Reviews

TJR Retro: WWF Raw Deal 08/07/00 Review (Triple H vs. Angle vs. Jericho)

Welcome to another WWF in 2000 review as the WWF was just three weeks away from SummerSlam. The previous week’s Raw had a huge crowd at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta and then this episode of Raw had a big feel to it since it was the World’s Most Famous Arena known as Madison Square Garden in New York City. The Garden Raw’s were always a big deal. They had some big matchups on this show.

Here is the synopsis for this episode on WWE Network:

“While the marriage between Triple H and Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley continues to strain, Commissioner Mick Foley looks to stir things up by having Triple H compete in a match to determine the No. 1 Contender for The Rock’s WWE Championship against Stephanie’s supposed love interest, Kurt Angle. Plus, Chris Jericho, The Rock, and more in action. / 14+ (D,L,S,V) “

Check out our WWF TV in 2000 archives in case you missed anything (Raw, Smackdown and PPV reviews) from earlier in the year. Also, make sure to visit TJRWrestling.net daily for my reviews of the current WWE shows, plus historical columns and all the relevant current news in the wrestling business. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport and tweet me to talk about this show or anything else. Let’s get to it.

WWF Raw #376
August 7, 2000
From Madison Square Garden in New York, NY

The opening video focused on the apparent marital problems between Triple H and Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley after Smackdown ended with Kurt Angle hugging Stephanie following a tag team match win. Earlier that week, Stephanie was mad with Hunter about Trish, so the issues continued.

Stephanie was shown in the parking lot waiting for Triple H to arrive. The Raw intro video aired after that.

It was a packed house at MSG for Raw with a huge pyro display along with an arena full of signs with JR noting it was sold out. Most Raw’s were sold out in this era. Jim Ross and Jerry “The King” Lawler were there to call the action.

Let’s Hear from The Rock

The WWF Champion The Rock was the first man out to the ring with the crowd popping huge for the People’s Champion. The announcers mentioned that Chris Benoit pinned Rock on Smackdown thanks to some help from Shane McMahon. The arena was full of “Rocky” chants. JR said that the attendance was 17,578 for the 14th consecutive sold out WWF event at the Garden.

The Rock said that last week on Smackdown, Shane McMahon hit Rock in the head with a steel chair (boos from the crowd) and Chris Benoit got the 1, 2, 3 on Rock. Rock said that maybe they think that Benoit should be the WWF Champion and maybe you think Benoit should face Rock for the WWF Title at SummerSlam. After careful consideration, The Rock “wipes a New York City sewer rat’s ass with what you (Shane) think.” Rock said forget about SummerSlam. Rock said that if Benoit wants his title shot then he’s got it right here and right now.

Chris Benoit appeared with Shane McMahon. Benoit said that the entire world knows that at Fully Loaded, he beat Rock for the WWF Title all by himself. Benoit said by accepting his challenge tonight…and fans chanted “Asshole” at him. Benoit said that tonight he has the chance to become the WWF Champion unless Rock can prove him wrong. The “prove me wrong” saying was becoming a catchphrase.

Shane said that the WWF Title match would have a stipulation. Shane said he didn’t know if Rock would remember what happened on Smackdown, so he had the truck show some video and we saw Shane’s leaping chair shot on Rock leading to the Benoit headbutt for the pinfall win. Shane tried to continue, but fans chanted “Shane’s a pu**y” at him. Shane said that tonight, Rock is going to suffer the same fate that their group has chosen. They showed a highlight of Big Show giving Kane a Chokeslam through the stage and Shane said that’s how Rock will be left laying. Shane said that stipulation is that the WWF Title match will be a No Disqualification Match.

The Rock said he had no problem with no DQ, Shane with no IQ and Benoit never on the cover of GQ since he had a goofy gap in his tweet. Rock said he had no problem with it because he will whoop their candy asses all over New York City…if ya smell what The Rock is cooking. End promo with some staring.

