Reviews

TJR Retro: WWF Raw Deal 04/10/00 Review (Triple H vs. Taka, Rock in Handicap Steel Cage Match)

The WWF in 2000 reviews continue on the road to Backlash, which was a much better show than WrestleMania.

The synopsis for this episode on WWE Network is: “For a shot at Triple H’s WWE Championship, The Rock battles Bull Buchanan and the Big Boss Man inside a Steel Cage. Plus, much more action!”

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 #359
April 10, 2000
From National Car Rental Center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

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

The Raw intro video played to start the show.

The arena was full in Full Lauderdale, there were signs all over the place and the pyro went off to start the show. Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler are on commentary as usual.

The Rock made his entrance to a thunderous ovation as usual. Rock is from Miami, so he was close to home being in Fort Lauderdale, which isn’t too far away. I’ve been to both cities and the weather is lovely. Rock soaked up the cheers as he stood in the ring with an expensive looking shirt.

Rock said that he’s going to bring us back to last week with very special footage of Vince McMahon. Rock said that it’s the footage of Vince at his best and Rock at his best. The clip was shown from Smackdown when The Rock punched and hit Vince with a steel chair to end Smackdown.

Rock said that after he scrambled Vince’s brains, there is still one more shot that Rock wants him to see. Rock told him to remember this picture forever. It was Vince on the ground with Rock’s foot on his chest. The fans cheered that image.

Rock described it as the people’s boot on your unconsciousness candy ass. Rock said that after everything that has put them through including Vince’s “slut” daughter Stephanie. Rock said after everything that he’s done, Rock still wants more. Rock said he wants his WWE Title shot tonight right here in South Florida, smack dab in the middle of The Rock’s home.

Vince McMahon made his entrance with a steel chair in his hand. Vince was dressed in a suit as he walked down to the ring and got into the ring with Rock. Vince was greeted with “Asshole” chants.

The Rock said three things are going to happen: 1) Vince can put the chair down, 2) You can attempt to hit the People’s Champion, 3) Rock will take that chair, turn that sumbitch sideways and stick it straight up his candy ass. That drew cheers, of course.

Vince said that he’ll put the chair down, but if Rock makes a move towards him, Vince will hit him in the head with the chair like a crushed papaya. Vince said in this very ring tonight, Rock will be given the opportunity that should he be victorious against opposition named later tonight then Rock will get a WWE Title shot. Vince said that all Rock has to do is be victorious in the ring tonight in an unforgiving 15-foot high Steel Cage match that happens to be hanging above his head as Vince speaks. Vince said that if Rock wins, he’ll be victorious, but Vince said no more gifts. Vince told Rock that he has to earn everything that he gets as fans chanted “Asshole” for Vince, who said he didn’t appreciate that chant. Vince said that somewhere deep down, Rock has to ask himself who he is.

Vince claimed that over a year ago, it was Vince that made Rock who he is. Vince said it wasn’t Rock and it damn sure wasn’t the people. Vince said that he was in Rock’s corner in his corner at his side when Rock was the corporate champion, not a very good one (in Vince’s eyes), but a corporate champion nonetheless. Vince said that Rock never would have been a superstar without him. Vince said they could have made Rock a pretty good Doink The Clown and maybe he could have been a good Gobbledy Gooker. Vince claimed that Rock could have gained some weight and grown some warts and been Bastion Booger. Vince claimed that because of him, Rock was the host of Saturday Night Live, a guest on the Tonight Show, he got offers for TV/movies and because of Vince, Rock was a best-selling author. Vince said that he was looking for one thing from Rock and he never got it. Vince claimed he wanted a thank you. Vince wanted Rock to say, “Thank You Vince.” Vince put his hand on Rock’s shoulder and Rock stared at the hand as if to say “don’t touch me” at Vince. Vince claimed that since Rock never said thank you, that’s why Vince did what he did at WrestleMania when he screwed Rock to humiliate him and show him exactly who he is. Vince said it was because there was not one “thank you” ever. Vince asked who he thinks he is and Rock was hesitant to answer, so Vince yelled at him to answer. Vince said he thinks Rock is an utter complete ingrate. Rock said he wipes a monkey’s ass with what Vince thinks. Vince talked about monkey’s ass, licking a llama’s anus and said that this is strange thinking. Vince said that Rock has a fixation abut the rectal activity. Vince said that Rock is fixated on what comes out of the rectal activity…I’m talking about feces. Vince said that if you could take the feces from all of these people over 24 hours and put it in one giant pizza oven, then they could smell exactly what The Rock was cooking.

