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This was a big show with a very famous Raw moment, so I’m looking forward to going through it again. We were on the road to Backlash with Triple H set to defend the WWF Title against The Rock in the main event and there’s plenty of other interesting stuff going on as well.

The synopsis for this episode on WWE Network is: “Linda McMahon turns the tables on The McMahon-Helmsley Faction with an announcement. Chris Jericho proves his worth.”

Check out our WWF TV in 2000 archives in case you missed anything from earlier in the year. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport and tweet me to talk about this show or anything else. Let’s get to it.

WWF Raw #360
April 17, 2000
From Bryce Jordan Center (Penn State) in State College, Pennsylvania

This show has a TV-14 rating and “V” for Violence on WWE Network.

The Raw intro video aired to begin the show. The crowd was very loud, there were signs everywhere and a lot of energy at Penn State. The announcers are Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler as usual.

Chris Jericho made his entrance to start the show and he got a huge ovation. Triple H was shown backstage with Shane and Stephanie with Hunter looking ready to go.

Jericho welcomed us to Raw is Jericho. Jericho said it seems that he is in hot water yet again. Jericho noted that last week he was punished for calling Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley a bargain basement slut (fans cheered) and he also called her the skankiest, bottom-feeding, trashbag ho he has ever seen in his life! Jericho claimed he was there to apologize to all of the bargain basement sluts and all the trashbag ho’s for even comparing them to the miserable slimeball pig that is Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley. That drew cheers. Jericho said he apologized to anybody offended by it…except for Stephanie.

Analysis: This was the start of Jericho’s insults towards Stephanie, which would last until they became allies in late 2001.

Triple H made his entrance with the WWF Title and he had Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley and Shane McMahon with him. Jericho bailed to the floor.

Jericho said that if you think Triple H wants to impress Stephanie, he should put the WWF Title on the line and make this match for the WWF Championship. Hunter said “you’re on” to accept the challenge.

Jericho said that now that this is a WWF Championship match, he invested in some backup for this match only. Jericho introduced The Acolytes as his protection for this match. Bradshaw and Faarooq made their entrance to be in Jericho’s corner.

WWF Championship: Triple H (w/Shane McMahon and Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley) vs. Chris Jericho (w/Faarooq and Bradshaw)

Pre-match notes: Triple H was the heel champion while Jericho was the face challenger. The referee for the match is Mike Chioda, which is an important point for this match.

Jericho worked over Hunter with chops, a drop toe hold and a clothesline. The crowd chanted for Jericho as he dumped Hunter over the top to the floor. Hunter took control with a punch to the face when they were out of the ring and that led to an “Asshole” chant. Jericho with a springboard dropkick to knock Hunter off the apron. Hunter drove Jericho’s throat into the top rope followed by the running high knee. Hunter worked over Jericho with punches and then shoved away referee Chioda when he tried to get Hunter to stop. Hunter worked over Jericho with forearms to the chest that knocked Jericho out of the ring. Jericho sent Hunter face first into the announce table, but Hunter hit a kick to the face to take control again. Hunter whipped Jericho hard into the steel steps. Back in the ring, Hunter with a vertical suplex followed by a knee drop to the face with Jericho’s lip busted open. Hunter came back with a DDT. Hunter went up top, which he rarely does, so Jericho slammed Hunter off the top. Running back elbow by Jericho, boot to the face and a missile dropkick off the middle ropes for two. The crowd reacted to that in a big way because they were into this match. Hunter wanted a Pedigree, Jericho countered it and couldn’t slap on the Walls of Jericho, so Jericho catapulted Hunter into referee Mike Chioda against the turnbuckle. Bulldog by Jericho. When Jericho went up top, Shane tripped him up and the Acolytes chased Shane to the back. Stephanie threw the WWF Title into the ring to help her husband. Jericho with a kick to the chest and Jericho hit Hunter in the head with the WWF Title. No referee there to count. Earl Hebner, who was put on probation as a referee, ran in to count one…two…and Hunter kicked out! Awesome nearfall! Hunter with a knee to face called a facebuster. Hunter was mad at Hebner being in the ring, so Hunter shoved him and Hebner shoved back. Hunter shoved Hebner on his ass. Jericho capitalized with a spinning heel kick to the face and a Lionsault on Hunter. Hebner turned back over, did a fast one…two…three count and Jericho won the WWF Title! Or so we thought. The crowd popped huge for it! The match went 8:45.

