WWF RAW IS WAR
Monday, April 9th, 2001
Live from The FleetCenter in Boston, MA
List of WWF Champions at the time:
WWF World Heavyweight Champion: Stone Cold Steve Austin (4/01/2001)
WWF Intercontinental Champion: Triple H (4/05/2001)
WWF World Tag Team Champions: Edge & Christian (4/01/2001)
WWF European Champion: Eddie Guerrero (4/01/2001)
WWF Hardcore Champion: Kane (4/01/2001)
WWF Women’s Champion: Chyna (4/01/2001)
WWF Light Heavyweight Champion: Crash Holly (3/18/2001)
~ Raw comes on the air with highlights of the Vince & Linda McMahon saga from December up to tonight's climax. Yea, this is much more interesting than storylines we actually care about, such as the Steve Austin/Triple H alliance.
~ Next we get footage of Vince meeting with Jim Ross who's still showing the signs from Thursday's beatdown. Vince first asks JR what happened to his face before offering to accept partial responsiblity for Austin attacking him. However Vince tells JR they have some things to discuss because he's not sure JR is in the right frame of mind tonight, feeling he's going to go to the announce table with any ill thoughts about him or certain other people. Vince asks JR to come with him to his office so they can have a little discussion before he goes to work tonight.
~ We now get the intro and since JR is still meeting with Vince it's Paul Heyman who welcomes us to the show. Heyman then offers to play JR's part should he be detained the entire two hours and does an imitation of him.
~ Now Kurt Angle makes his way to the ring since we're apparently in no hurry to get to the actual wrestling tonight. Angle gets on the mic and talks about being naked in Boston which is a place not known for winning championships. Angle says he's not like the Red Sox since he's a champion for life and became King of the Ring in this very arena but unlike Roger Clemens or Bill Parcells he doesn't want to leave Boston until he has championship gold. Thus Angle makes a challenge for any title holder to give him a title shot tonight. Now who usually responds in this situation? Angle says he won't fake injuries like Nomar Garciaparra when sure enough here comes....
- WWF Hardcore Title: Kane © vs. Kurt Angle
Heyman mentions that Angle has won every championship he can think of except for the Hardcore Title, ignoring that he's never been Tag Team champion or Light Heavyweight Champion either. Angle goes out to meet Kane on the floor but Kane gets in the first shots before tossing him back in the ring. Kane starts to climb through the ropes but Angle knocks him back and Kane's foot get's caught in the ropes. Angle goes out and lays the boots to Kane then starts pulling out weapons and throwing them in the ring. Angle climbs on the apron with a trash can in hand but Kane is in the ring and boots the can in Angle's face. Kane goes after Angle on the floor and drops him onto the barrier then follows up with a suplex onto the floor. Kane whacks Angle with a trash can and throws him back in the ring then presses him up but Angle slips out. Angle takes Kane down and goes right for the Anklelock but Kane is ablt ot turn over and kick Angle away. Angle clocks Kane a trash lid then climbs to the top rope but Kane stops him and throws him off to the mat. Kane readies to finish this when The Big Show runs in with another referee and nails Kane with the Final Cut. Angle covers Kane but Show pulls him off and headbutts him then covers Kane himself but only gets a near fall. Show and Kane exchange shots when Angle clotheslines Kane to turn the tide then helps Show double-team him. Now The Undertaker runs in for the save and fights Angle off then he helps Kane with a double-team on Show. Taker and Kane punch Show back and forth when Angle tries to be a team player but eats a double right hand in response. Angle decides that's enough of this and flees while Taker and Kane both hit Show with a double chokeslam. Kane covers Show and gets the three to retain. Even though Angle was the actual opponent, but whatever. (3:55) One funny momnet but ultimately pointless. Taker drapes a 'NO DUMPING ALLOWED' sign on Show's carcass while Kane stands tall in the ring. *
~ Backstage we find Vince and Jim Ross sitting in Vince's office with Vince asking JR if he's comfortable. Vince says he wants JR to go out and work with a clear conscience so he invited someone to put his mind at ease. On that note Steve Austin bursts in and asks JR if he could sit next to him then complements his pretty cowboy hat. Vince then assures JR that they're here to entertain him and in a little bit they're going to watch some movies.