Triple H, the WWF Champion, and Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley, the Women’s Champion, entered along with Shane McMahon. When they showed up, Vince tried to attack with the chair, but Rock avoided it and hit Vince in the back with the chair. Vince bumped out of the ring near his family while the fans chanted “Rocky” and Rock’s music played to end the segment. The whole thing ran for about 20 minutes.

Analysis: That was a great promo exchange between two of the best talkers ever. Vince did an awesome job of explaining his heel turn on Rock at WrestleMania by saying that Rock wasn’t thankful for Vince’s help. The fans boo it because it’s a heel Vince saying it, but at least there’s an attempt to explain the turn at WrestleMania. Rock did well in terms of showing that he was fired up while reminding us he got the advantage on Smackdown. They also set up a main event match for Rock to earn a WWE Title match, so that’s something that was important in terms of giving the fans something to look forward to in the main event. I don’t mind 20 minute promos sometimes when they feature two of the all-time great talkers.

(Commercial)

A replay aired of The Rock’s attack on Vince McMahon with the chair.

Road Dogg and X-Pac with Tori entered for a title match. I think it’s fair to say Tori was underrated in her hotness. Those short shorts are easy on the eyes. Just saying. Road Dogg did a pre-match promo to get the “suck it” chants from the crowd. Edge and Christian entered as opponents.

WWF Tag Team Championships: Edge and Christian vs. Road Dogg and X-Pac (w/Tori)

Pre-match notes: Edge and Christian were the Tag Team Champions that were faces for most of their careers, but they had a subtle heel turn before WrestleMania. They were tweeners at this point. The DX guys were heels.

Christian with a powerslam on X-Pac. Corner splash by Christian, Edge tagged in and hit a spin kick for two. Road Dogg hit a cheap shot to the back of Edge and X-Pac hit a spin kick to give the challengers control. Dogg worked over Edge with his punch combo followed by the knee drop for two as Christian made the save. Edge hit a running double clothesline on both DX guys. Christian got the tag with an atomic drop on Dogg, a noggin knocker and Edge knocked Dogg out of the ring. Christian with a gutbuster knee to the ribs of X-Pac. Tori grabbed Edge by the hair and Dogg whipped Edge into the ring post. Tori distracted the referee while on the apron and Dogg went into the ring with a tag belt that he used to hit Christian in the head. X-Pac covered Christian for the pinfall win.

Road Dogg and X-Pac were handed the titles, but referee Earl Hebner went into the ring and told referee Mike Chioda that Dogg hit Christian with a title to help their team win. That led to Chioda restarting the match.

After the restart, Edge hit X-Pac with a Spear while Christian grabbed Road Dogg and the Edge spear was enough to win the match. It went about 3:30.

Winners by pinfall: Edge and Christian

Analysis: *1/2 It was fine for the time given, but it was also on the short side. They did the finish that way because Hebner was a thorn in the side of the McMahon Family in the storyline and we would see a bigger angle with him the following week on Raw, so this was a nice way to set that up. A title change would have been silly since E&C just won the titles at WrestleMania eight days earlier.

The Godfather was shown backstage with the ho’s and he told the girls it was time to go.

