This was the last Raw before the Royal Rumble on January 23, so let’s see what WWE had in store for us on their Raw “go home” show.
Check out our WWF in 2000 content here.
WWE Raw #347
January 17, 2000
From the New Haven Coliseum in New Haven, Connecticut
This show earned a TV-14 “S” for Sexual Content rating on WWE Network.
There was a mention of Martin Luther King Jr. due to it being MLK Jr. Day.
It was promoted that there will be an update on Steve Austin’s career.
A video package aired showing that Mick Foley brought Cactus Jack back for his rivalry with Triple H and their Street Fight at the Royal Rumble.
The Raw opening video aired. When we saw the arena, fireworks went off and the arena was full of fans with signs in their hands. Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler welcomed us to the show.
Let’s Hear From Mick Foley…no…it’s Cactus Jack!
Cactus Jack made his entrance in the classic Cactus Jack attire with the “Wanted” shirt and the flannel vest. Good ovation for him.
Jack congratulated Triple H for making Mankind mad and he wondered why. Jack said that somewhere deep down in this twisted soul, there was a SOB ready to be woken up. Jack said that when Hunter cracked Jack with the ring bell, he’d be lying if he said he didn’t like it just a little bit. Jack said that it was at that time he realized who he had been all along, Cactus Jack. There was a video that aired from September 1997 when Jack beat Triple H. It was noticeable that Triple H was about 20-30 pounds lighter. He liked “juice” in this era. Just saying.
Jack said that there’s no way that a normal man should be walking around due to the punishment that has been dished out, but he said he is not a normal man. He said he spent the past year worrying about how he was not the man that he was and he asked for forgiveness for the fans, but the fans forgave him because Mankind was an entertaining guy. He said one day Mankind will return to make us laugh, but Sunday will not be that day because there will be no laughter. Jack said that he’s going to be a little bit better than the man he used to be. Jack doesn’t regret the nights spent in a motel or sleeping in a car, the wounds sticking to his sheets or his ear being thrown in a garbage because it made him what he is…a bad son of a bitch. Jack said that this Sunday night he’ll be one mad son of a bitch and he’ll take out on Triple H’s ass. Jack said that it’s not just a change in outfit, it’s a change in mindset and make Triple H suffer. He said he’ll kick Triple H’s pansy little ass. He said that he can’t wait until MSG just six days away and his shot at the WWF Championship, but what he wants right now is a piece of Triple H. He wondered if Triple H had the testicular fortitude and called him out to the ring for a fight.
Triple H made his entrance alone with the WWF Championship in his hands. The fans greeted Hunter with an “Asshole” chant. Hunter called Cactus Jack a myth and a legend. Hunter said for four days now he’s thought about nothing else, but Cactus Jack. He said at the Rumble it’s going to be the two of them for the WWF Title in a Street Fight while noting that the match was made under duress. Hunter said that they’ll pull out all the stops with the most precious title there is on the line. Hunter said that as Jack stands in the ring to convince people how bad he really is, Hunter said that as sadistic as Jack can be, Hunter will reach down to be more sadistic and be more evil than Jack could ever be in his life. Hunter added that as sadistic as Jack is, he has figured out that while Jack might be a sadistic son of a bitch, Mick Foley hates his damn guts. Hunter said he thinks that Foley might be afraid of Cactus Jack. He added that every time Jack is sadistic and hurts somebody, Foley can’t stand what Jack did. Hunter said that the difference is when he’s that sadistic, evil and twisted, he will love every damn second of it. Hunter told him to be very afraid because what Hunter is bringing will be more than Jack can dream of and can handle.
Jack said that he had a question concerning tonight and 20,000 fans in the arena as well as millions around the world that want to see them fight right about now. Hunter said that he would love to go down to the ring to party with Jack’s “sick ass.” Hunter also invited a few more guests leading to his three DX buddies making their entrance.
The four DX guys attacked Jack as fans chanted “Foley” for Jack. The four guys were all punching Jack against the turnbuckle. The Rock ran out for the save, but Big Show appeared and pulled Rock out of the ring. Show whipped Rock into the ring post. Show headbutted the DX guys and The Acolytes joined the fight as well. The Acolytes cleaned house of DX. That led to everybody pairing off and fighting into the crowd. Triple H managed to get away and Jack went back into the ring alone. The Rock was back on his feet at ringside as well.
