It’s the Valentine’s Day edition of Raw from 2000. Things were building up to No Way Out 2000, which was on February 27, 2000. The big matches they were building to were a WWF Champion match with Triple H defending the gold against Cactus Jack, who was putting his career on the line. The other big match was The Rock vs. Big Show.
Check out our WWF TV in 2000 archives in case you missed anything from earlier in the year. Let’s get to it.
WWF Raw #351
February 14, 2000
From the San Jose Arena in San Jose, California
This show has a TV-14 and V for violence rating on WWE Network.
The outstanding Raw intro video aired to start the show. There was a live shot of the arena and the crowd in San Jose was going crazy. Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler welcomed us to the show.
Analysis: This show aired live at 11pmET edition of Raw because it was delayed on USA Network by the dog show. They booked it for a west coach city because it was 8pm local time in San Jose.
The Radicals foursome (I guess I won’t spell it with a “Z” anymore since the graphic had the S on it) of Chris Benoit, Perry Saturn, Dean Malenko and Eddie Guerrero in a sling for his left arm injury made their entrance. They stood in the ring together.
Degeneration X made their entrance as a group with WWF Champion Triple H joined by wife Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley, the Tag Team Champion New Age Outlaws, X-Pac and Tori, who had a neckbrace on after Kane hit her with a Tombstone on Smackdown. JR said he felt like she deserved it. The DX guys greeted the Radicals guys in the ring.
Stephanie started the promo with the fans booing her, so they kept booing her and then she told them to shut up. She told us to shut up and watch, which led to a clip from Smackdown with Kane hitting Tori with a Tombstone. Tori was shown covering her ears.
Stephanie claimed that Tori was a defenseless woman that was a victim and it was all of the fans that made Kane react the way that he did. Stephanie said that Kane was going to do the right thing, but it was the fan’s reaction that made him Tombstone Tori. Stephanie said that the fans make her sick and she holds us personally responsible. Stephanie said that if it’s suffering you want then it’s suffering you’ll get tonight.
Triple H took over saying that up until now, maybe they have gone too easy on their adversaries. The fans chanted “Asshole” at him before he could get going. Triple H said that starting tonight there will be no mistakes, no kindness and no damn weakness. Hunter said it starts with Too Cool when Grandmaster Sexay faces Road Dogg and Scotty Too Hotty will face Billy Gunn. Triple H said that Saturn and Malenko will team up to face the biggest ass in the world and he means that in more ways than one because they will face Rikishi or “Rawkishi” as JR pronounces it.
Triple H mentioned The Rock, which led to huge “Rocky” chants. Hunter said that Rock is looking so forward to his match with Big Show at No Way Out, but after tonight he may not make it to No Way Out. Triple H said that Rock will face Chris Benoit. Hunter mentioned Kane by saying that he needs to be taught a lesson, taught about respect and taught about respect for women as fans chanted “asshole” again. Hunter said that Kane needs to learn that women should be treated as equals or in Kane’s case, women should be their superiors. Hunter said that just because of Kane’s sexual inefficiencies, that doesn’t mean he should take it out on Tori. Hunter said that you can’t just attack a defenseless woman. Hunter said that just because X-Pac has the X-Factor to get the job done, you can’t go attacking X-Pac like that. Hunter said he knows Kane wants a No Holds Barred match with X-Pac at No Way Out (X-Pac was not happy about that)…but all he must do is beat Hunter and a partner of his choosing in a No DQ Handicap match. X-Pac was okay with that. Hunter had a line about how if anybody knows the meaning of the word “handicap” it’s Kane.
Rikishi and Too Cool made the interruption. They walked down to the ring together. Kane was up next with Paul Bearer to a huge ovation. The fans were really into Kane as a face going for revenge on X-Pac. The Rock was up last to a huge ovation and he marched down to the ring as all five faces went into the ring for a huge brawl with the heels. The faces cleaned house as they knocked all the heels out of the ring. The faces stood tall in the ring as Kane’s music played to end this opening segment after about 16 minutes.
Analysis: That was well done. It was a typical opening promo that did a good job of setting the stage for what was to come later in the evening with Triple H announcing all the matches they have booked. I’m not a fan of two handicap matches on the same card, but WWE loved booking those kinds of matches all the time.
Edge and Christian made their way to the ring. A clip aired from Smackdown that showed Bubba Ray Dudley hitting a Powerbomb through a table on BB. The Hardy Boyz made their way to the ring. They showed a clip of Bubba putting Terri Runnels through the announce table a few weeks earlier. The Dudleys were up last to big heel heat.