(Commercial)

There was an Earlier Today segment with Terri Runnels and The Kat talking about how they were a part of the biggest show in the world, WrestleMania. Terri said that she’ll take her to a beauty salon in town and said that everything is on her.

Analysis: I’m sure it’s going to lead to some riveting scenes with great acting. Now that’s sarcasm.

The Godfather made his entrance with four ho’s by his side. Godfather did his usual pre-match promo to hype up the crowd. Apparently, there are a lot of pimps in the crowd. Who knew?

Kurt Angle said that he’s glad that they are all in a great mood. Angle said he wanted to talk about the joy of celibacy. Angle said that the Three I’s are tremendous, but he said the reason he’s so successful is because of the big A – abstinence. Angle said he abstains voluntarily. Angle said that Godfather said that he has a surprise for him. Angle had a prophylactic (a condom) in his hands. Yes, really. Angle suggested that Godfather starts to use them. Angle said that he had a message for the children: “You can prance and you can dance, but when it comes to relations, keep it in your pants.”

The Godfather vs. Kurt Angle

Godfather opened with a kick that knocked down Angle followed by a back body drop. Godfather with a body slam followed by a leg drop. Angle left the ring where he walked up to one of the ho’s and shoved her into Godfather. Godfather got a hold of Angle and the ho with big boobs slapped Angle in the face. Back in the ring, Godfather tried the Ho Train splash, but Angle moved and Angle hit a belly to back suplex. Godfather came back with two clothesline, but Angle hit the Olympic Slam for the pinfall win at 2:03.

Winner by pinfall: Kurt Angle

Analysis: * Easy win by Angle to give him some positive momentum. The promos were longer than the match, which is fine because I don’t want to watch Godfather in longer matches. Angle’s Backlash opponent was Big Show, but that angle hadn’t started yet. Godfather wasn’t doing much at this point.

There was a clip from Earlier Today of Terri and The Kat leaving the building in a limo. When you have nothing to do, you might as well leave. As they left, Eddie Guerrero and Chyna showed up in a low rider car.

The trio of Rikishi Phatu, Scotty 2 Hotty and Tazz were walking down a hallway because they are up next.

(Commercial)

Big Show was in a dressing room with Shane McMahon. Show said that last week was just the tip of the iceberg and he’s cutting loose now. Show changed into some outfit, Shane left and we didn’t see Show, so it was a tease for Show doing something goofy.

Rikishi Phatu and Scotty 2 Hotty. JR noted that Grandmaster Sexay is out for about six weeks with a knee injury after Big Show putting him through a table backstage. That’s the storyline way of explaining it. Tazz entered as the partner of Rikishi and Scotty. The trio of Chris Benoit, Perry Saturn and Dean Malenko entered as the opponents.

Rikishi Phatu, Scotty 2 Hotty and Tazz vs. Chris Benoit, Perry Saturn and Dean Malenko

Pre-match notes: Rikishi, Scotty and Tazz were faces while the three Radicals guys were heels. Benoit was the Intercontinental Champion and Malenko was the Light Heavyweight Champion.

Scotty took control on Benoit with a belly to back suplex. Saturn distracted the referee, Malenko attacked Scotty from behind and that led to the heels taking control as Saturn hit a back elbow to Scotty. Saturn slammed Scotty into the turnbuckle. Malenko got a rollup on Scotty for two, but Scotty countered by sending him into the turnbuckle. Rikishi got the tag with a double clothesline, a superkick on Malenko and Rikishi hit two more clotheslines leading to the Stinkface on Malenko to a huge pop. Scotty tagged in against Malenko and hit a bulldog leading to the W-O-R-M to a huge pop and the chop connected.

Rikishi kicked Benoit down. Scotty splashed Malenko and Benoit tripped up Rikishi to stop him from doing a splash. Scotty managed to put the Texas Cloverleaf on Malenko, Benoit went brawling up the ramp with Rikishi, Tazz was told to leave the ring by the referee and all of that allowed Saturn to hit Scotty in the back with a forearm and Malenko covered to win at 3:52.