Analysis: Awesome promos by both guys. That was great. The match was already built up very well, but I thought they only added to it with what they said. Jack had a history of being a badass and a wild man in gimmick matches, but Hunter spoke exactly as he should with a lot of confidence. The brawl was interesting because Show attacked Rock, who is a face, and then Show helped Jack against the others, which was a bit of a surprise. Anyway, the whole thing went about 17 minutes and it was very entertaining.
Replays aired of the brawl from before the break. The announce team of Ross and Lawler were shown on camera for the first time.
WWF Hardcore Championship: Big Boss Man vs. Test
Pre-match notes: Big Boss Man was the heel Hardcore Champion and Test was a face. A clip aired of Boss Man fighting his buddy Prince Albert on the previous Smackdown.
As Test made his entrance, the number 13 appeared on the screen again with the orange/black colors and said: “the mood is about to change.” That was for the debut of Tazz at the Rumble.
Test and Boss Man went brawling into the crowd and then they made their way backstage. Boss Man whipped Test into a wall. The fight went into a bathroom and they quickly got out of there. Boss Man whipped Test into a wooden structure. Test’s nose was bleeding. Boss Man slammed a garage door onto Test’s throat, which got a two count. Test choked Boss Man with some wrist tape. They went back towards the arena. Boss Man hit Test wit ha garbage can to the head. Prince Albert showed up and Boss Man hit Albert in the head with the garbage can as well. Boss Man got a two count on Test with his feet on the ropes. Boss Man got the nightstick, Albert in the ring with punches, Test hit Boss Man with the nightstick and hit Albert with the nightstick as well. Test with a body slam. Test went up top with the nightstick and hit an elbow drop with the nightstick to the chest for the pinfall win at 4:15.
Winner by pinfall and New WWF Hardcore Champion: Test
Analysis: *1/2 They wrestled at a fast pace and used a lot of weapons, so it was mildly enjoyable. Albert played a part in the finish although Test didn’t seem to want the help. The Hardcore Title changed hands a lot.
The DX group and Stephanie McMahon were in the office. Triple H said Dogg and Gunn will face The Rock and Big Show while Hunter and X-Pac will face The Acolytes. X-Pac complained about it, so Hunter and Stephanie told him to trust them.
Terri Runnels was shown getting ready while wearing an outfit with a tight top that was very nipply. Just saying.
Big Boss Man was interviewed by Jonathon Coachman. Boss Man said he’ll get revenge on Albert tonight.
The Godfather, D-Lo Brown and “the ladies” made their entrance. They stopped calling them “ho’s” although there were “ho train” signs in the crowd. They’re up against Edge and Christian.
Edge and Christian vs. The Godfather and D-Lo Brown
Pre-match notes: Both teams were faces.
Christian worked over Brown with punches, a hip toss and a dropkick. Edge tagged in with kicks to Brown’s chest followed by a spinning heel kick and a clothesline. Brown with a knee to the gut, Godfather tagged in and hit a clothesline on Edge. Godfather with a boot to the face followed by two elbow drops. Edge with a Thesz Press on Brown, who tagged himself in. Godfather back in, he went for a splash off the ropes, but Edge got his knees up. Christian got the hot tag about three minutes in against Brown with Christian hitting an atomic drop and a clothesline for two. Back body drop by Christian on Brown. Edge with a Spear on Godfather. One of the ladies was on the apron, so Brown whipped Christian into her and Christian came back with a dropkick on Brown. Edge left to check on the lady, Christian wondered what he was doing and Brown capitalized with the Sky High slam for the win at 3:52.
Winners by pinfall: The Godfather and D-Lo Brown
Analysis: * It was a quick match with a weak story and these teams weren’t considered rivals, so it felt like a waste of time.
Post match, The Godfather said to show he was in a good mood, Edge and Christian get the ladies all night long. The ladies left with Edge even though he tried to keep them at bay.
Analysis: The story was that Edge was engaged to Val Venis’ sister, so he didn’t want to hang out with the ladies. Like I said, it was a weak story.
There was a shot of Michael Cole talking on a phone and he’ll have an update on Steve Austin’s condition after neck surgery.
