Welcome to another WWF in 2000 review for the go home edition of Raw as they headed towards SummerSlam. Most of the main matches were set by this point and it was a strong card, so this episode of Raw, as well as the next Smackdown, were all about getting us ready for SummerSlam. This episode of Raw also had a very unique main event because it was a Women’s Title match with Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley defending the title she barely defended against Lita.
There wasn’t that much news in the Wrestling Observer going into the show. We did find out that Big Show was dealing with a herniated disc in his back and he would be sent to OVW in Louisville to get in better shape. Show was pushed early in the year, turned face, was taken out by Shane McMahon and then came back as an ally of Shane as a heel, but then Show got hurt with the back injury. It was an inconsistent year for the big man.
This was an interesting tidbit that was in the Observer:
“WWF released a promotional poster for its PPV shows over the next year to cable companies. Rock was positioned as the big star, to no surprise, with HHH and Austin sharing the second level. Interesting is that Stephanie McMahon was positioned as the fourth biggest star in the company in the poster.”
That big Stephanie McMahon push. I mean she was on the shows a lot in multiple segments, but it did seem to be a bit much to put her in that spot with the other guys. I would have had Kurt Angle there.
Here is the synopsis for this episode on WWE Network:
“Kurt Angle and Triple H look to put aside their differences when Commissioner Foley orders them to team up to face The Acolytes. However, things break down after Foley announces that Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley will defend her Women’s Championship against Lita in the main event with WWE Champion The Rock serving as the special guest referee. / 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 #378
August 21, 2000
From Cajun Dome in Lafayette, Louisiana
There was a video package of the last Smackdown with WWF Champion The Rock getting pinned by Triple H thanks to an assist from Kurt Angle after there was a ref bump. A combination of a low blow, steel chair and Pedigree beat The Rock. The Raw intro video aired after that.
The pyro went off in the arena, there were signs everywhere and the crowd was loud. Jim Ross welcomed us to the show while noting that Jerry “The King” Lawler was not there yet.
Let’s Hear from The Rock
The WWF Champion The Rock made his entrance to a huge ovation as usual with Rock in street clothes including an expensive shirt, sunglasses and the WWF Title on his shoulder. The crowd was loud.
Rock did his “finally” line to begin the promo while adding this was the home of the bayou, home of the cajuns and said that Lousiana is the state that is shaped like a boot. Speaking of boots, considering what Triple H and Kurt Angle did to Rock last week, Rock wants to take his own boot, spread some jambalaya on it (cheap pop), spread some gumbo on it (also cheap pop) and spread some of that Louisiana hot sauce all over it (even bigger cheap pop). Loud “Rocky” chants again. Rock said he’ll shove that boot up Triple H’s ass, have it come out of Triple H’s mouth, put some more hot sauce on it and shove it up Kurt Angle’s candy ass.
Rock said that both of them had different agendas and goals like going to SummerSlam to win the WWF Title from The Rock. Rock said they both care about “rancid slut meat” referring to Stephanie McMahon. Ouch. Rock isn’t just thinking about SummerSlam because he wants some payback tonight.
The WWF Commissioner Mick Foley made his entrance and he got a big ovation from the crowd. This was a very vocal crowd, which is always great to see. Loud “Foley” chants for the Commish.
Foley said he knows how Rock feels and said that once upon a time he used to be a WWF Champion. Foley said he knows Rock has anger, but warned him that tempers can be lost and titles can be lost with SummerSlam coming up in six days. Foley said even though he’s a popular guy in Lafayette, Louisiana (cheap pop), he has to make an unpopular move by giving Rock the night.
Kurt Angle was next for the promo party with Shane McMahon joining him on the stage. Angle said that last week, Foley was trying to split Kurt and the McMahon-Helmsley family apart and it almost worked, but he did come back for Rock’s match with Triple H. Angle noted that he hit Rock with a steel chair to allow Triple H to get the win, so Angle is a man of integrity. Kurt said he picked loyalty over selfishness while adding that he gained a friend.
Triple H made his entrance with wifey Stephanie McMahon-Hemsley in her “SMH” shirt that does not mean “Shaking My Head.” They stood together on the ramp.
