WWF 14.75 (- .36, last year: 13.60, two years ago: 16 3/4)
Is it just a coincidence that we're a year out from the historic simulcast that saw the end of WCW As We Knew It? Well, actually, yes...but it's still interesting to note.
Have you ever SEEN someone so in love with an idea that no matter what happened to suggest it was a bad idea, they were still bound and determined, by God, to follow that course of action? And that that idea with which they were so in love came first to the detriment of everything else - including all the normally good and important OTHER ideas that SHOULD be shining bright at this point in time? I'm being a little vague here, so let me spell it out again: I'm still miffed that WrestleMania has still seemed to have been relegated to "afterthought" status in the grand scheme of things - and I still have trouble believing that there are people who have spent an entire year in steadfast resolution that *they can actually come out of this making DOUBLE the money, if only they could just finally execute that damn idea* (with which they're so in love, mind).
Ah, so. The die is cast, blah blah blah. I had a point but I lost it so long ago - let's just take this ride and see where it ends up, k?
TONIGHT: "It will be a historic night tonight live here on The New TNN on WWF RAW from Penn State University, because tonight, and you're looking live in two respective war rooms of Mr. McMahon and Ric Flair - the first ever draft to extend the brands - to an exclusive RAW roster and an exclusive SmackDown! roster, will be held tonight, King, but that's not all." Wow, listen to Jim Ross pump this up with all the passion and emotion of...say, Edwin Newman. Anyway, there's also a Triple Threat match for the Undisputed Championship but I bet I'll be able to say more about that in ten minutes or so...
T(O)N(I)G(HT): "Violations" - the one where Rick Berman no doubt said "You know, we need a RAPE episode. But be sure and couch it in one of those Trekian metaphor things so nobody gets offended!" Man, this is probably one of Picard's most pompous and unnecessary show-closing speeches. This episode was SO not necessary...even given all those shots of Troi in her nightgown.
TV-14-DLV - CC - One World Leader Attitude - WWF!
Oh man, nothing - NOTHING says "passion, spark and excitement" than starting this historic show RIGHT off the bat with......LINDA McMAHON!! Live from the Prime Time Studios - she addresses an assembled locker room...and you 'n' me! "Good evening. Tonight, we will witness the first-ever World Wrestling Federation draft - Vince McMahon will represent SmackDown!; Ric Flair will represent RAW. In the interest of time, only twenty picks will actually be made live tonight. A lottery will be held immediately following RAW on WWF.com to determine placement of all other World Wrestling Federation performers. The result of tonight's historic draft becomes effective on next week's RAW. However, because of the Triple Threat WWF Championship match, neither Triple H, Chris Jericho, nor Stephanie McMahon is eligible to be drafted. And due to a contractual clause, Stone Cold Steve Austin is not eligible to be drafted either. Mr. Austin is therefore declared a free agent, able to sign with either SmackDown! or RAW. Thank you for your attention this evening, and best of luck to ALL World Wrestling Federation superstarzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz" Ohh sorry I dozed off there. I think I got her entire statement...
Wait - we're NOT seeing Stone Cold Steve Austin - AGAIN? Man, that's MONEY, baby - MONEY
It's DRAFT PYRO and off we go - coming to you LIVE from the Bryce Jordan Center on the campus of Penn State University 25.3.2 on THE NEW TNN & the crappy old TSN, THIS is WWF RAW! This show is transmitido en espanol SAP as well as WWF New York
TONIGHT: Triple H vs. Stephanie McMahon vs. Chris Jericho in a Triple Threat for the Undisputed WWF Championship! If Triple H scores the fall, Stephanie leaves town - dare we dream...the impossible dream
Your hosts are a pair of kings - LARRY & JERRY.
LOOK! AN EXCITING PODIUM!
TAZZZZZZZZZZZ (with "Forceable Entry" CD cover - available tomorrow!) v. MR. PERFECT - Amazingly, we start out with...why, I do believe this resembles a MATCH! Nice catch on the towel toss by referee "Blind" Brian Hebner there. Fortunately for us, however, Perfect grabs the mic to prevent us from going through promo withdrawl: "Hold on, everybody. Tonight you people are gonna see an example...the perfect pick. You know who that is that's me" and he punks out Tazz in mid-sentence with an elbow. Right, right, right, into the ropes is reversed - Perfect up and over, NICE dropkick. Chop, right, right, Tazz reverses, kick, kick, kick, kick, right, right, right, Perfect to the eyes. Into the ropes is reversed by Tazz - head down so Perfect does a Martel cartwheel out of the way - so Tazz clotheslines him instead. T-Bone Tazzplex. Tazz climbs in the corner - but Perfect gives him an atomic drop before we get to a Countalong. Perfectplex (!) but Tazz hooks the bottom rope with his arm - Perfect back to work - stomp, stomp, stomp, stomp, stomp, right, chop, right, Tazz right, right, Perfect, Tazz, Perfect, Tazz, Perfect - Perfect backs up and delivers a running forearm. Tazz with a knee, right, into the corner is reversed, collision in the corner - Tazzmission out of NOWHERE and Perfect has to tap. Given the participants, I may have set my expectations to high. (1:53) "Hey, it seems to me that the Perfect Pick has become JUST ANOTHER VICTIM." And *that's* the cherry on top.
In Ric Flair's War Room, Arn Anderson and Ric Flair talk abou how clever Vince McMahon is. Flair says they're not backing down - the whole world may think they can't handle this, but HE'LL show them!
In Mr. McMahon's War Room, Vince thoughtfully taps his pen to his desk...then gets up to leave, leaving open a file folder with a promotional photo of Kurt Angle in plain view of the camera....which can only mean he's picking anybody BUT Angle, right?
So each man makes ten picks and everybody else has to rely on someone picking an egg out of the Royal Rumble tumbler? Boy, I'll bet THAT's a morale booster!