Winners by pinfall: Chris Benoit, Perry Saturn and Dean Malenko

Analysis: ** It was good for the time given, but it also felt rushed. I don’t think Tazz tagged into the match. The finish wasn’t great since Scotty lost to a forearm to the back, which is not a big move. I know the idea is that it was a cheap attack, but it really wasn’t that bad. Saturn should have at least done a superkick or something that looked more devastating. Malenko pinning Scotty set up their match at Backlash, which was one of the best matches at that show.

Triple H was shown walking backstage with Stephanie and Shane for a match up next.

(Commercial)

There was a shot of Terri and The Kat at a hair salon with a hairdresser. Terri spiked Kat’s drink and gave it to her, so Kat drank it.

Triple H made his entrance in his gear for a WWF Championship match. He was joined by wife Stephanie and brother in law Shane McMahon. The opponent was a mystery.

There was a shot of Kaientai walking backstage with the APA walking behind them. Hunter and Shane complained about it. Taka Michinoku entered with Funaki and they had APA’s Bradshaw and Faarooq with them.

Shane argued with Earl Hebner about this, so Hebner shoved Shane onto his ass after Shane shoved Hebner first. The APA guys chased Shane away from ringside.

WWF Championship: Triple H (w/Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley) vs. Taka Michinoku (w/Funaki, Bradshaw and Faarooq)

Pre-match notes: Triple H was the heel champion and Taka was a face challenger.

Taka with a headscissors, a dropkick, a spinning heel kick and a low dropkick for a two count. Hunter whipped Taka in the ropes, but Taka hit another dropkick. Boot to the face by Taka, punch to the face and Taka hit a Tornado DDT for a two count. Hunter with a knee to face followed by a clothesline that sent Taka over top to the floor. Hunter sent Taka face first into the barricade at ringside. Back in the ring, Hunter hit a jumping knee to the face. Hunter attacked Taka against the ropes, he wouldn’t stop, so referee Earl Hebner pulled Hunter back by the hair. Hunter and Hebner shoved eachother twice each. I was distracted by this amazing sign in the background. Sorry Fran Boudreau.

Taka came back with punches followed by a forearm to the face. Hunter stopped his momentum with a punch to the throat. Hunter dumped Taka out of the ring near where the Acolytes were. Hunter threw Taka into the steel steps with Hebner getting in Hunter’s face with Hunter saying “I don’t give a fuck what you say” to Hebner. Funaki took advantage of that by hitting a dropkick on Hunter that sent Hunter in the APA guys. That led to Bradshaw hitting a clothesline on Hunter. Bradshaw on the apron to distract, Funaki with a missile dropkick and Taka hit a moonsault press off the top that barely connected, but Hunter sold it anyway. That got a two count with JR freaking out about how close it was. Shane and Vince McMahon went down to the ring, so the APA guys went up to them. Vince and Shane went by the APA guys and then the team of Bull Buchanan and Big Boss Man attacked the APA from behind with nightsticks. Taka went up top and hit a missile dropkick on Hunter. Taka wanted the Michinoku Driver, Hunter blocked it and hit a Powerbomb counter to a hurricanrana attempt. Hunter hit a Pedigree on Taka for the pinfall win at 5:53.

Winner by pinfall: Triple H

Analysis: ***1/2 This match was so great for being under six minutes. It was fast paced and so fun to watch. It’s hard for me to go over three stars for a match that short, but Hunter gave Taka a lot of offense and the crowd bought into it. JR’s commentary was awesome as he went crazy when Taka got a nearfall. Taka was always a good worker that was presented like a joke a lot of the time. Give both guys a lot of credit for putting on an entertaining match. If they went three minutes and Hunter won a squash it wouldn’t surprise anybody. Instead, they had this entertaining match that I remember well from when it happened and I enjoyed it even more all these years later. The arguing with Hunter and Hebner was important because it set up what would happen the next week.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0jykNr-0iig

Post match, Triple H gave a Pedigree to Funaki as well. Hunter posed with the family while there was some sign about Mariah Carey in the crowd.