~ Back from break we get a replay of the Kane/Angle match with Kane pinning Big Show with Undertaker's help. Kevin Kelly then asks Show for his reaction and Show is not happy with Taker sticking his nose in his business. Show demands a one-on-one match with Taker tonight and we'll find out just who's yard it really is.
~ Elsewhere we check in on JR as Vince prepares to show him a movie he calls "The Life and Times of Good Ol' JR." Vince pops the tape in a VCR and it's a replay of the JR/Austin interview from Smackdown shown in it's entirety. Yes, folks, the whole thing. We get some reaction shots from Austin, Vince and JR but it's pretty much the same thing we saw on Smackdown. They couldn't have condensed it into a quick recap of anything? Anyway once the tape finishes Vince asks JR if that wasn't a thumbs up. Austin accuses JR of eyeballing him then says watching the tape made him realize how weak and pathetic he is before he departs from the room. Vince then asks JR if he's now in the right frame of mind to go out and do his job tonight. JR tells him that he is but also tells Vince that he spoke with his attorney and has a pretty good lawsuit on his hands if he chooses that path. JR then suggests that he could quit the WWF instead and go down to WCW and work for his son Shane tomorrow. Vince starts looking a bit flustered as JR tells him he has a job to do and leaves the room as we go to commercial.
~ Back from break we get an exterior shot of the building just before JR takes his place at the announce table. Heyman mutters he was doing just fine without JR but once JR is within earshot Heyman acts glad to see him. Funny.
- Crash & Molly Holly vs. Rhyno – Handicap Match
Both Holly cousins tasted the Gore over the past week so they're hoping to get their payback here. Crash starts off against Rhyno and gets in the first shots then quickly rolls him up but only gets a two count. Crash continues his offense and goes for a whip but Rhyno reverses it and plants him with a spinebuster. Molly gets Rhyno's attention on the apron and slaps his face then Crash rolls him up but only gets a near fall. Rhyno clotheslines Crash then whips him and hits a belly-to-belly suplex for a near fall when Crash fights back. Crash connects with a flying clothesline then goes for a whip when Rhyno reverses it but lowers the head. Crash goes for a Sunset Flip but can't get Rhyno over then nails him with a crossbody but only gets two. Crash goes for a whip, Rhyno reverses it and Crash floats over him into a waistlock but Rhyno fights him off. Rhyno misses a clothesline but comes back with the Gore and gets another convincing win, with Molly never legally tagging in. (1:29) Pretty much a replay of the previous week. NR
After the bell Molly comes in and jumps on Rhyno's back trying to get a sleeper on but Rhyno shrugs her off. Rhyno then readies to Gore Molly again when Hardcore Holly runs in the ring and manages to fight Rhyno off.
~ Backstage Vince tell Stephanie how he doesn't have a good feeling about tonight which he feels is an unusual night. Stephanie tries to assure Vince that everything will work out but Vince tells her that he has to worry about things. Vince and Stephanie then notice the monitor behind as it shows Linda McMahon arriving at the building in a limo. Vince is not happy with this as he tells Stephanie to get him a drink of water and we go to commercial.
~ Back from break Linda is making her way through the building and greets The Acolytes and Chyna along the way.
~ Elswhere Michael Cole interviews Spike Dudley about losing his match to Lita last night on Heat and Spike isn't afraid to admit his defeat. However the X-Factor guys walk up and make fun of Spike for losing to a woman. Cole suggests they should have the Dudleys here but Spike tells him he can fight his own battles without his brothers. Spike confronts X-Factor then tries to throw coffee but Albert blocks it and tosses Spike through the interview fence. The X-Factor guys have some good yuks at Spike then leave, but not before X-Pac gets in a kick for good measure.
