ALERT: My cable company might not let me get this week's TNA show! Is it a curse or a blessing? I'll keep you posted! (Fear not, my brother will eventually send me a tape.)

QUICK QUOTE: WWE 9.91 (+ .15, last year: 12.12, two years ago: 20 1/4)

TONIGHT: It's the night after SummerSlam! Look at the wwe.com front page! Look at the new Undisputed champion! Look at NO glimpse of what's coming in tonight's show! Say, maybe *this* is how they score that "PPV bump"

TV-14-DLV - CC - Attitude - Entertainment - Look at my dimples

Opening Credits - sorry, I had some work to do, and then I got really tired. Tired?! WHY WON'T I WAKE UP

GETALIFEPYRO! Coming to you LIVE from Madison Square Garden in New York, NY 26.8.2 - there's 16,875 in the house and you and me watching on The New TNN (or possibly TSN - for you) as this show is transmidito en espanol SAP and don't forget The World...how can you?

Hey look guys, THE WIFESWAPPER *finally* made it to MSG. "Welcome! Welcome to Eric Bischoff's Monday Night RAW! And I promise each and every one of you people a VERY very historic evening - we're going to combine two titles into one when the Hardcore champion Tommy Dreamer faces YOUR new intercontinental champion RVD right here on RAW! And in that ring, we're going to honour a very, very special WWE Hall of Famer with a lifetime achievement award, right here on RAW! But more important that all of that, allow me to introduce to you, making his very first appearance here on RAW, the WWE Heavyweight Champion of the World, BROCK LESNAR!" Lesnar is accompanied by IT'S ALL ABOUT PAUL - handshakes all around and Bischoff heads to the back while *they* head to the ring. Of course, the first voice you hear is not the champ's. "We, ah...we stand here tonight on the sacred ground..." "Rock E!" "Eh -eh eh eh AHEM! We stand here tonight on the sacred ground of the world's most famous arena - Madison Square Garden. And, you can take Bruno Sammartino, Superstar Billy Graham, Hollywood Hulk Hogan...you can combine them all and they STILL don't equal this man. And the funniest thing about it is, I TOLD YOU SO! And none of you would listen to me! I told you Brock Lesnar was the Next Big Thing, and none of you would listen. I told you Brock Lesnar would win the King of the Ring, and none of you would listen to me. I told you that Brock Lesnar would destroy the myth of Hulkamania, none of you would listen to me! I told you Brock Lesnar would beat the Rock for the Undisputed title at SummerSlam, and none of you would listen to me! Well you think by now, you people would learn to listen!" "Well, listen to this - I'm 25 years old - just 25! I'm the youngest WWE Undisputed champion in history - in history! I'm the youngest ever! Nobody, I am the youngest EVER. And nobody - NOBODY can beat me!" "You know, right here tonight, in New--" Shawn Michaels' music interrupts at this point, but I have a feeling this won't be...sure enough, it's TRIPLE H RETURNS! decked out in a not unremarkable imitation of Michaels. "Cut the music! That is the last time you will ever hear that Shawn Michaels crap again! Last night at SummerSlam, I crippled Shawn Michaels! Shawn did not even belong in the same ring with me! And now - now Shawn Michaels will never get in the ring again. As a matter of fact, Shawn Michaels will probably never even WALK again. So Brock...oh, the mistakes of youth. Twenty-five years old - just a boy - just a boy, and the Undisputed champion of the world. But remember something, Brock - you wouldn't be champion if it wasn't for me. Last week, I told you I would soften The Rock up for ya - and I did. But I also told you, Brock, that when you came out here on RAW with your shiny new championship belt on around your waist...that I would be waiting. So here I am. Now - you, my friend, owe me." H in the ring. "And I just wanna know one thing - are you man enough to play The Game?" They stand nose to nose...but before anything can happen, we get *another* interruption and entrance - this time from THE AWESOME UNDERTAKER. Heyman decides to leave the ring with the title belt as Taker joins the party *in* the ring. "The way I see it, Triple H, we got this thing all wrong. The way I see it, I get first crack at the young blood. Because as the #1 Contender, I think I need to know...are you really the Next Big Thing? Or the Next Big Bitch?" But before THIS staredown can come to anything - Triple H is in from behind and now a doubleteam ensues. Beaten down in the corner, Lesnar and H pull off to resume THEIR staredown...but Taker is up - H in the corner, Lesnar on H, clothesline for Lesnar, soupbones and lefts for H, soupbone, soupbone for Lesnar, soupbone, to the opposite corner for H, opposite corner for Lesnar, H clotheslined out of the ring, open-handed slap for Lesnar (ooh!), again, and a big boot puts HIM on the outside. H back in...Taker assumes fighting stance and H decides maybe he'd better back off this time. Play Taker's music!

Don't miss the WWE Tour of Defiance at the Compaq Center 21 September!

Bischoff is behind the commentators when we return. "I said it was going to be a historic night - and it will be! Tonight in the main event we're gonna find out who the #1 Contender for the WWE title is when the American Badass takes on Triple H in the main event!"