Winner by pinfall and New WWF Champion: Chris Jericho (It did not last!)

Analysis: **** This was a great match and an incredible bit of television that was ridiculously fun to watch. It was full of some very believable nearfalls from both guys, I loved the way they booked that ref bump leading to Hebner taking over, which enraged Hunter and Jericho took advantage of it. The crowd was ridiculously loud for everything here. I enjoyed watching it again and how well they booked everything. This is masterful booking right here. The beautiful thing about getting to re-watch it again is I got to see all the little things they did to build this up in the previous couple of weeks with the Hunter/Hebner stuff. They paid it off so well. Jericho getting the win was a huge upset at the time.

JR: “We’ve got a new champion! My god, can you believe it? Jericho, Jericho, Jericho has just beat The Game for the WWF Title! Jericho has done it and Triple H is beside himself! He can’t believe it and quite frankly neither can I!” Lawler was screaming about how this can’t be real.

Analysis: JR is the best ever. He proved it again with that reaction.

Post match, Hunter was furious and he chased after Hebner, but the APA was standing there to prevent Hunter from getting him. Jericho grabbed the WWF Title and left the ring with it. Hunter and Stephanie continued their anger in the ring and that led to a break.

Analysis: The pop from the crowd was thunderous. I doubt they showed up at this show expecting a WWF Title change, so when they got it, they reacted to it in a huge way. It was a long, sustained pop from fans that were so happy to see Triple H lose the title…even though it did not last.

(Commercial)

There was a replay of the WWF Title change before the break.

The cameras were backstage in the referee locker room with Hunter and Shane yelling at Hebner. Hunter grabbed Hebner, Shane grabbed Chioda and they brought them back out to the ring as fans chanted “Asshole” at them.

Hunter told Earl that he screwed him while Shane held Earl in a full nelson. Hunter said that Earl jobbed him out, he knows it and Hunter said that Mike Chioda was the assigned official, not this “piece of crap” Hebner. Hunter said he wants Chioda to see the footage, so Hunter told Kevin Dunn to put the footage up and they showed the fast count from Hebner. Hunter: “I was screwed.” He said that the world saw it. Hunter said he wanted Chioda’s unbiased professional opinion. Chioda: “Earl, that was a fast count. You screwed Triple H. That was a fast count.” Chioda was excused from the ring.

Hunter said that the official referee of that match said that Earl screwed Hunter. Hunter called the crowd “idiots” so they booed and told Earl to reverse that decision because Hunter is still the WWF Champion. Hunter said that this match will be stricken from the record books, it never happened and Earl had to reverse that decision now.

Earl: “NO!” Huge pop from the crowd for that.

When Hunter and Shane threatened Earl again, Earl told them to hold it. Hebner said that he’ll reverse the decision on one term: “That nobody touches me as long as I’m a WWE referee, that goes for you (Shane), you (Stephanie) and you (Hunter) better not put your damn hands on me ever again!” Hunter summarized what Earl said, so they had a deal. Earl said yes he’ll reverse that decision.

Hunter told Earl to get the WWF Title from that “sawed off midget” Chris Jericho, so Earl left. Hunter told the “pieces of crap” in the crowd that they didn’t see a damn thing.

Chris Jericho showed up and said matter of factly: “Shut the hell up!” The fans cheered that. Jericho said that now he has to give up the WWF Title because that match never took place and because these Jerichoholics never saw Jericho beat him? He said I guess we can all believe that, so he guesses it’s also not true that Stephanie hasn’t slept with half the boys in that locker room while saying that he guesses we can’t believe that either. Jericho gave the WWF Title back and Hebner gave it to Hunter.

Analysis: They were really pushing the promos with Jericho insulting Stephanie and the fans loved it every single time.

Hunter ordered Earl to put the title around Hunter’s waist where it belongs. Earl did it as you can see above.

Hunter said that before Earl goes, Hunter wants to talk about the deal that they made while noting that as long as Earl is a referee in the WWF, nobody will put a hand on him ever again. Hunter said there is one other thing he forgot to tell him: “Your ass is fired!” That drew huge boos.

Hunter and Shane beat up Earl and Hunter even hit Earl with a Pedigree. Other referees went into the ring to stop Hunter from doing more damage. JR said it was one of the most appalling things he has ever seen. Hunter left with Shane and Stephanie while the referees checked on Hebner.

