Quick Recap- Cactus Jack was trying, so far in vain, to get another WWF title match with Triple H. Big Show is trying to prove that he didn’t lose the Rumble match and that it was The Rock’s feet that hit the ground first. Tori had turned her back on Kane and aligned with X-Pac, with Kane suffering a mass beatdown for his troubles. Head Cheese are your number one contenders for the tag team gold!
The New Age Outlaws kept their tag titles against Head Cheese after The Radicals jumped Road Dogg at ringside. They took out the tag champs before heading to the back to liaise with Cactus Jack.
Christian pinned D’Von. The Dudleyz tried attacking Christian and Edge after the match, but the Hardyz arrived to turn the tide. They all teamed up to put the Dudleyz through tables!
Big Show defeated Too Cool in a handicap match. The Rock mocked his haricut afterwards.
The Rock ended Kurt Angle’s undefeated streak once and for all. Post-Match Tazz accidentally decked Rock while chasing after Angle.
X-Pac pinned Chris Jericho in a non-title match with the X-Factor, after Tori caught Jericho with his IC title belt behind the ref’s back.
Harvey Whippleman pinned The Kat to win the Womens title. Excsue me while I roll my eyes.
The Holly Cousins pinned Viscera in a handicap match.
Bubba Dudley beat Matt Hardy by DQ, after Hardy walloped him with a chair. Post-Match, The Dudelyz then powerbombed Jeff onto Matt through three tables.
Triple H was scheduled to defend his WWF title against Kane, but Kane was still out of action from his assault on Smackdown. But Cactus Jack and the Radicals answered the call and laid waste to him to close the show.
RAW IS WAR 31/01/2000
A Radical start and finish- Benoit, Guerrero, Saturn and Malenko debut.
There may have a been a tag title match here, the recently aligned due of Blackman and Snow proving to be a formidable tandem, but that isn’t the story. The headlines will of course go to four men who’d made their presence known merely by taking a seat with the rest of the audience.
Sadly, the four men in question have enjoyed mixed fortunes to say the least since that time. Chris Benoit and Eddie Guerrero both managed to go on to become World Champions, but both of their lives ended in tragedy for different reasons. Perry Saturn enjoyed no such pre-success and reports are that he even wound up homeless in Minnesota at one point. Dean Malenko eventually hung up the boots to become a road agent, though his personal life has no doubt been difficult after the loss of two of his best friends in the industry.
Still, at this point in time, optimism was high amongst these four superb athletes. Having been treated wretchedly by ex-employers WCW, they’d opted to see if the grass was greener in Connecticut. Early signs were that this would indeed be the case, and they were given a big presence tonight as they made their WWF bow.
The opening match itself was ok, if completely overshadowed by the attack on Road Dogg by the Radicals, but it was a seriously effective way for the company to showcase their new acquisitions in a forceful manner. It was difficult to gauge just how far in the WWF they could logistically progress, but if nothing else they’d be excellent additions to the midcard ranks and increase the quality of the broadcasts tenfold. Out with the likes of the Mean Street Posse and Viscera, in with the likes of Benoit and Guerrero. There really is no comparison!
Although the Monday Night Wars were becoming one-sided to a ludicrous degree in McMahon’s favour, this was still a huge feather in his cap. It was still quite a sight to see established figures from a rival organization appear on their competitors show.
If their debut segment wasn’t enough to make their new fans take notice, then their involvement in the main event beatdown would surely turn some heads and prove that, at least for the time being, they’d be portrayed as an almighty force to be reckoned with.
Assisting Cactus in what was practically an assault on Triple H, Benoit and his band of merry men closed the show as they started; causing utter chaos and making a bigger impact in one night collectively than perhaps they’d ever been allowed to achieve in WCW. As debuts go, few have had the distinction of looking so strong so quickly. Sure, it turned sour down the road, but at least they started brightly.
Tearing the House down- The Midcard delivers in spades.
Too Cool were an incredibly entertaining and talented tag act, and here they made Big Show look like an absolute mega star by selling nobly for him in their handicap match. They effectively turned themselves into darts for him, flying around the ring while he put his grubby mits on them and threw them around like they were dolls. It’s a shame in a way they were the two superstars sacrificed, but I dare say it wouldn’t have had the same effect if it were somebody like Kai En Tai or the Mean Street Posse!
The Hardyz gained a measure of revenge on the Dudleyz, joining forces with Edge & Christian to put both Dudley brothers through a table each. We haven’t got Matt/Jeff and E&C at each other’s throats yet, but at least we’ve now got all three of these superb teams involved in the fracas with each other. In the case of Bubba and D’von, I don’t think they had a hotter run in their whole WWF careers than this one. Later on they’d get revenge of their own by putting the Hardyz through more tables stacked on top of each other. There’s just no stopping them!
Chris Jericho and X-Pac tore the house down in another smashing match. Their styles complimented each other terrifically. They’ve got pace, technique and tell great stories in the ring. Blink and you’d miss something from this one, there seemed to be no stopping either of them. X-Pac puts himself firmly in contention for a title shot too with the victory, which means they’ll be locking up again in the near future, which is a great thing!
The Rock and Kurt Angle had already contested a stellar match on Smackdown a few weeks ago, so it was smashing to see them lock horns again here. Like their previous clash, they took each other to the limit, but special mention has to go to a tremendously funny verbal exchange in the early moments. After knocking Rock down, Angle takes the microphone and addresses his hometown crowd:
Angle: “What is wrong with you people?! I WAS BORN IN THIS TOWN!! I was born five blocks from here at the hospital!! I…”
Rock knocks him to the floor and takes the microphone from him.
Rock: “IT DOESN’T MATTER WHERE YOU WERE BORN!!”
Absolute class. A splendid match which brings to an end Kurt Angle’s undefeated streak (officially). Tazz’s accidental clothesline on Rock sets up a triple threat between them all on Smackdown.
If you thought the Radicals appearing on Raw and taking out the WWF Champion was crazy, then this was just as much cause for thought: Who’d have thought that Tazz, who was ECW World Champion not so long before this, would get to face The ROCK less than two weeks after signing with the WWF?! It’s pretty astounding when you put it into context like that.
Business 101- The APA is born!
When the Posse came crying to the Acolytes for protection, offering their wages in the process, Bradshaw and Faarooq smelt a chance to explore a money-making opportunity. Tonight the Acolyte Protection Agency was born, as “Hell’s Henchmen” wreaked havoc amongst some of their fellow superstars, even helping the Dudleyz (Another set of satisfied customers) to take out the Hardyz in return for the former ECW stars’ beatdown earlier on. I liked that, despite being babyfaces, the APA didn’t care who paid them, heel or not.
There’s bad, there’s ugly and there’s just rubbish- Other stuff
The Holly Cousins vs Viscera dragged way too long for my liking, considering the rest of the show had been virtually unmissable. Still, Crash was one of the most fun personalities in the company, and as the year went on we’d see this progress further into the Hardcore division.
Next, A WWF first: A man wins the WOMENS championship. I’m not sure which is worse, Mae Young getting her chesticles out a couple of weeks ago or this abomination. I think we’ll just leave it at that!
Best show of the year so far. The addition of the Radicals plus most of the midcard matches tonight made for some brilliant television. The road to No Way Out continues apace and of course we’re technically on the road to Wrestlemania, so naturally everyone in the company would want to step it up a gear in the run up to it.
Worth a watch for…
The Radicalz arriving, The Rock vs Kurt Angle and Chris Jericho vs X-Pac and the birth of the APA.
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