BOOKER T (Houston, Texas - 256 pounds - with Goldust & WPVI-TV footage of some Philadelphia Eagle looking at his hand) v. CHRISTIAN (co-tag team champion - Toronto, Ontario - 225 pounds - with Lance Storm)
referee: JACK DOAN
Say...Goldust always comes out with Booker T, so why doesn't Booker T ever accompany Goldust during Heat? (Or does he and I'm just not watching Heat?) It's kinda sad we don't get to hear "Chris-TIAAAAAAAAAN" anymore. Christian hits the ring and promptly gets taken down - double leg, mounth, right, right, right, right, right, right, right, right, right, right, right, Doan pulls him off. Forearm, into the ropes, Christian ducks but T gives him the flying jalapeno. Storm on the apron, but jumping off as T lunges for him - back to Christian, gutshot - off the ropes, Christian ducks the axe kick, forearm in the back, grabs the hair and gives him the perpendicular backbreaker for 1. Right by Christian, right, right, in the corner, kick, kick, kick, kick, blatant choke. T fires back with a right, right, right, knee by Christian - snapmares him over and adds the headlock. "USA!" T shakes his hand and makes it back to his feet - elbow, elbow, off the ropes, ducks a swing by Christian, but Christian buries a knee and T flips - cover, 1, 2, no! Christian with the blatant choke. Foot on the face - and grinds it in. Again with the foot. Stomp. Right hand. Christian chokes in the corner - now T reverses - right, chop, slap, chop, slap, chop, slap, chop, slap, chop - think I got 'em all, but Doan finally pulls him off - Christian runs in and runs into a right hand. Clothesline. Into the ropes, spinning heel kick. Chop in the corner - into the opposite corner, reversed, T up and over with his crisscross rollup for 2. Christian begs off...but grabs a double leg as T comes in - feet on the ropes, 1, 2, Goldust throws his feet off the ropes! Christian argues with Goldust...but probably should have kept his eyes on the man in the ring with him, as he turns back to eat a Houston sidekick - T consults his hand...but Storm hits the ring - T ducks and Goldust is in - right, right, right, clotheslines both himself and Storm out of the ring - meanwhile, Christian surprises T with an Unprettier attempt - but T breaks free, shoves Christian into the ropes, gutshot, off the ropes with the axe kick, 1, 2, 3! (3:15) Storm tries to hit the ring with a chair but T's already gone.

Earlier Today on Wall Street, Gov. George Pataki and lots of WWE folks gathered, along with a big copy of the constitution, for the Smackdown Your Vote/Pledge to Participate tour kickoff in New York - I have a hunch this is the last time we see The Rock for a looooooong while

TONIGHT: a tuxedo/evening gown match between Howard Finkel and Lilian Garcia

Yes we are in New York City - otherwise, you wouldn't see this shot of the Empire State Building!

Backstage, Christian tantrums: "I was ripped off out there! This is crap!" "But we still got these!" Test joins them, flag in hand... "Hey, hey, chill out man - relax, man,it's just one match - besides, I've got something big planned tonight that'll have people talkin' boat the Un-Americans...for years to come..." He slowly unrolls the flag...

BUBBA RAY & SPIKE DUDLEY (Dudleyville - 440 pounds - with RAW in Milwaukee hype [obligatory catering reference here]) v. CHRISTOPHER NOWINSKI & WILLIAM REGAL (507 pounds - with Molly Holly and Earlier Tonight)
Backstage, the all-seeing WWE camera caught this conversation 'twixt Nowinski, Molly and Victoria: "What I'm saying, Molly, is - we made such a great tag team two weeks ago...I realy felt some chemistry there. So it would mean so much to me if you would join me in my corner tonight." Victoria: "I don't know...the Dudleyz are pretty dangerous." Nowinski breaks his scowl. "The Dudleyz ARE dangerous, but I would never let anything bad happen to you. So what do you say?" "Well, we did make a pretty good team. I guess if I can help ya out, I'll do it." "That's great - it means so much to me. Why don't you go get ready and I'll be right behind you?" "All right." "All right!" "Hey, good luck." "Oh, I have a feeling I'll be getting VERY lucky." It's Bubba and Nowinski to start - lockup, to the corner - Patrick forces the break - Dudley ducks a punch, right, left, right, right, open-handed slap, again. Crowd already wants table. Right, left, right, into the opposite corner is reversed, but Dudley gets the elbow up - gutshot - neckbreaker - 1, 2, nope. Tag to Spike - scoop...and a slam - Spike with PERRO AGUAYO! and an ECW li'l wave for Regal. Onsale crawl here. In the corner - right, right, pre-emptive right for Regal as he traverses the apron, whip out, Nowinski sent back into the corner, but nobody's home on the charge and Spike hits sternum first. Nowinski goads Bubba into coming in, and while he DOES get a shot in, it's better served to distract Patrick from seeing Regal and Molly make a wish with Spike - into the ringpost. Nowinski drags him out - hooks the leg - 1, 2, no. Tag to Regal - held open for the kick - left, into the corner, but he back elbows Nowinski and gores Regal - Nowinski in - Spike has a headlock, adds a leg scissors on Nowinski, then flips BOTH men simultaneously! Ducks the double clothesline and tags in Bubba - and he HITS a double clothesline on both men! Clothesline for Regal, clothesline for Nowinski, avalanche on Regal, German release suplex on Nowinski, sidewalk slam on Regal, 1, 2, Nowinski in to drop the elbow but Bubba's out of the way and Regal eats it - "You're really stupid!" and tosses him outside - over for Regal - left, left, left, flip flop and elbow - Molly tries the Molly-go-round but Bubba's gone - she lands on her feet but Bubba grabs her - scoop...and a slam. Then spreads her legs (nice choice of words, JR) for Spike to come off with "What Are You Doing?" Spike, get the table. I think Molly tries a slap in here but Bubba blocks it and when we next look, they're dancing. Regal's back in - Bubba ducks - Molly slaps Bubba into a schoolboy from Regal - 1, 2, NO! Meanwhile, Nowinski has Spike down from a bodyslam on the floor - but back in the ring, Bubba reverses a whip and Regal crashes into Nowinski - then walks into a Bubbabomb - 1, 2, 3! (4:16) Bubba ain't done, bringing in Molly the hard way - then pointing to the table. Table set up...powerbomb coming up - no, Regal is up with the knux punch and Nowinski catches Molly as Bubba goes down. With Molly in his arms, Nowinski heads out. Back in the ring, Spike is back in - Dudley 'dog but the table doesn't break! Regal tries to sell like a champ while Bubba breaks from his haze long enough to powerbomb Regal through the table, THEN go back to unconsciousness. Play their music! Commentators not only miss the Power of the Punch LIVE, but also in the replay! Well done!