Edge (w/Christian) vs. Jeff Hardy (w/Matt Hardy) vs. D-Von Dudley (w/Bubba Ray Dudley)
Pre-match notes: Edge and Jeff were the faces while D-Von was the heel in this match.
The winner of this match earns his team a Tag Team Title match against the New Age Outlaws at No Way Out.
Edge and Jeff with a double team attack on D-Von followed by Edge tripping up Jeff leading to a headbutt to D-Von. Edge tried a corner splash, D-Von moved and D-Von took down both opponents with clotheslines. D-Von with a body slam and elbow drop on Jeff. Suplex by D-Von on Jeff got a two count. Edge up top with a missile dropkick that knocked down both guys. Bubba was on the apron, so Matt and Christian took him out with a double team suplex on the floor. Edge got a rollup on D-Von for two. Jeff sent Edge over the top with JR calling him Matt and Lawler said Mat too. Jeff hit a Twist of Fate on D-Von, Jeff went up top and connected with a Senton Bomb later to be known as a Swanton. Edge broke up the pin. Jeff went for an attack off the top on D-Von, but he moved and Edge hit a Spear on Jeff after Edge was aiming for D-Von. That led to D-Von hitting a reverse suplex into a slam for a pin at 3:01.
Winner by pinfall: D-Von Dudley
Analysis: ** It was a quick match with a lot of action. I thought it was weird that they would do a singles triple threat match to determine a Tag Team Title shot, but I guess it’s fine because it accomplished the goal of putting over the Dudleys. Since the Dudleys were built up so much in the previous couple of months, it made sense for them to win. I thought the finish was booked well with Edge missing his intended target with the Spear and D-Von capitalized to win.
After the match, Bubba celebrated with D-Von with Bubba saying “we’re going to No Way Out” repeatedly. Edge and Christian argued with the Hardy Boyz. They ended up having a match at No Way Out.
Mark Henry and Mae Young were shown at a hotel asking for a honeymoon suite and they got it. Oh no.
Road Dogg made his entrance. He is one half of the WWF Tag Team Champions, but he did not walk out with his title. Dogg did his fan-friendly intro even though he’s a heel because that’s what they did. Grandmaster Sexay made his entrance as the opponent.
Road Dogg vs. Grandmaster Sexay
Pre-match notes: Road Dogg was the heel and Sexay was the face.
Dogg with punches, Sexay came back with a full nelson into a front slam and a dropkick that sent Dogg into the barricade. Back in the ring, Dogg hit a running forearm to Sexay’s face followed by some bad dancing from Dogg, so Sexay hit a superkick to the face for two. Dogg charged in, Sexay with a boot to the face and Sexay hit a bulldog off the top rope. Dogg countered a bulldog attempt by shoving Sexay groin first into the turnbuckle. Kick to the head by Dogg got a two count. Sexay blocked a suplex and sent Dogg groin first onto the top rope. After a whip into the ropes, Sexay hit a DDT. Sexay with a powerslam. Sexay put on the goggles, he went up top and it took so long that his leg drop missed when Dogg moved. Dogg hit a pumphandle slam for the pinfall win at 4:11.
Winner by pinfall: Road Dogg
Analysis: *3/4 The match was okay with the crowd getting it more than you would think for a match like that. The finish was not that creative at all.
Mark Henry and Mae Young were shown getting to their room in the hotel. Henry picked up Mae and carried her into the room. Henry put the “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door. Thanks for that.
The Godfather and D-Lo Brown were shown backstage with the ho’s since they are up next.
The Godfather and D-Lo Brown made their entrance along with the ho’s that were part of the Ho Train. Godfather did his opening promo welcoming everybody to the Ho Train and the fans chanted “pimpin’ ain’t easy” right on cue because pimping is fun for the whole family!
Al Snow and Steve Blackman were backstage with Snow trying to hypnotize Blackman to try to get him ready for the match. Blackman wanted none of it and left. They made their entrance. Fans chanted “Headcheese” for them, which Snow liked, but Blackman hated.
The Godfather told Steve to relax and let some of that tension out. Godfather suggested that they can have a match any time, but he thinks they should go party with the girls in San Jose. Blackman didn’t want to do that. Godfather said fine, they’ll have a match and called him “headcheese” leading to the fans chanting that again.
The Godfather and D-Lo Brown vs. Al Snow and Steve Blackman
Pre-match notes: The Godfather and Brown were the faces. Snow and Blackman were heels in the past, but they were turning into faces.
