WWF RAW is WAR
WWF 12.45 (+
.19, last year: 17 9/16)
TONIGHT: ALL the Quarterfinal matchups in the King of the Ring tournament will take place on THIS show! As if that wasn't enough, we ALSO have a tag team championship match as Benoit & Jericho take on the Dudley Boyz! Come back in seventeen!
How helpful of them to provide the brackets! Here's my annual attempt at making it look pretty in HTML:
So why DID they replace the throne with an electric chair? ('cause it looks cool?) Oh. (The kidz dig it - trust me)
THIS WEEK'S SPECIAL MIAMI VICE GUEST STAR: Dennis Farina
TV-14-DLV - One World - CC - Leader Attitude - WWF!
DESPERATION: Let Us Take You Back to SmackDown! aka the "Austin is Awesome" show - go read that report if you missed it
Opening Credits - am I imagining things or did they excise Eddie Guerrero from those clips?
LIGHT IT UP! From the Ice Palace in Tampa, FL, it's the last Monday before the King of the Ring pay-per-view, 18.6.1, it's transmitido en espanol SAP, it's LIVE, and it's the WWF - where RAW is WAR! There's a big crowd on hand at WWF New York, as well...yep
TONIGHT: Stone Cold Steve Austin & the Dudley Boyz vs. Spike Dudley & Chris Jericho & Chris Benoit - HUH? Oh, I get it. Putting up the WRONG graphics is a sly, subtle way to say "the WCW invasion CONTINUES!"
As if my show was just spoiled, here come SPIKE DAMN DUDLEY & MOLLY HOLLY to presumably somehow change the previously announced tag team championship main event into a six man. "Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be in this ring facing the WWF Champion for a title shot. But last week, I did just that. And even though I didn't win that match, I was in the ring with the WWF Champion...and I liked it. I...really really liked it. And you know, I woulda been content for that to be my one moment in the sun, but Stone Cold Steve Austin that wasn't good enough for you...you had to come back in the ring after that match and try to hit Molly with a chair. Well congratulations, Stone Cold, you're about to make me do something I never thought I would do. Austin...I'm calling you out. Come on, Stone Cold, I know you're out there - I'm calling you out! AUSTIN I WANNA PIECE OF YOUR ASS!" Well, here *comes* MY NAME IS STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN - making sure to glare at Spike between each of his four corner poses. Big staredown. Austin starts to speak...but decides to stoke a chant instead. "Who the hell do you think you are?" "My name is Spike Dudley!" Moderate pop for that. "Well for the record, my name is Stone Cold Steve Austin...and I'm not about to let some two dollar punk with a five cent haircut call me out and challenge me to a title defense." "Uh, Steve, I JUST did." Austin turns back. "What did you say?" "I said I - just - did." Austin smiles. "It - it - it ain't fair, Spike. It ain't fair. Look atcha. Look atcha. Now look at me. It ain't fair, Spike. Nononononono - look at me again. Now look at him - look at him! It ain't fair." Again, Austin turns to leave. "Well let me put it to you like this: if you wanna see Spike Dudley take on Stone Cold for the WWF title....well just gimme a hell yeah!" "HELL YEAH!" "Well you ain't GETTIN' no title match, you little (beep)! You don't deserve a title match! You don't deserve to be in the same ring with Stone Cold Steve Austin! I'll say it one more time, and look at me: you do not deserve to be in the same ring with Stone Cold Steve Austin! But I will say this for ya...ya little rascal." "Austin sux!" "Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! I'll give it to ya, kid - I'll give it to ya right down the middle: you got guts. And nobody back there...willin' to come out here and call old Stone Cold St--" "Asshole!" "Ain't nobody back there got the guts to call out Stone Cold Steve Austin, but you did. And I gotta give that to ya. You showed me a lot, Spike. You showed me you got a lotta backbone, you gotta lotta gumption there, kid - but you know what? As much guts as you got - little ol' Molly there...she's still a little bimbo." "I'm telling you - you can't talk about her like that! You take that back!" Austin smiles again. "I ain't takin' it back. Look at her! She's a bimbo! She's a two dollar tramp!" Spike tosses his mic - but Molly tries to stay between he and Austin. "Hehehehehehehe - thaaaaaaaaaaat's right, Molly - you're nothin' but a BIMBO! HAAAAAAAAAAhahaha" Molly turns around, hauls off and SLAPS him one. Austin's face gives it time to register. Then he smiles one more time. "Heh heh heh - (clears throat) - (again) - okay - you both come out here, and you...I ain't givin' you no title shot, but...you earned my respect (heh) - Molly (heh) - little filly, I guess you earned my respect, too." Then he offers the Hand of Friendship. Spike looks at it, looks at Molly, then grabs it - Austin pulls him closer...keeping his eyes locked on him - pulls him closer...then releases his grip. He takes a few steps back...walks back up with a hand for Molly - NO NO NO KICK WHAM STUNNER!! Austin takes off and play his music again. Spike looks over Molly...then looks to Austin as he stands on the ramp.
SummerSlam comes to the Compaq Center in August, and apparently
tickets are STILL available! Of course, ticketmaster.com
is unclear on the concept of e-commerce, because they always seem to be
"closed" when *I* try to find out what seats are left.
During the Break, Austin was WALKING! right by Bubba Ray and D-Von Dudley - they looked at each other...and Austin walked on by without incident.