Standing next to the door marked "RAW SPECIAL GUEST," Bischoff says "...it's really my honour, I assure you, especially here in this building to have a Hall of Famer like you here, and to be in the ring with you it means an awful lot to me. Now, I'm gonna go out to the ring in just a few moments, and when you hear me introduce you - make yourself comfortable, but when you hear that introduction, come on out and just enjoy the moment. I'll see you out there." Commentators wonder if it's Bruno - don't they KNOW Bruno Sammartino *still* isn't in the Hall of Fame?

Take a look at the WWE.com homepage!

Backstage, the camera has caught up with Molly and Christopher - "Thank you so much - I can't believe I almost went through that table! Well...it's nice to know there's at least *some* gentlemen left in this world! You know, if there's anything - and I mean anything that I can do to repay you, please, let me know..." Big sweaty hug. "Oh, I'm sure I can think of something..." and then he makes a face. Gosh, I hope Molly never sees the tape of this show!

Why yes, Bischoff *is* in EVERY segment tonight. He's out in the ring now. "Ladies and gentlemen, it is indeed a pleasure and an honour to introduce to you my guest tonight. A man who is a legend and a Hall of Famer (and brought to you exclusively to RAW by Eric Bischoff) - ladies and gentlemen, the one...the only..." The familiar music hits: "Super-super-superfly!" JIMMY "SUPERFLY" SNUKA is out to say "Hoo!" Anybody sense the immediate presence of a couple of big Samoans? Bischoff has a plaque in hand. "Jimmy Snuka, all I can say is...WOW! I mean, this is overwhelming. But before we go any further, I've prepared a special tribute just for you here tonight - some of the highlights of your career including one from right here in Madison Square Garden - let's take a look, let's roll that tribute!" Tribute follows - this is the point where most recappers usually make a crack about covering up a murder or something like that, but by now I like to think of myself as above that kind of straining for that kind of credibility, wink wink. Instead, I'll go for MY cheap laugh by saying "footage of his Nitro cage match with Jeff Jarrett is NOT included." See how it works? "Jimmy 'Superfly' Snuka, it is with great pleasure that I present to you the WWE Lifetime Achievement Award. Jimmy, how does it feel, what's going through your mind?" "I just wanna say thank--" "Ho ho - you know what? Jimmy? All I can say is, I mean this is magic right here in Madison Square Garden, standing next to you, you know - this is a classic - you know, for the last three minutes I've been thinking...wait a minute. Did I just say 'three minutes?' I mean, Jimmy Snuka, I mean - legend or not, man, I gotta tell ya, your three minutes are just about up!" JAMAL OR ROSIE is in the ring - Snuka chop, chop, backhand chop! And now ROSIE OR JAMAL is in the ring behind him...staredown...until the first guy is back up and forearming him from behind into a clothesline from ahead. He was clotheslined out of his flip-flops!! One guy holds him down while the other guy does the (not) Superfly Splash on Snuka. Well, at least Bischoff's happy.

Moments Ago, you just read it. Apparently, Jamal is the guy doing the splash.

The REFS are attending to Snuka when we return...but he's still in the ring as CHRIS MONDAY JERICHO makes *his* entrance. He'll take on Jeff Hardy tonight, we are told, but I have a feeling he'll have something to do just ahead of that. Fozzy's Happenstance is available now! Sure enough, Jericho shoves the refs away and clamps the Walls of Jericho on Snuka, just for a larf. He's got THE STICK: "All right, all right that is IT - that is absolutely enough! When did they change the name of this arena to Madison Square Has-been, huh? You see, Snuka, you're just like Ric Flair - just because you've been popular with all of these assclowns...for 75 years does not mean you deserve special treatment, junior! If anybody deserves an award, it's the King of the World! And if anybody deserved to be awarded the match at SummerSlam, it was me, not Ric Flair, and I'll tell you why, because I made him TAP OUT at SummerSlam! And I got footage to prove it. Monkeys in the truck, roll my footage. (Let Us Take You Back to Last Night, Courtesy: The Encore) Look at this - caught in his own hold, check it out, he can't handle the pain now, can he? Here it is...watch him tap! Look at him tap! Huh? There's your proof. I made Ric Flair tap out to his very own figure four, and yet he was awarded the match? WHY? WHY? WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY? I am absolutely furious, and I'm gonna take out all my anger on Ric Flair's little buddy Jeff Hardy. But first...since Flair rudely interrupted my Fozzy concert last week on RAW...I'm gonna give all the Fozzy Fanatics a special treat. I'm gonna sing my own special version of 'New York, New York.'" He relieves himself of his gum. "A one, a two, a one 'Start spreadin' the news / I'm leavin' today / Can't wait to get the hell right out / of New York, New York / These vagabond shoes / will take me away / I want to leave the cesspool called / New York, New York / If I can get out of here...'"