Analysis: This was a massive heel heat segment. It was a reminder of how exceptional Hunter was as a heel. The booking helped obviously because this was designed to get the fans to hate Hunter, Shane and Steph a lot, but the execution of it was perfect too. When the booking perfect and the performances are awesome then you get some very entertaining television. I guarantee you that anybody that saw this stuff “live” nearly 20 years ago will remember it well because it was great to watch. Hebner was not gone for very long, of course.

(Commercial)

Eddie Guerrero was shown backstage studying for his GED test. Chyna told him they had a match right now, so they left.

There was a replay of Triple H firing Earl Hebner followed by Hunter giving Earl a Pedigree in the middle of the ring.

There was a shot of a limousine pulling up in the parking lot and it was Linda McMahon. She was greeted by Pat Patterson and Gerald Brisco.

Analysis: It was a way to tease something might happen later with a Linda announcement.

The Hardy Boyz (Matt and Jeff Hardy) vs. Essa Rios (w/Lita) and Eddie Guerrero (w/Chyna)

Pre-match notes: The Hardys were faces. Rios was a tweener that was barely on television. Eddie was a heel, but he was cheered sometimes as well. Eddie was also the European Champion.

Guerrero and Rios worked well together when Guerrero launched Rios into the air for a dropkick on Jeff. Rios hit a dropkick to the back of Jeff’s head. Guerrero with a belly to back suplex and he dumped Jeff out of the ring, so she knocked down Jeff with a forearm to the chest. Rios back in with a dropkick, Guerrero tagged in and hit a senton splash over the top. Jeff with a spinning slam on Eddie and Matt tagged in. Matt with back body drop on Eddie, body slam on Rios and a double team slam by the Hardys on Guerrero. Double team back body drop sent Rios over the top to the floor. Jeff with a slingshot cross body block on Rios on the floor. Matt with a suplex on Guerrero. Jeff up top, Lita distracted the referee and Chyna grabbed Jeff in the groin followed by Jeff crashing into the top rope. Rios went up top and hit a moonsault press off the top onto Matt. Rios hit a running dive over the turnbuckle and took out Jeff on the floor. Eddie slammed Matt, Lita went up top, Matt moved and Lita hit Eddie with a moonsault press by accident. Matt kicked Lita out of the ring. Matt hit the Twist of Fate on Eddie and pinned him for the pinfall win at 4:44.

Winners by pinfall: The Hardy Boyz

Analysis: **3/4 Good match where they worked a fast pace and it was fun to watch. They involved Chyna and Lita well while also getting the Hardys over with a win. The finish was done in a way to set up a brief feud with Eddie vs. Rios where the women were also involved.

Post match, Chyna yelled at Rios about what Lita did. Chyna kicked Rios in the gut and hit a Powerbomb on him. Eddie stomped away on Rios to end it. Eddie hugged Chyna’s leg to apologize for the loss.

Analysis: This set up Eddie vs. Rios at Backlash.

Linda McMahon was backstage in an office when Shane McMahon walked in to give his mom a hug. He said he thought she was over in Europe on business with dad (Vince). She said she was, but she had to come back to make an important announcement. Linda said it’s about The Rock and she said he can hear it when everybody else does. Shane left.

(Commercial)

Hunter, Shane and Stephanie were in their dressing room with Hunter wondering what Linda is going to do there. Stephanie said that Shane needs to find out what’s going on, so Shane left.

Tazz made his entrance with the ECW Championship around his waist.

Analysis: That is not a misprint. There was an issue over there, so Tazz was brought back to ECW where he beat Mike Awesome for the ECW Title while Awesome worked for WCW. It was a quick match that was over in a few minutes and then Awesome left through the crowd because there was legit fear he may get his ass kicked by ECW guys. Awesome took a big money deal from WCW without telling ECW mainly because ECW was having money issues, so Awesome was worried that the ECW guys would be upset with him, which they were. It was a very unique situation to have a WWF guy beating a WCW guy for the ECW Title, but that’s what happened.

Hardcore Championship: Crash Holly vs. Perry Saturn vs. Tazz

Pre-match notes: Crash was a tweener, Saturn was a heel and Tazz was a face.