Godfather worked on Snow early, then when Godfather ran the ropes, Blackman kneed him in the back and Snow took over with some stomps. Snow bickered with Blackman about something, so Brown tagged in with a jumping side kick on Snow. Snow with a body slam on Brown, Blackman tagged in and hit a dropkick as fans chanted “headcheese” again. Snow danced with one of the ho’s at ringside, Blackman was distracted and Brown did a sunset flip pin for the win at 1:29.
Winners by pinfall: The Godfather and D-Lo Brown
Analysis: 1/2* Bad match with a lame finish where Snow and Blackman did the bickering partners thing. The team would continue to be a dysfunctional team in the weeks to come.
Mark Henry and Mae Young were sitting on a couch in their hotel room. Henry said that seeing her smile was like watching the sunrise. She said they should get into something more comfortable with Henry saying “yes” because he was about to score with his pregnant elderly girlfriend. That was an awkward sentence to write.
The Rock was shown getting ready backstage.
Let’s Hear From Kurt Angle
Kurt Angle, the new European Champion, made his entrance to boos. Angle said that ever since he won that title, he noticed the changes in Europe such as the economy being up and suicide rates being down. Angle claimed that tourism has increased by 16.4%. Angle claimed that in America, the stock market has plummeted and crime rates have gone up while towns like San Jose have fallen to a deeper depression, which led to boos. Angle said that this occurred ever since Chris Jericho won the Intercontinental Title that meant he represented them. Angle said he’s going to do for America what he’s done for Europe. Angle said that he’s challenging Jericho for the Intercontinental Championship at No Way Out. The fans booed that. Angle claimed that he could make a much better champion than a loudmouth that has the audacity to call himself the Ayatollah. Angle said he’s challenging Jericho to accept Angle’s No Way Out challenge.
Angle complained about how Jericho was probably in Hollywood with Chyna while she embarrasses herself on a late night television show. The clip aired of Chyna in a cleavage enhanced outfit on the Tonight Show. Angle said he was on the Tonight Show once, but he wasn’t out there wearing a rubber outfit like that. Angle mentioned his three I’s leading to Jericho making the interruption.
Jericho welcomed us to Raw is Jericho. He called him “Kirk Angel” and told him to shut the hell up. Jericho said that Angle claims that America has fallen into a decline while Jericho claimed that ever since Angle has started talking, American has fallen asleep. Jericho called Angle a “Special Olympics jackass” and he said he didn’t know if he wanted to give Angle a title shot, but he would give him a Y2J beating right now.
Jericho charged into the ring and they got into a brawl with Jericho hitting a clothesline. Jericho stomped away and punched Angle leading to referees showing up to break it up. Chyna slowly walked down to the ring and Chyna dropped Angle with a DDT on the floor although the director missed most of it because the camera was on Jericho. Chyna went into the ring and raised Jericho’s hand.
Analysis: That was pretty good. They are two of my favorite wrestlers ever that set up a big match at No Way Out. Since neither guy had anything else going on, it made sense to put them in a feud. I thought was effective. I always loved the “Kirk Angel” name too.
There was a shot of Mark Henry in the bed in the hotel room and Mae Young joined him saying she was his valentine. I think this shot of Jerry Lawler pretending to throw up in his crown says it all.
Next up is The Rock vs. Chris Benoit.
The replay aired of the end of the Angle/Jericho brawl and Chyna hitting Angle with a DDT on the floor.
Chris Benoit entered with Eddie Guerrero, who had his left arm in a sling after the elbow injury from a few weeks earlier. JR called this a dream match, which it was for a lot of us at the time. The Rock entered with purpose and the crowd cheered him loudly as he got into the ring.
The Rock vs. Chris Benoit (w/Eddie Guerrero)
Pre-match notes: The Rock was the face and Benoit was the heel. This was their first match.