You know, this thing about Austin - if he really IS unhappy about his direction, there's gonna be some crowing about it from some web folk, and it's gonna suck. If it's all a work, then the WWF is booking to swerve the websites...a strategy that worked SO WELL when it played out on Nitro. Either way, I don't like it.
Catch the WWF live - tomorrow in Philadelphia is sold out! Wednesday is Wilkes Barre, Thursday is E. Rutherford, RAW is Albany, and next Tuesday is Rochester!
Here comes BILLIONAIRE VINCE to make the first pick. The tension in the air is...deflated by the "asshole" chant. "Thank you very much for that warm Penn State reception. Since I (Vince McMahon) defeated Ric Flair in the coin toss, it is my distinction to choose the very first individual - the first individual in the history of the World Wrestling Federation to be drafted. The #1 Pick comes to me (Vince McMahon). So on behalf of WWF SmackDown!, I (Vince McMahon) choose....The Rock." Reaction shot from the locker room...and he's gonna walk out here.
Graphic: THE ROCK - 6'5" 275 lbs. - 6-Time WWF Champion - Youngest WWF Champion ever
And now THE ROCK is out. Vince quickly cuts the music. "All right, okay, cut the music, cut the music. All right, Rock, just a couple of things I gotta get off my chest. You are the #1 draft pick chosen by me, that's all well and good, but there're gonna be some new rules on SmackDown!, Rock. Those new rules would include you never ever again on SmackDown!, ever put your hands on me. On SmackDown!, you never ever again talk about shoving your foot or whatever the case may be up anyone's candyass. Never again on WWF SmackDown! do you ever use the phrase 'It Doesn't Matter.'" Is Vince staring at a teleprompter? His eyes aren't moving from the same spot. "Because, Rock, it does matter - it matters to me, you see, it matters to me that you and your newfound friend Hulk Hogan, quite frankly, have a lot in common. ("Ass hole!") Now, come on. Rock's my #1 pick, don't call him names like that! See, what matters is you and Hogan have these massive egos - you gotta remember one thing, Rock - Vince McMahon, I made Hulk Hogan. (Sign in crowd: THIS IS STUPID) And Rock, quite frankly (2) I'd like to remind you, I made YOU, Rock, as well. Oh yeah. And uh, to paraphrase a well-known comedian, Rock, just remember this: I brought you into this world, I can damn sure take you out of it." Uhhh, Vince, Mr. Cosby's lawyers on the phone. "Thank you very much!" Vince goes to leave - where'd Rock get that mic? "WhoawhoawhoawhoawhoawhoawhoawhoawhoawhoawhoawhoawhoawhoawhoaWHOA! Are you done? Are you through running your mouth? Because, if so, FINALLY THE ROCK HAS COME BACK TO PENN STATE! Vince McMahon, you made The Rock your #1 draft pick - you're takin' the Rock from RAW, takin' the Rock to SmackDown! And seein' is this is gonna be the Rock's very last RAW, well the Rock wants to go out with a bang. Very last RAW - let the Rock remind you of the history the Rock has made right here on RAW. It was on RAW that the Rock WON the WWF title. It was on RAW that the Rock teamed up with Mick Foley and made the Rock & Sock Connection. Oh yeah, you're looking at the Rock like big deal right, that's no big deal, yeah, WWF title, Rock and Sock Connection, how about this - it was on RAW when the Rock took your face, and shoved it straight up Rikishi's ass! ("Rock E!") And now you wanna take the Rock away from all of this. Is that what you wanna do - do you really wanna take the Rock away from this?" "What I wanna do, Rock--" "IT DOESN'T MATTER what you want! The only thing that matters is the Rock clear up a couple things to you - is you never made Hulk Hogan. And you damn sure didn't make the Rock - the Rock didn't even make the Rock - the Rock's parents genitalia did not even make the Rock!" OH MAN HE SAID GENITALIA!!!! "Just so you understand, crystal clear, it was the People who made the Rock." "Rock E!" "And speaking of the People, listening to the People as the Rock always does, seeing as we are here at Penn State...the home of the Nittany Lions...and the Rock, the Rock has had the privlege of playing right over at Beaver Stadium at many different a nights...so, you see, the Rock just wants to remind you of something - when you mess with the Rock on SmackDown!, you mess with the people on SmackDown! But you see, they have a little saying up here, and it goes like this. We are..." "Penn State!" "It goes like that. But, see, yeah, you have that stupid look on your face, like (gibberish) I don't understand - well, you will understand. You see, tonight, we're gonna do a different saying. The People's Chant, and the People, we're gonna do a different saying. And it goes like this: any time you mess with the Rock, tonight, every night, every arena across the country, this side will say 'You are," THIS side will say 'an asshole.' Let me give you a little example of what it sounds like - on the count of three - 1, 2, 3." Crowd chants like a bunch of morons. "Whoawhoawhoawhoawhoawhoawhoawhoawhoawhoawhoawhoawhoawhoa - whoa whoa - this is Vince McMahon - you have pride - you keep that sumbitch goin'!" Oh boy, surely chants = ratings! Play his music as it dies down - wait he's not done - "whoawhoawhoawhoawhoawhoawhoawhoawhoawhoawhoa - cut the Rock's music, cut the Rock's music, this is the Rock's last appearance on RAW, we don't end with that, we end with this, IF YA SUHMELLLLLLLLLLL WHAT THE ROCK IS COOKIN'" Maybe I'll just skip SmackDown! from now on
Ric Flair is WALKING! And SMILING!
Here comes RIC FLAIR to the podium. "Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. Despite my personal differences, I pick a man who is a cornerstone of the World Wrestling Federation. My #1 draft pick for WWF RAW is The Undertaker." Everybody in the locker room turns to look at Taker. "Thank you." Taker tosses some furniture and walks away.