Big Boss Man was shown beating up Prince Albert in the backstage area. Boss Man threw him into a garage door that was there. Boss Man threw him into the women’s locker, so Albert got a peak at somebody…and of course it was Tori. She freaked out, so look for Albert vs. Kane later.
Kurt Angle made his entrance. Angle was announced as facing an opponent “to be announced” at Royal Rumble.
Stephanie and Hunter were in their office. Tori showed up complaining about Prince Albert, so Stephanie told her later in the show it will be Prince Albert vs. Kane and Tori left. Hunter asked if she’s alright. Stephanie didn’t know.
Angle did a promo saying that tonight he has a mystery opponent. Angle said he’s not sure who it is, but he’s confident as an Olympic Hero that he will come out on top because he knows every wrestler like the back of his hand. Angle said that with his three I’s, he will come out on top. It’s Steve Blackman as the opponent. Stephanie wasn’t thrilled with Hunter making the match. Hunter didn’t like that Stephanie thought that Angle was cute, so he wanted to end Angle’s win streak.
Kurt Angle vs. Steve Blackman
Pre-match notes: Both guys were heels and were tag team partners in the weeks leading up to this match.
Blackman worked over Angle with kicks and punches. Angle avoided a kick and hit a belly to belly suplex. The fans chanted “Angle sucks” as he worked over Blackman with punches. They did a double clothesline spot that knocked down both men. Blackman with a shoulder tackle and a clothesline that sent Angle out of the ring. Angle whipped Blackman shoulder first into the ring post. Davey Boy Smith showed up randomly and hit Blackman in the groin with a kendo stick and a kendo stick to the back. Angle was distracting the referee. The match went 2:18.
Winner by pinfall: Kurt Angle
Analysis: *1/2 Decent action for the time given in a short match. I didn’t remember Smith getting involved there. The undefeated streak of Angle as a singles wrestler continued although it didn’t last that long because of what happened at the Royal Rumble.
Stephanie and Triple H commented on that situation with Stephanie being impressed by Angle’s win while Hunter was upset about it.
Big Show was interviewed by Jonathon Coachman backstage. Show said that he was upset with The Rock for calling him a jabroni, so that’s why he attacked him on Smackdown. Show said he’s not a jabroni and he’s not going to take it. Show said he’ll win the Royal Rumble to become WWE Champion. Show said that Rock just had to stay out of his way and Show will take care of the Outlaws.
The Kat was shown rubbing her legs to tease the women’s segment coming up.
Still to come an exclusive report of Steve Austin after his neck surgery.
Royal Rumble Swimsuit Competition Preview
At the Royal Rumble, there will be a Swimsuit Competition (in January in New York City where it’s cold that time of year) between the women of the WWF and this segment was set up to preview it. Jerry Lawler was in the ring with The Kat, Terri Runnels, Jacqueline, Nurse BB (Barbara Bush aka Big Boobs), Luna and Ivory.
Terri said that she’ll do what makes the fans happy and she said less is more. The Kat said she didn’t need strategy and reminded us of Armageddon when she was topless. Nurse BB said she thinks the fans are ready for a much bigger show. Ivory told Lawler he’s a pervert and Jerry said, “yeah and your point is?” Ivory said she won’t have anything to do with this. Jackie and Luna told Ivory that if they have to be in the competition then s does she.
The fighting started with Luna ripping off Ivory’s top. The fans cheered of course. Luna pulled own Ivory by the hair. BB joined in on the fun while the women smothered Ivory. The women ripped off BB’s top as well. Referees went into the ring to try to break it up. Mae Young was shown in the aisle. Ross said “buyer beware” with regards to this contest at the Royal Rumble. Mae Young, who was around 80 years old at this point, went into the ring and she took off her top to show her “puppies.” The fans screamed in horror and so did I. Mark Henry, who was Mae’s “boyfriend” in the storyline, covered Mae and Fabulous Moolah was there as well. They took Mae to the back.
Analysis: That was a bad segment. I like seeing pretty women and I think there was a place for that in the shows sometimes, but that was poorly done. There also wasn’t a lot of star power in that group of women either. Mae Young’s comedy gimmick was scary to watch sometimes, especially since she didn’t give a shit about doing embarrassing things.
The Acolytes were shown backstage and so were Triple H and X-Pac with Stephanie McMahon because they were up next.