Coming back to real-time, the trainer checks on Molly's neck as the Dudleyz catch up to their half-brother. "Hey yo Spike - ohhh man - hey yo man, we just bumped into Stone Cold Steve Austin. Uh." I guess D-Von is cringing in Molly's direction there or something. "Yeah, Stone Cold. Spike, I got to hand it to ya. Last week, you did a hell of a job. Man, you stook (stook?) up for your girlfriend, you stook up for youself, you stook up for what was right against the WWF Champion, Steve Austin. Spike, how long have you been here, though?" "Three months." "Yeah - D-Von, how long have we been here?" "Uhh - a year and a half?" "Yeah. And in that time how many World title shots have you had?" "Hmm lemme see - uh - ZERO." "And I've had...zero title shots as well. So lemme ask you a question: what's wrong with this picture?" "What's wrong with this picture? I'll tell you what's wrong with this picture, you two are fulla crap! You don't care about Molly, you don't care about me, all you two care about are yourselves. That's what's wrong with this picture." D-Von: "Oh really. So what are you gonna do about it? ...just like I thought - NOTHING." Off they walk. "What am I gonna do about it? All right - I'll show you what I'm gonna do about it - you'll see." Hmm, I wonder if it involves changing the main event to a six man...
TONIGHT: Benoit & Jericho vs. the Dudley Boyz for the tag team titles! YEAH RIGHT - is this there way of saying "PLEASE pretend you didn't see that earlier set of graphics?"
Austin paces...as Debra watches. "I need somebody I can talk to. I need somebody that's gonna listen to me. I need a confidant, I need a friend. I need somebody that can help me." "Honey, *I* can help you--" "Not now, Debra. I need somebody that understands ME." "I know, I understand you, you know that." "What are you talking about, Debra, you're my WIFE. I'm talking about the World Wrestling Federation championship! What do you know about being a champion?" "Well I know plenty, because I *was* the Women's Champion!" Austin breaks into laughter...then stops laughing and leaves. "Unbelievable..."
Edge & Christian hang with Stacker 2
I should probably say something about that Twix ad - naaah
Meanwhile, Mick Foley is still scarfing down that Big Beefaroni
In his office, Regal tells Tajiri that he (and the Queen) are very proud of what he's done thus far in the King of the Ring tournament. Austin comes in - Regal tells him that Spike asked for a match with him tonight - he's thinking of pushing the tag team championship match to SmackDown! and making a six man tonight (WOW! WHAT A COINCIDENCE!) - Spike and the tag champs against Austin and the Dudleyz. Austin says as long as he doesn't have to defend his title, well okay. "But that ain't why I came to see ya. I hate to admit this...but I need someone to talk to. I need someone that's gonna listen to me. Look at me - I need someone I can confide in - someone that can help and understand me." "Stone Cold, I am always there for you." "That's fine and I appreciate it, but I'm not talking about you - I'm talking about Tiejiri. I'm talking about you. Would you give me a few moments? Just give me a coupla minutes with Tiejiri, do you understand me?" "Well certainly..." "Thanks." Another staredown...
"Tough Enough" promo - geez, it's a long one, too
The blitz continues as MICHAEL KING COLE stands with Tazz - there's a special sneak preview of the show tomorrow night at WWF New York and Tazz will be in the house. Hardcore Holly interrupts here. "Tazz. You tough enough? You used to be tough - you're just a commentator now." Tazz suggests he should be more concerned about his cousin. Holly says Molly wouldn't listen, so she's on her own. Somehow they end up agreeing to fight later tonight. Umm....yeah.
Another look at WWF New York - wow, they finally changed their giant ad on the exterior!
Inside WWF New York (Ross: "Inside King of the Ring") is a small child, not winning at the crane game. He backs into....Kane, who grabs a quarter and gives it a shot. He ALSO loses. Kane does some fuming, then says "Stand back, kid," breaks the glass ("Winner!") and drops a handful of prizes in the kid's arms.
Your hosts are LARRY KING & PAUL HEYMAN. Taker is staying home with his wife tonight because of the stalker situation...
Here's a Special Video Look at the Stalker's videos, edited for your protection - why OF COURSE that butt shot is last - gotta keep you interested!
KOOL MOE DEE v. AD BREAK - no sooner has Hardcore Holly entered the ring than another video takes over the EntertainmentTron. "Cut the music. Cut it. I'm here tonight. I'm right here in Tampa. But yesterday - yesterday I was filming. Yesterday I was with Undertaker...and Sara. Undertaker thinks he's protecting Sara." I guess he's in the garage? After getting in the truck, Taker decides to send Sara to get her dad's Skilsaw. Damn, the Dead Man is LAZY. "Oh yes. It's over here next to me." "Hey never mind! I need it tomorrow! Yeah, yeah, I'll take it back to him next week. He ain't gonna be cuttin' anything." "Too bad. Undertaker, your tomorrows are OVER - because tonight, there will be no more disguising my voice. No more hiding my face. Tonight, the games are over, Undertaker. Tonight, in the ring, the world will find out WHO I am and WHY I'm here. I just wish SARA was here WITH me." We see some black pants and boots - and a glove. The voice seems different tonight...hmmm....well, we'll probably know in about an hour or so, I guess...
