants file out to the ring … when Chris Jericho’s music fires up as Jericho comes out ready to compete. Jericho takes his place in Kane’s corner with Storm and Awesome not offering any complaints and I guess this handicap bout just became a regular tag team match. Yep, another advertised match that doesn’t happen. It’s almost like they’re making this show up on the fly.
- Kane & Chris Jericho vs. Lance Storm & Mike Awesome
Apparently Jericho wants to prove how loyal he is to the WWF by helping Kane take out these WCW guys. Also JR tells us that the 24/7 rule has been waived until after Invasion, though you can’t help but wonder why they’d do that. And if you’re wondering JR and Heyman do mention Jericho and Storm’s history as the Thrillseekers tag team. Anyway both sides duke it out to start when Jericho goes out after Storm on the floor while Kane whips Awesome into a corner but eats an elbow. Kane nails Awesome with a clothesline then hits a sidewalks slam and catches Storm coming in with a right hand. Kane peppers Awesome in his corner then tags Jericho in to take over and Jericho works him over with chops. Jericho goes for a whip, Awesome reverses it but Jericho hits a crossbody for a near fall then gets a headlock. Awesome shoves Jericho away then tosses him over the ropes but Jericho lands on his feet on the apron. Jericho climbs to the top rope and nails Awesome with a double axehandle then decks Storm off the apron. Awesome comes back with a hard clothesline then rams Jericho into Storm’s boot before tagging him in. Storm goes for a whip, Jericho reverses it and Storm slides under him but Jericho comes back with a forearm. Jericho hits a cltothesline and some chops then goes for a whip but Storm reverses it and Awesome nails Jericho. Storm charges at Jericho but Jericho tosses him right into Awesome then comes off the ropes with the bulldog. Awesome clotheslines Jericho from the apron and Storm adds in his own clothesline then tags Awesome back in. Awesome whips Jericho and drops him into the mat then boots him in the head and hits an elbwodrop for a two. Storm tags back in and pounds away at Jericho then whips him looking for a dropkick but Jericho fakes him out. Jericho then goes for the Lionsault but Storm gets his knees up to block it then pulls him away from his corner. Awesome tags back in and snapmares Jericho the mat then slaps on a chinlock and Jericho tries to hold on. Jericho fights out of the hold then goes for a whip, Awesome reverses him into a corner but eats an elbow. Jericho hops to the middle rope and leaps off for something but Awesome catches him with an overhead suplex. Storm tags in and helps Awesome whip Jericho then connects with a double clothesline and lays the boots to him. Storm whips Jericho but lowers the head and Jericho kicks the face then follows up with a standing enzuigiri. Both men are down and crawl to the corners and Storm tags Awesome but Jericho makes the hot tag to Kane. Kane awials away on Awesome then whips him and hits a big boot before catching Storm coming in with a right. Kane whips Storm and nailss him with a backdrop then whips Awesome into a corner and hits a clothesline. Kane plants Awesome with a powerslam then climbs to the top rope and connects with the flying clothesline. Kane covers Awesome and Storm saves it but Jericho climbs to the top and hits Storm with a missle dropkick. Jericho takes Awesome down and goes for the Walls of Jericho but Storm knocks Jericho out to the floor. Storm and Awesome double-team Kane then whip him but Kane clotheslines Awesome while Jericho takes Storm down and puts him in the Walls of Jericho. Kane also grabs Awesome by the throat looking for the chokeslam … when Tommy Dream and Rob Van Dam run in the ring from the crowd?! The ECW guys help Storm and Awesome double-team Jericho and Kane and that’s going to end this match. (7:09) Pretty solid match until the ending as both sides held up their ends, plus Storm and Awesome were allowed to look decent. Of course it’s what happened next that everyone remembers. **½
Jericho and Kane continue to suffer a 4-on-2 beatdown when some of the WWF scrubs start coming down the ramp, but then you notice it’s The Dudleys, Raven, Tazz, Rhyno, Justin Credible coming out and that get’s you thinking, especially after Heyman tells JR to feel this moment. The WWF guys stare down the invaders when sure enough they turn toward Jericho and Kane and start attacking them with the others joining in! Jericho and Kane are getting destroyed 10-on-2 and the crowd is loving it while JR can’t figure out what’s going on. Dreamer drills Jericho with a Spicolli Driver then holds a chair in front of Kane as RVD hits the Van Daminator. JR still hasn’t figured this out even though the crowd already has so Heyman decides to give him some answers. Heyman leaves the broadcast table and climbs in the ring where his former employees greet him with some high-fives. Heyman gets on the mic and rants about being a corporate sellout and having to sit next to a “fat pig” every week. Heyman says he’s tired about plugging the WCW-WWF “Invasion” when everyone has forgotten the tribe of extreme. Heyman also brags that Storm and Awesome left WCW and the WWF guys left Vince’s company to rejoin ECW! Heyman finishes by daring Vince and Shane to come after him because this Invasion just got taken to the Extreme. Heyman and his followers then pose over the fallen Jericho and Kane and the crowd cheers because ECW is back!