~ Out in the arena JR and Heyman comment on X-Factor's bullying then talk about the Chris Jericho/William Regal feud as we're treated to clips from Smackdown of Jericho helping Chris Benoit in the handicap match and his IC Title loss.
~ We then cut to Commissioner William Regal's office as Johnathan Coachman answers a summons from the commish and Regal expresses his concern for this new Benoit/Jericho alliance. Regal feels that we need to see another classic encounter so he asks Coach to inform Benoit and Jericho that they're be facing each other tonight and sends him on his way.
- The Undertaker vs. The Big Show
Show tries to nail Taker as he climbs in but Taker evades it and hammers away at Show in a corner. Taker goes for a whip, Show reverses it and grabs Taker in a bear hug then rams him into the turnbuckles. Show gets in his offense and whips Taker into the other corner but eats a boot. Taker starts fighting back and goes for a whip but Show reverses him into a corner and hits him with an Avalanche. Show connects with several knees to the chest then climbs to the second rope and hits the count-along punches. Show stops to pose but Taker grabs him and powerbombs him off the ropes for the three! (1:33) Show must have done something wrong to job twice in one night to pretty much the same guy. DUD
~ Linda McMahon is shown heading to the ring as we go to commercial. It's "dysfunctional McMahons" next, people.
~ Back from break the old Wrestlemania theme cues up as Linda McMahon hits the ring ready for her big sgement. Linda gets on the mic and thanks the fans for their reception before saying she has three announcements to make. Linda first mentions that she's recovered and of sound mind a body so she's resumed her duties as CEO of the WWF. Linda then says she's proud of Shane for doing what he needed to at Wrestlemania and wishes him luck with WCW. Linda next mentions she has business with Vince and invites him to the ring since he does everything in public fashion. Vince swaggers out to the ring and is ready for a hug but Linda shakes her head and even declines a handshake as well. Vince then takes the mic and says that he knows why Linda is here...to apologize to him for kicking him below the belt. Vince is ready to accept his wife's apology but Linda tells him to shut up because she's doing the talking in the ring. Linda brings up their last public chat back in Decemeber at Madison Square Garden where Vince demanded a divorce. Linda even decides to refresh Vince's memory and cues the clip up on the TitanTron (as the audience audibly groans).
Vince claims he was just a little angry that night but Linda says he was over the top furious and that broke her heart. Linda adds that also made her ill but not sick enough to be heavily medicated and put in a sanitarium against her will. Linda also mentions Vince didn't stop there as over the next three months he showed just how sick he truly was. Linda shows more clips showing Vince messing around with Trish, ordering Linda's medication doubled and so on. Linda then tells Vince that once his Wrestlemania match with Shane arrived, Trish helped her right a lot of the wrongs. Linda gloats that Trish kept the doctors away so she wasn't so medicated and was able to get in that strategic kick. Linda finally tells Vince that some people may think that she's gotten enough revenge but she is not one of them. Vince tells Linda he'll give her what she wants because he's always sacrificed for them and offers an heartfelt apology. Vince even gets down to one knee and asks Linda for her forgiveness as the crowd is urging her not to fall for this. Linda, however, doesn't bite as she gets in Vince's face and tells him she doesn't want an apology, she wants a divorce! Linda then departs the ring leaving Vince in shock and I guess that's all we're getting.Yep, all that hype for a 12-minute talkathon with a minimal payoff.
~ Back from break we get a replay of Linda's divorce demand to Vince. Don't know why we need to see it again. We then find Linda heading out to her limo when Lita suddenly comes up and tells her what she just did was inspiring. Linda climbs in the limo just as Vince runs up and begs Linda to roll down her window but the limo drives off instead. Vince next glares back at Lita and mentions her 'inspiring' comment before booking her in a match against Stephanie. Vince then decides to have Lita bring the Hardys for a six-person tag against Stephanie, Triple H and Steve Austin! Yes, it is that match, folks.