Hunter shook Angle’s hand to let him know he was proud of him. That led to “Asshole” chants. Hunter said that nothing will endear him to a person faster than watching him hit Rock with a steel chair in the head. Hunter said he can’t blame Rock for being upset since Hunter beat Rock on Thursday in the center of that very ring. Hunter noted that since he had his family problems behind him, he can get back to beating Rock’s ass. Hunter said that if Rock is that upset and he feels like putting that WWF Title on the line tonight then he would be more than happy to come down to that ring and kick Rock’s ass in front of these Cajun pieces of crap (lots of boos) to become the WWF Champion.
Foley said that it’s unfortunate that Hunter’s ears are not as big as his nose – that drew some laughs – or else he would have heard that Mick gave Rock the night off. Foley noted that since Hunter and Angle are good friends now then they’ll face off against two other good friends – The Acolytes. Hunter did not look happy about that.
Foley added that if it’s championship matches you want then they have two of them with Steve Blackman defending the Hardcore Championship against Shane McMahon. Shane responded saying he didn’t think he was serious about that, but Mick told him he was as serious as Blackman family portrait (great line).
Foley noted that Stephanie will put her Women’s WWF Championship on the line right here in Lafayette, Louisiana. Stephanie said that it’s just fine with her as fans chanted “slut” at her. Stephanie said when she pins Lita for the third time in the center of the ring, she is confident that the referee will raise her hand in victory. Foley said that he can tell Steph’s match will be a pier six brawl or a slobberknocker as JR might say. Foley said that he realizes this match may get out of hand, so the special referee will maintain law and order, which means it is absolutely, positively got to be somebody who holds no ill will towards the McMahon-Helmsley Family. The referee is going to be…The Rock. The fans cheered while the heels hated it and Foley said he’ll have a nice day. It took 19 minutes to get through all that.
Analysis: That was very long, but that’s what they did a lot of the time in this era (and even in today’s WWE) especially when they had six people making their points. Foley had a lot of funny one liners, Rock was very entertaining as usual and the heels got heat. There was a strong dynamic between all of them.
Tazz was shown arriving to the building, he asked security where his locker room was and Tazz shoved him into a garage door. When Tazz was shown walking, some boxes were shoved onto Tazz and it was Jerry Lawler there in his ring gear for a cheap attack.
Analysis: Lawler was attacked by Tazz on Smackdown, so it was payback for that. They have a match at SummerSlam.
Jerry Lawler made his entrance in his wrestling gear to join Jim Ross on commentary.
The Hardy Boyz made their entrance. A clip was shown from Smackdown with Stephanie kicking Lita, then throwing Lita into the steps and on the announce table. The Dudley Boyz entered as the opponents. Edge and Christian joined the commentary team.
The Hardy Boyz (Matt and Jeff Hardy) vs. The Dudley Boyz (Bubba and D-Von Dudley)
Pre-match notes: Both teams were faces. They got into a fight on Smackdown, so that led to this match. Both teams were challenging Edge and Christian for the Tag Team Titles at SummerSlam in the first ever TLC Match.
Matt with a running clothesline on D-Von, who came back with a shoulder tackle and a jumping back elbow. Jeff got the tag with a cross body block on Bubba with Edge telling Jerry that they’re going to do a swerve. Bubba caught Jeff and gave him a back suplex. Christian said forget the swerve because they’re doing a run-in. Jeff hit a twisting splash onto Bubba, who kicked legal man Matt and the Dudleys did the Whassup Drop while the referee was distracted by Jeff. The Dudleys went for the tables under the ring, but then Jeff hit a somersault dive over the top onto both Dudleys. Hardys hit the Poetry in Motion attack on D-Von in the corner. Matt and D-Von did a spot where they each slammed the other guy’s head to the mat. Jeff in against Bubba with a dropkick, but then Bubba hit a powerslam for two. Bubba hit a sitout slam on Jeff and hit a back body drop on Matt to knock him out of the ring. Matt and Bubba got int a fight near E&C at the table. A camera guy got knocked down. On the floor, Edge hit Matt with a Spear after Bubba moved. Jeff went up top for the Swanton Bomb on D-Von, but Bubba saved D-Von from it. The Dudleys hit the Dudley Death Drop on Jeff, but Christian was on the apron and D-Von went after him. Edge snuck into the ring with a BRUTAL chair shot to Bubba’s head. Jeff covered Bubba to win at 4:37.
Winners by pinfall: The Hardy Boyz (Matt and Jeff Hardy)
Analysis: **3/4 A pretty good match by two of the best teams that were very familiar with eachother. I liked the pacing and some of the nearfalls. Clever finish to have Edge getting involved too. Under five minutes makes it tough to have a memorable match, but they did well for the time given.