Three minutes of ad break later... "'..way / can't wait to escape from this town / New York, New York / yeah! If I can get out of here / I would get up to--"

CHRIS JERICHO v. JEFF HARDY (with RAW Credits & transmitido en espanol SAP & TV-14-DLV & CC)
referee: CHAD PATTON
No intros, actually, since Finkel is "preparing for his match." Hanky code watch this week has chartreuse and orange in Hardy's back right pocket. Jericho tires of Hardy's corner poses and forearms him down and we're off. Stomp. Right. Snap suplex. Dropkick. "You wanna interrupt my singing, you son of a bitch? Huh?" Right, right, Hardy kick, Jericho chokes. "Ask him!" Patton counts to 4 instead. Into the ropes, Hardy ducks, flying clothesline puts Jericho down. Hardy right, right, right, right, right, right - into the corner is reversed, Hardy up and onto the shoulders - flying head scissors takedown! Hardy runs into a Jericho clothesline, though. Choke on the second rope. Still to come, Triple H and Awesome Undertaker! Jericho with a right hand - then plays to the crowd. Evening Gown/Tuxedo match coming up! Right hand from Jericho. Jericho with a slap in the face. Into the ropes, Hardy catches the dropkick attempt and turns it into a WOW Catapult that takes Jericho to the outside. Hardy climbs to the top - and flies to the floor with a big splash! Hardy clears the ringside crowd for a barricade run...but Jericho has it scouted and catches him in a powerslam on the floor! Jericho puts Hardy back in - and follows. Stomp to the small of the back. Running kick. Handfuls of hair - and a backbreaker across the knee. Jericho removes Hardy's hankies and chokes him with them - then wipes his pits with them and throws them on the second rope! Jericho applies the standing surfboard. At this point, Jericho's wearing almost as much of Hardy's face paint on his abdomen as Hardy has on his face. Hardy fights his way back up - elbow breaks it, elbow, right, right, off the ropes, but Jericho buries the knee and Hardy goes down again. Jericho with another seated dropkick - 1, 2, no! Lawler is much more interested in hyping the evening gown/tuxedo match than watching this one - I hate that. Jericho with a death suplex. Elbowdrop, Jericho quickly up to snap off another one, a third, a big pose and one more elbowdrop - 1, 2, Hardy kicks out. Jericho with the choke on the second rope for 4. "I'm the King of the World, dammit!" Jericho goes for a Boss Man straddle but Hardy's gone! Hardy kick, kick, right, into the ropes, dropkick but nobody's home - Jericho with a BIG senton (owie) - 1, 2, no! Hardy with a right - Jericho with a kick - Hardy right, Jericho right, Hardy, Jericho puts Hardy down. Jericho is really good at masking his (really quiet) spot calling between (really loud) taunts. Hardy pulls himself up and tries a right - Jericho puts him on his back with ANOTHER right - and does the shuffle!! Jericho brings Hardy up...and punches him back down again. ANOTHER shuffle! Ha ha ha...this is funny, even if nobody in the crowd seems to really be reacting - although it IS building. Hardy gutshot, right, block, slap, right, right, right is ducked, Jericho with a neckbreaker - leg is hooked, 1, 2, no! "Come on, ref! I'm the King of the World!" Jericho applies the abdominal stretch while Ross hypes an update on Shawn Michael's condition. Crowd comes alive for Hardy - sorta - and he manages a hiptoss to get out of the hold. Jericho right back on him with a forearm. Into the opposite corner is reversed, Jericho tries to jump off the second rope - but runs right into a dropkick from Hardy! That gets a Castrol Replay. Patton puts on the count - at six, Hardy is up and Jericho is up right after...Hardy right, right, right, Jericho to the eyes. Hardy put in the corner but he stairsteps up and hits the Whisper in the Wind on Jericho! Sitout jawbreaker by Hardy - double leg - Speaking in Tongues legdrop - 1, 2, Jericho kicks out! Jericho put into the ropes, no, reversed, sunset flip attempt by Hardy, Jericho rolls through and grabs the double leg - Hardy staves off the Walls of Jericho attempt - kicks Jericho away, catches him off the ropes bounce in a small cradle - 1, 2, NO!! Hardy runs into a big boot - Jericho out of the corner with his "bulldog." Lionsault coming up - but hits the knees! Hardy with the double legdrop into the pinning predicament - 1, 2, NO!! Jericho catches the kick but Hardy is ready with the enzuimuli. Hardy climbing up - swantonbomb...HITS! Hardy is slow to cover - 1, 2, Jericho grabs the bottom rope!! Hardy tries a 'rana - but Jericho stops him and steps into the Walls of Jericho! Hardy crawls...and grabs the bottom rope! But Jericho won't let go! Patton gets to 5 - Jericho STILL has it on - and Patton has to call for the bell! (DQ 10:49) Hardy lets go of the rope and taps, so Jericho will get his footage anyway - the REFS peel out from the back, along with SERGEANT SLAUGHTER - finally, Jericho is pulled off - he tries to come right back, but can't quite break down the wall (so to speak). Play Jericho's music, 'cause he LOST! Jericho almost goes after the FOZZY PLAYED MY PROM sign but decides not to instead.

Backstage, TERRI catches up to Heyman & Lesnar. Who's the preference for #1 Contender tonight? "It doesn't make a difference." "Yeah, but like, gun to your head, you gotta choose - who would you choose?" "It REALLY doesn't make a difference!" Then he looks at Heyman and they share a laugh.

Meanwhile, Storm and Christian react. "This...this is strong." "Strong? It's PERFECT!" "Good. Then we're ready to rock, 'cause right here in New York City, what the Americans call Old Glory is goin' up in flames." And he displays a propane torch... Wow, what does it mean when they're ripping off WCW's Vince Russo & Ed Ferrara for ideas?

Lugz presents the WWE Boot of the Week! From SummerSlam, Test uses his Boot of the Week to run-in and help the Un-Americans keep the titles against Booker T & Goldust.