What would UNCLE BEN know about MACARONI AND CHEESE? He's a RICE man, for crying out loud!
KOOL MOE DEE (already in the ring) v. TAZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ - Holly is quickly on him as soon as he hits the ring - kick, right, right, right, into the ropes, Best Dropkick in the Business. WWF Live crawl. Best Crotchkick in the Business somehow escapes the watchful eye of referee "Blind" Teddy Long. If Holly hits all his spots in the first twenty seconds, does this mean it'll be an ECW match and he's going down? Duh, who do YOU think is gonna win - the "Tough Enough" (debuting Thursday) guy, or the OTHER guy? Scoop...and a slam. Holly going up - Alabama jam. 1, 2, Tazz kicks out. Geez, all we need is for Tazz to kick out of the Hollycaust and then that high spinebuster and it'll be complete - well, there's a T-Bone Tazzplex - must be time to turn it around - clothesline, clotehsline, whip is reversed and Holly pulls Tazz into a bodyslam - 1, 2, Tazz kicks out. Kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, whip into the opposite corner is reversed - Holly up and over but Tazz wasn't under him - TAZZMISSION! Holly tries to fight it off but falls back - and Tazz adds the body scissors. Holly is out, fans. Long calls for the bell. OH MAN, TAZZ IS TOUGH ENOUGH! (1:46) DID YOU HEAR ME? I SAID TAZZ IS TOUGH ENOUGH!
"Tiejiri..." "Hai!" "The problem is very, very simple, my friend. Vince McMahon's wife is runing Stone Cold Steve Austin's life! I mean here you got a guy, Vince McMahon - he's one of the most powerful men in the world...and he's letting a woman run his life!" Tajiri says...something. "You know what? Stone Cold Steve Austin would never let a woman run his life - he'd never let a woman make his everyday decisions - oh no!" Tajiri says something else. "Well said. I do not deserve this, Tiejiri. I am the World Wrestling Federation Champion. Look at the belt." "Champion, champion." "Go ahead, look - touch it, touch it." He perks up. "You wanna hold it? Yeah. Easy, easy. It ain't right. It ain't right. You know it's not right, I know it's not right, everybody knows it's not right for Stone Cold to be treated like this, right? So what do you think the solution is?" "Hai?" "What do you think?" "Watashiwa...(something else)" "You're a very wise man. I appreciate the help, my friend. I appreciate the help. You've taken a lotta weight off my shoulders. I am deeply grateful...most ah, most humble." They take turns bowing, until Regal barges in to skirt Tajiri away to his quarterfinal, leaving Austin alone...
King of the Ring spot
Hey hey, 1-800-COL-LECT presents the WWF Rewind! From SmackDown!,
Shane presents Stacy Keibler - and Rhyno drops the hardcore title to Test.
Here's Edge and Christian in the locker room. "Listen, for the last time, I'm really sorry I pushed you down after we lost our match last week, but what are you doing hitting me with one of my moves?" "First of all, you didn't push me down...I tripped! And secondly, what did you, uh, invent the spear or something? When did that become YOUR move?" "Oh man, I'm so psyched we may face each other in the finals of the King of the Ring!" "Yeah! Me too, but I guess ah, you might have an easier time getting there considering you [don't] have to face someone that's seven feet tall and five hundred pounds, do ya? But I guess I don't have anything to worry about considering I have the inventor of the spear in my corner, do I?" "What DO you have to worry about, BUDDY? You're one half of the greatest tag team the WWF has ever seen!" "Well then I guess everything's...okay, isn't it?" "I guess so." Angle is in: "Guys, guys, guys! Enough, okay? This is pointless! You know it pains me to see my two best friends at odds. C'mon guys, is this what you really want? And besides, in case you didn't know, I'm in the semis! It's not like either of you actually have a shot at winning King of the Ring - I mean, I'm repeating this year! I'm two matches away! You guys are too much! You go on, you guys are too much. Love those guys. First I repeat as King of the Ring champion...and then I beat SHane McMahon, all in one night. It's good to be the king."
KING OF THE RING QUARTERFINAL: RHYNO (THE MAN BEAST) v. (yoshihiro) TAJIRI (with Commissioner Regal...and Commissioner Regal's music - AND Let Us Take You Back to SmackDown!) - this is probably AT LEAST as much of a Dream Match as, say, Hardcore Holly vs. Tazz. Kick by Rhyno, knife-edge chop, chop. "Get up Tajiri!" Going for a powerbomb but Tajiri lands on his feet. Rana by Tajiri and Rhyno goes outside. Baseball slide dropkick - Asai moonsault! Rolled back in - chop - into the ropes is reversed, big spinebuster by Rhyno - 1, 2, Tajiri kicks out. Right hand. Into the ropes, Tajiri with a handstand, springing against the ropes and hitting a picture perfect handspring elbow (take that, Chyna)! Tajiri runs at Rhyno, who catches him - across the back - Rhyno spinning but Tajiri drops off and manages a sunset flip for 2. Big kick by Tajiri. Tajiri grapevines the leg, puts the other leg over Rhyno's head, grabs the abdominal stretch - Heyman says it's the Octopus and I guess it's been too many years since I've seen it 'cause I don't recognise it (I saw Horowitz do it in Global, thanks for asking). Rhyno walks to the ropes, but all that does is allow Tajiri to clamp on the Tarantula - well, for as long as referee "Blind" Chad Patton's four count lasts, anyway. Tajiri winding up for the kick, but Rhyno ducks - gutshot, POWERBOMB. Rhyno dares Tajiri to get up so he can gore him...but Tajiri KICKS him before he can hit the spear! Tajiri is slow to get up...but instead of going for the cover, he listens to Regal, who wants him to go to the corner and hit a top-rope who knows. Tajiri climbs...but Rhyno is up - Regal sends him back, but all Tajiri manages to do is jump right into a GORE! GORE! GORE! 1, 2, 3, Rhyno advances. (2:51) Oh well, so much for my streak of correct predictions. Replay of the end of the match...commentators try to establish it's all Regal's fault, you know, so...