- The Dudley Boyz & Spike Dudley vs. X-Factor
X-Pac and friends changed their theme music again adn debut their Uncle Kracker intro, which sucks. The Dudley trio meet their opposition on the floor and duke it out before Bubba tosses Credible in the ring. Bubba whips Credible into a corner and Credible almost flips over the ropes then Bubba hits a Bubbabomb. Spike tags in and whips Credible into a corner and Credible slides to stop himself but Spike chops him down. Albert grabs Spike and holds him as Credible moves in but Spike escapes and Credible takes the shot instead. Spike knocks Credible and X-Pac's heads together then climbs to the top and dives off but Albert catches him. Albert rams Spike into the ringpost then tosses him in the ring and X-Pac gets the tag and takes over on him. X-Pac applies a chokehold then Spike tries to fight bakc but X-Pac quickly stops that with the spinkick. X-Pac shoulderblocks Spike in his corner then tags Credible and whips Spike but Spike hits a double facejam. Spike makes the tag to D'von and D'Von takes it to both guys then whips Credible and hits a powerslam. D'Von covers Credible but X-Pac saves it so Bubba tosses him through the ropes and goes out after him. D'Von pounds Credible when Albert goes for the Avalanhce but D'Von dodges and Credible gets splashed. Both Dudleys clothesline Albert over the ropes then hit Credible with a 3D and D'Von grabs the pin. (2:38) Not a bad match but way too short. *½
The Dudleys decide they're not finished yet as Bubba sets X-Pac up while D'Von climbs to the top rope and hits the "Wassup" headbutt. Bubba has D'Von fetch a table but after D'Von brings it in Albert clotheslines both Dudleys. Spike is back in but Albert easily presses him up and just chucks him over the ropes and out to the floor. The Dudleys clothesline Albert over the ropes then set their table up and whip X-Pac looking for a 3D. However Credible pulls X-Pac out to safety while Albert is in and Baldobombs Bubba through the table.
~ Backstage The Helmsleys try to speak with Vince who's hurriedly packing his gear to leave and go after Linda. Triple H and Stephanie aren't sure about the six-person tag tonight but Vince demands that they not be so selfish. Vince says he has some family problems to straighten out so he wants them to just go to work as he heads out.
~ Chris Jericho and Chris Benoit are shown heading to the ring for their 'next classic encounter' as we go to commercial.
~ Back from break Matt Hardy grills Lita about how they got in this mess while Jeff Hardy looks on from nearby. Matt isn't happy about this but Jeff feels this is a big oppertunity for them coming off their win over The Big Show. Jeff also feels they have the advantage since Austin and Triple H aren't as tight of a tag team as they are.
- Chris Benoit vs. Chris Jericho
We have Benoit and Jericho in the ring yet there's no referee so I bet we can all smell a screwjob in the works. And sure enough here comes William Regal in a striped shirt announcing that he's appointed himself referee. Benoit and Jericho lockup to start and end up in a corner when Regal forces a break and urges them to go at it. Benoit takes control with knees to the chest and whips Jericho but Jericho comes back with a flying forearm. Jericho gets in some kicks until Benoit hits a Dragon legwhip then whips him into a corner but eats a boot. Jericho comes out but Benoit trips him with a drop toehold then goes for the Crossface but Jericho escapes it. We then have a stalemate as Regal demands both men fight so Jericho pounds on Benoit and goes for a whip. Benoit reverses it and Jericho rolls him up when Benoit tries to roll into the Crossface but Jericho rolls out of it. Jericho takes Benoit down and goes for the Walls of Jericho but Benoit grabs the ropes and Regal pulls him off. Jericho catches Benoit with a double-under backbreaker and covers him but Regal makes a slow two count. Jericho starts arguing with Regal when Benoit nails him from behind then whips him and hits a German suplex. Benoit covers Jericho but Regal is too busy waving to the fans to count and now Benoit has words with him. Jerihco nails Benoit from behind and goes for a whip when Benoit reverses him into a corner but eats an elbow. Jericho hops to the middle rope and goes for a missile dropkick but Benoit pulls Regal in the way and he gets hit. Jericho nails Benoit with a forearm when Regal nails both men with forearm and reminds them he's in charge. Jericho and Benoit have finally had enough of this and gang up on Regal then Benoit caps it off with a suplex. Jericho nails Regal with the Lionsault while Benoit climbs to the top rope and connects with the diving headbutt. Jericho puts Regal in the Walls of Jericho and Benoit adds in the Crossface and Regal starts tapping like mad. A number of referees come in to break it up and the bell rings so I guess that's the match. (3:50) Benoit and Jericho then give each other the uneasy look again, perhaps still unsure of this budding alliance. Not much I can say here other than those expecting another Benoit/Jericho classice will be let down. NR
~ Back from break JR shills the XFL Playoffs this weekend while Heyman looks bored out of his mind. For those who care, this Saturday night will see the San Francisco Demon take on the Orlando Rage on NBC while the Sunday afternoon game the Chicago Enforcers take on the Los Angeles Xtreme on UPN. The two winners will advance to next week's Million Dollar Championship game and we'll finally be done with this.
