Raw is War

Austin, Texas
January 1, 2001

The year 2001 got off to an action-packed start, as an all-new supercharged episode of RAW IS WAR exploded New Years Day on TNN! Two huge main events were in store for RAW -- the Undertaker vs. Rikishi, and The Rock vs. Kane. The winners of those matches will meet on SmackDown!, and the winner of that match will receive a shot at the World Wrestling Federation Championship on the Jan. 8 episode of RAW!

As Stone Cold Steve Austin arrived at the Frank Erwin Center in -- fittingly enough -- Austin, Texas, senior referee Earl Hebner stopped the Texas Rattlesnake and told him that Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley wanted to see him in her office. Austin said that the meeting had better be about the Federation Championship match he demanded last Thursday on SmackDown!

RAW opened with a match pitting the Undertaker against Rikishi -- with the winner moving on to SmackDown! to face either Rock or Kane for a title match against Kurt Angle. Rikishi took his time walking to the ring, and soon Undertaker couldn't take it anymore, and he jumped on his bike and tried to run Rikishi down! The two super-heavyweights battled on the stage, and it looked momentarily like the Taker might toss the 400-pounder off the stage, much like he threw him off Hell in the Cell last month at Armageddon!

Finally the two men made their way into the ring, and the match officially began. Shockinly, the Undertaker seemed poised to give Rikishi the Last Ride, but even the massive strength of the Taker couldn't lift the 400-pounder off the ground. Rikishi took advantage, squashing the Taker with a huge legdrop. But the 400-pounder soon walked into a massive DDT, and the Undertaker pinned him to move on to SmackDown!

Backstage, Stone Cold walked into Stephanie's office. He said he wanted to talk about his title shot, but she said he had to earn his title shot. She said that based on his love of drinking beer and raising hell, she came up with a job for him, which she demanded he take, since he was under contract. She then pointed to a beer and hot dog vendor in her office -- and she said that the Rattlesnake would have to sell every single beer and hot dog, or else he would never get a title shot! As the vendor wished him luck, Austin snapped and beat the hell out of him!

As Edge, Christian and Kurt Angle arrived backstage at the arena, Coach approached them and asked Angle what he thought about having to defend his title against either Undertaker, Kane or Rock next Monday. Angle said he had never been told about it! Edge & Christian told him not to worry, since he was like a superhero. Coach then asked the three how they felt about facing the Dudley Boyz and Chris Jericho in a six-man table match on RAW -- and the three men were so irate that they stormed off

The Acolytes and Billy Gunn then faced Val Venis, Bull Buchanan and the Goodfather of the Right to Censor in tag action. "The One" won the match for his team, pinning Val Venis following a sleeper slam. After the match, Billy prepared to piledrive Val -- hoping to get a measure of revenge for Chyna -- but Venis was saved by his allies in Right to Censor.

In the hallway backstage, Stone Cold was munching down on a few of his hot dogs when Stephanie approached him and said he couldn't eat the hot dogs -- he had to sell them! The Rattlesnake responded by squirting mustard all over Stephanie's blouse! As she shrieked and ran away in horror, Stone Cold just smiled and asked if she wanted onions on her hot dog!

After the commercial break, Austin was still backstage, enjoying a couple of beers!

Elsewhere, Stephanie cleaned the mustard off herself as she talked to her father on speakerphone. She complained to her father, who told her just to buy a new blouse, and not to let Austin get to her like that. Trish Stratus then came into Stephanie's locker room and told Stephanie she wanted to talk. Vince then asked Stephanie who had walked in, and Trish said hello. Trish asked Vince how his holidays were, and he said they were very good. Vince then told Stephanie that he made made an Intercontinental Championship match for the night, with Chris Benoit defending against Test.

Stephanie then asked Vince why Test should get the title shot -- but apparently Vince was going through a tunnel, and his cell phone cut off! After he hung up, Stephanie got really serious, and told Trish that the rumors about her spending the holidays at a certain soup kitchen (with Vince) had better be false. She told Trish that Trish's pretty face ample chest may influence the men of the Federation, but they wouldn't work on her. She told Trish not to cross Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley.

Michael Cole interviewed the Dudley Boyz, who promised that Kurt Angle, Edge & Christian would get wood on New Years night!

Raven defended his Hardcore Championship against his former partner, Tazz. Before the match, Raven said that today was a special day -- a day that will live in World Wrestling Federation infamy. He said it was the first day of the year of the Raven, and that everyone would bear witness to the Raven effect. The two fought to the backstage area -- where Tazz dunked Raven's head into a toilet bowl! Pretty soon, all three members of the Holly family attacked the men, as did Steve Blackman! Raven would win the match moments later ... by pinning Crash! Raven then fled the scene of the crime before any of the other superstars could take advantage of the 24-7 rule

Stone Cold Steve Austin headed to the ring to a huge ovation. Carrying a can of beer, the Rattlesnake reiterated his demand from last week's SmackDown! that he wanted a shot at Kurt Angle's Federation Championship. He told Stephanie that he had sold all the beers and hot dogs, so he wanted his shot.