The McMahons and Hunter left as they kicked the APA when they were on the ground.

(Commercial)

There was a replay of last week on Smackdown when Bubba Ray Dudley wanted to put Trish Stratus through a table, but T&A saved Trish.

Trish Stratus was shown walking backstage with Test and Albert. Trish told the Dudleys to go in the Dudleys locker room to beat them, so T&A beat them up in the hallway.

Analysis: That set up the Dudleys match with T&A at Backlash. This was the feud that turned the Dudleys face.

(Commercial)

There was a replay of the end of that Triple H/Taka match.

The team of T&A entered with my favorite Trish Stratus for a tag team match. The Hardys entered as their opponents. Good pop for them. It’s obligatory Trish image time.

The Hardy Boyz (Matt and Jeff Hardy) vs. Test & Albert (w/Trish Stratus)

Pre-match notes: The Hardys were the faces while T&A were the heels, but it’s not like I could ever boo Trish.

Matt knocked Test down and went up top for a moonsault press for a two count. Test with a gutwrench Powerbomb, Albert tagged in and the big guys hit a double team slam. Albert with a running shoulder tackle followed by a slingshot into the middle ropes. Albert hit a sidewalk slam for a two count. Albert missed a leg drop off the middle ropes, so Jeff tagged in with a missile dropkick and a hurricanrana. Test went into the ring with a clothesline on Jeff. Albert with a running splash against the turnbuckle followed by Test hitting a spinebuster for two. Test was not the legal man, but referee Teddy Long still counted the pin attempt. Long even said Test isn’t the legal guy and he still counted. Matt broke up the pin. Matt sent Test out of the ring and Matt hit a Twist of Fate on Albert. Jeff up top and he hit a Swanton Bomb on Albert, who was legal, and got the pinfall win at 3:08.

Winners by pinfall: The Hardy Boyz

Analysis: *3/4 It was a solid match with the Hardys using their speed to get the win. The referee work by Teddy Long was bad because he told Test he wasn’t legal, yet moments later Teddy counted Test trying to pin Jeff. I thought the finish was done well.

After the match, the Dudleys ran down to the ring and hit a Dudley Death Drop (3D) on Test. Bubba got a table because this was before he made D-Von get the tables. Trish went on the apron to distract Bubba, so Bubba was in a trance and Albert sent D-Von out of the ring. Albert picked up Bubba and hit a two handed Chokeslam on Bubba to put him through the table.

(Commercial)

There was a shot of the steel cage above the ring with the announcers wondering who Rock will face in the main event.

Val Venis made his entrance. Big Show was up next as the opponent. Show was dressed like Val Venis with a towel around the waist. Show did Val’s mannerisms as he got into the ring. Show even had V-V tights.

Show did a “hello ladies” pre-match promo. Show said it’s not the motion in the ocean, but the size of the boat that turns you on. Show said that never mind the SS Minnow in the ring and suggested that they buy a ticket to the Big Show Titanic. Venis reminded Show that the Titanic sank and the reason was because of Show’s dimply fat ass. The fans booed that because they liked Show now.

Big Show vs. Val Venis

Pre-match notes: Big Show was a heel for a year until he turned about a week earlier due to becoming more of a comedy face. Val Venis was a face although the pre-match promo was a bit heelish.

Venis attacked Show with punches to knock the fake hair off. Show with a boot to the face. Show missed a kick when Venis moved and Show was crotched on the top rope. Venis with a dropkick followed by a shoulderblock. Venis with an elbow drop off the ropes got a two count. Show came back with a clothesline followed by an elbow to the back of the head. Show worked over Venis with chops to the chest. Show charged, Venis pulled the rope down and Show landed on the floor. Show asked for the towel, couldn’t find it and choked Val with the fake hair. The referee called for the bell for the disqualification finish.