Analysis: It was a fiery promo from Rock since he was mad that he got beat on Smackdown in a cheap manner. It set up a huge match for later in the show with the WWF Title on the line to continue this storyline that was going on for over one month. This was such a loaded show that even with the WWE Title on the line, it wasn’t the main event.

Kurt Angle was shown backstage with Commissioner Mick Foley, whose office was a forklift or something like that. Foley said he thought about saving Rock vs. Benoit for SummerSlam, then who is he to disagree because the people want it. Angle suggested to Foley that he should be the number one contender for the WWF Title and he would make the greatest champion in history. Foley said that he’s got enthusiasm like winning the Olympic gold and winning King of the Ring while also noting Kurt’s enthusiasm when hugging Stephanie. Kurt said they were just friends. Mick said he’d take the request under advisement.

Analysis: The thought of Angle as number one contender is fine because of how good he was, but he did lose clean to Undertaker at Fully Loaded. That’s something that I thought of at the time and it just shows how inconsistent booking can be sometimes.

(Commercial)

Stephanie was in the parking lot where a limousine arrived with Triple H walking out of the limo alone. Hunter told her not to talk right now and said he needs space, which is what she said to him on Smackdown. Hunter asked where the Commissioner is and she gave him directions as Hunter left.

X-Pac was up first and he was on his own. Rikishi got a big ovation from the crowd for his entrance. Road Dogg was watching on a TV in the backstage area.

Rikishi vs. X-Pac

Pre-match notes: Rikishi was the face while X-Pac was the heel.

X-Pac attacked with punches, Rikishi shoved him down and Rikishi missed a splash attempt because X-Pac moved. X-Pac with two spin kicks against the turnbuckle leading to a Bronco Buster attack in the corner. X-Pac ran the ropes leading to Rikishi lifting him up into a Cutter. Rikishi with a running back splash against the turnbuckle leading to X-Pac going down against the turnbuckle. Rikishi did the Stinkface while Dogg was shown laughing at it as he watched in the backstage area. Rikishi with a superkick. As Rikishi climbed the ropes, Road Dogg showed up with a blatant low blow punch to the groin for the DQ finish at 2:57.

Winner by disqualification: Rikishi

Analysis: ** They worked well together in the time given with X-Pac getting a decent amount of offense as the smaller heel and just when Rikishi was about to win, Dogg did the cheap attack. In this era, WWE had no problem doing these blatant DQ finishes.

Post match, X-Pac and Road Dogg were stomping on Rikishi. There was no save for poor Rikishi as the segment ended.

Triple H went up to Commissioner Foley in his “office” setup. Triple H said that (Just) Joe told him The Rock was defending the WWF Title against Chris Benoit and Foley told him that Rock set it up. Hunter said he wanted a title shot at SummerSlam, then Foley let him know somebody else inquired about that – Kurt Angle. Foley said he took it under advisement. Foley told Hunter he’ll take his request under advertisement as well.

(Commercial)

The two ho’s were shown earlier in the day with their “Save The Ho’s” signs. The two women were the future Victoria and I found out the other woman’s name Mandy on the show and she also went by Frostee Moore in her career. Lawler loved the chant, of course.

Stephanie was in her dressing room with Hunter walking into the room. Stephanie wanted to explain what happened on Smackdown. Hunter complained about Angle wanting to be the number one contender at SummerSlam and Hunter said that is his spot. Hunter said he’s the number one contender. Hunter said he’s done talking about Angle while adding that he’ll kick Kurt’s ass if he sees him.

Steven Richards entered with his Right to Censor buddies Bull Buchanan and The Goodfather. Richards spoke about how NYC is cleaner under Mayor Giuliani. Richards said that the Mayor fought the good fight just like they are fighting the good fight. The “Save the Ho’s” women were in the arena, so the fans chanted along with them. Richards did his usual promo talking about the things that RTC are against. The Dudleys made their entrance as the opponents.

Bubba Ray said that what the people want to see is for the Dudley Boyz to put the RTC guys through some tables. The fans loved that.

Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray and D-Von Dudley) vs. Right to Censor (Bull Buchanan and The Goodfather) w/Steven Richards

Pre-match notes: The Dudleys were the faces while Right to Censor were heels.

The Dudleys hit double clotheslines, then D-Von ran the ropes and hit a running clothesline on Bull. The fans were loudly chanting “we want tables” as Bubba tagged in with a big splash on Bull. Goodfather tagged in for a double team back elbow on D-Von followed by a body slam and three elbow drops. Goodfather missed a leg drop when D-Von moved. Richards grabbed D-Von’s foot and Goodfather kicked D-Von down. Goodfather with a belly to back suplex for two. Goodfather took forever to do a corner charge, so D-Von moved and hit a running forearm. Bubba got the hot tag against Bull with two clotheslines, a back body drop and they set up the Whassup Drop with D-Von doing the headbutt to Bull’s groin while the referee was not looking. They did it to Goodfather too. This was the first time where they really emphasized the “Whassup” part so that’s why I can call it he Whassup Drop now. History making moment! I guess. Anyway, the Dudleys hit 3D on Bull and Bubba went for the cover, but Steven hit Bubba, so there’s the DQ because the referee saw it to end the match at 3:24.

Winners by disqualification: Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray and D-Von Dudley)

Analysis: *1/2 It was a simple tag team match going through the big spots for the Dudleys and the crowd was absolutely on fire. You could tell that not only was the RTC gimmick getting a lot of heat, but the fans loved the Dudleys and the idea that they would kick some RTC ass. There would be more post match too.

Post match, Bubba with a body slam on Richards and D-Von went up top for the Whassup Drop to Steven’s groin. D-Von got a table from under the ring, so the ho’s made their way to ringside with their signs. Bubba wanted a Powerbomb, but Goodfather hit Bubba in the head with some wood and D-Von got hit in the head with some wood as well. The Dudleys were down. Steven grabbed the two ho’s (future Victoria and Mandy) and Goodfather gave Victoria a hard Powerbomb through the table. Ouch.

That was not a soft Powerbomb. It was pretty brutal. The announcers did not have a name for her. JR just called her a “poor young woman” while the blonde that would be known as Mandy was checking on her friend. The RTC boys left with JR ripping on them for their actions. This got a lot of heat from the crowd.

Analysis: The RTC angle was clearly working as they continued their hypocritical actions by not only attacking a woman, but putting her through a table as well. It was easy for the fans to hate these guys.

Kurt Angle was in the locker room talking to Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley, who commented that his medals were heavy. Stephanie said that Triple H is very upset about their celebration on Smackdown and Kurt asked why. Kurt said he asked to be number one contender first, so he should be number one contender. Stephanie said Hunter was more mad while Angle said that Hunter should be more sensitive and undergo sensitive training. Stephanie thanked Kurt for being such a good friend and they shook hands.

Analysis: I know I have said this before, but the slow burn for this angle was so good. It’s why the angle worked so well.

(Commercial)

Triple H was in his dressing room with Just Joe showing up with a message. Joe said that the boys in the back are saying that Angle is the one guy that can take out Triple H. Hunter said he didn’t care what the guys were saying and told Joe to get out.

They replayed the spot before the break with Godfather putting “that poor young woman” through the table.

Eddie Guerrero made his entrance with Chyna for a six-man tag team match with Too Cool joining them as the partners. The heel side was a stable managed by the lovely Trish Stratus as she led Intercontinental Champion Val Venis, Test and Albert to ringside.

Venis pulled Guerrero out of the ring and gave him a piledriver on the floor. That was a vicious start to the match. The bell rang to start the match after that. Eddie never competed in this match.

Chyna and Too Cool (Grandmaster Sexay and Scotty 2 Hotty) (w/Eddie Guerrero) vs. Val Venis, Test and Albert (w/Trish Stratus)

Pre-match notes: Guerrero and Too Cool were the faces while Venis, Test and Albert were the heels. Chyna pinned Venis in a match on the previous Smackdown.

