On the heels of The Rock regaining the WWF Title Sunday night at No Way Out, the “Road to Wrestlemania” officially started its journey tonight as RAW is WAR emanated from the sold-out America West Arena in Phoenix, Arizona! Highlights from No Way Out introduced the show, with still images and commentary from the memorable WWF Title Match between Kurt Angle and The Rock.
The America West Arena exploded in a massive show of pyro and explosions, as the sold out crowd wildly cheered. Jim Ross reminded us that on tonight’s show Vince McMahon & Trish Stratus would face off against William Regal & Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley!
The Rock entered the arena with his newly won WWF Title, which incidentally set a new WWF record, as The Rock became the only 6-Time WWF Champion in Federation History! The Rock, who looked out upon his “People”, with the title over his shoulder, and proclaimed that “Finally The Rock Has Come Back to Phoenix…as WWF Champion!”
The Rock addressed Kurt Angle, and said that Angle showed him a few new personalities in his character. He said he respected Kurt Angle for “bringing” it to the “People’s Champ”. He then said after the match, that Kurt was “moaning, crying, bitching and whining”. Rock then proceeded to run down Angle by mimicking the former WWF Champion. The Rock then told Kurt Angle that if he wanted to bitch and moan about losing the WWF Title, that he should come out and bitch at him.
Stone Cold Steve Austin came out, walking his infamous “BMF” walk. Upon entering the ring, Austin glared at the Rock many times as he crossed the ring from corner to corner to salute the fans. Tensions ran high as Austin grabbed the microphone. Stone Cold said the reason he came out was to get a few things off his chest. He started off by congratulating the Rock on his title win at No Way Out. He said that Angle can complain all he wants, but the better man won. Austin then admonished the Rock to stay “healthy” since the two would be meeting at Wrestlemania X-Seven.
As Austin tried to leave the ring, the Rock asked him not to go. Rock said he appreciated the advise from Austin, but he had some advice for Austin. He said he had two words of advice for Austin — “Get Ready”. The two looked eye-to-eye as flash bulbs cracked around the arena. Rock closed out by telling Austin “If You Smell What The Rock Is Cookin’…” The two continued to trade verbal shots off microphone as “Stone Cold” left the ring. The two exchanged further looks which brought Austin back to the ring and the two men continued to exchange verbal barbs.
Backstage in the parking garage, William Regal paced nervously back and forth. Stephanie asked Regal what he was doing in the garage. William said maybe if he could talk to Vince, and reason with him, maybe they could come to an understanding about their confrontation at No Way Out. Stephanie told Regal he didn’t know her father like she did, and that he had better get dressed for their match. William Regal continued to pace as RAW is WAR hit its first commercial break of the evening.
Coming back from the back, a very nervous William Regal was still in the garage pacing.
Inside the Radicalz locker room, Perry Saturn asked Chris Benoit if Eddie Guerrero was aware they were going to be tagging in match tonight. Benoit said he didn’t care if he knew but he would soon find out. Eddie came in and got in the face of Benoit because of what happened in their 4-way IC Title match Sunday night at the PPV. They almost came to blows, but the other Radicalz members came between the two and broke up the confrontation.
Match 1 : Eddie Guerrero & Chris Benoit vs. X-Pac & Justin Credible
Justin Credible and X-Pac came to the ring first, debuting the new entrance music of Credible. Justin Credible and Eddie Guerrero started off the match, and Lawler made the remark that he hardly knew anything about Justin, but ironically forgot that a few years back, when Credible was known as Aldo Montoya in the WWF, Lawler had an angle between Credible & Jake Roberts that saw Lawler pour Jim Beam down the throat of Credible, who was promoting abstinence from drinking, to draw the ire of an admitted recovering alcoholic in Jake Roberts.
Back to the match, the Radicalz seemingly put their differences aside as they worked over both X-Pac and Justin Credible. Eddie & Chris made frequent tags in and out, until X-Pac hit a spinning heel kick that put Guerrero down. X-Pac attempted to hit the bronco buster, but missed as Eddie moved out of the corner.