Winner by disqualification: Val Venis

Analysis: 1/2* Boring match with a bad finish. I don’t know why Big Show no sold the bump to the floor and why he had to get DQ’d against Venis. It’s not like Venis was getting a push in this era. Show should have got the easy win.

(Commercial)

Eddie Guerrero was up next with Chyna by his side. Eddie was the European Champion as Lawler cackled about “Latino Heat” while Eddie was wearing a Va-Chyna shirt. They showed the clip from last week’s Raw when Chyna helped Eddie win the European Title.

Chris Jericho entered to a thunderous ovation. Jericho said that contrary to what they may or may not believe, he is ecstatic that they are together. Jericho asked which one of them was the man in their relationship. Jericho: “Which one of you two has a better package?” Jericho said he thinks that the Taco Bell chihuahua has more Latino Heat than Eddie, but at least the chihuahua’s bitch is housebroken. Good line.

European Championship: Eddie Guerrero (w/Chyna) vs. Chris Jericho

Pre-match notes: Eddie was the heel champion and Jericho was the face that was the former champion.

Jericho with a backbreaker to start. Guerrero with two dropkicks to the knee of Jericho to take him down. Guerrero continued to work over the left leg of Jericho and he slapped on a Figure Four Leglock. Jericho powered out of it as the camera kept zooming on Chyna at ringside. Guerrero sent Jericho face first into the turnbuckle. Guerrero stomped on Jericho’s face. Jericho with a boot to the face, then chops and a back body drop. Jericho slapped on the Walls of Jericho, Chyna on the apron to distract and Guerrero got a rollup with the feet on the ropes for a two count. Jericho with a bulldog. Chyna tossed the belt to Eddie, she distracted the referee and Eddie and Jericho had a tug of war with the title that led to Guerrero bumping into the referee. Jericho with a Lionsault, but Chyna hit Jericho with a low blow and a DDT. Chyna put Eddie’s arm on top just like last week. Dazed Tim White counted the pin and Eddie won again at 5:19.

Winner by pinfall: Eddie Guerrero

Analysis: ** It was a solid match as usual from these guys. If they got more time it would have helped, but this was more about putting over the story of Chyna being with Eddie. This really put Chyna over more than either of the two guys with her as the one that was more of the star and Eddie benefitted from it.

(Commercial)

The steel cage lowered on the ring for the main event as the announcers hype up that Rock would be in a match.

Meanwhile, back at the beauty salon. The Kat’s hair was ruined after she was passed out and it said “TRAMP” on her forehead. Terri and the evil hairstylist laughed about it.

Analysis: This was a bad storyline and the acting was even worse. At least it was short. What was the payoff? Wrestling matches? They can’t wrestle. I’m all for pretty women on the shows, but this “rivalry” was a waste of time.

The Rock was shown walking backstage for the main event.

(Commercial)

The Rock entered to a big ovation as the steel cage was on the ring. Rock paced around the ring wondering who his opponent(s) would be.

Triple H’s music started up as the WWF Champion entered the arena with Vince, Shane and Stephanie. Hunter was dressed as if he was going to compete.

Big Boss Man and Bull Buchanan made their entrances as The Rock’s opponents. Vince signaled “two” as if to tell Rock he was facing two men.

Analysis: Bull Buchanan in a Raw main event in 2000? Yes, it happened.

The Rock vs. Big Boss Man and Bull Buchanan (w/Triple H, Vince McMahon, Shane McMahon and Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley)

Pre-match notes: The Rock was the top face in the company. Bull and Boss Man were heels. The story was that Rock had to win this match to earn a WWF Title match.