UNDERTAKER - 6'10", 328 lbs. - 3-Time WWF Champion - 10-0 at WrestleMania
In his war room, Vince reacts with unhappiness. Knock at the door. "Yeah..." It's Kurt Angle and he is also unhappy. "Can you believe that?" "No, I can't believe it - I can't believe it! I mean, I can't believe you hurt my feelings." "What?" "You didn't pick me first? I cannot believe you didn't pick me first. I'm an Olympic Gold Medalist - I'm the best you have!" "Kurt, I know who the hell you are. I mean - look, I mean, I can't believe that Ric Flair chose the Undertaker, that's what I'm saying. As far as I'm concerned, hey look, I threw Flair a swerve out there, and he just threw one back at me. I'm gonna make it right to you, all right?" Taker storms in. "Vince! Damn! What is this crap?! You told me that this wouldn't happen - did you or did you not tell me Flair would not pick me?" "I told you. I don't have any idea what's in his head. I don't have a clue." "No, I wanna know what you're gonna do about it." "I - quite frankly (3), I don't know what I'm gonna do. I just know this: in some way - in some way, I'm gonna make this right - and you've got my word on it." "I got your word on it. Well this better be one time that you keep your word...if you know what I mean." Vince does a comedic fulp for dramatic benefit - unfortunately, the framing of the shot prevented us from seeing whether Taker grabbed himself or not.
KING EDGE (with "Forceable Entry" CD cover - and Let Us Take You Back to SmackDown!) and DR. TEETH v. CHRISTIAN (with Let Us Take You Back to SmackDown!) and BOOKER TIO - the Apparently, we're supposed to call him "DDP" now and not "Diamond Dallas Page" - at least according to the chyron and ring flowerpot LILIAN GARCIA. Ross has said it about a hundred times in the past two minutes - here also is a graphic telling us that live lottery results are available at wwf.com (live, that is, on the east coast - I'm screwed). Edge and T start trading blows in the centre of the ring - Edge takes over right, right, right, right, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, kick, whip is reversed but T runs into a boot, ducks an apron run clothesline by Christian, knocks him to the floor, but T handles the distraction with a superkick. Tag to Christian, open right hand, forearm in the back, into the ropes, powerslam - and Christian gets 2. Edge fires back - right, right, right, Christian right, right, off the ropes, Edge spinebuster and both men are down. Herb Kunze has asked me to tell you that it's one minute in and they're acting like it's been fifteen. Page riles up the crowd for the HOT TAG - T tagged in - Page ducks, right, right, discus lariat, free shot for Christian, ducks the Harlem sidekick, wants the Diamond Cutter but T shoves him to Christian for a hot shot - T consults his glove and tries for the axe kick but Page ducks out, spins T round for the Diamond Cutter - 1, 2, Christian saves. Unprettier by Christian on Page!! Edge into the ring with a Viscera kick and again they're back outside - Edge working him over - meanwhile, T DOES hit the axe kick, and covers for the pin. (LA 2:13) Christian does the happy dance.
In the war room, Angle reads his bio to Vince. "I know where you're goin' with this, okay? Look...just let me collect my thoughts. I've gotta figure out Ric Flair's next move. If Flair - if Flair chose the Undertaker, then why wouldn't he choose my NWO next?" "Mr. McMahon, forget about the NWO. Ric Flair is gonna choose me next. I'm an Olympic Gold Medalist! I mean, think about this - Ric Flair picked the Undertaker because of a personal vendetta." "That's a good point." "And he doesn't want poison from the NWO." "No, I think you're right." "But what he DOES want...is an Olympic Gold Medalist. And I don't wanna work for Ric Flair, I wanna work for you, 'cause I LIKE you. We're good together, we're a team. We're chums." "Ric Flair is not gonna get what he wants, because as of this moment, on behalf of WWF SmackDown!, I (Vince McMahon), in my second pick, I choose Kurt Angle." Angle throws his arms around Vince for a big hug. "YES! Aww...beautiful. Oh, I love it - love you, man." "Yeah, right - yeah." Angle points a finger. "But I should have been picked first."
Commentators react. So did Vince suddenly realise there was a cameraman or...
Well I guess Flair saw it at least - he's back out to the podium. "While I appreciate McMahon's - what he thinks ability to sign Steve Austin is, I want everyone here to know that I will work as diligently as I can to bring Stone Cold to the WWF brand. Meanwhile, Vince, as they say in chess, it's your move next, because on behalf of WWF RAW, my second pick is the collective unit of the NWO." I missed where Vince talked about Austin but oh well.
Locker room reacts with boredom
Graphic: nWo - KEVIN NASH 6'11" 325 lbs. SCOTT HALL 6'7" 282 lbs. X-PAC 6'0" 212 lbs.
Vince reacts. "DAMMIT I said Ric Flair was gonna choose the NWO, didn't I. Didn't I say that! That son of a bitch, he's got the NWO, he's got the Undertaker, I'll tell you one thing - he's not gonna get Austin, Austin's a free agent and SOMEHOW I'm gonna sign him - I'm gonna sign Stone Cold." Vince knocks the "Prop What Sits on the Desk for the sole Purpose of Vince Hitting It Away In Anger" off his desk...in anger! "Vince, listen, calm down a little bit, okay? Now Ric Flair wants to throw you off your game, I say you throw him off his game. See, there's someone that hasn't been around for a while - but he's comin' back soon. And he's gonna come back bigger, stronger, faster and better than ever...and I know Ric Flair's talkin' to him every single day. I just saw the guy last week - he's ready." He whispers in Vince's ear (why - surely Angle doesn't see the cameraman?) Vince ponders what he's heard. "On behalf of WWF SmackDown!, I choose...Chris Benoit." Quickly we fade out before we can hear the smarks in the crowd gasp "OH MY GOD CHRIS BENOIT DID HE SAY CHRIS BENOIT I LUV CHRIS BENOIT I WANT TO MARRY CHRIS BENOIT CHRIS BENOIT CHRIS BENOIT CHRIS BENOIT"
I think this was the point where Frank called to tell me that everything bad that COULD happen was happening - unfortunately, he was watching the east coast feed, so in addition to being a spoiling spoiler, he also simulteanously lowered my expectations! (Well, not much)
Funny, I thought Frank LIKED Benoit (wink).