~ Next we get footage of The Right To Censor meeting with Raven backstage and trying to bring him into the fold. Steven Richards tells Raven that the wrond has crept into his soul and corrupted it and that they can change that. Val Venis adds they have meaning in their lives because what they believe in is true and they want to share it with him. Raven says fate brought them to him, destiny will be him exposing their hypocracy and pain will be their pennance. Val responds by warning Raven that if he's not with them, he's against them and that's not a place he wants to be in. Raven says the only place he doesn't want to be in is trapped in their belief system then walks off.
~ We then cut over to WWF New York and find Edge & Christian celebrating their 7th Tag Team Championship win. But first we get a replay of E&C's pal Rhyno crushing Crash in the Handicap match and Hardcore Holly saving Molly. JR gets comments from E&C with Edge calling it B-R-utal how the Hollys can act tough when the odds are 3-to-1. Edge decides to see how the Hollys handle the odds being even and offers them a tag team title shot on Smackdown. Christian then shows off their seven sodas (because sodas rule) and a seven-layer cake sporting their picture on it. E&C then cap this segment off by unveiling a special seven-second pose for those with flash photography.
~ Back at the arena Triple H and Austin are having a strategy session when Stephanie asks to be included in it. Instead Austin says they're done and walks off while Triple H tells Stephanie that this is going to be good.
- Raven vs. Val Venis
Okay, why are they having this match go on so late in the show? And right before the main event as well? Val pounces on Rave as he slides in and goes for a whip but Raven revrses it and connects with a clothesline. Raven follows it up with a kneelift then whips Val into a corner and hits a clothesline and a running bulldog. Raven goes for a whip and drills Val with a DDT then covers him but Richards pulls Raven out to the floor. Richards tries to Stevenkick Raven but Raven blocks it and DDTs him into the floor then rolls back in the ring. Raven covers Val again but Bull Buchanan pulls the referee out while Goodfather goes in and attacks Raven. Goodfather whips Raven into a corner and hits the Ho Train then Val covers Raven ... but only gets a two count. Val hits a Fisherman's suplex for a near fall so Goodfather distracts the referee while Buchanan hits an axe kick. Val then climbs to the top rope and connects with the Moneyshot on Raven and grabs the cheap pin. (1:44) Why did Val get to go voer Raven? Actually the question is what was the point of this match anyway? DUD
~ Team Xtreme and Austin & The Helmsleys are both shown heading to the ring as we go to commercial.