Triple H and X-Pac entered for their tag team match with Stephanie McMahon joining commentary. The Acolytes entered as the opponents.
Triple H and X-Pac vs. The Acolytes (Bradshaw and Farooq)
Pre-match notes: The Acolytes were the faces while Triple H and X-Pac were the heels.
The Acolytes were very aggressive early on with a lot of punches thrown. Bradshaw and Triple H went brawling into the crowd. They also fought up the aisle. X-Pac choked Faarooq with his t-shirt. Bradshaw slammed Triple H on the steel ramp, but it wasn’t shown. Nice job, director. Back in the ring, Bradshaw worked over X-Pac with punches. The match finally settled down with X-Pac hitting Faarooq with a spin kick. Faarooq with a clothesline on X-Pac. Bradshaw got back in there, he set up X-Pac for a slam off the top, Hunter saved X-Pac and then Bradshaw managed to hit X-Pac with the fallaway slam. X-Pac came back with a spin kick leading to Farooq and Hunter tagging in. Hunter with a facebuster to the knee, Faarooq with a spinebuster on Hunter and Bradshaw hit a Clothesline from Hell. The duo of Billy Gunn and Road Dogg entered for the predictable DQ finish at 3:57.
Winner by disqualification: The Acolytes
Analysis: *1/2 It was an intense tag team match with a predictable ending because I didn’t see either side losing by pinfall. The commentary from Stephanie featured her saying that they “had a plan” and the plan was the most obvious thing possible that anybody could see coming except the Acolytes I guess.
Post match, Gunn and Dogg hit the Acolytes with their Tag Team Titles. Gunn hit a Fameasser on Bradshaw on the Tag Team Titles. Dogg hit a knee drop on Farooq’s face that had the title on his face.
Analysis: It adds some heat on the heel tag team champs going into their match at the Royal Rumble. Basic stuff.
There was a clip of Michael Cole in the hospital talking about how Steve Austin had successful surgery to relieve pain in his neck, his arms and legs. The procedure was performed by Dr. Lloyd Youngblood and they showed comments from Youngblood. The doc talked about the surgery, he said Steve was in good spirits and when they got through it, Steve had a positive attitude about it. Dr. Youngblood said it might be “many months” until Austin will be ready and said 6-12 months once that bone is solid in the neck.
Analysis: Austin returned to the ring in October, so it was about ten months after surgery. Austin did appear at Backlash in April and in the build up to that, but he was not cleared to return at that point.
The Rock was shown backstage because he’s up next for ap room.
Replays aired of the DX group beating up the Acolytes. Hunter said when Austin comes back, he’ll suffer the same fate as the Acolytes. Dogg talked trash about facing Rock and Big Show.
The Rock was interviewed by Kevin Kelly in the interview area as the fans chanted “Rocky” before Rock even said a word. Rock said that before he talks about anything else, he must talk about the Rattlesnake Steve Austin. Rock said if he was with Austin right now, he’d toast him with a beer can and congratulate him for a successful neck surgery. Rock said that Austin can go hunting again, fishing again and bring his ass back here where it belongs in the WWF. Kelly asked if Rock wants to retract his statement when he called Big Show a jabroni. Rock said that Big Show is a 7-foot pile of steaming, stinking pile of Grade A monkey crap. Rock said that he called Big Show a jabroni, then he spelled it out and added that it didn’t matter how you spelled it. Rock said that he guarantees to toss them out of the ring and win the Royal Rumble while also walking out of WrestleMania as the People’s Champion and becoming the best damn WWF Champion there ever was. Rock said that tonight, Rock will make Big Show’s monkey ass famous and said he didn’t want or need Show as his tag team partner. Rock said that Show says it’s personal between him and the Great One, then Rock wants him to stand out on that apron and he mocked the Chokeslam yell of Show. That’s so great. “Jabroni…if you smell what the Rock is cooking.”
Analysis: That was awesome as usual. It’s such a treat to re-watch these Rock promos every week. I liked the way he mentioned Steve Austin and showed him respect considering all the history they had together. When Rock mocked the Chokeslam yell of Big Show it was always hilarious. Love that stuff.
Chris Jericho was shown backstage warming up.
Jeff Hardy (w/Matt Hardy and Terri) vs. Bubba Ray Dudley (w/D-Von Dudley)
Pre-match notes: The Hardys were faces and the Dudleys were heels. They were set for a Tables match at Royal Rumble.