Okay, now tell me again why Vince is so unhappy that the "poisonous" NWO is NOT on his show? Wouldn't he WANT them on his show?
Also, why would Flair pick the NWO?
Also, why would Flair pick the Undertaker? Well, sure, because he's awesome, but...
"Scorpion King" ad - with the Famous Rock
Check out that *exciting* Bryce Jordan Center marquee! WOW!
The side video screens display the current slate of picks on each side - Ross openly admits he doesn't understand what the hell Flair's thinking
In Flair's war room, the NWO has arrived. "You think you're so smart, Flair - you think you've got it all figured out? Well, you know what - we're the NWO - you can't tell us what to do. Vince McMahon brought us in - that's who we listen do. Know what I mean?" 'Pac fingers Flair's lapel. "Don't go there. Listen, I'm gonna say something and make it so clear even you guys can understand. You're the poison in the World Wrestling Federation, in no way, shape or form am I gonna let Vince McMahon lead the way for you guys - you guys work for me." Nash: "Maybe you don't hear X-Pac right, Ric. We don't work for you, we only listen to Vince." In comes Arn Anderson. "Let's go Ric, you're up. It's your pick." "Okay, guys, I've appreciated the conversation but we've got plenty of time to get together in the future and talk a little bit more about this. Right now if you don't mind--" Hall: "Hey hey hey, wait a minute Flair. You don't blow the NWO off like that. You're dealing with us right now, right here." "Well, in that case, I'm gonna introduce someone to you guys you should be very interested in knowing - gonna be my next pick. He's gonna be dealin' with you guys directly. My next pick is Kane." The NWO react with...well, not exactly "fear" - more like...well, let me consult the thesaurus..."dashed hopes." Yeah, that's it. They leave. "Temperature changed a little bit, didn't it." Sadly, Flair failed to tell X-Pac he's won more world championships than he's had pieces of ass.
TRISH STRATUS - THE FITNESS MODEL (with RAW is brought to you by Tobacco, which is Whacko, Arista Records' Custom's "Fast" CD, and Mint Skittles!) v. IVORY - Ivory starts off fast with a kick, right, right, into the ropes, head down, kick by Trish that misses by a mile - Trish with a hairpull takedown, anotehr, and another, crossbody, hooks the leg, 2. Ivory counters with a jawbreaker. Right, right, Lawler thinks Jazz is ugly - into the ropes is reversed, back body drop by Stratus. Elbow, elbow, elbow, chop, chop, chop, into the corner is reversed, Trish tries to jump up for a crossbody but Ivory ducks. Nice dropkick by Ivory, stomp, stomp, stomp. Ivory opens every orifice in Stratus' face. Forearm across the chest. Two handfuls of hair - that's a revenge move for Ivory. Stomp, stomp, going up but Trish heads her off with right hand. Trish does a handstand on the bottom rope and Ivory helpfully catches her and sets up (with a tap on the kneees) for a modified Frankensteiner. There's the Stratusfaction - that's her move! 1, 2, 3. (2:11) Two minute special, two minute special, two minute special, and THIS match had the added attraction of having some of the most blatantly UNdisguised signals I've seen in a loooong time on WWF television.
The locker room chatters amongst themselves.
Here comes Vince to the podium. This is about as exciting as you thought it'd be, by the way. "On behalf of WWF SmackDown!...on behalf of SmackDown!, I choose..." Vince helpfully turns his head to and fro to feed the new chant. Vince goes to leave, but comes back to bellow "I CHOOSE HULK HOGAN!"
Graphic: HOLLYWOOD HULK HOGAN 6'7" 280 lbs. 5-Time WWF Champion, 7-Time WCW Champion
We come back to watch Vince play air guitar to Hendrix - then hit some Hoganesque poses before swaggering off. Hogan doesn't show - oh well
Divas 2002 Swimsuit Issue ad
Here comes Flair to the podium. "Ladies and gentlemen, the RAW brand is proud to announce its necks - next draft pick is the intercontinental champion - Rob van Dam. Thank you."
Graphic: ROB VAN DAM - 6'1" 235 lbs. - 3-Time WWF Hardcore Champion - Current WWF Intercontinental Champion
To Vince's War Room. "Dammit - dammit dammit." "What's wrong, you're on a roll." "No, yeah, I'm on a roll...so is Flair! I mean, I wanted RVD for SmackDown!" "When did you become such an RVD fan?" "Look, I'm not such a great RVD fan, but he's an extraordinary athlete, but...he's got unbelievable potential, but the most important thing is he has the intercontinental championship - that's what I wanted for us on SmackDown!" "Hello! Hello..." "What?" "If you want the intercontinental title, I can get you the intercontinental title. All you have to do is sanction a match between me and RVD tonight, and I'll bring the title back to Camp McMahon. That simple." Angle does the "that's that" hand brush to emphasize his point. "That's brilliant!" A handshake. "Kurt - that's brilliant." "All right, man, I'm going to get ready." "You do that. That's why you're the #2 draft pick...maybe you SHOULD have been #1..."