Out come THE REVOLUTION - I MEAN, THE UN-AMERICANS. Test has the blowtorch, Storm has the (rolled up) flag. Test also has the stick! "You know, I uh - I really think it's aboat time you Americans realise what the rest of the world really thinks aboat you - and to be honest, I couldn't think of a better way than this!" He displays the blowtorch as Storm unrolls the flag (Ross: "That son of a bitch is gonna burn our flag, King!") - but the Kane pyro and video plays, interrupting them! I guess he's mad someone ELSE is threatening to use fire (well, who isn't Booker T). But when the video's over and Kane HASN'T appeared, they recover and Test tells him to hold it back up. "We want Kane!" But instead it's BOOKER T & GOLDUST just in the nick of time - unfortunately, they're two and the Un-Americans are three, and the numbers take over. Test leaves Storm & Christian to work over T & Goldust while he gets back in the ring to finish the job. Just before Lawler himself gets off his ass to do something about this, KANE is back - duck, right, clothesline, right for Storm, Christian with a chair to the back and NO SALE - choke for him, chokeslam - clothesline for Storm out of the ring - ducks Test's boot, choke, (Ross: "Send him to hell! SEND HIM TO HELL!") chokeslam. Goldust and Booker T get back in the ring as the crowd chants "USA" and the Un-Americans head to the aisle. T has the stick: "Whoa! Whoa whoa, hold 'em up, hold 'em up, Gold. See this gold freak right here, he ain't goin' nowhere, and Booker T, five-time WC champion, HE ain't goin' nowhere - until we give these people exactly what they paid to see - the spinaroonie." T drops down and gives it to them. "Now can you dig that - suckaaaaaaaaa?" They go to leave...but Kane stops them. "Now wait a second, Booker. These people didn't come here tonight JUST to see the spinaroonie. They came here to see the KANEAROONIE." Kane consults his hand as T's music starts again - drops down - and (kinda) breakdances back to his feet! Then he cues the flashpots and his music takes over. Six-man next week? That'd be a safe bet. T & Goldust take the titles just in time for the 9/11 Anniversary? Even safer.

TONIGHT: Undertaker vs. Triple H - who will become the #1 Contender for the Undisputed title?

"We're not considered a pastime - contract disputes don't determine the outcome of our season - negotiations are handled a little differently in this arena - when two sides have a problem, it's taken care of...face to face. World Wrestling Entertainment: Our season never ends." Call me crazy, but I'm *pretty* sure contract disputes actually DO determine the outcome of their season.

And now, the WWE Rewind, brought to you by Snicker Cruncher! From SummerSlam, Rob van Dam defeated Chris Benoit to bring the intercontinental championship back to RAW

WWE INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPIONSHIP: ROB VAN DAM (champion - Battle Creek, Michigan - 235 pounds - with RAW is brought to you by Snickers, Whacko Tobacco, and Black Label Games' "The Thing") v. TOMMY DREAMER (hardcore champion - Yonkers, New York - 234 pounds) in a hardcore match
Poor Dreamer - he finally got the hardcore title belt retooled from Texas to New York (license plate) and then they go and to give up on the entire division. This is the "last hardcore match ever on RAW" - somehow I doubt that, but we'll roll with it for now. Once again, this match will end with a Unified Intercontinental Champion - and then by next week, they'll have again forgotten the "unified" bit. You watch! "ECW" chant as they shake hands! Crowd: "OMG THEY SHOOK HANDS!" Lockup, go behind by Dreamer, standing switch, side headlock takeover by van Dam, headscissors by Dreamer, van Dam kicks out, MAT WRESTLING IS HARDCORE, van Dam spins into a legdrop and misses, Dreamer with an elbowdrop that misses, van Dam's kick caught, tries an enzuigiri and misses, Dreamer's kick caught, HIS enzuigiri misses, van Dam leaps over a nonexistent legsweep, clothesline misses, Dreamer's clothesline misses - they pause for the "indy respect" spot and the crowd pops like idiots. WHY THE HELL ARE YOU CLAPPING? THEY JUST MISSED LIKE HALF A DOZEN MOVES THERE "ECW! ECW! ECW! ECW!" Okay, here we go - lockup, go behind by van Dam, back elbow by Dreamer - Dream off the ropes, van Dam does the splits but Dreamer is ready for that and dropkicks van Dam in the face. Dreamer taking control - head to the buckle - whip into the opposite corner is reversed, shoulder to the gut by van Dam, shoulder, superfluous backflip and by the time he runs back in for the third, Dreamer has picked up the kendo stick and WHACKS him in the side. Side Singapore legsweep gets Dreamer 2. Dreamer goes outside to see what he can find...and brings out a ladder. Unfortunately, he holds it in perfect position for van Dam to dropkick it into him - FORTUNATELY, he picks it up and van dam sails under it! Dreamer tries to back up and catch van Dam with the ladder but he ducks *that* - then back kicks the ladder into Dreamer! van Dam covers - Robinson slow to get outside and pick up the count - 1, 2, no! van Dam positions the ladder on the apron and the barricade - back over to Dreamer for a stomp - wants to whip him into the ladder, but he reverses into a spinebuster on the floor - covers - 1, 2, no! van Dam put in the ring - Dreamer repositions the ladder and climbs to the apron, where van Dam is back up and ready - right, right, forearm to the face, again, Dreamer with a rake of the face - wants the suplex inside out onto the ladder but van Dam fights it - shoulder through the ropes, again, third time Dreamer puts up a knee. Dreamer pulls van Dam through the ropes and gives the high sign for a bulldog off the apron through the ladder - van Dam throws him off, however, and it's Dreamer crashing to the floor, smacking the ladder on the way down! That'll get a Castrol Replay. van Dam heads out after Dreamer - kick, sat on the barricade, kick, van Dam climbs onto the ladder, balances himself, points to himself (YAY!) and leaps into a kick to Dreamer's head! Cover - 1, 2, NO!! van Dam relieves timekeeper MARK YEATON of his chair on the way back in. Chair on body - backflip onto chair. van Dam hooks the leg - 1, 2, no! vam Dam with a stomp. Again the chair is placed on Dreamer's carcass - split-legged moonsault, but Dreamer gets the knees up under the chair! Dreamer with a gutshot - van Dam reverses to a northern lights suplex and gets 2. Dreamer ducks, goes for the Driver but van Dam's out, Dreamer ducks a roundhouse kick, gutshot, DDT! Dreamer hooks the leg - 1, 2, no! Dreamer pulls the ladder back into the ring. Going for a sidewalk slam on the ladder - and sticks it! Dreamer to the second rope - elbowdrop MISSES van Dam...but not the ladder! van Dam puts the ladder on top of Dreamer - off the ropes - Rolling Thunder! That might have hurt van Dam as much as Dreamer - finally over to make the cover...1, 2, NO! van Dam with a spinning legdrop - vaults to the top but Dreamer is there to crotch him. Dreamer with a right - grabs the ladder and places it along the second rope - climbs up, stands on the ladder and wants a superplex?! van Dam fighting it - right, right, right, Dreamer ends up with his feet off the ladder and falls through it - geez, I hope he was wearing a cup. van Dam over and out of the corner with a viscera from the top rope. van Dam grabs the chair and runs into the dropkick to the chair to Dreamer's face! Dreamer twitches OLD-SCHOOL STYLE but van Dam isn't done - Fivestar frog splash! Cover - 1, 2, 3! Ladies and gentlemen, Rob van Dam is the 237th (give or take) and final hardcore champion. Oh, he's still the intercontinental champion, too. (8:06) Hey! He pointed to himself! Here's some replays. When we come back, Dreamer and van Dam hug - Dreamer's probably crying because he'll never EVER get closer to the intercontinental championship...or any other belt, for that matter...