Hardy with a bulldog off the ropes for a two count. Bubba left the ring, so Hardy hit a somersault dive over the top to take out Bubba on the floor. Bubba got back into it with a sitout Powerbomb. Bubba with a back body drop, then Hardy hit a hurricanrana and Bubba came back with a Full Nelson Bomb later known as the Bubba Bomb. Terri on the apron, D-Von went after her and Matt sent D-Von into the steps. D-Von sent Matt into the barricade. Bubba with a slam on Jeff, but Bubba missed a splash off the middle ropes. Jeff with a neckbreaker, Jeff up top and a Senton Bomb (later known as the Swanton Bomb) for the pinfall win at 2:46.
Winner by pinfall: Jeff Hardy
Analysis: ** A fast paced match with some good action and each guy hitting some impressive moves. Hardy getting the win was quickly forgotten based off the post match attack.
Post match, D-Von went into the ring and they hit the 3D on Jeff Hardy. They also hit the 3D on Matt Hardy. Bubba brought a table into the ring. They put Jeff Hardy on the table and Bubba hit a Powerbomb on Matt through Jeff on the table. Ouch. That ended the segment with Terri freaking out at ringside. Bubba did the face where he sold it like he was in a trance.
Analysis: That’s one of those instances where the match result really didn’t matter because the post match angle was more important.
Hardcore Holly and Crash Holly were shown talking about Chris Jericho defending the title with Hardcore insulting Crash. Chyna and The Kat were shown not being happy about Jericho defending the title.
Rikishi vs. Jericho is next.
They promoted WWF Halftime Heat on January 30. That’s when my St. Louis Rams won their only Super Bowl. What a great day that was…for me.
Rikishi made his entrance with Too Cool and he sent them to the match.
Chris Jericho made his entrance saying that he’s a fighting champion and said he has to destroy Rikishi, Ayatollah style. Jericho botched Rikishi’s name, which was a heel Jericho thing that he liked to do.
Intercontinental Championship: Chris Jericho vs. Rikishi Phatu
Pre-match notes: Jericho was a co-holder of the IC Title and he was a heel. Rikishi was a face.
Rikishi hit a Samoan Drop early on. Jericho came back with a springboard dropkick when Rikishi was on the apron. Rikishi caught a Jericho attack and sent Jericho back first into the ring post. Rikishi with a body slam followed by a leg drop that was only good for a two count. Jericho ran the ropes, he went for a forearm, Rikishi moved and Jericho hit the referee to knock him out. Hardcore Holly attacked Rikishi and Crash joined in with Rikishi hitting a Samoan Drop on each Holly. Rikishi hit a superkick on Jericho. Rikishi went for the Rikishi Driver, so Chyna went into the ring with a low blow punch to the groin. She shoved Jericho. Rikishi took them both down with clotheslines. Rikishi with a belly to belly slam on Chyna. Holly hit Rikishi in the back with a chair and the ref woke up to call for the DQ. Holly hit Rikishi in the head with the chair. The match ended at 3:26.
Winner by disqualification: Rikishi (Jericho is still IC Champ)
Analysis: * That was what you would call a clusterfuck because there was so much going on and it got too hectic. The deal was that Holly is getting the IC Title match at the Royal against Jericho and Chyna, so he didn’t want Rikishi to win the title, which is why he interfered. All of that plus the ref bump, Chyna getting involved and the chair was just too much.
Post match, Too Cool made the save for Rikishi while Jericho bailed with the title. Rikishi hit the Rikishi Driver on Crash. Rikishi and Too Cool dance to celebrate.
Analysis: Rikishi won by DQ in a WWF Title and IC Title match within two weeks, so it showed that the WWF was booking him in a strong way to try to get him over more. It was working.
The clip aired again of Albert in the women’s locker room with Tori freaking out. Kane vs. Albert is next.
Big Show and Cactus Jack were shown backstage. Jack offered a suggestion that Show works it out with The Rock, but Show didn’t seem interested.
Kane entered with Tori, who was talking to him about Albert seeing her topless. Tori is essentially wearing a black leather bra showing a lot of cleavage, yet she’s sensitive. Prince Albert entered for the match.
Kane (w/Tori) vs. Prince Albert
Pre-match notes: Kane was the face and Albert was the heel.