Before he knew what hit him, Eddie was nailed with a double superkick from both Credible and X-Pac. Chris Benoit tagged in and after a miscommunication between X-Pac & Credible, Benoit nailed a triple rolling German Suplex. Benoit attempted to hit the Top-Rope Headbutt but missed. X-Pac slipped into the ring and rolled up Chris Benoit for the pinfall.
Winners: X-Pac & Justin Credible by pinfall
After the match, Eddie and Chris exchanged dirty looks as they left the ring.
Highlights of Stephanie & Trish from No Way Out was shown.
Mr. McMahon and Trish pulled up in their limo, and Vince said he hoped Trish enjoyed “the ride” as much as he did. William Regal came up and tried to apologize to Vince, but Vince would have nothing of it. Vince told him even though Regal failed and didn’t know what he had to at the PPV last night, he knew what he was going to do tonight, because the match was still on! Regal stood stunned in his place as Vince & Trish walked into the arena.
Coming back from the break, an intense former WWF Champion blew past Jonathan Coachman, as Coachman tried to ask him how he felt about his title loss at No Way Out to the Rock.
Highlights of the Hardcore Title match was shown, as stills showed a confrontation between Molly Holly and Raven’s “Mystery Assistant”. The Big Show walked out of No Way Out as the WWF Hardcore Champion.
Lita began the match with a head scissors take down, into a near fall as she gained a two count on the Holly Cousin. As Crash moved closer to the ring to see the match, he was confronted by Matt Hardy, who told him to move away. Inside the ring, Molly hit a nice suplex on Lita and tried to hit a top-rope move, but Lita caught her and threw her from the top to the canvas. Molly elevated Lita over the top rope, and Lita crashed into an arguing Matt & Crash. As Lita tried to regain her footing, Raven’s “Mystery Assistant” hit the ring and nailed Molly with a devastating DDT. Lita then hit the top-rope moonsault for the pinfall win.
Winner & #1 Contender for the WWF Women’s Title: Lita by pinfall
Vince showed Trish one of the items that he wanted to use in their match against Regal and Stephanie. It was a mop bucket full of mud! Kurt Angle stormed into the room and demanded that he have a rematch for the title against the Rock tonight. Vince said he would take it under advisement, and told Kurt to cool down and go relax somewhere else other than where he was, because Trish and Vince had to “get ready” for their match. Trish happily added some leftovers to the mop bucket of “slop” as we headed to another commercial break.
Coming back from the commercial, Stephanie entered her father’s dressing room all upset. She asked her dad what would happen if Trish tagged out and Vince and Stephanie were in the ring at the same time. Vince said that if it were not for Regal, they would not be in the position they are. He then said that he would have to do what he had to do, if she knew what he meant.
More Highlights from Trish vs. Stephanie was shown as Stephanie slapped the behind of Trish as she exposed her thong!
William Regal knocked on Trish’s door and tried to apologize for his actions at the PPV, but Trish told him to go to hell and slammed the door in his face!
Jim Ross & Jerry Lawler asked Al Snow, who was inside WWF New York, whether or not he knew that his campaigning was for nothing, as Vince McMahon would have a hand in choosing a new commissioner. Al said he didn’t care. He also said he wanted to see more “midgets” (his words — not mine!) in the WWF, and would try to eliminate the “British” presence in the WWF. He also said he would not quit until Mick Foley was re-instated in the WWF. That Al Snow sure is a wacky guy!
The Big Show confronted Vince McMahon and told him that after last night’s event of winning the Hardcore Title, and taking out both Kurt Angle and The Rock, he wanted a shot at the WWF Champion. Vince said he was fortunate he would not be suspended for his actions, and Vince ordered him to defend his WWF Hardcore Title against the men he assaulted — Kurt Angle & The Rock!!