To the locker room, where Rock is still pacing. Here's Hogan. "What's up, brother." Rock gives him another handshake. "How you feelin'?" "Good, my friend. I heard what you said out there. And it made me do a lot of feeling. The People DID make the Rock - but the People also made Hulk Hogan." Rock with a BAFFLING shit-eatin' grin. "No doubt. They did." "And as you remember just like I do, last week The Rock was powerbombed through a table, and then the whole NWO blasted me in the face with a steel chair. So the way I see it, Rock - since we've both been drafted by Vince McMahon, I say tonight let's give these people something to remember us by on RAW. This is our last night on RAW. Let's have the Rock and Hulk Hogan take on the whole NWO, I'm talkin' about Kevin Nash, Scott Hall and X-Pac, handicap match, the Rock and Hulk Hogan. What do you say, brother?" "The Rock and Hulk Hogan, handicap match tonight against the NWO, powerbombed the Rock through a table on SmackDown!, bleeding...last Thursday, bleeding. Well the Rock says this: let's give these people something to remember, let's go out with a bang. There's no other way. The Rock says this: what they gonna do? WHAT they gonna do when the Rock and Hulk Hogan - what is the NWO gonna do when we run wild on you?" (in Hogan voice) "I'll TELL you what we're gonna do - we're gona lay the smack down on ALL their candyasses, brother - let's do it!" Another hand slap and they go out arm in arm. Hey, remember when Hulk Hogan ran a semi into the Rock's ambulance? NO, YOU DON'T - NOBODY DOES (except Tom)
Here's Vince at the podium yet again - what pick are we on? I've forgotten. "On behalf of WWF SmackDown!, I (Vince McMahon) choose the tag team champions of the World Wrestling Federation, Billy and Chuck!"
Locker room reaction - Rico has spontaneously grown sideburns between Thursday and now.
BILLY & CHUCK - Combined weight: 538 lbs. - Current WWF tag team champions! Commentators explain how these guys could be picked with one pick...gee, I wish they'd thought to explain that to me earlier.
The NWO is WALKING! 'Pac has brought back his nunchuku YAY
Tough Enough 2 spot - ALICIA'S gonna - she's gonna - SHE'S gonna - she's - she's gonna PYOOOOOOK - also somebody gets cut - Jesse or Alicia is implied, which probably means it'll more like Robert
WWF RAW for the Xbox ad YAY I saw Austin tonight! Wow I sure miss seeing Austin wrestle
Whoops, we're in the middle of the Lugz Boot of the Week when we returun - it's Hogan running out--
Oops, black screen.
Okay, NOW we start with the Boot of the Week from the very beginning. From SmackDown!, Rock gets the jackknife through the table, Hogan runs out and drops his leg on everything, but then X-Pac chairs him. Man, trading Hogan for X-Pac is one of the BESTEST MOVES EVER when you think about it, isn't it?
YOU KNOW WHO and THE ROCK (with RAW credits & transmitido en espanol SAP) v. THE NWO - Well, he's standing next to a mountain - chop it down with the edge of his hand. Hogan needs THREE feather boas! So much for the "They'll play 'Real American' when they're out of Canada" theory, huh? You know, I just noticed this about the black 'n' white NWO entrance...wow, all those strobe lights really work well to provide the illusion of MOVEMENT ahh ah ah ah ah. Sometimes I regret not doing audio commentary just so you can hear me pretend to laugh at my own jokes like I typed - ahh ah ah ah ah. Q: Say, what's better than giving away the Backlash main event? A: Giving it away two weeks in a row, silly! The TV-14-DLV & CC boxes make their appearance at this point. X-Pac and Hogan start. Doesn't he look CUTE in his little biker shorts? Lockup - Hogan tosses him over the top rope to the floor...and poses. Well this bodes well. 'Pac back in - to tag out to Hall. Let's try again. Lockup, Hogan shoves him away - and poses again. Hall puts the toothpick in his face and tags in Nash. Here's the WWF draft ticker for the first time tonight, in case Hogan isn't really satiating your appetite for action. It would be cynical of me to suggest that "Hogan" chant has a Canadian accent so I won't. Lockup, back and forth - *Nash* pushes Hogan away! OFF COMES THE 'DO RAG! Lockup, knee by Nash, elbow in the back, right, right, forearm in the back - ohhh NO SALE - block by Hogan, right, right, right, off the ropes, big right, to the unfriendly corner for a double noggin knocker, right for Nash, clothesline in the corner, into the ropes head down, Nash responds with a clubbing forearm in the back. Tag to 'Pac - forearm in the back, forearm, drops the fist on the sternum, lighitning legdrop, 1, 2, Hogan kicks out with authority. Right by 'Pac, to the corner, tag to Hall, right by Hall, right, right, Pac with a sneaky shot as well. Into the ropes, Hogan ducks the clothesline - double clothesline and both men are down. Crowd comes alive as Rock gesticulates for the tag. Nash with the tag - Nash content to just stand there and let Hogan tag out - maybe he WANTS the Rock? Rock ducks the clothesline, right, right, right, right, off the ropes, ducks a clothesline, ducks an backhand, flying clothelsine hits! Hall in - Rock gives HIM a gutshot and DDT - X-Pac with a forearm in the back, crane pose, but Rock kips up - right, right, right, crane, NOW KISS THAT RIGHT! ROCK BOTTOM for Nash! But glory HOGan needs the tag...and Rock is dumb enough to give it to him. Well he doesn't turn on him - "Iblockyourpunchyoudon'tblockmine" on Hall, leaving him for Rock's spinebuster into sharpshooter as Hogan drops the leg on Nash - 1, 2, X-Pac breaks it up! Also, 'Pac gives Rock a spinning heel kick and drops the knee, pounds on Hogan, pounds on Rock - Hall stomps on Rock while Nash punches away on Hogan. 'Pac's got the 'chuks...but the pyro hits, the music hits and KANE is out. 'Pac tries a swing but Kane ducks - clotheslines him out (oh hell), clothesline for Hall, eats one from Nash, but into the ropes is reversed and Nash gets the big elbow. Referee "Blind" Jack Doan has been frantically motioning to the timekeeper for the last ten seconds and FINALLY gets that bell. (DQ 5:04) Choke for Hall - but before he can chokeslam him 'Pac chairs him in the back. NO SALE! Kane kicks the chair into 'Pac's face. Hogan punches Nash and Nash rolls under the bottom rope - this leaves Rock and Hall (Hogan pantomiming) - Rock right, right, right, NOW KISS THAT RIGHT - Kane grabs him in the choke - THERE'S the chokeslam. The NWO heads to the aisle as Garcia announces the winners via disqualification. Kane's ring pyro and music cuts short the NWO music, but 'Pac still has the ref raise their hands in a token of victory.