Scotty with a back body drop on Test out of the ring and Sexay sent Albert out of the ring. Venis missed a charge on Scotty, who hit a bulldog and it was W-O-R-M time for Scotty with the crowd popping for it including the chop at the end. Albert with a pump kick on Scotty while Test sent Sexay into the steps. Scotty and Val did a double clothesline spot. Chyna decided to go on the apron for her team and she gave Venis a body slam. Chyna was wearing heels as she hit a low blow kick on Albert and sent Test out of the ring. Venis came back with a clothesline on Chyna. Albert with a running splash on Chyna followed by Test hitting a boot to the face. Venis went up top, the referee was looking at Chyna, so Sexay tripped up Val. Too Cool and T&A were brawling on the floor. Venis hit a Fisherman’s Suplex on Chyna, but the referee was out of the ring checking on the illegal men on the floor. Guerrero took advantage of that by going up top and hitting a Frog Splash on Venis and Chyna covered with one arm on Val for the pinfall win at 3:58.

Winners by pinfall: Chyna and Too Cool (Grandmaster Sexay and Scotty 2 Hotty)

Analysis: **1/2 I liked the way it was booked because it was a chaotic match from the start with Val hitting the piledriver on Eddie, but it was also organized chaos. The finish made sense because it was payback for what Val did. The story was that the heels tried to cheat, but it failed and the faces were able to outsmart them. Since Eddie beat Venis in a match on Smackdown and Chyna beat Venis here, they were setting up for the match at SummerSlam with the Intercontinental Title being involved.

Kurt Angle was in the locker room with Joe going up to him, Kurt was like “Joe, right?” and Joe said “Just Joe” so now you know why we call him Just Joe. That was the name! Anyway, Joe said that Triple H is going crazy around the locker room saying that Triple H was disrespecting Kurt, his medals and all that stuff about Steph. Joe said that rumor has it that Triple H has reduced Steph to tears. Angle told Joe to tell Triple H that he’ll be there waiting for him.

Analysis: The gimmick of Just Joe was to spread rumors in the locker room. It was not a gimmick that lasted long.

(Commercial)

Let’s Hear from Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley

Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley entered with the Women’s Title on her right shoulder. Stephanie publicly apologized to her husband for what happened last Thursday night on Smackdown. Stephanie said that Kurt and her are “just friends.” Stephanie said she was incredibly excited after pinning Lita, Kurt was there and she shouldn’t have hugged him for so long. Stephanie said she didn’t think she was doing anything wrong, but she realized that it was wrong and she is sorry. Stephanie asked Hunter to come down there. Stephanie said if she has to say it in front of the entire world then she will. She wanted him to go there so she can apologize to his face.

Triple H made his entrance to join his wife in the ring. Stephanie said she was sorry for being impatient, quick to anger and so quick to make assumptions. Stephanie said she thinks she knows why her behavior has been so irrational. Stephanie admitted that she has been jealous with fans chanting “bullshit” at her. That’s funny. Stephanie told Hunter that she loved him, the fans booed that and said she loved him more than she was capable of ever loving anyone. Stephanie can’t bear the thought of Hunter with another woman (poor Chyna). Stephanie said she’s truly sorry. Hunter hugged Stephanie in the ring as the fans reacted to it with loud boos.

Stephanie said that now they’ve got their personal life straightened out, they need to talk about business. Stephanie said that they need to smooth everything over so busines can be successful, so she called out Kurt Angle down to the ring. Hunter was pissed off about that as Angle slowly got out to the ring.

Analysis: It was similar to what happened on the previous week’s Raw when Hunter apologized to Stephanie in the ring. This dragged on too long. I got so tired of these Stephanie promos in this era. She was good at it to a degree, but she would get better as she got older. The highlight of this was the “bullshit” chant.