Match 3 : WWF Tag Team Title Match
Haku & Rikishi vs. The Dudley Boyz (c)
Before the match began, the “Brothers from The Dark Side” came out and watched the match from the stage area. Haku and D-Von Dudley started off the match. Action was quick moving, and both teams made frequent tags to their partners as the fans chanted for “Tables”. Rikishi charged both Dudleys, and was reverse-backdropped to his face. Rikishi battled back and reversed an Irish-whip attempt by D-Von, and tagged in Haku.
Haku nailed D-Von with a massive headbutt, as the camera showed Undertaker spitting out his tabacco juice at the top of the ramp. Back inside the ring, D-Von was nailed with a backbreaker by Haku. As D-Von winced in pain, Rikishi tagged in and kicked D-Von into the bottom turnbuckle. Rikishi tagged Haku back in and Haku re-focused his attack on the head of D-Von Dudley. Haku tried to hit an elbow drop but missed as D-Von rolled out of the way.
D-Von tagged in his brother Buh Buh Ray, who set up the wassup spot on the massive Rikishi. Buh Buh called for the tables, and Haku nailed Teddy Long from behind. Haku was nailed with the 3D, but the pinfall attempt was broken up as Rikishi stomped the Dudleys from the blind side.
Rikishi pulled Buh Buh Ray to the corner and nailed the Banzai Drop. As he tried to pin Buh Buh for the win, Kane & ‘Taker entered the ring and assisted the Tag Champs. D-Von eventually gained the pinfall victory on Haku,only to be attacked by Kane & The Undertaker! Wild action that was hard to follow!
Winners & Still WWF Tag Team Champs: The Dudley Boyz by pinfall
The Rock was informed by Michael Cole that Vince McMahon had signed him for the Triple-Threat Match for the Hardcore Title. He asked Cole if he could read his shirt, which said “It Doesn’t Matter”. He said to Cole after insulting his choice of dress, which resembled a “14-year girls” attire, that “It Just Didn’t Matter”.
William Regal & Stephanie were shown walking across the backstage area moments before Vince & Trish were shown walking the halls to the ring, with their bucket of “slop”. Their match was coming up next!
Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley & William Regal made their way to the ring first, as Regal still looked upset at the thought of facing off against Vince McMahon.
Match 4 : Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley & William Regal vs. Vince McMahon & Trish Stratus
Trish and Vince walked to the ring, arm-in-arm, with their bucket of slop in Vince’s other hand. Stephanie quickly dropped to the arena floor as Trish & Vince entered the ring. Trish gave Mr. McMahon a “Good Luck Kiss” before the match started, which enraged Stephanie. Stephanie hit the ring and picked up where she and Trish left off last night at the PPV.
Stephanie hit Trish with a suplex, and tried to pin her, but Trish kicked out at 2. Stephanie nailed a DDT and gained another close fall. Stephanie took Trish to the corner and stomped her down. The two women fought back to the center, where Trish nailed a clothesline on Stephanie that put both women down. Trish tagged out to Vince, and Vince faced off against his own daughter!
Stephanie tried to tag out to William Regal, but he dropped down to the floor as Stephanie looked horrified! Vince grabbed the microphone and told his daughter he always gets what he wants…and its the same thing Regal wanted….and what Trish wanted…and told her if she “wanted it to come and get it baby” and told Trish to get in the ring. Vince grabbed Trish by the hair and threw her in the ring! What a swerve!!!!
Winners: No Contest
Vince ordered the referee out of the ring as the match was now officially over! Vince told Stephanie to get Trish and Regal nailed Trish with a reverse neckbreaker! Stephanie dropped Trish in the slop and Vince said to Trish that she might have though she was “Daddy’s Little Girl” but there could only be one “Daddy’s Little Girl”, and that was Stephanie. Vince called Trish she was “Daddy’s Little Toy” and that as with all new “toys”, he was tired with his “toy” and “play time was officially over!” Stephanie then finished off Trish by rubbing her face in the soiled mat of slop!!