You know, that Twix ad - ah FORGET it
You know, Carrot Top - NOPE
You know, Uncle Ben....man, I just GOTTA fast-forward through these ads because they're ALL INCREDIBLY ANNOYING. So....somehow I gotta stop watching this show live, too. Hmmmmmm
When we come back, Regal is berating Tajiri for snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. "You - how could you do that? A perfectly good King of the Ring spot, and you've thrown it away! You bloody lose - you besmirch me - look at all the things I've done for you! Look where I've brought you, to the WWF, and you make a bloody fool out of me? Get out of my bloody sight! Go on, sod off, bugger off!! Bloody hell!"
BONG - the music hits, the video plays, the RAW Credits and "transmitido en espanol SAP" box, TV-14-DLV ratings box, CC box hit - and there's a FIGURE IN BLACK on a bike. Heyman: "Whoa whoa, what's this? It's the Undertaker! Oh, I thought you talked to him at home, JR. Oh BULL! It's about time you got shown up for who you are and what you are! You didn't talk to the Undertaker at home, he's here tonight - you are a self-promoting, self-aggrandizing, egotistical liar! You misled the viewers! If you didn't blackmail Mr. McMahon, he'd throw your ass right out of the WWF right now! You oughta be ashamed of yourself! I'm ashamed to be broadcasting with you! Where is Michael Cole when you need him?" "Well take a look, big mouth - that's not the Undertaker!" Wow, THIS guy has the power to get those steps moved out of the way as well! Well, it *could* be Barry Windham...or Big Boss Man....or, yeah, Vince McMahon. He stands in the middle of the ring, hitting Taker's "power to the people" pose.
There's only enough light to make him into a silhouette.
Well, NOW the lights are up - he reaches for his ski mask...whoa, it's
PAGE. There's the sign of the Diamond
he looks in good shape - that new haircut does wonders for him. Hmm, well
nobody *I* talked to had predicted Page - but is that a good or bad thing?
Let's listen and see if it'll make any sense. "Undertaker! Like the
Diamond Cutter, you never saw it comin'! Now those of you who know me are
asking yourself the question why - why did I - why did Diamond Dallas Page
go after the Undertaker like this? Well I'll tell ya. I'll tell ya
exactly why - because if you wanna make an impact in this business, you go
after the biggest, the meanest, the baddest dog in the yard. And once you
find that dog, if you wanna get the very best of him, you make it personal
- REAL personal. And then, hey, you find that dog's weakness. Well
Taker, you are obviously that dog. And you've been telling people for
years that this ring, right here, is your yard. We'll see. But, up to a
few weeks ago, Taker, you have never shown weakness. I mean, NEVER shown
weakness - that is, up until a few weeks ago when you told Stone Cold
Steve Austin that if he ever, ever (crowd: "eeeeeeeeeeeever!") ...messed
with your family, you'd make him famous. DUH - Taker, you idiot, Stone
Cold Steve Austin's already famous! But it did get me to thinkin' - Good
God. When you said what you said about your family, Dead Man, you didn't
sound so dead - as a matter of fact, you sounded very A-LIVE. And for
you, son, that's a sign of weakness. Taker, think about it. Remember
when you used to say 'I've swept through things that make most people's
hair turn gray' - remember that? Okay, you didn't say it exactly LIKE
that, but you remember that. You also said you weren't afraid of
anything. FOUL! I'm gonna call you on that right now. Taker, I'm
callin' you - a LIAR. Oh yeah! Oh yeah I am. 'cause take a look at him
now - he's runnin' around his house, lockin' all the windows, lockin' the
doors - I can just see him now, calling Vince McMahon this morning - 'Mr.
McMahon, I can't possibly come in and compete tonight - I can't leave my
wife Sara - there's a madman - there's a stalker trying to get to my wife
Sara!' You're scared to death! How's it feel, son? I tell you what,
there is a positive side to this. Diamond Dallas Page has made your wife
famous. And speaking of famous, nobody - and I mean NOBODY deserves to be
more famous that the King of Ba-da-bing - the Master of the Diamond Cutter
- NOBODY deserves to be more famous that BE (D - D - P). Because my whole
life, I've wanted to be since I was eight years old, my whole life people
have been tellin' me, until you've been to the shizzow, until you've been
to the show, until you've been to the very top of our business, you're
never really famous. So Taker, trust me, I'm using you to get the top of
this business, and you can take it to the bank - whether I gotta buy a
ticket or not, I - will - see - you - at King of the Ring. You gotta
problem with me? Cool. Taker, I'm beggin' ya - make me FAMOUS! Ha ha
ha." Well FINALLY some SECURITY
is out, but Page is over the barricade
and out in the crowd - one more Diamond Cutter sign before he walks out.