Angle said he wanted to do what’s right. Angle spoke about being in the heat of battle like soldiers use it when fighting, New Yorkers use it when running from cops (boos for that) and athletes use it when competing in the ring. Angle said that Stephanie and him as friends got caught up in the heat of battle. Angle spoke about how he respected Stephanie as well as their marriage. Angle commented that when Stephanie jumped into his arms on Smackdown, all he could think about was how sacred their marriage was.

Hunter had a great line: “Let me tell you something, Kurt. You might have my naïve, little wife fooled, but me…I know you’re full of shit!” The fans popped big for that. The swear word was bleeped here. Hunter threatened Kurt, but Stephanie made him back off. Angle was smirking as Stephanie said that if Hunter really loves Stephanie then Hunter will shake hands with Kurt. Stephanie said that she has no feelings for Kurt other than friendship. Cue Mick Foley.

The popular Commissioner Foley made his way down to the ring to join the promo party with fans greeting him with “Foley” chants.

Foley said he didn’t want to break up this “threesome” which drew laughs. Foley said that they have to examine the relevant information before making a decision. Foley spoke about video evidence from last Thursday’s Smackdown and they showed the Angle hug of Stephanie with Hunter getting pissed off when he saw it.

Foley said he had an important announcement about how he cared about the marriage, but he wanted to see Hunter and Kurt beat the hell out of eachother. Foley said tonight here in Madison Square Garden in New York, New York (cheap pop) is they will have a number one contender’s match. That match will be Triple H and Kurt Angle and whoever at the end of that match will have their arm raised will be the undisputed number one contender against The Rock at SummerSlam for the WWE Championship. Foley told them to have a nice day.

Analysis: It was a lot of talking to continue this storyline that was the main focus of the shows in this era and to set up a big match for later. However, that wasn’t the actual main event because there was an addition to it as well. Foley did a nice job of getting in some funny lines to take advantage of the situation involving heel performers. I think fans were taking Hunter’s side in this story too.

They showed Chris Benoit and Shane McMahon walking in the backstage area. The Rock was also shown walking backstage because that match is next.

(Commercial)

Chris Benoit entered with Shane McMahon for this championship match. This was the same building where Benoit would win his only WWE World Title less than four years after this. The Rock didn’t do his full entrance because he was in the ring shortly after his music hit. It was a sneak attack on Benoit to show how eager Rock was to get going.

No Disqualification Match for the WWF Championship: The Rock vs. Chris Benoit (w/Shane McMahon)

Pre-match notes: The Rock was the babyface WWF Champion while Benoit was the heel. This is a No Disqualification match.

It was fast paced as soon as the bell rang with Rock unloading with punches followed by a whip into the turnbuckle and a clothesline. Rock with a leg takedown leading to a Sharpshooter, so Shane McMahon went into the ring with a clothesline to the back of Rock. Shane whipped Rock into the ropes leading to a jumping elbow. Benoit unloaded on Rock with chops, then a back elbow and Benoit ran right into a powerslam from Rock. Benoit with a belly to back suplex. They battled on the floor with Rock whipping Benoit into the steel steps and then Shane took out Rock with a clothesline on the floor. Benoit whipped Rock face first into the steel ring post. Back in the ring, Benoit with a snap suplex and a backbreaker. Shane choked Rock across the middle rope. They battled over a submission hold, then Benoit with two German Suplexes and Rock hit a German Suplex of his own. Rock did not do that move often. Benoit landed hard on his shoulder/neck area. Rock sent Benoit into the ropes leading to a belly to belly suplex for two as Shane pulled the referee Tim White out of the ring. Rock chased Shane and then ran back in the ring with Benoit hitting an elbow. Benoit with a body slam. Benoit went up top and hit headbutt to the shoulder of Rock, Benoit sold it a bit and then Benoit covered for two. Big pop from the crowd for that nearfall. The action spilled to the floor with Rock whipping Benoit into Shane, who bumped over the barricade. Back in the ring, Rock with a spinebuster and the People’s Elbow connected for a two count as Shane punched Rock in the head to break up the count. Shane brought a chair in, Rock punched Shane out of the ring (love the spit punch) and Benoit locked on the Crippler Crossface submission on Rock. Shane joined in on the fun with kicks to Rock’s ribs. That’s when pyro went off and music hit as Chris Jericho ran down to the ring. Jericho was injured by Benoit and Shane to miss over a week of action (Jericho got married). Jericho got a huge pop as he ran down to the ring to go after Benoit with punches and forearms. Jericho gave Benoit two Powerbombs on a steel chair. Shane went into the ring, Shane ran after him and they ran out through the exit. Rock was back to his feet slightly before Benoit and Rock hit a Rock Bottom for the pinfall win at 8:35.