Val Venis and the lovely Trish Stratus were shown walking down a hallway. Val said that SummerSlam it’s two on two with them against Eddie Guerrero and Chyna because Val wants Trish to get some experience. Trish wasn’t thrilled about it.
The foursome of Triple H, Angle, Stephanie and Shane were all complaining about their matches tonight. They all agreed they had to stick together.
It’s the Lugz Boot of the Week replay that showed Trish hitting Chyna in the head with a pitcher of Ice Tea. Ouch. Remember Lugz? They were a regular WWE sponsor for a few years.
Val Venis and Trish Stratus vs. Crash and Ivory
Pre-match notes: Val was the heel Intercontinental Champion while Trish was his manager most of the time. Crash and Ivory were an impromptu face team.
Venis with a hard whip that sent Crash into the turnbuckle. Eddie Guerrero and Chyna were shown watching, Chyna wanted to go out there, but Eddie told her to calm down. Trish hit a bulldog on Crash for a two count and brought Val back in the ring. Venis with two elbows followed by a knee drop. Val and Crash did a double clothesline spot leading to the ladies tagging in. Ivory hit a body slam on Trish, the referee was distracted by Crash and Val hit a Blue Thunder Bomb on Ivory and Trish covered for the pinfall win at 2:34.
Winners by pinfall: Val Venis and Trish Stratus
Analysis: *1/2 It was decent. They got through it as a match to tell the story of Trish winning a match ahead of her SummerSlam match on Sunday. Val did the work, but Trish got the glory. Ivory teaming with Crash was an odd pairing. Ivory would turn heel soon and Molly Holly would be brought in soon as well.
Post match, Chyna went out to the ring and worked over Venis with forearms along with a clothesline. Chyna grabbed Trish, but Val saved Trish with a clothesline to the back and a clothesline to the front. Eddie ran out for the save, so the heels left.
Analysis: The build was decent for the SummerSlam match. They did a nice job of having Trish get away from Chyna constantly and then the idea was to tune into SummerSlam to see Chyna get her hands on Trish.
Eddie Guerrero and Chyna were shown backstage as they walked up to Mick Foley. Chyna wanted to get her hands on Trish Stratus tonight. Foley said they’re keeping the mixed tag team match at SummerSlam, but now it’s for the Intercontinental Championship held by Venis. Foley explained that Chyna or Eddie could win the title by beating Val or Trish. Eddie and Chyna were okay with that idea. JR noted it was a first time ever deal.
Rikishi entered for a match. A video aired from last week’s Raw showing Kane’s heel turn attacking The Undertaker. Kane explained the heel turn by saying he was a monster and attacked Undertaker on Smackdown too. Kane entered for this match.
Rikishi vs. Kane
Pre-match notes: Rikishi was a face and Kane was a heel.
Kane with a running clothesline with Rikishi doing a flip bump, which was very impressive for a big man like him. Kane got the boot up, but then Rikishi came back with a Samoan Drop. Kane sent Rikishi face first into the steel steps, grabbed a chair and back into the ring. Kane smashed Rikishi in the head with the chair right in front of referee Teddy Long. That was brutal! Rikishi didn’t try to block it either. He just took it because that’s what a lot of guys did in this era. That’s the DQ at 1:13.
Winner by disqualification: Rikishi
Analysis: 1/4* The match didn’t matter. It was all about putting over Kane as a heel some more. At least Rikishi’s sell of the clothesline looked cool.
The attack continued post match. When Rikishi got back up, Kane hit him in the head with the chair again. Rikishi got back to his feet again and Kane hit him hit in the head with the chair for the third time. Too Cool tried to run out for the save, but then Right To Censor’s trio was there to make the save. When Grandmaster Sexay got into the ring, Kane hit him in the head with the chair and the same thing happened to Scotty Too Hotty when he got in the ring too. Kane laid all three guys out.
Analysis: It was all about making Kane look unstoppable going into his SummerSlam match with The Undertaker. That match sucked.
RTC went into the ring with Goodfather and Buchanan holding Scotty and Sexay. Steven Richards hit each guy with superkicks. Buchanan went up top and hit a leg drop on Rikishi. RTC celebrated their cheap attack.