Backstage, Triple H is getting ready for his match! Trish Stratus and Lilian Garcia happen to walk by - so let's follow them! 'cause, you know - they are WALKING!

When we come back, STACY KEIBLER hits the ring, where The Fink has already removed his tuxedo jacket. "Stacy...what a very nice surprise to see you here tonight--" "Anyway, Howard. I just want you to know that I am not out here supporting you in your corner - I am out here because I wanna make sure that Trish Stratus does not interfere." "Well, let me tell you something. Speaking of interfere and interference...right now, you're interfering with...something - in my TROUSERS." Hahahahahaha - I'm gonna miss delivery like that, I'm sure.

LILIAN GARCIA (with Trish Stratus - and her music) v. HOWARD FINKEL (not with Stacy Keibler) in a tuxedo/evening gown match
referee: Patrick
"Making their way to the ring for the first-ever tuxedo vs. evening gown match, accompanied by (sneering) Trish Stratus...Lilian Garcia." You know what? He said Trish's name JUST like he used to say "Dr. Harvey Wippleman" only he'd never get to finish it because Wippleman used to SNATCH the mic from him - hmm, I wonder what's making me think of all this all of a sudden. Fink ain't done. "Hey honey! You got a sec? Let's get this thing goin'. I just wanna let you know, that's a nice gown you got on...but I thought that Rudy Giuliani barred hookers from this city a long time ago!" I was waiting for a "it'll look great on the floor" but maybe Fink wants to catch her by surprise - Garcia tries the slap but Finkel blocks it and shoves her to the mat. Ring the bell! Garcia climbs on his back and takes him down. CATFIGHT! CATFIGHT! CATFIGHT! Finkel tries to rip her dress, and I don't know even know if he managed to succeed at that. Everybody back to their feet - Garcia shoves Fink, and manages to undo his suspenders. Crowd boos because they want Finkel to win! Well, that...or they want to see Garcia's goodies. Fink with ANOTHER shove - Garcia stops herself but STILL goes down like a sack of spuds as if she actually hit the ropes. "That's the way it should be! Blondes like you, laying down on your back - absolutely." Oops, Stratus and Keibler are blonde, too, and suddenly Fink finds himself surrounded. Keibler with a slap, Garcia with a slap, Stratus with a clothesline. Tripleteam stripdown - Patrick fails to call for a disqualification, and Howard is relieved of everything but a red pair of underwear - strangely reminiscient of the underwear he wore back in 1995 (only much bigger!) and even THOSE are briefly pulled down before he rolls out of the ring. Was this trip really necessary? I mean, sure, the statute of limitations on angles is generally regarded as seven years, but that doesn't mean you have to rerun them RIGHT AWAY, does it? (1:28) Stratus takes the mic. "There's your winner - Lilian Garcia!" She presents the mic to Garcia, but does not engage her in "hot lesbian action" (hey, my Google hits just went up again)

UP NEXT: That big big main event

See the WWE live when it comes to YOUR area! Friday, Lincoln! Saturday, Springfield! Sunday, Chicago! RAW is Milwaukee! Next week, Friday is Sioux Falls and Saturday is Rapid City! I can't believe they actually ONLY played the RAW crew's ad this week!

Check out The World!