Winner by pinfall: The Rock

Analysis: ***1/2 Great match that was fun to watch and easy to get into even though I knew the result. It was one of the better TV matches of the year because the WWF didn’t do two segment matches in this era. The Fully Loaded match was better because it was longer. The crowd was very hot for the match, which isn’t a surprise for a title match in an arena like MSG. The No DQ stipulation made it tough on Rock, so I liked the spots with Shane getting involved and you could make a case that they could have had more interference and weapons in the match to try to make it look like Benoit might win. The Jericho appearance made sense since Benoit and Shane took him out, so it evened things up for Rock as well, which led right to the finish. It made sense.

The Rock celebrated with the crowd, who showed the WWF Champion a lot of love as usual. They showed some replays leading into a break.

(Commercial)

There were more replays of the WWF Title match before the break with Chris Jericho making his return to attack Chris Benoit. That would set up their SummerSlam match.

Mick Foley was backstage in his “office” when Shane McMahon showed up to complain about how Chris Jericho screwed this up. Chris Benoit joined in saying that Jericho needs to be punished and said that he should be the WWF Champion. Foley said that Jericho will be punished for what he did. Foley suggested putting Jericho in a position with two world class athletes, Shane thought he meant them and Foley put Jericho in the main event with Triple H and Angle in a number one contender’s match. Shane and Benoit weren’t happy.

Analysis: That meant that they didn’t announce the main event of Raw until about 45 minutes left in the show.

Tazz showed up with a microphone talking about how they were in New York City, which is his hometown and the fans cheered. Tazz said they are all native New Yorkers, but the comparison ends there. Tazz said that while you’re scraping nickels and dimes to feed your fat kids, he’s made it while you (the fans) have not. Tazz said that he expects the people to boo him since they are pre-conditioned to boo the bad guy. Tazz said that he expects more from Jim Ross. Tazz said that at Fully Loaded, JR called Tazz a piece of garbage and Tazz mentioned last week on Raw when JR laughed about Tazz getting a Stinkface from Rikishi. Tazz got in JR’s face to tell him he’s a redneck scumbag. Tazz told Lawler to sit down and shut up. This sign made me chuckle.

Tazz said JR standing up must mean he wants to fight Tazz and JR said that’s not what it means. Tazz knocked JR’s hat off and Tazz told him he got punked out. Tazz had a very mean line here: “I’d love to slap you across your face, but it looks like God already beat me to it.” JR slapped Tazz in the face, which led to cheers. Tazz said he would be happy if JR did that again. Tazz was telling JR to do it again, then Lawler stood up and decked Tazz with one punch. The fans loved that. Tazz went down selling it, so then referees showed up to break it up. The fans cheered this as Tazz and Lawler were separated as they went to break.

Analysis: That line by Tazz about JR’s face was memorable because of how mean spirited it was. It was said to get heat and it did get heat, but making fun of a man’s appearance might be going too far considering JR dealt with Bell’s Pallsy in his life. Look it up. That’s not easy to deal with. Anyway, this would set up Tazz for a feud with Jerry Lawler in what would eventually set up Tazz’s long term future in WWE as an announcer for most of the 2000s. I think that as a segment, this was very well done with Tazz showing a lot of intensity and the fans reacting to it the way WWE wanted them to.

