-Overall score (6.5): The WWF delivered a newsworthy episode that featured a WWF Title Change, a WCW Tag Title change, and the first blows of the Rock vs. Chris Jericho feud. Unfortunately, they set expectations too high by promoting the event as "The most important Raw in history." With all of the talk about Scott Hall and Kevin Nash possibly returning, this show failed to live up to the hype.
-High Point: Although word of the finish had leaked to the Internet days in advance, the Steve Austin vs. Kurt Angle match was strong.
-Low Point: It says a lot about the X-Pac vs. Scotty Too Hotty match when the company goes so far as to hype that an Austin interview for after it.
-Review of the Show: [Q1]... Hosts: Jim Ross and Paul Heyman... Highlights aired from Smackdown of Rob Van Dam beating Kurt Angle to set up Raw's main event... The opening montage aired... (1) Big Show & Spike Dudley & Tajiri (w/Torrie Wilson) beat Tazz & The Dudleys (w/Stacy Keibler) at 1:39. Stacy walked to the ring dressed in Dudley gear. During the match, Ross hyped that Maven will receive a rematch against Tazz at Smackdown. Late in the match, Tajiri caught Tazz with a kick and pinned him. Afterward, the Dudleys powerbombed Torrie through a table at Stacy's direction... [C] Backstage, EMTs tended to Torrie as Tajiri watched...
[Q2]... Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley walked to the ring for a promo. Steph said she suffered numerous injuries during a handicap match against Chris Jericho two weeks ago, but added, "I'm back." Jericho walked to the ring and traded insults with Steph until Shane McMahon's music interrupted him. Shane told Jericho that he finds his shots against Steph to be funny. He added that Jericho would be better off putting as much time into his career as he does coming up with insults. Jericho challenged Steph and Shane to wrestle him in a handicap match later in the show. Steph passed and then suggested Jericho wrestle Shane & Rob Van Dam. Jericho accepted the match, but announced that the Rock would be his tag partner... [C] Backstage, Booker T and Test approached Van Dam. Booker reminded Van Dam that he is a five-time former WCW Champion. Van Dam responded, "Wow, I didn't know you lost the WCW Title five times." Funny... [C]
[Q3]... A woman's face appeared on the screen. She introduced herself as Jennifer and said that she was fat and out of shape 12 weeks ago. She said she met DDP and he changed her life. Jennifer bent over in a revealing position and bragged that her husband now wants to touch her every chance he gets. Page appeared in the shot and said he also wants to touch her. Page bragged that he changed Jennifer's life and could change the lives of people everywhere. The best Page vignette to date, even if that isn't saying a lot... (2) The Hardys (w/Lita) beat Booker T & Test at 3:39 to win the WCW Tag Titles when Undertaker interfered. During the match, Lita hit her usual huracanrana while the ref was distracted. Later, Taker also interfered on behalf of the babyface Hardys. Taker hit Booker with the Last Ride and fled the ring while Matt followed up with the Swanton for the win... [C] Backstage, Booker and Test bitched about losing the belts. Booker said he needs to beat Taker to obtain the respect he has been looking for... A shot aired of Austin's locker room door. Ross said Austin refused to allow anyone inside, but also stressed that he was in the building...
[Q4]... [C] Christian walked to ringside to sit in on color commentary. Along the way, Christian presented a young fan with his sun glasses, but later took them away... (3) Edge beat Rhyno when Christian interfered at 2:30 during a WCW U.S. Title match. Late in the match, Edge went for a cover, but Christian pulled him from the ring for the DQ. Afterward, Edge fought off both heels. A basic match... Ross hyped Rock & Jericho vs. RVD & Shane for after the break. In general, the announcers have been doing a much better job of promoting upcoming matches prior to breaks... [C] Ring introductions for the following match took place...
[Q5]... (4) Rob Van Dam & Shane McMahon beat The Rock & Chris Jericho at 7:35. During the match, Shane ran Jericho head-first into the steps at ringside. Jericho remained at ringside selling the move for a few minutes. Meanwhile, Rock fought off RVD and Shane inside the ring. Eventually, a bloody Jericho climbed to his feet and brought a chair inside the ring. Jericho swung the chair at Shane, who ducked, causing the chairshot to hit Rock. Van Dam took advantage of the situation and covered Rock for the win. On commentary, Heyman stressed that Van Dam had just pinned Rock. Yes, and so did Rhyno a few weeks ago and it turned meant nothing. It's great that Rock is willing to put people over, but the WWF has to be make those jobs seem more meaningful... [C] Ross hyped Friday as the deadline for Tough Enough 2 applications... The Alliance wrestlers greeted Van Dam and Shane as they returned backstage. The Alliance wrestlers chanted "RVD" as they walked past Austin's dressing room... Highlights aired of Chris Benoit's appearance on Heat...
[Q6]... Ross interviewed Lance Storm and Ivory, who were standing on stage at WWF New York. Ivory yelled at the crowd over the mic while Storm tried to finish his promo. Ivory looks better, but she is horrible on the mic. Her personality is so grating that she would make the perfect sidekick for Dallas Page's motivational speaker character... Backstage, Michael Cole announced that he would be interviewing Austin after the next match concluded... (5) X-Pac beat Scotty Too Hotty at 3:29 to retain the WWF Lt. Hvt. Title. Late in the match, Scotty pinned X-Pac, but the ref quickly realized that X-Pac's foot was draped over the bottom rope at the time of the pin. The ref restarted the match and X-Pac hit the X-Factor for the win... Backstage, Michael Cole prepared to interview Austin. Debra walked out and announced that Austin had changed his mind and no longer wanted to be interviewed. Debra asked Cole to point her toward William Regal's office... [C]
[Q7]... (6) Mighty Molly beat Lita at 2:42. Late in the match, Molly countered Lita's reversal attempt, rolled her up, and bridged while the ref counted three. A rare clean finish... Backstage, Debra sucked up to Regal by congratulating him for banning Alliance members from ringside during the Angle vs. Austin match. Seconds later, Debra asked if she could be at ringside during the match. Regal got upset, told her no, and told her to leave the room... [C] Backstage, Cole interviewed Angle, who insisted he wasn't worried about defending the title against Austin. Angle said whether Austin's hand was under the rope when he tapped out to the ankle lock didn't matter. Angle said what did matter is that Austin tapped out... Austin walked onto the stage and paced back and forth before walking down the ramp. On his way to the ring, Austin stopped to yell at one fan and flip off another. Once Austin was in the ring, Debra walked out and took a chair at ringside...
[Q8]... [C] Regal walked to ringside and sent Debra backstage. Regal remained at ringside during the match. Austin approached Regal and the two men exchanged words... (7) Steve Austin beat Kurt Angle at 17:01 to win the WWF Title. Angle walked out and attacked attacked Austin at ringside. Eventually, both men fought their way inside the ring. The first ten minutes of the match featured intense back and forth action.
[Q9]... Austin walked to ringside and grabbed a chair, but Regal pulled it away from him. Later, Austin locked Angle in a Boston Crab, but Angle reached the ropes. Later, Angle delivered three impressive suplexes on Austin. He set up for a fourth, but Austin kicked him low and then ran Angle into the ref. Austin walked to ringside and grabbed the WWF Title belt. Regal followed Austin into the ring and took the belt away from him. Suddenly, Regal turned toward Angle and hit him with the belt. Regal woke up the ref as Austin made the cover, but Angle kicked out. Austin threw a short fit because of the nearfall. Austin picked up Angle and hit him with the Stunner and scored the pin to end the show...
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