The Acolytes left their office to walk down a hallway for tag team match. Triple H and Kurt Angle were walking together backstage for their match up next.
The entrances took place for the tag team match at the top of hour two with Kurt Angle out first followed by Triple H. The Acolytes/APA were next. They had nothing going on in terms of storylines at this point, but they were a babyface team that fans liked.
Triple H and Kurt Angle vs. The Acolytes (Bradshaw and Faarooq)
Pre-match notes: Hunter and Kurt were the heels while the APA boys were the faces.
Bradshaw with a clothesline to send Hunter out of the ring and then APA did a double shoulder tackle to Angle. Faarooq with a spinebuster on Angle, who tagged out. Bradshaw got a hold of Hunter, which led to a fallaway slam. Bradshaw with a boot to the face of Angle. The Rock and Mick Foley were shown watching on a TV backstage. Remember small TVs?
Angle took control in the ring with a belly to belly suplex on Faarooq, who came back with a backbreaker. Faarooq and Bradshaw hit a double team neckbreaker on Angle for a two count. Bradshaw with a double clothesline, the referee was distracted by Faarooq trying to get in the ring and Hunter/Kurt each hit cheap shots to Bradshaw’s leg. The crowd wasn’t into this even though they were louder earlier in the show. Hunter with a facebuster into the knee for a two count. Bradshaw hit a shoulder tackle on Hunter. Faarooq got the hot tag to almost no reaction as he hit clotheslines on the heels, Angle was legal on the other side and Faarooq hit Kurt with a powerslam for two. Faarooq with a suplex while Hunter sent Bradshaw into the steel steps. Faarooq lifted up Angle, Hunter with a kick to the gut and a Pedigree. Hunter pinned Faarooq even though Angle was clearly the legal man. It went 5:36.
Winners by pinfall: Triple H and Kurt Angle
Analysis: **1/2 It was a decent tag team match thanks to the greatness of Hunter and Angle while APA guys were there to get in some offense before doing the job. The crowd was quiet for this match because even though the APA are popular, they’re not an exciting team to watch. The referee work was poor because Angle was legal and Earl Hebner didn’t seem to care about it. This was the longest match of the night, by the way.
Post match, Hunter and Angle hugged as they continued to be on the same page. Hunter left. Angle celebrated in the ring, but then Bradshaw hit him with a clothesline. Hunter looked back in the ring as APA hit a double spinebuster on Angle. When Hunter was about to help, APA looked at him and then APA hit a double Powerbomb to put him down. Hunter left without helping Kurt at all. JR questioned Triple H not even trying to help Kurt and Lawler said he didn’t understand it all.
Analysis: It was a heel move by Hunter to not try to help Kurt at all, moments after they were celebrating and they were on the same page. The idea was that Hunter wanted Kurt to get taken out to weaken him before their SummerSlam match.
They replayed the key things from the previous match before the break.
There was a backstage scene with Triple H talking to Stephanie and Angle walked into the ring wondering where Hunter was. Angle said he got beat up while Hunter left. Hunter said this is about Stephanie now because she has a match coming up, so he told Kurt not to be selfish.
Analysis: That’s some classic heel work by Hunter by ignoring what Kurt was saying and making Kurt look bad for being selfish.
Let’s Hear from Right to Censor
The RTC trio of Steven Richards, The Goodfather and Bull Buchanan entered for a promo. Richards said whether you approve or disapprove their actions is irrelevant. Richards said that Rikishi was an offender because his appearance was inappropriate, offensive and it set a bad example. Richards wondered if we wanted to live in a world where children had rear ends sticking out and tried to rub their behind’s in each other’s faces. Fans cheered with Richards saying that was the kind of bad message that Rikishi was sending. A replay aired of Kane beating up Rikishi earlier. Richards said that they will stop inappropriate behavior because they say no more.
The Commissioner Mick Foley was back for a promo on the ramp. Foley said that he was trying to enjoy some shrimp, which drew a good pop and he said “Shrimpin’ Ain’t Easy” with the crowd. Foley said that people work hard in this country and they can watch whatever show they want. Foley said that every time the three of them walk into the ring, the WWF becomes a little less fun.
Foley said it would be fun to see Bull Buchanan and The Goodfather in action at SummerSlam against Too Cool and Rikishi. Foley said he would even up the odds by adding Steven Richards to the match with Steven not looking happy about it. Foley told them to try to enjoy themselves as Rikishi backs that thing up. RTC was mad about it as Foley left.