Crash attacked Saturn with a cookie sheet in the back of the head before the match. Saturn back in with clotheslines on both guys. Tazz with a back body drop on Saturn and a clothesline by Tazz on Crash got two as Saturn broke up the pin. Saturn with a slam on Tazz. Saturn with a German Suplex on Crash and Tazz beat up both guys with the cookie sheet. Crash sent Tazz face first into the middle rope followed by a hurricanrana on Saturn. Tazz and Saturn did Russian legsweeps at the same time, so all three guys bumped. Sweep kick and clothesline took out Crash. Hardcore Holly went down to the ring to go after Crash by sending him into the barricade. Crash whipped Hardcore into the ring post. Tazz slammed Saturn down and slapped on the Tazzmission submission, but Crash broke that up with a cookie sheet to the back. Hardcore with a Falcon Arrow slam on Saturn, Crash dropkicked Hardcore and Crash covered Saturn to get the pinfall win at 3:24.

Winner by pinfall: Crash Holly

Analysis: **1/4 It was a decent hardcore match where they didn’t use a lot of weapons. They booked it this way to continue the story of Crash finding ways to hold onto his title.

Linda McMahon was shown in her office again with Shane McMahon showing up to ask what she was doing. Linda said that this announcement is about Backlash and she should do it right now, so Linda left.

(Commercial)

Kurt Angle was shown “earlier today” at Penn State with a megaphone telling students about the joy of celibacy. He was wearing a sign that said “Olympic Heroes for Abstinence” on one side and “Oral Exams not Oral Sex” on the back. Funny.

Let’s Hear form Linda McMahon

Linda McMahon, who was the WWF’s CEO at this time, was in the ring for a special announcement. Linda said that she’s there to address a situation. Linda said that The Rock is scheduled for the WWF Title match against Triple H at Backlash. She noted that Vince and Stephanie will be there at ringside to support Triple H. The trio of Hunter, Steph and Shane were watching backstage. Linda said that The Rock hasn’t asked for help, but she has decided to put somebody in his corner to even the odds a little bit.

Linda said that some of you are saying Mick Foley, but it’s not him. She said that Mick was a one time, one night only and Mick is very happily retired at home. Linda said that there is going to be a very special individual in Rock’s corner that will have his back at Backlash in two weeks…it will be none other than…(long pause)…Stone Cold Steve Austin! Huge pop!

JR: “The Rattlesnake! The Rattlesnake! Stone Cold is going to Backlash! Stone Cold is going to be in The Rock’s corner. For the love of God, the Rattlesnake is coming back!”

Analysis: Just to recap the Austin situation, he was out since November 1999 due to getting run over by a car at Survivor Series. The real reason was for neck surgery, which he had in January 2000. His return to the ring was in October 2000, but by April 2000 he was physically cleared to appear in a WWF ring although he couldn’t take bumps yet. It was a huge announcement, obviously.

The crowd was screaming with joy as Stephanie, Hunter and Shane marched out to the ring to confront Linda.

Stephanie grabbed the microphone from her mother. She said what’s unfair is Linda hopping on a plane…and fans chanted “slut” at Stephanie. Stephanie complained about Linda coming into this ring and making decisions about things she knows nothing about. Stephanie referenced when she slapped her mom and said they have no problem slapping people around. Stephanie said that she’ll give Linda the opportunity to change her mind. Linda said: “No.”

Stephanie tried to slap Linda, but Linda blocked it and slapped Stephanie! That drew a huge pop too! Linda was shocked by what she did while the crowd was cheering loudly for it. Linda said “I’m so sorry” to Stephanie. Hunter tried to Pedigree Linda, but Shane saved his mom by punching Hunter. Linda bailed while Shane and Hunter argued with eachother. Stephanie slapped her husband and brother as they argued about things.

Analysis: That was probably the best Linda segment ever or at least one of the few good ones. Linda had a lot of weird moments and some of them were so awkward, but she handled everything well here. Stephanie sold the slap well.

The Rock’s music hit as the People’s Champion stood on the stage for a promo. The crowd gave him a big ovation as usual. JR was screaming about how business has picked up.

The Rock said that before Hunter and Shane play Ali and Frazier and the referee is the prostitute in training (Stephanie), The Rock has something to say. Rock said that when he felt great about Backlash, he was fine with it and he liked that, but after hearing Linda’s announcement, a great situation just got better. Loud “Rocky” chants. Rock said that now it’s going to be Triple H with Vince in his corner and Rock with Austin 3:16. Rock said that the whole world knows his history with Austin, but they know Triple H is the “biggest asshole walking God’s green Earth.” That “Asshole” usage was not bleeped.