- Steve Austin, Triple H & Stephanie McMahon vs. The Hardy Boyz & Lita – Intergender Match
Interesting moment as the crowd pops for Austin's intro before remembering they're not suppsoed to cheer him anymore. The men duke it out to start us off and Lita cheers the Hardys on until Stephanie knocks her through the ropes. The Hardys start fight back and Matt pops Austin through the ropes while Jeff dropkicks Triple H out as well. Triple H is back in and pounds away on Matt in a corner but Matt fights out and caps off with a discus punch. Jeff tags in and helps Matt whips Triple H into a corner then Matt drops down and Jeff hits Poetry in Motion. Austin is in but Matt whips him into a corner then drops down again and Jeff hits Poetry in Motion on Austin. Matt clotheslines Austin over the ropes while Jeff clibs to the top and hits Triple H with a corkscrew moonsault! Jeff covers Triple H when Ausitn pulls him out to the floor but Jeff decks him then shoulderblocks Triple H. Jeff slings himself over the ropes and tries to get Triple H in a Sunset Flip but Triple H is able to stay on his feet. So Matt comes in and clotheslines Triple H down to complete the Sunset Flip but Jeff only gets a two count.
Matt tags in and whips Triple H but lowers the head and Triple H hits the facebuster then tags in Austin. Matt rams Austin into the buckles repeatedly and stomps him down but Austin jabs the eyes to take control. Austin slaps on a sleeper but Matt counters with a suplex then hops to the middle rope and hits the guilltoine. Jeff tags in and goes for a whip but Austin reverses it and hits a spinesbuter then stomps him below the belt. Austin hammers Jeff with several rights then tags Triple H and chokes Jeff while Triple H stomps away at him. Jeff tries to fight back but Triple H trips him with a drop toehold then Austin tags in and hits an elbowdrop. Austin chokes Jeff and snapmares him then kneedrops his face and stands on his hair while pulling the arm. Triple tags in and hits a knee to the chest and Jeff tries to crawl toward his corner but Triple H cuts him off. Jeff comes back with an enzuigir and goes for his corner again but Austin gets his tag and pulls Jeff away. Jeff manages to kick Austin away and Triple H tries to stop the tag but Jeff lunges forward and tags in Matt. Matt climbs to the top rope and connects with a flying clothesline on Austin and Triple H then wails on Austin. Matt goes for a whip but Ausitn tosses him over the ropes then goes out and rams him into the announce table. Jeff flies onto Triple H while in the ring Lita brings Stephanie in and takes her out with the Twist of Fate. Lita climbs to the top rope and connects with a moonsault on Stephanie then gets the three count! (7:00) Some good stuff there but the finish was weak since neither woman was legal or barely involved in the match for that matter; one of the Hardys should have gotten the pin over Austin or Triple H. **½
In fact all people really remember is the postmatch. Triple H isn't happy with this and gets in Lita's face while Austin comes up from behind with a chair in hand. Lita turns around to see Austin with the chair and stares at him but that allows Triple H to nail her from behind. Triple H stomps away at Lita and drills her with the Pedigree when Matt comes back in and spears Triple H. Jeff also comes in but Austin whacks him with the chair then whacks Matt and works him over with the chair. Lita throws herself over Matt's body begging Austin to stop ... but Austin starts attacking Lita with the chair!! Austin just brutalizes Lita with the chair and never mind what I sad about JR's beating on Smackdown, this was much mroe uncomfortable and really showed how low the bookers were willing to go to get heat on Austin. Triple H hits Jeff with the Pedigree then pulls Lita up and Austin flips her off and finishes her with the Stunner. The Hardys should have gotten the win and celebrated, end of show with no beatdown. Instead this was bringing back memories of Monday Nitro constanly ending with a big nWo beatdown every week, even when the babyfaces won.
Conclusion: A very weak edition of Raw this time around which seemed to just go through the motions, not to mention being the third show with a dispiriting ending. The matches weren't worth your time other than the solid main event and way too much time was dedicated to the Vince/Linda segment as well as replaying the entire JR/Austin interview from Smackdown. This is when the WWF should have been planting the seeds for Backlash but so far not much has been sprouting. And again the beatdown at the end was way over the top and unnecessary but the bookers were just so determined to get the fans to boo Austin, instead of setting up the next major babyface(s) to challenge him and Triple H. A very big thumbs down this time around.
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