Stephanie hugged her father and the two left the ring re-united as a family. As we headed to a commercial, Trish was shown “heaving” and sobbing in the middle of the ring, obviously embarrased that she was swerved by the McMahon’s & William Regal.
Coming back from the break, JR reminded us with a replay of how Trish was set up and “utterly humiliated”.
Match 5 : WWF Light Heavyweight Title MatchTaka Michinoku (w/Funaki) vs. Dean Malenko (c)
Before the match started, Taka introduced his new “girlfriend” to Dean Malenko, and told Dean that he wasn’t the only “Ladies Man” in the WWF. He then passed the mic to the lady and said “Indeed!”. Funny stuff!!
Taka hit the ring and immediately started pounding on Dean Malenko. Malenko was thrown to the outside and was promptly thrown back inside the ring by Funaki. Taka hit a doublefoot dropkick to Malenko’s face, and gained a near fall. Dean battled back and placed Taka on the top rope and tried to hit a reverse suplex. Taka hit Dean with a reverse elbow to the face of Malenko and called for the Michinoku Driver. Dean ducked the first attempt and slipped out, but was nailed by a second attempt. Taka seemed to hurt his back in the move, and eventually submitted to the Texas Cloverleaf when it was applied. Dean grabbed his belt and left the ring without incident.
Winner & Still WWF Light Heavyweight Champion: Dean Malenko by submission
Kurt Angle was interviewed by Kevin “Hermie” Kelly backstage. Angle said that he wanted to show his new side in the upcoming Hardcore Title match. He then insulted The Big Show for his interference in his match at the PPV. He then promised to make sure that after tonight, The Rock would not be “walking” into Wrestlemania X-Seven on April 1st. “Its True…Its True!”
** Commercial Break**
The Right To Censor pulled up in the arena garage and forced the newly “remade” Kat to walk to the arena. Kat was not happy as she was crying.
Raven hit the ring and said that he was going to allow the fans to “genuflect” on his greatest “Hardcore” moment…he recalled smashing a cinder block across the head of Al Snow…turning Crash Holly into a snivelling, whining brat….
Y2J came out and interrupted Raven by recalling his favorite “Raisin” moment…his “swirlie toilet moment”…the time he bought his fashionable leather pants…or the time he told him to “Shut the hell up!” and Y2J ran to the ring and started the match.
Match 6 : WWF Intercontinental Title MatchRaven vs. Chris Jericho (c)
Y2J “jump-started” the match by attacking Raven with an arial assault. Raven gained to near falls before being trapped in the “Walls of Jericho”. Before you know what happened, the “Mystery Woman” re-appeared and tried to nail Y2J with a 2×4. Molly Holly ran to the ring apron and dragged her down, causing the “woman in black” to hit her face on the apron. The two briefly fought, and the “Mystery Woman” had her mask pulled to the side so she couldn’t see. She went on feel, and accidentally nailed Raven with the 2×4 and Y2J rolled him up for the win!
Winner & Still WWF I-C Champion: Chris Jericho by pinfall
After the match, Molly attacked the “Mystery Woman” again, and almost removed her mask, revealing her identity. Raven came to the aid of his “assistant” and the two made a hasty retreat to the back.
Jim Ross reminded us of Live Auditions for Tough Enough this coming Wednesday & Thursday at WWF New York. Ross told us that “The King” had left the table to prepare for his match with the APA against the Right To Censor and showed us how the Kat became the newest member of RTC.
Backstage, “The Coach” tried to interview RTC, but Steven Richards said that The Kat — or Stacy — was not being held against her will as some have said because she was responsible for her own demise last night when she knocked out Jerry Lawler with the Women’s Title belt. “The Kat” Stacy Carter tried to say she didn’t want to be part of the RTC but Ivory grabbed her hair and silenced her quickly by force.
Kurt Angle was shown preparing for his match against The Big Show & The Rock. The cameras switched to show Big Show nailing two lockers with the names Angle & Rock on them. The match would be up after the commercial break.