Analysis: It set up another match for SummerSlam. They were doing a very good job of making every match at SummerSlam have some meaning. That didn’t mean every match was great. It just means that at least the storylines made sense.
Shane McMahon was backstage with Pete Gas and Rodney of the Mean Street Posse. Shane wanted them to hammer Steve Blackman and for one of them to become Hardcore Champion.
That led to Rodney and Gas attacking Blackman in the locker room, but Blackman beat them up easily. Blackman chased Shane when he saw him.
Kurt Angle was shown leaving when Stephanie McMahon went up to him to tell him to stay. Angle said that he wanted to support her, but Triple H left him alone after their match. Stephanie said “forget Triple H” and “I need you” for her match. She said she needs his support and be his friend. Angle said he would stay, so he stayed.
Analysis: When Stephanie said “I need you” the fans reacted in cheers because it felt like it had another meaning instead of just saying she needed him for support for the match.
Chris Jericho entered to a big pop in that Jerichoholic shirt as JR got excited about his SummerSlam match with Chris Benoit. Perry Saturn entered as the opponent without Terri, so Lawler wondered where she was.
European Championship: Perry Saturn vs. Chris Jericho
Pre-match notes: Saturn was the heel European Champion that had nothing going on at this point while Jericho was a face that was set to face Chris Benoit at SummerSlam.
Saturn caught Jericho on the shoulder and slammed him down. Jericho with a running forearm followed by the bulldog for a two count. Jericho went for a Lionsault, held himself there and Saturn hit a suplex to counter. They could have timed that better. Saturn slammed Jericho into the turnbuckle. Jericho jumped off the ropes with a back elbow and there’s Chris Benoit to attack Jericho for the DQ at 1:56.
Winner by disqualification: Chris Jericho (Saturn remains champion)
Analysis: * A rushed match that could have been good if they got more time, but this was all about having Benoit attack Jericho. Saturn meant nothing in this match.
Post match, Jericho and Benoit continued their fight as referees and other officials like Sgt. Slaughter and Tony Garea tried to break it up. They did the spot where they were pulled part, then they let go and Benoit left to the floor. Jericho hit a dive over the top onto Benoit and referees. Jericho did a similar dive when he was feuding with Triple H one month earlier and I had a screengrab of that moment too. When they left the ring, they went brawling on the ramp as well until they eventually got separated again.
Analysis: The feud was one of the best in the company at the time. I thought the build to their SummerSlam match was great. It was their third PPV singles match of 2000 as well.
The lovely Trish Stratus was shown getting a drink that looked like orange Gatorade perhaps and Shane McMahon went up to her saying he wanted to ask her something. They left with Shane about to have his Hardcore Title match.
There was a backstage scene with Hunter showing Stephanie a full nelson and Kurt didn’t seem impressed by it. The guys argued, then Stephanie talked Hunter into letting Kurt show her some moves and Hunter left. Kurt said he would show her Olympic style moves that work. Kurt taught her a full nelson, which is more of a pro wrestling move than Olympic move.
Hardcore Championship: Steve Blackman vs. Shane McMahon
Pre-match notes: Steve Blackman was the babyface Hardcore Champion and Shane was a heel.
Blackman was shown walking backstage with the Hardcore Title with Test attacking him in the backstage area. We saw Shane talking to Trish, so that led to this. There was no sign of Shane. Test and Blackman went brawling out towards the ring where Test hit Blackman twice in the head with a trash can lid. Test with a boot to the trash can lid into Blackman’s face. Test put a trash can on Blackman, Test went up top and Blackman tossed the trash can at Test followed by a trash can shot to the head. Blackman with a trash can lid shot to the knees, the back and the back of the head. That’s when Albert showed up to join in on the attack on Blackman. T&A double-teamed Blackman with a corner splash by Albert and Test hitting Blackman with a trash can lid to the head. Blackman kicked a fire extinguisher into Albert’s face to block an attack from Test. Blackman hit Test with some sticks followed by more stick shots to Albert. That led to Edge & Christian running out to the ring with Christian hitting a spinning heel kick on Blackman. Blackman knocked down E&C with sticks, but then Shane showed up with a kendo stick to the back of the head and Shane covered Blackman for the pinfall win at 4:19.