Granted at the time this was a cool moment and a great twist in the Invasion storyline, as ECW has emerged and looks ready to take on both sides. But it’s sad to see it happen just a couple of weeks into the Invasion build instead of months down the line where it really would have worked. You can cleary see the bookers were panicing and trying some quick fixes to save the build toward Invasion. Heck, they’ve already hotshotted two twists in this angle that should have occured months down the line, not in the same two hours. And just like the Angle/Booker match, this would have been a cool moment to end the show on, but instead we’re not done yet.
~ Back from break JR is alone at the bradcast table still reeling over Heyman reforming ECW. We get a replay of said segment while JR wonders about how long Heyman had been planning this whole assault. I’d say something but the joke’s already too obvious.
~ Backstage Vince and Shane bump into each other and as it turns out they were both looking for the other. Shane points out that Vince lost six of his guys while he lost two of his men and can’t afford to lose anybody right now. Shane also tells Vince that they can’t let ECW infest their house and needs his help to kill ECW before it spreads. Shane figures since Heyman has 10 guys, they should each contribute five men from their rosters for a match tonight. Shane emphasizes they’re putting thier differences aside and teaming for one night only and Vince agrees to help out. Vince does tell Shane that this changes nothing because WCW is still going down at Invasion and they part ways.
- WWF LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE: X-Pac © vs. Scotty 2 Hotty
And people are groaning because we’re nearing the end of the show and have a massive 20-man tag to get to, yet X-Pac just has to get his TV time in. Plus for some reason X-Pac doesn’t seem really concerned about his buddy Justin Credible jumping to ECW. X-Pac gets in the first shots, Scotty fights back and goes for a whip, X-Pac reverses but eats a shoulderblock. Scotty comes off the ropes, X-Pac leapfrogs over them then blocks a hiptoss and goes through his usual moves. X-Pac misses a spinkick but catches Scotty’s kick and flips him back but Scotty comes back with a clothesline. Scotty slaps on am armwringer then sends X-Pac into a corner but X-Pac lifts himself up and over Scotty. X-Pac then goes for a suplex but Scotty flips out of it and catches X-Pac with an armdrag into an armbar. X-Pac whips Scotty and Scotty hits a flying headscissors then charges but X-Pac tosses him through the ropes. X-Pac climbs to the top rope and hits a flying sledge then tosses Scotty back in the ring and hits a legdrop. X-Pac hammers Scotty with chops and kicks in a corner then goes for the Bronco Buster but Scotty dodges it. Scotty hits an Atomic Drop and a clothesline then goes for a whip, X-Pac reverses it but he eats a superkick. Scotty goes for the bulldog but misses it, X-Pac goes for the X-Factor but Scotty counters with a jawbreaker. Scotty then proceeds with the Worm but X-Pac bails out to the apron before he can nail him with the chop. Scotty slides under X-Pac out to the floor and trips him face-first into the apron then rolls him back in the ring. Scotty goes for a Sunset Flip back in the ring but X-Pac sits on his shoulders and grabs the ropes for the pin. (4:23) Now can we finally get to the main event already? *
~ Backstage we see Vince and Shane addressing the WWF and WCW teams about the big 20-man tag match to come. On the WWF side I see The Acolytes, Billy Gunn, Hardcore Holly and The Big Show. Definitely a real elite unit there. On the WCW side I see Chuck Plaumbo, Sean O’Haire, Shawn Stasiak, Mark Jindrak and Chris Kanyon. Okay then. Anyway Vince urges everyone to realize how this ECW Invasion threatens all of them which is way they’re teaming up, that they can all squash this ECW threat under his guidance. Shane feels his team should be leading the way and Vince relents but warns Shane he’s responsible for what happens out there. Vince and Shane then agree that this setup is for one match only and once ECW has been dealt with, all bets are off. Shane leads his men out of the room but Vince tells his guys to ignore Shane’s orders and do what they have to do. How many more plot points are the bookers going to burn through on one show?