Three NWO main events - three Nitro finishes. Not to make comparisons or anything, yuk yuk.
TONIGHT: A Triple Threat for the Undisputed WWF Championship - and Jim Ross smells a rat!
Vince pays a visit to Flair's war room. "Well well well - if it isn't Ric Flair, the man who's in charge of WWF RAW. You STOLE the Undertaker form me! You stole NWO from me! And for all I know, Kane, the man you just chose, you sent him down to the ring just a minute ago! What's going on in that demented mind of yours, Ric Flair?" "I've told this once, I've told you a thousand times, I don't have to explain anything to you anymore! We're fifty/fifty! And the RAW brand is gonna ride on forever without you! But since you're so fired up about personal projects I'm takin' Booker T right now, too." "Then I'll take the man who had a huge victory over Booker T at WrestleMania - I'll take Edge." "Speaking of huge, I'll take the Big Show." "Oh really. You wanna talk big, I'll tell you what....I'll take the big cheek, I'll take Rikishi!" "Great. Maybe we'll get to see him sit that big fat ass on your face again!" McMahon shoves him one...Arn holds him back as Vince leaves. "We're winning! We're cracking him." Ummm....have the picks stopped mattering *already*?
JEFF HARDY (with Matt Hardy & Cheata) v. BANDANA BOY BILLY (with Bandana Boy Chuck & Rico The Stylist) - Lilian almost makes an "at a combined weight" announcement for this singles match but catches herself just in time. Check out the clips to admire Rico's Instamuttons! If Jeff Hardy weighs 218 pounds, I'll eat my hat. Here's the ticker to take your mind off this wrestling stuff. I should mention picks are listed "1. MR. McMAHON" and "1. RIC FLAIR" with little TINY show logos right after the big *important* parts - the NAMES OF FLAIR AND McMAHON. Lockup, to the corner, kick by Billy, right, right, right, right, right, shoving away referee "Blind" Mike Chioda, stomp, stomp, stomp, stomp, stomp, blatant choke. Head to the adjacent buckle. Right. Right, more metaphysical arguments with Chioda - just what IS a closed fist, anyway? Lottery later on dotcom. Right. Into the opposite corner, running start and Billy misses - Hardy right, right, off the ropes with a forearm smash - speaking in tongues legdrop. Kick, into the opposite corner is reversed, Hardy counters, managing a swinging DDT (Ross: "hurricane DDT"), climbing up for a swanton - here comes our outside inteference (NO WAY!) as Chuck is kicked away - Matt over to pull him back to the floor, conking his head on the apron - swantonbomb MISSES - Billy directs Rico to grab a tag team title belt - well here comes Lita with a Cheatacanrana from the apron to the floor - and bashing her head into the commentary table into the process (OWCH) when she fails to clamp onto him before following through - meanwhile, Jeff bridges back on the rollup off the ropes - 1, 2, 3. (1:52) Two minute special, two minute special, two minute special, two minute special. Lita STILL holds her head. Ross says it's a good thing it wasn't for the tag team titles - yeah, it sure would, GOOD OL' JR, 'cause it'd be REALLY WEIRD seeing the titles on the line in a singles match!
TONIGHT: Rob van Dam v. Kurt Angle for the intercontinental title!
TONIGHT: Triple H v. Stephanie v. Chris Jericho! And JR smells a rat! And JR smells a rat! And JR smells a rat! And JR **won't shut up** and stop repeating himself for emphasis!
Big Show shills Stacker 2
"WWF Live - The Moments Are Waiting" promo
Another check of the big board - seven picks for Vince, six for Flair
From the war room, Flair says he wants the most dominant team in WWF history - and he'll start with Bubba Ray Dudley.
From the war room, McMahon - go figure - pounces on D-Von Dudley, making a funny face in the process.
The Dudleys react with displeasure. There's a handshake and a hug. Say, how's Team Xtreme get back there so quickly? Perish the thought that this was....taped earlier!!
Graphix: BUBBA RAY DUDLEY: 6'2" 300 lbs.
D-VON DUDLEY: 6'2" 260 lbs. Each graphic says "6-time WWF tag team champion, 8-time ECW tag team champion" which is really helpful since they've each been taken as SINGLES wrestlers....oops
WWF EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP: RIKASHMONEY (with ad for "Clockstopperse Live Giveaway on TNN" hype) v. WILLIAM REGAL - Well before Regal can even get halfway down the aisle, BROCK LESNAR & PAUL E. HEYMAN have inVaded the ring - Lesnar giving 'kishi a chance to do his trademark triple spin flip with a clothesline off the ropes. Belly-to-belly suplex. Despite the fact that he was announced at 350, GOOD OL' JR still insists that Lesnar's hefting around "at least 400 pounds" of Rikishi. There's the - let's call it an Argentinian TKO just for grins. Heyman raises Lesnar's hand. As we go to ad break, that makes it a (No contest) and thanks for coming out tonight, Regal!
Check out Times Square - that can only mean we're going inside WWF New York...
...where JAZZZZZZZZZZ awaits. "Well, JR, I'm just waiting. Waiting to see where some of the WWF Divas end up. Because there's nothing I would like better than gettin' in the ring with one of them like Trish, or Lita, and messin' up their pretty little face. And if the people wanna call me a bitch...fine. What they have to learn is that as WWF Women's Champion, I'll be the only BITCH appearing on both shows."