The Rock fought off both guys with punches to start the match. Rock tried to climb out of the cage, but Buchanan and Boss Man brought him back in to work him over with punches. Double team back elbow put Rock down. Rock came back with a DDT on Bull and Boss Man knocked Rock down with a forearm. Shane climbed up the side, Rock went after him and Bull knocked down Rock to crotch Rock on the top rope.

The heels continued to work over Rock with Buchanan hitting a running leg drop. Vince yelled at Hebner to call this fair. Buchanan hit a scissors kick for a two count. Double team suplex by Bull and Boss Man. Clothesline from Boss Man got a two count. Boss Man and Bull whipped Rock face first in the cage. Buchanan went for a leaping clothesline off the ropes, but Rock moved and Bull hit Boss Man by accident. Rock sent Bull into the cage and a Samoan Drop followed. Boss Man came back with a Boss Man Slam on Rock. Buchanan started to climb as Rock hit a spinebuster on Boss Man. Bull jumped off the ropes on Rock and Rock caught him with a Rock Bottom for the pinfall win at 7:12.

Winner by pinfall: The Rock

Analysis: *3/4 The work in the match wasn’t great, but the crowd was into it because Rock was in the match. The outcome was not a surprise because we obviously know it was Rock vs. Triple H at Backlash. This was classic WWF booking where the face has to overcome multiple heels and Rock found a way.

After the match was over, Shane tried to climb in the cage while Hunter entered through the cage door. Hunter whipped Rock into the steel cage two times. Hunter put brass knuckles on his hand and he punched Rock with them. Rock turned over on his face to do a blade job, so when Rock turned around, his head was bleeding. Shane punched Earl Hebner down. JR was screaming about Rock being busted open. Hunter, Vince and Shane continued to attack Rock. Hunter hit a Pedigree on Rock in the middle of the ring. JR ranted about Rock as a bloody mess.

Hunter trash talked the bloody Rock and said if Rock wants to play this game with him, he’s in it now. Rock said that he’s done playing games with Rock. Hunter said he is Rock’s worst goddamn nightmare and he’s done playing with him. Hunter said this is just step one. They picked Rock up for more punishments, which is when the APA showed up to attack Boss Man and Buchanan at ringside. When the APA guys went into the ring, Hunter, Shane and Vince all climbed out of the cage to escape. Nice climbing speed by them.

Triple H’s music hit again as they showed Rock down in the ring as a bloody mess while the heels retreated and looking proud of their work. JR ended the broadcast in a great way by yelling: “The war has just begun!”

Analysis: That was very well done as a post match angle to get some heat on the heels while Rock did a rare blade job to sell the attack. It was smart to utilize the APA for the big save since they were attacked earlier during the Triple H/Taka match. Rock didn’t do blade jobs that often, so when he did, it was important to treat it like a big deal. I think when you look back at all this in hindsight, it would have been great if this was the build to WrestleMania and if the match at WrestleMania was Triple H vs. The Rock because this segment was tremendous in terms of getting people excited about their match. It ended up being Backlash, which was a better show than WrestleMania.

This episode of Raw had a runtime of 1:34:09 on WWE Network.

 

Three Stars of the Show

  1. Triple H
  2. The Rock
  3. Taka Michinoku – That’s probably the only time Taka was a top three star.

The Scoreboard

This Raw episode gets a 7 out of 10.

I think the main storyline with Rock/Hunter/Vince was great. They were all performing at such a high level in terms of promos, matches and getting heat on the heels.

That Triple H/Taka match was so entertaining, so it was fun to be able to watch it again and write about it. We all knew Taka really had no chance in winning, but with the way it was booked, they made you believe that maybe it could actually happen.

Some of the other matches were bad with weak finishes, so that hurt the show a bit. I did like some of the storyline progression, though, so even when the matches are short, they do serve a purpose.

The big thing we got from this episode is that the long-awaited Triple H vs. Rock WWE Title match was all set for Backlash, so it gave us something to look forward to.

Thanks for reading. My contact info is below.

John Canton

Email mrjohncanton@gmail.com

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