I don't think the crowd was *silent* because they were *hanging on Page's every word,* if you catch my drift.
And how come EVEN NOW the commentators are still strictly mandated to refer to "WCW" performers as "stars" instead of "superstars," like "WWF" performers?
I think Page was probably the most over before he opened his yap...slowly losing ground, slowly, slowly....and next time we see him, it'll be lower than when we last saw him here.
Let's put it this way. If you were watching this, and you knew that your good friend who USED to watch wrestling but kinda stopped because he got bored with it, tired of it, whatever - would THIS be the thing that made you get on the phone, call that guy and say "Man, you GOTTA watch this!"
You know what I mean?
This wasn't that.
On the other hand, if ten minute Benoit/Austin matches weren't doing it, you gotta try SOMETHING, right?
Here's a look at the exterior of the Ice Palace
Moments Ago...well at least it wasn't Vince?
Commentators react to what they've just seen
KING OF THE RING QUARTERFINAL: EDGE (with Christian) v. PERRY SATURN (with Nipples & Let Us Take You Back to SmackDown!) - after promising DDP at King of the Ring, Ross backs off almost immediately and says that Page will probably get his ticket. Saturn has lost the Steiner-esque bleachjob on the facial hair - and his Steiner-esque nickname, for now. He's also got some YOU'RE WELCOME trunks - thank you. (You're welcome.) Augh. Right by Edge, Saturn blocks, right, right, into the ropes, jumping elbow. Edge put in the corner, Saturn ducks under the boots, trips him to the mat, gives Christian a free shot on the floor, and goes back in - but Edge drops the double axehandle as he comes in. Edge-O-matic. Right, right, right, right. Kick. Elbow in the back. Saturn fights back - Edge with a right. Into the ropes, clotheslining him down. 1, 2, Saturn gets the shoulder up. Saturn whipped hard into the corner. Double axehandle by Edge, right by Saturn, axehandle by Edge, Saturn with another right - back to his feet, right, right, into the ropes, head down, kick by Edge. Edge with a clothesline - 1, 2, nope. Into the ropes...Saturn manages a crucifix (almost taking out Edge's head in the process) for 2. I don't have to tell you that the commentators have done nothing but talk about Undertaker and Page this whole match, do I? Another WCW-esque turn... Edge barrels Saturn over, then checks his own head.
Edge scoops him up - there's a slam.
Edge outside and climbing up...Saturn with a kick to stop Edge's descent.
Belly-to-belly overhead by Saturn and both men are down. Saturn up first
- clothesline - running in place before the next clothesline. On the back
- run gutfirst into the Tree of Woe - Edge frees himself - Saturn up top -
plancha, but Edge rolls through to get HIM 2. Right by Edge. Whip
attempt is reversed, and Saturn pulls him into a gutshot - moss-covered,
three-handled family gredunza (Ross: "fisherman suplex" - dammit, it's a
swinging fishermanbuster) - that's his move (not that Ross would know -
this is the second time in a row he's missed that call) but Christian
pulls Edge out of the pin attempt at 2. Christian on the apron to draw
over Saturn (and referee "Blind" Jack Down) - Edge winds up - Saturn out
of the way...Edge stops himself from colliding with his brother, then gets
out of the way of Saturn's superkick - which takes out Christian. Saturn
turns back - gutshot, implant DDT - 1, 2, 3. Edge
Hmm, I think we can almost guarantee Christian'll make it
Outside, a limousine arrives - it's Vince! And he's wearing his cabanawear! See, now that we've outed the stalker, we can actually see Vince again...oh. You got that already. Anyway, Steve Lombardi meets Vince and asks how he is. "How am I? You wanna know how I am? Pretty damn good, considering I just went through the wringer with my wife's divorce attorneys. Now tell me...where's Austin?" Psst - come close - Vince is WALKING!
Chyna shills Stacker 2 - that'll be the most we see her tonight
Here's a look at Mick Foley's appearance Earlier Today on "LIVE with Regis & Kelly" (courtesy: Buena Vista) - Kelly looks a lot like Tony Danza in this clip...