Rock was aggressive to start with punches and an elbow to the face. Benoit got into it with punches and chops, but Rock worked him over with punches of his own. Benoit with a lefty clothesline that gave him control followed by a snap suplex. Benoit with a backbreaker for two. Rock got back into it with a swinging neckbreaker for a two count. Benoit whipped Rock into the ropes, Guerrero grabbed Rock’s leg and Benoit decked Rock with an elbow to the face. Guerrero got in two punches and a kick to Rock that the ref never saw because he was keeping Benoit back. The action spilled to the floor with Benoit sending Rock’s left arm into the ring post. Benoit picked up a chair and hit Rock in the back with it. The referee Earl Hebner left the ring and was with both guys, but did not disqualify Benoit while JR was wondering where he was. They tried to say Guerrero distracted the referee, but we could see Hebner. Anyway, they went back into the ring with Benoit still in control. Rock got back into it with a clothesline and both guys were down. Belly to back suplex by Benoit. Rock got back into it with a DDT, but referee Earl Hebner was distracted by Guerrero on the apron. Rock punched Guerrero down and Benoit slapped on the Crippler Crossface on Rock. Rock managed to get to the ropes to break the hold. Rock got back into it with punches including the spit punch and Rock hit a Samoan Drop for two. Rock with a spinebuster followed by a clothesline that sent Benoit over the top to the floor. Guerrero distracted the referee, so Big Show went down to ringside and punched Rock. It was more like an open hand palm strike. Back in the ring, Benoit hit a bridging German Suplex, the ref Hebner finally went back into the ring and counted the pin to give Benoit the win at 7:43.
Winner by pinfall: Chris Benoit
Analysis: *** That was a very good match that was the biggest win of Benoit’s WWF career up to that point. Obviously, the finish was cheap to protect Rock with Benoit only winning because Big Show showed up to cost Rock the match. There was also that moment with the chair that they could have set up better because the ref wasn’t really distracted, but the announcers tried to cover for him. The action was solid in the match and I don’t mind the cheap ending because it fit the story.
After the match, Benoit celebrated the win with Guerrero. The announcers said they thought that Big Show was in Hawaii. Heels lie. Rock chased after Show up the ramp, so Benoit and Guerrero helped Show. That led to Show sending Rock into the ring. Benoit went up top and hit a headbutt on Rock and Show left.
A replay aired of Big Show costing The Rock the match against Chris Benoit.
Show was interviewed backstage by Michael Cole. Show said that was a work of art and a piece of what’s in store for The Rock at No Way Out. Show said that at No Way Out, there’s no way out for Rock and Show is headed to WrestleMania.
Mark Henry and Mae Young were in the bed with Henry giving her sweet chocolates. Young gave Henry edible undies and he was excited about it. The lights went out and Henry goes: “Mmmm tutti fruity.”
Analysis: I know WWE was going for comedy with this, but this grossed me out too much.
Billy Gunn made his entrance with Road Dogg, who did a quick promo leading to the “suck it” chant. Scotty 2 Hotty was joined by his tag team partner with Grandmaster Sexay.
Scotty 2 Hotty (w/Grandmaster Sexay) vs. “Mr. Ass” Billy Gunn (w/Road Dogg)
Pre-match notes: Scotty was the face and Gunn was the heel.
Gunn hit two body slams. Gunn went to the middle rope, he jumped off, Scotty with a punch to the ribs and a dropkick. Scotty with a bulldog on Gunn followed by the W-O-R-M into a chop to the face. Gunn got back into it with a Jackhammer slam. Gunn went for a corner charge, but Sexay punched Gunn in the face while Dogg was distracting the referee for some reason and Scotty covered Gunn to win at 1:59.
Winner by pinfall: Scotty 2 Hotty
Analysis: 1/2* It was an upset win thanks to the assist from Sexay. Quick match, so there wasn’t that much to it. Scotty getting a win was a bit of a surprise although it’s not like the WWF was pushing Too Cool for the titles since other teams were in the title mix.
Post match, Gunn hit Scotty with a clothesline and Gunn tossed Scotty out of the ring. Gunn also gave them this middle finger gesture. Don’t go stealing Stone Cold’s gimmick!
Kevin Kelly was shown outside of The Rock’s locker room looking ready to interview him.
A replay aired of Scotty’s win over Billy Gunn.
Crash Holly entered with Hardcore Holly and Hardcore joined the commentary team for this match.
Essa Rios made his Raw debut as the Light Heavyweight Champion and he was joined by Lita. This was also Lita’s Raw debut. One would become a WWE Hall of Famer and the other is poor Essa Rios. A clip aired of Rios winning the Light Heavyweight Title from Gillberg on Heat.
Light Heavyweight Championship: Essa Rios (w/Lita) vs. Crash Holly
Pre-match notes: Rios was the face and Holly was the heel.