Before the match began, Tazz joined his former nemesis Jim Ross for commentary. JR showed footage from this weekend’s XFL game where Jesse Ventura got under the skin of NY / NJ Hitmen coach Rusty Tillman. Ventura was critical of the coach and Tillman took offense of it. Sparks flew and set the stage for this weekend’s coming up on NBC.
Match 7 : The APA & Jerry Lawler vs. Right To Censor (Goodfather, Val Venis & Bull Buchanan)
Steven Richards took a headset at the table and Tazz asked him who the hell invited him to the table. Back inside the ring, Bull stomped on Faarooq. Goodfather tagged in and took the “good fight” to Faarooq. As Tazz said he would like to see Richards in the ring, Goodfather whipped Faarooq to the corner, who reversed the move and nailed Goodfather with a clothesline. Bradshaw tagged in and took the fight to Bull Buchanan, but was quickly beaten down in the corner of the RTC. Even though he was being triple-teamed, Bradshaw fought back and hit a fall-away slam on Val Venis.
Outside the ring, the Kat jumped on Ivory and tried to choke her out. Steven quickly stopped the Kat’s attack, and he and the other members of the RTC took her to the back. Inside the ring, King got the win by pinning the remaining member of RTC left in the ring. There was so much action, I missed who the losing member of RTC was…Sorry!
Winner s: Jerry “The King” Lawler & The APA by pinfall
Main Event time on RAW is WAR — The Triple-Threat Hardcore Title Match. JR said he thought the new attitude of Kurt Angle was “menacing”, as he threatened to “do everything in his power to make sure the Rock wouldn’t be walking anywhere” after their match tonight. Let me get this straight — Big Show is sent down to Ohio Valley Wrestling to lose weight and his attitude…he comes back fatter and with a larger attitude problem, and he is rewarded with a Hardcore Title push? I don’t get it…oh well — Onto the Match!!
Match 8 : WWF Hardcore Triple-Threat Title Match
The Rock vs. Kurt Angle vs. The Big Show (c)
The Rock entered the ring,and immediately faced off with the former WWF Champion Kurt Angle. The two were so focused on each other they didn’t see the Big Show attacking them. Big Show struck Angle with thunderous reverse knife edge chops, and the Rock slipped in and took out Angle with a thunderous clothesline.
Rock left the ring to get an item to use in the match, but was quickly stopped by the Hardcore Champ. Kurt Angle quickly took over and “stomped a mudhole” in the Rock. The Rock nailed a beautiful dragon-leg whip and slapped on the sharpshooter. The Big Show quickly broke up the submission attempt and focused his attack on the Rock. The Rock hit Big Show in the “jewels” and both Kurt Angle & The Rock worked together to suplex the Hardcore Champ. As Angle & The Rock fought each other on the outside, Hardcore Holly & Steve Blackman entered the ring and attempted to win the title.
All Hell broke loose as Albert joined the fray and tried to win the match. Big Show kicked out and Saturn hit the ring and attacked Albert. As Big Show regained his footing, Billy Gunn ran to the ring with a baseball bat and repeatedly nailed the champ with the bat. The action spilled outside the ring, All the men fought to the back attacked the Big Show. Saturn, Angle & Albert stayed in the ring and tried to cripple the Rock. But Rock was able to fight back momentarily. The three men beat down the WWF Champion again as the cameras switched to the back and showed the Big Show fighting off the advances of the men chasing him. Essa Rios joined the match and was pinned against a wall for the pinfall victory!! Big Show pressed Rios against the wall and won the match with a very unconventional pin!
Winner & Still WWF Hardcore Champion: Big Show by pinfall (on Essa Rios)
Back in the ring, Saturn and Albert continued to pound on the Rock. The Rock fought out of the situation and nailed a sidewalk slam on Albert (I think!) and Kurt Angle slipped in from behind and put the ankle lock on Rock!
As Rock screamed in pain, Austin hit the ring and stunned Angle! Austin and Rock exchanged looks as RAW is WAR — A WILD RAW is WAR went off the air for another week!!