WWF EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP: MATT HARDY (with Lita & RAW is WAR is brought to you by Stacker 2, the JVC Giga-Tube, and Burger King!) v. YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALBERT (with Let Us Take You Back to SmackDown!) - Champ enters first because they like it when I use this riff. Ring flowerpot LILIAN GARCIA announces Albert at "260 pounds" and almost gets her mic cut when somebody panics, figuring she's announcing a different member of X-Factor without bothering to use her eyes and look up at the stage. Hardy ducks and tries a waistlock - Albert shoves him into the corner. Right, right, kick, elbow. Referee "Blind" Mike Chioda pulls him off and Albert thinks about giving HIM what for. Hardy fires back - right, right, right, off the ropes - yaaaaah clothesline. Crowd, of course, chants for Lita. Albert tries a splash - and misses. Hardy kicks the back of the leg, kick, kick, "Iblockyourpunchyoudon'tblockmine," putting his leg over the middle rope, kicking the back of the leg AGAIN, kick, kick, Albert shoves him off, Hardy dropkicks the knee. Going for a figure four (!) but Albert kicks him out of the ring instead. Albert tries to walk it off before going outside - Hardy shoved into the barricade. There's a knee. Hardy put back inside and Albert follows - cover - 2. Albert hooks the leg again, and gets another 2. Hardy put in the corner, yaaaaavalanche misses. Hardy on the second rope - Albert catches the crossbody attempt, though, and presses him...Hardy wriggles free and manages a press of his own out of it! 1, 2, kickout. Hardy tells him to get up, ducks a right, right, right, discus right, gutshot, off the ropes with a big DDT - 1, 2, Albert gets the shoulder up. Gutshot - motioning for the Twist of Fate - maybe he should have just done it, because Albert throws him off - Hardy ducks a clothesline, Albert with a gutshot, shoves Hardy into the corner where he almost takes out Chioda...but stops...then runs into a freight train clothesline. 1, 2, NO! Albert has Hardy over the bottom rope - slingshot into the middle rope. Oh no. Albert grabs Matt's neck and throttles away. Hey, chokes are illegal! Chioda tries to pull him off - actually hits five - and ACTUALLY DQ's him for failing to break! Holy crap! (DQ 2:56) Albert STILL has that choke clamped on - *Lita* is in - hmm, that seems not smart. Hardy up from behind - no, Albert has HIM ready for the Baldobomb...but Lita is behind him with an uppernut! There's a Twist of Fate by Matt! But here come JUSTIN CREDIBLE & JUSTIN OTHERGUY - X Marks the Spot on Hardy! (Ross doesn't know that name.) Here comes JEFF HARDY - he's one and they're two, though - oh, but they put him in the ropes, allowing Jeff to duck the double clothesline and hit a split-legged dropkick to take out both men! Jeff kicks away on Credible while Lita gives X-Pac a scaryrana - Credible into the corner - evades the splash - Albert is back up with a yaaaaaaaaaaaaaavalanche - X Marks the Spot on Jeff - Baldobomb for Matt - play their music! (Where'd Lita go?)
Vince finds Austin shining up his belt real nice. "Hey, Steve!" "Hey!" "How you doing, man?" "Good." "Good to see ya." "Good to see ya, too." "Listen, I don't wanna mince words and I got something on my chest - I wanna get it off. Before I do, I wanna ask you - how you feeling physically, doing well...these days?" "Man I feel good. I feel real good." "Yeah, well...physically there's no question, you're in the best shape of your life, I'll hand you that, but...mentally...uhh, do you feel focused?" "I got tunnel vision, I got tunnel vision, I feel - I feel good! I got tunnel vision." "Yeah. Well, then, I gotta ask you about a couple things. Last week, I had a chill run down my spine. Like I hadn't had in a long time, Steve - that hug you gave me." "Felt good, didn't it." "No, it didn't. I mean, it kinda did and it kinda didn't, but...when I saw the videotape of it, the replay - the look in your eyes. What were you thinkin'?" "What do you mean, what was I thinkin'? What's wrong with a good old-fashioned hug?" "All right, let me change the subject. Lemme talk about something else. I mean, this petition you started. I don't care if you had a hundred thousand names on it, Steve - my wife wouldn't have changed her mind about that Triple Threat match - what - what're you thinking?" "Well she's a rational woman, right?" "NO she's not a rational woman - she wants half of my money, she's not rational at all! I mean - and then from there, the thing that bothers me the most, I think, is you on your own, unilaterally, made the decision to defend the WWF Championship - you didn't even consult me!" "Well hell! Spike Dudley pissed me off!" "I understand he did, but nonetheless here you are defending the WWF title even prior to a pay-per-view?" "He pissed me off, Vince - I gotta lotta pride I gotta bring - I make decisions on my own!" "And then from there...what're you thinkin'?
somebody just buzzed me that you've accepted a six-man match tonight, and
in this six-man you've got two of the people - Benoit and Jericho - you're
gonna face this Sunday in the Triple Threat. What the hell are you
thinking, what are you DOING, Steve?" "I'll tell you what I'm doing!
You know what, Tajiri was right. He had a hell of an idea, and I'll tell
you what! I'm sick o' you, and I'm sick o' your divorce, I'm sick o'
Linda McMahon, it's over my head! And I'll tell you what - I'm gonna give
you an ultimatum, Vince - you can pick Stone Cold Steve Austin or you can
pick Linda McMahon - you can't have us both. It's me or Linda, and that
is the bottom line, you make up your mind, Vince." And he leaves the
room, leaving Vince to...wonder what just happened exactly.
Time now for the Slam of the Week, brought to you by Combos - Really Fast Food! From SmackDown!, Austin almost chairs Molly...but Jericho & Benoit save the day!
During the Break, Vince walked back to his limo, made a dramatic face...and left. Wow, short night for Vince
Backstage, Spike meets with his tag team partners for tonight. "Hey guys, this has been a really rough day...but I just wanted to thank you guys again for coming down, helping out Molly last week - if Austin had got his hands on her, I'd..." Benoit: "Whoawhoawhoawhoawhoa - do you think we came down there to help YOU? Do you think this has a damn thing to do with YOU? Listen, SPIKE. We're less than a week away from the biggest match of our career - and you think this is about YOU? You think you deserve to be in the ring with us? You think you deserve any of this? Huh? Do you know who I am? Do you REALLY know who I am? AH'M STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN!" Jericho and Benoit yuk it up. "Lighten up, Junior!" Spike heaves a sigh of relief.
