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WWF Monday Night Raw - February 14, 2000
-Feeling down? Me too! Let’s revisit an era of WWF television that I remember fondly and see if it still holds up today.
-From San Jose, CA. Our hosts are Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler.
-The show kicks off with the Radicalz coming to the ring for a promo! In case you forgot, the Radicalz were Chris Benoit, Eddie Guerrero, Perry Saturn, and Dean Malenko. They had recently defected from WCW and had even more recently turned their backs on Cactus Jack. Before anyone can talk, they are joined by D-Generation X, which at that point consisted of WWF Champion Triple H, Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley, Road Dogg, X-Pac, Bad Ass Billy Gunn, and Tori. DX are heels, but the crowd still loves their entrance. Stephanie tells the fans to shut up as they play footage from Smackdown, when Kane delivered a Tombstone Piledriver to Tori. Stephanie blames the fans for egging Kane on. Triple H takes the mic and ponders whether they’ve gone too easy on their enemies thus far. Triple H announces that Too Cool will face the New Age Outlaws in singles matches, Saturn and Malenko will wrestle Rikishi in a handicap match, and The Rock must face Chris Benoit. Finally, they are out to teach Kane some respect (for women), therefore Kane must wrestle Triple H and a mystery partner in a no holds barred handicap match. If Kane wins, he gets another match with X-Pac. They are joined by Too Cool and Rikishi, Kane (with Paul Bearer), and The Rock! A giant brawl breaks out and the fans love it! The good guys clear the ring! Long opening segment, but it set up several matches, and made everyone involved seem important.
-Recap of Bubba Ray Dudley putting B.B. and Terri Runnels through tables.
Edge (with Christian) vs. Jeff Hardy (with Matt Hardy) vs. D-Von Dudley (with Bubba Ray Dudley)
The winner receives at World Tag Team title shot at No Way Out for his respective team. Edge and Jeff double team D-Von in the early going. D-Von dodges a splash and dumps Edge to ringside. D-Von plants Jeff and looks for the win. Edge returns with a missile drop-kick. Matt and Christian pull Bubba off the apron and hit a double suplex. Jeff breaks Edge’s roll-up on D-Von and tosses him out. Jeff delivers the Swanton Bomb, but Edge breaks the cover. D-Von sidesteps a spear, causing Edge to collide with Jeff. D-Von’s reverse DDT puts Edge away at 3:04. As per usual during this era, they managed to put a lot of action into a short match.
Winner: D-Von Dudley
-Mark Henry and Mae Young are looking for a hotel room to celebrate Valentine’s Day. The clerk has a hard time hiding his disgust as Henry books a honeymoon suite.
Road Dogg vs. Grandmaster Sexay
For a couple of midcarders, Road Dogg and Grandmaster Sexay got bigger pops in 2000 than most upper card talent does in 2011. Sexay is too quick for Dogg in the early going and celebrates with some dancing. Road Dogg answers with an elbow shot and some dancing of his own. Sexay nails a super kick to regain control. Top rope bulldog! Road Dogg counters another bulldog but can’t get the pin. Sexay crotches Dogg on the ropes and nails a DDT. GMS dons his goggles but misses the leg drop. Road Dogg’s pump handle slam ends it at 4:09. Another short, crowd-pleasing contest.
Winner: Road Dogg
-Mark Henry and Mae Young are searching for their honeymoon suite. Henry insists on carrying Young into the room. High-larious.
-A group of hos lead The Godfather and D’Lo Brown through the backstage area. They come down to the ring and The Godfather leads the crowd through his usual “pimpin’ ain’t easy” routine. Meanwhile, Al Snow is trying to install some personality into Steve Blackman. Head Cheese made for an entertaining pairing. Before the match, Godfather tries to offer Blackman some women in exchange for a party in place of a match. Blackman refuses because he is the lethal weapon.
The Godfather and D’Lo Brown (with the hos) vs. Al Snow and Steve Blackman
Snow kicks off against the Godfather in some back and forth action. Blackman assists from the apron, allowing Snow to take control. Brown tags and blindsides Snow, who seemed to be chastising Blackman for cheating. Blackman tags and goes after Brown in an aggressive manner. Snow unwittingly distracts Blackman while flirting with the hos, causing Blackman to be rolled up at 1:29. Snow and Blackman are no longer undefeated!
Winners: The Godfather and D’Lo Brown
-Henry and Young are cuddling in their suite.
-European Champion Kurt Angle comes out for his match. Since winning the European title, he couldn’t help but notice how wonderful Europe has become in recent times. Meanwhile, in America, the stock market has plummeted, crime rates are at all time highs, and San Jose is in the midst of a depression! This is all because Chris Jericho is the Intercontinental Champion! Angle feels it’s his role as an American hero to fix this by taking the title from Jericho at No Way Out. Angle was priceless during this era. Angle calls out Jericho, but gets no response. Angle speculates that Jericho is in Hollywood with Chyna, which is their excuse to show footage of Chyna on The Tonight Show. Finally, Chris Jericho comes out, interrupting Angle listing off his “three I’s.” Jericho tells “Kirk Angel” to shut the hell up. Jericho calls Angle a “ridiculous Special Olympics jack-ass” and charges the ring for a fight. A pack of referees tries to break it up but Chyna shows up and plants Angle on the floor! Fantastic segment and a great way to build immediate interest in a match between these two.
-Mark Henry is in bed, anticipating the Jurassic sex he’s about to get. He removes his underpants and is joined by Young, clad in lingerie. These segments might be the strongest argument for the PG movement I’ve ever seen.