Rock said that in two weeks at Backlash, he’s going to walk in, whip Triple H’s monkey ass and walk out the WWF Champion. He said there’s no other way…if you smell what The Rock is cooking.

Analysis: Great promo from Rock as usual. That was another outstanding segment on this show from Linda’s announcement to the slap on Steph and then Rock’s appearance adding to the excitement.

(Commercial)

The Lugz Boot of the Week showed what happened on Heat when T&A beat up the Dudley Boyz.

A replay aired of what happened before the break.

Triple H and friends were interviewed by Michael Cole backstage. Triple H said that he didn’t lose a damn thing. He said nobody beats him, not Rock, not Jericho, not Austin. Hunter said that Jericho can team with the Acolytes against Hunter, Road Dogg and X-Pac. Hunter shoved Cole away to end it.

Analysis: Thanks for shoving Cole. I approve of that.

Al Snow and Steve Blackman vs. The Dudley Boyz (Bubba Ray and D-Von Dudley)

Pre-match notes: Snow and Blackman were faces, but it was hard to define them in this period. The Dudleys were heels for several months leading up to this and their current storyline with T&A turned them into faces.

The match started as a brawl on the floor. Snow and D-Von battled in the ring with Snow hitting kick to the head while Blackman whipped Bubba into the steel steps. Snow hit a moonsault off the ropes on D-Von on the floor. Bubba and Blackman battled in the ring with Blackman hitting a spin kick to the head. They left the ring again with Bubba whipping Blackman into the steel steps. Bubba went back into the ring and the Dudleys hit 3D on Snow. Test, Albert and Trish ran down to the ring, Trish distracted the referee and Test hit an elbow drop on D-Von’s back. When the ref Chad Patton turned back around, he was looking right at Test putting Snow on D-Von, but he did nothing about it because he was probably supposed to not see it. Here’s a screencap of that little mistake by the referee or perhaps it’s on Trish because she shouldn’t let him turn around as soon as he did.

Anyway, the referee counted the pin and Snow got the win at 1:34.

Winners by pinfall: Al Snow and Steve Blackman

Analysis: 1/4* There was not much of a match here since there were no tags to make it look like a match. It was more about advancing the storyline between the T&A guys and the Dudleys, which continued after the match as well.

Post match, Test clotheslined D-Von out of the ring and Bubba dumped Albert out of the ring. Trish went into the ring, so Bubba grabbed her by the hair and the fans cheered because of Bubba wanting to put her through a table. Bubba told D-Von to get the table. Trish was freaking out and then she kissed Bubba on the lips to prevent his attack. Bubba stared straight ahead with a look that JR described as an “orgasmic trance” and Bubba kept looking forward as she left with her guys.

Analysis: It was a way to further the storyline to show that Bubba may not be able to put Trish through a table. It also made me hate Bubba Ray Dudley. Just saying.

There was a clip of Angle at Penn State earlier today. A couple was kissing in a cafeteria and Angle told them to think about abstinence. He gave the woman a lollipop. That made me laugh at least. I am easily amused.

(Commercial)

There was a shot of the NFL’s Lavar Arrington, who was drafted by the Washington Redskins and went to Penn State. He had a pretty good career.

WWF Light Heavyweight Championship: Dean Malenko vs. Scotty 2 Hotty

Pre-match notes: Malenko was the heel Light Heavyweight Champion while Scotty was the face challenger. His tag team partner Grandmaster Sexay was out after knee surgery.

Scotty with a shoulder tackle followed by a clothesline. Malenko came back with a clothesline to take control. Malenko hit a vertical suplex followed by punches to the head. Malenko with a snapmare followed by an elbow to the head and a corner clothesline. Scotty came back with a powerslam for two. Scotty with a back body drop, whip into the turnbuckle and a bulldog. Scotty set up for the W-O-R-M with Lawler saying the letters one by one and Scotty connected with a chop for a big pop. JR: “He connected with his worm! I can’t believe I said that.” Malenko hit a double underhook into a Powerbomb. Malenko slapped on the Texas Cloverleaf submission on, but Scotty got to the bottom rope to break the hold. They battled on the top rope, Malenko wanted a superplex, he connected with it and Scotty hooked the leg to win by pinfall at 4:39.