Check the brackets - yep, it's still an electric chair.
Meanwhile, for being opponents in the semifinals, Rhyno and Edge sure seem chummy. "Oh man, I am so psyched! Final four, baby - one of us is going to the finals of the King of the Ring." "Not only that, if Chris Jericho becomes champion, I've got three victories over him. That would make me the new #1 Contender." "So if I beat you, that - that would make ME the #1 Contender, wouldn't it?" "What are you trying to say?" "Oh, I'm just saying..." Christian walks in. "Hey, what's this? Oh I'm sorry, what is this, the 'only guys that advanced to the semifinals of the King of the Ring club,' huh? Is that what this is?" "Here we go again." "Oh well I'm sorry if I seem a little testy. I know you guys had a real tough time tonight, what with Rhyno facing a guy competing in only his second WWF match, and you facing a guy that eats mustard and crayons. But I got the Big Show! I mean, first Kane - and then the Big Show, man this isn't fair - total conspiriocity!" "Would you just relax? You have me in your corner...and unlike some people, if I'm gonna spear someone, I'm gonna get it right." "Ha! Well that'd be a first." Rhyno: "HEY! Even if you *do* beat the Big Show tonight, you'll be wrestling Kurt Angle - the ALMIGHTY Kurt Angle. It's not like you have a chance. You heard it himself - he said he's gonna REPEAT this year. It's not like ANY of us have a chance. So why do we even bother?" Off he goes. "Let's just do this." "Yeah - Mr. Superhero."
"Tough Enough" spot #491271
WOW! "Star Trek: The Motion Picture" is NEXT!
When we come back, KING KURT ANGLE has joined the commentary team to scout his semifinal opponents.
KING OF THE RING QUARTERFINAL: WELL IT'S THE BIG SHOW v. CHRISTIAN (with Edge - and Edge's music) - Show *and* referee "Blind" Tim White are both distracted by Edge - and Christian strikes first. Shot to the back, right, right, Show just MAULS him down. Big slap in the corner. Show picks him up - and beals him across the ring. Off the ropes - Edge tries to trip him up - Show picks up Edge by the head and puts a forearm on HIS chest. Show outside - well it's a big barricade drop for Edge. Christian tries a baseball slide dropkick - no effect on the show. Right, Show presses him over the top rope from the floor to put him back in. Christian ducks under the splash attempt in the corner, right, right, right, climbing up, right, right - Show puts him on his shoulder and lets him drop in the centre. Well it's a big headbutt. Show walks over him - man that's GOTTA hurt. Well it's a big field goal kick and Christian goes through the ropes to the floor. Show out after him - dangerously close to Angle. "King of the Ring - you're mine!" Show piefaces Angle back into his seat!
Angle up and on the apron, drawing over White. Edge is
in to head off the chokeslam attempt with a chair in the gut, on the knee,
Christian gets one and there's a Conchairto - turn back around, White - 1,
2, 3! There's your RECK semis. (2:19) Angle predicts
will go down, his next opponent will go down, Shane will go down, and it's
true. Replay of the Conchairto. The brackets are all filled in, one more
TONIGHT: Austin and the Dudleyz vs. Spike and the Chrisses! Wow, these are JUST like those graphics at the beginning of the show....sigh
King of the Ring spot
"Entertainment Weekly" has a blurb on "Tough Enough" - that's enough to get it some screen time in the final quarter hour...
SPIKE DAMN DUDLEY (with Earlier Tonight) and CHRIS BENOIT and CHRIS MONDAY JERICHO (with Combos presents King of the Ring - SUNDAY!) v. THOSE DAMN DUDLEYZ and MY NAME IS STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN - Wow, and it got all that fuss? Jericho's entrance isn't THAT much different, guys. Austin in the ring, Austin out of the ring, dumping his belt in timekeeper MARK YEATON's lap and giving HIM a look. Austin looks right at Spike but doesn't get in the ring. Looks like it'll be Bubba Ray and Jericho. Lockup, jostling for position - Dudley grabs the hair (wotta HEEL!), shot in the back, powering out, shoulderblock off the ropes. Block, right, right, slap, slap, into the ropes, Jericho ducks, right, right, elbow, kick, chop, right, whip is reversed, but Jericho ducks the splash attempt - armdrag takeover - clothesline off the ropes - lunging for Austin but he drops off - Jericho runs into a hot shot. Tag to D-Von. Jericho put into the ropes, BIG double flapjack. Stomp by Dudley, kick in the back, right. Heyman: "Was that a rhetorical question, or do you really want my opinion?" Ross: "I don't really care for your opinion, because you're gonna kiss Austin's butt." Geez, THERE'S a switch, huh? Right hand by Dudley. Into the ropes, head down, kick by Jericho, enzuigiri! Tag to Benoit! But Dudley pops up - right, right, right, whip is reversed, Benoit with a gutshot, into the ropes and Benoit puts a knee in the gut. Kick, into the corner is reversed, Benoit gets the boot up, ducks a clothesline, grabs a waistlock and hits a German suplex! Chop! Chop! Chop! Timmmmber! Tag to Spike - snapmare by Benoit, PERRO AGUAYO DOUBLE STOMP by Spike! Rana! Into the corner is reversed, boot up by Spike...but he jumps off into a clothesline. Bubba Ray is SCREAMING for the tag...but as D-Von draws nearer his corner, Austin sneaks the tag away - and that's the one that referee "Blind" Earl Hebner sees. Kick, right, right, Combos Double Feature has the War Zone credits in it - oops. Knee in the gut. Stomping on his hand. Austin runs the kneebrace across his face. Another big stomp. Right hand. Hard whip into the corner (he could have tagged there - he SHOULD have tagged there), Spike pops out and Austin tries a death suplex...but Dudley backflips out and shoves Austin to his corner - shot by Benoit, pinballing over to Jericho, back to Benoit, back to Jericho, Spike with four quick rights, into the ropes, dropkick MISSES when Austin hangs onto the ropes - and Austin immediately falls forward with the hammer. Austin is unbelievably mind-boggingly great. Austin doesn't go for a cover, opting to throw a right instead. Scoop - no, Spike trying to hit a cartwheel sunset flip -
and succeeding! But
Austin is up at 2 - and clotheslining Spike back down, just like that.