Rios with an athletic arm drag off the top rope followed by a DDT out of the corner. Rios with a chop, but Crash took over setting Rios into the middle ropes. Crash went for a corner attack, Rios moved and Rios hit a neckbreaker off the ropes for two. Rios with a spin kick. Crash left the ring, so Rios jumped off the apron with a hurricanrana. Lita jumped off the steps and hit a hurricanrana on Crash on the floor. That drew a huge pop. That was impressive. Rios with a suplex. Rios went up top and hit a pretty moonsault for the pinfall win at 2:37. As soon as the bell rang, Lita went up top and hit a moonsault on Crash as well with Rios counting the pin.
Winner by pinfall: Essa Rios
Analysis: *1/2 It was an easy win to put over Rios in his Raw debut. Utilizing Lita to hit some aerial moves was a smart move because the crowd loved seeing that.
Post match, Hardcore said he was disappointed in Crash because a super heavyweight lost to a light heavyweight.
Kevin Kelly was shown outside The Rock’s locker room saying he was waiting to interview him.
Replays aired of Essa Rios getting the win.
Hardcore and Crash Holly were still in the ring. Hardcore said that Crash embarrassed the Holly family and him. He called him “Elroy” while adding that Crash lost to a Light Heavyweight and a woman. Hardcore said that it’s a good thing Crash has a right hand because that’s all he could get from a woman. Hardcore told Crash to watch Hardcore kick ass.
Tazz made his entrance with the black towel on the head.
Hardcore Holly (w/Crash Holly) vs. Tazz
Pre-match notes: Holly was the heel and Tazz was the face.
Holly was in control early with punches because he attacked Tazz before he could get in the ring. Holly got back into it with a hard whip into the corner followed by a powerslam. Holly with an atomic drop and a clothesline. Holly with a dropkick. Tazz barely sold it and hit a Northern Lights suplex for a two count. Tazz with a clothesline followed by forearms to the face of Holly as some mild “ECW” chants started. Tazz slapped on the Tazzmission, so Crash hit Tazz in the back for the DQ at 2:19.
Winner by submission: Tazz
Post match, Tazz hit a head and arm Tazzplex on Crash to end the segment.
Analysis: *1/2 A quick match to put Tazz over a midcarder like Hardcore Holly although it was not clean. The crowd was barely into it, which showed they didn’t care that much about Tazz less than one month into his WWF career.
The Rock emerged from his locker room and shoved Kevin Kelly out of the way, so he didn’t want to talk.
Rikishi made his entrance. Somebody asked me recently if WWE really spelled his name “Phatu” instead of his real last name “Fatu” and I’m here to show you that yes, they did. Phat was a slang term in this era and you can say it stood for “Pretty Hot And Tempting” as well.
Perry Saturn and Dean Malenko made their entrance for the handicap match.
Rikishi Phatu vs. Perry Saturn and Dean Malenko
Pre-match notes: Rikishi was the face while Saturn and Malenko were the heels.
Saturn and Malenko attacked Rikishi from behind. When they went for an atomic drop, Rikishi no sold it with the idea that his ass hurt their knees. Double clothesline by Rikishi, whip into the ropes leading to a Diamond Cutter on Malenko and a Samoan Drop on Saturn by “Rawkishi” as JR pronounced it. Rikishi did the stinkface on Saturn and Malenko against the turnbuckle. Saturn got back into it with a superkick and Malenko wit ha kick leading to Rikishi going down. The heels did a double dropkick. Rikishi got back into it with a suplex on both guys at the same time, which was a bit sloppy, but it got done. Rikishi went for a corner attack, but the heels moved and Rikishi hit the turnbuckle. Malenko with a clothesline, no sell by Rikishi and a superkick on Saturn followed by Rikishi hitting a Rikishi Driver on Malenko. I think that’s the first time JR actually called it by that name, so that’s good. Rikishi with a belly to belly suplex on Saturn. Rikishi pulled both guys to the apron to tease a move off the ropes. Eddie Guerrero ran down with the DREADED STEEL PIPE~! to the left leg of Rikishi. The ref called for the DQ at 3:20.
Winner by disqualification: Rikishi Phatu
Analysis: *3/4 The match was okay, but it made Saturn and Malenko look like losers. That’s because WWE was pushing Rikishi in a strong way as one of the top faces in the company. That’s the second straight DQ ending. I understand why they did it here, but I don’t think it was the right finish.
Note: The image above is right after he hit him with the steel pipe. I couldn’t get a better image of when it connected.
Post match, Eddie hit Rikishi in the back with the lead pipe again. Saturn with a missile dropkick on Rikishi. Too Cool ran out for the save, so the Radicals bailed and their music played even though they lost the match.
Analysis: It would lead to a big six-man tag at No Way Out with Rikishi and Too Cool vs. The Radicals.