As the WWF Draft graphic again takes over the EntertainmentTron, Vince is out one more time...despite having just taken D-Von Dudley. Vince stokes the crowd's favourite new chant - I don't know how well this'll work outside Penn State, by the way. McMahon says he intends to choose Brock Lesnar...but here's Flair. "It's not your pick." "Ric, I know it's not my pick, but I've just chosen Brock Lesnar - you get two picks, so go ahead." "You're not changing the rules, it's my pick...and I pick Brock Lesnar." OOOH TAG WHAT A COUP ehhhh eh eh. "So what you're looking for here obviously is potential - I'll choose someone who has every bit the potential Brock Lesnar does - I'll choose a man who proved himself to be once again the World's Strongest Man - I'll take Mark Henry." OH MAN WHAT A COUP "I pick the European Heaveyweight Champion William Regal." We look to the locker room for a reaction. (Q: Why did we look at Regal and not at Mark Henry? A: Racism) Regal expresses umbrage - he's loyal to Mr. McMahon! "It's pretty obvious, Ric, you're going for all the champions, I'll tell you one you aren't going to get, because this division is going to SmackDown! - that would be the Hardcore championship division, and I'll choose Maven." We look to the locker room where nobody is trying to punk him out for his title. "I think you've got one more pick, Ric, right?" "I pick Lita." Another reaction. I think Bossman can't believe a woman got picked before he did! I think Funaki is heartbroken. Also, I think Tajiri is confused that he has a belt and nobody picked him. HOLY CRAP WHAT HAPPENED TO RAVEN'S HAIR "Let me get this straight - Ric Flair just chose in his last pick, he chose a woman - Lita. What the hell's the matter with you? The only reason why you chose a woman, Ric, is because you are a lascivious pig. And there's no doubt in my mind right now that you're gonna turn WWF RAW into a cesspool. I can tell you this - if you think you're gonna get lucky with Lita, maybe you will, maybe you won't. As far as the luck of the Irish is concerned during the lottery after RAW goes off the air on dotcom, you'll know what I mean. And one other thing...Stone Cold Steve Austin is coming to SmackDown!, okay? Just for the record. And uh, speaking of SmackDown!, in the event this Thursday you're gonna lead your RAW guys into the very last SmackDown they'll ever be on, if they get a little too frisky, believe me, my guys'll lay the smack down on yours, don't make me prove it." "I think this tremendous audience has said it best all evening long. You--" This crowd is probably so happy they get to chant they haven't even noticed they've paid twenty-five bucks on average to sit there and watch...guys standing at a podium...all night.
UP NEXT: Intercontinental Championship!
"Scorpion King" ad - again
Big Show stills Stacker 2 - again
Here's a look at the final big boards - SmackDown!: The Rock, Kurt Angle, Chris Benoit, Hulk Hogan, Billy & Chuck, Edge, Rikishi, D-Von Dudley, Mark Henry, Maven. RAW: The Undertaker, nWo, Kane, Rob van Dam, Booker T, Big Show, Bubba Ray Dudley, Brock Lesnar, William Regal, Lita. Lawler proclaims McMahon an easy winner...there's probably a kernel of truth in that.
WWF INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP: KURT ANGLE (with Draft Lottery blurb - again - and Castrol Motor Oily Presents Backlash!) v. ROB VAN DAM (with "Forceable Entry" CD cover) - While van Dam displays the belt, Angle grabs him in a surprise belly-to-belly...but only get 1. Angle right, right, right, right, kick, kick, kick, right, kick. Into the corner, van Dam up and overon the charge, tumbling run - Angle runs into the back kick for 2. Right by van Dam, into the ropes is reversed, Angle catches him in another great belly-to-belly suplex. Angle stomp, stomp, stomp, stomp, stomp, WWF ticker yet again. Angle with a verticle suplex - van Dam flips out (but stumbles anyway) - Angle catches the kick, ducks the stepover heel kick, locks the fingers and hits a German suplex, holds on for two, holds on for THREE, JR smells a rat - Lawler: "You've said that A HUNDRED TIMES already. I PUT deodorant on!" "Well, you've got that Nicole Kidman shirt on so your nipples are showing--" "Hey!" "--nobody cares." "What are you doing looking at Nicole Kidman's nipples?" "This is cable!" Man, Ross needs to go back to classics like SMELLING YOUR TORSO. van Dam elbows away - backs Angle to the corner - again - FINALLY breaking the waistlock - overhead back kick - van Dam connects on Rolling Thunder - 1, 2, foot on the rope. Angle rakes the face to turn it back around. Right by Angle, right, into the ropes is reversed, but Angle eats a kick. van Dam going up...Angle going outside and grabbing the belt. van Dam goes out after him - kick, right, head to the STEEL steps, rolled back in the ring. van Dam to the top - but as he comes off with the missile dropkick, Angle puts referee "Blind" Tim White in the oncoming path! van Dam goes to check on the zebra, allowing Angle to get under him with the Olympic Slam! Anglelock applied, but White isn't calling for the bell for a tapout. (DQ 2:54) After calling White a son of a bitch, he goes back to breaking van Dam's ankle....until KING EDGE comes out to make the save - ducks a clothesline - six quick elbows - Edge with a belly-to-belly - waiting for him to get up - but Angle leapfrogs the SPEAR, lets him hit the buckle and gives him a big German suplex! DOWN COME THE STRAPS!! Angle wants the Olympic Slam but Edge lands on his feet - ducks a clothesline, off the rope with the SPEAR! Edge rains rights on him as the ring fills with REFS. They finally get them separated as Rob Zombie plays. Replay of Angle's beautiful suplex - and Edge's spear. This match ALMOST broke the mythical "three minute barrier"
Stephanie McMahon is WALKING! MICHAEL KING COLE catches up to her for a reaction. She promises she's not going anywhere - in fact, after she wins the championship, she'll be on BOTH shows. You know....it could happen.
Do all the bleeps in this TNN ad means they're going to air "Beverly Hills Cop 2" with bleeps instead of with wacky soundalike overdubs? "You (egg roll)!" "You mother (lover)!" "What the (heck)?" "(Goldang)!"