Courtesy "Good Morning America," footage of Criss Angel hitting the water torture chamber - he'll be there for 24 hours. "Write your own joke" of the week involves "torture" and "24 hours at The World"

Peeking inside The World - well, whaddaya know, he's still there! I'm not exactly sure where the "illusion" is...unless he's NOT there, really, but instead chilling out in a nearby dressing room with a hot meal

TRIPLE H (Greenwich, Connecticut - 272 pounds) v. AD BREAK - we are told that Shawn Michaels was "Medi-vacced" back to Texas with back trauma. We still don't know the extent of his injuries. Let's take that ad break - AND lengthen Triple H's entrance by another three minutes for the loyal MSG crowd - and really, is there a better way to say "thank you?"

HEEEEY! I think we FINALLY made it through an entire show without one of those damned Stacker 2 commercials! HOORAY

Castrol GTX High Mileage presents WWE Unforgiven 22 September! When you think WWE, think **motor oil**

TRIPLE H v. THE AWESOME UNDERTAKER (Houston, Texas - 328 pounds - on His Beautiful Bourget Python Bike) in a #1 Contender's match
referee: EARL HEBNER
Taker actually mistimes one of his turns and ends up running into the barricade - oops. No sooner has he parked his bike but H flies in with a forearm - right, right, into the ringpost. Taker rammed into the adjacent ringpost - and clotheslined over the barricade. H brings him back over - then rams him into the barricade again. Right hand, right, right, right, right, rolled in the ring, and ring the bell! Gutshot, wants the Pedigree but Taker is out and clotheslines him down. Taker with a back elbow in the corner, soupbone, soupbone, soupbone, scares off Hebner, whip into the ropes is reversed, Taker ducks, Taker with a flying clothesline. Taker off the ropes with a big legdrop - 1, 2, no. That move NEVER works! Arm wringer - shoulder drive puts H down but Taker holds onto the arm. Another turn on the arm wringer - then goes to the corner for Old School. Pounds the elbow - cover - 2. H put into the ropes, head down, H kicks - but Taker grabs the choke! But H pokes the eye and that's it for that idea...H right, Taker reverses the whip and rings H's bell. Soupbone! Into the opposite corner - scooped up on the shoulder - Snake Eyes! But H is still up and connects with the high knee as Taker tries to follow up. H manages to toss Taker through the ropes to the floor. H out after him - right hand. Whip into the STEEL steps (magically put back into place when we weren't looking). Right, right, right, right, right. H rolls in to break the count (ha) and rolls back out. Taker's head meets the STEEL steps again - and again. Right hand. H rolls in and out. Taker put back in the ring - H with a swinging neckbreaker for 2. Right, right, right, right right right right right. Elbowdrop. Press - 2. Taker manages a soupbone in the gut - left - soupbone left soupbone left, uppercut - soupbone, into the ropes, reversed, H puts on the sleeper. Man, somebody wake this crowd up! Taker drops to a knee. Taker grabs the hair but Hebner stops that. Taker down to a sit. Taker pops H with four of five soupbones until the hold is broken - Taker with "Iblockyourpunchyoudon'tblockmysoupbone," soupbone, soupbone, into the ropes, H comes back with the facebuster - 1, 2, no! H climbs on Taker's back and applies another sleeper. Taker reaches back...but can't do anything. Taker is fading fast - well, maybe not, he's back on his feet and grabs the waistlock - then throws him off with a suplex, breaking the hold. Both men are down - Hebner starts the count but they're both back up at 4. H right, Taker soupbone. H right, Taker soupbone. H right, Taker soupbone, soupbone, aaaaaaand a soupbone. H back with a knee. Off the ropes, but Taker is there with a clothesline. 1, 2, no. Head to the buckle by Taker, into the oppostie corner, elbow up by Triple H. Taker's head meets the buckle - no sale! Taker switches positions, but unfortunately Hebner ends up getting squashed (aw GEEZ). Back elbow to H (and Hebner) - whip out - and back into the corner (and Hebner). Taker with the big boot and start the screwiness. Taker makes the international sign of the chokeslam - grabs the choke - picks him up - and chokeslams him down! Here come KING BROCK LESNAR & IT'S ALL ABOUT PAUL - Taker meets Lesnar on the apron with a soupbone, and down he goes - wow, that was almost TOO easy - of course, when Taker turns back, H gives him an uppernut. Pedigree coming up - no, Taker with a backdrop! Lesnar in the ring again and Taker is brained with the Undisputed championship belt. Lesnar heads back to the aisle as H crawls over to drape an arm on Taker. 1, 2, 3. (8:36) I think I'll go watch WrestleMania 17 again.

HELLO, DAVID McLANE: For our final segment, we look outside, where Stephanie McMahon sticks out her breasts until Eric Bischoff (yes! one more segment with Bischoff) arrives. "Stephanie McMahon, why don't you just get the hell out of my building - no, no wait. You can't help yourself. A historic night here on Eric Bischoff's RAW, I mean...can you dig it? The Undisputed World Heavyweight Champion here on RAW, making his debut and I've got the #1 Contender - this is too much, Triple H, it is too much!" Meanwhile, Lesnar & Heyman have joined the party to listen. "Eric, do you ever shut up? You know, I'm just curious, you're right, tonight is a historic night and I couldn't miss it, but...Triple H is the #1 Contender...for what?" "What do you mean, for what? For the Undisputed Heavyweight Champion of the World, you know the deal - the champion wrestles on both shows!" "No, no, Eric - it's the champion's prerogative which show he wrestles on, and I happen to pay Brock Lesnar a whole lotta money to be an exclusive to SmackDown! So you can watch us Thursday night. Let's go, guys - oh, but one other thing Eric, you know - tonight, history HAS been made, because tonight is the last night that RAW will ever see an Undisputed World Champion. Oh, and just one more thing, Eric...how do my...peaches...taste now?" Good God, I religiously recap this show and even *I* barely remember that line. What a ZINGER to send them off! "See ya Thursday!" Eric makes a pained'n'strained face as the credits hit and (mercifully) we are out.