Winner by pinfall AND NEW Hardcore Champion: Shane McMahon
Analysis: * It was an ass kicking to get a title on Shane by having him not do much to win the title. It was a 5 on 1 situation that led to Shane getting the win in very cheap fashion. It was booked in an entertaining way.
Shane celebrated with the Hardcore Title while Blackman’s reign ended after about two months with the Hardcore Title. JR was ranting about how unfair this was because it was a 5 on 1 cheap attack.
Analysis: They would have a rematch at SummerSlam and if you don’t remember the match, that’s okay, but I’m sure a lot of you remember the big bump in the match. It was designed to try to get Blackman more over with the fans by having him feud with a top heel like Shane. I’ll get to that in the SummerSlam review.
Shane was shown backstage with the WWF Hardcore Title and Edge & Christian with Foley telling Shane that he has to defend the title against Steve Blackman at SummerSlam. Shane laid down on the ground telling Edge & Christian to cover him. Foley counted, stopped at two and said he’s waving the 24/7 title defense rule until after SummerSlam. Foley put Edge & Christian in a match tonight as well.
There was a vide of The Kat arriving earlier in the night at WWF New York. That led to a replay from Smackdown when Rikishi gave Terri the Stinkface after a brutal mixed tag team match.
It was back to the McMahon dressing room with Angle slapping on a front headlock on Stephanie. Angle talked about how happy he was and then Stephanie was going to be champion. Angle picked up Stephanie from behind, Hunter walked back in and said that he’s been showing her moves for 30 minutes. It was not that long. Stephanie calmed Hunter down and Hunter left with his wife. Angle: “I’m only trying to help. You said I can help.”
There was a clip shown from WWF New York with The Kat on the stage attacking about how she was on TV Guide. That led to Terri showing up to attack The Kat. Terri gave The Kat the Stinkface on the stage. That’s why Terri wasn’t out there earlier. Mystery solved, I guess.
Edge and Christian entered first for a tag team title defense. Road Dogg and X-Pac were up next with Dogg doing a pre-match promo talking trash while spouting catchphrases.
Tag Team Championships: Edge and Christian vs. Degeneration X (Road Dogg and X-Pac)
Pre-match notes: Edge and Christian were the heel champions. Degeneration X were heels normally.
Edge with a shoulder tackle on X-Pac, who then came back with a spin kick. X-Pac hit leaping clothesline on Christian, then Dogg with a kick on Christian and that got a two count. Edge pulled Dogg out of the ring, Christian slid with a kick into Dogg and JR noted that Dogg vs. X-Pac is on for SummerSlam. Edge stomped away on Dogg, then a body slam and Christian tagged in. Dogg and Christian collided in a double cross body block spot. X-Pac wasn’t happy about Road Dogg not tagging out as Dogg hit a knee drop on Christian. X-Pac with a spin kick on Christian. X-Pac and Dogg argued about who was going to do a move. Edge hit a Spear on X-Pac. The Dudleys ran down to the ring with a table. The Dudleys went into the ring to chase after Edge & Christian, who ran into the crowd, so the referee called for the bell at 3:47. I guess we’ll call it a No Contest? Nothing was announced.
Match Result: No Contest
Analysis: *1/2 The champs escape without getting beat thanks to the issues between Dogg and X-Pac, who were having a match at SummerSlam. The crowd wasn’t into the match much due to both teams being heels. The finish was lame because they didn’t even try to book any type of match ending.
The focus was back on X-Pac and Dogg back in the ring. Dogg went to the apron and X-Pac “accidentally” headbutted him off the apron through the table that was conveniently placed there by the Dudleys. X-Pac checked on his buddy.
Analysis: This looked cheesy with the table bump, but it furthered the story of Dogg/X-Pac having issues.
Lita was shown walking backstage for the main event.
The Stacker 2 Burn of the Week replay showed Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley attacking Lita on Heat one night earlier since the match was announced on the previous Smackdown.
Lita made her entrance for the main event. Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley was up next as the Women’s Champion with Triple H and Kurt Angle joining her. The Rock was out last to the biggest pop of the night as the referee of the match. Rock was wearing a “Just Bring It” shirt instead of a referee shirt.
WWF Women’s Championship: Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley (w/Kurt Angle and Triple H) vs. Lita – The Rock is the referee
Pre-match notes: Stephanie was the heel champion that held the title since March 30. That meant she was champion for nearly five months and she barely defended the title. Lita was the babyface challenger.