(Commercial)

The announcers talked about what happened with Lawler saying JR didn’t need to apologize and that Tazz deserved it. They replayed it.

The team of Big Show, Edge and Christian with Shane McMahon entered for a tag team match. The APA Boys entered with Matt Hardy. Something I noticed right away is that the steel steps were moved to the barricade, which is what the WWF did when Undertaker rode the motorcycle around the ring, so you knew that was coming here.

Big Show, Edge & Christian (w/Shane McMahon) vs. Matt Hardy and APA (Bradshaw and Faarooq)

Pre-match notes: Big Show, Edge and Christian were heels with E&C also as the Tag Team Champions. Matt Hardy and APA were the faces.

Matt with a running DDT on Edge. Show decked Matt with a headbutt. Christian tagged in with a double team reverse DDT on Matt for two with Bradshaw breaking up the pin. Matt hit a side Russian legsweep takedown on Christian. Bradshaw got the tag with punches, Faarooq went in and they hit a double shoulder tackle on Big Show that knocked Show out of the ring. Show went back in the ring with a Tag Team Title belt and he hit both APA guys in the head. That led to the DQ at 1:40.

Winners by disqualification: Matt Hardy and APA (Bradshaw and Faarooq)

Analysis: * That was rushed with six guys in a match that ended in a blatant DQ, which was a finish WWE was booking often in these days. The fans didn’t react to this much at all.

Post match, Matt jumped off the top, Big Show caught him and gave him a Powerbomb. That led to The Undertaker making his return from the knee injury (it was an injury angle because Undertaker got married). Undertaker showed up with punches on Edge and Christian. Undertaker went into the ring with Big Show with Undertaker punching him repeatedly followed by a boot to the face. Shane went into the ring, so Undertaker punched him and tossed him over the top to the floor. Taker went onto the motorcycle, drove it up the ramp and was chasing Shane. Shane jumped onto part of the set. Taker stared at him, then Show came running and Taker punched him repeatedly. The fans were into this. Taker grabbed a chain and punched Show in the head with it. Taker put the chain around Show’s neck and sent him off the stage onto a conveniently placed table below. Big bump with a huge pop from the crowd. The Undertaker posed as we could also see the new ink on his throat that said “SARA” for his new wife. That marriage lasted most of the 2000s and then Undertaker got it covered. The fans popped as Undertaker celebrated his return.

Analysis: That was really good as a return angle to get Undertaker some revenge and a lot of love from the fans too. I didn’t remember the spot, but it’s impressive to see a huge man like Big Show take a bump like that off the stage onto a table below.

(Commercial)

There were replays of the table spot with Undertaker sending Big Show off the cage.

There was a clip of Shane McMahon jumping into a limo during the break and he left the arena.

Big Show was shown getting checked out by doctors with Show selling it like he was knocked out.

Triple H and Stephanie were in their dressing room when Chris Jericho showed up to attack Hunter. They got into a brawl where they exchanged punches and then referees broke it up.

(Commercial)

Triple H was shown walking down the halls looking for Jericho when he bumped into Angle, so Hunter shoved him.

There was a shot of WWF New York with Eddie Guerrero and Chyna showing up for a Raw after party. The announcers said that other WWE superstars were going there after Raw.

Chris Jericho was shown walking backstage for the main event.

Analysis: That was weird how they had so many segments in two blocks in order to get two commercials in. If they had matches go longer than one segment (as they would do starting a few years after this) then they could have given this main event more time.

(Commercial)

Kurt Angle entered for the main event. Chris Jericho got a big pop from the crowd as JR said that he came back from a near career-ending injury. The injury was less than two weeks earlier and Jericho wasn’t selling it at all. Triple H was up next for the main event. Triple H made his entrance quickly with Stephanie McMahon by his side. You could tell they were all moving fast to get the match in. The Rock also made his entrance to watch the match.

Triple H vs. Kurt Angle vs. Chris Jericho

Pre-match notes: Triple H and Angle were heels while Jericho was a face.