Winner by pinfall and New Light Heavyweight Champion: Scotty 2 Hotty

Analysis: **1/2 It was a pretty good match for the time given. Nice counter for the finish. I had forgotten about this title change. Scotty got a good pop for the win because he was one of the most popular guys on the show. They had a much better match at Backlash as well.

Post match, Scotty celebrated with some breakdancing on his own.

Kurt Angle was shown at Penn State earlier in the day telling the students they didn’t have to give in to temptation. Big Show showed up giving condoms to the students.

Analysis: The Big Show/Angle feud started the previous week, so this was a way to further that.

(Commercial)

Big Show entered without a costume this week, so he was looking serious for a change. Show was wearing a “Big Nasty Bastard” shirt.

Intercontinental Championship: Chris Benoit vs. Big Show

Pre-match notes: Benoit was the heel Intercontinental Champion. Show was a face that was in more of a comedic role after he spent about a year as a heel.

Show with a press slam. Benoit tried to fight back, but Show hit a headbutt and tossed Benoit out of the ring. Show whipped Benoit hard into the steel steps at ringside. Benoit came back by shoving Show face first into the steel ring post. Show press slammed Benoit back into the ring. After a whip into the ropes, Show hit a kick to the face. Show teased a Chokeslam, so Benoit kicked him in the groin for the DQ finish at 2:18

Winner by disqualification: Big Show (Benoit was still IC Champion)

Analysis: 1/2* Poor match with a weak ending. Show was on offense for most of it when they opted to go for the lame finish.

Kurt Angle ran down to the ring and stomped on Show’s groin repeatedly. Angle hit an elbow drop to Show’s groin and Angle left after that.

Analysis: It was a cheap attack from Angle to continue their rivalry. Their Backlash match ended up being a joke.

(Commercial)

WWF Tag Team Championships: Edge and Christian vs. Bull Buchanan and Big Boss Man

Pre-match notes: Edge and Christian were the Tag Team Champions that were still acting as faces even though they started a heel turn before WrestleMania. Bull and Boss Man were heels.

Christian with a clothesline on Buchanan as the fans chanted “Boss Man Sucks.” Edge tagged with a running splash on Boss Man against the turnbuckle. Christian tagged in, Boss Man with a knee to the back and Bull hit a scissors kick on Christian. Double team punch by the heels and Boss Man hit a body slam on Christian. Buchanan slammed Christian into the barricade, which got a two count for Boss Man back in the ring. Boss Man with a boot to the face. Buchanan jumped off the turnbuckle with a clothesline like he did in every match. Boss Man tossed Christian across the ring. Christian made a comeback with a dropkick off the middle ropes, Edge tagged in and hit a spinning heel kick on Boss Man. Edge with a back body drop on Bull. Double team dropkick by E&C put Boss Man down and Edge hit a Spear on Boss Man. Buchanan hit a leg drop to the back of Edge’s head. Buchanan knocked Christian out of the ring. Bull and Boss Man double teamed Edge with kicks, so referee Teddy Long called for the disqualification at 4:41.

Winners by disqualification: Edge and Christian

Analysis: *1/2 It was a boring match, which is common for any match with Bull and Boss Man in it. The finish was lame. This is one of those matches where if it was only two minutes, I would have liked it more.

Post match, Kane made his entrance with Paul Bearer with Kane wearing a cast on the left hand to sell the attack that Boss Man and Buchanan did on his hand. Kane punched Boss Man out of the ring and then spiked Buchanan with a Chokeslam in the middle of the ring. Kane lit the ring posts on fire to celebrate.

Analysis: The Chokeslam by Kane on Bull was very impressive as you can see there. It was not a feud I was interested in, but this was WWE’s way of trying to elevate the newcomer Bull by having him paired up with a veteran like Boss Man and a popular face like Kane. Bull never became a big star, but at least they tried.

(Commercial)

The trio of Chris Jericho, Bradshaw and Faarooq were interviewed by Michael Cole. It was a brief interview with Cole wondering if the APA were paid off by the McMahons, they did not like that questioning and Bradshaw called Cole “a little bitch.” I approve of that. Jericho told “Mitchell” he got his answer there.

A replay aired of Kane destroying Bull Buchanan and Big Boss Man from before the break.