- The 10 WWF Guys & The 10 WCW Guys (w/Shane McMahon) vs. The 10 ECW Guys
So this is our main event, and you can’t help but wonder where all the main eventers are for such an all-important bout, especially since some of these guys already wrestled earlier in the show. Then again it’s 8:58pm MDT as the participants file out so I’m wondering if we’ll even get a main event period. And when that happens it usually means a big shocking swerve is coming up. That’s my guess anyway. Anyway the WWF and WCW sides file out first but start exchanging words since this is such an uneasy alliance. Eventually O’Haire slaps Bradshaw and thus the two sides start going at it before the ECW guys even show up. The WWF guys quickly clear out the WCW guys just as the ECW crew head out to the ring through the crowd. And all 10 guys are even wearing ECW shirts. Did somebody just have them lying around or something? The ECW guys attack the WWF guys 10-on-5 while the WCW guys are content to just watch from the floor. Soon the ECW guys clear the WWF guys from the ring before daring the WCW guys to take their shot at them. Shane’s group climbs in the ring …. then starts high-fiving the ECW crew and I guess we are getting a swerve.
The combined group heads back out to beat down the WWF guys on the floor while Shane and Heyman embrace. Vince comes out with a mic demanding to know what’s going on and Shane responds by having the WWF guys get taken out one-by-one, each one by a finishe,r and gloating about it. Shane tells Vince how he could never compete with his checkbook but can outsmart him which is what he did tonight. Shane reminds Vince of what he said about him being personally responsible for what happens here and that’s true. Shane says he’s responsible for WCW and ECW merging and this new entity will beat the WWF at Invasion. Yep, ECW emerges from out of nowhere to challenge both companies only to immediately side with WCW. Once again another plot twist gets hotshotted in the same show, and once again this should have ended the program.
Oh, but there’s one more thing. Shane announces that ECW has a new owner, even though the two companies are supposed to be one merged entity, and brings out …. Stephanie McMahon. And everone’s excitement just dies as Stephanie makes her way out to join Shane and the two raise their arms while Vince’s jaw drops. Yep, this great moment has just become Vince versus his children yet again, folks, becuase Stephanie just had to be part of this big angle.
CONCLUSION: Somewhat disjointed show that seemed too ‘on-the-fly’ as the bookers tried a little too hard to fix the build toward Invasion. Something did need to happen, but it’s jarring to see the build suddenly change direction midway through the program, essentially rendering the previous shows (and even the first hour) meaningless, only for it to change direction again on the same show. Not to mention burning through weeks’ if not months’ worth of plot twists in one 2-hour show doesn’t leave much for the bookers to do down the line to keep us interested. Granted there were a few steps in the right direction, such as finally getting some WCW vs. WWF action, which is what the fans wanted all along, and having the ECW guys defect to WCW did add some much-needed depth to the weak roster since none of the bigs were giving up their Time Warner contracts and joining the action anytime soon. Not sure I can really rate this show, just tune in for the ECW moment and you’re good.