The winner of this match will challenge The Rock for the WWF Championship at SummerSlam. At least, that was the idea in theory.

Hunter tossed Jericho over the top to the floor. Angle got in Hunter’s face and Jericho sent them into eachother. Rock joined commentary for the match as Jericho hit an elbow on Angle and a clothesline on Hunter out of the ring. Jericho with a back body drop on Angle over the top to the floor. Jericho with a springboard dropkick on Hunter to take out Angle on the floor. Hunter and Angle argued, so Jericho went over the top with a dive to take them both out as fans chanted “Y2J” for Jericho. Back in the ring, Jericho with a missile dropkick for two. Angle went for the Olympic Slam, Jericho avoided it and Jericho slapped on the Walls of Jericho until Hunter broke it up. Hunter with a jumping knee to Jericho. Hunter and Angle argued over who should attack Jericho, so Jericho hit some punches and Hunter hit a facebuster on Jericho with Angle break up the pin followed by punches. Angle with an overhead belly to belly suplex on Jericho for two because Hunter broke up the pin. Hunter with a suplex on Jericho. Angle with a clothesline on Hunter, Jericho with a clothesline on Angle and Jericho with a running forearm on Angle. Hunter sent Jericho into the turnbuckle, which led to a spin kick by Jericho and a drop toe hold leading to a groin shot with Angle hitting Hunter. Jericho with a bulldog on Angle, but then Hunter stopped that. Jericho with a catapult that sent Hunter into the turnbuckle and with both heels lying there, Jericho hit a Lionsault for a two count. Jericho went up top, which was not usual for him and Hunter pushed the referee Earl Hebner into the ropes to knock Jericho down. Hunter and Angle went up top with for a double belly to back suplex on the ropes. Angle and Hunter each got one arm on Jericho’s arm, so the referee Earl Hebner countered the 1, 2 and 3 for the double pinfall at 6:49.

Winners by pinfall: Triple H and Kurt Angle

Analysis: *** This was very good with a controversial finish. Jericho was the favorite of the crowd, but they went with a tie ending instead. While I understood the double pin finish to set up SummerSlam, I think they set it up better by doing something other than suplex off the ropes for a pin because that’s usually not a finishing sequence. Maybe they could have done something where both guys hit finishers and then some collision spot leading to a pin attempt. I don’t know, but what they did wasn’t as strong as it could have been. The crowd was really into it, which was no surprise for a MSG show in the main event.

There was confusion after the match with the announcers not knowing who won. The referee wasn’t sure either. Hunter and Angle got into a shoving match that was separated by Stephanie. Rock went into the ring with punches on Hunter followed by a Rock Bottom. Rock hit a Rock Bottom on Angle as well. Stephanie slapped Rock in the face. Stephanie tried it again, so Rock hit Stephanie with a Rock Bottom too! JR: “The Rock Bottom on the princess!” Big ovation for that.

The Rock celebrated to end the show.

Analysis: It was a way to send the fans home happy with Rock standing tall. It worked, especially considering the Rock Bottom on Stephanie.

This episode of Raw had a runtime of 1:35:02 on WWE Network.

 

Three Stars of the Show

  1. The Rock
  2. Triple H/Kurt Angle
  3. Chris Jericho

 

Final Thoughts

This Raw episode gets an 8 out of 10.

Awesome show from top to bottom. A few things didn’t click, so that’s why it’s an 8 and not higher, but I still liked it a lot. There were two great matches with the Rock/Benoit match for the WWF Title and then the main event was a lot of fun with a cliffhanger ending. Obviously we know what happened at SummerSlam 2000, but at the time it was an unknown as to what the WWF was going to do, so you had to tune into Smackdown to find out. Everything else was easy to follow and it felt like a special show thanks to the hot MSG crowd as well.

Check out our WWF TV in 2000 archives for my reviews of every other previous Raw, Smackdown and PPV from 2000 as well.

Thanks for reading. My contact info is below.

John Canton

Email mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter @johnreport