Wearing a new blouse, Stephanie then walked to the ring to answer Stone Cold. She asked Austin who he thought he was talking to ... and he answered, "a complete bitch!" She said she hadn't seen Austin sell one hot dog or beer. She called him a liar, and a beer-swilling Texas redneck -- which the crowd in Austin didn't take to very kindly.

Austin said he had found a few people in the locker room to drink the beer -- the Acolytes and Jacqueline! He then made Stephanie wear the tray he held his beer in. He said he didn't give a rat's ass what she thought -- only about his title shot.

As Stephanie struggled to keep her balance while holding the beer tray, she said she would put him in the mix, since she was a woman of her word. She told Austin that he would face William Regal on RAW, with the winner to move onto SmackDown! to face Undertaker and either Rock and Kane in a Triple Threat Match, with the winner becoming the No. 1 contender.

She told Austin not to be too surprised when he lost and not to be too surprised when she made him scrub toilets on SmackDown! She then demanded that Austin get the beer tray away off her ... and the Rattlesnake ripped off not only the beer tray, but also Stephanie's blouse! As Stephanie ran to the back, struggling to cover herself up, the Rattlesnake celebrated in the ring!

In a six-person table match, Chris Jericho and the Dudley Boyz faced Kurt Angle, Edge & Christian. Before the match, Y2J welcomed the crowd to "Stephanie is naked!" The match soon deteriorated into a Pier 6 brawl, with all six men hooking it up. After the Dudleyz hit the "wassap!" on Angle, Buh Buh told his brother to get the table! After several near finishes, Angle wound up locked in the Walls of Jericho. When Edge went to save the Federation Champion, he was given a 3-D through the table, giving the Dudleyz and Y2J the win!

Backstage, Test was preparing for his Intercontinental Championship match against Chris Benoit when Trish Stratus walked over to him. Test told Trish to go back to her sugar daddy. Trish told Test that everything he had heard was just a rumor, and that she had been with her family for the holidays. Trish said that he should be thanking her for getting him a title shot, but he said he wanted a match with Albert, and he wanted nothing to do with her.

She said that she always knew Test was the star of T&A, and that she wanted to be there to raise his hand when he won the Intercontinental Championship. Finally, Test agreed, and the two headed to the ring.

Footage was then shown of William Regal leaving Stephanie's dressing room with a big smile on his face.

Next up, Benoit defended his Intercontinental Championship against Test, who was seconded by Trish. Test's former partner, Albert, came to ringside to distract Test once Test climbed to the top rope. T was able to fight off A, and moments later, he again scaled the turnbuckles. Only this time, Trish shoved Test off the top, and Benoit scored the win! After the match, Test and Albert brawled until officials pulled them apart!

William Regal approached Lt. Commissioner Debra backstage. He first asked her if she would cover her puppies, and Debra said not to worry about it. He then asked Debra to give Stone Cold a message for him -- that there would be a surprise referee for their match later that evening. Debra asked him who the surprise referee was -- and Regal said that if he told her, it wouldn't be a surprise!

Perry Saturn, Dean Malenko and Terri of the Radicalz came to ringside to provide guest commentary for the match between the Hardy Boyz and Kaientai. Prior to the match, Taka told the Hardyz that the only mystery they would be solving was how to escape from the shackles of defeat. Funaki added, "indeed!" Unfortunately for Taka and Funaki, the Hardyz would pick up the win, as Jeff pinned Funaki after a Swanton Bomb. After the match, Lita made some advances towards Dean Malenko, but it was all a set-up, as both Hardyz attacked him after he was distracted by the beautiful diva!

In a battle between two former Federation Champions, The Rock faced Kane. The winner would go on to face the Undertaker and either Stone Cold or William Regal in a Triple Threat Match on SmackDown! to determine the No. 1 contender to the Federation Championship. During the match, Kurt Angle came to ringside. With the referee's back turned, Angle smashed The Rock with his championship belt, and Kane then pinned the People's Champion to advance to the Triple Threat Match on SmackDown!

The final match pitted Stone Cold Steve Austin against William Regal, with the winner to fill the final spot in the Triple Threat match on SmackDown! The surprise referee wasted no time making her way to the ring -- Stephanie McMahon-Helmsley! Surprisingly, Stephanie was a pretty fair official ... at first.

After twice suplexing the goodwill ambassador, Austin covered his opponent. Stephanie counted to two, and then feigned getting something in her eye! As she faked the injury, Austin kicked her to the outside of the ring! Senior referee Earl Hebner came to the ring, but he was soon knocked out.

Back in the ring, Regal schoolboyed Austin, and Stephanie counted to three faster than any referee in World Wrestling Federation history! As the Rattlesnake fumed in the ring, Stephanie announced Regal as the winner, and Austin as the loser!

So on SmackDown!, there will be a Triple Threat Match with Kane, the Underaker and William Regal to determine the No. 1 contender to Kurt Angle's World Wrestling Federation Championship!