Kane with a hard clothesline followed by punches with JR noting that both men are in the Royal Rumble match on Sunday. Kane whipped Albert into the turnbuckle, Albert came back with a punch and a Scissors Kick followed by a clothesline. Boss Man was shown watching on a monitor. Kane with a hangman that sent Albert into the top rope and Kane went up top where he connected with the clothesline. Kane picked up Albert and hit a Chokeslam for the pinfall win at 1:17.
Winner by pinfall: Kane
Analysis: 1/2* It was just a squash win for Kane to continue the story of Tori manipulating dumbass Kane.
Post match, Tori was happy about the win with JR noting there was something missing with Tori. Albert did a promo: “Kane…obviously you like to be dominated by a woman…and so do I.” That was it. It teased that Albert was going to have a manager, which is what happened within a few months.
Cactus Jack and The Rock were in a room with Jack advising Rock to work with Big Show. Rock sarcastically said no problem and told him to check it out. That match is next.
The New Age Outlaws, the WWF Tag Team Champions, made their entrance. Road Dogg did the usual promo introducing the team while Gunn ended it with the “suck it” line that the crowd joined in with.
Big Show entered first for his team. He turned on Rock on Smackdown, but they are on the same team for this match. When The Rock entered, he beat up Big Show with punches and punched him out of the ring.
New Age Outlaws (Road Dogg and Billy Gunn) vs. The Rock and Big Show)
Pre-match notes: The Outlaws were the heel champs, Rock was a face and Show was a heel. The titles were not on the line.
Dogg and Gunn attacked Rock before the bell, then the ref rang the bell and that meant the heels were in control. Show was at ringside watching the action. Triple H, X-Pac and Stephanie were seated on chairs on the stage to watch the match. Rock hit a swinging neckbreaker on Gunn for a two count. The champs took control again with Gunn hitting Rock with a forearm to the back. Gunn whipped Rock, but Rock hit Dogg with a clothesline and Rock whipped Gunn into the ring post. Dogg whipped Rock into the steel steps. You could see referee Earl Hebner going up to each guy likely telling them how much time is left because there was no reason for the ref to leave the ring like that. Anyway, Dogg worked over Rock with punches and Rock hit a Rock Bottom for a two count as Gunn broke up the pin. Show just stood there at ringside sarcastically rooting for Rock. Fans chanted “Big Show sucks” at the big man. Gunn with a Jackhammer for two. Rock came back with a spinebuster on Gunn. When Gunn sent Rock out of the ring, Show hit Rock with a headbutt. Rock hit a low blow on Road Dogg, which the ref didn’t see and Rock countered a Fameasser attempt into a slam for a two count. Show pulled Rock out of the ring and punched him in the head. Show went into the ring and headbutted both Outlaws. Show kicked Dogg in the chest and a Show powerslam on Gunn. Dogg brought a chair into the ring, Rock also brought in a chair and he crushed Show in the head with the chair. Gunn pinned Show even though Show was no the legal man. The match went 6:10.
Winners by pinfall: New Age Outlaws
Analysis: *1/2 It was the longest match of the night, but it was not that long. Show not working with Rock made sense since they had issues going back to the previous Smackdown. If it was worked like a regular tag it wouldn’t have made sense. It was essentially a handicap match. The finish was poor because Show never tagged in, JR even mentioned that and yet, Show was the one that got pinned. I’d say that was a flawed ending to the match.
The Outlaws went up the ramp and joined their DX friends on the stage to celebrate the win.
Post match, The Rock hit a People’s Elbow on Big Show. Rock celebrated to end the show.
This episode had a run time of 1:35:09 on WWE Network.
Three Stars of the Show
- The Rock
- Cactus Jack
- Triple H
Those three continue to be standouts every week. That’s not a surprise.
This Raw episode gets a 5.5 out of 10.
It was just an average show. I thought the build to Triple H vs. Cactus Jack was very good, but they could have done a lot more in terms of promoting the Rumble match. That was a bit disappointing although there was still one more edition of Smackdown to go. As was the case a lot during this period, the in-ring action felt rushed and not nearly as good as it could have been.
I’ll be back on Thursday with the Smackdown review for the same week.
Thanks for reading. My contact info is below. Go Los Angeles Rams.