Lita tripped up Stephanie followed by some of the worst looking punches I’ve ever seen. You can tell Lita was trying to be careful. Lita sent Stephanie across the ring with the dreaded hairtoss. Stephanie got a boot up to the face, then walked right into a hiptoss. Lita hit a sloppy looking hurricanrana for a two count. Stephanie barely got over there. Angle got on the apron to distract Rock, so Hunter tripped up Lita on the other side of the ring. That led to the Hardy Boyz showing up to knock down Triple H, then Angle went over to watch Hunter and the Hardys backed away. Stephanie worked over Lita with kicks, then weak-looking forearms and it was good that they didn’t do a closeup there. Stephanie did a monkey flip. Stephanie with a kick to the gut followed by a DDT. That actually looked good and it was a simple move to do. The heels complained about Rock’s counting speed. That was not a good idea.
Rock told Stephanie that was two. Stephanie worked over with some kicks, but then Lita came back with a headscissors takeover that looked better because Stephanie sold it well. Lita bounced off the ropes with a leaping clothesline. Lita grabbed a headlock, then jumped up to the ropes and delivered a bulldog. That was the Stratusfaction move that Trish Stratus would use as her finisher in her career. That got a two count with Stephanie getting her shoulder up. Lita with a suplex. Lita went up top, but Angle was there and tripped her up with Rock right there to see it. The Hardys went after Angle and Hunter on the floor. Angle whipped Matt into the steel steps and Hunter sent Jeff into the barricade. Angle tried handing Stephanie the Women’s Title while Hunter distracted Rock, but Rock brought Kurt in the ring and beat him up with punches. Hunter worked over Rock with punches, then Angle charged in with the belt, Rock ducked it and Angle hit Hunter in the head. The crowd popped huge for that! Rock hit Angle with a Rock Bottom. Stephanie was back up with the title and Rock hit her with a spinebuster. Lita went up top and hit the moonsault on Stephanie. Rock counted the pinfall…one…two…and three! The fans popped huge. JR: “Lita has done it! Lita has done it!” The match went 5:06 although it felt longer than that since there was so much going on.
Winner by pinfall AND NEW WWE Women’s Champion: Lita
Analysis: **1/4 That was fun and actually a better match than I remember. As a match it was decent. As a moment it was cool and the fans loved it, so that’s what matters more than anything. Some of Stephanie’s moves looked credible while others did not, which is what you would expect from somebody that wasn’t a regular wrestler. The end result is what mattered.
The win by Lita was her first WWE Women’s Title. It put an end to Stephanie McMahon’s 146-day reign as champion.
The Hardys left up the ramp with Lita and held her up in the air while we saw Angle, Hunter and Stephanie all out in the ring with JR yelling about SummerSlam on Sunday night. End show.
Analysis: It’s going to be weird to see Stephanie without that Women’s Title on her right shoulder like it was for the previous five months, but it was also for the best. It also meant the Women’s Division would be getting more attention. With Lita, Trish, Ivory, the incoming Molly Holly, Chyna early next year and others, they were starting to build a division. Getting the title off Stephanie was definitely a good thing.
This episode of Raw had a runtime of 1:33:52 on WWE Network.
Three Stars of the Show
- Lita – Show Lita some love for the first title win of her career.
- Shane McMahon
- Kurt Angle/Triple H
This Raw episode gets a 6.75 out of 10.
I think as a show that was all about promoting SummerSlam, they did an excellent job of furthering the stories of all the key matches. However, it is frustrating to watch these shows sometimes to see that the longest match was only 5:36 in length. Out of the eight matches, three of them ended as a disqualification or no contest. The stories were good and I enjoyed the build to SummerSlam, but I wish they cared a bit more about the matches on Raw.
There was a lot of The Rock, Shane, Triple H, Kurt Angle, Stephanie McMahon and Mick Foley on the show. They were all great performers, so it’s not like seeing them a lot was bad, but it did feel a little too overwhelming. Lita’s win over Stephanie was very well received by the crowd, so while it looks like an odd main event on paper, it was the right choice.
Yes, WWF in 2000 is my favorite year in company history. The main reason for it was the quality of the PPVs. Sometimes Raw like this episode was a bit of a miss in terms of matches although as I said, in terms of stories and making the fans happy, they did a nice job.
Check out our WWF TV in 2000 archives for my reviews of every other previous Raw, Smackdown and PPV from 2000 as well.
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