"You little bastard!" Slaps the back of his head. "You little son of a
bitch!" Again. "You little son of a bitch!" Chinlock. D-Von and Bubba
Ray both drop off the apron and produce tables - which are set up on the
floor. Austin lets his partners know he didn't say nothin' 'bout no
tables...shouldn't turn your back to Spike - schoolboy rollup - 1, 2, NO!!
Austin with a boot on the gut...and an angry tag for Bubba Ray. Bubba Ray
stalking...dropping to his knees - OPEN-HANDED SLAP IN THE FACE. Bubba
picks him up - into the ropes - ten story high back body drop. "We want
tables!" Hey, but they're being HEELS tonight. Hairpull bomb. Combos
Double Feature of the backdrop. Spike tries a desperation lawndart
spear...on the shoulders, but Bubba Ray stops the victory roll, putting
him in perfect position for a (less audience-participation-inducing) "What
Are You Doing?" headbutt to the graun. I guess that was a tag, as D-Von
stays in - stomp, stomp, stomp. Right, Bubba Ray shoves him back to D-Von
- into the ropes, jumpin' back elbow. "We want tables!" Tag to Bubba
Ray. Elbow to the cranium. Second rope choke with the leg. Right hand.
Bubba Ray on the second rope - senton MISSES (does it ever hit?)! Both
Jericho and Benoit reach for the tag as the crowd comes alive. Bubba Ray
tags out to Austin - Spike with the HOT TAG TO BENOIT!! Austin and Benoit
exchanging rights - Austin Benoit Austin Benoit Austin Benoit Austin
Benoit, Benoit, Benoit, BENOIT, BENOIT, into the ropes, BIG back elbow -
Bubba Ray in - Benoit ducks, German suplex! Right for Austin, into the
corner, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick - Jericho with a missile dropkick on
Bubba Ray! D-Von over - Jericho into the ropes, flying jalapeno! Benoit
has been stomping on Austin this whole time - say, six or seven more
times. One for Bubba Ray as well. D-Von, on the apron, gets a
springboard plancha - and falls THROUGH A TABLE!! Benoit still stomping -
now choking Austin using the boot. Stomp. Stomp. Stomp. We look to the
centre, where Spike is back up and facing Bubba Ray - ducks a punch,
gutshot, Dudley 'dog! Benoit with a right on Austin, right, right, Austin
tries to reverse a whip but Benoit ducks the clothesline, German suplex -
TWO - THREE - THUMB CROSSES THROAT - up to the top - yes - NO! SWANDIVE
HEADBUTT *MISSES!!* Both men are down. Austin back up - Benoit meeting
him toe-to-toe. Austin with a right, Benoit with a right, Austin, Benoit,
Benoit ducks the next one and grabs the waistlock - ohhh his trick knee
acted up. Right by Austin - Jericho back up to the apron, HE gets a right
and falls to the floor. Austin drops the hammer again on Benoit - to the
back of the head. Mount - thirteen punches (I think), stomp, got the legs
apart and there's a stomp in the lower abdomen. In the corner - kick,
kick, stomp, stomp, stomp, stomp - Spike is back in! Gutshot...going for
ANOTHER Dudley 'dog but Austin just TOSSES him over the top rope through
the OTHER table! Austin back on Benoit, dropping the hammer, now with
punches - Hebner tries to pull him off and Austin shoves him off. Back to
the punches - AGAIN Austin shoves Hebner, this time knocking him out as he
sails into the ropes. Austin going outside for a chair...and bringing it
in. Jericho up from behind - got the chair away from him! Right, right,
right! Jericho mounts and unleashes an onslaught of rights! Shoving him
into a right from Benoit! Benoit pushes Austin into Jericho - Walls of
Jericho! AND A CROSSFACE!! Austin is tapping - Hebner is ready to call
for the bell but asks again (just to be safe). Austin continues to tap -
and Hebner calls for the bell. (12:30) Hmm, I *think* at
least one of
those guys wasn't legal, hyuk hyuk. Heyman asks: if this happens at the
pay-per-view - Austin giving it up to a double submission - WHO becomes
champ? I wish I could tell you, but I don't deal very well with
hypotheticals. War Zone credits, WWF logo, see you LATER!