Road Dogg, X-Pac and Tori were standing in a hallway. Edge and Christian walked by with their titles, Dogg and X-Pac attacked them from behind and beat them up. Dogg told them to shine the titles up for them.

Analysis: The Tag Team Title match at Backlash was E&C vs. Dogg and X-Pac, so it was just a quick way to set it up.

(Commercial)

The face trio made their entrance for the main event with Chris Jericho out first followed by the APA duo of Bradshaw and Farooq.

The DX group was up next to the Run DMC version of their song. The King of Rock who, the King of Rock what and so on.

Degeneration X – Triple H, X-Pac and Road Dogg (w/Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley, Shane McMahon and Tori) vs. Chris Jericho, Bradshaw and Faarooq

Pre-match notes: The DX team led by Triple H were the heels while Jericho and the APA were the faces.

Bradshaw with a boot to the face of Hunter, Jericho tagged in and Bradshaw decked Hunter with a clothesline. Jericho slapped on the Walls of Jericho on Hunter and X-Pac saved his buddy with a kick to the back of Jericho’s head. Road Dogg took over even though there was no tag. Some random fans walked in the background with a sign that said “BEER” on it. Here’s a look.

Triple H worked over Jericho with kicks, but Jericho came back with a running forearm to the face. Faarooq tagged in with a body slam on Dogg and Bradshaw hit a fallaway slam on X-Pac after he kicked down Dogg. X-Pac hit a spin kick on Faarooq to put him down. Dogg worked over Faarooq with some punches, but Faarooq stopped that when he grabbed Dogg and hit a huge spinebuster on him. Bradshaw tagged in, the referee never saw it and the heels went back to work on Faarooq. The fans chanted “Shane’s a pussy” and JR said it was “some sort of ho.” The heels kept getting in cheap shots on Faarooq although X-Pac’s offense on Faarooq looked weak. Faarooq hit a backbreaker on X-Pac. Jericho got the hot tag against Hunter and Jericho hit a bulldog. Jericho hit the Lionsault for a two count as X-Pac made the save. X-Pac with the X-Factor on Jericho. Bradshaw took X-Pac out of the ring and Faarooq took Dogg out of the ring. Edge and Christian showed up to beat up X-Pac and Road Dogg. Those guys left to the back, so Hunter and Jericho were alone in the ring. Hunter covered for a two count. The Acolytes came back down to the ring and Jericho got a rollup for two. Boss Man and Buchanan went down to the ring to fight with the Acolytes. Hunter whipped Jericho into the turnbuckle, kick to the gut and Hunter hit a Pedigree for the pinfall win at 7:39.

Winners by pinfall: Degeneration X – Triple H, X-Pac and Road Dogg

Analysis: ***1/4 That was an entertaining main event match with good action from the moment it began. There was a lot going on since it was a six-man tag, plus the three people on the floor causing distractions. The finish felt like it was rushed perhaps because they were told to go home, so Hunter just ended it with the Pedigree. I would have liked to see Jericho get the win, but they probably wanted to keep Hunter strong as the WWF Champion.

Post match, Hunter and crew celebrated the win. That was the end of Raw for this week.

This episode of Raw had a runtime of 1:35:54 on WWE Network.

 

Three Stars of the Show

  1. Chris Jericho
  2. Triple H
  3. Earl Hebner – There aren’t many times where I would say a referee was a star of the show, but Earl played his part perfectly in the first 30 minutes.

 

The Scoreboard

This Raw episode gets a 9 out of 10.

Excellent show. I don’t go that high for Raw episodes that often, but this was a lot of fun especially in the first 30 minutes and some of the other things were interesting too. That Triple H/Jericho segment with Hebner’s involvement was awesome storytelling. Plus, the match was outstanding too. There were other good matches as well with the main event and the Hardys win.

This episode really elevated Jericho to that next level. He was probably the second biggest face on the show (after The Rock) following this edition of Raw.

The biggest story of the night was that Steve Austin’s return was announced for Backlash, which really got people excited about what was going to happen in the future.

Shoutout to the Penn State crowd. They were f’n awesome too.

I don’t think everything in this episode was great. Most of the bad stuff was kept brief, so it can be forgiven. You can’t expect every single segment to be amazing. It’s still an episode of Raw that I rate very highly as one of the best Raw episodes ever. The good far outweighed the bad on this night.

Thanks for reading. My contact info is below.

John Canton

Email mrjohncanton@gmail.com

Twitter @johnreport

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