Chris Benoit (with Eddie Guerrero) vs. The Rock
The Rock eagerly charges Benoit and delivers a series of punches. Benoit answers with his trademark chops. Benoit delivers a clothesline and a suplex. Backbreaker by Benoit but Rock kicks out. Rock rebounds with a swinging neck breaker. Eddie grabs Rock’s foot, allowing Benoit to hit a clothesline. Benoit takes advantage of Eddie’s cheap shots, driving Rock shoulder-first into the ring post. Chair shot by Benoit, but no DQ. Weird. Benoit works over the injured arm. Rock shows signs of life, but Benoit retains control with a back suplex. Rock hits a DDT but Guerrero distracts the ref. Rock knocks Eddie off the apron but Benoit locks on the Crippler Crossface! Rock desperately gets a rope break. Rock shakes off some chops and builds momentum with the Samoan Drop and spinebuster. Benoit drags Benoit back to the ring but he’s blindsided by Big Show, who was supposedly on vacation. The referee misses the attack to Guerrero. Benoit delivers a German suplex for the win at 7:39. Great television match, ***.
Winner: Chris Benoit
-Big Show isn’t finished and tosses Rock into the ring. Benoit delivers the diving head butt. This was great build for Big Show and Rock’s match at No Way Out.
-Michael Cole interviews Big Show about what just happened. Show laughs and declares that there is no way out for The Rock at No Way Out.
-Henry is glowing after having had sex with Mae Young. Henry remember he had a gift for Young and hands her some chocolates from Sexual Chocolate. Young has a surprise too: edible underwear! Gross. The lights go off as Henry declares “tooty fruity.”
Bad Ass Billy Gunn (with Road Dogg) vs. Scotty 2 Hotty (with Grand Master Sexay)
Gunn has the size advantage and pummels Scotty in the early going. Scotty counters a flying club and builds momentum with some quick offense. It doesn’t take Scotty long to set up the Worm to the delight of the audience. Gunn responds with a jackhammer. Gunn splashes but a cheap shot by Grand Master Sexay allows Scotty to get the cover at 1:57! I love it when baby faces cheat.
Winner: Scotty 2 Hotty
-The Outlaws clear the ring but Too Cool are satisfied by what they accomplished.
-Kevin Kelly is lurking outside The Rock’s locker room.
WWF Light-heavyweight Championship:
Essa Rios © (with Lita) vs. Crash Holly (with Hardcore Holly)
Hardcore joins the announce team. Rios unloads a series of flying offense on a hapless Crash. Rios delivers some open hand chops. Crash trips up Rios and makes a comeback. It’s at this point where the play list I’m watching this on gets messed up and we miss the ending of the match, but Rios retains and Hardcore is very upset with his little cousin.
Winner and still Light-Heavyweight Champion: Essa Rios
-Kevin Kelly is still lurking but The Rock exits in a fury and shoves past him.
Rikishi vs. Perry Saturn and Dean Malenko
The Radicalz jump Rikishi like a pack of dogs. They are unable to double back suplex the big man. Rikishi knocks both Saturn and Malenko off their feet. Rikishi serves up some Samoan drops and a stink faces. Saturn rebounds with a super kick and Malenko targets the leg. The numbers game seems to have finally caught up. Rikishi counters a double suplex! Rikishi misses a corner splash but continues to fight off the Radicalz. Malenko eats a Rikishi Driver! Saturn blocks a Driver but eats a belly to belly suplex. Rikishi sets up a double Banzai Drop but Eddie Guerrero runs in and clubs Rikishi in the ankle with a metal pipe. The DQ is called at 3:20! This was an embarrassing squash match up until that finish.
Winner via DQ: Rikishi
-The Radicalz continue to dish out punishment on Rikishi until Too Cool runs in for the save.
-Triple H and Stephanie McMahon are walking with purpose!
No Disqualifications Handicap match:
Kane (with Paul Bearer) vs. Triple H and Big Show (with X-Pac, Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley, and Tori)
Sheesh, could you imagine the uproar if this Raw aired today? “Two handicap matches in a row? They’ll be outa business in a week!” Before Big Show made his entrance, they teased X-Pac as Triple H’s surprise partner. Kane drags Triple H into the ring and knocks Big Show to ringside. Kane looks for a choke slam but Big Show makes the save. Show and Kane lumber through a punch-fest. Triple H tags in and continues to wear down Kane. Kane is the face in peril but has no one to tag out to! The match is pretty boring, though I was probably really into it the first time I watched it at age 15. I would have been cheering Kane on and perhaps hoping that The Rock or Cactus Jack would make the save. Kane mounts a comeback against Triple H and manages to fight off Big Show. Triple H ruins the party with a low blow. X-Pac hands Triple H a chair and the no DQ aspect of the match begins to come into play. The Rock runs in for the save! Or he tries to, as he runs into a choke slam by Big Show. Kane counters a pedigree but is triple teamed by HHH, X-Pac, and Show. Finally, Cactus Jack runs in, shoving Tori out of his way in the process. Jack assaults Triple H. Meanwhile, The Rock cracks Big Show with a chair, allowing Kane to choke slam Show for the win at 7:19! That finish was overbooked goodness and heats up numerous rivalries heading into No Way Out!
-DX and Big Show regain control of the right until Cactus Jack cleans house with a weapon. The good guys are standing tall as Raw goes off the air.
Final Thoughts: I was in nostalgia overload while watching this. Otherwise, this was still much better than most episodes of Raw from any era since it aired. It’s amazing to see an episode of Raw that manages to stand alone as a crowd-pleasing episode while simultaneously stirring up interest in the next pay-per-view. The current WWE creative team would be wise to study the first six months of 2000. Even the Mark Henry/Mae Young segments had some stupid humor to them. Thumbs up!
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