Geez, and the pay-per-view was so great...what happened?

AFTER THE FACT: Brian Popkin was THERE!

Live from RAW is MSG

(To the tune of Eminem's Without Me)

So the WWE won't let me be
The took my signs away from me
Cause the guy behind me couldn't see.
And I'm comin' to you LIVE FROM MSG!

Now this looks like a job for me
So everybody else just follow me
Cause we need a little - controversy
Cause it feels so empty without me

Y2J just beat Jeff Hardy
And Christian got axed by Booker T
The Hardcore Belt's now on RVD
And I gotta e-mail this to LoP


Summer Slam Notes:

I liked it a lot. I'm thinking it's the best PPV of the year. Yes, it is even better than 'Mania. They really had a string of good Summer Slams all these years. I can't remember the last time they had a disappointing Summer Slam.

Rob Van Dam: We all like RVD. He should keep the belt and stay on Raw.

Y2J: Has got a record of 0-5 for the last 6 PPVs. Is he getting punished because Fozzy sucks? Like I said before Chris, have fun with your music.

Triple H/HBK: 80% of the picks I saw got this one wrong. They said, "What is the point in HBK winning if he isn't here for the long haul?" Really Triple H loses very little heat. He will still be the top heal even after this loss. Besides if he won't job to his clique buddy, who is he going to job to. HBK is the showstopper, the ICON that can still go. He won many Match of the Year Awards. Give him another one. He took a Foley-esque chair bump. He accomplished his goal of proving he can still be the showstopper and winning a big match. And for Triple H we've got to give him credit. Everyone bashes him, but he can still go. He accomplished his goal of ending Shawn's career.

Brock Lesner: A clean win over the Rock. He's got the ball, now let him run with it.

And, Thanks to Jim Vanderhost for the plug at 411wrestling. Check out his TSO column, I really like the read. They may have secondhand news, but first rate columns.

Now, I just got 4 hours of sleep after getting back so I'm in a rotten mood and I feel like crap but I wanted to give some Live Notes from MSG.

Dark Matches:

Shelton Benjamin over Shawn Stasiak while I was being frisked by security.
Golddust over Johny da Bull by Curtain Call
Stevie Richards over Crash by Stevie Kick
Bradshaw over Justin Credible by Clothesline from Hell
D-Lo Brow over Raven by Sky High

Crowd Notes: The four faces got good pops. ECW hasbeens got a small "ECW" chant. Crash got a huge "Elroy Jetson" chant and was surprisingly over. People wanted to see D-Lo use the Lo Down, instead of Sky High. Note to D-Lo; It's ok with RVD if you use the frog splash.

Off-Camera Notes: Fink had a face role in shilling T-Shirts and giving away free ones to keep the crowd pumped. He also had a face pop for his "match" with the ladies. Nobody wanted to see him be the one to lose their clothes.

The Good:

A great Video Montage got good pops for Hogan, Andre, and HBK. Jerry Lawler got a huge "Jerry" chant. The crowd still loves him. The biggest face heat went to the Triple H intro. as HBK. A quick "We Want Tables!" chant for the Dudleys. At least give them a few minutes of wrestling before asking for the tables people, please. Big pop for the intergender "What's-up" or should I say "What's-in." Biggest heel heat to Rock and Bischoff. Bischoff had so much heel heat we couldn't hear a word he was saying. Y2J's singing brought a huge "shut the fuck up" chant. Kane and Bookerdust got a great pop and "USA" chant as well.

Merchandise: A lot of the new Brock shirts were selling. The front looks like a fake Brahma Bull. :( I'm not impressed. Golddust shirts were selling too...who knew?

The Bad:

The Rock had 70% of the crowd giving him "Rocky Sucks!" chant. These chants seemed very loud and unprompted. They mostly came from the pro-ECW segment of the crowd. They weres loud and also had "Lets go Les-ner!" Once Heyman talked, Lesner got a lot of boos as well. It is unjustified and wrong to boo the Rock, but people do it anyway.

Crowd was dead for the Y2J/Hardy match and the main event. Everyone wanted to see Brock. And they didn't want to see him act like a cowardly heel. After we went off the air, Taker hit Trips with a chokeslam and the last ride to a pop. Crowd had a "Tombstone" chant, but didn't get to seeone. Triple H complained too much about suffering from the tombstone the last time. Earl Hebner ended getting a "you screwed Bret" chant and that was it for the night.

The Ugly: The Fake Austin in the crowd had a beer gut and acted like the real Austin. The Fink losing his clothes. Who wants to see this crap?

The It's Just Me: Chants I started that nobody joined me on. "Fozzy Sucks" "Goldberg" "RVD" "Three Minutes." I remember last Survivor Series 96 at MSG, they promised us a big surprise hinting at a return of Randy Savage, and gave us Snuka. I'm still pissed about that. Today, no chants of "What?" by anyone.

Missing in Action: Rocky, HBK, Flair and the Big Show. We needed some star power and had to settle for ECW wash-outs.

The Unsung Hero: RVD, the only guy who makes Raw worth watching.

Match of the Night: RVD against Tommy Dreamer. Huge chants in the audience of "ECW." This could count as face heat for both of them because they both were ECW loyalists. Hardly any chants of "RVD." :( Where is the love people?

[slash] wrestling

Comment about this article in Wienerville



Copyright © 1999-2002 Christopher Robin Zimmerman & KZiM Communications