The WWF Rewind is brought to you by Castrol GTX - Drive Hard! From SmackDown!, Stephanie shrieks
WWF UNDISPUTED CHAMPIONSHIP: STEFFO CAN'T, WON'T, COULDN'T, SHOULDN'T, WOULDN'T, HASN'T, DIDN'T, MUSTN'T, AND BELIEVE ME NOW, YOUR HAND ON YOUR HIP BETTER BE GONE BABY GONE BEFORE THIS NIGHT IS OVER v. CHRIS MONDAY JERICHO v. THE MAN - JR smells a rat! JR smells a rat! JR smells a rat! Is this what hell is like? Oh look, Triple H is pouring water all over himself! The WWF championship belt almost covers up his entire set of trunks! I actually feel myself becoming more gay by the minute! Ooh, here's the money shot - SPOOOOOOGE! Entrances sum total to just over five minutes - oy. H gives Stephanie a hard look as she stands on the apron - but seeing Jericho creeping up behind him, he turns round to block, right, right, ring the bell, right, into the ropes, back body drop. Stephanie decides to head back to the apron at thie time. Jericho right, chop, chop, into the ropes is reversed, head down, Jericho kicks. Running clothesline puts H on the outside. Stephanie quickly lies down and encourages the cover - 1, 2, H manages to pull Jericho out of the ring. H inside - Stephanie makes a run for it but H catches her - Pedigree attempt - no, wait, let me do a 180 while Stephanie's in position, so Jericho can pull her out of the ring - geez, I'm not very smart for being the smartest man in wrestling! Stephanie and Jericho share a tender moment making sure they're all right - so H does an alleged baseball slide dropkick (coming REAL short) but Jericho stlil manages to collide with Stephanie for effect. H puts Jericho into the STEEL steps, then rolls Stephanie back in the ring. Stephanie cowers in the corner, but H again has a handful of hair - and eeeeeever so slowly brings her to her feet - ah, THERE'S Jericho in the back. Right, chop, into the ropes, dropkick is CAUGHT - and H gives Jericho the WOW Catapult into Stephanie - and now it's time for Jericho to play the part of Earthquake while Stephanie plays the part of Sting, headbutting Jericho in the upper thigh while collapsing to the mat. H holds his crotch to signify "ouch! That's gotta hurt!" for the humour-impaired (which I am rapidly becoming) H wants a death suplex - Jericho backflips out - HE fails to land on his feet just like van Dam did, but still kicks the leg to trip up H. (GOOD OL' JR: "Jericho landing on his feet") Seated dropkick. Jericho kicks the back of the leg again. I think he's found his body part. Chop block on the bandage. Badmouth right hand. Grabs the leg - elbowdrop on the leg - another one. "Give him one!" Stephanie with an elbowdrop on the knee - and another one. Stephanie has to adjust her rack as much as Nash adjusted his hair in the WCW! Jericho applies the spinning toehold while Stephanie distracts referee "Blind" Earl Hebner - Jericho getting the all-important added leverage by grabbing the top rope. Jericho goes for another rotation - H manages to kick him away - and into Stephanie! Jericho helps her up...and she slaps him. So Jericho piefaces her. This is all breaking down! Stephanie finally convinces him to get back on point. Bulldog by Jericho - Lionsault MISSES! So Stephanie drops down and hooks a leg - you can hear a pin drop in the building - 1, 2, Jericho gets the shoulder up! Audible sigh of relief. Now Jerihco wants to know what's up - blocks ANOTHER slap - double leg takedown into the Walls of Jericho! H clotheslines Jericho in the back to cut that short. Jericho in with another clothesline - H ducks and Stephanie eats it. Jericho runs at H - but H steps aside and runs him over the top to the floor. H looks to and fro for crowd support. International sign of the Pedigree made - *again* H has Stephanie in position if he'd only complete the damn move - instead, they duck walk closer to the corner, where Jericho suddenly appears - missile dropkick connects - leg is hooked - 1, 2, no. 1, 2, no. Why not try again? 1, 2, no. Jericho argues the cadence with Hebner...then goes outside to beat up timekeeper MARK YEATON (as he is wont to do) puts a belt in the ring, the other belt in the ring, also grabs a chair - Hebner and Jericho tussle over the chair, but Hebner wins - while he puts it away, Jericho swings a belt at H...only *he* has a belt as well, so when the gold hits the skulls, we end up with two men out cold in the centre of the ring. Another hush falls on the crowd as Stephanie hits the ring - she opts to cover H - hooks the leg - 1, 2, NO! She tries Jericho - 1, 2, NO! Stephanie and Hebner have their own debate - I guess Hebner wins, 'cause it's still 2. Stephanie dares H to get up - off the ropes...but H meets her with a big clothesline! Jericho grabs the distacted H - WALLS OF JERICHO! H reaches for the ropes as a "Triple H" chant starts up. He *just* can't get there (apparently - I think he could stretch if he REALLY wanted to...but alas) - anyway, Stephanie climbs up into piggyback on Jericho, breaking the hold...Jericho flails a bit, but eventually finds himself and throws her over his shoulder. Too much badmouth - H sneaks in with a gutshot and Pedigree (see, he's REALLY quick when it isn't on Steph) - 1, 2, Stephanie saves with a forearm! Jericho rolls outside as H stands over Stephanie for another cartoony McMahon reaction. H with the hair once again. Stephanie whipped out - then pulled back in for an Arn Anderson bootybuster - leg is hooked - 1, 2, 3! (8:06) H drops to his knees to make a big wave goodbye and also count three on his fingers. H directs SECURITY to haul her out of there - another ha ha wacky chase ensues involving Stephanie latching onto everything nailed down while they very gingerly pull on all her non-private bits. Crowd sings the chorus of "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye." Heyman was back in what, four months? I'll take that long in the pool. RAW Zone credits and one more "Lottery results on DOTCOM" graphic - big WWF logo - and aloha means goodbye.
Nitro Nitro Nitro!