Triple H and Stephanie were shown walking backstage because the main event is up next.
Kane made his entrance with daddy Paul Bearer by his side. JR plugged that next week’s Raw they would be at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta with over 30,000 fans there. That was a big one.
Triple H, the WWF Champion, made his entrance with wifey Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley-Game. I added that last one. Triple H paused on the stage for his entrance as X-Pac walked out with Tori. Triple H stopped X-Pac and pointed back to the stage because his partner is actually…The Big Show. That makes sense since they were the top heels in the WWF.
No Disqualification Handicap Match: Kane (w/Paul Bearer) vs. Big Show and Triple (w/Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley, X-Pac and Tori)
Pre-match notes: Kane was the face while Show and Triple H were the heels. Hunter and Show had to tag in and out even though it’s No DQ rules, so what is preventing them from both being in the ring? Nothing.
Kane attacked the heels early, but then Show got back in there to slow him down with a punch. Show hit a headbutt on Kane. Show with a punch, Kane no sell and Kane with several punches on Show. Show with a two handed choke slam on Kane for a two count. Hunter got back in with a knee to the face and a running knee to the face. Lawler pointed out that Show can do what he wants to Kane at the same time, which makes you wonder why have a regular tag match when the rules are No DQ? Kane and Hunter got into a slugfest, Hunter off the ropes and he hit a DDT for two. The announcers bickered about Kane attacking Tori and JR said that Tori wasn’t like a real woman after what she did to Kane. Show worked over Kane with a headbutt again. Hunter back in leading to a slugfest with Kane getting some shots in followed by a clothesline that knocked down Hunter. Kane with a boot to the face, Show back in the ring without a tag and Kane hit a clothesline on Show. Hunter hit a low blow with the ref not looking, which didn’t matter anyway because it’s a No DQ match. X-Pac handed Hunter a chair and Show hit a sidewalk slam on Kane. Hunter teased a Pedigree on the chair, but The Rock’s music hit. Rock into the ring and Show dropped him with a Chokeslam right away. Kane with a back body drop to Hunter, Show with a forearm to the back of Kane. X-Pac went into the ring. Cactus Jack ran down to the ring, he ran over Tori and got into a slugfest with Hunter. The crowd was going crazy. Show went after Rock punches and a kick for Kane while Jack and Hunter battled outside the ring. Rock hit Show in the back with the chair. Kane with a Chokeslam on Big Show and Kane covered Show to win at 7:19 even though I’m pretty sure Hunter was the legal man, but that didn’t seem to matter in this match.
Winner by pinfall: Kane
The win by Kane meant that he gets to face X-Pac in a No Holds Barred match at No Way Out.
Analysis: *1/2 The match was smore like a big angle to build to what was to come. It all fell apart quickly, but I liked the story of Kane finding a way to get the win to get his match with X-Pac.
Post match, the brawling continued all around the ring with Rock ready to hit a People’s Elbow on Show, but Triple H tripped up Rock. Show and Hunter worked over Rock. X-Pac hit a weak looking low blow on Kane. Jack got back in with a wrench that he used to hit X-Pac, Show and Hunter. That cleared the heels from the ring. Kane set the ring posts on fire and that was the end of the show with a staredown.
Analysis: It was an effective way to end Raw with a solid build to three big matches at No Way Out: Hunter vs. Cactus, Rock vs. Big Show and Kane vs. X-Pac. The crowd was hot for the last few minutes. You could tell by their reactions that the storylines were working.
The one thing that’s so obvious from the way these shows ended in 2000 is how hot the crowd was to end the night. Almost every time they signed off from Raw and most Smackdowns, the crowd was screaming as if they wanted more. That’s a feeling that doesn’t exist as much anymore.
This episode had a run time of 1:35:58 on WWE Network.
Three Stars of the Show
- The Rock
- Chris Benoit
This Raw episode gets a 6 out of 10.
It was a solid show in terms of story development. The matches were disappointing other than the Rock/Benoit match. I was surprised by the lack of Cactus Jack just because of his main event No Way Out match with Triple H. He was only for two minutes at the end.
I’m not a fan of doing two handicap matches back to back. I think doing one per show is more than enough. When you do two it’s repetitive and doing them back to back is lame.
Things were definitely heading in the right direction for the company in terms of good storylines and building to PPV matches the fans wanted to see. The No Way Out card looks really good on paper. I haven’t watched it in years, so I look forward to getting through that soon.
I’ll be back on Thursday with the Smackdown review for the same week.
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